I open the front door as silently as I can. Man, if they find out I've been out again I'll be beaten more than a house elf who burned supper.
The floor boards creak as I sneak through the dark corridors.
I place my tatty backpack on the bottom step of the large, spiral, staircase. I see Dweeble, our house elf. Placing a finger to my lips and a point to my bag than another point upstairs.
Dweeble nods enthusiastically, making her look like a nodding animal on the back of a Muggles car, her large yellow eyes glinting with sudden happiness. I smile softly as the little creature grabs my bag, with large effort, then disappears with a pop, seeing her smile before she left.
I smile, knowing she'll put my backpack in my room without anyone knowing it was ever out of it.
I tiptoe onwards towards my destination; the good old mighty kitchen! As usual, I peek my head around the living room door which is open a crack. I can hear voices coming from inside the room and the crackle of fire.
Oh great, father's in there with some of his associates.
I quickly withdraw myself away from the dark green living room door.
If father shall find me here, he shall think that I am trying to listen into his private conversations. It'll be my head on the line. It's bad enough, my relationship with my father, and for him to find me here will certainly not help that situation.
I turn around and head to the kitchen, if I make it there. I could always say that I came downstairs for a snack before supper if I'm found.
I take two slow steps.
This time it's not the creaky floor boards that seem to echo in the dark silence, but my starving stomach that cries in the silence! I wince; all my muscles freeze as I tense whilst straining my ears, not daring to breath.
Have they heard me?
"Girl, come in here." My father’s cold, toneless, order from beyond the dark green door reaches my ears. I wince again.
So, he had heard me. Great.
The hunger in my stomach has now, so suddenly, turned into a horrid sick feeling that I'm starting to feel at the back of my throat whenever I remember to swallow.
Somehow, my legs slowly walk through the dark green door, despite the fact that they feel like lead. With my head automatically bowed, I look out through my thick eyelashes. Terror gripping every inch of me as I wonder what my punishment will be this time…