Quote Originally Posted by frimble3 View Post
You may be right, the scene with the solicitor might be stronger if she's met him before. Esp. considering that the boy has such a strong reaction to him - if the solicitor is truly a stranger, it's going to seem over-the-top.
Or, maybe this is when your MC finds out that the solicitor is the kind of adult who is nicey-nice to adults, and treats kids like lower life-forms. But, if he doesn't talk about his hand (I get the reference, I think) don't dwell on it. It's not the kind of thing that polite people would bring up on a first meeting.

There's no need to mention the portraits, etc, immediately, I think. In the fuss of moving in, and checking out the house, it usually is a 'big picture' kind of thing: where are we going to put our stuff, where's the kitchen, who gets what room, etc.
(This might be where it would be useful for you to have pictures of their previous house, and the new one - so you can see the differences the family would notice. Especially if they come from a 'cookie-cutter' suburb.)

This would also be a good time to show your MC as someone up for an adventure - willing to go off with a kid she's just met, resourceful and competent enough to free his leg when it's trapped. And, the kind of kid who, when seeing a stone with weird writing on it, would pick it up and take it away, rather than a) running to tell an adult about it, or b) leaving it where it is, as her own little secret. Or, c) shrugging and forgetting all about it.
This would give us a brief look at your MC's strengths and weaknesses, as well as suggesting that Something Is Coming.
Thanks for your comments. One or two comments.

1. The solicitor is stiff towards everyone, not just kids. (And neither the MC nor anyone else actually brings up his prosthetic hand in the conversation - the MC notices it at their first meeting, but doesn't mention it.)

2. The MC does tell an adult - her father - about the stone, as well as showing it to him; his work involves early British history (including the Viking era) and she's hoping he'd be able to translate the runic inscription on it. (She thinks of it as most likely either a historical artifact or a fake - though wondering, either way, what it'd be doing out in the woods by the foot of a large oak tree.)