Tom gave me a ride first thing in the morning to Kings Cross. It was a lot faster than riding my bike. He made sure that I had my ticket and everything in my trunk (I forgot to get this so he sent me back after dinner to buy one).
His parting advice was, "Just find the platform and you'll do fine."
The only problem is I can't find the platform. I see platform nine and nothing in between.
I walk to a security guard and ask about it. He loudly replies, "There isn't any 'atform nine an' three quarters!" He looks around then back to me and whispers so quietly I wonder if I imagined it, "Just run straight at the barrier."
He then offered to get me a trolley for my belongings. I decline although I must look ridiculous. I have the handle to my trunk in one hand with my cauldron tied to the outside and Roo in the other.
Confident that if I don't go now I'll never go I trot up to the barrier and push through with my eyes squeezed shut tight and my breath frozen in my lungs. I open my eyes and gasp. A large train is in front of me. A sign above it says Hogwarts Express eleven o'clock. Smoke billows over a chattering crowd of witches and wizards saying goodbye to their children.
I head towards the train to load my belongings. Just as I do a tall redheaded boy emerges from the archway. He has horn-rimmed glasses on the end of his nose and walks by as if he owned the place. Followed by him are two more redheads, these ones twins. They run past snickering about something. I don't stay to watch anymore but load the train quickly. I hate being late and especially for anything as important as school.
I choose a random compartment and sit down after loading up my things. While no one else is on the train I put on my first set of robes. To kill the time I pull out Hogwarts: a History. Hopefully this will catch me up on most of the things I do not understand. This is one of the only thing not on my list that I bought.
Caughtup in my book I barely notice the whistle and the surge of students boarding the train. The older ones walk by laughing and talking with old friends. Some of the younger ones look nervous, others excited. They all walk past generally not caring where they sit, just who they sit with. Many people walk buy compartment to sit down, see me and backtrack. Now just a few kids are.left scrambling for seats. Another tall redhead with a long nose walks up to the compartment after mine.
I hear him say, "Anyone sitting there? Everywhere else is full. " I can't make out the other person's response but the boy scouts into the seat and shuts the compartment door.
The train lurches forward, signaling the start of our journey. I am alone in my compartment but I am used to seclusion. I look out my window and gaze at the houses and trees that we pass. It is sort of beautiful the way they slightly blur and mix.
"Hey, Ron!" Both of the twins stand outside of the compartment their brother is seated at.
One of them looks over and smiles at me. I pretend to read my book until they leave. Then I stop eavesdropping and really read until I finish my book. Then I pull out A History of Magic and read it. For the entire trip I switch between looking out the window and reading bits and pieces of each ofmy books.
At one point the girl from Madame Malkin's comes in. "Oh, hello again," she starts. "Have you seen a toad? Neville lost his." She points to a crying boy behind her.
"Sorry, I haven't," I answer sympathetically. Hermione thanks me then moves on to the next compartment. I shut my mom apartment door to block out the noise. I pull out my book about potions to read but see a castle out my window. It has at least four main towers that I can see but even more smaller ones. It is mostly dark outside but unknown sources illuminate this lovely scene.
Almost reverently I whisper, "Wow. That's amazing." Could that be Hogwarts? I hope so!
Even with my door shut I can hear other people's exclamations. The first redhead I saw earlier knocks and then opens my door without waiting for answer. He is dressed in his robes but has on a red and gold striped necktie.
Monotonously he directs, "We are nearly at school. I sugest everyone changes into- oh, you already have. Good job!" Then he leaves to instruct the other students.
Before I know it everyone is off the train. We left our belongings to be taken up to our rooms. This leaves me nervous, I do not trust other people with my things especially Roo. I turn around and look out across a giant lake. On the opposite shore, lit up like a Christmas tree, is Hogwarts.
A large man with a thick beard and an odoriferous moleskin coat on ushered usfirst years into little boats for the last stretch of our trip.