Back on tracks

3. The castle

3. The castle


After her awakening, Elyn found herself lying onto James' lap, Sirius holding her hand and Remus fanning her face.

She would have found the situation hilarious, hadn't she just been announced she had jumped through time and space.

She wasn't mad, was she?

"Someone can pinch me?"

Anyone else wouldn't have heard her faintest of whispers, but they were Animagi, and a werewolf, and Elyn doubted anything could remain unknown by these four.

Sirius chuckled and indulged her, resulting in a squeak of pain.

"Thank you. Now I know I'm definitely not having a bad dream." Elyn pushed herself back up, and sat back properly next to James, to whom her gaze diverted first. "Thank you for being my pillow, Potter."

He mimicked a bow. "You're welcome, ..."

Elyn chuckled at the thought Harry Potter's bloody dad of all people was asking for her name again. "Elyn. Elyn Foren."

"Right, I had lost that last part. You're welcome, Foren."

She smirked. In fact, he wasn't that bad.

She probably had horrible prejudices about James Potter, after all, his whole life she had only known through her sister's mouth.


Elyn snapped out of her thoughts and realised the three other Marauders were still looking at her strangely.

"What?"

Remus chuckled briefly. "Excuse our enquiry, but we have never seen any Muggleborn apply to Hogwarts for their final year. You must be special."

Elyn snorted. "Hardly. Just think I've been sucked into this mess only for the sake of this storyline to be changed." They all narrowed their eyes. "Too much fan fiction. Sorry." She looked down at her clothes, and started. "Who the Hell changed my clothes?"

Sirius smirked and leaned in. "I could tell you it was me, 'cause I would like nothing more than to have a glimpse at your surely glorious body, but unfortunately, you have to thank Prongs and his skill with a wand for your replacement of clothing."

Elyn looked at James. "Oh. Thanks, uh... Prongs?"

James looked down to his hands. "Long story."

"Oh no, I know why you're called Prongs, that was just my way of asking if I could use the nickname." As soon as the words left her mouth, she knew she had made a mistake.

The four pairs of eyes that settled onto her with a mix of disbelief and even fear, on Remus' account, didn't go amiss to her, and she backtracked.

"I mean, you're Prongs 'cause of your glasses, no? That's so obvious."

James faked a laugh, while Sirius and Remus almost choked in relief.

Elyn then turned to them. "And you, what are your nicknames?"

Sirius' smile faltered a little, but he was faking well. "Padfoot."

"Right, the womanizer part. Don't want to check if that's true, thanks."

He smirked.

Remus, on his part, sighed. "And I'm Moony."

"Are you a girl, by any chance, Remus?" Elyn leaned in, too close for comfort even, and her eyes roamed over Remus' face until both he and her were blushing. "Nope, for sure you're not. Then the nickname doesn't come from your period."

James choked. "Wow. That's the first time I ever encounter a girl who doesn't call it "monthly ritual" or "time of the month"."

"Well, that's how it's called, and you'll soon discover I'm not like any other girl, Prongs."

"She should be called Frank."

She rolled her eyes at Sirius. "Oh no, I won't be called that stupid name, thank you very much. Elyn is already a joke as it is, just call me that."

"I think Elyn is a beautiful name. And it suits you."

Her eyes locked with Remus' so peculiar ones. "Well... Thank you, Remus. I suppose."

Sirius looked back and forth between the two of them, then nudging James in the leg. "Prongs, Prongs, I think there is something going on here!"

Elyn slapped him square in the face, though not putting any force enough in it to hurt him. "And we're still in the room." She then got up. "I'm going to the loos." And she opened the box' door, muttering between her teeth. "Boys..."


Finding the loos in a train filled with students who stared at you with open mouths and who started whispering once you had passed them wasn't really easy.

But thanks to her guardian angel – she had to have one, right? – Elyn soon found herself facing Lily again.

Lily bloody Potter, then. Harry's bloody mum. The very same who'll marry the guy she had just been fainting on not moments before.

God that really was crazy!

"Hey, Elyn!"

"Hey, Lily!"

"Trying to find something?"

"Yeah, I'm trying to find the loos, as it is."

Lily's eyes widened, and then she chuckled lightly. "You've been heading the wrong way then, follow me." Then, as they both walked back all the way, and voices started raising around Elyn once more, Lily started growling. "I really hate those little nothings. They have nothing else to do than muttering about a new student."

But as they reached the boys' box again and tried to pass it, it was obvious some girls had something else to do.

A swarm of fangirls were trying to peak at Sirius from the glass, drawing hearts on it and everything.

"Pathetic."

Lily sighed in answer. "Welcome to Hogwarts, Elyn."


Once she had gone to the loos and Lily had left her find her way again to her companions, Elyn realised the sun had set pretty fast, and if she had been a good student of her sister's, it could only mean the castle wasn't far.

So she asked.

"Uh, sorry, but, are we arriving yet?"

Sirius and Remus chuckled at the sight of her face, quite flushed from having to pass through the maze of girls, and slightly angry at that.

James, on his side of the seat, sighed. "In around thirty minutes, I'd say."

When she fell beside him again, Elyn then realised he had drawn out his wand and was enchanting a paper plane.

"Wow."

"What, wow? That's a childish sort, Frank."

She glared at Sirius. "If I were you, I'd stop calling me that, Padfoot, or you might very well lose a part of your anatomy you find very useful."

He leaned in. "And which one, pray tell?"

"I dunno. Ask your fangirls out there."

His eyes snapped at the door, and he saw a slightly older girl than the others, no doubt someone their age, and turned white. "Shit."

"Couldn't have said it any better." And Elyn patted his knee before settling back on the seat and watching James whirl his wand in the air.

A sudden lump formed in her throat.


Once the train stopped with a screech of its heels, Elyn followed the boys out of it. Their trunk were taking care of in a blink, and soon enough, James' hand pulled her towards a carriage.

Without horses.

Right, the Thestrals.

She was proud to even remember.

And even prouder to realise Remus was walking slightly away from where they should be standing.

Saw death, then?

"Before you scream, you have to know these carriages work without horses."

Elyn turned her gaze to James. "That's not true. I just can't see them."

Sirius' eyes widened in front of her. She couldn't see Remus'. "How d'you know that?"

She shrugged. "My aunt has two horses home. I can recognize the scent. Beside, Remus has been walking away from where they should be haltered."

Remus' head snapped at her. But he said nothing.

She could have found it funny, to surprise the bloody Marauders of all people, but all she felt was stress.

Bloody hell, as Ron would say.

This really was a mess.


As the carriage advanced in the night and out of thick woods, Elyn's eyes widened at the sight she was offered.

Wow.

Hogwarts really was huge.

And freaky.

"Gosh, it's quite...frightful, isn't it?"

James chuckled. "Yeah, I know, I felt the same the first time. Don't worry, when you'll see it in the morning, it'll be quite different."

"I take your word on that."

But she kept gaping until the towers drew nearer and nearer.

And once she was stepping out of the carriage and tilting her head as back as she could, Elyn didn't even notice the dark green clad woman who walked to her.

Until she cleared her throat.

Oh shit!

McGonagall!

"Miss Foren I presume?" Elyn nodded sheepishly. "Minerva McGonagall, Head of Griffindor and Transfiguration teacher. I suppose none of this rings a bell?"

She thought of saying she knew exactly what Transfiguration was, but then remembered she wasn't supposed to know, so she shook her head.

"Well, I'm sorry to say you'll have to wait for any explanation. The Feast will begin shortly, and only after will you be Sorted and will be given a wand. I'll come fetching you. Now off you go!"

Well, she was really a strange woman, there...

And anyway, it wasn't as if she didn't know it.

So Elyn just shook her head again for good measure, and ran up the stairs to meet her new friends.

Friends, really?

Did she really want to be friends with the Marauders?

Then again, there was a reason why she'd met them first.

Hell!

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