Chapter Two – A Ride to Remember
“Sorry to disappoint, but I’m not James. You may call me the Boy-Who-Lived-Twice,” replied the young man. Voldemort looked incredulously at him, before schooling his features again.
“I had heard you were a joker, but that’s just pathetic, Potter.”
“Oh, don’t worry,” said the Boy-Who-Lived-Twice, “I’m just getting to the punch-line.” With that, he began to empty his pockets, placing a shrunken pile of objects onto the floor before un-shrinking them into more recognisable shapes: a cup, a diadem, a ring, a locket, and a worn diary. Voldemort’s eyes widened as he digested this, before hardening in rage when they burst into flames a moment later.
“You’ll pay for that with your life, Potter! Crucio!”
“Rictumsempra!” shouted the Boy in reply, and the spells formed a beam where they met, locking both wands to each other. The Boy pulled a second wand from his pocket, and held it pointed towards Voldemort with his free hand.
“Do you know the last words you spoke to me?”
“N…No,” said Voldemort, with fear beginning to surface in his twisted mind.
“Of course not; Avada Kedavra!”
As the dark lord crumpled to the ground, the wands broke free and the magic dissipated.
The Boy-Who-Lived-Twice flashed a triumphant grin, and reached into his robe pockets again, only for it to turn to a frown.
“I thought it was in this pocket…maybe this one…no…no…damn! Merlin, Ginny’s going to kill me!”
Mingled with the remains of the burnt relics were the ashes of a heavily modified time-turner, and the Boy-Who-Lived-Twice’s only way home.
The whistle of a steam train gave a five-minute warning to the bustling masses at the rather unique platform, numbered Nine and Three Quarters. Many a child and teen were receiving embarrassing hugs or kisses from tearful parents – one was receiving them from another young boy herself.
“Oh, Ginny,” sniffed Harry dramatically, hugging the red-headed girl. “How I’ll miss you. It won’t be the same, going to an amazing castle and learning magic without you, for a whole year!”
“Shut it, Potter,” retorted Ginny, trying unsuccessfully to look annoyed before smiling sadly with a slight pink tinge to her cheeks. She gave him a peck on the cheek, “Hey, you’ll write to me, won’t you?”
“Of course, Gin, and you’ll be at Hogwarts too next year!” said Harry placatingly.
A pair of boisterous, slightly older twins, with flaming hair to match their sister’s, joined in.
“We’ll send you some souvenirs, ickle Gin ‘n’ Tonic.”
“Like a Hogwarts toilet seat-“
“-Some growth potions might come in handy-“
“-Or maybe a Looove potion?”
Ginny glared at the twins, “Prats. I’ll be rid of you two at least – Hogwarts can have you.”
“And we’ll do it proud, or our names aren’t George and George!-“
“Or was it Fred and Fred?”
Harry began to dramatically back away, towards the train. “Oh, Merlin, save me!”
Ginny cackled, “Have fun, Potter!” as Harry boarded the train in his dramatic fashion, followed shortly by the twins.
“Nicely done, Fred, George,” Harry gave a nod in thanks, “You definitely know how to handle her better than me, I was expecting tears soon. I’ll see you guys at the Gryffindor table; time to find Ron.”
“Any time, Harry-” started Fred.
“-As long as you don’t have any intentions of stealing away our little sister-“
Harry raised his hands and protested his innocence, “Hey, I think of her as a sister too! And Ron -” he shuddered dramatically, “-definitely not my type.”
George laughed, “I’m sure.”
“Later Harry!” The twins chorused.
Harry found Ron and Neville alone in one of the first compartments he came across.
“Hey, Harry,” Neville greeted, “Got away in time, then?”
“Yeah, just; thank Merlin for the twins.” He sat at the spot opposite Ron. “So…nervous about the sorting yet?”
Ron snorted, “Hardly.”
“Me either, I’m just hoping my owl shows up soon,” said Neville, with a slightly annoyed look, “That thing is a real Casanova; he keeps flying off, only to come back with a girl fawning over it.”
With timing that would be the envy of divination teachers everywhere, the door to the compartment slid open at that moment, revealing a girl with bushy, brown hair. On her shoulder was a small owl with grey and brown feathers, which seemed to be making her rather uncomfortable.
“Hello, does this owl belong to anyone in here? I’m Hermione Granger by the way, nice to meet you all. Is it your first year too? I just found out about magic myself; nobody in my family’s magic at all, so it was such a surprise when I got my letter, but I was ever so pleased, of course, I mean, it’s the very best school of witchcraft there is, I’ve heard.” She said, before drawing a large gasp of a breath.
“It’s a school of wizardry too, you know,” said Ron, looking annoyed, but surprised that someone could speak so quickly as that.
“Hullo, Hermione, I’m Harry, and these two are Ron and Neville. We’re first years too, and that’s Nev’s owl, ‘Nova.”
“Thanks for bringing him back!” chimed in Neville, taking the owl back to perch on his shoulder.
“Oh, that’s quite alright,” replied Hermione distractedly, “Would you mind if I sit here too?”
Harry patted the seat beside him invitingly, and Hermione sat, albeit slightly further away.
“So, Hermione, do you know the houses at Hogwarts? Which do you think you will be sorted into?”
“Yes, of course; I’ve read Hogwarts: a History, and all of the first year texts…and a few more for fun. But,” Hermione hesitated, “I’m not sure, either Ravenclaw or Slytherin sounds right for me, as I love books and want to succeed and be the best. And what houses do you think you would be in? Harry? Ronald? Neville?”
“Gryffindor!” they all chorused.
Three friends welcomed a fourth, and the new group talked ’til the magical train rolled to a stop.