Her clothes were uncomfortable, like she’d ironed sections on but not others, and her feet felt stiff in her shoes. She rubbed at her eyes with her fingers and tried to stifle a yawn. Her father was less successful, letting go of the trolley holding her trunk, and yawned loudly into his hand.
“You’d think they hadn’t slept at all.” Cai, her brother, laughed around his own take-away cup and sent their mother a wink. Eira and her father exchanged a look, Eira’s bottom lip poked out a little in her frown and her father’s blue eyes were dull and half-closed.
Eira groaned. “It was a three hour drive! We got up so early!”
The taller members of her family laughed, even her dad chuckled behind his hand, and Eira huffed. She was slowly waking up after the three hour drive from Cardiff and hundreds of butterflies were starting to swarm erratically in her stomach. She was so close to going to Hogwarts; somewhere no one in her family had ever been.
She could feel the beginnings of an adventure deep in her bones. The ticket for the Hogwarts Express almost seemed to be burning a hole in her pocket; she was going to be entering a completely different world.
Eira left her family outside of Platform 9¾ with teary eyes and a stone in her throat. She’d hugged each of them, twice, and sworn to write as often as she could. She closed her eyes for the run through the wall between Platforms 9 and 10, but there wasn’t a crash; just the sound of families saying farewells, and the bustle of a busy platform.
Carefully dodging through crowds, Eira hauled her trunk to the train and stepped aboard. She blinked back tears, and swallowed down the bitterness of her own nerves; brave, she needed to be brave. She was going to learn magic, she couldn’t give up on the first day without her family.
Somehow, she’d made it to an empty compartment and she pushed her trunk into a corner. She opened the trunk to pull out her sketchbook, but froze as she saw a beaten copy of a book sitting next to it. She let out a shaky breath, reaching to run her fingers down the cover. The Princess Bride; her brother used to read it to her all the time when she’d sit still long enough.
“This is my favourite book in all the world, though I have never read it,” she quoted softly. “Thanks Cai.”
She leant back and closed her trunk forgoing taking out either. Rubbing at her eyes, oh they were burning a little, with her sleeve she curled up on a seat and tried to think about the future adventures she’d have instead.
By the time the train started moving she hardly looked like she’d been crying at all.