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Juniper Keyes

I'm leaving on a red train, don't know when I'll be back again

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Juniper Keyes

It was a feeling of melancholy and joy, hope and sadness, that permeated the trip to Kings Cross that day. After giving a tearful goodbye to her brother, sister, mother, and father, Juniper was ready to put the feeling of loss behind her and start anew. What better way to do that than to bury herself in the frivolous interactions of eleven-year-old children?

 

To Juniper's delight, the train was mostly full, so she didn't have to worry about being lonely. She barged into a random cabin with a huge grin on her face. The wider she smiled, the easier it would be to hide her distress. 

 

As expected, there was another student in the cabin already. "Hiya! Is this seat taken?" she asked, though she hadn't waited for a reply before she started to put her things on the rack above.

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Ronan Phyxen

It was uncomfortable to watch his parents meet at the station that morning. That happened every time they had to meet in person to attend “son-related activities” that compromised Ronan. Almost ten years of divorce and the exchange of words was the same ridiculous repertoire that showed him these two were miserable together. Ronan acted naturally to the indifference it caused him nowadays. But that day it would be different: he would become a sorted Hogwarts student. Why could not they just be themselves for him? For once? At least, as the so-called “family”, because otherwise on the phone or away from each other, his parents handled it much better from his point of view.  

 

Anyway, the sendoff proved to be full of excuses just as his sister Raisa said from her own experience. Their parents were two faces of the same coin whether they were with him or his sister. Even if she couldn’t be there physically to goat at their mother how her not-so-little boy wasn’t going to want to go home anymore for how great Hogwarts was going to be, he still chuckled at the thought. What helped reassure him the school year would be fun was his new pet: a rescued black cat. However, Ronan still didn't have a name for him, but the half-opened eyes and apathy that the cat showed 24/7 gave him many ideas.

 

After the train took off and minutes went by, Ronan left the cabin of a classmate he met in the wizarding kindergarten to go find a pack of magic cards he forgot in his compartment. The long red-carpeted corridors invited countless multicultural students to have a good time - or better put it this way - at their own risk. While Ronan moved around the lot, he opened a pack of chocolate toads. Suddenly, one frog leapt out and ended up glued to one of the windows of the train. Ronan crushed the delicious reptile with his bare hand and then tossed it in his mouth, leaving behind the syrupy stain of his fingers on the glass.

 

Ronan did take a while to return to his empty compartment. Several new traveling bags had been thrown on the racks above the leather seats, implying that other students had come to occupy the space with him. Wasn't the train supposed to be big enough for each of them? Apparently not. He reached out for his belongings to search for his cards. As he was closing the side zipper of one of his bag pockets, he realized that a girl entered the cabin as though she owned the place. The attitude didn't bother him. He stepped aside so she could get comfortable. In any case, he was about to leave.

 

But. He couldn’t help but be friendly and meet more wizards.

 

"Hey! Well, it’s empty for now." Ronan glanced around, then at the sand-colored hand baggages from other youngsters. He wondered if they would stop by at random. “You can put your stuff next to mine; your things won’t be as cramped as those.” He aimed with his elbow as he split up the cards into two piles, quickly shuffling them in mid-air. They were enchanted to hover as he placed them in the air. “I bought these at a joke store at Diagon Alley.” The cascade move he did with the deck could play up to ten different sounds. That was the main reason why he bought them, besides the cards changed symbols depending on what type of card game the players chose. "Do you want to play Brisca? Or something else?” He asked, as he considered staying and not taking the long walk to the other side of the train.

 

"I'm Ronan!" He smiled widely at the girl. "What's your name?"

Edited by Ronan Phyxen

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Silus Taggerty

Silus was wandering the train aisle looking for a compartment that did not appear full. The sendoff to Platform 9 3/4 was pleasant as Adam and Carrie Taggerty dropped their son off. Among the items Silus carried was a muggle animal carrier for his cat Caya. Caya was nearly all black, with a white patch on her upper chest that Silus' muggle father remarked looked like a "bat signal". Caya had gotten used to the crate in the past few months since Silus got his letter. Thus, the cat was silent but attentive to the other occupants in the compartment.

Ronan and Juniper were conversing in pleasant tones when Silus said "hey, room for one more?  I'm Silus, this-" He held up the crate where a void of black fur and two bright yellow eyes stared back, with a barely audible purring sound "-is Caya. She's pretty friendly. Want to pet her?"

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Juniper Keyes

It was relieving to see a familiar face. "Ronan, hi!" In all the excitement, Juniper hadn't stopped to take a look at the other student's face. "It's me, Juniper," she giggled. That Ronan was such a jokester, pretending to forget who she was. She remembered him fondly from her days at the Ottaline Gambol Centre.

 

After having some difficulty cramming her things into the rack she had initially chosen, Juniper decided to take Ronan's advice and placed it next to his instead. "Thanks," she said gratefully, then turned around to smile at him. 

 

"I'm ever so glad to see you here," Juniper ran up to the boy and attempted to hug him. "I was most concerned that I wouldn't know anyone." She stared at the curious deck of cards Ronan was playing with, marveling at the noise they had made. They looked pretty neat. "Sure! But I've never played-"

 

Before Juniper could complete her sentence, another boy she recognized from the Ottaline Gambol Centre joined them in the compartment. "Silus! I'm ever so glad to see you here, too!" she grinned, running to hug him as well. All worry of not knowing anyone went out the door quickly. Thank the heavens for the Ottaline Gambol Centre.

 

A pang of hurt hit juniper in the stomach. She wished she'd had gotten a pet, but her indecisiveness had prevented her from doing so and she still felt sour about it. Nonetheless, she grinned at the feline and said "Hiya Caya!" She giggled at her almost-rhyme. "I would love to pet her!" She took the invitation to heart and held her hand out for the cat to sniff.

 

"We were about to play Bristol," Juniper explained to the newcomer, mispronouncing the name. Bouncing with excitement, she sat down across from Ronan in a hurry. She patted on the seat next to her for Silus to sit. "Thankfully, I'm a quick learner." That statement was debatable. "How do we start?" 

Edited by Juniper Keyes

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Silus Taggerty

Silus realized he recognized Ronan and Juniper. A moment later Silus was getting a friendly hug. He joined her on the seat and waited patiently for Ronan to explain the game of Bristol.  Silus dryly imagined it did not involve a setting of actual Bristol. Caya's kennel door was unlocked and she gave a nice stretch. She hopped on the floor to inspect the other two occupents of the carriage. 

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