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.
As I watched my brother handing my trunk over to the Porter, who would place it onto the train for me, I thought about what sixth year would bring me.
Maybe this year, my best friend 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.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Michelle didn’t find some reason to fall out with me whilst we were on the train. Why would we change a habit of a lifetime? Humans don’t generally 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. “In all honesty, I’m surprised that we managed to get you out of your room to actually 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, his chin resting on the top of my head. As he was two years older than me, he had graduated from Hogwarts in the June. Now, he was out in the Wizarding World and doing absolutely nothing, as he decided what he wanted to do with his life that wasn’t moping around on the sofa and eating my sweets.
“I’m going to miss you, Abigail.” He said, kissing the top of my head, I grinned as I hugged him tightly. Although I was sad about the fact that my parents were both working so weren’t able to bring me here themselves, I was glad that Daryl had taken the time to bring me.
He let go of me and bent down to pick up the cage that contained my cat Snowball, before handing it to me.
“You better 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 as I carried the heavy cage and began to make my way through the crowds of people on the platform, waving at my brother over my shoulder.
I climbed aboard the train and began to make my way down along the carriages, glancing in each compartment that I passed as I looked out for a sign of my friend. I was hoping that I would find her soon as the cage in my hands was beginning to get heavier and heavier. Snowball wasn’t helping me in any way by moving around.
Thankfully, I spotted Michelle quickly and joined her in the compartment, giving her a smile in greeting as I placed the cage on the seat opposite her and giving a huge sigh of relief. I could hear Michelle’s chuckle as I took off my backpack before sitting down.
“He is getting really 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, however, seemed to not want to leave the cage after I had opened the door of it for him. He chose instead to just look at me, looking like 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, running a hand through my long brunette hair as I turned to look at my friend, noticing 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 curiously, amusement dancing in her eyes.
“Not 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 a terrible job so 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, to tell me that she didn’t get the Captains badge, to which I replied with my sadness that she didn’t get the badge. Although to be totally honest, I couldn’t care less about Quidditch. I felt 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, opening it and reaching in so that I could pull out 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 had opened, I could see the Hero of the story running from frame to frame of the story as though he were being chased, which of course he was. A few Villains followed him quickly, running in the same direction. They all ran through two frames on the comic strip before the Hero stopped on the third to shoot some spells backwards, the spells illuminated the previous frame, which the Villains were now in, bright splashes of red and green illuminating it.
I felt myself getting lost in the story again as I watched the story unfolding before my very eyes. Each time I read a comic book I would always find something different to look at, it was like the story was different each time, somehow I loved how I could get so lost in the adventures of the Heroes and Villains that were literally playing out in front of me. This was the major difference between Wizarding comics and Muggle ones, the pages of Muggle ones would stay completely still, whereas the Wizarding ones moved and at times things would jump off of the page at you. Some had even been known to emit sounds and smells at times.
I seriously could not get enough of 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 fully 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 as he looked at the Hero who was standing on the edge of a cliff, the other Villain seemed to have 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 in order to get more power, and it was slowly driving him insane.
The Hero shook his head before raising his wand; the Villain raised his as well.
Two sets of words, I knew were spells, flashed across the page before a flash of colour and 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, knowing that I would have to wait a few weeks until my father would send me the next one. So, for something to do, I decide to flip to the first page and begin reading that edition again.
A few hours and two more comic books later, I grabbed for my school robes out of my backpack, ignoring the fact that they were going to be creased, as I 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 can’t be bothered to change yet,” Michelle told me with a shrug.
I nodded before leaving the compartment and walking down the corridor, making my way to the bathroom that wasn’t located that far away.
About ten minutes later, I was changed and beginning to make my way back down the corridor, my normal clothes bundled up my hands. I watched the scenery, that passed by me in a blur, as I thought about 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.
I was drawn out of my thoughts by a sudden loud yell, followed by someone slamming into me and pushing 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 finally 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 gratefully 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 and handing them to me.
"I really am 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, rambling quickly.
I stared at him for a moment before giving a slow shake of my head.
"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 actually say to people, 'hey, guess who I just ran into', and it will 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.
"I’m fine, James." I told him.
"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’. Normally, the fact that we were in two separate groups of people, or social hierarchy as Michelle liked to say, we never really came across each other. We knew who the other was, who wouldn’t after being in the same year as each other for six years now.
I walked in confused thought back to the compartment, I shared with Michelle, and closed the door behind me, as I placed 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?"
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