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    (September 1st, 1971)


    “Oi!” a tall boy with dark hair said as he pushed through the crowd towards a group of his friends.

    “How embarrassing,” Walburga Black sneered, grabbing her son’s shoulder and turning him around to face her. “Never act like that, Regulus. It is improper,” she warned, pulling him into her shoulder and tilting her chin up as she searched for her other son.

    Sirius Black was standing with Marlene McKinnon, staring up at the large, crimson train that puffed out smoke before them.

    “I can’t believe we get to go!” Marlene said excitedly, gripping Sirius’ hand and squeezing it slightly. Sirius smirked with the left side of his face, and turned to look at Marlene who was still staring eagerly up at the train.  

    “Marlene! Sirius!”

    The two let go of each other’s hands, and turned to find Marlene’s mother waving them over. Sirius rolled his eyes, but Marlene made no such opinionated gesture, and merely skipped over to her mother.

    “Now you mustn’t go running off like that when you get to Hogwarts, understand? Ravenclaws aren’t to make a fuss, Marlene,” her mother said with affection, leaning forward to tuck a piece of Marlene’s long hair back into its braid.

    “Sirius, how many times do I have to repeat myself?” Walburga asked with exhaustion. “Do not go running off without us. There are all sorts of unsavory people,” she lectured, quite more seriously than Margaret McKinnon had.

    “Well we were fine, mother,” Sirius retorted softly, avoiding his mother’s gaze.

    “Do not speak to your mother that way, Sirius,” his father joined in. Sirius dared to look up at his father, and the silence lasted a hair too long to be comfortable.

    “Yes father,” he responded flatly. Marlene smiled gently and shuffled closer to Sirius as inconspicuously as possible.

    “Anyway, Sirius,” his mother continued, “…you mustn’t fool around this year, going running off as Margaret put it so elegantly,” she repeated, smiling with just the corners of her mouth at Margaret McKinnon whose arm was hooked over Marlene’s shoulders.

    She motioned with a finger for Sirius to come closer to her, and he obliged. Walburga straightened his tie, and smoothed down the shoulders of his sweater before patting him on the back.

    “Yes mother,” he recited again, flicking his hair back from his face with a jerk of his head. Becoming distracted, Sirius spotted a girl with curiously curly blonde hair sprawled on the ground. He turned away from his mother to help her up immediately.

    “Sirius she is beneath you.” Sirius felt the strong hand of his father on his shoulder, and stopped moving. “Do not lower yourself to help her,” he whispered to his son. Sirius looked down at the girl who had clearly heard his father’s comment, and steeled his teeth before answering Orion Black.

    “She still dropped her books, father,” he countered, prompting the girl to glance up from behind her wild hair. “I’m going to help.” Sirius nodded, and smiled crookedly at his father, who simply sighed and waved at his son to go.

    “Come on, Marlene!” Sirius said back towards his friend, waving for her to join him in helping the girl.

    The girl gave a quiet ‘thank you’ as Sirius and Marlene helped her to load her books into her cart. “You didn’t have to help.”

    “I’m Marlene McKinnon,” Marlene introduced, smiling happily at her new friend.

    “I’m Dorcas Meadowes,” the girl responded, relieved that Marlene seemed to be nothing like the other woman she was with.

    Marlene let go of her hand, and looked back toward the woman who was talking to her before she came running over. Dorcas tapped her foot as Marlene began listening intently to the conversation that Sirius’ mother was having with who seemed to be her mother.

    “She can get distracted easily,” Sirius explained, stepping forward and sticking his hand out to Dorcas. Dorcas took it, surprised as Sirius shook her hand roughly and then let go. “I’m Sirius, by the way.”

    Dorcas felt a little strange, looking up at the boy who so casually had his wand stuck behind his ear in a way she was sure his mother wouldn’t approve. Sirius tilted his head at her and frowned slightly, and she realized she’d been staring at him for too long when the train whistled.

    “Time to go!” Marlene jumped back in, grabbing Dorcas cart and pushing it up onto the train without hesitation. Dorcas widened her eyes, but followed Marlene without question.

    “G’bye Regulus!” Sirius yelled back at his brother. He waved at Sirius while still being tucked under Walburga’s arm as the train whistled again, signaling a final warning.

    “Merlin, Sirius,” Marlene hissed, hanging off the side of the train and grabbing the back of his jacket. He stumbled onto the train as it blew its final whistle and shrugged innocently at Marlene, who rolled her eyes and headed down train confidently. Dorcas smiled again, hoping that Hogwarts was going to continue to be like this. 



    “Dad! Mum! We’re going to be late!” Lily exclaimed, looking down at her watch. “Come on!” she said, pulling along her heavy luggage with one hand and her sister with the other.

    “Lily, leave me alone,” Petunia grumbled, yanking her wrist out of Lily’s grip. The spat did not bother Lily, who continued forward, standing behind a family that was lined up in front of the entrance to Platform 9 ¾ like the Evans’ were.

    “We just go through?” Lily’s mother questioned with bewilderment, tilting her head as the family in front of them disappeared one at a time.

    “I think so, mum,” Lily answered, smiling brightly at the brick wall in front of her. Petunia crossed her arms and sunk her weight into one hip.

    “Well I am not going to ram my head into a wall,” she said, judgingly. Lily rolled her eyes and turned to face Petunia, her red hair whipping around.

    “Well then you don’t have to come, ‘tunia,” she retorted.

    “Girls, girls,” her father inserted, stepping between the two and placing a hand on Petunia’s shoulder. “We are going to go and say goodbye to Lily, and that’s final.” Petunia rolled her eyes similarly to Lily, but uncrossed her arms. “You first, Lily?” he offered, clearly also nervous at the prospect of hitting a brick wall.

    “Fine with me,” she said joyfully, gripping the handles of her cart tightly. “Here we go,” she mumbled under her breath, heading towards the wall without hesitation and falling through it effortlessly.

    As Lily appeared out the other side, she was in astonishment at the vastness that hid behind the seemingly solid brick archway of the train station. Her mother bumped into her, letting out a small ‘oops’ and prompting Lily to move forward.

    “I can’t believe this is real,” Lily squeaked out, moving her cart forward and standing in front of the immense train. She heard so many voices of the families wandering around the platform. Lily had never seen so many people in capes, and it took her a second not to laugh.

    “Why’re they all wearing those things?” Petunia asked nastily, nudging Lily with her elbow.

    “That’s just how they dress, Petunia.” She ignored her sister’s tone and continued looking around unabashedly. “It’s amazing,” she breathed out, feeling the wand in her satchel just to make sure it really was still real.

    “Isn’t it?” a boy about her height asked, standing next to Lily with a cart similar to hers.

    “It is,” she repeated, ignoring the boy to her right.

    “I’m Peter Pettigrew,” he introduced, holding out a hand to her. It took Lily a second to look away, but she finally snapped her head to face Peter Pettigrew and take his hand earnestly.

    “I apologize, I’m Lily Evans.” She shook his hand eagerly. “Are you muggleborn as well?” she asked forwardly, taking a little too long to let go of his hand.

    “Oh no, but it is my first time here. Might as well be!” he joked awkwardly. Lily grimaced at the boy’s strange joke, but looked back to the train.

    “Lily, come say goodbye it’s time to go!” her mother exclaimed tearfully, opening her arms for Lily to embrace her.

    “Excuse me,” Lily said quickly to Peter, turning around to her family.

    Lily ran over, forgetting her luggage, and threw her arms around her mother. Her father shook his head slightly, but walked over to her cart and placed her trunk on the train for when she boarded.

    “Oh, I’ll miss you so much flower,” her mother said, squeezing Lily tightly.

    “I’ll miss you too, mum.” Her mother nodded, but let her go. Her mother raised an eyebrow knowingly, and motioned her head towards Petunia, who had her back turned and was sulking quite clearly. “Go on,” she whispered. Lily let out a quiet sigh, but nodded at her mother.

    She walked up behind Petunia, and tapped her on the shoulder. Petunia turned around, but did not uncross her arms or say anything.

    “I’ll miss you too, Petunia.” Lily rocked back and forth on her heels, waiting for Petunia to respond. Petunia pursed her lips, but replaced her hands on her hips.

    “Without you who am I going to boss around?” she asked, smiling genuinely at her younger sister. Lily didn’t need any more motivation, and embraced Petunia tightly.

    “Come on Lily, you’ve got to get settled,” Petunia said warningly, backing away from Lily. Lily nodded and smiled at her sister. Lily tuned to her father and hugged him tightly as well.

    “If you need anything, just write home Lily,” he offered, kissing her atop the head before letting go of his youngest daughter. “Okay?” Lily nodded brightly at her dad and stood behind Peter as he got up on the train.

    “See you in a couple of months,” she said, hanging off the train as it was her turn to board. Lily smiled and waved one last time at her family before disappearing into the magical world.



    James Potter sighed in content. Even being raised in the grandest of homes surrounded by the most wonderful magic, he was not prepared for Platform 9 ¾. He saw so many other kids, his age and older, and most still in awe of the spectacular train that sat in front of them. His parents had left already, but James fine with that. He’d see his parents at break; no big deal. He would never get to see the huge, red, train for the first time again.

    “Oi!” A tall kid that reminded James of a photo of his father from when he was younger rushed past James and to another group of friends, making James smile. He couldn’t wait to make new friends that weren’t as snobby as the ones he already knew.

    James launched his trunk up onto the train and followed it inside, standing at the threshold proudly. He swallowed, and began his way down the train slowly, not sure which compartment he should take. He kept remembering what his dad said: ‘Just go up to someone and introduce yourself. What’s the worst that can happen?’

    “What’s the worst that can happen?” James asked himself, peeking into a compartment filled with some new faces. James took a deep breath and put his hand on the knob to slide open the door.

    “Excuse me,” a quiet voice said behind him. James turned around to face a lanky boy who was slightly taller than he was; you wouldn’t know it if James didn’t notice how much the boy was slumped over. “I’m sorry, can I get through?” he asked again as James didn’t respond. He raised a chalky-brown eyebrow at James, who shook his head and plastered a smile on his face.

    “Sorry, mate.” He shimmied his trunk against the narrow hallway, and let the boy pass. James watched him walk away slowly, and then turned back to open the compartment. As he peeked in once more, he let out a huff of disapproval: Alecto Carrow was sitting in the far corner of the apartment.

    James shrugged his shoulders and kept walking, not wanting to hang out with Alecto any more than was absolutely necessary. He noticed the boy ahead of him was still looking for a compartment as well.

    “Hey! You there!”

    The boy stopped as James jogged to him, his trunk rattling against the floor of the train as it turned a corner. James flipped his hand through his hair with his free hand as he reached the boy and came to a stop.

    The boy didn’t react except for a small smile that was oddly reminiscent of James’ own smirk. James tilted his head, and his eyes fell obviously as he noticed the scars across the boy’s face. This clearly made the boy uncomfortable, and so James extended a hand.

    “I’m James Potter.”

    The boy took his hand, but barely shook it before releasing it again.

    “I’m Remus Lupin.” 



    A/N: Surprise! Prequel to Valour! More information to come...



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