A thin, young girl with dark red hair, and bright green eyes, the age of eleven walked into the busy train station pushing a trolley with a trunk in it and adjusting the knapsack she took with her wherever she went.
'Platform 9 3/4' She thought to herself. You see, on August 24th of that year, her birthday, she had gotten a mysterious letter from an owl. Her guardian, a wizard whom she lived and traveled with recognized the letters sender and grinned as he told her to read it. She was a witch! After a day of celebrating they traveled to Diagon Alley. ("Diagonally? Really?" "Yes, child. And Knockturn Alley, and Horizont Alley.") to obtain her school supplies, including her wand.
Her wand, had taken quite a while for her to find because she had to go through all of the wands in the shop to find it. She had finally found it in the first wand Ollivander had ever made. 12 3/4 In. with an unbending flexibility, an elegant mix of vine wood and aspen wood with a dragon scale and a unicorn horn sliver, freely given, as a core. It was a perfect weight for her, and it fit her personality perfectly.
She looked at the barrier between platforms 9 and 10, spotting a red-headed family with an owl. She quickly walked up to them, noticing the skinny black-haired boy standing next to them nervously. She cleared her throat and two of the red-headed boys turned to look at her.
"And I'm Forge"
"Too?" They asked, alternating lines quickly, so that if it weren't for the slightly different voices, she would have thought it were one person. Quickly, she nodded and stuck her hand out.
"I'm Faye, Faye Adder. First year, I suppose." The two boys, too similar looking to be anything but twins, shook her hand.
"Mom! We've got another firstie!" They chorused, and Faye snorted as the kind looking woman looked over at them.
"Oh! Hello dear!" She smiled warmly. I'm Molly Weasley. I hope those tow wasn't giving you any trouble. Quite the pranksters, those two." Faye gave a short laugh.
"I figured that when they introduced themselves as Forge and Gred. I take it they're named Fred and George?" She smiled when Mrs. Weasley nodded, then turned to the boys. "Fred, George," she looked pointedly at each boy as she said their names, and reveled in the shocked look she got when she named them correctly. "If you prank me, you're asking for a full our war, and I don't go easy." She gave a mischievous grin, and it only widened when she got the same look back.
"Missus Weasley, do you think you could tell me how to get through to the platform? My guardian told me it was between platforms 9 & 10, but he was called into work and didn't have the time to tell me how to get on." She fidgeted nervously, no matter how much time she spent around human beings, she was always more comfortable around creatures. Both magical and mundane. The woman smiled at her.
"Of course, dear! You just have to do is walk straight at the barrier between platforms nine and ten. Don't stop and don't be scared you'll crash into it, that's very important. Best do it at a bit of a run if you're nervous. You can do it with this young man. Go on, now before Ron." She gave a small nod and lined her trolley up in front of the barrier, next to the black-haired boy, and together they started walking, then jogging, then running, and Faye smiled when she stepped on the other side of the barrier.
A scarlet steam engine was waiting next to a platform packed with people. A sign overhead said Hogwarts Express, eleven o'clock. Faye looked behind her, noticing the boy doing the same, and saw a wrought-iron archway where the barrier had been, with the words Platform Nine and Three-Quarters on it. They had done it.
Faye smiled as one of her three familiars, a Golden Eagle that had taken to her in Syria that she had named Altair, flew down and settled himself down in his cage. The two magic users pushed through the crowd until they found an empty compartment near the end of the train, Faye put Altair and her other caged familiar, Ethelin, up in the compartment with Harry's owl, Hedwig.
Ethelin was a Norwegian Forest Cat kitten, she was a mix of a dark grey and white, with vibrant blue eyes, they had picked her up off the side of a road in Norway a few weeks before she had gotten her Hogwarts letter. The kitten had had a bad infection in one of her front paws, thankfully not any more though. She quickly removed her final familiar from her neck. A blue and green Atherius snake, or an African Bush Viper, hissed at her in annoyance and she rolled her eyes.
Suddenly, the door opened and Faye spun around, seeing Fred, George, and the black-haired boy with their trunks. She rushed over to help.
"I'm so sorry! I didn't think I had been that long!" She cried, helping them raise their trunks onto the rack. The twins waved at her and the boy and raced off to answer their mothers summons. She looked at the black-haired boy and stuck out her hand.
"I'm Faye Adder, what's your name?"
"Harry Potter. Apparently, I'm some kind of big deal around here. Can I ask why you have an Eagle, Snake, and Cat?" She grinned.
"They're my familiars. The cat is Shayma, you can call her Shay, don't mind her hissing. The Eagle is Altair, you can call him Al. He's got a giant ego so ignore his preening. The Snake is Ethelin, call her Ethel, she's about as prideful as Al is." She ignored her Familiars angered noises and pointed to Harry's owl. "Is she your Familiar?" Harry shook his head.
"Not that I'm aware of, what is a familiar, and how do you make them your Familiar?" He asked her curious. She smiled.
"A familiar is like a pet, but they're more connected to their witch or wizard. They live as long as them and normally develop powers. If the bond is strong enough then the witch or wizard can understand their body language as if they were speaking, feel their emotions, and sometimes see through their eyes. To make an animal your familiar, ask them if they want to be your familiar. If they give you a positive reaction, you have to do the ritual. You can ask her, and if she says yes I can have my mentor send me the materials for the ritual and I can help walk you through it." Harry grinned excitedly and turned to his owl.
"Did ya hear that, Hedwig? Do you want to become my familiar?" Faye grinned as the owl started hooting and flapping. Harry walked over and opened the cage and Hedwig flew onto his shoulder and nipped at his ear. "I'll take that as a yes, huh girl."
"I'll send the letter out tonight, the things for it should be in by Friday next week, we can do the ritual on Saturday. Harry grinned at her.
"Thank you! Hey, how about we change into our uniforms but leave our robes off for when we get to the school?" He asked when he noticed them leaving the station, and Faye nodded.
"I'll go and change in the bathroom, you stay here and watch my familiars for me, okay?" She nodded to where Ethel was curled around Shay, and Al was perched next to Hedwig, seemingly in a very engaging conversation. Harry nodded and she reached past the birds and grabbed her uniform and after a quick change, ran back to compartment. She stopped in the door when she saw a tall red-headed boy, talking to Harry, while nervously glancing at Ethel every few moments. She fully stepped inside and closed the door, sitting down next to her two familiars. She picked Ethel up and draped her around her neck and looked at the red-headed boy.
"Hi! I'm Faye, what's your name?" She asked, grinning brightly. The boy seemed to come back to his senses.
"I'm Ron Weasley. Isn't that dangerous?" He pointed to Ethel and Faye gave a small laugh.
"Nah, Pythons are the ones that constrict. Ethelin here is a Viper. She prefers to use her venom. Either way, she's one of my Familiars, she won't hurt me." Ron nodded. "Are you the fourth in your family to go to Hogwarts? That was your family at the barrier, right?" She asked and Ron shook his head, gloomy.
"No, I'm the sixth. You can say I've got a lot to live up to. Bill and Charlie have already left - Bill was head boy and Charlie was captain of Quidditch. Now Percy's a prefect. Fred and George mess around a lot, but they still get really good marks and everyone thinks they're really funny. Everyone expects me to do as well as the others, but if I do, it's no big deal, because they did it first. You never get anything new, either, with five brothers. I've got Bill's old robes, Charlie's old wand, and Percy's old rat." Ron reached inside his jacket and pulled out a fat gray rat, which was asleep.
"His name's Scabbers and he's useless, he hardly ever wakes up. Percy got an owl from my mom and dad for being made a prefect, but they couldn't aff - I mean, I got Scabbers instead." Ron ears went pink and Harry gave him a small smile before telling them a bit about his home life, causing Faye to narrow her eyes.
'That's borderline Neglect!She growled through her bond and her familiars sent her calm feelings to her through it, she took a deep breath and gave Harry a small smile.
"Hey, Harry, when'd you learn of Magic, I've known for a few years. My guardian and mentor is a wizard, and I guess Ron has known for a few years too, as he has two brothers out of Hogwarts already." Ron nodded.
"I've known all my life, my family's all magical." Harry shrugged.
"I only learned a few weeks ago when Hagrid told me. I didn't know anything about being a wizard or about my parents or Voldemort-" Ron gasped, and Faye rolled her eyes.
"What?" said Harry.
"You said You-Know-Who's name!" said Ron, sounding both shocked and impressed. "I'd have thought you, of all people-"
"I'm not trying to be brave or anything, saying the name," said Harry, "I just never knew you shouldn't. See what I mean? I've got loads to learn...I bet," he added, voicing for the first time something that had been worrying him a lot lately, "I bet I'm the worst in the class."
"No, you won't, Harry. First of all, you can say Voldemort." She ignored Ron's gasp and flinch. "It's not even his real name. It's French for 'Flight from Death.' No way his parents actually chose that as his name. And do you really think people from the magical world practice spells before attending school? They're likely to blow someone up! My mentor has responded to several instances where a kid took one of their parents' wand and tried to use it. Trust me, it doesn't end well. You may need to learn some etiquette though, but I can lend you a book on that."
"Thanks! I might take you up on that offer, and you keep mentioning your mentor, can I ask who he is?" Faye smiled.
"Yeah, he's my guardian. Took me in when I was younger, about six. I've been with him ever since. We travel around a lot, helping out groups of magical creatures, dragons, centaurs, merpeople, etc. and the occasional human." She smiled sadly. "I care about him like he's my father, but I'm pretty sure he just sees me as like, a niece or something." The two boys nodded and they stayed quiet after that, just watching the towns turn to fields. Soon, however, the trolley lady came by and they started sharing the sweets Harry and Faye bought, and Harry got a crash course on Chocolate frog cards, getting a Dumbledore on his first one. Faye ended up getting a Merlin, which she gave to Ron with a grin after claiming she had several. They continued like this for a while before a young witch butted herself in as Ron was trying a spell his brother gave him. Faye, of course, knew it was a fake. It sounded nothing like what her mentor used.
"Are you sure that's a real spell?" said the girl. 'Well, it's not very good, is it? I've tried a few simple spells just for practice and it's all worked for me. Nobody in my family's magic at all, it was ever such a surprise when I got my letter, but I was ever so pleased, of course, I mean, it's the very best school of witchcraft there is, I've heard-I've learned all our course books by heart, of course, I just hope it will be enough-I'm Hermione Granger, by the way, who are you?"
She said all this very fast. Harry looked at Ron, and was relieved to see by his stunned face that he hadn't learned all the course books by heart either.
"I'm Ron Weasely," Ron muttered.
"Faye Adder." Faye stated, raising an eyebrow at her.
"Harry Potter." said Harry.
"Are you really?" said Hermione. "I know all about you, of course- I got a few extra books for background reading, and you're in 'Modern Magical History' and 'The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts' and 'Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century.'"
"Am I?" said Harry, feeling dazed.
"Goodness, didn't you know, I'd have found out everything I could if it was me," said Hermione, and Faye was done.
"You haven't had many friends before, have you?" Hermione shook her head. "Okay, you seem really nice, however, the way you're going about it is entirely wrong. You should try starting out by introducing yourself and asking their names, then try and talk to them. Engage in a conversation, don't just go off on a rant. You also shouldn't believe everything you read in books, it's not always right. History is written by the winners, the more politically powerful, and those with something to hide. You have to use your own brain sometimes. Do you really think a one year old would be able to vanquish a dark lord? It was most likely his parents. The girl seemed to mull this over in her head before nodding.
"Can we restart?" she asked timidly, and Faye nodded brightly.
"Of course! I'm Faye Adder, these are my familiars, Shayma, Ethelin, and Altair." She pointed at each animal in order and Hermione's eyes widened but she only looked to the boys as they reintroduced themselves, then she bid them goodbye, going to continue helping a boy named Neville look for his missing toad. "Hey," Faye asked. "What house do you think you'll be in?"
"Gryffindor," said Ron. Gloom seemed to be settling on him again. "Mom and Dad were in it, too. I don't know what they'll say if I'm not. I don't suppose Ravenclaw would be too bad, but imagine if they put me in Slytherin."
"That's the House Voldemort was in?"
"Yeah," said Ron. He flopped back into his seat, looking depressed.
"Hey, don't be so prejudiced. They can't all be bad. They say Merlin himself was in that house, and besides, there's nothing wrong with being cunning and ambitious. Slytherin's are also said to be extremely loyal to those they call friends." Ron seemed to think this over, but still seemed doubtful, so Faye went on. "Of course, that's not to say that all of them are good, but I'm sure every house has a few rotten eggs. I'll probably be in either Gryffindor or Slytherin. What about you, Harry?" She asked, but the boy just shrugged and they changed the topic to Ron's brothers, Quidditch and the Gringotts break in, then something interesting happened, the door slid open again. But this time, it was someone new. Three boys entered, and Faye recognized the middle one as Draco Malfoy, a boy she had met only once, he had walked in while she was finishing getting her wand.
He and his father had knocked into her mentor and her, knocking her into a pile of wand boxes, and causing her mentor to double over, as Malfoy Sr. had slammed into his stomach. She had quickly gotten up and pulled her mentor up, Malfoy Sr. was well into a scathing remark about how they were dressed, when her mentor had looked up and raised an eyebrow at him. Malfoy Sr. had immediately gone white and whirled around to talk with Ollivander. Malfoy Jr. however, was a lot less willing to stand down, and the two of them had traded a few verbal blows before Draco's father called him over. The boy had turned with an excellent sneer and Faye's mentor had dragged her off, informing her exactly who the Malfoys were, and why he had so much sway over them. She quickly decided to sit this one out and watch how the two boys handled it.
"Is it true?" he said. "They're saying all down the train that Harry Potter's in this compartment. So, it's you, is it?"
"Yes," said Harry. Faye looked at the other boys, and she noticed Harry doing the same. Both of them were thickset and looked extremely mean. Standing on either side of the pale boy, they looked like bodyguards.
"Oh, this is Crabbe and this is Goyle," said the pale boy carelessly, noticing where Harry was looking. "And my name's Malfoy, Draco Malfoy." Ron gave a slight cough, which might have been hiding a snigger. Draco Malfoy looked at him.
"Think my name's funny, do you? No need to ask who you are. My father told me all the Weasleys have red hair, freckles, and more children than they can afford." He turned back to Harry. "You'll soon find out some wizarding families are much better than others, Potter. You don't want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there." He held out his hand to shake Harry's, but Harry didn't take it.
"I think I can tell who the wrong sort are for myself, thanks." he said coolly. Draco Malfoy didn't go red, but a pink tinge appeared in his pale cheeks.
"I'd be careful if I were you, Potter," he said slowly. "Unless you're a bit politer you'll go the same ways as your parents. They didn't know what was good for them, either. You hang around with riffraff like the Weasleys and that Hagrid, and it'll rub off on you." Faye's eyes flashed.
"You've gone too far, Malfoy. Petty words, I think they can handle, but that was a threat on Harrys life. Get out now, or I can assure you, your father will be getting a letter from my mentor about this, and I'm sure you don't want that." She lifted her nose and raised an eyebrow at him, a look that screamed I'm more powerful than you, don't mess with me. Malfoy turned whiter than usual and spun around. Walking out of the compartment quickly. A few seconds later, Hermione poked her head in.
"What's going on? I noticed that jerk walking out of here, he didn't try anything, did he?" She looked honestly worried. Ron answered.
"He insulted my family, and threatened Harry, but Faye jumped in and mentioned her mentor and he turned white as snow!" Faye rolled her eyes as the conversation continued on as such, even after Hermione left. Soon enough, a voice echoed through the train.
"We will be reaching Hogwarts in five minutes time. Please leave your luggage on the train, it will be taken to the school separately." Faye's stomach lurched with nerves and Ron, she saw, looked pale under his freckles. They crammed their pockets with the last of the sweets and joined the crowd thronging the corridor. The train slowed right down and finally stopped. People pushed their way toward the door and out on to a tiny, dark platform. Faye shivered in the cold night air, and Ethel curled closer to her, around her stomach.
Then a lamp came bobbing over the heads of the students, and Faye heard a voice she recognized slightly from her trip to Diagon Alley.
"Firs' years! Firs' years over here! All right there, Harry?" The giant man looked at Harry, beaming. "C'mon, follow me-any more firs' years? Mind yer step, now! Firs' years follow me!"
Slipping and stumbling, they followed Hagird down what seemed to be a steep, narrow path. Nobody spoke much. Neville, the boy who kept losing his toad, sniffed once or twice.
"Yeh'll get yer firs' sight o' Hogwarts in a sec," Hagird called over his shoulder, "jus' round this bend here."
There was a loud "Oooooh!"
The narrow path had opened suddenly onto the edge of a great black lake. Perched atop a high mountain on the other side, its windows sparkling in the starry sky, was a vast castle with many turrets and towers.
"No more'n five to a boat!" Hagrid called, pointing to a fleet of little boats sitting in the water by the shore. Harry, Faye, and Ron were followed into their boat by Neville and Hermione.
"Everyone in?" shouted Hagrid, who had a boat to himself. "Right then-FORWARD!" And the fleet of little boats moved off all at once, gliding across the lake, which was as smooth as glass.
Everyone was silent, staring up at the great castle overhead. It towered over them as they sailed nearer and nearer to the cliff on which it stood.
"Heads down!" yelled Hagrid as the first boats reached the cliff; they all bent their heads and the little boats carried them through a curtain of ivy that hid a wide opening in the cliff face. They were carried along a dark tunnel, which seemed to be taking them right underneath the castle, until they reached a kind of underground harbor, where they clambered out onto rocks and pebbles.
"Oy, you there! Is this your toad?" said Hagrid, who was checking the boats as people climbed out of them.
"Trevor!" cried Neville blissfully, holding out his hands.
They clambered up a passageway in the rock after Hagrid's lamp, coming out at last onto smooth, damp grass right in the shadow of the castle. They walked up a flight of stone steps and crowded around the huge, oak front door.
"Everyone here? You there, still got yer toad?"
Hagrid raised a gigantic fist and knocked three times on the castle door.