Chapter 10

Harry sat on the cushioned seat, staring out the window at the rolling hills of green zooming past. It was beautiful countryside, unlike that which he'd see in the city. They lived on a fairly large plot of land for the crowded, cramped London, with a wide backyard and wildflowers. But it could not compare to the magnificence of the English countryside.

Most of Ed's conferences were in other cities, speeding through the occasionally pasture and field. But Harry remembered the times when Ed needed to gather some samples for some of his environmental testing, and decided to make a day of it. They'd drive straight out to a small, picturesque town nearby called Rye, like the bread. Ed would gather his samples and then they'd spend the rest of the day exploring. One time they'd even tried out fishing, but found out how terribly boring it was, according to Ed, who never seemed to catch anything. Harry especially enjoyed climbing the various trees dotting the fields. This was also one of Ed's favorites too. They'd see who get the highest, which almost always turned out to be Harry, who was lighter. Sometime during the day, they'd stop at Taywells, the local ice cream shop, which sold all sorts of odd flavors. Harry's favorite was treacle flavor, though Ed wouldn't touch it.

His reminiscing was suddenly interrupted by a loud bang as his cabin door slid open too fast. A round-faced boy with floppy hair peered in, looking close to tears.

"Sorry," he said, "but have you seen a toad at all?" When Harry shook his head, he wailed, "I've lost him! He keeps getting away from me!"

Harry, having never been to school, didn't have much experience dealing with new children or making friends. Now was as good time as any to start.

"Do you need any help?"

The boy blinked in surprise and smiled gratefully. "Oh, thank you! I've been looking everywhere!"

Harry smiled in return and stood up and exited the carriage with the boy. They stood silently for a moment, the other boy just as nervous as him, it seemed. Harry broke the ice tentatively.

"I'm Harry. What's your name?" He asked and held his hand out to shake like he'd done on so many occasions when meeting Ed's scientist friends.

The boy was startled by the gesture, but shook his hand all the same. "I'm Neville." The boy-now dubbed Neville in his mind- motioned towards a girl coming up behind him. "That's Hermione. She's helping me too."

Hermione had bushy brown hair and rather large front teeth. She, like him, was already dressed in her Hogwarts robes, which dragged ever so slightly on the train floor.

"Oh, hello. Have you seen a toad? Neville's lost one."

"He already asked me." Harry replied.

"He wants to help look for Trevor." Harry scrunched up his forehead in confusion. "That's my toad."

"Oh, we're ever so thankful for your help. I just met Neville a few minutes ago. A missing toad is a serious issue. I already planned out how to search for him using a map I found of the train in the back of Hogwarts, A History. This way we'll be able to cover more ground, I mean, in the train sort of sense. Did either of you bring a map?"

She spoke very fast and Harry had to back track for a moment to understand what she was saying.

"No?" Were they supposed to? Neville looked just as confused.

"We'll just have to use mine then." Hermione continued on, unperturbed, whipping out a heavy-looking book from her side satchel. She flipped through the pages, looking intently for the right one.

Harry shifted uncomfortably. "Can't we just go from door to door? It would be a lot simpler."

She looked up from her book and frowned at him. "But this way we can search more cabins if need be. Who knows how far away Trevor's gotten."

"But every second we waste making up a map, the toad gets farther and farther away." He argued.

Hermione frowned reluctantly. "I suppose if we spread out in an organized fashion…"

Harry sighed. "I'm going to go this way." He motioned towards his left.

Hermione immediately protested. "But we just came from there."

"Fine then." He became walking in the other direction. He heard Hermione huff in annoyance and their clumping footsteps behind him. He stopped at the first compartment he saw, glancing in for a second to see its occupants. It was the red haired boy he met at the station, who was staring vaguely out the scenery passing by. Another boy sat across from him, leaning against the window with his feet propped up on the cushioned bench.

Harry yanked open the sliding door with a bang and the redhead boy(what was his name again?) jumped in his seat and turned to face them. The other sandy-haired boy, who must have been dozing, tried to sit up from his seat, but in his half-asleep state fell off onto the wooden floor. The red-haired boy covered his mouth to stifle his snickering, but it didn't help much.

"Sorry 'bout that." Harry said and reached a hand out. The boy blinked for a moment in surprise at suddenly being on the floor, before grabbing his hand and pulling himself up.

"S'okay." He shoved his hands into his pockets and grinned. "May I ask why you've been disturbing me rest?"

The boy had a strong Irish accent and wore regular - or muggle, he supposed - clothes.

"Oh, we're looking for a lost toad." Harry motioned behind him, and the boy seemed to have just noticed the people standing in the doorway behind him. "I'm Harry. This is Hermione and Neville."

"Hullo. I'm Seamus."

The boy in the corner seemed to have recovered from his giggle fit. "And I'm Ron."

"Nice to meet you." Harry smiled at them.

"So about that toad….?" Hermione was unable to keep quiet for long.

Seamus exchanged a look with Ron, before shrugging. "Haven't seen it."

Ron was staring at him with a scrunched face. "You're that boy from the station, right?"

"Yep. You're the one with all the siblings?"

Ron's face soured slightly. "Yah."

There was an awkward silence.

"You really should change into your school robes." Hermione said snobbishly. Harry was disliking her more and more by the second. "We'll be arriving soon."

Ron in the corner was looking very disgruntled when they left, Hermione having decided to tell him everything he was doing wrong, right down to the spot of dirt on his nose. Harry didn't blame him.

They said good-bye; though Harry longed to sit with them, he had made a promise and he wasn't going to break it. It didn't matter anyway; Hermione wanted to search the entire train, but the school was fast approaching and they all went back to their respective cabins.

Harry sat by the window, fiddling with the end of his robes. Any moment now and he would be at his new school. What would it be like? What if he was as bad at magic as he was at alchemy? What if he failed? What if they were mistaken and he didn't have magic at all?


Harry's fretting was interrupted by a sudden loud whistle. They must be approaching the station, he thought with a sudden jolt. No turning back now. He pressed up against the window, trying to get a good view. The countryside zoomed past but started to slow down bit by bit. The metal and wood station came rapidly into view and the hauntingly empty station blurred.


The whistle blew again and with a sudden jerk the train stopped. Harry however, kept moving, and fell onto the carpeted floor. He was suddenly reminded of Seamus.

Harry got up and brushed himself off. Through the window he could see the bustling children of all different sizes getting off the train and lugging trunks around. In the faint background he could see the outline of a magnificent castle.


A/N: I just want to say Rye, England is a real place, in case anyone is wondering. Look it up on google images. It's very pretty. If you're going to do that be sure to add "England" at the end otherwise you get lots of pictures of bread.

Anyone who thinks Ron is a jerk or blames me because I made Ron sound like a jerk:

A) Ron doesn't know he is Harry Potter(not helping)

B) He doesn't know where he is sitting either

C)He probably stopped at the first half-empty compartment he could find, which just happened to be Seamus's.

This is because Ed helped him with his bag not the twins, who didn't see his scar, who didn't tell Ron. Make sense? Also, Malfoy didn't appear in this one, because no rumors went around the train because of the Weasley twins.

Ok, now that I've cleared that up, the new title has been decided.

The Life and Times of Harry A. Potter was the winner! With A Child of Alchemy and Magic in a close second.


Quick Question: Does anybody have any ideas of what Harry should see in the Mirror of Erised? Should it still be his family or something else? Personally, I think that because of Ed he would be less lonely, so it wouldn't be his family, but I have no clue what to replace it with.

Thanks! And as always, REVIEW!