Title: After Colin Walks

Summary: The story after the end of the story

Notes: I do believe I've just had a whim.

Characters: Mary Lennox, Colin Craven, Dicken Sowerby, and a new girl Evangeline Montgomery

Chapter 1 Changed

Mary Lennox leaned out the window of the carriage and breathed deep all the wonderful, familiar smells of the moor. Her memories flashed back to when she was nothing but a young girl, pale and frail, then slowly growing more plump and strong. It was all the work of the magic of the moor. It did not seem a very happy place at first glance, oh, but once you got to know it. Once you got to get to run through the short shrubbery, and feel the little leaves across your legs as you run so fast you feel like your flying, you fall in love. At first, Mary was torn by the thought of leaving the moor, but she knew her education was important. Now, her schooling was all finished. Now, she was returning to the one place she could once again call home: Misselthwaite Manor.

She looked out at the familiar house, with a hundred doors "all shut up." She remembered how curious she was, and she remembered her dear cousin, Colin Craven, who was now Master of Misselthwaite. Mary hoped to see the little twinkling light on in the kitchen, but it was put out. "They must all be sleeping, still. It is quite early, perhaps I should have called fist? No, Colin likes surprises." Mary's mind raced through all the memories of Colin as the carriage shuddered to a stop. The driver came around and opened the door, and held his hand out for Mary to take. She took his hand, and stepped lightly out the carriage.

Walking up the firm, stone steps to the big oak door, she knocked, then she waited. She could hear creaking through the door, then shouts.

"Who dares to call at this hour!" She heard a man shout. Mary trembled, has Colin moved?

The door opened with a loud creak, the joints crying out for oil. There, stood at the door was the familiar face of Colin. Mary smiled, relieved he had not moved. But was that him that was yelling so?

"Who is it?" He snapped.

Mary's heart broke, she felt she must cry. "Cousin? Do you not remember me? I know it has been a long time, but I didn't not believe it had been quite that long. It is Mary Lennox."

Colin's face lightened, "Mary! Why didn't you say so? Come in! Mr. Pitcher, fetch Mary's bags from her carriage!" He called inside, then opened the large door wider so Mary could come in.

Her blue eyes traced along the railing, the ceiling, the walls, and the floor. She found all these things to have quite, changed. A fine layer of dust, covered most everything. The furnishings were dirty and moth eaten. The floor, that once used to give off a great big shine, now was dull. Mary looked around, disappointed.

"Colin? What happened here?" Mary asked, beckoning around her.

Colin shrugged, "Nothing."

"I can see that. Don't you have your maids clean anything?" Mary asked, stepping deeper into the manor.

Colin shook his head. "No more maids. Got rid of all of them."

"Why?" Mary gasped.

"I wonder why." Colin whispered, then looked at Mary with depressed eyes. She remembered how once they used to gleam a beautiful gray storm. "Come, this way to your room. It'll be the same one you were in before. Nothing has been moved." Colin grinned. "I made sure of that."

Mary took one last sweeping look, the proceeded to follow Colin up the stairs to her room.

He opened the doors to her room, and it was perfect. This seemed to be the only room kept clean. Colin grinned, "Perfect, exactly the same." Mary smiled. "Well, you must be tired. I'll let you rest." Then, Colin left her.

Mary looked throughout her familiar room, and couldn't stop smiling. She was home, even if the rest had changed, this room was her home.