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Chapter 2: Hogwarts Express
“Hermione, listen to me please!” Lupin shouted. “I can explain-”
Prisoner of Azkaban, pg.345
Hermione Granger walked through the barrier separating the muggle world from the wizarding one. She didn’t know which world she liked the better, the one she had grown up in and known all her life, or the one she had been introduced into when she was only 11 years old. Hogwarts was definitely her second home and sometimes she thought of it as her real home away from home. She pushed her trolley forward and Crookshanks let out a yowl of annoyance as she jostled his cage a little.
“Sorry Crookshanks.” She murmured as she pushed it over to the loading dock. She smiled at him through the bars, “I’ll see you in a little while.” She said and he mewed at her before she went off looking for her friends, hoisting her canvas bag over her shoulder.
She sighed as she looked around and ran a hand through her thick curls and pulled the semi frizzy mass back to get her fly away curls away from her face. Her eyes searched the platform again as she looked for Harry and Ron. She had seen Ron a week previously, but still she missed him desperately. As for Harry, she hadn’t seen him since a few days after the battle, going off with Remus Lupin to get away from everything. She reached into her pocket and took out her Head Girl badge and pinned it proudly to her chest.
As she made her way across the platform she realized how many first years there were, which struck her as odd, since so many students had dropped out the year before. Then she realized why there were so many new faces, they were probably the kids whose parents wouldn’t allow them to attend the school last year and would start a year late because of the war.
She stopped suddenly and caught sight of what she was looking for, a mass of red that could undoubtedly belong to the Weasley clan. She made her way through the crowd of students and smiled when Mrs. Weasley started fussing over Ron’s wardrobe, straightening his wrinkled shirt. She was surprised to fine him in his uniform before they boarded the train, normally he, like Harry would wait until the last possible minute to change.
“Mum, honestly.” He groaned as she moved her hands to fix his tie. Mrs. Weasley pulled away and smiled teary eyed up at him. He was the last of her sons going into his last year at Hogwarts and from the train station on the last day of school he would be off to Quidditch training with the Chudley Canons.
She stood and watched the scene before her for a few moments, it was the first time in a few months that she had seen Ron smile even in the slightest. The past few months had been rough on the Weasley family, losing Ginny in the month-long war, and no one had expected it to come so soon. They had lost Percy, Bill had been terribly injured and Fred had lost one of his arms.
Other casualties had included, Moody, Kingsley, Diedalus Diggle, Hestia Jones, Tonks and many more. The Death count was horrendous it included many muggles, witches and wizards innocent and death eaters. Few students had lost their lives in the battle, those who did fought bravely besides the Order and Harry.
Also, one death that had shocked everyone was Cornelius Fudge’s death. The Minister of Magic was found murdered in his office. Everyone had suggested Dumbledore be the new Minister, but he of course had refused. He had though, suggested Arthur Weasley and a surprise to the Weasley’s, he had become Minister of Magic.
Hermione stepped forward and tapped Ron on the shoulder. He turned around and his frown turned into a wide grin as he captured her into his arms. “Ah, Hermione. I missed you.” He said rubbing his face against her frizzy curls.
“Ron, you saw me a week ago.” She laughed as he put her back on the ground.
“Yeah, well.” He said and shrugged. Then his face paled slightly and Hermione turned to see what he was looking at. She smiled weakly as she saw Harry walking toward them hesitantly. He’d been at Ginny’s funeral and then that was it, they hadn’t seen him since. He looked better than she expected him to look. The bags under his eyes were gone and he wasn’t as deathly pale as she remembered, but the light that was once in his eyes was still gone. She expected it never to come back after all he had witnessed.
“Hi Harry.” She said as he approached them. He nodded at her and Hermione couldn’t contain herself, she laughed herself at him, catching him slightly off guard as she hugged him tightly. “Merlin I missed you.” She whispered in his ear and he hugged her back tightly.
“I missed you too.” He murmured.
“Did you have a good time staying with Lupin?” Ron asked a surprise to them all, Ron sounded a little angry when he said it too. Remus Lupin their former Professor was now legally Harry’s guardian, according to Sirius’ will that he had written one night in Harry’s fifth year before he died. Even talking to Ron was obviously hard for him.
Harry rubbed the back of his neck and nodded. “Yeah…er… I did…Look Ron I’m sorry I-” Harry started but then was attacked and brought into a big hug by Mrs. Weasley.
“Harry!” She said as she hugged him, only really going up to his chest. “How are you? Has Remus been good to you? Did he feed you? Harry dear how are you?” Mrs. Weasley questioned.
“Yes Mrs. Weasley, I’m fine, and Remus treated me right, would he not?” Harry asked confused, raising an eyebrow.
Mrs. Weasley waved her hand, “No, no of course not, it’s just very good to see you healthy and being at the weight you should be.” She said and the train whistle blew. “Oh my, you dears have to get on the train, hurry now.” She said and managed to hug them all at the same time. “Now go have a wonderful year!” She called as they stepped onto the train and went in search of a compartment.
Hermione checked her bag and made sure she had her robes, Harry was carrying his and Ron had his over his shoulder. “Oh and Hermione congratulations on making Head Girl.” Harry said and grasped her shoulder. She lifted her hand and patted his.
“Thank you.” She whispered. They walked along the corridor down the train, when they spotted a group of kids. They were crowded, right there in the middle of corridor. Hermione walked up to a small blonde girl and tapped her on the shoulder, the small girl turned around and stared at Hermione, she then squeaked when she saw Hermione’s Head Girl Badge.
“Excuse me, but what is going on?” Hermione questioned the frightened young girl. The girl stuttered at first and then blurted out what was happening.
“Er…there…Stewart Knott and Ben Ackerly are there fighting, Stewart said something really mean to Ben, I guess I don’t exactly know what it meant…” She answered quietly.
Hermione nodded. “Thank you very much. Hermione pushed through the crowd and thought, Where is Malfoy when you need him? As if right on time Malfoy was on the other side, trying to get through. Hermione rolled her eyes at the blonde, he was stuck behind a load of students.
Hermione shook her head and finally got through to see just what the little blonde girl had said. Ackerly and Knott fighting, well more like Ackerly choking Knott. Ben had Stewart in head lock and Stewart was gripping Ben’s arm, trying to pry it away. All the boys around were watching with interest, even the older years. Hermione groaned in frustration.
She walked over to them and motioned for Harry and Ron, they came in and tried prying to the two apart. Ackerly had an iron grip, and wouldn’t let go. Malfoy finally got through the pack of students. He rolled his eyes and pushed Harry and Ron out of the way. He grabbed Ackerly by the back of his shirt and he let go of Knott. Knott then fell to the ground coughing.
Harry picked up Knott, who was struggling against him and held him. “Take it back you stupid prick!” Ackerly yelled and struggled against Draco.
“No! Why should I you bloody bastard!” Knott snapped back. Ackerly glared and got loose form Draco. He charged at Knott, whom had gotten loose from Harry. They then fell backwards and knocked into Hermione. She felt one of the kids elbow her in the chest.
It was all in slow motion as she fell to the ground. She landed with a thump. “Oof” she groaned and looked around, where was everyone. She was in a compartment on the ground. She stood up and looked around. She saw four boys all sitting there, her age, playing a game of exploding snap and eating Honey Dukes Candy. She looked them over, not believing who she saw.
She grasped the chain around her neck and lifted something out of her shirt. She started breathing heavily when she saw that it was broken. She looked back to the four boys who were staring at her. She felt lightheaded as the darkness enveloped her.
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