I had arrived at the station and headed to platforms 9 and 10, I was told that I had to walk into the barrier that divided the two platforms. I was a little nervous, I knew it should work but I imagine anyone who was supposed to run into a brick wall would be a little nervous. I decided to just close my eyes and run at the barrier. When I opened my eyes I found myself on a platform that looked just like the one before but much cleaner and with only 1 train. I looked back and saw a metal archway with a sign above it which read "Platform 9 3/4".
I looked around and didn't find too many people on the platform, I had decided to come early since I was nervous for most of last night and couldn't sleep for long. I walked into the old looking train and quickly found a compartment and got inside. The train wouldn't set off until 11 so I still had a few hours, I was still somewhat tired so I decided to take a nap for now.
I awoke to a loud whistle and a knocking on my compartment door. I rubbed my eyes, yawned a little and stretched, "Come in."
The compartment door opened and 3 people walked in, "Hey there, is this compartment free?" the first boy asked, he was white with blonde hair and he was about as tall as me.
"Uhh, yeah it is," I answered. "My name's Michael."
"Hello, Michael. I'm Charlie," the blonde boy introduced before sitting down on the seat opposite mine next to the window. He looked quite athletic, he had strong sharp features and dark green eyes.
"Hey, I'm Will," the next boy introduced before sitting down next to Charlie. Will was shorter than Charlie, he was also much skinnier. He had short black hair and dark brown eyes. He looked like the opposite of Charlie, he seemed the type to spend most of his time in the library.
"I'm Elizabeth, but everyone calls me Ellie," the last of the trio, a girl, introduced as she sat down next to me. Elizabeth was at a similar height to Will, she had straight reddish-brown hair and soft features. She had some freckles on her cheeks and her eyes were a deep soft azure.
"I've never seen you around at Hogwarts, what year are you in Michael?" asked Charlie, the other two also turned to look at me with questioning eyes.
"I'm a fifth year."
"Us too, we're in Ravenclaw. You must be a Gryffindor or a Slytherin." Elizabeth said smiling.
"Erm, actually I'm a Ravenclaw too," I said much to the confusion of the three.
"Wha... but we've never seen you before," said Will.
"That's cos I'm new, this is my first year at Hogwarts," I explained.
"Wow, I've never heard of a student transferring to Hogwarts," Elizabeth said slightly shocked.
"That's awesome!" said Charlie. "You're gonna love it at Hogwarts, it's the best school in the world."
"Yeah stick with us, we'll show you around." offered Ellie.
"Thank you," I said accepting the offer. The trio began discussing Hogwarts, they talked about their subjects and the OWL exams. They told me about their favourite professors and warned me from messing around in Professor Snape's classes while also asking me questions about myself and the things I liked.
"So Michael, where did you go before Hogwarts?" Will asked.
"I was homeschooled by my Grandfather," I lied.
"Oh that's cool, why'd you transfer to Hogwarts?"
"My Grandfather passed earlier this year, luckily Professor Dumbledore offered me a place at Hogwarts."
"Oh, we're so sorry for your loss," The three of them gave me their condolences.
"Thank you," I said, The compartment turned silent for a moment. The atmosphere a little awkward before Charlie changed the subject to quidditch, it turned out he was on the Ravenclaw quidditch team.
I spent the rest of the journey engaging every once in a while with the conversation while I was thinking of a solid backstory. If anyone else started asking me questions, I didn't want to end up being found a liar.
We had finally arrived at Hogwarts once the sun had set. I followed my new friends to the carriages that would take us up to the castle. The night was a little chilly so I cast a warming spell on myself. Once we had arrived at the carriage I saw the dark skeletal horses pulling carriages. 'Those are thestrals' I thought to myself, feeling a little melancholic. 'Only those who've seen and accepted death can see them, they're quite morbidly beautiful in a way.' I turned and caught Elizabeth looking at me with a slightly sad look on her face before she quickly started smiling again.
The ride to the castle was more comfortable than I thought it would be, they must have charmed the carriages I thought to myself. As we walked into the castle towards the great hall, I was stunned. 'This is so surreal,' I couldn't help but think to myself. It felt bizarre being here like it had finally hit me that I was a wizard studying at Hogwarts. There was so much magic in this place, it felt a little suffocating. I kept staring at the old gothic-looking architecture, as we entered the hall I looked up and felt my jaw drop. "holy shit..." I muttered quietly. The ceiling was enchanted to look like the sky outside, I knew this but I didn't realise how amazing it truly looked, suddenly a flash of lightning spread across the sky followed by a loud thunderclap, I flinched slightly.
Elizabeth giggled behind me, I turned around blushing. "Don't be so embarrassed, I had the same reaction in my first year," she laughed.
"It's so beautiful, I didn't realise how beautiful magic could be."
"That's so cheesy," she giggled. "Come on, let's sit next to Charlie and Will." She grabbed my arm half-pulling me to the table.
As we sat down, I saw a few people staring at me curiously probably wondering who I was. I looked away towards the high table and found Dumbledore sitting at the centre, he turned his gaze towards me and smiled, I smiled back.
Professor McGonagall had gotten up and placed a stool with an old worn-out hat on top at the front of the hall, "oooh, the sorting is about to start," Charlie turned to me and said with a smile.
The sorting hat began its singing and by the end, everyone was applauding. I turned and saw at the other end of the hall a line of short people were waiting, 'must be the first years,' I thought to myself. The sorting had begun, I heard names being called and one by one the students were sorted. I clapped with the rest of my house whenever a first-year got chosen for Ravenclaw.
Once the sorting had finished, Professor McGonagall picked up the hat and stool and took them away. Professor Dumbledore stood up and smiled his grandfatherly smile at all the students in the hall before saying, "I have only two words to say to you all, Tuck in."
Food suddenly began appearing on all the tables, I looked around amazed. I'd never seen such an enormous feast. It seemed I was staring in amazement a little too long as Charlie nudged me and said, "come on Michael, let's eat."
"Hey, Charlie, who's your new friend?" asked a boy sitting across the table, staring at me. A few others also began looking towards me, probably also wanting to know the answer.
"His name's Michael, this is his first year at Hogwarts." The students around me all with more surprise than curiosity.
"First-year? He looks like he could be a sixth year."
"Nah, he's a transfer. He's joining us in Fifth year."
"I've never heard of someone transferring to Hogwarts." I heard a few of them say. I greeted them and introduced myself, telling them that I used to be homeschooled. The other students returned my greeting and also began introducing themselves, I heard names such as Marcus Belby, Roger Davies, Cho Chang and a few others. I only recognised maybe one or two of their names.
Once everyone had finished feasting, the plates all emptied, Dumbledore stood up once again. The noise that filled the hall moments ago stopped almost instantaneously, Dumbledore looked at his students smiling once more. "Now that we are all fed and watered. I must once more ask for your attention, while I give out a few notices."
"Mr Filch has asked me to tell you that the list of objects forbidden inside the castle this year has been extended to include Screaming Yo-yos, Fanged Frisbees, and Ever-Bashing Boomerangs. The full list is comprised of some four hundred and thirty-seven items and can be viewed in Mr Filch's office if anybody would like to check it." Dumbledore's mouth twitched for a moment, seeming to smirk. 'Ha, I kinda feel sorry for Filch.'
"As ever, I would like to remind you all that the forest on the grounds is forbidden to students, as is the village of Hogsmeade to all those below the third year. I must also inform you all that the Inter-house Quidditch Cup will not take place this year." Everyone seemed to gasp at once, Charlie's mouth hung slightly open.
"This is due to an event that will begin in October, and continue throughout this year. I am sure you will all enjoy it. I am happy to announce that this year at Hogwarts -"
Suddenly, there was a deafening clap of thunder followed by the doors of the great hall banging open. A man covered in a dark cloak, leaning on a staff, stormed in. I, along with the rest of the great hall, turned towards the stranger. 'It's moody... no that's the imposter.' I thought as I looked at the man as he lowered his hood on his way to the staff's table. He revealed his face, it was covered in scars, one of his eyes swirling madly in its weird eyepatch-socket. I looked away from the man's intimidating eyes, 'shit, I'd almost forgotten about him.'
Moody finally reached Dumbledore and reach out his hand, 'damn, how many scars does this guy have, he looks like he just walked out of multiple war zones', Dumbledore shook the hand before he gestured towards the empty seat to his side. Moody moved and sat at his seat, he began inspecting his food as though he thought it might be poisoned.
"I would like to introduce your new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Moody." Said the old professor happily to the silent hall. No one clapped except Dumbledore who stopped swiftly after he started. Everyone seemed captivated by this scarred man with the crazy eye. I continue to look away from Moody, slightly afraid that if he saw me staring he may figure out what I knew. Charlie nudged me again and whispered, "That's Mad-eye Moody, my dad used to work with him as an Auror. I heard he went insane after the war."
"There's no way he's insane, why would Professor Dumbledore let someone like that into our school if he were a danger," whispered Will.
"I dunno." Charlie shrugged.
Dumbledore cleared his throat, before continuing his speech. "As I was saying, we have the honour of hosting a very exciting event this year. An event that has not been held in over a century, the Triwizard Tournament will be taking place at Hogwarts this year."
"YOUR JOKING!" shouted a tall ginger boy from across the hall. The tension in the room that followed Moody's arrival seemed to melt away at once.
"I am not joking, Mr Weasley," the old professor chuckled. Dumbledore began explaining the tournament and its history. All the students began whispering vigorously, Many of them seemed captivated, probably imagining themselves as the Hogwarts champion. 'I need to get into that tournament, the best way to stop the fake Moody is to stop harry from winning.' I thought to myself trying to come up with a plan.
Dumbledore began speaking once more, the whispering stopped, "I see you are all eager to win the Triwizard Cup. I, along with the other heads of the participating schools and the ministry of magic have decided to place an age restriction on the tournament this year. Only students who are seventeen years or older may put their names forward for consideration."
The hall erupted in noises of outrage and protest, many students all across the hall looked frustrated at the news. Dumbledore raised his voice as he continued, "This is a necessary measure, the tournament is dangerous. It is highly likely that those below seventh or sixth year will be unable to cope and be in far more danger. I will be personally ensuring that no underage student will put their names forward."
"The other two participating schools will be arriving in October, I am sure you will all be giving them the warmest of welcomes. Now, it's time for bed. Off you all go, Chop chop!"
"Damn, that really ain't fair. If only I was one year older." Charlie said to us as we got up to go to the Ravenclaw tower.
"The tournament is really dangerous, you heard what Dumbledore said, people have died," Ellie said, a worried look on her face, Will agreed.
"I'm sure it's not that bad, it still ain't fair that we can't take part. Right, Michael?" Charlie grumbled.
"Well I'm turning seventeen soon, so I'm definitely putting my name down." I smiled.
"What? How?" Asked Charlie.
"Well, since I never did my OWLs Dumbledore had to put me in fifth year, otherwise I'd have been a sixth year."
"Are you crazy, why would you want to put your name down? You could die!" Ellie warned me, a frustrated look on her face but a hint of concern in her eyes.
"Well, I might not even get picked," I replied, Ellie still looked annoyed.
We continued to discuss the tournament until we arrived at the Ravenclaw Tower, Will answered the riddle and we all walked in. Charlie, Will and I said our goodnights to Ellie and headed to the boy's dorms. We entered our room, it seemed I was being placed into the same room as Charlie, Will and a boy named Marcus. We walked inside, one of the beds had my suitcase on it. I place my miniature trunk at the foot of my bed and tapped it twice with my wand to enlarge it again. I said goodnight to the other 3 boys and got ready to sleep. As I lay in bed waiting for sleep, I began thinking about the Triwizard tournament, 'I need to find a way to make sure I'm picked. Harry got picked because someone placed a spell on the cup. I wonder what it was. I have until the thirty-first of October to figure this out, I'm sure I could find something in the library.'