Chapter 3

Ines walked next to Oberon in silence as they made their way through Kings Cross, pushing their luggage carts. From an outside viewer, they could pass as the closest pair of twins. Despite the fact that they looked similar, the walked in perfect pace with each other. Looking deeper, the differences arose. Oberon had a sour look on his face, eyeing every person who passed them by. Ines, on the other hand, was flashing a gorgeous smile at each of the heads that turned her way, a regular occurrence. When they weren't looking at her they were gawking at her large trunk and cage perched on top, containing a light grey owl. Ines walking with light and airy steps, as if she was floating, Oberon took much more purposeful steps. Yet they walked side by side, mere inches separating them.

But to those who knew, they were everything but close. After they had been sorted differently, they grew apart, and in turn angrier. Oberon had no regard for Ines, but Ines could not care less. Having been in Gryffindor for five years now, she could not be any more different than the person she was when she entered Hogwarts. She shed all care of what people thought of her and embraced her new personality in full form. She was fierce, fearless, and the epitome of a Gryffindor. This just so happened to be everything that her family hated. But, they didn't want to draw any attention to the fact that they despised their daughter and kept the entire thing under wraps, pretending they were a perfect family. Their parents walked behind them, rather quickly as to keep up with their children and avoid being among muggles for any longer than they had to.

As they neared the barrier that would lead them to platform 9 ¾'s the number of witches and wizards around them seemed to increase. Ines recognized many students, all of which recognized her. It wasn't often that students saw Ines and Oberon standing side by side, so they were a sight to be seen. Once they finally reached the barrier they walked through with ease and were greeted with the bright red steaming train as they were every year. They had only moments to admire it as their parents quickly followed suit after them. They made their way towards the train and rid themselves of their luggage until both Ines and Oberon were stopped by a firm hand on their shoulders, stopping them from moving. They turned to face their father, Victor. He only whispered "come" and directed them towards the back of the platform. Ines watched as her father walked with her mother to people she knew quite well.

Cygnus and Druella Black, who seemed to be showing off their daughter Narcissa to Ines and Oberon's mother, Agnes. It was quite obvious what they were talking about, as Narcissa was showing off her engagement ring. She had been engaged to Lucius Malfoy that summer, to which an engagement party followed suit, attended by most pureblood families. Ines and Oberon stood and admired Narcissa's ring with as much false enthusiasm as they could muster. The entire family seemed to be there, Bellatrix and her husband Rodolphus. Andromeda was absent, but that was to be expected as two years previous she had been exiled from her family. The family seemed to only be there to reconnect with 'friends', most likely under the pretense that they were there to see off some family.

Cygnus gave a polite nod to the twins, giving only a hint of a smile. "Oberon, how are you.". Oberon returned his nod, "Quite well sir.". Druella now turned to join the conversation "Oberon very nice to see you. Oh Agnes," Their mother now turned "He is turning into such a respectable young man". Agnes gave a smile while trying to ignore the fact that her daughter had yet to be mentioned.

Cygnus and Druella were always very kind to Oberon, but never to Ines. They had heard plenty from Walburga about her association with Sirius and regarded her just as they did him, with disgust. "How are you both?" Ines asked, putting on the brightest smile she could. The two didn't seem so keen on answering but were saved by the sound of the train's horn. Agnes spoke up "Oh kids, time to make your way now.". The Black family dispersed slightly, walking towards the train a bit and gathering in another huddle further on. The twins faced their mother and father, who gave them both impassive looks. Victor spoke, "This year is very important, it is crucial that you do well in your academics, as well as uphold a good image." He said his last words giving Ines a small scowl. Agnes only gave them small hugs which they barely reciprocated, and they gave their father polite nods. He gave Oberon a pat on the shoulder, and they went their separate ways.

On their way across the platform, they passed the Black family huddle and was able to get a glimpse of what was happening. Sirius seemed to be getting the same talk from his parents that Ines was just given. He clearly did not care, but his parents continued anyways. Ines gave him a smile and a wink, to which he smirked. They would be seeing each other on the train in moments no doubt. They were about to leave the group, their family parting to create a path for them to walk. It was then revealed that next to Sirius stood his brother Regulus. At this reveal, Ines heard a sharp intake of breath from her brother. She gave him a small look, to which he didn't return as he was looking at Regulus.

Ines boarded the train first, a smile immediately forming on her face. She turned to face Oberon and whispered a small "goodbye", this is the moment in which they would part ways. He struggled to get a word out, but gave up and turned away towards his usual compartment. Ines then walked to find hers, glad to see so many people she recognized. She passed Stubby Boardman, a 6th year who was leaning against the wall talking to a Hufflepuff girl that Ines recognized to be Trinity Pollard. He shot her a wink as she passed, earning a small slap from the other girl. Ines kept walking, grinning. She could see her usual compartment up ahead, but her vision was blocked when a body stepped out in front of her, nearly knocking her to the ground. Gavin Gudgeon, a 7th-year boy in Gryffindor with sandy blonde hair and a blinding smile.

"Hello Ines, nice to see you," he said, flashing his signature smile. Ines smiled back, "Yeah, very nice. I see you've been promoted, captain." She decided to get this over with as she assumed the reason he was talking her was to show off his captains badge. "Why yes!" he said, fixing his red and gold sparkling badge on his chest, "Very excited for this upcoming season". Ines then began to walk past him, "Me as well, see you at trials I guess". Ines had been a Beater for the past 2 years and wasn't exactly sure how she felt with Gavin being the captain of their team. His expression faltered, hoping to have spoken to her longer and walked back into his compartment.

When Ines reached hers she was immediately bombarded with a bone-crushing hug from all her friends. Lily, Marlene, Dorcas, Mary, and Emmeline all smiled at her when they broke away from their hug. Ines laughed at them all "Don't kill me just yet, the years barely started.". They all laughed back at her, Lily patting the spot next to her. The train had begun its ride to Hogwarts, and Ines watched as her parents slid out of view, a weight lifted off her shoulders.

"I was lucky enough to witness your usual pre-term lesson from your father from the window," Dorcas said, jerking her head to the window next to her. "I don't think they could ignore you more if they tried". The girls laughed, "Well, it was better than having to spend another second looking at Narcissa's engagement ring". "Engaged? huh. I'm assuming it's arranged. Narcissa always seemed so frightened of Lucius", Marlene said, ever the gossiper it was no surprise she knew this much. "Well lucky for you, I'll be reporting live from the wedding over holiday break" Ines groaned. "All purebloods in attendance I expect"

Marlene perked up at this, "Like whom?". Ines ignored her question, knowing what answer she was looking for. It was no secret she had a crush on Sirius Black. Pity was, he was too busy off with seemingly every other girl but her. They began talking about their summers. Marlene had stayed home, attending a few Quidditch matches and other events. Mary had worked much of the summer at Fortescue's. Dorcas had gone on vacation to America, visiting New York City and various places in the vicinity. Emmeline had gone on an expedition with her parents to Romania, to see the dragons that her mother worked with. Lily had met her sister's new boyfriend and read a ton. They spoke for almost the whole trip, plenty of gossiping and talk of the upcoming O.W.L's. They changed into their robes, Ines was very happy to be wearing red and gold again. Over the summer, she was prohibited for showing her association with Gryffindor at all, despite all her clothes having some sort of emblem on it. On a few occasions, she was forced to take something of Oberon's if there was company coming before laundry day.

"Have we missed the trolley?" Ines asked, getting up to peer out the door. She saw it down the compartment, the lady handing pumpkin pasties to a few third-year Hufflepuffs. "I suppose we have" she muttered. Turning back to the compartment, asking if anyone wanted anything. She took their orders, and Lily joined her on her trip. They bought Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans, Chocolate Frogs, Drooble's Best Blowing Gum, and Fizzing Whizzbees. Ines bough numerous packs of sugar quills, her favorite.

They then passed the trolley lady, deciding to go to the bathroom. On their way, they heard the unmistakable sound of exploding snap and a cry of defeat that Ines could recognize from a mile away. She peered inside the trolley in question to see Remus Lupin smiling jovially and laughing at a soot-covered Peter Pettigrew. "Hello boys," Ines said, pulling open the sliding door. They all chorused back their hello's smiling. Sirius stood up next to James and smiled at Ines, who held out her hand. "Oh my, what a gorgeous ring, I wonder how many nights of bargaining it took for that to be placed there.". They rolled their eyes in unison, equally as annoyed by the recent engagement. Ines smiled with as much mock happiness as she could "Oh well, it's quite wonderful isn't it. I'm so lucky to be marrying the man I fear most." The two rolled their eyes in unison and laughed. He sat next to her, placing his arm around her shoulders, a usual occurrence for the two. Despite the numerous times, Ines had vehemently told the girls of their strictly platonic friendship they never believed her.

The girls made their way into the compartment, filling it to capacity. James sat across from Lily, giving her a wink and a smile to the rest of the girls. Lily didn't smile but only tuned to Ines in annoyance, as if blaming her for this occurrence. Which is most likely the best explanation, as Ines was very much as good as friends with the four boys and she was with her roommates. James spoke first, "Sirius was just telling me about Narcissa's engagement, is it true that Celestina Warbeck is singing at their wedding?" Ines rolled her eyes, "Possibly, but I couldn't care less enough to find out". Sirius laughed, "Anyone's better than the bird who sang at their engagement party, she sounded like she was under the cruciatus curse". Ines and James laughed, "Druella looked furious, I swear she was about to call off the party and the wedding with each song."

Remus spoke up next, "Sorry to break up the fun, but I think me and Lily should head off for the prefect meeting.". Lily looked happy to go, despite the fact that she had been waiting for someone to bring up her new prefect status. Ines groaned, pushing Lily up from her spot next to her, and laying her head down in the newly open space. "Just leave me here Lily, go be a good student or whatever". She gave her a small annoyed smile and walked off with Remus, James seemingly very sad to see her go. The four remaining kids spoke for a bit, much of the upcoming quidditch season, all the while Ines ate all her sugar quills, sure not to let Sirius steal one. Peter was a bit confused, being that he was the only one not on the team, but was happy to even be included in the conversation. Sirius had just turned to ask her a question when something out of the corner of Ines' eye caught her attention. Her brother had spared her a quick glance before walking down towards his compartment.

"I'll be right back" Ines muttered "bathroom". She left without another glance towards the boys and walked down to where Oberon was walking away. "Oberon" she whispered, trying not to draw too much attention to them. He ignored her until it was impossible to, she was right behind him now. He turned to her, slowly, wishing he could take the extra three steps and be in his compartment again. "I can't be seen with you, especially not with all the time you're spending with Black" He muttered, nothing but anger in his eyes. Ines scoffed "What's that supposed to mean, he's not any worse than you and you're little friends." Oberon found company in only Slytherins, his closest friends being Snape, Mulciber, Evan Rosier, Bertha Jorkins, and Regulus. "Mind your own business." Ines almost laughed "Oh when it's about me you can have an opinion but suddenly when I mention your friends I'm stepping out of line."

"Quiet, leave and go sit with your idiot boyfrie-" but before he could say anything else Ines cut him off, continuing her rant. "and you're one to talk, chastising me for sitting with Sirius, let me take a wild guess as to whom you're sitting with." Fury grew in Oberon's eyes, he couldn't speak. "Seems as though we both have things for Blacks." Ines spat, not meaning to insult his feelings rather his hypocrisy. He stalked off, Ines doing the same in, in opposite directions. Ines reached the compartment to find the boys changing into their uniforms. She walked in head first into Sirius, who was in the process of putting on his shirt. She stepped back in shock, taking only a second to admire him, then walked past him into her original seat. James sent Sirius a look, but he only got a shake of his head as if to say 'cut it out'.

Ines tried to ignore the previous events and was given the distraction of the train slowly coming to a stop. Ines hopped up, wishing the boys goodbye, and running down the train to her previous compartment as she had left some of her stuff in it. She didn't even think twice about the people around her and immediately ran forwards, swerving between students, trying not to hit them. Mumbling insincere 'sorry's' and giving false apologetic looks as she sprinted. She caught Emmeline, on her way out of their compartment, who handed her her bag. Ines muttered a thank you, and Emmeline gave her a knowing look. They walked off the train, saying their various hello's. They passed Hagrid, whom they bid good evening and made their way to the carriages. Ines had been told that they were pulled by bony looking creatures, but neither her or her friends could actually see them. She waited for her friends to climb into the compartment, sparing a smile to Sirius who was doing the same for the carriage behind them and hopped in.