Part 3- It Was An Accident! Honest!
Kings Cross Station was usually a very busy place, with tickets being sold every hour of every day, and could safely say they were a staple in the local transportation chain. The trains were usually packed, owing to the fact that the station had an excellent safety record- no bad marks at all.
They did, however, unknowingly house the large scarlet train that took students to Hogwarts Schools of Witchcraft and Wizardry each and every September first of each and every year. The Hogwarts Express was hidden in the barrier between platforms nine and ten. Occasionally a muggle would spy someone disappearing, but the station manager would just cock his brow and look at them like they'd lost their minds upon the reports.
With it being September first, lots of wizarding children were buzzing around the train station with their trunks and pets in tow. Some were older, some were younger, and some were just there to drop people off. One boy was yelled at for riding his broom around the platform like a maniac, knocking over a girl-who had gotten up and given him a bad case of boils. There was arguing over what belonged to who (and who was who in the case of large families or families with twins), greetings, and laughter in the din that hovered like fog over the platform.
The train whistle blew loudly, signaling that it was preparing for departure- those who hadn't boarded the train had twenty minutes before they would be left behind. First years were dragging their trunks frantically across the platform, forgetting in their haste to check for such details as tying their shoes. There were only four first years that were completely unconcerned with the train being twenty minutes from leaving- in fact, they were all sitting on their trunks playing Exploding Snap.
Remus's cards went up in smoke, making a loud crackling sound. He laughed in between coughs as he waved smoke out of his face and his friends laughed at his now wind-blown hair. He ran his fingers through it and chuckled. He tossed his cards down, having been disqualified from the game.
"Ex-excuse me?" a small blond boy said, wringing his hands together nervously. "Umm. one of the older kids on the train told me to, um, come out here and tell you to get on the train. It's leaving soon, you- you know."
The four looked up at him, blinking. Raven, James, and Sirius still held their cards in their hands, and were steadily gazing over them at Peter. Raven was the first to speak.
"This older kid who told you to come get us on the train, was it a bit of a tall girl with black hair- looks a smidge like me?" she asked, eyes narrowing in suspicion.
"Why, yes." The boy nodded.
"Autumn." Raven, James, and Sirius said together.
"We'll be there in a moment." Sirius continued, sorting through his cards.
The boy hesitated, unure of what Sirius had said at first (he couldn't decipher Liverpudlian accents very well) "I'm sorry, but she seemed very insistent-"
"Of course she was. She always is- she's Miss Perfect, you know. No offense, Raven."
"None taken. I can't help it if she's my sister." She took Sirius's cards and hurriedly shoved them into the box with the rest.
James looked at Peter with eyes narrowed, trying to place where he'd seen him before. "Say, what's your name?"
"Peter Pettigrew." The small boy answered quietly. "You- you're James Potter- your mum took me around Diagon Alley to get my things." He smiled. "I, um, don't want to be pushy or anything, but that Autumn girl seemed pretty persistent for you all to get on the train in a hurry."
"Don't worry Peter, we're coming." Answered Remus, who was still waving smoke out of his face. He coughed.
Over the days preceding September first, Remus had spent some time over at James's house with the others. He fit into the group quite nicely and was welcomed into it with open arms. He was delighted about it, and while Sirius, James, and Raven couldn't figure out why, they never questioned him about it.
"Yeah, don't get your knickers in a twist." Raven said with a smirk, revealing a glittering set of silver muggle braces.
"Are you muggle-born too?" Peter asked with a small light of hope in his eyes- perhaps he wouldn't be so lonely then.
"Who're you talking to?" Sirius asked.
"Her." Peter said, pointing to Raven.
"Huh? No, no I'm not." Raven answered, a bit confused by his question. "Why would you think that?"
"You're wearing muggle teeth braces. I just thought."
"No, I'm pureblood." she looked down at the pack of cards in her hand, pretending to study it. "My mum made me get them- something about appreciating magic or something like that."
James' eyes flicked to Peter for a moment.
"As much as I hate to say this, Autumn was right- we need to get on the train." Remus said, looking down at his watch.
Peter looked at Remus's watch with curiosity. How Remus could tell the time was beyond him- there must have been six different hands on it, going different directions at different speeds. Remus caught him trying to look at it and cocked a brow.
"It's just a watch." He chuckled.
"Just a watch. right."
"Alrigh- hey, where's Sirius?" James asked after he slung his bag over his shoulder.
"Said something about putting his trunk in a compartment." Raven replied, licking her chapped lips and shielding her eyes from the bright sunlight flowing through a window in the ceiling of the platform.
"Hm." James boarded the train, the others following closely behind him. "Better find him then."
"This'll be interesting." she giggled, watching her friend take the lead, beginning to open doors in the hopes of finding Sirius right off the bat.
"Have you seen- oh! Sorry!" he was tagged with a pillow before he hurriedly closed the door to a compartment that held a seventh year girl changing into her school robes.
After six boxcars, Remus and Raven were starting to get bored (Peter had went to find somewhere to sit after deciding that following James at that point was a dangerous idea.) They were nearing the end of the train- and no sign of Sirius anywhere. None of their friends had seen him- not Kevin Mass, Robert Actine, Charlize Mont, or even Natalie Prewitt, who swore she could always hear Sirius approaching a mile away.
"Give it a rest James- let's just sit somewhere before one of us falls over dead." Remus sighed, adjusting his shoulder strap for his bag and his grip on the trunk he was dragging behind him. "We'll catch up to Sirius at Hogwarts-"
"There you are! Come on! I found a compartment!" a voice called from up the corridor. They turned and saw Sirius half-hanging out of the door to a compartment, waving at them.
James gave a meaningful look at Remus.
"Oh shut up." Remus said, making a retort to James' silent sarcastic remark.
They entered the compartment moments later and put their extra bags and trunks in the overhead cabinets (except James, who was looking for something); sat down in the seats on either side of the compartment. Remus sat in between the window and Sirius, while James chose the same position across from Remus, Raven sitting beside him and fiddling with her locket quietly.
"Sirius, have you got an extra quill I could borrow?" James asked. "I misplaced mine." He said, digging through his bag.
Sirius pulled a quill out of his back pocket (which was a bit suspicious to the others,) and handed it to James politely, a small smile on his lips. James took it cautiously and examined it carefully.
"We haven't even left the station yet. Not very organized, are you?" Sirius chuckled, watching as James began tossing things out of his trunk, then putting them back in, having retrieved his books.
James narrowed his eyes at his friend. "Shut up. I need it to put my name in all of my books- for your information."
"Right pushy, isn't he?" Remus asked Raven, who was now trying to untangle her necklace from her hair.
"Always has been." She replied without looking away from her task.
"Some best friend you are." James said, elbowing her lightly.
"Hey! I thought you said Sirius was your best friend!" she pointed to Sirius, who shrugged.
"Who said you're not allowed to have two best friends?" James asked.
"Us." Sirius and Raven replied together.
"Come on. Choose." Sirius' voice betrayed the fact that he was trying to sound tough. "I dare you."
"No. You're just going to have to live with my decision."
"Well let's say that we're both caught in a burning building and you only have time to save one of us- who would you pick?" Raven asked, gazing intently on James.
James contemplated for a moment. "Neither. I'd let you both burn for asking me stupid questions like this." He grinned as Raven and Sirius scowled. James ducked a book that Sirius swung at him.
"ATTENTION STUDENTS: WE ARE NOW DEPARTING FOR HOGWARTS! PLEASE BE SAFELY SEATED AND PREPARE FOR SUDDEN MOVEMENTS UNTIL WE ARE RUNNING SMOOTHLY."
"Sudden movements?" Remus asked, looking over his shoulder at the others with his brows knitted together (he was busy putting a stray piece of parchment into his smaller bag.)
The train lurched forward, and everyone tumbled out of their seats. "Ouch!" was the collective shout exclaimed by the struggling mass of people on the floor. Arms and legs flailed, muffled warnings to get off of people before they resorted to physical violence were heard, and the train began to chug away.
"Does that answer your question?" Sirius asked from somewhere beneath James.
"Oh, it seems we've interrupted something." Said a cold, drawling voice from the doorway of the compartment. "I suppose there's no more room?"
"That's a bit obvious, isn't it, Malfoy?" James asked, eyeing Malfoy and Snape angrily as he shoved Remus off his shoulder and straightened his askew glasses, getting up off of Sirius.
"What's it to you?" Sirius asked, picking himself up off the floor. "Why would you want to sit with us anyway? You hate us remember? We're not 'in your crowd' right?"
Malfoy and Snape narrowed their eyes dangerously; James got up (with some difficulty) and strode forward as if to start a fight. That's what Malfoy thought he was going to do, at least- so he clutched his wand to his side and tried to remember the spell that made people have jelly legs-
James slammed the door in Malfoy and Snape's faces, laughing as Snape clutched his nose and the two stumbled off, hissing. James turned to his comrades and smiled. They looked at him quizzically, but Sirius soon caught on.
"Oh!" Sirius said as realization dawned on Remus, Raven, and himself.
"H-" a new voice began, but was cut off when the occupants of the compartment took off for some revenge, leaving a dumbfounded Peter Pettigrew behind.
Peter stumbled out the door after them, but when he saw that they had their wands at the ready and were chuckling in a disturbing manner, he went back into the compartment and helped himself to a box of Sirius's chocolate frogs.
"I probably should lock the door." He mused, and did just that.
"We'll show them." James chuckled as he slunk around a corner.
Sirius hushed them all quickly when he saw Malfoy and Snape with their backs to them looking for compartments. They all stifled laughter as they watched Malfoy pretend to scratch his nose and then snake his finger up his nostril to pull something out. He studied it for a moment, nonchalantly. Raven suddenly felt very sick when she watched Malfoy pop his finger into his mouth.
"Gross!" she hissed and turned pale; Sirius told her to be quiet. Raven covered her mouth, still looking sick.
"Alright, ready?" James asked, looking back at the others.
They all nodded and clutched their wands tighter. They all silently ran over the words to the hex in their head- the one they had found at Flourish and Blotts when they'd bought their supplies. Once they all knew for sure they were ready, they sprung forward, cast their hexes, and-
were horrified when Malfoy and Snape chose that moment to turn away and walk on, not noticing the hexes barreling towards them. James, Raven, Remus, and Sirius all stood there wide-eyed and open-mouthed as they watched a girl with flaming red hair get hit with the hexes and break out into red scratchy skin. She screamed and began to itch, looking around for whoever had done this horrible thing to her.
Her angry green eyes settled on Sirius, James, Remus, and Raven, who were standing there stupidly, staring, horrified at what they had done. She made to move toward them, and they took off as fast as they could towards their compartment.
"That girl- that was Lily from the wand shop, wasn't it?" Remus breathed.
They banged on the closed door (Peter had closed it to keep Malfoy and Snape out), shouting about torture and murder. Peter was frightened and hid under his seat, thinking Snape and Malfoy were coming to shove bamboo under his fingernails and then throw him out the train window.
"PETER! OPEN THE DOOR! SHE'S GOING TO KILL US!" James shouted, banging on the door desperately, occasionally checking to see how close Lily was.
And then she was there. They rammed themselves up against the door, trying to keep as far away from her as they could get. Sirius was babbling to himself incoherently and was biting his fingernails nervously.
Lily looked like she was about to rip someone's head off as she stood there angrily, scratching her skin and her eyes giving off the air of someone who was ready to behead someone after many long years of torturing them.
"Why- why did you do that?" she asked, sniffling as she kept scratching.
"It- it was an accident!" James replied, trying to hide behind Sirius. "Honest, Lily, it was!"
"I- I didn't do anything to you! I thought you were nice people!" Lily cried. "I- I hate you!" she shrieked and then ran off crying.
Sirius, James, Raven, and Remus relaxed slightly, but they felt horrible about what they had just done. They hadn't even said sorry, and now that poor girl was in tears. James knocked dejectedly on the door to the compartment and Peter opened it cautiously. They didn't say anything as they sat down.
The train ride was silent for about an hour after that. Nobody thought to go find the girl- she'd probably hurt them or burst out crying again. She'd be too difficult to find anyway and she wouldn't want to see them or hear their apologies. What could they have said anyway? It wasn't like they knew how to reverse that hex.
James picked up the quill Sirius had let him borrow earlier and dipped it in an inkwell. He opened a book and began to scribble his name in the front cover. Sirius perked up and watched James with interest. Before James could finish his first name the quill blew up, leaving him to look like Remus had when his cards had blown up on the platform.
James, who was coughing and dismayed that his face was now covered in ink, turned to Sirius, who had almost fallen off his seat laughing, and blew his bangs out of his face casually.
"You planned that, didn't you?" James asked.
Sirius fell off of his chair in a laughing fit.
Hours later the train started to jerk a bit, and then stopped with a lurch, sending them all tumbling to the floor once again.
"I take it we're there."
"Must be a new driver for it to be this bumpy-"
"Gerroff!" Raven hissed from under Sirius and James, her words muffled. She pushed them off angrily, sending them both into Remus and causing even more falling. When they were all up and had their balance, the train jerked again and sent them tumbling once more.
"It's a conspiracy!" Sirius exclaimed as he tried to pull himself from the pile of people on the floor of compartment 86.
The train wheels screeched yet again and they all stayed still and on the floor for fear of falling over another time. The train came to a complete halt and Remus thought he heard a sound. It sounded like something heavy. He looked up and saw Sirius's trunk teetering on the top shelf- about to fall.
The trunk fell just then, narrowly missing most of them but landing painfully down on Raven's foot. She grimaced and pulled her foot out from under the trunk. Tears sprung to her eyes and she hissed something under her breath that didn't sound very pleasant.
"Oh my God! Are you okay, Raven?"
"Yeah. I just sort of reckoned I'd lay here and starve to death." She tilted her head to watch the chaos unfolding around her.
"Hey! That's my arm!"
"Your arm? I thought it was my arm!"
"Hey, I'd like that to be attached for the rest of my life, thank you very much!"
James was the first out of the tangle of human limbs and he helped the others get out quickly. While they were hauling their things off the train a professor walked up to them and stated, "You will not need to carry those things, they are taken to the castle for you."
"Oh, okay." James replied and handed his things to the dark-haired professor with the kindly grin.
"Thanks, sir." Sirius said, dumping his things at the man's feet.
"Very nice of you to do this." Raven thanked as she stuffed her bags into his arms.
Remus nodded his thanks and tossed his things to the professor's feet. Peter sheepishly blushed and set his things down gently at the man's feet, hoping he wouldn't reprimand him. Remus and Peter caught up with the others and joined in the chatting that was being done on the way to the lake.
The professor groaned and stared after them with a slight smile escaping his lips. "I see the trouble-makers have arrived." He whispered with a grin.
"First years into the boats! Four per boat!" a huge man shouted.
"So, what I'm saying is-" Sirius started, but was cut off by the man shouting.
"Oh, let's get in the boat, guys!"
Sirius, James, Raven, and Remus all clambered into one boat, leaving Peter stranded on the shore. Peter looked near crying until the man who had been shouting showed him off to another boat. Sirius shrugged and looked on as Peter attempted to climb into a boat. He burst into hysterical laughter and the others whirled their heads around to see what had happened. Peter's foot had slipped and he'd toppled into the lake. When the man pulled him out, he was coughing and sputtering like mad- but this did nothing to faze the others from their laughing. Peter burst out crying when he realized that not only were Raven, James, Sirius, and Remus laughing- everyone else present but the man was laughing themselves silly (and the man was trying not to giggle.)
When everyone was safely loaded into the boats and Peter had been given a jacket that must have been four times as big as him, the boats jerked forward, propelled by magic, and floated gently across the lake.
Raven spied the girl they had accidentally hexed on the train- Lily, that was her name- and she seemed to have stopped itching. She guessed an older person had taken the hex off of her and left her with some very scratched up arms. Maybe that was why the girl was wearing a small jacket over her robes. Raven shook her head and turned to talk to James.
Sirius dipped his fingers into the lake, letting them break the crisp surface and cause even more ripples than the boat itself was making. They glided softly through the cool water soundlessly. But when something that looked like a tentacle broke the water a few feet from the boat, Sirius jerked his fingers back in the boat and then sat next to Raven in one swift movement, nearly causing the boat to tip over.
"I uh, like this seat better." He explained nervously when Raven gave him an odd look of curiosity. Raven shrugged and returned to her conversation with James.
"But if we do that one first, it'll seem too grand a prank and then we'll have to live up to it with all our other ones, don't you see? All our others will be measured against that one. But if we start sort of small and build up-"
There was an echoing sound of awe as Hogwarts loomed into view. Raven and James looked up from their conversation, while Sirius and Remus sat wide- eyed and open-mouthed like shell-shocked fish as they took in their first look at Hogwarts.
The castle was huge, to put it shortly. What seemed like hundreds of turrets shot up into the air, each capped with shaky looking roofs. The windows in the turrets were lit very dimly, probably from candles, and were emitting an eerie golden glow down onto the lake below. The castle stood on the edge of a cliff, which dropped swiftly into the lake. On the other side of the castle, on the other side of the mountain, Hogsmeade was barely visible past a few trees.
"Alright everyone, duck!"
The first years all ducked down in their boats as they went into the small cave that was lit with candles. They all climbed out of their boats and made the trip up to some doors. The man banged on the door loudly, making Malfoy, who stood behind him, to cover his ears.
"Ah yes, the first years. Thank you Hagrid." A medium-aged woman with brown hair and a look about her that meant she was serious said. "I am Professor McGonagall. Follow me."
"Take me to your leader." Sirius joked quietly, chuckling. Once he saw that he got no response from the boy next to him, he shut up.
Raven and James stayed close together, as all best friends do, as if they were just waiting for something to jump out of the walls and devour them at any given moment. Sirius and Remus were very nervous, and had split up to examine the room once they had entered. Sirius was backing up from a wall, not watching where he was going. Remus was doing the same, causing Sirius to jump when Remus accidentally backed into him.
"Ah! Don't do that!" Sirius exclaimed as he clutched his heart.
"Sorry." Remus blushed.
"Now, you will all be sorted momentarily. Please tidy yourselves quickly." McGonagall said.
James began running his fingers through his hair, trying to tame it to no avail. "Ah, bloody hair!" he murmured before straightening his glasses in frustration. "Bloody glasses. bloody everything!"
Remus was trying to get his hair out his eyes, and was both blowing at it and trying to get it strait with his fingers. He was starting to get frustrated, and so began to pick at his new robes, adjusting them until they were straight. He checked to make sure there was nothing in his teeth and nothing hanging out his nose. He didn't realize how stupid he looked while he was checking his nose until a girl laughed.
"What are you doing?" she giggled, and Remus had to stop himself from laughing at her himself because her face was covered in pillow marks.
"She said make yourself suitable, right?" Remus grinned.
"Yes." The girl giggled- obviously she was unaware of what her face looked like.
"There you have it then."
"Hey, you heard the woman- straighten yourself up!" Remus said, motioning towards her.
"I already have, though."
"Are you sure?" he walked over to her and leaned in close to her ear. "You might want to do something about those pillow marks on your face and that thing stuck in your teeth then, wouldn't you? You look frightening. Look- that boy over there's scared of you!" he said, pointing over at Peter, who was chewing nervously on his fingernails.
The girl jerked away from Remus and went in search of a mirror. Remus laughed. Sirius tapped Remus on the shoulder.
"Seems shy little Remus has found the art of jokes, eh?"
"Found the art of jokes, eh?" he mocked, making an odd face and sticking out his tongue.
"You know. that's really gross." Sirius remarked.
Raven straightened her robes quickly and picked the tiny feathers from her raven off of them. She ran her fingers through her hair, sighed, and looked over to James before chuckling.
"What?" James demanded.
"Nothing." She giggled.
"Oh, just because your hair is easy to manage you think you're the best thing since sliced bread!"
"Only because I am." Raven smiled in an over-innocent manner, batting her lashes to make it look more convincing.
Sirius ran his fingers through his hair, checked his nose, and declared himself ready. As if anyone would see his teeth anyway! What did he care? He'd only be up there for a few minutes, and he doubted any of the other first years would really care how he looked. They all looked sick to their stomachs.
"Now, everyone line up alphabetically." McGonagall instructed. She listed off names, and a line began to form.
The friends were dismayed to be so far apart from each other in the lines. Raven and Sirius were the closest to each other with only one person standing between them. Raven was very upset that she was not anywhere near her lifelong friend James, who seemed to stand miles and miles down the line. Remus was near the halfway mark in between Raven and James, and felt remote and lonely standing in between strangers. He spied Lily Evans, the girl from the train and from Ollivander's, up the line a ways. He also saw Peter, Snape and Malfoy near the end of the line. He groaned.
"Follow me please." Professor McGonagall said, leading them out the door.
They marched into the Great Hall, which had an enchanted ceiling made to look like the sky outside. Raven, ever the Astronomy nut, gazed at the ceiling rather than where she was going and nearly tripped Celeste Blade. She apologized and went back to her staring.
"Wow." Sirius whispered as he looked at the ceiling.
"And to think, this is only the beginning." Raven whispered in reply as she looked about the hall.
"That was horribly corny you know." Sirius remarked without even looking back at her.
She pulled a rather nasty face at him.
Chapter 4: First Impressions Can Be... Lousy
Chapter 2: Diagon Alley
quitesirius' other works
The Western Tower