I woke up to sunlight pouring beneath my closed eyelids and a heat slowly warming my frigid body. It took me a moment to adjust to the fact that I was lying under a thick blanket that was wrapped around my body in snugly layers. There was a bang and I heard laughter and a slightly snide voice until someone shook me roughly out of my hidey-hole.
“You, new girl,” the voice barked near my ear. “Get up. Its sunshine out and there’s plenty of work for you to do.”
I didn’t move until someone snatched the blankets off me and more sunlight filtered under my now half closed eyelids. I sat up and rubbed the sleep out of my eyes so I could see and heard laughter.
“Fell asleep with your robes on? Good. You’ll be dressed for it,” the same voice laughed stridently and I heard several other voices join in the ringing chorus.
“Dressed for what?” I managed to murmur sleepily.
“Why, you don’t think we let you in here just to mope around, did you? You can start with making my bed.”
“And mine. And don’t forget to pull the covers on tight; I like to crawl into a nicely made bed at the end of such strenuous days,” another, equally piercing voice chimed in.
“Strenuous days? You mean you spend the whole day trying to get Tom to sleep with you,” a breathy voice sounded.
“Flirt!” The strenuous-day girl whined in defence of her apparent promiscuity, or at least devotion to one man.
“New girl!” The first voice screamed in my ear and I opened my eyes fully, wincing at the bright room and unfriendly faces that surrounded me. “Get up!”
` “I’m up, I’m up,” I murmured, stumbling out of bed and feeling something crunch beneath me. I lifted up my foot to find what used to be a chocolate squished onto the carpet and my foot.
“Good. Now make our beds and then get dressed properly. You look like a Gryffindor.”
I looked over to see that the voice that had pulled me out of my comfortable bed was a tall girl with sharp, regal features that dominated a pale face and that were framed by long black hair that fell to around the middle of her back. Regal girl looked over at me and crossed her arms, staring pointedly at something behind me and tapping her foot.
“Well?” She said snottily.
I looked behind me. There was a four poster bed, same as mine, sitting behind me, and its covers rumpled and torn out of their folds. I groaned inwardly and walked over slowly to start making it. While I was painstakingly replacing every detail of the beautifully made beds I had seen last night, the regal girl sat down and started to talk with the other girls in the dorm.
“First day of classes starts two days from now. Think you’re ready?”
“Ready? Are you kidding me? I bought the textbook, looked on the first page and got lost. I mean, seriously. Who wants to learn about defence about the dark arts?” Devoted girl whined.
“Well, no one expects much of you, Corinne. All we expect is that you manage to have at least one guy get a peek up your skirt by lunch,” the breathy voice whispered again. There was laughter.
The next bed I walked over to gave me a clear view of all the girls who were talking. I snuck a look over at them as I tucked the sheet in. The petite girl with the light brown ringlets who was sitting on the side of the bed, pouting and looking slightly hurt, had to be Corinne.
“Don’t be so mean, Trysta. After all, you’re no innocent yourself,” the harsh voice reprimanded a snobby looking dirty blonde with perfectly straight hair and a stick skinny body.
“No good Slytherin is.” There was a new voice now. All of our heads snapped over to the doorway. A tall, broad girl stepped into the room and the girl with the regal features stood up. “Rowena, darling,” the broad girl boomed, holding her arms out.
“And hello to you, Beatrix. I’m surprised you made it into the common room today.”
“Well, I have my off days and on days,” the girl named Beatrix shrugged.
“No curses or hexes?”
Beatrix shook her head, a semblance of a grin pasted on her rough face.
“Not even to little sister?”
“Definitely not. My mother’s been on my case all summer. You’d think that stuffing Ariel down a well and putting on the cover was criminal or something.”
There was slight laughter. I noticed that Trysta and Corinne looked rather scared of Beatrix, but that Rowena greeted her like her long lost sister. Beatrix’s eyes glanced carelessly over Trysta and Corinne, and came to rest on me, the brown orbs piercing frighteningly into mine.
“Who’s she?” Beatrix rumbled, tilting her square jaw in my direction.
Rowena whipped her head around, sending black hair flying, and scowled ferociously in my direction. “New girl! Get back to work!”
Beatrix guffawed. “Well, well, well! New girl! Too bad I’m not in sixth year, or I’d be whipping your hide for standing here and staring so disrespectfully at your superiors.”
Rowena was still glaring at me, so with my head down, I scurried over to the next (and last) bed and began picking the coverlet off the floor, cheeks flushing a deep red. In my head, I added jerk before shaking it out. Where was Meaghan now, when I needed her? Had I underestimated these humans?
“Now I’d better get going. There are some Gryffindor first years that need to be scared out of their little minds before breakfast.” Beatrix burped loudly and patted her stomach. “Rowena, I expect I’ll be seeing you soon.”
“Course,” Rowena sneered. “D’you think I’d miss the first day of the first years?”
“Not a chance.” Beatrix gave a cruel grin with an equally cruel snigger to match. She paused before exiting and gave curt nods to both Corinne and Trysta. They returned with little half bows, but Beatrix had smashed her way out of the doorway before they could finish.
Now the room was much quieter and emptier. Everyone’s eyes turned to me and I swallowed as I tucked in the last cover over the last pillow. All six beds were done perfectly.
“Show more respect, new girl, or I’ll have you cleaning the toilet with a toothbrush,” Rowena hissed, her face contracting. “Beatrix will hex you to a bloody pulp if you don’t treat her properly. She deserves the best respect, understand?”
I nodded silently and stood up, my legs already shaking with exhaustion. I felt my muscles tighten painfully as I yawned, rubbing my eyes blearily again. Trysta sat down in front of a large vanity mirror and began to brush her hair so that it touched her butt.
Rowena threw a pair of black robes at me and I sputtered, the black fabric filling my mouth. I pulled it down and saw her glaring at me, Corinne and Trysta already standing by her side.
“Get dressed for breakfast, new girl,” Trysta snapped.
I began to pull my dirty robes over my head as they walked to the door and swore silently in my head. What prats. I can’t believe they were so mean to me. Wasn’t it great that I had ended up with such perfect roommates, who were so kind and caring? Damn.
Rowena paused at the doorway and turned back around. “Oh, and new girl?”
I stopped. “Yes?” I whispered hoarsely, fearing that she would get Beatrix to beat me up.
“We get to be sisters all year long. Isn’t that just perfect?” Rowena smirked, flashing me a sneering grin. She slammed the door and left me alone in the dorm room, with six neatly made beds and sunlight pouring from the open windows. I looked around at the ominous surroundings, as beautiful as they may be. They reminded me of the pain I would have to endure; emotional and physical; whether I was Dovie or not.