King's Cross Station was crowded with Muggles trying to be somewhere else. Luna Lovegood stood before the barrier between Platforms Nine and Ten where there should have been a Platform Nine and One-Half. She bowed her head, giving a moment of silence for a history that never was. A Hogwarts student went around her, deliberately-by-accident bumping Luna along the way.
Luna stood before the barrier between Platforms Ten and Eleven. A girl with short scarlet hair came to stand beside her. Fire-head girl walked because she was missing her wings.
Fire-head girl bowed her head too.
Luna maintained her vigil.
Fire-head girl snuck at glance at Luna.
Luna glanced back.
Fire-head girl raised her eyebrows as if to communicate Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
Luna widened her eyes in shock at the implication.
Luna twitched her head.
Fire-head girl nodded back.
Luna and fire-head girl pushed their trolleys away from the brick barrier. They needed distance to build up momentum. Faith isn't free. It made no difference to just say you believed in a double-magic school. It would do no good if you merely tried to walk onto Platform Ten and Three-Quarters. You had to pay the ante. You had to run into the wall so fast you'd hurt yourself if reality didn't fold first.
Luna and Fire-head girl started toward into the magical gateway that was just pretending to be a solid brick wall. They accelerated. They ran as fast as they could push their luggage carts. They were double-witches. Bricks didn't have to be magical for a double-witch to pass through them. It was their birthright.
Bang. CRASH. Clink. Scatter.
The other Hogwarts students sniggered quietly, so as to not draw the attention of Muggles. They needn't have bothered. King's Cross station at the start and end of Hogwarts' term had the strongest Muggle-Repelling Charms in all of Britain. Luna and fire-head girl savored their own audacity. Who in their right mind would try walking through a random barrier between platforms at King's Cross station?
"Ouch," said Fire-head girl. She rubbed her head.
"Ouch," agreed Luna. She had broken her toe.
"Episky," said Fire-head girl. Luna's toe straightened itself with a hot crack.
"Thanks," said Luna.
Fire-head girl gave Luna a look as if she was observing at something specialer than a perfectly ordinary second-year witch.
A steam whistle blew. The Hogwarts Express would leave soon. Fire-head girl glanced back at Platform Nine and Three-Quarters.
"I guess neither of us is secretly a double-witch who attends a double-secret double-magical school," said fire-head girl.
"I was at Hogwarts last year. I can't be in two places at once," said Luna.
"You could if you suffered from Spontaneous Duplication. That would make you a quadruple-witch," said fire-head girl.
The steam whistle blew a second time. They rushed back to Platform Nine and Three Quarters. Luna gasped the words out as they ran.
"What is Spontanenous Duplication?" said Luna.
"It's an incurable non-contagious disease. You treat it by wearing a Spimster wicket around your neck," said fire-head girl who had no trouble talking while running.
Spimster wickets were not interesting. It didn't take long to get back to Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. Luna and her new friend rushed through the barrier to Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. They jumped aboard the Hogwarts Express right as it blew its steam whistle one last time and began to leave the station. Luna landed on her hands and knees in the corridor between compartments. Fire-head girl tumbled on top of her.
"Be careful. The train is infested with Wrackspurts," said Luna.
"What are Wrackspurts?" said the girl.
"I'll tell you later. Just cover your ears," said Luna. She placed her hands over her ears.
The two girls crept down the train with their hands over their ears. The other students gave Luna fuzzy-minded looks. Luna found a mostly-empty compartment and shut the door behind her as soon as they got in.
Fire-head girl said something.
I can't hear you, mouthed Luna.
Luna withdrew a winter scarf from her satchel and wrapped it around her head, covering her ears. Fire-head girl put on a big knitted cap and pulled it down over her ears.
"Are we safe yet?" said fire-head girl.
"Let's find out. These are called Spectrespecs. I invented them. They show you everything you can see," said Luna. She rummaged around her satchel for her a giant pair of gaudy glittery glasses and put them on.
"Do you see any Wrackspurts?" said fire-head girl.
"No. Wrackspurts are invisible," said Luna. Her visual field stayed the same. It was like wearing non-prescription eyeglasses. Luna handed the Spectrespecs to her new friend.
"I don't see any Wrackspurts either," said fire-head girl.
"Good. That means you're not making things up," said Luna
Luna removed the scarf from around her ears. Luna was new to this whole "friend" thing. She didn't know what to say.
"My name is Fay Li," said fire-head girl. Fay held out her hand with the false confidence of someone who had tried, unsuccessfully, to walk through several brick walls and was going to keep walking into brick walls until the stone ground into powder because past performance is not indicative of future results.
"Luna. Luna Lovegood. I'm in Ravenclaw. But you know that. We live in the same dormitory," said Luna. Luna shook Fay's hand.
The girl's eyes widened. "You remember me from last year. What's my name?" she said.
"Fay. Fay Li. You just told me." said Luna.
Fay clutched her knitted cap as if it was a Reality Anchor.
"Why is it such a big deal?" said Luna.
"It just is. Say my name again," said Fay.
"Fay Li," said Luna. Apparently this was how making friends works. You just said the person's name three times. Luna had been doing it wrong all her life.
Fay carefully scrutinized the veins on her own wrists. Luna recognized the action as a way to test if you're in a fictitious reality. Mind-altering illusion charms often get the details wrong. Fay was checking to see whether the wrist veins in her observed reality matched the wrist veins in baseline reality.
Luna had never seen anyone (else) run a physical spot check before. It was something you only do in private or with people you trust absolutely because if someone knows what you spot check then they could patch the detail in their own illusion charms.
"Luna," said Fay. A Weasley-haired girl was knocking on their compartment door. Luna wrapped the scarf back around her ears and opened the door.
"I was wondering if you'd like to join me and my friends," said the Weasley-haired girl.
Each compartment had four seats. "Friends" implies at least two. Ginny plus two friends plus Luna equals four. Only Luna was invited. There would be no space for Fay.
"No thanks," said Luna. The Weasley-haired girl left, looking offended.
"That was kind of you," said Fay.
"Why?" said Luna.
Fay opened the compartment door and strode down the hall. "Look! A Crumple-Horned Snorkack," Fay yelled.
"Where?" said Luna. The students in the compartments continued their conversations.
Fay walked down to a compartment door and walked in on three fourth-years. The fourth-years ignored the intruder and closed the compartment door. Luna watched through the window.
"Hi I'm Fay," said Fay. No response. Fay poked a student. "Cut that out," said the student. Fay picked up another student's choco-mocha and took a sip. "Leave right now or I'll hex you," said the other student, drawing his wand. Fay drew her wand.
Luna followed her in and placed her hand over Fay's wand-hand. "I get it," said Luna. She escorted Fay back to their compartment.
"'I'm invisible," said Fay.
Luna put on her Spectrespecs. Fay looked like Fay, pixie cut and all. "I can see you just fine," said Luna.
The train ride passed quickly. Luna shared her dirigible plums. Fay shared her stories of breaking into Filch's storeroom of confiscated tools. They got off the train and onto the carriages pulled by skeletal winged horses. Luna related her adventures the previous year. Soon they were at Hogwarts.
I really enjoyed the previous Luna story and am excited to get into this one. Don't know how fiddly it is to do but it would be nice if these had the "next" buttons that the chamber of secrets ones had.
I have added them back.
Platform Ten and Three-Quarters
Platform Ten and Three-Quarters
That explains why they didn't get through—they were one and one-quarter too high.
I believe they meant to be; they were checking for a school for "double witches" (muggle:witch :: witch:double-witch).
Yep, my bad. I thought that this was still related to the Nine and One-Half thing.
"... three fifth-years. The fifty-hears..."
Possible phrase left over from a previous edit:
"Luna shook it."
Thanks. Fixed the first typo. Clarified the other bit.
There is a "going going" in this chapter as well
And around the paragraph where Fay is poking fourth years:
"Luna watched through the window.
Luna placed her hand over Fay's wand-hand."
It seems like Luna stayed outside, peering in through the window. Then in inside to put her hand over the wand hand.
Whoops. Fixed. Thanks.
Also this feels a bit jumbled:
"It made not difference to just say you believed in a double-magic school."
And there's an instance of "She rubber her head" that should probably be "rubbed".
They were typos too. Fixed. Thanks.