Chapter 1 : The One Where James Knocks Me Down
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The idea for the chapter titles comes from Friends, owned by Carter Bays.
My sixth year at Hogwarts was going to be exactly like every other year that I had spent at the castle; average and uneventful. Which was my life in a nutshell. Although, falling out with my best friend more times than I can even begin to count definitely counted as eventful. So, only half of that statement was true.
My grades were definitely average. Except for my Muggle Studies grade of course, but that was neither here nor there. There weren't many people who classed Muggle Studies as an actual subject, so I’m sure that no one would care about the grades.
As I watched my brother handing my trunk over to the porter, to place on the train for me, I thought about what sixth year would bring me. Maybe this year Michelle and I would move passed her jealousy and obvious trust issues to have a year of no fall outs? I almost scoffed at my thoughts as soon as they arrived. It wouldn't surprise me if Michelle found a reason to fall out with me whilst we were on the train. Why would we change a habit of a lifetime? It's been well known that humans don’t cope well with change, so I’m not sure we could handle not having a fall out.
“Have I lost you in that mind of yours again?” I heard my brother ask me, pulling me from my deep thoughts as I turned to look at him with a sly grin and a roll of my brown eyes. “I’m surprised that we managed to get you out of your room to come back to school. You spent the entire summer stuck in there and not venturing out unless it was for food.”
“There’s going to be food on the train,” I informed him. It was Daryl’s turn to roll his eyes before he grabbed me and pulled me into a hug. He was quite a bit taller than me, so his chin resting on the top of my head.
Daryl was two years older than me and had graduated from Hogwarts in the June. He life now consisted of moping around on the sofa and stealing my sweets, as he tried to decide what he wanted to do with is life.
“I’m going to miss you, Abigail,” he said, kissing the top of my head. I grinned as I hugged him harder; I always hated saying goodbye.
I may be sad about the fact that both of my parents were working, leaving them unable to bring me here themselves, but I was glad that Daryl had taken the time to bring me back to school himself.
Daryl let go of me and bent down to pick up the cage that contained my cat, Snowball, before handing it to me.
“You best get going before the train leaves and I’m stuck with you again,” Daryl told me.
“Just when I think we’re having a nice interaction,” I said with a shake of my head, the cage heavy in my arms. I gave a smile to him before I began to make my way through the crowds of people on the platform.
I climbed aboard the train and began to make my way past the carriages. I glanced in each compartment that I passed as I looked for Michelle. I hoped that I would find her soon; the cage in my hands was beginning to weigh me down and Snowball wasn’t helping me in any way by moving around. I spotted Michelle after a short time of searching and joined her in the compartment. I gave her a smile in greeting as I placed the cage on the seat opposite her. I gave a huge sigh of relief, and could hear Michelle’s chuckle as I took off my backpack before sitting down.
“He is getting quite heavy now; I think I need to cut back on his food,” I said as I leant across the seat so that I could shut the door of the compartment, wanting to be able to let Snowball out of the cage for a while. Snowball seemed to not want to leave the cage after I had opened the door for him; choosing instead to just look at me. He was beginning to resemble a giant ball of white candy floss with eyes.
“Are you not even going to come out?” I asked him. He ignored me as he decided to lie down in what looked like an uncomfortable position.
Michelle gave a laugh as I rolled my eyes and shook my head. I pushed a hand through my long brunette hair as I turned to look at my friend. I noticed that she had cut her blonde hair, so that it was now shoulder length.
“He is the strangest cat that I’ve ever met,” I informed her.
“Do you meet many strange animals?” Michelle asked me, amusement dancing in her eyes.
“Not that many,” I stated as I got myself more comfortable in my seat as the train began to move out of the station. “How have you been? I like your hair.”
“Thank you,” Michelle said as her hand went to her shorter hair, “Takes a while to get used to but I like it. It cheered me up a bit after finding out that Lucien got the Captains badge instead of me; I felt for sure that this was going to be my year. Now, there’s no chance of me being a captain because Lucien is in our year. So, unless he gets kicked off of the team, gives away his captain’s badge or just does such a terrible job that he’s forced to give up the badge, there’s no hope.”
I nodded along with Michelle’s words as she continued talking. I had heard the same speech over and over since our Hogwarts letters had arrived. Michelle had written to me straight away, telling me that she didn’t get the Captains badge. To which I replied with my sadness that she didn’t get the badge, even though in all honesty I couldn’t care less about Quidditch. I did feel sorry for my friend who had wanted nothing more than to be captain.
“But I finally got that new broom that dad promised me if I got good grades in my O.W.L exams, so that is a bonus. I guess I could put up with Lucien though, give him a few pointers and ideas for plays that he could try out.”
I gave a nod at her words as I reached down for my backpack, reaching in so that I could get the drink I had packed in here as well as a few comic books. I pulled out the first one that my hands reached, smiling as I looked down at the cover of it.
I could almost hear Michelle rolling her eyes, “I guess that now is the time when I make my own entertainment,” she stated.
She knew me so well.
“Yep, I want to get some reading in before we get to school.”
“We’ve got hours yet,” Michelle informed me as she reached into her own back to pull a magazine out for her to read. “So you should be able to get in at least one.”
I smiled as I opened my comic book to the page that I had left it at last night, making myself more comfortable in the seat. I heard Michelle flipping the pages of her magazine, both of us falling into a relaxing silence with each other.
Looking down at the pictures on the page, I could see the hero of the story running from frame to frame of the story as someone chased him.
They all ran through two frames on the comic strip before the hero stopped on the third to shoot some spells backwards. The bright splashes of light from the spells illuminated the previous frame, which the villains were now in.
I felt myself getting lost in the story again as I watched the story unfolding before my eyes. It has always amazed me that no matter how many times I read a comic book I would always find something different to look at. It was like the story was different each time somehow, It was as though the adventures of the characters were real.
This was the major difference between Wizarding comics and Muggle comic books. The pages of Muggle ones would stay completely still, whereas the Wizarding ones moved. Some would even emit sounds and smells and at times things would jump off of the page at you.
I had an obsession with reading them and yet I didn’t know many people that shared the same fascination as I did with them. Michelle had tried to read one but she had gotten bored of the storyline. She didn’t seem to understand that she would need to read further in to understand what was going on.
The words, ‘You’ve got nowhere left to run now,’ flashed across the page indicating that one of the villains was talking. He was looking at the hero, who was standing on the edge of a cliff. The other villain had perished in the previous fight a few frames ago.
‘Face your death like a man,’ the words flashed up again. I noticed that it was the crazy one of the two; he had sold his soul a few comics ago to get more power, and it had begun to drive him insane.
The hero shook his head before raising his wand; the villain raised his as well.
Two sets of words, that I knew were spells, flashed across the page before a flash of colour. The words ‘To be continued...’ came up on the page, it was a few moments before the entire page replayed itself. I closed the book, eager to learn the outcome of the Hero and Villain. But as this was the latest edition out I knew that I would have to wait a few weeks until my father would send me the next one. So for something to do I decided to flip to the first page and begin reading that edition again.
A few hours and two more comic books later, I decided to get changed into my school robes. I grabbed for my them out of my backpack, ignoring the fact that they would now have creases and stood up.
I could get the creases out with my wand later on.
“I’m going to go and get changed,” I informed Michelle, who nodded at me as she continued reading the magazine from earlier. She hadn’t managed to finish it as she had taken a nap for a while, something that I was now wishing that I had the sense to do.
“I’ll go and get ready later on, I not sure I have the energy to change yet,” Michelle told me with a shrug.
I nodded at her before leaving the compartment and walking down the corridor; the bathroom wasn’t that far away.
About ten minutes later I had changed and was beginning to make my way back down the corridor, my normal clothes bundled up my hands. I watched out of the train window as the scenery passed by me in a blur. I was trying to figure out how many days it would be until the next edition of the comic would be out. I wondered if I would be able to survive that long before I would want to explode in an impatient rage. Before I could dwell on that for long I snapped out of my thoughts by a loud yell.
Frowning, I looked up but someone slammed into me and pushed me to the floor as they crashed on top of me.
“What the hell is going on?” I cried before I could stop myself. My back was hurting as was my arse where I had landed. I was going to bruise, I could feel them forming already. I attempted to move but the person on top of me was preventing that from happening.
“I am so sorry, Abigail,” the person said as they managed to get up off of me and stood up, holding a hand down for me to take. When I looked up I noticed that the person who had barrelled into me was none other than James Potter.
Well, this was different.
I took his hand with a grateful smile and he helped to pull me to my feet. He dusted down my arms before bending down and picking up the bundle of clothes that had fallen from my grasp. He handed them to me as I stared at him, wondering if I should tell him off for hurting me. I settled for just continuing to stare at him.
"I am so sorry, Abigail. I did yell but I think you were in your own little world. It's my fault for running in the first place, though; I’m trying to find someone. Are you hurt?" He asked me in concern.
I stared at him for a few more moments before giving a slow shake of my head as I processed his rambling.
"It’s okay, I’m just shocked. It’s not every day you have someone literally running into you," I joked, James gave a laugh.
"We can tell people, 'hey, guess who I just ran into' and it will in fact be true." James stated with a wide grin, I gave a laugh at his joke and James seemed happy about the fact that I had.
"I best be off, but I haven’t hurt you have I? You’re feeling okay?" he asked me again, his eyes flickering over me as though searching for any wounds.
"I’m fine, James," I told him, feeling my cheeks beginning to get warm.
"Good. I'll see you around then," he said before running back off down the corridor.
I turned to watch him go with a small frown. I definitely had to admit that this was different. I could not remember an actual time that James and I have had a conversation, or at least one that lasted past, ‘Hello’. The fact that we were in two separate groups of people, or social hierarchy as Michelle liked to say, was the reason that we never spoke. We knew who the other was, who wouldn’t after being in the same year as each other for six years now.
I walked to the compartment that I shared with Michelle and closed the door behind myself, placing my bundle of clothes on the seat. I noticed that Snowball was now lying on top of my backpack; even though he was completely in my way I was glad that he managed to move from the cage.
"What took you so long?" Michelle asked me. I gave a smile as James’ earlier words popped into my head.
"Guess who I just ran into?"
A/N: A massive thank you to my Beta Sam! :D
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