I woke up September first with an uneasy feeling. Yes, there was a bit of excitement, it wasn’t everyday that you started school at Hogwarts. That excitement was overshadowed by worry though. I was going to be sorted tonight. People would certainly question me about why I was a transfer student. Neville Longbottom would be there. Draco would be there too, something about seeing him everyday created a knot in my stomach. I hoped we didn’t have many classes together. During meal times I could at least face the other way and ignore him. It still bothered me though. I knew what part of the issue was, but I was still having a hard time coming to terms with it. There was also the whole Sirius Black ordeal. The Ministry still hadn’t caught him. The Dementors were supposed to keep prisoners subdued, but here was Black on the run for weeks. If they couldn’t handle him could they really control my parents?
I rolled out of bed knowing there was no point in laying here staring at the ceiling and dwelling on my worries.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Nothing good ever happens when it rains. I mean really, when people start telling you about one of their most amazing days it never starts out ‘well it was raining that day.’ That cliché ‘kissing the love of your life while you both dance in the rain?’ Totally unrealistic. The pouring rain should have been the first sign that today wasn’t going to end well.
Here I was sitting on the Hogwarts Express speeding off to a new school while the rain poured down outside. I was reading a charms book while doing my best to ignore the other four people in the compartment. The girl beside me seemed content to sit there and quietly read her magazine. The three across from us though were making small talk about what Hogwarts would be like. ‘Why did I have to be with first years?’ Their worries, rumors and questions about what they thought living at school would be like was annoying me.
No, you will not have a fight a troll. No, you will not get turned into a newt if you get in trouble. No, none of the teachers are hags. No, you will not have to duel Dumbledore to pass final exams. And finally NO, you will not be killed by Sirius Black as you sleep.
Apparently they had run out of things to talk about because one of them turned to me.
“What are you reading?”
“Well…I can see that. What kind of book?”
“Is that a book for class?” another one asked.
“Why are you reading it?”
“I enjoy reading.”
“HOW can you read that book?” the third first year asked.
“One word at a time.”
“It’s all squiggles!” the first one stated.
“It’s Arabic,” I said letting out a sigh.
“You read Arabic?”
“Yes, I do.”
“What class teaches that?”
“How did you learn?”
“I taught myself.”
“Yes, really.” The stopped asking questions and I thought I would be left alone again. I was wrong.
“What’s Hogwarts like?”
“No idea.” That confused them. They shared a look with each other.
“How do you not know?” the middle one asked at last.
“I’ve never been there,” I answered in a bored voice.
“But you’re not a first year, are you?”
“You look too old.”
“I’m a transfer student.”
“What was your last school like?”
“Like a prison with a bigger courtyard and stricter security guards.”
They frowned at this, not understanding my joke. The girl beside me had a small smile on her face though. I suppose she could have just read an amusing part of her magazine. The first years shifted their focus onto her.
“Have YOU been to Hogwarts?” one asked.
“Oh yes,” she said looking at them from over her magazine. They started pestering her with questions as I focused back on my book.
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A while later I began to feel the train slowing down. I closed my book and glanced out the window. Still pouring down rain, a repelling charm is definitely in order. The girl beside me looked out the window and then at her watch with a confused look.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I don’t think we’ve arrived,” she stated in a dreamy voice.
I raised an eyebrow and looked more closely out the window. It was pretty dark but I could tell we weren’t by any train platform. Confused I walked to the compartment door and poked my head out. Other students were looking into the corridor looking equally confused. The train jerked to a stop and a second later the lights went out.
‘We did not just break down in the middle of a field’ I thought, annoyed.
“Someone’s getting on the train!” I heard the voice of one of the first years say. I turned around and headed back to the window. The compartment door slid shut as I ran into a body.
“Move,” I said impatiently, heading for the window. I tried wiping the fog off the window for a better view. Nothing. “Stay here,” I instructed them, going back to the door.
“Where are you going?” one asked with a hint of fear in his voice.
“To ask the conductor what’s going on.”
As I opened the compartment door a fierce cold gripped me. Letting out a quick gasp of shock I stepped back. An intense cold that made my whole body go numb, I knew what was happening. That’s when it appeared, cloaked in black. It was dark but there was no mistaking it. It was a Dementor.
I heard it suck in the air around us and my insides froze. I fell to my knees as my body went rigid. I had felt the Dementors before but never like this. My mental shields went down and I felt a pain in the back of my head. Hundreds of memories started flashing through my mind. I’d seen them before though they didn’t belong to me. Suddenly a memory of two people convulsing on a floor, screaming in pain. The Longbottoms. I’d had so many nightmares of this before. I felt a hand grab my arm and a part of me knew it was the Dementor. A flicker of fear and panic shot through my body. I knew what I would see next, memories that did belong to me. They started to form, lighting a spark of anger.
‘No. I don’t want to relive these anymore than I normally do. I won’t let this happen to me.’ I clung to that feeling and forced my mental shields back up. A flick of my wrist and I had my wand. The metal base felt cold in my hand but I had to ignore it. I focused on my happiest memory, letting it flow throughout my body.
“Expecto Patronum!” I shouted. A warm feeling came over my body as a small dragon shaped form appeared shining brightly. I’m not sure when the Dementor let go of my arm but I did see it retreating. I moved my wand directing my patronus. “Clear the front of the train, then make your way to the back, force all of them away.” It flew through the now closed door and headed right. After 30 seconds I saw it pass the door again flying at an angle so it could fully flap its wings.
Letting out some air, I attempted to stand. It didn’t go so well and I fell back, exhausted. I felt my head hit the wall below the window, it hurt but not terribly so. I closed my eyes just wanting to rest them for a few seconds.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I heard people mumbling and felt someone touching me. Considering I had just been attacked by a Dementor it seems reasonable that I would panic. My eyes flew open and I jerked my arm out quickly to grab whoever it was. They froze and my sight came into focus.
There were still the three first years and the dreamy girl. There was also a man bent over me. It was his arm that I was holding and he was looking at me in a mixture of surprise and worry.
“Who are you? I asked without letting go of him.
“Professor Lupin,” something about him bothered me and distrust him.
“What are you doing?” I demanded still refusing to let go of his arm.
“Merely checking to see if you were ok. Your fellow students said you had a rough time with a Dementor.” He pulled back and I slowly released my grip.
“I’m fine,” I said firmly while rubbing the back of my head. Slowly I stood up enough to fall back onto the seat. Lupin was still looking concerned.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
I looked him in the eye for a minute before scoffing. “You already know it,” I said in a demeaning manner.
He looked a bit put off by my rudeness but said nothing. It was times like these that I really hated looking like my mother. Adult wizards would see me and do a double take, thinking they were seeing a young Bellatrix Lestrange. The only difference was my deep blue eyes. They weren’t as cold looking as my fathers, but they were a distinct Lestrange feature.
One of the first years spoke up. “Those were Dementors?” he asked fearfully.
Lupin turned to him. “Yes, I’m afraid so. Are you alright?” He pulled something out of his pocked and unwrapped the foiling covering it. Chocolate. Ok, I understand I’m not exactly your average person, but who doesn’t love chocolate? And the way I was feeling, well I could probably eat about three of Honeydukes biggest bars. Still there was something about Lupin that just bothered me. He seemed…familiar. I’d never met him in my life though. He just…felt like someone I had known. Not being able to place it made me wary. He handed out pieces of chocolate to the others first, giving me the wrapper along with the last piece. I held it in my hand contemplating the odds of it being poisoned. When the others were eating and looking less fearful, Lupin continued. “What happened?”
“All the lights went out, then that thing came in,” one of the first years told him.
“It was so cold. Like…I’d never be happy again,” another chimed in, shivering at the memory.
“There was this weird sound too.” The last first year attempted to make the same sucking noise as the Dementor.
“Then she made it go away!” the first kid exclaimed. “It was this dragon made of light!” ‘Shut up kid’ I thought annoyed.
“Yeah and it flew out the door and scared the Dementor away.”
“Then she told it to fly through the whole train and get rid of all the Dementors!”
I wanted to hit my head against the window. It was too late for memory charms now that Lupin knew. I would have preferred if no one knew that patronus was mine.
“You managed a corporeal patronus?” Lupin asked me. His tone was a mix of curiosity, suspicion, and surprise.
“Yes,” I answered irritated.
“That’s a rather advanced spell.”
“Well nice to know I put it to use,” I said flippantly. “Shame if I had learned it and never got attacked by a Dementor. Would have been a real waste of time.”
Lupin was wearing the same look Dumbledore had when I’d brought up the Longbottoms. It was beyond annoying.
“You should eat that,” he said at last, indicating the chocolate.
“I thought it might be rude to run spells checking for poisons while you were still here.”
Lupin stood there taken aback, probably surprised that I had given him such a blunt answer. The first years looked a little frightened that they could have just eaten something poisoned. The dreamy girl however spoke up.
“It doesn’t taste poisoned, though I suppose the best ones are tasteless. It would seem very suspicious if the last students Professor Lupin had been seen with all died though. I’d imagine they’d see a pattern.”
I scoffed again and wrote a message in the fog on the window.
‘It was Lupin.’
Then I ate the piece of chocolate. I turned back to them. “Just in case.” Lupin had a slight smile on his face. Ugh. “You going to stay here till we reach Hogsmeade?” I asked sarcastically.
“No, I need to speak to the conductor. Are you sure you’re alright?” he asked again.
He looked unsure but left anyways.
I rubbed my left shoulder as I tried to forget about my father’s memories. I stopped quickly when I realized what Lupin, knowing about my patronus, was going to do.