"Come on, Dad! Hurry up!" the black-haired boy cried over his shoulder, his almond-shaped green eyes sparkling with joy, "we have to get to the platform before the Weasleys."
He was pushing a trolley with a trunk and a birdcage containing a white owl in it.
"Slow down, son," his father said, hurrying up to the boy, "I'm sure we'll be there before them."
Father and son looked almost alike, including messy black hair and eyeglasses they both wore but the father had hazel eyes and, if you watched the boy's forehead, a lightning shaped scar could be seen behind his front bangs.
"Yes, Harry," the red-haired woman walking beside the man said, laughter in her voice, "I think we'll be early enough. I don't see why you're so eager. You just saw Ron yesterday."
Her eyes were the same color and shape as the boy's. She was holding hands with a small girl who had hazel brown eyes and the same hair as the woman.
"Yes, especially since it isn't even 10 yet!" the man muttered to her, "Really, Lily. It just seems too early."
"Now, James," the woman said, lowering her voice so their son couldn't hear them, "you know why we're this early. By now, the press knows that Harry is going off to Hogwarts for the first time. All that boy-who-lived and boy-who-beat-you-know-who business is hard on him. You know how he hates all that attention. Remember the time we were at Diagon Alley when he was three?"
James grimaced, "Yes, I remember, the poor little tyke, all those people crowding around him, all the flashbulbs from those reporters. He was scared to leave his room for a whole month. I guess he's too excited now to realize the press may be here. So, it's good if we're here early."
Soon, the four people who were the Potters came up to the barrier between Platforms 9 and 10.
"Now, remember, son," the man said, "take a run at the wall and you'll go through. Just make sure there are no Muggles looking."
"All right, Dad," Harry said, looking around. Seeing no one paying attention to them, he moved quickly at a run and passed right through the wall.
"I wish I was going too, Mum," the girl said to her mother as they watched her father follow her brother.
"Now, Rose. You know you're not of age yet," Lily said, "It's just another year. Anyway, you have Ginny to play with all year and next year, the two of you will join your brothers.
Rose's face lit up in a smile as she remembered her best friend and fellow redhead. Lily then coaxed her daughter with her through the barrier.
Once through, they saw Harry gazing in awe at the red Hogwarts Express. The train also amazed Rose.
"Go on, son," James said, "Find a compartment for you and your friends. I'll help you with your trunk." James then did a levitation charm on the trunk and pushed it slowly towards the train, following his son.
Harry soon found a compartment near the end of the train and leaned out the window, waving to his parents and sister. Then, as more people starting filling the platform, he sat down and moved his bangs to cover his scar.
Several reporters soon spotted Harry's family, especially his father who was Head Auror of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement of the Ministry of Magic. They practically ran over each other in their hurry to reach them.
"Mr. Potter, how does Harry feel about going to Hogwarts?"
"Mr. Potter, do you expect him to do well?"
"Are you expecting special treatment for him, as he is the boy-who lived?"
"Where is your son, anyway? Is he on the train?"
James did his best to fend off the questions by answering them quickly, while Harry scrunched down in his seat so they wouldn't see him on the train.
He wished the Weasleys would arrive so he could spend time with Ron. They had known each other since they were a year old, spending weekends and summers in each other's house. Harry loved the Burrow as much as Potter Manor, his father's ancestral home. In spite of a more than adequate income due to his job as Deputy Minister for Muggle Affairs, Arthur Weasley kept his family in his old family home that looked like it was held up only by magic.
Because of his mother being Muggleborn, he and his sister had learned about Muggle science and gadgets. They had 2 televisions, a refrigerator, stereos, radios and other electrical appliances. They've gone to concerts of the Weird Sisters and Duran Duran, watched Quidditch and Cricket matches in the same week and been to both Wizarding and Muggle places in America, Europe and Africa, often with the Weasleys.
Then, he heard Molly Weasley's voice, "There they are, Arthur! Come along, Ron"
Harry raised his head just enough to peer out just above the window's bottom. He saw the Weasleys greet his parents. He saw his sister enthusiastically hugging Ginny Weasley. They looked like sisters rather than just best friends.
Harry smirked. Like peas in a pod, those two were. He wondered how it would be next year when the two girls joined them at Hogwarts. Should be fun, seeing how vibrant and energetic they both were, and both good at Quidditch as the boys had learned that summer.
Then Harry saw his freckle-faced best friend peer around his parents, apparently looking for him. Harry grinned at the sight of the redhead, already his mother's height.
"Psst, Ron, over here," he whispered to him.
Ron saw him and slowly edged away from the crowd of reporters. Then he climbed aboard the train and hurried to Harry's compartment. When Ron reached it, he plopped himself into the seat across from Harry.
"Can you believe the circus out there, Harry?" he asked Harry, "All of them looking for a glimpse of the boy-who-lived. It's a good thing your parents and mine are there to deflect their attention."
"You said it, Ron," Harry said, grimacing and scrunching down again in his seat, "There are times I hate being me, all that fuss, just because of something that happened years ago when I was in nappies. After all this time, you'd think they'd forget about it. I mean, they've seen me from time to time over the past ten years."
"Yeah, well, that's reporters for you," Ron said, "Anything for a story. Don't worry, mate," he put a hand on Harry's shoulder, "It'll blow over once we're in school. If anyone bothers you there, I'll handle it."
"Thanks mate," Harry said, smiling, "Now I remember why I keep you around."
"Hey!" Ron exclaimed, indignation on his face.
They soon starting talking about Hogwarts and what to expect there, based on what Ron's brothers and their parents had told them. They were particularly apprehensive about the sorting.
Fred and George, Ron's twin older brothers who were entering their third year, had told them several wild stories of how students were sorted into the four different houses ranging from having to fight a troll to trying to perform some magic.
A few minutes later, the twins came into the compartment.
"Hello, Harry," Fred said, or was it George.
"Hello, Wonnykins," the other twin said.
Ron's face grew red in indignation, "Don't call me that, George."
"Now, now, Ronald," Fred said, "We were just teasing."
"Yeah, lighten up, little bro," George said.
"Are you two ready for your first year?" Fred asked.
Harry and Ron grinned at the twins.
"Of course, we are," they answered together.
"Harry, we were wondering. Now that you'll be in Hogwarts, we'd like to you to consider starting a new generation of Marauders," Fred said.
"Yeah, after all those stories your Dad and Sirius have told us, we'd love to start a new foursome in pranking," George said, "We couldn't do it before since only
"'Perfect Percy' was there with us."
"It'll be worse now that he's a prefect," Fred said, "Hogwarts is so dull sometimes, it needs some laughs and livening up."
"I don't know, guys," Harry said, "Dad would like nothing more than to see a new generation of Marauders. Sirius too, and even Remus would be pleased. But, Mum had a talk with me last night and she forbade me to get into any trouble with pranks."
"Please, Harry," the twins pleaded, showing him their sad puppy dog look which often broke down their mother's resolve.
"All right, all right," Harry said, "I'll think about it. But if we get caught, I'm blaming the two of you." He could see Ron grinning out of the corner of his eye.
"Yeah!" the twins cheered and high-fived each other then said goodbye to the two younger boys.
"Soon the train's whistle blew, announcing its departure. Harry and Ron now climbed up to the window and waved goodbye to their parents and sisters. The reporters, upon seeing Harry, rushed towards the train but failed to get near it.
As they pulled out of the station, Harry looked back. The last thing he saw were two redheaded girls running after the train until they reached the end of the platform, waving frantically at them. Harry shook his head in wonder at their enthusiasm. He realized he would miss them, even if they were often exasperating.
As the express wound its way north, the boys settled down to a game of wizard chess, After Ron beat Harry for the third time, they switched to Exploding Snap. When the lunch trolley came, they bought themselves a large amount of food and candy.
As they were eating, the compartment door opened. They saw standing in the doorway a boy with white-blonde hair, being flanked by two larger boys who looked rather dull.
"So, it's true, then," the blonde said, "Harry Potter is going to Hogwarts."
Harry scowled. He had heard of this boy, or rather his father. He was Draco Malfoy whose father, Lucius Malfoy, was said to be a follower of Voldemort. But he had claimed to be under the Imperius curse at that time, so he wasn't charged. That frustrated Harry's Dad no end.
"What of it, Malfoy," he asked the blonde, "I'm just another boy going to school."
"Oh, you'll never be just another school boy, Potter," Draco sneered, "After what you did to the Dark Lord, how can you be, just ordinary."
Harry glared at him, "Is that all you want, to gawk at the bloody boy-who-lived, like any fawning fan?
"No, Potter," Draco said, "I was wondering if you'd rather associate with those of similar status and history as your family than some upstarts." He gazed at Ron.
Ron stood up, his face red with anger. Harry held him back as he said, "No, thanks, Malfoy. Don't forget that I'm a Halfblood because of my mother. I would have thought that would put you off associating with me.
Just when Malfoy was about to answer back; a voice said, "What's going on here?"
Harry and Ron saw Percy behind Malfoy's goons.
Malfoy saw the prefect badge pinned prominently on the older boy's robes. He scowled and said, "This isn't over, Potter." He then turned around and headed down the corridor, followed by the two larger boys.
"What was that about, Harry, Ron?" Percy asked them.
"Nothing, Perce," Harry answered, "Just a social call. It's okay."
"Well, all right," Percy said, looking unconvinced. He closed the compartment door.
The boys were silent for a while, and then went back to playing Exploding Snap.
As the sun started to go down, their compartment's door again opened. This time, a girl with bushy brown hair and rather large front teeth stood in the doorway.
"Have any of you seen a frog anywhere," she asked in a bossy tone. "A boy named Neville seems to have lost it."
"Umm, no, we haven't," Harry answered.
The girl looked at Harry for a moment then exclaimed, "You're Harry Potter. I heard you were aboard this train. I've read about you in Who's who in the Magical World, Modern Magical History and Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century." She stuck out her hand. "I'm Hermione Granger."
Harry shook her hand gingerly.
She then looked at Ron, "And you are?"
"Ron Weasley," he replied, "Harry and I have been best friends since we were babies."
"Charmed," Hermione said, but she didn't offer her hand to be shaken.
"You boys better change into your Hogwarts robes," she said, "we'll be arriving soon."
She moved to leave then turned back to Ron, "By the way, you have some dirt on your face. Did you know that?" She then went out, the door closing behind her.
Ron wiped at his face then looked at his hand. Finding nothing on it, he said, "Mental, that one."
The boys then got into their Hogwarts robes.
Soon, the train slowed to a stop beside an open station. As the two boys got out, they heard a booming voice, "Firs' years, firs' years, this way. Follow me, all firs' years."
They saw a towering man with a great beard gesturing towards himself.
Harry grinned and ran towards him, "Hagrid!" Ron followed more slowly.
The man's beard moved and crinkles appeared around his eyes, signifying a smile. "Harry, you're here at last. Oh, "'ello, Ron. You guys ready for Hogwarts?"
Harry's grin widened. Hagrid had been a constant visitor to Potter Manor since Harry could remember. He had a soft spot for the gentle, kind-hearted giant.
As he hugged Hagrid, Harry's hand encountered a hard lump that seemed to be in one of Hagrid's pockets.
"Hagrid, what have you got in your pocket?"
Hagrid seemed to frown, from the movement of his beard. "Never you mind, Harry. That's official Hogwarts business. Can't tell you I was at Gringotts today on an errand for Dumbledore. Oops, I shouldn't have said that. Come along now, best move on."
Harry frowned slightly as he followed Hagrid towards what appeared to be a lake and a lot of small boats. He wondered what business would drag Hagrid to Gringotts and why it seemed to be a secret.
Later that night, Harry lay on his new four poster bed, just as big and grand as his bed back in Potter Manor. It had been an interesting night. He remembered the awe he felt when he first saw the castle from the lake. He knew that his companions on the boat, Ron, Hermione Granger and the boy, who had lost the frog, Neville Longbottom, had been just as awe-struck.
The Sorting had been better than he had imagined, with the Sorting done by a beaten-up old wizard's hat. He had been shocked when the Hat offered to place him in Slytherin, especially after hearing it place Malfoy in that house. He was glad that he had made it place him in Gryffindor. His dDad would be proud, not to mention Sirius. The Welcoming Feast was brilliant, with the food rivaling anything that had been served at Potter Manor or the Burrow, not that he would say that to his mum or Mrs. Weasley.
He looked around the first year dormitory at the four other beds. Ron was asleep in the bed to his right, snoring like always. His other three roommates were Neville Longbottom, who was a bit pudgy, Seamus Finnegan who was Irish and Dean Thomas, a dark-skinned boy. Already, he felt a bond with them, though not yet as deep as he had with Ron.
Yes, he couldn't wait for morning to come so he could see more of Hogwarts.
B/N There are approximately 45 chapters currently written in this story. I am working on getting them edited and up as quick as I can, expect frequent updates for a while I would guess.