"Here," Ted said, "I've already knocked you down, I wouldn't want you to throw out your back or something following me to the compartment dragging you heavy trunk around." He smiled, almost embarrassed, as he said that.
I smiled, and let out a chuckle. "Thank you," I said as Ted moved around me and grabbed the handle of my trunk. I kept my head down; the last thing I wanted to do was make a fool of myself in front of Ted Tonks. My mind scoffed at this; like I hadn't already.
As we walked down the corridor, our silence didn't last.
"So why are you in Slytherin?"
I don't know why, his voice wasn't accusing or suspicious, but I began to feel defensive, and ashamed.
"Is something wrong with that?" I asked, my voice sounding in the latter of my two feelings.
"Well, no," Ted started, "you just don't seem to belong there. Most Slytherins I've made the aquantaince of were just mean, or, sorry. I shouldn't have said that; you're sister's there too, right? I didn't mean to offend your family."
"That's ok, they're not the greatest anyways," I confessed.
He looked at me, quizzically at first, then nodded, understanding that I didn't want to talk about my home life.
"What about you?" I blurted out, more confedient in the question than I felt. I didn't want to invade his privacy or make him think I was some kind of stalker.
"At home, it's usually just me and my mum. My dad does a lot of traveling for his work, but he tries to get home when I have break; that way I can go home and see him."
I was amazed, not only had Ted answered with the greatest of ease and comfort, as if his home life was nothing personal, no big deal to talk about, but he had, basically, said he wanted to see his father. I could never imagine wanting to see my father, and while my mum wasn't as bad, I could still do without her, as horrible as that sounds.
Ted swung open a compartment door with four boys behind it. Three were sitting on the seats, laughing, and the fourth, who resembled a dirty-blonde stick, was laying on the floor, looking at the ceiling.
"Hey, guys," Ted said casually, hoisting my trunk up onto the rack and sitting down.
I nervously sat down as well, on the seat closest to the door on the same side as Ted.
"Teddy-Bear!" The boy on the floor shot up with his arms raised. Ted rolled his eyes. "Ah, I see you've finally found a lovely to call your own."
"Shut up, Shrouder," Ted said. "Andromeda just needed a place to sit, we're not dating. I already told you, I'll date when I find the right girl." Ted opened his mouth as if to say something more, then shut it. He seemed to be thinking about something; then he said, "And stop calling me 'Teddy-Bear!'"
"Oh, Teddy-poo, alas," Shrouder turned to me. "He's dying on the inside, really he is. And since he is incapable of obtaining a lovely's love on his own, I shall ensnare him into a passionate relationship by evoking the help of a worthy friend, Jealosy."
Shrouder sat next to me, leaving less than a foot between himself and the wall, the wall I was pressed into, and put an arm around me.
"Now, Lovely, Andromeda your name is? No, too many syllables, simply won't do... Anda! Anda is perfect. Now, Anda, tell me about yourself, the beautiful person deep within."
I think "um" was the only sound that came out of my mouth as my face turned beet red.
"Nevermind that," Shrouder continued. He sure was an energetic fellow. "May I blow on your ear?"
I think my mouth was hanging open. Never in my life had I met anyone like this.
Shrouder took in a deep breath and let it out in gags as Ted grabbed his shirt collar and pulled him back saying, "Leave her alone, Shrouds. She came here looking for a seat, not a glomping session."
Instead of falling onto the floor as he should have, Shrouder dug his heal into the floor and spun around, landing in Ted's lap.
"Ah, Teddy-Bear, I knew you loved me!" He threw his arms around Ted's neck and planted a big wet kiss on his cheek.
"Eugh! Get offa me!"
I couldn't help but laugh with the other boys as Ted pushed Shrouder, who was still wearing his big, goofy grin, to the floor.
"Wait," one of the other boys said. "You're Andromeda Black, aren't you?"
"The one who's in Slytherin?" a second one added.
"Um, yes," I answered cautiously, wondering where this was leading to.
"Something wrong with that, Dave?" Ted asked the first boy, standing up.
"Yeah," the Gryffindor called 'Dave' said, standing up as well. "We're Gryffindors, we don't sit with Slytherins."
Oh, no. I wanted to cry. It's happening again.
Dave went to grab my trunk, probably to throw it out the door hoping I'd follow, but Ted reached out and grabbed his wrist.
"Don't touch it. She needs a place to sit, she can stay," his voice held no sign of joking.
I didn't know what to do. I thought of leaving before any trouble started, but it was too late for that.
The other two boys stood and pulled out their wands; I noticed Shrouder stand and do the same, the smile absent from his face, which seemed strangely small without it.
Dave wrenched his hand away and reached for his wand, but Ted already had his raised.
I was getting nervous, I didn't know who sided with Ted and who with Dave, but it looked like Ted was horribly out-numbered, and my wand was in my trunk. Slowly, I stood.
"Andromeda, you don't have to leave," Ted said, his eyes never leaving Dave.
"Yes, she does," Dave answered.
"No, she doesn't."
The second boy spoke up. "She's a Slytherin pureblood purist witch, and she's not sitting in out compartment!"
"Watch your mouth, Jesse!" Shrouder snapped at him.
"And you're a prejudice buffoon!" Ted shouted at Jesse.
"C'mon, Ted. They're not worth it."
Ted nodded in agreement with Shrouder. He grabbed my trunk off the rack and handed it to me. "Just wait outside for a minute."
I nodded and took my trunk, slipping out of the compartment. The door shut behind me, and I was heartbroken, tears threatened to fall, I slowly started walking to the bathroom. It was time to give up on my foolish dreams.
I turned around and headed back down the corridor to where Ted and Shrouder were standing with their trunks.
They looked as if things had taken a bad turn when the compartment door shut; Ted had a black eye and some blood on his cheek while Shrouder had a fat lip and was nursing a rather nasty looking cut on his arm.
"Are you two ok?" I asked, nearly terrified, my eyes darting back and forth between the two.
"Yeah, yeah we're fine," Ted said, gently taking hold of my upper arm. "Let's go find someplace to sit."