Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling's characters, just borrowing them.
Read. Be happy.
The Future of the Past.
Chapter One. Of Fighting and Flowers.
A pair of emerald, almond shaped eyes shone happily, hidden only slightly by locks of unruly jet-black hair. Harry Potter brushed his hair out of his eye as he dragged his trunk down the long corridor of the Hogwarts Express, ready to start his sixth year at the beloved school. Walking along behind him was one of his very best friends, Ron Weasley, and trailing along behind him was Ron's younger sister Ginny. The three had spent the last four weeks of their summer vacation being nearly inseparable. With Mr. Weasley always off at work, Bill and Charlie off in some other country, Percy still not getting along with his family, Fred and George usually at their shop, and Mrs. Weasley busy doing what seemed to be endless house work even though they did help her quite a bit, the three had been left to fend for themselves. They had used most of their free time to play Quidditch with apples in the orchard, and just laze about. Harry and Ron's other best friend, Hermione Granger, hadn't been able to join them as her parents quite missed having her around and decided they wanted her home for once.
"Harry! Ron! Ginny!" Speaking of the bushy brown haired girl, she was currently flying (not literally) down the corridor towards them, brushing past many an annoyed student, already clad in her school uniform and robes, a Prefects badge shining on her chest. "Sorry, oh… sorry…Sorry!" She paused for a moment to help what looked to be a first year up off the floor. She checked to make sure the small girl was all right before turning and throwing her arms around Harry who was closest. "Oh! It's so good to see you!" She let go of Harry and moved onto hugging Ron just as tightly, before ending with Ginny. "How were your summers?"
"Brilliant once Harry came." Ron said in response, smiling at her, his own Prefects badge still buried at the bottom of his trunk where Harry had watched him chuck it earlier that morning when they were doing a bit of last minute packing, having 'forgotten' to do so the night before.
"Would've been better with you there though…" Harry added, not wanting her to feel like she'd missed anything.
Ginny nodded, linking her arm with her friend. "How 'bout you?"
"Oh it was excellent. We went and stayed with my grandparents in York. Unfortunately, Grandmum only had cookbooks to read, and my parents wouldn't let me bring more than twelve of my books… I could tell you how to make black pudding six different ways… but other than that…" Hermione broke off suddenly, her gaze having found Ron's chest and noticed the lack of badge. "What did you do with it?"
Ron stared at her innocently. "With what?"
"You know what. Where's your badge? You know we're supposed to be wearing them in case any of the first years have questions and you have to wear it for the meeting."
"C'mon…" Harry gestured for Ginny to follow him, wanting to get away from the fight in the making. It was normal he supposed, but that didn't mean he wanted to get involved. Ginny smiled and went after him knowingly, leaving the two bickering teenagers behind them, neither seeming to have noticed the absence of their companions.
Harry led Ginny down the corridor quite a ways, peeking into compartments, searching for someplace to sit. When they came upon a compartment containing two others who had been to the Ministry with them last year, Harry went straight on in. Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood smiled at them.
"Gonna join us Ginny?" Neville asked. "There's plenty of room, Ron and Hermione'll be able to join us later." Ginny shook her head.
"I can't, I promised my friend Maria Jacobs I'd sit with her and everyone else this time. See you later at the feast." And with a very friendly smile, Ginny continued along the train, her red hair flowing out along behind her. She, of course, had other friends in her own year.
"So Harry, how was your summer?" Luna asked in that dreamy sounding voice she had, peeking over the top of the magazine her dad was editor for. Harry was glad to see that this time it wasn't upside-down.
"Fantastic!" Luna set the Quibbler down for a moment. "Daddy and I went to Brazil to look for Crumple-Horned Snorkacks. He's got a friend there see, and he claimed to have seen one in his back yard! We didn't see it though, but it WAS there, it was!" Harry had to smile.
"That's great Luna. How about you Neville?"
"I got a new wand, and Gran keeps telling me she forgives me for breaking dad's." Neville grinned ever so slightly. "She's proud, says I'm finally living up to my parents. And my uncle gave me this…" He dug into his pocket and pulled out a long clear box that looked like it was made of plastic. Inside sat a plain white rose on a purple colored, flat velvet pillow. Noting Harry's raised eyebrow, he continued. "It's a friendship flower. It hasn't been fed the activation potion yet. See, you feed it the potion, and then give it to someone. Each petal then turns a different color, so it's all rainbowy, and as you get to be better friends with the person you gave it too, the colors get darker. It can't die unless the friendship does, then it turns black and wilts away. It's also good for letting you know if your friendship needs fixing, cause it'll turn completely green until it's fixed. I can't wait to show it to Professor Sprout. I'm going to ask her if we can plant a bunch and hand them out around school to anyone who wants one. 'Course, they won't all be roses, even though this one is."
"Oh! That's really cool!" Luna's eyes shone brightly. Harry had to admit she was right. "But how will you plant more? Do you have seeds?" Neville shook his head.
"It takes about fifty years to get one flower out of a hundred seeds. But if you already have a flower, you simply just stick the stem in the ground and about a week later you'll have flowers and flowers for as far as the eye can see. Which is why I didn't plant it at home because they'd take over. You need a special type of fertilizer potion spray and I know Sprout has tons of it. Plus I only just got this one a few days ago, so if I planted it at home, I'd never see them pop out of the ground and they'd die away from not being picked before I got the chance too…"
"Well, it sounds brilliant Neville." Harry nodded. He was almost certain Sprout would be all for it. Neville wasn't the best in class, but he did have the biggest heart for Herbology out of all of them. It was his best class from what Harry knew.
After the discussion about the friendship flower, the compartment grew rather quiet, but it was a comfortable one. Luna took out a quill at one point and started doing some crossword puzzle in her father's magazine. Neville had replaced the box into his pocket and taken to reading their newest Herbology book for the school year. Harry was just about to ask him if it looked like the upcoming year was going to be harder than the last when Ron stomped into the compartment looking rather grumpy. He looked as though someone had forced him into his robes and also made him put on his Prefects badge. Which, Harry though, probably had occurred shortly after her and Ginny had left.
The red haired boy flopped down into the seat beside Harry just as Hermione walked in, her hair a bit more ruffled than usual. She sat down on the other side of Harry and tugged a book out of her bag, immersing herself in it. Unable to go without knowing, Harry asked a question he just knew he shouldn't.
"SHE!" Ron leaned forward and gestured wildly at Hermione. "Opened my trunk, and attacked me with my robes! Then she stuck me with the sharp bit of this stupid badge!" he grabbed his Prefects badge off his chest and chucked it acrossed the compartment where it clanged against the wall right where Luna's head had just been. His ears went red. "Sorry Luna…"
"Ronald! You could have hurt her!" Hermione's book slammed shut and she set it down on the seat as she went to retrieve the badge that had fallen and stuck in the back of the seat on it's way down. Luna was hunched over, having ducked with the Quibbler over her head. She sat up as Hermione removed the badge from the seat.
"It's alright Hermione. I'm just glad he didn't throw it while I was writing… otherwise I wouldn't have seen it coming. Though, what a great story that would have been… You really shouldn't lose your temper, though Ron."
"Oh don't bother Luna, he won't listen. He never listens to me."
"Only because you're a bossy little know-it-all!" Harry decided it would be best to leave now while he could, before things got messy. He rose from his seat and left the compartment, Neville following. Luna, however, seemed to be enthralled with watching the current row between Ron and Hermione. She didn't have to put up with it every three days in the Gryffindor common room.
"Heya Harry! Neville!' Both Gryffindor boys looked down the corridor a ways to see one of their fellow sixth year Gryffindor's waving at them from the door of a compartment about three from their's. Dean Thomas grinned at them. "Ron and Hermione fighting again? We can hear someone shouting from here."
"Yeah, it's them. They've been going at it a while. Got room?" Harry asked hopefully, but Dean shook his head.
"We've got me, Seamus, Parvati, Padma, and Lavender, so unless someone wants to sit on the floor…"
"I'll sit on the floor." Neville states immediately, looking at Harry. The unruly haired one smiled and shook his head.
"No, you go ahead Neville, I've got to change into my robes anyway. Maybe they'll be done arguing by the time I get back." He shrugged and left Neville with the others, bidding the ones in the compartment hello, and then goodbye as he made his way to the bathroom at the very end of the train. It was small, big enough for one person. The train apparently didn't have any spell on it that he could see. He changed into his robes, taking his wand from his back jeans pocket and setting it into the special pocket made for it inside his robes. He shoved his clothes into his bag, put his glasses back on and left the small bathroom.
As he was passing by the very last two compartments on the end of the train, a loud bang and a burst of light erupted from the compartment to his right. He drew his wand. The sound could have been Exploding Snap cards, and the light might have been someone shooting off a spell, but he had looked into the compartment on his way by it the first time, and it had been void of any life. He'd made a note to return to it if Ron and Hermione hadn't stopped fighting by the time he got back to their compartment.
Clenching his jaw, his hand tight around his wand, ready to attack if he needed too, Harry slowly slid the compartment door open. Nothing jumped out at him. There was no sign of a spell anywhere in the compartment, it seemed perfectly normal. Maybe he'd been imagining things? Then he looked down and backed up a few steps.
Lying on the floor of the compartment were four bodies. By the looks of it, three boys and one girl, all of them unconscious. Stepping foreward again, Harry's eyes naturally fell onto the girl first. She stuck out among the boys. A. She was a girl. B. She was dressed in an emerald green corduroy skirt and a white spaghetti strapped top while the boys were in robes. C. She had dark red hair that kept drawing his eyes away from the bland interior of the compartment.
Not knowing what else to do Harry stepped forward into the compartment and kneeled down by the girl. She, and the boy closest her seemed to be in a much worse state of condition than the other two boys. Harry blinked and was about to roll her over from her side to her back when she let out a very small moan. Her eyes fluttered open and his widened in shock as he stared at her. Bright emerald green full of shock met bright emerald green full of pain and fear that changed to loathing for a split second before the girl gave a groan and her eyes fluttered closed again, clearly going back into her unconscious state.
And there it is. I expect to have another chapter up very very soon. Now... go push the little button down there? Please?