She was going to be late! It had taken her too long to figure out how to get onto the platform, and she just knew the train would pull out without her.

Hermione was running flat out, and it must be confessed that she was not entirely careful about where she was going. She caught only a flash of copper hair and red wool before she was on the ground, tangled in among limbs foreign to her.

As soon as she was able, Hermione scrambled to her feet, apologizing profusely.

"It's okay, it's okay," the poor victim of Hermione's haste repeated over and over. She was a small girl, Hermione's age or a little younger, with entirely too much hair for her round face. Now her mother was hurrying over from where she had been talking to two older boys.

"Are you all right, dear?" the matron asked gently.

Hermione nodded. "Yes, ma'am. I'm so sorry." And then she tore off across the platform and leaped aboard the train, leaving Ginny and her mother staring after her.

Later on, when everything was falling apart, Hermione would remember the first glimpse of those mild brown eyes.