Steam engulfed the entire platform, emerging from a very large, red train sitting directly in front of me. Everywhere I looked, children were hugging their parents, new students looking excited and terrified. Old friends embraced and chatted about their summers, their happy faces shining. I pushed my trolley through the crowd, searching for a way to get onto the train, but everywhere was so jam-packed already, that my hopes of finding an empty compartment were quickly diminishing.
“Ow!” A cry sounded from somewhere in front of me as my trolley came to a jolting stop. Angry, I ran around the blasted trolley, only to find a small boy sitting on the ground, rubbing his knee. He looked up at me with tears in his eyes, and any thoughts of yelling at someone for getting in my way disappeared right then and there.
“I’m so sorry! Are you okay? I promise, I didn’t mean to hit you, it was a total accident.” I held out a hand to help him up and then bent over to examine his bruise. It was small, but for such a little boy, it must have hurt. “What’s your name?”
“Alex.” He whimpered, starring up at me. Sure, I may only be five feet tall, but at least I intimidate the littler kids. What sort of upperclassmen would I be if I didn’t instill a little bit of fear?
“It’s nice to meet you Alex. My name’s Lena. Do you think you can walk on your leg?” He nodded, and took a few steps, beaming up at me when he realized that his injuries weren’t quite so terrible. “Are you going to Hogwarts this year? Are you new?” I asked
He nodded up excitedly. “I’m going to be a Slytherin too! Just like all the rest of my family! I can’t wait. What house are you in?”
I smiled down at him. He was just so cute. “I’m in Gryffindor.”
“Oh.” He said, his smile toning down a bit. I looked worriedly down at him, and was about to ask after his sudden mood change when he did the thing I least expected him to do.
He kicked me. Hard. In the knee. And then ran off laughing, yelling something about payback. I was about to chase after him when something collided with my back. A pair of delicate arms wrapped around my waist and I turned around, staring up into the pretty, dark eyes of Marlene McKinnon.
“Getting beat up by little children again, eh Lena?” And she let out a small chuckle as I looked dejectedly down at my knee.
“I didn’t mean to hit him with my trolley, I swear. And I thought he was so nice. Who was to expect that the Slytherin evilness had already set in?”
“Karma.” She singsonged back to me, helping me push my trolley. With her height, I knew she’d be able to see over all the boxes, so we wouldn’t have another repeat of the earlier mishap. We chatted happily over our summers, and especially of her trip to Scotland, where the boys are just as wonderful as they’ve been rumored to be.
I was in the process of lifting my trunk into one of the overhangs of Marlene’s compartment, when the door slid open and my trunk was suddenly levitated into its spot. I watched as it settled neatly into place before turning to get a good look at the new visitor. She let out a squeal and leapt forward the moment I had turned, her trunk banging to the ground as she forgot to continue levitating it in her quest to smother me.
“Alice!” I laughed, trying to see through her mess of brown curls, “I need air!”
“Oh, right.” She laughed, detaching herself from around my neck and backing up to get a good view of me. “Did you get a tan? You look less pale than usual.” She questioned, and I whacked her lightly on the arm.
“Alice Waters, you know I can’t tan to save my life. The coloring you’re referring to is the lasting effect of the sunburn I received during our beach trip in the beginning of the summer.” She winced slightly at the memory as I sat down, and quietly placed her trunk above our heads. I looked over to Marls, who had her head buried into a muggle magazine, her blonde hair tucked behind her ears as she read the page with a furious determination. I looked quickly at the cover and let out a sigh. Yet another beauty magazine, most likely containing new spells she would be eager to try on us.
“Where’s Lily?” I asked, looking through the window for a glimpse of our red haired friend.
“She went to meet the new Head Boy.” Alice said, peeking over the top of her compact excitedly, “You’ll never guess who it is!”
I wound and unwound a strand of hair, “I won’t be surprised if you say Remus. I already knew he’d get it! He’s the only logical choice.”
Alice shook her head, grinning fully now, “Remus is still a prefect!” I looked up as Marlene glanced over the top of her magazine, leaning forward, curious and excited for new information.
“It’s-!” The compartment door banged open, making us all jump as a flash of red hair flew past us toward the corner seat.
“Oh.” Alice looked at Marlene, who had dropped her magazine in surprise, and then turned to Lily. “I guess you know then?”
Lily looked up, and whether she was blushing or red with anger, I couldn’t tell. Though by the look in her eyes, it was a mix of the two. Marlene glanced between the others impatiently and crossed her arms.
“Well go on then! Who is it? It had better not be some snake.”
“Worse.” Lily muttered darkly, throwing a glance towards the door and twirling her wand.
“It’s Potter!” Alice squealed.
I was caught so off guard that I stumbled from my seat whilst reaching for the discarded magazine. Marls, however, was the worst. She let out a screech similar to a banshee and rounded on Alice, who was chuckling slightly. She opened her mouth to say, or more likely than not, yell, something when the door banged open once more.
“Oh- I.” Sirius Black stood awkwardly in the doorway, staring at the chaos of our compartment, obviously an unexpected sight. “I thought something was wrong, so I-.” He glanced nervously at Lily before letting out a small laugh. He shifted on his feet, seeming unsure about what to do next,
He looked taller since the last time I’d seen him, though my current position on the ground may have had something to do with that. I wrapped my arms around his knees and watched him look down at me in surprise before he broke out in a grin.
“Lena! Didn’t see you down there. Had a good summer?”
“Alright.” I told him smiling slightly as he took a seat next to me. “Yours?”
“The usual.” I winced, and he smiled gently at me, “I’m over at James’ now, remember? The only time I run into my dear old mum is when she deigns it necessary to pop by whilst shopping and tell me what a terrible son I was. Personally I think I’ve improved. I only sent one hex at Reggy when we met in Diagon Alley.”
I let out a laugh, remembering the one time I had been with the boys when we had run into his mother. The look on her face alone had kept us laughing for a week. Her wardrobe however, I had regaled to the girls for a month, never tired of repeating the story of finding Mrs. Black in a jogging suit.
Speaking of the girls, I looked around at them. They looked slightly confused, as well as awed, that I was on such good terms with the Marauders. I guess that’s what happens when you share you darkest secret with someone though.
“I take it you know who the Head Boy is, yea?” As if shaken from a stupor, Marlene rounded on Alice and Lily once more. Her tirade of questions kept us laughing for a while, before it was pointed out that the prefects meeting would be starting soon. Sighing, Alice and Lily set off, ready, though not totally willing, to face James.
I recovered my seat and pulled Sirius up with me. “I’m surprised the others aren’t with you! Or at least Peter, seeing as James will have to be at those meetings now, too.” He let out a laugh and shrugged.
“Pete’s finishing the last of his Potions essay. I imagine he’ll catch us up in half an hour or so. And the rest should be back within the hour, leaving us five hours of steady fun.” He looked gleeful and pulled a pack of muggle playing cards from his pocket. “Strip Poker anyone?”
Marls and I laughed with him, shaking our heads at his antics. We chatted about our summers for a while before the topic of Quidditch came up, resulting in Marlene and Sirius debating anything from the chances of England winning over Scotland to who the House players would be this year, what with James playing seeker and Sirius acting as Captain this year.
“You should try out again.” I told Marlene, “God knows they could use you as a chaser! You did so well last year, I couldn’t bear the thought of you giving it up.” She beamed and they continued with their debate.
Not big on the sport, I quickly spouted off an excuse about the bathroom and left the two to their debate. I wandered the train, stopping to say high to anyone I knew, before I eventually ran into Lily and Alice heading back from their meeting, accompanied by Frank Longbottom, who had Alice blushing slightly, as well as James and Remus.
I looked amongst the group, surprised to see Lily behaving civilly to the person she generally considered her enemy, albeit she did look a tad stiff in her smile.
“How’d it go?” I whispered hopefully to Remus. He smiled and gave a small laugh before looking over to his best friend and mine.
“I’ll tell you more later. However, I can say that I don’t think James will risk any bodily damage this year. Unless of course it’s due to the Slytherins, or Quidditch.” I sighed happily and gave him a one armed hug.
“It’s about time.”
The rest of the train ride was spent in general enjoyment. Peter finally finished his essay, and when he reached us, regaled us with stories of the pranks the marauders had been involved in over the summer. The beginning of our last school year seemed to bring about a number of changes, some for the better, some for the worst, but I could only hope that the rest of the year would be this fun.
“Did my mum really hate my dad that much?” Harry questioned, grinning at the thought.
“I don’t think she hated him. I’m fairly certain she only ever used the phrase ‘strongly dislike’. Though if I remember correctly, she also loved the phrases ‘arrogant toe-rag’ and ‘selfish git’ so who’s to say?”
Thank you so much readers! I hope you’ve enjoyed this chapter! I know not much had happened, but I promise more action, as well as explanations throughout the chapters to come! Please review! I love hearing your thoughts. :]