Chapter Two

Instead, there was Hedwig, sitting on the blue window sill, cooing softly to show her presence and as a sign that she wasn't moving until she was given a good hello. Sighing softly, Harry walked over and gently smoothed back her slightly ruffled feathers for her. He smiled, half heartedly, and peered out the window at the symmetrical street below.

It was three days later that Harry awoke, again face down and sweaty in bed, but his mind was instantly on another fact: it was the September the First and it was eight am. He looked to his window but there was nothing. Bolting upright, he quickly threw on his glasses and a pair of pants. Running down the stairs, he earned himself another dirty look from the family as he grabbed some toast, still missing a shirt and his hair messier than ever.

He ran back upstairs, still hoping for an owl to come swooping in with some explanation, but there was none. He shook his head, anger rising again from deep in his gut and directed towards no one in particular. But he held it down and instead quickly opened his trunk, throwing in the book he'd been studying the night before and slamming it shut.

He walked downstairs, as quietly as he could while hauling the trunk over his shoulder and listening to Hedwig's shrieks of injustice as she surmised that she was being left behind. Dumping his luggage on the front doorstep, his aunt, uncle and cousin appeared in the kitchen doorway, bemused expressions plain on their faces. Veron went to open his mouth but before he could speak, Harry was back up the stairs and less than five seconds later was standing at the door with Hedwig's cage under his arm and awkwardly staring back at the three Dursleys. He smiled, lopsidedly at them and gave a quick wave before turning around and quickly walking out the door. In one hand he held his trunk, in the other he held Hedwig, completely ready to leave the house and return to school.

"Wait right there young man," his uncle's voice boomed behind him.

Harry turned slowly on the footpath, not really wanting to have to answer any questions as he had very few answers as to what was going on. "Yes?"

"Where do you think you're going?"

"I have to go to school..." Harry trailed off and in the second of hesitation that his uncle gave him he turned to the footpath and threw out his hand, having grabbed his wand from the pocket of his jeans, in a signal he'd learnt by accident only a couple of years ago.

Seeing this, the Dursleys quickly took a step back, his aunt's voice shaking, "Harry, what are you doing?"

Harry stared at her, hard, and summing up an answer he was ready to state when a familiar bus rocketed up the drive, stopping a few inches away from Harry. He grinned for the first time in weeks as the door swung open, revealing old faces and familiar surroundings. Harry turned around as he got on the bus, the doors already closing, Putting his trunk down, he waved at the shocked three and quietly said, more to himself than to them, "Good Bye."

Arriving at the train station, Harry got off the bus happily, waving goodbye again, to the several people he had talked to on the way. He walked into the main area, hoping to spot a friend from Hogwarts that he might be able to talk to and walk with to the platform. Looking around, however, he found himself very much alone, and looking down at his watch, he knew why: it was still only 9.20 in the morning and there was still a good hour and a half before the train left.

Shrugging, he wandered over to the little café and bought himself a coffee and a muffin, having only had half a piece of toast for breakfast. Deep in the pit of his stomach, alarm bells were ringing. He felt them there but wasn't prepared to do or say anything, even to himself and so blamed the gut feeling that had been right up until his last year of Hogwarts, on the muffin.

Wandering around, he felt eyes staring at him and his snowy white owl and while he had no problem with this and was, indeed, growing quite used to it, he knew that to get in trouble with the Ministry would be a stupid move to make. So, quietly he made his way to platform nine and ten and, letting his eyes wander over the few people, waited patiently until a train was pulling in on platform ten to push through the brick barrier.

He wasn't sure what he had expected on the other side and so when all he found was a deserted platform, not a train or person in sight, he put the fact down to it still being too early, and sat himself down with Hedwig and his trunk to wait for the arrival of his peers and the train which would carry him away from home and towards Hogwarts.

Sitting there, he soon grew bored and pulled out the book he'd been given the year before about hexes and jinxes. He buried his nose in the already well read pages and it wasn't until he looked up, quite a while later that he realised he was still alone and that it was now 10.30.

Thinking hard, Harry tried to remember having ever been to the station by 10.30 and realising he always turned up late, he shrugged and once again ignored the warning his gut was issuing him with.

Sighing, he looked up from his book for the final time and seeing no one anywhere near by, he looked down at his watch. It was ten to eleven and there should have been people around. There definitely should have been people around by now. Standing up he left his trunk and owl sitting there as he moved off to survey the platform, wondering whether he had gotten his days mixed up.

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