Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first of September was crisp as an apple, and as the little family bobbed across the rumbling road toward the great sooty station, the fumes of car exhausts and the breath of pedestrians sparkled like cobwebs in the cold air. Two large cages tattled on top of the laden trolleys the parents were pushing; the owls inside them hooted indignantly, and the redheaded girl trailed fearfully behind here brothers, clutching her fatherâ€™s arm..cartier love bracelet replica.
â€œIt wonâ€™t be long, and youâ€™ll be going too,â€ Harry told her..cheap christian louboutin replica.
â€œTwo years,â€ sniffed Lily. â€œI want to go now!â€.hermes bracelet replica.
The commuters stared curiously at the owls as the family wove its way toward the barrier between platforms nine and ten, Albusâ€™s voice drifted back to Harry over the surrounding clamor; his sons had resumed the argument they had started in the car..bvlgari rings replica.
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â€œJames, give it a rest!â€ said Ginny..cartier love bracelet replica.
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But James caught his motherâ€™s eye and fell silent. The five Potters approached the barrier. With a slightly cocky look over his shoulder at his younger brother, James took the trolley from his mother and broke into a run. A moment later, he had vanished..nike roshe run men.
â€œYouâ€™ll write to me, wonâ€™t you?â€ Albus asked his parents immediately, capitalizing on the momentary absence of his brother..Christian Louboutin Replica.
â€œEvery day, if you want us to,â€ said Ginny..hermes bracelet replica.
â€œNot every day,â€ said Albus quickly, â€œJames says most people only get letters from home about once a month.â€.cartier love bracelet replica.
â€œWe wrote to James three times a week last year,â€ said Ginny..Giuseppe Zanotti Replica.
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Side by side, they pushed the second trolley forward, gathering speed. As they reached the barrier, Albus winced, but no collision came. Instead, the family emerged onto platform nine and three-quarters, which was obscured by thick white steam that was pouring from the scarlet Hogwarts Express. Indistinct figures were swarming through the mist, into which James had already disappeared..cartier love bracelet replica.
â€œWhere are they?â€ asked Albus anxiously, peering at the hazy forms they passed as they made their way down the platform..cartier love bracelet replica.
â€œWeâ€™ll find them,â€ said Ginny reassuringly.
But the vapor was dense, and it was difficult to make out anybodyâ€™s faces. Detached from their owners, voices sounded unnaturally loud, Harry thought he head Percy discoursing loudly on broomstick regulations, and was quite glad of the excuse not to stop and say helloâ€¦.
â€œI think thatâ€™s them, Al,â€ said Ginny suddenly.
A group of four people emerged from the mist, standing alongside the very last carriage. Their faces only came into focus when Harry, Ginny, Lily, and Albus had drawn right up to them.
â€œHi,â€ said Albus, sounding immensely relieved.
Rose, who was already wearing her brand-new Hogwarts robes, beamed at him.
â€œParked all right, then?â€ Ron asked Harry. â€œI did. Hermione didnâ€™t believe I could pass a Muggle driving test, did you? She thought Iâ€™d have to Confound the examiner.â€
â€œNo, I didnâ€™t,â€ said Hermione, â€œI had complete faith in you.â€
â€œAs a matter of fact, I did Confund him,â€ Ron whispered to Harry, as together they lifted Albusâ€™s trunk and owl onto the train. â€œI only forgot to look in the wing mirror, and letâ€™s face it, I can use a Supersensory Charm for that.â€
Back on the platform, they found Lily and Hugo, Roseâ€™s younger brother, having an animated discussion about which House they would be sorted into when they finally went to Hogwarts.
â€œIf youâ€™re not in Gryffindor, weâ€™ll disinherit you,â€ said Ron, â€œbut no pressure.â€
Lily and Hugo laughed, but Albus and Rose looked solemn.
â€œHe doesnâ€™t mean it,â€ said Hermione and Ginny, but Ron was no longer paying attention. Catching Harryâ€™s eye, he nodded covertly to a point some fifty yards away. The steam had thinned for a moment, and three people stood in sharp relief against the shifting mist.
â€œLook who it is.â€
Draco Malfoy was standing there with his wife and son, a dark coat buttoned up to his throat. His hair was receding somewhat, which emphasized the pointed chin. The new boy resembled Draco as much as Albus resembled Harry. Draco caught sight of Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny staring at him, nodded curtly, and turned away again.
â€œSo thatâ€™s little Scorpius,â€ said Ron under his breath. â€œMake sure you beat him in every test, Rosie. Thank God you inherited your motherâ€™s brains.â€
â€œRon, for heavenâ€™s sake,â€ said Hermione, half stern, half amused. â€œDonâ€™t try to turn them against each other before theyâ€™ve even started school!â€
â€œYouâ€™re right, sorry,â€ said Ron, but unable to help himself, he added, â€œDonâ€™t get too friendly with him, though, Rosie. Granddad Weasley would never forgive you if you married a pureblood.â€
James had reappeared; he had divested himself of his trunk, owl, and trolley, and was evidently bursting with news.
â€œTeddyâ€™s back there,â€ he said breathlessly, pointing back over his shoulder into the billowing clouds of steam. â€œJust seen him! And guess what heâ€™s doing? Snogging Victoire!â€
He gazed up at the adults, evidently disappointed by the lack of reaction.
â€œOur Teddy! Teddy Lupin! Snogging our Victoire! Our cousin! And I asked teddy what he was doing â€“â€
â€œYou interrupted them?â€ said Ginny. â€œYou are so like Ron â€“â€
â€œâ€“ and he said heâ€™d come to see her off! And then he told me to go away. Heâ€™s snogging her!â€ James added as though worried he had not made himself clear.
â€œOh, it would be lovely if they got married!â€ whispered Lily ecstatically. â€œTeddy would really be part of the family then!â€
â€œHe already comes round for dinner about four times a week,â€ said Harry â€œWhy donâ€™t we just invite him to live with us and have done with it?â€
â€œYeah!â€ said James enthusiastically. â€œI donâ€™t mind sharing with Al â€“ Teddy could have my room!â€
â€œNo,â€ said Harry firmly, â€œyou and Al will share a room only when I want the house demolished.â€
He checked the battered old watch that had once been Fabian Prewettâ€™s.
â€œItâ€™s nearly eleven, youâ€™d better get on board.â€
â€œDonâ€™t forget to give Neville our love!â€ Ginny told James as she hugged him.
â€œMum! I canâ€™t give a professor love!â€
â€œBut you know Nevilleâ€“â€
James rolled his eyes.
â€œOutside, yeah, but at school heâ€™s Professor Longbottom, isnâ€™t he? I canâ€™t walk into Herbology and give him loveâ€¦.â€
Shaking his head at his motherâ€™s foolishness, he vented his feelings by aiming a kick at Albus.
â€œSee you later, Al. Watch out for the thestrals.â€
â€œI thought they were invisible? You said they were invisible!â€ but James merely laughed, permitted his mother to kiss him, gave his father a fleeting hug, then leapt onto the rapidly filling train. They saw him wave, then sprint away up the corridor to find his friends.
â€œThestrals are nothing to worry about,â€ Harry told Albus. â€œTheyâ€™re gentle things, thereâ€™s nothing scare about them. Anyway, you wonâ€™t be going up to school in the carriages, youâ€™ll be going in the boats.â€
Ginny kissed Albus good-bye.
â€œSee you at Christmas.â€
â€œBye, Al,â€ said Harry as his son hugged him. â€œDonâ€™t forget Hagridâ€™s invited you to tea next Friday. Donâ€™t mess with Peeves. Donâ€™t duel anyone till youâ€™re learned how. And donâ€™t let James wind you up.â€
â€œWhat if Iâ€™m in Slytherin?â€
The whisper was for his father alone, and Harry knew that only the moment of departure could have forced Albus to reveal how great and sincere that fear was.
Harry crouched down so that Albusâ€™s face was slightly above his own. Alone of Harryâ€™s three children, Albus had inherited Lilyâ€™s eyes.
â€œAlbus Severus,â€ Harry said quietly, so that nobody but Ginny could hear, and she was tactful enough to pretend to be waving to Rose, who was now on the train, â€œyou were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew.â€
â€œBut just sayâ€“â€
â€œâ€“then Slytherin House will have gained an excellent student, wonâ€™t it? It doesnâ€™t matter to us, Al. But if it matter to you, youâ€™ll be able to choose Gryffindor over Slytherin. The Sorting Hat takes your choice into account.â€
â€œIt did for me,â€ said Harry.
He had never told any of his children that before, and he saw the wonder in Albusâ€™s face when he said it. But how the doors were slamming all along the scarlet train, and the blurred outlines of parents swarming forward for final kisses, last-minute reminders, Albus jumped into the carriage and Ginny closed the door behind him. Students were hanging from the windows nearest them. A great number of faces, both on the train and off, seemed to be turned toward Harry.
â€œWhy are they all staring?â€ demanded Albus as he and Rose craned around to look at the other students.
â€œDonâ€™t let it worry you,â€ said Ron. â€œItâ€™s me, Iâ€™m extremely famous.â€
Albus, Rose, Hugo, and Lily laughed. The train began to more, and Harry walked alongside it, watching his sonâ€™s thin face, already ablaze with excitement. Harry kept smiling and waving, even though it was like a little bereavement, watching his son glide away from himâ€¦.
The last trace of steam evaporated in the autumn air. The train rounded a corner. Harryâ€™s hand was still raised in farewell.
â€œHeâ€™ll be alright,â€ murmured Ginny.
As Harry looked at her, he lowered his hand absentmindedly and touched the lightning scar on his forehead.
â€œI know he will.â€
The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well.
The Deathly Hallows
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .