you all packed?" Remus called up the stairs.
"Nearly," Harry called back to him. Remus went upstairs to make sure Harry had everything packed. When he entered Harry's room, he found him struggling to get his trunk to shut.
"Let me get that for you," he said.
"Er- no. I'll get it," Harry said, though it was clear he wouldn't.
"I'll put an expansion charm on it," Remus said, taking his wand from his pocket. He opened the trunk and pointed his wand at the inside. He was about to say the incantation when something caught his eye from inside the trunk. He reached for the partially covered broom and pulled it out of the trunk. Harry gave a half grin and shrugged.
"Nice try. You know first years aren't allowed to bring their own brooms," Remus said. He set the broom aside.
"Are you sure you have everything packed that you'll need?" he asked.
"Yes," Harry answered and added, "Well, I did just a minute ago."
"Funny," Remus said, ruffling Harry's hair. Harry tried to straighten it out.
"Really no point in trying to straighten it," Remus grinned. Harry sent Remus a fake glare and gave up on his untidy hair, though he was careful to make sure his scar was covered.
"We'd better get going if we don't want to be late," Remus said, checking his watch. He grabbed Harry's trunk and Harry took Sly's cage. They went downstairs and outside to the dirt road before their house. Remus stuck out his wand hand and, with a loud BANG, a large violet triple-decker bus appeared before him and Harry. A young man in a violet uniform greeted them.
"Welcome to the knight bus. My name's Stan Shunpike. I'll be your conductor today. Where'll you be traveling to this mornin'?" he asked.
"London," Remus said.
"Lemme guess. You're goin' to King's Cross for 'ogwarts, arencha?" he asked, looking from Harry to the trunk, "There's a few others on board 'eaded there, too."
Stan helped them aboard with their things and they took them up to the second floor because the first was already full.
"That'll be Twenty-Two sickles," Stan said. Remus handed him the money and he left. A moment later, the bus took off again and Remus and Harry were nearly thrown from their seats. Many of the people aboard were complaining of the driving skills of the bus driver.
Every few minutes, there was another BANG and they arrived somewhere else, picking up more passengers and sometimes letting some off. Finally, the bus appeared on a London street and pulled up in front of King's Cross Station. Almost the whole bus was emptied at this stop. Children of all ages with their parents, dragged trunks and animal cages off the bus.
"Have you got your ticket?" Remus asked. Harry pulled it out of his pocket.
"Platform nine and three quarters," he said. Remus got a trolley. They put Harry's things on it and wheeled it into the station. Remus led Harry to the barrier between platforms nine and ten.
"You just walk straight through the barrier and the Hogwarts Express is on the other side. Try not to be obvious about it with the muggles about," Remus said quietly to Harry.
Harry took the trolley and casually pushed it against the barrier. He kept going right through and emerged onto platform nine and three quarters. Remus came through the barrier next, followed by a few others. A long, scarlet steam engine stood on the tracks before them. Most were already aboard the train, except for a few lingering students, saying good bye to their families.
"I didn't think it would take so long to get here on the knight bus. There's only a few minutes before the train leaves," Remus said.
"I'd better go then," Harry said.
"Yes, I suppose," Remus sighed. He helped Harry get his trunk aboard the train. Being at the train station was bringing back a rush of memories. The disbelief that he was actually going to Hogwarts. The raven-haired boy insisting that he sit with him and his friends.
"Well, I should get going," Harry said, bringing him out of his reverie.
"I want loads of letters from you all year," Remus said.
"I'll send tons," Harry assured him.
"Okay. Now, you behave yourself and have fun," Remus said.
"I will," Harry said.
"I love you. Good bye," Remus said.
"Bye. Love you, too," Harry said as a whistle sounded. He climbed aboard the train and waved to Remus.
"I'll see you for Christmas," Remus said. Slowly, the train began to move. Remus waved until it was out of sight.
Harry walked down the train corridor, looking for a compartment that wasn't full. He dragged his trunk with one hand and carried the cage with Sly in it, in the other. A compartment door slid open a few feet ahead of Harry and a girl with bushy, brown hair stepped out.
"Are you looking for somewhere to sit?" she asked, "There's room in our compartment, if you want."
"Sure," Harry said. He took his trunk into the compartment and stuffed it on the rack above them. A round-faced boy sat near the window, holding tight to a large toad. Next to him sat a red haired boy, holding a rat. Harry recognized him from Diagon Alley a few weeks ago.
"I'm so excited to be going to Hogwarts. I didn't even know I was a witch until I got the letter a few weeks ago. No one in my family is magical. I had to buy extra books in Diagon Alley just to find everything out. Oh, I'm Hermione Granger, by the way. And this is Neville Longbottom and Ron Weasley. What's your name?" she said all of this very quickly.
"Harry Potter," he said.
"Are you really? I've read about you in three different Modern Magical History books so far," she said, "I've read through the course books all summer and almost know them by heart."
Harry was surprised when he heard this. He hadn't bothered to do more than flip through them. By the look on the other two boys' face, he wasn't the only one.
"I've read Hogwarts, A History this summer, but I want to hear from the older students what it's really like. So I'll see you in a bit," she said, standing and opening the compartment door.
"Bye," Neville and Harry said as she left. Ron only rolled his eyes at her.
"She must be the most annoying person I've ever met," he said
"She's just excited to be going to Hogwarts," Harry defended her.
"Still rather annoying. So do you really have the scar from you-know-who?" Ron asked, looking to Harry's forehead.
"Yes," Harry said shortly. That was the last thing he wanted to be talking about on his first day of school.
"Do you remember anything about you-know-who?" Ron asked.
"No," Harry said. He couldn't believe anyone could be so intrusive. He wasn't sure if he liked the boy much.
"Nothing at all?" Ron pushed.
"No," Harry said.
"Oh," Ron said and after he a pause, asked, "So, I heard rumours that you went to live with a werewolf. Is that true?"
"I don't think it's any of your business," Harry snapped.
"I was just asking," Ron muttered.
"Well, don't," Harry said.
"I'm out of here," Ron said before leaving the compartment.
There was a long silence in the compartment, before Neville spoke.
"What house do you think you'll be in?" he asked.
"I hope Gryffindor. Most of my family's been," Harry said.
"My mum was in Gryffindor and my dad was in Ravenclaw. But I bet I'll be put in Hufflepuff," Neville sighed.
"Nothing wrong with Hufflepuff," Harry said, though he hoped he wasn't put there, "It's Better than Slytherin, anyway."
"Yeah," Neville agreed.
They sat talking about Hogwarts and their families until near noon when the compartment door slid open and a witch pushing a trolley asked kindly, "Anything off the trolley dears?"
"Yes, please," Harry said. He took a little of everything and paid for it. He brought it back into the compartment and dropped it onto the seat. He saw Neville look at the pile of sweets with surprise.
"A bit hungry?" he asked.
"Yeah," Harry said, "Help yourself. I'm sure I can't eat all of this myself."
"Thanks," Neville said, grabbing a chocolate frog from the pile.
The two boys ate through the pile of food rather quickly. And Hermione almost fainted when she came in and saw the wrappers littering the seats and floor.
"Look at this mess," she tutted and then smiled, "Oh, but I can practice that cleaning charm from chapter six of The Standard Book of Spells."
She pulled out her wand and pointed at the mess, "Scourgify." The mess magically cleaned itself up and Hermione beamed.
"That was good," Harry said.
"I was practicing all summer at home," she said, "Where did Ron go?"
Harry and Neville shrugged.
"I asked the older students about the houses and I think Gryffindor and Ravenclaw sound best by far," she said.
"Albus Dumbledore was in Gryff-- Trevor!" Neville exclaimed as his toad hopped away from him. He made a grab for the toad, but it hopped further away. The compartment door slid open and Trevor jumped right out as three boys walked in. Harry recognized one of them as the boy he nearly fought with at the Quidditch shop in Diagon alley. The other two boys stood beside him like body guards.
"So you're Harry Potter?" Draco Malfoy scoffed, "One of the many Weasleys littering this school was talking about it down the train. He said you were in this compartment. But I guess we've already met."
"I guess we have," Harry said.
"We didn't get off to such a great start then. Too bad. If we did, perhaps I could have helped stop you from hanging out with rubbish like a Longbottom or muggle-borns," he said.
"Get out," Harry said through gritted teeth.
"Oh, but I don't think I want to. I would love to see you try to make me, though," Malfoy said.
"Get out, Malfoy!" Harry spat, jumping up from his seat.
"Harry, don't. You'll be expelled before we arrive," Hermione tugged at his shoulder to sit.
"I hope there is no trouble here," an older red haired boy stuck his head in, obviously hearing the commotion. Harry recognized him as another one of the Weasleys from Diagon Alley.
"What do you care?" Malfoy snapped.
"I care because I am a prefect. And unless you want detention on your first night at Hogwarts, I suggest you break up this argument and watch your attitude," the boy said.
"You must be a Weasley. Yeah, I can tell by the red hair and freckles. Your parents must like you better than the rest, though. Your brothers all have tattered old hand-me-down robes," Malfoy sneered, "Come on, Crabbe, Goyle."
He motioned for his two friends to follow him and they did, along with the prefect.
"Oh, now I've lost Trevor again!" Neville cried.
"Don't worry, Neville. We'll help you look for him," Hermione said.
"Yeah. We'll find him," Harry said.
For twenty minutes, they searched the train, asking if anyone had seen the missing toad. Hermione managed to find it in a compartment of third year Hufflepuffs.
For the rest of the journey, Harry was content to just sit and talk to his two new friends. The train ride lasted until nightfall, when it finally slowed to a stop. A voice echoed through the train telling them to leave their luggage on the train. It would be taken up separately. Harry followed Hermione and Neville off of the train and into the crowd of students at the station.
"Firs' years over here!" a voice called. Ahead Harry could see Hagrid calling for the first years to come with him. Harry made his way over with Hermione and Neville behind him.
"Follow me, firs' years! This way!" Hagrid called. The first years followed him down a step rocky path.
"You'll see Hogwarts for the first time. Just around here," Hagrid said. As they turned the bend, there was a loud "Oooh" Even Harry, who'd been to the castle so often, couldn't help but be amazed at the sight of the castle.
"No more'n four to a boat," Hagrid said as they reached the lakeside. Harry climbed into one with Hermione, Neville and a sandy-haired boy.
Once everyone was in, the boats began to row themselves across the lake, toward the castle. Once they reached shore, everyone clambered out of the boats and followed Hagrid up to the great oak front doors of the castle. He knocked and the doors immediately swung open. A black haired witch in emerald robes, Professor Minerva McGonagall, stood before them. She led them into the Entrance Hall and off to a small Chamber across from the entrance to the Great Hall.
After explaining to them about the sorting ceremony, she left to see if they were ready for the first years, returning not much later to lead them into the Great Hall. They stood in a line before the four house tables, full of students watching them.
Harry shifted nervously. He wondered how they would be sorted into their houses. Remus wouldn't tell him. Behind him, he heard Ron whispering about how his brother said they had to wrestle a troll and Hermione was going on about which spells she might need to use.
When Professor McGonagall told them that they would only have to try on a hat, most all of them sighed with relief.
"Abbot, Hannah!" was the first name Professor McGonagall called.
"HUFFLEPUFF!" the hat shouted and that table burst into cheers as she joined them.
The line of students slowly thinned out as students were sorted. The hat took a long time to decide before placing both Hermione and Neville in Gryffindor whereas, it barely touched the head of Malfoy before putting him into Slytherin.
When Professor McGonagall called Harry's name, the hall burst into whispers. Harry slowly walked up to the stool and sat down.
"Potter, hmm. Very difficult to place. Very difficult, indeed," said a voice in his ear, "You've got plenty of courage and, oh yes, lots of determination. So where shall I put you?"
Anywhere but Slytherin, Harry thought.
"You don't want to be in Slytherin? But you would do well there," it said.
No. Not Slytherin. Please, Harry thought.
"Well if you're sure, better be GRYFFINDOR!" the hat yelled the last word out loud. And the table to Harry's right burst into loud cheers. The twins Harry remembered from trying to sneak into Knockturn Alley were singing 'We've got Potter! We've got Potter!"
Harry took a seat at the Gryffindor table across from Hermione and next to one of the Weasley twins. All together, Gryffindor got three new girls and five boys.
The feast was like nothing Harry had ever been to. After a few odd words from the Headmaster, hundreds of different foods had appeared onto the tables out of nowhere. Harry had never seen so many different foods at once before.
"So, Harry you like Quidditch much?" one of the twins asked.
"Love it," Harry said.
"Me too. Me and my brother Fred are on the Gryffindor team," he said, motioning at his twin.
"Best beaters Hogwarts will ever see," Fred smirked, "George holds the record for most broken noses given in a single season."
"Do you play at all?" George asked.
"Yeah, a bit. Usually chasing or keeping, though. I've never tried as beater. Or seeker," he said.
Harry chatted with the twins for some time about Quidditch and other things. Then Hermione got his attention when she began telling him some things about Hogwarts that she had read. He got on rather well with Hermione and the twins. Ron had pretty much ignored him the whole time, though he sat only a seat away.
When Harry had eaten as much dinner as he thought was possible, the dinner plates disappeared and new plates appeared with deserts. He was able to find a bit more room when he saw the treacle tart. After the feast, Dumbledore rose and silenced the hall to give his start of term notices which included a long list of things forbidden by Mr. filch, a warning that the forbidden forest was well, forbidden (here his twinkling eyes stopped at the Weasley twins), and a warning that the third floor corridor is out of bounds to all students who did not wish to die a most painful death. Only a few students laughed at this. Many seemed to know that he was serious.
"And now for the school song!" Dumbledore announced happily. He waved his wand and a string of ribbon began to form words high above the tables.
"Everyone pick their own favorite tune. Let's go!" he said.
Each student picked out a different tune and began singing at different speeds and tones. Everyone ended at a different time. The Weasley twins were last with a slow funeral march. When they finished, Dumbledore clapped enthusiastically.
"Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here," he said, wiping his eyes, "Now off to bed with you all!"
Harry grinned. Anyone who didn't know the old Headmaster must surely think him mad, he thought.
"First year Gryffindors with me!" called Percy the Prefect over the heads of students. Harry made his way over to Percy with the other first year Gryffindors. It took a long time to get to the entrance of Gryffindor Tower, which was located on the seventh floor of the castle.
"Password?" asked a large woman in a pink dress from a portrait in the wall.
"Caput Draconis," Percy said and the portrait swung open to show an opening to get into the common room.
"Oh no," Neville groaned, "I'll never remember that."
Harry crawled through the portrait hole behind Hermione. The common room was decorated in Gryffindor colors, Red and gold. There was a large roaring fire with squashy armchairs surrounding it.
"Girls dormitory to your right. Boys this way," Percy said when everyone was inside.
"Night," Harry and Neville said to Hermione.
"Good night," she said.
Harry followed sleepily up the spiral stairs leading to the top floor. Percy showed them through a door into their dormitory. Five four-poster beds lined the walls. At the foot of each bed were their trunks. Harry found his own trunk and crawled into the bed it was at. He laid in bed for quite some time, just thinking how happy he was.
The only way his life could be better was if his parents were with him. Yet, he was glad that Remus was his father. He felt guilty at the thought. He loved his parents and would give anything to have them back, but he loved Remus, too.
Remus sat cross legged in a large arm chair with a photo album laid open in his lap. He flipped the pages idly. They ranged from his own years at Hogwarts to Harry's childhood. Pictures of him, James, Sirius, and Peter covered the first many pages. Some of the later ones included Lily.
When Remus had first found out about Sirius' betrayal, he nearly burnt every picture with the man in it. But it was that was the old Sirius. The old Sirius that would never betray a single one of them. Remus still could not believe it was Sirius that had betrayed them. He was so sure it would be Peter. He had even told Sirius and James this a week before Lily and James were killed. But they refused to believe that and pinned him as the traitor. That had hurt. More than anything else in his life that hurt.
When Dumbledore had came to his house the evening of October thirty-first and told Remus that Lily and James were dead and Sirius was responsible for it, he refused to believe it. He had fought Dumbledore about it. He knew it couldn't be true, but Dumbledore explained about the secret-keeper. Sirius was their secret-keeper and he turned them into Voldemort.
Remus flipped through the pictures from the marauders' years at Hogwarts, which were a good many. James had insisted that they have a camera with them always to capture every prank and trick, which were also a good many. There were also a lot of pictures from after Hogwarts. But only a year's worth of James and Lily with their son.
It should have been longer, Remus thought sadly. They had only a year with Harry, but he had so many more. It wasn't fair to them. Yet, he was glad that Harry was his son. Remus felt guilty at the thought. He loved his two best friends and would give anything to have them back, but he loved having Harry, too.
A/N - All of you 'Ron lovers' out there don't worry. Miss Anonymous hp got it right when she said Ron and Mione were going to sort of switch part. Ron and Harry will be friends again. Just wait it out. Thank you all of my reviewing people. You are loved.