I was just relaxing with a cup of tea when I heard a pop. I glanced at the spot I heard the sound from and was quite surprised to see a small girl standing there.
“Exactly what is it you think you are doing in my garden, young lady?” I used my teacher voice. “How did you get through my wards?” It must have upset her because she burst into tears and yelled at me.
“I don’t know who you are or where I am but you’d better fix it! I’ve got laundry to do and dinner to fix, and Xander and Jesse are expecting me!” She was quite young and I wasn’t certain what she was talking about so I decided to try a different tack.
“My name is Severus Snape, and this,” I said, indicating the garden, “is my garden. I have absolutely no idea how you got here. Exactly who are you?”
This seemed to work as she immediately stopped crying. “Oh dear. My name is Willow Rosenberg, I live in Sunnydale California, and I am ten. I was reading this book,” she said, indicating the book she held. It was called ‘The Wizard of Oz’. “I was at the park, and Harmony called me a geek and told me to get lost, and I guess I did.”
I stared at her I just couldn’t help it. She said all of that in one breath. Then I realized what she said; Sunnydale California. “Well I know one thing, you’re not in California anymore. This is my home in England. Tell me child, what do you remember before you saw me?”
She looked thoughtful as she muttered, “I’ve always wanted to go to England.” Then she looked at me, “I was at the park and that stupid twit Harmony told me to get lost. So I started back to my house, through the tree’s, wishing I could get away from them. Because I could be as brainless as her, but then I’d be dead, or maybe an amoeba.” She sighed and continued, “I was heading west, back to my house cause Jesse and Xander are coming over for supper.” She stopped suddenly, glancing at her wrist. “Oh, it’s already after six! They’ll already be inside waiting for me.”
I interrupted her at this point. “Did you notice anything odd in the tree’s? Maybe you touched a port key. Also don’t you think that your parents can handle your friends for now?”
She looked a little confused, “A what key? Oh and my parents are in Chicago, I think, doing a conference. So Xander and Jesse are alone in my kitchen without any supervision!”
Her face blanched at this notion so I interceded again, “Surely whomever let them in, will not allow them to roam about freely.”
Whomever, that’s neat. I really like the way he talks. But Xander and Jesse, alone in my kitchen! Eeek! It’ll take forever to clean up after them.
I must have made a face at the thought because he looked at me strangely, so I explained.
“My parents have been leaving me alone at home since I was six. They used to only leave me for a day or two, but lately they go for weeks at a time. This time they’ve been gone since school got out in May, that’s four weeks. Yesterday they called to say that they would be gone for two more weeks and that I should go grocery shopping.
Xander and Jesse both have keys to my house. Xander has had one since he was six, and he broke his arm climbing the trellis to my balcony at two in the morning. His dad isn’t very nice so he spends the night with me a lot. Jesse felt left out so I got him one as well. And right now they are alone in my kitchen!!”
He looked like he wanted to interrupt me so I stopped. ‘Oh my goodness, I am babbling like a loon. Argh!’
“Let me see if I understand. You are ten and your parents left you alone. I assume that your friends are of a similar age.” He raised his eyebrow in question, so I nodded. “Your friend Xander’s father is abusive and so he stays with you, yes?”
I’m sure I looked shocked, my parents hadn’t noticed that, and they live with me.
He continued, “So you were making dinner for the two other children and now you are here while they are there. Did I get it all?”
“Um, yeah. I think that’s everything. But how did you know that I meant Xander’s dad is abusive? Cause I tried to tell my folks and they just looked at me like I was telling them the sky was purple with green flecks. And they are psychologists.”
He must be really smart, I wonder if I can keep him? He was looking at me weird again, oh must be grinning like a loon again. Whoops. Okay, there we go, he is looking at me regular like again.
What a very unusually bright child. What sort of imbeciles leave a child all alone like this.
Why is she looking at me like that, as if I were a puppy? “Come child, we will try to locate your parents.”
She looked at me as if that were the furthest thing from her mind. Then she spoke, “Can I borrow your phone, please?”
“May I. And no, I haven’t a phone here in the house. “We will speak with the Ministry about what to do with you.” We might have to do a memory charm on her, a shame as she is very bright.
She is looking at me as if I have grown an extra ear, what is the cause of this? Think man, think.
She looked askance at me, “No phone? Ok then, lets go talk to this ministry, if you think that they can help. Do they deal with missing children?”
“Err, no. They deal with, well erm.” How to explain, I glanced at the book she was clutching, ‘The Wizard of Oz’, perhaps not as difficult as one might think. There’s always the memory charm. “They deal with magic.”
Hmm, look at her eyes light up.
“You mean that? You’re not pulling my leg?”
“Pull your leg? I would never be so impertinent.” I was appalled.
She laughed, a rich melodious sound, sounding out of place in her little body. “No, silly. I meant that you were kidding me. But look at you, all serious.”
She called me silly. I can feel that eyebrow rising again. Yet she is still smiling, odd, that frightens most children. “I assure you I am not joking.” She looks so hopeful, “Come along then, we shall have to use the floo network, as you are not old enough to apparate.”
She looked so confused, definitely muggle, they’re transport modes ar slow. As I went to lead her inside she reached out and grasped my hand. I don’t know that any child or person for that matter, has ever shocked me quite so much as this one did at that moment.
He must not have any children, cause he doesn’t know how to hold hands right.
I can’t hardly believe it, he believes in magic, I really want to keep him now. I’m sure my dad wouldn’t mind being replaced. If he notices. Or even remembers that he has a daughter. Ack, but Xander and Jesse are in my kitchen!! I sure hope these ‘Ministry’ people can help.
Wow this is a really neat house. Look at all these books; I could spend ever reading all of these books. Hey, look at the size of that fireplace, I bet he could walk right into it.
Hmm, what’s that in his hand? A stick?
I watched as he pointed the stick at the fireplace and said, “Incinderio.” Suddenly with a whoosh, there was a raging fire. I looked at him and I just knew that my mouth was gaping like a fish.
“How did you do that?” I asked in awe. “And can you teach me to do that?”