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Chapter 8

Through the crowded airport, Alexis managed to haul her extra baggage off the conveyor belt and looked around at the onlookers for her uncle. She had been told he would pick her up, though as others from her flight and other flights found their loved ones and business partners, the anxious feeling began to well up inside of her. Did Uncle Avery forget about her? Or was he only delayed in picking her up? Alexis continued to move back and forth around the baggage claims area, searching the waiting faces, finding none familiar. What was she do if he didn’t come? Where would she go?

It was closing in on noon, Alexis had been waiting for over an hour for her uncle. Anxiety gave way to panic as Alexis fumbled with the straps of her bow-case, collapsing on a nearby bench. She was alone, in a foreign country. The reality hit the teenager hard as she continue to go through worst case scenarios in her head. Would the Ministry of Magic in this country help her? But of course, she didn’t know where that was, couldn’t apparate, and didn’t know the spell for a portkey to take her back home to Japan.

This had been a mistake, Alexis concluded sinking back in her seat. She should have stayed at the Temple, with family that actually cared for her. Her stomach rumbled in agony, wanting desperately to be fed. Reaching into her pockets, Alexis only had a few wizard’s gold pieces and a little yen. The place was full of muggles, there’s now way she could use the wizard’s money here, and she doubted she had enough yen to get a candy bar from a vending machine. Depression weighed in as she sighed miserably to herself once more.

“Alexis?” A voice called her name out. She had been too busy running through her limited options to notice the man approach her. He wore blue jeans, a white collared shirt with a worn black leather jacket. He had shoulder length black hair with streaks of silver. Sunglasses covered his eyes and he wore an annoyed expression on his face.

“Uncle Avery?” Alexis guessed. She gripped her carry on bag tight, her wand just below the zipper. It had to be him, he knew her name, but that dream shook her and at the moment she didn’t know who to trust. Slowly her hand began to unzip her bag, as she reached in with the other. The man quickly caught her wrist before she could get a grip on her wand’s handle. Alarmed, and afraid she tried to wiggle herself free – but the man’s grip was extremely strong. He then sat down next to her and moved his lips towards her ear.

“There are rules about underage wizardry in this country. Don’t make a scene or you’ll be sent back where you came from.”

“Maybe I want to go back,” she answered him, was this a threat or a warning? Did it make any difference? “Are you my uncle or not?”

“I am. You can zip that bag up now.”

With a frown, Alexis did as she was told. “You could have told me earlier instead of scaring me like that.”

“I don’t trust others easily, things have been crazy around here too,” Avery answered. “And don’t call me Avery, I go by Crow.”

“Crazy for you? Do you have any idea what I’ve been through recently?” Alexis asked, her voice full of rage. She had just lost her parents. ‘Crow’ didn’t say anything, only moved to grab her bags.

“What’s this, your broom?” He questioned with an amused smile at the long, narrow bag.

“No, it’s my bow.” Alexis huffed, grabbing her bow from him violently and swung it over her shoulder. He took her other bags and headed towards the exit. Alexis had to jog to keep up with his long strides. The two kept the awkward silence all the way to his car, a silver Jaguar with black leather seats, custom plated and a convertible, no less. It’s top was down as Avery loaded the back seat with all of Alexis’s bags.

“This is yours?” She asked, puzzled and surprised. “I didn’t think wizards in this part of the world cared much for the muggle’s possessions.

“You’re right, but i’m an exception to the norm.” Avery said, taking her bow from her shoulder and sliding into the backseat with everything else.

“Is there enough room?” She teased.

“Magic.” He answered. Alexis frowned, she didn’t understand him at all. “Get in, we’re late.”

“Late for what?”

“Solicitors.” Avery said, placing a lead foot on the gas petal. Alexis held on to the door handle, afraid she would fly out from the intense speed they were moving ad. She kept giving her uncle looks every now and then, wondering if he was trying to scare her or kill her. He didn’t seem to have any respect for the rules of the road, zigging in and out of traffic, through yellow lights and even a few red.

“I’m sorry I didn’t make it to the funeral.” He finally said as he finally slowed the car down to the legal limit. “Things have been happening here too, hell I didn’t even know you existed until your grandmother tracked me down.”

“Dad didn’t talk about you either.” Alexis answered, glancing over quickly to see if he reacted to this statement, hoping it hurt. His sunglasses hid his eyes, and she could only saw the profile of his face, but there was a smile.

“No, I didn’t think he would. We weren’t on the best of terms.”

“Uncle Avery…”

“It’s Crow. Everyone calls me that.”

“Crow. What happened between you two? Dad never gave any interest, or rather showed a real dislike to magic, yet… you seem to know something about it,” Alexis asked, coming out with the main question that had been on her mind for years.

“Long story, and not one I care to go into right now. Not out in the open like this.” Alexis looked around, they were still going fast, she doubted anyone could gather what they were talking about.

“Why are we going to a solicitor?”

“You’re name showed up on the will,” Crow explained. “They’ve been adamant on meeting you and getting this sorted out.”

“Who’s will?” Alexis asked, confused. Crow turned to face Alexis, his smile gone. He took off the sunglass for the first time, revealing the silver eyes. The same eyes Alexis had, that her father had.

“You’re grandfather’s. Baldric Rune.”

Alexis stared at her uncle for a moment, her mouth open in dumb shock. She had another grandfather? Another Rune family member her dad failed to mention… and he just died as well. “I… when did that happen?”

“A few days before your parent’s death,” Crow’s voice was low. Alexis didn’t know how to take this and fidgeted in her seat. Was it just some coincidence that they died within the same week? Goosebumps flowed up her arm as an odd sensation filled her body.

“Why is my name on the will?”

“I don’t know, that’s why we’re going,” Crow turned off the highway onto some narrow roads. The streets of London were filled with old buildings, with modern ones stuck in between, their glass exteriors seemed to reflect the ancient stone and brick. There were more twists and turns, to the point where Alexis had no idea what direction they were going in. Finally the sports car stopped in some back alley of a road.

“Well have to go through the Leaky Cauldron. My father’s Attorney’s are just off of Diagon Alley.”

“Diagon- what now?”

“It’s an ally devoted to the magical community. Just about everything you ever need can be found down there, or on one of the off streets,” Crow shut the door and as he walked pressed the automatic locking button on his key chain.

“The top’s down, aren’t you worried someone’s going to seal it?” Alexis asked. All of her possessions where in it, she was more worried about her own things being stolen.

“Like I said. Magic,” he gave Alexis a wink. “Nobody’s going to take it.”

Chapter 7                                          INDEX