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Chapter 1: The Scarlet Engine...Again
So, this is sixth year. It didn't seem any different.
Of course, I was still on the platform.
Where the hell was he?
"Shriek? Where are you, you worthless ball of fluff?" I had looked everywhere for him, and it was almost 11. I grabbed my wand and lifted it in front of me.
My old, rusted birdcage crashed into me. Inside, my brainless excuse for an owl blinked sleepily at me. I scowled at him and levitated the stupid bird and my trunk into the train, batting first-years out of the way. I placed them in the trunk compartment and stalked into the train to try and find my friends.
I was still looking when Albus Potter collided with me head-on.
He almost knocked me over, but muscles from Quidditch meant that he bounced off me and landed on his arse on the floor. I was about to help him up when I noticed what he was wearing.
"Why the hell are you wearing a vest over a jumper? It's not that cold in Britain!"
Albus remained speechless. I wasn't sure if that was from the comment on his clothing or because he'd landed on his arse on the floor.
"Wait a second...is that vest corduroy? Who wears corduroy? And are those loafers? Who under seventy wears loafers?"
Albus chose that moment to stand, shoot a quick scared glance at me and bolt for his life. It was a pretty good effort, for a scrawny nerd like himself. I watched him run off like the Dark Lord was at his heels, laughing at the way he ran. Like a lizard.
A lizard missing a foot.
So, while I was distracted with thoughts of Albus' oversized face on a gecko's body, I was tapped on the shoulder. Of course, my immediate reaction was to spin around and prepare to jinx someone into an alternate dimension. I was halfway through a jelly-legs jinx when I realised it wasn't a random Hufflepuff second-year.
It was Scorpius Malfoy, the one person who could calm me down when I was in one of my Zabini-rants. Like I almost was now.
I stopped mid-jinx and lowered my wand. "Oh...hi, Scorpius."
He raised an eyebrow but chose not to comment. "We've all been looking for you, Taylor. Where have you been?"
I grinned. "I was critiquing the fashion sense of fellow travellers. What's not on at the moment? Corduroy vests over jumpers and dirt-brown loafers. Apparently, no-one told Albus Potter." Scorpius laughed and grabbed my arm. "Come on, fashion aficionado. You're missing all the fun!" I was dragged into a nearby compartment, all the while thanking Merlin that my skin doesn't show when I'm blushing.
Scorpius plonked himself down on a window seat, rather ungracefully. I sat down with much more elegance opposite him and grabbed a Chocolate Frog that was hopping near my hand. While I munched, I focused on calming my pulse. Scorpius swung his feet onto the seat and yawned. "So, you've missed the food trolley. You must be devastated."
"Completely," I said through a mouthful of chocolate. As seriously as I could, might I add.
Scorpius raised a blond brow but chose not to comment on my lack of manners. That was when Sarah Parkinson and Jason Flint stumbled in, clinging to each other and laughing uncontrollably. They kissed, making Scorpius snort and making me look away. Sarah detached herself from Jason's face and poked her tongue out at Scorpius before sinking into the seat. Jason practically fell next to her and looked at me, eyes dancing. "You missed the hexing of first-years, Taylor! Jeez, that must suck."
"Yeah, I guess I'll just have to get them when we get to Hogwarts. What an absolute pity." Everyone laughed, and Sarah starting describing one first-year's face after she'd sprouted purple tentacles from her cheeks. She was just explaining how pus started oozing from the tentacles when Duncan Goyle walked in.
I glared at him and looked away from the sorry sight of his bloated face. You don't forget things like having a person give you a moustache as first-years.
Followed by turning your hair purple.
Streaked with green.
It stayed like that for a week afterwards despite everyone trying to fix it. And I mean everyone. Even some snotty Ravenclaws tried their best and failed.
Where was I? Oh yeah, first-year hexing. I tried to focus on the conversation.
"...new Chaser this year, since good-for-nothing Luke Kenbridge quitting. I hate try-outs. It's mostly wannabees who think they're going to be the next Tornadoes player. It drives me nuts, don't you agree, Taylor?" I blinked at Scorpius, who was looking at me expectantly.
"You didn't hear a word of that, did you?" I was saved answering by the Prefects coming around to remind us to put on ours robes soon. I grabbed my duffel-bag and high-tailed it out of there before I had to answer another question.
By the time I came back, Scorpius was napping, Sarah and Jason were attached at the face and Goyle had left to go find something. Don't ask me what. I sat down and pulled out my book I had packed. Well, the life of Dumbledore was a lot more interesting that a live snogging show, brought to you from Parkinson and Flint. I opened to a random page and started reading about Dumbledore's first years as a teacher, which weren't that interesting, to tell you the truth. I closed it in disgust and put it back in my duffel-bag. Good thing we were almost at Hogsmeade, or I might commit a strange and exotic form of suicide.
Then again, since Goyle chose that moment to re-enter, I might still try that.
I gave him a scornful look. "Off to make someone else's hair purple, Goyle?"
He blinked. "Don't tell me you're still angry about that. I was a first-year."
"I don't care. I hate purple. Therefore, I hate you. End of story, full stop."
"Oh come on, Taylor. Can't we put that behind us and start again?"
I leaped up and pressed my wand under his chin.
"Do not call me Taylor. Ever. Kapeesh?"
He nodded fervently. I removed my wand from his flesh and tucked it back into my pocket. The train began to slow, which woke up Scorpius somehow. He groaned and blinked sleepily at me. "We at the station?" I nodded. Scorpius groaned and waved his wand. His robes appeared on him.
How the fuck does he do that?
The train lurched to a stop. Sarah and Jason disconnected - I'd forgotten they were there, somehow. Despite the constant snogging sounds.
I know. It shouldn't be possible, but Goyle makes me ignore everything but my hatred of him.
I charmed the door open and strolled out. First-years scattered out my path. Some students from higher years levels moved too. Mostly Hufflepuffs. Weaklings.
Everyone saw the emblem on my robes, the colours on my tie, which was loose. Green and silver, the colours of those who rose to the top, no matter what the cost.
The colours of Slytherin.
I was part of the most feared house in Hogwarts, and Merlin, it felt good to be back.
I hope you liked the first installment in the always dramatic, never predictable In Love and War! Tell me who you like, who you hate and your opinions on corduroy vests in that fantastical grey box below!
Cheers, Phoenix Quill :D