Del looked at her computer. She always kept a journal on there - notebooks just didn't last in her destructive hands. Hard to believe I've been here for almost a year already. Well, two terms. I guess that's because I keep forgetting to write home and tell them what's happening. They'll think we're trying to keep it a secret ... which we probably are. After all, it would probably be better if they didn't know what we did to the House staff.
"Del?" Spook came in, looking very pink and sunburnt. "Please kill me now. My parents have just announced that at half term we're going to stay with our family. At the beach. And the weather forecasters say it's going to be the hottest summer in ages."
Del leaned back and looked at her friend, bemusement on her face. "What's the problem? Half term is weeks away, and anyway, beaches are nice. Don't you want to get a tan?"
"Get a tan? Get a tan?" Spook looked absolutely indignant. "It's all right for you to say, Miss Jewish-Blood-I-Never-Burn. But for folk like me ... beaches are like ovens! It's like my parents have finally decided to cook me and eat me to save themselves the trouble of feeding me!"
Del snorted. "I like beaches. You can walk in the sea, or swim. Though if it's Wales you'll need a wetsuit. And you can take photos and read books and if you've got suncream there's no trouble ... unless you're me, and intolerant to sun cream."
"Let me just tell you," said Spook, breathing heavily through her nose, "exactly why you are wrong. Beaches are not nice. They are pits of hell."
"Fine. Go ahead." Delorfinde smiled softly and sat back in her chair, leaving her computer open. It didn't matter if Spook read it. She knew everything anyway. Sometimes, she thought, too much.
"One," began Spook, "it's too hot."
"I guessed that was one of your reasons. Anything else?"
"Let me finish. Two, there are nasty things lurking in the sand that chop my feet to bits. Three, sand gets into places it has no business being. Four, screaming children irritate me. A lot. Five, there's no shade to hide in when I, inevitably, come to overheat in about five seconds. And six, unless you can amuse yourself building sandcastles all day long, it gets pretty dull after half an hour."
"So, sunbathe," said Del. It sounded pretty simple. She liked lying on a towel - for towels have immense psychological value - with a good book. She even liked lying there without one, though she usually fell asleep.
Spook glared. "I thought you were my friend."
"Well, then, you obviously don't know that if I were to sunbathe I'd be the colour of a boiled lobster in about ten minutes, hmm? Damn me and my stupid English skin!" With that, she stomped off back to her room, Del staring after her. Obviously not the best time to invite her over for the summer....