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Chapter 1 : Of Trains and Meetings
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Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or anything in this wonderful world. If I did…why would I be here???
James Potter was nearly tripping over himself with excitement. This was it! He was finally going! No more being home alone. No more wishing he had a friend that was willing to get dirty while playing “splatter the gnome”. Every kid that ever came to hang out with James was too snobbish and thought that throwing mud at gnomes was childish and below them.
James was ready to make his own friends. Rather then be put down about being alone most of his childhood, what with parents that were a little too old to rough house and play, it led him to deeply desire having the most wonderful friends at school. His only fear, as of now, was if that desire never happened and he was left disappointed.
But James shoved that though away as he stepped through the barrier and saw the scarlet steam engine. It was a moment he would make sure he would never forget! The sight of it, glossy and streamlined. The smell of the coals burning in the engine. The sight of many magical people all hugging and laughing and crying. It was truly magical.
James snorted. ‘No pun intended’.
He stopped after he had walked a little ways, set down his trunk, his brand new black owl, and turned to face his parents.
Mr. and Mrs. Potter were already mostly grey with wrinkles in all the pleasant places. His father had more wrinkles around the corner of his mouth and his mother had wrinkles around the corner of her eyes. The potter’s referred to such wrinkles as ‘Jolly Lines’. Lines you get in places where your smiling shows. Mr. Potter was a little lanky where as Mrs. Potter was pleasantly plump.
“Can you believe it, Mum?” James asked running up and grabbing his mother’s hands. “This is it! I’m finally off! To the finest school of witchcraft and wizardry that ever existed!” He jumped up on the last word and let go of her hands. His mother merely chuckled as she smiled at her beaming son and absent mindedly tried to smooth his hair down.
“No, Jamesie. I really can’t believe it…” she said with a sad tone that lilted with affection. “Can you, love?” she had turned to her husband to see him staring at the express with a nostalgic expression.
“Hmm?” he asked looking at her. “Oh, no. It truly is hard to believe, son.” He walked over to his bespectacled child and knelt down to his level with popping joints. “I want you to have the time of your life.” He said grasping James’s shoulders and looking into his eyes. “Yes, it is seven years of wonderful memories to make but you will be surprised how fast it can and will go by, James.”
James nodded but disagreed. ‘How can something that lasts for nearly a decade go by quickly?’ he thought but chose not to voice.
“You know I want you to do well, but at the same time, I want you to balance it with friends and fun! Right now it feels like forever. And when you’re in Fourth Year, it’ll still feel like its forever away, but you have to trust me. When the first day of Seventh year rolls around, you see the castle and realize that ‘this is it. I’ll never come back after this’.” He father paused to look at James deeply. “Do you understand?”
James nodded though he still didn’t agree.
Mr. Potter quirked and eyebrow, “Do you have anything to say, then?”
“Yes, actually,” James said with a smile.
“Well?” His father prompted.
“Well, all it is is that I truly hope you don’t give me this speech every time I leave you two! Otherwise I’ll age much fast then is magically possible!” James cried with fake horror.
Mr. Potter threw back his head and laughed at this and stood up grunting when his muscles protested. “Duly noted, son!” he smiled down at James, hugged and kissed him on the head, and nudged him towards his mother. Mrs. Potter embraced her son tightly gave a happy sob into his hair and then promptly tried to fix it again.
“Mum, don’t!” James cried and rumpled it back up a little. “Other kids are watching!” But he smiled anyway, leaned up and kissed his mother on the cheek.
James turned away grabbed his owl, who hooted at him, his trunk, gave an elbow wave to his parents and proceeded to board the train with for the first time, apprehension. This really was it…
“Oh, and James!” his father shouted. James stopped at the sound and turned around. “Don’t forget: Gryffindor is bloody fantastic!” his father finished with a wave.
James smiled back, “I wouldn’t have it any other way!” And with that, he turned to, truly board the train this time when he was jostled by someone. He turned around to see a streak of red flow past him on to the train and around the corner. “Hey-!”
“OI! WATCH WHERE YOUR BLOODY GOING!” someone shouted behind him. This person also sounded angry. James deduced that the ‘Red-person-thing’ must have bumped into this person as well. “Some people have got no bloody manners!” the angry person raved.
When James was fully on the train, and able to maneuver, he turned to see who the yeller had been. Just when he turned, he watched the boy behind him shrug his trunk onto his shoulder, flip his hair from his eyes and smile at him.
“The nerve of some people, eh?” he said as he held out the hand that wasn’t carrying anything for James to shake.
“James Potter” James said to the boy in front of him.
The boy smiled and nodded his head, “And I’m the one and only: Sirius Black!”
The two boys had found a compartment that was empty except for one person. This person was looking out the window and curled up on the plush seats. Her hair was a deep yet vivid red and had ivory skin.
Sirius stepped in first, “Excuse me, but would you mind if we sat in this compartment as well?” The girl had jumped and half turned towards them but quickly turned away again, wiped her eyes, and shrugged her shoulders with indifference.
Sirius looked back at James, who was still in the doorway, and gave him a questioning look as if to say ‘what a bloody wacko’ and walked in anyway. James fallowed suit and together they both had their trunks up on the rack and sat across from each other, Sirius next to the girl.
“So, have you got a pet?” Sirius asked to break the ice that seemed to all be flowing from The Girl next to them.
James tore his eyes away from her at the question and nodded his head, “yeah, my black owl.” He reached up on the rack and brought his owl down to show Sirius.
“Aw, wicked!” Sirius cried and brought the owl into his lap. “Has it got a name?” Sirius asked.
“No, I couldn’t really think of one.” James said eyeing his owl.
“Is it a bloke?” Sirius questioned. Seeing James nod his head he continued, “Well maybe you should come up with a very expected name…such as ‘Blackie’…or, er…” Sirius frowned at the owl, not being able to think of anymore cliché terms apparently.
“Well, isn’t that what people would assume?” James asked with a small smile. He continued when Sirius lifted his head to listen, “Why not a common name? Like George?”
Sirius grinned, “Or Bob!”
“Or Tom!” Sirius cried, and they both erupted into fits of giggles.
‘The-owl-being-named’ hooted with displeasure at being rattled about by a cackling boy.
Sirius stopped laughing when he heard ‘The-owl-being-named’ hoot and promptly shushed James to make him listen as well.
“Poot” ‘The-owl-being-named hooted’. “Poot”
“Is that bloody pidgin saying ‘Poot’?” Sirius questioned looked from the bird to James and back again. At the same time, they both burst out laughing crying about how ridiculously backward this owl was. Then it hit them both at the same time-
“POOT!” They shouted together. They both slouched back knowing that the deed was done. The unnamed owl was thusly named… ‘Poot’.
Throughout the entire ordeal The Girl had curled up even tighter almost as if she were afraid to catch whatever disease they were carrying.
James sighed after a minute, thinking of food, “Do you reckon-?” But he was caught off by someone slamming up against their compartment door.
Sirius jumped up, walked over, slid open the door to (most likely) give the person a piece of his mind when he looked down to see a dirty blond, if not light brown, haired boy sprawled on the other side of the door.
The boy looked up scrambled to his feet, kept his head down, and heaved a sigh. “Sorry about that! I really am! I hope you understand some bloke shoved me aside into your compartment door and I…” He trailed off as if he were expecting them to already be yelling or telling him to ‘get a move on’. “I just- sorry.” He rocked back and forth on his heals for a moment before quietly saying “I’ll be on my way, then, right…” He turned to continue on down the train when Sirius grabbed his shoulder.
“Hey, mate. It’s all good. Come and sit with us if you like?” He swept his hand in the universal gesture for ‘after you’.
The boy looked up for the first time and James and Sirius saw the scars that ran diagonal across his face. “That would be wonderful, thank you!” He seemed either greatly thankful or greatly surprised at their offering. Neither James nor Sirius was able to distinguish why.
“I’m James Potter and that there’s Sirius Black.”
They discovered that this boy’s name was Remus Lupin. He was an incoming first year as well.
“Any previous schooling?” Sirius asked while tying and re-tying his shoe laces.
“No, not really,” Remus was saying. “All that I know I’ve learned from my parents at home.” He was sitting next to James and he seemed to have difficulty looking up at them. James figured that it was from shyness about his scars.
Sirius had also noticed this tendency of Remus’s but chose not to voice it. It would come off as rude to demand attention like that.
“Are you excited to finally be going, then?” James asked trying to keep up conversation with the shy boy.
“Oh yes.” Remus said earnestly. “I never thought that I would actually be able to-…” He looked down and finished his sentence, “to, to…er, afford it.” He then rummaged in his bag, pulled out a book, and began to read it with a slight flush across his cheeks.
James and Sirius made eye contact. Sirius, once again, made the ‘what a bloody wacko’ face and looked away. James, on the other hand, felt a sort of compassion for the boy next to him. Remus was very obviously hiding something he did not feel comfortable sharing.
For the next five minutes James and Sirius made chit-chat about ‘this thing’ and ‘that thing’. Like, when will this ruddy train start? Do you really think the castle is a big as they say? Any idea where all the classes are? Merlin, Poot just bit me! Serves you right for tickling him! And so on. They tried their best to ignore the distraught girl by the window and Remus who was deviled deep into his novel when…
“Hey, um…that boy has passed this compartment about six times already.” Remus stated, making James and Sirius jump in surprise. “Would you mind if he sat down with us?” Remus said, setting down his book and looking at the compartment’s glass door.
James shrugged his shoulders and looked over at Sirius with an expectant expression on his face.
“Lordy! Why am I the one to always get up…?” Sirius trailed of grumbling and went to the compartment door, reached out, fished the boy from outside, shut the door, and went and sat down without another word.
The boy seemed frightened and a little twitchy. As if his nerves caused him to quake like that. He had short mousy blond hair; he was a bit on the chubby side and quite short for his age. He was obviously a first year like the other boys.
“Hello,” Remus said with a kind smile. “What’s your name? I’m Remus Lupin. This is Sirius Black and James Potter.” He indicated them with a hand gesture. James and Sirius nodded their heads at the mention of their names.
The chubby boy wasn’t quaking as much when he answered, “Name mine Peter is- er! My name is Peter Pettigrew.” He turned a deep shade of red and shuffled his feet, nearly dropping his trunk on Sirius’s toes.
“Peter Pettigrew?” Sirius said as he took the boy’s trunk (out of harms way) and put in on the, now full, rack. “That name just rolls off the tongue doesn’t it?” He grunted as he gave one, great big, heave and the trunk settled onto the rack.
“Well, I-er, I suppose…” Peter stammered.
“Relax mate!” James said watching Sirius sit down with a huff. “We’re not going to tease the Mickey out of you.” He finished with a gentle smile in Peter’s direction.
Peter sat down next to Sirius and instantly submitted to the questions they had asked Remus previously.
Peter began to relax, as did Remus. Soon, all four boys were getting along and talking effortlessly with one-another. Each person’s personality added great chemistry to the group. So wonderfully, they didn’t even notice when the train blew a whistle and began to roll out of the station. Leaving their past childhood behind and heading towards a place that was sure to fill their minds with many more wonderful memories.
A/N Review Please! I plan to get the next chapter out soon! I’ve already started on it! Flame me if you wanna! I can take it! -holds up fists-
Thank you for taking the time to read it!
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by Kait Hobbit