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Post by grey xavier slater on Jun 8, 2016 22:04:59 GMT -7
walk among us
There was something comforting about riding on the Hogwarts Express. It was like going home after an extremely long vacation. Or waking up from a never-ending dream. Something about the magical school had always felt more like Grey’s home than his parents’ house ever had, even pre-Hogwarts. The semi-long train ride from King’s Cross Station back to the school was the height of his anticipation after every summer and winter break and the thoughts of seeing all of his friends again, though fewer in number now, were always at their apex by the time he boarded the passenger train. This year was slightly different from the last six: it would be the last time he would be climbing aboard for the start of a new year at Hogwarts. This was it. The train in the winter would be the last time heading towards Hogwarts before it was all over. Grey definitely wasn’t an emotional person by any means and sometimes people thought he had the emotions of a rock, albeit one that could snap back sarcastically if need be. He was by no means an idiot when it came to some things, just would rather keep everything bottled up inside and work on it on his own terms. His sisters seemed to think there was a problem with that, but he didn’t have the emotional disposition of an unruly toddler that was just learning to walk like the two of them did sometimes.
As of right now, Grey had his stack of luggage piled high behind him, drawing the typical ire from the muggle crowd at King’s Cross Station. He had always wondered what the muggles thought of these strange people that appeared multiple times throughout the year, carrying large suitcases, owls, toads, and other strange assortments of magical paraphernalia. It always cleared his conscience to remember that he was a little more in tune with the muggle world than the older generations of witches and wizards. Still, Grey stuck out like a sore thumb when in the train station, and he hated the feeling of eyes and questioning gazes following him. Addi had bolted ahead of him already, jumping through the gate into the magical realm of the station. Claire had dropped them off at the station this year, their parents being too occupied with work to make it on time. Funny enough, that seemed like a relatively normal thing for Grey. The Slater parents had always opted out of going to send their children off, not being huge fans of the crowds there. At least that was one thing Grey could relate to his parents with. This time around, the two siblings had begged their elder sister to get them to the station as early as possible, hopefully avoiding the massive rush of first and second year students with their entire extended families following close behind. Having been products of this themselves during Claire’s few years before Grey started, neither he nor Addi wanted to be a bi-product of death by stampeding magical families when they were so close to being done with school.
Rolling his luggage cart towards Platform 9¾, Grey glanced awkwardly over his shoulder to make sure there weren’t any muggles looking his way. He knew the magical barrier had him covered already, but he had always been hesitant to just bolt towards what looked like a solid wall while others were watching him. That may or may not have been one of the reasons why he let his sister go before him. Just maybe. Plus there was always the chance that the luggage carts would have bad wheels, causing him to steer out of control and cause a completely unnecessary and avoidable scene on the platform. Seeing that he was in the clear, Grey pushed his cart forward, making sure to run directly at the wall. The slight head rush of breaking through the magical barrier indicated that he was now safely inside the boundaries of Platform 9¾. Peering through the cloud of steam-engine smoke that met his face, Grey thought he caught a glimpse of Addi running off towards the passenger cars. No doubt she had already found some of her friends and decided that her brother meant absolutely nothing to her. Same old same old. He’d get her back later on when she would least expect it. Inhaling the train’s smoke through his nostrils, the same nostalgic feeling he had earlier came back to him. There was something magical about this very moment, not in the literal sense, but the kind you would see in a muggle movie.
He imagined that to the majority of the students, the trip to Hogwarts was the journey towards their freedom from their parents and the chance for them to practice as much magic as they wanted too freely without fear of being punished for it. To Grey it was so much more. Sure he had his own blood-kin with him at school, with the added bonus of being able to consider his closest friends as good as family. And he was able to escape his parents like everyone else was. But there was still something else that he felt made his experience so much more unique. For Grey, this return to what he thought of as his true home was where he could bottle up and save what he considered the happiest times of his life. The people he had met, the things he had learned, everything. He knew this was an experience completely unique to him and others probably had a hard time even deciphering how going to a magical boarding school with thousands of other potentially dangerous children waving sticks around and shooting magical sparks out of the tips of them is anything but asking for a death sentence. Somehow, surprisingly too, the vast majority of them would escape Hogwarts unscathed and ready to attempt a stab at the game of life. When Grey was ready to cross that bridge and follow his sister and older friends, he knew that the times he had at Hogwarts would ever be replicated in his life again.
That’s why he was prepared to live his seventh year at the magical school as if he had done it twice. It was definitely a strange way to think of it, but he had realized during his fifth year that there wasn’t much time left. At that point in time, Grey buckled down on his studies and started to spend as much time as he could with the people closest to him. It wasn’t like he would never be able to his friends again, but it would definitely be in a lot less frequency. The bonds he had made with others the past two years were greater than the ones in his first four years at school, the type of bonds that would stick with him forever. Some had come and gone, others falling out, a few deciding to make decisions that weren’t the smartest, and others that had stuck by his side the entire ride. The events of the previous school year had tested the students even further, stretching and ripping at the connections everyone had tried to build during their time at Hogwarts. The subtle, slow deterioration of friendships and varying relationships was a very scary thing to watch happen from the outside. Grey could only imagine what the rest of the wizarding world thought of the going ons at the school. That was all said and done now though, and the new school year was approaching quickly. He was sure that everyone had those horrid memories stuck somewhere in the back of their heads, about to have them shoved to the forefront of every conversation and thought that occurred on the Hogwarts Express as they made their way back to school. Having virtually avoided any of the problems that plagued Hogwarts the prior year, and not really being phased by them all too much, Grey knew things wouldn’t be settled with the outcome everyone had been given. People didn’t just stop being evil, it was an inherent trait that, once awakened, was an affliction much too strong to break free from. That was how he had viewed the people that slipped onto the side of believing in blood status. It was a disgusting concept in itself. Regardless, it was all in the past and hopefully wouldn’t taint the upcoming year too much.
The platform was almost empty, void of the typical atmosphere that surrounded it during this time of year. Grey could vaguely make out the shape of a girl in the distance that looked something like his sister, but he couldn’t be sure. She was out of his control at this point, and completely able to make her own decisions without him. Not that he would want to tell her what to do anyways. He would surely be greeted with a constant pestering, jabbing, and possibly the bombardment of gossip about the current robe trends or whatever it was that young witches were into these days. Grey could also guarantee that Kyle would be brought up in the conversation numerous times, Addi’s friends always seeming to be interested in his friend more than him. Again, not like he was complaining about that at all. Kyle was popular simply because he was an outgoing, sociable person. And played Quidditch for Hufflepuff. And did a decently popular advice column in the school paper that the two of them semi ran together as a joke, but ended up benefitting from it far more than they could have ever imagined. Now they had an entire team behind them, and other students actually took them seriously as a news source. Grey had never considered working for the Daily Prophet or other newspapers following graduation, mainly because of the skeevy demeanor associated with journalists, but it had crossed his mind a few times. It was too late for that now though. He had spent the last few years trying to improve his grades enough to get accepted into Auror training, and that seemed more like a reality every day. Kyle had been nagging him for the past year about this career choice, and Grey simply led his friend to believe that he had become intrigued by his sister’s job. That was a complete lie of course, and it was more than he wanted to follow Rai. He was sure whatever he thought was between them would never end up working out, be he could always try.
Making his way further down the walkway, Grey finally found a nice spot on an empty bench to wait until the train’s doors were opened. Thinking so much about his closest friends made him wish at least one of them was there to chat for a while. He was positive Kyle would get there early, being a decently prompt person was one of his better qualities since Grey was atrociously late without his comrade there to get him places on time. Other than that, the two of them got along simply because they were completely and utterly prone to doing stupid things. Sure, the average friends could get into any sort of trouble while at school, but Kyle and Grey were easily going to reach an apex of dangerous activity this upcoming year. If they didn’t, well, then they wouldn’t go down in Hogwarts history. It was kind of a personal goal for both of them. Secretly, of course. The two of them would have a long talk on the ride back to school about what to get into this year, amongst other things. Grey still had to find a way to approach the whole debacle that had developed between Kyle and Jamie near the end of the last year. It was extremely strange for him to dip into other’s problems, but he felt like he owed it to his best friend. Kyle had helped him out countless times since they first met, so it was just repaying the debt. Plus Grey was worried that Kyle would even end up in a situation like this in the first place. It was unlike him on so many different levels. There had to be something more to all of it that neither Grey nor Jamie were aware of yet. He was positive that once that was brought forward, all parties would understand and some kind of amends would be made. Whether the friendship between the two Hufflepuffs would return to what it once was would yet to be seen, smaller steps had to be made first.
Luggage cart now in front of the bench he had sat down at, Grey spun it around and lifted his legs up onto his stack of suitcases. There would only be a few precious minutes of peace and quiet left in his summer vacation before it was back to the grind. He had a lot to do during his final year. Settling back onto the uncomfortable wooden planks that constructed the bench, Grey arched his back, slightly popping it as he crossed his arms behind his head, letting out a deep breath in the process. He had so much to do in such a little amount of time. It was rather depressing. Somehow, he’d make it work. In the meantime, the chugging and fuming of the Hogwarts Express started to put him in a daze. If only he could stay like this forever, than he would never have to worry about finishing school and saying goodbye to his friends. But all good things had to come to an end, and this was just the start of that end.
grey xavier slater & @ktmccartney 2277 What Lies Beneath by Ice Nine Kills my longest post ever!!!!