I was surprised when Mel was the next to speak. Not only was she one of the quietest, she also didn't seem like the most forthcoming - in fact, if anyone was likely to back out of saying anything, it was her.
"Umm," she began, nervously. Everybody turned to look at her and she flushed scarlet. "My name is Mel. My step uncle raped me when I was twelve, my parents hated me and abused me for years, my boyfriend died instead of me when trying to save me and I, uh, ended up getting stabbed by the king of the fairies for breaking their so-called rules by being alive past the age of seventeen. Because I had powers. Which I didn't even know about until it was too late..."
There was a long silence. Alex winced. "Sh*t. That didn't go down well."
Sarah was looking at Mel with pity on her face. "I can ... sympathise," she said softly, so that only Mel and I could hear. The others were too far away. "It's very difficult to recover from something like that. And it's brave of you to tell us."
Mel nodded, sniffing back tears. "Sorry. I don't mean to be so pathetic. I'm not normally one for crying."
"Pathetic?" said Sarah, looking at her new friend. "That's not pathetic. If anyone has a reason to break down it's you, Mel."
Delorfinde suddenly looked extremely uncomfortable. "You know, I never went into detail like that," she said. When we all stared at her, she added, "It sounds a lot worse out loud. I never meant ... I mean, in my defence, I thought she was fictional. I didn't expect her to walk into my room and yell at me for screwing with her life."
"You thought I was fictional? Oh, thanks, Del. That really makes everything better. You know, why don't we just kill you and then say that we thought you were fictional?" Mel was on her feet; Alex put a hand on her arm and tried to calm her down.
"Guys. Please." I motioned that they should sit down. "I know this is going to be difficult for all of us. It's hard to make it through a session like this without a few arguments. But I don't want it to get out of hand, all right? You have to try and resolve things by talking."
Mel sniffed. "Because the Dagda totally did that."
"Hey, can I just ask something?" It was Shard that was speaking, looking up from his whispered conversation with Rachael. "Only, this Dagda. Um. King of the fairies? Like, are we talking little fluttery things here? Because last time I looked, fairies didn't actually exist..."