Note: This story in many, many ways completely rewrites aspects of the plot and future events contained in the books "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" onwards. This was in no way meant to be disrespectful to the great J.K Rowling, it is just a bit of fanfic I enjoyed writing in my spare time which I hope somebody might enjoy.
"All aboard ladies and gents, the train for Hogwarts leaves in ten minutes." came the cry from the old platform officer of 9 and 3/4 as he glanced toward his silver pocket watch and pursed his lips toward his whistle. Hundreds of cloaked students herded like cattle into the old red doors of the steamer, pushing frantically to obtain a carriage with all their friends.
Terence Petalsnout had seen it all before of course having made the arduous journey five times previously and never had he been more phased than his first time all those years ago, being pushed and shoved like a dog between the shoulders of the taller students as they virtually stepped on him to get into the train before he did.
Now of course, he knew that it was best just to wait until the ruckus had died down and find a nice quiet carriage to sit and read a book in his own company. Not so much a loner, just never one to put him self out there. Unaware of the quiet popularity he held amongst many of the girls in his year due a rather handsome face that was so often hidden behind his scruffy mane of unkempt hair, even now he had failed to notice the occasional longing look he was receiving from the female students he past as he backed away from the platform and leaned against the old brick surface of the station wall.
He brushed aside his chestnut hair from his eyes and stared into the foray. He spotted a few acquaintances from the past years scrabble in front of him but didn't feel like calling out to them and just watched the scene with a look of bewildered amusement on his face.
It was only then that he noticed another student had joined him at his side having almost sneaked up on him over the endless chatter and yells from the bustling crowd. The boy glowered up towards him with a look of disgust and arrogance on his face, his thin lips curling at the side in a permanent look of hate. His medium length silvery blond hair sharply cut and swept backwards.
Terence stared back at Draco Malfoy and cocked his head. "What do you want, mate?" he inquired casually, studying the angry lines on the boys face.
"Don't think I've forgotten about last year." barked the shorter boy his teeth clenched, grinding in the last word and wringing his fists at his side. "Ah that." replied Terence instantly returning his gaze to the heavy crowd with a smile of satisfaction on his face as he thought back over the last year.
It was half way through the first term of his fifth year when Terence had been walking through the school courtyard, the light breeze whistling like a choir past the old stone pillars and out over the moor that surrounded the grand castle.
He had reached the middle of the yard when he heard a cry of anger emerge from the corner to his left. "What did you call me?" demanded the voice in a tone of disgust, it had originated from a younger female student with long bushy brown hair which was tied back, she was dressed in the school's scarlet hemmed robes of Gryffindor house.
She was standing alone facing Malfoy and his two goonish sidekicks Crabbe and Goyle with her face on the verge of tears and mouth quivering with rage.
"You heard me Granger, your filthy muggle father had no right to turn up at the station with you, it's a dark day when the secrets of the wizarding world are disclosed to its filthy mud-blood students let alone their awfully dull parents. I bet Mummy and Daddy were so proud that their precious little Hermione had managed to claw her way into a world she doesn't belong, I bet they think they've been accepted - the fools. It'll be a long time before pure bloods like me will allow outsiders like your filthy family to feel at home here. It makes me sick." rattled off Malfoy pointing directly into her face and clicking his tongue as a sign of disapproval. His two pillars of confidence just chuckled by his side and gathered in around her once more.
"How dare you say that about my parents, they've done nothing wrong. How can you been so cruel about people you've never even met, you know nothing about them." cried Hermione tears forming in the corners of her hazel coloured eyes.
"I don't need to know them dear, I've meet my fair share of Muggles to know that they should all be banished from this planet. Personally I think they should all be strung up in the street, it's no better than they deserve... why should your parent's be any different?" With this statement the expression on the girls face filled violently red in a hate fuelled rage as she brandished her wand from under her robes and shoved it into the face of the smirking malcontent.
"Say one more word Malfoy and I swear I'll make you regret it."
Terence could tell from the pressure in her voice that she meant every word and had to admit that he was impressed, the sight of Malfoy alone usually sent a shiver of fear down the spine of many a student at this school let alone when the two giants of delinquency were stood beside him.
"Don't you dare point that thing at me you stupid girl." growled Malfoy as he and his gang took a step back, reaching into their robes for their own wands. "You so much as utter a spell and I'll make sure your parents rot in Azkaban for raising such a despicable child."
Terence had seen enough, he knew full well that despite the conviction and best efforts of this one girl she was no match on her own against three dirty fighters such as the ones involved. He paced onward towards the four and stood next to the girl. "Hang about fellas, what's this? Three against one… tisk tisk, it's hardly the height of fairness I think you'll agree." he held up his hands between the two sides, "Why don't we just all calm down and go our separate ways?"
The girl glanced up towards the boy next to her and her face immediately softened, her resolve to hurt the boy in front seemed to wane on his words of peace as she began to lower her wand, glancing back at Malfoy in deep dislike. Draco on the other hand had no such idea and instantly took the opportunity to produce his wand and hold it up at the two of them, his cronies doing the same leaving the three of them highly advantaged with the other side disarmed.
"I don't think so." exclaimed Malfoy as he cast a triumphant look towards both of the boys stood at his side "I think it is you who should listen to us, do you really think I care who you are? My father would have you expelled for so much as laying one finger on me. So why don't you piss off and mind your own business as this has nothing to do with you." ordered the snivelling little runt as he twisted his wand toward Terence's face.
Terence just chuckled to himself and casually put his hands into his pockets. "Oh calm down girls, this isn't really the time or place for this is it? Out in the open on school grounds... even you should know by now Malfoy sunshine that you'd be instantly suspended if anyone saw you using magic on a student and besides it's not like I can just walk away can I? I'm involved now and I have no idea what you're going to do to this girl the moment my back is turned, so how can I in good conscience just walk away hmm?" replied Terence standing at ease with his hands still held in his pockets.
He gave the girl at his side a nudge with his shoulder and smiled towards her as she looked at him. She smiled back and nodded. Terence hadn't notice before but the girl that stood beside him was really rather pretty but why at such a tense moment this thought happened to pop into his head he couldn't fathom.
"Well you don't really have a choice now do you?" said Malfoy taking a step closer towards them with a look of pure outrage in his eyes, "Because yes I may be suspended for using magic but my father would instantly talk the school out of my punishment… but you on the other hand would be in no favour with my father, I'm sure you've heard of him, Lucius Malfoy? He would make your life a living hell for attacking me... and on school grounds none the less... I also don't see how you can be so relaxed being as you are both now un-armed and I am a dead aim with this wand which is pointed right at your face."
Terence could sense that Malfoy's restraint was lingering right on the edge and a curse would not be far off from being uttered by the little git.
"Well unfortunately for you Malfoy my boy you are wrong on two points there." replied Terence sensing the look of uncertainty in the boy's eyes. "One, I ain't scared of your jumped-up father, he could have the whole ministry under his thumb for all I care and I still wouldn't give a toss because I don't back down to sly little murderer lovers like your daddy." Terence took a step towards Malfoy who was now almost boiling with rage, his eyes erratic and his nostrils flared. Hermione had now taken a step aside standing behind Terence unwittingly clinging onto the back of his robes.
"SHUT UP, SHUT UP!" screamed Malfoy his hand shaking with anger, sparks protruding from the end of his wand.
"And secondly..." continued Terence a smile pasted across his lips "I'm not un-armed." and that instant before Malfoy had a chance to react a bolt of golden coloured light pierced through the cloth of Terence's robes burning a hole in his pocket along the way, striking Malfoy in the dead centre of his chest and sending him flying back 10 feet into the air and landing with a graceful bump 50 yards across the grass of the courtyard unconscious.
Still with his hands in his pockets he then turned his attention to Crabbe and Goyle who in the commotion of Malfoy's flight had now lowered their wands and had only just realised that fact.
"Right fellas I suggest you two pick up your mate over there and sod off out of it before I'm forced to do that again, alright?" ordered Terence in a firm voice matched with a stare its equal.
Crabbe instantly bowed his head in forgiveness before being followed by a shaken Goyle as they sprinted toward their fallen comrade before scooping him up an arm full each and legging it into the school building.
A silence spread across the yard like a library, only the sound of the birds circling up above could be heard, then the whistling of the wind returned as if it had been absent during the confrontation for dramatic effect. Chuckling once again to himself Terence watched them leave and then started to walk in the same direction himself when he heard a voice behind him pipe up that made him stop.
"Erm... I... thanks for that."
Terence had almost forgotten about the girl he had helped and turned around on the spot to see her standing with her hands behind her back and looking nervously around her.
"Oh that's alright... err... Hermione right?" replied Terence wondering why the girl had suddenly lost all her nerve and now couldn't even look him in the eyes.
"Yes... that's it. I... I'm really grateful for what you did, I… I've got to be honest I was in over my head there and maybe reacted a bit rashly." she confessed still looking anywhere but his eyes.
Sensing her distress he placed one hand on her shoulder and gave her another playful nudge before replying. "Hey I don't blame you mate, that guy is such a slimy little worm and what he said about your parents was unforgivable. I'm just sorry you didn't get to curse him yourself."
Hearing this reply the girl then looked up at him in shock and asked "Yeah... but... but don't you think I was a bit too headstrong, I mean I should really learn to control myself." said the girl now looking back at the boy with a worried expression in her eyes.
"Ha, hardly... self control is over-rated I say." joked Terence trying to ease the girls concerns "If you can't get angry every once in a while and speak your mind when you want to then you'll become a push over… and besides, what that little sod said was completely out of line, I would have done exactly the same thing."
Hermione smiled back at him and laughed at herself, "Thanks... I needed to hear that." she shuffled her feet awkwardly and then glanced toward the boy's hands which were still inside his torn robe pockets. "But how did you…?" she questioned nodding towards his robes.
"Oh that." laughed Terence taking out his wand and flipping it in the air before catching it again, "I've always carried my wand in my front pockets... never know when you're going to need it. Silent incantations seems to be the only thing I can do fairly well, that's where the element of surprise came into it... did you see his face?..." but Hermione didn't reply she was looking in shock at his hand which was bleeding heavily, his fingers covered in vicious looking burns.
"Your hand!" she cried grabbing hold of his arm and stretching it out.
"Oh that... yeah that's happened before believe it or not, should really get a wand without so much bite on the after shock, inside my pocket I didn't stand much chance to be honest... but it's nothing to worry about." excused Terence but not moving his arm away from her gentle grasp.
"But it's... look at it." she replied, like a mother tending to a son's scrapped knee, "It'll get infected if you don't get it seen to, you have to go to the infirmary at once." with that she took out her wand and pointed it at his hand. "Aguamenti." she muttered and a cold stream of water poured out from the end of her wand over his burns and although it stung like crazy Terence didn't seem to care, he just smiled and looked and the girl in front of him frantically tending to his wound.
He noticed the way a few strands of hair loosened from her hair band had fallen forward and danced across her face as she moved, he watched her lips pout in disapproval as she spoke to herself, muttering about his lack of concern for his own wellbeing. For some reason right now taking his eyes off her seemed to be the one thing in the world he was incapable of doing.
Hermione still carefully tending to his burns then looked up and noticed he was staring at her and instantly let go of his hand and backed away in embarrassment. "Oh...err...sorry I erm... you should really go and get that looked at, it isn't in too good a shape and I'd hate for you to be in pain because you helped me." she spoke quickly but softly again resorting back to avoiding his gaze, her cheeks a bright shade of pink.
Terence smiled again and sincerely appreciated her concern. "Ok then Hermione I'll make sure to do that." he said whilst picking up his wand and shoving it back into the other pocket.
"Promise me." replied Hermione forgetting her self again and looking back into his eyes with a forceful look.
"Ok, ok I promise." chuckled Terence as he placed his hand over his heart and smiled back. "Well I'd better be off, I'm sure I'll be in for a long talk with Snape when I get into Potions class... that is if Malfoy has come to yet." concluded Terence as he motioned towards the school building.
"Oh I'm so sorry, I completely forgot the trouble you'll be in because of me." Hermione now looked pained and genuinely guilty about the whole event, "I'll take the blame, no one can prove it was you can they?"
"No don't worry about it, I was the one who acted and it wasn't your fault... besides it's not like I haven't had these talks with Snape before, it'll be good practice for the next time I'm hauled up in front of the Ministry for using magic in a public place or something... I'll see you later Hermione... and try not to let that Malfoy get to you, you're a far better person than he'll ever be, it's pointless to show him that he's gotten to you as he'll never let up, ok?" and with a wave of his hand he turned and started back toward the cold school building.
Hermione just stared at his back as he left before finally plucking up the courage to shout back. "Thanks again Terence." without turning round he gave a playful wave behind his back and disappeared up the school steps, it was only after he had made it to the classroom door that he pondered to himself "I didn't tell her my name?"
The loud whistle of the train burst into voice as the last of the stragglers hobbled onto it leaving the platform behind.
Having left Malfoy earlier spluttering with anger Terence was now walking down the long line of carriages glancing into each one looking for a quiet place to sit and read. He squeezed past a group of girls who were whispering and giggling in his direction but he didn't take much notice, he only broke his concentration when he spotted three people… two boys and a girl entering one of the carriages up ahead.
One of the boys had round glasses on and a scar on his forehead, he knew this boy was Harry Potter from the stories written in the Daily Prophet but the other boy he wasn't so familiar with, he was a bit taller than Harry but slightly shorter than himself and had wrinkled old robes that looked two sizes too big for him, his freckled face was topped with a wild amount of red hair that was all over the place.
He was struggling to push his luggage into the compartment they had just entered. The girl behind them he instantly recognized, with her long brown hair now loose and her neat robes flowing behind her, it was Hermione.
He watched her prod the tall boy in the back trying to make him hurry up and frowning in disapproval before finally pushing him into the carriage sending him flying into the seat near the door, she then glanced down the carriage and froze when she spotted Terence, her face became red and she smiled towards him and lightly waved her hand, he waved back and returned her smile.
He then motioned towards the blond haired boy at the entrance of the carriage behind her, it was Malfoy he was shouting at his two subordinates who had managed to wedge him in between themselves and the door as they all tried to enter the carriage at once, he squirmed like a child until he popped out like a cork into the hall of the train and landed on his rear, he quickly stood up and tried to pretend that nothing had happened before walking into the compartment and screaming at his bodyguards.
As Terence approached the girl he place one had on her shoulder and whispered into her ear.
"Remember there are teachers on this train, so if he starts acting up again instead of using your wand just lamp him in the face that'll shut him up." he patted her arm as she laughed and smiled at him, he then made his way down the corridor but not before noticing the glare he received from the disgruntled red haired boy who was now sat near the window watching him and Hermione converse.
Terence paid no mind to it and carried on walking until he found a nice quiet carriage with no one inside, he opened up the door and sunk himself into the chair by the window and pulled out a book, he stared out the train and watched all the parents waving their children goodbye and blowing kisses or shouting out last minute reminders.
He felt a mixed twinge of pain and jealousy in his heart as he realised he had never known what it was like to be seen off by his parents from the station as his mother died giving birth to him 17 years ago and his dad was always away working for the Ministry of Magic on what his father called "private official business."
Terence couldn't recall a time when his dad had spent more than one week with him before flying off again for months on end to some other part of the country or world. It wasn't that his father didn't care but without the help of his mother to support the family his Dad was forced to work extra hard so that Terence never went without the essentials in child hood, he knew his dad loved him and that he only ever wanted the best for him but he couldn't help selfishly feeling a little let down every time he was reminded of the normal childhood he had never had.
The train rumbled away from the station and made its way across the Kent country side on its way to Hogwarts. The afternoon sun crashed into his carriage and bathed Terence's face in a relaxing warmth as he leaned his head back and drifted off to sleep.
The next thing he knew Terence was now wide awake but over 3 hours had passed since he had nodded off, he rubbed his eyes and glanced down at his un-opened book, with a heavy sigh he tossed it onto the empty seat in front of him and looked out the window, the hills had grown tall and the sun higher in the cloudless sky. He could spot a coastal line far off in the distance and the sound of chatter and laughing filtered through his ears from the other carriages.
He was then made aware of the sound of heavy footsteps approaching from the hallway of the train sounding hurried and frantic. He glanced away from the window and saw Professor Thomas Flutewell the Muggle Studies teacher hurriedly walking past the carriage, it was only when he spotted Terence that he halted and crashed open the compartment door. Out of breath and with a frantic look on his face he babbled,
"Terence... thank god I've found you. It's your father Simon, he's... he's been attacked whilst out working for the Ministry... it looks like "you-know-who" was involved."