Note: Anything you recognise as J.K Rowling's is hers and hers alone, the storyline, plot and original characters are mine and mine alone however. Enjoy!
Chapter One: Slim Pickings
Breakfast time in my house is somewhat messy, even when things do go well. I live alone, for the most part, my father being almost constantly away for business means that from a young age I've had to fend for myself, which may explain my attitude towards other people. It's not that I'm particularly mean or anything, I just don't care for them much. Frankly, they annoy me.
My name is Langley Somers, though people only ever call me Ang. I'm 11, turning twelve on the 3rd of September.
Today is a day similar to many others, yet rare at the same time. My father (for once) is home, but that only means I make breakfast for two instead of one.
'So Ang, got school today?' asks my father, not bothering to glance up from the sports section of the paper.
'Nope, it's Saturday, no school today.'
'Oh?' he enquires, 'then what are your plans?'
Just as I was about to reply, a large bird crashed into our kitchen window, making me drop my serving of scrambled eggs.
Annoyed at my ruined breakfast and the cause of its ruin, I walk over to the window (after looking up briefly, my father has gone back to his paper) to see what had happened to the bird. Funnily enough, it was now sitting (do birds sit?) on the ground outside my window, some paper attached to its left leg by a scarlet ribbon. Not to mention it was an owl. In the daytime, might I add. Well, I suppose even owls can rebel.
Wondering what the deal is, I open the window fully, and strangely enough, the bird flaps right up and perches on the window seal, patiently holding its leg out.
I realise it must expect me to take the paper from it, and not wanting to disappoint, I untie the ribbon, and grab the rolled-up paper. As soon as I relieved the owl of its possession, it puts its leg down and flaps onto the table, where it starts out on some of my bacon. Really, the nerve.
'Weird,' I mutter, my breakfast mishap forgotten in light of this more interesting development.
It's a letter, I realise. A letter addressed to me. Slowly, I open it, wondering how much weirder my day is going to become and start reading.
Dear Miss Somers,
HOGWARTS SCHOOL of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Headmaster: ALBUS DUMBLEDORE
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Ms. Somers, 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 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Owl? Oh, so that's why it's still here. Haven't they heard of the post? I thought we'd moved past bloody carrier pigeons.
'What the bloody hell is going on?' I mutter under my breath. I rifle through the other items (including a supply list that says something about Diagon Ally) and find a ticket with a slip of paper wrapped around it. A ticket to a train called the Hogwarts Express.
Either this is some wacked joke or it's true. It's too crazy not to be true.
'Dad' I call, 'I've been offered a position at a new school.'
'Really? How wonderful, when do you start?'
'Umm, the first of September,' I reply, glancing back at the letter.
'But I need to go to London before then, to get school stuff.'
'Well, I go back into the city on the 20th of July, is that okay? I won't be back for a while though, so you'll have to find somewhere to stay til you go to your school.'
'That's okay,' I say, wondering if anyone else's parents would leave an 11 year old girl on her own in London for over a month? Somehow, I doubt it.
But that won't matter too much, I'll just hole up in a hotel somehwere til I'm due to go to this school.
July 20 comes around real fast, and before I know it, I'm sitting in my dad's car with my backpack filled with my best possessions, not to mention a sizeable amount of money for the hotel bill, food and supplies. Yep, that's one caring parent I have there. Well, he tries. Sort of.
I wave Dad off at the airport (not that he notices) and catch a taxi cab to the hotel I'm staying at. Figuring there's plenty of time before dark, I decide to wander around and see the sights, maybe find this alley.
Pretty soon I'm lost in a maze of alleyways (still haven't found this stupid Diagon Alley, and no one seems to know where it is, either).
Not watching where I'm going, I run smack into this man in a cloak, who promptly turns around, and reaches out to grab me.
Before he does, I kick him fair in the shins, turn around and run, yet again straight into someone. This time, though, I think I've met my match. He grabs my wrist before I can run, and makes me stand aside, before glaring around the area, especially in the direction the other man had run in. It's then that I notice he has this psycho eye, which roves around in its socket like it has a life of its own.
'Now, little Miss,' growls the man, 'who may you be?'.