Well I'm afraid,
it doesn't make me smile,
I wish I could laugh, 
but that joke isn't funny anymore.

- The Smiths

-- September, 1977


I gazed up at the girl looming over me. Why, for the love of Merlin, was she referring to me as Mary? And who in Merlin’s name was she?

“Erm,” I began, “I was…erm…”

What was I doing, she’d asked. Well, I was cowering under my duvet trying to get my head around the fact that I had woken up in a dorm surrounded by people I’d never seen in my life, when I’d gone to bed the night before surrounded by my bleeding friends.

“You were what? Checking for kneazles? No matter, I’ll never understand you Mary.”

There it was again, Mary. Do I look like I’m bloody called Mary? What kind of a name was that – it was like something you’d call your gran. Is she not wondering why there is a stranger in her dorm? She was shaking her head at me, muttering to herself.

“I’m going for a shower, I suggest you get up, lessons begin in an hour and I don’t want to be late for breakfast on the first day of term.”


I watched as this girl, this strange girl who thought I was called Mary and didn’t seem to notice anything was out of the ordinary, stalked towards the bathroom and slammed the door closed behind her.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. It was times like these that I could really do with Lacey around. Where was she anyway? Glancing around, I decided my best option was to get up, get dressed, and find Lacey.


Common room. Nothing different here. Just a few sleepy looking third years milling around rubbing their eyes. Maybe it was a dream, and I’m not going crazy. The door I’d come out of was definitely the door to the seventh year dormitory, so I had definitely not been sleepwalking. Probably a prank, then, I decided.

Oh, and there’s James, decending the boys’ staircase. Same old ruffled up black hair. Same old glasses. Same old James Potter, son of the famous Harry Potter. Best friend of my sworn enemy, Sebastian Barton.

“James!” I exclaimed, as I bounded over, relieved for the first time that morning to see a familiar face.

“Oh, good morning Mary,” he said, running his hand through his hair to make it even more messier.

“There it is again!” I cried, slapping a hand to my forehead in annoyance.

“What?” he asked, taking off his glasses whilst he rubbed his eyes.

“You called me Mary. Why did you call me Mary? Is this some sort of prank you and Sebastian are pulling, because if it is I swear to Merlin that I will –”

“Woah, slow down Mary,” he was looking at me like I’d grown three heads, “I called you Mary because…because that’s your name. And who is Sebastian?”

I blinked at him. Oh har, har. Very funny James. Now cut the crap.

I said that to him.

He just blinked back at me.

“I don’t have time for this,” he muttered, running his hand through his hair again and scanning the common room, “Lily not with you?”

“Who’s Lily?”

“Oh you know, Lily Evans. Love of my life. Your best friend.”

Why was he looking at me like I was an idiot? I am not an idiot. I am just majorly bloody confused right now.

“No, Lacey is my best friend.” I stated slowly.

“Look, Mary, I don’t care who your best friend of the week is, I’m not getting involved in your girl drama. Just…just move out of my way will you, I’m bloody starving!”

I obliged, and let him past. What is with this Mary thing anyway? Have they all conspired against me to make me feel like I’m going mental? Is it really some elaborate prank? Well if it is, it’s not a very good one. Heck, even I could come up with a better prank than that. I mean, come on, they’d had all summer to think up decent pranks and that’s the best they could come up with? Really?

As I stood at the bottom of the boy’s staircase, mulling the situation in my head, I suddenly felt a strong pair of arms encircle my waist, and a breath tickle my ear. I froze. What. The. Fuck?

“Guess who?” a soft voice murmured in my ear.

“Er…Sebastian? Is this all part of the prank?”

In an instant the hold on my waist disappeared and a haughty looking boy with shaggy black hair appeared in front of me, gazing at me as if in disbelief.

“Sebastian? Who the fuck is Sebastian, Mary?”

“Sorry,” I said, taking a step back, “who are you?”

“You’re unbe-fucking-lievable, Mary McDonald!”

And with that, the random guy span on his heel and marched through the portrait hole. Which slammed closed behind him noisily. Bet the Fat Lady would have his head for that one!

Whatever. I shrugged. If they were all going to play this game, placing random girls in my dorm, making random guys touch my waist, and calling me bloody Mary, then to hell with it – two can play at that game.

I’ll just pretend Mary was always my name anyway. They’re just trying to goad me, and I’m not rising to it. Like Lacey said last night, I’m going to be the bigger person. And if I see Sebastian, I will be that bigger person, and ignore him.

I set off towards the great hall, assuming Lacey, Gemma, and Charlotte had headed to breakfast extra early this morning. As I stormed moodily through the corridors, a voice met my ears.

“Mary – wait up!”

I turned, a fake smile fixed on my face as I forced myself to relax, and play the game.

“Hey,” I said, pretending I knew the girl.

“Hey yourself,” she responded, catching up to me, “you look like you’re in a slightly less weird mood now. I’ve just had bloody Potter hounding me as soon as I left the dorm, honestly, he’s like a dog with a bone!”

“Mhm.” I responded, helpfully, as we reached the doors to the hall.

Whateverhernameis pushed open the doors and began to lead me to the Gryffindor table, but I stopped, staring up at the teacher’s table.

“Is that….is that McGonagall?” I asked.

“Well…yes, of course.” She was eyeing me uncertainly, as if I was crazy.

“Has she….done something to her hair? She looks….younger…”

With that, the girl burst into hails of laughter. Shaking her head she dragged me to the table and plonked me down on the bench as I continued to gaze up at McGonagall in awe.

“Honestly, Mary, it’s like you’re on a different planet! Oh, hello Black.”

“Morning, Evans.”

I glanced up. The boy from the staircase was stood before me. I beamed at him. Play the game remember, Marissa?

“Hey, er, Black!” I said. Funny name, Black. Or is that his surname?

“So you’re calling me Black now Mary?”

“Well, that’s your name….isn’t it?” I asked unsurely.

Whateverhernameis – Evans? – was glancing between us, confusion clouding her features.

“I would have thought, McDonald, that we had progressed to greeting one another on a first name basis, now that we’re dating and all.”

Ah, so now they’d upped the game a bit and were paying this guy to pretend he was my boyfriend. Fantastic. Brilliant. Note the sarcasm.

I could roll with that though. Like I said, two could play at that game. However, since I still didn’t know his first name, I’d just have to give him a pet name for now. Cringe. At least until someone else addressed him by his first name.

Where was Lacey anyway? And everyone else for that matter? I still could not see one familiar face in this hall, minus James Potter’s, who was strolling in at that moment. He flung himself down next to…Evans?...and threw his arm around her shoulder easily. Were they ‘dating’ too? Very elaborate this prank.

“Good morning, Lilykins.” He beamed at her.

“My name is Lily.” She snapped, shrugging his arm off her shoulder. Lily, fantastic. At least I’d found out someone’s name. So she was the Lily that James was on about earlier. My supposed ‘best friend’.

Whateverhisfirstnameis Black, my ‘boyfriend’, was tapping me on the shoulder. Do you know how irritating it is when someone taps you persistently on the shoulder, at eight o’clock in the freaking morning?

“What?” I snapped, spinning to glare at him.

“Mary, can we talk? Outside?”

I softened my glare as I remembered the game. Roll with it, remember, Marissa? Pretend it doesn’t bother you!

“Sure, hun.”

The pet name must have worked, because he grinned, grabbed my hand and pulled me from the hall, leaving my stomach growling in our wake.

Once outside the hall, Black/Hun rounded on me, eyes blazing.

“I don’t know what kind of game you’re playing here Mary, but it needs to bloody stop!” he yelled.

“Game?” I retorted, eyes wide, “You started this bleeding game, Black! And I'm afraid that this joke isn't funny anymore!”

“There she goes again, the infamous Mary McDonald, turning around the blame on her nearest victim as usual!” he hissed, taking a step closer to me. I blinked at him.

I was so freaking confused.

“Who the hell is Sebastian, Mary?” he suddenly asked, his voice forced calm but revealing a hint of danger.

“The little prick who legged me up last night and is now probably involved in this elaborate prank!” I exclaimed, hands flailing.

“He did what?” Black/Hun asked, his face creasing in confusion, “he legged you up?

“Yes, he legged me up.” I reiterated.

“What do you mean, legged you up?” His face changed, fury returning to his features, “is that a bloody euphemism Mary? Has this guy been touching you up?! My girlfriend? He has the nerve to touch the girlfriend of Sirius Black?!”

Bingo! I’d got his first name!

“No, no, Sirius, I mean he stuck out his foot and tripped me, you idiot!”

How pompous was this guy though? I bloody hoped it was for show, an act, as part of the prank…because dear Merlin, he definitely thought himself some sort of big shot. ‘He has the nerve to touch the girlfriend of Sirius Black’ who says things like that, seriously?

Suddenly, Sirius was inches away from me, lifting my chin and running a thumb tenderly down my cheek. What the fuck? This guy is clearly bipolar.

“Did he hurt you, babe?” he asked, softly.

“Er, no...just pissed me off royally, really.”

“But you’re okay?”

“Yep, fit as a fiddle!”

Sirius smiled and let his hand drop from my face.

“Do you want me to sort him out?” I considered it. It would be entertaining to watch this random guy ‘sort’ Sebastian out. But how did I know this wasn’t a trick? It was all part of the prank, wasn’t it? And anyway, I wanted to be the one to sort Sebastian Barton out. It had to be me.

“No, Sirius, it’s fine. Let’s just…let’s just go to class, okay?”

Sirius nodded and I allowed him to lead me to class – assuming we’re even in the same class, which could well be very unlikely since I’d never noticed the guy before today. I ignored the growling in my stomach as I realised I’d missed breakfast entirely. It was barely even nine o’clock in the morning and it had already been an eventful day. I pushed away that thought and replaced it with the joy that Lacey would be in the classroom, and I could give her a piece of my mind.

I pushed open the door to the transfiguration classroom with a smug look on my face and barged in, heading towards our usual table.

But when I got there, I realised the girl sat at the desk was not, in fact, Lacey, but some randomer. And as I turned, I realised that the rest of the students in the class, were not, in fact, the usual students who took the class with me.

“Sirius, I think I’m in the wrong classroom.”

“What are you doing Mary? Come and sit down.” He was seated at the back of the class, patting the chair next to him as I gazed at him in confusion. I felt eyes watching me from all angles. Probably because I was stood like a lemon glaring down at this random girl for no reason.

“Mary McDonald, sit down at once. I trust you can find your own seat? Or perhaps it would be more useful if I were to transfigure Mr Black and yourself into a map? That way, one of you might be sat in their correct seats before the lesson is due to begin.”

I blinked at Professor McGonagall, and watched as Sirius slid out of the seat he was reluctantly sat in and offered it up to me. I seated myself and he walked sullenly to the front of the class and sat directly in front of McGonagall. That was where she placed all the students she had to ‘keep an eye’ on.

As McGonagall began the lesson, I allowed my mind to wander.

Why was everyone acting so strange? Why were they calling me Mary? Who were all these people suddenly pretending to be my friends, and where were my real friends? And how, just how, had they conned Minerva McGonagall into joining in the fun and referring to me as this bloody Mary McDonald character?



Really excited about actually working on this story, hope anyone actually reading enjoys :) I know the concept is a little confusing, I get confused writing it myself, so if I do mess up anywhere and it doesn't make sense please let me know! 

If McGonagall's first line sounds familiar to you, it's likely because I adapted it from the film. 

Oh, and Marissa thinks she recognises James (Prongs), because he looks exactly like James (the second, Prongs' grandson). 

Please feel free to share your thoughts. 


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