And so, a few days later, Addie and all the Weasleys woke up early, and began the morning by wolfing down their breakfasts, and frantically rushing around, stuffing trunks in the Ministry cars waiting, and trying not to forget any last minute items they'd need. Once Addie, the twins, and Ginny were all comfortably settled in the back of one of the cars, Artemis' cage on the floor between their feet, they relaxed a little, and started in chattering about what was going to happen in the coming year.
The fleet of little black cars came to a stop outside King's Cross Station in a matter of minutes, and the stoic drivers silently unloaded their luggage, found them all trolleys, and escorted them to the barrier between Platforms Nine and Ten.
They all hurriedly and discreetly entered the secret Platform, and regrouped on the other side, a little ways away from the entrance. Addie noticed that Mr. Weasley had taken Harry over somewhere else to talk to him about something, but didn't have time to ask or investigate, as Mrs. Weasley began doling out instructions and sandwiches to her children, both permanent and temporary.
"Everyone have a good, safe term, and we'll see you all at Christmas! Now, Fred and George, for Heaven's sake, behave! Addie, dear, you will keep an eye on them, won't you? Good girl. Now, Ron, Percy, everyone, keep an eye on Ginny, take care of her…we don't want a repeat of last year, now, do we? Good, now, everyone, on the train! Stay safe, be good, have fun!" She was still shouting motherly phrases as the train began leaving the station, and Addy, along with Harry, Hermione, and the rest of the Weasleys were hanging out the windows, waving to Mr. and Mrs. Weasley until they turned the bend and disappeared from view.
The twins had already found an empty compartment and crammed their trunks in it. "Come on, Addie, over here!" said Fred exuberantly, leading her to the compartment. She paused in the doorways, hesitating, unsure of how to break the news to Fred and George that she wouldn't be sitting with them.
"What's wrong, Ad?" asked George, noticing her standing uncertainly in the doorway.
"Well, it's just…look, guys I'm really, really sorry about this…and I'm not looking forward to it, either, but—,"
"Just spit it out already!" interrupted Fred impatiently.
"Fine," she huffed. "As a new Prefect, I'm expected to go sit in the Prefect's compartment, and help patrol the corridors."
"Oh…" said Fred after a moment.
"I'm really sorry," she said, looking anxious.
"No, Ad, it's fine, you gotta do what you gotta do," said George, smiling at her reassuringly.
"Yeah," agreed Fred, "we can get on by ourselves for a little while."
"But I'll be back around lunchtime," she said, smiling hesitantly. She reluctantly bid them goodbye, and headed off, but hurried back a moment later.
"Well that was quick," said Fred sarcastically, as she stuck her tongue out at him.
"I forgot, I'm already supposed to be wearing my uniform…you know what, forget it, I'll just wear the bloody robes," she said, frantically cramming her robes on over her sweater and jeans, fastening them, and checking to make sure her new Prefect's badge was properly in place.
"Are you ready now?" asked George with a sardonic expression. She stuck out her tongue once again in reply, and rushed out the door of their compartment.
A little while after the food trolley had gone through, Addie returned their compartment and the twins went looking for Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Unfortunately, they weren't the only ones with that idea.
"Oh no," moaned Addie when she saw the all-too-familiar figures of Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle.
They arrived just in time to hear Malfoy taunting the trio.
"Well, well, well, if it isn't the happy little ménage a trois!" said Malfoy gleefully when he spotted them.
"Careful, Malfoy. I'm a Prefect now, which means you'd better start being a lot nicer to me. It'd be such a shame for Slytherin to start off the year in negative points, wouldn't it? Now leave them alone," snapped Addie sarcastically.
"I don't have to do a thing you say, you filthy little mudblood. Now get out of my way," sneered Malfoy, uncharacteristically vicious. He shoved her aside, hard, with his elbow, and Addie stumbled backwards, stunned. Fred caught her just in time, and helped her restore her balance before him and George started in on Malfoy.
"MALFOY!" roared George, looking furious.
The blonde haired little prat turned around, grinning wickedly.
"Need something, Weasley?" he drawled.
"Apologize to her," commanded Fred, his eyes uncharacteristically narrowed in anger.
"No, I don't think I will," said Malfoy, as his idiotic cronies guffawed stupidly.
Both Fred and George whipped out their wands angrily, preparing to shoot every hex they could at Malfoy. Crabbe and Goyle were flexing their muscles, eager for an all out fist fight.
"FRED, GEORGE, NO!" shrieked Addie, still clutching her arm where Malfoy had hit it, her big eyes softly pleading with them to let it go. By this point, Harry, Ron, and Hermione had joined them in the corridor, and the two boys had already pulled out their wands, while Hermione anxiously hovered near Addie, unsure of what to do.
"What's going on here?" demanded a hoarse voice from behind them. They all whirled around, startled, to see that Professor R. J. Lupin had awoken, most likely due to the shouting. He looked from the two red headed twins angrily pointing their wands at the blonde boy and his two large cohorts to the pretty girl he'd noticed before, who was visibly shaking, her eyes shining with tears.
"Nothing, Professor. We were just leaving," said Malfoy drolly, as he turned and strutted off, flanked by Crabbe and Goyle.
"Ad? You okay?" asked Fred after a moment. She nodded mutely, her lips trembling.
"Is he always like that?" asked Lupin, peering worriedly at Addie.
"Yeah. Well, it's not usually that bad, but…yeah," said Addie, her voice high pitched and shaky. "I'm so sick of him treating me like that! Like I'm a third class citizen, like an animal!" she burst out angrily.
"Don't listen to him, Addie. You know he's full of crap," said Harry, sounding both angry and reassuring at the same time. She smiled slightly.
"Is he a Slytherin?" asked Lupin. They all nodded. "Ah, yeah, well, those prats have always been like that," he muttered darkly. "Not that I'm supposed to show favoritism one way or another, as a teacher," he added hastily, making all the Gryffindors laugh.
"Are you sure you're alright, er, Addie, is it?" he asked, still staring at her strangely. She nodded, and managed a small smile, before clearing her throat, and addressing the twins.
"Well, boys, I think that's enough excitement for one day. Let's go back to our compartment, and I'll skive off the rest of my Prefect duties. There's still a ton of Chocolate Frogs I want to eat before we get to Hogwarts," she said gamely.
"Oh, Addie," sighed Fred, half amused, half exasperated. "How much chocolate have you eaten today already?"
"Oh, what's it to you, Freddie?" she asked, sticking out her tongue. They bid farewell to Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Lupin, as the new Professor had introduced himself, and headed off back down the corridor the way they'd come.
Lupin watched them go, surprised that he'd so quickly come in contact with the girl he'd seen in Diagon Alley. He still couldn't shake the feeling that he knew her somehow, that her face was familiar to him in some way. He was oddly pleased to find out that she was a Gryffindor, though he couldn't quite place why. And that Malfoy prat had better watch his step, he though viciously, remembering the heartbreaking look in the girl's eyes when he'd insulted her.
Without really knowing why, Lupin couldn't wait until he had the girl, Addie, in his class, so he could know more about her.
And it worried him just a little.
A/N: Oh my goodness, I FINALLY updated this story! I have such big plans, but I just keep forgetting, so now it's finally got another chapter, and effectively renewed my interest in it, so hopefully more are to come. Now…I realize Lupin kiiiinda sounds like a creeper these last couple chapters. That wasn't my intent AT ALL, I just am trying to convey that he hasn't pieced together why he feels like he knows Addie, and his growing (non creepy in any way) intrigue in her is confusing him. Still sounds creepy…it'll get better once he catches up with the rest of us. Please review, and let me know what you think!