The chairs on the Knight Bus looked like ones that could be found casually on different Muggle streets, and several wizards were sitting on them, muttering, looking for comfortable postures.
Because the bus stopped abruptly, somebody's shopping bag slid over the length of the bus; an unpleasant mixture of frog spawn, cockroaches, and custard creams was scattered all over the floor.
"Looks like we'll have to split up. Today is the first working day after the holidays. There are a lot of people on the bus.” Sirius explained, “Harry, you sit in the seat next to me, and the others sit behind me. Percy, you take care of it.”
“Do not worry, leave it to me!” Percy promised with a look of pride. He raised the Head Boy badge on his chest, and led by Evan they walked towards the rear.
"I've always wanted to go on this thing," said Ron happily, sitting in the seat behind Harry, looking around excitedly.
Evan and Hermione continued to move backwards, and they found two empty seats at the back of the carriage.
When the two had just sat down, the bus set off again, swaying ominously. It rumbled around the Burrow, weaving.
With another tremendous BANG, they were all flung backward.
Ron's chair toppled right over and Pigwidgeon, who had been on his lap, burst out of his cage and flew twittering wildly up to the front of the bus where he fluttered down upon Hermione's shoulder instead. Since Hermione had fed it with breadcrumbs last night, the owl particularly liked her company.
Hermione’s right hand held on to Evan, who grabbed the candle bracket beside him. They both managed not to fall.
They looked out of the window: they were now speeding down what appeared to be a motorway.
“This is outside Birmingham.” The conductor, Stan Shunpike, came over and said hello enthusiastically. “Hello, I went to the shop in Diagon Alley yesterday. I didn’t buy a newspaper. There were so many people. By the time it was my turn, the newspapers were sold out. But it doesn't matter, for I already have Black's autograph."
Evan and Hermione each handed Stan eleven sickles, and he gave them the tickets.
On the streets of Muggles, the Knight Bus was slantingly slanted, over the inside of a small car, rushing straight into the surrounding sidewalk.
Hermione covered her eyes in fear, Pigwidgeon still swaying happily on her shoulder.
With a bang, chairs slid backward again as the Knight Bus jumped from the Birmingham motorway to a quiet country lane full of hairpin bends.
Hedgerows on either side of the road were leaping out of their way as they mounted the verges. From here they moved to a main street in the middle of a busy town, then to a viaduct surrounded by tall hills, then to a windswept road between high-rise flats, each time with a loud BANG.
“Can’t they slow down a bit?!” Hermione shuddered.
“This bus has only one speed!” Evan held Hermione with one hand and the other hand held the candle bracket next to him so to keep them from being thrown out.
Compared with the Hogwarts Express train, the Knight Bus was very uncomfortable.
This was especially true when it was full of people, the environment in the bus was even worse than when Evan came to school in Mr. Weasley’s car with Harry and Ron last year.
“Attention, our next stop is Hogwarts,” said Stan brightly, swaying toward them, not affected at all.
In the carriage, people were retching, followed by a horrible spattering sound.
Evan opened a small aperture in the window, and with the cold fresh air, he saw the Knight Bus speeding through a shabby bar, squeezing itself out of the way to avoid any collisions.
It was the Hog's Head Inn, and the severed boar's head sign was creaking in the wintry wind. Not far away, there was the snowy Hogsmeade, with no one on its streets.
Flecks of snow hit the large window at the front of the bus. At last they rolled to a halt outside the gates to Hogwarts.
“Here we are, kids!” Sirius helped them off the bus with their luggage.
Immediately afterwards, Ron rushed out of the bus.
He looked very bad; he had picked himself up from the floor six times along the way. He muttered, "I never want to ride on here again."
Evan also got off the bus and everyone waved to Stan.
The Knight Bus restarted and disappeared in thin air.
The nine of them struggled up the slippery route toward the castle dragging their trunks. Although it was cold, everyone was very excited and talked about topics of interest.
A few seconds later, the voices stopped instantly.
In front of the gate of the school wall, Evan saw Snape in a black robe, with a cold fake smile on his face, and his black eyes squinting. Sirius looked at him with hatred.
Evan had naively thought that Snape would improve his attitude after knowing the truth about Lily's death and helping them catch Peter Pettigrew.
But he found out he was wrong, and Snape showed even more contempt than before.
“Welcome, welcome!” he said in a low, sarcastic tone.
“What are you doing here?” Sirius immediately said with vigilance, his hand instinctively placed on the wand on his waist.
“I'm here on Dumbeldore's orders.” Snape said disgustedly, “It is a terrible errand to be ordered to meet the new Defence Against the Dark Arts professor.”
“What about other professors?” Harry asked, “Why didn’t Hagrid come?”
“Obviously, apart from me, the rest of the staff are reluctant to accept this unpleasant duty. They have loud opinions about a murderer becoming a professor at the school." Snape said, his voice was getting more and more sinister. “But it’s not surprising. The Headmaster has always liked to hire some strange fellows…”
“Go away!” Sirius shouted, “I don’t need you to welcome me. Get out of my sight before I can’t keep myself from beating you up.”
“That’s just right; I didn’t intend to waste too much time here.” The cold smile on Snape’s face was more obvious, “I am not like you, I don't have unlimited leisure time.”
Snape turned around and was about to leave.
“Hold on!” Sirius suddenly shouted. He frowned and said, “I’ve heard a lot lately about what you did to Harry at school during my absence. I have to remind you that if you are trying to bully Harry, you'll have me to answer to.”
“How touching, the loving godfather's concern for the godson!” Snape sneered, “But surely you have noticed that Potter is very like his father?”
"Yes, I have," said Sirius proudly.
"Well then, you'll know he's so arrogant that criticism simply bounces off him," Snape said sleekly.
“Hey!” Sirius pulled out his wand and he strode toward Snape.
Snape whipped out his own. They were squaring up to each other, Sirius looking livid, Snape measuring his opponent, his eyes darting from Sirius's wand tip to his face.
"Sirius!" said Harry loudly, but Sirius appeared not to hear him.
"I've warned you, Snivellus," said Sirius, his face barely a foot from Snape's, "I don't care if Dumbledore thinks you've reformed, I know better…”
"Oh, but why don't you tell him you think so?" whispered Snape. "Or are you afraid he might not take a murderer's word seriously? Hiring a pug to teach at Hogwarts is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen."
T/N: Hey there, this is Translating_Wizard. I hope you like the story so far and are happy with the releases, I just posted chapter 357 in Patreon! If you’re interested in supporting me and reading more chapters, hit the button below ^^Liked it? Take a second to support TranslatinOtaku on Patreon!