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Chapter 1 : Chapter 1
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“Let’s go and find a compartment.” Ron said, they nodded. As they were pulling their trunks and belongings onto the train, someone came up behind Harry and covered his eyes with their hands.
“Guess who?” A voice whispered in his ear. It was a girl, who Ron and Hermione didn’t know. Harry surprised them both by hugging the girl and kissing her. The girl blushed and they smiled.
“Sorry.” Harry said. “This is Katria.” The girl smiled at them. “This is Ron and Hermione.”
“Hi.” Katria said, shyly. Ron and Hermione smiled at her.
“Where did you two meet?” Ron said.
“We met at a party in the summer.” Harry said.
“How? Through a friend?” Hermione said, as Katria blushed and hid her face in Harry’s jacket.
“I was the singer at Bill’s wedding.” Katria said, Ron and Hermione’s jaws dropped.
“You were amazing!” Ron said. “I thought you looked familiar.”
“I loved all the songs that you did that night.” Hermione said, Katria smiled.
“Thank you.” She said, blushing. “I could see the three of you arguing from the stage.”
“I couldn’t even walk that night.” Harry said. “Never again.”
“I’m surprised I could even understand you.” Katria said, they laughed. The whistle sounded and they got onto the train and sat down.
Half an hour later the four of them were sat in the compartment, laughing and joking. Harry and Katria were curled up on one seat and Ron and Hermione were curled up on the other one.
“So what subjects do you like Katria?” Hermione said.
“Please, call me Tria.” Katria said, Hermione smiled. “I love Charms, Potions, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Herbology and Divination but Trelawney freaks the Hell out of me!” They laughed. “I can’t wait to start Hagrid’s class.” Harry smiled.
“We think she’s a liar.” Ron said.
“Why?” Katria said, looking at Harry.
“She told me I’d die during my third year.” Harry said.
“I don’t think that she’s a liar.” Katria said. “A week before I went away she told me and a friend to not go in the sea, as it would cause us a lot of pain.”
“What happened?” Hermione said.
“Something attacked us.” Katria said. “My friend Megan was luckier than me as a family pulled her onto their boat, but whatever it was came back so they couldn’t reach me. I wanted Megan out first because she’s almost blind and I promised her Dad that I wouldn’t let anything happen to her.”
“How did you get away?” Hermione said.
“Two divers found me.” Katria said. “Whatever it was dragged me under really deep before letting go. I thought it had gone so I started to swim up but it came back and got me from behind.”
“Ouch.” Ron said. “Bet that hurt.”
“Like Hell.” Katria said.
“How did they get you away from it?” Hermione said.
“I think they scared it away with something.” Katria said.
“They were lucky they didn’t get attacked themselves.” Harry said, squeezing Katria’s hand.
“I’ve never known who they are.” Katria said. “The last time I saw them was when they got me to the boat. I fainted as soon as I was out of the water.”
“What happened to whatever attacked you?” Hermione said.
“Nobody has managed to catch it yet.” Katria said. “Or know what it is.”
“I bet that’s comforting for you and Megan.” Ron said.
“For all I know, it was a shark but it was huge and had sharper, bigger teeth.” Katria said. “And it didn’t like me hitting it back one bit.” She sighed. “Doctors pulled a tooth out of my back and it’s still getting analysed two years on.”
“I’m sorry Katria.” Hermione said.
“I’m still here.” Katria said. “They’ll get it in the end.”
“I’m very glad you’re still here.” Harry said, Katria smiled.
“What happened to you and Megan?” Hermione said.
“We both were sedated.” Katria said. “Megan woke up after three weeks and I woke up after six weeks.”
“Wow.” Ron said.
“They could’ve lost you, being under that long.” Harry said.
“But they didn’t.” Katria said.
“Were you and Megan alright?” Ron said.
“Megan can’t walk very far on her own.” Katria said. “She got shook around a lot.”
“And what about you?” Hermione said.
“I almost couldn’t walk at all.” Katria said. “I have scars all over my back, hips, arms and thighs.”
“Where were your parents?” Ron said.
My Mum was murdered by Death Eaters when I was six.” Katria said. “My Dad was at home drinking away his sorrows. I was with Megan’s family.”
“Did he ever come and see you when you were sedated?” Ron said.
“Megan’s Dad knew to keep him away if he did turn up.” Katria said. “But the idiot never had the desire to spend money on anything other than drink.”
“He sounds nice.” Hermione said.
“I try to avoid him.” Katria said.
“Do you live with him?” Ron said.
“I moved out when I was 13.” Katria said.
“Do you still see him?” Hermione said.
“I haven’t seen him for almost six months.” Katria said.
“Six months?” Ron said.
“He’s missing.” Katria said.
An hour later and all four of them were almost asleep as the train continued on its journey. Katria jerked awake as her phone sounded, she pulled it out and read a text before struggling to untangle herself from Harry and stand up.
“Where are you going?” Harry said, still half asleep.
“I’m just going next door.” Katria said. “A friend has something for me.”
“Alright.” Harry said, they kissed.
“I’ll only be a minute.” She said, leaving the compartment. Harry turned to Ron and Hermione.
“Well?” Harry said.
“I love her.” Hermione said, Harry laughed.
“She’s great.” Ron said.
“I’m glad.” Harry said. “I was more nervous about her meeting you both rather than asking her out.” They laughed, turning as Katria opened the door and poked her head in. “Hey.”
“Hi.” Katria said. “Close your eyes.” Harry did as he was told. “Are you looking?”
“Nope.” Harry said.
“OK.” Katria said. Harry heard her walk in and then Ron and Hermione gasped. “Harry open your eyes.” Harry did, his jaw dropped.
Katria had Hedwig.
“OK I’m dreaming.” Harry said.
“Surprise.” Katria laughed.
“Where did you find her?” Ron said.
“Believe it or not, she landed next to Megan’s place.” Katria said, sitting down with the cage next to Harry and he let Hedwig out of the cage. She jumped out next to him. “Megan’s friend’s Mum runs an animal rescue centre so she took her in.”
“She was hit with a curse.” Harry said. “We all saw her…she just fell.”
“The curse only stunned her.” Katria said. “She was lucky; the fall had broken both of her wings.” Hedwig jumped over and affectionately nipped her finger. “Harry had been sending letters with her over the summer so she knew who I was. You should’ve been there when I went to the centre to see if it was her.”
“I can’t believe it.” Harry said, smiling.
“He was miserable for a week.” Ron said, they laughed.
“What did she do when you walked in?” Harry laughed, as Hedwig nuzzled his hand.
“She went crazy.” Katria said. “When I walked in, she had to be let out of the cage because she was close to hurting herself again. She’d been refusing to fly all week.”
“And she knew it was you?” Hermione said.
“Yes, after she got out of the cage she wouldn’t get off of my arm.” Katria said, they laughed.
“Tell Megan thanks.” Harry said.
“I will, don’t worry.” Katria said. “All she did say was just to make sure she doesn’t strain herself when she flies. So no heavy packages or letters.”
“So she’s OK?” Ron said.
“As good as new.” Katria said.
Three hours passed quickly and Harry found himself getting into a carriage. He wondered what was going to happen during his last year at Hogwarts, the only place where he felt he belonged. They all crowded around the window when they saw the approaching castle. Harry looked at Katria next to him: her eyes had filled up and she was clutching at the window. They were passing the island on the lake that held Dumbledore’s tomb.
“Come here.” Harry said, cuddling her as she began to cry.
“Is she alright?” Ron said.
“He was her grandfather.” Harry said, Ron and Hermione’s jaws dropped. Harry looked at Katria; her head was buried in his neck. “Hey, look at me.” She did.
“He wasn’t really my grandfather.” Katria said. “My Dad loved Dumbledore and thought of him as a father even before I was born. I grew up calling him my grandfather because he was always there for us.”
“Wow.”Ron said, Harry cuddled Katria as she shook.
“I didn’t want him to die.” She whispered. “Not like that.”
“I know.” Harry said, wiping her eyes. Ron and Hermione smiled at them. “Where’s that smile, huh? Am I going to have to tickle it out of you?”
“No!” Katria squealed, they laughed.
“Are you going to be alright?” Hermione said.
“I’ll be fine.” Katria said, smiling at Hermione.
“You sure?” Ron said, Katria nodded.
“It just hit me hard when he died.” Katria said.
Ten minutes later Harry helped Katria sit down next to him in the Hall. He was glad that he had got her sitting down because she had been shaking ever since they had got out of the carriage. Ron and Hermione sat down opposite them. Hardly anyone was talking in the Hall, the excitement of seeing friends again and talking about their summer holidays long ago left abandoned on the Hogwarts Express.
Harry looked at Katria as she squeezed his hand tightly. Her eyes were fixed on the staff table at the top of the Hall. He realised she was looking at Dumbledore’s chair. McGonagall had taken over the school when Dumbledore had died, but the Headmaster’s chair still remained empty. Instead she kept her place at the right hand side.
“He wouldn’t want you to cry.” Harry whispered, sliding an arm around her. She leaned into him.
“He’d say something silly like ‘it cleans the spirit’.” Katria said, as the Sorting of the First Years began.
“Probably.” Harry said, kissing her forehead.
“I bet he rarely made sense when he stood up there.” Katria said.
“Sometimes he did.” Hermione said.
“I wish I could’ve heard him.” Katria said, Harry squeezed her hand. The Sorting finally finished, and everyone quietened down as McGonagall stepped to the front of the teacher’s table.
“Welcome to Hogwarts for our new students and welcome home to our older students.” She said, looking out at the four house tables. Katria was already almost in tears. Harry’s arms tightened around her, Ron and Hermione smiled reassuringly at her. Harry was glad when she returned the smile. “Our older students will know something terrible happened a few months ago. Once again, someone is missing from this Hall, our world. Albus Dumbledore no longer walks these halls, and no longer will we hear him deliver speeches that hardly made sense.” Harry and Katria smiled through tears, both trying to reassure each other. “But he didn’t confuse us on one thing, he wanted this school to be a place where every student can feel safe and belong here, no matter their house or their blood status.” She looked at the Slytherin table. “Now more than ever he wanted to end the rivalry that goes on in this school. If I hear of people fighting or name calling, there will be consequences. That is all.” She went back to her seat and the food appeared.
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