Chapter 3 : Of Trains and Loons
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A/N: Okay, I'm sorry if there are mistakes in this chapter, but I haven't recieved the edited version from my fantastic beta. She was going to send it to me the day the queue was supposed to reopen and then they opened it early and I really wanted to get this out as soon as possible. So I'll fix it once she sends it to me :)
"People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be." ~Abraham Lincoln
Delia stared at the train.
She had been standing alone about a foot from it on the crowded platform for at least fifteen minutes. Athelward had already boarded the train earlier with his friends, leaving her to accept the fact that she too would be riding the train to Hogwarts in just a few moments.
She raised her arm and pressed her palm to the glossy metal of the train that labeled it as the Hogwarts Express. She traced the letters out, even though it was scalding to touch, dazed and confused.
Delia had been imagining what her reaction would be like if she were there for years. She always pictured herself excited or ecstatic, but never did she think she would feel indifferent.
There was no joy in her, nor was there a tingling feeling of happiness in her skin. If anything, she felt dejected about being accepted into Hogwarts
As she touched the train her mind recalled to the day she received the letter.
After staring at the seal for a few moments in disbelief Athelward shakily held it out.
“It’s for you,” he mumbled.
Delia looked at him for a second and then shifted her gaze toward the letter. She took it from him and held it delicately in her hands, like a mother would that with a newborn infant.
She ran her left thumb over her scribed name. The paper felt cool from the morning air and the mixed scent of ink and wax filled her nose.
Carefully, she peeled off the seal, being sure not to tear it or the envelope. She pulled out the first parchment and read:
Dear Miss Azarola,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted into Hogwarts chool of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
Her grip tightened immensely as she finished the letter.
Her brother watched her reaction, once he was positive that she had completely read it he started walking towards the stairs while saying, “I’m going to let Deidre know.”
He was stopped in his tracks by Delia’s arm shooting out and forcefully grasping his wrist. Athelward slightly winced in pain but then drew his attention to Delia who was shaking her head vigorously.
She was shaking it so hard he was certain that her neck would break if she did not stop soon.
He put his other hand on her shoulder and whispered fiercely, “Fine! I won’t tell her…yet. She would be pleased to find out about your acceptance.”
Delia shook her head one last time before lifting her eyes and fixing them on his. They were pleading for him not to tell, but why?
He was confident that their mother would love the fact that she was a…witch… after all.
He looked down sympathetically at her. He now knew why she didn’t want her to know.
‘She’s afraid of her hating her even more,’ he thought to himself as he enveloped his arms around her to embrace her. She laid her head on his chest and he bent his to kiss the top of it.
“Will you speak now at least?” Athelward asked, and almost dreading the answer, “I mean, you only remained silent because you weren’t a witch, right?”
She drew herself from his arms, without a word and walked away without giving him an answer.
Delia was awoken from her day dream by the shrill sound of the whistle blowing. She hastily took up her bags and boarded the train.
In a compartment right in the middle of the third cart sat a rather pudgy boy around eleven. His pointed nose and puffy cheeks gave him the appearance of a rat.
Peter Pettigrew had been anxiously biting his nails, worrying of what Hogwarts would be like, when the compartment door slid open, revealing a boy around his age in shabby clothes.
His hair was of a sandy brown and he had a worn and tired face. He gave a weary smile before asking in a hoarse voice, “Is it alright if I join you?”
Peter nodded slowly, the lad seemed nice enough, so why not let him join him?
After putting his bags away the newcomer sat on a bench across from Peter and stuck out his hand.
“Remus Lupin,” he introduced himself.
Peter took his hand and shook it eagerly, “Peter Pettigrew. Is this your first year too?”
The boy beamed at this, “Was it that obvious?”
Peter chuckled and shook his head, “No, it’s just that we look about the same age.”
“I guess we do!” Remus confirmed slyly after scrutinizing him.
At that moment the door slid open for a second time, and a girl entered.
Her face was covered by her straw-like hair, but she was taking in deep breaths, from running to catch the train Peter assumed.
She quickly shoved her bags under the seat and plopped herself down a foot or two ways from Peter.
Without saying a word she leaned her head against the compartment wall and closed her eyes.
Peter thought that sitting with them without their permission was rather rude of her, but nonetheless Remus inquired, “Excuse me, but what’s your name?”
The girl didn’t move a muscle.
Peter glanced down and looked at her bag and found the name Delia Azarola printed on it. He cleared his throat before asking, “Delia is it?”
At this the girl lifted her head and pushed her hair out of her face to reveal two murky brown eyes.
She just gazed at the two boys before drawing her attention out the window that was next to her.
Peter gave the impression of being distressed over her presence with them by squirming in his seat, so Remus excused them and he got up and picked up his bags and headed out of the compartment with Peter following after him. They didn’t look back at the girl, and she didn’t turn her head to them.
Once outside the compartment the boys searched for another compartment. They found one that occupied only two other boys.
Both had jet black hair, but one had glasses and messy hair, while the other’s was shaggy.
“Can we join you?” Remus asked.
Peter quickly added, “A loony girl came into our compartment and we wanted to get away from her.”
After saying this he blushed, knowing that what he had said had been slightly mean, but he felt the other boys would understand.
The shaggy haired boy grinned at his friend to his left. “It’s not like we really care anyway, right James?”
Peter’s blush deepened as he put his things away. Remus nodded his thanks and did the same as Peter.
Once seated, they exchanged names. The shaggy haired kid introduced himself as Sirius, and they quickly got engaged into a conversation about Quidditch.
Later on, they returned to the topic of the strange girl who had invaded Peter and Remus’ compartment.
“Do you know her name?” James asked.
Remus nodded, “Yes. It was Delia Azarola according to her trunk.”
Sirius’ back straightened at this. “Wait, Azarola?”
“Yeah!” Peter squeaked, “And she was really nutty too. She wouldn’t speak a word.”
James ignored him and shifted his gaze towards Sirius. “You know her mate?"
He shook his head, his brow furrowing in thought, and replied, “No, but that name sounds familiar.”
Remus tilted his head, “Maybe it’ll come back to you later.”
He nodded, “Yeah…maybe.”
The boys conversed for the rest of the train ride until it was time for them to put their robes on.
On the other end of the train, all by herself and content, Delia also changed her attire, preparing for her first year at Hogwarts.
A/N: Gah! Sorry it’s taking me so long to update. Blame the cruddy school system with their never ending exams and projects. This chapter isn’t that great, but the next one will be extremely better because it’s the sorting! Anyway, R&R!
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