“And you’ve got everything?” Mum asked, handing me my backpack. “Wand? Robes? A book to keep yourself occupied.”
“Got it all.” I nodded, patting the bag. “My wand. Robes so I can change and my favorite book.”
I watched my mum’s face as her eyes glistened, almost as if she were to cry. Her blonde hair was pulled back into a messy bun and her makeup was neat as always but it wouldn’t be if she started crying.
“I’ll be okay, mum.” I told her. “You need to remember that I’m a sixth year now. I’ve been taking the Hogwarts Express since I was eleven.”
“I know, Liz.” She nodded, reaching out to lock a strand of my hair behind my ear. “I just have this stupid habit of worrying but after everything that’s happened since that Potter boy started Hogwarts, I’ve been terrified of something happening to you.”
“Nothing’s going to happen to me, mum.” I said, hugging her. “And if something does happen, I have a very good group of friends who’d help me.”
“And I am very grateful for those friends.” She told me, patting my back. I pulled out of the hug, looking at her and then down at my ten-year-old brother Benjamin. He was busy looking around, his eyes wide. He loved everything that had to do with Hogwarts so he went with each year when it was time for me to start school again.
“Especially that George boy.” Mum then spoke, causing me to look at her. “You have have grown close, haven’t you?”
“He’s my best friend.”
The train whistled and I pulled my mum in for another hug before then hugging my brother.
“Next year it’ll be you.” I told him before swinging my bag over my shoulder.
“Can you get Harry’s autograph for me this year?” He asked. I looked at him for a moment and then nodded.
“Oh alright, sure.” I said, his face lighting up. “I have to go now though. I don’t want to miss the train.”
“Send an owl!” Mum called as I hurried onto the train. I waved at her and Benjamin out of the door and they both waved back as the train whistled again and started moving.
It was always visible to everyone who were who. Who were first years and who weren’t.
The first-year students were always the ones looking confused yet excited. They’d walk around, confused as to where they should be. The second-year students on the other hand were thrilled and energetic. They’d finished their first year and learned how much they loved school which only meant they were more excited to be back.
I walked down the aisle of one of the wagons, walking straight past the closed compartments, knowing my friends would have chosen one of the open ones.
I was right. I stood in the doorway between the aisle of the closed compartments and the open ones, watching as some of my friends sat by a table, talking.
Kathleen was the first one I noticed. She was sitting by the window, facing me. Her half-long brown curls were sitting around her face and reached just above her shoulders and her brown eyes were glistening in the light from the ceiling. She was wearing makeup and was dressed in a black long-sleeved turtleneck shirt and a pair of high waisted jeans like she usual wore outside of school.
Sitting beside her was Fred. He was leaned back, his fingers tapping against the table while saying something, a small smile on his face. His hair was red and reached to just above his shoulders.
And across from Kathleen, my favorite person in the whole entire world was sitting. I could only see the back of his head but I could already tell he looked as handsome as ever. He was identical to Fred but I could always tell the difference. Sure, they looked similar but they still looked so different to me. His name... is George.
“Move out of the way.” Someone said, bumping his shoulder into me as he walked past and I stumbled forward, earning attention from most people in here.
“Some people can just be so rude.” I said as I slid into the booth, sitting next to George. I placed my bag on the table and let out a sigh as I sat back properly.
“It’s very nice to see you too.” Kathleen said. I sent her an apologetic look, digging into my backpack to retrieve one of the books I had been reading over the summer.
“Thank you for letting me borrow it.” I told Fred, handing it to him.
“Sure.” He nodded, looking at the book before glancing at me. “Did you enjoy it?”
“Oh yeah.” I nodded. “It’s definitely in my top five.”
I felt George take my hand under the table so that it wasn’t visible to anyone and I loved his touch, smiling to myself for a moment. I looked at him, smiling again.
“How are you?” I asked him as he played with my fingers under the table. He turned his body towards me, resting his head against the glass of the window and his eyes focused on me.
“How’s George?” Fred scoffed. “How am I is the real question.”
I laughed, looking at Fred while using my free hand to run it through my hair. “Okay Fred, how are you then?”
“I’m good, thank you very much for asking.” He said with a smug smile. “Yeah, no we actually went to the quidditch World Cup this year around with dad, Ron, Harry, Hermione, Ginny, Amos Diggory and his son Cedric.”
“Who won?” I asked.
“Ireland.” Fred told me. “Though Victor Krum caught the snitch, making sure that Bulgaria didn’t completely lose.”
“And then it happened.” George took over the explanation. “Death eaters attacked the area.” I looked at George, watching his face while he spoke. “Burned down the place.”
“And you were there?” I asked him before looking at Fred again.
“Oh don’t worry about them.” Kathleen said. “They weren’t hurt, luckily.” “And that one time I choose not to spend the summer at the Burrow.”
“It wasn’t that interesting anyway.” George told me, sitting up straight as he leaned over and pecked my cheek. “Now how was your summer, love?”
Fred fake gagged at us and Kathleen hit him in the shoulder. “Ouch! What was that for?”
“Leave them be you twat.”
I removed my eyes from them and looked at George as he gently ran his fingers through my hair.
“I beat up my brother’s bullies.” I said. George raised his eyebrows in surprise and Kathleen bit back a laugh while Fred didn’t even try to hide his laughter.
“You beat up your brother’s bullies?” George questioned. “Isn’t your brother ten? How old are they.”
“Ten.” I replied. “Well, I didn’t exactly beat them up. I just kindly threatened them... with my wand.”
“What!” Kathleen shouted, causing me to shush her. “You can’t just walk around threatening kids with your wands.”
Then George started laughing, leaning back against the window again. “What’re you laughing at?” I asked him. “What’s so funny?”
“It didn’t scare them, did it?” He asked. “They were probably thinking; why is this much more grown girl threatening us with a stick.”
Fred joined in on his laughing which caused me to roll my eyes. Kathleen covered her mouth, obviously trying to not laugh but she soon joined them. I crossed my arms over m chest, noticing that people were looking. I was used to it. We were the loud friend group at school. We were also the one most people found annoying because we’re loud.
George was right. The boys that had been bullying my brother, had just burst out laughing like they did now. They’re muggles so a sixteen-year-old girl pulling out a wand and threatening them with it, must’ve looked both funny and ridiculous. They probably thought it was a toy or something.
“Can you stop laughing?!” I shouted as I was close to laughing myself. What can I say? Their laughs are contagious.
“Alright, alright.” George said once the laughter died down. He leaned close to me again, wrapping an arm around my stomach, kissing my shoulder. “I’m sorry, Lizzie.”
“Very sorry, Lizzie.” Fred mocked, making me throw my bag at his face.
“Hey!” He exclaimed, catching it before it hit him. It wasn’t hard anyway. It was only my robes, my wand...oh, and my book. “You need to be nice to me, Elizabeth Blossom. Your mum still doesn’t know about you two, now does she?”
“So?” I chuckled. “Want to tell her? Go ahead. I’ve got nothing to hide.”
“Nothing to hide.” George repeated, backing me up as he rested his head on my shoulder.
“Then why haven’t you told your mum?” Kathleen joined in and now they were all three looking at me.
“Actually.” George said. “I’d like to know that as well. We’ve been dating since November last year and you went home with us for Christmas. My mum absolutely loves you and yet you haven’t told your family.”
“Okay what is this.” I said. “An interrogation?”
“Just a simple question is all.” George said. “I’ve only ever met your mum and your brother as one of your friends. I’d like to someday meet her as your boyfriend.”
“And you will.” I assured him. “It’a complicated, okay?”
“You’ve spend all summer with your mum.” Fred said and Kathleen hit him again. “Stop doing that!”
Fred then looked at me, straightening up. “I love you, Liz. You know I do but I am just trying to look after my younger brother. I don’t want him end up getting hurt because you’re feeling embarrassed of dating a Weasley.”
“Woah!” I hurried to say.
“Fred, c’mon.” George spoke, shaking his head.
“Why would I be embarrassed?” I asked. “You think I believe there’s something wrong with your family? Why’d I think that?”
“I don’t know.” Fred shrugged. “You must have a reason for not wanting your family to know about him.”
“I want them to know.” I argued. “My mum already adore all three of you. I just haven’t told her yet because of my dad.”
“Your dad?” George questioned me.
“He and my mum met at Hogwarts when they were young and went to school there. Everything that reminds her of her own relationship, kinda sets her off. She’s been dealing with some really bad anxiety since he died and I don’t want this to be one of the things to set her off.”
“See what do you did you dimwit?” Kathleen said, hitting Fred for the third time.
“You don’t have to say anything to your mum before you think she can handle it.” George told me. “I am in no way trying to put any pressure on you.”
I smiled and George pressed a soft kiss to my forehead. He leaned back against the window, holding my hand again.
“I’m sorry Lizzie.” Fred told me. I looked at him again, shrugging as I send him a small smile. “You’re only trying to look out for George. I know and I appreciate that.”