Tricks That Once Fooled Me

The train station was crowded. There was barely any spare room on the platform and it seemed a miracle that no one had fallen onto the tracks. People were jostling their way forward, eager to board the enormous, scarlet steam engine. Smoke billowed from the black chimney, and drifted across the platform and caused a few people to cough and splutter as they inhaled the tiny fragments of coal. As the smoke travelled further down the platform, it rose into the air and marked a white trail across the sky.

Mothers wept over the prospect of their children leaving home for the first time. Some of the first years cried too. Most of them however, jumped and yelled for sheer joy. Only one did not.

The girl stood at the far edge of the platform, as close to the tracks as she dared. She wore dark clothes and looked about fifteen or sixteen. Her dark hair, black or possibly brown, trailed in delicate waves past her shoulders and her side fringe partially covered her bright, green eyes. As she stood further away from the other groups of students, it soon became clear that she was alone. The trains whistle blew and one by one, the students climbed aboard. The girl sighed, after scanning the crowd several times and turned around to lift her trunk into the carriage. It was gone.

A group of Slytherins stood in front of it, laughing meanly. One of them, a boy with fairly long platinum blonde hair, and clearly the leader, stepped forward and the boys fell silent.

"Ariana." He acknowledged, not bothering to disguise the venom in his voice.

"Lucius." She replied, a look of disgust upon her pale face, and her hand clenching instinctively around her wand. Her knuckles stood out. Far more than they should, as it looked like she was using every ounce of energy she could spare, working against the urge to spring at him and curse him within an inch of his life.

"Forgive me for intruding, my friend," He added, a tone of sickly sweet flattery edging into his words.

"What d'you want?" She sighed, not wanting to fight. Well, any more than she had to.

"We, and by we, I mean my friends and I, feel it is a terrible shame that you have been in Gryffindor all these years. We feel that you could be an…asset… to us. Helpful. We believe that a powerful witch such as yourself would be better off with us. Join Slytherin. Make the right choice." He said. Linking his words together smoothly and trying to flatter his way to get what he wanted. Her.

"Hmmm. Tricky choice. Leave all my friends and go and work for you Death Eater worshipping slime-balls? No thanks." She snapped sarcastically.

"Oh that's right. Crawl back to your blood traitor pals, you filthy mudblood." He snarled. His dark side finally burst through his calm demeanour.

Losing her patience, Ariana pulled out her wand and crying

"Stupefy!" She blasted Lucius off his feet and over the back of her trunk. The force of the spell was enough to knock him out cold and as his 'friends' dragged him to safety by the arms, she called after them.

"Don't forget to remind him that he will never get away with that!"

As one of them turned around to acknowledge her warning, she shouted after them even louder and with so much venom in her voice that the first years trembled,

"This is war, Malfoy!"

Smiling slightly, she picked up her owl, Artemis, and carried him into her compartment, the one she and her friends used every year. Without question. As she returned for her trunk, a group of people surrounded her in a massive group hug.

"Guys!" She whined, giggling as someone picked her up, whirling her around in a large circle, almost taking out a couple of second year Ravenclaws.

"Get off her, Prongs!" A squeaky voiced boy called, evidently annoying the black-haired boy, as he appeared to ignore him.

"Nope" came the muffled reply after a moment of silence from him, after trying to trip over Ariana.

"We missed you." A sandy haired boy said after physically removing the hyperactive boy wearing glasses, which had now misted over, due to his breath condensing onto the cold lenses of his glasses. He stepped forward and wrapped his arms around her in a warm hug.

"See Prongs! That's how you greet a girl, and such a fragile one at that!" said the voice of an extremely attractive boy who'd just arrived on the scene.

"Not, I might add, by half throttling her!" He joked.

"Hey guys," Ariana smiled, as she recovered her breath from laughing uncontrollably at the disgruntled look on James' face after being pushed to the floor by Remus.

"Where's Lily?" She added.

"Prefecting." The boys mocked.

"So, shall we get on board?" She asked. The large group of her friends agreed and lifting their luggage onto the train, they all began to drill Ariana about her holiday.

She sighed. If only her mother would allow her to enjoy it.