A/N: I started writing this story on here but it didn't work. Here is the good version, please read and review! Hope you like it :)
1. The Coast
Eagle House was the worst children's home in all of Northwood, which was not a large area at all, and was not really particularly close to anything of any importance. That was why a trip to Foulness Island, the nearest coastal area, was an adventure beyond anything the children had ever dreamed of. The idea first came to Preston Bales, Eagle House's Director of Residential Treatment, when an advertisement in the newspaper was pointed out to him by his colleague. Supposedly Foulness Island was a quiet place, out of the way, and very cheap with the promise of two weeks of peace. Mr Bales immediately booked out the youth hostel in pursuit of some peace; something that was extremely rare for someone working in a children's home. Hopefully this trip would mean that, for two of the long summer weeks, he would not have to constantly look after children. Mr Bales hated children. They were untidy, irritating and immensely unpleasant creatures, and the poor, orphaned children who lived at Eagle House were the worst of the worst. Mr Bales was sure that not one of them knew manners or ordinary behaviour. As a result of this, no children had been adopted from Eagle House for just over eleven years.
Unfortunately, because Eagle House was situated in Greater London, Mr Bales had to endure the one hour and forty minute train journey to get to Foulness Island. To make matters more disagreeable, he was forced to sit opposite one of the children, an eleven year old boy named Oscar.
At first Mr Bales refused, but Oscar was one of the quieter children and had nowhere else to sit. Luckily Oscar kept his mouth shut, and chose to instead stare out of the carriage window with an unreadable expression on his face. Mr Bales did not know this child very well at all, and could not for the life of him even remember Oscar's surname. Little did he know that by the end of the two weeks, Oscar would have made a lasting impression on everyone at the children's home, and particularly Mr Bales.
For the first half hour, Mr Bales kept his old clouded eyes to the words on the pages of his book, trying to stay oblivious to the raucous behaviour of most of the children. He allowed Mr Ebbs, a younger member of staff, to deal with any errant children because after all this was supposed to be his peaceful two weeks. Eventually the book became boring; he could not concentrate on the words with the racket going on around him. His eyes strayed to watch the boy opposite him, who was now fiddling with his fingers. Mr Bales sighed inwardly. This boredom would never end.
'You, boy. What are you doing?' he asked bad-temperedly. Oscar's eyes flashed up to stare at Mr Bales.
'Nothing, sir.' he replied, placing his hands on the table between them.
'Good,' Mr Bales replied, and they lapsed into another silence. He exhaled through his nose, and reopened the book. In his peripheral vision he could see Oscar turn his head slightly to look fixedly out at the darkening land.
Much later in the day, Mr Bales let out a sigh of contentment from his small, ugly, second-floor room, as the sun was just setting over the North Sea outside his window. The room was lit up with the dusky glow from the pale, overcast sky. Mr Bales shuffled over to the peeling armchair in the corner, arthritic joints clicking, and sat down heavily. He soon became absorbed in the book again without any distractions, and was completely unaware of the strange happenings just below his window.
Down on the white stony beach, there was a loud crack as someone appeared out of the air. It was a tall figure, with a long navy cloak billowing in the violent wind as though they were about to take flight. The man shook his dark shoulder length hair out of his face, already slightly damp from the sea spray. He stared up at the derelict building with inky blue eyes and then turned to look behind him at the rough sea, as though he was waiting for something or someone important. Eventually, another form emerged from the fog of darkness that was swirling around the beach. It was another tall man, this one shabbier, in a brown suit. Again, he seemed to materialise from the air itself.
The man in navy turned to the noise as the other appeared, although no one else could hear the loud sound over the roaring wind.
'Shall we go inside?' the suited man called in a deep voice. They proceeded to stride over the rocks and somehow opened the locked door to the run-down shed next to the building. It was dark inside, filled with boxes and tools and very dusty. The first man closed the door against the winds and suddenly it was very quiet and very pitch black.
'How has your summer been, Ernest?' asked the man in navy, speaking through the darkness as though it was normal.
'Shall we get some light in here?' replied Ernest, as he took something out of his pocket which filled the room with light and cast shadows across his well-defined cheekbones. He had the look of a poor business man, with patches on his suit and short combed hair. At most, he was thirty-five. 'That's much better.' he nodded.
'Thank you. How was your summer?' the other man repeated.
'As usual, Archie. You know how it is.' he replied.
Archie offered him a small, apologetic smile.
'Of course, I forgot.' he said. Archie was younger than Ernest, with a small amount of stubble on his jaw and broad shoulders.
'So, when are we going to give the boy the letter?' Ernest asked, as though Archie were his senior.
'Hm…I was thinking we could perhaps just leave it on his bag, or something?' he pondered hopefully. Ernest shook his head.
'You know that can't happen. The boy won't understand. He's only eleven. And imagine the consequences if somebody else got hold of the letter.'
Archie sighed. 'This is all so much more difficult than I thought it would be.'
'You mean the job?' questioned Ernest.
'Of course. Everything hinges upon me nowadays.' he replied sorrowfully.
'Headmaster was always going to be difficult. Just remember, I'm your deputy. So I'm always here for you to lean on.'
'Thanks, Ernest.' sighed Archie.
'Now, shall we give that child his letter?'
Ernest stopped leaning against the pile of cardboard boxes and bowed his head against the sudden gust of air as Archie opened the door. They stooped to get under the low door frame, before walking purposefully up the slope towards the front of the large, brick building. Archie knocked as loudly as he could on the flaking front door, and then stood back with Ernest as they waited.
Soon enough, a man around the same age as Ernest opened the door. He was wearing a baggy T-shirt with messy brown hair, and looked slightly clueless.
'Hello?' he shouted through the violent noise of the wind.
Archie stepped forward. 'May we come in?' he called. The other man nodded and gestured inside, a slightly worried expression on his face. Once the door was safely shut, Archie began to speak more quietly.
'Are the children of Eagle House staying here?'
'And you are?' the man asked.
'Oh, sorry. I'm Professor Archibald Liege, headmaster of Hogwarts School. This is Professor Ernest Lear, my deputy.' he explained. The man's face relaxed.
'And I'm Dylan Ebbs, Assistant Director of Eagle House.'
Archie smiled. 'Excellent. Is Oscar Spearman staying here?'
Mr Ebbs nodded as though he expected this. 'Of course. You want to talk to him about your school?'
Archie exchanged a glance with Ernest. 'Yes, if that's alright.'
Mr Ebbs lead the way up some notably creaky wooden stairs to the second floor of the hostel. The walls were yellowing and the ceiling was littered with cracks. The three men walked down the corridor towards the end room, number ninety seven.
'He's in here?' Ernest asked, gesturing to the door. Mr Ebbs nodded.
'When you're finished talking just let me know. I'll be downstairs.' he replied. As soon as Mr Ebbs disappeared down the corridor Ernest looked suspiciously at Archie.
'I'm surprised he didn't make more of a fuss.'
'I have no idea. Let's talk to Oscar.' Archie decided, and knocked quietly on the door.
A/N: If you want to read more, please review :) Check out my blog on google - 'writing under these lights in my room'
Thanks for reading :)