Platform 9¾

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 PV  Taking the Train

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There comes a day in a young wizard's life when he can sense how everything is about to change and how a paved path of magic was unfolding in front of his very eyes. On this very day, he was supposed to take the very first step of a lifelong journey, starting with travelling to Hogwarts for the first time in his life. And on a day, much like the one mentioned, Leroy Blodgett was particularly nervously sweaty. It was a gloomy but warm September 1st when the Blodgetts were on Platform 9¾ at exactly half past 10am. Not wanting to attract any attention, Leroy felt a bit lucky that he did not own a pet to bring along. Walking carefully right through the ever so busy King's Cross Station, the boy noticed quite a few kids his age, or perhaps just a bit older, who were pushing and pulling luggage larger than themselves. And occasionally, on the very top of said luggage, sat a large birdcage with a confused and frustrated owl inside, which frankly seemed to cause a lot of muggle head turns and puzzled stares. The more observant among the muggles could even spot grumpy cats locked in cages, toads croaking in coat pockets and even impish rats being sat at young children's shoulders. It was indeed quite a bizarre scene for the tender muggle eye. Much like the opposite of a petting zoo. Being as nervous about the whole thing as Leroy was, unwanted muggle attention was the very last thing the boy needed right now.

"Ooh, remember, there's Salmon and black pepper Vol-au-vents in your orange backpack, Leeree!" his mother nearly sang as she tried to fix the boy's sweat-soaked hair into a neat right-side part. Her gesture just ended up producing an intensive cowlick which made the boy look even more out of his element and overall tortured. "Surely, you will get hungry during the train ride! Three hours is a lot of time for a growing wizard not to have a snack." as he attempted to straighten the boys tie while simultaneously squeezing the dampness out of his buttoned-up shirt collar. Leroy Blodgett only gulped loudly in response. Getting hungry wasn't exactly what was worrying him at this very moment. Oh, no. It was something much bigger than that. Something called His First Year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

"ALL ABOARD!"

And the second place for things that were troubling the child was the Hogwarts Express. A shining bright red train was situated right in front of the Blodgetts. Puffing and smoking. Filling the entire platform with mist-like clouds and a rather loud background noise.

"OOOOH! LEEEEEREEEEEEEEE!!!!" Mrs. Blodgett started crying and wailing louder than necessary, while Mr. Blodgette held her with a single proud tear in his eye and handed her a handkerchief. Leroy joined their crying. Loudly. Embarrassingly. He had never been apart from his mother and father. They were the closest people he had ever had. How was he supposed to survive without his parents? How was he supposed to know what's good for him and what is not, if they weren't there to provide him with guidance? In-between his frantic sobs he noticed a bunch of kids walking around him and his crying family, whispering and giggling as they were making their way towards one of the train's doors.

Thankfully, his father squeezed his shoulder tightly and tried to contain his sadness. Though his pitch still remained about an octave higher and his voice was trembling. "Time to go now, son! Let's not miss the train, eh?" he mumbled with a forced smile. It was enough to stop the loud crying. Leroy gave both his mother and his father a strong hug and a kiss on the cheek, put his orange backpack back on, and started pulling his luggage towards the door.

"OUT OF THE WAY, CRYBABY!" an older boy shouted as he was speeding on top of his suitcase. The thing spinning on its wheels right past Leroy, and if he hadn't taken a quick step to the right, there might have been some horrible consequences. He heard his mother gasp loudly as he stepped inside the Hogwarts Express. The corridor was quite clean and narrow, and he noticed a couple of older kids standing there. He passed a compartment with a couple of kids in it and just as he was about to drag his luggage in, he saw the look on their faces and decided to move on down the corridor. The look in question was something between disgust and amusement.

He kept walking down the corridor and saw that the very next compartment was completely empty and, if he was lucky enough, he could possibly have it all to himself throughout the whole journey to Hogwarts! Wouldn't that be nice?

Before he entered he noticed his reflection in the compartment's glass door. He was very sweaty. His shirt was wet. His hair was soaking, stuck to the right side of his head, with an extra-springy cowlick right at the overly neat parting. His tie was crooked. His eyes were red and puffy. He had watery snot running down all the way to his neck.

"Sigh."

He dragged the luggage in the compartment and shut the door.

"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." -Pablo Picasso | | | Stamina: 4 | Evasion: 6 | Accuracy: 7 | Wisdom: 9 | Arcane: 5 | Strength: 4

 PV  Taking the Train

For what must have been the tenth time so far, Matilda struggled to stop her cart while her mother insisted on greeting another old friend. The mulish-looking woman Virginia latched onto looked less than thrilled. Matilda could only spare a brief glance toward them as her cart kept moving, bumping into a wizarding family ahead of her.

"Sorry," murmured Matilda, trying to regain control of the cart. The mother of the wizarding family made friendly, sympathetic comments towards the young witch all on her own. The father volunteered his eldest son, a proud Gryffindor if the bright red sweater was any indiciation, to help with her luggage. He even offered to help her through to the platform. Matilda was grateful to accept.

"Thank you very much, sir," she said, voice a little stronger. "Let me just..." Matilda cut herself off abruptly. "One second, I think I dropped something."

Matilda darted away quickly to find her mother. Virginia was still chatting away with the mulish woman, something about deadlines and dining room decor. The crowd of people, Muggles and wizards and animals, swelled and parted around her mother -- for all her lecturing on proper behavior at train stations, Virginia seemed very unconcerned that she was blocking the flow of traffic. Matilda stood next to her mother and waited until Virginia acknowledged her.

"Yes, dear?" While Virginia's tone was sweet, the tight grip on her shoulder suggested Matilda was being a nuisance.

"Someone offered to help me with my luggage... "

"Oh lovely," interrupted Virginia. "Go on ahead, dear. Have a good time. Your father sends his love."

And without another word, Virginia turned back to continue her conversation with the mulish-looking woman, who was starting to look more and more like prey. Matilda couldn't believe her luck, and decided to dash off to rejoin the nice wizarding family. It was a small price to pay, pretending to be alone, if it meant avoiding her mother's dramatics for a little while.

It hurt that her father couldn't be there, but work was busy.

The Gryffindor boy huffed when his father asked him to take Matilda's luggage first. A few of the boy's mates called out to him from a compartment, and he yelled back. "One sec, let me ditch the first year!"

He kept moving forward, Matilda following close behind. Finally, he stopped at a compartment with its door shut that was seemingly devoid of all life. He opened the door with a bang and left her luggage just outside the door before walking off.

'Okay... He was helpful. I guess.' Matilda scowled as she grabbed a handle on her luggage and started dragging it inside. She didn't know how she was going to stow it in the overhead racks, but getting it in the door seemed like a good start. Matilda most definitely did not yelp when she looked up and noticed the student already in the compartment.

"Oh, hello."

Stamina: 5 / Evasion: 5 / Strength: 2 / Wisdom: 8 / ArcPower: 8 / Accuracy: 7

 PV  Taking the Train

Myrina eyed the writhing mass of humanity swarming Platform 9 3/4 with trepidation. She and Gran stood at the apparition point together. Correctly interpreting her granddaughter’s expression, Gran rested a comforting hand on Myrina’s shoulder.

“Come along, darling. Let’s get you started,” Gran said, briskly leading the way into the crowd, clearing a pathway for Myrina to push her loaded cart without running over anyone. Myrina followed, wishing that she had accompanied Gran on excursions from Broadmoor Manor more often. Then maybe the teeming swarm of witches and wizards wouldn’t seem so intimidating. Or loud.

Finally, they made it to the correct section of the platform. Gran gestured for a porter to stow the bulk of her luggage, leaving Myrina only her carryall bag.

”You are going to do just fine, Rinnie,” Gran murmured as she knelt down to Myrina’s eye level, embracing her tightly. ”Your mother would be so proud. And so am I.”

Myrina threw her arms around Gran’s neck, inhaling her familiar scent of herbs, soil, and smoke. ”I love you, Gran,”she whispered.

”I love you too, darling,” Gran replied, pulling away and standing. ”Now, hold your head high, remember your lessons, and make sure you write once you are settled. I want to hear all about it.

”I will. I promise,” Myrina said. With one last hug, she shouldered her bag and turned to face the train. This is it, she thought as she mounted the steps.This is the first step of the rest of my life. Myrina squared her shoulders as she took in the narrow corridor. Time to make a good impression.

She was promptly knocked to the side by a gang of laughing, shouting older boys. While Myrina couldn’t tell what house they were from, they certainly weren’t concerned with making sure she even remained standing, much less giving her any guidance. She waited until she spotted a gap between the jostling boys and took a chance, darting between them. Hauling her carryall with her, Myrina slid the nearest compartment door open, stepped through, and closed the door again, sagging against it in relief.

Her eyes widened as she took in the other two occupants of the compartment- an overly sweaty boy and an oddly-familiar looking girl. Myrina pasted on her best nice-to-meet-you smile.

”Hello. Mind if I join you?”

Either I will find a way, or I will make one.

 PV  Taking the Train

Delilah had been looking forward to Hogwarts since she was a little girl. Her mother had told her stories about the adventures she had gone on as a young girl. They made the blonde more and more excited to explore the schools and the teachings it had to offer. Of course, that was from the safety of her own home where she could dream up these ideas. Being there and seeing all these older witches and wizards was a very different ball game. 

The blonde held her mother's hand very tightly as they made their way through the crowds of wizards and witches. 

"It's all right dear, no need to fret," her mother assured her, giving her hand a reassuring squeeze. Delilah nodded. She knew she was being silly, but she couldn't help it. She'd never really been away from her parents. 

Delilah said her goodbyes to her parents, giving them both a massive cuddle each. She was a big hugger. "We love you," her father told her. "I love you too," Delilah replied, giving them both another hug each. She took her case from her father and then looked up at them both, a little bit teary eyed. "Goodbye!" she called, as she made her way onto the train.

Once onto the train, she was sure she'd never find a compartment. Every compartment was either full or full of intimidating witches and wizards. Maybe if she could find a compartment of first years, or an empty compartment, she'd be okay. The latter didn't seem like it was going to happen, so she settled for a compartment that housed two witches and a wizard that seemed to be her age.

"Could I maybe sit in here?"

- Delilah Mallard