HP: A Magical Journey - Chapter 18

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Quinn smiled as he looked around the room he was standing in. Quinn was experiencing pure joy. It was for the first time since buying the wand that he had felt this level of delight.
He was currently standing in a room that was filled with bookshelves. They were empty bookshelves. Not a single book could be found in the bookshelves around Quinn.
Quinn walked to a staircase and climbed up to another floor with more empty bookshelves. Quinn had a smile on his face, and his hands behind his back strolled among the rows of bookshelves.
He reached a part on the second level where there was an opening in the floor. The opening had wooden railings surrounding it. From that opening, Quinn could see down to the first floor. Just below the opening was a huge, heavy wood table for studying in the library.
Quinn leaned against the railing as he exhaled out a sigh of happiness. He was currently standing in a two-floor library, a library which was inside a suitcase. A suitcase that was magically expanded.
Where did Quinn get it? It was a gift from Lia, she had commissioned a magically expanded suitcase from a famous suitcase maker in America. It reminded Quinn of Newt Scamander's suitcase.
After exploring the whole suitcase, he found that it housed a huge two-story library, a potion room with multiple workbenches and ingredient cabinets. It had a large walk-in closet for all his clothes, he also saw a fully furnished bedroom, if he wanted to sleep in the suitcase. And so many large empty rooms for Quinn to customized later.
The suitcase didn't have the option to support growing vegetation like Newt Scamander's, but Quinn was content with that as he wasn't planning to store different beasts inside it or grow potion ingredients inside. He had been quite happy to know that he could carry all his books from around the world with him.
The ministry highly regulated this kind of expansion charm, but George had managed to get approval for the suitcase. And even if someone wanted to check his suitcase, it had a feature that it would hide all the rooms except the few designated rooms. Quinn was grateful for this feature as he knew in the future there would be quite a few books the ministry would classify as dark in his collection after he copied the books from the restricted section of Hogwarts and the books he could find in the Room Of Requirements. He didn't want his precious source of knowledge to be confiscated.
He was also grateful Lia hadn't provided him more than the bare minimum. Quinn was going to develop this suitcase on his own and turn it into his own place. He was sure it would give a substantial amount of satisfaction when he would fill every room in this suitcase for a specific purpose. Quinn saw the development of the suitcase as a long-term project.
Quinn then transferred all his books to the library, stored all of his new Hogwarts clothes and other clothes in the closet, and put all the other things he would need in Hogwarts into the suitcases. One example was reams upon reams of paper for his own note-taking. Quinn found parchment paper to be a little thick for his taste, and if not charmed, would shrink and expand with heat and humidity.
And finally, Quinn placed a cuboidal block of wood in the center of an empty room in the suitcase. The block of wood held Quinn's wand. Quinn had encased his wand in the block of wood. It wasn't a box or container; it was just a block of wood with Quinn's wand in the middle of it.
He had transmuted the wood to surround his wand and shaped it into a cuboid, and just for safety measure, he had etched the words, 'Do not touch,' on the block of wood. He wasn't ever going to let someone close to the wand container. But in the unlikely event someone got close to it, he etched the words so that they wouldn't touch it. Plus, he would ward and enchant both the block of wood and room when he got enough skills to pull it off.
Before exiting the suitcase, Quinn locked the door and never looked back.
- (Scene Break) -
On 1 September 1990, Quinn, Lia, and George reached Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. It was fun when Quinn ran into the wall barrier and passed right through it to enter Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. There was an apparition point inside the platform, but Quinn wanted to go through the wall, so they entered the platform from the non-magical (muggle) side.
Quinn didn't attract any attention as he only had a suitcase with him, and that too was shrunken down by Lia to look like a briefcase. Unlike many other students, he didn't have to carry pet cages, cauldrons, and other big things outside of the suitcase. Plus, all three members were wearing appropriate clothing, so there wasn't a problem on their part, and ministry employees were stationed around the train station to fire memory charms to alter memories of the people who noticed the weird presence of owls in cages on carts.
The sight of the inside of the Platform Nine and Three-Quarters was just as the books had described. The same scarlet steam engine train, with Hogwarts students and their guardians on the platform. When he looked up, he saw the overhead-sign that read Hogwarts Express, Eleven O'clock.
Smoke from the engine drifted over the heads of the chattering crowd. While cats of every color wound here and there between their legs. Owls hooted to one another in a disgruntled sort of way over the babble and the scraping of heavy trunks.
As Quinn and his family had arrived early, and only a few carriages were filled, and he could see students hanging out of the window to talk to their families.
Quinn asked Lia to undo the shrinking charm by using the counter-charm, engorgement charm. And then turned to both of his family members and said, "I guess I will see you at Christmas."
George knelt on one knee and hugged Quinn, "If you have any problem, just owl me, and I will be there to help you. Don't hesitate to ask for help." With one last squeeze, George released Quinn and stood up.
Quinn faced Lia, and she too hugged Quinn and spoke, "Don't follow strangers, ask for help if you have any problem, don't feel pressured to do anything you don't want to, and don't do dangerous stuff. Study hard, but don't forget to have fun. Finally, write me a letter every day."
Quinn laughed while hugging her back, "I can do one letter a week." Lia also chuckled and murmured, "You better."
Quinn also hugged them once from his side and spoke, "Now, don't keep standing here. I don't want to keep waving goodbye to you till the train leaves, so leave immediately."
Lia chuckled and ruffled Quinn's hair a little too roughly, which elicited a swat on her hand from Quinn, who immediately fixed his hair.
Quinn lifted up his suitcase and then boarded the train. The moment he was inside the train and out of Lia and George's sight, he casted a Feather-Light charm on the suitcase and wove through the crowd until he found an empty compartment in the middle of the train.
Quinn entered the compartment and levitated the suitcase onto the overhead luggage rack. Quinn thought of locking the compartment but decided against it.
Quinn sat down next to the window and gazed outside, watching multitudes of students and parents. He saw a huge red-head family stumbling onto the platform, hurrying to the platform as the Hogwarts Express was about to depart. He recognized the Weasley Family; the two parents, Author and Molly, one mid-teen boy, who Quinn guessed was Charles, a pair of twins, Fred and George, another tween boy, Ron, and a little girl, Ginny.
Quinn heard a knock on his door, and when he turned to look, there was a girl, same age as him, standing at the door. She opened the door and asked, "Hey, can I sit here? The rest of the compartments are either filled or people who are saving seats for friends. I can't find a seat."
Quinn nodded and stood up to help the girl with her luggage.
"Thank you, my name is Katie Bell," said the girl.
It inwardly surprised Quinn for a split second before he introduced himself, "You are welcome. My name is Quinn West. First-year?" He also put out a hand for a handshake.
Katie Bell shook Quinn's hand and replied, "Yes, what about you?"
Quinn nodded and spoke while returning to his seat, "I am a first-year as well. Please take a seat."
Katie took the seat opposite Quinn, next to the window, "So, are you excited for Hogwarts?"
Quinn smiled and replied, "Indeed, I am. It would be fun to live in the castle. I read that the grand staircase in Hogwarts is ever-changing. An entire flight of stairs that was charmed to move and change paths."
Katie was amazed, and with plenty of excitement accompanied by slight fear in her voice, she asked, "Really! That is mad, but what happens if someone falls from it?"
Quinn put a hand on his chin before pondering out loud, "I am not sure, but I have heard that the steps of the grand staircase can sink to trap people. Maybe the staircase traps people who are about to fall, or maybe the professors have set some measures." Quinn smiled before saying, "Hogwarts is proud to say that they have zero stairs-related deaths."
Katie giggled at the joke.
"What about you, Ms. Bell? What are you most excited about?" Quinn asked as he set up an elbow on the table in between them.
Katie's eyes sparkled as she babbled, "Quidditch! I love Quidditch. I want to join a Quidditch team." She had a dreamy look on her face as she talked on and on about Quidditch. Though Katie did stop after a while when she realized she had been speaking without stopping.
"Sorry about that. I got too excited," Katie blushed in embarrassment as she apologized.
"Don't mind it, so you said you want to join a team. Which houses' team do you want to join?" asked Quinn as he tried to ease her embarrassment.
"My mother was from Gryffindor, and my father was a Hufflepuff, so I am fine with either of the two. What about you?"
Quinn shrugged as he talked, "I am cool with either of the four houses. My parents didn't attend Hogwarts, but my grandfather did, and he was in Slytherin. But, he said that all houses are good, so I will be good with any of the four."
Katie nodded and continued to talk with him. It didn't surprise Quinn that Katie didn't show any dislike when Quinn mentioned that his grandfather was from Slytherin. Not all children were raised up like Weasleys and grew up with prejudice against Slytherin part of their life.
An hour into the ride, the Trolley lady came knocking on the door and asked, "Anything off the cart, dears?"
Quinn hopped off from his seat and picked a chocolate bar from the trolley. He turned to Katie, "Do you want something?"
Katie gazed at the trolley and said, "Two Cauldron Cakes, please."
Quinn nodded and paid for a chocolate bar and two cauldron cakes, and before the Trolley lady left, he asked, "Ma'am, when would the Buffet Cart open?"
The trolley lady smile and informed, "It will be open from one-thirty and would remain open for two hours, dear."
"Thank you," Quinn thanked before closing the door and walking back to his seat and placed Katie's cauldron cakes on the table.
Katie handed Quinn the money for the cauldron cakes and asked, "What is the Buffet Car?"
Quinn placed the chocolate bar aside and explained, "The train ride is long, so the students must get hungry, and just sweets won't help, so there is a car on the train where you can buy lunch. It is actually written on the backside of the ticket."
"It is?!" Katie said as she fished out her Hogwarts Express ticket and looked at the backside. "Oh, there it is! You are correct. Hogwarts Express provides lunch for students on the Buffet car of the train. Why is the print so small?"
After having lunch, Quinn bought out one of Alan's books on occlumency from his suitcase when Katie was out of their compartment and started reading it.
Quinn started reading, and sometime later, he heard the door open up and Katie standing at the door. She looked at Quinn but didn't enter.
"What is it, Ms. Bell?" asked Quinn.
"Hey, I made a friend and was thinking if she could join us," said Katie. Quinn saw no problem with it, so he nodded, but he was impressed by Katie's ability to make friends. Even when they visited the buffet car, she started talking with a group of people she had just met.
A minute entered later, Katie entered the compartment with another girl. Once again, Quinn helped with the luggage and got a thank you in return.
"Hello, my name is Cho Chang. Nice to meet you," introduced the new girl.
For the second time today, Quinn felt surprised hearing the name and thought, 'What are the chances to meet two named characters before even entering Hogwarts.'
Quinn offered his hand for a handshake while introducing himself, "It is a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Chang. My name is Quinn West, first year."
Cho shook Quinn's hand and added, "Me too." Referring to her status as a first-year student.
The three students sat down and talked for a while before Quinn went back to his book, while Katie and Cho continued to talk to each other.
After a couple of hours, Quinn looked at the time in his pocket watch and turned to the two girls, "Hey, the train will be reaching Hogwarts soon. We should change into our uniforms."
Both girls nodded, and they decided that one by one, they would change in their compartment, while the other two would wait outside and guard the compartment.
All three of them changed into their uniforms, and now they truly looked like first-year students. Unlike all older students, the first-year students' robes, pre-sorting didn't have house colors and crests. Their neckties and other clothing also lacked house colors.
Just before reaching Hogwarts, a voice echoed through the train, "We will be reaching Hogwarts in five minutes. Please leave your luggage on the train; it will be taken to the school separately."
Quinn's heart started beating faster, and when he looked around, he saw both Katie and Cho were looking nervous as they joined the crowd thronging the corridor.
The train slowed right down and finally stopped. People pushed their way toward the door and out onto a tiny, dark platform. Quinn shivered in the chilly night air but slowly felt himself warm up because of the charms spelled into each thread of his clothes.
Then a lamp came bobbing over the students' heads, and Quinn heard a booming voice. "First years! First years over here!"
Quinn saw a towering person, who he could only identify as the half-giant, Rubeus Hagrid, Hogwarts' Keeper of Keys and Grounds.
"Come on, follow me — any more first years? Mind your step, now! First years follow me!" ordered Hagrid in his booming voice.
After a couple of minutes of following Hagrid, they finally saw the infamous Hogwarts' castle. The sight of the castle took Quinn's breath away. He had seen many sights during his travel, and he could confidently say that the illuminated Hogwarts' castle was one of the most mesmerizing sights he had seen. Even nature seemed to be helping the castle as a few moments later, the moon emerged from the clouds and bathed the castle with moonlight.
"No more than four to a boat!" Hagrid called, pointing to a fleet of little boats sitting in the water by the shore. Quinn got on a boat and helped both Katie and Cho get on the boat. A fourth person didn't enter their boat.
"Everyone in?" shouted Hagrid, who had a boat to himself. "Right then — FORWARD!"
And the fleet of little boats moved off all at once, gliding across the lake which was as smooth as glass. Everyone was silent, staring up at the great castle overhead. It towered over them as they sailed nearer and nearer to the cliff on which it stood.
"Heads down!" yelled Hagrid as the first boats reached the cliff; they all bent their heads, and the little boats carried them through a curtain of ivy that hid a wide opening in the cliff face. They were carried along a dark tunnel, which seemed to be taking them right underneath the castle until they reached a kind of underground harbor, where they clambered out onto rocks and pebbles.
Then they clambered up a passageway in the rock after Hagrid's lamp, coming out at last onto smooth, damp grass right in the shadow of the castle. They walked up a flight of stone steps and crowded around the huge oak front door.
"Everyone here?" Hagrid raised a gigantic fist and knocked three times on the castle door.
Quinn's heart slammed against his chest as he waited for the door to open.
-*-*-*-*-*-
[
A/N [1]: I am LAZY, so I just used Katie and Cho as Quinn's companions on the train. Haven't thought of OC companions just yet.
]
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Quinn West - MC - Student of Hogwarts - "Hogwarts Express has sentience."
Katie Bell - Student of Hogwarts - Extrovert - "Friends? I have a lot of friends."
Cho Chang - Student of Hogwarts - Nervous - Hogwarts is beautiful.
Trolly Lady - Employ of Honeydukes - "Sales are always good on Hogwarts Express"
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