We stood on the platform waving as the scarlet train stated to pull away. Well the rest of the family did, Dad prodded me in the back until I raised my hand but apparently that wasn’t good enough for him; he grabbed my arm and shook it from side to side – not even joking, I looked like I was about to take flight. Idiot.
The horn let out an ear-splitting shriek to announce that it was leaving. Really? The magic train going through the wall with hundreds of children on board must have missed my attention. I’m so glad that some idiot decided to install the loudest horn ever to remind me. And then there’s the smoke.
Honestly? What plonker decided to put a bloody STEAM TRAIN on a platform with no windows? Oh it’s alright for the ickle Hogwarts students who are ON the bloody train but what about the ones on the platform? If I wasn’t deafened by the horn I was choking to death on the smoke.
Just putting it out there – I’m putting my bets on Dumbledore; he always sounded like he’d missed the door for the loony ward and ended up at Hogwarts instead.
“Come on Molly; it’s not that bad.” Dad sighed, looking round to see if I was ‘making a scene’.
Not that bad? Not that bloody bad? Don’t worry about me! Your daughter who is currently being CHOKED to death by the bloody steam train. Seriously? I feel like an extra in that really bad Pompeii film Auntie Hermione made us watch. Twat.
I clamoured back to my feet and glared at my father. Okay, yes, I admit falling to the floor was a… slight exaggeration. But how do they know that I haven’t been damaged beyond repair by that lung-squeezing smoke? I’m a squib after all; my body works differently to theirs… I think.
Well I hope so. If they get magic then I better get something that they don’t! Like an awesome shield that’ll pop out of my hands when I’m under attack! Or like a giant pet elephant who’ll come stand on people when I call it. Or something freaky in my blood which means I could fly!
Okay, yeah, I haven’t shown any ‘super-powers’ yet. But perhaps when I come of age, then everything will change. And I’ll fly into the Burrow for Christmas dinner like, ‘Oh, didn’t I tell you? I can fly now. Roast Beef? Oh I’d lov- Oops got to go! Danger calls!’ And then I’d fly out and they’d all be like woah. I wish my daughter was a squib.
“Molly?” Ginny repeated. I shook my head to see that my aunts and uncles had split into groups, getting ready to apparate away.
Because why would they wait until the squib boarded the train? After all she’s not going to a proper school. Nice family. I love you too.
Auntie Hermione must have noticed my glare because she immediately blushed and hit Ron on the arm. “Erm… where’s your platform sweetie? We’re all going to see you off.”
An audible sigh went through the group and Uncle Harry glared at Auntie Hermione. Really? Is it such a pain to be a little late? It’s not like the Weasleys’ went into hiding for you or anything? It’s not like they all dropped out of society to help bloody Harry Potter. But of course, I can’t say anything – because my dad didn’t.
It would be my darling papa who chose to join the WRONG BLOODY SIDE. Cheers for that Dad, make me lose any bargaining power. I swear my Gran must have cast a spell before I was born to make me live a curst live. Why does Lucy get off scot-free?
“It’s Platform 9.” I said shortly, pulling out the Muggle train ticket.
Yep. I don’t even get the whole ‘3/4’ bit. Just 9. Apparently they could only fit one magic train on the platform, so the squibs get to go Muggle style. Brilliant. And the darling planners put us on the 11.15am train. So we get to watch our siblings go on a magic train to a magic school… before we board the Muggle train to a hastily built squib school. Nice.
I saw Auntie Hermione and Auntie Ginny swap looks before turning to face me again. Their eyes were softer with flickers of conflicting emotions. Pity.
“Come on then, we don’t want to miss your train, do we?” Auntie Ginny smiled.
By the time we’d passed through the barrier and found the correct carriage – coach M… as in ‘Magic’… oh the irony – it was nearing quarter past eleven. A man held a clipboard by one of the doors to the train, he grinned a toothless smile in our direction.
“Are you boarding for the Swan Experiment?” he said in an unusually high, nasal voice.
The swan experiment. The Ministry claimed that in this period of ‘uncertainty’, they couldn’t even afford a whole Muggle train to take us – instead we were sharing with the Muggles. So what does the magic mastermind leaders come up with to find the Squibs? An entry password. The Swan Experiment. What the hell does that mean? Except majorly hinting at some serious animal cruelty.
Yep, a group of Muggles who just walked back are now sending suspicious glares over their shoulders. Great job.
I sighed, trying to ignore the muffled giggles from my aunts and uncles. “Yes, this is my daughter, Molly. She loves the swan experiments.” My father replied in an overly serious voice, his eyes darting from side to side as if he was whispering the Ministry’s biggest secret.
“Very well. I’m Mr Whestle.” Nasal-Squeak responded, his gaze resting on me. I felt my cheeks start to burn as the man watched me, one dark eye focussed on me whilst his other lazy eye floated to the side. The top of his head was bare, but the sides were full of long, frizzy black hair. He wore a pair of small glasses which hung wonky over his face. The man’s face was rounded and pale with dark hairs spilling out of his ears and nose. Don’t laugh. Molly. I swear to Merlin. Do. Not. Laugh.
Suddenly, Nasal-Squeak jumped out of imitating a statue and pulled a bronze whistle from his trouser pocket. His sole focus on a group of Muggles stood near the other end of the carriage. I winced as he blew on the whistle right in my ear; making a loud screech echo down the platform. The Muggles started and looked at Mr Whestle in surprise. Whestle’s took a deep breath and blew on the whistle again. Then again. And again.
I looked at my family who were watching with a bemused look plastered on their faces. Really? This is where you’re sending me?
Uncle Ron and Aunt Angelina were trying to hide their grins before both started. I followed their gaze back to Mr Whestle. Oh. Dear. Merlin.
The Muggles were still watching us with a dumbstruck expression as Mr Whestle was now banging the carriage with one of his hands – his voice seeming to have stopped working – but unfortunately for Mr Whestle his shirt was already stretched tight across his large protruding stomach, so every time he moved his arm to bang against the train, his shirt stretched even further. With an inner groan I watched as with a faint ‘pop’, one of the pale button broke free.
Uncle George snorted. Really Gran? At least before I could pretend that I was at least with cool people. But no, you just had to arrange for my family to meet this guy. Cheers. I owe you one.
However, Mr Whestle didn’t seem to notice that his greying chest hair was climbing over his striped shirt. I could do nothing but carry on watching as he proceeded to blow on his whistle whilst jumping up and down, hitting the train repeatedly. Slowly, bounce after bounce, his pearly buttons began to break for freedom; revealing more of his chest.
By this point my dad was the only person keeping a straight face; all my aunties and uncles were in hysterics as another button popped off; revealing his pasty white chest decorated with greying hair. Another pop and now I had a nice face-to-moob experience. Nice.
The Muggles were still watching with their jaws wide open. Two of the group were looking around, possibly looking for his ‘care staff’. I’ll tell you where they are. At Swanley’s. The ‘school’. Pshh. I’ve been tricked haven’t I? I’m actually being carted off to a psychiatric ward. Yep, this is one big practical joke. Well, ha-de-bloody-ha.
Just as I shook my head and moved from my formally statue position. Mr Whestle stopped and took another deep breath. “T-t-this carriage,” he squeaked – resembling a teenage boy going through puberty, “i-is res-served!”
The Muggles looked at each other, frowning before slowly stepping away from the carriage doors. Mr Whestle grinned maniacally as they stepped away before turning to face us once more. “Muggles give me the creeps,” he said by way of explanation. Riiiight.
“Right, Miss Weasley,” he frowned as he pulled out a piece of parchment from his other pocket. “You’re sitting in seat 17A.” He handed me a ticket and looked at me expectantly.
“Well… are you coming?” I swallowed loudly as I looked at the flabby-chested man who was pointing to the doors eagerly. This was real.
I turned and looked at my dad in alarm. I’d been with my family for my entire life. When the others went to Hogwarts, I remained to help out with the younger kids. I’d always lived at home. I don’t want to go.
Dad seemed to sense my alarm and leaned over to give me a tight hug. “Just do your best Molls. This is going to help you in the long term.” Though even dad looked a little unsure as he looked over to Mr Whestle once more, who was currently hissing quietly at a nearby family.
I nodded. I couldn’t show them that I was scared. I was Molly Weasley. I didn’t need anyone. They’re the ones sending me away. It’s them I should be angry at.
“Oi! Misters!” A squeak made me pull away from dad’s embrace. A small figure, wearing a large GAP jumper and boots glared up at us from under a baseball cap. A House-elf.
“Are yous gunna stand there all days – or are yous gunna move so Grewner can get through eh?” A house-elf with attitude. Grewner had the strap of my trunk over one shoulder, pulling it onto the train.
“Grewner!” Whestle squeaked. “Stop being rude! Get the trunk on board!” Grewner rolled his eyes dramatically. I like this elf.
I quickly hugged the rest of my family and walked towards the door.
This is it. I’m finally leaving home. I’m going to school. As much as I didn’t want to admit it, I couldn’t help but acknowledge the excitement bubbling in my stomach and the small smile playing on my lips.
My seat was easy to find - there were no compartments like on the Hogwarts Express – it was more of a long tube with two seats on each side of an aisle. 14. 15. 16. 17.
I nodded as I sat down next to a boy who looked to be around my age. He had dark hair which curled round his ears. I must have been the last on board as Mr Whestle jumped onto the train and the doors shut behind him.
The carriage was relatively full, around 50 kids, who all were watching Mr Whestle with some apprehension; he still hadn’t noticed that his buttons had all broken but one. He stretched his arms up a greeting gesture; his moobs rose slightly before flopping back down. Nice.
“Everyone here? We should be arriving at Swanley’s School for Squibs in around four hours. So, welcome a-”
He stopped short as his eyes widened in alarm at a group of people who had just entered the coach from the other side. Muggles. He paused for a second before his hand reached back into his pocket and pulled out his whistle.
“Merlin. Not Mr Whistle again.” The boy beside me groaned. I attempted to hide back a grin but failed miserably as Mr Whestle began to flap down the aisle whistle blowing on his whistle. I laughed out loud as some poor child didn’t move their head from the aisle quick enough and got face-planted with his stomach. Poor kid.
Just as the train started to pull away whilst Mr Whistle was chasing the Muggles away from his carriage, I managed to get a last glance of my family, who were waving goodbye. So this must be what it’s like for the others.
I couldn’t help but smile at the thought that I got to experience what my cousins had for once. I raised my hand and saw my dad start with surprise as I waved back slowly. The train whistled, a far cry from the Hogwarts Express horn, and the station was left behind us.
I turned to the boy beside me. “Hi, I’m Molly Weasley.”
He looked at me before smiling slightly, “a Weasley? I’m Timmy. Timothy Bones.” Hello :)
So what do you think of Mr Whestle/Whistle? How about the elf with anger issues? Please review and tell me your thoughts!
Mr Whestle is actually based on this professor I met on an open day to a University. Everytime he pointed to the board, another button popped off - revealing his sagging chest. Gross. He was complete with the wonky glasses, lazy eye and bald-top head. Nice mental image for you there! :P