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After a few minutes, the last passengers said their goodbyes and got on the train. The steam engine roared, and the wheels under the locomotive started to turn. The chatter and laughter of the children on board were slowly drowned out by the sound of the train gradually getting louder.
Harry sat by the window admiring the fleeting view. Happy sat across from him, while Draco sat next to Happy, keeping as far away as he could from 'the boy who lived'.
After a short while, the Honeydukes Express trolley came by, and one of Happy's long-time dreams was fulfilled as he shouted out, "We'll take everything!" before Harry could.
The trolley lady smiled, welcoming the business and also the first-year student's enthusiasm.
Harry and Happy enjoyed their time, talking about their chess game last night while munching on some snacks they bought from the trolley lady. In comparison, Draco was awkward most of the time, as he was not used to being too friendly.
He would reply with short answers, but for the most part, he sat quietly, occasionally rolling his eyes at their conversation. He was used to other people sucking up to him, not the other way around.
There was a sudden voice at the door of the cabin. As the young boy got the attention of the three, he asked, "Do you mind? Everywhere else is full."
'Ron!' Happy lit up, "Not at all! Come in!"
The ginger-haired boy came in and sat right next to Harry. "I'm Ron, by the way. Ron Weasley!"
Noticing Ron's head full of red hair, Draco sneered and turned his head to look out the window. His father had told him about the red-headed bunch.
"I'm Happy Lestrange!" Happy chirped, while Ron's eyebrows slightly rose up.
"I'm Harry, Harry Potter." Harry smiled, and Ron's eyes grew wider.
"Draco... Malfoy." Draco mumbled as he followed suit, not wanting to go against the boys that outnumbered him.
"Care for some snacks, Ron?" Happy offered while ripping off a bite of his own gummy worm.
He noticed that Ron kept looking at Harry's forehead, so he tried to chat, clearing away the awkwardness.
"No thanks... I'm all set." Ron showed the boys what seemed to be mushed sandwiches wrapped in clear plastic. It was a marvel to Happy to see a wizard family using muggle plastic.
"Have some. Happy bought a lot of them. They're pretty good!" Harry invited as he fiddled with a chocolate frog card.
"So, Weasley ey? I've heard that you have a lot of brothers in Hogwarts." Happy started.
"Yeah. Bill and Charlie graduated, but there's Percy, Fred, and George in Hogwarts. My sister Ginny is still at home, though."
"I heard you have a large family, but wow... How could you afford anything with that many?" Happy inquired.
"Oh, father works at the ministry, and we also have a small farm around our house," Ron replied with no reservation, as he was already won over by Happy with the offering of some tasty food.
Happy rubbed his chin and wondered how much the ministry paid their people.
Draco suddenly sneered, "Who are you lying to, Weasley? Your father is the lowest-level employee of the Muggle Artifacts Office, a useless department. You lot always wear those hand-me-down clothes."
In anger, Ron flipped out his wand, "Don't you make fun of my parents!"
Happy sighed and threw a box of chocolate frogs on their faces, "Come on, you two, calm down. Draco, don't talk about someone's family like that. Remember, wizards are a dying breed, so it's a good thing that the Weasleys have a lot of children. In fact, all wizard couples should have a dozen babies."
Draco scoffed, "Only rabbits breed like that."
Ron wanted to lunge at him and knock that platinum-blonde right off his head, but Harry pulled him back.
"And that's why rabbits aren't extinct, Draco. Meanwhile, our wizarding world has suffered two wars, one after another. Our numbers are dwindling, and one day, if nothing is done, there will be no more wizards left."
Happy painted a terrible image for Draco, hoping the latter would at least stop fighting with Ron for now.
"Um... I think that's something for the adults to figure out, Happy. Let's talk about something else..." Harry interrupted them while pulling Ron to sit beside him, further away from Draco.
"Yes! Which house do you want to go to?" Happy asked, changing the subject.
"Slytherin, of course." Draco blurted as he sat there with his arms folded.
Harry was clueless, though, "What are houses exactly?"
"Oh, it's just the school dividing us into groups for better living arrangements." Happy answered nonchalantly while munching on chocolate.
For Ron, it wasn't even worth asking, "Gryffindor, of course! My parents and all my brothers are Gryffindor. So what about you, Happy?"
'Hmm, I've already made up my mind. Ravenclaw is too bookish, and I don't know much about Hufflepuff.'
"What?!" Draco stood up in shock, "How can you say that? You are a Lestrange!"
Happy shrugged and picked a pumpkin pastry to eat, "So what? I personally like bright places, and sadly, the Slytherin common room is in the dungeon, and it's very dark and gloomy. I'd rather be in a common room with a nice view of Hogwarts' grounds."
"But, what will your family say?" Draco pointed at him, "You are the heir to the Lestrange family."
"Well, my whole family is either dead or is in Azkaban... If anything, I should get angry at them for leaving me behind alone." Happy used his new life's background to argue. "It's alright, Draco. Just because we're in different houses doesn't mean we're born enemies. Hogwarts is a place to study magic, and once we're out of Hogwarts, nobody cares what house you belong to. What truly matters is how good you're in magic."
"Nobody cares?!" Draco gritted his teeth, feeling betrayed. He didn't sit back down and simply left the cabin.
"I wasted my time!"
The door was slammed shut.
Happy, Harry and Ron were left there, looking at each other's faces. After a moment of silence, no one knew what to say, so they shrugged and started eating again, and the train journey continued.
As the trains passed by a wide lake, Happy remembered that they would be arriving soon and told the little group to change into their school robes. All three first years wore similar-looking white shirts, black ties, and black robes. The only difference was that Ron's robe was clearly an old robe that was slightly too big for him.
Out of the blue, a young girl poked her head into the cabin and looked around.
"Has anyone seen a toad? A boy named Neville lost one."
"No...?" Ron was a little puzzled. Harry merely shook his head.
"I can help you with that!" Happy, being the lucky boy he was, offered. He looked at Koko and ordered, "Koko, go and bring back the toad. Remember, do NOT harm it or eat it."
"Awoooo!" Koko howled like a wolf cub with his little beak and waddled out of the cabin with its plump body swaying.
Shocked, Hermione looked at it "D-Did that goose just howl?"
"Yeah, he's a magical boy. Oh, you must have been living in the muggle world like Harry." Happy mumbled and stood up.
Happy walked over to her with a chocolate box in hand, "Welcome to the wizarding world, I guess. I'm Happy Lestrange, by the way. Here, consider this my welcome gift to you."
Flustered by the well-behaved boy, Hermione turned red and took the chocolate he offered, "I-I'm Hemione Granger. It's a pleasure to meet you."
"The pleasure is all mine." Happy tried to act suave, like the gentlemen he had seen on TV. "These are my friends, Ron Weasley and Harry Potter, by the way."
Both Ron and Harry gave her a small wave, not even getting up from their seats as they continued to admire the figures on the chocolate frog cards.
"Pleasure..." Hemione greeted, with a very tiny wrinkle on her nose.
It didn't even take Koko thirty seconds. He came back with a frog in his beak. He proudly showed it to Happy, asking for praise, treats, and pats.
"Haha, thank you, Koko. You're really the best." Happy patted the good goose and handed the toad to Hermione.
"Tell Neville to keep this safe, and good luck with the sorting ceremony."
Like a stiff robot, Hemione turned around and left with a box of chocolate in one hand and a toad in the other.
Happy then closed the door and took his seat. But he noticed Harry and Ron staring at his face with big cheeky smiles.
"Oh!" Happy then realized it and rolled his eyes. "It's nothing like that, you two. I was just investing in the future."
'After all, I'll be busy eating. So I'll need a lot of help with my homework.'
"Yeah, the future..." Harry grinned.
"I don't really understand girls, you know. They're just... weird." Ron murmured.
"You probably never will, Ron." Happy shook his head with a smile, knowing very well how the future folds.
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