As the train sped along the tracks, Lydia skipped off to find a compartment, but every single one seemed to be full of other witches and wizard chatting happily, some new and slightly timid, others returning and ready. Finally she reached the end of the train and spotted a pretty girl with dark red hair sitting alone and staring out the window.
Lydia was a bit nervous. Social skills never really came easy for her and before her mum pulled her out of public school, social skills classes had made her a bit frightened of strangers, as she was scared that saying the wrong thing could scare them away. The faeries didn't mind it and neither did her family, but this girl seemed to be neither. She certainly didn't seem like any family she knew, at least. Maybe she was a faerie.
"Excuse me," Lydia asked, peeking her head inside.
"Is it alright if I sit here? Everywhere else seems to be full."
"Of course," the girl said smiling.
Lydia sat down opposite of the girl and smiled.
"I'm Willow, by the way. Willow Waverly."
"I'm Lydia. Lydia Scamander."
Willow gasped as she heard this.
"What is it? Did I say something wrong?" Lydia asked, nervously.
"No, you're fine. It's just...you're from THE Scamander family? As in Newt Scamander, author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?"
Lydia nodded. The girl seemed nice enough.
"I don't really see much of him, though. Mostly during winter holidays. We celebrate Hanukkah and then Christmas with him great-grandma Tina, great-grandaunt Queenie, and great-granduncle Jacob."
She stared out the window and thought of how great-grandaunt Queen could always tell what she and others were thinking.
"I wish I had some of great-grandaunt Queenie's ability."
"What do you mean?"
Lydia turned back to face the girl, using the one technique that helped her when eyes became too much to look at; staring at their nose.
"My great-grandaunt Queenie's a legilimens. She can tell what everyone is thinking. I'm the exact opposite. I'm autistic, so things like how other people I don't really know are feeling are difficult to figure out."
"It's a disorder that gives me trouble with social skills. I usually want people to be patient with me if I try to figure out what they're feeling."
"Well, I'm willing to be patient with you."
"Does that mean...are we...you know...?"
Lydia couldn't seem to find the word. All she knew was it was the one thing she never had in public school.
"Friends?" Willow asked.
"If you want to be."
Lydia nodded quickly.
"I'd love to, if you want to."
"Well, you seem like a kind and interesting person, so yes. Why else would I have asked?"
Hearing this, Lydia started smiling, while flapping her hands and bouncing in her seat. This made Willow smile, but her smile made Lydia stop.
"Why'd you stop?" Willow asked, a bit disappointed.
"Because all of the social skills classes told me that this was wrong."
"You're fine," Willow said.
"That's just who you are. It's them who are wrong."
Hearing this, Lydia resumed smiling and flapping. All of a sudden, she screamed as she felt her feet lift off of the ground.
"What's wrong?" Willow asked.
Sparkles were underneath her feet. Willow gasped at this.
"You don't find it weird?"
"I've seen a lot of weird things in life. This is surprising, though."
"You must've been to a lot of places."
"Mostly the internet."
"My brothers showed me that," Lydia exclaimed.
"They showed me one with moving pictures, so we thought it was a wizarding site at first. I even made an account on there. Anyway, what house are you hoping for?"
"I don't really care. I just hope that it'll be a good one."
"I think all of them have the potential to be good. Personally, I think I'd belong in anywhere but Slytherin. I'm not too ambitious."
All of a sudden, another girl came over to their compartment. She wore a light brown, near pixie cut and had on somewhat-thick framed glasses.
"Hey," she greeted them.
"Can I sit with you girls please? The boys in my compartment are being arseholes."
"Sure," Willow nodded.
"I'm Willow, by the way. Willow Waverly."
The girl flopped down next to Willow. She wore a dark-green hoodie and black leggings and a pair of Doc Martens. Lydia thought she looked quite comfy.
"I'm Lydia," she said.
"Cool," the girl nodded.
"Emma line Corbyn, but most call me Emma or Em. First years?"
Willow and Lydia nodded.
"Me too. You excited?"
They nodded again which made Emmaline give a chuckle.
"Not very talkative, are you?"
"Oh no, I am," Lydia replied eagerly.
"If you get me on the right topic, of course. I'm autistic so I have things I'm really interested in."
"Autistic? Not very heard of in the wizarding world. How's your family about that?"
"Oh, they're very kind to me," Lydia said, beaming.
"They embrace me wholeheartedly, especially because my mum's also autistic."
"What'd you say your last name was?" Emmaline asked.
"No way," Emmaline gasped.
"Yes," Lydia nodded.
"So you related to Newt Scamander?"
Lydia nodded eagerly.
"That sounds wicked."
"He's not wicked!" Lydia said defensively.
"It's just an expression," Willow explained to Lydia nonchalantly.
"In this case, it means cool or awesome."
"Oh," Lydia said in awe.
"How do you know about lingo like that?"
"You just gotta practice using it, is all," Emmaline said shrugging.
All of a sudden, they heard a thud outside their compartment. Lydia shot up when she saw a tall, handsome boy with brushed-back, dark-brown hair on the ground. She stepped outside and held out her hand.
"Are you okay? What happened?" she asked out of concern as he took it; it felt cold against her warm hand.
"Oh, thank you," he said in a low, purring voice.
"I'm fine. Some arsehole simply tripped me when I was walking throughout the train hall."
"I'm sure it was just a mistake," Lydia shrugged cheerfully.
"I'm Lydia, by the way. Lydia Scamander."
She held out her hand again and he took it firmly.
"Lucius," he purred.
"That's a unique name," Lydia said in awe.
"It sounds really cool."
"Why thank you. My parents picked it out for me."
Lydia, finding this amusing, started laughing and flapping her hands whilst jumping in place.
"You are funny!" she shrieked.
"And you are sweet," he purred.
This made Lydia stop and feel a flush of heat wash through her as her cheeks turned red.
"Thank you," she said kindly.
"That's so kind of you."
Without thinking, she grabbed him in a warm embrace until she realized what she was doing and backed off.
"Why did you stop?" Lucius ask sadly.
"I was told to ask before I hugged people."
"No, it's fine. I liked it. It was very sweet."
He smiled gently at her.
"First year?" he asked.
She nodded eagerly.
"Me too. Hopefully we'll see each other around."
"Okay," Lydia giggled as her cheeks beamed red.
He gently took ahold of her hand and left a kiss on top of it.
"Until we meet again," he whispered romantically before he glided off back to a compartment.
For a few moments, Lydia stood with a dreamy smile on her face before skipping back into her compartment.
"Well," Emmaline exclaimed with a knowing smile.
"Someone's in love."
"No," Lydia giggled shaking her head.
"He's just a sweet boy."
"What's his name?" Willow asked eagerly.
"Lucius. Lucius Riddle."
Silence brushed throughout the compartment as Willow and Emmaline looked at each other in worry.
"What? Was it something I said?" Lydia asked, tilting her head.
"Um," Willow began apprehensively.
"I'd stay away from him, if I were you. He may not be the best kind of person to hang around with."
"Because Riddle's the last name of You-Know-Who," Emmaline answered.
"It could just be a coincidence," Lydia shrugged.
"He seems...sweet. He kissed my hand before he left."
She held it out as if there was some sort of imprint or indication that he left.
"I'd still stay clear of him, if you can," Emmaline said.
"A boy who does that on the first meeting, especially one with hair and a face like that, can only bring trouble."
"I don't think you're judging fairly," Lydia pointed out.
"We barely know him."
"Better to be safe than sorry," Willow added.
Lydia sighed and shook her head.
"I think you two are just being a bit paranoid."
"We just want you to be safe," Willow said.
"I mean, we're all friends now, right? And friends are supposed to look out for one another. I just really don't want you to get hurt."
"Me neither," Emmaline replied sincerely.
"You two sound like my brothers," Lydia giggled.
"They're so overprotective of me."
"Well, they may have good reason. At least promise that you won't actively go looking out for this boy."
Lydia gave this some thought.
"I don't know if you really should be worried, though."
"Please?" Willow asked, pleadingly.
"We just want you to be safe."
Sophie nodded in agreement. Lydia huffed in defeat. There was no way she was going to be able to convince them.
"Fine. I'll try not to search him out."
"Thank you," Willow smiled.
As the girls talked the rest of the way, Lydia couldn't help but replay the conversation they had. She wasn't sure why Willow and Emmaline were so worried. He didn't hurt her or tease her. He was downright pleasant and kind, in fact. In her mind, Lucius wasn't anything but a sweetheart of a boy.
I wonder what he's doing now, she thought as she gazed dreamily out the window.
Meanwhile in a compartment closer to the front, a group of pureblooded Slytherins and soon-to-be Slytherins were congregating about secrets about the castle when a boy with dark-brown hair stepped inside with a triumphant smile on his face.
"What's got you so happy?" one of the boys asked.
"I found her," he replied.
"Already?" another scoffed.
The boy shook his head as he sat down beside them.
"You had no idea how many compartments I had to pretend to trip by to find her. She looks exactly as Father described. Almost like her mother, in fact. Acts lots like her too. Only differences are a bit more baby face and glasses."
"But isn't that what your father said to look for?" asked the first.
The boy nodded.
"Anyway, I did, but she's even more perfect than I imagined. Can you believe we might have that kind of blood in our family?"
"You mean, she-?"
"It's very probable. Very common in females of that bloodline. Plus she's a pureblood. On top of it, she's so incredibly innocent that this plan might work even more quickly."
The boys high-fived each other in triumph.
"Wait until Father hears about this," the boy said victoriously.
"Soon they shall rise once again. And by that time, she'll have fallen so deeply for me, her loyalties will change like that."
He gave a snap of his fingers as he said this last word.
"To be honest," he said smiling sadly.
"I do feel a little bad about this, but just a little. I mean, she's actually really sweet, just like her mother."
"Did you get a name?"
The boy nodded triumphantly.
"Scamander. Lydia Scamander."