D4: Mary Sue Annoys The Ducks

Mary Sue comes to Eden Hall and finds out that she’s not perfect, people don’t hang off her every word.


Characters: ,

Genre: ,



Length: words

Notes: I couldn’t sleep, I had a really rotten Mary Sue fic stuck in my head, and the Ducks’ real reactions to everything she bloody did in there too. I have to write this.
For some reason I’m going with Sue as her name. Maybe it’s laziness.

Disclaimer: Real people will pop up in this fic, notably Schiz, lycanthrope, Eriks, Meme, Q, Carla, Charisma and myself. I make no claim to either owning them or getting their personalities right.

Published: 15/10/2003 • Updated: Updated: 2 Nov 2003

One: The New Girl aka Pretty Sue vs Mrs Madigan

As Mary Sue entered the class, heads instantly snapped up to take in the beauty that is Sue. Or at least, they were supposed to. Maybe they didn’t hear her come in. She slammed the door loudly to get their attention. The class took one look at Sue, one look at the furious Mrs Madigan and then returned their attention to their pop-quiz.

“Hi,” Sue said in sugared tones. That should at least get their blood racing.

Mrs Madigan turned her furious glare up a couple of notches. “Is there an emergency?” Mrs Madigan’s tone was tight, radiating barely restrained fury that her class has been interrupted, not just once by Sue’s entrance, but three times, when Sue slammed the door and then had the audacity to speak. “Because I can’t imagine any other reason someone not in my class would interrupt my teaching.”

“But I’m Mary Sue!” Sue exclaimed, her lip quivering. What’s going wrong? Why was Mrs Madigan being so mean to her? She was a Sue!

Mrs Madigan raised one eyebrow.

Mary Sue mimicked the action simply because she can. She’s gifted. Sue took the silence as encouragement to speak again. “I’m Mary Sue, I have many nicknames, such as Razor, Ace, Ice, Blade… things like that. You can call me whatever you—”

“Silence!” Mrs Madigan thundered.

Mary Sue’s lip quivered again. She simply didn’t understand why Mrs Madigan was being so nasty to her. This was the part where the entire class was supposed to stop what they were doing and pay attention to her. She hadn’t even got to the part about how she was a member of the choir, a gymnast, a cheerleader, a hockey player, a baseball player… and all the rest of that stuff. People needed to know how talented she was. Didn’t Mrs Madigan understand that?

“So you’re Mary Sue? Is there any particular reason why you’re joining my class halfway through? Was September a bad month for you? Could you not join school with the rest of your peers?” Mrs Madigan asked.

“Um, no, it’s just that people like me have to make an entrance,” Mary Sue explained. And it’s true—every Sue in the world has to. All of her various cousins, brothers, sisters, aunts, parents… they all made great entrances. She was merely following tradition.

“Take a seat next to Kelly, she will lend you a text book. Start at chapter twelve and read as much as you can, you will see me after class about getting you caught up in class,” Mrs Madigan snapped.

“But…” Mary Sue floundered. “Aren’t you going to let me introduce myself? I’m a very interesting person who likes to share more than any normal person would about their lives…” Mary Sue paused. “And shouldn’t you assign me a seat next to a boy? And maybe someone fanciable as my study buddy?”

“Ms Sue.” Mrs Madigan glared down her nose at Sue. “I have no interest in your hobbies, I am a teacher. If your classmates wish to know more, there is a good deal of free time outside of school hours. They all have mouths and means of communication. As for your learning, I’m now your study buddy.”

Sue quivered once more and reluctantly took a seat next to Kelly, who pushed a text book her way. She glanced around the room, Kelly did not seem very Important. Sue, being Sue, knew there was a group of people in this class who were greatly Interesting and Important and Kelly was not one of them. It seemed deeply unfair that she had started so badly. Didn’t Mrs Madigan understand the Rules of Sue?

“Ms Sue, I do believe I ordered you to start reading.” Mrs Madigan’s voice floated over to her.

Mary Sue let a single glistening tear roll down her perfectly shaped nose.

And nothing happened. Not even Kelly, sitting next to her noticed. Sue did not understand this. Never once had she cried without having a flock of people around her, hugging her and telling her she was beautiful and wondrous and not to cry.

She flashed her watery violet eyes at Mrs Madigan, in the hopes of maybe touching the humanity inside.

“Ms Sue, if you do not start reading chapter one this instant I will assume that you are not fit to be in my class—or any other at this level and demote you to the Middle School.”

So Mary Sue read. She found that she did not know her designated reading already, neither did the knowledge flow to her on an immediate intuitive level. What was going wrong? Was she at the wrong school? Her parents had told her endlessly about how easy their school days had been. Why was Sue finding it so difficult?

After class, she spoke with Mrs Madigan, who was still being completely horrible. Mrs M drew up an extensive schedule of after-school study sessions, gave her a text book of her own and told her to spend the rest of her natural life in the library if she wanted to get through this class with a pass.

It was on the tip of her tongue to say “But I’m a Sue!” again, but the memory of Mrs Madigan’s indifference stopped her. She merely took the book and the list and made her way out of the class.

Mary Sue was surprised to see that nobody had waited for her. It didn’t matter that she hadn’t officially met anyone yet, she had been told by Mommy and Daddy that people would be queuing up to befriend her. One of the Important People should really have waited while Sue spoke with Mrs M. They could have said something like “Wow, that was way harsh,” and Sue could have replied (something witty, naturally) and a friendship would have started from there. A friendship that would naturally lead to an introduction to the other Important People and most probably love.

Sue glanced at her timetable. She had to be in Biology in ten minutes. All she needed now was a person to guide her there. Preferably an Important One. Ah-ha! She spied someone who had the look of Importance, he was tall with brown hair and was wearing a green hockey jersey. She walked up to him, smiling slightly and tossing her hair—a sure-fire way to get attention—and…

He walked straight past her.

Sue blinked, unsure of what had just happened. She had smiled, looked pretty, her waif-like-yet-strangely-muscular figure should have really gotten his attention, it was so rare to be skinny, muscular and voluptuous at once. In fact, damn near impossible.

She glanced around again, thankfully spotting some more Important People. There were two this time, both tall with dark hair, though one had longer hair than the other, they were both dressed in rocker attire. Sue smiled again and tapped the arm of the nearest one (slightly shorter than his friend, and a little less toned), just in case they were so caught up in conversation that they might miss her. Ordinarily, such a thing would never happen, but Sue wasn’t having the best of days so far, and it didn’t hurt to err on the side of caution.

The guy in question looked rather annoyed at being tapped mid-sentence. “Yes?” he said impatiently.

Sue blinked again. Why was his tone so cold? She was just an innocent new girl asking a question. “Um, hi. I’m Mary Sue.”

“Fascinating.” He turned back to his friend. “So anyway, Gilby was in a biker bar and some guy comes up and says ‘hey, you’d be great in the Guns n’ Roses video’…” He reluctantly stopped his conversation again and turned back to Mary Sue, as she was persistently tugging at his sleeve. “Yes?”

“It’s just that I’m new.”

“Ah,” the other boy said. “New girl. Thought so. You have that look.”

“And I need to get to Biology over in Lab 5. Could you maybe take me there?” Mary Sue asked, wondering why they weren’t thrilled to hear the words ‘new girl’. Weren’t they just dying to know where she was from, who she was, what she did and every intimate detail of her life?

“No, I can’t ‘take you there’,” The boy replied impatiently. “I’m going to English over in K13 which couldn’t be further away from Lab 5 if it was on another continent!”

“Look kid, just go down this hall, do a right, go down the stairs, a left, a right out of the main doors, across the courtyard to the other part of the building—that’s the science department—and Lab 5 is over there. Each lab is labelled clearly on the door. Didn’t they give you a floor plan?” the other boy said. His tone was not exactly curt, but it was certainly not friendly.

Mary Sue thought back to her induction earlier that morning. Yes, she had been given a map, but Mommy and Daddy Sue had assured her that people would be tripping over themselves to show her around and help her learn the ropes. For an agonising moment, Mary Sue thought she might cry again. Ordinarily she would, but to be ignored for crying twice in one day might break her fragile heart.

“Um, thank you…” She trailed off, hoping they would introduce themselves, thus starting a friendship.

They did not. The taller boy turned to his friend, “So what did Gilby say?”

And with that they left Mary Sue all alone to figure out how to get to Lab 5.

“Dude, that was cruel,” Fulton told Portman, his tone stern, though his eyes were smiling.

“I asked if the girl had a map, she said she did. If she had half a brain, she’d double check it before taking my word for it. That’s what I hate about these new kids, they don’t figure anything out for themselves, and why the hell are there so many of them recently? I swear to God this campus has doubled in size since the start of the school year.” Portman retorted.

“And why do they target us?” Fulton pondered. “It’s always a member of the Ducks—or sometimes Varsity that get stuck with them. They never bother any of the other kids in our classes, what’s up with that?”

“It’s a friggin’ mystery.” Portman sighed. “I wish I knew their secret, then maybe you and I could actually finish a conversation one of these days.”

Forty minutes later Sue arrived at class. Suffice to say that things were not going well.

Two: Co-Ed Dorms and Why They’re Not An Option For Minors

Mary Sue was on the point of breaking down in tears and bellowing that she wanted to go home. Nobody, not one single person, had complimented her today. Nobody had asked her how she stayed so skinny, or how she got her hair to shine just so, and nobody had even stared into her eyes, as if trying to fathom the exact colour. This baffled most, as her eyes were apt to change colour with her moods. She suspected they might be a dark and stormy blue at the moment, given her inner turmoil.

And she’d had to queue! Her! Mary Sue! Whoever heard of a Sue stuck in line for seventy-two minutes? She knew exactly how long she waited because there had been nobody to talk to. Well, a geeky type of kid with braces on her teeth behind her had tried to strike up a conversation with her, but she had merely rolled her eyes (icy grey at the time) at her. She was a Sue, not a geek. The two did not mesh. She was destined for conversations with Important People, not some random geek who was queuing up to see the Dorm Supervisor!

Finally she reached the front of the queue. “Hi, I’m Mary Sue,” she said in her most chipper voice. “I’m here to find out which dorm I’m in.”

“I’m Schiz,” the Dorm Supervisor replied in a dreadfully bored tone. “I have got no idea what’s wrong with you girls at the moment. Why the heck do you keep turning up in the middle of the school year, going to class and then coming to see me about a dorm room? Do your parents not read the letters that the Admin Department send out? All dorms must be arranged before term starts—whether or not the student is present.”

“Oh,” Mary Sue replied in a quiet tone. “But Mommy told me I was to go to class, make an entrance, and then I would make a friend, and then by some strange twist of fate that someone would be my dorm mate.”

Schiz rolled her eyes. “I’m going to get myself a sign,” she decided. “A nice big sign about six feet wide and it will read: If you can’t read a letter, you can’t have a dorm room. Of course, you girls will keep on turning up, but at least I will have vented my frustration.”

“I don’t have a room?” Mary Sue’s lip began to quiver again.

“Luckily, you do, but we’re running out fast. You’re in Block D, third floor, room 15.”

“Is it a boys dorm?” Mary Sue asked eagerly.

“Mary Sue,” Schiz said in a very patient tone. “How old are you?”

“I’m fourteen,” she replied with a smile. Finally someone was interested in her! “I’m an Aquarius, and—”

“Fourteen,” Schiz interrupted. “In some states you are four years under the age of consent, do you really think we’d let you room with a guy?”

“Well, my cousin, Marietta Suelina—she’s part Veela—roomed with Harry Potter,” Mary Sue said tentatively.

Schiz sighed. “Mary Sue, have you ever shared a changing room with a boy after Phys Ed?”

“Well, no because that’s naughty. They might see me while I was getting changed.”

“So, if you were rooming with a boy, you’d never change your clothes again?” Schiz asked. “You girls, you’re full of very silly questions. Now go, find your room, go move in, and don’t expect anyone to help you. I’ve fallen over thirteen girls today who were sitting on their boxes and cases waiting for someone to help them.”

Sue was getting sick of being told off and condescended to. “Well, I’m different,” she sniffed disdainfully.

Schiz gave her a bland smile as she handed over her key.

As is turned out, Mary Sue was not different. She had sat with her bags for well over an hour and was now ready to admit defeat. She sighed and got to her feet.

“Hi, do you need a hand?” came a voice from behind her.

Mary Sue smiled smugly, she hoped Schiz was watching. She turned, then faltered. Whoever this girl was, she wasn’t Important.

The girl in question mistook her lack of response not for snobbery, but for shyness. “I’m Charisma, I’m in Block D, on the third floor.” She held out her hand.

Mary Sue shook the proffered hand, though with a distinct lack of enthusiasm. “I’m Mary Sue.”

“Ah, so I did find the right girl. Usually I’m not very generous about helping people move in, especially into my block because the elevator is broken at the moment, but it’s starting to get dark and we do have a curfew. And in case you didn’t know, if you break the curfew your dorm mate gets in just as much trouble as you do,” Charisma replied, grabbing a bag.

“I didn’t know that.”

“I swear to God the new girls never read the rules,” Charisma muttered, grabbing another bag. “Come on, load up,” she said impatiently in a louder tone. “Let’s do this in one trip.”

Mary Sue tentatively hoisted a bag onto her shoulder and nearly collapsed with the effort. Surely her bags shouldn’t be so heavy. Daddy had carried them all himself.

“Come on, Mary Sue!” Charisma encouraged cheerfully. “One agonising trip and then you can collapse.”

Mary Sue wanted to scream but did not have the energy. The ‘one agonising trip’ had taken a very long time, Block D was at the very edge of the campus and the third floor was up six flights of stairs, given that it was an old building with high ceilings. Mary Sue felt like death. And Charisma had not stuck around to help her unpack like any good roommate should. She had muttered something about Mrs Madigan’s homework and scampered off to the library.

Mary Sue could not face unpacking, it just seemed such a daunting task, and also, she was not sure how much space she would need for all of her pretty clothes, and it seemed a little rude to just move Charisma’s stuff out of the drawers without asking. Even if she wasn’t an Important Person.

She left her bags on the floor and collapsed on the bed. Only to have to move again two seconds later when her cell phone rang. She picked up. “Hello.”

“Darling!” Her mother’s voice came clearly over the line.

“Mommy, something’s wrong,” Mary Sue complained.

“Oh baby-face, what is it?” Her mother sounded very concerned.

“They didn’t let me introduce myself!” Sue wailed. “Then a boy gave me the wrong directions to class, then I got held back afterwards, then I had to queue for a dorm room and finally I had to move my stuff in myself. A girl helped me, but she wasn’t Important.”

“But… but… but!” Mommy Sue floundered. “I sent you to a good school. I have it on good authority that there are thirteen Important People in your class, not to mention a handful of slightly older students and some teachers. Didn’t they help you?”

“No.” Mary Sue’s lip was quivering once more, and her eyes had turned a pale blue.

“Oh, my poor baby. They’ll notice you tomorrow, someone as beautiful and perfect as you. And I have some news that will cheer you up. Marietta Suelina is getting married.”

“To Harry Potter?” Sue asked.

“No, he’s taken up with that Hermione girl. She’s just spent a year studying in California, she came back all tanned, tattooed and highlighted hair. But then Marietta met a young man called Draco Malfoy, apparently he’s marvellous! He threw over his entire family heritage for the chance to win Marietta’s heart.”

“That’s wonderful!” Sue enthused, imagining the pretty dress she could wear to the wedding.

“So cheer up, Cherub. Good things happen to Sues.”

Eventually she said goodbye to her mother and hung up the phone. She flopped back on the bed thankfully, only to be interrupted by a knock at the door.

“Yes?” Mary Sue called hopefully. Maybe this was an Important Person, come to tell her that she should be in a dorm with her—or at least wanting to know a little more about her.

The door opened and a short and not particularly attractive redhead walked in. Mary Sue sighed, yet another Unimportant Person.

“Wow. Another new girl. You know, in September, we had this entire building to ourselves, there was just me, Charisma, Carla, Meme, Q, lycanthrope, Eriks and Schiz. Now we’ve got new girls coming out of our ears,” the girl commented. “I’m Star, by the way.”

“Mary Sue,” Sue replied faintly. She was very tired, and had not had a decent conversation with anyone of Importance so far.

“Any idea where Charisma went?”

“She said something about the library,” Mary Sue replied.

“Ah, Madigan’s homework. She reads my mind!” Star said gleefully, and exited the room quickly.

Mary Sue was befuddled. While it was clear that Star was Unimportant, why didn’t she want to talk to Sue? Sue didn’t want to speak to Star, but as a Less Important Person than herself, why didn’t Star at least try to talk to her? What was going wrong? Was she losing her touch?

With that alarming thought, exhaustion washed over her and she fell fast asleep.

Mary Sue was rudely awoken at seven am the next morning by Star invading the room, pouncing on Charisma and pelting her with M&M’s. By the time Mary Sue had finished her shower and returned to the room it appeared that almost everyone from her block had invaded her room for a bizarrely-timed pyjama party. She recognised Schiz and Star from the previous day, but the rest of the girls were strangers. All notably Unimportant. They were lined up on both beds, discussing something called ‘fangirls’.

“Averman!” Star yelled. “Averman and Luis! It’s the only fangirl to be.”

“Unless, of course, you’re a Bash fangirl!” Schiz replied, eliciting a cheer from the girl beside her.

“Hey, Mary Sue, these are our friends,” Charisma said, noticing her. “The Bash fangirls over there are Schiz and lycanthrope, they work together a lot, the noisy one over there is Q, beside her are Meme and Eriks—and Star says you met her yesterday? The tall one next to her is Carla, Star stalks her a lot.”

“Hi,” Mary Sue replied faintly. “What’s a fangirl? Why aren’t you all dressed? And did you say stalk?”

“Oh, we don’t do classes with you, we’re in DUFF,” Charisma explained.

“Not as in Duff McKagan,” Star added helpfully, her arm around Charisma. “Although some of us are Dufflusters—”

“Amen, baby-snakes,” lycanthrope called cheerfully.

“—but that’s something entirely different,” Star finished.

“DUFF is the Ducks University of Fan Fiction,” Schiz explained. “Eriks came up with it. We’re spending a term here at Eden Hall, watching the Ducks in their natural habitat. Anyone who rushes at them gets booted off the course, so we try to have a meeting first thing in the morning to get it out of our systems.”

“You guys like ducks?” Mary Sue was baffled. “Wouldn’t it be easier to find a lake or something rather than a school.”

A stunned silence filled the room.

Followed quickly by a cacophony of voices, each explaining to Mary Sue who was the cutest/most attractive/funniest of the Ducks.


“But Adam’s so tormented!”

“Luis is a hottie!”

“Bash slash rules!”


Once more silence reigned, as Q took a deep breath, ready to start up again. Q shut her mouth again. “Excuse me, I must obnibla,” she said quietly. She let herself out of the room, seconds later Q’s voice, filtered through the walls, was still audible to all and sundry.

Mary Sue shook her head in confusion. She turned to Schiz. “Aren’t you my Dorm Supervisor?”

“Sort of. We all do a bit of work around the school to prove we’re not just here to oggle the Ducks. Star and Charisma do the website, Carla and Eriks help in the office, lycanthrope got stuck being a gym assistant—and consequently smells like sweaty feet…” lycanthrope at this point dug Schiz in the ribs. “Meme and Q are stuck doing office runs, which is the suckiest job of all because mostly you’re running from one department to another searching for a bit of paper, or a student or looking for a new photocopier cartridge, but has the highest potential for a Duck sighting,” Schiz explained.

“And the Ducks,” said Eriks, leaning forward and picking up a scrapbook from Charisma’s night table, “are these people.” She opened up the scrapbook and began pointing out the various Ducks.

Mary Sue recognised three of them from her classes yesterday. One was the boy who walked straight past her, ignoring her smile, the other two were the boys who gave her bad directions to Biology. They were all notably Important People.

“That’s Adam Banks,” Eriks began pointing out a boy with brown hair. “He’s—”

“A big-nosed ponce with silly hair,” Star said quickly.

Eriks and Meme glared at Star. “That would be a flame, Star. We’ve discussed this,” said Eriks.

“Today the part of Star’s conscience will be played by…” lycanthrope did a drumroll on her legs. “Eriks-lil-rocker, ladies and gents.”

Eriks took a small bow and Star sighed. “He’s probably a very nice boy. He isn’t very attractive to the likes of me though.”

Mary Sue privately thought that Adam Banks was lucky on that count and pitied whichever of them was Averman.

“Adam’s the star player,” Meme said, drawing Sue’s attention back to the scrapbook.

“Biggest attention seeker,” Charisma translated.

“Charisma!” Meme glared. “You’re encouraging Star now!”

And this was true. Star opened her mouth to say something even more cutting, but Carla instantly slapped her hand over it.

“Yuck!” Carla gave Star a disgusted look. “Your wife licked me!” She told Charisma.

“Stop!” Schiz yelled. “Star, Charisma, your hatred of Adam Banks has been duly noted, now shut up so we can continue.”

Eventually, the bickering died down and Eriks was able to point out all of the various Ducks and list their fangirls. Mary Sue realised that yesterday she had met Fulton and Portman (known as the Bash Brothers) and Charlie had been the one who walked straight past her. Sue memorised whatever details the girls told her about these hockey players, for future reference. Armed with this knowledge, she would do better today. She knew the names of all the Important People, and more importantly, she knew about their lives too. This was surely a good sign. Today would be a good day.

Three: The Appearance of Angsty Sue (Or Maybe Angsty Sooz)

Mary Sue ran to class, checking her timetable and map. She managed to get there just before the bell rang, so far so good. Mommy Sue had called her first thing this morning to give some last minute advice. When Mommy Sue was at school (she’d hung out with The Famous Five and helped them solve all their mysteries) she had been able to get away with being mouthy because of her Sue heritage, so she’d encouraged her daughter to misbehave. This would appeal to the rebellious element in the class.

For the first time in her life, it occurred to Mary Sue that Mommy might be wrong. It was her second class with Mrs Madigan and she didn’t feel like mouthing off to the evil old battleaxe. In fact, Mary Sue suspected that if she did, she might be put on detention. And even worse, that she would actually have to attend the detention. That was not an appealing thought.

So she stayed quiet and actually tried to work for Mrs Madigan’s lesson, and for the first time in her life she made no effort to draw attention to herself—although she couldn’t help herself from looking at the two Important People in the class a couple of times. One was Julie Gaffney, the other was Russ Tyler. For some reason they weren’t looking at her, she didn’t understand it. They should be looking at her, she was a Sue, and therefore needed attention.

Her final lesson before lunch was History and it was there that Sue’s luck finally changed. Mr Jamison divided them into groups of six for a project that would take the next two weeks. Sue had been put with five Important People, Adam Banks, Charlie Conway, Julie Gaffney, Lester Averman and Luis Mendoza. This was a huge stroke of luck. She did not know Mr Jamison had done this because her records showed that she was abysmal at History and her five study-buddies would hopefully even out her score.

Sue helped move the desks around so the group had enough space, then took a seat, she had intended to sit next to one of the boys, most notably Adam Banks, since her dorm mates had told her that he was the best player, but somehow ended up between Julie and a wall. That was ok, by the end of the lesson Julie would be her new best friend.

“Hi,” she said in a cheery tone to them all. “I’m Mary Sue.”

“I’m Julie, this is Adam, Charlie, Luis and Averman.” Julie pointed around the table. “So, my suggestion is that we divide the work now, we all do our own research—tonight preferably.” At this point she eyed Luis and Averman sternly. “And then in tomorrow’s lesson, we discuss what we’ve got so far and then come up with an interesting way to present it. Naturally we’ll fluff it out over the next two weeks.”

Sue was stunned. She was finally in a study group with Important People and they were actually talking about school work? Didn’t they want to talk about her? And what was up with that introduction? Why hadn’t they asked where she was from and why she transferred mid-term? Weren’t they interested in her at all? Were they broken?

“Sounds like a plan, Cat Lady,” Charlie replied.

“A very boring plan,” Averman muttered, but on catching Julie glaring at him, he hastily added, “not that it’s your fault. History: boring; Cat Lady: not boring.”

“Why do they call you Cat Lady?” Sue asked, hoping to turn the conversation away from work.

“Reflexes,” Julie replied quickly, then turned back to her text book. “We could always meet in the library after classes, I want this project underway and then out of the way as soon as possible.”

The class was interrupted by a knock at the door. Sue recognised Meme instantly. “Sorry to disturb your class, Mr Jamison, but Mary Sue is to come with me to the office immediately.” Meme then turned to grin at the Ducks at Sue’s table. They gave her nervous smiles in return.

Mr Jamison rolled his eyes. “You’re making the work up in your own time,” he told Mary Sue. “Now go.”

Sue was convinced that she heard Charlie mutter a very sarcastic “brilliant” in a low tone as she gathered her bags and got to her feet. Why now? She was just about to break into the Important Circle. What was so important to drag her away from that?

“I’ll see you in the library later?” she said.

“Ok. We’ll be there after dinner,” Adam replied, turning his attention to his text book. Nobody else acknowledge her as she left.

“Great,” Julie groaned, as soon as Mary Sue left the classroom. “We get stuck with some airhead who doesn’t even stay in the class for the full hour. I bet I’m the one who has to catch her up—that’s if she actually shows up tonight at the library.”

“I think she probably will,” Luis said. “She was eyeballing Banksie.”

“Another member of your fan club,” Averman chortled, elbowing Adam in the ribs. “I think you’ve got so many now that their combined intelligence is high enough to spell your name.”

“Shut up, Averman,” Adam said with a sigh.

“What’s this all about?” Mary Sue asked Meme, once they were out of the classroom.

“I have no idea,” Meme replied. “But the Dean is not happy. You’ve got a call on his personal phone line. It’s an unlisted number, so whoever’s calling you has contacts in high places.” She snorted sarcastically, but it was lost on Mary Sue.

“Well, Mommy and Daddy Sue are very important people,” she replied sniffily.

“I’m sure they are,” Meme said in a very bored tone as they reached the office. “Why don’t you go in alone? I’ll just stay here with Q and we’ll hide under our desks. Like I said, the Dean’s a little annoyed about this phone call.”

And sure enough, Q was sitting under the desk, still manically stuffing envelopes like a good DUFF worker.

Mary Sue rolled her eyes at them and let herself into the Dean’s office.

“Knocking is a luxury in this day and age,” the Dean said with a sigh. He held the phone out to her. “One that most of my students don’t understand.”

Mary Sue nervously took the phone, more than a little worried by the Dean’s low and unthrilled tone. “Hello?”

“Manners, too,” the Dean added sadly. “Some might even apologise for the inconvenience.”

“Darling?” Mommy Sue sounded upset, and Mary Sue’s heart started to pound nervously.

“Yes, Mommy?”

“Oh, darling, it’s so awful. That poor, poor girl…”

“Mommy, what is it? What happened?”

“Your cousin is a hero. She saved the world,” At this point, Mommy Sue broke into loud wailing sobs.


“Marietta Suelina is dead!”


“Yes, darling, it’s true. She faced Lord Voldemort alone and she died saving the world. Draco Malfoy is heartbroken… as is anyone who ever met her.”

Mary Sue gasped, hand on heart as tears began to leak from her (currently dark, verging on black) eyes. “She… can’t…”

“Oh, darling, she can. It’s so awful.”

“But…” Mary Sue ran out of words.

“Be proud, your cousin saved the world.”

Sue dropped the phone and backed out of the office, knocking over an end table as she went.

“Hey, Sue, how’d it go?” Meme queried, at the same time that Q asked, “So, was it Bob Dole?”

Sue ignored them as she ran out to the courtyard. Outside, she needed to be outside. Coincidentally, it was at this moment that the bell rang and students were pouring out of their classes.

“WHY?” Sue screamed at the sky. “Why, God? Why did you have to take her from me? She was my best friend! I hate you, God! Why did you curse me?” And then she collapsed, the sobs overwhelming her.

Julie, Luis, Averman, Charlie and Adam had come to a dead halt when they came out of History and saw Sue cursing God. Finally Averman found the words. “Twenty percent of our final grade rests on the shoulders of an airhead who is screaming at the sky.”

Luis got to the point quicker though. “We are so screwed.”

It was safe to say that Sue hated Eden Hall. She had cried in the courtyard for an hour and not one single person had comforted her. In fact, nobody had come near her. They had all skirted her, with an air of great caution. Some people had even pointed and laughed. It had got to the point where she would have even been happy to be comforted by Charisma or any of the other FUFF people, or whatever they were called.

When it became apparent that nobody was going to comfort her and Sue realised that she was really cold, she had gathered her bags and headed back towards her dorm, not bothering to wipe her face—maybe someone would ask her if she was ok, if they saw her bloodshot (icy grey—because that shows the red better) eyes. But nobody did. Not even the geeky kid with braces that had tried to talk to her in the line for the dorm room yesterday.

Star and Charisma were in her dorm room when she got there. They were curled up on Charisma’s bed, staring at the TV intently. “1993!Duff, there is no bad,” Charisma said cheerfully.

“And 1993!Gilby too. And Slash,” Star grinned.

“Add Axl to that list and we’re breaking up,” Charisma replied. “Hey, Mary Sue.”

Sue burst into tears again.

Star visibly panicked, and dug Charisma in the ribs, silently begging her to deal with the tears because she was terrible at such things.

“Um, Mary Sue, are you ok?” Charisma asked tentatively, while Star just stared at her.

“No, I’m not. I’m very depressed,” Mary Sue replied in a very small voice.

“Right. Star, let’s go watch this in your room. Unless Q is watching Holes,” Charisma decided.

“If she is, lycanthrope wouldn’t mind letting us watch Estranged there. Or Carla, she loves the song,” Star said getting to her feet and ejecting the tape from the VCR. “In fact, Carla will still be in the office, so let’s go to her room.”

And within seconds, the two of them had cleared out of the room, leaving Mary Sue alone again, and wondering what had just happened.

They did not come back. Nobody even poked their heads around the door to ask if she was ok. It was just plain rude! Finally, it occurred to Mary Sue that she wasn’t getting any attention from them. She decided that this was probably a good thing. They were Unimportant, after all. It must have been the grief that made her consider that they would actually be tolerable as comfort-friends.

She checked the clock, it was almost time to meet the Ducks at the library—this was much better. She could cry on Julie’s shoulder—or even Adam’s. She got up from her bed, and brushed her hair (silky red with coppery highlights when the light caught it), straightened her clothes, but again did not bother to wash her face. It would be a good starting point if someone asked why her face was all blotchy. With that done, she grabbed her bag and headed towards the library.

“So, plan of action?” Julie asked.

“Heads down, study hard, no eye-contact,” Averman, Luis, Charlie and Adam responded quickly, ignoring the look that the librarian threw their way for daring to disturb the absolute silence in the room.

“With a bit of luck she won’t even show, she looked the flaky type,” Charlie added.

“And if not, our study group will resemble a scene from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,” Averman commented. “I’ll be McMurphy, Adam can be Chief, since he doesn’t talk so much, Charlie can be…”

“Averman, stop casting us into your fantasy,” Julie complained.

“And you can be Miss Ratched,” Averman added under his breath.

“I heard that,” Julie glared at him levelly.

“Hello everyone.” A sniffly voice interrupted what could have turned into an argument.

Everyone grunted an approximation of greeting in her direction without meeting her (delicate violet) eyes, then turned to Julie hopefully. Since Julie was the most no-nonsense Duck of the group, she had been unanimously voted She Who Deals With the Weird as Hell New Girl.

“Um, Mary Sue, we’ve divided out the work, why don’t you start here…” Julie passed over a text book and pointed out various passages that Mary Sue was to read through and then research further.

Mary Sue sniffed dolefully in return and sank into her seat, her lip quivering. A single glistening tear escaped, and ran down her face, landing with a soft plink on Julie’s text book.

Julie ignored it and turned back to her own work.

Mary Sue didn’t understand, she was crying! Why weren’t they comforting her? She sniffed again. Nothing. She tried again, this time, bringing a hand up to wipe away another tear.

“Mary Sue, do blow your nose,” Averman commented distractedly. “History is bad enough without having sniffs in Dolby Surround Sound in the background.”

A new tactic was called for. “My name isn’t Mary Sue,” Mary Sue decided. “I want you guys to call me Sooz.”

“Ok,” Luis replied absently, not looking up from his book.

“S-O-O-Z,” She spelt out, for clarification, just so they knew she was different.


The newly renamed Sooz, was stunned. She was crying, and now she had a really cool name and still they weren’t paying attention to her. What the hell was going on?