A/N: After the initial confusion that has occurred in my previous gender switch books, I would just like to point out that this story is from FEMALE Neville’s POV. Neve IS Neville. Enjoy.
“Gran, I’ve lost my toad again.”
Damn it! This was not a great start. Everything was going wrong the second I stepped foot onto the platform.
And I just simply could not go to Hogwarts without Trevor. He was my best friend, my only friend, in fact. And I was convinced that one day he would become my prince, just like in that Muggle fairy-tale I had read.
I could picture him now; dashingly handsome with white-blond hair and sparkling silver eyes which twinkled whenever he smiled.
He would be charming and brave and treat everyone around him with kindness and respect.
My Prince Trevor.
But he was gone! Missing before I had even boarded the train.
“Oh, Neve!” Gran sighed, shaking her head at me disdainfully. “Sometimes I wonder how you can be your parent’s child! Merlin save us all if you don’t get into Gryffindor like them. The utter humiliation.”
I felt my bottom lip start to quiver dangerously. I hated it when Gran compared me to my mum and dad. I got it - they were the bravest and smartest witch and wizard of our time.
Gran was even starting to worry whether I was even a witch at one point. Sometimes I wish I were a Squib. I just knew I was going to do nothing but humiliate myself for the next seven years trying to practice magic in front of the other students.
“Now pull yourself together, child!” Gran barked as everyone bustled around us on the platform. “I’m sure that slimy toad will turn up amongst your belongings eventually. If not, I’ll send you a new pet. Preferably an owl like normal people have.”
“No, Gran, no!” I cried, feeling tears forming already, “I love Trevor, nothing can replace him.”
“Your attachment to that toad is beyond disturbing,” Gran tutted, shaking her head disapprovingly. “I blame myself for not encouraging you to make real friends before now.”
She quickly ushered me onto the train before I could respond as an impatient toot sounded loudly around us.
“Remember, Neve,” Gran called after me. “It will do you good to seek out Harry Potter! He’s the kind of friend you need in your life! Maybe even future husband!”
I felt my cheeks flame horrifically, furtively looking around, hoping that no one had heard. Gran could be so embarrassing.
Trying to bite back the tears from the disastrous start to my Hogwarts life, I navigated my way down the train’s corridor, looking for somewhere where I could sit quietly away from other people.
The thought of making friends terrified me.
Before I located an empty compartment, however, I managed to somehow upend my school trunk so that its contents spilled out everywhere, obstructing the corridor.
Students who had been walking behind me started tutting irritably as I hurriedly struggled to throw everything back in.
"Really,” a cold drawling voice sounded from behind me. “The imbeciles that they allow into this school. I knew I should have gone to Durmstrang like my father wanted.”
There were several sniggers, and I felt my cheeks flush yet again as I kept my head down, not being able to pack my belongings fast enough.
Suddenly, the compartment door next to me slid open, and a girl with bushy hair and large front teeth stuck her head out, presumably to see what all the commotion was about.
“Oh dear, here let me help you,” she said kindly, immediately crouching down to pull my trunk into her compartment. “You can sit with me if you like? I see you haven’t got a house yet. I’m new too. My name is Hermione Granger and nobody in my family’s magic at all, it was ever such a surprise when I got my letter-”
A sudden hiss sounded from behind me. I turned my head to see a mean looking boy with slick platinum hair and a pale pointed face. His cold grey eyes fixed angrily upon Hermione.
“A Muggle-born?” He spat, utter revolution in his voice. “Merlin, Hogwarts really is desperate.”
Oh. He was one of them. I felt a mixture of fear and panic swirl inside of me. I had the sudden urge to get away from this boy and his prejudiced views; the kind of views that belonged to the people who captured and tortured my parents. The kind of views that You-Know-Who had.
“Oh... well- yes, I suppose,” Hermione answered, seemingly flustered by this vile boy’s hostility.
Having finally moved myself and my belongings out of his way, the boy sauntered onwards, his nose stuck up in the air as if he had smelt something bad.
“Have you seen a toad at all?” I asked Hermione, my voice wobbling slightly as my stomach twisted uneasily. The thought of not seeing Trevor again made me feel physically ill.
But she just shook her head, pityingly.
“I’ve lost him!” I wailed, tears now spilling down my cheeks. “He keeps getting away from me!”
“Oh, well I’m sure he’ll turn up,” she said, not sounding sure at all. “Let’s go and ask around.”
I followed her as she led the way up the corridor, hovering just behind as she stuck her head in each compartment, enquiring about Trevor. I was ever so grateful at the way she took charge.
“Has anyone seen a toad?” She asked the occupants three compartments down.
I peered over her shoulder to see two boys sat opposite one another; a raven-haired boy and a red-haired boy. The latter was pointing his wand at a rat.
“Oh, are you doing magic?” Hermione gushed enthusiastically as she took a seat next to the boy with red hair. “Let’s see it, then.”
I loitered awkwardly in the doorway, not sure what to do with myself. I did not want to stand around and watch them do magic; I needed my Trevor. I could feel the anxiety hardening my lungs and I started to panic that soon I would not be able to breathe.
I was soon distracted, however, when I realised that the raven-haired boy was in fact, Harry Potter. I tried not to stare as my eyes landed on his scar, but it was extremely difficult. I barely registered when the red-haired boy introduced himself as a Weasley. Ron, I think.
I kept trying to think of something to say; anything, but my mind remained blank as Hermione talked on and on at such overwhelming speed. I wondered what it must be like to have her confidence.
She hurried us along before I found the courage to speak. I felt like weeping all over again. I would have to lie to Gran in my letter, of course. She would be livid if she ever found out that I had remained mute on my first encounter with Harry Potter.
We arrived at Hogsmeade station with still no sign of Trevor. I felt sick with grief and loss when I stepped off the train.
“Never mind,” Hermione said kindly, “maybe it would be nice to get a new pet? I’m hoping to get a cat one day.”
I nodded, trying not to cry. The lump in my throat was so huge, it was painful. Nobody understood; I loved Trevor. He was my prince that was one day going to rescue me.
We had to travel to Hogwarts by boat. I quickly latched onto Hermione, terrified of being separated by the one person who had bothered to ask what my name was.
I could not help but sniff sadly as I thought about Trevor; my grief too great to even acknowledge how terrified I was about being in a boat.
When we clambered out at the foot of the castle; I half considered doing a runner and hiding out in the Forbidden Forest. I would sooner take my chances in there than face everyone for the Sorting.
“Oy, you there!” A gruff voice yelled at me. It was the terrifying looking gamekeeper, Hagrid. “Is this your toad?”
And my heart soared as he held up a lumpy brown toad.
“Trevor!” I cried blissfully, racing to take him back in my hands.
“Oh, Trevor,” I wept, relief making my tears fall freely. “You naughty, naughty boy! Don’t you dare scare me like that ever again!”
And, closing my eyes, I lifted him up in front of my face, pressing my lips firmly against his mouth.
When I opened them again, I could not help but feel that familiar tug of disappointment.
Still no prince.
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