It was past the dinner hour when Alexis strolled through the front door of her uncle’s house. She was about to climb the stairs when a deep voice made her freeze in mid step.
“Where have you been?” Crow’s voice from the hallway. Alexis hesitated, wondering if she could make a break for it, but suddenly the bird flew up and landed on the railing right in front of her, squawking and blocking her way.
“Just thought I’d take a look around. You know, sight-see and the like.” Alexis said, which was half-true.
“Alone?” Crow asked, leaning on the bottom banister, his eyes narrowing on hers. Alexis wondered if he had some telepathy ability and knew where she had been.
“Yeah… I mean Kaylee helped me point out a few places, and showed me how to use the trains and busses. It’s not that hard once you understand their routes.” Alexis said. “I thought you weren’t supposed to be back until late?”
“Change of plans. There’s a call for you.” Crow said, turning his back on her. Alexis let out a sigh of relief and followed him towards the living room. There on the large TV screen was an image of her grandmother. Alexis smiled, happy to see a family face.
“Sodo!” Alexis greeted.
“Looks like you’ve settled in well.” Grandmother Seira said a faint smile on her lips.
“There’s news.” Seira said, though she didn’t look too happy. “The investigation of your parent’s death has been inconclusive. Magic was involved, but no leads. The Auras have no choice but to closed the file.”
“They can’t!” Alexis shouted. “What about -“
“They’ve investigated as much as they could, all those against your mother’s exhibit. All dead ends.”
There was a silent pause, as this news sunk in. It was most likely now that there would be no answers to her parent’s death. It would just become a cold case, a mystery. Alexis felt a wave of rage run through her veins. Her parents were murdered and their case had been thrown away like they didn’t matter.
“So, I guess that means I’m staying here.” Alexis said, sorrow filling her soul.
“It may be for the best.” Her grandmother said, giving her uncle a disturbing glance. “I may not like it, but if you return, you will just be haunted by the memories of your parents. A new place, a new start. But, if you are not finding your new living arrangements suitable, I will make it so that I regain your custody.”
“Uncle Avery, what do you say about this? I will be staying with you after all.” Alexis asked.
“No problems here. Come September you’ll be in Hogwarts, and that’s the safest place in all of Great Britton, if not Europe.” He answered.
“The British magic school?” Alexis asked.
“How did you learn about Hogwarts?” Crow asked, his eyebrow rose in curiosity.
“Ah… Kaylee must have mentioned it. What sort of school is it?”
“A boarding school.”
“Ugh! So you’re sending me off too!” Alexis shouted, sounding outraged. Zack had told her about Hogwarts, but she didn’t realize it was some far off boarding school where she’ll have to stay at day in and day out.
“Alexis.” Grandmother Seira said in a stiff voice. “Whatch your tone. Nobody is ignoring your situation or your parent’s. Even if the Aurora’s are stopping their investigation, doesn’t mean we will. But you are still in danger, as Avery stated, this Hogwarts School may be the safest place for you until we get to the bottom of this. Besides, haven’t you wondered what other Magical Schools teach? Think of this as an opportunity, rather than some punishment.”
Alexis frowned. There was no arguing against her grandmother when she had made up her mind.
“I take your silence for approval. Avery Rune, I thank you for taking on the Guardianship of my granddaughter. If you need anything, let me know.”
The image of her grandmother disappeared, replaced by the skype logo stating that the digital call had ended. Alexis turned, and quickly moved down the hallway.
“Where are you going? Minky will warm up your dinner.” Crow called after her.
“I’m not hungry.” Alexis shouted before stomping on the steps up to her attic room.
For the next couple of weeks, Alexis kept herself to her attic room. She kept busy by focusing on finishing her painting. She actually felt a little sad when she finished the last wall. The grove of cherry trees spread out around her room, and faded up to a dark ceiling filled with stars and constellations. Now, even though she was in the city, she could still stare up at the stars. Minky had seen her work, admired it and gave her some special paint, now the sky seemed to move slightly, clouds passed over and the starts seemed to sparkle. It almost felt lifelike.
Many days and nights, Alexis laid on her bed and just stared up into her artwork, it gave her some clarity on her troubles. She was still upset that her parent’s murder case had been dropped, but she trusted her grandmother to push forward with her own investigation. Sodo always got what she wanted, she felt confident that the murders will be caught, eventually. She was also a bit worried that if she snuck out again on her own, Crow’s bird would follow her and report back to it’s master where she went. She had wanted to go back to her grandfather’s place, and visit with Zack, but everything felt too risky now. She didn’t even get Zack’s cell number, she didn’t even know if he had a phone. Owl’s were the means of communication in the magical world, though Kaylee had offered the use of her’s, as well as letting her know of the Owlery in Diagon Ally she could use. Every time Alexis attempted to write Zack a letter, she ended up tossing it away and feeling foolish.
It was the beginning of August when Crow climbed the steps to Alexis’s attic room, glanced at her artwork and then rested his stare on her. Alexis was on her bed, staring up at the magical night sky, her music was on as loud as it would go, blasting the space with a heavy rock beat with japanese lyrics.
“Alexis?” Crow asked, though his voice barely made it to her ears. He had to walk to her desk, turn down the volume on the laptop before he could get Alexis’s attention.
“What?” Alexis asked, annoyed at the interruption. She was in her happy place, where nothing from the outside world could bother her.
“You have a guest, downstairs.”
Alexis jumped to her feet. “My age, brown hair? Is it Zack?”
“Who’s Zack?” Crow asked, crossing his arms in front of her.
“Nobody… just a name that guys have.” Alexis said, her face blushing. “I don’t want to see them.”
“Yeah, right. You went somewhere that day. I don’t care where, but your guest downstairs is not one who likes to be kept waiting.” Crow said, obviously not leaving until Alexis moved. “It’s about school, so it’s non negotiable, also try to look professional, yoga pants and a tank top does not make good first impressions.”
“Fine.” Alexis sighed heavily and moved to her dresser and closet pulling out bits of clothing.
“Five minutes.” Crow added before he made his departure.