Disclaimer: You already know that Harry is only J.K.’s and that I am only exercising my writing skills with Harry Potter. What happens in this plot (that has gotten its way out of one crevice of my brain) might not be what really happened in the Marauders' time.

Chapter 1: Planning

The McGain household was composed of five parts: mum, dad, Claude, Maurice, and me.

Claude had moved to France on apprenticeship, and my brother Maurice had been transferred from the Wimbourne Wasps to Germany with the Heidelberg Harriers, following his dream whichever way he could. On sabbatical, mum had reclined back into the steady hum of hobbies like working on the family album, taking up knitting with great anticipation, and baking to her heart’s content. Dad, however, continued to work at the Ministry of Magic in the Portkey Office as a portkey specialist.

Me… well, I was just a Hogwarts student.

“Abigail.” Knock. “Abigail.” Knock, knock, knock. “You’re going to be late, dear! We have to be on schedule!”

I sleepily rubbed at my eyes and mumbled, “Coming…”

September first, 1976.

I rose from my bed and all of my pillows, and threw my duvet off like a vampire would spread open its cloak. I am awake, I thought. I am very much awake. Groggily finding my way to the door, I dragged myself over to the second floor washroom, took a shower, dressed in my room, dried my hair with a towel, brushed it, and went down the stairs. One hour of self-care: done.

The kitchen smelled of Colombian coffee beans. I smiled when I saw mum and dad. Mum always called everyone down for breakfast, and dad was always the first one at the table with a mug of coffee and a copy of the Daily Prophet. Sizzling bacon, sausage, sunny-side-up eggs, jam and buttered toast, and an empty glass waited for me at the table.

“Quickly; we have thirty minutes ‘til we take the car,” mum reminded, standing by the stove.

Thirty minutes went by minutely, via the fact that I stuffed my face and savored each bite. I served myself a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and lied back in my chair.

“Mum, dad… that was great. Great,” I moaned and patted my stomach.

Mum grinned, and dad chuckled and swung on his messenger bag. “Alrighty, kiddo. To the car.”

The sun was up, the birds were chirping, and the car roared and purred to life. Mum had locked up the house door with a discrete wave of her wand and climbed into the passenger seat. I sat in the back and wrapped my favorite knit blanket around me. We set up the family car the night before for today’s adventure, so I was glad I included my current sketchbook in the backseat with a spare pencil.

The road was smooth and bumpy and silent. Mum and dad were typically quiet and affectionate, especially in these difficult times. Sometimes they mentioned that they were glad that Claude and Maurice were somewhere else where people weren’t showing up missing or dead. True, these events happened most of the time, but no one actually heard of them often enough to give them so much notice. I couldn’t remember when it started; it was difficult to pinpoint when everyone began making claims in the newspapers and wireless that everything was somehow linked. I didn’t know what my family and I had to do with it either.

We arrived at the train station not long after we left the house.

Mum ran off to get a cart for me and dad hauled my trunk out of the trunk of the car.

“Abby, dear, are you sure you aren’t carrying boulders to school?” he joked, wiping the sweat from his brow.

I smiled and laughed, “Of course not, dad! It’s only the books that weigh so much, and the cauldron.”

He raised both of his eyebrows when I mentioned the cauldron. I had upgraded it to brass for the sake of N.E.W.T. potions. It cost quite a bit, but I was excited for it. Truth be told, I was better at potions than I was at understanding transfiguration.

We went down to Platform Nine and Three Quarters, where I stood hesitantly before both of them. Summer had come and gone, and now they’d be without me for another part of the year. Christmas was always for home. I looked up at dad and saluted. He came down and hugged me enough for it to have been for both of them, like he would never get to see me again. Maybe he did it because Maurice and Claude were already miles and countries away and because I was the last one left. That, and the dark times, but I didn’t give that too much thought. We were going to be okay. We had been since I could remember, and it would be this way for at least two more years. So I reminded him because all parents needed reminding.

“I won’t up and disappear, you know,” I laughed. “I’ll be back for Christmas. Just like last year.”

And he reminded me that I should keep in touch regardless. Mum hugged me next and squeezed me. I squeezed her back, too.

“I love you so very, very much, Abby,” she whispered. “Please take care of yourself.”

“I love you too, mum,” I replied softly. “And I take care of myself very, very much.” Otherwise, I really wouldn’t be here right now, would I? But I was there… not like Mark Lee or Emma Pommington, both of whom had told me explicitly that we were going to meet up on the hour…

Well, they might be on their way.

“Remember to send owls, dear. I don’t partake too much in late replies either,” dad insisted. He rubbed at his forehead, a nervous gesture. We all knew he was quite the worrywart.

"Owls, dad; yes, I'll send owls!" I'd smiled so hard my cheeks hurt. “Please don’t worry so much. It’ll all be A-okay.”

He smiled back and then I was on the train back to Hogwarts, waving one of my last waves to him through the window in my compartment. They waved back, and then they waited. The train wouldn’t depart for another five to ten minutes. I walked along the corridor until I found an empty compartment.

So I opened my sketchbook. It was new then. I could almost see it in the future, much like an old stuffed bear kept throughout my life as a hidden keepsake: with yellowed pages and faded moments that brought back fond memories. I could see it like the others with its spine detached from my habit of keeping anything as big as a pencil for a placeholder inside its many pages. I knew, more or less, that these pages would be full of sketches.

The train departed. I got up and went to a window. Every single Hogwarts student, all either in Muggle clothes or Wizarding robes and cloaks, gathered any which way, and I almost had to hop on my toes to get a good view of where my parents were standing. But a handsome, black haired boy made room for me.

“Thank you,” I couldn’t even speak, but I looked down, blushed, and moved myself in to stand against the glass and waved. My parents saw me quite instantly and waved back.

Not a moment later, the train moved on, forward and away. I breathed and turned around, ready to return to my compartment. Soon, Mark and Emma would find me, but this boy… this very handsome boy, who I recognized from his sharp features: black hair, grey eyes, magnificent square jaw, and clear, porcelain skin. My brain stood befuddled and abstract, like my thoughts were the random (but well picked) pieces of a Picasso I couldn’t quite figure out.

“You’re welcome,” the handsome boy replied with a smile so broad…

I was sure that he knew how to make people faint at the slightest curve of his warm, pink lips. I swore that he could. I was, in the cliché sense of the phrase, a dear caught in the headlights. And he looked like he was going to say more, but someone called him from down the corridor.

I looked to the side and saw a short and somewhat portly boy with a mess of dirty blond hair. He seemed to squeak in his own words; I guessed that he was still in the thralls of puberty, not quite yet shifting his voice into the deep tones of manhood. Then I looked back to the boy, who I had drawn last year… whose name I didn’t know.

“Sorry,” he said, and moved away with a glance back. He flashed me his smile again. “See you ‘round.”

I blinked owlishly, but he only laughed. I thought it peculiar how his laugh was both rich and … odd. Like, sharp.

“Pff,” I blew that awkward side effect of handsomeness off my mind.

There were other girls more in tune with the way they were. Girls like Rebecca. I shrugged and walked back into my compartment and smiled. I could definitely draw him again. From memory. With that smile of his. Yes, divine.

I sat down by the window and held my sketchbook and spare pencil in a hug. Warmth buzzed through me at the thought of his sharp angles and the soft lines of his hair. Breathing in deeply, I sighed. And then, much like I did anywhere, no matter how wild or natural, I sank deep into a new drawing, a new sketch. They, these people I browsed like books, were much like trees during summer or winter. They were in a world within a world. Not much for small talk or talk, but more immersed in the conversation of pencil and paper, I glimpsed within their world of cliques made out of best friends, classmates, housemates, teammates, and lovers. I glimpsed within his gray eyes.

People are a versatile genre.

There are those who are red headed and have the tendency to tap the frill of a quill against their pointed chins. Others with chestnut tresses or curls with eyebrows sunk deep in thought. And there were blond haired people who gathered and flocked together much like monarch butterflies in summer. Short, tall, round, thin, and portly with dreams beyond compare: they were all one of a kind, a kind all their own.

And that was how my September had begun. With my life: as it had been, as it had begun to unravel.



I'm back! With changes xD

I hope you'll like this better than the last time. :)

And a big thank you to one of you who found me. Let's get this all tied up and knotted, shall we?

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