The Hogwarts express stood in all of its bright red glory puffing out smoke as it awaited the students to board. This glorious steam engine had made the trip to Hogsmeade several hundred times and would continue to make several hundred more trips. A marvel to all of the magical world, a steam engine hidden among one of the largest London train stations while completely unnoticed by the muggles all around it.
The glory of the train was one of the first things Harry had noticed, though he did not know it's history he knew it was his ticket to a better life. He had known it since he had gotten his letter explaining so much and so little at the same time. A new world beyond the pale of the horribleness he had known all of his abused life. Harry stuffed his wand in his pocket as he tried to shuffle his meager possessions onto the train following the bright red hair of his new acquaintance Ronald Weasley, a first-year just like Harry himself, to an empty compartment. Once inside Harry stashed his trunk above his head and Hedwig, his beautiful snowy owl, by his feet before becoming comfortable enough to relax.
Finally away from the Dursleys and his little room under the stairs he visibly sagged. A strong face held for so long finally dropped off him, in those few seconds his face seems to age years. It isn't the face of a young child, instead someone much older who is used to the harshness of life. He looked across at Ron who was busy staring out the window at his mother and father who were waving their children off, and boy did they have children to wave off. Four Weasley boys were on the train today and one Weasley girl stood by her parents so wishing she was on the train herself.
Long did Harry wonder what his first days would be like in this Castle he had heard so much about from Hagrid, a truly giant man who carried a pink umbrella concealing his wand. He had been told of the towering walls and the Black Lake that Hagrid claimed contained a giant squid and a colony of merpeople. A shuffling at the door caught his attention as someone shook the door handle. His mask of reservation sliding back over his face as a shorter girl with bushy brown hair peeked her head inside before shoving her way in with a sigh and an apology on her lips. She carried a moderately sized trunk and what appeared to be a cat carrier in her hands.
"I'm sorry to burst in here boys, but the other first-year cabins are ef..."
Her words dropped as she actually saw who was in the compartment and her mind whirred into action. This was Harry Potter also known as The-Boy-Who-Lived. He seemed quite normal for such an extraordinary young man she noted to herself internally, she needed to not muck this up as she was so apt to doing. Looking back on her past, she saw no friends outside of her books and stories. After all, she had driven them all away with her words that carried too much meaning, too much bite without her meaning them to. Well, this was her new beginning she would not be friendless here also!
"You're Harry Potter aren't you? Oh, your glasses are damaged, may I?"
The girl said as she placed her carrier by her feet and placed her trunk above her head. The carrier jostled slightly as she moved and a low growl emanated from it the creature inside voicing its displeasure, upon closer inspection Harry was sure he had seen a pair of amber eyes peering back at him, but they were gone the next instant. Hermione's attention, however, was fixated on Harry and his red headed compatriot, after not receiving an answer she realized quickly that the boys were staring at her wide eyed.
"Oh I'm dreadfully sorry, I've forgotten to introduce myself, my name is Hermione Granger." she finished with a bit of color coming to her cheeks.
"Already messing up my chances of having friends." Hermione thought spitefully to herself, truly she expected better of herself, she shouldn't have gotten so excited. She needed to just calm down and use her head.
The other occupants of the cabin looked at this new girl in much different ways. Ron honestly couldn't care less of this girl he was waiting on the snack trolley to come round for some Every Flavor Beans and Chocolate Frogs. Harry on the other hand couldn't really turn away from this rather interesting girl. She knew him? Knew who he was when he had only just learned himself? Hopefully, this would not be a common occurrence, after all, he didn't know how he would deal with a lot of attention focused on him.
"Well as you know I'm Harry, and how would you go about doing anything to my glasses? I must admit I've been kept from magic for most of my life." Harry replied to Hermione's question of his glasses, the glass of the right lens was chipped on the bottom side, the left ear holder was bent out of shape making them sit slightly lopsided, and in the middle of the glasses some tape was just barely keeping them together. Overall it truly was a shabby display of quality and Harry's face heated up as he realized how bad they looked. He looked at Hermione with some embarrassment as he held out his glasses to her after sliding them down from his face.
He attempted to see the motion Hermione used to perform the spell, but his vision was truly atrocious without his glasses so the details were lost on him. He did however hear the incantation "Oculus Repairo" chanted to his right, and then his glasses placed back on his face with a light brush of fingers across his forehead. Glasses back on his face he could see Ron finally paying attention to them with a grin and a thumbs-up, Hermione however was slightly flushed as her voice shook out a "How are they Harry? Everything the way it should be?"
"Curse my shaking voice" was all Hermione could think as she mentally slapped herself, let alone how she let her fingers linger a second longer than was appropriate when she gave him back his glasses. After what felt like an eternity Harry nodded his head at her getting one aimed back at him almost immediately. Relief washing over Hermione's face as she leaned back and relaxed her head on the seat-back that she collapsed into.
Harry watched as Hermione's rigidity faded after he confirmed his glasses were alright. Truly an interesting pair he had met in his first hours of magic schooling, he would have to learn much about this new world, though for now, it was relaxation time before they reached the end of the railway.
Sadly it was not to be that Harry Potter would be able to rest on the train to Hogsmeade. Fate had other plans apparently.
"Sweets here dearies, Caramelized Pineapple, Lemon Drops, Chocolate Frogs, Berty Bots Every Flavor Beans, and every other sweet wizarding Britain can offer!" Harry raised from his seat at the same time Ron did but Harry waved for him to sit back down as he pulled out a sack of coins that he obtained in Diagon Alley after the goblin that had taken him to his vault offered a bottomless coin purse to carry a portion of his vaults funds around with him. He began paying the kind lady for a few Chocolate Frogs, a box of Berties Beans for Ron, and after a look at Hermione who seemed to be looking anywhere but at Harry a small packet of Red Vines he had seen her eyeing. He handed the charming old lady her coins and threw the candies to his two friends, but didn't get to move from the hall back into his cabin before he heard a crash from behind him and a rather high pitched drawl.
"Potter! Hold there a moment would you?"
A boy with slicked back blonde hair and two larger dark-haired boys skulking behind him approached one of which had caused the cart to crash as he shoved it out of the way. The old lady wailed loudly as her honestly rather rickety cart was threatening to break into pieces. Harry fearing the cart to fall braced himself against it and called out
"Hermione does that spell you cast work on things besides glasses?" Harry asked quickly. Hermione stuck her head outside the compartment and upon seeing Harry's predicament confirmed what he had thought.
"Yes, Harry! Simply state Repairo and make a V with one leg slightly higher and move inward towards the middle."
Harry's first attempt at the spell did nothing except spit out some light purple sparks, his second attempt saw the cart repaired as a Prefect came running toward them demanding to know what happened. Harry stood by ready to receive his punishment for interfering as Malfoy and one of his giant friends slunk into a nearby cabin filled with people in robes trimmed in green. Harry frowned as they rather clearly abandoned their friend.
A slight nudge on Harry's shoulder brought him back to the real world as the Prefect was staring at him impatiently clearly waiting on a response. When she saw she would get no such response she turned to the trolley lady, now given a name of Miss Southerly by the girl speaking, quickly began her story
"Well dearie, I was moving my cart along after selling some candy to this young man here." At this point, she paused her recount to gesture towards Harry who nodded his head corroborating her story. "And after the young man paid me this one over here." She took a moment to point a finger accusingly at the large brute. "Shoved my Trolley into the wall breaking the support on the right side, but luckily this young man being quick-witted braced himself against it holding it up. After receiving instructions on how to do a repair charm he cast the spell on his second attempt and then you came running shortly after."
The Prefect nodded her head before turning to the larger boy and grabbing him by the ear before dragging him behind her "You will be receiving detention for this, and you will be gaining five points for quick wit to whichever house you get sorted into Mr... Potter." With that final statement, she was gone down the hallway still dragging the large boy by the ear. A few heads peaked out of cabins along the way watching the commotion with wide eyes.
Harry shuffled back into the compartment Hermione, Ron, and he had claimed and was immediately met with a
"Bloody well-done mate, true Gryffindor bravery," Ron announced clapping him on the back during his congratulations. Hermione spoke up quickly after that "More like Ravenclaw quick wit, if he hadn't made the connection of my spell being a modified version of another that trolley was definitely going on the floor along with all those sweets. I shudder to think of how much money that would be wasted like that."
She was met with a blank stare from Ron and a shy grin from Harry who answered back.
"Whatever you call it all I can see is this being trouble. That blonde-haired boy didn't seem too happy when his friend got caught." Harry said as he once again made himself comfortable slowly slipping into a more comfortable position as he slowly nodded of.