The last three days before Teddie's summer was spent messing around with her friend's, staying out late, swimming, and sometimes venturing across the pond into enemy territories and breaking into their warehouses. While Teddie was a troublemaker, she wasn't a thief, she'd break into a place but she never stole anything, not even things of non-value.
If she wasn't out with her friends, getting into trouble, she was looking after her brother, Mason. He had a summer cold, and his allergies were playing havoc with him as the summer came to a close. It was around this time of year that Mason's hayfever always played holy hell. The doctors had given him antibiotics to try and help, but sometimes it was best to just stay indoors.
"I can't believe you're a witch," Mason said, curling up on one side of the sofa. He had a book that Teddie had bought in Diagon Alley propped up on his knees. She'd bought it as a present to him, especially since she wasn't going to be seeing it for a while.
"It does seem to explain a lot of things though," Teddie said from the other side of the room. She was feeding Priscilla again. The snake looked a lot better than she had done all month. There was some colour back on her scales, and her body temperature and returned to normal.
Mason murmured in agreement. "Yeah, like that time you blew up the coat rack at school," he said, looking up from the book.
Teddie winced as she remembered. Upton Cross Primary School had been the first school she ever attended, but after many incidents, including her blowing up the coat rack in her classroom after arguing with another student, she'd been expelled.
"And, that time at Kensington," Mason added, quickly.
"I'd rather forget that day," Teddie said. "But, yes, I get your point. A lot of weird stuff has happened to me over the years, and I guess magic can be to blame. Mr Snape called it 'accidental magic'."
Mason nodded and returned his attention to the book. "Do you think I could be a warlock?" he asked. "Wouldn't it be cool if we were both magical? Then I could come to school with you too."
"Apparently, boy's aren't called Warlocks," Teddie said. "They're called Wizards. But yes, it would be awesome if you were magical. At least, if you did come to school with me, I wouldn't feel like such a loser. I mean, this school is a prestige boarding school, who wants to bet all the kids going there know each other already? I suck at making new friends."
"Just look out for the ones that like to fight, and you should be fine."
Teddie rolled her eyes and threw the nearest object at him. It was a packet of Skittles.
Mason shrieked and dived under his blanket for safety. He laughed and resurfaced. "Maybe, in two years, I'll get a letter just like you," he said. "Then I can come to Hogwarts too. Hopefully, you'll have friends by then, but if you don't, we can just be together, like always."
Teddie smiled and closed Priscilla's tank. "Yeah, who needs new friends when I'll have my best friend, huh?" she asked.
"Thank you for the book, by the way," said Mason. "It's truly fascinating to learn about your world."
"I thought you may have liked it," said Teddie. She cleaned up the plastic bags that had once contained a dead rat and headed into the kitchen. "I'll tell you what," she called. "How about I make us some snacks, and then you can tell me all about the world I am heading into?"
Mason turned the page. "Sure. Sounds fun," he called back.
Mason awoke at 7 o'clock the next morning and was jumping up and down on Teddie's by 7:30. "Come on, come on, come on!" he wailed. "You're going to Hogwarts today. You have to get up and get ready."
Teddie groaned and rolled over, pulling her blankets over her head in an attempt to block out her brother's over-excited voice. One would have thought he was the one attending a magical school, not her.
"Teddie, come on!" Mason called again. He dropped to his knees with a bounce, took hold of the blanket, and pulled it down, revealing his disheveled and sleep-deprived sister beneath it. "Why aren't you excited?"
"Because it's too early to be awake," Teddie grumbled. She fumbled around, her eyes closed, looking for the blanket to pull back over her head. "Go back to bed and wake me in an hour."
Mason rolled his eyes and scooted closer, snuggling under the blankets and sitting on Teddie's hip. He leaned forward, bracing himself with one hand against the wall and leaned closer to her ear. "WAKE UP!" he yelled.
Teddie shrieked and sat up, knocking her head against Mason's.
"OW!" they both wailed, clutching their heads firmly.
"What in the blazin' is going on in here?" Robert asked, throwing open the door and striding inside. He looked from one child to the next, demanding an explanation.
Mason jumped up onto the bed again. "She's going to Hogwarts today, Dad!" he said, hopping up and down again.
"Will you tell him to bugger off?" Teddie asked, grasping the blanket again and tugging it over her head. "My train doesn't leave until eleven. I don't have to get up yet."
Robert shook his head and helped Mason down from the bed. "You should really get up, Teddie," he said. "You want to look presentable when you arrive at Kings Cross. Come on, shower and meet us downstairs for breakfast."
Teddie grumbled as her father left the room with Mason. But I want to sleep… she thought, dismally.
"Teddie, honey, are you awake?" Rose Green, Teddie and Mason's mother called from downstairs.
"No," Teddie called back.
"Then you best start to move," Rose said. "Come on. By the time you're ready, your father shall have cooked the bacon."
Teddie's eyes snapped open and she sat up straight. "Bacon?" she called. "Really? We only have bacon on special occasions." She threw back her bed covers and stumbled out onto the landing. She looked down the stairs at her mother, a grin on her lips. "How long do I have?"
"I'd say, ten minutes?"
"I'll be down in eight," Teddie said. She turned tail and run into the bathroom, slamming and locking the door behind her.
Rose chuckled and returned to the kitchen.
Exactly eight minutes later, Teddie hurried into the kitchen. She was dressed and looked like she'd been awake since five o'clock.
"Took you long enough," Mason teased. "I was just about to ask Dad if I could have your bacon."
"Keep your hands off my bacon," Teddie said. "Best friend or little brother, I'll fight you for the bacon."
Mason laughed and reached for the maple syrup as his mother set a tower of pancakes down in front of him. He drowned the pancakes with sugary goodness and reached for a knife and fork.
"Urgh!" Teddie said, scrunching her nose up. "How can you eat that?"
"Because it's gooooood!" Mason said through a mouthful of food.
Teddie stuck out her tongue and grinned as her father set a plate of bacon in front of her. He was just adding fried eggs to another plate when Teddy started to eat.
"Oh, slow down, pumpkin, you'll have a stomach ache and hiccups," Robert said.
"Sorry," Teddie apologised. She swallowed and reached for another strip of bacon. She loved bacon. It was her most favourite meat in the whole world. She'd eat it every day if she could. But bacon was expensive. Usually, her family only had it on special birthdays, and anniversaries.
Rose sat opposite her husband and picked up a knife and fork. "Have you packed everything, Teddie?" she asked.
Teddy nodded. "Double, triple checked everything last night," she said. "Even Mason checked for me."
"She has everything, Mum," Mason said, munching on a strip of bacon. He chewed and swallowed, reaching for a glass of orange juice.
Breakfast was a short affair, and then the Green family were off, preparing themselves for their trip to London. Once his family were sorted, and his daughter's school supplies were packed into his car, Robert Green drove them out of Spinner's End.
Teddie looked around nervously as she navigated her way through the people at Kings Cross Station. Behind her, pushing a trolley with her things, were her parents, as Mason run up ahead. They were both searching high and low for the platform known as 9 ¾.
"See anything, Mason?" Teddie called.
Mason slowed to a halt and shook his head. "Nope. This is the last pillar with 9 and 10 written on it," he said, pointing at the stone wall ahead of them. "I don't think there is a 9 ¾, sis."
"There has to be!" Teddie said, She checked her ticket a fourth time, and looked up at her brother. "Maybe we could ask. Come on," she led him over to a Station Master. "Excuse me, Sir, I was wondering if you could point us in the direction of Platform 9 ¾?"
"9 ¾?" the man laughed. "Are you kidding me? Why don't you kids run along before I call security." He walked away, muttering under his breath about stupid kids.
Teddie's fists clenched at her side. "Who does he think he is calling us stupid kids?" she asked.
"I don't know," said Mason. "But you have to admit. It was an odd request. Come on," he grabbed her hand and tried to pull her back to their parents. "Don't let him make you angry. You don't want to blow up the station or something."
Teddie rolled her eyes and followed him back to their parents.
"Find anything?" Rose asked as her children returned.
Mason and Teddie rolled their eyes.
"Teddie, think hard," said Robert. "What exactly did Severus tell you about the magical world when he took you school shopping?"
Teddie shrugged. "He said that there were several gateways throughout this world that linked to the Wizarding world. Like, the Leaky Cauldron that leads to Diagon Alley. But he never told me where the other gateways where. I wish I had asked now, to be honest, then I wouldn't feel like such an idiot wandering around and asking station masters about a place that shouldn't exist."
"Did you just say Diagon Alley?" a voice from behind asked.
The Green's turned to a smart, well-dressed woman standing on the platform to their rear. It was obvious that she was rich. She had long blond hair, high cheekbones, and a hint of a friendly smile.
"Yes, we did," Rose answered. "I'm Rose Green. This is my husband, Robert, and our children, Teddie and Mason."
"You know about Diagon Alley?" Mason asked.
The woman surveyed the youngster and then nodded. "Yes, my name is Eleanor Nott," she said. "My son, Theodore." She placed her hand on the shoulder of a boy with short brown hair, He was tall, and wiry, and looked sullen and withdrawn. He smiled weakly at the introduction but didn't spare a word in communication.
"Do you know how to get onto the platform?" Teddie asked.
Eleanor nodded. "Muggleborn?" she asked.
Teddie cocked her head to the side and nodded. "Um, what?" she asked.
"Oh dear," Eleanor said, as Teddie confirmed her thoughts. "Do not worry, child, you'll get used to this world soon enough. Come along, we can go to the platform together." She strode past the family of four, leading them over to the last pillar and stopped again.
Mason frowned and looked around. "We were just here," he said. "There is no platform 9 ¾."
"Gateways between this world and the other are usually always invisible," Eleanor explained. "Either that or they are well protected with charms and enchantments that they cannot be seen. To get onto the platform, all you have to do is run at the wall between platforms nine and ten."
Rose's eyes widened. "I beg your pardon?" she asked, grasping Teddie's shoulders firmly. "Teddie, you will do no such thing."
Teddie considered the wall between the two platforms with great interest.
"Here, Theodore shall show you," Eleanor said. She motioned for her son to go ahead, and Theodore run, full speed at the wall.
Teddie closed her eyes, expecting to hear a crash. When she didn't, she opened her eyes just in time to see Theo disappear. "Holy -" she cut off and blinked.
"I want a turn!" Mason said, running at the wall.
"MASON!" Rose called. She reached out to grab her son, but he evaded her grasp and disappeared straight through the barrier.
Teddie looked up at her mother. "I'll get him," she said, running after her brother.
On the other side, Teddie found herself facing an enormously packed station. People bustled about here and there, friends rejoiced as they found one another amongst the crowds, and owls hooted, cats mewled, and toads croaked loudly over the ruckus. Teddie spotted the boy known as Theodore Nott standing a fair distance away from the other people and walked over to him.
"You haven't seen my little brother run by, have you?" Teddie asked.
Theodore looked surprised that she was talking to him. He shook his head and cast his gaze down at his feet.
Teddie frowned. "Are you okay?" she asked.
"Um, okay, well, I'm going to go find my brother," Teddie said. "If I don't see you on the train, I guess I'll see you at Hogwarts." She walked around him and disappeared into the crowd, calling out Mason's name,
Pushing her way through the crowd, Teddie jostled and tripped as someone run into her. She hissed as she landed on her knees and looked up to see a boy who looked like a gorilla amble past. He didn't even stop to apologise or see if she was alright.
"Hey, watch where you're going, asshole!" Teddie snapped, pushing herself up.
The boy stopped short and turned around. "What did you say?" he asked, reaching for her.
"I said, watch where you're going!" Teddie growled, slapping his hand away. "It doesn't take a lot to open your eyes and be aware of others around you, and, if you do happen to walk into someone, or push them down, saying sorry wouldn't hurt either."
The boy sneered. "Do you have any idea who I am?" he asked.
"No, and to be quite honest, I really don't care," Teddie said. She pushed past him, striding off into the crowd and disappearing.
The boy glared after her.
"Someone giving you a run for your money, Warrington?" asked another boy.
Warrington sneered at him too. "What's it to you, Flint?" he asked.
The boy, Flint, laughed and shrugged. "Just finding it amusing that an eleven-year-old girl has the courage to stand up to you, that's all," he said. "Interesting times lay ahead at Hogwarts if that's the case."
"Shut up!" Warrington said, storming off.
Flint chuckled and turned to the crowd, His gaze found the girl in question and he made his way towards her. She looked to be searching for someone, or something. "Are you lost?" he asked, startling her.
Teddie whirled around. "Do I look lost?" she asked.
"Ooh, feisty," Flint said. "What's your name?"
"Why do you care?"
"Just trying to be friendly. I'm Marcus. Marcus Flint, and you?"
Marcus looked confused. "You're not pureblood, are you?" he asked. "I've never heard of a pureblood Green family before."
"Does it matter?" Teddie asked. "Whether I'm pureblood or not?"
"No, I guess it doesn't," said Marcus. "Anyway. Are you lost? You look lost."
"I'm not lost, I'm just looking for someone who is lost."
"And who may that be?"
"My little brother, Mason," Teddie said. "He ran on to the platform after Theo, and I can't find him anywhere. My parents will be worried if they can't find him."
Marcus nodded and looked around. "What does your brother look like?" he asked.
"Like me, but with short red hair," Teddie described. "He has freckles on his nose and is a tad shorter than I am. He's only nine."
Marcus turned and reached into the crowd, pulling out another boy around his age. "Pucey, we're looking for a nine-year-old red-headed boy. His name's Mason Green. He's a muggleborn," he told the boy.
"So?" the boy, Pucey, said,
"Just find him and take him back to the gateway," Marcus said.
Teddie watched as the boy slipped back into the crowd. He didn't even glance at her, or say anything about the orders he had just been given. She paused and looked up at Marcus. "Why are you helping me?" she asked.
"Like I said, it's called being friendly." Marcus smiled, showing several crooked teeth. "As a Muggleborn, you're going to need to make friends fast in this world. Muggleborns are usually taken advantage of at Hogwarts because they don't know our customs. With friends, you're less likely to be a target."
"I can look after myself."
"Clearly," Marcus agreed. "Do you want to find your brother or not?"
"Then follow me," Marcus said, leading her back into the crowd. They searched every inch of the platform. Marcus even recruited more of his friends and sent them onto the train in search of Mason, but they all came back empty-handed.
Teddie was starting to feel scared as the last boy came back, shaking his head at Flint. She was about to call quits when she heard a small voice call "Teddie!" from somewhere near the back of the crowd. She spun around and sighed in relief, as Mason pushed his way towards her,
"Teddie, you have to come see this!" Mason said, grasping her hand. "There's this kid, I think he said his name is Lee, and he has this tarantula in a box. It's amazing, Teddie. I told him that we kept snakes, and he wants to know more. I told him he had to meet you because you take care of Priscilla more than I do. Come on, he's back here."
"Mason!" Teddie shouted, pulling her brother to a halt. She wheeled him around and glared, Mason swallowed and looked down. "Do you have any idea how worried I have been? You can't just run off like that, especially here. What if we couldn't have found you? What if someone grabbed you? Bloody hell, Mason, don't you ever do that again, do you hear me?"
Mason nodded and hugged Teddie tightly.
Teddie sighed and hugged him back. She felt him shake and suddenly felt guilty for shouting at him. "Mason, I'm sorry, but you really scared me then," she apologised. "I bet Mum is hysterical. I know you want to show me the tarantula, but we should really go and find them."
"Oh, okay," Mason said. "I guess you might see Lee at Hogwarts. You can tell him about Priscilla then. Hey, wait, who are you?" he added, finally spotting Marcus over Teddie's shoulder.
Teddie looked at the older boy. "This is Marcus Flint, he's been helping me look for you," she said. "Him and his friends. What do you say?"
"Thank you, and sorry," Mason said.
Marcus shook his head and turned to Teddie. "The train leaves at exactly 11 o'clock," he said. "If you're going to find your parents, you'd better hurry. You don't have much time."
Teddie spied a clock on the far wall. It was 10:55. She had five minutes to find her parents and gets on the train. "Thank you," she said, tugging Mason back into the crowd. She weaved her way through and finally returned to the gateway. Her parents, Eleanor and Theodore were waiting there.
"Oh, Mason!" Rose cried, pulling her son into arms. "What have I told you about running off?"
"I already gave him a talking to, Mum," Teddie said. "He said he was sorry."
Rose wiped away the tears of fear from her face and looked up at her daughter. Teddie had always been overly protective of Mason, despite them being two years apart in age. They were more than siblings, they were best friends, and Teddie always did everything she could to make sure Mason was well looked after.
"Eleanor has been telling us about the Wizarding World," Rose said. "She says the train leaves at eleven. You should board now and find a seat. Don't worry about your trunk, your father's already handed it to the train master."
"What about Merlin and Morgana?" Teddie asked.
Robert held up a clear case and handed it to Teddie. "All safe," he assured her.
A whistle sounded.
Eleanor ushered her son over to the train, and Teddie turned to her parents. "I'm going to miss you," she said, hugging them tightly. "You too, Mason."
"You be good, Teddie," Robert said, hugging his daughter and kissing her forehead. "We don't want letters home about you fighting. Try to keep that temper of yours in check."
"I'll try, Dad," Teddie promised. She was thankful that they didn't know about her run-in with an older student already. They wouldn't have been pleased to hear she was fighting already.
Doors all along the train started to slam shut.
"Quickly, Teddie," Eleanor called from the last remaining open carriage. She held out her hand and Teddie run over, hopping aboard. The door slammed shut behind her and she leaned out, waving to her family as the train picked up speed.
Mason run alongside the train, keeping as far away from the edge of the platform as he could. He soon stopped and waved, calling out over the noise.
"Bye, Teddie, I miss you already!"