Chapter 6: Their Knight In Shining Bus

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Chapter 6: Their Knight In Shining Bus

The engine roar grew louder and the source of the rustling leaves seemed to get nearer. Harley and Harry were back to back now, wondering which would be more frightening, the source of the engine or the source of the cracking of twig and the rustling of leaves. Then a flash of bright light appeared and both Harry and Harley were knocked off their feet, rolling onto the pavement with a yell.

When they decided it was okay to look their eyes were greeted by a violently purple bus. Over the windshield, in gold letters were The Knight Bus. A conductor in a purple uniform leapt out and spoke loudly through the night. "Welocome to the Knight Bus, emergency transport for stranded witches or wizards. Just hold out your wand hand, step on board, and we'll take you to where ever destination you need to go. My name is Stan Shunpike, and I will be your conductor this eve-" 

The conductor stopped abruptly. He just caught sight of the twins, who were still sitting on the ground. Harry and Harry snatched their wands off the ground and helped his sister up. Close up, Harley noticed that Stan was only a few years older than them, eighteen or nineteen. "What were you two doin' down there?" he dropped his professional manner. "We fell over," Harry and Harley both said at the same time. Before Stan could ask any more questions, Harry quickly spoke. "My name's Neville Longbottom, this is my cousin--um," Harry looked at Harley and she had to come up with a name, fast. "My name's Celine---um-----Celine Dion," she fumbled and Harry looked at her in exasperation. Harley shot back a look as if saying Just let me be! Stan seemed to buy it and said. "Well, then, better get inside," he opened the door and helped them lug their trunks and empty owl cages.

When they entered, they were greeted with rows of beds. Harley sat on one of the beds, second nearest to the driver. "Excuse me, Stan, how much do we have to pay to get to London?" she asked sweetly. "Eleven Sickles," said Stan, "but firteen if you anna have 'ot chocolate and fifteen gets you an 'ot water bottle an' a toofbrush in the color of your choice."

Harry went to his trunk and extracted some gold coins to give to Stan, so did Harley. Stan slipped the money into his pockets and went to the bed nest to the driver where harry sat and introduced the driver. "This is our driver Ernie Prang. This is Neville Longbottom and his cousin Celine Dion, Ern."

Ernie Prang nodded politely at the two and Harry flattened his bangs nervously over his scar. And Harley smiled politely.

"Take 'er away, Ern," Stan said as he sat on the seat next to him and the BOOM! of the Engine split through the night's silence.

"So why're you goin' to London for?" Stan asked as they drove. "Our Uncle had to leave and now we have to go to Hogwarts on our own," Harley lied. "We'll just step off at the Leaky Cauldron then, if you two wouldn' mind," Stan said. "No, it's perfect actually, we'll just stay there for the time being before we have to go to the express train to Hogwarts," Harry said.

Early dawn and the bus stopped. Harley never got some sleep and woke up Harry. As they went down the bus, they saw Hagrid. "Hagrid?" they both said. "Harry? Harley? What are yeh ter doin' here?" Hagrid asked. "Harry and Harley? I'm sorry Hagrid, but they're names're Neville and Celine," Stan said as he helped in bringing out their trunks. "Blimey, Harry, Harley! You lied ter Stan!" Hagrid said and both kids lowered their heads. "You're telling us that we had the Potters in our bus all along?" Stan said.

"I would be glad to take you in," Tom, the inn keeper said as he helped them bring their owl cages and trunks to their room. "Hedwig!" "Lily!" Harry and Harley said as they entered the room. "Smart owls, they are. Came here the minute you two arrived," Tom said.

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