Chapter 17 – Taking a ride on the Hogwarts Express
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Summary: What is 'The power he knows not' and how did Harry get it? How did Harry survive the killing curse and what does Sirius Black have to do with it? Who is the voice Harry is hearing in his head?
Chapter 17 – Taking a ride on the Hogwarts Express
Sliding to a stop outside the train station at Kings Cross, Harry had a hard time concentrating with the task at hand – Getting to the Platform at nine and three quarters.
Remus could still hear Harry saying under his breath 'I did it! I did it! I did it!' which made him want to laugh at his young friend. What Harry had accomplished was an extraordinary feat for anyone. Most wizards aren't willing to go through the time and effort to discover their animagus form. But Harry not only had more then one form, he was successful in mastering four different forms based on each of the four different elements, Fire, Water, Earth, and Air. The last wizard to do anything like that may have been Merlin, but Remus didn't know that for sure.
"Okay fish boy, let's get moving before we miss your train." Remus joked.
"Fish boy? Watch it fur ball or you may find yourself facing a hopping mad Hippogriff on your tail." Harry responded.
"Na, that overgrown turkey probable couldn't hurt a fly."
"Would you like taking a few minutes and finding out?"
Laughing Remus held up his hands and said, "Not now Harry, we still have to get you on that train, now take out that trunk, enlarge it, put a feather-weight charm on it, and let's get moving."
"Okay Uncle Remus, you take all the fun out of being teased."
Walking quickly, they soon find themselves at the main terminal at Kings Cross.
"Okay, let's get a trolley for you and get heading down to the platform."
Harry did has he was told. He was in a little shock being at a place where there were so many people. Even Diagon Alley wasn't this crowded! Harry was staying very close to Uncle Remus. Thinking about it, this would be his first time away from Lupin Manor in almost three years. It wasn't like he didn't know anybody – Aunt Min and Uncle Filius would be there – along with Professor Dumbledore and that Malfoy boy.
'Well, I guess you take the good with the bad.' Harry thought to himself.
'Don't forget son, I'll be there too.' 'Ma' said.
'As will I young master.' Durendal replied.
'I know, I don't mean to minimize what you guy's mean to me, but you know what I mean. This is the first time since before I've been at Lupin Manor that I will be away from Remus. I do not look forward to leaving him.'
'I know what you mean son. Remus is a good friend, surrogate father and godfather. I think this is as hard on him as it is on you, he just hides it better.'
"Hey Remus, are you going to miss me while I'm at Hogwarts?" Harry asked.
Remus paused for a moment, then, put his hand on Harry's shoulder. "More then you know cub, more then you'll know."
Entering the main lobby, Harry pick up a trolley and placed his trunk on it. As he and Remus made their way down to the platform area, Harry was looking at all the people who were there getting on different trains or making connection to different routes. He noticed that most of the people there muggle, but every once in a while, he would pick up a magical signature from a person or group of people, mostly with young children like himself. 'Those must be other kids on their way to Hogwarts like me.' He thought. 'I'll have to get to know some of them better when I get there.'
Harry was watching the platform numbers as they were walking. …Eight, Nine … Ten. "Ah, Uncle Remus, just where exactly is platform nine and three quarters?"
Remus smiled for a moment. "Stretch your senses Harry. Tell me what you feel."
Harry stopped by his trolley, took a few deep breaths to 'center' himself, cleared his mind, and then closed his eyes and pushed his magic out so he could 'feel' what was around him.
"There are about 45 muggles in the area moving in different directions. There are 13 magical beings in the area all headed in this direction. Most of the auras are 'clean', but there are a few that are darker then I like, and two are absolutely black! …Wait a minute… One of the Pillars is giving off a magical signature – there's a 'Notice-Me-Not' charm on it, as well as an anti-muggle charm, and a very strong glamour charm? What would that be for?" Harry asked.
"How else are you going to hide a gateway to a magical platform in the middle of a muggle train station?" Remus replied.
"Now, take your trolley, and just walk at a good pace towards the center of that column. I'll be right behind you."
Harry did as he was told, and when it was clear, walked quickly toward the center of the third column between platforms nine and ten. When he got to where the wall should be, he felt himself being pulled through a magical portal to platform nine and three quarters.
Harry walked out a ways further so Remus wouldn't bump into him. He stopped and looked around at the contents of the platform. Amazed at the diversity of magical people he saw there. And then there was the train – bright, shining, and looking like a proud steed on display ready to pull its charge of students to noble Hogwarts. It was almost surreal to Harry.
"Well, Harry, what do you think of the Hogwarts Express?" Remus said walking up to Harry's side.
"It looks fantastic Uncle Remus! And seeing all the different type of people! I'll say one thing about the wizarding community, they are a colorful lot!"
"Uncle Remus? There seems to be some muggles here on the platform. Is that normal?"
"Well, it would be if they had a magical child with them. I remember when you Grand's first brought your mum here the first time; they looked like a couple of fish out of water. Probable only the second time they had ever seen magical people. What do you say about us going up and helping them out?"
"Sounds great! But it looks like there might be a little problem around them." Harry observed.
As Harry and Remus approached the muggles they saw a group of three very angry young boys around them, including one pale-faced blond boy, and two others that reminded Harry of Dudley in both size and mental capacity.
"… Just go back home mud-blood! You're not welcome here! You're nothing more then an abomination of nature – nothing but a freak!"
"Funny, I heard exactly the same thing for exactly the opposite reason for the first eight years of my life… Mr. Malfoy is it?" Harry said as he walked directly in between the muggles and the little pale boy. Harry started walking towards the boy and his group causing them to automatically backed away – shocked that someone would have the nerve to interrupt them. In the meantime, Remus took the muggle parents, and the young muggle-born witch, and quickly got them to the train.
"You! I should have known you were a blood-trader when you didn't give the proper respect to the name of 'Malfoy'!"
"Oh, I know all about the 'great' house of Malfoy, I just don't agree with your politics or your so-called principles. I believe it is a person's deeds not title, blood, or supposed social standing that are how they are to be judged. Respect is something that is earned not just given. I also believe that every person should have the opportunity to grow and develop in to the best person they can become. That also means that a person has the opportunity to fail at what they attempt, but the chose is theirs to make."
"You'll be sorry you ever got in my way!" Draco said he reached down as if he were going to draw his wand.
Harry looked over Draco's shoulder as if looking at someone. "I don't think you want to do that in front of an Auror." Harry said.
Draco and the other two boys turned around quickly to see if an Auror was behind them. When they did, Harry used his house elf magic to disappear, and went to go find Remus. When they turned back around, he was gone, and Draco still didn't know his name.
Harry found Remus and the others in the last car on the train. He 'slid' into the compartment, and then became visible again. Everyone in the room, except Remus, let out a little scream of surprise when they suddenly saw Harry.
"Oh, sorry about that, I forgot you're probable pretty new to magic."
"You've already met my all-but-godfather Remus Lupin. My name is Harry, Harry Potter."
"I've read about you! You're in all the books, I mean, like 'Modern Magical History' and 'The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts' and 'Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century'.
"I hope you didn't believe everything you read in there. None of those publications have talked to me about what happened, and I didn't give any of them permission to tell my story."
"Then why didn't you stop them? I thought once it went to press, the contents of a book had been checked, rechecked, and verified by at least two different sources!" said the bushy haired young witch. She looked devastated that something she had found in a book could possible be wrong.
"Let's just say some people can play fast and loose with limited facts and make it sound like the truth Miss…"
"Granger, Hermione Granger," she said holding out her hand, "and these are my parents, Dan and Emma Granger."
Harry shook her hand and then the hands of her parents. "I would like to apologies on behalf of the entire wizarding world for the myopic beliefs of certain bigots. The opinions expressed are their own, and do not reflect the opinions of the other magical people in this room."
Remus laughed, while the Granger's looked a Harry as if they were listening to the beginning of an informational commercial.
"I'm sorry Mr. and Mrs. Granger, Hermione; it's my fault Harry sounds like an ad on the television. I've let him stay up too late watching that contraption, since he won't be seeing it for then next nine months." Remus said. "Now do any of you have any questions regarding the wizarding world, and Hogwarts?"
Dan and Emma looked at each other as if there were a series of questions that they wanted to ask, but didn't know if they should.
"Well… Professor McGonagall was quite through when she explained the invitation letter Hermione received from Hogwarts, it's just…" Mrs. Granger fell quiet as if she were afraid or didn't know how to ask the next question.
"How could there be another complete culture here in Britain and no one notice?" Remus proposed.
"Well, that's part of it, but also, like that boy out there; there seems to be a great deal of 'separation' even within the wizarding world based on blood. Mr. Lupin, just what is a 'mud-blood'?"
Remus' face darkened at the term that had been used by Draco Malfoy and his group just moments ago. "It means 'dirty blood'. But it is meant as the most vulgar swear word possible. Some of the so-called 'Pure-blood' families feel that they are the only ones who should have the privilege of learning magic, that all other magical persons are beneath them and should be their servants, or just be eliminated."
"What do you mean 'eliminated'?" Mr. Granger asked.
"Just what it sounds like – killed, rubbed out, removed with extreme prejudiced. Sorry to be blunt about it, but there are those who still hold to that point of view. Of course the Ministry of Magic does everything that it can to prevent that, and to educate masses to revise their opinion on the matter. Of course as long as you are at Hogwarts, or close to Harry that won't happen. Will it Harry?"
"No Uncle Remus it won't. I give you my word Mr. and Mrs. Granger; I will do everything in my power to keep your daughter safe."
"No offense Harry, I'm sure you're a fine young man, but just what can you do to protect our daughter that a full grown adult couldn't? No offense intended."
"None taken sir."
"You would be surprised at our little Harry here. He is quite competent when it comes to dueling and such. Let's put it this way, I won't duel against him anymore." Remus said.
"Do you have any other questions?"
"I've always wondered about the other type of magical creatures I might encounter at Hogwarts. I hope they're better then the goblins I met at the bank." Hermione said.
"Did you have problems at Gringotts?" Harry asked.
"Let's just say the goblin that 'helped' us I'm sure took advantage of us. I would have thought 500 pound sterling would have given us more then 80 of those gold coins." Mr. Granger said.
"Well maybe I can answer some of your question, and take care of your problems at Gringotts at the same time." Harry said. "Sassy!"
Sassy appeared next to Harry in her Potter house robes. "Yes Master Harry, did you forget something?" She said with a slight curtsy.
"No Sassy, I just wanted to introduce you to The Granger family: Dan, Emma, and their daughter Hermione. They were interested in meeting other magical beings. I also thought you could do me a favor, and see if Griphook is available for just a moment. I have something to discuss with him."
"Yes Master Harry, I will go and get Master Griphook presently." With that Sassy disappeared without a sound.
The Granger's were speechless. Before they could ask any questions, both Sassy and a goblin appeared back in the car.
"Good morning Lord-Barron Potter. How may I be of service to you today?" Griphook said with a bow.
"Good morning Griphook. I would like to introduce you to the Granger family. As you can tell, Mr. and Mrs. Granger are muggles, while their daughter, Hermione is a witch. It seems that when they were in Gringotts to have their money exchanged, someone took advantage of then. They were only given 80 Galleons for 500-pound sterling. Now it was my understanding that the normal exchange rate was one Galleon per five-pound sterling with a one Galleon handling fee per one hundred pounds. The fact that they were over charged fifteen Galleons more that what is allowed may speak well of some of your employees, but know that the Grangers are under my protection. Am I making myself clear?"
"Yes Lord-Barron, perfectly clear. If I could have your house elf help me, we should be able to correct the problem presently."
"Of course, Sassy, could you please take Griphook back to the bank and help him with what he needs?"
"Yes Master Harry." Sassy said with a slight smile. She loved seeing the goblins put in their place by a human.
Sassy returned shortly with the extra fifteen Galleons and gave them to Mr. Granger. "Here you go sir; Griphook has assured me that there will be no further problems with you at Gringotts and that all of the tellers have been advised that you are under Master Harry's protection. If you do have any problems, just ask for Griphook, and things will be worked out. Now master, if there is nothing else, I will be going back to your manor."
"Just a moment Sassy, I want to explain something to the Grangers, especially Hermione, since she seems to be full of questions."
"Sassy is my personal house elf. She and her family have been bound to the Potter house for many generations. Being bound to a house is not the same as being a slave, or being property, at least not to me. I believe all magical creatures have rights, and should be treated as an equal."
"Sassy, why don't you tell Hermione what happens to a house elf if they are unbound for too long."
Sassy looked excited thinking about the situation they had experienced just a few years ago.
"A house elf must bind to a home or location, family, witch, or wizard so that their own magic can be 'grounded'. Without the binding, a house elf will slowly lose control of their magic, and in turn lose control of their mind. If the house elf loses control of his mind, their magic will fade away as will the house elf." This last part was said with great sadness, as if it was something she had just witnessed.
"Thank you Sassy. I found Sassy after my eighth birthday. Before that I didn't even know I was a wizard. Do you have any other questions for her?"
Hermione asked, "How does Harry treat you? And why do you call him 'Master'?"
Sassy's eyes lit up and her whole countenance brightened. "Master Harry is the best boss anyone could hope for. He has made it clear to all of us that he wants to treat us as equals – and as friends. He has taken a great deal of time to improve the house elves lot in life. Master Harry has seen to the education of house elves to where they can interact with other persons without degrading themselves."
"Before Master Harry, if you were to have asked a house elf to talk to a goblin, the house elf would have wanted to do anything else since there has been bad feelings between the two cultures for centuries. But Master Harry has seen to it that the elves and the goblins are to treat all magical creatures as we would like to be treated."
"We call him 'Master', because he is the Master of the house. I know he hates being called 'Master', but it would be disrespectful to call him anything else, especially in the presents of others."
"Do you have any other questions?" Sassy asked.
The Granger's shook their heads no.
"Thank you Sassy, now before you go, let me talk you for a minute." Harry took Sassy to the back of the compartment, and with a wave of his hand, put up a privacy shield.
"Could I get you to ask Ty and the elves bound to the house of Ravenclaw to go and look at Hogwarts? I know they have house elves there, but I want to make sure that if there are any repairs or extra cleaning that needs to be done, have Ty and his group to do it, but remember, there's only about eight hours before the students will be showing up, so if they can't do everything, they can come back and finish up."
"If the Headmaster asks what is going on, just have Ty tell him that the Heir of Ravenclaw wishes to return the castle to its original glory and luster and remind the Headmaster that he does not control these house elves. Do not let the Headmaster know who the Heir of Ravenclaw is. If there are any supplies he needs, he can user what was left from Lupin Manor. If he needs more, have it billed to my account at Gringotts, understand?"
"Oh yes Master Harry! Ty and the others will be thrilled to have so much to do in such a little time! They haven't had a challenge like this since they built the Manor three years ago!"
"Okay, I know he'll be excited, just tell him, he can't demolish the castle first before fixing it up. It has to stay in one piece. People will be in the castle, and if he doesn't get finished before the Hogwarts express gets there, then he and his crew can work at nights."
"Okay. Thank Master Harry!" With that, she popped away.
Harry dismissed the privacy shield with a wave of his hand and turned to join the others in the room when he noticed a stupor look on everybody's face.
"Harry, you have to remember you're expected to use a wand when you do something like that – oh and one other thing – you're too young to do something like that with a wand." Remus said with a smirk on his face. "And I think you broke Hermione."
Hermione and her parents were all looking at Harry as if he had just grown another head. Harry looked at the Grangers and realized what he had done. 'Oh, crap!' Harry thought.
'Watch your language young man. You made a mistake, now fix it. I don't think it will be too hard to convince Hermione to keep your secrets, as long as you teach her more magic. If she is anything like I was when I first went to Hogwarts, I couldn't get enough of magic. Go ahead and ask her if she will keep your secrets.' 'Ma' concluded.
Harry looked very seriously at Hermione and asked: "Will you keep my secrets?"
"Wh… What? Of course I will keep your secrets, but only if you will teach me more!"
'I told you that would be easy.'
"Mr. and Mrs. Granger? What about you?"
"Oh course… just what exactly do we call you? Lord-Baron Potter? Lord Potter? Mr. Potter? What?"
"Harry will be fine. To tell you the truth, I hate all those different titles; I just want to be a normal boy."
Remus let out a little laugh. "Harry, you better just get use to it, you are anything but a normal boy. My personal opinion is that you are an exceptional boy, and even though you don't like being in the spot-light, that is where you are destine to be."
"I know Remus, but I can dream can't I? I really just want to be normal. I can imagine what it's going to be like when I get to Hogwarts; everyone will be whispering my name, they'll want to look at my scar. They'll want to know where I've been the last nine and a half years, and asking how I got rid of Voldemort then I was a baby."
"I just want to go to class, learn with the teachers, hang out with friends, and not have to worry about everything else – well, maybe the occasional prank or something to keep the Headmaster on his toes."
Remus laughed, "I bet you will cub, I bet you will. But don't worry, you'll be okay, you won't be alone. I'm sure you'll make lots of friends while you're there."
"And a few enemies too probable."
"That's the way – Think positive!"
"Ha, ha, Remus. I just love it when you're sarcastic. Hey, it looks like the train is about to leave. Why don't you make yourself useful and help the Grange's out so they don't have to run the gauntlet of bigots out there?"
"Can do, Mr. and Mrs. Granger would you like to say goodbye to your daughter and then meet me out in the hallway?"
Dan and Emma Granger hugged and kissed their little girl goodbye, reminding her to write and let them know how everything is going. Hermione for her part was attentive to her parents, but really just wanted the adventure to start. She had all ready met one of her goals – which was to meet a real-live witch or wizard that could tell her more about the real culture in the magical part of England.
After the parents and Remus had left, Harry helped Hermione with her trunk, and got settled for the ride to Hogwarts.
"Do you know how long the ride will take?" Hermione asked.
"No. This is my first time on the Hogwarts Express also. But I hear it's about eight hours long so we'll have plenty of time to talk if you want to." Harry replied.
Harry looked out the window of the train car to the landing where some last minutes stragglers were just coming through the barrier. It was a family of six redheads.
It appeared that all but the mother and the youngest of the children – the only girl in the group – were going to be going to Hogwarts. Harry noticed how nervous the youngest boy was to get on the train. 'Must be his first year too. It looks like the youngest girl wants to go, but couldn't.'
Harry's attention was then drawn to another group - an older woman and another young man. 'Must be his Grandma.' Harry thought to himself.
Harry heard his 'Ma' gasp. 'Harry! That young man looks just like Frank Longbottom! If that's Neville, you have to help him. I was his godmother and couldn't tell his parents about the magical bind that was on his core! You have to help him!'
Harry could hear the pain and anguish in her voice. This was something that she had felt bad about for a very long time.
'Don't worry 'Ma, I'll help him. You have my word on it'
'Thanks son that would be a great weight off my mind. Maybe you could expand his core and mental facilities as well. There is a new moon is coming up in a week on September 8th.'
'I'll do what I can 'Ma'. I'm sure you won't let me forget.'
'Now don't get smart with me young man! I can make your life miserable if I want to you know.'
'Don't worry 'Ma' I won't forget Neville. I don't want my life to be hell while I'm at Hogwarts.'
Just then the clock chimed on the station platform, the train blasted its whistle and the Hogwarts Express started to move down the track.
Harry noticed the small redheaded girl run to keep up with the train waving at her brothers as the train started to speed away. Harry couldn't help but also wave at the little girl on the platform also. He felt a little pang in his heart to think that he didn't have anyone (besides Remus) who was that passionate about seeing him leave.
Hermione noticed the unshed tear in Harry's eye and thought it strange.
"Harry? Are you okay?" She asked softly.
"What?" Harry wiped his eyes, "ya, I'm okay. It's just that I'll never know what its like to have 'family' come down and see me off at the platform. I mean, Remus is great and I love him, but it's not quite the same as having a real mother and father, or other siblings see you off on a trip. Know what I mean? Well, probable not. You've got great parents and I can tell they care about you a great deal. Sorry for my rambling."
"That's okay Harry. I do kind of know what you're talking about. I've always wondered what it would be like if I had a brother or sister. I always wished I had someone a little older that could show me how something was done, or maybe I'd be the older sibling that could show the younger kids what I had learned. Being an only child is all it's cracked up to be."
Just then the compartment door opened, and the youngest of the redheaded boys stuck his head in and asked, "Do you mind if I come in here with you? Everyplace else is full-up."
Harry answered for both of them. "Sure, there's plenty of room in here."
"Thanks, by the way, my name is Ron, Ron Weasley." The young man said after he had put his trunk in the overhead bin.
"This is Hermione Granger, and my name is Harry, Harry Potter."
Ron's eyes got big as saucers. "Really? I heard you would be starting Hogwarts this year, but I didn't expect to meet you on the train!"
"Is it true that you have a … you know… scar… from where You-know-how tried to kill ya?"
"What? Oh, ya." Harry held up his bangs to show the lightning shaped scar that made him famous and took away his family.
"Wicked!" Ron whispered.
They talked for a few moments about Ron's family and about how Hermione was muggle-born. Harry kept on having a feeling as if they weren't alone; that there was another witch or wizard in the car with them. But Harry didn't say anything to the others; he just thought that with a train full of magical people, maybe his scans were off a little.
Ron had just brought out his pet rat 'Scabbers'. His older twin brothers had taught him a spell that would change the color of the rat to yellow.
Ron was about to start the spell when the door to their compartment opened again. A young girl – another first year for sure – stuck her head in and started to say something, but when she saw Ron had about to try something, she stopped.
"Oh you're going to do a spell? Okay then, let's see it."
Ron cleared his throat.
"Sunshine, daisies, butter mellow,
Turn this stupid, fat rat yellow!"
Ron shook his wand at the rat but nothing happened.
Harry could tell that the spell wasn't a real spell, but it should have had some effect on the rat. That was when he noticed that the rat had its own aura! And since there were no magical rats, that could only mean that this wasn't a real rat, but an animagus!
'Ma', could you please look at that rat that Ron has?' Harry asked. 'I think it may be an animagus, and didn't you say Peter's form was a rat?'
'That's right Harry. It's been a long time since I've seem Wormtail, but that rat sure does look like him – except he has a toe missing on one of his front paw.'
'Thanks 'Ma', I think I'll try something with this rat when we get to Hogwarts.'
'Just be careful Harry. If Peter could trick Sirius, he may be able to trick you also.'
'I don't think so 'Ma'; I won't give him a chance.'
"That's it?" The new girl asked. "Not a very good trick if you ask me."
"Ya." Ron said sounding disappointed and turning red in the face. "That's the last time I trust the twins with a spell."
"Any way," the new girl began again, "My name is Susan Bones, and I'm helping a boy named Neville Longbottom find his pet toad. You three haven't seen it by chance have you?"
"No I don't think so," answered Hermione.
"Did you say Neville Longbottom?" Harry asked.
"Yes, do you know him? Awfully forgetful, besides, I mean, really, who has a toad in this day and age? That is so last century."
"Susan, if you could find Neville and bring him here, I'll show you a trick that will work. But Neville has to be here for it okay?"
"Sure, but who should I tell him wants to see him?"
"Just tell him Harry Potter would like to talk to him."
Susan gasped. This was the boy her aunt had told her about. Aunt Amelia had told her that she should look him up and try to be a friend, that he would need friends his own age, and that she could benefit from seeing how he treats other people as equals – regardless of their position and status in life. Something that Susan sometimes had a hard time remembering.
She quickly turned down the corridor and went looking for Neville as quick as she could. On the way, she told everyone she saw that Harry Potter was in the last compartment of the last car on the train.
Soon there was a group of people outside their compartment looking in wondering which boy was Harry Potter. Everyone in the compartment in question had their head down, reading from one book or another. Quidditch through the ages for Ron. Hogwarts a History for Hermione and A Brief Moment in Time for Harry.
Suddenly everyone was pushed out of the way by two young mounds of flesh followed by someone who you would have thought what a prince, with his blond hair, and his nose pointed so far up in the air.
The first of his 'Bodyguards' opened the compartment door up and the young 'prince' walked in.
"They are saying Harry Potter is in this compartment. My name is Malfoy, Draco Malfoy."
Ron tried to hold back a laugh, but didn't quite manage, catching Draco's attention.
"Think that's funny do you? No need to ask who you are. Shabby robes, and a vacant look in your eyes; You must be a Weasley." There was something that sounded like laughter from the two bodyguards outside the door.
Draco looked around the compartment, and next noticed Hermione. "Well, well, well, if it isn't the little mud-blood from the platform. So you didn't take our warning to just leave. I am so looking forward to showing you just what exactly mud-bloods are good for." He started to advance on Hermione, completely forgetting about the third person in the car.
Harry couldn't take it any longer. Making as much noise as he could, he slammed his book, stood up and stepped in between Draco and Hermione. Turning he faced the pale blond and said, "That would make me Harry Potter then." He said with a very serious look on face.
Draco involuntarily took a few steps back in to the door of the compartment. "YOU!" He yelled, as he recognized the boy from the robe shop and then again on the platform. He swallowed hard, and what little blood was in his face quickly drained.
Draco quickly recovered, squared his shoulder and delivered the message he had been sent to give.
"You'll find there are all kinds of wizards in this world Potter. Some are better to know then others." He looked down his sharp nose at Ron with a sneer on his face. "I can help you choose the right kind of friends here." He held out his hand as a gesture of friendship.
Harry looked down at Draco's hand, and noticed a faint odor of a liquid Imperius Curse.
Harry's aura started to flair as he looked coldly into Draco's eyes. "No thanks, I think I can make friends by myself thank you." Harry turned his back to Draco, and took one step away. Draco saw this as an opportunity to apply the potion to the back of Harry's neck. Unfortunately for Draco, Harry turned back around and Draco seemed to stop involuntarily.
"I won't try to attach me from behind Malfoy. The next time you do, you may not like the results. Also, I would wash my hands before getting to Hogwarts. I'm sure the Headmaster would be very interested in that potion that you currently have on it."
Without a word, Draco seemed to go flying backward hitting his two bodyguards and knocking them all to the ground.
Scrambling up, Draco faced Harry again and said, "You better watch yourself Potter if you know what's good for you."
Harry let out a little laugh, "You better watch your bodyguards Malfoy, you seem to have gotten some of the Imperius potion on each of them."
Draco looked in horror at his two large 'friends'. Each of them had a glassy look in their eyes staring blankly at him as if waiting for his orders.
"Crabbe, Goyle, get me out of here!" he yelled. The two young mounds of flesh picked young Mr. Malfoy up, one under each arm, and went crashing through the crowd of students using Draco as a shield. Most of the other students were laughing at Crabbe and Goyle's antics.
"Okay, people, there's nothing left to look at. Why don't we all just go back to our compartments and enjoy the trip." Harry said, using a bit of his aura to stress the point that the people really didn't want to stay around there.
As the people disbursed, Susan Bones returned with Neville Longbottom.
"I have wanted to do something like that to Draco for years!" Susan said. "Was he really trying to use an Imperius potion on you Harry?"
"Yes, but don't worry, I have a feeling he will be busy for the rest of the trip with his two new best friends."
Harry looked up and noticed the shocked expression on the round-faced boy in front of him. Harry put out his hand and said, "Hi, I'm Harry Potter. You must be Neville."
For his part, Neville just stood there dumb-founded as he shook Harry's hand.
"Please, won't you and Susan please come into the compartment? Oh, I almost forgot. Harry took out his wand and said, "Accio Trevor". A very surprised toad came rushing down the hallway. Using seeker like reflexes, Harry reached out and caught the run-away toad in his hand. "Here you go. Let me get something so he won't get away again."
Harry returned back to the compartment, followed by a shocked Susan and Neville. Harry made sure he cast a strong privacy spell on the door so that they would not be disturbed for the remainder of the trip. He then reached into his pocket and placed his shrunken trunk on the floor and cast a wordless, wandless 'Engorgio' charm on the trunk, which expanded to its full size.
Everyone in the compartment is surprised at Harry's trunk. Ron is a little jealous, Hermione is fascinated, Neville is bewildered, and Susan is confused.
"Harry, that doesn't look like a standard student's trunk. That looks more like an Aurors multi-chamber trunk, where did you get it? And how did you enlarge it." Susan asked.
"Your partially right Susan, it is a multi-chamber trunk, but not an Aurors model. My Grandfather had this trunk built many years ago – just before he was killed. I didn't know anything about it until after my eighth birthday. We'll talk more about the trunk in a minute. Right now I need to find a cage for Trevor and Scabbers."
Harry opened the second chamber of his trunk as if looking for something. With his back turned from the group, he quickly conjured two cages, both with charms on them to prevent the occupants from escaping. Picking up the two cages, he presents them to each to Ron and Neville.
"Here, this will make it easier to carry your pets, and make sure they can't escape from you again."
Both boys reluctantly accept the cages, and everyone sits down in the compartment waiting for the next surprise to present it's self. They don't have to wait long.
"Susan, there is a specify reason why I wanted you to get Neville, but before I go any further, I need a witches, and wizards oath from each of you that you will not reveille anything that I tell or show you. I promise there is nothing immoral, or unlawful about it."
Hermione has no problem giving an oath to Harry. She has already seen some of the things that he can do and is willing to do just about anything to learn more.
Susan is more reluctant in giving an oath. She understands the significances of giving an oath and what it would mean to break it. However, her aunt has told her that it would be worth her while to get to know this young man better, so she too give a witches oath to Harry.
Neville is still dumbfounded that 'The-Boy-Who-Lived' has taken an interest in him. Not only that, but had given him a new cage to keep Trevor in. Harry said that he had something to tell him, and so he gave him a wizard's oath also.
Ron felt like he was the odd-man-out. It was just by chance that he asked Harry if he could sit in this compartment. What right did he have in sharing in the 'secrets' Harry might have? He had grown up with stories regarding what 'The-Boy-Who-Lived' had done when he was a baby, but was Harry now taking 'pity' on the youngest male Weasley? Ron hated pity, yet there was something different about Harry. He treated everybody the same – unless your name was Malfoy, and then he treated you as you deserved. Finally Ron also gave Harry a wizard's oath.
End of Chapter 17
Next Chapter – Removing the Binds