Chapter 2 : Platforms, Trains and Carriages
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Atop the podium was a small leather bound notebook. I opened the book and found Dumbledore’s handwriting scrawled across a page.
“Miss Fragonard and Mr. Davies,
Congratulations on both of you for becoming heads, and Davies my congratulations for being chosen as quidditch captain. Inside you will find all of the passwords as well as a small guide on how to become a successful head. There are empty pages in the back to include your own notes that may help you when you need the extra paper.
Good luck this year to both of you,
Roger Davies is Head Boy. Swell. He is the single reason everyone in the school knows me by that despicable nickname Gracie Frog. He is the most arrogant and immature bloke at Hogwarts and Dumbledore must be certifiably insane to make him Head Boy.
I flipped through the pages of the book and set to memorizing all of the passwords for all of the “secret” passageways School had to offer. Mum and Dad had told me where many of these passages were a couple of years ago but since I did not have the passwords, the knowledge was virtually useless. I stood be the window by Frog, subconsciously stroking his head every once in awhile while flipping through the rest of the book.
A loud crash resonated outside of the compartment, forcing me out of my reverie. I walked over to the door, opened it and saw a tangle of limbs and red hair. Fred and George Weasley, I honestly should have known.
“Oi, whatcha doing laying there?” I snapped.
“Who are you?” One of them smirked back, I think it was Fred. George is the nice one.
“Your worst nightmare.” It is way too early for me to be dealing with these two. “Now get up, or I’ll start taking points from Gryffindor.”
“What are you, some crazy stalker bint? How do you know what house we’re in?” And this is why they are not in Ravenclaw. I stood there looking down at them.
“10 points for that bint comment, and who doesn’t know what house you’re in, honestly. And stand up you two! It’s unsightly for you to be rolling around on the floors.”
“That’s not fair!” I think that was George. “You’re too young to be a prof and only prefects can take points!” I’m pretty sure it’s still George talking but Fred looked like he was about to explode. His face was changing colors. It was not pretty.
I smirked at them, “Head Girl cant take points too.”
I saw a flicker of recognition in their eyes. George’s mouth dropped and Fred proclaimed, “GRACIE FROG?!?!”
Wow. Those two are so incredibly mature it’s heartbreaking.
They finally pick their bodies off the ground and slowly amble their way somewhere else, both shaking their heads like they cannot believe the truth standing before them. I smile and hear a deep chuckle behind me. I turn and see Mr. Roger Davies standing behind me with his Head Boy badge pinned to his charcoal jumper.
Summer has been good to this boy. He has a light tan and a few freckles. His black hair and ocean blue eyes are dancing in mirth and his snug fitting jumper hints at the body beneath it. The boy is fit.
“Grace Fragonard I presume? Roger Davies.” He held out his hand. You would think that after 6 years of living in the same house he would know who I am, but apparently not. Lovely. These would be the consequences of hiding behind books I presume.
I shook his hand, “Roger.” We broke contact and he turned to open the door to the room again, ushering me to enter before him. Frog was still curled up by the window making soft purring noises and I smiled to myself before turning back to look at the time. 10:00, splendid.
Roger started to flip through the notebook I already skimmed and Prefects were slowly making their way over. The train lurched beneath my feet and slowly began to move. Once everyone had settled into their seats, I began to take attendance while Roger began.
“Alright everyone. I’m Roger Davies, in Ravenclaw and newly ordained Captain of the quidditch team. This hear is Grace Fragonard and...” He gestures a hand towards me, silently beckoning me to fill in the gap he obviously has no intention of filling himself.
“I’m in Ravenclaw as well.” Roger gives me a questioning glare as he has yet to realize who I am. It’s not like we have been prefects together since fifth year or been in all of the same classes.
“Wait-Gracie Frog?” His brain finally caught up with him. I nod in his direction. Dear God, is that how I am honestly known around here? He just stands there with his mouth opening and closing looking like he cannot figure out what to do with his life. I chuckled and turned back to the prefects.
“Hey, so here’s the run down. Sign up for rounds is here, you are required to do them two times a week for two hours each. Sign up for whichever time works best, only two people per time and that person will become your partner for that night. We’re doing it differently this year because it will hopefully work with everyone’s individual schedules. You will all know the passwords for three of the houses and Ravenclaw will continue to use the riddle system that has worked in the past. The fifth year prefects will take the first years to their dorms and give them a small tour of the castle beforehand. Gryffindor’s password is pumpkin pastilles, Hufflepuff’s is lemon drops and Slytherin’s is licorice wand.” I looked over at Roger, “Anything to add?”
Roger regained his ability of speech and continued the commentary. His eyes, on the other hand, were a bit glazed over, as if he was trying to find the answer to an overly complicated Arithmancy problem. He explained the maximum number of points that a prefect may take away at a time, how to schedule and give detentions, and he finished by telling them about the party that will be in the Room of Requirement for all 5th years and up. Following that declaration, the prefects began to filter their way out of the compartment, leaving Roger and I to our own devices.
“Gracie Frog. I cannot believe it. What happened to you?” Roger, always the one for tact. The boy will have to learn.
“This is who I have always been.” I gazed into his eyes, refusing to back down and break the contact as I would have done in the past.
“You did not look like that for the last 6 years.” He then pointedly took the time to allow his eyes to sweep up and down my body. I felt like a mannequin on display at Walmart.
I went over to pick up Frog and turned back to face Roger, “This is who I am when I am not here. Have you ever picked up Witch Weekly and read the section ‘The Elicit Exploits of Lady Grace’?”
“That’s me. That’s who I am.” I told him pointblank.
“Then why have you never been like that around here? If that is who you are, why have you always hidden?”
I sighed and decided to offer him the simplest explanation, “School has always been school to me. It was never anything too fantastic and I always knew I had my city to turn to.”
“City?” He looks so confused right now. Ah, maybe that was a bit too simple...more details needed.
“New York City, it’s where I live. The ministry transferred my dad there when I turned six.”
“I always wondered about the funny accent...” That boy needs to learn some tact, funny accent? Really? I’ve virtually grown up in New York with two parents with strong cockney accents, my own accent is a mix between all of it.
“Now you know. Anyway, I am going to go find my friends. I’ll see you at the feast.” I stalked out of the compartment with Frog close behind me. I fancied a look back at him, he was standing there watching. Just watching, he smiled when he met my eyes and I just smirked at him. I bent down to pick up Frog and held him close to me. I watched him turn around in search of his own friends and I rightly figured I should probably go find my own.
Halfway down the train, I saw my friends avidly discussing something through the half-frosted compartment window. Black-haired Olivia (Livvs) was waving her hands around wildly, making a point. Red-haired Kelsey (Kels) was shouting back at her, and brunette Lauren (Laur) was attempting to bring peace between the two friends. I smiled, all four of us had vastly different opinions on a variety of matters from politics to boys to the best smelling flower. The four of us are an unstoppable force. We were all sorted into Ravenclaw that fateful day years ago and since then we have cultivated and shared our lives, our secrets and hidden our true identities.
We all had hidden parts of ourselves over the last 6 years and this is the year we all decided to show Hogwarts what they had overlooked. Livvs is the daughter of the Head of the Auror department, Kels is the granddaughter of the muggle Queen of England, and Laur is the daughter of the muggle Prime Minister. We are all incredibly proud Ravens and all of us has viewed Hogwarts as a sort of sanctuary over the years. We have grown from those scared little eleven year olds into seemingly mature seventeen year olds. We’re all Ravens and incredibly proud of it. Livvs glanced up from her heated argument and saw me standing on the other side of the partition. I slowly slid open the door and lightly stepped in, letting Frog down in the process.
Frog stood and looked at all four of the girls before leaping into the lap of Laur. She chuckled and began to smooth his soft hair down while gently cooing at him. Livvs and Kels soon stopped fighting. That’s the gift of Frog, I believe. He can halt all arguments when he is in the room and he can bring two enemies to comfortable terms and conditions. He has a presence that the average person does not possess and I am glad everyday that he is the cat my father had chosen for me three years ago for my birthday.
“Lady Grace! You’re decided to grace us with your presence this fine evening!” Kels shouted to me, breaking whatever inkling of an argument had remained.
I sauntered over to Kels and sat down. We spent the rest of the ride exchanging stories of hookups, vacations and whatever else creeped into the conversation. All four of us were giggling like mad by the time we reached Hogwarts and we joyously laughed our way into the carriages to take us to the domineering castle.