The Hogwarts Express and Arrival at Hogwarts
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Chapter 4 - The Hogwarts Express and Arrival at Hogwarts
The train shook considerably as Dawn wandered along the corridor in search of a cabin, to spend the long journey to Hogwarts. Each compartment she walked past was crowded full of people, taking up all the seats. She felt like she'd walked all the way along the train when she found a compartment that wasn't full.
The only person sitting there was the boy she'd met in Diagon Alley, Harry. She opened the door and his head swung around to look at who was at the door.
"Hi Harry, we met in Ollivanders, do you mind if I sit her, all the cabins are full. It's unbelievable." Dawn blabbered away.
"Hi Dawn, yes, you can sit here." He responded with a smile and Dawn then walked over and sat in the seat across from him.
There was a short silence, soon broken by Dawn. "So, did you manage to find a wand, after all that, in Ollivanders?"
"Yeah, it took a while but I managed to find one." Harry answered.
Dawn suddenly changed the subject as she turned to stare out the window. "I miss home... my home, in California, before I moved over here."
"Why did you move here?" Harry asked curiously.
Dawn turned her head back away from the window. "My mum died, and since my dad left ages ago, there was just my sister, Buffy and me left. Then we moved here, I think Buffy wanted a fresh start. It's going to be hard for us, now I'm going to Hogwarts, because we're the only family each other has left."
There was a serious and tense silence and Dawn spoke again, trying to thin the air.
"What about where you live, will you miss it much while you're gone?" She asked.
Harry laughed and shook his head, which gained a look of confusion on Dawn's face.
"No definitely not. I live with my aunt, uncle and cousin and they treat me like a piece of dirt. You see my parents are dead. I don't even remember them." He lowered his head.
Just then, there was a disturbance at the sliding door of the compartment. Dawn and Harry snapped their heads in that direction. There stood a tall red-headed boy.
"Do you mind if I sit here? It's full everywhere else." He questioned.
"No, come in." Dawn offered. "I'm Dawn Summers, by the way."
"Hi Dawn," The redhead said as he sat down. "I'm Ron Weasley."
Suddenly, he looked over to the boy who hadn't said a word. Harry noticed his eyes drift over his forehead.
"You're Harry Potter!" He exclaimed with amazement.
Dawn frowned. "How do you know who he is?"
Ron turned and looked at her as if she was meant to be in a mental asylum.
"Are you crazy? Everyone knows who Harry is with all that you-know-who business." Ron explained, which made her frown increase.
"Well actually, maybe I should explain. This is all new to me as well. I only found out I was a wizard a few weeks ago!" Harry intervened and went on to explain what Hagrid had told him, about Voldemort, his parents and he then got to explain his scar.
"Cool." Dawn exclaimed, still taking in all the information she'd just been told. "Can we see your scar?"
Harry brushed up his fringe with his hand to reveal his scar. Several "cool's" and "wicked's" came from Ron and Dawn. The three chatted away casually for a while until someone else appeared at the compartment door and stood there.
"Has anyone seen a toad, Neville's lost one." A girl with thick, busy brown hair spoke up. (A.N - Okay, okay, I'm not very original.)
Dawn, Harry and Ron all shook their heads.
The girl then introduced herself. "Oh, by the way, I'm Hermione Granger."
Dawn smiled back and responded. "Dawn Summers."
"Oh, you're that American girl who's coming here this year!" Hermione realised when she heard Dan's American accent. Dawn nodded and Hermione looked over at the two boys across from her.
"Ron Weasley." Ron introduced himself when he realised she was waiting for their names.
"Oh, and I'm Harry Potter." Harry said quietly, he'd already learnt not to say his name too loud because it drew a lot of attention.
Upon hearing Harry's name, Hermione's eyes widened. "Of course, I've read about you."
"I'm in books?" Harry swallowed, overwhelmed
"Oh yes, quite a few. When I got my letter, I started reading all sorts of books to learn more about the Wizarding World before I came to Hogwarts. Also read all our school books for this year." Hermione answered, enthusiastically.
Ron rolled his eyes and Dawn decided to start a conversation with Hermione.
"So you only just found out about Hogwarts, too?" She started, which lead to a long conversation about getting their letters.
Ron and Harry chatted away, while Hermione and Dawn were talking. Ron explained about Quidditch, with much enthusiasm. After a while of talking, another older Hogwarts student passed by the compartment.
"We'll be arriving at Hogwarts soon, I suggest you all get changed into your robes before we arrive." He spoke and then moved on to the next carriage.
"Well you better get changed." Suggested Hermione, who was already in her school robes.
The conversations ceased and they went off to get changed, just in time for the arrival of the train at its destination. The quad stepped
off the Hogwarts Express and onto the hectic platform.
"Firs' years follow me!" Could be heard from up the platform.
The kids walked up closer to the voice, to find it was Hagrid's. Hermione, Ron and the other first years that hadn't met him glanced up
at him, amazed by his size.
"Hello Hagrid!" Dawn and Harry said in unison.
Hagrid gazed down to see where the voices had come from. "'Ello there, Harry, Dawn." He beamed.
Hermione and Ron seemed surprised. "You know him?" Ron questioned them.
Harry launched into explanation, as they walked along, about how Hagrid rescued him from the Dursley's and took him to Diagon Alley to get school supplies. Also while there he and Hagrid met Dawn in Ollivanders. Dawn added a quick nod for confirmation.
They got in boats to travel to the castle. Dawn, Harry and Ron shared a boat, while Hermione was in a boat with Neville and another student. The castle came into view and they stared at it, awestruck.
"Wow, that is amazing!" Dawn shouted with excitement.
The castle was huge and was lit up brightly with hundreds of windows. When they finally reached it, the first years huddled off the boats and started to walk up the steps to the castle.
Hagrid knocked on a large oak door, at the castle and they entered into a large torch-lit entrance hall. There they were greeted by a witch, who introduced herself as Professor McGonagall and explained the 'Sorting Ceremony'.
She then opened the two large doors into the Great Hall. As they walked in, the four of them talked about the houses Professor McGonagall had mentioned.
"You don't want to be in Slytherin," Ron warned as they walked past long rows of four tables. "Every wizard that's ever gone bad was in Slytherin. They're no good."
They came to a halt at the other end of the Great Hall. There stood a small wooden stool with an old hat sitting upon it. Professor McGonagall began to call out names in alphabetic order.
The first of the four new friends to be sorted, Hermione, was sorted into Griffindor and she ran over to the Griffindor table, happily. The next one of them was Harry, whispering came as his name was called and he sat upon the stool. It took longer than the others, but he too was sorted into Griffindor.
"Summers, Dawn." McGonagall read, after going through nearly the whole list.
Dawn took a deep breath, she hoped that she would get in Griffindor with the rest of her new friends. She walked up slowly to the hat and put it on.
"Hmm, let me see," A voice in her ear sounded. "Courageous one, I see. There's no doubt that you belong in, GRIFFINDOR!"
The hat had shouted the last word for everyone to hear. The Griffindor table got up and cheered, especially Harry and Hermione.
Ron was soon sorted into Griffindor like his older brothers, whose red hair stood out from the Griffindor table, like Ron's as soon as he took his seat next to Harry.
After noticing the Weasley red hair, Dawn was admiring the Great Hall, when she spotted a red headed woman, sitting along the horizontal table up the front of the hall. The red head stood up and slowly wandered across the hall and along the Griffindor table. As she grew closer, Dawn could start to make out her features.
"Oh my god, Willow!" Dawn shouted, perhaps a little too loud, as she jumped up and threw her arms around Willow.
"Dawnie!" She laughed at Dawn's reaction. She then looked over to the nearby table.
"Hi guys!" She greeted and some other people jumped up to greet her. Ron was one of them; the others were his brother, Fred, George and Percy.
"Cousin Willow!" Percy said as the group went for a round of hugs with Willow.
"Wait a second, you're related to Willow?" Dawn asked, very surprised.
"Yeah, she's our cousin," Ron answered. "How do you know her?"
"Her and her sister, Buffy, lived in Sunnydale too." Willow turned around to explain. "Buffy and I are friends."
This was a lot to take in and Dawn voiced her exasperation. "Wow, I can't believe all of this. We've got a lot to catch up on, Willow."
Hermione, who was still sitting down at the table, confused, spoke up. "Well, it better be later because it looks like Professor Dumbledore is about to speak."
Dumbledore was standing up at the teacher's table, waiting for the hall to quieten down. Willow slipped back to the teacher's table and resumed her place at the table.
Dumbledore started his speech. "Well, another year at Hogwarts has begun. Congratulations to all the new students who were sorted into their houses. Now, some introductions are in order. Professor Willow Rosenburg will be taking Defence Against Dark Arts, so please make her welcome, although it appears some are already familiar with her. Also, the Dark Forrest is forbidden to all students. With all the formalities out of the way, let the feast begin."
Plates and dishes full of mouth-watering food appeared along the tables and the students began to dig in.
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After the meal, the four Griffindors, along with the rest, were shown to the Griffindor tower. They entered through an entrance behind a portrait, after a prefect ushered the password.
The boys and girls split up and went into their dormitories. Hermione and Dawn found that their trunks, and Joy, had been placed at the foot of one of the four-poster beds in their room. They were sharing a room with the other first year Griffindors, Lavender and Parvarti.
Just before Dawn went to sleep on the first exciting night, she sat by the window, writing a letter to her sister.
Oh my god! It's hard to believe that I left just this morning, so much has happened. Guess what! Willow is teaching here, actually, now that I think about it, I should ask her why. Did you know she was a witch?
I was scared that I wouldn't make friends, but on the train I meet Harry, we saw him in Diagon Alley when we went. I also made friends with Ron Weasley, apparently he's a cousin of Willow's (how cool is that?), and a girl called Hermione. Hermione and Harry are just like me, they didn't know of the Wizarding World until they got their letters either.
I'm having such a great time already and the castle is amazing. Miss you,
Dawn set down her new quill, folded up the piece of parchment and attached the letter to Joy's leg. The owl flew off happily into the night.
Dawn drowsily walked back to her bed, covering a yawn. She needed her sleep, she could tell there was a big day ahead. A big year for that matter.