A/N So, I know it's been like forever. A year, I think. I'm not sure. I could go check, but... no. Did you know that I've had the first 800 of so words of this saved for over a year? Interesting things happen, apparently. Anyway, I'd like to know what you guys think. Or if I should hand this off to another author who would update more often that I have the inclination to do. I'm such a lazy butt. Word count: Word says 1,217, FFnet says 1,209. I still don't understand the difference in word counts. Hm.

Chapter 3: Mr. Schrödinger, Why Would Someone Send You a Dead Cat?

It had been about a week since I had arrived at Wammy's House, as it was called. I hadn't really talked with anyone, none catching my interest right away. My day consisted of classes to attend, food to eat, and a vast number of windows to sit at. I swear, this building had windows everywhere. You couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting one. The upside of the many windows is that I am able to stare outside aimlessly. Since most of the occupants of this house were reclusive themselves, no one said anything about my not speaking. Not that it mattered; I wouldn't have spoken even if they had a problem with it. Each child had a schedule of classes tailored to their needs and knowledge. There was only one class that every person in the house took. Criminology. While that isn't the official title, that's what everyone calls it. No one told me the actual class name; they just told me to go to Criminology. But I digress. I'm sure that this will be interesting, regardless of the classes.

A knock at the door interrupted my thoughts. I didn't have a roommate; everyone else was already paired up. I was the odd one out. What a shame. I quietly padded over to the door to open it up.

"Misa." A small child (who I hadn't met yet) said, "Mr. Wammy wants to see you in his office."

I nodded and followed him out of my room. He quickly took off down the hall; clearly happy his task was completed. I didn't know my way around the house just yet; however, I have a fantastic sense of direction, so finding my way to Mr. Wammy's office was easier than it should have been. When I arrived, I knocked on the large oak door of Mr. Wammy's office.

"Come in." A voice called from within. I walked in, shutting the door behind me. Mr. Wammy smiled at me and gestured for me to sit in the chair in front of his desk. I shook my head, preferring to stand.

"I trust you have settled in." When I nodded he continued. "I have reports here from your teachers. Almost every one gave neutral reports. They neither like nor dislike you. However, one teacher gave a positive one."

My brow crinkled in confusion. My eyes alight with an unasked question: Who?

"L."

Stunned into talking, I shook my head and whispered, half to myself, "But L's not one of my teachers."

"Not formally, no. However, he does teach the top 5 children when it suits him. Do you remember when you spoke with him?"

I nodded.

"Well, that's how he gives his lessons and that's what he reports on. He believes you to be an acceptable choice for a successor. However, you can be moved down the list if L feels that you should no longer hold the 5th slot. You may be removed entirely, depending on the circumstances."

He looked at me questioningly, waiting for an answer.

"I understand." I said quietly. He smiled and continued.

"Now, on to why you're really here. As you are placed in the top 5, you must participate in what I like to call, "training". For you—and the other 4—it is training; for the government and the police, it's help on some of their hardest cases. Not the ones impossible to solve, no—those go to L. You 5 get the cold cases, the cases that need to be solved in 24 hours. Cases like that.

"You will be working with BB until you are comfortable with moving forward on your own. It will be him and not Matt—the next highest on the list—because I feel you will be more receptive of coaching from someone older than you. Matt is 7. BB is 19. Currently you are 13, correct?"

I nodded. How did he know that?

"You will be working out of the House until you are 16. Most law enforcement officers find younger detectives to be less credible. Even after your 16th birthday you still will not be working directly with whoever is heading the investigation. You must not let them see you or know you are only a teenager unless the situation calls for it. Do I make myself clear?"

I nodded once more. Mr. Wammy smiled. Ruffling through the papers on his desk, he pulled out a thin file folder. I looked up at him questioningly when he handed it to me.

"This is your first case—nothing too big, just something to test the waters. I would like you to solve this one on your own—to see how adept you are and what level of cases we should give you in the future. You may go now. Dinner is in an hour in the kitchen. I expect you to be there on time."

I nodded and quickly made my way up the stairs to my bedroom. Opening up the case file, I saw that it was a simple burglary case. The suspect list comprised of only two people—narrowing it down to one shouldn't be too hard, should it?

Wrong.

In the end, I found myself wondering why the police couldn't solve it by themselves. I solved it in just under an hour. It was more difficult than I had originally suspected; it seemed that the less suspects there are to choose from, the harder it is to narrow it down to one. It's an odd thing, indeed. Just as I was finishing the clock tolled for dinner.

Crud I thought, I'm going to be late. I ran from my room near the top of the house straight to the dining room. Stopping for a second as I reached the bottom of the final staircase, I weighed my options and opted to go in through the back door near the kitchens. Rushing off, as I heard the chattering of children already eating, I hurried to the back door. Slowing down as I reached the doorway, I pushed the door open as quietly as I could, hoping not to be noticed.

Screeech the door squeaked as I opened it. Conversation stopped.

I cringed, knowing that everyone had heard that. I think that maybe the door had purposefully not been oiled in the last century for this express purpose. It seemed likely.

I raised my eyes to meet the inquiring gazes of all the students. Really there were only about 25 total, but it seemed like a million when they were all focused on you. My gaze shifted to Mr. Wammy at the head of the table, I offered a small apologetic smile and hurried to my seat.

I kept my head down the rest of the meal, trying to make myself as invisible as possible. I'd like to think it worked, but even I'm not that naïve.

As I collapsed into bed after dinner, I gathered my thoughts, trying to understand what I was doing here. What exactly had made me special enough to be noticed to be here? I didn't consider myself smart enough. Sure I was clever, and their test said I was among the top five, but I couldn't be smart enough to be L, could I?

An interesting experience, indeed.


A/N I just love the line breaks. I giggle and shout "LINE BREAK" every time that I use one. It makes me happy. So uh, if the end is in a completely different writing style, blame it on the fact that I went through a year of English between those two sections. And I was way to lazy to go see if it was consistent. I checked, kind of, before I saved it, but whatevs. Review, or don't, not sure I care all that much. But they do make me happy. But then again, so do line breaks... Win.