All I own is Lexie and the rest of the orphanage, the rest belongs to J. K. Rowling. This story will be set in Book 1, Harry Potter and the sorcerer's stone, only slightly different and will span the later books.**Lexie's POV**
"Miss Meadowes, may I see you please?" The voice of the orphanage's head counselor Mrs. Thomas, called as I was heading to the kitchen for some food. She was the one who worked with the families to get them into homes, so I could figure out what was going to happen.
I silently approached her office and smiled as I walked in; I'd been in this office so many times I knew where everything was with my eyes closed. There was a medium size oak desk in the center where Mrs. Thomas sat, shelves and a book stand along the walls, and a fireplace with a chimney in the corner. The younger kids (ranging between newborn to 6 years old) stayed on the ground floor of the building, being most commonly adopted compared to the teens. The children that were between 7 and 13 were on the second floor, leaving the rest of the children on the third, with Mrs. Thomas. Smiling back, Mrs. Thomas leaned closer to me, the smile fading as my feeling of dread grew.
"There is a family that wants to take you in, they're looking to adopt." She stated, her eyes on the papers before her as she picked up one and handed it to me. It was a picture, the family I assumed, smiling up at me. The woman was curvy with blond and black hair that hung to mid-back, already I could sense a softness to her that wasn't in the picture. The man was taller than her with long silvery blond hair and a clean shaven face, his arm wrapped around his wife, with a tall blond young man in front of them, his hair brushed back. They looked nice, I wondered if they were or not.
"Uhm...When?" I asked, my voice hoarse, glancing up at Mrs. Thomas.
"Well today actually, after we're done here you need to go to your room and pack everything; I'll be taking you in an hour." She answered and I nodded numbly.
I stared at the picture, wondering what they were like, why they were adopting an 11 year old instead of a baby or younger child. I really didn't like parents like this, they usually judged on first impressions, from the moment you stepped out to the car to the first words you said. I much preferred the ones who came to see me first, sat down and got to know me a little before deciding. The hurried ones usually rejected kids who were older, like me, but tried anyway to make it work since they had a contract and paperwork.
Just then I saw an owl in the window behind her, a letter in its beak. I startled at the sight and she turned and then closed the curtains. I set the picture on her desk and curtsied, turning to leave but stopped as something occurred to me. "Mrs. Thomas, may I take Max too?" I asked and she nodded, preoccupied with a letter that suddenly came through the chimney in the corner of the room. I was curious about the odd letters but it was a rule that none of us were allowed letters so I put it out of my mind. I had a new family to meet and things to pack.
"C'mon Max, time to meet another family," I said as I pulled my duffel out and started placing my meager possessions inside. Max rolled over and pawed at my hand, purring softly as if he sensed my nerves. Once I put my sketchbook in, I laid next to my cat and pet his soft fur, wondering if this family would be the last, and what was with the letters. Stupid rules, I always wanted to get a letter just to me.
Sighing, I got up and hefted my bag and cat, glancing around one more time at the room. I was sharing with someone up till a week ago but she'd run away during the night, making me promise not to tell Mrs. Thomas. She'd always been rather nice so I'd agreed, but now the room felt deserted and strange without all my things inside.
"Maybe we'll make some friends, huh Max? A nice girl kitty for you and maybe there'll be a park and neighbors for me." Max squirmed, not liking being carried but I didn't have a cat carrier and he hated boxes. So he had to be carried in my arms. "Hush now, none of that or I'll stuff you like a pillow." I admonished, reaching the landing of the second floor.
"Bye Lexie!" Some of the younger children called out, waving at me with sad faces. There weren't many teens so I'd become friends with some of the younger kids, coloring and playing when I had the chance. They all loved Max, and he was surprisingly tolerant of them too, he never hissed or used his claws thankfully. "Bye Max!"
I waved, continuing down the stairs and to the first floor where Mrs. Thomas waited. Suddenly I heard a loud wail and looked to see a younger girl, Melissa, crying as we walked near. I stopped and knelt to give her a hug, smoothing her hair as she clutched my neck tight. "Aw, there now, it's alright dear." I wiped her tears with the pad of my thumb and she smiled a little, still sniffling as she pet Max.
"I promised you'd be okay, didn't I?" She nodded. "When you get out of here and with a nice family, I'll look for you." I promised her, having no idea how I would accomplish that but unable to stop myself from saying it to make her feel better.
It seemed to work, as she smiled and turned her big blue eyes to mine, a hopeful look on her freckled face. "Really?"
"Cross my heart," I promised and she hugged me once more before going back into the playroom with the other children.
I stood and glanced up through the winding staircase to see almost all of the kids looking down at me, waving as I looked up. I smiled; maybe I'm not so alone after all, I thought as I waved and reached Mrs. Thomas who smiled at me kindly.
"Are you ready dear?" She asked and I nodded, following her outside and to the car, but not before turning back one more time. This place had been the closest I had to a home since before I could remember, foster ones not-withstanding. "C'mon, c'mon Miss Meadowes, places to be."
I climbed into the backseat and watched Mrs. Thomas glance around nervously so I did too. There were owls absolutely everywhere.