AN: Wow! I didn't think this story would become so popular already, since it was only published yesterday! 4 reviews, 12 Favs, and 19 Follows. Awesome, you guys! So here's the second chapter, and I hope you like it just as much.
Surprisingly, the walrus lasted until little Elena was three, almost four years old. (Truthfully, the Phantom had expected the fat man to only last a couple of weeks at the most. Strange what a competent death threat will do to people.) Vernon had made one too many bigoted marks, though, paying for it with his life. The giraffe and baby whale got no sympathy from the Opera Ghost.
Elena was such a beautiful young girl now, even at six, nearly seven. Her ebony hair curled in the most artful way, and her emerald eyes put the actual gems to shame, shining with such charm and kindness. And though it was years too early to tell, the Phantom thought that his charge-and hopefully student-would be quite the exquisite beauty when she matured. Maybe it ran in her father's family? Or maybe her mother alone, since Petunia Dursley, now Petunia Evans, was no beauty at all.
The Phantom couldn't help but sing Elena to sleep at night, watching over her. She had been the first since Christine to secure a place in his heart, and the Phantom always protected what was his.
Elena begged him to teach her all he knew of music, one winter was eight now, a little older than Christine had been when he'd taught her. One pleading look from her emerald eyes and the Phantom could deny her nothing.
She called him Teacher, sometimes Angel. When the Phantom asked her why, Elena innocently blinked at him and said, "You have protected me all my life, Angel. And now I'm learning the art of music from you. I can think of no greater thing I'd rather do."
Three years passed until little Elena was no longer so little, already 11 years old. In the summer, during her daily organ and piano lessons (the former had started only recently), a mysterious letter, written in ink and parchment, arrived by owl for her.
The Phantom sat next to his student, waiting for her to speak. He hardly ever showed himself, even to his student, yet the Opera Ghost could tell that this was very important. As life-changing as the letter left with Elena 10 years ago, the night she was orphaned.
Finally, Elena set the parchment down and breathed in, handing the letter to her teacher.
After reading, the Phantom set the letter gently down and asked, "So... what do you want to do, Little Elena?"
Elena brushed an ebony curl behind her ear. "I think I'll go. At least I'll be away from Aunt Petunia and Dudley. And... I don't know... do you think something bad would happen if I didn't train my magic?"
"I don't know," the Phantom admitted. "I have no magic, as you know. I'm good with illusions and misdirection, but that's true for any professional magician. But your magic is a part of you, so it would be good to learn to control it... so that it doesn't control you."
The Potter heiress nodded. "Then I'll write Professor McGonagall. Maybe she'd be willing to answer our questions." She quickly wrote her reply on some notebook paper, folded it, then handed it to the waiting owl.
Once the owl had flown away, the Phantom asked, "Now, how far have you come on your organ exercises?"
A couple of days later, Elena, Petunia, and Dudley were eating lunch when someone knocked at the door. Elena decided to answer it this time, so she got up and opened the door.
Standing at the threshold was a middle-aged, stern-looking woman with square spectacles and graying hair pinned up into a bun. Elena was severely reminded of the Phantom's only friend, Madame Giry. She curtsied, as a sign of respect.
"Elena Potter?" When Elena nodded, the woman continued. "I am Minerva McGonagall, a Professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry." The young girl nodded again and invited her soon-to-be professor inside the house.
"How much do you know of Hogwarts and the Wizarding World?" McGonagall asked, a cup of tea in her hands.
"Not much," Elena admitted. "Aunt Petunia detests anything to do with magic, as did my late uncle. My Teacher is the only one that's tried to explain things, but he's not a Wizard."
McGonagall's lips thinned until they's almost vanished. She would be having words with Albus Dumbledore when she got back to Hogwarts. "Well then. I suppose I'll start at the beginning..."
Elena was very excited and asked lots of questions, some purely on behalf of the Phantom, who was hiding in the shadows nearby as he usually did. McGonagall seemed very fond of his charge, and while the Phantom somehow didn't mind, he did think it was very odd. Did the Transfiguration Teacher know her parents before they'd died? If so, why didn't she come and visit the little girl before now? And why didn't she come out and say it?
"If I may ask, Miss Elena, who is your Teacher?" McGonagall asked. Seeing the girl's reluctance, she said, "If it makes you uncomfortable..."
"No, it's not that, Professor," Elena said, shifting a bit in her seat. "It's just that... Teacher is very private. He's watched over me since I was young, protecting me from Vernon, and then he started teaching me all he knew of music three years ago. But I've only seen him a couple of times. He's always with me, wherever I go, but it's up to him whether he shows himself."
McGonagall was worried. No matter what House little Elena would be placed in at Hogwarts, the little girl was her kitten. Was this Teacher of hers all right to be around the young girl? Well, McGonagall thought, as long as Elena isn't hurt, I won't interfere. But heaven help that Teacher if my kitten is hurt in any way by him!
"Well then, Elena, we'll do your shopping tomorrow. We'll stop at the Wizarding Bank first, then get the rest of your supplies, including your wand. Ollivander is the best wandmaker around, and he might even answer some questions you might have of the process." The usually stern witch smiled and stood up to leave.
"You don't have to leave, Ma'am," Elena said. "Aunt Petunia, we can let her stay in the guest bedroom, can't we?" At the sour woman's jerky nod, Elena beamed and took her professor's hand, leading her upstairs.
"Teacher said that my late uncle tried to put me in the cupboard under the stairs, but when Teacher threatened him, they put me in what they wanted to be Dudley's second bedroom. And I usually help with some of the housework and take care of the roses outside, but the chores are nowhere near as much as Vernon was planning on making me do," Elena said, pushing open the guest bedroom door. "Vernon's sister Marge used to use this room a lot, but after his death she hardly ever visits."
"So is that why it smellss of dog?" McGonagall asked, wrinkling her nose and taking out her wand. In a few minutes, all traces of the bulldog were gone, and there were fresh sheets on the bed. Elena giggled, and her eyes were wide and shining at the display of magic.
"Marge has a bunch of bulldogs; she breeds them herself. And she almost always brings Ripper with her. He's the nastiest of her dogs, but Teacher always protects me, and Aunt Petunia hates animals anyways."
The Transfiguration teacher nodded, making a mental note to tell this to Albus. She'd told him they were the worst sort of Muggles, and this did nothing to disprove her observations.
Once Elena had left but before the Phantom had, McGonagall murmured, "Thank you for protecting her all these years. Just... please take care of the little kitten."
The Phantom nodded, even though he knew the Scottish woman couldn't see him. Then, with a swish of his black cloak, he was gone from the room.
And the second chapter is done! Next chapter is Diagon Alley, and Elena's wand. I know now what I'm doing with her wand, so I hope you guys enjoy it. I'm also mentioning Ancient and Noble Houses, 'cause I like playing with that idea. But Elena won't be the Heir of Merlin, Morgana, or the blood relation of the Four Founders. Maybe another story, though.
By the way, none of you asked about Elena's name. I picked the name 'Elena' from 'The Mask of Zorro', starring Antonio Banderas as Alejandro Murrieta, and Catherine Zeta-Jones as Elena de la Vega. Elena is a good female character, fighting Zorro to a standstill at one point. And I just flat-out adore that movie.
As always, REVIEW!