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As Elle settled herself into her seat, readying herself for the long journey, she was vaguely aware of someone watching her. She didn’t know how she knew, it was just a feeling that she had. As she raised her head, she realized straightaway her instinct had been right. Ryan was watching her and shot her a grin when she looked up. She smiled back and continued with what she was doing before, blissfully unaware of the flush now creeping up Ryan’s neck toward his face.

Unfortunately for Ryan, Sarah and Louise had noticed it and were whispering and giggling in the corner, looking and pointing at both he and Elle.
“What is so funny?” Elle asked, looking up from her Teen Witch magazine, because she had been reading she had not seen them look in her direction when whispering.
“Nothing!” Ryan said sharply, glaring at Louise and Sarah.
“Yeah, what Ryan said.” Sarah giggled.
“Okay, you guys are officially crazy!” Elle muttered, before turning back to her magazine as the train trundled through the suburban areas surrounding London.
“Ryan” came Sarah’s sweetest voice, “can we talk to you outside for a minute?”
“Fine!” He grumbled, looking very annoyed.

“What do you want?” Ryan asked impatiently now they were safely out of earshot from the others. Well, they were outside the compartment, but they had cast a silencing spell on it first.
“We wanted to know if you like Elle.” Louise stated simply.
“What made you come to that absurd conclusion?” Ryan asked, a tad uncomfortable. Girls are so annoying. He thought as they shared a knowing look.
“We seen the way you were looking at her on the train.” Sarah replied. “We just wondered.
“Well, I don’t. Elle is a friend nothing more nothing less.” He told them, with an air of finality in his voice.
“Okay.” Louise replied, although Ryan knew she was suppressing a smirk.

The two girls re-entered the compartment, but Ryan remained out in the corridor. HE walked toward the very end of the train, until he reached one of the doors. He stood beside it, looking out the small window as the train puffed its way through the rolling countryside. Did he like Elle? No, a small voice answered in the back of his mind. Of course not. She’s a friend, albeit a pretty, smart, funny, talented…Ryan stood stalk still, a look of horror on his face. Maybe he did like Elle. But, he consoled himself, who wouldn’t? She was extremely popular amongst the Hogwarts population. The wizarding world knew she was related to the Harry Potter and the muggleborns noted that she was related to Dudley Dursley, the famous boxer from Little Whining. Shaking his head, Ryan tried to convince himself that Elle was a friend, nothing more. The realization of his feelings had hit him hard and he walked back to the compartment in a daze.

“You okay Wood?” Sirius muttered a confused expression on his face.
“Me? Yeah, I’m fine.” Ryan replied quickly, shooting Elle a quick glance. His worst fears were confirmed when his stomach jolted at the sight of her.

Sirius looked at Ryan for a moment, before shaking his head and returning to the game of exploding Snap he was playing with Stephen.

~~~~ The Feast~~~~
After the carriage ride, the group of six made their way to the Gryffindor table. The sorting began and, as everyone sat watching with interest; Elle grabbed the opportunity to speak to Ryan.
“Are you okay?” she whispered, trying not to attract the attention of the others.
“I’m fine.” Ryan replied, staring determinedly at ‘Creevy, Alisa’ who was sitting on the stool.
“Don’t fib!” Elle laughed lightly. “You have been quiet ever since we left London. Are you going to tell me what’s wrong?” Elle stared intently at her friend. They had always been close, closer than Elle was to the rest of her friends, save Sirius. Not that she would admit it, but Elle had had a soft spot for Ryan at one point, but in time she realized she would always be his friend, nothing more and nothing less.
“There’s nothing wrong.” Ryan replied, finally turning to face Elle.
“You sure?” Elle pushed.
“I’m positive!” Ryan grinned.

McGonagall stood before the school, and Elle decided to drop it. She wasn’t stupid, no matter what Ryan told her, she knew something was wrong. But now wasn’t the time for stifled conversations as their Headmistress began the start of term feast.

“Welcome one and all back to a new year at Hogwarts. I hope you all are prepared for the challenges that lay ahead of you, particularly the fifth and seventh years. I shall leave the lectures until after the feast. Until then, enjoy!” McGonagall sat as food appeared on the tables.

Soon enough the Great Hall was filled with the clatter of knives and forks as students tucked in to the long awaited feast. Elle, however, had not started eating yet. She was staring thoughtfully at her empty plate. She was still deciphering what could be wrong with Ryan. Maybe it was girl problems, Elle thought bitterly. Sighing, she reminded herself that she was Ryan’s friend, that was all.

“Elle!” She heard Louise calling her from what seemed to be a great distance.
“Yes?” Elle asked, looking up.
“Why aren’t you eating?” Louise asked, puzzled.
“I was just thinking.” Elle replied, helping herself to roast potatoes and what ever else was within arms length.
“About?” Sarah jumped in.
“What lessons will be like.” Elle lied smoothly.
“Oh.” Sarah muttered in disappointment before returning to her dinner, but not before Elle noticed her shoot Louise a meaningful glance at Elle then at Ryan. Choosing to ignore it, Elle began to eat in contented silence.

Elle, Sarah and Louise traipsed up the stairs to the girls’ dormitories, laughing about something stupid Stephen had said without realizing what he had said. Elle pushed the door open to reveal Francis and Dee sitting on their beds talking and giggling. When they heard the door open they glanced up to see who it was.
“Hey guys!” Elle smiled cheerfully, although she wasn’t good friends with them, she always had gotten on well with them. “Good holiday?” she asked.
“It was okay!” Francis, of Frankie as she liked to be called, replied while Dee shrugged in answer. “Listen, Elle your pretty friendly with Ryan Wood aren’t you?” she added, becoming brisk and business like.
“Frankie don’t you dare!” Dee shrieked, her face growing increasingly red.
“Yes why?” Elle asked, smiling at the scene before her. She had a vague idea where this conversation was going to lead.
“Just friends?” Frankie pressed.
“Yes, Frankie. We are just friends, nothing more and nothing less.” Elle smiled, while Sarah and Louise shared a look. That was exactly what Ryan had said earlier. It was rather eerie.
“So, does he have a girlfriend?”
“No he doesn’t. I take it our little Dee has a wee crush on him?” Elle asked laughing kindly at her dorm mate.
“You could say that!” Frankie laughed.
“You want to know anything else?” Elle enquired.
“Nope that’s it!” Frankie laughed, while Dee pretending to be in a huff with her friend.

Laughing, Elle began to get her things set out for school the next day. She had a strange niggling feeling in the pit of her stomach, that she was trying desperately to ignore. It felt strangely like jealousy, but Elle wouldn’t be jealous of Dee, she had no reason to. Shaking her head, Elle changed in to her pajamas, while Dee and Frankie had a furious pillow fight. Laughing again, Elle, Louise and Sarah soon joined it. An hour later, after much talking and giggling the five girls settled into their beds, and Elle could help but think how good it was to be back.
A/N I know it isnt very exciting at the moment, just a bit of a filler chapter before things can get started. Please keep reading and reviewing!

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