Saturday was a very busy day. Girls were rehearsing for the Christmas show, playing lacrosse or going out Christmas shopping. A few wise souls were making an early start on their packing, or at least on tracking down all their belongings. Films were being shown in the big auditorium. Sam and Lauren spent the morning watching the junior lacrosse team who beat their opponents by 4 goals to 2. Becky scored a hat-trick! Sophie stood alongside them also cheering for the team. Miss Fox was surprised to see her chatting happily with Sam and impressed by how much support she was giving the team. She decided that next term she would allow Sophie to re-join the junior lacrosse squad.
In the afternoon a big gang of them went out to the town. They had decided they would have a bit of a party in the common room that evening, and that required food. There was also Christmas shopping to be done. Poppy and Izzy stayed behind at school rigging a laptop and speakers so that there could be music to dance to. Kipper was tasked with removing the Twister set from the third year common room, a task she achieved with aplomb.
That evening the school seemed to be full of noise with all sorts of parties taking place in various common rooms. The mistresses opted to ignore the noise unless things were clearly getting out of hand – such as the lacrosse match they discovered taking place inside West Tower. The North Tower first year party was deemed a big success given that most of the first years in the school seemed to have put in appearance at one stage or another. By the time she fell into bed that night Sam was exhausted. And they still hadn't caught the sneak.
On Sunday everyone seemed to have run out of energy. People hauled themselves out of bed at late hours and mooched around until lunch time. After lunch the common rooms were full of tired girls content with quiet amusements. Most of the North Tower first years were sitting taking in their common room.
"I can't believe our first term is almost over" said Sam.
"Yes" agreed Kipper, "and won't it feel strange to go back home?"
"It's been a great term though" said Poppy.
"Apart from that sneak business" said Izzy "I'd love to know who did that. I bet it was somebody here".
The first years looked at each other as though searching for signs of guilt. In truth although the sneak business had gradually faded from conversation nobody had quite forgotten it. A lot of those present were keen to find out who the culprit was, especially the girls who had been through the Saturday afternoon detention organised by Mrs Reeve.
"Well I don't suppose we'll ever find out who it was" said Natasha in practical tones. "So we'd might as well forget about it. Unless anyone wants to own up of course"? They laughed uneasily looking thoughtfully at each other. Natasha smiled and continued. "Well at least Lauren and Sam are friends again".
"When were they not friends?" asked Lucia, "I did not know they had fallen out".
"Nor did I" said Becky, wrinkling her forehead in conclusion. The other girls looked similarly perplexed.
Natasha seemed to have gone a bit pale. "Really?" she said casually, "I thought you knew? Sam accused Lauren of being the sneak"!
"Only because you told me she was" said Sam indignantly. "Or at any rate you told me she'd gone off on her own the evening before Mrs Reeve found us out".
Lucia looked thoughtfully at Natasha "well Natasha liked to make trouble between you then. Because I do not remember Lauren going anywhere that evening".
"Nor do I" said Charlotte, who looked rather thoughtful.
"Natasha liked to make trouble" repeated Lucia. "I think it was her that said there must be a sneak. Then she says it was Sophie. Then she blames Lauren".
"I do not like to make trouble" said Natasha furiously. "Why shouldn't I say there was a sneak, we all thought it. And I only said it was Sophie because we all thought that. And if anyone likes stirring up trouble, Lucia, it's you. You keep trying to set Sam and Lauren against each other over this lacrosse business".
"Well it isn't my fault Lauren was so cruel".
"I've apologised for that" said Lauren. "And at least I was cruel in public, I don't go standing outside doors like you Natasha. When we came back into the dorm that time, after the game we won 4-1, you must have been stood outside listening to the conversation".
Sam had been finding the whole exchange a bit tiresome, it didn't seem to be much more than a pointless cat fight. Suddenly though, she sat bolt-upright. "Yes and the whole thing that started that conversation was you pulling me aside and telling me that Lucia was trying to split Lauren and I up".
Kipper glared at Natasha. "It was you wasn't it, the whole thing. You accused Sophie, you accused Lucia. You accused Lauren. You keep popping up whenever the matter is discussed. In fact you're more interested in publically discussing it than anyone else in this form. To draw attention away from yourself. You are the sneak aren't you"?
Natasha was red faced with rage now. "Well I don't know what you're so proud of yourself for Kipper. If you made a bit more effort to include everyone in your fun and games then maybe there wouldn't be such a problem with jealousy in this form. All these tricks that you plan with the other girls in Grayling One that are in your dormitory. You didn't care about leaving me out. What was I supposed to do? Accept a life of invisibility"?
It was Natasha, Natasha was the sneak. The girls looked at each other, what should they do about her? Of course Kipper was their leader in most matters but she couldn't be in this, not after Natasha had blamed her like that. "It's true" admitted Izzy "we were leaving you out a bit I guess".
"Don't be so pathetic Natasha" said Kipper. "You could just have said you felt left out, why spoil it for the whole form? We were all having fun".
"It wasn't fair though was it?" said Sam, forcing the words out nervously. "Mrs Reeve said the whole thing was bullying in the first place".
"You see" said Natasha "that's why. Because it was bullying".
"Oh don't be ridiculous" snapped Lucia. "You thought it was funny when it was happening, don't pretend you didn't. You wanted more tricks the same as everyone else. You just wanted the attention on you for a change".
Natasha dragged herself to her feet and ran out of the room crying. "Well that sorts that out then" said Poppy "I don't think there's any more to be said about it".