Chapter 9 : A Lake of Lilies
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Something bright was shinning around Alice. She slowly opened her eyes and was suddenly blinded by white. She squeezed them shut again. Am I in heaven? She thought. She covered her eyes with her hands and ever so slowly she parted her hands as to allow her eyes to adjust to the lighting. A dark haired angel was snoozing in a hospital chair next to her. Hospital chair? Alice looked more closely at her surroundings. It was nighttime and she was lying in a hospital bed. The ‘angel’ was Rowena dozing in a chair next to her. But what was the white? A flash of white caught the corner of her eye. She let out a small gasp. Hundreds of delicate lilies had been placed around her bed. Alice could no longer see the polished floorboards of the hospital, for a carpet of lilies had replaced it. Alice sunk into her bed in a state of bliss, this is better that heaven, she thought. Her thoughts turned to the origin of the lilies. Rowena stirred in the chair beside her bed. Realization dawned on Alice Rowena had enchanted the lilies. She smiled at her sleeping friend. Rowena, as if she knew someone was watching her, slowly opened her eyes. She stifled a yawn and lifted her arms resulting in a huge stretch.
“So your awake, Alice?” Rowena asked.
“Nah I’m still sleeping,” a playful smile lingered on Alices face.
“I see the hair potion didn’t ruin your sense of humour.” Rowenas said.
Alice laughed, “How long have I been sleeping?”
“This is your third day,” Rowena replied.
Alice looked amazed, “three days!” she exclaimed, “Wow, what did I miss?”
Rowena retold the story of Alice’s hair troubles. Slughorn had immediately summoned Madam Pomfory to the dungeon, as Alice was in no condition to get to the hospital herself. After an intense inspection it was concluded that Alice has suffered Haartrank. This was a hair disease, which was caused from Spanish mountain goats or, in Alice’s case, Hair Growing potion gone wrong.
The previous night Alice had gone into a fever, and had started murmuring Rowena’s name. Rowena had been called upon and had stayed with Alice ever since. Alices mother had been notified and she was coming to Hogwarts the next day.
“Is Haartrank fatal?” Alice asked.
“It has caused deaths before. Your case was a mild one so it is unlikely occur especially seeing as you have already survived the fever.”
“Geez Frank must feel bad,” Alice said.
At the mention of Franks name Rowena’s face clouded with anger. “He has not visited you once,” she proclaimed. “After you feel unconscious he simply returned to his cauldron and started to clean it up. He kept complaining about the mess the potion had caused! Can you believe the nerve? Everyone is talking about him and saying what a coward he is. In potions class the next day everyone refused to be partners with him. Serves him right.” Rowenas looked at the ground with her fists clenched. Suddenly, as if a blackboard duster had been wiped across her face, her expression changed to wonder. She stared open mouthed at the lilies around the bed. “How did these get here?” she asked.
“You mean they aren’t from you?” Alice looked at Rowena.
Rowena and Alice spent the next few hours discussing who could have sent the flowers.
“Well someone must have put them out while I was asleep,” Rowena said.
“When do you think you fell asleep?”
“Let me have a think. It was fairly early because I had had Quidditch training yesterday afternoon and was really tired.” Rowena paused for a second and then suggested, “So maybe nine o’clock.”
“Ok well that gives us between nine and…” Alice looked at her watch, “…three.” Alice stifled a yawn.
“The possibilities are endless.” Rowena said, “You are liked by so many people anyone could have sent them,”
“I’m not that popular,” Alice said modestly.
Rowenas guffawed, “Yeah sure, two time award winner of little Miss Friendly.”
At the end of each year Ravenclaw gave out three prizes to each year level. The three prizes were for smartness, activeness and friendliness. This was to keep good spirit within the house. It was a secret tradition, which had been hidden from the remaining houses at Hogwarts since the year of 1332.
“You got the activeness award last year,” Alice said. “I could never get that.”
Although Alice was a nice person she was anything but athletic. A little chubby in the cheeks, Alice simply liked watching Rowena play Quidditch, for she truly was spectacular to watch. Alice stopped yet another yawn.
“I think you’d better go to sleep,” Rowena suggested kindly. “You have been sick and you don’t want me to keep you awake with mindless chatter.”
Alice smiled at her and yawned, “Yeah maybe I should get some sleep, Goodnight Row”
Rowena settled into her plastic hospital chair, “Goodnight Alice.”
Alice had almost fallen asleep when she murmured, “Row?”
“Thank you for being such a good friend,”
Rowena leaned over and kissed Alice on the forehead, “Any time.”
The hospital fell into a peaceful lull, one bed was filled and the remainder empty. In the filled bed lay a sleeping blond girl surrounded by a lake of white lilies. Next to the blond girl was a chair, in the chair sat her best friend. The best friend sat there awake and watchful. Protecting her best friend from danger. The best friend was unsure of the dangers ahead but she knew deep down that something was amiss. Some thing, some being out there would cause a dreadful pain on her friend and she would be there to stop it.
*Authors Note* Does the name change ring any bells?!
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