Chapter 17: On the Train
Charles had first went to Gringotts to convert some more gold to Galleons before buying a completely new cauldron and a potion making set. Then going to Flourish and Blotts for his textbooks, he traveled to Ollivanders to purchase several wand-care items. Afterwards, he entered the Magical Menagerie and came back out with his owl Shar.
Huu, there was just the school robes left. Charles let out a sigh and walked into Madam Walkin’s Robes For All Occasions.
Madam Walkin was a short and stout witch with a good nature and dressed completely in purple.
“Hello my dear, are you a Hogwarts student?” She had spoken the very moment Charles came in. “You will be able to buy all that you might need here.”
“I want to buy the very best.” Charles spoke.
Letting Charles sit on the stool, Madam Malkin took out a robe and draped it over him before beginning to cut out the appropriate length. In a moment, the robe had been finished.
Magic was truly convenient. Feeling the robes, Charles had felt that the saying ‘you get what you pay for’ was truly applicable here. Although it was quite expensive, this robe would automatically iron itself, restore itself from any rips, and would always maintain a constant temperature with the excellent usage of magic.
After purchasing everything, Charles had returned to the ice cream parlor and bought an ice cream cone as well. After spending some time chatting with McGonagall about Hogwarts, Charles had finally bid farewell as he returned home.
In a blink of an eye, it was September; the month where Hogwarts would officially start. Charles had declined to let his parents see him off and walked down to King’s Cross Station right where Platform 9 and Platform 10 was.
How did one come across Platform 9 and ¾ again? Ah! I remember now.
Then in his knapsack with several stretching charms woven into it, Charles touche Shar’s wing feathers.
As a result of becoming an Animagus, Charles had the form of the crow. Because of this, he had formed a deeper connection with both Shar and Myrkul to the point of obedience from the both of them. Shar especially had been so obedient to the point of no longer needing a cage to be cooped up in.
Charles sucked in a deep breath before looking in between the ticketing station of Platform 9 and Platform 10. Sprinting with all his might, Charles had initially thought that he was about to smash into the wall, but like in the original works, he had passed through it instead. Past the wall, the entire scenery around him had changed.
A single red steam locomotive could be seen with countless passengers by the side. Written on the train were the words: Hogwarts Express, 11 O’clock. Charles turned his head around–the original ticketing station he had went through had transformed into an iron archway with a sign that said, “Platform 9 and ¾.”
Smoke from the steam locomotive drifted over the heads of the chattering crowd while cats of every color darted here and there between their legs. Along with the buzzing chattering of the people, the scraping sounds of their luggages could be heard as several owls hooted out loud in a disgruntled manner.
Several carriages were already filled with students, some of them leaning out of the windows to speak with their families while others were seated with their friends. Charles slowly stalked forward in an attempt to find an empty spot. As he walked forward, a round-faced boy spoke, “Gran, I’ve lost my toad again.”
“Oh, Neville…” He heard the old lady sigh.
A boy with dreadlocks was surrounded by a small crowd.
“Give us a look, Lee, go on.” The boy lifted the lid of a box in his arms, and the people around him shrieked and yelled as something inside poked out a long, hairy leg.
Charles pressed on through the crowd until he found an empty compartment near the end of the train and sat down. Looking out the window, he could see a family with red hair–that would be the Weasleys. Their signature look was very revealing and could be spotted from far away.
Not too long after, a whistle sounded. Charles watched as three of the children quickly scrambled onto the train and then stick their heads out the window to bade farewell to their parents. He could even hear their younger sister start to cry.
The train had begun to move. Smiling, Charles turned away from the windows. Taking out a piece of beef jerky from his knapsack, he fed Shar and then took out an ancient looking books on magical runes and begun to read it with gusto.
He didn’t know when, but the doors to the compartment had suddenly opened as a single girl came in panting, “Is there anyone sitting here?”
The voice of the girl had caused Charles to tear his eyes away from his book and lift his head up, only to see lots of bushy brown hair and rather large front teeth.
“Come in then, there’s nobody here.” Charles replied.
Hearing his response, the girl began to lift up her heavy trunk,
“Let me help you with that!” Before the girl could even respond, Charles waved his wand.
“Wingardium Leviosa.” Charles muttered. Suddenly, the trunk began to float up into the air before Charles levitated it onto the luggage rack overhead.
“Standard Book of Spells, Grade 1. What a beautiful Levitation Charm!”
“That’s correct, your memory is amazing!” Charles exclaimed in praise before extending his hand, “Charles Goole.”
“Hermione Granger.” The girl reached out to shake his own hand.
As expected, this was a clear symbol. A know-it-all girl. Charles thought while keeping up his appearances. Then, he took the book in his hands and resumed reading.
The girl had sat down to rest for a moment before starting to secretly observe Charles. A beautiful Levitation Charm, a graceful and elegant charm and robes made of high-grade material, was he from a wizarding family?
After observing Charles for a moment, Hermione focused on the book in Charles’ hands. Advanced Applications and Combinatorials of Ancient Magical Runes, Good lord this was an extremely difficult textbook that a seventh year would learn! Was the standards of a wizarding family that high? As the girl’s thoughts begun to run away, she grew even more restless and fell into a bad state.
Whilst the young witch was in a state of dismay, she suddenly thought to herself, No, I can’t lose. I am Hermione Granger, number one of *** school and *** camp. I can’t let myself fall from here.
After thinking of that, the witch seemed to have regained her spirit. Turning to speak to Charles, she said, “Sorry to bother you!” Her voice had been rather small as if she was afraid of annoying Charles.
“Oh! What’s wrong?” Charles had noticed Hermione’s careful approach with some astonishment.
“Your book, could I possibly borrow it to read?” She spoke carefully.
“This book?” Charles waved the book in his hands.
“Yes!” Hermione nodded.
“You can understand this? I didn’t know that you were that talented in magic!” It was Charles’ turn to be surprised. He didn’t think that the know-it-all would be that talented. It had taken him many years to understand this book, but Hermione had already understood it in a month!
“Thank you for your compliment!” Hermione had been unhappy, Is he looking down on me? She thought.
Sensing the sharp tone of displeasure in Hermione’s voice and then remembering her performance at the start of the term. It was then that he had realized he had misunderstood her. It wasn’t because Hermione understood the book, it was because she was feeling inferior to him. The following step would be easy to exchange then.
“Ever since I was small, I was interested in knowledge. But many others weren’t as fond of it and thought these runes to be lines without meaning.” Charles had spoke honestly. “I didn’t think that I would come across someone else that would share the same love for it, this is great!” Pausing for a moment, he continued, “In truth, you don’t need to be so worried. This book is something that even adult wizards working in the Ministry of Magic don’t understand.”
After hearing this, the girl’s face began to grow light. Charles continued to speak, “To tell you the truth, I’m actually a muggleborn!” Charles watched as Hermione’s mouth drop open. “My parents are both muggles, but I happened to know a wizard. She gave me several books on ancient runes for me to learn (Liar), and so I began to study for several years.”
“You’re a muggle? Unbelievable! How did you become so good with magic?” Hermione exclaimed.
“Aside from ancient runes, I don’t know much (Liar), to be honest, I’ve asked the witch who helped me. She said that any wizards or witch under the age of 11 would be hard-pressed to learn any magic. At the very most, we’d learn several basic potions and look at some magical beasts. As for someone like me, I’m an abnormality and not someone to be made an example of”
“Actually, I’m a muggleborn too.” The witch spoke. “Amazing, I didn’t think I would come across someone like me!”
“Same!” Charles thought. To be able to come across one of the main characters in a random place like this, how coincidental!