Jan 24, 2021 7:21 PM
platform nine and three quarters, and beyond // originally harriet met ron on the train instead of hermione
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She grins and pushes her cart through.

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Whoosh!  Straight through the brick wall like breaching the surface of water, except both sides are air.

From the other side the barrier looks like an iron archway, but with a blurry translucent curtain of brick-and-mortar that ripples like water in her wake.  She can't make out details, but she can see the shapes of muggles walking back and forth, and of Hagrid walking toward the barrier after her.  It looks a bit like breaching the surface of water, too, when he walks through it.

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Cool!!!

She walks a bit past the entry area, so anyone coming through won't risk bumping into her.

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Platform Nine-and-Three-Quarters isn't quite as grand and abustle as Diagon Alley was, but it's got a few attractions beyond just space to wait for the train.  Mostly wizarding restaurants, but there's a few little market stalls hawking newspapers, and one or two places for students to pick up school supplies or toiletries they may have forgotten to pack.  On the other side of the tracks, accessible by a high bridge and steep stairs, is a line of green-burning Floo fireplaces.

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So cool!!!

She stares around, a bit fascinated. Not as much as she would've been a month ago, but, still.

Wizarding stuff is just great.

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Hagrid grins as he checks his pocketwatch.

"Train'll be here in about an hour, and it leaves another hour after that.  Got some pocket money for yeh - " and he hands over a jingling coin purse - "and yer train ticket."

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"Okay! Thanks." She takes both, stowing them carefully.

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"Happy to help out," he says.  "Right - I should be off.  Got everything you need?"

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She checks her pockets and mentally inventories her trunk. "I think I do."

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"S'pose we'll see each other at Hogwarts, then."  He sticks out a hand.  "Pleasure meeting you, Harriet."

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She shakes his hand. "Pleasure meeting you, Hagrid."

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And he's off.  If she sticks around to watch him go, she'll see him wave at her as the Floo-fire swallows him.

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She waves, then goes to explore the platform and shops. The restaurants look interesting...

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Candy, it seems, is where wizarding food differs most from muggle food, though there's at least a few things she doesn't recognize wherever she looks, and most places are serving a beverage called "pumpkin juice."

Hagrid was right - it is in fact about an hour's wait before the Hogwarts Express arrives.

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Pumpkin juice is really good. She loves it, though she's careful with her money and careful not to fill herself up.

She gets on the Hogwarts Express pretty promptly after it arrives.

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Then she'll have her pick of compartments, and have plenty of time to sit and read on her own before anyone else shows up!

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She picks a corner one near the front, putting her trunk away carefully and pulling out Hogwarts: A History to read.

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Through the window she can see the platform filling up with wizarding families, milling about, patronizing the food court, or - as it gets closer and closer to eleven - hugging and kissing goodbye, and getting onto the train.  Most everyone passes over her compartment.

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There's a knock at the sliding door, though, just as the train is departing.

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"Come in?" she calls.

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Slide.  "Do you mind if I sit here?  Everywhere else is full."

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"It's okay," she says.

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He sidles in and hoists his trunk into the overhead compartment (not nearly as careful with it as she was with hers) and sits down in the opposite corner of the compartment.

"I'm Ron Weasley, by the way," he says.

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"I'm Harriet Evans. Nice to meet you."

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- his eyes widen.  "Are you - were your parents James Potter and Lily Evans?"

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