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I make my way down the train, until I find an empty compartment. I’m not quite brave enough to go into a compartment that already has someone in it. Nevertheless, I don’t want to spend the train journey alone, so I leave the blinds up, in the hope that it might encourage someone to come and talk to me. Harry, Ron and Hermione all met on the train, and they’re really good friends. I hope I get friends like that.

 

I can see Harry waving at me from the platform and I wave back. There are a lot of people watching him – whispering and muttering, as if they’re not quite sure who he is. I see a woman go up to him and say something. Then he nods and in a flash, he’s surrounded by people. He rolls his eyes at me, gives one last wave, mouths “don’t forget to write!” and Disapparates, leaving a crowd of disappointed, yet excited and star-struck people.

 

I feel quite alone all of a sudden. The faint noises of other students and their families, muffled through the walls of my compartment, only seem to increase that. I see a kid, maybe a little older than me, give his Dad a brief hug, and get annoyed when a kiss is planted on his head. He mutters something and goes red. He doesn’t know what he’s got.

 

I love Harry, but he is young. Even for twenty-eight, he’s young. He’s always laughing and joking, and while I like that, sometimes… he’s more like a brother, or an Uncle to me… I never see him as a father.

 

Grandma says that Harry is always immature because he never had a childhood, and he had to grow up too fast. I wouldn’t say he was immature, just… I don’t know, but he’s not immature. You can see it in his eyes – he’s really grown-up, even he says it. He’s old before his time. But he acts young, and that is why I love him. But… I do wish I could see him as a father.

 

Don’t I?

 

I don’t think Harry wants to be seen as my father. He is my godfather, and I am his godson. I can remember being really young and calling Harry “Daddy”. He shook his head, and I can still remember how sad and deep and dark his eyes looked.

 

“No, I’m Harry, Teddy-bear,” he said. That was years ago, but I think that if I done the same thing now, he would just say the same thing back.

 

When James was first born (he’s four now), I was really scared that Harry wouldn’t want me to come at weekends anymore, now that he had a son. But he’s kept me in his family, even after the births of Albus and Lily. If he was immature, I don’t think he’d do that.

 

Molly Weasley, who I think knows Harry a bit better than Grandma, no offence to Grandma intended, says that he’s always laughing and joking to stop himself from crying. He went through a lot in the war, and I know that it still affects him. But, like him, Grandma, Molly, Ginny, Hermione, Ron and everyone else I know says, life moves on, and Harry just helps it move on by being cheerful.

 

Ron does the same – always being cheerful. He helps his brother in his shop, making joke products, even though he already has a job as an Auror.

 

Hermione, well, she’d very nice and all, but she doesn’t really do a lot of joking. She’s quite a serious person, and it was her that taught me maths and English and stuff.

 

The rattling sound of the door sliding jerks me out of my muse and I look round to see a girl my age standing there, grinning broadly. She has average-length blond-brown hair in a side parting that falls in a sort of diagonal fringe across her right eye. She is quite small, her head only coming up to, I guess, my chest. She is wearing a lot of make-up.

 

“You would never believe who I just saw on the platform!” she squeals excitedly, in what I think is a Newcastle accent. I don’t have a chance to say anything before she sits in the seat opposite me. “Harry Potter!” she bursts out, her hazel eyes alight with exhilaration. I smile weakly. She looks at me like up supposed to start worshipping her or something. “Did you just hear what I said? I just met Harry Potter! I mean, I actually saw him with my own two eyes! Not many people can say they’ve done that!”

 

“He’s my godfather,” I say. She stares at me, her mouth open wide.

 

“You’re having me on,” she says decidedly, after a long, awkward pause.

 

“No, I’m not – he is; he’s my godfather.”

 

“So, are you…” she gasps, her eyes wide. She points at me with both of her hands, fluttering them up and down quickly with enthusiasm and opening and closing her mouth like some bizarre goldfish. “Are you Ted Lupin!?” she spits out, at last.

 

“Yeah,” I can feel a blush creeping up my neck and onto my face.

 

“Wow…” she says in an awed voice, staring at me. “So, you’ve actually met him?”

 

“I actually <i>live</i> with him,” I say, getting irritated. “Well, every other weekend.”

 

“What’s he like?” she demands.

 

“Um… nice, I s’pose,” I say awkwardly. Seriously, how am I meant to answer that?

 

“Wow…” she says again. She continues to stare at me for quite sometime. I look at my shoelaces, my face hot. The door opens with a bang, and I snap my head up to see a boy standing in the door, glaring at the girl.

 

“Corrine! I told you to find a compartment that was empty!”

 

“There were none left, Mickey! Anyway – you won’t mind sharing a compartment with this kid – he’s Ted Lupin!” she says impressively, thrusting an arm out at me, as if she’d actually invented me, and I was her work of art.

 

“Whoa! Really? Have you actually met <i>him</i> then? You know, Harry Potter?”

 

“I live with him,” I repeat wearily.

 

“All the time?” he asks, somewhat aggressively, in my opinion.

 

“No, not all the time; I live with my grandma most of the time, but-”

 

“How often do you live with him?”

 

“Every other weekend…” I wish they’d go away… the door slides open again. I almost groan, expecting another Corrine or Mickey. Standing there instead is a dark-skinned boy, with deep, chocolate coloured eyes and a friendly grin. His hair is braided back and he’s wearing a very baggy dark blue hoodie.

 

“What’re you two doing? This poor kid looks terrified!”

 

“He’s Teddy Lupin!” Corrine says in a dramatic stage whisper. The boy frowns, a confused smile playing about his lips.

 

“Okay, I don’t know who that is – no offence,” he says hastily, looking at me.

 

“None taken,” I say, raising my hands and smiling.

 

“But I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want you interrogating him.” Corrine and Mickey scowl at him and stomp out. Corrine sticks her head back in as she leaves.

 

“I’ll see you soon, Ted!” She says in a deep, husky voice, giving me a rather creepy wink. The boy smiles at me.

 

“Jason Goldsmith,” he says, holding his hand out for me to shake. I shake it.

 

“Teddy-be…I mean, Ted Lupin. But call me Teddy,” I mumble, blushing. I nearly said Teddy-bear. That would have been so humiliating.

 

“So… what was that about?” he asks, sitting opposite me.

 

“Wha- oh! Yeah… well, my Godfather’s really famous, and those two were just asking me whether I live with him and what he’s like and stuff. Well, duh, course I live with him… some of the time.”

 

“Er… course… um… why? Sorry, but you’ll have to bear with me, I’m muggle-born, see.”

 

“Oh, sorry – I had guessed, I just forgot. My parents were killed back in the war, when I was a couple of weeks old.”

 

“God, I’m sorry… er, what war?” I fill him in on the past twenty-eight years, but, of course, our conversation is always going widely off topic. I find out that he’s from Islington, in London, and has a younger sister called Holly. His mum is a teacher, and his Dad works for a phone company.

 

“I have to ask,” he says, hesitantly, “why is your hair blue?” I grin.

 

“I can change my appearance just by thinking. My mum was a Metamorphmagus – that means she could change her appearance at will too - and her genes passed onto me, because I’m a Metamorphmagus like her. I get bored with just having normal coloured hair, so I always have it weird colours. I have it blue today.”

 

“That’s so cool!” I beam at Jason. We spend the entire train journey talking and joking, and eating tons of sweets from the trolley (I’m so glad that Harry spoils me rotten and gives me loads of money) that came round half-way through the journey. I think I’ve made a good friend.

 

***

 

“What’re these?” asks Jason curiously. “Marbles?” I look up from my chocolate frog.

 

“Gobstones,” I say, surprised that they don’t have them in the wizarding world. “They are a bit like marbles, but they squirt stuff at you when you lose. I usually play with Victoire.”

 

“Who?”

 

“My Godfather’s niece – she’s nine. She’s like a cousin, only we’re not actually related.”

 

“Oh. I-” Jason is cut off as the door slides open, and a cheeky looking, dark-haired boy steps in.

 

“Is it true?” he asks me, “What Corrine is saying? Are you Ted Lupin?”

 

“Yes,” I reply dully, ignoring Jason’s smirk. The boy at the door, however, does not seem as star struck as Corrine and Mickey.

 

“Cool,” he says, grinning. “I’m Alfie – I thought Corrine was just telling another one of her stories.”

 

“You know her then?” asks Jason.

 

“Yeah, worst luck. She’s my step-cousin – her mum married my uncle and, sadly, her and her brother were part of the package.”

 

“Unlucky,” comments Jason with a low whistle. Alfie nods.

 

“We should be near Hogwarts soon – you’d better get your robes on. I’ll see you at the feast!”

 

***

 

“Firs’ years! Firs’ years this way!” I get of the train with Jason, proudly wearing my Hogwarts robes. I look around and see the distinct outline of Hagrid.

 

“This way!” I say to Jason, and we hurry over to him, through the thick crowd of students.

 

“Hi, Hagrid!” I shout up at him. He grins down at me.

 

“Teddy!” He booms. The other students all look very impressed that I know him. “How are yeh? How’s Harry doin’? Not seen him fer months.”

 

“He’s fine, Hagrid,” I say, beaming. “But tired – little Lily’s keeping him and Ginny up all night again – teething, see.” Hagrid gives a great rumbling laugh, his thick grey beard quivering.

 

“She’s a right handful, tha’ Lily! Right, is everyone here?” he counts all the heads of the first year students. “For’y, yep, tha’s ‘bout right. This way.” We follow Hagrid down a steep, narrow path, barely visible in the dark night. We slip and stumble down the path, which has thick tree’s either side. Nobody speaks; I expect that everyone’s too nervous. I’m certainly starting to feel a bit ill. To fit my mood, I turn my hair I bright, pea green.

 

And then, we see it. The narrow path opens suddenly on to the edge of a massive, dark lake. Perched on top of a tall, looming mountain on the other side is Hogwarts; immense and beautiful, with lots of turrets and spindly towers, the thin sliver of the moon reflected in its sparkling windows.

 

“No more’n four to a boat!” Hagrid calls, pointing a thick finger to a small fleet of boats, bobbing at the waters edge. Jason and I clamber into one, followed, unfortunately, by Mickey and Corrine. Alfie did try to come in with us, but the “gruesome twosome” as Jason now calls them, got there first. The boats set of at once, cutting elegantly through the dark, cold water, creating ripples, distorting the reflection of the huge, towering grey clouds, which hide the glittering stars.

 

Mickey and Corrine pester me all the way across, much to Jason’s amusement. The ask the most bizarre, random questions about Harry, and no matter how bluntly or coldly I answer, they just don’t seem to get the hint. Finally, as Mickey interrogates me about Harry’s preferred brand of toothpaste, we reach the cliff, and duck as the boats carry us through a curtain of ivy, which hides a wide opening in the cliff face. We’re carried through a dark tunnel, until we reach an underground harbour of sorts.

 

We stumble out of the boats and follow Hagrid up a step flight of stone steps carved out of the rock in the cliff. We come out onto a lawn of wet grass, in the shadow of the high castle, so tall that I can barely see the top. Hagrid counts us all one more time, and then lifts a giant fist, and knocks three times on the huge oak door.


A/N You see that little white box below? It loves to be used - all you have to do is put what you think about my story in it. It only takes a minute, and it makes me so happy! :D

~Evie

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