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Changes and Challenges by hg4evr
Chapter 2 : Chance Meeting
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 2

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Chance Meeting 

The corridor was still crowded as Ariel was walking down it looking for a compartment. About halfway down the train she saw a little boy with light brown hair and blue-green eyes who seemed to be a first year. He looked so lost that her heart broke for him. She approached him and touched his shoulder gently. 

“Hello honey. Can I help you with something?” she asked softly. The boy looked terrified at being approached by a seventh year but when he saw her warm smile he relaxed a bit.
“Umm, I was looking for a compartment to sit in,” he replied timidly. 

“Well it just so happens that I’m looking for one too. Do you want to find one together?” she asked brightly. Her beautiful smile was so infectious that when he replied he was smiling widely too. 

“Sure,” he said happily.
They found a compartment near the end of the train and she put both of their trunks up. When they were both situated Ariel began talking again. 

“So I don’t believe I’ve introduced myself. My name is Ariel Walker. I’m a seventh year and I’m in Gryffindor.”
“My name is Leo Jenkins,” he said, still a bit shyly.
“Well do you want to tell me a little bit about yourself?” she asked kindly. Her kindness seemed to melt away his fear and he immediately started talking.
“I’m a muggleborn, at least that’s what Professor Dumbledore told me. I have a little sister named Emily. She’s eight years old. My parents are both pediatricians. Their names are Mary and George Jenkins…” 

As he kept talking, Ariel chuckled inwardly. This little boy reminded her of herself when she was at home. He talked a mile a minute. Leo had already found a place as the little brother she never had. He kept talking and finally ended by blurting out the words,
“You’re really pretty.” The he blushed furiously
“Well aren’t you the sweet talker. I’m sure the girls will be lining up to go out with you soon.”
He blushed again and then she started talking again to get rid of his embarrassment. She told him about Hogwarts and its teachers and she explained different aspects of the wizarding world. She told him about Hogsmeade. She also told him about some of the seventh year Gryffindors, the Marauders, who were always getting into trouble. The boys were James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew. When Ariel explained some of the pranks that they did Leo laughed out loud. Ariel told Leo that James was always asking Lily Evans out but she always said no. Ariel figured that Lily really did like him but she didn’t know it yet. Then she told him about quidditch and what an amazing sport it was. When she told him about her family she wasn’t the least bit uncomfortable. She even told him about how she could see magical auras and what that meant, which was something that she had never even told her family. She was surprised that she felt she could trust him after only about an hour and a half but she knew that he would keep her secrets.
Leo for his part was amazed but he took it all in stride. He was also amazed that Ariel didn’t have any friends. He couldn’t see how someone as nice, smart, pretty and funny as her could have been alone at school for all these years. Well he knew that he for one would be happy to be her friend. 

They chatted for a bit longer, with Ariel answering any questions that Leo had. She hoped that he was in Gryffindor because she felt a need to protect this little boy from any harm. After a while they settle into a comfortable silence in which Leo was reading her copy of Hogwarts, A History and Ariel was reading a book on advanced defense against the dark arts that had caught her interest. All of a sudden they heard the sound of pounding footsteps but before they could even move their compartment door flew open and four figures raced in and shut the door. Ariel saw one of the boys wave his wand a bit and mutter something, then figured that it was a sealing charm when the door glowed yellow. She watched, a bit amused, as the four boys crouched down on the floor. She had recognized them immediately and had to fight to keep from laughing, but she saw that Leo just looked bewildered so she winked at him and put a finger to her lips. 

“So who are you hiding from this time?” she asked with a touch of amusement in her voice. 

The four boys quickly turned around and any words that they may have had died in their throats. Their eyes were wide and their jaws had dropped. Ariel could see that Leo was snickering silently behind his hand at the looks on their faces and she herself was smirking, but inside she was wondering why they were staring at her like that.

All Sirius could think was, Holy shit. She is an angel. Why have I never seen her before? For the first time, the infamous playboy Marauder, Sirius Black, was struck completely dumb at the sight of a girl. He realized that he must look like a bit of an idiot just staring at her but he couldn’t help it. He didn’t even know this girl and she seemed to draw him in. her body was very fit though she didn’t seem to be trying to show it. Her hair looked so soft even though it was tied up. Her eyes were the most mesmerizing part. He had never seen anyone with orchid colored eyes before and they seemed to pull him in. his eyes dropped down to her lips. They were full and pink and at the moment were turned up in a little smirk. That shook him out of his daze, but before he could say anything Remus beat him to it.

Remus was the first one to start talking.
“Sorry we didn’t realize anyone was in her. I’m Remus Lupin and these are James Potter, Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew.” 

“I don’t think there is a single person at this school who doesn’t know who the four of you are.” She was definitely right about that, they were probably the most well known boys in the school. 

James Potter seemed to be the unofficial leader of the little pack. He had raven hair that never stayed flat and hazel eyes that were always shining with humor behind his round glasses. He was very tall, standing at around 6’2’’ with very well defined, but not bulky, muscles. His right hand man was Sirius Black. He had silky black hair that fell around his face elegantly and piercing stormy grey eyes. He was slightly shorter than James standing at about 6’0. He also had very well defined muscles but his were slightly bigger than James’. After that there was Remus Lupin. He had sandy blonde hair that was slightly tousled and warm brown eyes, and if you looked into them you could see that there was something that he kept hidden. Of course she already knew what that was but nobody else knew that she knew. He was the same height as Sirius and shockingly had the most muscles out of the three of them even though he was the bookworm of the bunch. All in all they were probably the three best looking guys in the school. Then there was Peter who just didn’t fit in at all with his pale hair, watery blue eyes, 5’5’’ height and chubby body. He also had an aura that just didn’t make Ariel feel very good.
“My name is Ariel Walker and this is my friend Leo Jenkins.”
For the first time the four boys seemed to notice the little first year who was sitting in the corner. He looked a bit scared at having four seventh year boys looking at him, but they all gave him a smile and he smiled back, albeit shyly.
“So you didn’t answer my question. Who are you hiding from? Seeing as you’re head boy,” she pointed at James, “I would guess that it is your gang of giggling fan girls or the head girl, the lovely Miss Lily Evans.” She said all of this with a smirk on her face.
“Actually it is the gang of giggling fan girls as you so eloquently put it,” said James with a grin on his face. 

“Oh well in that case you can stay in here as long as you need to. Their insipid laughter drives me insane.” 

“Us too,” said Sirius with a laugh. “So what house are you in?” 

“I’m a seventh year Gryffindor,” Ariel replied.
“Oh we’ve never noticed you before,” said Remus seeming embarrassed. 

“I know. Most people at school don’t,” said Ariel with an understanding smile.
“Well that’s no excuse! Why don’t you tell us about yourself,” said James so enthusiastically that Ariel couldn’t help but laugh. 

“Well why don’t you guys don’t sit down first,”she said with a small smile, “unless you’d like to stand the whole time.” 

“There isn’t really much room,” replied Sirius. 

“Well that can be easily fixed,” she said, and then she wordlessly flicked her wand and the compartment doubled in size. All five of the other people in the compartment were looking at her in shock and Leo’s mouth was hanging open.
“How did you do that?” he asked with awe and excitement at seeing his first display of magic.
“It’s an undetectable extension charm. Not a big deal,” she said, seeming a bit embarrassed by their staring. 

“But those are really difficult! Not even we can do them and we’re brilliant!” exclaimed Sirius. 

“And you’re modest too,” replied Ariel sarcastically. She couldn’t understand where all her newfound confidence came from. Normally as expressive as she was at home, she couldn’t get herself to talk to anyone at school, but after only a few minutes with these boys she already felt really comfortable and she was joking around with them.
“What Sirius is trying to say is that that was very impressive,” said Remus looking exasperatedly at Sirius. 

“Oh well thank you,” she said, looking down. She was never really sure how to handle compliments. The six of them spent the rest of the train ride talking until they had to change into their robes. By the end even Leo had come out of his shell in front of the boys. When the train finally stopped Ariel led Leo over to where Hagrid was. When Leo saw the giant of a man he looked very frightened. Ariel was quick to reassure him. 

“He’s not nearly as scary as he looks sweetie. In fact he’s one of the nicest people I know. Hello Hagrid.” 

“Oh, hello Ariel. How was yer summer!” he asked beaming behind his bushy beard.
“Mine was brilliant. Mum and dad finally got me that new broom I wanted. Oh I almost forgot, Hagrid this is Leo Jenkins and Leo this is Hagrid the school’s gamekeeper.” 

“Well hello there Leo. Are ya a firs’ year?”
“Yes sir,” Leo said in a small voice.
“Ah there’s no need to call me sir. It’s jus’ Hagrid. You should get in a boat cuz we’re leaving soon.” Leo looked scared that he would have to go to the castle without Ariel so she tried to comfort him. 

“You’re going to be fine Leo. There’s nothing to worry about. All you have to do is sit to get sorted. If you get nervous just look at me okay. I’ll see you later,” and with that she gave him a big hug and sent him off to the boats. Then she went back over to where Hagrid was and saw that the Marauders were with him. 

“So how’s Leo feeling, Ariel?” asked Hagrid. 

“Well he’s a bit scared but I think he’ll be fine. He seems like a strong kid. I don’t know why I feel so attached to him. I only just met him.” 

“I think you probably go’ that from your parents. Both of them are incredibly loyal people who would help anyone who needed it. They make friends easily too.” 

“Hang on a minute. How exactly do you two know each other?” asked Sirius looking bewildered by the very friendly and comfortable exchange. Remus and James looked a bit bewildered too (Peter had disappeared somewhere). 

“Oh I’ve know Ariel and her brother since they were born. Their parent kept in touch with me after they lef’ Hogwarts so they’re goo’ friends a’ mine,” said Hagrid. 

“Yeah Hagrid’s pretty much family,” she said brightly. The boys were slightly surprised because they didn’t think that Hagrid left Hogwarts all that much, but they accepted it. 

“Oh bloody hell. We’ve got to get to the carriages,” James said looking at his watch. “Bye Hagrid. We’ll see you later!” he yelled behind him as he ran. The other two boys repeated his actions and ran off as well, followed by Ariel.
“Bye you lot! Stay out of trouble, especially you Ariel!” he yelled after them.
“Now you know I can’t promise anything like that,” she replied back loudly with a mischievous smile on her face while running backwards towards where the boys were standing, next to a carriage. Ariel poked her head in first and saw that there were two girls sitting in it.
“Do you mind if we sit in here?” she asked them with a smile on her face. They both replied with a no so the four of them went in. Ariel sat next to the girls and the three boys sat across from them. When Ariel looked up she saw that the boys were looking at her with something close to shock on their faces.
“Are you alright?” she asked, looking at them with concern for their mental well-beings. 

“What the hell does Hagrid mean by telling you not to get in trouble specifically when we were there?” asked Sirius incredulously.
“I have no idea what you are talking about,” she replied a little too innocently. 

“Like hell you don’t. I mean you were reading when we came into your compartment for Merlin’s sake. How could you get in trouble?” 

“What, so you’ve never read a book before?” she asked sarcastically.
“Not for pleasure,” he replied back. 

“Well it just so happens that it is a very interesting book. Here, take a look,” she said. Then she pulled it out of her pocket and enlarged it back into its normal size and handed it to them. Within a few moments the three of them were engrossed in the book. She smirked and then turned her head to the side where she saw that the two girls were staring intently at her. The two girls were none other than Lily Evans and Camille Morgan.
Lily Evans and Camille Morgan were two of the most sought after girls in the school and they also happened to be best friends. They were both Gryffindor seventh years. Both girls were very beautiful and very sweet, though not when dealing with the Marauders. Lily was slightly taller than Ariel and she had fiery red hair that fell in waves down her back. She had bright emerald green eyes and creamy white skin with a few freckles dotting her face. Along with being beautiful she was also very smart and she was the head girl for that year. Camille on the other hand was slightly shorter than Ariel and she had light brown hair that was completely straight and fell to just past her shoulders. She had ice blue eyes and completely clear skin that was slightly tan. 

“What?” asked Ariel nervously
“You just look really familiar,” said Lily while they were still staring at her. Ariel was about to introduce herself when Lily suddenly gasped. 

“Oh my Merlin! Ariel?” When Lily said her name Camille gasped as well. “You look fabulous!” she exclaimed with a large smile on her face.
“You certainly do. How did you do it?” asked Camille excitedly. Ariel started telling them, in a quiet voice so the boys wouldn’t hear, what she had done over the summer and before she knew it they were talking like the three of them had been best friends for years. They didn’t notice that the three boys were just staring at them with some longing in their eyes. When they finally reached the castle, the six of them jumped out of the carriage and walked inside, and then into the Great Hall. Ariel was going to go sit by herself like she normally did when a warm hand grabbed her arm. She felt a tingling sensation go through her arm and when she turned she saw that it was Sirius who had grabbed her. She noticed that he seemed to be staring at his arm so she thought for a moment that he had felt it too but then he seemed to quickly shake it off and when he looked back up at her he had a charming smile on his face. 

“And just where do you think you’re going?” he asked with mock outrage.
“To go sit down?” she replied, though it sounded more like a question. 

“Not by yourself you’re not. You’re sitting with us” 

“Umm…Alright,” she said. Then she realized that he was still holding her arm so she looked pointedly down at it. He followed her gaze and when he saw what she was looking at he quickly let go, looking at her with a slightly embarrassed mile. When he let go of her both of them felt a little bit colder but they didn’t know why. They both shook it off and started walking over to where the rest of the Marauders were sitting with Camille and Lily. The Marauders and the girls started getting along at the end of last year and now they were all pretty good friends. Ariel sat next to Lily and Sirius sat next to Ariel, while the other three Marauders sat across from them. When they sat down everyone greeted them happily. When Ariel finally looked around she noticed that a lot of boys just seemed to be staring at her while a lot of girls were glaring at her. It made her uncomfortable so she started fidgeting. Sirius noticed and put his hand on her shoulder gently. 

“Hey, what’s wrong?” he asked with concern lacing his voice. 

“There are people staring at me,” she replied back softly.
Sirius looked around and when the girls noticed that he was looking they changed their glares to flirtatious looks, but not before he saw the glares. He narrowed his eyes a little then looked at Ariel with a small smile on his face. 

“Don’t worry about it, love. They’re just jealous,” he told her while putting his arm around her shoulders. 

“Why?” asked Ariel, sounding very bewildered. 

“Because you’re hanging out with me of course,” he replied with a smirk on his face. She snorted then shrugged his arm off her shoulder and smacked him on the arm.
“Could you be any more arrogant?” she said looking angry, but the humor shining in her eyes gave her away.
“Ow, that bloody hurt woman!” he exclaimed while rubbing the spot on his arm where she had hit him.
“Good,” she said primly, then turned to see Professor McGonagall walking in with the first years.
The five other people that were sitting with Ariel and Sirius had watched the exchange between them and it was safe to say that they were shocked. Lily and Camille were shocked because they had been living with Ariel for six years and although they didn’t really know anything about her, they had never seen her talking to anyone, but now she was joking and playing around with Sirius Black no less. James and Remus were shocked because they had never seen Sirius act like this with a girl before. Usually he didn’t pay any attention to them when he was dating them and just found a girl if he wanted a snog, but he was actually joking around with a girl and treating her like a friend. They had also seen the concern and care in his eyes for her when she was fidgeting which they didn’t think was possible for Sirius to show to a girl, especially one that they had just met a few hours ago. All four of them could see that Sirius had started falling for her, and although they didn’t think that would ever happen, they were happy. Peter only had a shocked look on his face because everyone else did. 

Meanwhile Ariel was looking at all the first years and searching for Leo and when she found him she gave him a warm smile. He smiled back a little nervously and then looked up towards the front where the Sorting Hat was. McGonagall started reading the names off her parchment and after a little while she called out, 

“Jenkins, Leo!” Leo looked over to where Ariel was and she gave him another warm smile while James, Sirius and Remus gave him a thumbs up. They had grown fond of the little boy and hoped he would be in their house. Leo looked a little more confident when he sat down on the stool and put the hat on. After about thirty seconds of waiting the hat yelled,

The Gryffindor table cheered and the loudest section of all was the place where the Marauders and Ariel were sitting. Leo walked quickly over to where Ariel was and she gave him a big hug while the three boys gave him pats on the back and ruffled his hair. Leo sat down and then the rest of the sorting went on. After the last person was sorted Dumbledore stood up and everyone’s eyes went to him.
“There is a time for speeches, but this is not it so I only have one thing to say. Dig in!”
Everybody immediately started piling food onto their plates and chattering away. Camille, Lily, Ariel, James, Sirius and Remus were all talking like good friends and Peter was just sitting there and stuffing his face. Once the last of the pudding disappeared Dumbledore made all his usual speeches until he finally got to the one people wanted to know about. 

“This year we have a new defense against the dark arts teacher. He is an auror and he will be with us for a few months until we get a more permanent one. Please welcome Professor Walker.” 

There was a fairly loud applause for him, especially from the girls. They all seemed to be transfixed by his looks, even though they could tell that he was too old for them. Even Lily and Camille were staring at him, until they heard Ariel gasp. All of her new friends looked at her with concern, especially Sirius, but they saw that she was looking at their new teacher with happiness and a small tinge of worry in her unusual eyes. As soon as Dumbledore dismissed them with a jovial “have a nice weekend and be ready for Monday” everybody was racing to get out of the Great Hall, but Ariel walked quickly towards the teacher’s table and unbeknownst to her, the rest of their new group was following her. When things started clearing a little she ran and jumped into their new teacher’s arms and he laughed and spun her around. The others just looked at them in shock. 


“Hello Ri-Ri,” he said, looking at his daughter with love in his eyes. 

“What are you doing here?” she asked with some worry lacing her voice. He seemed a little bit hesitant to tell her so she tried to reassure him.
“I can handle it, dad.” 

“I know you can sweetie, but I don’t want to worry your friends,” he said while lowering his voice. Ariel turned around and was surprised to see that all her new friends were standing there and watching them. 

“Oh dad, these are my friends Camille Morgan, Lily Evans, James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew. Guys, this is my dad, Sam Walker.” 

“He shook all their hands warmly, with Lily and Camille blushing a little as he shook their hands. 

“So when did you all meet?” asked Ariel’s dad with curiosity because he knew she didn’t have any friends at school.
“Well we,” said James, pointing at the four boys, “met her in her compartment on the train.” As soon as James said this Ariel burst out laughing. Everybody looked at her like she was slightly crazy. When she had calmed down she explained herself. 

“You should have seen them when they came into mine and Leo’s compartment. They looked like they were going to wet themselves when I started talking. Probably thought I was one of the fan girls they were hiding from,” she said with a smirk. 

“I believe your eloquent expression was ‘gang of giggling fan girls.’ And I assure you that’s not why we were staring at you like a bunch of idiots,” he said with a smirk on his face. Then he realized that her dad was right there and he quickly dropped the smirk. 

“Oh sweet Merlin! Look at the time! It was nice to meet you but we’ve got to go,” Lily exclaimed. Everybody said goodbye to their new professor but he held Ariel back. When everyone was gone he started talking. 

“Now who is this Leo fellow that you were talking about?” he asked sternly. 

“Oh, he’s a first year that I met on the train. He’s a muggleborn and he looked so lost so I found a compartment with him. It’s strange, but I feel like I need to protect him. He already feels like a little brother.”
“Well that’s nice of you, sweetie. You should bring him to meet me tomorrow,” he said with a warm smile on his face. 

“All right. I’ll see you tomorrow dad. Love you!” 

“I love you too.”
Ariel walked out of the Great Hall and saw Sirius leaning against a wall. 

“Hey what are you doing out here?

“Well I figured you wouldn’t want to walk back by yourself so I waited for you. Plus, you don’t know the password,” he replied. 

“Aw, well that was sweet of you. Thanks Sirius!” 

“No problem,” he mumbled while looking down at his foot. When she looked over at him she noticed a small tinge of ink on his cheeks. 

“Why Sirius Black, I do believe you’re blushing,” she said cheekily. 

“No I’m not,” he said petulantly. When she saw the look on his face she started laughing uncontrollably. Sirius tried to scowl, but once heard her laughing and saw the joy on her face he couldn’t stop himself from smiling. They walked the rest of the way to Gryffindor tower in a comfortable silence and parted at the stairs with a smile and a quiet goodnight, both of them thinking about how different this year was going to be.

A/N: I want to thank everyone who read the first chapter of my story. I'm sorry it took me so long to update but school has been really difficult and I've been having trouble writing. Excuses, excuses. I know but i want to thank you for being so patient. I would also really like to thank GrYFinDorGRRL5595 and Bethatrix for reviewing 

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