AN: FIVE. BLOODY. YEARS. I am the worst. Or rather at the time I had this idea and then kind of trailed off to do something else. Eh heh. My bad. Well here's to LaserLightCannon who's review made me reread the first chapter and that got my brain thinking about this all over again. So here we are. Man when this story started Marvel was still drawing Doreen cute as a button not... well she's been redesigned. I disprove. So yeah Doreen is still the scrawny kid here.
Hopefully chapter three doesn't take another half decade.
Thanks to everyone that reviewed last time by the way! Rest assured I'm taking everything everyone said into consideration.
As a note. It's been a LONG time since i've read the books. So i'm just going to roll with what I can remember and not worry about getting everything exactly the same as before.
Doreen looked at the man, who was staring with awkward expectation. Then back down at her shoes. Then at Mrs Stephens, who wasn't meeting her eye. Then at Monkey Joe who's head was on a pretty similar swivel between the rooms occupants. She drew herself together and spoke.
"You bloody WHAT mate?"
Whatever the response that had been expected, apparently that wasn't it. The Man taking up an entire three person sofa by himself had introduced himself as Hagrid, he was the biggest guy she'd ever seen, like a bear with the beard and hair of a man shipwrecked on a desert island for five years, all tangled and bushy. He was loud, and expressive, and nice. Doreen had been taken aback at just how friendly he'd been as he'd strode into the Orphanage, waving cheerfully at the kids who had just stared and stared and occasionally found it in themselves to blink.
Mrs Stephens, the rather dumpy woman that ran the Orphanage had come out to meet him, they'd talked briefly and then called for Doreen to follow them into the living room. There'd been a horrible moment Doreen had thought maybe they really were selling her to some collector of strange beings. She was going to end up living in a circus, chilling with the bearded lady and someone that ate swords.
Somehow the actual answer was weirder then her imagination.
The sheer unprecedented mind screw that was reality out-weirding her had caused Doreens brain to blue screen of death and she'd needed a minute to try and process this.
And now here she was.
"ah said you're a Witch Doreen!" Hagrid repeated after a pause.
"Okay." Doreen replied slowly before turning to Mrs Stephens. "is he here to burn me at the stake?" she asked conversationally. "because I really would prefer if he didn't."
Mrs Stephans sighed while this Hagrid fellow's eyes widened in shock and he tripped over himself getting out a dozen different reassurances that was nonsense.
"wha-! I'd never! We'd never allow that to happen. What on earth made ya worry about somethin' silly like that-!" Hagrid said, waving his arms about wildly in protest.
Doreen giggled at the performance. "cool. That's okay then. I didn't mean to upset you Mr Hagrid Sir, I was kidding."
Mrs Stephans sighed again. "Doreen. Please. This is serious?" she waited until Doreen settled down, folding her hands in her lap to show she was ready to let the grown ups explain. "Thank you. The fact is, you received a letter in the post last week. One that I knew you'd be receiving since the day you were brought here."
Doreen cast her mind back. "the only mail I got last week was my new Wonder Woman tradeback... so i'm going to hazard a guess you didn't give me the letter you're talking about right?"
The caretaker nodded while Hagrid again looked shocked. "Ya didn't even let her read her Hogwarts letter? Or tell her what she is? And Dumbledore spoke so highly of ya!"
"He says Dumbledore like that's a word." Monkey Joe squeaked, and was shushed by Doreen via a boop to the head.
Mrs Stephans meanwhile was playing damage control. "Please. I was in agreement with him that day, i'd explain everything to her when she was old enough to maturely understand what I was saying, and give her the encouragement that enrolment in your school would bring... but..." She trailed off and shrugged helplessly. "Doreen I mean this in the nicest possible way, but you haven't ever actually shown signs of maturity."
"i'm eleven." Doreen replied.
Apparently Hagrid disagreed, running a hand the size of a dinner plate through his mop of hair in exasperation. "I wasn't really expectin' to have ta explain everything. When you contacted us I figured you just wanted to make sure you hadn't forgotten the fine details in 11 years."
Doreen raised a hand. "err yeah honestly at this point i'll take any details whatsoever. What's going on here?"
Hagrid took a deep breath, gathering his thoughts. "i'm tryin' to decide where's best to start. Witches an' Wizards. Magic. It's all real. We live amongst the rest o' the world, there's far less of us then there is Muggles. So we keep to ourselves. Out the way so to speak. An' you're one of us. I'm here to give ya the letter that'll welcome ya to Hogwarts. The finest darn school for witchcraft in the world, you'll meet other kids just like you an' learn magic." he grinned at the end of his sales pitch and pulled from his shaggy coat pocket a rather beat up letter, who's envolope didn't really look normal. "so what do ya think Doreen?" he asked, tossing her the letter which she caught easily.
Doreen turned the letter over, using the pretence of examining it to let herself think that landslide of new information over. "so you're saying I get MORE superpowers? HahaHA! YES. I am IN!" she cheered excitedly, jumping up from her seat she only waited for the squirrel to jump onto her shoulder before heading for the door.
"ah... where are ya goin'?" Hagrid asked in confusion.
"Packing! This sounds great we should get going!" Doreen said, going for the doorknob.
"it's a school. Term don't start 'til september." Mrs Stephans chipped in. "i am glad you're taking this well though." she added kindly.
Hagrid was chuckling a little at how Doreen seemed to deflate at the news and waited for her to slink back to her chair. Once she was settled he cleared his throat and continued. "before we go on, is there anythin' you want to ask? I imagine you have plenty goin' through your head already."
Doreen took a deep breath, "yes please. Okay so: how do you keep magic a secret? Why do you when you could all be acting like superheroes?! Am I going to need to pay? Is this letter parchment? Whatever it is I don't recognise it. What subject do you teach? What subjects ARE there? Oooh is there a fireball spell? Is there a magic missile spell? Am I going to be able to fly? Or talk to more animals? How come you don't have a tail then? Is it only witches that have tails? Are all wizards as tall as you? Was that rude? Am I talking too much? I'm talking too much. I need to stop... yeah." it was more because she had run out of breath then self-awareness.
For a third time, Mrs Stephens sighed.
"errr. What?" Hagrid had been left dumbfounded by the fountain of questions. "You... you can learn to fly on a broomstick?" he offered weakly, having apparently found one of the easiest questions and picked it out of the bunch.
"ah ha." Doreen managed before she descended into cackling laughter. "oh my gosh yesssss. This is amazing! I'm a be a witch on a broomstick! I'm a swoop around and fly! On a broomstick! This is the best day of my life!" she wiped tears of mirth from her eyes as beside her, Monkey Joe was still on his back laughing, his tiny legs kicking at the air.
"SWEEP THE FLOOR DURING TAKE OFF!" the tiny critter crowed, which set Doreen off once more into giggles.
It was a strange look in Hagrids eyes as he watched Doreen act the way she did. There was a happiness in seeing her so excited to find out what she was. There was bemusement and patience as he didn't understand exactly what was so funny. And there was the regret of having to ruin it with things she had to know.
So when Doreen seemed to have calmed down again, the giant of a man spoke again. "Doreen, I should warn you now. You're, well you're one of the most famous people in the country."
Because apparently things could always get weirder.
Doreen just stared at him, waiting for the punchline but instead he just kept talking. About a truly evil, evil man. A secret war. People dying. Her parents. Her scar.
She didn't even pretend not to be wiping away tears of sadness. She'd known her parents had gotten murdered "by a lunatic" up until now. But this was worse. Killed as part of a war they had no idea was even happening. MJ climbed onto her lap to nuzzle and comfort her. It helped.
Eventually Doreen was able to smile though. "Guess I got to do them proud. Saving the world and everything right?" she said, which got Hagrid to nod in complete agreement, which made her feel better too.
After a little more small talk it was agreed that tomorrow would be the day Hagrid and Mrs Stephans would take her to the shops that held everything she would need for her year at the School of Hogwarts, since going on such short notice would have involved the Orphanage being understaffed for the day.
Plus, Doreen was told she wasn't allowed to tell anyone else about where she was going. Apparently Mrs Stephans being the person in charge of her well being meant she was the exception not the rule. So Hagrid took his leave, being surprised when Doreen gave him a hug good bye, as thanks for all the amazing news she had received.
The young girl was far too happy to care about the snickers she received from the kids she was used to laughing at her when it was announced she was going to be going away to a boarding school for superhumans. It wasn't even a lie from Doreens point of view.
Instead she retreated to her tree and read then reread the hogwarts letter over and over until she had it committed to memory.
Tomorrow, apparently, she was going to be buying potion ingredients. And getting a wand. And who knew what else. Suddenly, right the heck out of nowhere, life had gotten pretty interesting.
"This is going to be fun!" Doreen said happily, with Monkey Joe chirping an agreement.
She was certain it would make a nice change to not stand out anymore. It was a shame she never got Hagrid to answer where HIS tail was. But there was always tomorrow.