Chapter 2 : To Wonderland
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Alice by heartfelt@tda
"Alice! It's half twelve! You need to wake up!" Mum screeched, hammering on my bedroom door. Bloody pregnant women.
"I'm up. Go back to bed Mum. I don't need to leave till three."
The door had already shut before I'd finished my sentence. I took my time, lathering my hair in as many potions as possible, letting all my worries wash down the drain.
Like Albus and James. There had always been a brotherly feud; it's natural. But when James left for Hogwarts, the feud changed to distance. While Albus remained a quiet lad fretting about his future house, James waltzed into Wonderland without a care in the world. He was a Gryffindor, and God did he know it. As the years passed, he got everything: Quidditch chaser, Quidditch captain, all the girls, attention, good grades, natural brains and wit. He even got the Marauder's map!
And then there was Albus. Despite his sorting into Gryffindor, he remained second best. To get good grades he had to work extremely hard, he freaked even at the sight of a broom and his only friends was his work obsessed cousin, a blood-traitor Malfoy and the daughter of Neville Longbottom.
The difference is quite startling.
But the rift hadn't ever caused a fall out this big. No one knew exactly what had triggered it, but following Albus' receival of his OWL results, they got into a gigantic fight. Broken noses and all. There was even rumours of a black eye (gasp!)! Ginny sorted it out, bringing the tension back down to breathable levels. At least until the rumour that James had shagged Albus' recent ex cropped up. This time however, instead of punching his brains out, Albus waited until the Annual Ministry Summer Ball. The details have grown weirder and fuzzier, and as there is no reliable witness, no one can actually tell the press the truth. But the fight that followed that one led to three snapped fingers, a dislocated shoulder, a broken leg, a missing wrist bone, two concussions and both of them being grounded till James' graduation this year.
Magic- you've got to love it.
Though I and Albus had been great friends since we were introduced the year before Hogwarts, me and James had bonded over quidditch. I got along with practically every Wotter, due to the fact I was quite similar to all of them, but with James as my captain and Fred, Roxie, Rose and Dom as fellow players, we got along best. Dom and James were chasers, Fred and Roxie beaters, Rose our keeper (she takes after her dad) and I our Seeker.
Albus despised quidditch. People expected him to be good, just like his dad, because they were similar in so many other ways. The fact of it was that he is good. He simply hated all the things that came in the package deal- blood, injury, training, lack of time and (the horror!) heights. Most of the time he only went to matches because me and Rose insisted, but since the feud I wasn't sure even that would make him stand there and watch us.
Realising that I'd spent well over half an hour in the shower, I switched the water off and dried myself quickly with one of the new underage charms. Since the war, the Ministry had set up a group of spells that under 17 year old witches and wizards could use with no harm being done. Most were simple drying, heating and colour changing spells, though Uncle George had worked in a few for pranking abilities.
Dressing myself in a black school skirt that brushed above my knees, dragon hide boots and a short-sleeved black top with ex-quidditch players fluttering across it, I hopped into the kitchen to make some lunch.
"I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath. Scared to rock the boat and make a-"
"ALICE! STOP SINGING AND JUST HURRY UP!"
Damn. Forgot Mum was sleeping. Shoving the rest of the bagel into my mouth, I ran upstairs to make sure everything was packed.
"Uniform. Cat treats. Cat toys. Clothes. Underwear. Quills. Spare quills. Sugar quills. Sweets. Money. Bikini. Coat. Snitch. Broomstick. School books. My books. Phone. Make-up. Parchment...more parchment." I paused, gazing at the thick wad of parchment shoved in my trunk. Did I really need that much? Memories of me doodling across half of last year's supply sprung to mind, so I let it be.
"Mmm...cookies...coffee flask...sandwiches. Okay. Both bags ready and set." I muttered to no one in particular, grabbing my trunk and throwing my shoulder bag over my back. The next time I'd be here would probably be Christmas, when we'd be getting ready to move to a bigger house along the street. Running my hand along the deep purple wall, I took in every dent and drawing and scribble. Lyrics and quotes and pictures and doodles were pasted all across it, from the Gryffindor team with the Cup last year to a detailed picture of Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. Not my cat- she had grey fur.
The wall beneath my fingertips shifted from deep purple to a glittering lilac, to flawless cream, to midnight blue and back again. My not-quite-double bed was covered in net curtains that glimmered in the sunlight like they held a thousand stars, which carried on winking when darkness fell. A small ivory dressing table sat in the corner, wedged between the wall and my thin wardrobe. A bookshelf sat against the wall by the window seat, a large windowsill with a fitted violet cushion, looking over Hogsmeade and out onto Hogwarts in the distance.
"Alice? Alice, it's gone two. You should get going." Mum called sleepily. Sighing, I lugged my trunk down and out of the flat, not daring to look back.
"Owl me. I want updates Ally. Don't get drowned under NEWTs and quidditch and forget Mummy dearest over here. If you need a few days out of all of the...stuff, just come and visit. Tell them you're checking up on my health or something. I won't mind the company." Mum murmured into my hair, having pulled my into a big hug as soon as I had appeared down the stairs. My hair almost matched hers, though it was lighter by a few shades. We shared blue-ish eyes, tinted green at the edges. But our similarities ended there. I had my grandmother's high cheekbones, my grandfather's quidditch skills and my dad's full and pout-worthy lips. Longbottom pride!
"I'll miss you Mum. Look after my siblings for me, okay?"
"I'll miss you too Ally. Now go on. I'll owl you with any new news from St Mungos. Have fun!"
Sniffing back a few tears, I picked up my trunk (which Mum had charmed to the size of a small suitcase) and walked out onto the streets of Hogsmeade. The train arrived at half four, the carriages leaving at five so the feast could finish at nine-ish. Enough time for me to walk over to the station and read for a while, waiting for Rose and Albus like any other year.
'Today I bake, and tomorrow I brew
The next day I steal the queen's baby-boo
Oh, it's so good, and surely no shame
That not a soul knows Rumpelstiltskin's my name!'
"Alsta!" A voice cried out. My head jerked up from where it was buried in my book, seeing the scarlet train pull up ahead. Rose was waving manically from a window, her polished prefect badge practically blinding me.
"Rosie!" I squealed back, shoving the thick book back into my bag. Dad had taken the trunk when I'd arrived, but I refused the offer of an early lift back up to the castle. Much too boring.
"First years! First- Alice! Watch where you're-"
"Sorry Hagrid! Move it firsties!" I shouted, throwing my arms around Rose just as she appeared.
"Alla! It's been too long!" She wept dramatically into my hair.
"Rose. You saw her yesterday. You had a three hour long conversation with her about quaffles yesterday. I think you're being a little overdramatic."
Me and Rose both turned to face Albus, wearing identical shocked and affronted expressions. Luckily Albus was saved from one of our girlish rants as another fellow sixth year threw himself at me.
I stared at Rose quizzingly, patting Scorpius gently on the back. Poor bloke.
"He had to spend the whole train journey with his cousin Elizia and his future bride Margaret." Rose answered. Scorpius wept a little louder at the sound of Margaret's name. She was a pureblood originally from Greece, and his father expected them to 'join the families'. The only problem was that Scorpius loathed her more than he loathed Ravenclaws, and that's saying something.
"To the carts!" Albus cried, dragging Scorpius' whining figure off of me. Together we were the rulers of Hogwarts! Or at least Gryffindor sixth years.
No. You're right. Scorpius is a Gryffindor. Shocker! It sort of was. There was Albus fretting over getting into Slytherin; little did he know Scorpius was having the same problem. His Dad 'forgot' his allowance for five months, and only remembered†when Astoria threatened to move in with her sister.
"Hey, I'm just going to go and talk to Jason about prefect duties." Rose said, bounding over to the toffee haired (and brained) Gryffindor. He was one of those lads that you just knew barely made it into Hogwarts.
"Hey, Albus? Has..." I trailed off, realising that the boys had been consumed by the crowd around me. "Shit." I muttered, pushing my way through the clusters of third and fourth years. Just as a pale blonde head came into view, my foot got stuck in a small rabbit hole and I went flying. Milliseconds from impact and a strong arm wound around my stomach, righting me on my feet.
"Watch it Lissy. I don't need to be missing a Seeker before we even start the year." James joked, smiling down at me.
"Watch it Jamie. I don't need the clumsy jokes to start this early in Wonderland." I joked back, brushing the dust from my skirt. The familiarity of his nickname for me said that the feud hadn't gotten in the way of our warped friendship. It usually just stayed on the quidditch pitch, as we were in different years, but it still made me smile.
"Hey, Alice! Our cart's about to leave!" Albus called from somewhere behind me. James smiled weakly at me, shoving his hands deep into his back pockets.
"See you later Lissy."
"Right back 'atcha James. Don't worry- it'll work out. Hogwarts can do that to people." I smiled back, skipping over to our cart.
"What held you up?" Albus asked curiously, though the glint in his eyes told me there was something more than innocence in his question.
"Tripped over. How was the rest of your holiday Scorpion?" I asked, pulling the conversation away from me. Scorpius' nickname had originated from my amusement of the similarity of the two words, only to be strengthened by his patronus last year for OWLs. His was a scorpion, and mine was a rabbit. Unfortunately Scorpius had decided to get some revenge, and started calling me 'Bitty'.
"Well, Bitty. Dad had decided to hold a ball, though it was more of a conference with dancing, during the first week. Despite my pure hatred for these things, I was forced into some disgusting green dress robes- yes, green, Albus- and shoved out to dance with half a dozen slutty looking faked-tan girls who all had some twitch going on with their eyes. Wouldn't stop fluttering, you see."
Scorpius' voice trailed into the background of noise as my attention turned to Hogwarts. To Wonderland. Albus didn't understand it, finding 'all those muggle tales' stupid and pointless. Like, why read a story about princesses and true love and happily ever afters when you can read about a warlock cutting out his love's heart to replace his own?
The towers spiralled up into the air, glittering in the rays of the slowly setting sun. After the war, many changes had been made. Both the Ravenclaw and Gryffindor towers now had a balcony that stretched around the top of the spiral. Each house opened with a given password that students would receive following the feast, changed every four weeks. The biggest bonus was the swimming pool that had replaced some abandoned classrooms on the first floor, giving quidditch training a lot of new possibilities other than the usual cross country style jogging around the rim of the pitch.
"Alice. We're here." Albus muttered, tugging on my hand. I snapped my head to look at him, seeing that Scorpius had already jumped over and onto the ground.
"Sorry. Daydreaming." I answered, biting back a yawn. To my surprise, Albus didn't laugh at my knack of 'flying away with the faeries'. Instead he sighed deeply, giving me one of those 'really?' looks.
"Alice. You're sixteen. Maybe you should try living a bit more in reality." He said, leaving me to stumble out of the carriage on my own. Luckily Rose caught up with us, catching me just as my boot slipped half off my foot.
"Sorry guys. You'd already left when I'd finished with Jason, so I caught a ride with Dom, Fred, Roxie and James. Ended up kicking Freddie onto the floor." Rose chirped, linking her arm with mine. Albus flinched at James' name, but didn't say anything else on the matter.
"Oh well. At least you caught up with me before we went in."
Rose nodded in agreement. Ever since first year, when she'd caught me sketching the Great Hall filled with the tea party scene from Alice in Wonderland, it had become a secret of ours. You see, written in the back of one of the many version of 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland', was a question. 'What would your ideal Wonderland be?'
Turns out Hogwarts was both mine and Rose's. Despite the fact she had her mother's brains, and worried almost as much as James over quidditch over work, she delved into the world of Alice almost as deeply as me.
"We're all mad here." Rose whispered into my ear as we passed a bunch of fifth years who were laughing over a Wizard Weasley Wheezes product.
"Welcome to Wonderland." I whispered back as we entered the Great Hall. Regardless of the number of times I'd seen it before, it still managed to take my breath away. The ceiling was dozed with winking stars in an indigo sky, sleepy wisps of clouds fluttering across the constellations. My Dad smiled from his stand by the door, waiting for Hagrid to bring the first years in.
"Come on you two. You have all bloody night to talk. I want to get some good seats this year- it's Lucy's sorting!" Albus called from up ahead, pointing to where the youngest Weasley had just entered. Her sister Molly was a fifth year with Lily and Hugo.
"We're coming. Merlin, you'd think Uncle George had used him as a lab rat!" Rose muttered, bursting into the tale of Uncle George's tests on her brother Hugo. I nodded along, letting the familiar buzz fill me up.
Sibling feuds? Pregnant mothers? Deranged best friends? Just another madness of my Wonderland.
Wouldn't it be awesome if Word could tell you if your story was good or not? But it can't. So I guess I'll leave it up to you guys to tell me what you think.
†Disclaimer- Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling, as does 'The Warlock's Hairy Heart',†Alice in Wonderland to Lewis Carroll and Rumpelstiltskin and Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) to Brothers Grimm. The lyrics are from Katy Perry's 'Roar'.