A/N: Alright so this is something completely different for me. This is the story of the train conductor, he is never really mentioned in the stories (except in the third book) and I feel as if he deserves a little recognition. He has seen so much over the years and has had to deal with the antics of the students passing through. So this is his point of view of what his job really is. Of course, our favorite family (the Weasleys) is mentioned quite a few times! So enjoy and tell me what you think!
Disclaimer: I do not own the world of Harry Potter; it belongs to the wonderful J.K. Rowling! So if she did not want to give this character a name, than neither am I!
It may not be the best paying job, but in my opinion, it is certainly the best job out there. I have never been the most social of fellows, and I am perfectly content with watching other people from the top of my chair. I have been at this post for the past forty years, and I wouldn't trade it for all the gold in the world. Most people wouldn't appreciate what I get to see, which is why it is best that I keep this job.
My boss has been asking me if I wanted to retire for years, and every time I politely decline. I understand that I am getting older, but so are the people that I am driving around. If I missed something special, I would never forgive myself.
Once, my boss sent an intern to learn all the controls of the train. Although the chap was a nice guy, and he caught on well, he did not seem to do well with being cooped up in a space for such a long time. He was young, he still needed to be out in the world and live it.
I had my chance with that. I certainly did live in my youth. I was always a fighter; and I tended to get into more brawls than necessary. My parents didn't know what to do with my pent up aggression, and they certainly did not know where it came from. Hell, I am not even sure if I know where it came from. Regardless, they sent me out for training for the army in the muggle world. I repeat: the muggle world! I thought that they hated me at the time, like they were punishing me.
But I loved it! Every single minute of it: I loved being pushed to my limits, to see what my true abilities really were. I even pursued the career further by getting involved in a muggle war. I loved fighting, and I have the badges and everything to prove it.
When I came to the end of my contract, I returned home to settle down with a girl I fell in love with. And get this, she was muggle. At that point I didn't have any contact with any wizarding folk, and I barely ever used my wand. It remained in the box that Ollivander gave me when I was eleven years old.
I loved my life too. I seriously enjoyed it. That was until my parents died. Of course they would die together, they were bloody romantics. They died in a train crash actually; the train derailed and tipped over, killing them and hundreds of other people.
At their funeral I reconnected myself with the world I once forgotten. I saw the beauty of magic again, and I wondered why I left it in the first place. My wife, of course, knew I was a wizard, but she never really saw any true magic, let alone an entire room filled with wizards and witches. She became fascinated too, and asked me why I left it.
I couldn't really come up with an answer. After my parents sent me away, I just filled my mind with other things. It wasn't like I could bring my wand to a muggle training camp- that would have been ridiculous.
In your fifth year of Hogwarts, your Head of House is supposed to talk to you about your career options. She or he is supposed to tell you what you would excel in, then direct you on that path and help you reach your goals. That would have been lovely back then. All we had was an assembly where they reviewed different types of professions, and if we were lucky, a speaker that would talk about it. That was it. No pamphlets that I sometimes see lying on the ground. No one-on-one time that I sometimes hear about. And there was definitely no drive to perform well on your O.W.L.s. It was like they didn't even care; they just expected you to know what to do with yourself once you graduated.
But then again, I wasn't really there to hear those speeches. I was off in detention for dueling. I didn't get to hear of the wizarding equivalent of the army: the Aurors. Now those guys were the greatest, the heroes. But I didn't get to hear their stories, or what was necessary to fulfill the requirements, I was off in the castle somewhere scrubbing the floors for my bad behavior.
But then again, if I had heard of them, my life would have been different. And I have to tell you, I enjoy my life how it is.
But my wife had a good point when she asked why I left it all behind. I was searching for a job then, and I had two worlds to apply in. I saw how much I was missing out that day in a world I loved as a teenager. I didn't need a big or well-paying job, just one where I could get enough to pay the bills with. I knew my chances for being an Auror were gone, and that was okay. I had seen enough pain and suffering to last me a lifetime.
I started to look in the Daily Prophet. I had started a subscription; I wasn't going to be cut off from the wizarding world again. I saw an ad for a train conductor. It didn't seem all that bad, I would have to take a training course and medical tests, but they didn't require many O.W.L.s, which I was thankful for. I didn't know at the time how much I would love that job, and I am so thankful that I chose to pursue it.
My wife didn't like the idea of it very much. She was worried that once I began I would have nightmares of my parents' death. But that only fueled me more. The passengers on the train deserved to have a driver that would make sure they were safe at all times, no matter what. I was going to make sure that no one would die with my care. And I kept that promise to this day, after forty years I have kept my promise.
There have always been scares of course. We cannot forget that I drove through two wizarding wars. But that didn't faze me; I had been trained for war. I have always kept a cool head then, so why not now? In the year 1993 I was ambushed by Dementors. And did anyone die? Nope only one kid fainted, but of course it was Harry Potter.
That's right the Harry Potter. I will admit I too was a little star struck when I learned that he was going to Hogwarts, and I was going to drive him. The thrill wore off pretty soon when I heard of all the trouble that seemed to follow him around. The kid was a walking deathtrap, but he never died under my guidance, which was a feat in itself.
And he hasn't been the only celebrity I have driven. I would give you an entire list, but all you have to do is see if they went to Hogwarts in the last forty years, and I have driven them. I enjoy finding out years later that the young child that I watched struggle with getting his trunk on the train ended up being the Head of this department or played that position for that one team.
They didn't know at that age what a star they were going to become, but I got to see them go through their awkward stages, just trying to fit in with everyone else.
But not all people fit in, other people were just made to stand out. The entire Weasley clan with that trademark red hair lasted for generations, and I drove enough to fill the entire train. I may have dropped off the youngest for the last time two years ago, but they always come back. In ten years time there will be another brood for me to transport and I look forward to it. There will the mischievous Weasley, and the studious one. There will be the charmer, then there will the one that will totally make a full of himself in front of the girls. And maybe this time around there will be little girl Weasleys too; wouldn't that be a surprise!
But that is not the last I will see with of the Weasleys. I am sure that you are well aware of the fact that the youngest male Weasley is best friends with Harry Potter, Ron Weasley. And the only girl, Ginny I think her name is, is actually the girlfriend of Harry Potter. I see picture upon picture of them in the Daily Prophet, including ones with my train in the background.
I am not sure if you are aware of this or not, but Harry Potter is an Auror. And who do you think will drive the train to drop off those trainees to their training camp? Well, I am of course! You didn't think that I just drove to and from Hogwarts now did you? That would mean I only drive there four times a year, and I need more money than that to live.
Even wizards need alternate transportation over long distances. Not everyone is a master in apparition or is able to handle the Knight Bus. And if there are large groups of people, you will be sure that they will travel together, like Quidditch teams.
And do you know what comes with large groups of people? Plenty of drama, that's what. I have seen my fair share of break ups and get-togethers to last me a lifetime. Don't even get me started on those teenagers. If I have to pull another depressed girl away from the train tracks, it will be too soon. And those parents! As they wave goodbye would it be too much to ask for them to stay in one place? Then there are the little brothers and sisters, they insist on trying to jump up to the window for one last hug as we are moving, and you can never forget the stowaways.
One prime example of this would be the Weasleys! Have you heard of Fred and George, the twins? The trouble makers? Well they certainly liked to make their mark! As their two older brothers were leaving for Hogwarts, they snuck onto the train with one of their parents wands and carved a message into the side saying "We will miss you!" Then they hid and locked themselves in a service closet. They actually made it pretty far before one of the maids found them. Apparently they had fallen asleep while munching on the sweets stored in there, and didn't even get to see their brothers off.
Their mother was worried sick of course, Molly Weasley is always worrying from what I hear! But there was a time where she was worry free! A time where she didn't mind breaking a couple of rules if that meant snogging her boyfriend and forgetting to get off the train. I was not pleased with that excuse, and I had them jump off the moving train themselves if they wanted to get to Hogwarts so badly.
But Arthur and Molly Weasley aren't the only couple that has boarded my train. I have seen plenty of "hellos" and "goodbyes" to last me a lifetime. The worst are the Aurors. I could go on for ages on them! You would think it would be the hormonal teenager, right? Nope, it's the loving couples that are being separated as one is heading off for Auror training that show the most public displays of affection!
Let's stick with the examples of the Weasleys, shall we? I suppose that you are aware that a Mr. Harry Potter and a Mr. Ronald Weasley had decided to join the prestigious Auror Corps, am I right? Oh, excuse me, I have already mentioned that! Well anyway, it is as if these two haven't fought enough dark forces to satisfy their needs! I guess they feel like it's their duty to continue putting their lives in jeopardy for the safety of the world. If you ask me, I think there is such a thing as being too noble. These two have already proven themselves and have destroyed the most evil of all wizards; they need a nice break in my opinion.
But nope, they show up with the rest of the new recruits; off to an intense camp to whip themselves into shape. I guess it is kind of nice that they are doing things the proper way; not using their celebrity status to go further in life. And of course they have to bring their entire family. I don't think I will ever get away from their madness! It's not too hard to spot them, what with all the red hair. And it seems as if they are starting a new generation now! Fleur, I think her name is, seems to have a growing baby bump; and you will be sure that I will be driving that child to Hogwarts in eleven years!
Speaking of babies, I would not be surprised if I see one when we return from the camp. You know how new couples are. Before they are separated they have to spend every last moment with each other. Together, if you know what I mean.
It seems that every time that I return with the Aurors after they completed their camp there would be enough babies to field a Quidditch team, with reserves!
The Weasley clan has also suffered a loss I noticed, one of the mischievous twins, Fred I had read in the paper. I had heard that before the war the two had opened a joke shop. I guess it was good to keep the wizarding community's spirit up, but those products are such a nuisance to clean up from the carpets and windows of the train! His other half doesn't seem as jovial as he used to, but I don't think I would either if I was in a similar situation.
But despite Fred's absence, the family seems to have another person joining them to send the men off. Hermione Granger, the third member and the brains of the Golden Trio! There had been spread upon spread and article upon article concerning Miss Granger and Mr. Weasley, they appear to be the most popular of couples.
And sure enough, the wizarding paparazzi have followed them to ensure that photos of their goodbye are published. Ron and Hermione, however, seem oblivious to everyone, including the paparazzi, except each other.
I am reminded as to why I love my job when I see the pure love that these two share. They become lost in the goodbye kiss, and hold onto each other as if this will be the last time they will ever see each other. The cameras snap and flash away as Ron's hands become entangled in Hermione's hair forcing them closer.
A beeping from my watch pulls my attention away from the scene alerting me that it was time to sound the bell for the five minute warning. I pull the cord feeling guilty for pulling the many lovers on the platform away from each other.
I glance back out the window to see if there was any reaction. The scrambling frenzy has commenced and many of the recruits pull away from their families and loved ones blowing kisses and waving goodbye. They all board the train in a surprisingly orderly fashion, but it appears that the Weasleys are not done yet.
I glance at my watch, two minutes left. Each member of the family gives one last final hug to both Harry and Ron until Harry is left with the youngest girl, Ginny, and Ron is left facing Hermione. The girls both have tears dripping down their faces, not an uncommon sight.
They stare into each other's eyes until I pull the whistle another time. They share a quick, but meaningful kiss, and push their boyfriends onto the train. They are completely unaware of all the eyes on them, including my own.
But no one ever sees me. I will always be here in the background, driving them to the next adventure in their lives. Regardless of fame or fortune I watch as people say their farewells. I watch parents being separated from their children for the first time, and I watch as boys grow into men when they arrive from training.
And you will be sure that I will be there to see the famous Ron Weasley and Harry Potter return from the glory of training. There will be photographers abound to capture the moment when they are reunited with their loved ones. And the news writers will be present when the new recruits proudly display certificates proving that they are true aurors. The gossip columnists will be there to speculate whether Ron or Harry will pop the question soon.
And I will be here. I will remain in my compartment and on top of my chair until the platform clears out. I will be there as long as I am needed to transport the next generation of wizards to Hogwarts, and see the Aurors and Quidditch players off to their assigned destinations.
I can never complain. I get to see the wizarding world blossom and expand from my front row seat.
A/N: Done! Okay so I couldn't resist putting in a little amount of Ron/Hermione fluff; I think I am addicted. Anyway, so there is the nameless conductor that is always in the background. I hope you enjoyed it, and check out my profile for some of my other stories!
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