Valkyrie Cain wandered through the Sanctuary, waiting for Skulduggery to call her, when suddenly she saw someone she'd never seen before. Normally, Valkyrie would've ignored it, but there was something about this person Valkyrie found odd. The girl was young. She looked even younger than Valkyrie's age. Maybe about 13. Valkyrie frowned. As far as she was aware, she was the youngest person officially working for the Sanctuary. "Excuse me?" Valkyrie said.
The girl turned around. Valkyrie hesitated. The girl had wavy black hair, almost as dark as China Sorrows. Her eyes were so dark they looked nearly black, but the longer Valkyrie looked, she realised they were actually more of an indigo colour. She had skin so pale you could practically see her veins, and she was wearing a black zip-up jacket, a deep red shirt, black jeans and black boots. In Valkyrie's opinion, she looked pretty scary.
The girl smiled and Valkyrie realised she had been silent for a few seconds. Valkyrie quickly said, "I know it isn't exactly any of my business, but I've never really seen you before."
"It's okay," the girl said. She had a soft voice. She paused a moment and said, "I'm Ivy Animosity. Hello, Valkyrie Cain."
Valkyrie blinked. How did she learn her name? Valkyrie hadn't told her. "Um... Hello Miss Animosity."
"You can call me Ivy," Ivy said politely. "May I call you Valkyrie?"
"Sure," Valkyrie said a little uncertainly. "I know this is a completely over used question, but honestly, I have to ask: how did you know my name?"
"I can read minds."
Valkyrie arched an eyebrow. "Wow. So what am I thinking?"
Ivy closed her eyes for a moment, then opened them and said, "Sorry. My appearance is different than my personality. I'm not as scary as I look." She smiled.
Valkyrie felt the heat rise in her face. "Oh. Sorry. It's just... You do look a little scary. No offense."
"None taken. Besides, I'm not the only scary one here. You can be scary."
Valkyrie suddenly didn't feel comfortable with her mind being read. "Like how?"
"You know how. And I promise with my life that I won't tell." Ivy paused. "This isn't the best first impression, is it? Do you want to start over?"
"Sure." Valkyrie had to laugh. "Okay, so, um, I'm Valkyrie Cain, and I haven't met you and I most certainly am not restarting a conversation, I'm just, you know, walking through the halls..."
Ivy grinned. "Why, hello Valkyrie, I'm Ivy Animosity. Pleasure to meet you."
"Same to you," Valkyrie smiled back. "What do you like to do?"
"Oh, you know, just the obvious. Scaring people and reading minds. What about you?"
"Nothing much... Just save the world."
"Interesting..." Ivy's phone rang and she answered it. "Hello? Yes, this is Ivy. I'm fine, just talking to someone I just met... She's cool, yes. You're so annoying, you know that? I'm hanging up." Ivy closed her phone.
"Who was it?" Valkyrie asked.
"My brother. He's annoying."
"Ah. I don't have any brothers, just a baby sister."
"Cool! I want a baby sister..."
Valkyrie had to smile. "She's adorable... Her name's Alice."
"That's a pretty name," Ivy said, nodding. Her phone beeped. "Aw... Sorry Valkyrie, I have to go. It was lovely meeting you."
"It was lovely meeting you, too, Ivy. Can I walk with you? I need to get going anyway. Skulduggery's going to be here any minute now."
Ivy looked at her and Valkyrie could see the excitment on her face. "You know Skulduggery Pleasant? That is so cool! I've heard so many stories about him..." She paused for a moment. "Oh! You're his partner! I knew your name sounded familiar!" She was obviously impressed.
"Well," Valkyrie said, a little bit in disbelief and a little in amusement, "you can meet him if you'd like." Now Vakyrie's phone beeped. "Isn't that perfect timing? He's here now."
Ivy beamed. "I can really meet him? Will you show me where to go?"
"I thought you're brother was here."
"He is. But I'd rather meet Skulduggery."
"So can I meet him?"
"Sure, Ivy." Valkyrie and Ivy started walking towards the exit.
"This is amazing," Ivy said. "I've heard so many stories about you two. I don't think I could ever save the world."
"Sure you could," Valkyrie said, "with practise."
They walked outside and Skulduggery Pleasant, wearing a pinstriped suit and matching hat, was waiting, leaning against the Bentley. "Hello Valkyrie." He nodded in Ivy's direction. "Who's your friend?"
"This is Ivy Animosity," Valkyrie said. "She really wanted to meet you."
"Ah." Skulduggery looked at Ivy. "Hello, Ivy." He reached out and they shook hands.
"It's an honour to meet you, Detective," Ivy said, smiling. "I've heard so many stories of you two, going on adventures, saving the world..."
"Well," Skulduggery said, "I'm sure that at least most of the stories are true." He pulled out his pocket watch. "I'm afraid that Valkyrie and I have to go, because we need to figure out some way to save the world once again. It was lovely to meet you, Ivy."
"And I'll never forget meeting you." Ivy smiled. Her phone started ringing. She pulled it out of her pocket, looked at the number, but didn't answer it. "Well, I guess I have to leave too. I hope we meet again."
"I hope so too," Valkyrie said. She really liked Ivy. She seemed nice. "Bye."
"Bye," Ivy said, then turned around and left.