Alice walked up the steps to Malfoy Manor. She banged on the knocker several times. It was very detailed, the head of a snake with the ring coming out of its mouth.
The door swung open itself and Alice stepped inside. It slammed shut behind her.
"Who's there?" screamed a high-pitched voice. Bellatrix came in from what looked like a kitchen.
"Bella!" cried Alice.
"Cissy!" yelled Bellatrix back into the kitchen. "Alice is here!"
Narcissa ran in.
"Alice," she said in a sweet, genuinely welcoming chime.
They exchanged hugs and "hello's" and then Cissy and Bella led her up to the room where she'd be staying.
"Sorry you don't have your stuff," said Narcissa. "We know you left Hogwarts sort of unexpectedly."
"Yeah," muttered Alice.
"Well," Cissy continued. "We sent Severus an owl. He'll bring your trunk with him and then you'll be moving in with him for Christmas break."
Alice nodded. "When is Christmas break, anyway?"
"In a week."
"Well, you go ahead and get settled in, I'll be downstairs if you need anything."
"That Draco boy, he is yours isn't he?"
"Yes, he's my son."
"Nice boy, and very bright. Did you hear he got hit with that bludger?"
"Yeah, I was told they took 100 points from Gryffendor for that."
"Is he alright?"
"Yeah he's fine. Spent the night in the hospital wing and was out by supper the next day."
"That's good," said Alice, trying to hide the relief in her voice.
"It's a good thing Severus and Dumbledor were there . . . or you would've . . . "
"Yeah," said Alice, tears welling up in her eyes. "Yeah, I probably would've." She was now so ashamed.
"Can I . . . get you anything?"
"Um, no. I just need to be alone for a while."
"Alright said Cissy. Bella and I are in the parlor if, you need anything."
"Thanks," said Alice, almost in a whisper. Narcissa stepped out and shut the door behind her.
"Muffilato," said Alice as she curled up on the bed and cried.