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Alice stood, half-naked, face pale and eyes wide on the Gryffindor sixth threshold, not understanding what had just happened. It was as if her mind had thrown cautions to the wind and ran off at full-pelt, leaving her body to somehow decide what to do with itself. Bit by bit though, parts of her anatomy began to regain their ability to move, starting with her bottom lip, which began to tremble.



"Oh, Alice,” gushed Lily, wrapping her arms around the now-crying blonde, not able to comprehend what the girl must have been feeling at that moment. Of course, Amelie had only been doing what she thought was suitable, but lord knew Amelie’s anger wasn’t the best thing to be on the receiving end of. If only she didn’t always have to react so intensely to every tiny little thing, then perhaps Lily wouldn’t always be stuck running after them like a mother hen. What she wouldn’t give for someone to look after her for once. “Shh, hun. Here, take a tissue.”



With a flick of her wand, Lily conjured a tissue and handed it over to her blubbering friend, who in turn blew into it with a sound much like a trumpet.



“Shh. There, there, hun.”



“I – I’m s-s-s-so sorry,” bawled Alice. “I d-don’t know w-w-why I didn’t t-tell you all before. I t-thought I-I didn’t need t-to.”



Lily, who had been but a moment ago still hugging her friend, took a step back and looked at the girl at arms’ length. Didn’t need to? The Alice she knew never keptanything back or hidden. Why the sudden change of conduct?



“What made you think that?”



Alice took a few breaths to try and control her voice. “J-just that… I don’t know. I-I mean, Benjy s-said I didn’t need t-to.”



“What?!”



Surprised at her friend’s reaction, Alice looked up. “Yeah, and, I don’t know I guess I just t-trusted him. Was that so bad? He is my boyfriend, you know.”



Still in a daze from what Alice has just told her, Lily, wide-eyed, asked, “B-but you didn’t do anything, did you? Anything you didn’t want to do?”



“Not exactly…”



Lily just froze, unable to comprehend everything that was going on. Darling, sweet, stable, predictable, Alice had – had… she didn’t want to think about it. Was she crazy?! The whole thing was as if the world had decided to tip itself upside down for a day – it was virtually on a par with McGonagall waking up one day with a strong urge to dance the Macarena. It just wasn’t Alice.



“What do you mean, not exactly?!” shrieked the red-head.



Alice winced, for the first time in her life, feeling a pang of compassion for Potter (he had to go through this how often last year?), though it wasn’t near as strong as what she felt for herself. The boys felt they had it bad – she hadn’t ever heard of one person being shot down by both Amelie and Lily in less than an hour. It seems the honour had, so far, been reserved for her and her only. Who else could have such fortune and fantastic timing?



But then, she felt a ripple of anger brew from somewhere inside her. She had been exhausted upon entering the dormitory, and had been looking for a nice little nap, hoping not to wake-up for a good few hours. But no, instead of being allowed to rid herself of this sense of fatigue, her beloved friends had decided to pick, poke and pry at every tiny detail in her life that had happened over the past month – something that they had previously been only too submerged in their own lives to even bother noticing. Honestly, if they cared so much, they would have noticed her empty bed ages ago.



“I’m not discussing this now, Lily.” Alice mumbled, ripping off what little fabric that remained clinging to her body and putting on a nice comfortable jumper on in its place. “I’m tired, angry and not in the mood. Maybe if you come to me in, say, three hours time, you might actually hear something.” And yanking the bed curtains around her, Alice lay down and pretended to go to sleep.








Kyle’s eyes followed Amelie’s back as she stormed out of the portrait hole, leaving the common room in a (very brief) state of shocked silence. Honestly, had she been anyone else, she would have been sent to St. Mungo’s for mental instability long ago. How that girl managed to get away with what she did was beyond him, even if he did know the reasoning behind it. Sighing, he moved to stand and follow her out. Perhaps he could try and calm her down and regain her senses. Before he could pull away from the comfort of the plush Gryffindor armchairs, though, a rough hand pulled him back down.



“What the – “



“Don’t go to her now!” hissed Callum gruffly.



Kyle looked at his made in confusion. “Why not?”



“Because, look.”



A distraught Lily had just appeared at the foot of the stairs, looking around apprehensively, biting on her bottom lip so hard it was looked ready to draw blood. Her face, which was now whiter than chalk and her eyes were wide, giving her the look of someone so entirely lost that it was pitiful, could not have contrasted more to the firm, authoritative look that it had bore merely an hour ago. Kyle’s shoulders sagged as he realised that this time his expertise was needed somewhere else. These girls would be the death of him.



"Go on, let’s go over there and find out what happened before we go do anything stupid.”



Nodding, they both got up and walked over to Lily, leaving the Marauders to mull over their shocked thoughts in silence. Not that they were thinking much clearer. It was beyond them how so much drama had apparently happened without one of the girls even mentioning it to them. Normally they were so close.



“Lily…”



Lily looked as if she was on the verge of breaking down. Her green eyes had lost its spark and her hair looked frazzled from running her hand through it so many times. Callum lightly held onto Lily’s shoulders, steering her to some empty couches in the corner of the room, Kyle tailing them. Lily obeyed the pressure, allowing herself to be directed, having no idea what she was meant to do herself. Where on earth had Amelie gone off to? Sitting her down, the boys sat to face her.



“What happened?”



“Er…” The girls’ eyes darted around the common room, as if looking for a way out of the situation. She needed to get to her friend before something worse came to pass. Callum and Kyle shared a glance, wondering what on earth had been happening today. “Um, it’s nothing really… really nothing.”



Lily, though incredibly distressed, didn’t want either of the boys to get involved. What they would do to Benjy if they found out, she knew, would look none too good on their references – even if the bastard deserved it.



Neither of them missed the fact that her voice was a good few notches higher than its usual pitch. It was disconcerting to see her so distant from her usual calm, collected aura. Had there not been a whole performance right in front of their very eyes, the boys would have perhaps thought that the extremity of last night’s misdemeanours had made Lily on edge, but it was obvious to them both that she had more than one thing on her mind.



“Come on, Lils. Spit it out.” Callum said brusquely, knowing the more he’d give the girl space, the more she would mumble and twitter.



And right enough, Lily’s thoughts hurled out of her mouth relentlessly as if they’d been itching to escape.



“Amelie and Alice had a fight and I’ve been left to play the pacifist again. I’m always looking after them all! Really, I’m fed up of it. Why can’t someone look after me for a change? But no, they’re all too stuck in their own little thoughts of themselves and they can’t seem to think any differently.



“Honestly, Amy’s become more hormonal than a pregnant woman! And I have absolutely no idea what to do with Alice. That girl - absolutely mad, I tell you!”



Kyle desperately wanted to ask what exactly it was that happened to make Alice from the sane one into a deranged lunatic, but thought it was best to perhaps let her continue with her rant. Callum’s curiosity, however, got the better of him.



“Why? What happened?”



“Well…”








Dorcas lay on her bed, staring at the ceiling, in shock. Sure, she knew Amelie was far from tranquil, but she never knew she was that bad. She had never said anything like that to them before. Truth be told, it was quite frightening to watch her blow up like that. Dorcas didn’t like violence much. “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent,” her mother* had always said – something to which she had always agreed. Why resort to violence when you can sort things out perfectly well through a decent conversation?



It was hard to believe that barely five minutes ago she was talking to Amelie about what happened with Remus. Of course, she was ecstatic about it, but still slightly confused. Remus didn’t date girls, really. Well, not much, anyway. He was more the let’s-have-fun-now-and-again type. Truth be told, she didn’t mind that, just as long as it wasn’t her he was fooling around with. Her rant had just been there for her to try and ignore the inevitable, but, as per usual, it came crashing down on her like a ton of bricks. Remus didn’t really like her.



Well, at least he still gave her sweets. That was something. Perhaps she should try and forget about him? Past experience had told her that wouldn’t be too easy. Dorcas, the poor girl, tended to attach all her thoughts and dreams on one person for a long period of time. Sometimes, that happened for so long, that she virtually created her own fantasy man, sticking the real boys’ face on to him. And as hard as she tried, she couldn’t manage to get her mind to think differently – to admit that perhaps he does have a really big flaw. Perhaps he just isn’t for her. Perhaps.



But now was not the time to think of Remus, however tempting that sounded. No, she had to give her attention to Amelie and Alice. Yes, she was shocked about Alice walking in to the dormitory like that, but everyone can make mistakes, right? Everyone’s allowed to trip up now and again. She knew she’d made her fair share of them… not that the others knew much about them, but… why couldn’t Amelie have accepted that? Why did she have to turn so aggressive to her friends? It was all beyond Dorcas, really. It wasn’t exactly like she was a saint.



Poor Alice. What could have driven her to act like that? She was nice! Why would you want to be anything else? The whole word loves girls like that… dedicated, hardworking, pleasant girls. Why couldn’t she see just how special she was? It bugged Dorcas to see just how far people will go to try and get a little self-respect, because it usually ended up ruining it instead. Honestly, everything was so crazy right at that moment that she thought she might as well just go along with it.



Picking up a packet of fizzy sweets from her bedside table, she stood up and left the common room, popping one into her mouth.







 


Thump. Thump. Thump.



Amelie’s legs carried her towards the Quidditch pitch at a sprint. Slightly disappointed, she noted that her muscles were tensing at an extraordinary rate, and after less than a minute, she found that her lungs were finding it hard to keep up the pace. So what if she was on the Quidditch pitch for about half her time here at Hogwarts? She was hardly athletic: she hadn’t run in ages, but then again, these were strange circumstances. Had this been any other time, Amelie would be working off her anger in a broom cupboard, with some other poor, beleaguered soul, but frankly, Benjy had (albeit momentarily) put the idea right out of her mind. She was angry, worked up, and, quite frankly, pissed off. What wouldn’t she give to beat the shit out of something right now? But no, she didn’t want to get expelled. Getting expelled now would mean having to go back home, and lord only knew how stupid that idea was.



So, the girl was doing the next best thing: working off her anger and frustration physically. Reaching the Gryffindor locker rooms, she grabbed her broom, her bat, took a deep breath, and lunged for the bludger.



The ball writhed in her arms, and Amelie fought to gain control over it, trying to use her weight to her advantage. Inch by inch, she crawled along the floor, panting heavily, dragging herself forwards towards the door that led to the pitch. Only one more metre to go...



THWACK.



The bludger somehow managed to push against the combined force of Amelie’s weight and gravity, causing her arms to hit her in the face with terrifying intensity. Her arms, however, had somewhat lessened the pain (that would otherwise have been a bludger straight to the face), but her sight when in and out of focus for a short while all the same. Regaining her conscious, Amelie reached up tentatively to her nose and growled as she felt a hot, sticky trickle of liquid creep down her face. Bloody bludger. Throwing cautions to the wind, she threw the ball out of the changing room, hopped onto her broom and swept up after it, aching to smack it silly for its insolent behaviour.



Insolent behaviour.



Alice.



Gosh, such an idiot. She had to sink herself so low because…? Really, it was so hard to fathom why a girl who has so much respect from the school populace would go and do something like that. It was, really a daft thing to do. Stupid, stupid girl.



SMACK.


 


As the bludger went flying, Amelie tore after it. Sure, she had to do more work when she was playing by herself, but that was the whole point. She’d rather whack the bludger into pieces than be sent to Azkaban for murder... though the thought was oddly tempting.



Not murdering Alice, of course. She may be angry, but friends don’t deserve to be killed by other friends. No, of course not. If she’d murder anyone, it’d be a Slytherin… slimy, stinky, evil, corrupted little –



She’d thought it was a blessing to have the ugly sisters away from Hogwarts this year. Drusilla and Agrippa had certainly done nothing to make her feel better since she had arrived. If anything, their faces were just enough to make Amelie sick to her stomach. But then, she’d have given anything to have one of them stood in front of her at that moment, if only for a target for a stream of bludgers she’d send their way. Oh, she may have been a bit sadistic in thinking it, but she couldn’t help it. The more she thought of how they would act at home… they really did deserve every bit of shit that came their way.



THUMP.



That felt good. She really should do this more often. Lily had been going on for years to get her to find a more “creative” outlet, but the ideas were always ridden down by her superior belief that nothing could possibly be more creative than a good snogging session. She was stumped how she hadn’t thought of Quidditch before, what with loving it so much. Strange…








“Man, this is odd,” Mumbled Peter, referring to the tense silence that was engulfing them. Remus and Sirius both nodded, showing their agreement with the statement. James, however, looked blank as he stared at something.



Lily was talking to Callum and Kyle, looking oddly distressed…. Not very Lily-ish at all. Of course, it probably had to something to do with what had just happened, but… James was confused. Did he want her to be upset and distressed about last night? No, of course not. He wanted her to be happy… didn’t he?



But last night wasn’t entirely his fault. They were both drunk out of their minds. He hardly even knew what he was doing. All he remembered now is kissing Lily. Sad, really, that their first kiss had to happen when they were both drunk; not at all how he’d pictured it. Though, really, things hardly ever come out as you expect them to. Not that it hadn’t been enjoyable. A sly grin crept on his face as he remembered her over him. He really could get used to that feeling.



Shaking his head, he tried to forget about Lily. There wasn’t any point mulling over it. She knew where he stood – had known ever that stupid stunt he’d pulled last year. If she wanted something to happen, all she had to do was give a sign.



Looking over at Remus, Sirius and Peter, each with grim faces, he felt a pang of frustration. They were the best team of Gryffindors that had entered the school in years! It pained them all to see the house so obviously stewing in mistrust and - dared they say it – hate. He could see that Remus, Sirius and Peter were also thinking something along the same lines. None of them knew how all of this had crept up on them. Why, but a couple of hours ago they were lolling around on the sand, singing merrily and drinking a bottle of whiskey. Each of them knew that they had little to do with the events that had happened, but that didn’t mean that they wanted their mates to be broody for the rest of the month.



Sirius looked over at James, and they shared a look. Wordlessly, they came to the conclusion. Gryffindor sixth definitely needed a pick-me-up.








Alice sat in the girls’ dormitory around dusk, eyebrows still furrowed and fists still balled, letting go of steam in the form of a long list of colourful adjectives that even she had not known existed. She didn’t care much about what her mother would think if she saw her in the sate that she was now. In fact, she found that she would be sadistically pleased over seeing her mother squirm in horror at the drastic change in her daughter. No-one ever thought that Alice would ever do such a thing, because Alice was always so incredibly boring and predictable all the time.



Well, she’d show them.



She wasn’t going to be rational and sensible anymore. She wasn’t going to be the girl who timidly put her hand up in class, waiting to be asked to answer a question only for Sirius or James to shout out the answer like they were bored and they wanted the lesson to be over. No more grabbing the spotlight from her. From now on, Alice would position herself centre-stage, and god hath mercy on that person who tries to move her.



Sitting up, Alice sat up and tore off her blankets. Sliding on her slippers, she walked over to her dressing table and set about getting herself to look as dolled up as possible, like she had for every night the past two weeks or so, all the while determined to make something of herself. The irresponsible feeling that she had been relishing once again took her over, and by the time she’d finished, she could hardly recognise herself. Muttering a quick disillusionment charm, she hid herself from view, and stepped out of her dormitory, heading for the boys’ seventh. 





 
*quote by Isaac Asimov



[A/N] Okay, so it’s really short, but I really couldn’t do anything else. It’s just a quick overview of everyone’s feelings and emotions really. You know when you have too much fun, it just all goes bananas? Yeah, well that’s what’s happening at the moment. Please tell me what you think of this chapter. As you can see, Dorcas and Alice are finally taking a more prominent role in the story. Please tell me what you think about them. And do remember please that these lot are a bunch of sixteen/seventeen year-olds, so no, their emotions are not stable at all. Thanks to all who have reviewed so far! I really do appreciate it! Mucho huggles!

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