Chapter 17 : The Bet
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It was way past midnight as I sat in the common room, unable to sleep, my mind one horrible confused whirl. I hadn’t slept in days, lack of sleep lead to headaches, headaches led to ridiculous amounts of pain and pain led to visions. I’d have to go up to Madame Pomfrey in the morning. Ask her to give me a sleeping potion, knock me out for a few days until it cleared. Thankfully it wasn’t that bad yet but it would be by the morning.
Migraines were bad anyway, they were for most people, but mine left me a whimpering mess. Hemera got them too. It was just one of those things, one of those inescapable pains in the arse...or head rather.
I let out a small whimper, sliding my head further into my hands.
“Iris?” came a gentle voice. I looked up and round, simply closing my eyes and turning back when I saw The Marauders.
“What do you want?” I croaked pathetically.
“To say we’re sorry,” Sirius said gently, sitting down beside me.
“Oh,” I said moving the heels of my palms over my eyes.
“It was stupid,” James said sitting down on the sofa opposite.
“Why would you even bother? I thought you’d have to go through a whole load of c...oh,” I said as I understood. It was a challenge; of course they’d been curious. My file was the most fiercely protected in that office.
“Yours was bigger than the four of ours combined,” Remus joked gently.
“It would be,” I said tiredly.
“So...you’re a seer then,” Pete said.
“Oh for fucks sake Pete, you weren’t supposed to say that yet. We gave you the card for a bloody reason,” Sirius snapped. I laughed slightly.
“Yeah, I am. Tell anyone and I’ll use my psychic crap to beat the shit out of you...I’m joking by the way. I only see stuff,” I said.
Pete gave a nervous laugh.
“We got you a present...to say sorry,” Sirius said. I looked up, frowning somewhat.
“Pardon?” I said.
Sirius reached round the sofa before setting a huge box in front of me, wrapped in huge polka dotted paper. I looked at it, my eyebrows flying up in surprise as they all sat down around me.
“What is it?” I said.
“Open it and see,” Sirius grinned looking rather excited now.
"We suggest you open it now," James nodded with a grin.
"It's nothing dangerous, promise," Remus chuckled.
"Speak for yourself," Peter muttered.
"Open it," Sirius said childishly.
I laughed slightly before I undid the large rather garish bow.
"You might have some issues opening it. James and Sirius went a bit over the top with the sticking," Remus said. They both grinned at me.
I smiled before turning back to it. Admittedly it took a great deal more effort than I'd expected but the moment I had it open I let out a gasp.
"Like it?" Sirius said hopefully.
"YOU WRAPPED UP A CAT?!" I cried.
"It had air, look we may holes and stuff and we charmed it," James said pointing them out. I looked at them before looking back at it. It was really small and miaowing extremely loudly, obviously not at all happy about the sudden influx of light.
"It's..." I started holding out a hand for it to sniff.
"It's a she," Remus told me.
"She’s kind of a midget," Sirius said.
"Oh yeah and we should probably warn you, she miaows really loudly, like not normal really loud miaowing," James said.
"And its evil," Peter scowled.
"She's not evil, she's a cat," Sirius said scratching her head absently.
"Yeah and it was your own fault Pete," James said nodding. He scowled.
"Oh yeah and we're really sorry and everything but you see we've just been calling her Tuppence and well it's the only thing she answers to now," Remus said rubbing the back of his neck.
"Oh yeah and that," Sirius nodded.
I looked down at her again as she dropped lightly into my lap. She really was tiny, a tabby, with huge blue eyes. She was actually really kind of...cute.
"I don't mind" I laughed, stroking her.
"Oh and she..." Sirius started.
"Bites," I finished for him when her mouth closed around my finger. It didn't hurt too much.
"Yeah," James said affectionately.
"She's great," Sirius grinned.
Peter continued to scowl.
"Oh and we have loads of cat food too," Remus said producing a huge bag.
"Yeah, she eats twice a day and she gets really pissed off if you're not back from school in time," James said.
"And she really likes pockets," Sirius nodded.
"Oh yeah and small spaces," Remus said.
I laughed as she clambered onto my hand sounding a lot like a child’s rattle as she continued to purr.
"Oh and she has 'funny moments'," James said.
"She's a little excitable,” He said.
"She's mad," Peter cried.
"I'm sure she isn't, I think she's great," I said running my finger
down my thigh for her to chase.
"She's really friendly," Remus said.
"Isn't," Pete grumbled.
"Pete shut up. She thought you food ok, get over it," James snapped.
"Food, James! Food! I'm not food!” He cried. I laughed.
"Don't be so mean to him, I'm sure it was a very traumatic experience," I said giggling as Tuppence moved up my sleeve.
"So do you like her?" Sirius asked hopefully. I looked up.
"I love her. Thank you," I said smiling broadly. He grinned and sat down besides me.
The distraction seemed to have been a good source of pain relief for my headache.
I smiled slightly as Tuppence re emerged from my sleeve, jumping lightly onto my shoulder, purring loudly in my ear.
“We’re sorry,” Sirius said gently.
I looked up before I shrugged.
“It means I don’t have to hide it I guess,” I said yawning slightly.
“So...you don’t faint,” Sirius said.
I smiled shaking my head.
“No,” I said.
I spent a while filling them in, deciding that if they knew I might as well help them to understand it better. Tuppence (or Tupps as she was quickly nicknamed) fell asleep after about half an hour of trying to attack my hair, curling up into a small ball. I fell in love with her pretty much instantly.
It was about 4 when I finally rolled into bed, placing Tupps on the floor on top of a pile of my clothing. Thankfully Katy’s flea bag of a cat was locked outside but now I thought about it that was a problem that I’d have to rethink. Tupps was bloody tiny, Dog (yes, the cat named Dog) was a huge tomcat. The odds didn’t look good.
Seeing as my detentions, although reduced, came down to either spending my time down on the pitch or tutoring Ace I found myself sitting in that familiar bloody classroom, once again, waiting for the bloody sod.
Unfortunately for a few days Tupps had taken to actually following me around, becoming extremely irritable whenever I just ignored her. It was kind of embarrassing actually. I’d be sitting in class when I’d hear that familiar miaowing from the other side of the door. I’d then have to get up, go outside the bloody room and then take her back to my dorm. The irritating thing was that, no matter where I was, she always found me. Most teachers started by pretending that they hadn’t heard but eventually it got so irritating that it was impossible to concentrate otherwise. By the fourth day she had stopped but it appeared today she was wanted my attention...again.
I sighed putting down my book and getting up.
“TUPPS!” I cried.
“You are a bloody nightmare!” I said somewhat affectionately as I picked her up. I don’t know why but I really did love her...even if she drove me bloody mental.
She looked back at me before nudging her nose with my own.
“I swear I’ll lock you in my bloody room if I have to,” I snapped.
She simply began to purr, jumping out of my hands and onto my shoulder; her favourite perch. I dreaded the day she became too big to safely get away with it.
I moved back into the classroom, returning to my seat and pulling out my book again, Tupps now curling up in my lap.
I was kind of surprised when Ace actually did arrive. As always part of me had been hoping he wouldn’t. I dropped Tupps outside the classroom, closing the door before she could turn around and come back. She miaowed for a bit before I think she got bored and stalked off.
“Page 30,” I said curtly, using my wand to transfer all the instructions on the page of notes McGonagall had given me onto the blackboard.
“Why was it any of your business?” He said after a moment or two as I kept my back to him.
I turned slightly.
“Pardon?” I said.
“Leda. She’s not your friend,” He said.
“So? Doesn’t stop you being a git,” I retorted.
He chuckled, laying down his pen and getting up, moving round the table.
“She’s not pregnant. False alarm love,” He said managing to look rather pleased with himself. I raised an eyebrow.
“What and she actually came and told you that after you acted like that much of a bastard?” I said.
“She’s crazy about me,” He said matter of factly.
I looked at him for a moment.
“You really did not just...god how anyone could find you even vaguely charming is beyond me,” I muttered.
“And here was I thinking you’d be happy,” He said sarcastically.
“Why would you even bother telling me?” I asked.
“Because if I have to spend anytime time with you acting all like that,” He said motioning at me.
“I’ll hex myself,” He said.
“Oh heck, please, go ahead. Might do you some good,” I said.
He leant back in his seat, moving his feet up onto the desk.
“Do you mind?” I snapped irritably. I hate people putting their shoes on tables and soft furnishing. It drives me mental!
“Mind what?” He said.
"Ace you're supposed to be doing something productive," I snapped.
"I am,” He said, his eyes running appreciatively down me. I rolled my eyes.
"Theory," I reminded him motioning at the board.
He smirked before leaning forward.
"Hmmm ok, I have a theory...no fuck that. I'm positive you've thought about me naked at least once in these past few weeks,” He said.
"Ooo you forgot completely covered in chocolate," I said sarcastically. He gave me a lop sided grin.
“Kinky,” He said.
"You have no idea," I breathed sweetly.
"So are you going to teach me anything or not?” He smirked, his voice lined with suggestion making the double meaning perfectly apparent.
I let out a laugh.
"Well it would depend," I said feigning thoughtfulness, perching myself on the desk at the front of the room.
"Ah. On what exactly?” He said looking distinctly amused.
"I don't know, how...receptive you are," I said innocently.
"Oh I'm extremely receptive,” He smirked.
"Well isn't that good now pick up that pen and start bloody writing," I said pleasantly.
He chuckled and I couldn't help but smile slightly.
"So you see I have a few questions,” He said leaning forward.
"Oh and here's my theory. They're totally unrelated to the task at hand," I said leaning back against the desk.
"You must be psychic,” He said in mock surprise. I couldn't help but laugh slightly.
He had no idea.
I leant my head on my shoulder.
"Well ok, make that one,” He smirked getting up and moving round the desk, leaning back against the table.
"I suppose I should say 'go ahead' although I warn you the likelihood that I'd ever answer one of your question truthfully is extremely slim," I told him matter of factly. He chuckled before getting up and moving over to me, coming far closer then I'd anticipated. His hands
on either side of the desk, so close we were almost touching.
"What's your betting that I could make you fall head over fucking heels for me?” He smirked softly. I raised an eyebrow before my face also split into a smile.
"Zilch but if you want to play I'll be more than happy to do so," I said innocently. He laughed before extending a hand.
"Oh no, no, no, you have to make terms of the agreement first else you'll end up trying to cheat or something," I told him conjuring a piece of parchment and a quill.
"Me? Cheat? Babe I don't think I'm going to need to,” He said cockily.
"Darling you're going to need all the help you can get," I told him.
"Only problem with this plan is it seems extremely unlikely that either of us would ever tell the other," I said thoughtfully.
"That's what Veritaserum’s therefore love. Ok here's what we'll do. The last Friday before we break up for Christmas, we'll set up a few of our friends each, take the Veritaserum then get someone to ask us. We'll have no choice but to answer truthfully,” He shrugged.
"Wow that was surprisingly...sure," I shrugged.
"And if I win. What do I get?” He said.
"First of all, you're not going to win, second of all we'll settle with the fact that we would have semi publicly humiliated each other in front of the largest mouthed group on the grounds," I told him.
"Sounds good,” He chuckled.
"I know," I said.
And that was how it started. Both our bet and our odd kind of friendship.
It was a lot easier to tutor him after that to, I didn't dread each meeting as much. Obviously we still didn't speak much outside the classroom but it was easy and relaxed for those few hours that we were stuck together.
So I'd like to start with an apology. For those of you who were looking forward to reading more about the Ace thing I'm sorry but it just didn't fit, I wrote out this whole massive thing but it just got boring and dragged out for waaaaay too long so I got rid of it. Sorry!
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