CHAPTER 3 - HOGWARTS

The week before they were to board the train was the longest of Heather's life. She couldn't wait to get to school and learn everything she possibly could. She was also excited about seeing Krista again, and hoped they would end up the best of friends. Just when she was beginning to think Monday would never come, it came.

"Mom! Dad! Hurry up! We don't want to miss the train!" Heather bounded into her parents' bedroom and crawled onto the bed between the two sleeping figures. "Come on! Get up!" She began to jiggle Lauren mercilessly.

"Mmph!" said Lauren. "Get off, Heather. We're up, ok?" Heather backed off of her mother, and watched her prop herself up against the headboard. Heather turned to her father, but he had already swung his feet over the side of the bed.

"Heather, why don't you go get ready, and we'll meet you downstairs," Said Lauren, still yawning.

"I'm already ready, mom. Dressed, packed, everything."

"Well, go get your sister up then. Gently!" she added, as Heather scampered out the door and down the hall.

Half an hour later, Emily, Heather, and their parents were sitting at the kitchen table. Emily was still half asleep, and David and Lauren yawned every five seconds. Only Heather appeared to be awake. She was shoveling food into her mouth, not even taking time to breathe.

"Slow down, pumpkin. The train doesn't leave till 11:00," said David, glancing at the clock. It was 9:45.

"I know, Dad, but I want to get a good seat." Heather looked at her parents pleadingly, and they finally gave in.

"All right. We'll go after breakfast. Heather cheered, Emily groaned.

*-_-*-_-*-_-*-_-*-_-*-_-*

"Dad, Dad! I can see the platform!" Krista pointed in the direction of platforms 9 and 10. "Hurry! Maybe Heather's already here." Krista wrenched her hand from her mother's hand and ran to the platforms.

Aimee sighed. She was glad this day had finally come. Krista had been antsy all week. But, she had to admit, she would miss her baby girl. She sighed again. Patrick put his arm around her.

"She'll be just fine," he said. Aimee nodded, knowing he was right. But still.

A tap on her shoulder interrupted her thoughts. She turned, only to see Lauren Laurent's smiling face. Patrick looked to see why Aimee had stopped, and grinned at the sight of David. The couples turned just in time to see Heather and Krista disappear.

"Oh my word! Where'd they go?" Lauren broke into a jog, heading straight for the platforms. "They've just disappeared!"

Aimee, hearing Lauren's panicked tone, grabbed her by the elbow. "It's all right. They've stepped through the barrier," she pointed. "It's the only way to get to platform 9 ¾." Lauren slowed to a walk, but still looked worried. "Here, I'll show you," taking Lauren's hand, Aimee walked through the barrier.

Lauren gasped. Instead of hitting the wall, as she had expected, they had stepped right through it, and onto a crowded platform. A large train let out a whistle, followed by a huge puff of steam. Aimee let go of her hand, and began looking for the girls.

David put his hand on Lauren's shoulder. "Wow," he whispered, "It's like magic." Lauren smirked at him, then followed Aimee and Patrick, who had spotted the girls.

"Mom! Isn't this great?" It was difficult to miss Heather's excited tone.

"Yes, sweetie. It's wonderful."

Krista nudged Heather in the arm. "Oh! Mom, we're gonna get on the train now, ok?" And before anyone could object, Heather had thrown herself into Lauren's arms. "I'll miss you Mom," she sniffed, "Love you."

Krista, Aimee, and Patrick group-hugged.

"Have fun, sweetie. Be good now." Said Aimee. Krista nodded.

"Now, I don't want you looking at any boys this year, understood?" Patrick tried to look stern, but failed. Krista giggled.

"I'll try Dad, but no promises." Patrick cuffed her on the back of her head, and she quickly pulled from his grasp. "Love you guys. See you at Christmas!" And, without another word, she and Heather had boarded and were gone.

Lauren and David sat on a nearby bench to wait for the train to leave, but Aimee and Patrick had no interest in waiting 45 minutes, just to see the train leave. They said their goodbyes to the Laurents, and disappeared through the barrier.

Noticing the tears streaming steadily down his wife's face, Patrick put his arm around her. He didn't say anything; he didn't have to. They were both going to miss their baby girl.

*-_-*-_-*-_-*-_-*-_-*-_-*

"Heather, this one's empty," said Krista, entering a compartment, and plopping down on a cushioned bench. Heather followed and sat on the bench across from Krista. "I'm so excited to finally be going to Hogwarts! My brother Mark says it is the best place ever! He even considered teaching there once, before he decided to become a Healer."

Krista babbled on and on, but Heather was grateful. She couldn't notice the tears dripping off Heather's nose if she was too busy talking. But she was wrong. Krista hadn't gone very far when she noticed Heather's tears.

"Heather, what's wrong?" asked Krista, quickly moving over to sit beside her friend. "What is it?"

Heather ignored her. Maybe if she was quiet long enough, Krista would just move away and pretend nothing was wrong. Wrong again!

"You're gonna miss them aren't you," It wasn't a question. Heather nodded. "It's ok. I'm gonna miss my parents too, but think of all the fun we'll have at Hogwarts. It's gonna be great!" Heather tried to smile, and managed a small grin. "That's my girl," said Krista. "We're gonna have so much fun, you wont' even have time to be homesick. I promise." Heather wiped at her eyes and nodded, smiling. Krista hugged her. "There you go! Now, what do you say we track down the cart lady. Mark says she sells all kinds of candies and sweets!" Krista grinned. "Come on," she said, pulling on Heather's arm, "Let's go!"

Heather allowed herself to be dragged down the corridor. She had to admit, she felt a lot better. Krista really was a great friend.

It wasn't long before they found the cart lady and had filled their pockets with all kinds of stuff. Heather had never heard of any of it, but Krista said it was good, and that was good enough for her. They went back to their compartment, and emptied their pockets.

Krista first introduced the Bertie Botts Every Flavored Beans.

"You'll want to be careful when you eat them," she was saying, "You might get something good, like peppermint or chocolate, but you might also get something gross like grass, or worse!" She popped one in her mouth and sighed. "Mmmm. Huckleberry."

Heather grinned, remembering their meeting, and took a bean from Krista's box. She stared at it for a moment, then bit it in half. Chewing thoughtfully, she gagged and spit it out.

Krista giggled. "What was it?"

"I'm not sure, but it's gross!" She handed the other half to Krista. "Here, taste it."

Krista studied it for a minute, then shook her head, giving the bean back to Heather. "After that scene you just caused? No way!"

Heather grinned, shoving the rest of the bean in her mouth. "Just kidding! It's bubblegum!" She chewed and swallowed, laughing at the look on Krista's face.

The girls spent the rest of the train ride eating sweets and sharing stories. Heather was just telling Krista about the time she had given her goldfish, Martin, a bubble bath, and when a loud whistle echoed in the night, and the train came to a stop.

"We're here!" cried Krista, "Hurry Heather!" Shoving the uneaten sweets into their pockets, they rushed out of the compartment, and down the corridor.

As they stepped off the train, they heard someone shouting. "First years, this way please!" They were unable to see the shouter, but followed the voice to the edge of a gigantic lake. Everyone was piling into the tiny boats resting on the shore. The girls saw an empty boat and climbed in. Two other girls soon followed them.

When all the first years were in a boat, they saw the one doing all the shouting. It was a little old lady, with silver-blonde hair and wrinkly skin. Her hair was pulled into a bun, and she was hunched over. Surprisingly, she sounded quite young, no older than 46. But she looked about 95.

The boats began to float slowly across the lake. It was apparently operated by magic, leaving the occupants free to talk. Heather and Krista turned to the other girls in the boat with them.

"I'm Krista Kinkle, and this is Heather Laurent," said Krista.

The first girl, a blonde with startling green eyes, spoke first. "I'm Camille Jones."

"I'm Savannah Lewis," said the second girl. Savannah had dark brown hair, almost black, and dark almond-shaped eyes.

(A/N: This reminds me: I never described Krista and Heather!

KRISTA: Hair - shoulder-length sandy-brown hair. Eyes - brown HEATHER: Hair - long white-blonde hair. Eyes - bright blue CAMILLE: Hair - long golden-blonde hair. Eyes - Emerald green SAVANNAH: Hair - short dark brown, almost black. Eyes - dark, almond- shaped

I know I already described Camille and Savannah, but now you have a clearer picture of all four girls.)

The four girls chatted excitedly about their upcoming year at Hogwarts and were in a deep discussion on families when Heather spoke up.

"Look you guys!" They turned to see Heather pointing at what appeared to be a huge castle. No words could possibly describe the appearance of Hogwarts, except 'Wow' The girls were speechless, and remained speechless as the boats came to a stop and everyone piled out. They were still speechless as they walked up the stone steps and into a gigantic entryway.

Their thoughts were interrupted when the little old lady disappeared through some huge oak doors, and another person replaced seconds later. This person was very tall, and had long, red hair, that fell to the middle of her back in untamed curls. She didn't look very old, and the only wrinkles on her face were those caused from years of smiling.

"Welcome to Hogwarts, first years! I am Professor Weasley, Deputy Headmistress. You will be sorted into your houses momentarily." And with that, Professor Weasley stepped back into the room she had come from, and the first years were left to wonder how they were going to be sorted. Would they have a test? Would it hurt? What if they failed?

They didn't have to wait for long, though, before Professor Weasley opened the doors and motioned them inside. As they stepped through the doors, they gasped. They had entered what appeared to be a giant cafeteria. There were four long tables filled with older students. There was a fifth table filled with what appeared to be teachers. The ceiling looked exactly like the sky. Dark blue, white fluffy clouds scattered about. Professor Weasley led the first years to a large empty area in front of the five tables. The only thing in this spot, besides the first years and Professor Weasley, was a raggedy old hat sitting on a stool.

Heather, thoroughly confused, looked at Krista in question. Krista just shook her head. She had no idea what to expect either. They were beginning to get antsy when the hat broke into a loud song.

(A/N: I'm not going to write the song here.use your imagination!)

"Now," said Professor Weasley, stepping up in front of the first years, "as I call your name, please step forward and put on the hat. When it calls out your house, please go sit at the correct table. Apple, Polly!"

A short girl with long red hair walked nervously to the hat and put it on. A few seconds later, the hat shouted HUFFLEPUFF! And Polly Apple took off the hat and hurried to the table that was clapping the loudest.

Agnos, Gina went to Slytherin (A/N: did I spell that right?) Baker, Brandy went to Slytherin Bishop, Riley went to Gryffindor Davies, Bill went to Ravenclaw Erickson, Bridgett went to Gryffindor (A/N: Sorry if I bore you with all these names, but oh well! I might need them for some later chapters, and I don't want to confuse myself, or you, by trying to come up with hundreds of names, and end up having 10 or 12 first year Slytherin girls (WOW!) so, if you don't want to read the names, I won't hurt you. Just skip on ahead!) Fish, Lucas went to Hufflepuff Grappling, Veronica went to Hufflepuff Hansen, Chase went to Slytherin Inkleburg, Isaac went to Gryffindor Johnson, Hannah went to Hufflepuff Jones, Camille went to Ravenclaw Kinkle, Krista went to Gryffindor Laurent, Heather went to Gryffindor Lewis, Savannah went to Gryffindor Lionel, Peter went to Slytherin Monkee, Martin went to Hufflepuff Mop, Amber went to Hufflepuff Oil, Olive went to Ravenclaw Oreo, Danielle went to Ravenclaw Pettronk, Ginger went to Slytherin Persian, Katie went to Hufflepuff Persian, Kyle went to Hufflepuff Quinn, Amanda went to Hufflepuff Quirky, Austin went to Ravenclaw Rowboat, Fredrick went to Slytherin Stevens, Nicholas went to Gryffindor Stephens, Gregory went to Slytherin Trunk, Hansen went to Ravenclaw Uncle, Lucy went to Ravenclaw Wanders, Stacy went to Slytherin Wish, Sylvia went to Slytherin Zonks, David went to Gryffindor.

Finally, they were finished. All the first years had been sorted, and the whole school was waiting hungrily for the feast to begin. With nothing else to do, Krista watched Professor Weasley make her way to an empty chair at the High Table (A/N: That's what it's called, right?) and take her seat. The second she was seated, the food appeared. Their plates were filled with every food imaginable. Without a second thought, the students dug in.

After the desserts had been eaten, Professor Weasley stood and tapped her glass with her spoon. "Now, before you report to your common rooms, our Headmaster will speak to us."

A/N: Hehehe, sorry about the cliffhanger! You're just going to have to wait for the next chapter to find out who the new Headmaster is! Sorry!

Also, remember that if you want me to update faster, you need to review!

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