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“ All Aboard! Final Call! Students all aboard!” yelled the conductor from the helm of the train. It was September 1st; the first day of term at Hogwarts. The hot humid air engrossed the platform 9 ¾ as students said their final goodbyes to their families and parents tried to squeeze in last minutes goodbyes and advice to their children. The Potters were all gathered outside one of the train cars. Ginny was saying goodbye to her children. Harry had to run to The Ministry for an emergency meeting.

“Now make sure you guys eat and write home often. You know your father and I get terribly lonely when you guys are away at school.” she was fussing over Lily’s clothes and Albus’s and James unruly hair.

“Mun, we go through this every year. We will be fine.” James said. Ginny ignored his comment. Ginny hugged Albus and Lily. James ducked offed onto the train before his mother can smother him. They claimed onto the train.

“Bye mum!” Lily screamed out the window. The train began to rolled out of the station as the three Potters began to search for empty compartments.

“James, Al. Aren’t you two supposed to be in the heads compartment for the meeting?” Lily asked as she stuck her head in a compartment.

“Well seeing as I am head boy, the meeting can not start without me so technically we aren’t late.” James said as they walked into an empty compartment. Albus threw his trunk and Lily’s trunk into the carrier sand set down in the seat. Albus hasn’t really spoken to anyone today.His mind is everywhere, the start of 5th year, O.W.L.s, the new international affairs program, and Quidditch. He kept replaying the conversation with his father and Nana Lily in his head.

“Dad, can I talk to you for minute?” Albus asked softly after he knocked on the door.

“Come In.” Harry responded. Albus entered his father’s study. It was four in the morning. The sun was still resting, his mother was downstairs in the kitchen cooking the Potter’s annual breakfast. (each year it seems like more and more food is added to the menu.) However, Harry was up working on his latest deposition. At the sound of his youngest voice, he raised his head and furrowed his brow.

“Sit down.”  Harry patted the seat next to him. Albus walked over to the couch snd took the seat next to his father. While Albus tried to collect his thoughts together, Harry starred at his son. After a few seconds, Albus started.

“Well Dad, I am nervous about 5th year.”

Harry chuckled. “I remember those days, but I was nervous for completely different reasons. What about 5th year scares you?”

“It’s the first year that I have real life problems to worry about. Rose and Scorpius are already driving me crazy with scheduling study time for the O.W.L.s. I am playing starting seeker, prefect, and this whole new ambassador for Hogwarts this year. I was fine with having all these titles back in June when it was in the distant future, but now that it is time to do these actual jobs, I feel like I am over my head.” Albus ran his fingers through his hair and stared blankly at the wall; engrossed in his own thoughts. Harry and Albus sat in silence for a little while; Albus scared of failure; Harry looking for the right words to comfort him. After about ten minutes, Harry got up and walked over to the portrait of his mother. He kneeled down in front of her portrait.

“Mum. Mum.” he spoke softly to his mother. Lily stirred from her sleep and finally woke up. She smiled back at him; looking back into those same piercing green eyes that she had.

“Honey, what’s wrong? Still not having nightmares about Veron are you?” she yawned and stretched.

“No mum. Albus here is having some doubts in himself and I figured you would be a better person to give him advice about his problems then me.” he said as he settled onto the ground next to his father’s portrait. James was snoring loudly into his ear.

“How am I a better person for Albus?” Lily questioned him as she stood up to smooth out her dress. “You are his father. I am sure you can give him wonderful advice about his problems.”

“You were the star student in school and juggled a lot of responsibilities and I…. let’s just say I took after Dad and Sirius in that department.” He said glancing at the two portraits that were on either side of him.

“This is true.” Lily chuckled. She turned her attention to Albus, who was still sitting on the couch; running his fingers through his hair profusely, lost in his own thoughts.

“Al honey come here.” Lily called out to her grandson. He slowly got up and walked over to her and sat down next to his father.

“Hi Nana” Albus spoke to her. He gave her a soft smile.

“Tell me what’s wrong sweetie.” Lily coaxed him.

“Well school is going to be terrifying this year. Prefect, Quidditch, Ambassador, O.W.L.s; I want to steal a time turner from the Department of Mysteries and be a first year where all I had to worry about was whether I would be a Slytherin.”

“Albus, sometimes you will have a lot of things on your plate and it will be hard but you have to remember to prioritize your responsibilities, work hard, and get your work done. What would you like to do after Hogwarts.” she questioned him. Albus sat in silence for a little while before he answered

“I want to work in the Department of International Magical Law.” he finally answered

“Well, you know that requires a lot of extra training after Hogwarts. However, before you even think about that you have to be great at what you do at Hogwarts. You have to be great, take pride in everything in you do, and I know you will do just that. After all, you are Evans.” she said

“I am a Potter though.”  Albus looked at his grandmother confused.

“Before I married your dear Grandpa James, my surname was Evans. We Evans are amazing people. You just have to believe in yourself. Your family already does; now, it’s your turn.”

“Yeah, what she said.” Harry chimed in after her speech. Lily rolled her eyes at him.

“You’re so much like your father.” she chuckled at her son. Harry put his arm around Albus.

“Everything will be alright Al, don’t worry.” Harry said as he got back up and went to the couch to do his work. Albus remained on that spot on the floor searching for comfort in his grandmother and father’s words.”

“Hello! Earth to Albus! Is anyone home?” Lily was screaming in his face and waving her arms frantically in front of him.

“What?” he said

“Your meeting. James already left.” Albus glanced down at his watch and flew out of his seat and down the hallway to the head’s compartment. He swung the door open and flew inside. Everyone looked at him. However, it was James who spoke first.

“Nice of you to join us Mr. Potter. I was worried that your personal affairs were more important than today’s meeting.” James said in a condescending voice.

“Well, if you would have told me you were leaving the compartment maybe I would been here on time.” Albus said in a strained voice

“Not my problem. Now if you could kindly take your seat so we can continue.” He directed him next to Lauren Collins, the female fifth year prefect for Slytherin.. Albus took the seat next to Laura and smiled at her.

“As I was saying, this year Professor Jemison has charged us with planning not only two major school events, but three.” he announced excitedly to the group of students. Immediately whispers broke out amongst the. Albus groaned under his breath.

“In addition to the Yule Ball and the Seventh Year Banquet and Graduation Ball, we have been asked to prepare a formal dinner the inception of the new international students a part of the new international Affairs program this fall.” Colin Dalton, the 7th year Slytherin prefect, hand shot into the air.

“The what?” he asked

“A new international affairs program that was added to the fifth year curriculum. It’s pretty much the Triwizard Tournament without all the blood and guts and with Americans.” James replied

“Seeing that all of the Hogwarts representatives were named prefect this year, James and I thought that this would be the perfect task for the fifth years to plan. Of course James and I will be here to guide you every step of the way but this will be the fifth years’ own personal project.” Annalisa spoke. All the fifth years looked excited; all except Albus that is.

“Great, more work.” he mumbled under his breath. Rose hand shot into the air.

“So does that mean we will not be coordinating with the sixth years this year in planning the Yule Ball?”

“That is correct. With the inception of this new program, Jemison thought that it will be the prefect time to assign each year its own project as a way to showcase the  new emerging leaders in the fifth and sixth years. How well each person handle this task in count towards the consideration of Head Boy and Head Girl in the future.” the entire compartment was completely silent as the hung onto Annalisa’s every  word. “Sixth years will be in charge of the Yule Ball. Seventh years will be in charge of the Graduation Banquet and Ball. As Head Boy and Girl, James and I will be coordinating with the Headmaster and staff for the Battle of Hogwarts Memorial Program. Seeing as these are very important events that need a lot of planning ahead of time, each group must meet at least once a week to plan and with us once a month to monitor your progress. Fifth years, since your event is next month, we will be sitting in on your meetings every other week.” At that moment,  James stood up next to his girlfriend.

“Any questions?” he asked the room at large. When no one responded, he went on with the meeting.

“On to the next order of business.” James and Annalisa continued to schedule prefect rounds and went over the rules (and Filch’s new additions to them) before they were released. Albus and Scorpius walked out of the compartment and down the corridor back to their compartment together.

“I swear we are going to die of stress before the end of this train ride.” Scorpius said as he slinged his school back onto his back.

“Who are you telling? O.W.L.s, prefect duty,Quidditch (I already know Flint is going to be a tyrant this year) this new program, and now we have to plan events.” Albus replied as he pulled out a piece of bubble gum and plopped it into his mouth.

“But you knew we were planning events with the Yule Ball.” Scorpius responded back

“But we were paired with the sixth years. Usually they would plan everything and leave the fifth years with all the grunt work according to James. But now we have our own event to plan. I thought this could be the one thing that I could slack on.” Albus complained. There was silence between the two friends for minute or so. Then Scorpius spoke again.

“Have you thought about maybe playing reserve for Quidditch this year. I already talked to Inglebee about it. She yelled at me and cursed me but I reckoned she will get over it.”

“Seriously! Scorp, we have been training our whole lives to start for our teams. How can you just give it all up like that to play reserve? How can you ask me to do that?” Albus asked him incredulously as the stopped outside their compartment door.

“Because, my father told me I have to learn how to prioritize my life. It was either Quidditch or the new program. I somehow think my father would have murdered me if I gave up the new program for Quidditch. Besides, I can always start next year, this program is really more of a once in a lifetime opportunity. I have to make the most of it. and really should too.” He consoled his best friend. Just then the compartment door flew open and before either of the boys could realize what was happening, they were dragged inside by their best friend, Holden.

“Sorry for interrupting what I am sure was a touching moment but we were waiting for you to pansies to get back.” He said once he released Albus and  Scorpius. Dean was sitting by the window playing a game of exploding snaps with Louis.

“Hey guys.” Albus said as he throw in bag into the overhead storage and flopped down on the seat next to Louis. Seeing his best friends together definitely took his mind off his present worries.

“Al, why do you look so ugly mate?” Louis asked his cousin. Albus grimaced at him.

“The struggles of fifth year.” he said. Scorpius took a seat on the floor

“But the year hasn’t even started yet.” Louis stated.

“For us, it has.” Scorpius said. Louis, Dean, and Holden looked at each other with confused faces.

“Prefect problems.” Holden concluded. Louis shrugged his shoulders and continued his game with Dean.

“So who is the Slytherin girl prefect for our year.” Holden asked him

“Lauren Collins.” Albus said

“Pretty girl...nice arse. I am sure that I can get away with plenty of mischief if I turn the old charm on her.” Holden said to the compartment at large.

“Too bad for you but Lauren doesn’t go for pig headed boys. Besides she’s dating that seventh year Ravenclaw Jack and everyone knows he is the much better choice between the two of you.”came a voice from the door of the compartment. Rose was standing outside of the compartment with her best friends Annabel, Chloe, Alicia,and Meredith.

“Well Hello ladies.”Holden jumped up. The girls giggled at him.

“What do you want Rosie?” Albus asked

‘To join you of course.” she said sweetly to him.

“But the compartment is too small.” Scorpius said.

“You guys act like you never heard of magic before” Rose entered into the compartment.

“Step aside silly boys.” Rose whipped out her wand from her skirt , waved it and the compartment began to expand as it tripled in size. With a smirk on her face, she pocketed her wand.

“Undetectable Expansion Charm. Mum has been teaching a few new tricks this summer.”

“Impressive.” Scorpius said.  Rose blushed furiously as she walked by him.

“Thank you. Scorp.” she responded. The rest of the girls stepped inside. After everyone got comfortable again, Holden spoke.

“So, how was everyone’s summer? I already saw Rose and Annabel this summer so you can keep your fat mouth shut. However, Chloe,” he picked up her hand and kissed it. Chloe turn slightly pink and giggled,” How was your summer?”

“Oi, that’s my cousin mate.” Albus said warningly

“Mine too!” Louis screamed from the other side of the compartment. Holden and Chloe ignored them both.

“But you saw me at the party.” she simply said

“However, we didn’t to speak that night due to other things.” Holden told her. This seemed to satisfy her curiousity.

“Um well, summer was good. I spent the summer in Romania with my brothers and sisters with our dragan-crazed parents. Dad taught us how to tame and care the newborn dragons and to clip their claws.” Chloe spoke with such passion. I t was no secret that she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps and study dragons after Hogwarts.

“What about you Alicia?”Holden turned and asked her.

“Mum and Dad had me working in the pub all summer.” said Alicia said as she yawned and stretched across the chair.

“Meredith?” Holden asked lastly

“I was in America with my brother and his wife. We went to California, Texas, New York, and Florida.We been busy trying to find a new home for them before my niece is born.”

“Why America though?” Scorpius asked curiously.

“Because Broderick got a transfer there by the Ministry.” she replied back. At that moment, the trolley lady came by and opened the compartment door.

“Anything from the trolley dears?” the gentle old woman asked . Everyone began to digged in their pockets for spare money,

“Yes ma’am. Just a second.” Albus went around his group of friends collecting the money from them to buy their sweets.

“Thanks mate.” Holden said after Albus entered the compartment after retrieving the snacks. There was complete silence while everyone chowed down.

“Now that the beast’s belly has been properly nourished” Holden bleched as he made the wrappings from the sweets disappeared.  “How about a game of Expanding Snaps?” all the girls groaned.

“What?” he asked , looking around the compartment clearly confused.

“Is that all you play?” Chloe asked.

“It’s not only a great wizarding pastime but a national pastime as well.” Holden snapped back clearly offended that she didn’t like his choice of game.

“It’s boring.” Alicia retorted. All the girls nodded in agreement.

“Not as boring as looking through Witch Weekly reading about the newest shade of lipstick.” Holden retorted back. All the boys agreed with him.

“How about you boys play your stupid little games and we girls will just sit here and flip through out silly little magazines.” Alicia said.

“Would you guys quit already?” said a new voice that came from the entry of the compartment. The fifth years turned their attention towards the new person.

“You guys really sound like a bunch of stupid nethanderals arguing over Exploding Snaps and magazines.” the drawling voice continued

“No one asked for opinion Nott!.” Albus shouted Zachary Nott sneered at him.

“And one one asked you to speak you filthy little half breed.”All the boys jumped to their feet, wand drawn and pointed towards Nott. The girls all held their breath.

“Pretty rich for the boy whose parents are rotting away in the bowels of Azkaban. Has your father been kissed by a Dementor yet?” Albus shouted back. A red light hit Albus in the chest and caused him to fly back and crash into Rose.

“You will pay for that!” Scorpius roared he ran up to Nott and punched him squarely in the nose.

“Malfoy! Nott! Detention!” yelled Annalisa as she entered the compartment. James came inside after him to pull the boys apart. Annalisa helped Albus off of Rose, who had a few cuts and scraps on her. Albus was fuming. He wanted to get to Nott.

“Lisa can escort Nott back to his compartment where he will remain for the rest of the ride.” James said. She nodded and walked the boy back to his compartment as he clutched his bleeding nose.

“What happened?” James rounded on his younger brother. His normal carefree boy like expressions was currently lost in a fit of rage. To  Albus, James strongly resembled his mother at the moment; which was rare for him. This was not the time to cross him.

“Nott rudely interrupted our conversation calling us nethanderals.” Albus began.

“I don’t see how that could lead to you nearly crushing your cousin to death.” James responded back.

“He called me a half breed, wands were drawn, I talked about his parents, he shot a spell and it hit me. Scorpius went and him punched him in the nose.”

“Why didn’t you informed us about Nott?” Annalisa asked as she entered the compartment once more

“Clearly we were occupied at the moment!” Albus snapped back. Annalisa looked hurt at Albus’s tone of voice. Before she found the words to respond, James unleashed his anger on his younger brother.

“Hey!” James barked. “Don’t you dare take that tone with her! She is just trying to figure out why other measures weren’t taken.” James stepped closer to Albus. The room was deadly silent. All eyes were on the two of them.

“Well maybe your girlfriend shouldn’t ask stupid questions.” Albus snarled back

“Or maybe you should grow the hell up and start acting like the prefect you are!” James shouted,

“Oh that’s rich coming from the King of Pranks!” Albus maliciously laughed.

“That may be so but I grew up and took on my responsibility instead of running and crying to Dad and Nana Lily about not being able to handle responsibility. Blimey Albus you aren’t the only one with a lot of crap of their plate this year. Everyone is stressed. Wwe just are not picking petty fights and being rude to people who have been nothing but good to you.”

“Alright! I’m sorry!” Albus yelled

“Sorry is not enough! Twenty points from Slytherin for the fight and a week’s detention.” James told him. Albus jaw dropped.

“That’s not fair! I am a prefect!” Albus shouted back.

“Be glad that I am not recommending taking your badge or worse, writing home to mum.” and with that James grabbed Annalisa’s hand and left the compartment. Everyone was still quiet. They just stared back at Albus.

“What are you guys staring at!” he shouted at them. With one last look at his friends and cousins, Albus stormed out of the compartment. Mumbling obscenities under his breath, Albus search frantically for a place to clear his mind. He stumbled across the compartment of his younger cousins, Lucy and Chris, and another little boy he did not know. He knocked on the door.

“Albie!” Lucy ran over to door, opened it, and hugged Albus. Her two red pigtails were bouncing up and down as she looked up to her older cousin.

“Hi Lulu. Hi Chris. May Ii sit with you guys and your friend?” he acknowledge the little boy in the corner.

“Sure.” said Chris. Lucy grabbed his hand and lead him inside.

“We were just talking to Harry hear about what house he would like to be in at Hogwarts.” Albus took the seat next to Lucy.

“So like I was saying I really don’t know what house I would we to be in, I just it isn’t Slytherin.” the little boy continued. “I heard that You-Know-Who was a Slytherin so everyone in that house must be evil.”

“Hey! My sister Molly and Chris sister Charlotte are Slytherins and they aren’t evil.” Lucy responded back to the boy. She looked offended by his statement.

“And I am a Slytherin.” Albus interjected

“Yeah! And you know who Al’s father is?” Chris asked the boy. He shooked his blonde little head.

“Harry Potter! The most powerful wizard of all time! Now if Uncle Harry is Albus’s Dad do you really think that Albus can be evil? It’s in his genes to be good. He is a Potter and a Weasley.” Harry stared at Albus in amazement. Albus smiled at the little boy, he enjoyed js innocent reaction. How he wished he could relive his first year again.

“. Albie!” Lucy asked

“Yes Lu-lu.” he responded

“Can you tell us about your first year” she looked up at him with puppy dog eyes. Everytime she makes these eyes, it make Albus melt and he would do anything for her.

“Sure Lu. Alright you guys get comfortable. You are in for a long story.” For the remainder of the ride, Albus sat and told stories to the first years. Albus left the carriage when the train approached Hogsmeade. He went back to his original compartment to change into his school robes. Everyone had left the compartment except for Holden.

“How are you holding up mate?” he asked him.

“I don’t know. Maybe James’s right. That fight could have been avoided.” Albus set down after changing into his robes . Holden took the seat next to him and put his hand on his shoulder.

“Don’t beat yourself up. It’s not completely your fault.” Albus gave him a side glare.

“C’mon! We both know you said what you said to get a rise out of  Nott. You have been doing that since first year.” Albus nodded his head in agreement. “James may have been a right little git for completely blaming you but he is right Albus. It’s time to grow up.”

“When did you get so mature?” Albus chuckled.

“What can I say...I went from a boy to a man over the summer.” Holden said puffing his chest out. Albus doubled over laughing.

“Now that’s my best friend.” he said as Holden clapped him on the back.

“Come on let’s go get going before the good carriages are gone.” Albus and Holden walked out the compartment both looking forward to what fifth year would bring them.

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