A/N: I don't pay enough attention to Alicia, and I feel she deserves a story of her own. A story of the friendship shared between my six favourite characters. Read and review, please!
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Everything you recognize belongs to JK Rowling.
At every school there are always groups of students, each with their own quirky members and stand-out characters. Every group has a jokester, a brain, a leader, a listener. Well, I guess that's not always true, but generally that's what happens. Each individual clique has its own array of interesting people, all who mix and mingle together despite their obvious differences. Everyone contributes something different, and everyone has at least one memorable attribute that stands out above the rest.
Everyone, that is, except me.
My school is like any other in the manner of group formation, only I am one of the unlucky ones who doesn't fit into a role. I'm not a brain, I'm not a leader, and although I do a fair job at listening, you'd never catch anyone asking me for advice. Yes, it's fair to say I'm an exception to the usual law of school relationships, and although it pains me to know it, I have come to accept the fact that I am a misfit.
My name is Alicia Spinnet and I am the girl everyone always forgets.
If you've ever seen me before it was probably from afar, and you most likely forgot about me three seconds after you noticed I was there. I tend to fade into the background, left behind...and I'm rarely ever missed by anyone who happens to notice when I'm not around.
I suppose it's understandable given who my friends are…now I know you've definitely heard of these people, even if you have no idea who I am…
First we have Angelina Johnson: Quidditch star and Beauty Queen extraordinaire. She's the perfect combination of tough and beautiful. She's probably the most recognizable female Gryffindor—what with her captain of the Quidditch team status and flowing raven coloured hair. Sure she's a little demanding and has a possessive side, but next to her flawless skin and outstanding athletic abilities, few people can compare.
Next in line is Katie Bell. She's another star Chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and although she's not as gorgeous as Angelina is, she's got her own amazing qualities. Katie Bell has a brilliant sense of humour. She is by far the funniest girl I have ever met, making her the most entertaining person to be around. She's also a bloody genius, and to top it off, she's cute…adorable even. She may not be a super model, but if she had to live on looks alone she definitely could make it by.
Lee Jordan may seem like a sort of side-kick type character, but in all fairness the only reason he's a bit of a tag-along is because he's a tad on the shy side. Unexpected, I know, but very true. Lee's a sweetheart. He's loud and fun-loving and always knows how to make a person smile, but he's also a person you can talk to and really connect with. Because he's got a bit of a sensitive side he's probably the most likeable person around—he's entirely sociable, but only truly opens up to those he trusts.
As if this weren't enough, not only am I surrounded by the resident beauty queen, the adorably fun super-genius, and the social King turned psychologist, I also have the misfortune of being friends with the Weasley twins.
I really shouldn't have to go into greater detail about those two. Everyone knows who the Weasley twins are. The two of them are practically celebrities around here. They are constantly playing practical jokes, goofing off, and wreaking havoc on anyone who crosses their path and they're loved because of it. Yes, Fred and George Weasley are definitely the most famous and recognized students in the entire school.
And where does that leave me?
Stuck in my ordinary life with my mediocre achievements and only slightly above-average looks. There is nothing about me that makes me stand out in a crowd, and certainly nothing that merits my friendship with such obviously superior friends. Even the fact that I am also a Chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch team doesn't suffice. Sure, I'm fairly good at the game, but so are Ang and Kate, and I've already ran through their other winning qualities. Clearly they outshine me a million to one.
It's true: amongst my group of outgoing, happy-go-lucky best mates, I stick out like tiny Charms teacher Professor Flitwick would at Hagrid's family reunion.
Thus, being the outcast I am, while all of my friends are laughing and goofing around next to the lake on Hogwarts grounds, I am leaning quietly against a tree, wallowing in my pathetic excuse for a life.
No one even seems to take any notice of me anyway. Not one of them even cares that I'm sitting alone feeling like the miserable misfit I have grown accustomed to being.
"Fred, stop it!"
I watched my friends in mild amusement as Angelina and Fred ran around in a wide circle at the edge of the lake. Fred was whipping questionable purple mushrooms (ones I had watched him yank from the mud only moments earlier) at her as she demanded that he stop with the most authoritative voice she could muster. It was useless, really. Everyone knew Fred had an ongoing crush on Ang, and he wouldn't rest until he had pestered the life out of her. Ridiculous, really.
Katie was busying herself skipping stones on the surface of the Black Lake, hooting and hollering with laughter when the resident giant squid broke the surface to catch them in its long tentacles. Lee was watching her with an awestruck expression, having always been impressed by Katie's unyielding energy as well as her skilful abilities to out-throw any of us in a match. I knew it was only a matter of time before he jumped up from his seat with George to challenge her to a competition. I reckoned Katie would beat him…again.
George's eyes were on Katie as well, but his attention was in fact on the wad of gum he was currently shoving into Lee's dreadlocks. Lee, being distracted as he was, failed to notice. I laughed to myself as George's fingers tangled the bright-pink substance into Lee's dark tresses. It looked like the lot of us were going to have the honours of cutting out another one of Lee's dreadlocks. We all enjoyed those nights.
Lee, as suspected, jumped up moments after George had finished his task and hurried toward the lake's edge, scooping up stones as he went. Katie didn't glance over as he joined her. She had probably been waiting on him so she could show off her skills. Katie adored beating the boys at anything and everything. She rather enjoyed teasing them.
I let my eyes linger on Katie and Lee for a while longer, before letting them wander back to Fred and Angelina who were still running dangerously close to the edge of the water. I watched on in amusement, wishing I was capable of having as much fun as the rest of my friends.
It was when I let my eyes skim the area that I realized George was looking in my direction. I met his gaze and he smiled. I returned it half-heartedly.
I was mildly surprised that George had even taken notice of me. Usually days like these passed by slowly, with me sitting on the sidelines unnoticed. Sure, George and I were mates, but we didn't usually spend any alone time together. Our relationship wasn't anything like Angelina and Lee's friendship. The two of them were practically joined at the hip (aside from when Ang was preoccupied with getting chased around by Fred). Same goes for Katie and Frederick. The two of them told each other everything, and Katie quite often tagged along with the twins when they went mischief-hunting.
I didn't fit in with any of my friends like that.
Like I said, I was the forgettable one. If for some reason we needed to rid our group of a member, I knew it would be me. None of my mates—George included—would choose me as their closest friend over the others.
George got up from his spot by the lake and jogged over to me as I remained lingering beneath the old oak tree. He was grinning at me as he got closer, and I tried to grin back. I probably looked like a complete loser standing in the distance by myself, and I didn't want George to pester me about being a loner.
"Hey, Leesh," he greeted cheerily, coming to lean against the same tree I was resting on. "What are you doing over here all alone?"
His grin was cheeky, and his eyes glinted with mischief—just as they always did.
"I'm not alone," I said. "You're here."
George smirked at me.
"Well, I couldn't very well leave you here all by yourself," he said happily. "You looked lonely."
I shrugged. "I'm alright."
"Pish posh," he said with a chuckle. "I've never seen someone look so abandoned before in my life. What's on your mind, Leeshie?"
I rolled my eyes at him, but couldn't contain my smile. "George, don't call me that."
He grinned widely at me and sat down with his back against the tree, tugging me by the arm so I'd sit down with him.
"Come now, Leesh. Tell Georgie all about it. Lee's not the only one who's good at listening to people's problems."
I snickered at him. I didn't have any intention of telling George about my woes…I was certain he'd tease me about it relentlessly. He tended to do that to me. What's worse, he seemed to enjoy getting Fred and Lee in on the joke as well.
"Nothing George," I said. "I'm perfect."
"Well I'm not doubting that," George said with a suggestive grin that almost made me gag. "But even us perfect beings have a bad day once in a while."
I didn't answer him, turning to stare out at our friends instead.
"Come on," he said, patting me on the knee. "Tell me about it."
I pondered over that for a minute. I didn't really want to admit my insecurities to any of my friends.
"Leeeeesh," George drawled. "If you don't tell me you're going to end up with gum in your hair as well. And what a shame that would be, such a lovely head of hair you have."
I rolled my eyes at him yet again, but caved and decided it might be good for me to get my distress out. Who knows, it might even help.
I sighed. "Have you ever noticed that I'm kind of the odd one out?" I asked.
George scrunched up his face in obvious confusion.
I shrugged, glancing out at Katie and Lee and Fred and Angelina.
"With us," I elaborated.
"You-and-me us, or everyone us?" he questioned with an evil smirk.
"Everyone, George," I said, unable to keep my mouth from twitching into a smile at his ridiculous suggestive jokes. "I've lost count of how many nights I've spent watching the rest of you run around after each other."
"What, you mean Fred and Ang? I wouldn't really qualify that as all of us."
"And Lee, always chasing after Kates…trying to win back his ego," I chuckled. "And then Kates chasing after you and Fred, always jumping in on your pranks…sometimes I just feel a little left out, is all…it gets a little tiresome being the forgotten one all the time."
George listened to me with a thoughtful look in his eye. He was oddly silent for a few moments. That was a strange occurrence for him…he must have been thinking about something important.
"George?" I asked, quirking my eye at him suspiciously.
"Tell me something, Leesh," he said with that same thoughtful look on his face. "Who do I chase after?"
"And for that matter…who do you chase after?" he questioned, his eyebrows rising in suspicion. "I'd like to say it was me, but to be honest, you can be a little cryptic sometimes—"
"I don't chase after anyone," I said. "That's the point. Like I said, I'm out of the loop."
"I'll tell you who I chase after," George said, talking over me without paying any attention to my answer. "I chase after you."
I was seriously confused now. George's antics always had me baffled.
"What are you talking about, George?"
"You don't give yourself enough credit," he said easily. "Here you are sitting alone watching everyone else run around after each other, and you've failed to notice what's right in front of you."
"Alright, George, I'll bite. What are you getting at?"
He grinned brightly at me.
"Alicia, you are the most ridiculous girl I have ever met," George said.
"Ahh…well, thanks George, you really are great at pick-me-ups," I said sarcastically.
He rolled his eyes at me and pressed his hand against my mouth to silence me as he continued.
"You're a bloody brilliant Chaser—trust me, I know—you're the most loyal person I know, you're so kind-hearted, you're funny and quick-witted, for heaven's sake you even keep me on my toes! …And to top it all off, you're beautiful."
He pulled his hand away and looked at me as if daring me to disagree with him. I didn't, simply because I was a bit bewildered by what he was saying to me.
"What has gotten into you?"
"What's gotten into you, Leesh?" he asked. "You're not the least bit forgettable. Not to us. The group wouldn't be the same without you," he assured me. "I promise. Plus, if you weren't around I'd have no one to chase after. Kate and Ang aren't nearly as fun to pester as you are."
I couldn't help but smile at George then. I guess I had underestimated him. He really did know how to make me feel better.
There was a great squeal from Angelina and Katie a moment later, and George and I turned our heads just in time to see all four of our friends go tumbling into the lake in a ball of flailing limbs and black robes. George's eyes widened in surprise and I immediately began to fall over with laughter.
He jumped up from his place on the ground and held out his hand for me to take. I grabbed it, hoisting myself up, and the two of us hurried over to get a better look at our sopping wet friends.
All four of them were sputtering for air, and George and I doubled over with laughter as we watched them all struggle to tread water with their heavy robes on.
George caught my eye and gave me a wink, and before I had time to react he had reached out with one hand and pushed me into the water with the rest of them.
I broke the surface of the water sputtering for air like the others, and I wiped the water from my eyes with every intention of screaming at George. Before I managed to, though, George yelled at us all to clear the way before performing a spectacular cannon ball.
We all laughed, Angelina clinging to Fred's wet robes to keep herself above water as he struggled to stay afloat holding both of their weight. George resurfaced, shaking his drenched hair into my face and giving me his trademark adorable smirk.
"What did I tell you, Leesh? You're one of us, whether you like it or not," he said, pinching one of my cheeks affectionately.
I yanked my face away from him and splashed him in the eyes. He grinned at me and splashed back, causing a full-on splash war. The six of us wrestled and squealed with laughter as we dragged ourselves out of the water one by one, with huge smiles plastered on our faces.
Sopping wet, we threw ourselves down on the ground at the edge of the lake, still laughing like mad.
George rolled over from next to me, placing a kiss on my cheek.
I grinned at him. "Thanks George," I said, elbowing him in the side.
He returned the favour, and the lot of us lay down on our backs, heads together in a circle.
It was there, staring up at the blue sky high above us, that I realized it.
I knew right then, lying on the grass of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, squished together and laughing hysterically with Katie, George, Lee, Angelina, and Fred…that I, Alicia Spinnet, had found exactly where I belonged.