The Unseen Factor

The Lehrers

This serves more as an introduction of some OCs who play a huge part in Enola's life and is set a few years before the last chapter. Unfortunately there is only mentions of Mycroft and Sherlock in this chapter, but never fear, they will show up again.

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Enola Holmes had come down with a terrible flu and was extremely hungry when she first met Dr. Wilhelm Lehrer and his wife, Dr. Amelia Lehrer, both professors at New York University the former in philosophy and the latter in art history.

She had arrived in New York City a little over a year ago, trying to get as far away as possible from her family and had promptly taken to living in the streets. It was not as if she had a lot of options at her disposal. Fortunately she was quick on her feet and even quicker in mental capabilities. Finding odd jobs here and there gave her numerous opportunities to observe and learn from people from every walk of life. Some were cruel, forcing her to learn to fight tooth and nail; others were kind, teaching her the concept of hope.

Enola grew to know what hunger really felt like and what biting cold could do to a body thinly clothed. It was on the streets that Enola forced herself to adopt the American accent. No one looks at you twice when you sound like everyone else, which was what she wanted. She knew that Mycroft was creating quite a powerful niche in the British government for himself and was most likely looking for her, and so was Sherlock, in his own way. Either way, best not to attract to much attention, especially from official authority type people.

People who saw her quite often, knew her as 'that nice polite homeless girl', which did not bother Enola. She wanted to disappear and not having a name was a start. But she knew that being homeless could not last forever. That reality hit her when she awoken one morning, after a night of being poorly sheltered against the elements, feeling particularly ill. Her fear of being discovered outweighed her sense to go to a hospital for aid.

She was walking down the street coughing when she first saw them. The couple were a bit older than Mycroft, married for a number of years but no children. They were walking home after grocery shopping, both carrying reusable bags full of food and holding each others hands. They looked happy. That was what first caught Enola's attention. The second thing was the apple that was sitting on top of the groceries and she went for it.

A firm but gentle hand held tightly to one that guilty grasped an apple from the groceries and almost got away. Enola feared what they might do, call the police was a good probability and with that result she would be deported back to England which meant facing her family. All around, the prospects did not look good for her.

To her great surprise, however, they did not call the police or even threatening her. The Lehrers, instead, brought her to their home and gave her the first proper meal she's had in little over a year. She tried to polite refuse saying that they could not repay an act of theft with such a reward, but they insisted.

As Enola ate, they asked general questions of her. Mostly pertaining to her life in the streets and vaguely learning of how she came to be there. They did not push for information if Enola refused to give a complete answer but instead seem to understand her refusal to speak of certain things about herself.

Enola learned that Wilhelm was an immigrant to America, and had come to the country with his parents when he was quite young but still had family in Germany. His childhood was spent living mostly in the States and sometimes visiting family in the old country. He spoke both English and German so well that the accent of one did not bleed into the other. Besides being a philosophy professor at NYU he was quite a businessman often helping his father who had done very well for himself in New York with his own successful business.

Amelia was quite the opposite of Wilhelm, being born and bred in Texas and coming from a large family. Her Texan accent had been tempered by many years of living in New York city teaching art history. She was the odd one in her family preferring thick dusty books and painting while her brothers and sisters played outside with the dogs, but that was not to say that she did not enjoy being out in the sun with the rest of her family. Amelia had the proud title of being the best shot in her family, much the jovial annoyance of her brothers. Not only did she teach about art, Amelia worked extensively with art restoration.

It was quickly established that the Lehrers were good natured people, who genuinely had her welfare at heart. Enola had to admit surprise at the Lehrers' willingness not to report her to the country's Social Service and their offer for her to stay with them. Furthering her surprise they were immensely impressed with her attempted thievery of the apple. But what made her almost drop her glass of water was their last question.

"Do you want to become a better thief?" Wilhelm Lehrer smiled. Amelia stood behind her husband with an equally kind look, presenting the apple to Enola.

Enola Holmes, barely even fifteen, had just fallen into the company of the world's best, unknown, uncaught, no record, only whispers, most successful and humble art thieves and forgers.

That was unexpected turn of events.

Not really having any other plans she gave a real smile, something she rarely did and took the apple. "When do I start?"

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