Characters: Alice Longbottom, Lily Evans
Disclaimer: JKR owns. I only play. You do not sue.
Length: 499 words
Excerpt: "If anyone catches us, I'll say we were searching for Dungbombs."
Note: Originally written for a contest at hogsmeade_elite; the prompt was to write a Marauders-era genfic (less than 500 words) focussing on girls.
Concrit: Always welcome and appreciated.
"Come on, Alice!" whispered Lily. "We haven't got much time!"
Alice glanced over her shoulder to make sure the common room was still empty, and hurried to join her friend at the staircase to the boys' dormitories.
"Won't we get thrown down like Sirius Black did last week, when he tried to come up to our room?" she asked.
"We won't," said Lily, shaking her head. "The Founders considered girls more trustworthy than boys." She put her hand on the railing and looked back at Alice. "Besides," she added with a grin, "I'm a prefect. If anyone catches us, I'll say we were searching for Dungbombs." She held up the sack in her hand. "I've put some in here just in case."
They tiptoed up to the landing that housed the sixth-year boys. Two doors stood wide open there, and the girls sneaked into the room that belonged to Potter, Black, Pettigrew, Lupin and Longbottom.
It was easy to tell which boy slept where. There was a broken Snitch on James Potter's bedside table, the one he'd always used to show off. Sirius Black's bed had three sets of robes thrown carelessly over it -- no doubt the result of trying to decide what to wear to Hogsmeade that morning. A neat stack of books perched next to Remus Lupin's four-poster, everything from Achievements in Charming to Ancient Runes Made Easy. Peter Pettigrew's bed was the only unmade one; a lonely grey sock hung precariously from its edge. Frank Longbottom's bedside table held a photograph of his parents and a potted dittany plant. He was the only person in their year whose Herbology marks were as high as Alice's.
"Catch!" called Lily, startling her. Alice barely had time to seize the sack she'd been thrown, which contained two sleeping Knarls. Carefully avoiding the sharp quills, she placed one animal underneath Longbottom's pillow and the other under Pettigrew's. Lily did the same with the other three beds, wrinkling her nose as she bent low over Potter's pillow.
The Knarls would wake right around bedtime, and they would not be pleased. Alice would have liked to watch the ensuing mayhem, but she knew she would have to make do with second-hand accounts. That suited her fine, too. These boys deserved payback after the horrible prank they'd played on Bertha Jorkins. The poor girl was still so depressed that all the Valentines she'd received had been fakes. Boys were so cruel.
Alice looked back at the beds, feeling suddenly anxious for Longbottom's potted plant. An angry Knarl would surely destroy it, and Alice didn't think that would be fair. The plant hadn't sent any fake Valentines, after all. Before following Lily out, she cast a quick non-verbal Imperturbable Charm on the dittany pot, and felt her guilt abating.
Years later, as the Cruciatus Curse did its evil work and Alice teetered on the edge of consciousness, one of the last things she regretted was never having told Frank about casting that charm.