Chapter One

The Hudson Street Home for Girls

Whether it was hopeful thinking or stupidity on Albus Dumbledore's part that made him think that Petunia Dursley (wife of Vernon Dursley, mother of Dudley Dursley, third place recipient of Private Drive's best garden competition three years in a row, and hater of all things magic) and her husband Vernon (a hater of all things out of the ordinary) would take in the obviously magical baby with an out of the ordinary scar on her forehead is unclear. The fact that Albus Dumbledore left her there in a way that seemed both magical and out of the ordinary didn't help matters either. Neither did the note the old headmaster left.

The scream coming from the front step of Number 4 Private Drive that morning woke up all of the late risers on the entirety of the street. Petunia and Vernon, once Petunia stopped screaming, of course brought the baby in out of the cold November air. They even laid the basket on the table while they had a conversation about what to do about her. If, in that conversation full of grumbling and gesturing, the option of keeping baby Annalise was brought up, it was shot down quicker than a clay pigeon at shooting range.

Somewhere towards the beginning of Petunia and Vernon's conversation, their son Dudley began squalling. That sound was not out of the ordinary as baby Dudley had learned rather early in his life that the louder he cried the quicker he got attention from his doting parents. That lesson would stick with Dudley well into his teenage years. One would think that due to the Dursleys being so accustomed to their own son's crying, they would hardly even notice when somewhere towards the middle of the conversation baby Annalise began to cry. This, however, was not the case.

In Petunia and Vernon's minds, their little Diddy Dudleykins could do no wrong. This other child though, this poor unwanted leech that they had brought into their house was not their Dudley. She was the unusual, child of Petunia's magical sister that went and got herself blown up. For that very reason, Annalise Potter's crying, though it was quieter than Dudley's, was one of the most abrasive sounds that Petunia and Vernon had ever heard.

"We're taking her to an orphanage and letting them deal with her," Vernon said.

"What about the," Petunia struggled to get the last word out as if it was trying to choke her from within her throat. "What about the wizards?"

"Well we have been talking about taking a vacation, haven't we, Pet?" Vernon asked. "We'll just go out of the country and leave her at an orphanage over there. Let's see the freaks try to find her then."

And with that the decision had been made about what the Dursleys would do about little Annalise Potter and the conversation was over.

Two days later the passengers on a nine AM flight to America were cursing the couple that decided to bring the screaming blonde baby on a long flight.

Three days later Vernon Dursley was looking up the word orphanages in the yellow pages.

Four days later Petunia, Vernon, and Dudley Dursley were enjoying their American vacation. Meanwhile that same day, Annalise Potter was once again left on a doorstep in a basket with only a note and an oversized locket around her neck. To Miss Hannigan's credit, she didn't scream when she found her.

Eight and a Half Years Later

Although the name of the orphanage was The Hudson Street Home for Girls, few to none of the girls that had the misfortune of living there would call the place a home. It wasn't so much that there was something wrong with the building, though it was rather old, or that there was something wrong with the other girls living there, though there are always fights that break out amongst children. No. The reason why the place was so intolerable to live at was because of the chief and only adult caretaker of the orphanage, the horrid Miss Hannigan.

"I won't have my hard work ruined by a bunch of snot nosed brats," was a common phrase the woman would often hurl at the girls around her bottle of cheap booze. It was usually followed by her screaming, "I want this whole place to shine like the top of the Chrysler Building!"

To Miss Hannigan's defense, she probably shouldn't have been left in charge of that many girls by herself. But it was her own fault that she was. Anytime someone from the state would suggest sending someone else out Miss Hannigan would swiftly shut them down. Part of it was because Hannigan knew if someone else had to be sent out, she would take a pay cut. The other part was that there would be no way she could get away with half of the stuff she did if someone else was breathing down her neck.

So, all that Miss Hannigan had to do to keep her life the way it was was to keep anyone outside from realizing that anything was out of the ordinary within the walls of the home. That wouldn't have been so hard if it wasn't for one particular little orphan that seemed to have mischief for a middle name.

Annalise didn't actually have a middle name in Miss Hannigan's records. Nor did she have a last name. In fact, the only name that was left for her on the note that the Dursleys wrote was Annalise. Miss Hannigan thought that that name was too nice for a grungy little orphan though, so she took the liberty of shortening it to Annie.

If someone that knew James and Lily Potter were to look at their almost ten-year-old daughter, they would first say that she looked like Lily. Same sharp green eyes, same shade of fiery red hair, well, the texture of the girl's hair was all her dad's. It stuck up in curls at odd angles and couldn't even be fully held down in their braids. If they were to see how James and Lily's daughter acted, they would think that her personality was all James with how much mischief she got into. If they were to actually take the time to get to know the girl, however, they would quickly discover that Annie, was her very own person. She was always up for mischief, but it was usually at the expense of bullies or to help someone in need. She was very caring, but also quick to a fight. Above all else, Annie hated people who were needlessly cruel.

Our story properly starts one night in mid-June.

Annie couldn't sleep. She didn't even know anyone that could sleep with as many thoughts on their minds as she had that night. So, instead of sleeping, she leaned against the window, rubbing her thumb over her unopenable locket and indulging her thoughts of a family she knew would come for her one day. The letter she was left with promised that they would come for her. All that she had to do was wait, but waiting was so hard.

Annie was jarred from her thoughts of her family by soft sniffling. Molly must be having a nightmare again.

Annie slid off of the window sill and ran as quietly as she could over to the bottom bunk that Molly slept in. Molly had only been in the older girl's room for a week and a half, and she had had a nightmare almost every night she was in there.

"Shhh," Annie shushed Molly as she gathered the younger girl into her arms. "You need to wake up, ok Molly? It's just a nightmare."

Molly woke up but cried even louder.

"Shut her up," Pepper grumbled from the top of another bunk. "I don't want Hannigan in here tonight."

Pepper at the age of thirteen was the oldest girl in the orphanage. Although she hadn't been there the longest, she still thought that her age should make her in charge, but thanks to Annie's stubborn streak, Pepper's attempts were all for naught.

"You're ok, Molly," Annie tried to soothe Molly, completely ignoring Pepper's complaint.

"But I don't have anyone coming for me, Annie," Molly cried. "Not like you do."

"But I'm sure that there are a ton of people that will want to adopt you," Annie assured her. "They'll come in here looking for a sweet little girl with brown hair and eyes. And they'll want to spoil you and love you to pieces! Just think about that!"

Pepper groaned. It was a little hard not to groan as she had heard the same speech every night since Molly got moved up to the older girl's room.

"You really think so?" Molly asked.

"I know so," Annie declared. "They'll take you out for ice cream, and take you to the movies, and take you shopping for toys and clothes! Everything that parents do with their kids. And then, every night, they'll tell you a bed time story."

"Will you tell me a bed time story, Annie?" Molly asked.

"No," Pepper complained. "Not tonight. I haven't gotten a wink of sleep since Molly moved in here. It's so obvious that she's too young to be in here. I mean she can't even go back to sleep without one of Annie's dumb bedtime stories."

"Shut up Pepper," One of the other girls in the room shushed Pepper.

"Yeah," said another.

"I like Annie's stories," said a third.

"Whatever," Pepper rolled her eyes. "Just don't blame me when Hannigan's in here because we 'made a ruckus and ruined her beauty sleep.'"

All of the girls in the room opted to ignore Pepper. They pulled out thin blankets and stacked nearly flat pillows to try to make themselves more comfortable during Annie's story.

"Once upon a time," Annie began once they had all stopped moving. "There was a beautiful queen."

"What did she look like?" one of the girls interrupted.

"Well," Annie said. "She had long brown hair and big brown eyes. Everyone said that she was the prettiest girl in the entire kingdom. She lived in a big palace with everything that she could ever want! Every week she went out into her kingdom and gave to those in need. One day when she was out, she saw a little girl playing near the woods. The queen went to talk to the little girl but before she could walk over to her, a big mean dragon swooped down and grabbed the little girl in his claws!"

"No!" Molly yelled.

"Then what happened?" One of the other girls asked.

"I bet the dragon gobbled the little girl up."

"I bet the queen fought off the dragon."

"Maybe the queen has to go on a quest to get the little girl back!"

Annie let the girls talk for a few seconds to build up suspense. When she was content with the engagement of her audience, Annie continued.

"Well," Annie said. "The dragon didn't gobble the little girl up just then. He instead tried to fly her back to his lair to dispose of her there. But what the dragon didn't know was that-"

Whatever Annie was going to say never got said, because just then Miss Hannigan swooped into the room, much like the dragon in Annie's story, though certainly more hung over.

Every girl froze, wondering what to do. It was far too late to try to pretend to be asleep. Not that that would have worked even if they had the time. Miss Hannigan always managed to see right through their ruse.

During the girls' stupors, Miss Hannigan took the time to survey the room, and what she saw did not please her. A whole room of girls awake at four in the morning. Propped up, comfortable, and engaged. That would never do. But just like a hurricane spinning around a central point, every girl seemed to be facing one particular thorn in Miss Hannigan's side. Annie.

"Just what do you think you're doing?" Miss Hannigan drawled. "Being loud. Making a ruckus and disturbing my beauty sleep."

"Um," One of the girls stuttered.

"Um," Hannigan mocked in a nasally high-pitched voice. "Well, one of you say something."

"I asked Annie to tell me a story," brave little Molly spoke up.

"A story?" Hannigan asked as if the concept was foreign to her. "Well if you're listening to a story then you must not need any more sleep."

"But-"

"And if you don't need to sleep then you might as well get started on the chores for the day," Hannigan cut off any and all objections. "Someone's coming to check in on you little cockroaches this week and I want this place sparkling when they get here.'

A collective moan went up amongst the girls.

"Well," Hannigan pulled back the covers from the girls in bed. "Get to work."

No, The Hudson Street Home for Girls was no home. Anyone that looked in the windows at four in the morning before the sun had even risen could see that.

The girls within swept, mopped, washed, dusted, and cleaned the entire place until it sparkled. Every room, every nook and every cranny got tidied. And heaven help any girl that fell behind. She would either get a sharp reprimand from Miss Hannigan or a sharp kick from another girl that feared Miss Hannigan's anger.

The Hudson Street Home for Girls was no home, but the girls tried to make the best of it. They had songs they sang and little games they played to try to get their jobs done more quickly. And of course, those that were brave got into mischief, and those that were less brave helped to cover for the brave ones.

That was how almost the entire orphanage became involved in helping Annie escape for the third time that month.

Author's Note: The story has begun! I've had the idea to write this story for a little while, but I've just now gotten around to it. One of the issues I've found is that it's hard to write a musical as a story. I doubt anyone wants to sit and read the lyrics of the song and I can't just put "Inset "Maybe" here. Go look it up on YouTube" so I had to come up with something else. That's where the bedtime story came in. Shout out to the first person who correctly names where the story idea came from! Anyone that personally knows me should be able to guess it fairly easily.

Please follow and review if you've liked the story so far!

-Aniala (catz4444)

Written 7/1/19

This is all I have written so far. Another question: Should she find the dog Sandy or some other pet? My other two ideas are the dog somehow being Sirius (which seems like it would take too much coincidence to make sense) or her finding a snake.