The train was on it's way to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The sleek black and red paint on the sides glared at the sun while it's contents went bustling in and out of compartments.
"I hope we have everything." Hermione stated, her hands tightly holding onto her trunk.
"We should. Went over the your list about a thousand bloody times." Ron commented, a smirk playing on his lips.
Ginny laughed and said, "I'll see you all in the common room."
They all said their short goodbyes and the fifth year made her way over to her other Gryffindor friends. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Emma made their way to an empty compartment at the back of the train and settled into their seats.
"What house do you suppose I'll be in?" Emma asked no one in particular, studying her nails.
Ron shrugged and made his opinion. "Defiantly not Slytherin."
Hermione laughed. "Ravenclaw holds those that are wise and clever. I suppose you could do well there. You do have all advanced classes."
"Yeah, but you didn't get in there Hermione." Harry stated. "What about Hufflepuff?"
Ron scoffed and shook his head.
"What?" Hermione asked, her tone annoyed.
"Hufflepuff is full of prats, and not very smart ones either."
"You're the one to talk?" Hermione asked, her eyebrow rose.
Emma smiled and slapped her lightly on the shoulder. "Be nice."
"Hufflepuff is not full of prats." Harry told her. "Their proud, loyal, and patient. Cedric was in there." He then said in an airy voice, "These belong in Hufflepuff, where they are just and loyal. Those patient Hufflepuffs are true and unafraid of toil."
Emma laughed and Ron rolled his eyes.
"You'll be in Gryffindor I bet." The redhead said proudly. "My whole family was."
"Really? Doesn't surprise me."
"Gryffindor is for those who show chivalry and courage." Hermione said matter-of-factly.
Suddenly the compartment door was flung open, casting a loud bang.
A boy with a haughty expression wearing a black and green robe stepped in, followed by two others. "Well, well, well." He stepped lightly with a smug smile playing on his thin lips.
Harry's eyes flashed to Emma and he stood up, his hands clenched tightly. "What are you doing here, Malfoy?" He spat.
He laughed and let his gaze wonder and then fall. "Aren't you going to introduce me, Potter?"
Emma shot a look at Harry expectantly and the Slytherin said, "Bit out of your league, scar-head."
"Get out of here." Harry's voice shook with rage as he pointed his wand at the enemy.
The boy smirked and nodded to his goons that stood in front of him.
"Leaving it to Crabbe and Goyle, Malfoy? Aren't you a coward." Hermione voiced, her words venomous.
"Shut up, Mudblood."
Just as Harry went to sneer, Ron stood up, his own wand held up. "Don't you ever call her that again."
"And what are you going to do Weasel? Make yourself throw up slugs?" He laughed.
Emma, who was watching all of this with wide eyes, currently glared at the blonde.
"What’s going on here?" A voice rang down the hall and quick footsteps following.
Malfoy and his cronies fled the scene and Harry slammed the door shut. His face was red and his fists clenched when he took his seat next to her. The room was silent for a moment or two before Ron offered, "Draco Malfoy is a prat." He then screwed up his face in thought of a better word. "Lll - Mph - Jerk!" The redhead spat out and Hermione gave a snort.
"Harry." Someone whispered his name. "Harry." He groaned in annoyance and opened his eyes to see Ginny sitting straight across from him with a cold stare. He furrowed his eyebrows and felt something stir beside him. His eyes went wide as he lifted his head away from the bitter window to look down at Emma, whose head rested on his shoulder and hand on his chest. Harry shot a questioning gaze at Ginny. She rose a eyebrow and scoffed. "You might want to get changed into your robes. It's getting dark."
Harry gave a short nod and watched her get up and close the door harshly. Emma popped her eyes open at the sound. She froze for a moment and in complete embarrassment she lifted her head and cleared her throat. Giving her crush a crooked smile, she said in a hoarse voice, "Sorry. Must have dozed off."
He couldn't help but laugh. Emma was sporting a red mark on her cheek and the left side of her hair was flattened. "That’s okay."
"What?" Emma touched her face self-consciously, her eyes wide. "Why are you laughing?"
Biting his lip to keep from letting out another chuckle, Harry touched her face. He felt the heat of it and breathed out heavily. "You have - a red mark on your cheek."
Emma felt the butterflies in the pit of her stomach awaken and she looked down. "Oh. Wonderful."
He still had his hand on her cheek.
Both of them knew it, but neither wanted it to leave Emma's soft skin.
The roughness Harry's hand made him seem more human to her. He was right in front of her, touching her, and being careful with her. The moment she plucked up the courage to look him in the eye, the door swung open. The two jumped slightly apart and felt cold when they could no longer feel one another. Harry stole a glance at her after he saw the intruders.
"Bloody first years!" Ron cried as he threw his hands up in the air.
"They were just curious Ron, they've never been here before."
Without figuring out what they were talking about Emma flew to her feet. "I'm going to get changed into my robes."
Harry's green eyes flicked from her to his friends and he got up as well. "I should too." Ron shot him a look and Hermione smiled as he walked out after her.
Once stepping off of the train, Emma watched in amazement all the students filing out and then someone very large caught her eye.
"'Ello there. How was all 'ur summers?" He asked revealing a husky and thick West country accent.
Hermione whispered in her ear, "He's the gamekeeper and a good friend of ours."
Harry, who was only a foot behind her, answered. "Fine, thanks. How have you been Hagrid?"
"Fine, fine." He smiled and patted his beard. "Oz this?" The half-giant asked looking down at her.
Emma stepped back and bumped into Harry, who laughed. "Emma -" Suddenly her mind went blank with her alias of a name. Hagrid was waiting, so she smiled awkwardly. "Just Emma."
He smiled and leaned down slightly. "Well, Just-Emma, it's ri' fine to meet ya'."
She couldn't help to laugh in spit of her self and shook his awaiting hand. "It's nice to meet you as well, Hagrid the gamekeeper." He grinned widely and shook her hand with such force that her entire body moved. She steadied herself and rubbed her hand gently afterward.
Ron chuckled and Hagrid smiled bashfully. "Since it's ur first year 'er at Hogwarts, you'll 'ave to come with me."
Emma nodded and turned to her friends. "I'll see you all later?"
Hermione smiled and waved, starting to back up. "Good luck!" Ron followed after her and tried to instruct all the first years.
Harry stayed for a moment and stuffed his hands in his pockets. "Well, good luck." He smiled kindly and added, "Don’t worry, you'll be fine."
Harry glanced all around in the humming Great Hall. Girls gossiped excitedly about their summers, while the boys talked about the new school year. He took a seat at his Gryffindor table next to Ron and unluckily, Seamus sat in the other seat next to him, the same seat the he was saving for Emma if she had gotten into his house.
Standing at the front of the hall, Dumbledore silenced the students and smiled. "Welcome back to Hogwarts. I trust you have all had a delightful Holiday and are now ready to start the new year." He waited for a moment for the students to gain his attention once more. "The sorting hat ceremony is about to begin, so if you all could warmly welcome the first years."
The great doors opened slowly and in came Professor McGonagall followed by the small wide-eyed first years, as the older students clapped. Harry looked for Emma and found her to be the tallest at the end of the group. She was also looking for him and finally as she was in the middle of the tables, she caught his eye. With a wave she grinned happily and stopped at the front of the room with the rest of the newcomers.
The teacher announced her directions and started with the first of her list. "Robert Adams."
Emma watched in excitement as he was placed in Ravenclaw and many others in their respective houses. Once practically of the students were gone, McGonagall called, "Emma Wilson." She stood still for a moment and realized it was her. She felt stupid for being caught of guard. After she ascended the steps and took her place on the stool, waiting for her fait.
Whispers were heard throughout the Great Hall and her cheeks burned from humility. She swallowed harshly and the Professor placed the old brown leather hat on her head. Averting her green eyes to the top of her head, she saw the rim of the sorter and wished that it would all get over quickly.
"Interesting, very interesting. Hmm. . ." It started and paused for a moment, searching her brain. "You're very smart, good enough to be a Ravenclaw. Sweet and loyal, would make Hufflepuff proud. Yes. But, bravery is found in your depths." It paused another beat and said suddenly, "Defiantly not Slytherin." There was a few growls and boos as the rest of the room waited. "Humph. . . Where to put you?" She held her breath and closed her eyes. "How about Gryffindor!"
"Emma this is Seamus and Neville." Ginny introduced her a boy she found rather good looking with sandy brown hair and blue eyes. His face covered in freckles and he smiled brightly at her, shaking her hand a little to long. The other boy had dark brown hair and brown eyes, but showed to be much more timid and awkward.
"Nice to meet you Emma." Seamus greeted kindly.
"Nice to meet you too." She smiled graciously and blushed slightly.
"You're going to like it here in Gryffindor." He said sweetly and added, leaning over the table slightly, "I could show you around a bit, so you can get to know the castle."
"That would be lovely." She stole a glance at Harry, who seemed to be attacking his food with a fork. "Hello Neville."
"H-H-hi." He stuttered next to her.
Emma smiled and laughed a little, not to embarrass him, but to make him feel more comfortable. - That didn't work. He swallowed harshly and looked down quickly.
"Well, Neville." She cleared her throat and Hermione gave her a look. "I heard from Hermione, that you are rather good at Herbology."
His eyes lit up and he shyly gazed at her. "Um, I guess you could say that."
"Well, maybe when you're free sometime, you could help me? I'm terrible."
Neville nodded. "I got a Mimbulus mimbletonia from my uncle this past summer. It's a rare plant actually."
"Really?" Emma grabbed a bun and took a bit.
"Yes." He shook his head and put down his fork with confidence. "It has this special way of -"
As she was about to take a bit of her mashed potatoes, a paper bird landed next to her silverware. She furrowed her eyebrows at the sight of it and looked around. Ron, from across the table said, "Open it. It's a note."
"Oh." Emma wasn't the least bit used to the idea of magic just yet. She carefully unfolded it to see the neat cursive handwriting of the Headmaster.
Dear Miss Rose,
I wish to see you after dinner. There are a few things we need to discuss in my office. The password is Twizzlers.
~ Albus Dumbledore
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