"Oh boy." Remus muttered to himself as he stood in the mass of parents and students gathering at King's Cross Station. It was September the first. The September the first. It was no wonder that Platform Nine and Three-Quarters was so crowded, even if the Muggles would have found it suspicious. For today witches and wizards across the country would be sent to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, as had been a common practice in the wizarding world for so many years.
Today Remus was no exception, seeing as he was starting his first year. He had taken the Knight Bus here on his own, so no parents to see him off on the platform. They were too busy with their jobs, one of which was in the Ministry, to even send him to the station. Then again, they had never bothered Remus too much; their jobs forced them to be on their guard at all times, and they had no choice but to always leave him to his own devices.
To tell the truth, Remus didn't know what exactly to expect, either. After all, he had very narrowly missed standing here today himself.
Remus was really a werewolf. At a young age, Lyall, Remus' dad, had insulted lycanthropes, and although Remus was just a really young kid at that time, it must have been very serious, as one of them, Fenrir Greyback, got really offended and snuck up to his house at the dead of night, biting Remus and infecting him with lycanthropy, turning him into a werewolf himself. At that time, or rather, still, there had been a social stigma in the wizarding world against lycanthropes like Remus. There was also no cure for lycanthropy, hence there was no hope to rid Remus of a lifetime's prejudice and - literal - scarring. Afterwards, when he was a bit older, Lyall had told his son that he would be seen as a monster by the wizarding community and Remus believed him. Hence he tended to shun other kids his age to avoid getting laughed at.
In a blink of an eye, Remus turned ten, and as his eleventh birthday drew near, his parents started to get worried - they were afraid Remus was not able to attend Hogwarts because of his condition and that he would pose a danger to the other students because of his monthly transformations at the full moon. Their son would, as a result, not be able to receive magical education, and there was an ominous feeling that Remus would never become a proper wizard.
However, a surprise awaited them. One morning, a man named Albus Dumbledore came up to the house. He was the Headmaster of Hogwarts, and he suggested that Remus came to Hogwarts, but under some special circumstances which would enable him to undergo his transformations, yet not harming his fellow students. This was a win-win situation, as Remus need not fail to undergo schooling. Not surprisingly, Remus' parents readily agreed, and that was the long story leading up to the fact that Remus would be standing at this station, this platform, this day, to take a much long-awaited train ride to his new school.
"Hey. The train's leaving in three minutes. What are you still standing here for?"
Remus looked up to see a boy that seemed his age, with one of the messiest mops of jet-black hair he had ever seen. His small grey eyes were staring him down with curiosity, while his deeply depressed dimples further brought out the broad grin he was currently wearing. "Oh, um...hey." Remus looked around the platform. Almost everyone had gone but a mere few still saying their final goodbyes to their evidently reluctant family. He was one of the last. "I guess...I forgot." As good an answer as any.
"Well, you'd better come up now. Here, let's go. I'm serious. A few moments and we'll be off." Not that Remus had ever thought to think he wasn't. Seeing the kid's excited and definite look, he decided to follow him and the two boys stepped aboard, hand in hand, without further ado.
As they watched the door shut itself by magic out onto the quickly emptying cement of Platform Nine and Three-Quarters through the tiny window, Sirius abruptly turned around and smiled again, sticking out his hand. "My name's Sirius Orion Black. What's yours?"
Remus was a little taken aback, but replied soon enough, shaking his acquaintance's outstretched arm rather awkwardly for his liking, "Oh. I'm Remus. Remus John Lupin." Then, glancing to the floor, he continued, "It's nice to get to know you," he paused a little, "Sirius."
By then, the train had started to pull out of the station. Placing an arm nonchalantly on a nearby handrail, Sirius started talking again, this time clearly more casual than before. "Yeah, please call me Sirius. There's no need to mind with the 'Orion' or 'Black'." Then, Remus noticed that, just like himself a few moments ago, Sirius' eyes were currently fixated straight on the carpeted floor of the moving train. He looked strange and perhaps even with a tinge of sadness, which was eccentrically in stark contrast to his previous looks. Though what trouble it was plaguing him, Remus did not dare to ask.
Luckily for him, Sirius recovered quick enough, and, motioning to the door, moved on, "Let's go, then," before opening the door for Remus. Nodding politely, his friend walked through, and in followed he. Only now did Remus get a good grip of how exactly many students would he be seeing at Hogwarts.
If the platform earlier was crowded, it was nothing compared to the scene in the train. Despite it having quickly thrown the station behind it as it rattled along its tracks, the carriage was still packed with students running from compartment to compartment, searching for their friends or, for some, a mere empty spot. Those who were lucky enough to have found seats, were chattering animatedly away with whoever else happened to be in the same carriage as them. These voices filled the air, with occasional bursts of laughter, on top of the screeching of owls as they fidgeted in their respective cages.
"In here." Sirius seemed to have found an empty spot faster than Remus, and with a hefty push, flung him, trunk and all, into a vacant carriage to his left. Remus, shocked by the sudden force, barely landed on a seat close to the window and banged his arm hard on the wall.
"Sorry." Sirius started from the outside. "Had to do it before anyone else does." Remus raised an arm to indicate he was all right. "So, your trunk." He had some strength, and with a seemingly minimum amount of struggle, extracted Remus' battered trunk from the floor and stuffed it in the baggage compartment, before doing his own and clambering into the carriage. He was just about to sit down, when a high shout pierced the air. "Sirius!"
"Coming!" Sirius shouted back before turning to Remus. "I've got to go for now," he panted, "but we may meet again at Hogwarts. If you see a huge head of hair right next to someone unusually tall and spiky, you know who it is."
"If you need help, just write me." Sirius then turned to squeeze out of the door.
"How? I don't have an owl."
"Easy. Write whatever you want on a piece of parchment paper and just, y'know, toss it out of the window, okay? I'll be sure to get it."
"Bye then." And, without another word, Sirius was out, leaving Remus to make sense of all that had just happened.