A/N: If you've read the "Midnight Run" series, this story will make more sense to you and you'll probably get a big kick out of seeing Johnny's perspective. If you haven't, Johnny is the second son of Teddy Lupin and Victoire Weasley, and he's quite, well... Johnny Lupin-ish. He's inimitable. I hope you enjoy!
It was Johnny Lupin's first year at Hogwarts. He'd been looking forward to it for years, couldn't wait for his first day at the castle, and had been talking about it nonstop for the past three months, but nevertheless, he overslept.
His older brother Remus woke him by poking him hard in the forehead.
“Mum says get up or you won't have time for breakfast before the train leaves.”
Johnny scrambled out of bed, kicked aside a pile of his dirty clothes and pulled on the cleanest things he could find. His mother had already packed all his clean laundry. Dashing downstairs, he shoved aside his little brother Liam and slid into a chair just before his sister Dora could sit down in front of the plate his mother had just served.
“I was sitting there!” Dora exclaimed loudly, stamping her foot. “Mum, tell him!”
“If I have to police where everyone sits, no one is going to eat,” their mother said, not looking over at them.
Johnny smiled smugly and started eating the food that had been meant for his sister. Dora kicked him in the ankle and sat down beside him. Their mother bustled over with a plate for her, so she didn't bother to retaliate further.
“Your father is loading up the luggage into the car. I don't know how we're going to make it on time. I only hope there isn't any traffic.”
Johnny wasn't concerned. Of course nothing was going to stop him on his first day. Johnny wolfed down the last of his food and ran off for the front door.
“Put your plate in the sink!” his mother yelled after him.
“Liam will do it!”
He could hear the tinkling of dishes being put in the sink, and then his mother's voice.
“You know you don't have to do what Johnny tells you, Liam...”
Johnny dashed up to his father, who was cursing at the trunks as he tried to make them fit in the boot. It was too small, so he glanced around to make sure their Muggle neighbours weren't watching, and pulled his wand out of his pocket. A quick spell later, the trunks fit neatly beside each other with room for Remus's owl and Johnny's toad.
“Don't tell your mother,” Dad told him.
“How come I don't get an owl?” Johnny asked.
“You wanted a toad. I told you there would be no changing your mind later.” Dad closed the boot. “Where is everyone? We need to leave.”
Remus came outside then. “They're hurrying. Mum says five minutes.”
“For God's sake,” said their dad. “It's a bloody circus taking you lot anywhere. Can't I just drop you two off and leave your mother and your brothers and sisters at home?”
“No,” Johnny told him. “It's my first year. They want to see me go.”
“I bet,” Remus muttered under his breath.
“Go tell the rest of them to hurry up,” Dad told Remus.
Johnny returned to the important subject, which was of course the one he wanted to talk about. “Can I get an owl next year?”
“No,” said Dad.
“But I want an owl. Remus has one, it's not fair.”
“You have a toad. You wanted the toad. I'm not buying you an owl as well.”
Their mother appeared in the doorway and started herding his younger siblings outside. “You already chose a pet, Johnny. Maybe if you make prefect in a few years, you can have an owl as a reward. Remus, lock the door behind you.”
“Prefects are stupid,” Johnny said.
“You're stupid,” Remus said, locking the door.
“Knock it off,” their dad said. “Get in the car. Victoire, we should've left twenty minutes ago.”
Their mum looked harassed. “I know, I know. Everyone's slow this morning. Get in, all of you.”
It took a few minutes for all the little ones to get in. Dora was eight and Liam nearly seven so they were able to get in their seats themselves, but Fleur wasn't even five yet and Arthur was only a baby still so Mum had to help them. Johnny rolled his eyes impatiently at the delay and harangued his parents some more about the owl.
“What if I'm never a prefect? Can I have an owl in fifth year anyway?”
“Why would you get a reward if you didn't do anything?” Remus demanded.
“Yeah,” threw in Dora. “How come you get an owl and a toad?”
“I'm going to be Head Boy one day,” Johnny told them confidently. “Then I'll get an owl and a toad and a cat if I want one, too.”
“You just said prefects are stupid,” Remus pointed out. “How are you going to be Head Boy if you think prefects are stupid?”
“You don't have to be a prefect to be Head Boy,” Johnny scoffed.
“That's true,” their dad put in. “Your great-uncle Harry, his dad was Head Boy but he was never a prefect. My dad was a prefect, though. So was your mum.”
“Well, I'm going to be a prefect,” Remus huffed.
“That's because you're boring,” Johnny said.
“Be nice, Johnny,” their mother told him, climbing in the front seat next to their dad.
“Finally,” said Dad. “Are everyone's hands and legs inside the vehicle?”
Johnny stuck an arm out the window. “Yes.”
“Knock it off. Let's go.”
King's Cross was crowded when they arrived, and there was only just time to find a parking space and rush in to the station before the train left. Mum had Arthur in her arms and Dad was carrying Fleur piggyback, which meant Johnny had to push a trolley with his luggage on it himself. Remus had refused to do it flat-out since he had his own trunk to deal with, and Liam wasn't strong enough, though he'd tried when Johnny told him to.
“Liam, you don't have to do what your brother tells you,” Mum reminded him again.
Johnny ignored this. Liam always did what Johnny told him. He pushed his trolley through the barrier, eager to see the audience he knew was waiting.
He had invited his aunt Rose, who was his godmother, to come see him off to school. He'd written the invitation himself, informing her of the time and place and that he expected her to be there. He knew she was coming, because he'd overheard her Flooing his mother.
“D'you know what your son sent me?” she'd said, and his mother had responded, “He's your godson. I blame Uncle Fred's genes for both of you.”
And sure enough, when they got to Platform 9 ¾, there was Aunt Rose, and to his satisfaction, she was accompanied by her boyfriend and son. His uncle Scorpius waved, and the Lupins trooped over to them. His dad set Fleur down, and she darted over to wrap an arm around their mum's leg, attaching herself like a barnacle.
“Thanks for coming,” Mum said to Aunt Rose.
“Apparently it wasn't optional,” Aunt Rose muttered, but she smiled at Mum.
“Hi Aunt Rose,” Johnny called out, abandoning his trunk in front of his father and trotting over to stand in front of her. “I'm glad you're here to see me. I knew you wouldn't want to miss this.”
“Nobody would ever want to miss saying goodbye to you, Johnny,” Aunt Rose said sweetly.
His mother elbowed her in the ribs and chuckled. Johnny didn't know why, so he ignored it.
“I bet you'll miss me a lot,” he informed his aunt, then added to his cousin, “And you too.”
"I can't wait until I go to Hogwarts," his cousin Ramses said enviously. Ramses was only seven and therefore a baby, but he was Johnny's favourite cousin because he so openly admired everything that Johnny did. Johnny liked that sort of attitude in a relative.
"When you do, people will think you're cool because you're related to me," Johnny told him. "Although that doesn't work for Remus, so maybe not."
His aunt Rose looked at him askance. Johnny was quite used to people looking at him that way and didn't take much notice.
Remus, on the other hand, looked as if he would very much like to punch his brother, but he only rolled his eyes theatrically instead. "I'm going to go get a compartment, Mum," he told their mother, then added for Johnny's benefit, "With my friends. Which I have. Unlike you."
“I have loads of friends, stupid,” Johnny retorted.
“Boys,” said their mother, warning in her voice.
"Johnny doesn't need friends," Uncle Scorpius murmured. "He has an army of minions."
Johnny disregarded this as well. Adults often said things like that about him. Uncle James sometimes said Johnny ought to have his own show on the WWN, and Johnny quite liked the sound of that.
"Probably we should be concerned by that," his dad said to Uncle Scorpius. "But I just don't have the energy."
Johnny turned to face his parents, and said, "Well, goodbye."
His mum was busy with one of his younger sisters and wasn't paying attention. Aunt Rose was telling Ramses off about trying to run off after someone's pet toad. And his dad and Uncle Scorpius were still talking. Their collective lack of attention made Johnny frown. Honestly, they were all useless.
He climbed up onto his trunk and threw his arms wide. "Parents and family!"
This got their attention, finally. Aunt Rose's eyebrows went up. His sister Dora burst into giggles, but she was very silly and he ignored her. Everyone else was watching him, which was just how he liked things.
Pacing on his trunk, he announced, "I'm leaving now for Hogwarts. I know you'll all miss me a lot while I'm gone, but you can write to me, and I'm sure Remus will write to you what I'm doing because I'll be way too busy to write any of you."
"I bet," said Aunt Rose.
"I'll be home at Christmas and you can visit me then," he added to Ramses.
"Yeah," Ramses agreed immediately. "We'll visit at Christmas, won't we Mum?"
"We always do," Aunt Rose said dryly.
"Now Mum, you'll want to cry because I'm leaving, but wait until no one can see you, all right?" Johnny prodded his mother. He did not want his new audience of schoolmates to see his mother crying. She was very wet sometimes.
Mum had her lips pressed together but managed to nod. Her face was a bit red.
"Get down from there, Johnny," his father said irritably. "You're going to damage the trunk."
"I know what I'm doing," he assured his father.
His mother turned away, her shoulders shaking. Johnny shook his head at her. She couldn't help herself, he reckoned. Probably she was overcome to have to say goodbye to her favourite son. He jumped down off the trunk and waved a hand at his younger brothers. "You lot, don't touch my things while I'm gone, all right?"
"Good God, Johnny, get on the bloody train." His father waved a wand at the trunk and levitated it toward the train. Johnny gave a small bow to his family and followed his father.
His mother turned around to wave at him. She was laughing, and there were tears in her eyes. Mum was even sillier than Dora sometimes. After his dad had got the trunk on board, Johnny hopped up onto the train. The whistle was blowing; the train was about to set off.
"Goodbye! I know you'll miss me a lot!"
His mother dissolved into laughter again. Uncle Scorpius was grinning and shaking his head as he waved, probably in awe of how great Johnny was. Aunt Rose still had his cousin Ramses clutched tightly in one hand to keep him from running off, but she waved with the other hand. His siblings were all waving, and little Fleur was crying now. Johnny nodded in satisfaction. This was more like it.
Further down the train, his older brother leaned out the window and waved to their family. Johnny reckoned their waves were not as enthusiastic to him. But then, Remus was not as cool as Johnny was, and now he was thirteen, Remus was always hogging the bathroom to do his hair, and this annoyed their sister Dora in particular, because she also liked to hog the bathroom to do her hair.
Johnny made his way to the nearest compartment of first years that he found.
"I'm Johnny Lupin," he informed them as he sat down. "This is my first year. I'm going to be in Gryffindor."
The train ride to school was largely spent gathering new admirers among his fellow first years. Johnny had always approached making new friends by assuming anyone who met him would recognize his awesomeness, and this was largely true. The few people who didn't like him, for reasons he'd never understood, were usually friends of his brother Remus and therefore boring. By the time the snack trolley came through, Johnny had a crowd around him, squished into the seats around him and hovering in the doorway, listening raptly as he told about his adventures. The time he'd rescued his aunt Rose from a serial killer in particular amazed them.
"…and then I punched him and he dropped the knife," Johnny finished the story, nodding to indicate how impressed they ought all to be.
A wide-eyed girl across from him whispered, "How old were you?"
"I was just a kid then. I've always been amazing," he told her.
"That's not true," said a more sceptical boy in the doorway. "That didn't actually happen."
"Ask my brother. It did," Johnny retorted.
The boy snorted derisively and shoved his way out of the crowd. Johnny dismissed him from his thoughts and went back to his new audience.
The train ran out of trip to make before Johnny ran out of stories to tell, and when it pulled to a stop at the Hogsmeade station, there was a small chorus of disappointed “oh!”s. He threaded through the crowd eagerly, leaving his new admirers to follow after him.
“First years!” a professor was calling. “First years with me!”
Johnny made sure he was at the front of the line.
His boat arrived first at the castle and as they climbed the stairs he told his new schoolmates, “I hope a lot of you are in Gryffindor too. But you can still talk to me if you don't make it.”
“I want to be in Ravenclaw,” one girl piped up.
“What for?” Johnny asked blankly.
“Students!” called the professor who'd collected them from the platform, and everyone turned away from Johnny.
He listened with half an ear to the Sorting explanation, not at all worried. Everyone in his family was in Gryffindor, basically. Johnny had no doubt it was where he would go too, and couldn't wait to try the Sorting Hat on.
They walked into the Great Hall, and the other first years stared in awe at the ceiling. Johnny looked up briefly, didn't see anything more interesting than himself, and then looked around the hall at the students. He spotted his brother sitting at the Gryffindor table and waved to him. Remus heaved a sigh and waved back.
They went alphabetically instead of by order of importance, so Johnny had to wait while far more boring people were Sorted before he was. The older students clapped for each new addition to their House, which Johnny thought rather silly of them. It wasn't as if they could tell just yet whether the first years were at all cool. Well, except him, since his cool was obvious. The boy who hadn't believed his stories on the train was Sorted into Ravenclaw. Johnny figured that fit him, since he was clearly quite boring.
Finally it was his turn.
“It's Johnny,” he informed the professor as he sauntered up. “Johnny Lupin.”
She raised an eyebrow, reminding him of his aunt Rose. “I see. If you please,” and she waved a hand at the Sorting Hat on its stool.
Johnny stepped up and grabbed the hat in one hand, sat on the stool, and slapped the hat on his head.
“Dear me,” said a little voice in his head. “This is really quite a lot of confidence in here.”
“I know,” Johnny answered smugly.
“Better be GRYFFINDOR!” the hat yelled to the whole hall.
Johnny hopped down from the stool and waved proudly at the applause, then took a little bow before he trotted off to sit at the Gryffindor table. Remus was shaking his head in dismay.
“I told you,” he said to one of his friends, who stared openly at Johnny.
“I thought you were exaggerating, mate,” his friend responded in disbelief.
“You can't exaggerate when it comes to Johnny,” Remus said dourly.
“I'm Johnny Lupin,” Johnny told Remus's friend proudly, then turned to the boy beside him, another first year who'd been in his compartment on the train. “You'll be in my dormitory. That's luck for you.”
“Wow,” said Remus's friend.
“I know,” said Remus.
Johnny didn't pay much attention to the rest of the Sorting, instead examining the older students, particularly his brother's friends. As he'd expected, Remus wasn't nearly as cool as he thought he was, but then, Johnny had always known Remus wasn't very cool. He did all his chores the first time he was asked, finished his homework in the first week of the summer holidays, and kept his half of their room clean without prompting from their parents. Honestly, he was pretty embarrassing to be related to.
Once the first years had all been Sorted and seated, the headmistress gave a short speech to which Johnny did not pay any attention at all, and then the food was served. The other first years, all of whom had been in his compartment on the train and heard all the stories about him, let him have first pick of the roast chicken. Johnny wasn't surprised, but Remus rolled his eyes again.
After dinner, the prefects led the first-years to their dormitories. In the entrance hall, Johnny spotted the boy from the train asking Remus, “Your brother was talking a load of rubbish on the train. He said he fought off some serial killers. I don't believe a word of it. He said to ask you if it was true.”
“That actually did happen,” Remus said grudgingly. “He was only a little kid then though.”
The boy seemed surprised and went off to the Ravenclaws.
“Your brother did what?” Remus's friend asked him.
“Oh, he's mental. Let's go.”
Johnny smiled smugly and pushed his way to the front of the small knot of Gryffindor first-years. The prefect, a fifth-year boy with black curls, looked down at him.
“I'm ready,” Johnny told him. “You can take us to Gryffindor Tower now.”
“Uh, right,” said the prefect, eyeing him. “First-years, follow me!”
Their things were waiting for them in the dormitory. Johnny selected a bed for himself and then assigned the rest of them to the other three first-year boys before digging into his trunk for pyjamas.
Johnny stretched out on his bed and folded his arms across his chest. A feeling of intense satisfaction filled him. Hogwarts was going to be so much more amazing now that he was there.
He fell asleep a few moments later, snoring happily in his four-poster bed.