» 1 «
I went through one of the photo albums my friends gave me as a parting gift as soon as I was on my way to London. I smiled at the memory of one of the many snowball fights we had, the moving photograph making me remember it like it was yesterday. The smiles and laughter of the days at Durmstrang bringing tears to my eyes.
I promised them I would send them an owl the second I arrived at Hogwarts.
Transferring schools was never easy. Leaving all your friends behind was never easy. But all of the above get just a notch more complicated when you’re a Potter. Especially the Potter nobody really knew anything about.
I was mentioned here and there, every now and then but I wasn’t there when it happened; when my parents were killed and my brother permanently scarred. Literally. So, the publics interest in me was at a minimum, in contrary to their interest in my brother.
I was happy it was this way. I never really liked to be the centre of attention, which was one of the many reasons I didn’t end up going to Hogwarts with Harry and instead applied to Durmstrang Institute as an international student the second Hagrid had explained it all to us. All being that we were wizards, of course.
Now, it’s been almost three years since I had seen Harry. I sent him an owl when I decided to transfer to Hogwarts but never got a reply from him. Seeing as the route from my school to Harry’s was a long one though, I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and just pretended Tucker, my owl, had lost the letter on the way. Twice.
He wasn’t necessarily the only reason I decided to give Hogwarts a try after all. Being completely honest it just felt right. My friends called me nuts when I told them that “it felt right” was my reasoning for leaving pretty much my whole life behind but they supported me none the less. They knew just as well as I did to listen to your gut and instincts when it felt right.
I sighed at the memory of them.
I’ve never been to Hogwarts before, therefore I’ve never been to Platform 9 ¾ either and wasn’t quite sure what to make of the instructions they gave me on how to get there. I’ve been standing between Platform 9 and 10 for at least fifteen minutes now, waiting for anyone at all to jump through the wall between the two platforms. A few muggles here and there got my hopes up whenever they approached the spot but I was immediately disappoint once I realised they were all just passing by.
I finally gave up on waiting for anyone to show up and figured I was simply too early for them to try and get to the platform yet. I took a deep breath, glanced towards my owl on top of my trolley and then ran towards the wall with full speed. Luckily I came right out on the other side, a sigh of relief escaping my lips as I opened my eyes.
The beautiful, dark train was just coming to a halt on my right and I scanned the platform quickly. A few families were scattered around the place, they all seemed like giddy first-years and their parents; hugging and laughing, spending their last hours in unity with each other before the little ones went on without their parents.
A soft smile placed itself on my lips at the memory of how exciting everything felt during my first few days at Durmstrang and I had the exact same feeling come up all over again.
The reason I came as early as I did was to make sure the first time I saw Harry wasn’t by accidentally running into him in between hundreds of stressed out, nervous students. Especially when I wasn’t even sure he knew I was coming to begin with.
I was the first one to enter the Hogwarts Express. It was quiet inside, peaceful even and I enjoyed it as long as I could. Within the hour it would be the absolute opposite of that, I was sure of that. I found myself a compartment at the end of the train and sat down beside the window. The views were rumoured to be spectacular and I wasn’t going to miss out on that.
Just like I predicted, the platform quickly began to fill up with students, parents and siblings running around, greeting each other or shedding tears as they said goodbye. I observed the ongoings outside the train like it was a movie I’d never watched before. Hoping, no, praying I would see my brothers brown hair or his round glasses anywhere in the crowd.
I knew I had to find him before I was sorted in front of the whole school; as that would probably be worse than accidentally running into him on the platform, but I didn’t really have an exact plan on how to find him or what to say once I did.
I decided to just run with things and go look for him once the train was moving and everyone had settled down a bit, hoping he wasn’t sitting in one of those open carriages. A bit of privacy, even if it was just a secluded train compartment, would be very much appreciated.
They weren’t exaggerating when they spoke of the views you would have from the Hogwarts Express. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the amazing scenery outside the window, it was impossible to. - Even though it was raining, and that really meant something.
Two girls joined me in the compartment just as the train started to move, destroying the glimmer of hope I had that I would have the luxury of travelling by myself. I simply payed no further attention to them and they weren’t a bother either. Neither of them spoke a word to me and that was just the way I liked it. I imagined if they knew I was a Potter, that would be a different story.
My heart jumped at the memory of Harry. The fact we were in the same train and I still didn’t see the boy was killing me. There was the obligatory owl every now and then, but we really haven’t seen each other in almost three years now. I missed him dearly in my first few months at Durmstrang and we promised each other to meet as soon as we could, to write to each other as often as possible, but the letters became less and less as the months passed by. Once I had finally settled into my new environment, seeing my brother would have only made things more difficult for me. Even mentioning his name to people was hard back then. So, I never did.
I sighed, ready to get up and search for the brunette boy. I took a last glance outside the window, expecting green grass, trees, a lake; but not the reality I was met with.
The storm had picked up, so did the rain and the atmosphere was a lot more gloomy; almost scary. I was amazed by how quick everything around me had changed and my eyes were glued to the window as the train suddenly came to a stop in the middle of the tracks.
“There’s no way we’re there yet” one of the girls whispered, concerned with what was happening.
“I swear I saw something move,” I said to them both, pointing towards the window. Our eyes got wider as we saw the window freeze over slowly. The drop in temperature inside the train was undeniable.
Then, as if nothing happened, the lights turned back on, the temperature was back to normal and we began to move. “Merlin’s Beard, what was that all about?” I muttered.
“No idea, but that wasn’t normal.” One of the girls replied, still in shock. “I’m River, by the way, River Talpin.” The girl smiled while brushing her blonde locks behind her ear, trying to tame them. “And this is Emilie Feast!” She announced, pointing towards her ginger haired friend. She gave me a little nod and I did the same. “Y/n Potter” I smiled back. Their eyebrows lifted simultaneously, “Potter?” River followed up, and they shot each other a confused look.
In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t make that my opening line.
“I can explain later, but I really have to find the other Potter first.” I smiled apologetically and began to get up, just as the train came to a halt once again; this time at its desired stop.
I started to panic once I realised I had arrived and still didn’t see my brother anywhere yet. I knew it would be almost impossible to find him once everyone had gotten off the train and was running around the castle. I had to find him before the ceremony, just like I also had to speak to one of the professors before.
I knew making a bad first impression would be detrimental so once I got to the castle, I had to see the professor before anything else. This also meant that I had to make the most of my time before I got to the school.
It was a mess on the platform. I twirled around twice trying to spot my brother but there were simply too many students to make him out in the crowd. The almost identical robes didn’t make it any easier.
I was one of the last people left at the station and hurried behind the rest of the group before I lost them completely. My last resort was asking around, it couldn’t hurt, could it?
I ran up to the group of students in front of me and cleared my throat. “Have any of you seen Harry Potter?” I asked before they could even turn around. They stopped in their tracks and turned to face me, my gaze lingering on the boy in the middle for a second before inspecting the other two.
“Potter?” The blonde boy spat in disgust. “Good thing I haven’t yet, word’s travelling that Potter-boy fainted, I bet he’s on his way to Madam Pomfrey right now.” He laughed and looked at his friends for approval. They gave it to him without hesitation, laughing loudly and nodding in agreement.
A look of worry replaced the fake smile I carried before. Why would he faint? Was he okay?
Only then I realised how the little brat spoke about my twin and my worry was replaced by anger. “Watch it,” I hissed and took a step towards him, slightly tilting my head upwards to look him in the eyes. He took a second to scan me, his gaze traveling up and down my body. A smirk grew on his face.
“What is he? your boyfriend?” The other two, who were standing behind him now, started laughing. I reached for my wand, already debating whether to seriously injure or just transform him into the most disgusting creature I could think of, when I realised I had been here for approximately 20 minutes. That would be a new record even for me.
It took all I had to let go of my wand and drop the argument. I made sure to tell myself it was only because it was my first day and should this happen ever again he wouldn’t be so lucky.
I walked straight through them, making sure to hit the blonde’s shoulder with my own on my way to the castle.
Good to know Harry was making enemies anywhere he went, too. Maybe we weren’t so different after all.