Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the property of JK Rowling and Warner Bros. I do not own Harry Potter or anything related to the franchise.
Chapter 2: Making Friends
Author's Note: Forgot to include in the first chapter, but thank you to Maggie for her help on the story.
She stood leaning against the wall surveying the crowds. It certainly had been an odd few months for her. She had spent the entire summer in intense training with the legendary auror, Mad-Eye Moody, as part of her deal with the headmaster. She would be trained over the summers, and she would have her assignment watching Harry throughout the school year.
He was not difficult to spot as he weaved through the crowds; after all, there were not many children wandering around King's Cross with a full trunk and an owl in a cage. He was a tiny little thing, much smaller than she had pictured. He was practically swimming in the clothes he was wearing. They fit so poorly that they had to be hand-me-downs - from an elephant. And he was alone, which was rather curious. Where were his relatives? The poor kid seemed terribly lost, walking back and forth between platforms nine and ten. Had no one explained how to get onto the platform?
She saw him approach an adult. Though she could not hear what was said, it was clear the man thought Harry was having him on and angrily sent him away. Harry looked even more confused and distressed than ever. It appeared she would need to make contact earlier than she had anticipated.
She ducked into the shadows, which was not entirely necessarily due to the Notice-Me-Not charm she had diverting attention away from her, to change form. She shrunk down from adult to child in a matter of seconds. A quick wave of her wand transfigured her clothes to fit her smaller body. She had spent a considerable amount of time over the last few days picking her appearance. She would need to live with it for the next seven years, after all. Nobody could know she was a Metamorphmagus.
Cancelling the Notice-Me-Not charm, she walked out of the shadows, trunk in tow, and began navigating her way through the crowd. She maneuvered around to make sure she passed by where she had last seen him. He was standing beside a pillar, looking outright distraught. She swallowed down her sympathy and forced herself into her role.
She made sure he saw her as she approached and let her eyes flick obviously to the beautiful owl at his side. “You going to Hogwarts, too?” she asked.
His eyes widened almost comically. “Ye-yes. Yes I am,” he quickly stuttered out.
“What are you doing sitting around out here?” she asked.
He fiddled with his train ticket as he said, “I can’t find the platform, and no one here seems to know anything about it.”
"Well of course not," she scoffed. "Wouldn't be a secret if everybody knew about it, would it?"
"Do you know where it is?" he asked in a hopeful tone.
"Of course," she replied. "My mum told me where to find it. She had planned to see me off, but there was a lot of traffic, and she had to get to work. Didn't anyone tell you how to find it?"
Harry shook his head. "No! I was so scared I was going to miss the train, and my relatives have already left!"
"Well it's a good thing I bumped into you then. Come on, and we can cross together. I'm Kaylee, by the way," she said, holding out her hand to him.
He froze for a moment, staring at her hand before finally stepping forward and tentatively shaking her hand. "Harry," he responded. "And thanks. I don't know what I would have done if you hadn't come along."
"No worries," she said. "We better hurry though. The train leaves in less than ten minutes."
She waited as he collected his things and then led him to the barrier. A lot of kids liked to take it at a run, but she thought that might be a bit much for his first time. If he was unfamiliar with magic, he might be scared she was having him on or something.
"You just walk straight into it," she explained to him as they approached the barrier. He gave her a skeptical look. "It's true. See," she added as she pushed her hand into the wall. Harry's eyes grew wide as saucers.
He looked around warily. "Won't they see us walking through the wall?"
Tonks bit her lip at the question. "I don't know. They've never noticed before. Maybe it's spelled so they don't see it."
"You mean like the Leaky Cauldron?" Harry asked.
She nodded. "I think so."
Without any further questions, Harry followed her through the barrier. They weaved their way through the throngs of families giving their final goodbyes before the children boarded the train. Between the two of them, they were able to get their trunks up onto the train.
"Do you want to sit together on the train?" Tonks asked as she began looking for an empty compartment.
"Yes!" Harry replied eagerly.
She turned and found a huge smile gracing his face and found her own smile quickly matching his of its own accord.
Halfway down the train car was an empty compartment which they claimed. After storing their trunks, they settled down into their seats. She noticed him staring at the window and followed his gaze to a red-haired family saying their farewells on the platform - the Weasleys, she determined. Turning back to Harry she noticed a look of intense longing on his face as the mother hugged and fussed over all her children heading to Hogwarts.
She realized how much Harry must miss his parents at times like these, and again she found herself wondering what his home-life must be like. While she had come up with the excuse that her mother was in too much of a hurry to see her to the platform, she could not imagine any guardian actually allowing their child to wander King's Cross station on his own - especially when that child doesn't even know where his platform is. Honestly, didn't they send professors out to Muggle-borns to explain how to get onto Platform 9 and 3/4? They had to; otherwise none would ever find it. When you also took into account his small, almost skeletal frame, a bad picture began to form. Was his family simply poor and unable to provide much? Was she reading too much into things? Or was there something more malevolent going on behind the scenes? Well, she had the whole school year to try to figure out his secrets.
They had the compartment all to themselves all the way to Hogwarts, giving her more time to open up to Harry and attempt to bring him out of his shell and lay the groundwork to a solid friendship. There were a couple interruptions, once in the form of a bossy Muggle-born first year, who was helping another first year look for his pet toad. Harry seemed to shrink in on himself when she started rattling off all the books she had read featuring him. Knowing as she did that Harry was only recently made aware of his heritage, she could only imagine what he must be going through to not only learn he was a wizard but one of the most famous wizards in the country.
Their only other interruption came in the form of her cousin, Draco Malfoy. Given that her mum had been disowned, they had never been invited to any family functions, so she had never actually met him. But their first meeting did not leave her with a good impression of the kid. He was the epitome of arrogance and entitlement, and she had to smile at the way Harry overcame his shyness to stand up to him.
She made sure to stick by Harry as they left the train and headed out to the boats where Harry eagerly greeted Hagrid, whom she had already learned had introduced him to the wizarding world and took him shopping in Diagon Alley.
When Harry was called to be sorted, she watched and waited intently, knowing that whichever house he was sorted into would also be her home for the next seven years. The headmaster had assured her that the hat would place her with Harry no matter where he went. It took a long time, longer than she could ever remember any student taking, before the hat finally announced, "Gryffindor," to the house's great delight.
She had to wait through a few more students before her name was called. After the hat called out, "Gryffindor," she hurried to sit next to Harry where he congratulated her with a broad smile. When the youngest Weasley was sorted into Gryffindor as well, he sat across from Harry and stared, which she could clearly see was making Harry uncomfortable. She glared at the boy who appeared completely oblivious to the world around him - that is until the food appeared on the table. He finally seemed to shake himself out of his stupor as he began loading his plate.
She noticed that Harry took not even half as much as the Weasley boy, although perhaps the redhead was more the exception than the norm. Still, Harry seemed to take much smaller portions than even the other first years. After shoveling his face full of food, the Weasley had the gall to ask Harry to show him his scar.
She smiled when Harry merely glared at the boy and then promptly ignored him, much to Weasley's embarrassment. He grumbled something unintelligible through a mouth full of food before sliding down the bench a bit to introduce himself to some of the other first years.
"What a git," Tonks whispered to Harry, who shared a small smile with her.
It certainly looked like life would be interesting being Harry Potter's friend. It was a good thing, too; otherwise she might die of boredom for having to repeat all seven years at Hogwarts in addition to having to spend all her time among a bunch of kids.
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