The house was cold. Annabeth could see her breath rising in the air, and she was not pleased. If someone really was in her house, at least they could have the decency to turn the heat up so they wouldn't freeze to death.
She hoped with a desperate thought that Percy was okay. She didn't know what had come over her, just a thought for Percy's well being.
Annabeth crept up the stairs on light feet. Balance had always been her forté, so it was no surprise when she made no sound. She managed to make it upstairs with no incident, and through the hallway, into her room. Keeping in mind the defensive spells she had quickly memorized before, she pointed her wand at her bags. Nothing happened. Annabeth hadn't really been expecting anything to happen. But she channeled all the power she had as a daughter of Athena to see inside. She and her siblings had never divulged this secret, but they could see inside things. Whether magical or not, Annabeth would be able to tell if someone had planted something in her bags. She figured her wand was a good channeling point.
Annabeth focused all her energy into the need to see inside the bag, and her eyes suddenly felt deep and hollow. It was like X-Ray vision. She saw inside the bag. Nothing. She relaxed, and the X-Ray vision went away. She hesitantly touched the bag, but it was safe. She picked it up, and threw it onto the floor. She did the X-Ray on the window, and it, too was safe. Before opening it, however, she looked outside. As the light was off in her room, it was a little easier to see what was outside. She did the X-Ray again, and saw no traces of magic. She opened the window.
Suddenly remembering one of the spells she had been reading once she had bought them, Annabeth turned her wand on the bag. Swish and flick. "Wingardium Leviosa," she muttered. The bag rose in the air. Annabeth gasped with excitement. It was happening. She had done magic.
Annabeth made the bag hover halfway down outside, then slowly lowered it. Nothing happened. Then she turned her wand on herself.
"Wingardium Leviosa," she said again. She started to float. Taking one last wistful look at her room, she pointed her wand at the window. Annabeth floated slowly towards the window, and out it, and down. She dropped, like a bubble, slowly to the ground. She grabbed her bag once both feet were safe on the earth and took a hesitant step towards the doors at back. She could see a dark figure moving through the kitchen, but she couldn't be sure who it was.
Remembering another spell, she muttered, "Lumos," and pointed it to the figure. But the figure was still dark. Annabeth drew her wand away, grabbed her bag, and pressed herself against the wall of her house.
Whoever the figure was, it wasn't Percy. She held her breath and counted to ten. She pointed her wand at the doors again and saw another figure. This time, it was Percy.
"Thank the gods," she muttered. Percy opened the door and threw his bags down on the ground, then closed the door.
"How'd you get out here? I didn't hear anyone come downstairs,"
"I floated through the window," Annabeth said.
"You floated—what?" Percy said, spluttering.
"We've got to get out of here. Something's going to happen, I can tell. Let's go. I'll carry our bags with my wand, but if we hear someone, I'm dropping the wand and we have to grab them." Percy nodded. Annabeth did the floating spell again and pointed her wand forward.
"Where are we going?" Percy said.
"Oh," said Annabeth coyly, "I know somewhere we can go," Percy stared at her, but he just stared at her dumbly. Annabeth laughed as they walked.
Panting and sweating, they finally arrived in front of the house about two hours later. "I still don't understand why we can't use Blackjack," Percy said, breathing heavily.
"He's too easy to spot. We could've been seen," Annabeth explained.
"Who's house is this, anyways?"
"It's…a friend's," Annabeth said.
"A girl named Lily,"
"A demigod? No. A witch? Yes. So don't mention anything about having an immortal parent. On second thought, put this on. It's going to make you invisible." Percy nodded. He took the Yankees Cap from her, put it on and vanished from view. Annabeth knocked on the door.
She heard a crash and a shriek, and a frustrated groan, then a few stamps. Someone came to the door. It was a red-faced girl who looked older than Annabeth. Her face was scrunched up and it did not look pretty. "Who are you?" she said.
"I'm a friend of Lily's," Annabeth said quickly.
The girl looked her up and down. "I didn't know she kept company like this." She snorted in disgust. "Well, what are you doing here?"
"Well, I just need a place to stay until school starts. It starts on September 1st." Annabeth said. She hoped she wasn't pushing it. A week was a pretty long time for Annabeth (and Percy) to be crashing at Lily's house. She kind of felt a little bad.
The girl turned around. Annabeth heard some people talking. The girl came back to the door, along with her parents and Lily.
"Annabeth!" she said, sounding surprised. "What are you doing here?"
"You said I could stay here if I needed a place to crash," Annabeth said carefully. She met eyes with the hesitant eleven year old's electric green eyes, and sent her a mental message saying, Later.
"I did," Lily lied. "Mum, I told Annabeth she could come and stay." She met her mother's eyes boldly.
"Alright," Lily's mother said.
"Actually, I need to ask Annabeth something. Would you all excuse me for a moment?" The girl—Lily's sister, no doubt—huffed and turned around, and disappeared, and her mother and father shuffled back into their living room.
"Percy," Annabeth said once the family was out of sight. Percy took off the cap. Lily gasped, but she didn't say anything else. "Lily. Something's happened to my house. It was being attacked. And Percy, well, I just found out he was magical, but he has nowhere to stay. Would it be alright if he stayed?"
Lily nodded. "Of course. It wouldn't be safe to stay in the Leaky Cauldron. Someone might be after you. I would put protective spells around us, but I don't know any. The best we can do is just hope you're not spotted."
"Alright," Annabeth said. "Thank you. Percy, put the cap back on. Come inside."
"Go upstairs and into my room. It's straight upstairs. The door should be open, but do not touch anything and do not make a sound," Lily instructed. Percy nodded. He put on the cap, they heard him shuffle up the steps, and duck inside. Nothing was heard.
Annabeth stepped inside the house.
The first thing she noted about Lily's house was that it was extremely warm inside. There was no fire blazing and it was a warm August night, but if anything, Annabeth could feel it in her heart. She could tell that this was a place where love was spread throughout. She smiled at her friend.
"Mum, Dad, this is my friend, Annabeth. She's going to Hogwarts as well, and she's going to stay here with us until then. I hope you don't mind. But…I told you before the Wizarding World isn't safe. Her house was attacked so she came here." Lily's parents nodded.
"Just pull a sleeping bag out of the closet near the steps, dear, and a pillow, then you can sleep in Lily's room." said Mrs. Evans, smiling at Annabeth.
"Alright, thank you Mrs. Evans," Annabeth said, smiling back. She opened the closet, took out a sleeping bag and pillow (she'd take later for Percy) and followed Lily upstairs after shutting the door.
"This is so kind of you, Lily," she said to Lily. "Especially to lie for it," she added quietly.
Lily smiled at her. "It's no problem, really. I'd have you all the time. You're such a good friend, Annabeth," Annabeth's name sounded weird with a British accent, Annabeth had decided.
"How is Percy going to stay here? He's got to eat somehow. And we need to get his stuff from Diagon Alley." Annabeth whispered to Lily. She shrugged.
"We'll figure it out," Lily said. "Besides, I'm pretty good at lying. I know how to do it." Annabeth nodded.
"What do we do with his bags?" she said, referring to Percy's bags outside.
"We'll have to get them later and hope no one notices them." Annabeth nodded. "And as for Percy's things for school, we can go and pretend to be shopping for things in London. My parents are pretty trusting of me." she said. Annabeth nodded again.
"Alright. Let's go upstairs." she said. She followed Lily upstairs to her room. It wasn't much in there: pale blue walls, a few faded posters of singers, and a few empty soda cans.
Lily shut the door behind her, and Percy took off the cap. "Where's my stuff?"
"We'll have to float it in," Annabeth said. Lily looked at her, looking a bit shocked. "I learned how to do that Wingardium Leviosa spell. You know, the floating one?" Lily nodded. Annabeth closed her eyes and concentrated. The bags were outside. She raised her wand in the direction of the bags, still thinking, and muttered, "Wingardium Leviosa," She pointed the wand in a large arc, making sure not to hit the house. It was weird. It was almost like Annabeth could see where the bags were.
"Cool," Percy said under his breath. The bags had appeared at the window. Lily scrambled to open it, and the bags sailed in the open window, plopping on the floor. Lily closed the window and stared at Annabeth in awe.
"How did you do that?" she said.
Annabeth shrugged. "Magic," she said. Percy laughed.
A/N: I know, I know I'm behind on updating this story. But I can promise that I'll be updating a lot faster these days.
Leave a review and you'll have a happy author (which brings the updates faster, I'm not kidding.)