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Chapter 2

“I’m going to make a pet name for you,” Nova randomly said to Remus.

He looked up from his book, raising his eyebrows. They were almost at Hogwarts, though not too close.

“Oh? And er…what do you suppose it’ll be?”

She sat silently for a moment, pondering over it. “Chip.”

At this, Sirius looked up, giving her an incredulous look. “Why?”

She shrugged. “I like chocolate chips.”

“Well then,” Remus interrupted. “I’m Chip, and you’re Shrimp.”

She wrinkled her nose. “Why?”

“You’re short,” he bluntly stated. “Just look at you! Such a puny little thing you are!” he cooed, ruffling her hair. She glared at him as she patted her hair down to make it less frizzy.

All of a sudden, the train jolted. As a matter of fact, it jolted multiple times, before coming to a full stop. The first jolt, a rather unsuspecting one, caused Nova to fall off her seat, and slam into Sirius, and some of the trunks to fall down. One almost hit Lily, but James pulled her away, both to her annoyance and thankfulness. The second one caused everyone to get pushed in one way or another-Remus having hit the door. The third one caused Peter’s head to hit the window, to which he was not pleased by.

As he rubbed his head, Peter asked, “What in Merlin’s name is going on?” when the train finally stopped.

Lily sighed and looked over at James. “As Heads, we have to find out and fix it,” she informed him, leaving the compartment, not waiting for James to follow since she knew he would.

Nova noticed a few new first years who looked scared. She looked pained before she walked out as well, leaving a curious Remus and Sirius in the compartment. Peter could only think about his poor head at the moment. Both Remus and Sirius, however, followed her, without her knowing, of course.

She opened the compartment door, causing the four first years to look up at her in worry. She crouched down to be at their level. “Hello. My name’s Nova. What are your names?”

“Nymphadora Tonks. But call me Tonks,” one little girl with blazing pink hair told her. “That’s Matthias Davies, and Sarah and Nole Corner.”

They all gave a feeble ‘hi’ or ‘hello’. “You four seem worried,” she said, smiling to them. “There’s nothing to worry over. Let me guess-you’re worried over sorting, aren’t you?” she asked, a small twinkle in her eyes.

They nodded. “Is it true you have to fight a dragon?” Sarah asked.

Nova laughed. “Not at all. All you do is sit down and put on a hat. The hat will pick for you.”

“Why did the train stop Miss Nova?” Matthias politely asked her, as he slowly began trusting her.

She smiled sympathetically. “I don’t know that, Matt. But my friend went to check, and she’ll try to fix it, okay? Don’t worry about a thing. The train might have just broken down.”

He nodded happily. “Are you hungry?” she asked them, when she heard Tonks’ stomach rumble.

“Terribly,” she admitted. “We were too worried to eat something,” she frowned.

Nova smiled, and pulled out a chocolate frog, a few pumpkin pasties, and a couple of licorice wands she had bought earlier for herself, and gave them all to the four little kids. “If any of you ever need anything, don’t hesitate to come and find me, alright?” she told them. “By the way, I’m in Gryffindor, and I’m a seventh year. You’ll either find me in the Common Room or the library,” she laughed.

They smiled gleefully as she left to go back to her original compartment. “You’re very good with children, aren’t you?”

She nearly jumped. Putting a hand to her heart, she breathed out in relief. “Merlin, Sirius, you near gave me a heart attack!”

He gave her an apologetic look. “To answer your question, yes, I like to think I am.” She looked back out the compartment. “I just adore them.”

“You’d make a wonderful mother someday,” Remus commented, without thinking. With her cheeks red, Nova mumbled some incoherent words and went back to the compartment, where James and Lily were standing.

“Oh! There you are,” Lily said. “Train’s broken down. They say five hours at the least to be able to fix it up.”

Nova frowned at this, calculating in her mind. “But Lily…that would mean the train starts up at eleven. We wouldn’t get to the castle until about two in the morning!”

James sighed. “Unfortunately, as we discovered that bit as well, we learned that under any circumstance, we’d all have to get comfortable for the night in the train, as we won’t be able to leave until tomorrow. Arthur Weasley offered up his owl up to send to the professors, but seeing as Lily and I have the highest authority here as of right now, we decided it’d be of everyone’s best interests to leave in the morning. We wouldn’t want the conductor to be so tired of being up all night, that we’d go the wrong way.”

Lily nodded. “He’ll be announcing it shortly. So I suggest we all change and get just about as comfortable as we can.”

Nova sighed. This would be a long night.

***

As it turned out, the train was in fact very uncomfortable. Peter took up the one side of the seats, while James offered Lily the other, to which she gladly took. Lily, they could all tell, couldn’t sleep well with no pillow, so James sat down where her head was, and put it in his lap, as he leaned against the side of the compartment. Nova couldn’t imagine how uncomfortable he felt. But as long as Lily felt comfy, he probably did too.

That left Nova, to be smushed between Remus and Sirius, on the floor. Remus had happily put his arm forth to let her sleep on as a pillow, to which she gratefully took up. It was, of course, freezing, and Sirius helped quite a bit in the warmth department, what with his body practically pressed right up against hers, and his arm straight around her waist.

Nova struggled to fall asleep. And when she finally did, it hadn’t lasted long.

The compartment door slowly opened. Nova woke up with a jolt, and looked up. “Tonks?” she whispered.

“Miss Nova, we couldn’t sleep,” she quietly said. “Do you think…could we…could we please sleep with you?”

She smiled as she pried her way out of Sirius’ hold. “Come here, sweetie,” she said, beckoning for her. There was still quite some room on the floor in their compartment, enough for Tonks and the other three first years. Nova leaned up against the compartment door, on the floor, with Tonks cradled against her arm, Matt leaning on her right shoulder, Sarah to her left, and Nole cradled next to Tonks.

Because Nova was awake the latest, she was the last to wake up the following morning, spare the first years.

“What are they doing here?” Sirius asked, yawning.

“Must’ve come last night,” Remus groggily said. “She must’ve been the one to wake up and put them to sleep.”

“That’s sweet,” Lily commented, rubbing her eyes. “She must be so uncomfortable in that position, though,” she frowned. Then she looked up at James. “And so must he.”

With all the commotion, James woke up as well. “Huh? No, nah, I’m fine,” he said, cracking his neck a bit to loosen up his sore muscles. Then he stared down where the only five people still asleep sat. “When did that happen?”

“Last night,” Everyone chorused.

“We best move her from there,” Peter said, as Sirius was already making his way to try and move her to a more comfy position without waking her, to no avail. Her eyes flew open, bloodshot red.

“Oh Merlin,” she mumbled. “Sorry. They came in the middle of the night, and they couldn’t sleep, so I put them to bed.”

“Your eyes are red,” Lily bluntly stated.

“Yeah,” Nova said. “Must be. I’ve only had about five hours of sleep. S’okay. Are we leaving anytime soon?”

“Whenever the conductor wakes. We haven’t gotten any reply back, which basically means that the professors are alright with us doing what we deem right for this situation,” James informed her. “Which is to just leave when he wakes.”

She nodded and looked down to the four kids. Through the tossing and turning, Matt ended up with his head on her upper thigh, and Sarah by her knee. Nole was cradled in her arms and Tonks slept with her head on her neck. “I really don’t want to wake them up.”

“Has anyone told you you’d make a wonderful mother some day?” James asked her.

Nova cracked a grin. “Oh, some few people have been saying so.”

Both Remus and Sirius averted eyes from her as she stifled her giggles. Remus quickly transformed his sweater into a large blanket and covered up Nova and the four children. “Thanks,” she said, smiling gratefully.

Sirius glared at him. “It was freezing last night. And you decide to do that right now?”

“Sirius, you practically radiate heat,” Nova piped up. “I was squished between you two, and you were like an oven.”

“Yeah, but…he’s freezing. When you got up, it wasn’t warm anymore,” he pouted.

She rolled her eyes. Peter fell back asleep when no one acknowledged him. Lily ended up dozing off back into sleep as well. When Nova realized this, she asked, “Merlin, what time is it?”

Remus glanced down at his watch. “Almost five.”

“In the morning?!” she asked incredulously. He nodded. She slammed her head back. “Oh hell, this is going to take forever.”

***

“I’ve officially decided that I hate trains,” Nova announced. Lily snapped her head to her.

“Because of what happened, or because your muscles are sore?”

“Both,” she said after some thought. “Lily, you wouldn’t happen to have a comb on you, would you?”

Lily hummed slightly as she pulled out a comb from her trunk. “Here.”

Nova smiled gratefully, combing her long dark hair, as all four of the boys pigged out. They had all already changed into their school robes, for they were to be at the castle in just twenty minutes.

Nova noticed Lily’s eyes flash over at James every now and then. “Merlin, Nova, your hair is so tangled!” Lily tutted.

She made a face. “Yeah, well…long hair, and not being tied up while sleeping, that’s what happens,” Nova said, feeling a bit annoyed. “Do you think you could braid it quickly for me?” she asked her, as she finished combing.

Lily nodded, both girls sitting down on the floor as she twined Nova’s hair together. “So we’ve broken rules one and three,” Lily began.

“Hmm,” Nova hummed. “What was the second one? Stay out of all and any trouble?”

Lily nodded. Nova grinned. “I think I should just become part Marauder and pull pranks in all my spare time.”

At this, the boys, minus Peter, looked up. “What rules?” Remus asked.

“Part Marauder?” James asked, raising an eyebrow.

“What were rules one and three?” Sirius asked, curiously.

“The rules Elliot set for Nova,” Lily explained.

“Part Marauder, because you guys pull quite a bit of pranks,” Nova told James. “And rule one was don’t go ten feet of any blokes.”

“Rule three was the most important one,” Lily said, bursting out laughing at the thought of it. “Rule number three was to ‘stay away from those ruddy Marauders’,” she said, laughing, putting air quotes around ‘ruddy Marauders’.

James ‘hmph’-ed and Sirius frowned. “Killed two birds with one stone then,” he said.

They nodded, as they stood up, leaving the compartment to leave. They’d just reached Hogwarts. “Come on, then!” Nova beckoned. “We’re here!”

She saw Remus look out the window and say, “Oh, we are!”
 
 

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