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Chapter 6: The Train Ride
Oh my goodness, please don't kill me! GAH! I'M SO SORRY FOR THE LONG UPDATE! I was just so busy, and my computer is about as sane as Dobby. That is, if computers can be sane? Oh well, I just didn't know what to do next, and I had so many ideas. I just read a couple stories on this site before my muse came back to me and I finally finished this chappie up!
I slap my hand over my alarm clock without looking up from my sheets. I set it for five in the bloody morning. I forgot how hard it is for me to wake up in the morning… especially FIVE in the BLOODY morning. I groggily attempt to get up from my sheets. My duvet is lying everywhere besides my bed. I end up on my bedroom floor, two steps away from my bed.
[QUE MUSIC NOW – “C'EST LA VIE” BY B*WITCHED]
The cause? Half of my duvet hanging on the floor.
The effect? I slipped on it, and fell backwards.
I get up and surprisingly, I’m not in pain. I tug on my tank top pajama shirt deciding what to wear as I open my closet doors. My eyes land on one of my mom’s old clothes. I take out the super long green sweater. But not that weird pukey kind of green color; it was a pretty green. My mom had knit this you know. She would go over to Mrs. Jenkins when I was little and work on projects with her. I know this sounds foolish but my mom said that she knit this because it was the color of my eyes. I still don’t know if I believe it. I don’t think my eyes are that pretty.
I smile as I take it out. I put it on my bed, deciding to wear it. Knowing how long the length of the sweater is, it’s going to be below my butt. I take out some black leggings to go with it. I add my green converse sneakers and green, glittery bracelets for a finishing touch.
I don’t know why I’m taking so much consideration into my outfits lately. I guess I want my school year to start off great. And this outfit seems like a cute comeback. I mean, we’re sixth years now! So much to look forward to… more dances and balls, staying up later, doing more grown up things (I don’t know what that means. That’s just what Jessica told me), and the Hogsmeade camping trip with all sixth and seventh years in the fall!
I can’t wait! I’ve never been camping before. Everyone says that it’s the best part of sixth year. I think it’s just the fact that we’ll be older, and more responsible. We’re growing up, you know? Makes us feel a bit free I’d say.
After taking a shower and drying my hair, I step out of the bathroom and head to my room. I cross Petunia’s room with hesitation, lift my hand, and tap the door. “Petunia?” I call out, trying not to be so loud. I hear a grunt as she whips her door open. “What the hell do you want at five thirty in the bloody morning?” Petunia has bags under her eyes. I try not look at them.
I suddenly feel guilty for trying to talk to her at a time like this. "Um, Well, I-"
“Get to the point, Lily. I need my beauty rest. And I can’t have beauty rest when I’m being interrupted by some freak who can’t even look me in the eye when she’s talking to me.”
I close my eyes and just spit it out. “I know that you know I’m leaving today, and I just wanted to say that I’ll miss you,” I say in one breath. I open my eyes to see her cross her arms. I reach out and give her a hug, but she doesn’t hug me back.
I know Petunia won’t hug me back, it happens every year. I just thought this year might be different, but like always nothing changed. She looked the same as she did when she opened her door.
As I’m getting dressed, my mind wanders in places I haven’t thought about in a while. Like my memories, and how things used to be.
It’s not that I forgot them; it’s just that I don’t want to deal with them. But for some reason, I think about it. One day, maybe, I’ll tell someone other than Jessica. Maybe a couple people that I will learn to trust; people that will care about me as my life moves on. Then they would be the people that really know me. That is, if I let myself trust them. The way I grew up, at one point my insecurities grew because of certain events. It kind of changed me.
I don’t think anyone would really know about a person if they doid't discover everything about them, the good and the bad. I’m usually chipper, and full of wit, as you already know. But I have my moments. I like to think positively as much as I can, though. There is enough darkness in my life that people can’t see; I don’t need more of it. I try not to let it consume me. Truth be told it's always on my mind.
You probably don’t know what I’m talking about, and you might be confused. Don’t worry. One day I’ll be ready to talk about it again. Then maybe everything will be understood.
I trip on my leggings.
And… well- you should probably know by now what’s likely to happen, and why I have a new bruise.
“Okay, so I’ve devised up a plan,” I say to Jessica on the other side of the compartment. Let’s not go through the embarrassing car ride to the station and how I almost killed off an eighty year old man. For now.
“What kind of plan? OOOHH! Are we going to steal something!?” Jessica asks, oh so eagerly.
“No, I’m not you.”
She takes offense and fake gasps, putting a hand over her heart.
“ANYWAY… I’m talking about a plan to avoid idiot Potter- er, no…more like the whole marauder crew actually.”
“I am not leaving this compartment. I’ll get changed here and I’ll be the last to leave here,” I say. I fold my arms across my chest with a smile on my face.
“Okay, Two problems. One: We can’t be the last to get off the train, there isn’t going to be a carriage ride back for us to Hogwarts. There won’t be any thestrals left!” Jessica says. Jessica can see thestrals, but I can’t. Don’t know why, though. It kind of bothers me that I can’t see them too. I want to know what they look like.
“And Two: You can’t stay in this tiny little compartment for 2 whole hours. You’re Lily. You’ll freak out. Get Paranoid. Become a victim of Insomnia. You won’t have enough courage or strength left in you to hold yourself from going to the bathroom and wait until Hogwarts. Basically, you can’t do it. And besides, you can’t change your clothes in here.” She crosses her arms, matching my posture.
I uncross my arms. “I am so not like that…”
Jessica stares at me tilting her head to one side. “…all the time,” I finish. Maybe I am, but being an insomniac? I don’t think so!
I don’t hope so.
“Well, I can’t help it! I was raised this way! My dad expects me to fix and finish and clean everything. And I’m not just talking about chores. It’s like he has none of this ‘parent’ crap for Petunia so he thrusts her responsibilities to mine. It’s a double whammy! I’ve grown up with this since I was seven. It’s not like I had a choice.”
“Oh, but, Lily, you do. You could step up to your dad, and tell him you’re only human. You could patch things up with Petunia.” She takes off her jacket. Jessica positions her knees on her seat and opens her trunk from behind her.
I sigh and look out the window, resting my head in my right hand. “I wish it was that simple, Jess. But it’s not. It’s just too complicated. Too hard. I guess I’ll have to live with it. Or maybe someday I’ll fix it, who knows.”
Jessica ruffles through the contents of her trunk. “It doesn’t have to be hard. You can do it. I know that there’s something inside of you always protesting against things you go with sometimes, you just can’t see it. You just gotta break out of that mold that others see you in. One day you’re going to turn into one bad arse.”
“Hah, I can’t wait for that day,” I chuckle. I love it that Jessica says ‘arse’. I’m from a different part of England where we say ‘ass’ except it sounds like there’s an ‘o’ in the beginning, but it's still spelled 'arse'. Jessica was born in Liverpool. I mean everyone says it somewhat like that, you know, all the same. But she’s always had accent that made her say certain words in a funny way. I never knew if she realized this or not. I don't think it has anything to do with the fact she's from Liverpool, but maybe because she's one quarter japanese and one quarter german and one half english, born in england. Her family history goes way back. I noticed a long time ago that Jessica's mother pronounces things just like Jess. Like the word 'arse'.
She turns around and hands me a letter she takes out of an envelope.
I take the piece of parchment from her hands. “What’s this?”
“Open it, genius.” She smiles at me, her whole face lighting up. “It’s something I received after the sleepover… I just wanted to wait until now to let you know.”
“I’m getting all excited!” I gaze at the letter wondering what it could be. She sits next to me.
“OPEN IT!” Jessica bellows.
I calm myself down a little, trying to give a hint about that to Jessica, and open the letter. After four minutes of reading cursive handwriting I stop. Wow. Why didn’t I know it would be this good? Her purse today is a Prada bag! It’s a knock off none-the-less, but still… It’s a knock off Prada! You know that I can read Jessica’s moods through her purses. She’s completely overjoyed!
“Oh- EM- Gee!” I smile and turn to Jessica. She’s jumping. She’s jumping on the seat. On our seat. She’s been jumping since I opened the letter. I knew I felt my butt vibrating somehow; I was just too into the letter to care about it!
She stops jumping and her face goes all mild. “You did not just say ‘Oh- EM- Gee’. You remind me of snobby Petunia when she was on the phone at your house.”
I crinkle my eyebrows. "Really?"
“I’ve never heard her say that before…”
“Um, Hellooooooooo. Don’t you remember when we were eaves dropping on her conversation with Vernon that one time?”
I rack around in my brain until I remember the memory. “Oh, yeah!” I felt so dirty after that, I had never eaves-dropped in my life before. For sure I was scared Petunia would find out and kill me in my sleep. She has a thing about privacy… and me.
“She was talking about how it was so ‘Oh- EM- Gee’ that Vernon had gotten a Mercedes Benz for his 18th birthday. Please, he looks like a washed up 20 year old bowling pin.”
“Yeah, that’s what I think too! That weirdo…”
“WE’RE GETTING OFF THE SUBJECT!” Jessica shakes both her fists like a whining five year old.
“EH? Um- OKAY!” I kind of scream back at her.
“So, how excited are you for me?”
“Tons! I mean… a prefect! Ever since Ella Backilla transferred to Beauxbatons Academy this summer her spot for 6th year prefect was open, but not anymore. My best friend got it! That’s great!” I hug her.
“I know! I didn’t think it would’ve been me you know? It’ll be my first year as a Prefect. I never thought I’d become one. But I was so happy when I found out!” She lifts her badge into the sun light from the window. It shines in all its bliss.
“Oh, but I never asked what was up with you, Lily. I apologize. Tell me, anything new happen lately?”
I squirm in my seat. “Uh… Let’s just say I had an interesting time arriving at the station.”
“What happened? Sounds juicy.” Jessica moves back to her seat so she’s facing me and put her legs pretzel style on the seat. Great. This is her ‘I want to here a story’ set up.
I didn’t want to go through this embarrassing story. Did I not say I didn’t want to go through it!? Damn. How life has stricken me.
[QUE MUSIC NOW – “A STELLAR SAYONARA” BY ELEVENTYSEVEN]
“No you didn’t!”
“Yes,” I clarify, “yes I did.” Jessica cups her hand over her mouth to control her laughter.
“And that’s when I almost went flying toward the moving train at platform 10,” I say.
Jessica was like a thirsty puppy wanting more to drink and my story was Gatorade. She just couldn’t stop laughing, even though I couldn’t stop myself from acting a little proud at some moments.
“What happened to the old man?”
"I don't know, let's just hope my dad didn't run him over on the way back!"
I cannot believe I said that.
Jessica’s full of giggles and it makes a goofy grin appear on my face.
“See, I told you. I can stay in this compartment the entire time. I love it. I can’t believe I never thought of this before,” I say, lying down across the compartment seat, resting my head on my purse. I cross my legs.
“Yeah, I’m surprised you made it this long. One whole hour. But it’s kind of boring to tell you the truth. I’m so used to going over each other’s compartments and saying hi to all of our friends.”
We’re both lying down on our seats, facing the same way. Except I’m sort of in the fetal position. What can I say? I’m creepy that way.
“Sorry, I just can’t go. I don’t want to deal with a certain group of four boys.”
“Unless their names are Danny, Dougie, Tom, and Harry, right?”
“That’s right. The only four boys I will talk to are all the members of McFly.”
“You have an obsession with them, you know.”
“You just figured that out?” We laugh it off and start talking about how things are going with Jess and her boyfriend, Jeff, of one month and a half.
Jessica pulls her long sleeve shirt up and looks at her watch. “Hey, it’s almost time to get changed, Missy.”
"Alrighty then." I get up and pull my trunk down.
“There’s not enough room for the both of us, you know.”
I look at her impossibly. “What?! No! I told you, I have to stick to the plan!”
"So?! You can just go straight to the bathroom and back, undetected. Just keep your eyes open. Besides, I got out the last time! We’ve been stuck in here for an hour and a half, and we’re almost there. Get out!"
I grip my clothes. “Noooo!!!!”
"WHAT!" I shout back at her.
“DON’T MAKE ME GO PENGUIN NINJA ON YOU!”
She pushes me out of the compartment and shuts the door. She completely takes advantage of the fact I have no strength to stop her.
“No! Open this door right now! JESSICA MARIE!”
That’s not fair!
I take cover behind some really tall seventh year boys who’s names I don’t know. They’re the really popular guys from Hufflepuff. I use them as decoys to get to the bathroom since they’re headed in that direction.
Changing into my clothes was easy. It’s coming back to the compartment that I’m worried about.
I quickly get out of the bathroom stall, mirror-check myself, and head straight to my compartment. As soon as I walk out of the bathroom door I collide with a bunch of girls rushing their way in. Everyone's doing their last minute changing before we all arrive. I hate getting stuck in Uniform-Changing traffic.
I see Jess in the middle of the corridor away from the compartment. I glare at her for about five full minutes.
“YOU,” I say accusingly.
“Oh, come off it. I never said I would let you stay in when changing arrived,” she says, smiling.
“Bologna! I told you that I wanted to stay in here the entire time.” I cross my arms, waiting for her response. “And why aren’t you in our compartment?”
“I came out to find you.”
“I cannot believe you pushed me out.”
“I had a change of heart,” she says, smiling. “Come on, don’t be mad. Besides, we said that each year we would switch! Don’t you think it would have been a bit unfair if I left?”
I look at the floor. “Well, maybe…er…okay-so I forgot about that.”
She puts an arm over my shoulder. “Besides, I cleaned up our compartment and the thestrals await us in about thirty minutes. And, no rotten Marauders have found us…”
Our way back to get our trunks was noisy as we walk through the crowds of people. Unexpectedly, strong arms slide around my waist and lift me up so my heels are just above the ground.
I gasp at this abrupt contact and lose my breath for a second. For a moment it feels…nice. I feel hot breath near my ear, and it kind of makes me want to giggle.
But my fantasy of nice shatters into a million pieces.
“Hello, Lily Flower. You have a cute little arse on you, you know that?” I can sense him behind me with a smirk on his face.
I lift my foot, not like I could lift it anymore, and stomp on his toe. He staggers backwards on the floor. Followed by chuckles of laughter coming from next to us.
Sirius is laughing his head off, Peter’s looking worried, and Remus chuckles a bit. He dusts himself off and stands up. “Good morning to you, too,” he says sarcastically.
I narrow my eyes. He ruffles his hair, and says, “You know, Evans, I always thought you and I were like Romeo & Juliet.” He lifts his eyebrows suggestively and leans his head forward, smiling again. That menacing smile…
I snort, not caring about trying to hide it, and cross my arms, my jaw set. “More like Macbeth, don’t you think?” Jess smiles, realizing I indeed won the conversation. She leans in close and whispers from behind me, “I like this side of you.” I give a hint of a smile, before Sirius says, in a pompous voice, “Enough Shakespeare!”
Potter reunites with his boys and we have a staring contest. He flashes me another smile, except a bit more genuine than the first. “Lily.”
“Go out with me.”
Jessica and I walk past them to our compartments. Potter calls after me from behind as they run after us. I open the door to the compartment, and I pretend not to hear anything.
Potter takes in a breath, resting his hand on the side of the compartment door as I get my purse. “Please.” He doesn’t say it in a pathetic or desperate way, but in a way that somehow makes me feel bad for saying, “No,” back at him.
Our purses in hand, we step off the train as Peter, Sirius, Remus, and Potter follow behind us. We speed up our walking rate, which makes them speed walk and run at the same time.
I don’t want to deal with him right now. Why couldn’t he have picked a different time then now? I just arrived! The first second he sees me he pounces on my like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
The crowd bustling out of the train separates us from the marauders. We rush into the nearest thestral carriage. Not that I can see the thestrals. Because I’m not Jessica.
Don’t look at me like that, I’m not pouting…
[QUE MUSIC NOW– “SAY IT RIGHT” BY NELLY FURTADO]
I open the door. In mid-step, to my surprise, I see Frank Longbottom sitting on the other side of the carriage by himself. Him of all people. Frank’s a special one, he is.
“Lily, as much as I love you, I do not like having your arse in my face-” But Jessica notices the hold up and looks inside.
“Oh,” she says, in a voice of unexpectedness.
Frank gestures with his eyebrows whether we’re going to come in or not. He’s always managed to do that. Say what’s on his mind with out actually saying it. He always uses his hands, facial expressions, etc. and everyone always knows what he’s talking about. It surprises me sometimes too that I know exactly what he’s telling me. Frank Longbottom reminds me of a mime sometimes. Except he has brown, medium length hair, a slender body, and doesn’t have milk white skin and painted tears under his eyes. If he did, then I would run away.
I take a hesitant step in, trying to be calm about it. Jessica follows me in and shuts the door behind her. We sit, say, fourteen million feet away from him. From anyone else’s point of view this would seem comical. Girls sitting on the complete opposite side of a typical Hogwarts boy in a carriage.
Frank is not your typical Hogwarts boy.
He blasts his disk man and punk rock music plays at a very high volume. He lies on his back, one leg hanging off his seat, the other up on the seat, and taps his feet rapidly to the beat of the music. He closes his eyes as if the music is some angelic peaceful escape.
Jessica and I look at each other at the same time.
Frank is… well, questionable. Frank Longbottom is the one who desperately wants to be in a rock band. He’s the scruffy boy who always has his school robes in anything but neat order. The way he wears his clothes is the same as any other Sixth-Year Hogwarts School Boy, except his is the most untidy. You wouldn’t even need to look him in the face to tell it was him. He gets yelled at by the teachers constantly but never does anything about it. The marauders wear their uniforms sloppy, too, but to an extent. A laid back no-care-in-the-world kind of untidy uniform. Not a I-don't-know-how-a-belt-works kind of untidy uniform like Frank. His boxers usually stick out. All the third years and below giggle most of the time, and point at him.
I don't know if it's becuase they fancy him or if it's because they think he's weird. I honestly don't care, either way.
He doesn’t talk that much, but when he does, it’s usually something appalling. Like something you wouldn’t think he’d say, because he wasn’t paying attention to the conversation, when really he heard it all. Frank is somewhat of an opinionated person, although some think he’s a mute and doesn’t share is opinions.
He is the person everyone goes to for advice. No matter how weird it seems, he’s the one everyone goes to when they have a problem. He’s loyal, and listens to his um, clients? Can I call them clients?
He meets up with his ‘clients’ at one of the picnic tables outside in the courtyard. It’s the picnic table in the middle of all the rest. Everyone knows that. It’s like it’s his table that has an invisible FRANK sign floating above it in big green neon letters. No one really cares because they know Frank has a client almost everyday and needs his table. Besides, most people don't care because it's a picnic table. I mean, no big deal right? Except a first year last year. She started crying when Frank sat on her books and fell asleep in the sun. She couldn't get it from under him and she was so embarassed and upset she didn't know what to do. In the end Frank ended up having a sun burn and detention for missing Potions and the girl got her books back and got off clean.
He lies atop of that certain picnic table, next to his client, who always also seems to be in the same position atop of the table. The person talks to Frank. And Frank gives them advice on how to deal with the situation. He listens and stays quiet while smoking his cigarette. Oh, yeah, I forgot. Dear Frankie, here, smokes fags almost everyday. When he’s with his clients his clients smoke with him too. They share the fag back and forth. Most people who come to him are usually guys anyway, so I guess they... er, don’t care? Maybe it's a guy thing, I have no idea. Brotherhood bonds maybe?
Of course Frank gets detention when McGonagall catches him. No other teacher really bothers because they know McGonagall’s already on top of it. I’m not saying he’s the only student that smokes, but he’s the only one who dares to do it out in the open. Anyone else would smoke in the bathrooms and get rid of the smell before they leave, or smoke them outside at night, or when they visit Hogsmeade.
It shocks me to think someone you wouldn’t expect would know about most of the gossip and about everything that’s going on. Everyone’s secrets. Everyone seems to trust him. And he doesn’t mumble a syllable. Frank, I think, has a complex personality. Most people don’t see it, but I notice it. Most of the upper classmen (fifth years and up) have come to see oh-yee-trustworthy-loyal-Buddha-Frank.
I don’t know who has or hasn’t gone to him but I know that much. Neither Jessica nor I have gone to him for anything though, I’ll tell you that. It’s not that we’re creeped out by him, its just we don’t know what to say or do in front of him. Like right now.
He acts so simple, without a care in the world, but he’s so complicated it’s hard to explain. I think he knows who he is, but no one really gets it. I could care less about him; really, he’s just a person like everyone else.
I look at my watch. It’s only been a minute.
“BLEEEECCHHHHH,” he burps, interrupting my thoughts, and then there is a dead silence in our carriage. He goes back to tapping his feet to the music, not caring about Jessica. Or me. Or his digsusting belch.
That’s Frank Longbottom for you, ladies and gentlemen.
WOOHOO. Frank Longbottom has just been introduced! Trust me, this won't be the last of him. Actually, he's an important character I'd say. But I'm getting ahead of myself.... Oh, and for all the people that reviewed my last chapter and commented me on the fact that Lily isn't allowed to use magic outside of school, I have come up with a solution/rule:
Back in these days, even though it is present day now in the story, the rules that are made about magic being used outside of Hogwarts from the Ministry doesn't exist yet. In this story era, Harry is not born yet, and other tragic events haven't happened yet. So, the Ministry says you are allowed to used your wands outside of school but it will be supervised and watched, so you can't do anything menacing to someone else. And you have to be fifteen years of age, and have qualified for your O.W.L.S. or N.E.W.T.S. depending on your age.
MOVING ON... I know you guys are really excited for this chapter's picture! Alot of people couldn't wait, so, here it is!
The next character is... PETER!
I know, ANOTHER CHARACTER FORM The Covenant I'm sorry, it's just he's so perfect for it! lol =]