Moonlight Fell on the Midnight Tracks
A HariPo Marauders fanfic
DISCLAIMER: The Harry Potter characters are J.K. Rowling's, and fanfiction allows me to do with them what I please. POVs are boldened so there's no confusion, and REVIEWS are WELCOME!!!
Note: This chapter contains some dialogue excerpted from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, dialogue that is verbatim and is of course copyright J.K. Rowling.
Oh, Merlin. Finally, it began.
I was eleven now, and that could only mean one thing:
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
All that bothersome shopping had been taken care of a few weeks ago at Diagon Alley. Flourish and Blott's for my books, Ollivander's for my wand, a quick pace set past Florean Fortescue's ice cream parlor with my eyes hungrily watching the diners inside–
And now I stood with my stupid family at King's Cross Station.
We had just entered Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. I admit, just passing through the enchanted brick wall was exhilarating. Not that it was my first touch with magic, but I like to think that at least going through the portal to get to the platform was an experience everyone could keep to themselves, a special something, since I'm sure my parents hadn't felt the relief I did when I saw the burgundy train that was the Hogwarts Express.
"It'll be just like how we described it to you," Father said when I turned back around to face my parents and younger brother.
"I'll have to worry about that ghost trying to prank me, won't I?" I asked with a frown.
"Don't start complaining now," Mother scolded. "You're not even there. Besides, Peeves should leave you alone, if he knows what's good for him. You're a Black after all. Oh, for heaven's sake, raise your chin. You're a pureblood, Sirius, better than most," she snapped when I slouched.
My hands gripped the handlebar of my luggage cart. She just couldn't let go of our family's stupid pureblood lineage, could she? I fought the urge to at least tell her there was no use in threatening that ghost Peeves; he was already dead. But I didn't want to start something new. I wanted to get on that train and escape these people.
Father glanced at the time. "Well, you should get on now. It's five 'til departure time."
"Remember what we said about the Sorting," the Monster of Monsters (MOM, for short, though I remember that also stood for the Ministry of Magic…maybe I should come up with another one for her later…) said, "you should be in Slytherin. It's the only real house, especially with our pureblood family members in it."
"I remember, Mother," I said through gritted teeth as she gave me a brief hug. I knew that embrace must have been as awkward for her as it was for me. I have always been and I swear on my Chocolate Frog card collection that I always will be a troublemaker at home. But I knew that my parents hoped my antics wouldn't reach the school and might even leave home if I got into Slytherin and was straightened out there.
"Maybe," Father said, a thoughtful look on his face, "you'll make prefect later on. And then you'll be Head Boy in your seventh year. Head Boy of Slytherin."
"I want to be in Slytherin!" my little brother complained.
I ruffled his hair, which was short like mine, but stood straighter. "It's okay, Reg. In a couple of years, you'll be heading to Hogwarts."
"You'll be a Slytherin Head Boy, too, Regulus," Mother stated, but with more love than she could ever muster up for me. After all, little Regulus Arcturus Black was the favorite son.
I was Sirius Black, the Black sheep (funny pun, no? I like to think so).
With a pat on the shoulder from Father and a hug from Regulus, I left them and made my way onto the Hogwarts Express.
If I had thought it was crowded outside, then I was a bloody idiot. Inside was utter chaos. Not only were there eleven- to seventeen- and the occasional eighteen-year-olds, but there was a huge amount of animals. Owls, cats, toads –thank Merlin only those three types were allowed.
I was just reminding myself that I was glad to not have an animal to look after when someone bumped me from behind. I turned around to see a black-haired boy with brown eyes stare back at me.
"Are you going to stand there like a troll all day and drool over everything you take in?" he taunted arrogantly.
"Did you forget your tampon today, little Miss Four Eyes?" I deftly retorted.
To my surprise, he grinned. The boy pushed his thick, round spectacles up the bridge of his nose before extending a hand. "Nice one. I'm James, James Potter."
I smirked as we shook hands. "Sirius Black. Your troll wasn't that bad."
"Meh," James said with a shrug. "I just said what came to mind."
"Ingenious spontaneity, really," I commented.
"Let's find a compartment then, and we can exchange a few more comebacks."
I followed James down the end of one car until he swung open a compartment and looked in. "This'll do."
We went in, and I saw we weren't alone. There was a crumpled form near the window. When we put our trunks above our heads, I stole a glance down and saw this redhead had her face pressed against the glass. I shot James a what's-her-deal look and sat down across from him. He sat on the same bench as her, but he didn't pay her another look after that initial observation.
"So, do you like Quidditch?"
I nodded. "I've never really gotten to watch it much, though. My parents think it's ridiculous, but the brooms, the speed, the excitement-"
"I know what you mean. I want to be a Chaser some day. That would be awesome!"
"Just don't take after the Chudley Cannons," I remarked.
"'Chudley Cannons suck unicorn horns'!" we suddenly said together, and we burst out laughing.
Just then, the compartment door opened, and a boy with long, greasy black hair stood there. He was already in his school robes.
He sat down opposite the girl, and they began talking. No, arguing. She glared at him at something.
"I can't wait for the feast," James said. "Roast, mashers, pumpkin juice-
"Don't forget the treacle tarts and pumpkin pie," I added, and I absent-mindedly rubbed my stomach. Great. Now I was hungry. And then I heard this:
"You'd better be in Slytherin."
My eyes slid back to the greasy-haired kid. He had said that to his girlfriend there.
"Slytherin?" James piped up. "Who wants to be in Slytherin?" He looked at me. "I think I'd leave, wouldn't you?"
I didn't smile. Might as well get this out of the way… "My whole family have been in Slytherin," I stated.
"Blimey," my new friend whom I suspected would now leave said, "and I thought you seemed all right!"
I smiled when I saw the joke on his face. "Maybe I'll break the tradition. Where are you heading, if you've got the choice?"
James raised an imaginary sword and puffed out his puny, eleven-year-old chest. "'Gryffindor, where dwell the brave at heart!' Like my dad." The greasy-haired kid snorted, and James faced him. "Got a problem with that?"
"No," the kid said, but I saw a small sneer rise up. "If you'd rather be brawny than brainy-"
"Where're you hoping to go, seeing as you're neither?" I interrupted nastily. How dare this idiot say that to my new friend.
It got James laughing so hard, I thought he'd puncture a lung. The girl finally sat up, then, but instead of laughing, she glared at him and me.
"Come on, Severus, let's find another compartment," she said as she stood and left.
"Oooooo…," James and I mimicked her girly tone. James tried to trip that prat-in-training –no, he's a prat, since he likes Slytherin –as he passed, but Severella sidestepped it. Then James came up with gold, something we'd use for decades:
"See ya, Snivellus!" James hollered as I slammed the door shut to contain our guffaws.
Damn. The school year was already the best thing that had ever happened to me.
The train started to move when I passed a girl and boy who looked equally distressed. I was only eleven, and they didn't look much older than me so I had to wonder if they were boyfriend and girlfriend. With the way he looked at her and pushed his long black hair out of his eyes to keep his gaze on the redhead, I was positive they were a couple.
But at such a young age?
Stuff like that confused me, but I didn't dwell on it. I kept to myself and my books, if I could help it.
With another lurch, the Hogwarts Express warned her passengers that she'd be getting speedy any time soon. I reached the end of the car I was in and just opened the compartment door next to me.
"Sorry. Do you mind if I join you?"
The two occupants stared at me, but I didn't hide or anything. I was used to people looking at my scarred face; at least the effects wouldn't begin to appear until I was a bit older.
The boy with the shorter black hair with the bit sticking up at the back closed his mouth first. "Um, n-no," he stammered.
"Come in, mate," the other said, and he tried to smile.
That lightened the mood a bit, and I sat beside this one after I put my trunk on the shelf above. "You excited about getting there?"
I somewhat wished I had chosen –rather, found an empty compartment when they both gave me a half-shrug.
"I'm Remus Lupin, by the way."
"James Potter," the boy with short hair and glasses said.
"Sirius Black," the other stated.
Well, that was a start, wasn't it?
However, my optimism fell short when James and Sirius resumed a previous conversation. It was obvious I wasn't to be included.
I sighed and opened a book to read. Damn. The school year was already probably the worst thing that had happened to me.
And the castle wasn't even in sight yet.
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