Chapter 1 : Three Years and Three Months Before
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“Owl me, over the summer, okay?”
“Course I will, you nugget!”
We were hugging on the train. It was a normal moment. She’s my best friend.
“Lily! Lily!” the voice sounded panicked as it echoed through the compartment through the open window.
“Chill your beans, mum,” she sighed, rolling her eyes at me. I giggled.
“Is Ellie with you?”
There was no answer, so Lily shrugged and hugged me again. “This year was epic, kiddo. But we’re going to make next year better.”
I grinned. “Definitely. Next year’s going to be so cool.”
The door slid open, shocking us both.
It was Harry.
“Hey, dad,” smiled Lily. “You know, mum doesn’t need to-“
“Lily, leave your trunk and go to Uncle Ron and your mum.”
Lily raised an eyebrow. “I’m not-“
“Lily, go!” Harry ordered, a fierce look in his eyes.
She shot a glance at me, squeezed my hand and walked out. Immediately, Harry took a gentle hold of my wrist and began leading me out.
“But my trunk-“ I tried to argue.
“We’ll have it picked up later.”
Stepping off the train, I vaguely saw the family of redheads in the distance, but we didn’t head for them. Instead we began to weave through the crowds, through reuniting families and giggling children.
“Where are mum and dad?” I asked, frowning.
He didn’t respond, just tightened his grip on my wrist and pulled faster.
I saw his other hand on his wand.
“Where are we going?”
“The Burrow. Molly should have organised a bed for you by the time we get there.”
“But- but I want to go home.”
He pulled me through the barrier between platforms nine and ten. It didn’t seem as wonderful as it had done the six months before, when I spent Christmas with Lily.
“This is going to be really uncomfortable, okay?”
He spun, and as he began to I felt a nauseating compression, and closed my eyes tightly shut.
There was a short pause.
“Where did Harry Potter first meet me?”
“Between Platforms 9 and 10 at King’s Cross Station. What did Arthur Weasley think would help heal a snake bite in Ginny’s fourth year?”
“Stitches,” spat Molly.
He dragged me inside and slammed the door behind us, finally having let go of me.
I began to heave.
“Quickly, dear,” said Molly in a kind voice, hurrying me to with a bowl in her hands. She pressed it to me, whilst I experienced all the sweets I had eaten on the train in reverse.
“Sorry. Apparition isn’t my favourite way to travel, either,” Harry said softly.
Molly handed me a glass of water. “Thank you,” I croaked.
“Molly, everyone’s being taken to mine, for the time being. Arthur won’t be home for a long time- he insisted on staying- so you’re welcome to visit.”
“I’m sure he’ll be fine,” she assured him, and I felt very out of the loop.
“Erm... when can I go home?” I asked eventually.
They both turned and stared at me, as though they had forgotten me.
“No, Ellie. I’m so, so sorry. But you can’t.”
“What about mum and dad? Are they coming here?”
“Katie and Oliver... they...” Harry trailed off, and turned away from me.
I looked at Molly. Her kind eyes were full of tears.
“I’m sorry, dear, but they can’t come here.”
Now I was frustrated.
“They were attacked, dear. They were on their way to meet you off the train. But they... they didn’t make it.”