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Chapter 1: And they're off!
As the Minister and Harry walked away the few who remained on the Knight Bus could hear Stan Shunpike yelling his coined phrase of “Take ‘er away Ern”. Stan could not hide his excitement any longer. Harry Potter was just on the Knight Bus… While I was conducting he thought.
As this passed through his mind the Bus came to a roaring stop. They had stopped. They were at Knockturn Alley. Stan allowed the little witch (whom he swore he recognized from somewhere) hobble off. He hoped that soon he would be able to see Harry Potter on his bus again soon but thought that it would be less than likely.
He returned to reading his copy of The Daily Prophet and let his eyes slip to the bottom of the page where he could see something about a mysterious death in a form of public transportation for wizards. This worried him slightly because well the Knight Bus was so far the premire bus in the Wizarding World. Competition had picked up slightly since Stan had taken the job. The Bus again stopped abruptly. When a broad shouldered wizard had hopped off, the zoomed off until the stopped to allow a small stumpy wizard got on. Stan collected the fare from him and showed him to a bed.
This thought of Harry Potter plagued him the rest of the night and well into the morning. When Stan saw a few old wizards starting a quarrel he hurried to the back to settle it. “Could you please stop?” he asked. The argument continued. “Shut up before you wake up the rest of the patrons”. The pair’s voices began to raise. Stan’s temper was raising. “SHUT UP” bellowed Stan. The pair stopped the argument. It seemed as though everyone else then awoke. He rubbed his fingers through his hair. This was the most interesting night that he had in the last month or so. Great, he thought. What most teens his age would have considered just another night, was the highlight of his week, if not month...or year.
He decided that he would find something to do that was more exciting when he got some time off. Maybe go to a Quidditch match. He heavily supported the Holyhead Harpies. His favorite team was middle of the road. Not good but not bad. He decided that was not going to do that. Every time he went to see them play they lost.
Maybe he would go visit Hogsmeade. See the Shrieking Shack visit Honeydukes, and get a butterbeer from The Three Broomsticks. No, no that would not work. He had recently read something in the Prophet about Dementors protecting the town. The risk was not worth the reward.
Maybe he would find a mate and play some Wizard's Chess. He had no pieces. Maybe he could borrow a set. From who? His friends were daft he would be lucky to find one who had a set. He would do the usual and spend his time off alone. He couldn't wait.