Chapter 1

Karania Avalon held on for dear life as the Knight Bus made yet another jump. Really, this was getting to be a bit much. She sighed as she thought about it. Once during the summer, she had been considering taking Muggle transportation to Hogwarts this year, but her little sister Arinia had talked her out of it.

Karania looked over at her little sister who appeared quite comfortable as the bus jumped from one place to another. Arinia sighed as she turned the page of her book. Karania shook her head in amazement. Karania was at a complete loss as how her little sister could concentrate on her book while they were making jumps of hundreds of miles at a time.

When the Knight Bus jumped again, Karania lost her grip on her bag. It slid off the seat and skidded across the floor. Karania held onto her seat as she reached down to pick up her bag. When she did, she noticed a folded piece of parchment had fallen out.

Karania picked it up and looked at it curiously. Temporarily forgetting about the frequent jumps of the Knight Bus, Karania let go of her seat and started to open the parchment. The bus jumped again, and she was thrown backwards.

Cursing loudly, she picked herself off of the floor. Apparently this wasn't the time to be reading notes. Or at least it wasn't the time for her to be standing while not holding on to anything.

Arinia looked at her sister in amusement. She started laughing, but stopped abruptly when Karania gave her a look. Karania dusted off her robes and ignored her sister's mocking glance. She clutched the note in her hand tightly, not letting it go.

"Ah, here we are. King's Cross Station, London." Mikhail, the conductor, said.

Karania and Arinia stood, making their way to the front of the bus with their trunks. Mikhail saluted them as they got off, saying,

"Good luck at school this year!"

Karania and Arinia nodded, dragging their trunks to the ground. With a bang!, the Knight Bus was gone. The two sisters made their way to the barrier between platforms nine and ten. There were several people crowded around the barrier, and every once in a while one would disappear.

Karania thought, as she did every year, that the Muggles were blind if they didn't notice so many people disappearing. She shrugged it off, again as she did every year, before moving to the front of the line to go through the barrier.

She casually leaned against the barrier. It felt like she was moving through jelly as she fell through. Dragging her trunk through, Karania began looking for her friends. When she had pulled her trunk all the way through, Arinia crashed through the barrier behind her, almost knocking her over.

"Watch where you're going, Rina." Karania said.

Arinia rolled her eyes before walking on.

No matter how much Karania and Arinia seemed to fight, they were really the best of friends. Arinia would do anything to help her sister if she needed it, and Karania would do the same for her.

Karania's eyes searched through the crowd to find her friend, Regina Thymes. Regina was fighting her cat, Seras, trying to get it into the pet carrier.

"Regina!" Karania shouted, lugging her trunk to where her friend stood. Regina looked up and smiled. Her long chestnut hair was falling from its tie into her eyes. She pushed it out of her eyes and said,

"So, Kara, ready for another year?"

"Last one!" Karania said excitedly.

Regina scowled. "For you, maybe. I still have one year after you're done, remember."

Karania smiled. They both dragged their trunks into the train and looked for a compartment. Finding an empty one, they sat down and began discussing their summer. Karania had spent most of her summer with Viktor Krum (an old family friend), and Regina had spent much of the summer visiting some of her mother's relatives in London.

Halfway through the train ride, Regina let her cat out. Karania didn't remember her note until Seras started playing with a balled up piece of parchment.

"Oh, that's right!" she said, smacking herself on the forehead and pulling the note out of her backpack.

Written in Viktor's untidy handwriting, it said,

Karania-

I had a wonderful time this summer. I hope you did too. We will be seeing each other sooner than you might think. I cannot say more now, but you will soon understand.

Viktor