Disclaimer: HP belongs to JK, but the plot is mine.
A/N: Just realized I haven't written a disclaimer in the longest time. So now, for the long awaited sequel to A Strike Upon the Hour...ladies, and gents, welcome to The Second Strike...
Chapter I: A Return to Hogwarts
The Hogwarts Express pulled slowly from the station with a billowing cloud of steam from the engine. On the station, parents waved enthusiastically and their parting gestures were returned from the packed windows of the cars with an almost equal vigour. Harry raised his own hand to see off Andromeda for the last time, before he and Hermione saw her again in the winter.
It was over very quickly - the train quickly gathered speed, and it soon was out of sight past the bend, and on its way to the magical school.
"Another year to ourselves, love," Harry turned to Hermione and put an arm around her shoulders.
"So it is," she rejoined.
Harry nodded, and turned to the other two couples. "So, are we going to have our traditional dinner tonight?"
"You know it, mate," Ron said, and then looked at Malfoy. "You two coming?"
"Weasley, that's shouldn't even be a question," Draco told him, almost mocking him. "Of course we're coming."
"Alright then," Hermione adjourned the meeting. "We'll see you tonight at seven."
The long train ride had quietened the fervour for the return the school, as the prospect of sweating over textbooks and musty library tomes no longer seemed very appealing. In one compartment, Andromeda was sitting with a group of her close friends, and quite by calculated accident, Regulus had ended up there too, with two of his mates. The silence was tenable, as glances were thrown back and forth, but nobody was brave enough to offer up a first word. Each group had whispered and talked amongst themselves, but at one point, the topics had melted away, as the awareness of the people sitting opposite grew.
"What are you looking at?" Regulus suddenly snapped at Andromeda.
"Your face fascinates me, Malfoy," Andromeda's voice dripped with sarcasm, "how is such ugliness even humanly possible?"
"You know you love my ugliness," Regulus flashed the same grin, which had made many a girl at the school melt...
"You very well know I don't," she snapped this time defensively. "And before you say it, no, I will not go out with you."
"I wonder," Regulus' gaze swept around the compartment, before fixing on Andromeda again, "how did we end up in the same compartment?"
"Pure mathematics, you dolt," Andromeda was beginning to become annoyed. "Everywhere else was full."
Nonplussed by her displeasure, Regulus only smiled again. "I'm glad you're here to tell me - else I'd have never figured it out." His mates exchanged a glance behind their friend's back, and snickered.
"Shut it, will you?" Andromeda's annoyance could not be hidden now, "It's bad enough I'm breathing the same air as you."
"Mate, you know she's loving that part even more," the one on Regulus' right whispered purposefully. Andromeda only roller her eyes and looked on outside the window.
"Albus, I think you're right," Regulus acted a scene of revelation, and put a hand over his heart. "I am blessed!"
"If you don't shut your trap, I will do it for you!" the fire in Andromeda's eyes could not be mistaken - one trait of Harry's she had picked up was his fierce temper.
"That's right," the third boy called out. "In other words, mate, keep it up."
"Thanks, Otto," Regulus returned his warning with another smile."I will."
"Argh!" the frustration finally topped in Andromeda, and standing up, she grabbed her own two friends by the arms, and stepped out in the corridor, throwing the door shut behind her.
"On the bright side, we now have the entire compartment to ourselves," Albus pointed out, and as he arose, threw himself across the seats where the girls had been sitting moments before.
"And is there a not-so-bright side?" Regulus questioned him.
"No," Albus grinned widely, and stretched himself out completely. "There isn't mate."
"Yeah, I think you're right," Regulus answered him after a few seconds of silence, as he threw a glance in the hallway - unfortunately, there was no trace of the girls.
"What is wrong with him!" Andromeda steamed on, as she walked along furiously towards the buffet carriage. "I will rip him apart limb from limb!"
"Calm down, will you," one of her friends piped up, the tense feeling showing up in her voice as well.
"Jane, you know he drives me up the wall," Andromeda told her, "What do you expect me to do?"
Jane was just about to offer a reply, when her other friend spoke. "There is something you can do - ignore him."
"Holly, how can I ignore him, if he manages to anger me every time I'm in his company?" Andromeda asked her feverishly.
Just then, an announcement came from a magically amplified voice, notifying the students that the train would be arriving at Hogwarts within a half hour.
"Come on, let's go back," Jane turned back, "before those bigots lock us out or try another immature prank."
"Something tells me they will," Andromeda said tastelessly, and she followed her two friends down the hall.
A/N: A la James/Lily? :D This is the first chapter, and more will follow..in the meanwhile, I'd appreciate input on how this story should proceed, because I have absolutely no idea...:D