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Rían O' Donnell

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Rían O' Donnell

Today had been the day Rían had been dreading. It was September First and it was now officially the last day of his old live. The time had come to leave everything behind and go forth into his new life. And he hated it all. Ever since John MacSwaine had come and pushed him into this whole world, he hated very part of it. He didn't want to come here, but his parents had made him. Dangerous they had called him. A Risk. The whole idea of it made him scowl. 

 

And now here he was, September First the day had finally came. His Mam here by his side. She had insisted on bringing her baby to see him off on his train. His

dad had stayed at home. He hadn't been too interested. He feigned some excuse about having to be there for his older brother and sister. Which was BS. His sister in her last year of school. His brother still sitting around with nothing to do before he went to college in a few weeks. Really he would have preferred to have come here alone, that way he could have easily just slipped away, lied and said he missed his train, but no. His mam had gone through the arduous journey of having to get Rían and his big old school trunk on a ferry, then hours in a car across the country to Dublin airport, then on a flight to England (having to pay Ryanair's excessive baggage fees for his trunk), then the flight to London. 862km in total. Including an overnight stay the night before, and a taxi to Kings Cross it had been too much for his mother. Sentimental as ever, she couldn't hold in her emotions and was upset as she bundled him on the train. Rían was far from that though. He was almost stony faced. Except for his scowl that sat there. He was still pissed off about this whole situation, even more so now that he realised it was actually happening. 

 

His lanky frame just emanated embarrassment as he stood on the Platform with his mother. She was at least a head smaller than the too-tall eleven year old, and as she stood on her tippy toes to hug her youngest son it made him feel like an idiot.  He rushed himself onto the train eventually just to get away from her. Though only after promising to write to her at least once a week. And promising to at least try at this whole thing. He had been tempted to lie during that promise, to cross his fingers, but truth be told he was too much of a Mammy's boy and couldn't do that to her. He'd try for her. Even if it would be a very weak effort. 

 

He had stored his heavy trunk in the luggage hold on the train with some help from some older students, and now with his school backpack on his back he ambled is way through the train corridor. Though his frame was big and imposing at times, the scowl on his face not so friendly, the earbuds in his ears 
not so welcoming, he was starting to feel nervous. Everyone seemed to be sitting with friends. He hadn't really made any friends in Pre-Hogwarts Primary, he hadn't been the most friendly. But he guessed it would be nice to have some friends to sit with. 

 

He continued on until he found an empty compartment. Excellent. He took a seat next to the window, slinging his bag down beside him on the seat. His phone that had been playing his music had started to go haywire, which although people had warned him over, he was getting irked by. He decided to leave one earbud in anyway. Maybe it'd make him look cool. For now while he waited for the train to start off, he watched out the window, watching people mill about the platform, his scowl softened just slightly. 

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Avery Potter

She had been looking forward for this very day since the age of five. It wasn’t the date in particular for she had been around for ten previous September First’s. It was the event which occurred on the date, now that she had celebrated her eleventh birthday. It was a rite of passage for every witch or wizard who had been enrolled to attend Hogwarts. The first time they would be allow to board the gleaming Hogwarts Express and head for their first year at school. She had seen her brother leave for school three years before. It was now eventually her own turn to do the same, leaving their three younger siblings behind on the platform with their parents.

 

Her time at the pre-Hogwarts primary had been a mixture of emotions. Avery knew that she was physically ready for Hogwarts. She did not, however, know if she was mentally ready for it. She had always been one to move to her own rhythm. What if that wasn’t liked at school? Would they attempt to force her to forget about being imaginative and creative? Avery was determined to stay how she was currently. She had made a few friends throughout the primary, hopefully they would be able to get her through the first year.

 

“I’ll miss you too.” Avery said to her younger brothers. It was a true family affair, with both her parents there to send her (and Sonny) away. It would be two years until Alec started, which meant that she had two years of getting to know the school before he was there. “Mum, I’ll be fine. I promise.” She added as she hugged Mabelyn once more. Avery wished that she would be able to acknowledge Sonny. It was going to be very tricky to keep away from her older brother, when all she wanted to do was seek him out for reassurance. She removed herself from her mothers’ arms, and instead threw herself into Albus’ arms for a final embrace.

 

Her trunk and owl cage were stored safely. She had her favourite purple bag with her, full of treats and things to keep her mind active. As she took a glance around a couple of faces staring, Avery closed her eyes. It wasn’t as bad as it would have been if her grandfather had been there, or Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione. It was then she knew why Sonny wanted to pretend not to be a Potter.

 

Time moved on.

 

Avery clambered onto the train after a final round of goodbyes. Her first thought was to find the girls from the primary. To find Gyn, and make sure she had gotten there. Her second thought was to seek out Desmond or Alayna for a little reassurance. Her surname never usually bothered her. It was just a name. It was the name she had been born with, and she could never change that willingly. She just did not want to be judged for the actions of her beloved family members. She wanted someone to know her – to like her – because she was Just Avery.

 

She looked into the compartments as she passed. She quickly skipped past the ones in which included older students, as she tried to find someone non-threatening and first year to sit with. Eventually she came across a compartment with a lone figure, and took a breath. This was the moment of truth. Her daddy had promised her that if she was her usual friendly self that she would be able to make a connection with another person.

 

Avery knocked on the door as she slid it open. With wide, gentle eyes she looked directly towards the only other person there. “Heya. I’m Avery. Do you mind if we share?” she said kindly, as she remained near the door in case her question was met with a negative response.

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Rían O' Donnell

The people outside had distracted him for a few moments, allowed him to forget what he was on the train to; the rest of his life. He had been living in the little bubble of distraction for not too long when a light tap on the door had pulled him out of his thoughts. A small girl stood there. But then anyone was small compared to Rían. His scowl faltered for a moment as she threw him off guard, and he watched her for a second before he spoke, regarding her. 

 

"Er...." He couldn't quite spit out an excuse against the option she presented while he was trying to suss out where he knew her from. So he didn't. "Sure I guess..." He added quietly, his accent strong as ever. He paused, self consciously reaching up to fuss over some of his hair as he glanced down. 

 

He hated this whole situation an it just made him so anxious. Over everything.

 

At least his scowl had receded. Now he had simmered to a pout. A very moody pout "Uh I'm Rían. Rían O' Donnell...." He nodded slowly, wondering if this girl was worth making friends with. He realised he recognised her from that other summer school he had been forced to attend. "You're a first year too right?" 

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Avery Potter

She waited for the response from the boy she recognised from the primary. Avery wondered whether he would decline her request. What could she do if he did? Her first thought would be to find someone else to sit with. Her second thought was to wonder if she would be rejected from everywhere she went. It wouldn’t be the first train ride that she had wanted to endure nor had been looking forward too.

 

“Thank you.” Avery said as he agreed after a few moments. She slid inside, closing the door behind her. Deciding that she would give him his space, Avery sat on the seat opposite him instead. Placing her bag onto it and jumping a little to get comfy before the train decided to leave. Rian. At least she knew his name. Spotting the accent as well, she realised that there would be a huge difference with every first year. “Yes, it’s my first year. It’s your as well, right? My mum said that I shouldn’t be nervous, but I think she doesn’t remember her first train journey.”

 

It was then Avery noticed something out of place.

 

“Do you mind me asking what that is?” She said, pointing at the muggle earbud. “I’ve never seen one before. Is it from the muggle world?”

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Rían O' Donnell

Rían continued watching her. He couldn't not. That was what held his attention now. But he was silently praising the fact that she had taken the seat opposite him, and not beside him. Thank god for that. He was sweating enough he didn't need this little girl noticing that. He was also pleased she at least had closed the door behind her. He had decided one person was enough for now, he didn't want anyone else barging in. 

 

"Yeah I'm new to...." He paused, unsure of whether to launch into specifics or not. "...this" He finished limply, deciding to leave it vague. Though he was interested in what the girl, Avery had said. So her parents had gone to Hogwarts. Surely she knew what to expect and really he should ask what the hell was going to happen once they got there, but he didn't. He was too proud. 

 

That and he was distracted by her question over his ear bud. "Uh this?" He held the one that wasn't in his ear up. "It's an ear bud..." He replied in a 'well duh' tone. Surely she knew what that was "Like, to listen to music?" He raised an eyebrow, a frown now crossing his face, more confused now. Maybe they didn't have these. Another reason this wizarding world sucked. 

 

 

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Avery Potter

“You can listen to music from that little ear bud?” Avery replied, as she wondered what else he could do. “I love to listen to music. I have my own little radio in my room, it’s been charmed to only play radio stations my daddy thinks are ‘kid friendly’. There’s a radio in the living room as well for the family.”

 

She wished that her parents had let her brought it to Hogwarts. There were times that Avery would fall asleep listening to song playing quietly. She had no idea how she was going to sleep within a dormitory with other girls and no sound of her favourite singing groups. It was not a burden she would put upon Rian, they barely knew each other.

 

“That’s really awesome. I wish I had something like that. Maybe a professor will be able to charm it, so it works at Hogwarts?”

 

She knew that muggle technology did not work at the castle. She had never given a thought to how someone who may not have come from a magical background would cope with that. Sonny, Avery and their siblings had been raised within a typical magical household. She knew that her brother tended to avoid technology he didn’t grow up with. To Avery? She wanted to know about everything she could.

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Rían O' Donnell

Rían wasn't quite sure what was happening. Maybe this girl was as clueless about the muggle world as he was about the Wizarding world. Tat seemed weird to him. He thought they'd know everything. "Well like, I plug them into my phone and that has music on it" 

 

He frowned, pausing. "Like a radio I guess? But I get to pick the music" He paused nodding, now fiddling with the ear bud that wasn't in his ear. He could probably be nice and let her try it out. But he didn't always like people using his stuff, especially as something as personal as his ear buds. 

 

He didn't realise he had now settled into an uncomfortable silence. As it stretched out between them it made him feel even worse. Thankfully the train jolted into life, beginning to move, and it brought his consciousness back to the present situation. He needed to say something. It stopped him looking like such a fool. 

 

"Erh...so like are you from...this world then?" It sounded awkward coming out of his mouth. But he didn't know quite how to phrase it. He hadn't been able to talk about this with anyone else yet, his thoughts and fears. He had tried talking to his mam, but she didn't understand. But then maybe Avery wouldn't understand either. If she wasn't muggleborn she would be clued in with all these things. 

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Avery Potter

A hundred questions sprung to the forefront of Avery’s mind. She wanted to know more about being raising within the muggle world. How different could be truly be? Did he have any knowledge about magic before his letter arrived? She kept those questions to herself as she sat back against the compartment wall. Avery was aware that at times her rapid firing of questions annoyed others. The eleven-year-old did not want to annoy a potential friend.

 

“That sounds really helpful.” Avery replied instead, wishing secretly that she had a version of it herself. As Rian asked about whether she was from ‘this world’, she wondered what the right thing to say was. After a couple of moments, she finally found her answer. “Both my parents have magic.” Avery said with a nod. “I think I was raised in a pretty normal house. Well… normal for witches and wizards. I guess muggles have their own normal, right?”

 

Her childhood had been full of stealing her parents’ wand and facing the consequences. She had watched as meals were prepared with help of spells, had learnt to fly with the help of a child broomstick. Avery had never known anything different, and doubt that she ever would. That didn’t make her ignorant of other ways of living. She had been extremely upset when she learnt that she couldn’t study muggle studies until her third year.

 

"If you wanna know anything I can tell you."

 

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Rían O' Donnell

"I like it" He nodded quietly, glancing between her and the window "I like music quite a lot" He pursed his lips, now looking to her again from where he sat across from her. Maybe he could start counting her as a friend. Maybe. 

 

He listened to her carefully, ready to pick apart what she was saying. "Well I wouldn't call this normal" He spat out, face now contorted into a scowl again. "None of this is normal to me.." He added quietly, looking out the window again. 

 

But then she offered him a life ring in this whole world of weirdness. Maybe she could help him understand this. Understand everything. Maybe even find a way out of it. Maybe she could help him even grow to like it.  "I don't have any right now" He responded curtly almost, but then realised he was probably coming off as fairly rude "I might have some later I guess" 

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Avery Potter

She wanted to understand what it was like. For Avery, she felt like she knew what to expect from Hogwarts. It had been the school that her family had spoken about for as long as she could remember. She had been raised surrounded by magic and had spent years longing for a wand of her own. For Rian, and other students who were new, she guessed it was truly difficult. 
 
There was enough sense within the eleven year old not to say this out loud. The truth was she didn't know how he felt. Yes, she would feel homesickness, but she would have her brother and her cousins there. Her family were only an owl away, and she knew that they would send her letters whenever she requested. How would she have coped if she was in his situation? 
 
“Maybe when you do, I can ask some questions about music as well.” Avery replied as she tried to make a friend. “I’ve never been to school before. I was taught at home and i only know what I’ve been told. A lot of my family like a laugh, so who knows what I should believe.” She paused. “I do know that there’s a massive feast when we get to Hogwarts. With as much food as you could eat.”
 
Maybe there would be something there which reminded him of home?

 

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Rían O' Donnell

She was being nice. Even if she was one of those by birth. Rían scowled as the thought crossed his mind. He was one of those too now. Even if he didn't want to be. He could hear his Mam in his head reminding him to be nice. With that he paused, and had to force himself to do so. Quietly he added "I quite like music. I even play a few instruments" Immediately he regretted that. He should have kept that a secret, but this girl was chipping away at him. 

 

He glanced out the window trying to gather himself before he slipped up again. But then she was talking again. He pulled himself back to consciousness and forced himself to listen to her. That needed concentration. But his eyes connected with hers all the same and he listened.  Eventually he nodded quietly. She was showing him a kindness at least. That made him smile, just slightly. "Thank you. I can teach you something about music I suppose. Well only if you like good music..." He added with a scoff. Yes he was a music snob. He didn't care. He would educate her properly. 

 

And then she dropped the bomb that she had never been to school at all. His eyebrows shot up into his hairline with that and he sat forward towards her. "Seriously? That's really bloody weird" He almost didn't believe her.  That was really weird to him. It was just the normal thing to do. But then, he reminded himself, none of this is normal. Maybe he was the weird one for living the Muggle life and actually going to school. He tried to chill out about it, leaning back again and glancing towards the window. "But then you know a whole lot more about this than I do I guess"

 

He was quiet for a moment before the imaginative side got the better of him "....what sort of feast?" 

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Avery Potter

She wanted to believe that her first meeting with Rian was going successfully. He had not yet asked her to leave the compartment. He was even responding to her as she spoke which was a good sign. All Avery wanted to do was enter Hogwarts knowing that she had people to speak with. She did not want to spend her first year alone and worried about her classes. She wanted to spend it surrounded by those who were her friends and brightened up her day.

 

“A few instruments? I know how to play a few songs on the piano, though I haven’t played it in months. You must be really talented.” Avery said to him. For anyone to dedicate time to learning an instrument (or more than one) she knew that they had to be gifted. As he mentioned about teaching her about music she had to hold back a laugh. She was certain that her love of music would be different to his, but she was willing to learn and appreciate something new.  

 

“I just know what I was told by my family.” She said. “If you’ve been to a school before then I’m sure that you know a lot more than me. I only know what I learnt at the pre-hogwarts primary. They didn’t really tell us anything that my cousins didn’t tell me.” Well… they hadn’t complained about it like Desmond. “It’ll be a lesson for the both of us.”

 

Wasn’t the best way to learn with another person? She had always been told that being able to excel at team work would provide her with an edge as she transitioned into each year. As Rian learnt more about the magical world, Avery would learn more about how to cope with being at a school. It would be a learning curve for the two eleven-year olds.

 

“The best feast you can imagine. There’s platefuls of every food you can imagine and the best desserts to end it all.” Avery was looking forward to it all. She just knew that she would end up gorging on at least two slices of apple pie if it was there. 

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Rían O' Donnell

Rían was pleased with the compliment. But he wasn’t going to show it. He didn’t utter a ‘thanks’ he simply nodded and glanced to the window again, before looking back at her.

 

Though now Avery was talking about family. “Family?” He enquired. She had family here already? That was interesting. Maybe she had a whole heap of family. That would be a little weird. A lot of people looking out for her. Rían came from a family like that, a big one. But none of them were here at Hogwarts. They never would be he figured. Nobody in his family were magic, and thy probably never would be.

 

Rían stayed quiet as she went on. Maybe they could learn together. If he was going to stay. His Mam was making him stick out his first year anyway. To try. He promised he would. If only so he could learn enough control that he wouldn’t hurt her or anyone else. Maybe he’d try and make friends with Avery. He tried to be positive for the moment. Almost smiling again. “Well that feast sounds ok I guess” It sounded more than okay. But he didn’t want to seem overeager.

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Avery Potter

Avery knew that Hogwarts would be a mystery. It did not matter how many stories she had heard, or experiences that had been shared with her. The first years were about to enter unfamiliar territory and have to figure out how to make it through in one piece. She was comforted to know that she had family there if she needed reassurance.

 

“My older cousins Alayna and Desmond are already students.” Avery explained to Rian. It took all her might to not speak about Anderson. Her brother had made it clear that she couldn’t let on that they were related. She did not know how it would work when she finally arrived, whether anyone would notice the familiar resemblance, but she didn’t dwell on it. “They’ll be able to help us if we need them. Well… Alayna will. I think Desmond just sleeps through the year in his dorm.”

 

She smiled a little before she turned to her bag.

 

“Would you like any sweets?” Avery asked Rian, as she looked for the secret stash she had hidden from her brother before they left Godrics Hollow. "We've got ages before we get to Hogwarts."

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Rían O' Donnell

Cousins. Rían nodded slowly with that. Maybe not as good as siblings. But, maybe they were one of them big families were cousins were as good as. Maybe she had like a million hidden around the school. But was only close to two of them. But then he didn't really want to go and ask. It wasn't really his business, even if he was inquisitive about it. He simply nodded again, now taking his time in rolling the wire off his earphones around his fingers methodically. "That's cool" He eventually settled on in reply. 

 

Though the idea of sweets perked him up just a little. He raised an eyebrow, sliding the earphones into his pocket now. "Sweets?" His head tilted to the side. He didn't want to let his guard down totally, but he wanted some sweets. "I could go for some sweets I guess" He leaned forward towards her now. He decided he could do with a nice square of cadburys or something. Especially if there was quite a while left to Hogwarts. "Though is it really that long? This sucks" 

 

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Avery Potter

For the first week or so Avery wanted to keep away from her family. She wanted to try and prove that she was grown up enough not to feel homesick. Avery had no idea how that plan would end and therefore did not speak it out loud. In her heart of hearts, she knew that within a day she would save and try to locate one brother or her cousins.

 

As Rian agreed to look at the sweets she just about beamed. Maybe this could be the start of something new? Maybe they could move from strangers to possibly friends? She didn’t want to get her hope raised as she pushed the bag towards him.

 

“There are a few chocolate frogs if you want one. I collect the cards inside, but I still have lots to find and keep.” Avery said. “Oh and there’s some sugar quills and jelly slugs! Help yourself to whatever you want.”

 

She reached into the bag herself and picked out a packet of peppermint toads. Avery did not care that this would ‘spoil her appetite’. She was finally on route to Hogwarts.

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Rían O' Donnell

Rían was the youngest in his family. He probably should be close with his brother and sister, almost dependent on them. But there was such a big age gap that it made him feel like more of an only child. He was close with some of his cousins, but he hadn't been able to tell them about all this. HE hadn't been able to tell anyone. His siblings still thought he was off to some school for the 'gifted'. His friends thought he was being sent to a fancy boarding school on the main land. And that would be the way things had to stay. Till he was able to get out of this whole mess. That's what his mind was on as he fixed his gaze out the window again. 

 

He was an old head on a young body, but he was still eleven years old. He loved sweets and Avery's invitation had pulled his attention back. 

 

"chocolate frogs?" He liked the idea of collecting cards but he'd heard about them chocolate frogs at PHP. They were some weird enchanted alive frogs. That you ate. He didn't like the idea of that and it showed on his face. But then she was trying to be nice. So maybe he should be so rude. She forced her face into some sort of a smile and held an overlarge hand out towards her. "I'll try one.."

 

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Avery Potter

Sweets.

 

Avery was the owner of a very big sweet tooth. It was only countered by the fact her parents did not keep a lot of sweet items within their home. She understood why that was, they didn’t want five children sneaking sweets and falling into a major sugar high. It meant that when she was allowed a little treat it was a moment of heaven.

 

She did not mind sharing her sweets with another person. Avery wanted to try and be friends with Rian. He seemed like he needed someone to show him the ropes. She needed someone to just treat her as she was. If he accepted her chocolate frogs, than she knew there was a slight change it could happen.

 

“They only have one good jump in them.” Avery said as she handed over the frog. “It’s really tasty though. Solid chocolate, it will take you ages to eat it all."

 

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