Chapter 1 : Broomsticks and Trains
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Sophie Hailstone was becoming impatient. Yes, she was going to miss her parents, but she was very close to missing the train. Her friends were probably searching everywhere for her. She reached into her jean pocket for her cell phone, but then remembered she didn’t bring it. For some reason, Muggle technology wouldn’t work on Hogwarts grounds. Of course this would happen on one of the most important days of the year.
“Mom, it’ll be like any other year. I’ll write to you weekly and come home for Christmas. Can I go now?” She groaned, hugging her mother once again. She knew her parents only wanted the best for her, and that they would be worried about her since they lived in America and Hogwarts was in Britain, but this was her fourth year. Sophie wished they would let her grow up. She dashed off to enter King’s Cross Station, and cursed at herself when she tripped on the sidewalk.
“Honey!” she heard her mother shout behind her. “Don’t forget Miles!”
Beginning to think she might have to enroll herself in Muggle school this year for not making the train, she ran back to the car and grabbed the small cage which contained her tiny, sandy-colored owl. After hugging her parents once more, she finally made it inside.
Seeing the inside of King’s Cross and smelling the familiar aroma of train tracks, it brought back memories of the very first time she stepped foot in here. She was eleven years old, just finding out that she was a witch. Lindsey Farr and Mia Daring were at her side, being the only three Americans to be accepted into Hogwarts in over a couple hundred years. It was at this special Wizarding school that Sophie discovered her true self. Her fingers felt a warmth in them when she gripped her seven inch oak wand. She loved flying on her broomstick, representing the Gryffindor Quidditch Team as a Chaser for the past two years. The food was phenomenal, by far some of the best she’s ever had. And above all, she loved that the four-poster bed in the Gryffindor Common Room was always nice and warm after a long day of learning an even new aspect of magic.
Sophie took pride in her Quidditch above anything else. Yes, she was certainly smart enough to become a Healer, or even go into the Department of Magical Law, but she planned to become a professional Quidditch player. Flying for the first time during her first year was easy as pie, so she tried out for the Quidditch team during second year. People were leery about her, but she made it as a Chaser, and is currently one of the best scorers in the entire school, right behind Angelina Johnson. She felt so free on a broomstick, like she could conquer the world. Or at least, she could conquer the game.
“But Sir, surely you can show me where Platform Nine and Three Quarters is?”
Sophie’s head immediately snapped towards the small boy who was showing his Hogwarts ticket to one of the employees. She sighed, remembering that she made the same mistake when she was eleven, partly because her parents said it would be a good idea. She didn’t know that the employees were Muggles.
“Move it along boy. Why do I always have children asking me that? Stupid children,” the man shook his head and walked away from him.
But at the same time, Sophie was somewhat relieved to know that she wasn’t the only one running dangerously late. She touched the boy’s shoulder and said, “Hey, dude. You need Platform Nine and Three Quarters?”
The boy took his time to look at Sophie’s face and then her belongings, which were very similar to his … the school trunk, the robes hanging from the hanger, and the owl cage. He smiled and whispered, “Are you a wizard too?”
Sophie nodded. “Yep. You’re lucky I am, though. Most Muggles wouldn’t be accustomed to being asked if they were a wizard, you know.” Sophie let him know she was joking by smiling. “I’m Sophie, by the way.”
The boy’s fear relaxed as he laughed. “My name’s Thomas. Can you show me to the platform?”
“Of course. It’s about five minutes …” Sophie’s voice trailed off as she did a double check of her stuff. Where was her broom? Her Nimbus 2001 was her most prized possession. She seriously didn’t know what she’d do without it.
Thomas pulled her sleeve. “Are you okay?”
Sophie snapped out of her inner heart attack. “Er … yeah. I just left something really important on a bench, I believe. Can you help me get it? It’ll only take a couple minutes, and then I’ll show you to the platform.”
Thomas looked reluctant, but he knew that Sophie was his only hope of finding his way to Hogwarts. He agreed, and the two kids ran up the stairs to where Sophie thought she dropped her broomstick.
“Damn it! Where is it?” Sophie shouted, looking in all directions. Thomas was just standing there, confused.
“What are you even looking for?” he asked.
“My broom …” Sophie started to say, but then found someone holding it. A pale blonde haired boy had his back turned to her, but she could clearly see the glimmer of her Nimbus 2001 in his hand. “There it is!
Sophie ran to the boy, smiling. “Hey! I think you might be holding my bro …” she paused and rephrased her words in case he was a Muggle, “some really valuable artifact of mine. I’m just coming to get it back.”
The boy turned around, and Sophie immediately recognized the smirk on his face. “Hmm … this is yours?” Draco Malfoy said, holding out the broom in front of him, “I didn’t think a Mudblood such as yourself would still be playing a wizard’s sport.”
“Malfoy, give it back. Don’t make me hex you,” she threatened, reaching in her pocket for her wand.
All that did was make him laugh. “Hex me? Here? In a public place? You wouldn’t hex me in front of Muggles,” he retorted. “You wouldn’t risk expulsion for a silly little broomstick, now would you?”
Once again, Thomas tugged on Sophie’s sleeve. “Sophie, why do you want the broomstick?”
“Hold on, Thomas,” she replied, trying not to sound harsh. “Go sit over on the bench. This will only take a few minutes.”
After Thomas walked away, Sophie noticed the time. Ten fifty-three. If she didn’t wrap things up and get to the platform as soon as possible, she wouldn’t get to Hogwarts. And that wouldn’t be fair to Thomas. No one should miss their first year.
“Malfoy, just give me the broom and we can forget all about this conversation,” Sophie said impatiently, holding out her hand, expecting to feel the familiar grip of her broom.
Again, Malfoy laughed. “No, I think I’ll just have a go around the Quidditch Pitch on this broom. You know how things are … this broom’s brand new, compared to mine.”
“Just have daddy dearest buy you a Firebolt.”
“I’m sure Father has better things to do with his time.”
That was the last straw. Sophie got out her wand and pointed it right at Malfoy’s chest, causing some Muggles to stare. Some were laughing. “Draco Malfoy. I’ll say this again. Don’t make me hex you. That’d be too much paperwork. Besides, I don’t feel like modifying some Muggles’ memories today.”
“You don’t know how to modify anyone’s memory, Hailstone,” he snapped. “Oh, thanks for the broom,” he added before turning away.
Malfoy was right. Sophie didn’t know how to modify memories yet. She knew she’d be expelled if she hexed him in front of all these Muggles. So she did the only reasonable thing that could be done at the time.
Sophie dropped her trunk, put her wand in her pocket, and ran towards Malfoy, tackling him to the ground. She didn’t care if he was hurt. She had to get her broom back.
The broom was currently under Malfoy. Pinning his arm to the ground, she tried to flip him over to get it, but he was clearly stronger than her. He flipped her over. Sophie thought he’d retaliate and aim for her face, but he got off of her. Malfoy grabbed the Nimbus 2001 and made a run for it, going right in front of a police officer.
“She attacked me!” he shouted, pointing to where Sophie was sitting on the ground. “She attacked me!” Glancing at the clock, he ran.
Sophie knew there was no chance. Ten fifty-nine. The train was going to leave without her. Guilt instantly flooded her emotions. Thomas was missing the train as well.
Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. Before she knew it, the police officer was coming straight towards her. Sophie thought she could run away from him and catch the train, but when she turned around, Thomas was there.
“Thomas! What are you doing?” she grumbled.
“Waiting for you!”
“No. Follow Malfoy to the platform. When you get to the wall run straight through it. Do you hear me?” Sophie instructed.
“Run straight through the wall?” he gasped, shocked that it was even possible to run through a wall.
“Yes! Are you deaf?”
But it was too late. The clock tolled. It was eleven a.m. The train was leaving, and a police officer was coming for them.
“Oi! Are you with her?” the heavyset man shouted at Thomas. Thomas just nodded his head, his green eyes glistening with fear.
“Officer, I can explain … he had something of mine!” Sophie yelped.
“Sure, sure,” he said sarcastically, grabbing Sophie’s and Thomas’s arms. He led them into his office, and the two of them knew there was no hope of going to Hogwarts that year.