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Posted: Jun 19 2017, 02:22 AM
"Touching the pain that you left me with"
The train had stopped in the middle of nowhere, and Benjamin had – to no one’s surprise – fallen into some kind of stupor, his cat pressed against his chest and washed-out wide behind the shock of messy curls that was always falling in his face. Announcements had been made, meant to calm the students within the train. Would his father be around to take him out of here and bring him home? No, because even if Mister Flourish would be around, he had duties to fulfil and couldn’t just drop them all to pamper his son. Not that he had ever pampered his son in any way. Benny was sick of being a bother to everyone around him, watching as students hurried through the aisle between the compartments, apparently careless of the plea to stay in their seats. Marbles meowed, and the boy raised the cat enough to press a kiss in between his ears, shivering although it wasn’t cold. It was summer after all, bad things were not supposed to happen in summer.
And yet they did – they happened all the time, and Benjamin’s wishful thinking of closing his eyes and counting down to ten only to undo these happenings did not work out. He had tried several times, calmly counting only to inhale so hard that his lungs had started hurting for a moment. It was too much – he needed to get out of here, no matter what had been said. Scrambling his belongings together, Benny abandoned his suitcase and only took his backpack, shouldering it and holding Marbles closer to his chest as he left the compartment, pausing when he heard yells from another train wagon, accompanied by banging sounds. If that was what under control sounded like, Benjamin did not want to see what utter chaos meant. Slowly he moved, regretting that he had chosen a part of the train where barely anyone seemed to be sitting. But was it not always like that? In the end, he was all alone, staring into the void until they reached King’s Cross Station.
The doors he passed swung open, exposing the dimly lit area that had to be a tunnel the Hogwarts Express usually passed. Why had they paused in the first place, and where did these screams and banging sounds come from? The badger did not know and tried to abandon all his fears. Yet they were always there, digging their claws into his shoulders and breathing against his neck – a breathtaking and all-consuming anxiety Benjamin could never shake off. Some people were meant to be heroes, but Benny was not one of them. He was a coward, scared of his own shadow in the right light. Fingers held onto the door grip for a moment longer before he descended the stairs, sneakers meeting the concrete of the tunnel, gravel crunching underneath his soles as he took two hesitant steps forward. There were no members of the Ministry of Magic, no wands raised to illuminate the tunnel. The boy gulped, and Marbles meowed softly when his fingers dug into the feline’s thick fur.
The dim lights of both the train and the tunnel itself painted shadows on the walls, and Benny could have sworn he had seen people hurry by fast, turning around to try and figure in which direction to walk. He just wanted to be home already and curl up in his bed, but it did not look like this was going to happen any time soon. Instead, he walked forward, suddenly spotting another figure that was about to leave the train. He held his breathe before speeding up his steps, cat clutched to his chest like a shield against all evils of the world as he shook brown curls out of his face – only to stare at the familiar and feared face of Andre Elkins, scarcely brightened by the flickering lights.