Here’s a link to the first half, in case you missed it:
Sorry I’m late, guys….. Here’s the other half. Not brilliant, but better than nothing:
“Train,” she said, before stepping forward and being swallowed up by the bright green cloud.
She found herself tottering into the smoky engine room of a train. Only slightly soot-stained, she trotted out of the engine room and into the train.
Hallways. All she could see was long, wood-lined hallway, like a forest had flattened itself. Long lines of windows sparkled above her head. The train was full – not many people were in the hallway, but she could feel energy in the air – the buzz of conversation flowing out into the corridor.
She ran down the hall until she was out of breath. Finally, huffing and puffing, she stopped, hopping up on her tip-toes and pressing her nose up against the glass.
There were a bunch of kids in the small room. They were sitting in a circle watching as one kid shoved as many Bertie Botts’ Every Flavour Beans in his mouth as would fit in there. She’d only ever had a few, but she knew enough to recognize when he tossed black pepper and dirt into his mouth. She watched for a few more moments as he pulled faces.
Every compartment she peeked into had kids in it – older kids. This must be the train to school, she decided. And it looked amazing – no adults anywhere to be seen. As much candy as you could possibly want. What’s not to like?
Bits and pieces of the train had people in it – kids running back and forth between compartments. But nobody noticed her – being small had its’ benefits.
She ran and ran, until she almost ran into a sizeable witch’s bottom, looming ahead of her. Skidding to a stop, she held her breath. If anyone was going to catch her, an adult would certainly be it.
She crept behind the woman, watching as she stopped at the next compartment.
“Anything from the cart, m’dears?”
She wove carefully around the woman as the kids in the cabin ordered three pumpkin pasties and a pack of chocolate frogs.
Mmmm…. Chocolate frogs.
She decided this was worth exploring. At the next compartment, she crept back to the cart as the witch counted out money. She shoved sticky fingers under the cloth that covered the cart, grabbing everything she could into the pockets of her dress; she came out with chocolate frogs and pumpkin pasties and Bertie Bott’s and lots of things she’d never had and didn’t know the names for.
She ran far ahead of the candy-cart witch, free and unnoticed. She peeked in at windows, stuffing her face with chocolate as she watched the older kids, laughing and talking and changing into their robes. She even saw a bit of magic once. Well, almost. Some red-headed kid was trying to turn his rat yellow. It didn’t work but it was still interesting to watch.
School, she knew, was going to be amazing. She couldn’t wait to go to school.
Finally, she settled herself at the rear of the train, tucking herself into an empty compartment and emptying the candy out of the rest of her pockets. The sugar crash and the running and the smooth chugging of the train lulled her into an easy sleep.
When she woke, with chocolate-covered face and sticky hands, it was the creaking of the compartment door that woke her. An older witch with a steely-gray bun and a stern expression on her face gazed down at her.
“And who,” she said. “Might you be?”
Was she going to get in trouble? She knew she would. Was it worth it?
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