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Lyra Nyberg-Peters

Every face along the boulevard is a dreamer just like you

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Lyra Nyberg-Peters

She didn’t feel ready. Was she supposed to feel ready? Dad had told her that it would be alright to not really realise she was heading to magic school until she was there–kind of like that time she’d hurt her ankle pretty bad but hadn’t even noticed until she had to actually get up and walk. She hadn’t been ready to walk, then, and she certainly wasn’t ready to ride a magical train to a magical school and spend the next few months doing magic… was she?

 

The aforementioned train that she’d eagerly been anticipating a glimpse of was enough to dispel any worry or stress that had begun to creep up. How could anyone have space in their heads to think about anything when they saw something so… so magical? And PRETTY.

 

Lyra had seen plenty of trains in her time, travelled on more over the past summer in order to get to the Gambol centre than she had in her entire life, but there were no trains like the Hogwarts Express in her world. It was beautiful, and beautiful things always made her feel better.

 

And friends. Friends were pretty cool, too.

 

Sitting alone in a compartment with her Dad waving a farewell from the platform and not a friend in sight, however, was totally not cool. So uncool that, after sharing a wave and smile with her Dad, her head and shoulders were hanging out of the door to glimpse at the other students passing and milling about.

 

“Hey! Hey, yeah you–” not one for subtlety, Lyra’s voice was a little too chipper to seem genuine–not that she noticed–as she called to the boy unfortunate enough to be passing at the time. He didn’t seem to be too much older than her and that was reason enough in her book to assume he would be in her year and to call him a friend.

 

“You want a free seat? There’s loads in here!” Well, now she just sounded lonely. “I mean, there’s loads of them all over the train, I’m sure, but the seats in here are really cool! Wanna join me?” And she hopped back, hand gesturing to the oh-so-glamorous-yet-oh-so-vacant seats that lined both sides of the compartment.

 

“D’you wanna face front or back? My friend Parker gets sick going backwards on the bus so I figured I’d check, you know?”

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Margarleon Turpentine

Margarleon was ready. Never in his life had he been more ready for something as he was for going to Hogwarts. Finally, he’d be able to escape the hovel that was his home and be released upon a castle that he could call his own. A castle! Leon didn’t even know much more about Hogwarts other than that, but he didn’t need to know more. He was quite sure that his and Darby’s home would be able to fit into the castle 100, no, 1000, times over! Even more than that, probably. He couldn’t wait to have his own space.

 

Space away from his sister, space away from his mother, and space away from his not-father who he had to call by his first name. So much space. Speaking of space, Leon was actually on a quest, trying to create space between himself and Darby as they boarded the train.

 

While his half-sister was being held back by an extra hug from Not-Dad, Leon was already pulling his shabby, beat up trunk onto the train and eagerly fleeing away from his sister. He was sure she’d track him down eventually, but for now, he was going to enjoy whatever space he was able to create in the meantime. Darby, with her inclination towards brightly colored clothing, stuck out like a sore thumb compared to him, who much preferred to blend.

 

Though apparently he didn’t blend enough, as a girl he vaguely recognized from the Gambol Centre called out to him to join her compartment. Drat. He’d been hoping to find some lonely compartment where he could brood by himself, but as he looked behind him, he noticed Darby beginning to board the train. “Right, sure,” He intoned hurriedly, and, in an act of desperation, he joined the too-chatty girl as she invited him into her cool compartment.

 

What made it cooler than any other compartment on the train remained a mystery, but he wasn’t going to press the point.

 

He was still adjusting to people showing any sort of consideration for him, and was thrown by her question about whether he wanted to sit facing front or back. Actually, the more he comprehended the last two minutes and joining her here, he realized this was just a peculiar situation all around. How friendly she was, how considerate she was… all were things Leon was not used to.

 

“It doesn’t matter,” He answered finally, his tone gruff before he raised his trunk up above in the baggage area and took a seat on one side, blinking as he looked over the chatty girl he’d wound up with. “Leon. That’s my name, is Leon,” Leon uttered shortly, his greenish eyes watching the girl in the compartment closely.

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Annag Hamblton

Why was she so anxious about this particular trip. Everything was packed and ready to go – checked and re-checked. Yet there was a terrible and yet thrilling feeling running through her body like a charge of electricity.

 

Minutes seemed like hours and yet no sign of the thundering beast.

 

Mum and Dad seemed far less impressed about waiting for the hulking, red, smoke-spouting creature. They seemed to be more interested in making sure that this and that were just so. Fuss, fuss, fuss.

 

And then the first the vibrations came up from the ground barely detectable through her neatly polished shoes. The vibrations got stronger and the sound of huffing tonnage began to be heard. Grumf, grumf, grumf. Soon the monster would be upon them. Screeeeeeeeeeeech, frump, hiss.

 

“Hogwarts Express now arriving platform 9 3/4.” It was time to enter the realm of the unknown. To begin a journey of magic.

 

Children and their parents seemed suddenly to swarm forth - all rushing forward towards the brick column.

 

Mum and Dad looked down and petted her head and the gentle expression of love abruptly turned in to tear-filled hugs.

 

“Off you go then. We love you loads. Keep in touch. Do your best. Don’t get into trouble. Where’s your case?”

 

She was a girl of moderate intelligence with a flair for art, but certainly no flair for making friends. What had seemed like a thrilling trip now just seemed like every other horrible situation where no one wanted to sit with her or choose her for their team during play.

 

The heavy case just seemed all the more heavy now mirroring the feeling Annag had in her heart.

 

Ahead was a boy who also seemed to be carrying the weight of the world in his trunk – seemingly searching for that same empty compartment that she sought.

 

With a glance back at the bright poppy of a girl coming towards them, he ducked into the nearest compartment with a sheepish smile.

 

Maybe this uncomfortable boy and his compartment mates would allow her the courtesy to simply sit. She wouldn’t bother them. And certainly never try to engage them in conversation!

 

As she came upon the sliding door, the boy was hauling his case onto the overhead. A cheery girl was inquiring about his preferences for direction of travel.

 

“I say, is it alright if I take a seat with you? If you have friends coming, I totally understand and I'll move along.”

Edited by Annag Hamblton

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Lyra Nyberg-Peters

Hmm. She'd heard about a boy named Leon from a couple of her classmates and friends, though neither had much by way of cheerful things to say, (especially Amelia,) but Lyra figured that didn't really matter. It wasn't as if he seemed particularly mean or bad to Lyra, he'd even accepted her invitation to sit together! How bad could he be? And he didn't seem to mind which way he face on the train, which just made it even better because it meant that everybody got what they wanted and they were both happy.

 

"S'cool to meet you, Leon! I'm Lyra–hey, our names sound pretty similar! Leon and Lyra, Lyra and Leon..." She giggled, though was cut off by the door opening again and a girl she'd yet to meet poking her head in, "oh, of course! You don't mind, right Leon? I'd love for you to join us, the more people the better!" The more people they had joining them, the more friends she'd undoubtedly make. She failed to see any sort of logic with that idea.

 

"Come on in, come sit! What's your name? I'm Lyra and this is Leon, we've just met but we can all be like, super good friends!" She shuffled over to sit nearer the window on the side she sat, allowing the newcomer to choose whether or not she'd want to sit beside Lyra herself or Leon. It didn't really matter to Lyra herself, so long as her companions were happy.

 

She didn't wait for everyone to settle, instead swinging her feet and clicking her heels together as she continued to drive the conversation, "what do you guys think Hogwarts will be like? I don't know anything about magic other than the stuff I've read in one of my books but it all seems kinda confusing. And someone mentioned something about ghosts, but I'm not sure if they're real..."

 

"Oh, should I go look for some more people to join us? My friend Amelia might be around! You guys would absolutely love her, she's the best." Then again, Amelia didn't like Leon... maybe it was a different Leon? Problem solved.

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Annag Hamblton

Suddenly the train ride didn't feel so daunting. A great weight had lifted off of Annag's shoulders.

 

The bubbly girl was so sweet and welcoming that Annag actually mustered a smile.

 

Dragging the heavy case into the compartment and then onto the overhead, Annag took a seat facing the direction of travel. After all, nobody really wanted a retching 11-year-old girl in their compartment. Riding backwards was not an option.

 

"Thanks all. I'm Annag."

 

"Lyra and Leon." she said smiling and nodding in each of their directions. "Nice to meet you!"

 

Lyra was quite the ball of energy. She reminded Annag of the adorable butterflies that would dart about their garden back home. At this point a giant grin passed across her face and she sat back in the seat and watched the butterfly. There was talk of the anticipation of Hogwarts and then her friend Amelia. "Oh," Annag thought. "Poor Leon in a carriage car full of girls!"

 

Annag was going to feel a bit awkward herself around so many girls. Other than her sister, she had grown up in an area of all boys. She knew how to interact with the lads, but lassies were going to be a whole different experience that she wasn't sure she was ready for.

 

On the subject of Hogwarts, Annag had read and read and even pulled together a pile of resources like maps and whatnot that she carried with her on a clipboard. She liked to be prepared for any eventuality! Her sister and friends would always tease calling her affectionately "Clipboard Annie."

 

By now, Lyra's exuberance was filling the whole compartment with excitement. Such an adventure this was going to be!

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