A/N: Second chapter in less than a week; I'm on a roll! So, since this takes place in the next generation, most of the teachers will be made up. Just a warning, so just go with the names I created. I like writing this a lot – I mean, I've checked out other in this category and they lack originality and half the time everyone is complete out of character (Like, Annabeth joining the Death Eaters because of one Seaweed Brain moment – as if!) Anyways, here's the second chapter, and things get interesting.
*One Month Later*
Evelyn let out a jaw-cracking yawn as she reached across the table to sweep the leftover mugs into the grey bin that was much too large for the eleven-year-old girl. She had stayed up all night due to the fumes that had permenated the air after Miss Harstrong's particularly through cleaning.
Ever since the extremely rainy day in June one month ago when Dustin had taken her inside Aunt Chelsa's Tea Cozy, Evelyn had been living in the broom closet behind the kitchen and working in the Tea Cozy as a bus girl and waitress. It wasn't a life most people would enjoy, but to Evelyn they had been the best days in her life.
She was still recognizable as the street girl she was, but she looked different. She was more at peace, calmer, with less of a wan appearance and with a bit more meat on her bones. She no longer wore such destroyed rags either; everything was still second hand but it was much cleaner – well worn, faded jeans, scruffy running shoes, and a much to large tee-shirt. She would have looked like a kid from any struggling family if not for the large brown overcoat she wore that was ripped and stained and generally looked like it had been through a war.
Still, her time working and living at the Tea Cozy were the best days of her life. She knew deep down she wouldn't be able to stay for much longer before something happened, but she didn't want to move on. She liked working there too much.
She lugged the large grey bin past the counter and through the swinging door into the kitchen, dumping everything unceremoniously into the sink. There was a loud clank as they fell and Evelyn pulled a face, knowing Miss Harstrong wouldn't be too happy about that. As much as she disliked the woman, she didn't really want to get kicked out.
With another yawn Evelyn stumbled back into the café to finish clearing up anything leftover from the early morning mob. She didn't like working in the mornings too much, because she sometimes got no sleep and it wasn't until later on that Dustin would start. Evelyn liked Dustin, even if was nearly seven years her senior. She found him to be the only person who treated her like an equal; not like a stupid street rat.
Of course, she didn't have very much experience to judge from.
The morning continued to pass in a fairly usual routine; cleaning, serving some mugs of tea (usually getting them mixed up), and doing odd jobs only fit for someone as small as her. As noon rolled around Evelyn disappeared into the back, nibbling on a sandwich she had pinched from the display (Miss Harstrong didn't notice and Dustin wasn't going to rat her out, because hardly anyone bought from the limited selection). Plopping down on a tall stool next to the door she ate and waited.
A few minutes later the kitchen door that led to the alley opened and Dustin walked in.
"Hey Evelyn," he said as he grabbed the first spare apron he saw and tied it on.
"Hi Dustin," Evelyn said through a mouthful of sandwich. Then she frowned, seeing his slightly troubled expression. "What up?"
Dustin shrugged. "It's nothing, I'm just thinking about the return home come September." Evelyn stopped eating and frowned harder, staring with a confused look in her grey eyes.
"Return home? September?" Evelyn didn't follow what he was saying. She didn't know what it would be like to return to a home, and she had no idea how far away September was – she was barely thinking ahead a week – but it suddenly seemed to be coming up very fast. She had already stayed here for far longer than anywhere else and she hadn't been wanting to move on. But the idea of Dustin leaving . . .
"Yeah," Dustin said. "My home country." He looked at her oddly. "Didn't . . . didn't you know I'm from America?"
Evelyn shook her head, still giving him the confused, mildly blank look. "Nope."
Dustin frowned. "You couldn't tell by the accent?"
"Dunno 'bout accents," she mumbled. She had moved around in London so much in her life, she didn't notice them anymore. She had heard people from all across the globe speak, so she never knew who was British and who wasn't.
"Oh," Dustin said. "Well, I'm American, I can here to branch out and stuff, but I gotta head back in the fall for the school year. You'd probably like it there," he added. Evelyn blinked and looked at him surprised. "I mean, it's a lot easier to live there and people are generally more, uh, helpful. It's a lot different than here, and you just struck me as the kind of person who'd be comfortable there."
Evelyn just stared at him for a moment. "Uh . . . never thought 'bout other countries. Little hard to sneak on an aerocraft."
Dustin shrugged and opened the kitchen door halfway, "I'd suppose so, just thought I mention it and all," he said. He stepped out, paused, and looked back. "You know, if you ever wanted, I could probably get you over there." When Evelyn opened her mouth in confusion he said, "I have some connections." And he walked out into the Tea Cozy.
As the day wore on, Evelyn couldn't help but think about Dustin's words. She didn't want to admit it, but she was sorely tempted with his offer. To have a new place to explore, a fresh start where no one knew her . . . that was like a dream to Evelyn. She wasn't going to say anything though, she wasn't entirely sure he could be trusted to a full extent. She also found the idea a bit odd, but who was she to question it. She had no clue how people worked.
Sometime later, well into late afternoon or early evening, Evelyn was dragging a bin of garbage out into the alley. Grunting she heaved it next to the dumpster and stopped, thinking. The dumpster was taller than her by quite a bit, and the lid was extremely heavy. Evelyn stopped and stared it, uncertain how to open it, but wanting to try all the same. She noticed an old, broken crate nearby, and a clever smile lit up her face.
Ten minutes later the dumpster lid was propped and wedged up with numerous pieces of shattered wood. Splinters were lying all over the place and the lid seemed to be open precariously, but when Evelyn thumped it with a wooden shaft she had torn out, it remained solid and open.
"Ain't so bad," she muttered, nodding approvingly. With a little groan Evelyn lifted up the bucket of garbage and, using the dumpster to support it, hauled it up until it reached the edge. Gritting her teeth she gripped it near the bottom and began to carefully tilt it and pour out its contents. She thought she was doing pretty well.
Until the owl landed on the dumpster edge.
Evelyn shrieked in surprise and jumped back, letting the bucket clatter to the bottom of the dumpster. The owl just sat their calmly. Ain't they suppose to do stuff at night? Evelyn thought as she stared at the owl; it was a large barn owl that was sleek and well fed. As Evelyn stared at it she realized there was something odd about it . . .
Is that a letter? Evelyn thought in shock. And she realized that's what was odd. The owl was holding an envelope in its beak. A cream coloured envelope with bright green writing. Evelyn looked at it in confusion – surely owls didn't go flying around carrying envelopes in the middle of the day? So what was she supposed to do? Run for help? Take the envelope?
As Evelyn stared at the owl, she got the strangest feeling she was supposed to take the envelope. Besides, Evelyn had to admit she was curious as to what the letter said.
Stepping forward hesitantly, Evelyn stretched out a tentative hand. The owl bent over and offered her the letter. Hardly breathing Evelyn grasped the cool envelope in her hand and took it from the owl.
She examined it curiously, slowly looking over the green writing. She was surprised to find that if she worked carefully, she could read it almost perfectly (Dustin and Miss Harstrong had been teaching her a bit in the past month, after several mix-ups on her part due to being unable to read labels or anything). Running her finger under the words she read:
Miss E. MacLear
The Back Kitchen Broom Closet
26 Watling Street
A chill washed over Evelyn as she figured out what the green ink was saying. Her mind jumped to one conclusion - someone knew where she was and was feeding that information to the police. She couldn't let this be, she didn't want to be stuck in an awful orphanage (she had been, once, which was why she hated it!).
She whirled around to the owl, which had just been about to take to the air again.
"No!" Evelyn snarled, lunging at it. She grasped its body and pulled it back to her. "No. You take this back!" She thrust the letter at its beak, but it refused it. "You take, you hear?" Unless she was imagining things, the owl shook its head. Evelyn was taken about; now what? "What I suppose ta do with it?" she snapped, half to herself half to the owl. "Open it?" Once again, it appeared as if the owl nodded. "Bloody hell!"
Angrily she plopped the owl back down on the edge of the dumpster, "Stay," she growled with a threatening look. The owl complied. Scowling Evelyn brushed back a blonde curl and turned the envelope over. It was sealed with a weird crest that had four animals on it, and some writing beneath it that was too tiny for her to make out. Without hesitation she broke the seal and ripped out the pieces of paper within.
Unfolding them she found the one that had the most writing and seemed the most important. She squinted at it and began running her finger along the sheet, slowing deciphering the words.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Headmistress: Filleppa Felcah
(Order of Merlin, First Class)
Dear Miss MacLear,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1st. We await your owl no later than July 31st.
Evelyn just stared at the paper blankly, repeating the words over in her head. A school acceptance. Her. The homeless street rat. This was a joke. This had to be a joke. She didn't get accepted into random schools! Especially not one that was talking about witchcraft and other things like that – whoever heard of a real witch? This wasn't something that happened to her. A mysterious person blowing something up – that was supposed to happen. Her making someone erupt into boils in a few days – that was supposed to happen.
Not an owl with a letter saying she was accepted into a weird school. That wasn't supposed to happen.
She looked up at the barn owl, her heart thudding and her head swimming. Dimly she heard herself say, "What owl? I send you?" She was aware of the owl appearing to nod. Her throat closed up and her eyes swivelled back to the letter. She couldn't think clearly. This didn't make any sense – this was crazy – this was insane – this was – this was –
The biggest damn opportunity of her life.
Evelyn's heart soared as she thought of what this could mean for her. She looked at the owl, said, "wait" and darted back inside the Tea Cozy, the letter clutched to her breast and her voice calling out in anticipation.
A/N: So what do you think? Things are starting to get interesting! So Evelyn has her Hogwarts letter, she's confused but also interested. Anyone know why the owl replied to her? Hint: it has to do with the demigod part of her. Let me know your thoughts, through either review or alert or fav! I want to know your thoughts, and if you have any insights on to the next generation Hogwarts – please tell me! That I really want/need to know.