The Trolley Lady
*This is my first official fan-fiction. That means it’s not that great. (Especially the plot.) Bear with it, please! 🙂 *
Luela Middlefinks was a great witch. She’d won the Order of Merlin, Third Class, for her work with toads in cosmetic charms, and appeared on Witch Weekly for modifying kitchen spells, which called for more work and less clean. That was, however, so 1950’s. Still young, she’d gone into early retirement from her post as the host of Witching Hour program on Magic Music Radio.
Now, she worked part time as the trolley lady on the Hogwarts Express, delivering candy to the grubby fingers of students on September 1st every year. Her friends from her book club would tell her she’d let herself go since retirement; she’d lot the luster in her hair, the red in her checks, and gained much too many pounds. (She couldn’t bear to admit that it was because of the Chocolate Frogs.) Why, Blenda Bott (the one and only descendant of the great Bertie Bott) even had the nerve to tell her she looked like she was always sucking on a vomit flavored Every Flavor Bean!
That was why, this year, she would do something daring, something worth her Witch Weekly years. On the morning of September 1st, she packed her bags (using an engorgement charm of course, they were much too small to fit all her romance novels for the trip), threw in extra socks, her wand, spectacles, and Basilisk venom (now in an easy-to-use spray can for oncoming predators!) before trundling to her lilac jalopy. Off in the distance, steam rose in pink wisps from the still asleep chimney of the Burrow. Usually, the Potter’s and Weasley’s children could be heard from fifty miles away, all five of them, getting ready for their first day to school.
Luela tucked her provisions in the trunk, and then placed a pink vial snugly between her tabloids. By nine fifteen, she was already arriving at King’s Cross Station, Platform 9 ¾. The earliest children were already there and they waved a hello under their piles of spell books and owls. In the Professor’s compartment, Flitwick was giving his farewell to his wife, who was double his height, and Neville Longbottom was coaxing a plant to life before his first lessons the next week.
The train blew a fast whistle. Outside a steamy window, students clambered into their compartments. The sky was a blazing blue, and leaves twirled out of the air and onto the platform, where they gathered in neat, magical heaps. Luela pulled out the candy cart, which was stacked with as many sweets as you could imagine: Acid Pops, Fizzing Whizbees, Pepper Imps, Sugar Quills, Chocolate Frogs; she was tempted to have a bite herself. Grabbing the pink bottle she had hidden inside her car trunk, she emptied slimy, thick pink liquid over a butterbeer and watched it as it dissolved into the creamy and frothy drink.
She could imagine the headlines now as she rolled the trolley out into the train’s corridors: “Middlefinks Makes Big With New Love Potion”. And it wasn’t any love potion she had just dumped into the butterbeer either; it was the one cure to teenage love. She’d mixed Veritaserum for truth, and Amortentia for love; instead of the often contagious obsession associated with love potions, she’d be making true love, and she’d be a millionaire before the day was over. After all, teenagers were the biggest market today, and she already knew a few customers willing to try the mix.
In the last compartment, she found James, Albus, and Lily Potter, as well as Rose and Hugo Weasley. They emptied their pockets for their knuts and sickles, and bought half the cart before she managed to pull away. She smiled as she watched Rose, with her bushy red hair and toothy smile, pull away with the small butterbeer.
As she moved toward another compartment, she heard a miraculous shout of “I love Scorpious Malfoy!” that led to mad laughter and then grave silence as her compartment mates realized she was serious. Luella giggled. This was all going to plan.
She stopped by a few compartments, each with the same result. It was fantastic, the hilarity of it; she’d fixed all that lovey dovey shyness that children always had; she even saw one girl running out of a compartment to find a handsome Andrew Diggory.
She sighed. One thousand dollars, and counting. Luella helped herself to some butterbeer. She deserved it, after all.
Luela woke up in the Professor’s Chamber. Flitwick was there, watching her worriedly, and his wife as well, who’s pinched lips reminded her of Harry Potter’s aunt, whom she’d met once at the train station.
“The rudeness of it,” his wife muttered, “forcing me to stay on the train until we arrive! I am absolutely horrified…”
“I love you, Flitwick,” Luela murmured, quite confounded by the love potion she’d accidently swallowed. “Ever since that one time in the Hogwarts closet, I have absolutely been waiting for your divorce-”
The last thing she saw was Flitwick’s wife beating him to death.