The room was empty, silent except for a small radio placed on a lone table in the center. All around the high stone walls, floor-to-ceiling windows let in a muted glow from the seeming perpetually overcast sky outside. Currently, soft jazz music filled the room as a lone man sat at the table, casually playing with his long shaggy hair as he perused a stack of papers in front of him. His hair was dishwater blonde, as was his shaggy facial hair, no longer a stubble, but not quite a beard. He was skeletally thin and pale, and clearly hadn't seen sunlight for any substantial amount of time in the past two years. As the song changed on the radio, he drew out a pen, clicked it once, and crossed out a line on the paper, writing something else in and muttering to himself.
Quite suddenly, the sound of a door flying open interrupted the tranquil scene, and the author jumped slightly, looking up and sighing as the new arrival strode purposefully into the room.
"It's been weeks!" Sirius Black said, plopping down in a chair opposite the author. "Does it take you this long to proofread?"
"I have had some really bad writer's block!" the author defended himself. "I swear, I think I have ADD or something."
"A…" Sirius looked puzzled for a moment but shook his head. "Look, have you made any progress at all with the sequel?"
"Actually…I think I'm giving up on the sequel…" the author shrugged, and Sirius's jaw dropped. "Or on hiatus at least."
"Well, I started posting the original on another site called Portkey," the author said, and Sirius nodded, having heard of this site before, "and…well, I got one or two unpleasant reviews…."
"So?" Sirius asked. "Ignore them. You got seven hundred really good reviews from the other place! You're not gonna let one or two people get you down, are you?"
"That's what I told myself," the author said, "but like it or not, I've lost my enthusiasm for Dragon and Disparate."
"Then what's that?" Sirius asked, pointing at the manuscript on the table. The author smiled.
"A project I came up with a long time ago," he said. "I took a look at it last night and decided to work on it a little more."
"What's it about?"
"Well, Hermione was only a month away from starting school a year before Harry," the author said. "What if she had?"
"Then she'd be a second year while Harry was in first year," Sirius said with a shrug.
"Yeah, but think of the repercussions that would have," the author said eagerly. "Everything would change."
Sirius nodded in agreement, a thoughtful look on his face. "I suppose so. So, is that one proofread, or…?"
The author held out the document and Sirius took a look.
Chapter One: Go ahead, take the cupcake…. I dare you….
Emma Granger was scared.
Not scared for herself, but for her daughter.
"Mrs. Granger, there has been a…complication," her obstetrician, Dr. Philip Sharp, said. "It's a rather common one, actually. The baby has gotten the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. At the moment, it's still loose, but one wrong movement could cause her to suffocate."
"What do we do?" Emma asked, gripping her husband's hand tightly. Dan didn't even seem to notice, too focused on the doctor, his expression hard.
"Thankfully, she's far along enough that we could safely induce labor," Dr. Sharp said, consulting his clipboard. "She would only be a month premature, and children have survived two to three months premature. As it stands, that's our only option."
"And…she'll be okay?" Emma said. "There's no chance of her…not making it?"
Dr. Sharp sighed. "I'm required to tell you that there's always a chance of her not making it," he said. "However, off the record," he looked directly into Mr. Granger's eye, "she'll make it."
Dan nodded. "We're trusting you, doctor. Let's do it."
On August 19, 1979, Hermione Jane Granger was born to Dan and Emma Granger, a happy, healthy baby girl.
Eleven years later, she would be visited by an owl that would bear the most exciting news of her life.
"Last call, 9:15 to Lambeth!" the porter bellowed through the crowded King's Cross Station. "9:15 to Lambeth, last call!"
Harry knew Hagrid meant well. He'd been extremely helpful, introducing Harry to the magical world, answering all of his questions about the smallest of things, even buying Harry an owl as birthday present and scaring the Dursleys into behaving for him. There was just one problem.
As far as he could see, there was no Platform Nine and Three-Quarters.
Platform nine…platform ten. Harry stood in front of the platforms in question, glancing at his ticket occasionally and then back up at the signs, as though hoping for a doorway to magically appear (in his defense, Diagon Alley had functioned similiarly).
"Nine thirty to Crawley boarding now! All aboard nine thirty to Crawley!"
Maybe the porter will know, he pondered, walking up to the porter.
"Excuse me," Harry asked, and the porter turned, smiling at Harry.
"Do you know where Platform Nine and Three-Quarters is?" Harry asked, and the man's smile vanished, replaced by a look of exasperation.
"Think you're being funny, boy?" he asked. "I have a job to do, so go find your parents."
He walked off, muttering about "kids these days", and Harry looked helplessly around, checking his watch. He had half an hour, but all the time in the world did him no good if he couldn't find the platform or anyone to help him.
"Need some help?" a voice asked, and Harry turned, seeing a smiling girl probably the same height as him, though her curly brown hair made her a tad taller. She had brown eyes and somewhat large front teeth, though not so much as to be distracting. He looked inquisitively around then turned back, pointing at himself.
"Yes, you," the girl said with a small laugh. "I heard you ask that man about Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. Don't you know how to get there?"
Harry shook his head. "I don't…really know much of anything about all this."
"Well, I'll help you, then," she said. "I'm Hermione Granger, by the way."
"Harry," Harry said. "Harry Potter."
Hermione's eyes widened slightly, but she smiled. "Pleasure to meet you, Harry. Now, the barrier," she pointed at a seemingly unimpressive stretch of wall between the two platforms, "is right there. There's no trick or anything; you just walk on through."
"I was nervous, too," Hermione said. "It looks quite solid, doesn't it? Don't worry, though, it's just an illusion spell. Very common, actually. It's no more solid than air."
She gave him an encouraging push on the back, and Harry took a few tentative steps forward, pushing his trolley with Hedwig's cage atop it. The owl looked at the barrier and gave Harry a look that said, "You're seriously going to push us into that?"
Ignoring the imagined words of his owl, he pushed the trolley forward, resisting the urge to throw on the brakes moments before….
Not hitting the wall. Harry slowed his trolley to a stop and looked around in amazement. This platform was considerably bigger than the others in King's Cross. In the distance, a scarlet steam engine belched a thick haze that engulfed the area around it. A large brass sign above him said Platform Nine and Three-Quarters.
"Told you," Hermione said behind him, and Harry smiled at her. "What do you think?"
"It's…amazing," Harry said, and Hermione nodded with a grin.
"Shall we get some seats?"
After they stowed their luggage in the proper compartment, Hermione led him onto the train and past many compartments already filled with students. Snatches of conversation floated through the doors, filling the corridor with a low hum. Finally, they came to a compartment that was occupied by only two other people, both female. Hermione opened the door, and Harry stepped in nervously, staring at his feet.
"Hi, Cho," Hermione said, following Harry and leading him to sit next to her. "Hello, Mari. Nice summer?"
"It was fantastic," one of the girls said. She had long, shiny black hair and dark, dark brown eyes. She was clearly of Asian descent, though curiously, she had a slight Scottish accent. She smiled at Harry. "Hello, I'm Cho."
"Hi," Harry said, glancing over at the other girl, a curly-haired redhead with gray eyes, who seemed to be engrossed in a magazine calle Witch Weekly. Harry assumed this to be Mari. "Um, hello."
"Hi," she said, looking up from her magazine and fixing him with a curious look. "I'm Marietta Edgecomb. Who are you?"
"Um…Harry," Harry said. "Harry Potter."
Their reactions were a little disconcerting. Cho's jaw dropped, and Marietta's eyes widened to the size of dinner plates.
"Harry Potter?" she said. "As in the Harry Potter?"
"Girls," Hermione said, placing a hand on Harry's shoulder. "Calm down. Sorry," she said to Harry. "I guess you get that a lot."
"Not…really," Harry said, and Hermione got a curious look on her face. "I…didn't really know I was famous for anything until about a month ago."
"Seriously?" Cho asked, incredulous. "Why wouldn't your family tell you? They must've known."
"I'm sure they had their reasons," Hermione said, giving Cho a look. "Maybe they didn't want him to get a swelled head," she added with a giggle, and Harry chuckled as well.
"So, Harry, what house d'you think you'll be in?"
Harry shook his head. "I dunno. There's four, right?"
"That's right," Hermione said. "Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin. They're named for the four founders of Hogwarts, Godric Gryffindor, Rowena Ravenclaw, Helga Hufflepuff, and Salazar Slytherin."
"Obviously Hermione's in Ravenclaw," Cho said with a laugh, and Hermione pinked, nodding. "We all are, actually."
"Ravenclaw's supposed to be the house for 'smart' people," Marietta explained. "And since Hermione's the smartest witch in Hogwarts, she was a shoe-in."
"Each house actually has their own little stereotypes," Cho said thoughtfully. "Ravenclaws are smart but pretentious, Gryffindors are brave and foolhardy, Hufflepuffs are friendly but foolish, and Slytherins are clever and conniving. Not everyone fits their house's mold, though. I'm certainly not pretentious, am I?"
Harry shook his head, but Marietta smirked.
"Not all the time."
Harry merely watched, stunned into silence by the three talkative girls. He'd never spent so much time around so many females for such a stretch of time, and he wasn't quite sure how to act. Quite suddenly, the compartment gave a great lurch as the train juttered to life.
"Oh!" Hermione smiled at Harry. "Here we go!"
The three Ravenclaw girls were quite nice, Harry found out. Cho Chang was a fan of Quidditch, which Hagrid had explained to him, though poorly. She went into more detail about the rules and positions, and Harry found himself fascinated with the sport. Hermione rolled her eyes, muttering about "another Quidditch fan, all we need."
Marietta Edgecomb was a little abrasive, though Cho insisted she was "an absolute sweetheart once you get to know her." She quickly took a liking to Harry, whose quiet, demure attitude seemed to be a refreshing change from the boys she knew. She wasn't a Quidditch fan, though she was tolerant, much like Hermione. She and Cho had known each other before Hogwarts, as both of their mothers were involved in the Ministry.
Hermione was a "muggle-born", a wizard or witch of muggle parentage. Her parents were dentists, and quite successful as well. She was a self-proclaimed "bookworm" and loved reading. She'd apparently read about Harry in quite a few books.
"You're in Modern Magical History, Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts, and Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century," she explained, smiling at his dazed look. "You really had no idea?"
Harry shook his head. "I grew up with my aunt and uncle, and they never really told me anything. I didn't know I was a…wizard until my birthday."
"I still don't get it. Why wouldn't they tell you anything?" Marietta asked, looking confused. Harry shrugged, staring at his feet; he didn't really fancy going into detail about his family.
"I'm sure they had their reasons," Hermione said, echoing her earlier statement, and Harry smiled at her gratefully. "So, are you excited about learning magic?"
Harry nodded. "More nervous than excited," he said. "I was raised a…muggle," he stumbled over the unfamiliar word. "I'm afraid I might be behind in classes."
"That's silly," Cho said, smiling at him. "Don't worry. Hermione is better than me in every class, has been since day one." Hermione smiled, turning pink. "Kids aren't really supposed to use magic, whether they're muggleborn or wizard children. You'll be on the same page as everyone else."
Feeling slightly better, Harry smiled at Cho, who grinned back, looking at Hermione.
"Why don't you teach him a few spells?" she said. "Give us something to do."
Hermione nodded. "Good idea. Get out your wand, Harry."
Harry produced his wand from his pocket, and Hermione got her own out.
"Okay," Hermione said. "This was one of the first charms we learned last year. It's the Hover Charm. Hold your wand like this," she demonstrated the proper technique, and Harry mimicked it, watching closely, "and swish and flick," she showed him a swirling and tapping motion, which he mimicked. Hermione shook her head. "No, you're swishing and waving," she chided. "Swish," she did the first movement, slower, "and flick. And say Wingardium Leviosa."
"Wingardium Leviosa," Harry muttered, swishing and flicking. The magazine Marietta was reading suddenly floated from her hands, and she jumped, looking up at it. "I did it!"
"Good job, Harry!" Hermione smiled at him as Marietta grabbed her magazine out of the air. Cho laughed and gave Harry a pat on the back.
"Okay, what next?" Hermione dug out her copy of The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 2. "I'm sure you could learn some of these, and you have your copy of Grade 1."
"I've got an idea," Marietta leaned forward and whispered something into Harry's ear. Curious, he looked at her, and she nodded reassuringly. He looked at Cho and quickly raised his wand.
"Rictusempra," he said, and Cho's eyes widened before she started twitching, giggling as though being tickled by an invisible force.
"M-MariiiiI!" she whined, managing to pull her own wand out, giggling the entire time as Harry looked on with wide eyes. "F-Finite!" she gasped, and she stilled, smacking Marietta on the arm. "That was not funny!"
"Hey, Harry did it," Marietta smiled at Harry, who looked nervously at Cho. Cho smiled at him.
"But he wouldn't have done it if he knew what was going to happen," she said, ruffling his hair. "Harry's a good boy."
Harry blushed, and Cho giggled, only causing Harry to go darker. Hermione put her arm around Harry.
"Don't embarrass him," she admonished, and Harry smiled at her. "See?" she said to Harry. "That's two spells you know that the others won't."
Around noon, a plump old woman pushing a snack cart made her way down the corridor outside.
"Anything from the trolley?" she asked, smiling at them.
"No thank you," Hermione said, digging out a bag of trail mix from her trunk. "I'm set."
"A package of Pumpkin Pasties," Cho said, standing and moving to the card.
"Say that five times fast," Harry smiled, and Cho giggled as she went to sit down. "I'll have…."
He stared at the cart. There were no Nestle bars or packs of gum. Instead, Harry found himself examining Cauldron Cakes, Chocolate Frogs, Drooble's Best-Blowing Gum, and Bertie Bott's Every-Flavor Beans, among others.
"Um, one of everything," he grinned, pulling out a handful of sickles from his pocket. Cho stared as he made his way back to his seat laden with sweets.
"Hungry?" she asked.
"You'll spoil your dinner," Hermione cautioned him.
"I've never had magic candy," Harry smiled, pulling out a packet of Bertie Bott's Beans and dumping a handful in his palm.
"Careful with those," Cho said thickly, her mouth full of Cauldron Cake. She swallowed her food. "They really are every flavor."
Harry glanced back down at the handful of beans in trepidation, and Marietta got an evil look on her face.
"I'll give you three galleons to eat that handful," she said, and Harry looked up at her then grinned, spilling all of the beans into his mouth.
"Eeeeew!" Cho squealed in delight, laughing at Harry's expression as the numerous flavors hit Harry all at once. Hermione laughed as well, and Marietta giggled as she dug the money out of her pocket and passed it to Harry.
"What's it taste like?" she asked, dumping the coins in Harry's hand. Harry shrugged; the various horrible and delicious flavors only served to break even, tasting strange more than anything else.
"Just…odd," he said, swallowing the mouthful of beans.
Hermione checked her watch. "We should change into our robes," she said. "We'll be there in the hour."
"So, Harry," Marietta asked as they dressed. "What house do you think you'll be in?"
"Um…I'd like to be Ravenclaw, so I can…be with you guys."
"Aaawww!" Cho smiled, hugging Harry. "You're so adorable! Can we keep him?" she asked Hermione, who rolled her eyes. She started to say something, but the compartment door slid open at that moment, and a boy entered.
He was tall, a little taller than Harry, and he had a pale face and white-blonde hair that was slicked back, bringing his cold gray eyes into more prominence. Harry had a brief impression of a well-dressed rat. The boy was flanked by two much larger ones. One was squat with bristly hair, the other slightly taller with a pudding-bowl haircut.
"I heard Harry Potter was on the train," he said, his voice haughty, and Harry finally recognized him.
"I met you in Madame Malkin's," he observed, and the boy nodded.
"We weren't properly introduced," he said. "I'm Draco Malfoy. This is Crabbe and Goyle," he nodded at his two bodyguards.
"Malfoy?" Marietta asked. "My mum's mentioned your family a few times. Says your father's always prowling around for some reason."
Malfoy smirked. "My father doesn't prowl," he said. "He has an active interest in the Ministry's happenings and happens to be on the Board of Governors of Hogwarts." He turned back to Harry. "You should be careful of the company you keep, Potter. You don't want to associate with the wrong sort," he glanced at Hermione, who pinked. "I can help you with that."
Harry took a step back, moving next to Hermione, who smiled at him. "I think I can figure out the wrong sort, thank you."
Malfoy's smirk faded, replaced by a sneer. "You want to be careful, Potter. Hanging out with this sort of…" his eyes landed again on Hermione, "riffraff…can get you into trouble."
"What do you mean by riffraff?" Cho asked coolly, falling into step next to Harry and Hermione, and Marietta joined them.
"I know exactly what you are," Malfoy said, his gaze fixed on Hermione. "I can spot a mudblood a mile off – "
"Petrificus Totalus!" three voices shouted, and Harry watched in amazement as the three boys's arms sprang to their sides and their legs fastened together. They hovered precariously for a moment before toppling unceremoniously into a heap. Cho and Marietta immediately set to dragging them into the corridor while Hermione led Harry over to a seat and sat him down, sitting primly next to him.
"Sorry you had to see that, Harry," she said. "Some wizards aren't exactly pleasant."
"And some are greasy-haired gits," Cho grumbled, pulling a handkerchief from her pocket. "How much hair gel does one boy need, honestly?"
The train pulled to a stop some time later, and they disembarked, Harry growing increasingly nervous. Hermione noticed this and took his hand, leading him onto the platform.
"There's no need to be nervous," she said. "Remember what I told you? It's just a hat."
Nodding, Harry jumped when he heard a familiar booming voice.
"Firs' years this way! Firs' years follow me! All firs' years over here!"
"Hagrid!" Harry said, grinning at the giant man.
"All righ', Harry?" Hagrid greeted him. "'Ow's yer cousin?"
"Terrified of me," Harry said with a grin, and Hagrid's eyes crinkled as he smiled at him.
Meanwhile, the Ravenclaw trio climbed into the horseless carriages that would take them up to the castle. As soon as the door shut, Cho squealed in joy.
"I hope he's in Ravenclaw," she said. "He's such a nice boy."
"I like him," Marietta said. "The other first year boys could learn from him."
"He is really sweet," Hermione said. "But…I don't know. He looks a little sad to me, too."
"Why would he be sad?" Cho asked, furrowing her brow. Hermione shrugged, clasping her hands.
"Something…I don't think his home life is all that great," Hermione said. "Don't tell him I said this, but I think his family's mean to him."
Cho smiled sadly. "Then we'll just have to be extra nice," she said. "And maybe we can talk to Flitwick or Dumbledore."
Hermione nodded. With that reassuring thought, she sat back and smiled, hoping Harry was in her house.
"When I call your name, you will come forward and sit on the stool," the woman called Professor McGonagall said. "I will place the hat on your head, and you will be sorted."
"It's just a hat!" a redheaded boy nearby hissed. "I'll kill Fred; he told me we had to wrestle a troll."
"A troll?" a dark-haired boy nearby chuckled. "And you believed him?"
The redheaded boy's ears reddened, but before he could retaliate, the dark-haired one's name was called.
The boy walked to the stool and sat, and McGonagall placed the hat on his head. A few seconds and….
Harry watched as Terry ran along the table, sitting on the end and grinning as other students clapped him on the back. As he looked back forward, he caught Hermione's eye, and she smiled at him, waving. Harry smiled and waved back. Next to Hermione, Cho waved vigorously, and Harry had to stop himself from laughing.
McGonagall worked her way down the list; Justin Finch-Fletchley became a Hufflepuff, Neville Longbottom (after considerable thought on the talking hat's part) became a Gryffindor, Draco Malfoy (conversely, with no thought at all) became a Slytherin, joined later by Pansy Parkinson, Patil and Patil went to Ravenclaw and Gryffindor, and moments later….
Harry stumbled forward as an outbreak of whispering began among the students.
"The black-haired boy with the glasses."
"He doesn't look like much, does he?"
Harry walked up and slid onto the stool, looking out over the Great Hall as thousands of eyes stared up at him, before it was all obscured by the hat falling over his eyes.
A voice in his head, quite unlike his own.
Hmm…difficult. Very difficult. You've got a little of it all in here. There's potential. Lots of it. A desire to learn. A need for friendship and acceptance. Ambition to prove yourself. And the courage to fight for what you know is right. I've only ever sorted one boy like you before, over a hundred years ago. He went to Gryffindor.
Harry's hear dropped. Gryffindor. Hermione, Cho, and Marietta weren't in Gryffindor, though. All he wanted was to be with his friends, to learn more magic spells with them. He willed the hat to know this.
Oh, but you don't want to be separated from your friends. That's the loyalty of a Hufflepuff.
No! Not Hufflepuff or Gryffindor or Slytherin! Ravenclaw! With my friends!
He could almost hear the hat chuckle.
But the desire to learn with your friends seems to override all. Very well….
The second table from the left erupted in cheers as McGonagall lifted the hat from his head, and he stood and hurried over. Hermione waved him over, and she squeezed between her and Cho.
"Congratulations, Harry!" Hermione squealed, and Cho ruffled his hair again.
"Welcome to Ravenclaw!"
The cheers and applause lasted quite a bit longer than they had for any other student, but they eventually calmed, and the Sorting continued. Harry looked up and caught Hagrid's eye, and Hagrid grinned, giving him a thumbs-up.
When the Sorting had finished, Albus Dumbledore stood from his seat at the center of the table.
"Welcome, welcome," he said happily, smiling down at all of them. "Welcome to another year at Hogwarts. I have just a few words before we begin our feast, and they are as follows: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!"
Harry stared at the man for a moment, expecting some sort of reasoning behind this strange declaration, but Dumbledore merely sat.
"Is he…?" Harry trailed off, looking expectantly at Cho, who only smiled.
"You should've heard his speech last year," she said. "He gave the sage advice to never tickle a sleeping dragon."
"Roast pork, Harry?" Hermione said on his other side, and Harry looked over at her, his mouth dropping open in awe. The three girls laughed at his reaction. Food, and a lot of it, had appeared on the only recently empty platters before them.
"How – "
"Oh, it's a simple enough banishing charm," Hermione said. "On a very large scale, though. The kitchens are directly below us, and the food is prepared there, then a banishing charm sends it up here."
"Try the sweet potatoes, Harry," Cho offered him a platter. "They're to die for."
"Thank you," Harry said, doling a portion onto his plate. A burst of laughter caught his attention, and he looked up to see a tiny man sitting on several cushions talking to Professor McGonagall.
"That's Professor Flitwick," Hermione said in his ear, following his gaze. "He's the Charms professor and head of Ravenclaw House. He's a sweet man."
Harry looked down the staff table and saw a flash of purple. There was Professor Quirrel, talking to someone Harry couldn't –
"Ah!" Harry clutched a hand to his scar, which had stung as though poked with something sharp.
"Are you okay?" Marietta asked from beyond Cho, who also looked concerned. Harry nodded.
"Fine," he said. "Just a headache."
Placated, the two went back to their conversation, but Hermione continued to look worried.
"If it keeps hurting, go to Madame Pomfrey," she said. "She's the school nurse. She'll have something that can help you."
Harry nodded, his thoughts on Professor Quirrel. Something about the man had caused Harry's scar to hurt like it never had before. Or had it? Maybe he was just being paranoid. His scar had stung once or twice before; perhaps being around so much magic had cause it to react more severely than usual. That had to be it; no need to worry. No use in ruining his first night at Hogwarts worrying about an old scar.
Dessert was soon served and disappeared as well, leaving the plates spotless, and Dumbledore stood again. Harry yawned, nodding against Hermione's shoulder, and she laughed, nudging him awake again.
"Just a few more notes, now that our stomachs are full," he said. "First years should note that the Forbidden Forest on the edge of the grounds is called such for a reason. No students are allowed in for any reason. A few of our returning students would do well to remember, as well."
Harry saw his eyes twinkle toward the Gryffindor table.
"Second, Quidditch tryouts will be held in the second week of term," Dumbledore went on. "Anyone interested should consult their team captains for exact dates and times."
Cho smiled eagerly, looking down the table, undoubtedly trying to spot the Ravenclaw captain.
"Finally, the third floor right-hand corridor is off limits to anyone who does not wish to die a most painful death," Dumbledore said, and several students laughed nervously. Harry looked at Hermione, who had a nervous sort of smile on her face.
"I don't think he's serious," Hermione said. "I'll have to ask Professor Flitwick later."
"And now, bedtime!" Dumbledore said, clapping his hands. "Pip-pip!"
The students stood, and Hermione took Harry's hand, Cho taking the other. He felt his face heat up, and both girls giggled.
"Congratulations, Harry," Marietta said from behind him. "Looks like you're stuck with us."
"Pretty good," Sirius said, nodding appreciatively. "I mean, I'm not in it, but it's still not bad despite that."
"You narcissistic…" the author rolled his eyes. "Do you think it has potential?"
"Definitely," Sirius nodded. "But what about…carry, you called it? Does it have carry?"
"Hopefully," the author said. "I just don't know anymore. Fan fiction's tough, because you have to work your story around the pre-established canon. I'll do my best, though. I think there's a lot of carry potential with this one."
"Well, let's post it then!" Sirius said enthusiastically, taking off for the posting point, and the author had to rush to catch up.
"Wait, I hate running!"
"Just say the disclaimer!"
The author stopped short of the posting point and took a deep breath; he hated this part.
"I don't own Harry Potter or any of its affiliated characters, settings, or any associated creative property. The aforementioned is the sole property of J.K. Rowling and Scholastic Publishing Company. Any characters, settings, or creative property mentioned within this story and not associated with Harry Potter are the sole property of me unless otherwise specified, and use is limited to my permission. Thank you and have a nice day."
"Hurry up!" Sirius called.
"Hold your horses!" the author yelled back, following him.