A/N: Hallo! Hope you all enjoyed your Christmases. :) Yes, yes, I know - my other stories! My other stories! But no, my brain just does not want to come up with anything for those poor guys, so they're staying in the folders at the back of my computer for now. I endeavor to finish this story before I return to any of the others, so stay with me.
This story is the first one I've actually worked on an outline for! Yay me! So hopefully it doesn't meander all over the place and lose track of where it's going. This time, I think I'm getting better. ^_^
Don't expect quick updates from me - I'll be writing on my weekends or whenever I have that time, so that means updates once or twice a month. I am going to be unusually busy this year (I just changed schools and I'm heading into my senior school phase, which means a bucket-load more work to do).
Three cheers to you lot for reading, have fun, and enjoy it. :) Don't let me keep you - begin!
There was a great huffing as the old Hogwarts Express pulled away from the station. Kate sat cross-legged in an empty compartment, a new book open on her lap. She was indulging in its fresh, sleek pages and its un-smudged ink lettering and the pleasant smell of freshly-bought book when there was a knock on the frame of the open sliding door. She tore her eyes away from the words that so engrossed her and glanced up at the fetching young faces of two identical, red-haired brothers.
"Um… can I help you?" she asked shyly. One of the twins gestured to the empty seats around her.
"Do you mind if we join you? It's just that everywhere else is full."
Kate nodded briefly, coffee-coloured curls bobbing about her face, and then returned to her book. Before long she was swept up in the sparkling new world at her fingertips. She turned page after page; lost track of time as she lost herself in the novel.
Nevertheless, soon she was touched by a most peculiar sensation – it was almost as if she were being watched. Kate brought herself reluctantly back into the real world to find two sets of inquiring brown eyes staring at her. Her own hazel eyes flickered between the identical gazes. "Is there something wrong?" she queried.
"Aren't you getting cramps? I mean, you've been sitting like that for almost an hour," the ginger across from her pointed out. She glanced down at her crossed legs. Now that she thought about it, Kate realised she couldn't actually feel her legs. At all.
"Hmm. I never noticed," she answered eventually. Carrying on thoughtfully, she mused, "It normally takes a few hours longer than this for them to go numb. I've never timed it though."
Both boys stared at her incredulously, like she was a peacock stranded in the middle of a dessert. They shared a glance and then spoke. "I don't think we've met. The name's George," the boy sitting on the seat next to her said. He extended a hand in the direction of his brother, who sat opposite him, continuing, "And this is-"
"Fred. Fred Weasley," the other cut in.
Kate stared at him, sighed and shook her head softly. "I know," she said simply. The bewildered expressions on their handsome faces told her a different story. "Come off it. I've been in half your classes for the past five years. You should at least know my name by now!"
Slowly, they shook their heads in faultless unison. "Are you sure?" More puzzled expressions. "Merlin's beard. I've been in your Potions, Charms, Astronomy and Transfiguration consecutively for the last five years, without fail," Kate tried, prodding them with obvious clues.
Their faces scrunched up with the effort of remembering (more like thinking). She pursed her lips, staring at them. Eventually George said, "What's your house?"
"Ravenclaw." She searched their faces for any sign of recognition. Nope, none.
Giving up, she turned back to her book – which was promptly snatched out of her hands and left dangling high above her head. "Hey! That's mine!" Kate exclaimed, vainly realising that she would have to work through her numb legs to get it back. With great difficulty, she sprang to her feet, grabbing for the book, which was certainly not an easy task for two reasons: one, she was at least a head shorter than the two boys, and two, the numbness had started to spread up to her hips.
"Give. Me. My. Book," she said firmly, lowering her hands to her hips, frustration starting to bubble up inside her brain.
"Not until you tell us who you are!"
"If I'm not mistaken, five years should have been enough time to learn my name!" The pins and needles were starting to kick in.
An evil glint appeared in the thief's eye. "Fine. Have it your way!" he said, chucking the book so that it sailed over her petite head and into the waiting hands of his brother. Who then proceed to bolt off down the corridor. Letting out a mangled shriek (filled half with frustration, half with the anguish that pins and needles bring down upon oneself), Kate tore off after him as fast as her throbbing legs could carry her.
"Run, Freddie, run!" An excited yelp encouraged from just behind her.
They dodged and weaved in and around fellow students, and were twice centimetres away from toppling the poor lady who pushed the trolley. Fred and George were starting to toss the book between each other, like a game of piggy in the middle, except where each occasion of 'book-tossing' ended up with the chase switching direction.
It wasn't long before Kate's legs were back to normal, blood flowing swiftly throw them again. This made it a lot easier to catch up to the boys, who switched place so many times that she lost track of who was who.
Eventually, Kate whipped out her wand as the book once again sailed over her head. "Immobulis!" she cried, in an effort to freeze the chase, but to no avail; the current chase leader had ducked into a compartment just as she cast the spell. Rushing up to the door, Kate slid to a stop, using the scaffold to allow her to catch some breath back. She stared into the compartment, realising with a pang of resentment that it just happened to be occupied.