[Characters:] EVERYONE. Share a compartment, fight over the last Chocolate Frog, get involved in a heavy snogging session while changing out of your muggle clothing - whatever.
At Platform 9 and three-quarters, the gleaming red locomotive stood as majestic and inviting as always. The atmosphere, however, had changed. Oh sure, the more boisterous students (the Marauders come to mind) were still trying to cheat the lost first years out of their Pumpkin Pasties, with prefects at their heels, still trying to stop them, but somehow it wasn't as jolly anymore. Mothers and fathers alike had harassed, worried looks on their faces, hugging their children extra hard before they reluctantly would let them board the train. As the last student entered, the Hogwarts Express let out a whistle, and it was on its way.
Inside the train, things were like they always had been for the most part - the scrambling to change into school robes, the buying of treats from the trolley, and the locating of lost toads. Only a few students sat still in their compartments with a brooding look on their face, scribbling in their journals or writing their first letters home.