“Hey, mind if I sit here?”
“Huh?” I looked up from the book I was reading to see a blue-eyed brunette about my age standing in the doorway of the compartment where I sat alone.
“Mind if I sit here?” she repeated.
“Sure,” I said quietly.
“Thanks,” said the girl. She dragged her trunk into the compartment and gave the luggage rack an appraising look. “How did you get your trunk up there?” She reached toward the rack and barely touched it. “You can’t be much taller than I am.”
“One of the Prefects helped me,” I said.
“Huh.” Without further ado, the girl clambered onto the bench across from me, hoisted her trunk above her with effort, and almost dropped it. I jumped up quickly and caught the other end. Between us we managed to maneuver the trunk into the luggage rack.
“Whew. Now that that’s taken care of, hi! I’m Mimi Stewart.” Mimi grinned at me confidently.
“Hi.” I smiled shyly. “I’m Lily Evans.”
Mimi sat down across from me and said, “So, what’re you reading?”
“Um, it’s ‘Hogwarts, A History,’” I said, not really wanting to talk, but glad that we were at least saved from the awkward silence that comes of two shy strangers on a long train ride. No, shy this girl was not. I tried to find my spot again.
“Uh-oh, we weren’t supposed to read that, were we?” Mimi asked, suddenly anxious. “I didn’t see a reading list…or I don’t remember seeing one…”
“No, I just…decided to read it,” I answered reluctantly. Here it came. Day one of my Hogwarts career, and I was already labeling myself as a hopeless bookworm.
“Oh, phew,” said Mimi, relieved. “I thought I’d forgotten something.” She laughed self-deprecatingly. “Here I am, day one of my Hogwarts career, already labeling myself as a hopeless protagonater.” She sighed dramatically.
Wait, what? “Don’t you mean procrastinator?” I asked.
“Yeah, that’s the one.” I jumped as a loud yowling sound issued from a wicker basked left unnoticed on the floor. “Case in point,” said Mimi, jumping up. “Sorry, James! I’ll let you out.”
I got up and quickly shut the compartment door. A small black-and-white cat shot out of the basket and, finding no escape route, settled primly into a corner, licking his paws.
“Oh, he’s so cute!” I squealed. Mimi grinned at me approvingly.
“That’s the most volume I’ve heard from you this whole trip. You can pet him if you want.”
I extended my hand cautiously towards James. He sniffed it curiously and allowed me to stroke his head. “He likes you,” said Mimi as a matter of fact. “So, what’s this ‘History of Hogwarts’ about?”
“’Hogwarts, A History,’” I corrected her. “It’s basically just that, a history of Hogwarts. It’s full of interesting facts and things about the school.”
“Okay, so what’s the latest interesting fact?” asked Mimi, sitting down next to me and peeking at the book.
“Um, well…” I searched the page and found one I guessed would interest her. “’In 1880 Hogwarts appointed the youngest player ever to play on a House Quidditch team. Abram Bashar played Seeker for Hufflepuff in his first year.’”
“What’s Quidditch?” asked Mimi blankly.
“Uh…it’s a Wizarding sport played on broomsticks. I think the Seeker has to catch the golden Snitch. Seekers have to be small and fast.”
“Broomsticks? Wicked! I’ve got to try that. I don’t think Seeker would work too well for me, though.”
“Why not?” I asked, looking her up and down. She wasn’t too tall, only a little taller than me. She wasn’t slender, I supposed, but she wasn’t fat either. “You might do okay.”
“Nah, I’m too slow,” she said. “Look at you, though. You’re small enough—no offense.”
“None taken,” I said, shaking my head. “But I’d never be any good at Quidditch, or flying, period. I hate heights,” I explained.
Mimi shrugged and started another topic of conversation. We continued in this matter for the rest of the train ride.
I never did get back to my book.