(Originally uploaded in 2012, reuploaded on 7/21/2019 with some minor edits)
"Neville! Neville! NEVVIILLE!" his grandmother screeched.
"I'll be ready in a minute, Gran," Neville yelled from the safety of his bed. In reality, he wasn't quite sure if he would ever be ready. Today was the day, the first day at Hogwarts. Until just a few years ago Neville wasn't even sure he was a real wizard and he still sort of thought it was a long shot. The first time Neville had shown any real magical ability was when he turned eight years old and Uncle Algie decided to "accidentally" throw him out the window. Neville was terrified until he reached the ground and bounced instead of crashed. Even now he gets a little wary whenever he gets too close to a window ledge as the memory itself still makes him nervous.
"I just wanted to make sure you had some magic in you, boy."
"Yeah, b-b-but I-I c-c-could have died," Neville stuttered in confusion.
"Well, I know…that umm," he paused to collect his thoughts. "You wouldn't have died; we all knew you had it in you. And at any rate, St. Mungo's could have patched you right up if it hadn't worked," Old Uncle Algie said with complete certainty.
"I'm just so proud of you, Neville! My grandson is really a wizard! I mean, I knew you couldn't be a Squib with parents like yours, but I must admit I was a little worried. Nonetheless, you've really proved yourself," Grandma Longbottom exclaimed with an extraordinary amount of pride, speaking to the whole room at large.
"You'll be just like your parents, great wizards they were –and still are; don't you forget it. Neville, I know your parents would be very proud of you. How about we make a visit to see them soon? They were magnificent wizards and you will be too; I'm sure of it. Those Death Eaters and He Who Must Not Be Named may have sent them to St. Mungo's but they are still two of the best wizards of their day. You must always remember that. Yes, it's settled; we'll go to see them tomorrow," she stated with absolute finality.
"Uh…sure, I'd like to see Mum and Dad." Neville loved his parents and was proud to be their son but he always felt out of place and like he didn't know what to say or do when he was around them. He would be sincerely surprised if they showed any sign of being proud; he wasn't even sure if they knew who he was. Nonetheless, he cherished those moments with them. Before he left his mother would always give him her Droobles gum wrapper. His grandmother kept telling him to just throw them out, but he never did. He kept all of them in a box in his closet; he reckoned he had thousands by now, but he just couldn't get rid of them.
Neville wanted to be a great wizard like his parents and had tried with all his might to make some more magic come out of him after the bouncing out of the window incident, but he wasn't able to do much. One time he thought he might have made a feather twirl across the room, but he was fairly sure that was just the wind. Every day before he got his Hogwarts letter, he was terrified it wouldn't come at all. He was careful not to mention it but he noticed his grandmother tended to anxiously look out the window and always tensed up when an owl flew by. When an owl finally came with a letter addressed to him, he still thought they might just be sending him a letter to say they were sorry but he wouldn't be allowed in. His grandmother snatched the letter from the owl and squealed with delight after reading the first line out loud: "Neville Longbottom, we are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry." Then she promptly composed herself and just sort of nodded vigorously in Neville's direction, which he took to mean that she was proud of him. She hurried off to find her owl so she could tell everyone in the family about it. When she left the room, he shifted over to look at the letter himself. He read every word on it just to make sure it was real, but there was no mistake; he was going to Hogwarts. He sighed with relief, but he was nervous too. His mind was spinning with questions and different possibilities. Would he get kicked out if they realized he was actually no good at it? Would he even be able to do one spell? Would he make his grandmother proud? After hearing all the amazing stories about his parents he was worried he wouldn't be able to live up to them.
Neville got up, a little reluctantly, from his comfy bed. He walked over to his trunk and saw that his grandmother had already magically packed up all his belongings. There were only three more items to take care of. Neville walked over to his bedside table and picked up the wand his grandmother had given to him the night before. It was his father's wand. His grandmother nearly cried when she gave it to him, which is saying something because Grandma Longbottom hardly ever cried. Neville picked up the wand and instantly felt a warming sensation, which seemed to be coming from within the wand itself. It was odd; the magic felt just within his reach but a little distant too, like it knew it was being held by a new owner and was a bit hesitant. Neville inspected it, poring over its every inch with his eyes. It seemed a little worn where his father would have held it and it had a scratch or two. The wand made Neville wonder about his father, the father he only really knew from stories. This was the wand his father had used to perform magnificent magic; what kind of magic would Neville be able to do with it?
Neville carefully placed the wand in his pocket and then looked to the right of where the wand had been on the table, to the cage that held his toad, Trevor. When his Uncle Algie had heard the news about Neville being accepted to Hogwarts he decided the accomplishment deserved a reward. A few days later, he flooed over to the house holding a medium-sized cardboard box which had several holes in its sides, but the oddest part was the box seemed to be shaking uncontrollably.
Uncle Algie stepped out of the fireplace with a shaking box in his hand, soot covering his clothes, and a big smile on his face. He was completely oblivious to the expressions on Grandma Longbottom and Neville's faces. Neville backed away slightly and stared nervously at the box, which seemed to be jumping right out of his uncle's hands. Grandma Longbottom looked both shocked and furious to see him standing there, quite unannounced, with some unidentified shaking object.
"ALGERNON LONGBOTTOM! WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY HOUSE WITH THAT THAT THING –WHATEVER IT IS?!"
Uncle Algie looked slightly taken aback by the outburst but then just laughed and said, "Remember when I told you I would get Neville a reward for being accepted to Hogwarts," he lifted up the box for her to see it more clearly, "well this is it!"
She sighed exasperatedly, "And what exactly is it?"
"Neville, why don't you come over here and open the box for yourself?" He motioned for Neville to come closer, but as his Uncle Algie was known for some odd surprises, like throwing him out the window for instance, he was more than a little nervous.
His uncle and his grandmother watched him expectantly for a few moments. "Oh, Neville. Just go and see what it is. It can't be that bad," his grandmother urged him.
"It's a great present, actually. I think every proper Hogwarts boy should have one," Uncle Algie said, as he was beginning to feel rather upset about their blatant apprehension.
Neville slowly walked over to his uncle. "Go on now, you can open it."
He pushed off the box's lid and peered inside. Suddenly, a toad sprang out and Neville just managed to catch it before it could try to escape. Neville clutched it in its middle to stop it from squirming and stared at it. The toad seemed to be staring back too, a little puzzled as to who this person holding him was.
Uncle Algie gave a honking laugh. "So, do you get it? It's a toad because when I threw you out that window—you bounced."
Grandma Longbottom just pursed her lips. "Hmm…so a toad. Well, it seems like a good enough gift to me. It says in the letter that he's allowed to bring one," his grandmother said with moderate approval.
"Yup, I had a toad myself when I went to Hogwarts. So, boy, what are you going to name him?" He looked over at Neville who hadn't said anything yet.
"Oh, I get to name him?" Neville said quietly. His uncle nodded. "Then, I guess I'll name him…uh…umm…Trevor."
For Neville, Trevor was more than just a pet; he was a friend and a good reminder that he would not be alone at Hogwarts. His uncle believed in him enough to get him a toad so he really wanted to make his family proud. Neville had gotten into the habit of talking to Trevor about his day before he went to bed every night. Neville kept on losing him, which aggravated his grandmother to no end, but he always ended up finding him again in his room right before he went to sleep. Neville really hoped Trevor would be able to find him if he lost him at Hogwarts. Neville, of course, had some mates, mostly family members, but he felt a special connection to Trevor. Also, none of his mates would be first years at Hogwarts with him. He was especially worried about making new friends.
Neville clutched Trevor in his hands and held him up to eye-level. "Trevor, is everything going to be alright?" Trevor just blinked at him and said nothing. Neville sighed, as he hadn't been expecting an answer anyhow. At any rate, he hoped that was a good enough answer coming from a toad.
Neville put Trevor in his shirt pocket. There was just one more thing to do before he could go downstairs and leave for Platform 9 ¾. Neville walked over to his closet and stood up on a chair to reach up and take a box down from the very top shelf. He opened the box and ran his hand along all the Droobles gum wrappers. He liked the crackling and crunching sound they made. It was a comforting reminder that they weren't just gum wrappers; they were a part of him. He picked one out of the box and put it in his other trouser pocket, the one not holding his father's wand. He was as ready as he was ever going to be.
Neville picked up his trunk and started to lug it down the stairs when he heard his name. He stopped abruptly to see his grandmother crouched down in front of the fireplace talking to one of his relative's heads. He probably should have said something and it was rude to eavesdrop but they were talking about him.
"I just really hope he will do well. For a long time, I really was sure he was a Squib. Luckily, he wasn't but he hasn't shown much magical promise since then," Grandma Longbottom confessed.
"Don't you worry about that. He's a bright boy and coming from wizards like his parents we all know he will do very well," the person from the fire assured her. Neville couldn't tell who it was.
"I know, I know. I just wish he were more like his parents. Frank was doing all sorts of magic before he went to Hogwarts. I've also heard Harry Potter is going to be a first year at Hogwarts this year, maybe if Neville were more like him. All Neville does lately is talk to that blasted toad out in my garden—" there was a crash at the bottom of the stairs, "what was that?" She turned away from the person in the fire to look at it.
Neville had accidentally lost the grip on his trunk and it tumbled down the stairs. Neville hid behind the wall so he couldn't be seen.
"Neville, is this your trunk? You need to take better care of your things."
"Oh, yeah…sorry, Gran." Neville walked down the stairs to receive his trunk. His grandmother was standing at the kitchen table putting out some breakfast for him and the face in the fireplace was gone. There was no evidence that it had been there at all.
"Now, you've got everything, right? You tend to forget things quite a lot," she said as she magically prepared some eggs for him.
"Uh...I think I've got it all," Neville mumbled.
She gave him a once-over, glancing for a second longer on the wand in his pocket. "Does the wand seem to suit you?" she said, looking away as if it was just a passing question.
"Yeah, I guess."
"Well, maybe you could try to do a spell with it, just a small spell. I know it's against the rules but I'm sure it would be fine," she said. She didn't look directly at him as she said it but was clearly waiting for his answer.
He hesitated. "Uh...the letter said we're not supposed to do any magic with our wands before school."
"Yes, right, right you are. You're a good boy, already sticking to the rules. Completely right," she said with a sense of approval but she also seemed the tiniest bit disappointed.
"Neville, come here and eat your breakfast. You're going to need a full stomach; it's a long train ride." Neville walked over and slowly ate his breakfast while his grandmother watched him.
"Well, that seems like enough," she announced. Neville got up to get his trunk. "Now, Neville, I want to say a few things to you before we leave." Neville turned back to her, waiting for the speech.
"Hogwarts is a magnificent school and you will learn a lot there. I absolutely expect the best from you. Respect your teachers and do all your work. I expect you to get good marks. I will not tolerate the school sending me any letters informing me that you have broken the rules or are misbehaving in any way. There are school owls you can borrow and I expect to get some post from you of course," she paused and looked at Neville with just a glint of grandmotherly love in her eye, "and we are all very proud of you. Never forget who you are, Neville. You are the son of two magnificent wizards and I know you will do everything in your power to uphold the family honour."
Neville just gulped and nodded in response. "Good, now that that's settled, let's head off to the train. We do not want you late to the train on your very first day."
Neville felt around for the Droobles gum wrapper in his pocket and held onto it tightly, hoping everything would turn out well.
Hannah jumped out of the car as soon as they arrived at King's Cross Station. She only managed to get a few steps away though before her father noticed her escape attempt and promptly reached for her arm.
"You're not getting away that easily," he said, trying to look stern but failing miserably as he started to laugh.
She smiled toothily up at him and said, "but I just really want to get to the train, Dad," attempting to keep the whining to a minimum. He just laughed again and continued pulling her trunks out of the car.
Hannah's father poked his head into the front seat. "You all right in there, love?"
Her mother was still staring at the Hogwarts acceptance letter in confusion. When she heard him she looked up and distractedly nodded her head, then immediately went back to staring down the paper, urging those last few lines to make sense.
"So, are you quite sure it's Platform 9 and," she paused, glancing at the letter again, "three-quarters, because I have been to King's Cross Station before and this platform is definitely news to me."
Hannah's father smiled at her reassuringly and gave her the same answer he had given her the first time she had read the letter and the answer he had been giving her since, "Yes, Platform 9 ¾." Though still puzzled, she decided to let it go and just focus on getting to the supposed location; the understanding would have to come later.
Hannah smiled to herself and followed her parents through the maze that was King's Cross Station. Her mother was a Muggle so there were still a lot of aspects of the magical world that confused her to no end. She definitely didn't pretend to understand most of it but she loved magic just as much as any witch would.
As Hannah walked with her parents she tuned out their conversation and instead thought to herself about the amazing new adventure she was about to begin. She loved her home and all the Muggle friends she would be leaving behind, but she was excited for new experiences and could hardly wait to perform her first spell. Hannah and her family lived in a Muggle town just outside of London but they were more often than not found in the magical world hidden inside the city, particularly Diagon Alley. London was her playground. She was always ready to explore new parts of her two worlds. She especially loved meeting new people, though her parents were often wary of the many strangers she chose to talk to. That was one thing Hannah was definitely not worried about, making new friends. Her best mate was already going to Hogwarts with her and she was sure to make a lot of new ones as well.
Hannah was shaken from her thoughts when she and her parents arrived at the space between Platforms 9 and 10. Hannah's mother immediately began looking for the supposed "Platform 9 ¾," then suddenly stopped swiveling around and exclaimed, "Oh! I can't see it because I'm a Muggle, right?" A few Muggles standing nearby waiting for the train to arrive at Platform 10 looked at her strangely. Out of the corner of her eye, Hannah saw a man mouth, "Muggle?" and twirl his finger in circles around his ear to suggest her mother was crazy.
Hannah laughed outright, but her father just smirked and said, "No. That's not exactly it." Then he dramatically paused and said in a matter-of-fact sort of way, "You're actually supposed to run straight through the wall. Didn't I mention that?"
"What?!" The expression on Hannah's mother's face was a mixture of surprise, incredulity, wonder, and frustration at the fact that he had managed to trick her.
If Hannah hadn't been so distracted by the phrase herself she probably would have told her mother she looked a lot like the family owl when it accidentally slammed into the newly cleaned windows at the house in its hurry to deliver a letter the other day. Reginald, or Reggie as Hannah liked to call him, was an excellent owl but Windex had a special magic of its own that day. Hannah probably would have said all this if it had come to mind at the time, but instead she looked just as surprised as her mum and loudly exclaimed, "You never said that!" Then she stared at the wall between Platform 9 and 10 and started to chant, "I get to go through the wall! I get to go through the wall!" until she noticed the Muggles nearby gawking at her and erupted into a fit of giggles.
Hannah's mum finally stopped gaping like a fish and exclaimed, "Well, it still isn't as exciting as the Leaky Cauldron."
Hannah started cracking up all over again and her dad pretended to look disappointed but started laughing loudly as well. Of course, this set off her mum as well and by this point they were all laughing like right loons.
The Leaky Cauldron was a special place for the Abbott family and a sort of inside joke as well. The Leaky Cauldron was the very first magical place Hannah's father had brought her mother and she had loved it right away. She loved that it was hidden in a place she had walked by thousands of times. Being able to see the Leaky Cauldron changed the way she saw everything. To this day she still claimed it to be her favorite thing about the magical world. Despite his many attempts to impress her with other magical surprises, she constantly insisted nothing could top the Leaky Cauldron. Hannah had basically grown up there. It was there she had taken her first steps and it was also there she had first performed wandless magic. One time, when she was six years old, she really wanted to go to Fortescue's for ice cream after the Leaky Cauldron but her parents said no. She was so upset she accidentally levitated their bottles of butterbeer and dumped the drinks over their heads. Instead of getting mad at her, her dad rushed over to give her a big hug and her mum shrieked from both surprise and delight, and then ran around the table to hug her as well. Hannah was really happy too, especially when they decided to reward her with a big bowl of her favorite ice cream, Chocolate Frog Paradise. The Leaky Cauldron was Hannah's home away from home and she still couldn't quite imagine being away from it for so long. Just that morning the Abbott family had visited the Leaky Cauldron for one last goodbye before they left for King's Cross Station.
As soon as Hannah and her mum and dad entered the Leaky Cauldron they were greeted by the familiar faces of the other early-risers.
"Hannah-banana, long time no see," Tom called out, using another one of his odd nicknames for her; they changed every time he saw her. Of course, it was not actually a "long time no see" as she had been in there nearly every day that week.
"Hey, Tom! I'll have my regular please," she responded, smiling.
"Already ready, Hannah-lo-shanna! Come and get it!" She skipped up to the counter to get her plate. As soon as she touched it, a steaming bowl of the famous Leaky Lemon Pepper Chicken Noodle soup appeared on it, along with a warm biscuit and a mug of butterbeer. She loved the food at the Leaky Cauldron because it had this magical way of warming her from the inside out and instantly cheering her up on even the worst of days.
"How nice to see you three this fine morning. I've heard it's an extra special one, right? Hannah's first day of Hogwarts. I'm sure you'll have a splendid time, dear," Ms. Hornby said. Ms. Hornby was the sweetest old woman Hannah had ever met and she basically thought of her as a third grandmother.
"Hannah's first day at Hogwarts! Do you remember when we had our first date here?" said Hannah's mother, addressing her husband but saying it just loud enough so everyone could hear. The other regulars smiled into their food and Hannah just rolled her eyes.
"Now, dear, let your parents relive the memory. It's such a nice one. I'm quite sure you'll miss hearing the story when you're off at Hogwarts. You may even start retelling the story to your friends when you get homesick," Ms. Hornby jokingly scolded her.
Hannah snorted and muttered, "It might be a nice story but everyone here knows it and doesn't need to hear it for the thousandth time."
Ms. Hornby pretended to ignore Hannah and instead turned to her mother, "Really? So you two had your very first date here? How sweet!" Then she winked at Hannah and they both smiled as Hannah's mum began.
"Well, we had actually gone on several dates before then but the Leaky Cauldron was special. It was our very first magical date. The day before we came here he decided to tell me he was a wizard."
Hannah's father laughed and cut in. "Actually, I wasn't quite planning on telling her. It was a bit of a surprise for the both of us. She accidentally walked in on me while I was doing a colour-changing spell on my tie."
They both knew exactly where to pause and when the next person should speak. It was a well-rehearsed speech by this point and Hannah knew all the lines just as well as they did. As her mother continued she began to mouth the words out of habit.
"I overestimated my commute to his apartment and was about ten minutes early; the door was slightly ajar so I just decided to let myself in. I pushed the door aside and was about to knock, but then I noticed him in front of the mirror waving a stick around with a very thoughtful look about him. I was fairly confused as to why he was randomly holding a stick, but I was much more perplexed as to how his tie had suddenly changed from blue to green." She smiled at the funny memory.
"I was always nervous before a date with her and I wanted to make sure my tie was just right. I was so focused on my tie I hadn't even heard her come in. I finally stopped staring at it and was in the middle of another spell when I glanced up and saw her behind me in the mirror's reflection. I started sputtering random, incoherent phrases while she just stood there gawking at me, but then she started grinning. My face was completely red and my tie was now an awful, muddy mixture of green and maroon; I looked like a complete and utter idiot but she just stood there smiling at me as if nothing odd had just happened."
"Well, he just looked so adorably flustered. I had no idea what was going on but in that moment I knew I was in love with him and no strange occurrence or confusing event could change that."
Ms. Hornby chuckled loudly. She tried to disguise it as a cough, but it was no use. Hannah had moved from muttering the words under her breath to acting out the story with wild gesticulations. When she clutched her heart in an imitation of her mother's first realization of love, Ms. Hornby couldn't quite hold it in any longer. Hannah's mother glanced their way and then as if oblivious urged Hannah's father to continue with the story, but she was holding back her own laughter as well.
Hannah's father continued, "Well, I was an utter wreck, but that smile changed everything. I just looked at her and knew I could trust her with my secret. I stopped trying to explain it away and instead simply explained it, all of it."
"I was confused, really confused, but I believed him and I told him I wanted to know more. I wanted him to show me. I could believe the spells and the wand and all that but I was still unsure about the idea of an entirely different world right under my eyes," she paused, "then he brought me here."
"I just wanted to show her a small part of the magical world, so I decided this pub would be a good start."
Her mother interjected to say, "It was anything but small," and then paused to look around at the pub she held so dear. After several moments she continued the story from where he had left off.
"He led me down random London streets and then we stopped at a broken-down, decrepit building called the 'Leaky Cauldron,"' she accentuated her initial disdain of the name by making air quotes. "I specifically remember thinking, 'Leaky? Is this place even sanitary?' I have to admit I was sort of disappointed because I thought he was going to bring me to some sort of magnificent place oozing with magic, but this place seemed to be oozing in a completely different way."
"Then I said, 'Not everything is as it seems,' took out my wand and told her to close her eyes."
This was Hannah's favourite quote. Her father taught her at a young age that, indeed, not everything is as it seems. Hannah was always waiting for the next amazing or surprising part of magic to knock her off her feet. Magic was anything but ordinary and that was exactly what she loved about it.
"He told me he would need to perform a spell on me and I was nervous, but it was that tingling kind of nervousness that makes you want to dive right in. He said the words 'Revelus a Muggleus,' then told me to open my eyes and take a few steps forward. As I walked towards the building, its outer appearance transformed before my eyes and I saw a quaint little pub where the run-down building had stood before…"
Hannah had stopped listening to her parents retell the story she had heard so many times before, and instead her mind roamed as she looked at her surroundings, attempting to put it all to memory. The pub was dimly lit and shabby; it looked as old as it actually was, but Hannah loved that about it. It had a history and she was a part of it. Besides the pub, there were also some comfy rooms upstairs in the inn. One year, her parents rented out one of the rooms for her birthday. This was the place she was going to miss the most. She loved her home, but the Leaky Cauldron held so many memories for her and her family. Even though she would miss it she knew she had to say goodbye for a little while, and she was excited to for all the memories she would make at Hogwarts.
As they left, Ms. Hornby gave Hannah a big hug and passed her a box of fudge for the train ride. Tom waved goodbye with his free hand while he was polishing some glasses and yelled out, "Hannah-magic-girl-annah, you're going to have a great time!" Hannah smiled and waved animatedly, and then she walked out the door.
Eventually Hannah's father decided they had had enough fun and should probably go through to the other side before they missed the train, but as soon as they turned around they saw the same group of Muggles and a few others outright glaring at them for their odd disturbance and this started up a whole new round of laughter. Between chuckles her dad suggested they walk in the other direction for a few minutes until the Muggles had boarded their train. Hannah and her mum nodded their heads and they all stumbled away, covering their mouths and attempting to suppress their laughter.
Their laughter finally subsided after the Muggles had safely boarded their train. "Now, we really need to get to the train," Hannah's father insisted. "It's leaving in about," he looked at his watch, "8 minutes. Hannah, you go first. I need to perform the spell on your mother so she can go through."
"What kind of spell is it?" her mother mused.
"Actually, it's just a confidence charm, as long as someone pushes the wall with intent to get to the other side, Muggle or not, that person will be able to enter; it's a special form of magic. The Hogwarts headmaster wanted to make sure parents of Muggle-borns would be able to get in to see their children off—Hannah, go on, you don't want to miss the train!"
She looked both ways to make sure no Muggles would see her and then she ran at the wall and closed her eyes. It was an odd sensation; she did not just pass through the wall like a ghost might, but she suddenly became part of the rock, her body solidifying for less than half a moment and then passing right through to the other side. Magic made her feel like she was part of something bigger, something more than herself. It was everywhere; you just had to know where to look and she would keep on looking because she didn't want to miss a moment of it.
As soon as she entered Platform 9 ¾ she was engulfed by bright colours and noises. The train was huge and unmistakable due to its brilliant red hue. The train's engine roared somewhere to her left. There were people everywhere saying their last goodbyes to their parents and carrying their bags and owl cages onto the train. Hannah closed her eyes and listened to the sounds of owls hooting, the train engine roaring and the murmur of everyone's voices milling together. Then, a boy accidentally knocked into her and she was abruptly shaken out of her reverie.
The boy muttered, "Sorry…" and then rushed off. He seemed to be looking for something as he kept ducking his head to look between people's legs. Hannah watched him and wondered what on earth he could be searching for. She was about to go and ask him when an old woman wearing an awful hat with a stuffed vulture on top of it came up to the boy and told him to stop making a scene.
"What were you doing anyhow?" the vulture woman asked exasperatedly.
The boy looked down at his shoes. It seemed like he was always looking down, even though she, quite obviously actually, craned her neck to see what was going on, she couldn't really make out what the boy's face looked like. "Gran, I've lost my toad again,"* he said, wincing as if she might yell at him (94).
She didn't scream or yell. She just sighed and said "Oh, Neville"* (94). She was about to walk off, but he continued staring at his shoes. Walking back, she put a hand on his shoulder, "I'm sure you'll find him. You always do. Now, get on the train," she smiled at the boy reassuringly and squeezed his shoulder, "Hogwarts awaits."
Hannah finally looked away when she heard someone calling her name. "Hannah! What took you so long?" She looked up to see her best mate Ernie Macmillan yelling from one of the train's compartment windows.
Hannah laughed and shouted back over the loud sound of the train's engine, "It's a long story."
"Yeah, well it's a long train ride," Ernie countered. He grinned at her and looked behind her shoulder. "Hey, Mr. and Mrs. Abbott. How are you two?"
"We're great, thanks Ernie. How are you?" Hannah's mother smiled warmly and answered for the both of them.
"Pretty good, though I have been sorely missing your famous chocolate chip cookies," Ernie replied.
Hannah's mother blushed. "That's so sweet, Ernie. They're hardly famous, but I will definitely make sure to send some in my next package to Hannah."
Hannah's father laughed. "Flattery is certainly the way to a woman's heart," he said, winking at Ernie.
"Well, food is the way to my heart," Ernie said, laughing. Hannah rolled her eyes.
The train would be leaving soon, so Hannah's parents hugged her tightly and told her how much they would miss her. "Don't worry, I'll be home for the Christmas holidays and we'll be back at the Leaky Cauldron in no time!" she assured them. She let go and waved goodbye as she jumped up onto the train to join Ernie.
All thoughts of the boy with the lost toad escaped her mind as she and Ernie began to construct ideas on what Hogwarts might be like. The other students in their compartment chimed in and soon everyone was both excited and nervous, but most of all curious of what the future might hold. Today was the mark of a new chapter in their lives.
A/N: I hope you all like it! This is my first fanfiction but I have wanted to write one for a really long time. I love the idea of Hannah and Neville getting together. I will attempt to stay as close to canon as possible to give their love story justice. I have the entire plot planned out so now I just need to write it. I can't promise really quick updates but I'll try my best despite my busy college schedule. Please feel free to review if you like it!
Disclaimer: The amazing J.K. Rowling owns everything Harry Potter.
Works Cited: Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. New York: Scholastic Press, 1997. Print.
*I used direct quotes from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for the conversation that Hannah overhears between Neville and his grandmother.