The ride on Hogwarts express
Chapter 3: The Express
Harry glanced up from the book he was reading as he watched a family approach platforms 9 and 10. He couldn't explain why the school wouldn't give instructions to muggleborn and raised. How in the hell is a muggleborn or raised person suppose to know where to find Diagon Alley and figure out how to reach platform 9 ¾? Another of the things that pointed to the wizards and witches having no sense. The history books made him laugh at how stupid many of them were. Noticing the family pass on past platform 10 he looked back down to his book on charms. He was sitting on a bench waiting for someone to venture into platform 9 ¾ so he could follow. Nobody had shown yet, but he had gotten there hours early so he'd be patient.
After another hour of reading he noticed a couple and a young brown haired girl, probably a year older than him, walk straight into the barrier between platforms 9 and 10. Harry lifted an eyebrow and closed his book. Gathering his things he stood and and walked right after that family and through the barrier. Both of his eyebrows rose as he took in the platform. It was full of more people than he expected, but there were the forms of magical transportation to take into account. Most magical families probably came one of those ways and ended up directly on the platform. His eyes lit up when he looked at the large train. It was his ride to a new life, to become a new person. He wasn't going to waste it.
He worked his way through the crowd and into the train. Brushing past the students already aboard he found an empty compartment in the middle of the train and slid in, working his trunk up into the overhead area. With a smile he sat down and opened his charms book again.
Hermione giggled as she watched her parents both rush to the bathroom after telling her to wait for them there. She'd cast anti-muggle charms onto the toilets in the house. They'd never think about it, but would simply bypass the toilet and shower without relieving themselves. It'd wear off by tomorrow, but it was still funny. It was revenge for them having taken so long the day they went to Diagon Alley.
A short while later they returned looking much better and they went towards the platform. As they approached platforms 9 and 10 Hermione's parents stopped and looked around.
“What now?” Her father asked with a frown.
“We just have to walk through the barrier between platforms 9 and 10. It's like an illusion, we'll go right through the bricks,” Hermione explained as she walked towards the barrier.
“How do you know that?” Her mother asked with an inquiring look.
“I asked around in Diagon Alley, Madame Malkin explained it to me.” Hermione explained as she walked through the barrier.
Her parent's eyes widened, but they nodded and Dan shrugged as they followed her through the barrier.
They were awed by the large crowd of people and the beautiful train. They followed their daughter as she moved closer towards the train. They both began to shift nervously as she stopped and turned to them. Emma's eyes were gathering tears and Dan looked uncomfortable.
Hermione smiled at her parents, once again remembering how happy she was to have them again. She rushed to them and hugged them both tightly, the two returning the hug strongly. They had always been a close family and since Hermione wasn't very good at making friends as a child she had spent a lot of time with her parents. To them, she had always been there and they had always taken care of her. Now they were having to let her go for most of a year for the next seven years. To Hermione, she had just gotten her parents back after fifteen years of living without them with only a spirit or voice to keep her company.
“We're going miss you sweetheart.” Her mother said in a choked voice as she brushed her fingers through her daughter's bushy hair.
“I'm going to miss you both too!” Hermione said as she felt tears gather in her own eyes, it was like the first time all over again, only it was more because she knew not to take them for granted. They wouldn't always be there.
“Have a good year honey, and write us often. We'll see you at Christmas.” Her father said as he hugged her one last time.
She smiled at them and turned to get onto the train. She worked her way through the crowd, looking for the compartment Harry was in their original first train ride. When she got there she was surprised to see Ron sitting there by himself looking out the window. She was tempted to greet him, but several memories of his actions throughout his friendship with her and Harry made her pause.
“Sorry,” she said as he looked at her.
She shut the door and worked her way back up the train and peaked into the various compartments. Finally she found him sitting with a dark red haired girl she didn't recognize. The girl was holding a carrier that housed a black furred kitten with bright green eyes. Harry was reading a book and leaning against the window. Both looked up as she opened the door.
“You!” Harry exclaimed in surprise, lowering his book to his lap and closing it with a finger marking his spot.
“Hi again.” Hermione said with a shy smile.
“Run into anyone lately?” Harry asked with a raised eyebrow.
Hermione blushed as she frowned at him.
“I said I was sorry about that and no I haven't run into anyone.” Hermione huffed as she stared at him.
He grinned at her as he folded the corner of a page to replace his finger as a marker.
“Good, then I'm the only one. That makes me special.” He teased as he set his book between his legs and the wall.
The red haired girl snorted as she glanced between the two, her blue eyes bright with amusement.
Hermione rolled her eyes as she stepped further in and pulled her trunk inside.
“Can I sit with you two?” she asked, looking between the two.
“Sure, just don't crash into me and knock all my stuff down.” Harry remarked with a smirk.
Hermione frowned as she absently waved her wand whispering a spell and sent her trunk into the overhead area. The act of magic caused both Harry and the girl to gasp in surprise. Hermione looked at them oddly before realizing what she did.
“I read a lot, and practiced some of the spells. It's just levitating, nothing hard.” she said hoping the two would buy it.
The skeptical looks they sent at her made her nervous so she decided to change the subject.
“If I recall, you weren't that nice of a person even after I apologized for running into you. You should stop giving me a hard time about it.” Hermione muttered with narrowed eyes.
Harry sighed and rubbed his head, making his hair messier.
“I may have overreacted a bit to that situation.” Harry said as Hermione sat down next to the red haired girl.
Hermione grinned as she realized that was about as close as this Harry would get to apologizing. She accepted the peace offering and relaxed back against the wall, before turning slightly to face the girl beside her.
“I'm sorry, I'm Hermione Granger. It's my first year, what about you?” she questioned the quiet red head.
“Daphne Greengrass, first year as well.” The girl said as she looked at Hermione.
The intense stare the girl looked at her with unnerved her so she turned and looked at Harry. Frowning she realized she had never gotten him to introduce himself.
“You've never told me your name, introduce yourself.” Hermione ordered the black haired boy.
Harry chuckled at her before quickly striking a pose that reminded her of Gilderoy Lockhart.
“I'm Harry Potter, conquerer of the dark, hero of the people, knight in shining armor, and the main character in bedtime stories told to young witches the world over. I've grown up in excellent conditions, treated as the prince of light I am. I've never been in want of anything as I have everything I could ever want.” Harry recited with an arrogant smile.
Hermione just stared at Harry in shock at the uncharacteristic attitude. She was startled when Daphne began giggling and then chuckled herself as she remembered those things were all said in the books written about him. She smiled as she watched the arrogant expression turn into an amused one.
Harry chuckled along with the girls as he let go of the act. The books really were ridiculous. He stared curiously at Hermione. He'd admit to himself that he had overreacted when she'd run into him, but normally he'd still be nasty to her. He didn't like admitting he was wrong, but when she'd first walked into the compartment he'd had a ...memory or vision that left him softer towards her.
Harry was sitting across from a red haired boy who was about to cast a spell when the compartment door was opened and a girl with bushy brown hair stepped in.
“Have you two seen a toad? I'm helping a boy look for his he lost it.” She said as she stepped further in.
“Oh are you about to try magic? Well go on, lets see it.” She said as she sat down next to Harry and watched as the red haired boy said a bunch of nonsense with nothing happening.
Harry was watching her closely as she seemed disappointed.
“That doesn't sound anything like the spells I read in the books. I've tried some magic, but just the basic stuff.” She said as she pointed her wand at Harry's glasses.
The tape on Harry's glasses vanished as the broken frames were mended. In surprise he pulled them off and looked them. He smiled and put them on before grinning in thanks to the girl.
“I'm Hermione Granger by the way, what are your names?” She asked, looking back and forth between the two boys.
Harry shook his head to get the memory, vision, or whatever it was out of his head. He focused again as Hermione asked him a question.
Not noticing Harry's eyes were slightly unfocused she leaned forward and stared at the book tucked between his legs and the wall.
“So what were you reading when I came in?” She questioned as he looked at her again.
“Our charms book. Charms caught my interest when I was reading over the stuff we'd be learning. I like the idea of being able to charm something with magic, and have the magic still be active without having to pump magic into it like using a lot of spells. I'm interested in things like magical items, things that have charms and enchantments on them that can be activated anytime after the charms are placed. It's an interesting branch of magic.” Harry explained as he slid the book back into his lap.
Hermione's eyes widened slightly in surprise. The Harry of the first time line wouldn't have thought much about charms, but she was very surprised at how much more bookish this Harry seemed. She couldn't argue against magical items being intriguing, look at portkeys and time turners. Powerful pieces of magic that were purely charmed objects.
“That's true, there are a lot of interesting magical items. I think I prefer transfiguration though. It's the first stage of learning to conjure which is what I'm really interested in. I like the idea of being able to create something I need from nothing. Masters in the art are very rare because it's quite difficult but my great grandmother was quite skilled at it and I have her old journals on the art. I probably wont be able to do anything for a few years, but understanding transfiguration will definitely help with learning to conjure.” Daphne said as she joined the conversation.
Hermione looked at Daphne with a new light. She'd never known the girl in the first time line. Her first impression of the girl was that she was quiet so she probably never ventured much outside of her house the first time line. She definitely seemed like someone she'd enjoy studying with. When Daphne's eyes landed on her again and she stared at her with that same intense stare as before Hermione turned away, slightly uncomfortable and gave her opinion.
“I'm looking forward to all of the practical classes. It'll be fun to learn all of them I think.”
Harry and Daphne nodded in agreement before a somewhat comfortable silence filled the compartment. Hermione stared at Daphne's kitten again and reached her hand out to press her fingers against the front. The kitten walked forward and sniffed her fingers before licking them through the gate on the front of the carrier. Hermione giggled as she looked up into Daphne's intense blue eyes.
“What's your kitten's name?” she asked curiously.
“Dalila” Daphne answered with a soft smile as she opened the carrier and the kitten stepped out to be cuddled and cooed over by the two girls.
Harry rolled his eyes and opened his book to read some more. After about a couple of hours of the journey their compartment door was thrown open and the boy he'd blown into a wall in the tailor's shop stepped in with two large boys behind him.
“I heard Harry Potter was on the train this year. You him?” The boy asked with a sneer towards Hermione.
Hermione was glaring at the blond and Daphne was looking on with a blank face, her intense blue eyed stare not revealing anything as she stared at the blond. Harry blinked at the blond and smiled.
“Nah I'm not him. I met him earlier though, but I don't suggest talking to him. He's a pompous bigot, spouting off about all his money and how mudbloods should just leave someone of his stature alone. He's about three cards down towards the back of the train.” Harry explained with a grin.
“I just came from that way fool, He wasn't in any of those compartments.” The blond said with a sneer, though he looked interested and happy at the attitude description Harry had given him.
Harry just shrugged as he looked back at his book.
“He must've been in the loo or something, you probably missed him. Go check again.” The boy suggested as he turned a page.
The blond, not pleased with being ignored took out his wand.
“Look here you stupid mudblood, have you any idea who I am? I'm...” The blond was cut off as Daphne spoke.
“Leave Malfoy. I'm getting annoyed with you. You've got your answer to the question you asked when you entered now leave.” Daphne said with a firm tone.
Malfoy, as the boy was identified, paled as he realized who the red haired girl was. Not taking any time to say much else he stepped back out of the compartment with his two followers and shut the door before fleeing the car.
Harry and Hermione turned to Daphne, their faces showing their want for an explanation.
Daphne sighed as she scratched a mewing Dalila behind the ears.
“My family has a history in the pureblood society,” was all the red head would explain as she ignored any further questioning.
Harry and Hermione frowned at the vague explanation, but both shrugged it off for another time.
Daphne looked between the two, pleased that they dropped their questions. They were amusing to be around and both seemed smart, she didn't want them to keep bugging her about it. She wouldn't mind having them as friends if they'd let things drop when she didn't want to get into it.
“So what houses do you two think you'll want to get in?” Daphne questioned as she shuffled Dalila into the carrier again.
“I think Gryffindor is where I want to go. It sounded like the best house to me.” Hermione said with a smile as she remembered saying something similar her first time on the train.
Daphne raised an eyebrow, but didn't respond. She turned to Harry for an answer. The boy looked up from his book and sighed.
“Anywhere other than Slytherin.” Harry said simply as he went back to his book.
Daphne frowned as her hands gripped the carrier tightly.
“What's wrong with Slytherin?” She asked defensively.
Harry looked up with wide eyes and closed his book as he saw her face.
“Nothing really. It's just that git from earlier, Malfoy, I met him when I was in Diagon Alley. We were getting measured in the robe shop at the same time. He was spouting off a lot of bigoted stuff and made the comment that all of Slytherin thought like he did. It's not an atmosphere I'd be able to handle for long without hurting someone.” Harry explained as he tried to appease his compartment-mate.
“Not everyone in Slytherin believes in that stuff you know.” Daphne said, her face still marred by a frown.
Harry smiled at her as he answered.
“I know that, I didn't mean to make it sound like I thought that. It's just that most probably do think that way, and I really wouldn't be able to deal with a bunch of bigots. Not to mention I'd have to deal with Malfoy way too often for seven years. Not something I'd want to do. I have no problem with Slytherin as a whole, but I just wouldn't be able to deal with the atmosphere.” Harry explained to the girl.
Daphne smiled a bit and seemed much more relaxed after the explanation.
“Sorry about that, but most of my family has been Slytherin and it's probably where I'll end up. I don't like how the house is stereotyped like that.” She explained with an apologetic look.
“No worries, I get it.” Harry said with a grin.
Hermione smiled as well and the three settled into a relaxed silence as the train continued its journey.
After another hour Harry closed his book and stood up. Turning to the girls, who were staring at him, he smiled.
“We're almost there I believe. It's time to change into our robes, so if you ladies would step outside so I can change I'll be grateful.”
Daphne and Hermione stared at him with narrowed eyes and both crossed their arms in front of their chests.
“What?” Harry asked with a frown.
Harry grumbled as walked down the hall of the train car carrying his school robes and uniform.
“Change in the loo, you change in the loo. Stupid bints, I was the first one in the compartment. Throwing me out, I'll show em majority rules.”
With a frown Harry entered the loo and changed into his uniform and robes. He smiled as he felt the train begin to slow. They were finally there and he'd already made two friends who weren't dumb or boring. It was looking nice for him.