Chapter 6 : I Start My Journey Today
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Everything around me has changed
~Rainy Labor Day, Jared Campbell
"James, if you don't get out of bed this minute, I swear, I'll-" Ginny shouted up the stairs.
"I'm up, I'm up!" James shouted back.
Albus sighed and sat down on his trunk. He had been up since six and ready to go since seven. His trunk had been packed since the previous night, whereas James had not taken their mother's advice about packing early and was probably running around his room trying to locate his robes.
"Ready, Al?" Harry asked as he walked into the drawing room.
Albus nodded. "I think so. I mean, I've got everything...."
Harry sat down next to his son and put his arm around him. "You're going to be fine, Al."
"I know," Albus sighed. He didn't want to admit that he was nervous, but he was.
Albus hadn't been that nervous when he got his letter. He had been excited. But for the past few days, he had become steadily more nervous.
"Think about it this way," Harry began, "Most of your cousins are already at Hogwarts. It'll be like staying at the Burrow with everybody, only none of us adults."
Albus laughed. He hadn't really thought about that. It would be nice to be away from all his aunts and uncles and parents. The freedom would be nice.
"There are teachers, you know," Albus pointed out.
"Yes, Al, I do know that," Harry laughed, "But you'll have fun. You'll make new friends and have your cousins there. In fact, you'll probably get sick of them."
Albus sort of doubted that. He never got sick of his large and boisterous family. There was never a dull moment.
"I'm ready!" James shouted as he shoved his trunk into the room. It collided with a table and knocked a vase off, which promptly crashed onto the floor. "Oops. Sorry, Dad."
"It's ok," Harry smirked and repaired the vase with a wave of his wand, "Ginny! Lily! Let's go!"
A little while later, Albus was standing in front of King's Cross station. He took a deep breath and helped his dad load his trunk onto a trolley. After James had his own trolley, the five of them walked into the station.
He could do this. Hogwarts was exciting. James and his cousins had fun there. Nothing to be worried about. Well, nothing besides winding up in Slytherin. If he could just get through the sorting, everything would be fine.
"You first, James," Ginny said once they reached Platform 9 3/4.
James casually pushed his trolley into the barrier between platforms nine and ten and then disappeared. Ginny and Lily followed him.
"Together, Al?" Harry asked.
Albus nodded and he and Harry walked towards the barrier. Albus closed his eyes and disappeared from the Muggle world. This was it. Hogwarts. His new home for the next seven years.
Matt opened his eyes and stopped walking. He had gone through the barrier to Platform 9 3/4 a few times before, but the idea of walking through a brick wall still scared him a bit.
The platform was already crowded. People were running all over the place, chasing loose cats and children alike. It seemed more chaotic than it had when just Amy had gone to Hogwarts the previous years.
"This is it," Amy said from behind him.
Matt turned around and saw his sister pushing her trolley away from the barrier. She had a huge grin on her face.
"Is it always this crowded?" Matt asked.
"Yeah," Amy laughed, "Nervous?"
Matt nodded and Amy put her arm around him. "You're going to be fine."
Matt wasn't so sure about that. He couldn't remember a time when he had been more nervous. Well, that wasn't true. There were some occasions that had been more nerve wracking. But this came close.
He was not used to being around so many strangers. He was not used to being away from his parents. He was definitely not used to living away from home, where he only knew one person. What if he didn't even get Sorted into Gryffindor? Then he wouldn't even be near Amy.
Amy said he would probably be in Gryffindor, but what if he wasn't? Not all siblings were put in the same houses. He didn't think he could handle not being in the same house as his sister.
"Matt, honey, are you all right?" Julie put her hand on his shoulder.
He jumped and shook his head. "Yeah, I'm fine," he muttered.
He wished the first day wasn't so close to the full moon. Going to Hogwarts for the first time only a few days before the full moon wasn't exactly his idea of fun. But he knew he was going to have to get used to things happening around full moons. At home, everything revolved around when the moon became full, but that wouldn't be the case at Hogwarts. Better to just get used to it now.
"Maybe they should just find an empty compartment," Walter suggested quietly, "Before they're all full."
"Good idea," Julie agreed, "Amy, could you help your dad with the trunks and go find a compartment?"
Walter and Amy took the two trolleys and disappeared into the crowd. Julie led Matt over to a somewhat quieter part of the platform and looked at him.
"I know you're scared," she said, "But you can do this. You're strong."
Matt nodded, although he hadn't ever thought of himself as strong before. He knew he had to do this and he wanted to, despite the nerves.
"Remember, we're only an owl or a a Floo message away," Julie assured him, "If you ever need us, just go see Madam Pomfrey. She'll get us. Any time, day or night."
"I know," Matt nodded.
Julie wrapped him in a tight hug. "I just can't believe you're going to school. Time has gone so fast."
"I'll miss you, Mum," Matt hugged her back.
"I'll miss you, too," Julie sniffed, "I love you."
"We've got a compartment," Amy said as she and Walter walked up to them, "We'd better go if we want to keep it, though."
Matt walked alongside his mum as they made their way back to the train. They stopped right in front of one of the doors.
"Bye, Matt. I love you," Walter gave him a hug, "We'll see you soon. Owl us and tell us what house you're in."
"Bye, Dad," Matt bit his lip as he hugged him.
Julie hugged Matt once more as soon as Walter let him go and went to say goodbye to Amy. Matt noticed she was crying as they broke apart, which made it harder for him to hold back his own tears.
"Look after him, Amy," Julie said as she hugged her daughter, "I love you."
"I will, Mum," Amy replied, "Love you, too."
"Remember to go see Madam Pomfrey if you need anything," Julie said one last time, "And remember to go see her for your potions."
"I will," Matt said.
Both of his parents gave him one last hug and then waved as he followed Amy onto the train.
"Well, this is it," Amy said quietly as they began to walk down the corridor. She put her arm around his shoulder.
Matt nodded. This was what he had been waiting for for years. He could do it. Amy would help him. He wiped his eyes and let Amy lead him to their compartment.
"This is mental, completely mental," Henry Tagger muttered.
"It's what Professor Longbottom said to do!" Sarah Tagger pointed out.
Amanda sighed. Her parents had been whispering to each other about the process of getting to Platform 9 3/4 for the past ten minutes. Amanda thought it was pretty straightforward. You run straight into the barrier between platforms nine and ten. Not that complicated. A bit nerve wracking, but not complicated. She didn't understand why her parents had to talk about it for ten minutes.
"Can we just go?" Amanda tapped her foot, "I'm going to miss the train."
"I am not running into a solid brick wall," Jen said adamantly, "We'll all wind up in a mental institution."
"I'll do it!" Max started running towards the wall.
"No, you won't," Henry held him back.
"Everyone's staring at us," Jen hissed, "Can't we just get out of here?"
"No!" Amanda said a little too loudly, "Why don't you just trust him?"
"Because I tend not listen when people tell me to run into walls, Amanda," Henry said.
"Hi," someone said from behind Amanda.
She turned around and saw a tall, dark haired boy with a huge grin on his face. He was pushing a trolley that had a trunk and an owl on it. Behind him were three little girls, a man, and a woman.
"Hi," Amanda replied, "Are you, er, a," she whispered the last word, "Wizard?"
John laughed. "Of course! You think a Muggle would have an owl on their trolley?"
"Er, no, I guess," Amanda shrugged, "Listen, are you really supposed to run into the barrier? That's what Professor Longbottom told us, but my parents don't believe him."
"Yes," John laughed even harder, "You must be Muggle-born."
"Yeah," Amanda nodded.
"Look, my parents and sisters can go first and then maybe your parents will believe it," John said.
"It's easy," the woman, who must have been John's mother said as she herded two of the little girls towards the brick wall, "But take it at a run if you're afraid."
They walked straight through the wall and disappeared. Amanda rubbed her eyes and then stared at where they used to be. She had believed Professor Longbottom, but it was still a bit shocking to see someone walk through a seemingly solid wall.
"Now will you let me go?" Amanda asked.
"I suppose," Henry sighed, "But I'm going first."
Amanda watched as her dad cautiously approached the barrier. She thought he should just run through it like John's mum had suggested. Instead, he touched the brick, shook his head, and then slowly walked through. Then he was gone.
Sarah let out a gasp and ran towards the barrier. She looked frantically back at John's dad, who was smirking and shaking his head.
"He's fine," John's dad said.
"Can I please go now?" Amanda said impatiently.
"Fine," Sarah sighed, "We'll follow you."
"I will not," Jen muttered.
Amanda ignored her sister's bickering and maneuvered her trolley to face the barrier. She grinned at John, who had moved his own trolley next to hers, and began running. John ran next to her and the brick wall became closer and closer. Amanda's heart sped up, but she wasn't nervous. It was more of an excited nervous. With one last glance back at her white-faced mother, Amanda closed her eyes and ran through the barrier.
John burst through the barrier and slowed down once he realized he was through it. He turned and saw Amanda gawking at the wall and laughed at her pale face.
"What do you think?" he asked.
"That was brilliant," Amanda grinned.
"Thank God," Amanda's father hugged her. Amanda rolled her eyes.
John waited with Amanda as the rest of her family came through the wall. Her little brother looked even more excited than Amanda had as he came through. Her mother looked ready to pass out and her sister looked stunned.
Next came John's dad with his youngest sister. He of course didn't look fazed in the slightest that he just came through a solid wall.
"Is this normal for the wizarding world?" Amanda asked.
"Sure is," John told her.
"Whoa, that bloke has a snake!" Amanda's little brother shouted and ran off towards an older student who had a green snake wrapped around his neck.
"Maxwell!" Amanda's mum shouted and ran after him.
Henry gestured for John to help him with his trunk, and Amanda and her dad followed. They got the trunks loaded onto the train and then rejoined the rest of the group.
The adults exchanged introductions and greetings while John's little sisters ran around the platform.
"Have you ever been to Hogwarts?" Amanda asked.
"Nope," John replied, "But my parents went there and it's absolutely brilliant."
John couldn't wait to get on the train and go. He hadn't even been able to sleep that night out of excitement. The closer September first had gotten, the slower time had seemed to pass and it seemed like it had been an eternity since he had received his letter.
Now that the day had finally arrived, all he wanted to do was get on the train. It's not like his parents were paying much attention to him anyway. They were talking with Amanda's parents while trying to keep an eye on his sisters. He and Amanda could probably get on the train without them even noticing. Well, maybe Amanda's parents would notice. They'd seemed pretty protective about her even getting on the platform.
John glanced at his watch. "Ten minutes until the train leaves. We should probably get on."
"I guess so," Amanda said quietly.
John watched as she went to say goodbye to her family. She had been so excited before, but now she was quiet. Maybe she wasn't as excited about leaving her family as he was.
"Have fun, John," Henry gave him a hug and then clapped him on the back, "Don't make too much trouble. Love you."
"I won't, Dad," John grinned, "Love you, too."
"Oh, Johnny!" Jan squeezed him tight, "I'm going to miss you. I love you and owl us as soon as you find out what house you're in."
"I will," John said, "I love you, too."
All three of John's sisters hugged him at once and Ashtyn and Alyssa demanded that he owl them presents within the week. Gemma giggled and said 'me too' and John rolled his eyes.
"Ready?" John asked Amanda as soon as his sisters let him go.
"Yeah," Amanda nodded.
John practically ran to the train with Amanda following. He climbed on and turned around and waved to his family. He waited until Amanda was done waving to her own family and then with a grin, he and Amanda went to find a compartment.
"There's a bloke back there with a snake!" Hugo said excitedly.
Rose rolled her eyes and ignored him. That bloke was going to get in trouble. Snakes weren't allowed as pets. She didn't really care for snakes. Hugo had this fascination with them, though. He liked all animals, actually.
"We're going to miss you, Rosie," Ron gave her a hug, "I hope to get some owls soon about the trouble you cause."
"Don't listen to him," Hermione kissed her on the cheek, "The house is going to be so empty without you."
"Yeah, and I'm taking over your room!" Hugo announced.
"You little prick!" Rose shouted, "You better not!"
"Don't worry, we won't let him," Hermione assured her.
"Especially if you miss the train," Hugo smirked, "It's leaving now."
Rose whipped her head around and saw that the doors were being shut all along the train. She turned and saw that Albus was still talking with his dad. What was taking him so long? He was going to make them miss the train!
"What's Al doing?" Rose asked.
"He'll catch up with you on the train," Ron said as he hugged her, "We'll see you soon, Rose, I love you."
"I'll miss you," Hermione joined the hug, "Love you, Rosie."
"I love you, too," Rose hugged them both, "And I'll miss you. Even you, Hugo."
"I'll miss you, too," Hugo said, "Except it'll be nice having the house to myself."
Rose rolled her eyes. Her brother always had to make a joke. She didn't think he had ever been serious. He took after his uncle George.
Rose gave her parents one last hug and then ran towards the train. Albus was still talking with his dad. She jumped on and waited for Albus to finish.
"There you are," she muttered to Albus when he finally climbed onto the train, "What were you doing?"
"Saying goodbye," Albus said quickly, "Ready for Hogwarts?"
"Ready," Rose grinned.
A/N: This is the last chapter! I hope everyone enjoyed it. If anyone is interested in hearing the songs I used in this, just go to Youtube and search 'Jared Campbell'. The story continues in Albus Potter and the Secrets Within, which can be found on my author page, if you haven't already read it. Thanks to Moonylupin, Luke Abela, XDNLxtlz99, and phoenixy_friend for their reviews!