"Sorry, but can I sit here? Everywhere else is full." Someone opened the door to our compartment. I opened my mouth slightly, to try and taste his magical signature, and found nothing. Interesting. This is a school of magic, right?
"Sure!" I said. Quentin and Raj scooted over. Oh yeah; Jazz was sitting against the left wall with May right next to her, Tybalt was on the corner seat with me next to him, with Quentin next to me and Raj next to him. Oh, and did I mention the part where Tybalt, May, Jazz, and I were all fifteen, and Quentin and Raj were fourteen, courtesy of the Luideag? I bet not.
The boy sat down. "I'm Harry. Harry Potter." he replied. "I would usually sit with my friends, Ron and Hermione, but they're Prefects this year. Anyway, I haven't seen you people around before." I glanced at Tybalt. So this is who we were protecting.
"American exchange students. We heard that Hogwarts was simply the best wizarding school out there. My name is Rand Stratford." Tybalt lied easily. Harry raised his eyebrows and nodded. Tybalt continued. "This is my girlfriend, October Daye."
"That's Toby to everyone else." I told Harry. I ruffled Quentin's hair. He leaned back into Raj. "This is Quentin Sollys, my cousin." Quentin waved.
Raj straightened. "I'm Raj Stratford, U- Rand's cousin." he announced, slipping over the word 'Uncle'. Nice save. May jumped up.
"I'm May Daye, Toby's sister!" she exclaimed. Harry frowned.
"May Daye?" he asked. "Like mayday, like a danger warning?" Quentin's eyes widened.
"But you're-" he sputtered. May smiled at him. May is a Fetch, my Fetch to be exact. In other words, she's the physical embodiment of my oncoming death. Or at least, she was. She's kind of retired now, after my mother, Amandine, shifted the balance of my blood to save my life.
Apparently, Quentin's only now gotten the joke. "Oh!" he sighed. Raj snorted. Quentin glared at him, and started to tickle him. Raj let out a strangled cat-like sound and pushed Quentin backwards into me, whereupon I pressed my finger right between his eyes, on his glabella.
Quentin stopped, transfixed with the finger. I took it away, and with my free hand, started stroking Raj's hair, and he calmed down, making a slight purring noise. Cait Sidhe tend to have rather cat-like tendencies, even when in human form. It's quite funny. I kept stroking it absentmindedly as Jazz introduced herself.
"And I'm Jasmine Patel, May's girlfriend. You can call me Jazz." she stuck out her hand. Harry gaped a bit.
"But both of you are girls!" he exclaimed. May rolled her eyes.
"A technicality," she scoffed. Jazz put down her hand. "This is the... modern world. 1995. Get over it." Oh, did I mention that we had been sent back in time to 1995. Safe, dependable, 1995. I froze.
"October?" Tybalt asked me, sounding concerned. I looked at him with wide eyes.
"It's 1995." I told him urgently. Tybalt looked confused for a moment before it dawned on him.
"Yes, it is." he said softly. 1995. I had been a turned into fish by Simon Torquil from June 1st, 1995, to June 3rd, 2009. 14 years and 2 days. Today was September 1st. I had been missing for exactly 3 months now. Cliff and Gilly and Sylvester only starting to realize I'd gone missing, that I wouldn't be back for 14 long years. Etienne told me those were dark times for Shadowed Hills, with Sylvester not in his right state of mind, driven into depression by the loss of his wife, daughter, and knight. I don't even know what had happened with Cliff and Gilly, waiting for me to come home. Cliff seemed to move on, finding another wife. Was Gillian eternally waiting for me to come home? Rowan and thorn, I had promised her ice cream. Chocolate, of course. I stood abruptly.
"I need to go to the bathroom," I lied. I could see the others as I walked out. May was frowning. Jazz herself had a look of understanding, nodding to me as I went past. Quentin was grimacing, as was Raj, giving a pitiful mew as I walked out the door. Harry had a look of utter confusion on his face. Tybalt simply looked sad. I slammed the door closed, and ran. Luckily for me, the hallway was clear. I reached the bathroom, locking it behind me. I started sobbing unashamedly. I had gotten over it, but being here now was bringing it back to when I first got back. I heard a meow at the door.
"Tybalt?" I asked, hiccuping. Another meow, sounding affronted. "Raj?" There was scratching on the door. I unlocked it and let it a Abyssinian cat jump on my lap. "Hey Raj." I said. Raj rubbed his head against my chest. "Sorry for running off like that. Did Tybalt follow you?" He shook his furry head. "Good. Do you want to change back?" He shook his head again, so we stayed like that for a few moments, before there was a pounding on the door.
"Toby? Toby?! It's me, Quentin! Is Raj with you?" A voice called from behind the door. I sighed and opened the door again, to find my official squire standing there. "I've set up a ward, no one can see or hear us." he told me. I nodded.
"Come on in and join the party," I said, beckoning him in. I locked the door behind him just in case, and asked, "So, why are you here?" Quentin shrugged.
"Raj and I went out to find you. Raj got here before me, mainly because four legs are better than two. Why are you here?" he asked me. I frowned.
"You know how I was turned into a fish for 14 years?" I asked him. He nodded. "The day I was turned into a fish was June 1st, 1995..." Quentin's eyes widened in understanding.
"So back in San Francisco, you've been missing for 3 months." he said. I nodded.
"I was thinking about the ones I'd left behind. Namely, Sylvester, Gillian, and my fiancé." Raj cocked his head. "Not Tybalt," I amended. "My old fiancé, Cliff Marks. He was mortal." I had never talked about Cliff with anybody. It almost felt like a relief to be talking about it now. Almost. "I should call them..." I pondered.
"No!" exclaimed Quentin. "The Luideag said we couldn't!" Oh yeah.
'Remember, don't go anywhere near San Francisco, don't call anyone there, and just avoid San Francisco and its occupants at that time at all costs. You can say you're from there, but that's it. You can't mess with your own timeline. I used to travel with a guy who had a ship that flies throughout time and space, and he was always very insistent that no one can ever mess with their own timeline, not even him." Those were the Luideag's words to us before we left.
"You're right." I told him. Quentin swallowed and went on.
"I worry about you a lot. We all do. You're always running off headfirst into any danger you find." Raj meowed his agreement. I beckoned Quentin closer and gave both of them a hug.
"Well, you won't have to worry about that now. This is a school, it shouldn't have any danger." I assured the two.
Oh how wrong I was.