Nineteen Years Later

Autumnseemedtoarrivesuddenlythatyear.ThemorningofthefirstofSeptemberwascrispasanapple,andasthelittlefamilybobbedacrosstherumblingroadtowardthegreatsootystation,thefumesofcarexhaustsandthebreathofpedestrianssparkledlikecobwebsinthecoldair.Twolargecagestattledontopoftheladentrolleystheparentswerepushing;theowlsinsidethemhootedindignantly,andtheredheadedgirltrailedfearfullybehindherbrothers,clutchingherfather’sarm.

“Itwon’tbelong,andyou’llbegoingtoo,”Harrytoldher.

“Twoyears,”sniffedLily.“Iwanttogonow!”

Thecommutersstaredcuriouslyattheowlsasthefamilywoveitswaytowardthebarrierbetweenplatformsnineandten,Albus’svoicedriftedbacktoHarryoverthesurroundingclamor;hissonshadresumedtheargumenttheyhadstartedinthecar.

“Iwon’t!Iwon’tbeaSlytherin!”

“James,giveitarest!”saidGinny.

“Ionlysaidhemightbe,”saidJames,grinningathisyoungerbrother.“There’snothingwrongwiththat.HemightbeinSlytherin—”

ButJamescaughthismother’seyeandfellsilent.ThefivePottersapproachedthebarrier.Withaslightlycockylookoverhisshoulderathisyoungerbrother,Jamestookthetrolleyfromhismotherandbrokeintoarun.Amomentlater,hehadvanished.

“You’llwritetome,won’tyou?”Albusaskedhisparentsimmediately,capitalizingonthemomentaryabsenceofhisbrother.

“Everyday,ifyouwantusto,”saidGinny.

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