Retelling of the books without Ron. What if Harry were a bit smarter, and knew how to get onto the platform. Harmony. More Neville. Rated M - potential violence and potential smut.
Disclosure: I don't own any of the Harry Potter Books, or any of the characters. I'm just taking them for a ride.
Harry held his breath as he pushed the luggage cart towards the apparently solid wall in front of him. Picking up speed, he pushed through the barrier, emerging on to the busy platform beyond. Looking around in wonder, he silently congratulated himself on picking the right barrier. From what he'd read in his school books, he'd known that the entrance to the platform was hidden in one of the arches, he just hadn't known which one. It had taken some 15 minutes watching to work out which one it was, and he was happy that he had managed to work it out without asking for help.
Harry looked around the busy platform, turning to try and take everything in. There were lots of people moving around on the platform, carrying various magical equipment. A little way away from him, a frizzy haired girl stood with her parents, saying goodbye. Leaning out of a window on the train, a young boy was talking to his grandmother, exchanging hugs.
Harry began pushing his luggage towards the rear of the train. Taking Hedwig's cage from where it was perched precariously on top of his trunk, he the luggage to the elderly wizard who was moving the trunks onto one of the carriages. He then made his way onto the train, and began looking for a seat.
After walking nearly the entire length of the train, he finally found a compartment that wasn't completely full. Pulling open the door, he poked his head inside, seeing the two occupants. They looked up at him expectantly.
"I'm sorry," he said to the boy and girl sitting inside. "Can I sit in here? Everywhere else is full of screaming students…"
The girl nodded her consent, and got up to let him sit down. Looking across at the boy on the other side of the table, he smiled nervously, putting out his hand. "Hello. I'm Harry Potter."
The boy looked startled, but took his hand. "Neville Longbottom. Nice to meet you," he said quietly.
Harry turned to the girl sitting next to him, finding her staring at him. "And you are?" He asked politely.
"Hermione Granger. Are you really the Harry Potter?!" She asked.
Harry looked at her, confused. "I'm A Harry Potter. Why?"
"Well it's just I was doing some reading – I've picked up some extra books on magic, since I didn't know anything about it because I'm the first in my family, witch that is – and I was reading, and I read a lot about Harry Potter. And you – if you are him – are in loads of books. Well more like several really. Modern Magical History is one of them, and, oh yeah, The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts, and Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century. Of course, I've read a lot more books, and all of the set books, so I know quite a lot about it."
Harry perked up at this. "Oh, me too. I've read all of Hogwarts: A History, and most of the set books. But nothing else really, I was only able to go to Diagon Alley once…"
"Oh, that's okay. I can lend you some of my books if you want…"
They chatted away for a while, trading interesting books to read and finding out more about each other, Neville sitting in the corner looking out the window and looking at the countryside. After 15 minutes, they left London, and the view out the window turned from the grey of buildings to the green and blue of the countryside.
Around half twelve, just when Harry was beginning to wonder what they were going to do for lunch, there was a knock at the door. A polite old woman stood there, pushing a trolley laden with food before her. Interrupting their conversation, she enquired kindly "anything from the trolley, my dears?"
Harry, who was feeling a bit hungry at this time stood up. However, after looking at the cart quickly, he decided he didn't know what to ask for, looked at Hermione and Neville for help. Neville jumped into action. Neither Harry nor Hermione had lived in the Wizarding world, and neither had thought to read up on what kind of sweets were the best.
10 minutes later, the trio sitting in the compartment again, eating their way through the pile of sweets they had purchased. Harry and Hermione were sitting in the carriage, listening to a lecture by Neville, in which he enumerated a small history of each sweet, along with his favourites, where they were made and who invented them, and the amount of times he had thrown up eating each one. Harry was most interested in the animated Chocolate Frogs, whereas Hermione favoured the Bertie Bots Every Flavour Beans, judging by the four boxes she had absentmindedly eaten her way through.
"I don't really like the sweets much though." Neville was saying. "Nah, I prefer plants. At home, I usually tend to the gardens. I just feel like I can think more when I'm there. It's peaceful."
After finishing their lunch, the conversation turned to other topics. They talked about which schools they had attended before, what they liked to do, and their parents. Hermione was the first to bring this one up, and neither of the boys contributed much. Hermione, never one to be fazed, tried to get them to open up, and she eventually managed to gain a small piece about both Harry and Neville's family. Neville spoke quietly about living with his grandmother, whilst Harry merely revealed that his parents were dead. The group sat in silence after this, before striking up a new conversation about their wands.
Soon the group found it was time to change into their robes. After a quick debate in which they decided not to leave the carriage in order to change, Neville and Harry changed, Hermione standing guard outside the compartment. They then swapped places, with Hermione going inside to change.
Less than half an hour later, they pulled into the station. By an unspoken agreement, they remained together amid the masses of students that filled the station. Hearing the familiar booming voice of Hagrid yelling out "Firs-years!" they made their way over to the large man.
"'ello Harry! How was the train?"
"It was nice Hagrid, but I had a bit of trouble finding the platform!"
"Er, yeh, sorry 'bout that. I just thought you'd 'ave known, is all."
"That's all right Hagrid, I was just joking!"
"Oh, were yer? An' I see you got yerself some friends."
"Yes, this is Neville Longbottom, and Hermione Granger."
Neville mumbled his greetings, and Hermione stepped forward to greet the man. After the introductions were completed, Hagrid resumed his loud bellowing for the first years. When they had all been amassed, he set off down a steep path, the students having to run to keep up with his giant paces.
Harry Hermione and Neville stuck together, looking around, nervous and excited. They were walking down a dark dirt path, lined by tall pine trees. Looking up, they could see stars between the tree tops. After walking along this path for about 5 minutes, they turned a corner, and all gasped.
They were facing a large lake. A small pebble beach spread from the edge of the forest to the water in front of them, and circled the expanse of water. The forest they were standing in spread away to either side, reaching almost the entire way around the lake.
However, it was the large castle on the other side of the lake that was what the assembled students were staring at, amazed. Almost a mile away, it still seemed huge. Tall towers thrust upwards into the sky, and walkways spanned the grounds. A larger tower was situated in the middle, with smaller ones dotted around the outside. Leading away from the castle was a large grassy meadow, with various other buildings dotted around.
Hagrid headed off to the boats that were waiting on the beach just ahead of them, leading the stunned students to the small craft. Hagrid turned, calling over his shoulder "All righ', everyone in. No more'n three to a boat, mind you, 'n then we'll be off." The students quickly complied, talking animatedly among themselves. After everyone was seated in a boat, the craft sped away from the shore, without any propulsion. Harry turned to Hermione, and saw her buzzing in her seat.
"Isn't this amazing?!" she exclaimed happily, looking at him. "It makes it more real, doesn't it, seeing the castle?"
Harry smiled back at her, and Neville spoke up. "It does. I mean, I was feeling a bit nervous, like they'd made a mistake in telling me that I've got magic, but not now that I'm here. Nah, it just feels… right."
Harry and Hermione both nodded their agreement, and the trio turned to gaze at the castle again. Harry took this moment to study his new friends. Neville was about the same height as Harry, but his hair was straight, brown and came to below his ears. He had a round face, and cheerful blue eyes.
Hermione, on the other hand, was a bit taller than him. She had very frizzy shoulder-length brown hair, and a petite face. Her eyes were brown, and matched her hair perfectly. As he was examining her, she turned to look at him, smiling. He blushed slightly, and returned the smile.
They soon reached the other side of the lake, where they entered a small boat house. Disembarking – rather clumsily in Neville's case – they moved to stand outside the small building with the other students. Hagrid soon appeared with the last of the students, and they quickly walked up the shallow slope towards the castle. Hagrid lead them around the side, through a large courtyard with a fountain in the middle, and to some doors that were so large, they dwarfed Hagrid.
The large man reached up, and knocked on the door heavily.