Chapter: 1 – The Hogwarts Express
Title: In Which Petra Meets Anya Jane
Characters: Desi, Loretta, Verity, Petra, Anya Jane
Summary: Petra leaves the company of her friends to find Christian and is instead found by Anya Jane. Anya Jane detains her long enough for the train to stop and Petra to get lost in the crowd of students.
The girls changed in near silence, donning their uniforms and robes. Petra dressed slowly, her robes feeling odd and loose about her.
“So,” Verity said finally, breaking the silence, “I wager that Brix won’t even come to the feast.”
“Why would you say that?” Loretta asked, removing her wand from a small wooden case and slipping it into the pocket on the inside of her robes. “All the teachers are supposed to be at the feast. Don’t you think it would seem a bit odd if he wasn’t there?”
Verity considered that a moment. “But if all the teachers are at the feast, then who’s to see him sneaking about? He could quite easily get into anything while everyone is distracted by the sorting.” She lowered her voice conspiratorially. “He could be putting charms on all the teachers’ offices to listen in on them!”
Loretta saw where this was going. Pulling herself up, she looked Verity in the eye. “We are not skipping the start of term feast to search the castle for a spy.” Verity opened her mouth to respond, but was cut off by Loretta again. “No. I won’t let you start the year off breaking the rules and getting your house in trouble.”
“She would not be risking points to Ravenclaw,” Desi interjected. Noting Loretta’s look, she added, “not that I would encourage her to miss the feast myself.”
“Desi,” Verity started.
“It simply would not be proper.” Desdemona looked at Petra. “And besides, we should be there to support Petra when she is sorted. After all, she is likely to be Sorted into one of our houses.”
Petra looked up at the mention of her name. “Sorted?” She thought hard, trying to remember what Christian had told her about the start of term practices. The other girls looked at her surprised. Something clicked in her memory. “Oh. The Sorting. To my,” she paused, “house. I think I would like know some people in the hall when that happens.”
Loretta turned to Verity. “See?”
Petra slid the compartment door open. “If you might excuse me,” she said, “I should probably find Christian. I believe the rest of my school things are packed with his.” She paused. “My books, paper, my wand.” As the other girls wished her well, she stepped into the hallway and closed the compartment door again.
The hallway as mostly empty as Petra made her way up the train. Every so often she would push pass a small group of students, all of whom had changed into their uniforms. As she moved from car to car, she still had an odd feeling deep in her stomach. Halfway up the train, she paused. She did not need to do any magic tonight. She did not need her wand. She could get through tonight without Christian, and if this plan was going to work she had to learn to be on her own as much as she could. Nodding to herself, she turned in the way, resolving to rejoin the girls she had met.
“I’m sorry, am I in your way?” It was one of the Slytherin girls. Petra remembered one of the other girls identifying her as Anya Jane, a third year. Petra smiled weakly back at her and made to move around her. Anya stepped to block her, again. “So, you’re a transfer then?” Petra paused and looked at the girl. Anya leered back. “What school did you go to? Beauxbatons?”
Petra shook her head. “I went to school in Austria.” She moved again to pass Anya, who casually stretched an arm across the hallway, blocking it.
”So then, you went to Durmstrang then? All practiced up in the Dark Arts?” Anya glared at her, trying to get a read on her.
“I do not study the Dark Arts,” Petra answered nervously.
“So you did go to Durmstrang?”
“Ja. Yes.” She hesitated. “No. Nien.”
“Well which is it, Austria?” Anya mocked. “Were you at Durmstrang or not?”
Petra glared back at her. “I did not go to Durmstrang. I went to school in Austria.” She paused as her mind scrambled for something more. “Durmstrang is in Russia and very far from my home.”
Anya grinned wickedly. “Very good, you know where Durmstrang is.” She let her arm drop. As Petra stepped up to pass her, though she stepped back and blocked her again. “So where did you go? What was it called?”
“I do not want to talk to you. Let me pass.”
The train began to slow. In the windows, lights of Hogsmeade began to slip past the windows. People were beginning to shuffle in the compartment next to them as they were getting ready to arrive at the station.
“Why not, Austria? Don’t you like talking to me? I just want to know where you’re from.”
Petra looked her. “Bitte, let me pass.”
“Oh happily,” Anya smiled. “Just tell me a little about you. I mean, you look like we might be in the same year. We might even become friends, Austria.”
The train continued to slow. Petra looked over her shoulder nervously. She did not want to arrive at the station alone. She did not know where to go, or where to retrieve the rest of her belongings. She did know for sure if she should register with someone, or just follow the crowd to the school. As they paused in the hall the compartment next to them slid open, several students stepping into the hall and moving up towards the front of the train. One had a caged owl, another balanced a cat on his shoulder.
“It looks like we’re nearly there, Austria,” Anya teased. “And look, you’ve no friends to help you find your way. All alone in the big scary British school.”
There was a light jolt as the train finally ground to a halt, the brakes protesting in the distance at the front of the train. The compartments around them began to fully empty and the hallway became very crowded as students began to noisily push past them in both directions. Anya had stopped blocking the hallway as it filled, but the increased number of bodies made maneuvering difficult.
“Looks like someone is on her own now, doesn’t it?” Anya turned and melded into the crowd, leaving Petra alone in a crowd. Petra looked around for Christian, for one of the girls or the boy she had shared a compartment with, or even for Christian’s friend Minerva. She did not recognize anyone. The waves of people speaking English made it hard to focus; her language skills were not that strong. It was just a cacophony of noise and voices.
She was starting to get nervous. This was not how she planned this.