I pushed my way through the crowd of strangers surrounding me, weaving between people exchanging farewells and receiving greetings. Most people would find it odd, how much more at ease I felt, encompassed by people I had never before seen in my life than I did around the people I called my friends. But then again, I didn’t have to pretend for these people. They didn’t know me. They didn’t know what I was hiding.
My parents trailed behind me as I found my way to the barrier between platforms 9 and 10. Glancing around me at the Muggles at King’s Cross, I surreptitiously slipped through the wall, entering onto Platform 9 ¾. I had barely made it a few steps when I heard a loud, high-pitched squeal assault my eardrums.
A small figure jumped at me, catching me in a ferocious hug. I laughed, setting Alessia Karalis back onto the ground before giving her a proper hug.
“Lessie! I missed you, you little Greek fireball.”
Lessie grinned up at me. At only 5’2”, she was about as petite as they come, with gently waving, deep brown hair. But what she lacked in stature she more than made up in enthusiasm.
“Oh my Merlin, Val, I missed you too! So much, I can’t even begin to tell you. Seriously, life just sucks without you!”
I smiled. “Oh, shut up. You live in Greece, one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and you have more family than I have hair on my head.”
Lessie glared at me playfully, before shoving me with all the might her tiny body could muster. Unfortunately for her, I was abnormally tall, at 6’1”, and rather strong from all my years of Quidditch training. Therefore, when she tried to push me, she actually sent herself stumbling backwards a few steps, whereas I didn’t move an inch. She huffed as I started laughing.
“Do mine eyes deceive me? An angel has fallen down from heaven and landed right in front of me!” exclaimed a deep voice from behind me.
I spun around and was met by the grinning sight of Mikolas Karalis, Alessia’s younger brother. He was a fifth year and looked exactly like Lessie, except he was over a foot taller than her and his eyes were a chocolate brown, unlike Lessie’s sea green ones.
“Hey, Mike,” I greeted him warmly, throwing my arms around him in a hug. Then a slapped him on the back of the head. “And flattery will get you nowhere, you prat."
Mike laughed, leaving one arm around my shoulder. “Well, you’re just as sweet as ever Val. Really, how can you stand being so kind-hearted and nurturing?"
I opened my mouth to reply, but Lessie cut across me before I could say anything. “Remove your arm from around my friend, or I swear to Merlin I will bite it off. I love you little bro, but Val is way too good for you."
“Hey!” Mike protested. “That is… completely true actually. She’s too good for everyone.”
I rolled my eyes. “Now you two are being ridiculous. I’m only too beautiful for this ugly mug. That’s all,” I said with a cheeky grin at Mike.
“Oho, is someone a little full of themselves now? What would ever give you that idea?”
I smirked. “Maybe our first meeting? Not forgotten that, have you?”
Mike blushed, muttering under his breath about being young and foolish.
I first met Mike after finishing my first year at Hogwarts. Lessie, ever the little ball of eagerness, had dragged me over to meet her entire family. While her three older siblings trailed behind us, I was introduced to Mr. and Mrs. Karalis and their five children too young to attend Hogwarts. The Karalis family had apparently taken the stereotypical large Greek family to the extremes. Rhea, Lessie’s sister who was now a third year, was watching the triplets, who would be starting Hogwarts this year. Mike was standing with his parents, looking at the Hogwarts Express with hunger before Lessie and I made our way over there.
I made quick work in charming Mr. and Mrs. Karalis. Adults always loved me and Alessia’s parents were no exception. However, they weren’t the only one I had charmed. As soon as I began talking with them, Mike had looked over at me and went into apparent shock. His eyes were wide and his mouth was agape. He stared at me unblinkingly as a pink flush slowly crept onto his face. In his defense, I was rather pretty. I don’t mean to sound conceited, it was just a fact. I may have hated that I looked absolutely nothing like the rest of my family, but there was no denying that it worked for me. My blond hair fell just past my waist, and it seemed to glow in sunlight. My eyes were a vibrant turquoise, clear and sparkling, and my skin could make snow look gray.
Always polite, I introduced myself to Mike with a gentle smile, causing his entire face to glow a brighter red. When I asked him his name, he just continued staring, making a strangled, choking noise. His parents had laughed, introducing him as Mikolas. At the use of his full name, Mike had cringed and glared at them, bypassing red and turning purple. Lessie piped up at that moment, telling me to call him Mike. I had turned back to him and said in a very sweet voice, “Nice to meet you Mike.”
I smiled even bigger, displaying pearly white teeth, and Mike proceeded to throw up. On my shoes. Understandably, he spent his first four months at Hogwarts avoiding me, running in the other direction whenever he saw me. It wasn’t until Lessie convinced him that I wasn’t upset that the two of us were able to become friends. He continued to have a crush on me for a while though, until I went on my first date in the middle of fourth year.
“Aw, is someone a little embarrassed? Poor wittle Mikolas.” I teased, grinning in anticipation for his reaction. He opened his mouth to tell me off, but he was interrupted before he could speak.
Jessamy Harrison, Maisie Finnegan, and Rhiannon Moore ran toward us from three different directions. Jess and Rhiannon were fellow Ravenclaws, along with Alessia and I. Maise was a Gryffindor, like Mike.
I turned to Maise first. “Really, May? Vally-Wally? You honestly want to go there? You know I can out ridiculous-nickname you any day.”
She laughed. “Yeah, yeah. Are you going to hug me or not?”
I threw my arms around her in response. May didn’t really get along with Lessie, Jess, and Rhiannon as she did with me. I talked to people from all four houses, but the other three generally kept their circle of friends within Ravenclaw.
While the other girls greeted each other, Mike occasionally interjecting into their conversation, Roxanne Weasley joined Maisie and I. May and Roxy were both Seventh years and were Chasers for Gryffindor. We became friends in my second year after Ravenclaw pulled an upset by beating them in the Quiddich match that year. At first, they disliked me for being the newbie that wiped the field with them, but they soon succumbed to the typical “Val-Charm.” We became great friends after that. Well, they liked me, in any case. I wouldn’t say I’m really close to anyone. Not anymore.
I chatted to May and Roxy for a bit, Alessia, Jessamy, Rhiannon, and Mike hovering on the outskirts, until Roxy’s twin brother, Fred, ambled over.
“Hey, Rox. Mum and Dad wanna say goodbye,” he said, jerking his head back in their parents’ direction. Then he dropped a wink at me. “Looking good, Val. You just get hotter and hotter every year.”
I laughed, reaching out to tousle his hair. “Thanks, Freddy. I really appreciate your blatant and unrefined flirting.”
“Anything for you, babe,” he smirked, winking again.
Freddy and I had dated for a little bit towards the end of my fourth year. It lasted about three weeks. I date rarely and for short periods of time. I can never let any of the guys I date too close, never open up, and they notice. But that’s fine. I don’t really deserve love and happiness anyways. Fred and I decided that it wasn’t working, but decided to stay friends. The other two guys I went on more than one date with had both been a little bitter, but not Fred.
“Shut up, jilted lover boy and let’s go,” Roxanne said, rolling her eyes and grabbing Fred by the arm.
“See you on the train!” they both simultaneously called back to me.
“Yeah, I should go have one last goodbye with my parents, too,” Maisie smiled.
“Alright, later May!” I waved as she walked away.
“Soooo…” I said, throwing my arms around Rhiannon and Jess, “Notice anything?” I grinned.
Rhiannon shriek and pointed at the badge already pinned on my chest. “You’re Quidditch captain? I knew you would get it! You’re such a brilliant Chaser, Val!” Rhiannon was the Keeper for Ravenclaw and the only one of my fellow dorm mates on the team.
“Congrats, girly,” Jessamy said with a smile. She didn’t really like Quidditch, but was always supportive.
“Well, well, you’d better watch out Val. Gryffindor’s going to be an all new team this year,” Mike smirked at me. He was a Beater. “We have a new captain as well.”
“Who?” I asked curiously. Gryffindor’s captain last year, Drake Hill, had been a bit of an idiot, not utilizing the team’s natural talent to its full ability.
“James Potter,” Mike replied, nodding toward the tall, messy haired boy who was currently hugging his mother goodbye.
I felt my blood run cold. James Potter. No. Anyone but him. I stared at him, a memory flashing through my mind. The cool stone... the breeze from the window... the look on his face when... As I gazed at him in horror, he turned around and immediately locked his eyes with mine. I began drowning in the depths of his hazel eyes and before I knew it, the ground came rushing up to meet me as my knees gave out and everything went black.
Dun dun dun! Overly dramatic? Maybe. Do I care? Absolutely not. Sorry this took a while, I wrote it in two different parts and I left the first part at school over a four-day weekend. The good news is right now, chapters three and four are both finished! So they’ll be up soon. And chapter five is currently in progress.
Big shout out to TwinkleStarx for leaving me my very first review. You rock! Anyways, I decided I’ll leave a little preview for Chapter Three for you, since you totally made my day when you wrote the review.
A familiar head of messy black hair passed outside our compartment, and I jumped as James looked in, directly at me. Confrontation seemed evident in his eyes, as though he was just waiting for something to happen between us.
Disclaimer: I am not British. I do not have millions and millions of dollars. Therefore, I am not J.K. Rowling and do not own Harry Potter.
Also, big thanks to the band, Fleetwood Mac, for the name Rhiannon. I think I’ll go listen to that song right now…