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The Highmore Chronicles: The Lost Kingpin

By AJDay

Fantasy / Adventure

The Hogwart’s Express

It was here. The day had finally arrived the Eva would be heading to her secondary home for the next four months. While partially excited to be finally learning magic she was upset to leave Michael behind. He seemed so lonely sometimes, yet when she was around she saw a glimpse of his happiness. Eva could tell that Michael was not happy to be seeing her leave either. He had been acting strangely sweet to her when they came in contact. He even tried baking her some homemade biscuits though they did not turn at all well. Eva still appreciated the time that she had with him, though it was coming to an end.

The packing had all been completed. She was given a trunk for all her clothing and necessaries that she would need for her stay. Myster was given an all new travel case complete with a cushion and small food bowl. Michael had also bought him a plethora of toys to keep him amused. Though Myster said he was too mature to play with toys, Eva had heard him running around in her room and found the parcel of toys in disarray when she returned. Myster swore that he saw something move around in it, though Eva knew better.

All of her goodbyes had been completed earlier, at Michael’s request. He did not want to deal with his blubbering mother while trying to get Eva to the station in time. Eva had to wake up extra early, which she was thankful for, because the morning was hectic; checking and rechecking to make sure she had everything. A slight mishap occurred after they broke their fast, when Eva accidently forgot to put Myster in his cage and Myster had decided to take a morning cat-nap in Eva’s room. It was luck that Michael had dropped the floo powder causing a large mess and a ruckus that woke the cat from its sleep. They were going to have to travel by floo since the train station was in London. It was quite a hassle trying to fit all of Eva’s things into the fireplace while still leaving room for Michael to throw the powder. After several failed attempts both Eva and Michael arrived in London. The floo took them to a place called the LMH or London Magical Hub. It was a line of floo systems that where entrances and exits from London to other magical towns. The Caterjune floo was quite unused which made it easy to leave.

Michael grabbed a trolley and they loaded up her items. The LMH emptied out directly into King’s Cross Station. Eva had been told that the platform they were looking for would not be like all the other trains in the station. She did think it odd to name a platform in quarters but she learned to question things like she used to. They walked through the station. Past Platform 6 and 7, then 8 and 9. Michael stopped and cordially nodded to a woman and what appeared to be her son carrying a similar trolley full of supplies. Michael leaned close to Eva and whispered, “Watch closely now?”

Eva paid special attention, still not seeing the entrance into the platform. All she saw was a single brick pillar and stood in the middle of platform 9 and 10. Soon the woman and her son began to walk towards the brick pillar with no intention of stopping. In the instant that they would have crashed, instead they disappeared. Eva smiled brightly, her breath escaping quickly. Michael nudged her forward and she began to walk towards the wall.

Myster, in his wire cage, stood up and turned towards her. “You better move faster than that or else you’ll just smack into the wall,” he murmured to her, clearly concerned for his well-being. Eva picked up the pace to a light trot and shut her eyes as she was about to collide with the wall. Nothing happened, as she slowed her pace, and her ears were filled with a great noise of child laughter and chatter. She opened her eyes and saw the most amazing sight. A large red steam engine huffed in the distance behind crowds of children and their parents. The platform was alive with movement and sounds.

Michael came behind her and rested his arm on her shoulders. “Welcome to the Hogwart’s Express,” he said with a bright smile and led Eva to the property masters to take her items. So many things caught her attention as she maneuvered around her future classmates. All the families were in strange clothing, the same that her gran wore and the clothes her father wore to work. Some students were already dressed in their robes, many carrying animals like rabbits, frogs, owls, and cats as well. She held Myster’s cage, though she knew that he was very cranky and would not care about his future pet-mates.

“Well, this is where we part,” Michael said as happily as he could. Eva turned to her new found father now feeling the weight of the situation. She fought hard to keep back her tears and remain strong even though they stung her eyes. I’m not going to cry and be like a baby, she thought, I am a witch. Before she burst, Eva grabbed Michael and hugged him. She felt his embrace back and could feel the flood gates opening.

“I’ll miss you,” she said choking back tears.

“I’ll miss you too,” he said in a soft voice. Then he stepped back giving and encouraging grin, “But, you won’t be alone alright. You’ll have Myster, and I know you’ll make a lot of good friends.”

“I know,” Eva said sustaining her composure. A loud whistle blew, announcing the departure of the train. After a final quick hug Eva ran off for the carts, Myster in tow. With every step she felt more independent determined to make Michael, her father proud. She searched quickly for a room, so that she might wave to her father as the train departed but the rooms were all crammed with students. Before she could even find an empty room the train had begun to move. She scrambled to find a window but none were available as everyone else gave farewells to their loved ones. “Well, it’s just you and me now,” she said to Myster in his cage. He however didn’t answer, beginning his reputation of being a mute cat.

The train was beginning to settle down and Eva figured they were already in search of their destination. Each cart had large groups of students, some much older than she was. Eva did not feel comfortable going into a cart with older students and decided to look for a cart full of young and somewhat clueless looking children.

Just by chance she found that group. Peering in the window of the room she saw five students about her age all chatting eagerly with one another. There seemed to be room for just one more, and Eva hoped that it wasn’t already taken. Right when she was about to knock, she locked eyes with a girl inside. The girl immediately stood up and slid open the door.

The girl was Eva’s height with beautiful long waving hair in a rick brown color. Her hazel eyes were quite large and match her prominent nose and big puffy lips painted in a saturated pink. All her features seemed too large for her small round face and were smothered in heavy makeup which was something Eva was never brave enough to touch.

After giving Eva the once over, she spoke, ”What are you doing staring into our cart?” Her voice was very harsh and she didn’t seem so happy.

“I was trying to find a place to sit,” Eva murmured quietly beginning to feel the tears creep back again. If this was how the other students acted towards new people then Eva was sure to never make any friends. She pulled Myster’s cage closer to her.

The girl stared a moment, but suddenly he face brightened and her pink puffy lips spread into a beautiful smile. “Thank goodness, I hate rooms with odd numbers of people in it. Come in,” she said grabbing Eva’s hand and pulling her through the small isle. Eva was confused but allowed herself to be pulled through to the seat next to the large window. The others were still talking and didn’t seem to notice her presence. She was placed awkwardly into the seat by the window, Myster’s cage lopside on her lap. She could feel him trying to regain his balance inside.

“Alright, people,” the girl commanded, and everyone seemed to pause from the conversation to look at her. “Alright, we have a new guest with us. This is…oh merlin’s beard I forgot to ask you your name.”

“Oh, I’m Eva Highmore,” she said, but her voice was still shaky from the almost breakdown.

“Everyone, this is Eva,” the girl said loudly to everyone, her voice full of excitement. “Well, Eva my name is Swan Emerson, next to me is William Weasley,” she pointed to a boy with flaming red hair. He was quite small next to her, not seeming like he had an ounce of muscle on him. Next she introduced Lura Lykens. Eva could tell, without even seeing her stand that she was a very tall girl. Her legs were very long and seemed crowded in the small cabin. Her hair made her standout as well, being very curly and clinging to her face creating an orb of auburn coils around her small head. She didn’t seem that happy to meet Eva but instead gave her a weak smile. “And this is Samwell Biehle,” she continued. Samwell stood out most for his size. Where Lura was tall, Samwell was wide. He had unnaturally wide shoulders and a thick frame to match. His hair was in tight black curls on his head and she couldn’t even see the color of his eyes due to his heavy brow. “And last but definitely not least is my twin, Sparrow Emerson.” Eva leaned forwars to see Sparrow, which she thought an odd name for a person. The boy that she saw looked nothing like the painted Swan. He was a very thin and lanky. Their faces were similar having the same large lips and nose and he had big eyes but they were instead a blue. While Swan’s face was crowded his was much longer and seemed to accommodate the features. Of course the most startling difference between the two was the personality. Sparrow barely smiled as a greeting and seemed almost bored with his sister’s introduction.

With that, the rest of the cart was back in their conversations. Swan butted into Lura and William’s heat conversation about the Chudley Canons which Eva could only assume was a quidditch team. Markl had told her a lot about quidditch but he never spoke of any team besides the Montrose Magpies.

“I’m telling you Lura, there is no possible way the Chudley Canon’s would lose to the Holyhead Harpies. Everyone knows that,” William said irritated.

“If only the Harpies had better uniforms. I would think about joining them,” Swan said, probably picturing herself in the green and gold.

“I know you and your family is in love with the orange and black, but those women are sure tough. You should know, your aunt played on the team,” Lura retorted completely disregarding Swan’s comment.

“That doesn’t matter; an all girls team could not defeat the Canon’s. No one can.” William leaned back into his seat with his arms crossed.

There was a long pause and Eva felt that it was her turn to speak. “Well, I hear the Magpie’s are training hard.” They all looked at her confused about the input.

“I love magpie’s, they are such a pretty bird,” Swan replied cheerfully.

“Yeah, I heard that they are one of the top picks this year,” William said encouragingly. At least he was making an effort where Lura just squinted questioningly back at Eva.

“No, they are like fourth pick, under the Harpies,” she said knowingly.

“Well, I mean that’s just what I heard from my uncle,” Eva murmured.

“What is he an avid fan or something?” Lura asked uninterested.

“No, he plays for the team.” This seemed to catch her attention.

“Oh yeah, who is he?” William sounded excited and sat forward.

“Markl O’Brian, he’s a…”

“THE BEATER?” William yelled silencing the whole cart. “Can you get me his autograph?”

“What are they your favorite team too?” Lura asked trying to sound bored.

“Isn’t he the handsome one?” Swan asked in her dreamlike state.

“Second favorite, but they still are really good and I rarely get to see them play,” he said.

This started a long conversation between Eva and William. He asked her all sorts of questions about the team and how they were related. Eva felt that she was getting advanced at making friends.

***

The train ride was very long and tiring but with her new friends with her she didn’t seem to notice. Eva had pulled Myster from his cage and he had moved between her lap and her side as the ride went on. He kept his eye closely on Swan since she had a habit of grabbing him unexpectedly and squeezing him.

Eva had a good conversation with everyone, though Lura’s seemed slightly forced, except Sparrow. He had stayed in his corner by the door the whole time either sleeping or talking to Samwell.

Eva had been staring out the window and watching the world move by when Swan had called her attention. Myster flinched at this and pushed himself as close to the back of the seat as possible. Swan motioned Eva to lean forward.

“I have a question,” Swan whispered in her ear. Eva nodded, excited to hear girly whispers. “Do you find my brother agreeable?” The question was a strange one and Eva sat back to think about it. The only thing that was troubling her was the meaning of ‘agreeable’. He didn’t seem mean but he wasn’t nice either. And he wasn’t a bad looking boy but he certainly wasn’t a stunner.

Eva shrugged, “I guess so.”

Swan began to laugh loudly and almost too excitedly. Eva began to blush not sure what the girl was laughing at. She leaned in close again talking so only Eva could hear. “If you find him agreeable then you must find me agreeable.” This brought forth another round of laughter from Swan. Eva still didn’t understand but smiled anyways and sat back.

A rush of movement came by the cart door and all six turned their attention to the door window. Students were running in the direction of something down the corridor of the train.

Sparrow stood up and popped open the door. In an instant he swung his head back into the cart and face was alight like Swan’s. This was the first time Eva saw any emotion than sulking on his face. “It’s the trolley.” Suddenly everyone stood up in front of Eva and were craning the necks to see what was going on outside. That was everyone, except Lura.

“It is just the trolley, it’s not that cool,” she said still seated. That was when Swan leaned over to tell Eva that Lura was a second year and that she was the one that made the room uneven in the first place. Eva stifled back a giggle and stood to see what was going on.

The students in the hall began to return to their rooms. Eva could hear someone in the distance shooing them away.

“It’s three carts down,” Sam said searching through his carry on items. He pulled out a bag of coins and began to count. Everyone else followed suit and began counting their money as well.

Michael had given Eva a small bag of money for her trip. She still didn’t know what they stood for. She pulled it out and waited for the mysterious trolley to arrive. She could only image what would be on it. The room was tense with impatience but soon a beautiful trolley cart pulled up to the door. It was filled with every possible kind of sweets you could imagine. Lollipops and licorice rope and gummy worms. Jelly beans and chocolates and candy canes. It all looked so delicious and Eva realized how hungry she was.

The cart pushed forward a little more and a man came into view. He was tall and slender wearing a completely pink bellhop suit. On his head was a bright pink round hat held onto his head by a gold string around his chin. On his face he wore a wide smile with perfectly straight teeth.

“Ah, first years,” he said in a cheerful tone. Eva thought that Swan and this man would get along great. “Anything from the trolley, we have…” and he began to list the many wonderfully tasting treats he had. Eva’s mouth began to water. Everyone, including Lura began to call out for candy while Eva was in the back thinking about what she wanted. “And for you in the back,” the man called and Eva realized she was the only left. She didn’t know what to say.

“She will have Bertie Botts, two chocolate frogs, and a fizzing whiszbee,” Swan said standing next to her. She took Eva’s coins and paid the right amount and then gave the candies to Eva.

“Thank you,” Eva said sitting down with her sweets.

“There are always too many to choose from. I except that you will do the same if I ever get complete candy shocked,” Swan cheerly said opening a large lollipop.

Eva found this Swan girl a very promising friend. Eva didn’t have friends at the institute because they always kept her separate from the other children. Now that she had moved to Caterjunes Square she had made several friends but she realized they were all much older than her. Madam Posthumus and Professor Emmolt were very old compared to her eleven years. Even Lucy was too old. Myster, she supposed, was younger than her but she couldn’t think of how to convert cat year into human years. This was the first friend she made that was her own age and she hoped that it would last.

She looked out the window as the landscape passed by. It was so beautiful, and she wondered why the muggles had ever found such a beautiful place. The sun began to set behind the grassy hills. The bursts of orange and purple lulled Eva into a comfortable nap.
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