Chapter One.

People say I have a quirky way of holding my violin and bow way out to the side in my left hand while I bend over and sort through music with my right hand, as if I'm signalling to somebody. -The Mozart Season, Virginia Eower Wolff

It was a terribly cold night, even for Joey Clove. He put his hands into his pockets and leaned back against the wall. Shivering, he crouched slowly at the side of the dark alley and hunched his shoulders upwards to keep his ears from the cold. Joey rubbed his hands together for warmth, and blew gently onto his shaking fingers, only to realise that his breath was visible.
He sighed, allowing the soothing breath to surround him like a warm blanket. Everyone was in a hurry to get home, he noticed. There were people in warm, woollen scarves and thick, tall boots, and there were others in large, heavy overcoats and fluffy ear- muffs. They bumped into one another without noticing, and panted like buffaloes when they felt tired. Joey wanted to laugh at them, but he was too exhausted to laugh. They would never survive on the streets, he thought, Never.
Joey lay his weary body onto the hard pavement and turned over onto his side. Perhaps it was better to get some sleep rather than waste his time watching these people. He could get an early start playing on the streets. People liked to hear him play, although Joey didn't know it. They called him 'The Street Musician', because he was there every day, playing his violin on the busy, crowded streets. But Joey wouldn't have noticed if there were no people watching him. His mind was always in the music. He would always be there, standing by the sidewalk and play, tapping his foot gently to the music. At the end of the day he would surprise himself by finding money in his open violin case. It wasn't a lot, of course, in spite of how good Joey was on the violin, but it was enough to buy a tall, lean, eighteen- year- old some well deserved food.
He had taught himself how to play the violin. Slowly, feverishly... It was like an obsession! Joey caressed his violin softly, feeling the metal strings beneath his cold fingers. It was old, brown, and shabby- looking, but it sounded excellent. He had found it eight years ago, when the movers came to take away his parents' things. It had lain in the storeroom under their house for ten years, and Joey fell in love with it at first sight. From then it had been his constant companion, with him always, and never betraying.
But Joey didn't only want to know how to play the violin, he had wanted to learn how to play music. Which meant that he needed to know how to read notes. At first Joey found them confusing; all those little dots and lines... But soon he began listening to a schoolteacher coach his students at a school nearby, and Joey learnt more. The teacher had a loud, booming voice, that was loud enough to be heard even from outside the building. But he was good, though. Joey had liked to hear him playing the violin with the students. Since he was ten till his fifteenth birthday, the teacher had been teaching at the school. Joey knew that the students were aware of him crouching outside their classroom, but they never told the teacher. Children never betray each other, not for an adult anyway.
Joey stopped listening to the teacher when he was fifteen because, well... he was getting a whole lot taller, and it was getting hard for him to hide. Not that he had really needed any more lessons. Joey was smart. Not that he knew, of course. Joey had felt quite sad when he realized he would have to stop going to 'school'.
Joey felt his stomach rumble uncomfortably. He needed food. Not many people wanted to stop by the streets and listen in the cold weather. He hadn't eaten any food since noon. Joey rummaged through his pockets for some money.
Not much, he thought, Only two pounds fifty. What else do I have? Money, ragged old coat, violin... oh yes, the dictionary.
The dictionary was not small, but it fit quite nicely into a compartment in his violin case. Joey was proud of the dictionary. He had bought it with his own money. And he had saved up for weeks. Before he bought the dictionary, Joey wasn't really sure about all the terms that the teacher used in class when he was teaching. He didn't know what a waltz was, or what it meant to play allegro instead of andante. He didn't know who Mozart, or Bach, or Chopin was. But the dictionary taught him. Joey was a fast learner.
He read a lot. He had read almost the entire library. When Joey was young he devoured the Children's Section. When he was ten he moved on to Older Readers. When he turned thirteen he started reading books for Young Adults. Now, a t eighteen and three weeks, Joey had started reading from the Adult's Section. The library was running out of books for Joey.
But no one seemed to mind that Joey came to read books at the library every day. He would sit at the table and read for hours, and if it was a particularly good book, Joey would have his mouth open slightly, his eyes dazed and fuzzy as he moved from word to word. The librarian, an elderly lady who had worked there for almost thirty years, would sometimes have to remind Joey how late it was at least five times in order to make him leave in time for closing. But the librarian liked Joey. She thought that he was a nice boy. She always felt sad when she saw him close the book, carefully note the page number, and slide it back onto the shelf gently. But Joey liked the library. It was quiet. A good place to think.
Joey practised his violin every day, for how many hours he didn't know. He would sit by the side of the road, either very early in the morning or very late at night. He wouldn't have noticed the time, even though he had an old watch of his father's. His mind, as I have said before, was always in the music.
He rubbed his hands again for warmth, and turned over once again. He was tired. He closed his eyes and felt a burning sensation in his eyelids, which showed that even his eyes were drowsy. He let the gentle pitter- patter of footsteps lull him to sleep as he huddled closer to the cold wall. He wanted to yawn, but he was too tired. His fingers ached from the long hours of practice and performance. His mind itself was tired.
What was that noise?
Joey could hear something. It was like water dripping from a pipe into his head. He shook his head violently, trying to relieve his head of the noise. But it was no use. The sound continued into the night. What was it? It wasn't very loud, but then again, the soft noises are usually the more annoying ones. Joey sat up, and looked around. Curiosity made him get to his feet, staring around him to see who was making the noise. Who else could be here at this hour?
It was a few minutes before Joey spotted him. The boy was small and skinny, huddled up into a small ball with his feet tucked underneath him. He was lying on a pile of old rags, a scarf covering his head and a long, thin case propped beside him. The boy was crying, deep, heartbreaking sobs that were muffled by the dirty clothes that he was lying on. The noise was not loud, as the rags muffled the sound. But it was loud enough for Joey.
"Hey," Joey said roughly, in a gruff voice, made more gruff by the cold. You can't be too nice to the people you meet on the streets, even though they may seem harmless (or appear to be crying), especially at night. Most of the time they're out to get you. Joey waited for the boy to get up. There was no way he could sleep with all that racket. The boy on the blankets stiffened, as though he was frightened and afraid. He turned around slowly to face Joey, shaking like a leaf.
It was a girl! The scarf fell to her feet, revealing long, jet- black hair that was up to her waist. Her skin was of a pale gold colour, and her eyes were dark amber and almond- shaped. She was thin and and pale, and her breaths came in short, harsh gasps. All she wore was a ragged shirt that was torn at the sleeves and the abdomen, exposing a strip of pale skin around her slender waist. She wore long leggings that were very loose and made her legs look like sticks. The tears that ran down her cheeks made little rivulets of muddy fluid that dripped to her shoulders. Even with the tears, and the dirt that wa caked on her clothes, Joey thought that she was beautiful. Just beautiful.
He stared. He couldn't help it. She got up, shaking, to her feet. It was a while before he realized that she was shivering from the cold. She didn't have a coat, obviously. Her face was pale and her cheekbones showed clearly. Joey guessed that if she didn't get something to eat soon, she'd probably faint. He wasn't sure what he should do. He had never met a girl that he thought was beautiful before. Joey had never noticed other people, actually. But this girl... she was different.
"Are... are you okay?" he tore his eyes away from her face. Stupid question, Joey, very stupid.
She nodded slowly, as if she wasn't really sure of herself.
"I won't hurt you, you know," Joey tried to make his voice normal.
She looked at him fleetingly as if she wanted to run away. She was like him, in a way. Dubious, untrusting. He reached out and grabbed her hand. It was freezing cold beneath his fingers. Somehow, he didn't want to lose sight of her.
"You won't be safe out there," he said. It was true, a beautiful, young girl would never be safe out there in the streets of England at night, "And you're cold. I can help you. Just... trust me,"
Her eyes grew wide. She looked down at his grip on her arm. He let go and she took a small step backwards. Slowly, she nodded.
"Thank you," A second or two later, Joey realized that she had not spoken before that. Her voice was soft and parched from thirst and cold. Joey took his coat off roughly, and handed it to her. He was bigger, and stronger. He wouldn't feel so cold without it, compared to her. She stared at it for a while, as if there was a bomb or something inside. Hesitantly, she put it on, and looked up at Joey as if to say, Now what are you going to do?
"Are you hungry?"
"Yes," her soft voice pierced his head and made him forget what he was about to say.
"Uh... Do you have any money?" Joey thought that it was a practical question, after all, if she needed to buy food. She nodded, and stooped to put a numb hand into her long case. She pulled out a crumpled pound note and handed it to Joey. He took it from her still shaking fingers.
"Follow me," he said, looking back up at her, "I can take you to a place where you can rest, and get some food too,"

Lily Wolf trudged through the snow slowly, grumbling to herself. She was already two hours late! And now the snow decides to slow her down even more. Great... Just great.
Lily turned at the street lamps, careful to count how many there were before she made a sharp turning left. In the snow, it's hard to keep track of roads, so Lily always made precautions by counting the lights on the roadsides. She tapped the wooden gate to make sure that it was the aged, rotten wood belonging to that grumpy old man three streets away, then jumped over the picket fence surrounding the garden. It was a short cut. Lily really, really needed a short cut right now.
She was late. Her father would be angry with her, and she knew it. She could never understand why her father didn't want her to join the rehearsals for the concert. He is a musician, after all, and a teacher. Of all people, he should know! He probably just needed someone to pick on.
Lily was only two streets away now. She wanted to run, but when she tried, her breath was caught up in her lungs in a frigid, cold block, and she had to stop for a moment or two to catch her breath. She couldn't afford moments. Lily kept on walking, at an even faster pace. She knew that she was getting nearer; the trees along the sides of the street began to look familiar, and she could almost recognize the old weathercock swinging on the roof.
Lily realized that her life had never been fair. She would have thought, that with a father who loved music, and used to play music to make her sleep, she would be encouraged to learn music as far as her talent could take her. But Darryl Wolf, her father, as a respected teacher in a public school for music, never had the time to just talk to his only daughter. If he had actually bothered, he would have found that her love of music was equal, if not more than his.
Her mother had died so many years ago that Lily sometimes found it hard to remember her; what she looked like, or what her voice sounded like. There was a photograph, on the mantelpiece, and that was the only thing that remained of her mother's memory. All that her father ever said about her mother was that her name was Morgan, and that she was very beautiful. Lily thought that her mother was beautiful too. Morgan had rich, curly, red hair that was up her waist and dark, brown eyes that laughed and sparkled. Her nose was long and straight and sharp, and there was a sweet sort of humour in the way that she smiled. Lily liked her mother. Liked, not loved. Lily realized that you couldn't love someone that you didn't really know.
Darryl loved Morgan. Maybe that's why he was a little strange around Lily after she died. Lily looked almost exactly like Morgan, except a little more serious and certain. Every morning, before leaving for the school, Darryl would lift the photograph off the mantelpiece and stare at it for several minutes. And whenever he was really down on something, Darryl would take the picture and speak to it, while sitting down on that dusty old armchair. It was a habit that Lily could never fathom. She never needed to tell anyone her problems, not that anyone would listen. Lily Wolf was an independent person.
Lily sighed again and made her way through the rapidly thickening pathway of snow. The cold air streamed around Lily and blew into her ears. She walked quicker, and put her hat down to cover the pink cartilage of her ears.
Where am I? Her footsteps trudged through the snow methodically, a slow, steady beat to the gentle falling of snow.
It was a moment before Lily managed to get back on track. She ran the planned conversation with her father through her mind once more. It was a custom of hers, to rehearse things in her mind before they were actually carried out.
Where have you been, Lily? It's been four hours! I've been worried sick about you! Do you know how long I've been waiting here for you?
I was at a rehearsal, Father, honest...
Don't lie to me, Lily. I know you're lying. I can't tell from your voice. How can a rehearsal take four hours?
I swear, Father. We were playing Mozart. I'm not lying... it was very difficult, and the teacher...

Father please...
Go to your room, now! Right now.
It always ended with a 'go to your room'. Then Darryl would just lean back onto his battered old armchair and speak to Morgan about Lily.
Lily shrugged her thoughts out of her head, and concentrated on getting back home.