Chapter 30 : Platform
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Lily Luna Potter stepped out of the car onto the pavement, staring at the station with a certain loving smile on her face. Behind her, James and her mother got out and they were already squabbling about how was driving back, James was adamant he would get a chance, but Ginny was having none of it. Lily laughed to herself at her family and suddenly James had a hand on her shoulder. She appreciated it and hugged him, her smile infectious.
“You know you didn’t have to come and see me off,” Lily assured him. “I know you’d much rather be with Hayley, doing whatever it is you two do. I’m a big girl; I can take care of myself.”
“Lils, I’ve seen you off to Hogwarts every year since you started, so why should your 6th year be different?” James grinned. “And you’d better win the Cup again this year; you and Dom did us proud last year. I’m surprised she didn’t name you captain after she left. But then I suppose her boyfriend was the obvious choice, he’s been there longer than anyone on the team and he’s probably the best leader you have.”
“Can we not talk about Quidditch, I’m going back to Hogwarts, not entering the World Championships!” Lily laughed. “Lorcan will make a great captain, I’m sure of it. Now come on, Kelly won’t like being kept waiting.”
James sighed and dragged Lily’s trunk behind him as she hurled herself at the barrier between Platforms 9 and 10, welcomed by the sight of the bright red Hogwarts Express. Lily looked around for a moment and then felt herself being brought to the ground by Kelly, who was beaming like an idiot. Lily groaned as she picked herself, hugging Kelly back as her best friend dusted her down. James arrived moments later and Lily rolled her eyes as he hailed Hayley, who was stood with her own little brother.
“So how was your summer chick?” Kelly grinned. “It seems like I haven’t seen you forever!”
Lily shrugged. It was true she had spent the summer hibernating away from the world, spending as much time as possible in her room and rarely seeing anyone outside of her cousins and James. It seemed like a lifetime since she had left Hogwarts and though she had never been happier to leave the castle at the time, with all kinds of tension between her and Lysander ruining her last term, now she was just glad to be back. Lily looked around and saw Hugo and Neville, who were being embarrassed by Rose. Kelly muttered an excuse and got on the train as Lily headed over to where the Granger/Weasleys were gathered. After a quick hello to her Aunt Hermione and Uncle Ron, Lily turned to Hugo, who had managed to escape Rose’s clutches as she turned on her boyfriend. He looked nervous, but then Hugo almost always looked nervous and he smiled wearily at her as she approached.
“Hello Lily,” he said quietly. “I’m glad to be going back to Hogwarts; these two have been unbearable all summer.” Lily chuckled. “Seriously they’ve been all hugging and kissing and inappropriate touching and it’s been driving me mad. I’ve never been happier to see the back of my sister in my life.”
“She starts her Ministry job soon doesn’t she?” Lily quizzed and Hugo nodded, pulling a disgusted face as Rose and Neville kissed goodbye. “Which department was it again?”
“Department of Magical Law Enforcement,” Rose butted in at this point with a grin on her face. “Not exactly what I’d imagined, but it’s going to be awesome, once I get past all the bloody paperwork.”
“And it seems everything’s good with you and Nev,” Lily winked, as Rose blushed and Neville also seemed to go red, looking up from his conversation with a nearby boy from their year briefly. “That’s a yes. Hugo says you had a rather fun summer.”
“We spent a lot of time together yes,” Rose admitted, blushing even further. “We’re making up for lost time, I guess. I’ll miss him when he’s away at Hogwarts, but I’ll occasionally be able to visit during Hogsmeade weekends and he’ll be home for Christmas and Easter.”
“I think it’s sweet that you two have each other,” Lily smiled. “I just wish things had gone like that for me and Lys, instead of him turning out to be a monumental-“
“Let’s not talk about him,” Rose laughed. “It never does you any good Lils, you just get wound up and then refuse to stop insulting him for a good hour. You’re better than that, than him, you can move on. This year is a new start, a new Lily. You go out there and you show Lysander how he’s nothing special!”
Lily nodded, shaking away her anger and grinning at Rose. She hugged her cousin and then turned back to where Hugo and Neville were waiting for her. The three headed off towards the train, arm in arm and Rose chuckled as her brother, boyfriend and cousin headed off.
Roxanne glanced over her shoulder to check that her parents were still behind her and then giggled as Jake stumbled through the barrier after them. She stood nonchalantly as he approached, looking flustered as he dusted himself down and tried to look cool. Roxanne wasn’t buying it for an instant and laughed in his face as he tried to flirt with his eyes. That summer had been a fun one, albeit slightly different from usual. The two had by then almost adjusted to being in a relationship and the holidays had been a chance for them to test the water outside of school, kissing in public and testing out new things they’d never dream to do as friends. And yet they had still done all the old stuff, the joking, the pranking, the sleepovers, all stuff they had done before they were together. And Jake was still as fantastic as when they’d first become friends and then started seeing each other.
“Jake, stick to what you’re good at. Hopeless flirting does not fit into that category handsome!” Roxanne laughed, kissing his cheek and linking arms with him. “I know it’s only been a couple of days, but it’s good to see you again. So, are you ready for our barnstorming final year of mayhem, joking around and boom boom pow?”
“Boom boom pow?” Jake repeated disbelievingly. “You must be kidding me. Nobody says that Roxy, are you mad? Don’t answer that. But yes I’m looking forward to spending our final year at Hogwarts together. It’s going to be amazing, I know it.”
“Even sharing a bedroom with the Scamander twins?” Roxanne quizzed.
Jake pulled a face. “Lorcan’s alright you know. But yeah, Lysander is kind of public enemy number one still, so that might not be fun. Didn’t you beat the crap out of his girlfriend?”
“I wouldn’t use that particular terminology,” Roxanne replied slowly. “But she was duly punished for her repeated heartless acts of indiscretion, yes. Someone had to do it, I’m just happy James wanted me to do the honour.”
“Isn’t that Lily now? She’s walking past Lysander. That’s got to be awkward.”
Indeed Lily was walking past the twins at this particular moment in time. Lysander seemed to eye her with weariness and suspicion that was well warranted and she blanked him completely as she passed, smiling at Lorcan and greeting him with a hug. Lorcan turned and said something to Lysander and he stormed onto the train, Lily and Lorcan giggling away. Roxanne smiled watching the scene and turned back to Jake, snorting with laughter suddenly.
“Jakey, James and your sister are at it again.”
Jake groaned and turned. Sure enough, Hayley and James were snogging relentlessly in an alcove, earning disapproving tuts from nearby people, but evidently not caring. Roxanne giggled as Jake rolled his eyes and mumbled something about disgrace to the family.
“Louis!” Fleur screeched as she reached the top of the stairs. “We’re going to be late! Dominique, must you keep brushing your hair? It looks fine as it is! And for Merlin’s sake, what is it with you and eyeliner?”
Dom opened her mouth to retort, but she turned her head in doing so and stabbed herself in the eye with her eyeliner pencil, causing her to splutter and curse as the pencil fell to the floor. Dom fixed her eye with her wand, and then went to reapply her makeup for about the millionth time that morning. She heard her mother yell again as Louis stumbled past her open bedroom door, hopping as he tried to pull his jeans on.
“Dom, it’s nearly half 10 and mum’s going spare!” he groaned. “Fix that hideous face of yours for Lorcan in the car, before she blows a blood vessel!”
Dom flipped him off and stared at her reflection again, as if it would magically look better. She ran another hand through her hair, hoping her short curls stayed put and casting another charm on them, just to be safe. She got to her feet, smoothing out her skirt and taking a deep breath. The moment she’d been dreading all summer had arrived and there was nothing she could do to stop it anymore. She went out to the car with Louis and her mum, wishing her dad could be there to talk some sense into her. But nope, he was busy in Egypt so couldn’t make it back in time. Dom caught sight of her reflection in the car mirror and swore as one of her curls went limp. Louis muttered something about “women” and then Dom fixed her eyeliner, cursing again as Fleur went over a pothole, causing her to leave a black streak across her face.
“Mind your language Dominique!” Fleur snapped as Dom fumbled with her wand and then thumped the dashboard in frustration. “And don’t hit the car! Poor thing’s been through enough as it is.”
“Dom, the way I see it, nothing you do will stop Lorcan thinking you look like a troll, so you might as well give up now and accept he’ll find a prettier girl at Hogwarts.”
“Shut up Louis.”
“Be nice to your brother Dominique.”
Dom rolled her eyes and finally finished her makeup. She was used to her mum siding with Louis, he was the perfect blue eyed, blonde haired son she’d always wanted, who never misbehaved or got into trouble. It was as if because she’d dyed her hair and got one grade below an E in her OWLs, Dom was the Devil daughter. That was why she got on better with her dad; he loved all his kids equally. Personally, Dom thought she’d done well with her NEWTs, scoring Os in DADA and Astronomy and Es in Charms and Transfiguration, but nope it was never good enough for her mother, who had to point out Victoire’s five Os and then urge Louis to be more like his older sister. Dom might’ve been in a better position if she’d found a job over the summer like Rose had, but she was still to find a career she liked. Her mother would get on her back for that soon enough.
They arrived at Kings Cross and by the time they were on Platform 9 and ¾, it was almost 11. Dom scoured the platform and then she saw Lorcan about to get on the train. She ran over, shouting at the top of her lungs. Lorcan turned and his smile met his ears, he was grinning so much.
“Nique!” he exclaimed as she threw herself into his arms. “We haven’t got long.”
“I know,” she replied, burying herself in his body. “This is harder than I thought it would be. Dammit I promised myself I wouldn’t cry, it’ll make my fucking mascara run.”
“You look stunning Dom,” Lorcan laughed, trying to avoid tears himself. “And you don’t need to cry over me, you’ll see me soon enough. I love you, always will.”
“I’m just going to miss you!” Dom was sobbing now. “So fucking much Lorc. I would give anything to be coming back to Hogwarts with you.”
“Should’ve failed your NEWTs then moron,” Lorcan teased and she laughed, glancing at her mother and knowing exactly what Fleur would’ve said if that had happened. “I’m going to miss you too Dom, but it’s only one more year. Then we’ve got the world to ourselves.”
“I love you Lorcan,” Dom sniffed, wiping tears as the clock struck 11 and the train prepared to move off. Lorcan stepped on the train and she kissed him passionately before the door shut. She fell back, trying hard to be strong but knowing in her heart that there was no point pretending she was anything other than devastated. Dom felt a hand on her shoulder and Rose was there, a sad smile on her face. Dom turned and hugged her best friend, tears saying more than words ever could. Rose hugged her back and they turned, watching as the Hogwarts Express disappeared into the distance, carrying its students to another year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Lily was heading through the train, looking for a compartment, any compartment containing people that she enjoyed spending time with. She craned her neck through the glass doors, examining if there was one that was either free or containing a member of the clan. She was so busy looking into the side compartments that she wasn’t looking where she was going and collided with someone coming the other way, holding a small stack of books. They tumbled over and Lily swore to herself, pushing her hair out of her eyes as she looked up at who she had crashed into. It was a boy, probably about her age, wearing black robes and pulling his suitcase behind him. He was tall, much taller than her and his hair and eyes were dark. He had a concerned look on his face and as he stumbled to his feet, he offered a hand to Lily, who graciously accepted it.
“I’m sorry,” the boy blurted, looking anxious. He spoke with an Irish accent. “I should’ve been looking where I was going.”
“No, no!” Lily laughed. “My fault as well, I wasn’t looking either. My name’s Lily. Lily Potter. 6th year. Gryffindor. What about you? I haven’t seen you around before.”
“No, you won’t have done,” the boy smiled. “I’m new. I’m a transfer student from Ireland. My parents moved her in the summer and had me enrolled at Hogwarts, I was previously home-schooled. I’m apparently going into my 6th year and as for what house I am…well I’ve heard a great deal about them but I haven’t got a clue where I’ll end up. Sorry, I forgot my name. It’s Karl. Karl Goghlin.”
Lily smiled. “Well Karl,” she said, inviting him to walk with her as they carried on down the train. “I think you’ll find quickly that Hogwarts is quite something. I think you’ll end up being very happy here…”
A/N: Well that's that for another story and that may well be that for the series. Thank you so much to everyone who has been following me and reading, thanks to those who have helped me, Rockstar my best friend and inspiration and Elizabeth, my Beta. Thanks to everyone who's reviewed and for those who haven't already, check out the rest of the books in the series. It's been a pleasure. HP
Edit: Hello everyone, I'm back and soon, the Lost Potters will be too! LP 6 is in the pipeline, with all your favourite characters back in action. It won't be long now!