Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters.

A/N: Ok, since Dangers in the Past is nearly finished and I don't think I'll write a sequel to it, I decided to start on a new story. I hope you like it.

Forest of Mystery.

When Harry arrived at platform 9 ¾ he immediately noticed things had changed from last year. It wasn't because of the building or because of the train, the change was mainly caused by the two dozen aurors patrolling around the platform. They were not only making sure nothing bad happened, they also were getting the children in the train as soon as they arrived. With a small sigh, Harry approached the train and went to one of the aurors holding up a long list of people. Before he could reach the man, a voice sounded next to him. Turning around sharply, he came face to face with Mad- eye Moody.

"Good Morning Mr. Potter."

Harry looked at him nervously, not knowing quite sure how to address the man. Finally he just settled for a "good morning, sir." If the ex-auror noticed his uneasiness he didn't give it away.

Motioning to Harry's trunk, the man stated, "You'll have to shrink your things, Mr. Potter, we are expecting lots of new students and I'm afraid the train will not be up to it."

Harry rose and eyebrow. "New students? Why? I mean, why so many?"

The ex-auror looked at him sadly. "The Dark Lord attacked some schools over the summer. Luckily there were very little people there, I think the point was to get everyone gathered somewhere and since You-Know-Who is not yet strong enough to get to Hogwarts, he started with the others. Dumbledore has agreed to let the students of those schools attend Hogwarts. That's also one of the reasons so many aurors are around here, Voldemort would just love to have this opportunity to kill all these children."

Harry clenched his fists but only nodded, he wished someone had bothered to tell him about what had been going on but it seemed people thought it was safer that way. Without another word, Harry did what the auror had said and shrunk his trunk, and Hedwig's cage after telling the owl to go ahead to Hogwarts, he was sure the owl wouldn't enjoy being shrunk and stuffed into his pocked. The two arrived in front of the auror holding the list and Mad- eye told him in hushed tones that he would be escorting Harry to his compartment himself. The man just nodded and turned to tend to a girl which Harry recognised to being a Ravenclaw sixth year.

Following Moody through the train, Harry was very surprised at how silent it was. The usual chatter and the people walking around looking for a place weren't present. The only thing that you could see were closed doors and so now and then a few students sitting quietly behind those doors. Moody stopped in front of a door, nearly in the middle of the train and turned once again to face the boy. "This is the fifth year Gryffindor's compartment, your classmates will be brought in here as soon as they arrive."

Harry nodded and waited patiently as the man opened the door for him. Quietly he entered and heard the door close after him. Looking around, he saw he was not the first one to arrive. Sitting in a corner, curled up with a book in his hands, sat Neville Longbottom. The boy looked up at him anxiously but relaxed slightly when Harry smiled.

Sitting down in front of the other boy, Harry started a conversation. "Hello, Neville, how was your summer?"

The other boy shrugged. "It was fine, I spent most of it walking through the forest near my home and collecting plants, they are really fascinating." Harry smiled amusedly at the other boy, it was very well known that Herbology was one of Neville's only gifts. "How about you, Harry?"

Harry grinned slightly. "Oh, it went better than expected. Although I suspect that's mostly because I got a summer work and got to get out of my relatives house for most of the time." The Harry frowned. "You better don't tell the teachers about that. I think the point of going to the Dursleys was staying in the house, not spending all day away."

Neville looked anxious. "But, Harry, that could have been dangerous! What if Death Eaters had attacked you?"

Harry looked at him steadily. "You are talking as if I had a choice in the matter, Neville. The Dursleys insisted and I wouldn't have had to worry about Death Eaters if I had refused. My, oh so loving, relatives would have hurt me nearly as much as the Death Eaters would have if I had gone against them."

Neville bit his lips, as everyone in their room, he knew Harry's live in that house was anything but perfect, they had all seen the scars that showed on Harry's back more than once, a reminder of the beatings he had received as a child. "You could have written to Dumbledore."

Harry shook his head. "He is busy enough as it is, Neville, no sense in worrying him even more."

"Worrying who, anymore?"

Both boys turned around startled, just in time to see a young auror close the door again. Harry smiled at the girl standing in front of the door, he stood up from his seat and went to hug her. Hermione smiled back, looking him anxiously over, making sure he was alright. "Harry, are you ok? I've missed you."

"I missed you too, Hermione. And I'm fine. I'll tell you about it later, 'k?"

The girl nodded and released him from her hug and turned to the other boy, who had been looking at them curiously. He usually wasn't around them when they first arrived on the train even if he tended to join them later, usually after lunch. "Hello Neville."

"Hey, Hermione."

The girl sat back down next to Harry and looked out of the window. "I wonder what will happen this year."

Harry sighed but didn't say anything, he knew that if something happened he would be in the middle of it, no matter what everyone did to prevent it. He always seemed to be in the middle of things. His musings were interrupted when the door opened. Once again and a girl and a boy came in. Harry, Neville and Hermione greeted Lavender and Seamus as they sat down next to Neville. Harry noticed the conversation was a bit forced, even if all of them got along pretty well, and could even be called good friends, they would never have spent the train ride together. To keep things light and trying to get rid of the tension, they began to talk about their summers, welcoming Dean and Parvati when they entered a few minutes later. Five minutes before eleven, Ron entered the compartment and immediately went to sit between Harry and Hermione hugging them both in turn. For a few moments, there was another uncomfortable silence, Ron, Harry and Hermione wanted to talk to each other, but they didn't want to exclude the others. The same seemed to be happening with Dean and Seamus and Parvati and Lavender. Finally Hermione just picked up a book and Ron proposed to play a game of exploding Snap all the while telling some of the pranks his twin brothers had come up during the summer.

To be continued...