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You Light My Life Like a Lumos Spell Chapter 3
George lead the way to platform 9 ¾, maneuvering a very old and rusted trolley through the crowded masses. Fred walked next to Verity as George forged ahead, searching for the correct platform.
“So, do you have any brothers or sisters that go to Hogwarts?” Fred leaned over to whisper the last word into Verity’s ear, lest someone (like a muggle) overhear him.
“No, it’s just me-I’m an only child. Wish I had some siblings, though, it gets oftly lonely sometimes…” She thought back to all the times that her parents hadn’t had any time to play with her or the times they had left her with the annoyingly Barbie-doll like baby sitters that had gone to the local high school. She had a brief flashback to the time that the fake blond haired Missy Crawkler came to watch her while her parents went off to some benefit program. With fake smiles and glitter, Missy had forced Verity to go to bed at 5:30 in the afternoon, talking on her cell phone well the night’s dinner burned on the stove.
Fred made a sympathetic face.
“Sometimes I wish I didn’t have so many siblings-well, besides George, he doesn’t count. But I can’t stand always being lost in the shuffle of Bill, Charlie, Percy, Ron and Ginny…” He grimaced.
“I think this is it!” George called back to them, checking his cheap blue plastic watch, “Nearly five minutes till boarding!”
Verity stared at platforms 9 and 10, perplexed.
“Where is it?” she asked, looking round for the scarlet train that she had heard so much about from her father.
“Where’s what?” Fred asked, making sure all of his possessions were on the trolley and not in any danger of toppling over.
“The train! Where’s the train? And…where’s the platform?” She asked, noticing that there was no sign between platforms 9 and 10. Where the platform should have been, there was just a wall.
“Well, it used to be over there…”said George, pointing to an empty lounge to the left of them.
“At least it was when Bill went here…” Fred smiled reminisantly, “Remember that time when we set all the owls loose while Bill left us to go get a trolley?”
“How could I forget?” George laughed, “They all tried to attack that old woman wearing the vulture hat!”
“Ummm, I think we have a bigger problem then vulture wearing women and owl attacks.” Verity said aloud, confusedly staring at the musty lounge.
“You’re parents are wizards, right?” George and Fred looked at Verity expectantly. She nodded.
“Didn’t they tell you how to get through to the platform, then?” Fred asked as Verity shook her head no.
“Well, you’re in luck, then! It just so happens that we are experts at running into walls! We’ll show you!” George grinned widely as he turned his trolley to face the wall between platforms 9 and 10.
“Wha-” Verity began, confused beyond belief, as George began to run, full speed, at the brick wall.
“George-no!” But words failed her as George disappeared in the blink of an eye. There was no crash, no flying trunks, George was just gone.
“Ladies first, then.” Said Fred, with a sweep of his hand and bowing to her deeply.
“Where…what…George…” Verity sputtered, head spinning.
“The wall’s a magical barrier. Just run towards it and you’ll go through.” He smiled. Suddenly, Verity looked panicked. “Don’t worry. You’ll be fine, I promise.”
Verity took a deep breath and looked away from him, locking her gaze on the wall before her. Why hadn’t her father warned her? Speaking of which, where was he anyway? Surely he would not leave her at the station to fend for herself? And besides, she thought with a sudden pang of fear, he had her ticket!
In a sudden rush of adrenaline brought on by fear and a little bolt of excitement, Verity bolted towards the thick wall. Just as she was about to hit it, she closed her eyes. When she did not feel any crashing sensations, she opened her eyelids cautiously and her jog slowed to a stop.
She turned through a cloak of train-smoke to see Fred emerging through the wall behind her. He caught up, “not bad, eh?”
Verity smiled in relief. “I didn’t honestly think I was going to make it through.” She breathed deeply. And Fred smirked.
“Let’s go,” he said, “Hopefully George hasn’t gotten harassed by Mum yet.” With that, they set off through the smoke until they saw the huge and spectacularly scarlet Hogwarts Express.
“Wow.” Verity was in awe, suddenly realising the enormity of where she was about to go.
“Yeah, beautiful, isn’t it?” He said, staring at a nearby fifth years new broomstick. The polished wood of the Complexity 150 glittered in the light.
“Newest model, only 4,850 released in Britain. Official broom of the Whales Whackers. On the market at 450 galleons. Directional system and non-flipping spell installed, it’s the hottest broom since the Crusader.” He marveled at being so close to such a superb racing broom.
“Err…I was talking about the train…” Verity giggled as Fred closed his mouth and tore his eyes away from the broom.
“Oh…yeah…” Fred blushed, “it’s equally as good-looking…” Verity laughed harder.
They walked through the platform which by now was crowded with wizarding and muggle families alike. Everywhere, mothers were giving last minute hugs and fathers were loading trunks on board the train. Verity and Fred spotted Mrs. Weasley (who was giving George a bone-crushing hug) and hastened towards her.
“Oh Freddy! I just can’t believe that you’re finally leaving for school!” Mrs.Weasley sobbed into George’s shoulder. “Why, I remember when you were just learning how to and you accidentally set your baby books on fire using magic!”
Fred whispered into Verity’s ear, “I did it on purpose, actually.” He winked.
“Mum-” George squirmed in her embrace. “Mum I was only joking, I’m not Fred-” But Mrs. Weasley was not listening, for she had spotted the real Fred next to Verity.
“Oh, George!” Mrs. Weasley flung herself into Fred’s arms and renewed her sobbing. She hugged her other son while George tried to silently escape from behind her.
Fred turned bright red, clearly mortified.
“MUM!” He tried to disentangle himself from the hug. Mrs. Weasley looked around and spotted George, who was creeping towards the train.
“Fred-Fred! Wait until you’re father comes back to see you off! He’s just gone off to show Ginny and Ron the Muggle newspapers at that old stand on platform 8. Oh I’m going to miss you too so much!” She began to sob even harder into Fred’s shirt, drawing looks from passersby.
“Mum-we’ll be fine.”
“You promise? No pranks or jokes or explosions? Mark my words, George or Fred or whoever you claim you are, if I receive one letter, if I get just one-” Mrs. Weasley suddenly became menacing and stern, but was cut short by Fred.
“We’ll be fine mom, like I said. You don’t have to worry about us.” Fred crossed his fingers behind his back so that only Verity could see.
“Who knows? Maybe you’ll get a letter about what model students we are! I feel that our talents in the fine arts of tom foolery will help us to excel in a new learning environment!” George chimed in, returning just in time to Mrs. Weasley’s side as she threw her arms around both of them sadly.
“Just be careful boys-accidents happen, I know that, but purposeful accidents often do more harm than good.”
Just then, a balding middle age man with red hair bounded through the crowd, holding the hands of a young boy who looked about nine years old and a little girl who looked even younger. Both had flaming red hair that matched the twins’ and were flushed with excitement as they took in the steaming scarlet engine before them.
“Look at that!” said the little boy, pointing with his free hand, “I told you it was huge and had the Hogwarts crest on the front! Told you! Now cough up! You owe me 2 sickles!”
“Daddy!” The little girl began to cry.
“Ronald, do not make bets with your sister! You know that gambling is wrong!” Mrs. Weasley scolded the boy.
“Sorry Mum.” The little boy, Ron, mumbled into his chest, ears turning bright red. “It’s just that…Fred and George took my 2 sickles last Friday, and-”
“FRED! GEORGE! Is that true?” Mrs. Weasley turned towards them angrily.
“Well, goodbye all! We simply must be off!” Fred shouted, backing away quickly.
“Yeah! We’ve got some homework to do, O.W.L.s to take, spells to learn….you know…” And with that, George grabbed Verity’s hand and backed away too.
“Love you! Bye Dad!” Yelled the twins as they made a beeline for the train. Fred grabbed Verity’s trunk and whipped it into the train, jumping up after it.
“Wha-?” Verity began to ask about the hasty departure.
“Believe me; you don’t want to see Mum in a right rage. It might convince you not to hang around with us.” Fred smiled warily.
“She’s a character Mum…and don’t even get us started on Dad….” George added. Verity smirked.
“They looked quite nice to me.” Verity fingered the charcoal pencil that was hidden behind her ear her wand at this point stored securely up her sleeve.
“Come on-let’s get a compartment. We don’t want to have to sit with any losers…” George began to walk down the train’s lavish corridor, Fred in tow.
“You coming, Verity?” Fred turned to look questioningly in her direction. “Verity?” He asked again, for she had become stone still and was staring in the window unseeingly.
“I forgot it…” she mumbled, voice quaking.
“My…My…ticket.” She said, snapping out of her panic-induced reverie.
“Where did you leave it?”
But she near finished her sentence, for a large black owl flew through the empty door behind them and perched itself before Verity on a metal handrail. It held its leg aloft and squawked impressively.
Verity untied a tiny envelope from the owl’s leg, recognizing the handwriting on the cover at once as she did so. She opened the note inside and began to read the quickly quill-scratched parchment.
I’m sorry I couldn’t find you in time to see you off, and I never got the chance to give you the little surprise that I had been planning all month either. I hope you understand that I did not mean to embarrass you at all with my tie, and was just attempting to do what I thought was best for you by writing to Professor Snape. I hope you can understand that I care a lot about you, and I’m merely worried about you as every father is when his daughter leaves for the first time. I just want you to know that no matter what happens, you’ll always be my little girl despite how old you grow. Enjoy your first year at Hogwarts and write often. Can’t wait to see you during the holidays.
P.S. This owl is you’re going away present. I had planned her arrival differently, but I hope you like her all the same. Her name is Aquila and she’s a special rare breed of owl and has some very special qualities that I hope will both surprise and dazzle you.
Verity turned the parchment over to find her train ticket clipped inside. She sighed, feeling incredibly guilty for leaving her father out in the rain.