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Chapter 2: An Overcrowded Ride
"Dad, hurry! I'm going to miss the train!" I shouted behind me. I was running red-faced towards the wall between platforms nine and ten, and the time was 10:57. Like I mentioned, Rome doesn’t mix with a healthy lifestyle. My dad just had to hear all the Quidditch scores for the previous night’s games on the wireless, and now I was about to miss the Hogwarts Express. As I barreled through the wall, shortly followed by my dad, I heard the familiar whistle blow for its final boarding call. I gave my dad a quick hug goodbye before I ran onto the train. He shouted to me that he'd take care of my trunk, so I waved behind myself before closing the door.
I found my way towards the student compartments, trying to find Al and Fred. I think Fred figured something out with my situation, because he had written me the previous night demanding I immediately find and sit with them instead of torturing myself with Rose and Scorpius or anyone else.
As I was busy looking through the windows of the compartment doors, I apparently didn't assume there would be other people on the train. In the haste, I elbowed the wall of the narrow hallway and fell hard to the floor as I barreled into one of those people.
"Owww," I mumbled, rubbing my shoulder as I sat on the ground. I looked up and saw Will Emerson, one of my fellow seventh year Gryffindors, laughing down at me.
"Y'alright Hannah?" he said, offering me a hand. I took it and he pulled me to my feet.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Have you seen Al and Fred?" I said, rubbing my arm.
"Three doors down," he said with a small chuckle, pointing to the left side of the corridor. "Good summer?"
"Fantastic, you?" I smiled, looking down eagerly to where he was pointing.
"Dull. I won't keep you any longer, see you at the feast?" he said as he waved goodbye. I nodded and waved before rushing off to the compartment.
I yanked open the door after spotting them to see Al and Fred, along with the couple responsible for my negativity. The pair – Fred and Al – was both giving me an apologetic look from one side of the compartment, Fred a little more than Al. Al seemed to be looking for someone, and he kind of slumped down disappointed when there was nobody behind me. I don't know who he'd be expecting; I'm an only child and my two best friends are him and his cousin who's seated next to him. Besides the apologetic glances, they looked much too uncomfortable at the situation going on the other side of the compartment. I looked over to the other side, where Rose and Scorpius we're sitting on about a third of the seat, giggling sweet nothings and kisses towards eachother. Frankly I'm surprised they weren't undressing each other right there.
I squished in between Fred and Al and turned to look out the window. If anything, I could study the clouds until Scorpius, Rose, and Al had to leave for their Prefects meeting. Or I could sleep, as I hadn't gotten any the night before. Between writing back to Fred and waiting until the last minute to pack, I stayed up pretty late last night trying to get everything in order. The train begun to roll forward as... I was just… about to nod off… Fred's shoulder… comfy…
"So..." Al dragged out the ‘o’ just until I had jerked awake. I was about to jinx him until I noticed it seemed to scare Rose and Scorpius away from each other enough, so I wouldn't yell at him this time. "My parents said there's something going on at school that's special this year, but they wouldn't tell me what." Al continued to anyone who was listening.
"So did mine!" Rose said, leaning her head on Scorpius' shoulder. Blah. "I wonder what it could be."
"Maybe it's some sort of Ministry meeting; that could be why we needed dress robes." Scorpius said quietly, shrugging his shoulders. I could tell Rose had dragged him to sit with us; he was entirely too uncomfortable in a compartment of four Gryffindors.
"Nah, dress robes are for dances!" Fred said, scoffing at Scorpius' idea. Any chance those two had to had to one-up eachother, they’d take.
"Your parents wouldn't be that excided for a dance would they?" I asked Al. I avoided looking over at Rose, since her and Scorpius had went at the cute nothings again after Fred's not so subtle put down.
"I don't know, but I think we have to go to the Prefects meeting now," he said, looking down to his watch. "Guys... Oi! Lovebirds! Let’s go!" Al shouted towards the two across from us, who jumped again, and the three ran out of the compartment. On his way out, Al threw some Sickles at me, insisting that if the snack lady came by he wanted, "Three Pumpkin Pasties and four Licorice Wands and Hannah so help me if you get it wrong—"
"Al, go!" I shouted, to which he laughed and shut the compartment door. "What a git." I laughed and turned to Fred. Fred looked up and gave me one of those ‘oh I wasn't listening so ok ha-ha sure’ laughs when he realized I was waiting for him to respond.
"Uh... Hannah you can move over now," he said, pointing to the rest of the seat.
"Fred, if you even think I'm going to sit in the spot where those two were just fornicating right in front of everyone, you've got another thing—"
"I meant on the seat," he interrupted me, pushing me to the other side of the seat and closer to the window.
"Oh, sorry Fred," I mumbled, looking toward the window.
I heard him mutter an apology, but I wasn't listening anymore. My brain had gone onto Scorpius. I don't even know how my feelings for him started; I suppose it could go all the way back to first year. We had walked in the Great Hall for the first time together when we we're eleven. He was nervous, but I could tell he was trying to put a brave face on. He got sorted into Slytherin right when the sorting hat touched his head, which was strange since it took a while for everyone else. Especially Al, he was up there for almost ten minutes before the Sorting Hat called out Gryffindor. But not Scorpius; right after that he had turned and gave me a huge smile as if saying "I'll see you there."
That was a joke. I was put into Gryffindor, just like my dad. It did take the sorting hat a while; it seemed to be choosing between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff, like my mum. Apparently, my bravery took over my loyalty and now I'm a Gryffindor.
I was introduced to the whole Weasley and Potter family that day, all of whom were in Gryffindor. Rose and Fred Weasley were some of the last to be sorted, right before me in the alphabet and straight into Gryffindor. I was the very last student to be sorted, I remember I had to stand up and wait by myself with the last name ‘Wood’. I also met James Potter, who was in his fourth year (and a completely gorgeous thing, James Potter was), as well as Victorie Weasley in her seventh, who's now currently engaged to our Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Ted Lupin. That was also the first night I met Al and Fred, who we were having a contest to see who could launch corn across the table and get it to stick to the other one’s face.
I have to admit, I was jealous sitting by myself, not knowing anyone like the Weasley/Potter family did. I'm an only child, and the magical half of my family only consists of me, my dad and my mum (and my dad’s parents, but they’re old and don’t really count). I didn't have any older siblings to invite me into their group of friends or show me the ropes. After a while, Rose, ironically enough, was the one who introduced me to all of her cousins. She really is a nice person, despite the fact that her face has been glued to Scorpius Malfoy's for the entire train ride.
I suppose my romantic feelings really started in my fourth year. What can I say, I was fourteen, and the way his hair flipped every three words he said; he could have melted the pants off me. We had been assigned as Potions partners for the year and became friends. Well, flirty friends. At least, I was. I swear I must still hold the record for hospital trips because I made such a klutz out of myself; spilling this and that when I was too busy looking into his blue eyes that he never failed to make me melt with. They were seriously the same color as a blueberry Bertie Bott's beans, and I love those things (The candy. Well, the eyes too).
Speaking of, back to gloomy reality. "Yeah! I need three Pumpkin Pasties, four Licorice Wands, and two Chocolate Frogs!" I said, handing the snack lady Al's money. I heard Fred chuckle, so I turned around and said, "Hey, if he wants me to buy him snacks he's got to pay for it." I laughed out, "D’you want anything? Al's buying!"
"Couple Chocolate Frogs?" he suggested with a chuckle.
"Make that six Chocolate Frogs. And some Bertie Bott's!" I told the woman, giving her the rest of Al's money. I turned back around with my arms full of snacks, and dumped them on the seat in between Fred and myself.
I grabbed a Chocolate Frog as I sat down, and opened it. After quickly stuffing it into my mouth before it hopped away, I flipped over the card to see a familiar pair of green eyes staring at me.
"Aw it's Mr. Potter, I've got like six of him," I said, throwing the card down.
"Give it here then!" Fred said, holding out his hands eagerly. "I don't have any!"
I raised an eyebrow at him, before tossing him the card. "Fred, he's your uncle." I didn't think I needed to point that out, but with Fred I guess I didn’t know.
"I know, but all I ever get is Uncle Ron!" he said, looking at the back of the card.
We laughed for a while, taking turns eating the Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans. Fred couldn't stop sneezing after he got a pepper flavored one; in my defense, I did warn him it wasn't cookies and cream.
After a while the door to the compartment opened again, it was Al, followed by his cousins Molly and Dominique, who were sixth year Gryffindors. I couldn't tell you who out of the Weasley family they belonged to, just that they had reddish hair, so they had to be related.
"Gimmie gimmie!" Al said as he sat across from us with Molly and Dominique. I swear, he's like a six year old. I rolled my eyes, before throwing the sweets over to him.
Fred sneezed again.
I immediately turned and laughed at him. "I told you it was pepper!"
"Whatever Hannah," he said, sniffing and wiping his nose. I continued chuckling to myself, so he shoved his snotty hand in my face.
"Eww, Fred you’re disgusting, get your bogies out of my face!" I screeched, launching myself to the other side of the compartment, and on top of Molly. Honestly, I think the girl was a little – or a lot – confused by me. She’s known me for as the loud, sarcastic friend of Fred and Al’s for six years now; you’d think she’d just get used to it. However, after I got off of her, she and Dominique left, starting an in-depth talk about a muggle curling iron, and how much easier it was to use than mastering hair charms. My mum owned one being a muggle-born, but truth to be told it was a little strange and hot. That and I had such obnoxious curls that I’d never need one of those things.
The door had almost shut, before it was re-opened, and in walked the infamous couple. The silence filled the compartment as they looked to each side, Fred and all the food on one, Al on the other, and me standing awkwardly in the middle trying to explain to Fred how a ‘hot wand just knows to put your hair into curls without a spell’. They made their way to sit with Al, who in response launched himself to sit with Fred, in turn pushing me with Scorpius.
"S-Sorry," I stuttered, glaring daggers at Al. Scorpius helped me back up to my feet, where he left his hands on my waist just an awkward second too long. Luckily, Rose didn't notice as she was demanding that Al share a Licorice Wand.
It was when he did stuff like that, leaving his hands there too long, or offering to help carry me out of Potions when I had done some sort of bodily harm that made me not be able to move on. Just those little gestures that no one but me would notice, but I would hold on to that little moment for days, and not be able to let it go. Unrequited love sucks. I turned to look at him, but he was already back to giving cutesy little looks to Rose. After a small sigh I turned back to Al and Fred, who had duplicated the Pumpkin Pasties and were trying to see who could fit the most in their mouth. In case you wanted to know, Fred was up to six.
"Come on guys, move that stuff so I can sit," I begged, pointing to the large and growing pile of Pumpkin Pasties. Al simply laughed with a mouth full of cake, spraying little bits everywhere. I really don't understand what all the little girls see in him, he's disgusting.
"Fine," I said with a smirk. "I’m playing too, then." And I launched myself onto Al's lap.
"Oofh!" he grunted when I landed on him, choking on the contents of his mouth. Fred was almost on the floor laughing and sneezing from the pepper Bertie Bott’s, and I began to squirm in Al's lap purposely. He quickly gave up, and moved the wrappers so I could sit between the two of them. After a while we felt the train slow, and before I knew it we were off the train, and onto the Hogsmeade station.
As the carriage pulled itself up, I piled in with Fred, Al, little Lily Potter, and two younger, blonde Ravenclaw twins I vaguely remember as Lorcan and Lysander. I remember Al telling me they we're kids of a good friend of his parents, Luna Scamander. When I looked over to Al for conformation he was, as expected, glaring daggers at both of the twins.
"Al!" I hissed, and just for laughs asked "What's wrong?"
"She's my sister." he whispered back, so only Fred and I could hear. Fred simply laughed, and went on to talk to Lily.
"Oh let her be Al, she's allowed to have friends. Stop buying into the idea that you have to protect your sister’s virtue. She can take care of herself. Besides, they're like— two years younger than her!" I said, loud enough so Lily could hear I was on her side. Al crossed his arms and pouted for the rest of the ride, so I let my thoughts drift back to Scorpius, and the hand on the waist thing. I've already told you, I'm going to be thinking about it for days.
Before I knew it, Fred was nudging me in the side to get off the carriage. As I walked into the school, I couldn't help but smile, even if I had just depressed myself thinking about Rose and Scorpius. As we walked through the doors to the Great Hall, I forgot all about Scorpius Malfoy, and found my seat next to Fred and across from Al, back home at the Gryffindor table.
I heard a familiar voice shout my name, so I whirled around to see my other best friend, Sophie Longbottom, running towards me. Her dad was our Herbology professor, as well as head of Gryffindor. She was a huge Herbology nerd just like him, but I loved her all the same.
"Sophie!" I shouted back, getting off the bench and running towards her. "I didn't see you on the train! How was your holiday?" I asked running and hugging her.
"I wasn't on the train; I was already here with dad." she shrugged, and I dragged her back over and made her sit on the other side of the table, much to her protest. She had this cute little crush on Al, which I thought was adorable – and fun, when I could tease her for it. Their families had known eachother for ages, and I’d get letters from her that he still didn’t know she existed quite frequently. I was the only one who knew, and I was determined to change that this year. Truth be told, Al didn’t have that many girls fawning over him, mostly his brother (for a good reason too, it was only a few years ago that James Potter had officially signed on as a reserve Chaser for Puddlemere, along with my dad) but he still had a few younger ones swooning after their History of Magic lessons when they learned about his dad’s accomplishments. (I still laugh when I remember how low he had sunk in the seat the day Professor Binns gave us that lesson) Anyway, Sophie had this habit of blushing and fumbling when he was around, sort of like I did in fourth year Potions around Scorpius. This year I was determined to get them together as a couple, because if anyone deserved the love Sophie could give it was Albus.
The sorting ceremony dragged on; I didn't need to listen until the last of the Weasley children (for now, those people breed like rabbits,) Lucy and Louis, were both sorted into Gryffindor. Honestly, I don't think anyone pays attention when a Weasley is called anymore, I think the sorting hat has sort of given up. It just sees the red hair and shouts "Gryffindor!" I’d always heard that all the Weasley/Potters had been in Gryffindor for generations, but I didn’t believe it until I saw it with my own eyes. Once the sorting was complete, Professor McGonagall stood up to give her start of term announcements. I felt Fred nudge me, and I nodded and grabbed all the silverware I could reach.
Fred and I had this contest every year during McGonagall's announcements. It was to see how many utensils we could throw at Al without him noticing. It was a tradition that we only got to do once a year, because like the goodie Prefect he is, he listens intently at Professor McGonagall's announcements, so much so we swear he wants to take notes. Our record was in fifth year— the year he became a Prefect— we hit him seven times before he noticed.
"It's our last year, Hannah! We've got to make it count," Fred leaned over and whispered to me, before tossing a spoon on Al's lap. Al looked around for a second, before shaking his head and turning back to the announcements. Through our fits of laughter, we managed to get five before he snapped at us.
"One last notice before the feast, students; our caretaker Mr. Filch would like me to remind you, as always, that any Weasley's Wizard Wheezes products are banned. I will, however, not say that punishment Mr. Filch, as it has been banned since 1964." Professor McGonagall concluded her sentence by glaring over the top of her glasses toward Mr. Filch, who slightly cowered. Fred let out a loud moan, which caused Al to snort quickly, before covering it up to look like the Prefect he’s supposed to be.
"Yes, Mr. Weasley, I am speaking directly to you." Professor McGonagall lowered her glasses further, and stared at Fred. "Tuck in, students."
"My dad would be so proud," Fred whispered to me, pretending to wipe a tear away. I laughed at this, but only for a second as food had just appeared in front of me. Between the roasted chickens, spiraled ham, and shepherd’s pie, Hogwarts wasn’t going to be much better than Rome was to me.
We all ate until we we're full, and then ate some more. When the seam of my uniform felt like it was about to burst, I heard Professor McGonagall step back up to the podium.
"Now that you are all full, hopefully you will be able to pay attention better, as this is important." Professor McGonagall said. Why is she looking at Fred and I? Okay, paying attention.
"As I'm sure some of you have heard this is going to be a very special year at Hogwarts. Students, I have the privilege to let you know that this year Hogwarts will be part-taking in an in-school tournament! What this means is that one student from each house will be selected to compete in a series of three tasks throughout the school year. We have decided to keep it between just Hogwarts this year, as there are still... complications with other schools. Eternal glory is what is to come from winning this tournament, students; because of the danger of the tasks, students must be warned not to enter this contest lightly. Serious thought must be taken into account before entering; therefore, the competition will only be open to students over the legal age of seventeen."
She paused for a while to let some of the younger students protest, so I turned to Al, Sophie, and Fred. "Are you guys going to enter?"
"Yes," Al stated, not even thinking.
"I might; not sure." Fred said, laughing.
"I'm sure you'll be great, Al." Sophie mumbled. I'm surprised I even heard her and she was right next to me. The only reason Al must have was because he was directly across from her, saw her lips moving.
"Err, thanks Soph," he he smiled towards her, and I noticed a small flush creep up his neck. Interesting I thought to myself and stuffed that in the back of my brain for a later date. She simply blushed more, before turning back and trying to put all of her focus on Professor McGonagall’s speech.
Thanks Al, I'm going to hear about that little smile you just gave her for the next week.
I guess I shouldn't complain; I do the same thing to Sophie about Scorpius. She's the only one I've told about my feelings towards him, and deserves to fawn every once in a while too. We all talked for a while longer, before Al left; he had to escort the new Gryffindor students to the common room. I needed to talk to Professor Lupin about my Defense Against the Dark Arts grade last year, so I stayed behind. After a quick chat, he promised to change my grade to the E that I deserved, from the D that I got so I would be allowed to stay in his class for the N.E.W.T. year, before I left the empty Great Hall.
I was just about to turn a corner when I felt a hand wrap around my wrist, and yank me back behind a statue. I was about to swing a fist towards whoever it was, (Muggle dueling works, I don't care what anyone says.) until I saw the eyes. His hand slid into mine, and I couldn't force myself to pull away. His hands were rather cold, and it made me uneasy as to what he wanted.
"Hannah, I'm sorry. I didn't know this would hurt you so much," Scorpius whispered, giving my hand a small squeeze.
I sighed softly, looking towards the stone floor. I tried to pull my hand out of his, but he simply held on tighter.
"I didn't know you... fancied me." he said, whispering the last part. It seemed as if he still had a hard time believing it himself. I didn't even think to ask how he knew, or how he had found out.
"Scorpius, it doesn't matter, you're with Rose." I sighed, feeling my cheeks flush slightly. The fact that I was still holding his hand showed him that it mattered quite a bit.
"I had no idea Hannah," he said again, taking a step closer to me. I was just getting ready to tell him off for bringing up just the situation I was trying to forget, when he closed the gap between us and placed a quick, needing kiss right on my lips.
Scorpius in-a-freakin-relationship Malfoy just kissed me. Oh bullocks.