Part 3 ~ The Appearance of Angsty Sue (Or Maybe Angsty Sooz)

      Mary Sue ran to class, checking her timetable and map.  She managed to get there just before the bell rang, so far so good.  Mommy Sue had called her first thing this morning to give some last minute advice.  When Mommy Sue was at school (she'd hung out with The Famous Five and helped them solve all their mysteries) she had been able to get away with being mouthy because of her Sue heritage, so she'd encouraged her daughter to misbehave.  This would appeal to the rebellious element in the class.

      For the first time in her life, it occurred to Mary Sue that Mommy might be wrong.  It was her second class with Mrs Madigan and she didn't feel like mouthing off to the evil old battleaxe.  In fact, Mary Sue suspected that if she did, she might be put on detention.  And even worse, that she would actually have to attend the detention.  That was not an appealing thought.

      So she stayed quiet and actually tried to work for Mrs Madigan's lesson, and for the first time in her life she made no effort to draw attention to herself – although she couldn't help herself from looking at the two Important People in the class a couple of times.  One was Julie Gaffney, the other was Russ Tyler.  For some reason they weren't looking at her, she didn't understand it.  They should be looking at her, she was a Sue, and therefore needed attention.

      Her final lesson before lunch was History and it was there that Sue's luck finally changed.  Mr Jamison divided them into groups of six for a project that would take the next two weeks.  Sue had been put with five Important People, Adam Banks, Charlie Conway, Julie Gaffney, Lester Averman and Luis Mendoza.  This was a huge stroke of luck.  She did not know Mr Jamison had done this because her records showed that she was abysmal at History and her five study-buddies would hopefully even out her score.

      Sue helped move the desks around so the group had enough space, then took a seat, she had intended to sit next to one of the boys, most notably Adam Banks, since her dorm mates had told her that he was the best player, but somehow ended up between Julie and a wall.  That was ok, by the end of the lesson Julie would be her new best friend.

      "Hi," she said in a cheery tone to them all.  "I'm Mary Sue."

      "I'm Julie, this is Adam, Charlie, Luis and Averman."  Julie pointed around the table.  "So, my suggestion is that we divide the work now, we all do our own research – tonight preferably," at this point she eyed Luis and Averman sternly.  "And then in tomorrow's lesson, we discuss what we've got so far and then come up with an interesting way to present it.  Naturally we'll fluff it out over the next two weeks."

      Sue was stunned.  She was finally in a study group with Important People and they were actually talking about school work?  Didn't they want to talk about her?  And what was up with that introduction?  Why hadn't they asked where she was from and why she transferred mid-term?  Weren't they interested in her at all?  Were they broken?

      "Sounds like a plan, Cat Lady."  Charlie replied.

      "A very boring plan."  Averman muttered, but on catching Julie glaring at him, he hastily added, "not that it's your fault.  History: boring, Cat Lady: not boring."

      "Why do they call you Cat Lady?"  Sue asked, hoping to turn the conversation away from work.

      "Reflexes."  Julie replied quickly, then turned back to her text book.  "We could always meet in the library after classes, I want this project underway and then out of the way as soon as possible."

      The class was interrupted by a knock at the door.  Sue recognised Meme instantly.  "Sorry to disturb your class, Mr Jamison, but Mary Sue is to come with me to the office immediately."  Meme then turned to grin at the Ducks at Sue's table.  They gave her nervous smiles in return.

      Mr Jamison rolled his eyes.  "You're making the work up in your own time."  He told Mary Sue.  "Now go."

      Sue was convinced that she heard Charlie mutter a very sarcastic "brilliant" in a low tone as she gathered her bags and got to her feet.  Why now?  She was just about to break into the Important Circle.  What was so important to drag her away from that?

      "I'll see you in the library later?"  She said.

      "Ok.  We'll be there after dinner."  Adam replied, turning his attention to his text book.  Nobody else acknowledge her as she left.

      "Great."  Julie groaned, as soon as Mary Sue left the classroom.  "We get stuck with some airhead who doesn't even stay in the class for the full hour.  I bet I'm the one who has to catch her up – that's if she actually shows up tonight at the library."

      "I think she probably will," Luis said.  "She was eyeballing Banksie."

      "Another member of your fan club."  Averman chortled, elbowing Adam in the ribs.  "I think you've got so many now that their combined intelligence is high enough to spell your name."

      "Shut up, Averman."  Adam sighed.

*~*~*~*

      "What's this all about?"  Mary Sue asked Meme, once they were out of the classroom.

      "I have no idea."  Meme replied.  "But the Dean is not happy.  You've got a call on his personal phone line.  It's an unlisted number, so whoever's calling you has contacts in high places."  She snorted sarcastically, but it was lost on Mary Sue.

      "Well, Mommy and Daddy Sue are very important people."  She replied sniffily.

      "I'm sure they are."  Meme said in a very bored tone as they reached the office.  "Why don't you go in alone?  I'll just stay here with Q and we'll hide under our desks.  Like I said, the Dean's a little annoyed about this phone call."

      And sure enough, Q was sitting under the desk, still manically stuffing envelopes like a good DUFF worker.

      Mary Sue rolled her eyes at them and let herself into the Dean's office.

      "Knocking is a luxury in this day and age."  He sighed, holding the phone out to her.  "One that most of my students don't understand."

      Mary Sue nervously took the phone, more than a little worried by the Dean's low and unthrilled tone.  "Hello?"

      "Manners, too."  The Dean added sadly.  "Some might even apologise for the inconvenience."

      "Darling?"  Mommy Sue sounded upset, and Mary Sue's heart started to pound nervously.

      "Yes, Mommy?"

      "Oh, darling, it's so awful.  That poor, poor girl…"

      "Mommy, what is it?  What happened?"

      "Your cousin is a hero.  She saved the world."  At this point, Mommy Sue broke into loud wailing sobs.

      "Mommy?"

      "Marietta Suelina is dead!"

      "No!"

      "Yes, darling, it's true.  She faced Lord Voldemort alone and she died saving the world.  Draco Malfoy is heartbroken… as are everyone who ever met her."

      Mary Sue gasped, hand on heart as tears began to leak from her (currently dark, verging on black) eyes.  "She… can't…"

      "Oh, darling, she can.  It's so awful."

      "But…"  Mary Sue ran out of words.

      "Be proud, your cousin saved the world."

      Sue dropped the phone and backed out of the office, knocking over an end table as she went.

      "Hey, Sue, how'd it go?"  Meme queried, at the same time that Q asked, "So, was it Bob Dole?"

      Sue ignored them as she ran out to the courtyard.  Outside, she needed to be outside.  Coincidentally, it was at this moment that the bell rang and students were pouring out of their classes.

      "WHY??"  Sue screamed at the sky.  "Why, God?  Why did you have to take her from me?  She was my best friend!  I hate you, God!  Why did you curse me?"  And then she collapsed, the sobs overwhelming her.

      Julie, Luis, Averman, Charlie and Adam had come to a dead halt when they came out of History and saw Sue cursing God.  Finally Averman found the words.  "Twenty percent of our final grade rests on the shoulders of a lunatic who is screaming at the sky."

      Luis summed it up better though.  "We are so screwed.  Why'd we get lumbered with the crazy chick?"

*~*~*~*

      It was safe to say that Sue hated Eden Hall.  She had cried in the courtyard for an hour and not one single person had comforted her.  In fact, nobody had come near her.  They had all skirted her, with an air of great caution.  Some people had even pointed and laughed.  It had got to the point where she would have even been happy to be comforted by Charisma or any of the other FUFF people, or whatever they were called.

      When it became apparent that nobody was going to comfort her and Sue realised that she was really cold, she had gathered her bags and headed back towards her dorm, not bothering to wipe her face – maybe someone would ask her if she was ok, if they saw her bloodshot (icy grey – because that shows the red better) eyes.  But nobody did.  Not even the geeky kid with braces that had tried to talk to her in the line for the dorm room yesterday.

      Star and Charisma were in her dorm room when she got there.  They were curled up on Charisma's bed, staring at the TV intently.  "1993!Duff, there is no bad."  Charisma said cheerfully.

      "And 1993!Gilby too.  And Slash."  Star grinned.

      "Add Axl to that list and we're breaking up."  Charisma replied.  "Hey, Sue."

      Sue burst into tears again.

      Star visibly panicked, and dug Charisma in the ribs, silently begging her to deal with the tears because she was terrible at such things.

      "Um, Sue, are you ok?"  Charisma asked tentatively, while Star just stared at her.

      "No, I'm not.  I'm very depressed."  Sue replied in a very small voice.

      "Right.  Star, let's go watch this in your room.  Unless Q is watching Holes."  Charisma decided.

      "If she is, lycanthrope wouldn't mind letting us watch Estranged there.  Or Carla, she loves the song."  Star said getting to her feet and ejecting the tape from the VCR.  "In fact, Carla will still be in the office, so let's go to her room."

      And within seconds, the two of them had cleared out of the room, leaving Mary Sue alone again, and wondering what had just happened.

      They did not come back.  Nobody even poked their heads around the door to ask if she was ok.  It was just plain rude!  Finally, it occurred to Mary Sue that she wasn't getting any attention from them.  She decided that this was probably a good thing.  They were Unimportant, after all.  It must have been the grief that made her consider that they would actually be tolerable as comfort-friends.

      She checked the clock, it was almost time to meet the Ducks at the library – this was much better.  She could cry on Julie's shoulder – or even Adam's.  She got up from her bed, and brushed her hair (silky red with coppery highlights when the light caught it), straightened her clothes, but again did not bother to wash her face.  It would be a good starting point if someone asked why her face was all blotchy.  With that done, she grabbed her bag and headed towards the library.

*~*~*~*

      "So, plan of action?"  Julie asked.

      "Heads down, study hard, no eye-contact."  Averman, Luis, Charlie and Adam responded quickly, ignoring the look that the librarian threw their way for daring to disturb the absolute silence in the room.

      "With a bit of luck she won't even show, she looked the flaky type."  Charlie added.

      "And if not, our study group will resemble a scene from One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest."  Averman commented.  "I'll be McMurphy, Adam can be Chief, since he doesn't talk so much, Charlie can be…"

      "Averman, stop casting us into your fantasy."  Julie complained.

      "And you can be Miss Ratched."  Averman added under his breath.

      "I heard that."  Julie glared at him levelly.

      "Hello everyone."  A sniffly voice interrupted what could have turned into an argument.

      Everyone grunted an approximation of greeting in her direction without meeting her (delicate violet) eyes, then turned to Julie hopefully.  Since Julie was the most no-nonsense Duck of the group, she had been unanimously voted She Who Deals With The Psychotic New Girl.

      "Um, Mary Sue, we've divided out the work, why don't you start here…"  Julie passed over a text book and pointed out various passages that Mary Sue was to read through and then research further.

      Mary Sue sniffed dolefully in return and sank into her seat, her lip quivering.  A single glistening tear escaped, and ran down her face, landing with a soft plink on Julie's text book.

      Julie ignored it and turned back to her own work.

      Mary Sue didn't understand, she was crying!  Why weren't they comforting her?  She sniffed again.  Nothing.  She tried again, this time, bringing a hand up to wipe away another tear.

      "Mary Sue, do blow your nose."  Averman commented distractedly.  "History is bad enough without having sniffs in Dolby Surround Sound in the background."

      A new tactic was called for.  "My name isn't Mary Sue."  Mary Sue decided.  "I want you guys to call me Sooz."

      "Ok."  Luis replied absently, not looking up from his book.

      "S-O-O-Z."  She spelt out, for clarification, just so they knew she was different.

      "Ok."

      The newly renamed Sooz, was stunned.  She was crying, and now she had a really cool name and still they weren't paying attention to her.  What the hell was going on?

*~*~*~*

Thanks to:

Meme ~ You're a star now and yay, I got you right!  And Charisma didn't lick Carla, I did.  *grins*

eriks ~ Thank you, oh conscience of mine.  So, when's the next part of DUFF out?  And I really want to set the mini-ducks on Mary Sue (or Sooz, as she's decided to go by now).  I'm pretty sure that Aberman has grown fangs just thinking about her!

KShyne99 ~ Glad you're liking this.  Sometimes you just need to see a Mary Sue put in her place.  At times I want to write her a little nicer, but then I remember how she's killing the fandom.  She must be tortured.

allie ~ Thanks for the feedback.  I'll make sure that Sue gets what's coming to her for hacking your brain.  Rest assured!

Kristine ~ Here's the update!  I'm quite proud that you have to fight not to laugh at school when reading this!  I promise your fics will be reviewed as soon as I have some spare time on my hands.  I do most of my writing during my lunch-hour from work.

Flat*Out*Crazy ~ You're so right about Adam!  I noticed his nose on the front cover of D1.  Soooooooo scary.  How can a human have such a big nose?  Maybe he's part elephant?

Sasky Elf ~ Are the real people usually like that?  I'm not sure.  Meme says I got her character right, I've known Charisma and Carla for years, so I hope I got them down quite well.  Schiz and lycanthrope are fairly new friends of mine, Eriks too, so I hope I got them right.  Q is Q, she often says random things, I could never be as funny as her, so I usually just cut and paste her randomness into the fic.

lycanthrope ~ Hrmm, not sure if a Bash Fangirl is the only way to be, but I can certainly see the appeal.  I'm sorry that I made you a gym assistant, I was running out of places to put the DUFF students, and I'm sure you don't smell like feet, I think Schiz was just being evil.  We like being evil.

Graceful Fall ~ Isn't it fun being nasty to Mary Sue?  She deserves to die!

Charisma ~ Ahh, my fellow Duffluster, I'm sorry that ff.net ate your review.  *hands over Oscar*  Have an Oscar for the energy that went into it anyway.  And of course it's Harry/Hermione, Draco/Mary Sue.  Didn't you know that in the final year of Hogwarts Hermione will show up having spent the summer in California and is now all shiny hair, tanned skin and big boobs?  And Mary Sue (or Marietta Suelina) is just so pretty that she can turn Draco straight – after all, she is part Veela!  I didn't actually know that it was obligatory to give Hermione a makeover in Mary Sue fics until I started reading the pottersues journal at lj.  It's a fountain of information.

Music nimf ~ I hope Mary Sue (or Sooz) will grow as a person by the end of this fic, but I doubt it.  She is evil, after all.