Chapter 1 : An Unceremonious Arrival
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The sunlight fell softly on one odd family of four. There were two blonde, squat parents who seemed as if they were confused about how to dress in normal clothes; the short man was wearing three different button-up shirts of various lengths, and the small woman had her bright pink dress tucked into her knee socks.
Two daughters walked side-by-side next to them. Apart from the fact that they were both wearing long, black robes, they looked absolutely nothing alike. The first was almost an exact replica of her two parents, with short blonde hair and a stocky build.
The second seemed slightly younger, and looked nothing like her fair parents. She was short also, but in a petite way, and thin. Her thick dark hair hung past her shoulders, and slightly raised eyebrows over dark eyes gave her a somewhat disdainful look.
The family was toddling along quite fast, occasionally glancing down at their watches in a frantic manner. The mother seemed especially hurried.
“Late! I can’t believe were late!” she would say at random intervals.
“You know, Ellie, on my first day, I—” began Mr. Shorb, her husband.
“All right, all right, dear,” said Mrs. Shorb quickly. “I just don’t want May or Sammy to miss the train…” She trailed off aimlessly.
Blonde May glanced quickly at dark-haired Sammy, who was looking down at the ticket.
“Platform 9 ¾?” Sammy said quietly. “There’s no 9 ¾ here anywhere. D’you think they’re having me on?” She looked inquisitively at May.
“No, they’re not,” answered May confidently. “You just have to run through a post—” Sammy’s eyes widened—“to reach the platform. When I did it last year, I tried to run through the wrong post. Hit my head instead… all the Muggles must have thought I’d gone mental.” She gave a small laugh, but Sammy wasn’t reassured.
The family finally reached the post between Platforms 9 and 10, and slid to a halt.
Mrs. Shorb, ever practical, began explaining what to do. “Okay, honey, that’s the door to the platform,” she told Sammy. “Head straight towards it and don’t hesitate. You won’t crash,” she added, seeing Sammy’s look of disbelief.
“I’ll go first,” said May. She jogged towards the brick post. In a moment, it had swallowed her up. No one around the family seemed to have noticed.
Sammy took her luggage and wheeled it over to stand in front of the post. She stared at it, wishing she didn’t have to run into solid brick walls to go to school.
Mrs. Shorb gave her a quick nudge, so she took a deep breath and started towards the bricks. Her shoes slapped against the hard floor, and she was running right toward a stationary object and she was going to crash and she could feel her feet slipping out from underneath her—
—and just as the post swallowed her up, Sammy tumbled to the floor with a loud thump. Her luggage cart lay on its side to her right. Standing over it was a lanky boy with shockingly blue hair, who was laughing quite loudly.
Sammy groaned and closed her eyes, laying her head against the floor.
The laughter coming from the boy (thankfully the only person who seemed to have seen) subsided into giggles, and then he spoke.
“You… need some help…?”
“No,” said Sammy sarcastically.
“C’mon.” She felt a hand at her shoulder and opened her eyes. The boy was leaning over her, and when he saw her looking, he grinned and stuck out his other hand. She accepted it and let him pull her to her feet, then she leaned over and uprighted her luggage.
“Nice fall,” commented the blue-haired boy. Sammy just looked at him.
A silver-haired girl hurried over to where Sammy and the blue boy stood. “Teddy!” she exclaimed. “Come on. All the good seats are gonna be gone.”
“’Kay,” said Teddy. Then he turned to Sammy. “See ya!”
Sammy blinked. She could have sworn he had green eyes, not gray.
Sammy walked up and down the aisle of the car, searching for an open compartment. Every seat she passed seemed to be overflowing with students. Reaching a part that May had told her was exclusively for prefects, she doubled back.
Finally, she reached a compartment that seemed sparsely occupied. Cautiously, she knocked on the door and slid it open.
“Can I sit here? All the other compartments are…” She stopped, recognizing a shock of blue hair.
“Clumsy!” Teddy greeted her, evidently delighted by the nickname. “Nice to see you again.” The silver-haired girl was sitting opposite him, and she smiled.
“Come on in,” she said to Sammy. Sammy slipped inside and sat down, self-consciously running a hand through her dark hair.
“My name’s Teddy—Teddy Lupin,” said Teddy.
“Victoire Weasley,” said the silver-haired girl.
“Samantha Riddle—you can call me Sammy,” Sammy said. “Pleasure. You two… are first years?”
Victoire nodded. “I’m hoping for Gryffindor. You?”
Sammy allowed herself a small smile. “Anything but Slytherin.”
Victoire and Teddy began to talk animatedly about Quidditch teams, and Sammy relaxed on the seat. When the trolley came by, she bought herself a few Chocolate Frogs and a Pumpkin Pasty from the plump pleasant lady pushing it.
She closed her eyes and lay against the seat contentedly, letting the sweet taste of chocolate fill her mouth.
“—the Chudley Cannons!” Teddy was saying.
“The Cannons haven’t played in the World Cup for decades,” Victoire said calmly. “There’s no way they could have played against England then.”
“But I remember…” Sammy opened her eyes as Teddy’s voice got quieter.
Victoire had her mouth full of a Cauldron Cake. “’Oo shnk sh cnshns cou may ich choo sh cushp?”
Victoire took a few more chews, then swallowed. “You think the Cannons could make it to the Cup?” Teddy opened his mouth, changed his mind, and closed it again, looking to Sammy for guidance.
Sammy started, and then stared. “Your eyes! They’re… brown… But they were… blue…”
To her surprise, instead of looking at her like she was crazy, Victoire chuckled and elbowed Teddy in the stomach, who grinned back. “Caught on, now, haven’t you?” she said cheerfully. “Teddy here’s a Meta… a Meta…”
“A Metamorphmagus,” Teddy finished. “I swear, I’ve changed four times and she hasn’t even noticed.”
Sammy looked between the two of them. “A Meta—what?” She shook her head. “Huh?”
“A Metamorphmagus. It means I can change, like, my face and hair and stuff.”
“She doesn’t know what you’re talking about,” Victoire said. “Show her, Ted.”
Teddy scrunched up his face, and for a moment it looked to Sammy like he was trying very hard to go to the bathroom. But then he relaxed, a big grin on his face, while his hair quickly changed to a bright orange. Sammy gasped loudly, then immediately felt stupid for doing so.
“Now, if you don’t mind,” the now orange-haired boy said, “I’m going back to blue. I like it better that way.” And he took a moment to concentrate before his hair turned back to a bright, electric shade of blue.
Sammy leaned forward. “Show me more,” she commanded.
The threesome took turns requesting Teddy to change his face, eyes, and hair, and by the time a prefect came to warn them that the train was quickly approaching Hogwarts, Teddy had a green handlebar moustache under a bright red nose, and Sammy felt like she had made her first friends in Hogwarts.
But as the castle came into view, a feeling of dread stole over her heart. Her sister May had told her all about the Sorting process, but Sammy couldn’t help but be nervous. When they called “Riddle, Samantha,” would she be able to stay calm?
Was it possible to keep the secret of who she was from an entire school?
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