In Which Trevor Goes Missing Again
"Alice," she could hear a distant voice calling her name and tried to struggle through the fog enveloping her towards it. "Alice, can you hear me?" The voice sounded familiar, and it definitely wasn't Quirrell, her disembodied mind paused at this thought until she remembered why Quirrell was a threat – he tried to kill them, Ron, Hermione, Harry.
"Harry," her voice was a croak as she opened her eyes. The sunlight streaming through the window was blinding and for a second she saw nothing but the outline of several silhouettes looming over her. "Where's Harry?" More urgently this time as they came into focus and she saw Ron, Neville and Hermione sitting by her bed, Ron looked rather pale she noted.
"He's here, he's safe." The relief she felt at this news was evident in Hermione's voice. Looking over she saw Harry lying in the bed next to her – clearly they had been taken to the hospital wing – intact but unconscious. As she pushed herself up on her elbows to get a better look at them all she realised her arm no longer hurt. Pulling up the sleeve of her nightgown she found that her arm had been completely healed and that the only evidence that there had ever been anything wrong with it was a long pale line of new, porcelain pale skin running the length of her forearm and barely discernable against the creamier flesh around it.
"Madam Pomfrey healed it, she said we'll be fine," Ron was now speaking, "we're all going to be fine." All traces of his head wound were gone, Alice noticed, as he grinned broadly at her. "Everyone's talking about what happened, the whole school knows. We're famous!"
Alice smiled at his enthusiasm before glancing ruefully at Hermione, "I'd settle for just being normal." The three of them laughed at her remark. "How long have I been unconscious for then?"
"Not long, it's nearly lunchtime."
"Really?" If Ron had been a dog his ears would have perked up at this news; as it was his eyes were positively gleaming, "I'm famished."
"Well you can go and get something to eat in a minute, but first you have to tell me what happened. Is the Stone alright? Neville, what happened to you when we left?"
He shifted uncomfortably in his chair as the three of them focused on him, although Ron and Hermione had doubtless heard the tale already. "Well… well I went – went and got Professor McGonagall like you told me to. I told her about the dog and the harp and the door and I don't think she believed me at first," his voice was becoming stronger now, "but when I said you'd all gone down she went really white. Then Snape overheard and convinced her to send for Dumbledore and they all went rushing off to the third floor after telling everyone to stay in the Great Hall. They had forgotten about me so I followed," the way he said it made it obvious he had no idea where he had gotten the temerity to do this from, "and Dumbledore was already there, the dog was asleep and he was just about to go through the trapdoor."
Ron whistled softly in approval, "I always said he was brilliant; how did he know?"
"I don't know what happened after that because he spotted me and told me to wait there."
At this point Hermione took charge of the story. "When did you pass out Alice?" She nodded as Alice told her and then continued. "Well you saw most of it really, but after that Harry hung onto Quirrell and it was as though he was burning him or scalding him or something, but it was hurting Harry too –I'm not sure exactly what happened because it got a bit confusing. Then all the teachers suddenly came running in and I've never seen Dumbledore look so angry, no wonder they say he was the only wizard You-Know-Who -"
"Voldemort," Alice interjected as the others flinched.
"Yeah… well I can see why he was afraid of him. Anyway then he pulled Quirrell and Harry apart and they both sort of fainted and then I couldn't really see properly because all the teachers were around them and McGonagall pulled me away and kept asking if I was alright and then there was a horrible screeching noise and a rushing sound and then…" She paled slightly, "it was like smoke but more solid and it sort of rushed out from where Quirrell was and nearly knocked the teachers over – I think it was… HIM… leaving Professor Quirrell. I'm not sure."
The other three looked very sombre all of a sudden and Alice had a horrible suspicion she knew why. "He's dead isn't he? Quirrell I mean." They nodded and Alice had the odd experience that she had no idea what to feel. He had tried to kill them and help the most evil wizard for generations return to power, so she should be glad he was dead, but at the same time his death was their fault – partly at least and she didn't like how that made her feel. Never mind the fact that she didn't want anyone to have to have died, no matter what they had done, surely there must have been something else they could do?
She didn't have time to ponder it though as Madam Pomfrey chose that moment to emerge from her study, and on seeing that Alice was awake bustled over to examine her whilst shooing out her friends claiming the patient needed rest.
"Bye Alice," Hermione stood up and it was only then Alice realised that she had to let go of Harry's hand to do so.
"You better go and get Ron fed up," she smirked, "otherwise he might pass out again."
After that Madam Pomfrey insisted that she stay in bed, at least fro the rest of the day and, despite all that had happened since she came to Hogwarts, Alice still lacked confidence enough that she didn't dare argue with her. However this meant that she spent the rest oft the afternoon being thoroughly bored as she had finished the only non-medical book in the Hospital Wing within an hour and Madam Pomfrey wouldn't let her touch any of the others. This left her to watch several owls soaring on the updrafts high above the castle through the window, but both the owls and Alice soon lost interest in this activity and she was reduced to watching the dust motes swirl in the light beams thrown by the panes of glass and counting Harry's breathing. Really, she considered as she watched him, it was a miracle any of them had survived at all. She wondered if they would all have gone charging ahead had they known that Voldemort was waiting for them at the other end, no matter how weak. She had a feeling they probably would have, as none of them had really given much thought to what the possible consequences might have been. Well, she qualified to herself, Hermione might have; her friend did always seem to have everything thought out twenty paces ahead of the rest of the world.
"Oi Evans!" She sat up enthusiastically as Madam Pomfrey let in two more visitors after tea time. "Who said you could go off and have fun without us?"
"It's unsporting really when you think about it."
"Especially when we were there when you found the dog in the first place."
"And considering all the trouble you wee firsties got yourselves into you really ought to have taken someone responsible along."
Alice grinned up at the twins as they strode in, ignoring Madam Pomfrey's order that they hush, and plonked themselves down in the seats vacated by Ron and Neville earlier. "When has the word responsible ever been applied to you two?"
They appeared to ponder this for a moment, "Well -"
"There was the time McGonagall -"
"Wrote a letter to Mum -"
"Saying we were responsible -"
"For utter havoc at school." They cracked identical smirks at her as she rolled her eyes.
"Speaking of havoc," Fred nodded towards Harry's prone form, "what's wrong with his scar-headed-ness? Hey," he exclaimed as she swatted his arm, "you're supposed to be sick!"
"I'm not sick, just going out of my mind with boredom. And nothing's wrong with Harry exactly, at least Madam Pomfrey doesn't think there is – he just needs a chance to recharge his batteries."
Both twins stared at her utterly nonplussed and she sighed as she began to explain what a battery was.
"Do you think he'll wake up soon then? It's just we were going to send him a toilet seat, as a token of esteem – it was Mum's idea."
Alice, who had heard a lot about their mother from Ron, seriously doubted this, but she let it pass. "I don't know Madam Pomfrey says it might be in a few minutes or it might be a few days, he -"
"A few days?" They all turned towards the door as the stunned voice spoke. Standing in the doorway looking as though he might be about to explode was the Quidditch Captain Oliver Wood. He had evidently come to see how his star seeker was. "A few days," he repeated walking in dazedly and staring down at Harry, "but the Quidditch final is tomorrow… we're supposed to win."
"I know Oliver, it's tough luck, but it's not Harry's fault."
"We'll just have to try and win without him."
"There's still six people on the team."
Wood's distraught eyes swung from the Weasley's twins to Alice and back again before his gaze suddenly focused and switched back to Alice. "You could do it, you were brilliant that day at training," he was suddenly businesslike but Alice could still detect a note of pleading in his voice.
"What?" She stared at him.
"Aaw come on Oliver, that's not fair -"
"She only just woke up -"
"Although apparently is not sick -"
"But still it's unfair to ask her to do it."
Alice smiled gratefully at the twins as they came to the end of their passionate defence. There was no way she could do it… could she? She couldn't get up in front of the entire school, with the entire outcome of the match resting on her, and not mess it up. She couldn't. She looked up and found all three of them staring at her hopefully, although Fred and George were slightly less blatant about it, and flushed to the roots of her hair. They were counting on her, no matter what the twins said they stood little chance of winning against Ravenclaw without a seeker. Could she do it? Gryffindor was counting on her.
"Alright." The word was out of her mouth before she could stop it.
"Really?" Oliver looked as though Christmas had come early.
Her wide green (or brown depending on who you asked) eyes flicked uncertainly between the twins and Wood for a moment as she tried to decide; there was still a chance to back out after all.
"You were great that day at practice," Fred encouraged, an unusually serious expression on his normally jovial face.
She took a deep breath to clear her thinking, then realised that this probably wasn't one of those things that you should take time to think about. "Sure," she smiled timidly.
"Brilliant, ok then," Oliver immediately began gabbling about all the things they had to do in twenty-four hours to get her match ready and how she should come down to the Quidditch Pitch the minute she was discharged. He then practically ran the length of the Hospital Wing, as the twins chuckled at his antics, to ask Madam Pomfrey when this would be.
"Certainly not!" The three of them heard her outraged cry and moments later she emerged from her office with her face almost as red as the robes she was wearing. "I will not allow one of my patients to go off playing Quidditch when they should be in here recovering."
"But she's not even ill," Wood bemoaned following after her as a look of growing desperation appeared on his face. "Look she's conscious and everything."
"Yes I can see that thank you," her tone was clipped and impatient, "but she wasn't for at least fifteen hours, and she lost a lot of blood so she is going to stay here where I can keep an eye on her. Now out – all of you," she added glaring at the twins, "I will not have my patients over excited."
Wood seemed to collapse in on himself momentarily, but then seemed to be seized with a new idea and promptly marched out of the Hospital Wing, followed moments later – once they had bid Alice goodbye and promised to send her her very own toilet seat – by the twins.
"Honestly," the matron muttered as she looked Alice over suspiciously before returning to her office, "when will people learn this is a healing environment and not a circus?"
This left Alice to lie in bed once more staring at Harry, the ceiling, and anything else she could see feeling alternately bored and disappointed that she had let the Gryffindor team down. It wasn't long however before she heard the quick step of feet in the corridor outside and none other than the headmaster came striding into the room. Walking over to Harry's bed he looked down at him for a moment as though to reassure himself he was still there and in one piece and then moved over to stand by Alice.
"How are you this evening Miss Evans?" He smiled slightly as his bright blue eyes twinkled down at her kindly through thin framed spectacles.
"Fine thank you sir." Her voice came out as a soft whisper in the presence of such a well respected wizard. Why had he come to talk to her? Surely if this was about what had happened he would talk to them all together, or wait till Harry woke up? Perhaps that was it – he had merely come to see if Harry was alright.
"I am glad; it would be unfortunate if something had happened to one of Hogwarts most promising young students."
Alice flushed at his words and tried to suppress the sceptical look that flashed across her face.
"You disagree?" he enquired gently.
"I… I suppose I never really thought about it before… Hermione's the really brainy one, I just like books, in class…" she really wasn't sure why she was telling him all this, a simple yes or no would probably have sufficed
"In class you try not to be noticed am I right?"
Alice doubted if Dumbledore had ever been wrong about anything in his life, it was inconceivable that anyone so… the only word she could think of was awe-inspiring, could be. She just nodded.
"Well," as Dumbledore looked at her his eyes danced merrily, "I'll let you in on a secret shall I?"
Alice stared at him curiously; her old shyness seemed to have returned with full force and captured her tongue.
"I happen to have been sent the marks for some of your exams, and you and Miss Granger seem to be fighting over the top marks in all your subjects."
This piece of news was so unexpected that Alice could think of nothing to say and just kept staring at him – she was aware she must look like such an idiot and of the irony of this fact.
"Yes Harry is lucky he has found such good and loyal friends as yourselves and Mr Weasley. I have a feeling he will need to know who his friends are in the future." Alice didn't like the sense of foreboding that crept over her at his words. "But on a slightly more delightful note I come as the bearer of glad tidings." His eyes, which had been solemn a moment before, were suddenly twinkling again. "I have received a visit from Professor McGonagall who was approached in turn by Mr Oliver Wood. Both of them it seems are of the opinion that you should play in tomorrows Quidditch match provided you are fit and have requested of me that I gain Madam Pomfrey's permission for such an endeavour. What do you say?"
Alice hadn't realised how much she really had wanted to play, even if she did have to get up in front of everyone, until her heart leapt in her chest at his words.
"Yes please," she just managed to squeak the words out before her throat closed up on her again, and there was she thinking her timidity had improved over the past year.
"Well then," the headmaster smiled at her kindly, "That just leaves me to inform Madam Pomfrey of the fact then." As he turned to walk towards the matron's office a thought suddenly occurred to Alice.
"Sir?" It came out as a tiny whisper but he must have had the ears of a bat because he turned to look back at her enquiringly.
"Yes Miss Evans?"
"The – the Stone… What happened to it?" She wasn't sure why she hadn't thought to ask before.
"Ah the Stone," the corners of his eyes crinkled upwards at her question. "The Stone is perfectly safe and has been returned to its rightful owner who will decide what is to be done with it."
"Do you think Mr Flamel will keep it sir?" She didn't realise she'd asked the question until she closed her mouth at the end of it.
"Oh, you know about Nicolas?" he looked delighted at the news, "You did do the thing properly, didn't you? Well Nicolas and I shall have a little chat about that very matter once you have won that Quidditch match tomorrow. Although, " he looked rather bashful, "as headmaster I really shouldn't be so biased about such things." He grinned at her conspiratorially.
"I'll try sir."
As it turned out Madam Pomfrey was a hard woman to convince, but once Dumbledore had decided to do something there was little anyone could do to sway him. Eventually she agreed to let Alice play on the condition that she stayed in the hospital wing that night and came straight back to get checked when it was over. Wood wasn't too happy about this when he found out, but he seemed to realise he was lucky to be getting a seeker at all and so wisely kept quiet on the matter – at least in front of the matron.
The next morning Hermione, Ron and Neville came to the Hospital Wing to escort her down to the pitch – once Hermione had dashed the length of the room to check that Harry was alright and that his condition hadn't somehow deteriorated through the night. "He'll be so upset to have missed the match," was her comment as she smoothed back his hair fondly.
Standing with the team listening to Wood give his pep talk before they went out onto the pitch Alice didn't hear a word of it, or the jokes that the twins kept trying to crack to reassure her, she was too busy trying not to be sick or pass out again. It was as though someone had hit the fast forward button and everything was speeding by so fast that she was getting motion sickness. The match itself was much the same. She was barely aware of the game going on below her – although the upside of this was also that she barely heard the roiling crowd of pupils yelling themselves hoarse in the stands either – all she could think about was that she had to find the snitch. Everyone was counting on her. She had been given Harry's broom for the match which meant that when she did eventually spot the snitch circling the Ravenclaw goal posts she barrelled down the length of the pitch easily outstripping the opposing seeker and she could barely believe it when her fingers actually closed around the tiny golden sphere.
She was barely aware of the stands erupting as the entire team, led by Fred and George, descended on her yelling and cheering. It was with a wrench that she finally had to tear herself away from the celebrations which broke out on the pitch the minute they touched down as she had to report back to the Hospital Wing. When she got there, trailed by an ecstatic Ron and Neville and an anxious Hermione, Madam Pomfrey declared – much to her disappointment – that she looked peaky and had to get straight back into bed. The matron looked so ferocious as she stood there muttering about dangerous sports that Alice didn't dare argue with her, and when they tried Hermione and Ron were soon quelled.
The prospect of spending another interminable day stuck in the Hospital Wing did not appeal, but she had reckoned of course without the twins decamping half the party which had been set up in the common room down to her bedside. Well wishers flooded in to congratulate her at such a rate that she was left feeling quite embarrassed, and was almost glad when Madam Pomfrey kicked them all out.
The next morning she was woken abruptly by an excited squeal from the bed next to her and as she opened her eyes blearily she saw Hermione launching herself at a newly conscious Harry.
"Harry, you're alright! Oh we were so worried you've been unconscious for three days nearly, Madam Pomfrey said you'd be fine but we were beginning to worry and – oh it's so good to see you!"
"Give him a minute Hermione," Ron chuckled from where he was sitting at the end of Alice's bed. "Morning," he said when he noticed her. "Sorry if we woke you, Hermione got a little over excited there." They both grinned as they watched Harry pat Hermione nervously on the back before she released him.
"Thanks Hermione… Is everyone alright?" He looked concerned as he saw Alice in the bed next to him. "Alice?"
"I'm fine," she smile at his anxious face, "Madam Pomfrey's just being overly cautious after…" she trailed off unsure how to tell him.
"What is it?" He looked at each of his friends in turn. None of them spoke until eventually Ron broke the silence.
"The Quidditch final was yesterday mate… Alice had to replace you."
"Oh… oh." For a moment she wasn't sure if he was upset or not. "How did we do?"
"We won," Hermione peered at him as though she thought he might be about to cry, however exactly the opposite happened as a wide grin split his face.
"That's brilliant Alice! I always knew you could do it… the Quidditch Cup for Gryffindor, that's fantastic!"
Seeing that he really was fine about it they all launched into an account of the match for him, with Alice subtly correcting Ron and Hermione every so often as, if they were to be believed, she had won the match single-handed. Their enthusings were interrupted however by the reappearance of Professor Dumbledore.
"If I might speak to Harry alone for a moment;" it wasn't really a question.
Slipping quickly out of bed Alice reached for her dressing gown and padded softly after Ron and Hermione out into the corridor.
"Ron!" Hermione admonished as the redhead tried to listen through the keyhole. "Behave! Besides, I'm sure Harry will probably tell us everything afterwards anyway."
She was right as usual. And although Alice was officially given the all clear by the matron she spent much of the rest of the day sitting by Harry's bed discussing recent events and pondering what would happen now.
"Well I don't care what happens so long as I get some treacle pudding," Ron observed hungrily as they walked down to the end of term feats that evening. Harry and Alice laughed as Hermione exclaimed at his greed, but the sound soon cut off the minute they entered the Great Hall.
"Maybe we should have brought the cloak," she joked nervously as the entire room stared at the in fascinated silence. Then suddenly from the back of the room came the sound of clapping, followed by a piercing whistle – that was almost definitely Fred or George Alice thought with chagrin – and within moments the whole room had erupted into tumultuous applause. Trying to ignore the noise the first years almost ran the length of the room until they found where Neville was sitting and, their faces turning an admirable scarlet, sat down quickly next to him.
As the ruckus died down George lent over and grinned at them all, "glad to see you can enter a room without attracting attention to yourselves."
Alice scowled at him as Dumbledore began to speak. When he reached the point in his speech pertaining to house points three quarters of the room visibly slumped in their seats. But…
"Firstly to Mr Neville Longbottom, for common sense in remembering the crucial fact that we teachers are here to help you all through challenging times, I award ten house points." The entire room seemed to be holding his breath, was Dumbledore really going to change the points?
"Next for loyalty, outstanding courage and sheer determination I award Misses Hermione Granger and Alice Evans and Mr Ronald Weasley and Harry Potter a further fifty house points… each."
Alice didn't think she had ever been so happy; they had done it, they had won the House Cup for Gryffindor! The room had erupted at the news and all five of them had disappeared under a crowd of pupils – not all of whom were Gryffindor – who were trying to thank and congratulate them. When Alice did eventually manage to catch a glimpse of her friends again she saw that Harry and Ron were beaming from ear to ear, tears were streaming down Hermione's cheeks and Neville's face was as red as she was sure hers was. For the second night in a row an impromptu party broke out in the common room courtesy of the Weasley twins, even their stern older brother Percy seemed to be enjoying himself, although he did shout a bit when they climbed onto a table and started to dance. On the whole no one in Gryffindor tower got much sleep that night, although even without the loud celebrations going on Alice doubted she would have slept a wink; so much had happened in the past few days!
As though to make up for this very fact the last few weeks of term seemed to fly by. Exam results came out and they were all relieved to have passed, especially Neville and – rather unnecessarily in Alice's opinion – Hermione who had been sure she would somehow manage to fail everything, much to Ron's amusement. As for Alice herself she was pleased to discover that she had managed to take top marks in Transfiguration – Hermione grudgingly congratulated her on that one – and they had both tied for first place in Charms. After that it was just a case of preparing to go home again, a prospect which neither Alice nor Harry were particularly looking forward to, and having one last laugh at the fact that someone – she strongly suspected two identical someones – had switched all the heads of the statues on the second floor which meant that the teachers had to spend most of the afternoon putting them back again.
"Well I guess I'll see you all next term then," Alice sighed as they were waiting on Platform nine and three-quarters to re-enter the real world.
"I can always see if Mum lets you all come and stay over the summer, I'm sure she would," he stepped quickly out of the way as a group of Slytherin fourth years shoved past them roughly and began muttering about manners.
"I'm sure your mother's probably got enough -"
"Where's Trevor?" Alice turned at the sound of the plaintive wail behind her just as the four of them reached the barrier.
Hermione tutted impatiently. "You haven't lost him again Neville?"
"I'll help you look," Alice offered when it seemed he was about to cry.
Harry glanced at his watch looking worried, "I -"
"You lot go on through, you don't want to keep your families waiting. Go on," she repeated when they seemed about to argue, "you're holding up the queue."
Eventually they acquiesced and with one last hug, much to the boys embarrassment, her three best friends were gone leaving her to help Neville search, once again, for his toad which was finally located hiding under a pile of trunks at the other end of the platform.
"Thanks Alice, Nan would have killed me if I'd lost him, especially on the way home."
"What are friends for?" she smiled at him as they made there way back to the gate and found that there was no longer a queue to get through."
"Well," Neville turned to her once they were on the other side, "I suppose I'll see you in September."
"Have a good holiday Neville," she gave him a quick hug too and turned to walk towards where she had spotted Carol from the Home was standing, but she hadn't gone three paces when he called after her.
"Alice… do you mind if I write to you in the holidays? It's just I never had a friend to write to before."
She turned back and saw his anxious face. "Sure Neville, that would be great," and with one last wave she turned and made her way back to reality.
A/N: So that's it for book one, please R&R to let me know what you think. Also for Harry's conversation with Dumbledore I imagined it ran along similar lines to the conversation in the book sans the bits about how Harry got the Stone from the mirror of course.