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Messes of Men by Roonyskatoony
Chapter 25 : The oh so Sacred Day of Ace
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 16

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I think it goes without saying that I didn’t speak to Sirius much, which therefore meant yet more time with Ace...and organising Ace’s party.

"Under no circumstances are you ever to decide that you think it'd be funny to trash, raid or in any way harm the kitchens or the house elves," I said as we stood outside the kitchens.

"I won't,” He laughed.

"Right you tickle the pear," I said stepping forwards.

"Right..." He said slowly.

"Like this," I said giving a demonstration.

The door swung open almost immediately. I hadn't been expecting the sight I found though. Sirius and Mary. HE'D SHOWN HER THE FUCKING KITCHENS?! The girl had probably never been in a kitchen her entire bloody life!

"It's so nice in here,” She said with a girlish giggle.

I don’t think either of them had noticed our arrival. That fucking...he fucking showed her?! She spent ages going on about how going to a place such as the kitchens was ‘below her’ and ‘unfit for a person of any status’.

"Mistress Tear and guest. Welcome," came a small voice breaking me from my all consuming silent rage, he was a bloody traitor! And she was a bitch! A two faced, low down slag!

Sirius and Mary turned round but I turned to Tinks, plastering a false smile on my face.

"Oh hi Tinks. We were just wondering if you wanted to cater for a party," I said.

Her large eyes widened excitedly and suddenly a whole load of them appeared.

"A whole party?!" a slightly dumpier one said excitedly.

"Should be a big one, we'll need loads of food," I nodded.

There was an excited flurry of activity as they whipped out notebooks.

"Wow," Ace breathed.

"Would Miss Tear and guest be liking seats?" a fairly tall (well for a house elf) skinny one said motioning for us to sit down. I could feel Sirius and Mary's eyes on us but I ignored them. We didn't spend long organising it but Ace seemed to actually quite like house elves. I could feel Sirius’ eyes on us as we left with a rather large amount of satisfaction.

"Scrap favourite girl. You're my favourite person...of the moment,” Ace grinned jovially.

"What can I say? I'm amazing," I said.

He grinned finished up his doughnuts before moving his hands onto my waist.

"Ok, you showed me this. I'll show you something,” He said. I laughed.

"But what about class?" I said innocently. He chuckled.

"Who gives a fuck. I'm sure they won't miss you that much,” He teased.

He led me to the furthest part of the castle, a place I didn't often go actually, leading me through a tall door that I can honestly say I'd never seen before he led me down the short corridor and then out into a pretty stone courtyard. Due to it being so high up there was a perpetual mist but the view from the rickety old wooden cloisters was of the entire surrounding area. There was a small fountain and a large willow that looked extremely old.

"It's where I come to think,” He said rubbing the back of his neck.

"You think?" I teased.

"Ocassionally,” He chuckled.

I smiled and sat down on the stone bench.

"This isn't as bad as I always thought it’d be,” He said. I looked at him.

"What?" I said.

"Having a girlfriend...then again you're not exactly normal. I want to be able to do my own thing,” He said sitting down next to me as he looked out across the view.

"Having a girlfriend isn't that restrictive," I said rolling my eyes.

"You just have to find the right one who understands that," I said.

"Too much effort,” He yawned. I rolled my eyes.

"You're awful," I laughed. He looked at me and smiled before he kissed me again. Funny how regular an occurrence that had become recently. We spent a while up there actually before we finally went down.

"Sit with me at lunch,” He said.

"I can't stand your friends," I said flatly.

He chuckled.

"Really because I happen to quite like yours,” He smirked. I rolled my eyes and whacked him.

"Oh shut up," I said.

"Don't get to jealous now love,” He grinned cheekily.

"Stop calling me love," I said.

It was even more irritating than when Sirius said it because reminded me of him. Oh god.

"So seeing as I have a free period next and you have...well whatever you have next, wanna come back to my room and..." he started kissing my neck.

"No," I said flatly. He kissed me.

"How come Cane got you into bed so easily and yet you bloody hate him,” He complained. I tensed slightly.

"I didn't sleep with cane," I snapped.

"He said you did," Ace said nudging me. I turned and looked at him my gaze flattening.

"Well then he's a liar," I said.

He looked at me, cocking his head to one side slightly.

"Why d'you hate him so much anyway?” He said.

"I just do," I said irritably.

I ended up going to class anyway because spending too much time around Ace really wasn't good for my stress levels.

It was already halfway through the lesson but still.

"You're late," Professor Williamson said.

"I really hadn't noticed," I said sarcastically. He scowled at me.

"You're in luck though we haven't quite finished join the back of the queue,” He said. I did as he said frowning slightly as I watched the different people move forward...oh god no. I hated boggarts.

"Iris'," Professor Williamson called breaking me from my reverie. The worst thing was that most of the time I didn't even get what it was going to turn into, the psychic vision crap messed it up and sometimes it simply wouldn't settle until all my fear were being flashed across the classroom.

"What is the point of this exactly? This is divination not defence against the dark arts," I said flatly.

"You'll be doing a piece of writing and fears, the boggart will simply help you realise what yours is,” He said. I sighed, readying myself.

He allowed the box to open and for a moment nothing happened. Nothing at all. Then all of all sudden it was as if I were seeing a screen. It was me, staring back at me but...I looked like Cepheus. Curled up, bloodied and trapped. Imprisonment was the worst thing I could think of, I valued my freedom.

"Ridik..." I started but all of a sudden it began to swirl shifting until...oh lovely Lord Voldemort. That was when the screams started, he moved forward almost ghost like, his feet never gracing the ground.

"RIDIKULUS!" I yelled.

Now you see this is the problem. Boggarts for some odd reason seem to like me, I however do not like boggarts. Professor Williamson tried to get rid of it to but it didn't work. I could see the panic on his face now. Most of the students had run outside, screaming their heads off. He’d only recently been in the newspaper, the majority of the wizarding world’s first sighting of the reptilian looking man.

"Sit," said a high cruel voice, the apparition’s slowly forming the words. I think that was quite enough to send the remainder of the class off, although I think I was the only one to notice that he wasn't looking at anyone when he said this. I moved closer my wand still firmly in my in my grasp as I reached out a hand. Cautiously I gave him a prod. I know it didn't seem like a very good idea to give Lord Voldemort a poke but I was fairly sure if by some weird twist I'd managed to get him here, I could almost guarantee he'd be both angry and murderous...and most probably would have begun shooting people down by now...seeing as he hadn’t I doubted that was so. As I'd expected my hand never made contact with him. I was stopped by that familiar resistance.

I was having a vision...and yet why had it decided to display itself and what on earth had happened to the boggart?!

"Miss Tear, get away!" Professor Williamson said obviously trying to sound a little more authorative. I turned towards him and let out a laugh.

"Do you really think Voldemort would allow me to poke him? It's an apparition," I said before turning back surprised to see another three figures.



"My lord we fear the child is very well protected. There is no way we can get to it," a tall blonde man said taking off his mask, I recognized him easily as Rabastan Lestrange. I sat down on one of the desks, cocking my head to the side slightly as I watched.

"THEN TRY HARDER!" Lord Voldemort shrieked his eyes flashing scarlet.

Anger management love.

"Go! I want it found!” He yelled before turning and walking back towards the chest fading as he walked until there was nothing there. I watched, frowning slightly until Professor Dumbledore came through the door.

Did they really think Voldemort would just walk around Hogwarts? For someone so brilliant that was kind of stupid.

...Now I thought about it I was rather curious as to what he was doing back anyway.

"False alarm. It was an apparition. Something about a kid or something," I yawned. He looked at me, frowning slightly.

"I think you should come to the office,” He said. I nodded picking up my bag and leaving with him.

"I'm guessing it was a vision. I don't understand exactly why the boggart turned it into that but it did," I said as we walked. He nodded slowly.

"And what was said?” He asked.

"Something about a kid that needed to be found. Rabastan Lestrange said it was impossible so Voldemort had one of his 'funny moments'. He obviously wants it," I said.

Dumbledore nodded, frowning slightly.

"A child?” He said.

I shrugged.

"Yeah, don't really see him as the parental sort so here's a hunch but I'm guessing it's not his. Why he'd want to steal a kid anyway is beyond me but I certainly wouldn't want to be aforementioned subject," I said.

"And was that all you got? That he wanted the child?" Dumbledore said.

I nodded.

"That and it was heavily protected. I'm guessing by that it would mean by us so I suppose I should ask if anyone in the order has any children or if there's a particularly interesting/special one...and not from their parents point of view obviously," I said. A small smile touched Dumbledore’s lips before he chuckled.

"Iris for someone who supposedly loathes children whenever at the orphanage you manage to display..." He started.

"I look after them but it doesn't mean I like them. A few of them are alright," I shrugged.

"Ah I forgot to tell you. The ministry has once again offered you accommodation, I don't know if these would affect your plans to live with..." He started but I cut him off.

“How do you know about that?!” I demanded.

“You sent me the memory containing your latest seemed to have accidentally added it,” He said.

I looked at him, scowling before looking away.

"I’m not living with Sirius," I said tersely. He looked slightly surprised.

"I'd rather die, he has no idea what hygienic standards are when it comes to cleaning and I don't much like the idea of being subjected to the awful bitches...I mean...girlfriends he may or may not bring back," I said heatedly.

"Like Mary bloody Tottering for example,e not that I actually have anything against Sirius getting a girlfriend but she's pureblood manic and he hates all that! She's a stuck up bloody cow and a slut too and ugh! It's ridiculous!" I cried.

I may have incidentally said too much and probably looked a little neurotic but who cared. Dumbledore was very good at pretending to listen to my ranting.

"And then he gets annoyed at me for absolutely nothing! He's the one who stole my file, he's the one who gets moody for no reason, he's the one who went and started dating Mary, I mean there are loads of perfectly decent girls in the school, he could have picked them but oh no! And she's rubbing it in my face like I should care! I don't care!" I continued.

"Oh and then the match! He asked her! To watch for him after he'd already asked me and then didn't even bother telling me about it! Not that I wanted the jumper anyway because they don't wash the bloody thing but I mean it's the principle! It's rude!" I finished finally looking up at him. My eyes however narrowed when I saw the slight smile on his face.

"What are you laughing at?" I said irritably.

"Oh nothing, just simply reflecting on the plight of being a teenager,” He said innocently.

"It's not the problems of being a teenage it's the problem of Sirius Black! I mean I'm simply looking out for his best interests," I said.

Do I see a lie there? I didn't give a shit about his bloody ‘best interests’. I wanted him to be with me full stop.

I ranted all the way up to his office, pausing for a moment to give him the actual information before resuming. I did however have to finish when the Minister for Magic's personal secretary arrived.


"Ok so we've got food and a place. Now we need music," Ace said as we sat on the bean bags in the room we'd created for the party.

"How're you going to manage that?" I sighed, looking up.

He frowned at me before getting up and sitting down beside me.

"What's wrong?” He frowned.

"Nothing," I mumbled.

"Doesn't sound like nothing,” He said.

I sighed again and shrugged, sinking into the bean bag.

"I need some chocolate," I muttered.

"Are you...? If you are, don't go into further detail...please,” He said. I laughed.

"No," I said.

"Good,” He said looking really rather relieved. I couldn't help laugh again, turning over so that I was facing him properly.

“Are you losing the bet yet?" I smirked.

"Wh...oh what no, of course not,” He said. I laughed.

"Why? Are you?” He said with a lop sided grin as he lay down beside me, his hand resting lightly on the curve of my waist.

"Nope but I think you're starting to buckle because you luuuurve me," I teased, kissing his neck.

He chuckled.

“No I think you love the shit out of me,” He said. I raised an eyebrow.

"Oh do you now?" I murmured against his neck before giving his earlobe a nip.

"Look at you, you're all over me,” He smirked. I chuckled, leaning my head back against the beanbag.

"I didn't say you had to stop,” He said innocently pushing me onto my back and moving on top of me.

"Don't think I can see what you're doing, you think you're about to get lucky. I wouldn't get my hopes up if I were you," I said shoving his arm away that was supporting him so that crashed down to the side before slinking on top of him.

"I think you'll find I won that," I said innocently, my hands pressed against his chest. He chuckled, his hands moving onto my waist.

"I let you,” He said.

"No you didn't," I said.

"Yeah I did. I could pin you down right now if I wanted,” He said.

I scoffed.

“If you say so,” I said rolling my eyes.

He smiled before he reached up slightly and kissed me. I smiled back against his lips, moving down so that I was lying flat against his chest.

"Heard of The Clash?" I asked as he kissed my neck his hands now resting on my arse.

"What?” He said his lips travelling along my shoulder, nudging the material further back so that he could reach further along my collarbone. I let him do so, deciding that if he went near my chest or decided he was going to start undressing me then I'd protest.

"The Clash. They're a band, they'd be good for the party," I said, kissing along his jaw.

He paused then, frowning.

"How d'you know about The Clash?” He said. I also paused.

"How do you?" I said.

"They’re muggles,” He told me slowly.

“Heck! Really?” I said sarcastically.

“You didn’t tell me you were muggleborn,” He said.

I laughed.

“I didn’t say I wasn’t,” I said.

“I thought you were pureblood,” He said.

I rolled my eyes.

“That’s a ridiculous phrase anyway ‘pureblood’, it’s stupid,” I said leaning my chin on his chest.

He ignored me.

“So what is actually true about you then?” He asked.

“Tell me about you first,” I responded.

"You first,” He said.

"I don't trust you," I answered.

"What am I going to do? I can't run, you're straddling me for fucks sakes,” He said. I laughed.

"I don't care. Answer me first," I said.

He eyed me for a moment seemingly calculating.

"I’m muggleborn,” He said.

"And I grew up in an orphanage," I said.

"'re an orphan?” He said in surprise. I shrugged.

"I dunno if they're dead or if they just didn't want me but either way, they're not around so yeah. I am," I said.

"What about your aunts and uncles and stuff?” He said.

"I don't think I have any," I said.

"I'll swap you,” He said. I frowned slightly.

"What's wrong with your family?” He said. He gave a dry chuckle.

"What's not wrong with them? If anyone from here ever saw ' families fucking huge and they're all loud and nosy and there's like some new addition every five seconds, I'm one of 7. 7 for crying out loud. I have 35 first cousins alone, 30 fucking 5, well since last time I checked. You have no idea what Christmas is like. We all bloody congregate at my great aunts house and she's this miserable old bitch and she has these walking sticks right and she lines 'em up and then she fucking chucks them at you. Then there are all these kids running around and they get in your room and they fuck everything up but you're not allowed to touch 'em because otherwise you get a fucking ear load from all you're aunts. The women in my family could nag for the bloody country,” He said.

I simply blinked for a moment before I laughed.

"That sounds incredible!" I laughed. He turned and glared at me.

"You have no idea what it's bloody like. Then some Christmas' some of them used to come to our house as a sort of pit have no idea what it's fucking like,” He grumbled.

"I didn't know you had a big family," I laughed.

"And they can't leave you alone either, like they have to know everything,” He complained, ignoring me.

"I bet you love them really," I teased.

"I left home last summer holidays and I'm never going back,” He said.

I sat back up, frowning at him.

"What as in packed up and left?" I said.

"I can't stand them. They're all so...muggle like,” He said.

"But they're your family," I said.

"They're not anymore,” He said darkly.

"But..." I started.

"What do you think everyone would say if they knew what I was?” He said.

"Well I know exactly what I'd say. You're a hypocrite...but not the first. I don't get it though, what's the problem? No one’s going to judge you on it," I said.

"Just like no one’s going to judge you on the fact that you've been lying about having some rich parents that don't even bloody exist for the last 7 years,” He spat. I looked down at him. Why the hell had that hurt so much?

I didn't know but I did know that I certainly didn't want to be in my current position right now. I got to my feet, picking up my bag and slinging it over my shoulder before descending the stairs from the little cushy area where we'd been sat, to the main area by the pool and from there towards the door.

“Ah fuck...Iris don't storm off," Ace groaned. I didn't even bother, pushing open the door and walking out, making sure to close it behind me before walking off.

He was right though wasn't he? I was just as bad as he was. I was a liar too, I was a hypocrite. I could have corrected people when they made they're assumptions, I could have told them but I didn't. I'd just left it. I was no different from him. Yet it had been the 'they don't exist' part that had got me, a fact I knew. I'd spent years as a younger child dwelling on it, I used to wish desperately that my parents would arrive one day, smiling and happy and that they'd take me home. It had taken me 15 years to realize the truth. They weren't coming. What was the point in praying and hoping for something that could and would never come?

I moved to the library, taking my usual seat at the back by the window before pulling out an essay I'd been meaning to do. I stayed there until the librarian came and chucked me out so from there I went down to dinner, my heavy bag slung carelessly over my shoulder.

Unfortunately I couldn’t avoid Ace forever as I was tutoring him that evening.

I’d received an owl from Dumbledore informing me that he would be leaving (again) and that he would very kindly keep me posted on any developments.

I moved into the classroom surprised to find him already there.


We didn’t exactly do much talking for the rest of the lesson and for once Ace actually did the work without me nagging the crap out of him.

“Oh fuck it, I’m sorry ok?!” Ace snapped eventually as I sat at the front, working on my potions evaluation.

I looked up.

“For what?” I said coldly.

He rolled his eyes at me, moving round so he was in front of me.

“You know that right there is your problem love, you can’t give an apology and you can’t fucking take one either. All you have to do is say ‘ok’, wanna try that for me?” He said condescendingly.

I rolled my eyes.

“Shut up,” I said.

“No, ‘ok’, s’not that fucking difficult,” He said.

I rolled my eyes.

“Fine, you’re forgiven,” I said grudgingly.

“That look like it hurt Iris,” He said.

“That wasn’t even a proper apology!” I snapped.

“What do you want? Alec?” He said.

I glared at him.

“Fine,” I said.

Thing was I wasn’t even that pissed off at the moment anyway, I was too tired, so much so that I didn’t even have the energy to be properly irritable.

“So what you getting me for my birthday?” He asked pleasantly, pulling a chair closer and sitting next to me.

I looked at him.

Seeing as it was tomorrow: nothing?

“’cause you know Mary would get Sirius something,” He said matter of factly.

I raised an eyebrow.

“And that should be concern me why?” I said.

“Because you love are not one to be know I don’t just take material possessions, I’m perfectly happy with...other things,” He smirked, his eyes flitting down my body.

My gaze flattened.

“Lovely,” I said.

He pouted at me.

“But I’ve been a really good boy,” He said innocently.

I rolled my eyes before giving him a smirk.

“Fine, ok,” I shrugged, setting down my pen.

He looked at me.

“...Are you kidding me?” He said.

“If you get me drunk enough at the party you can go ahead and take whatever you want,” I said. He just looked at me.

“I will warn you though, it’s going to be pretty difficult,” I said pleasantly.

“’re kidding aren’t you,” He said.

“Nope,” I said.

“Promise,” I said.

He watched me for a moment before his face split into a grin.

Idiot. Like he’d ever get me THAT drunk.

Many an bastard had tried.

“I’m warning you, you have a job ahead of you,” I told him lightly.

He grinned.

“I’m sure I can manage it,” He smirked.


I entered the Great Hall the next morning to find the entire place draped in banners bearing ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY ACE!’ in huge green letters followed by a fair few with his face grinning back. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes, sometimes I couldn’t help but think he was even more vain then I was.

I moved into the hall and over to Slytherin table, unsurprised to see him surrounded by a large crowd, a huge stack of presents sat before him. All the girls from my clique were there, sitting around for him, waiting to start, his friends and most of Slytherin table gathered round while almost everyone else in the hall looked on with a certain amount of curiosity.

A small line was made for me as I walked forward, sitting down beside him, glancing at the large pile of gifts.

He looked round and grinned at me before turning back to his beloved presents.

It was like watching Sirius in a bloody sweet shop.

Some of his presents were actually really cool, others were...let's say a little candid. Elliot got him a giant nude calendar which was met by raucous laughter and an eye roll on my part. Breakfast was a ridiculously long affair but I sat through it, playing the oh so dutiful girlfriend.

"Oi Iris!” He called, turning and looking for me. I rolled my eyes and moved to his side, laughing when he sent me a grin, throwing his arm over my shoulder.

We left the hall with a rather large entourage, moving outside for his larger present.

I couldn’t help the shock when I saw the (if I may so rather shoddily wrapped) present that was so obviously a broom they might as well not have bothered.

Nobody seemed particularly fussed by this, least of all Ace. It was from Cane, who must have been pretty damn loaded as apparently it was the latest out (not that I’d actually knew anything about those kind of things but still), I just guessed it was fast.

Ace of course spent no time giving it a go.

I watched somewhat amusedly.

Although he’d never have admitted it I think he was more affected by being banned from playing Quidditch for Slytherin than he let on. He was a good player and I’m pretty sure that had more to do with why he pointedly avoided school matches.

I slipped off after a bit, tiredly moving up to my dormitory to find my bag reasoning that Ace would be perfectly occupied without me.

I reached my room in time to see an owl sitting on the window sill. I moved towards it, pushing open the window and standing back assuming that it was for Lily.

James sent her something every day, none of us were allowed to read them but Lily would give a small smile every time she opened one before moving it into her draw. Although Katy and Franny had tried no one knew what they contained.

I was therefore surprised when the bird swooped over to my area, dropping a large roll of parchment on my bed before soaring back out of the window.

I frowned, kicking off my shoes and moving onto the bed, sitting cross legged as I undid the seal.

It was only then I realized who it was from.


I scowled as I skimmed through the apology just about to turn and chuck into the bin when I caught something else.




I know you’re pissed at me and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to apologise enough to make it better. So I thought I’d try again, with yet more words but hopefully you’ll listen to these.


On the next few pages is everything I know about your parents.


I’m sorry for keeping it all from you but I had no idea how to say it without you deciding to go off on a murderous killing spree or something’ (I couldn’t help but smile ever so slightly at that)


It might not all make sense to you right now but it will eventually. No one else should be able to read this (I bought some of that invincible ink crap from Zonkos...I have no idea how well it works but hopefully it’ll do).




p.s: If you ever start speaking to me again it would be much appreciated.


Ah crap now I missed her. How could I not?

Suddenly it just seemed that little bit childish. Sure she withheld information about my own parents from me but she was the only person who could give me proper answers, was my best friend AND the only other seer I had EVER met...god was that guilt I was feeling?

Probably. You see Ali and the girls and Tara and the other Ravenclaw slags had immediately jumped at the chance to do as much as possible to Hemera (such as dyeing her hair bright would have been laughable but somehow I didn’t find it particularly funny...not that I protested), and other such things until Andy had stepped in.

Much as I hated to admit it he was probably a far better friend to Hemera then I was, he didn’t get pissed off and then let spiteful bitches pretty much attack her...I was not being outdone by an idiot who thought straddling a broom and hovering in mid air was a form of entertainment.

I let out a irritable sigh before getting off my bed, picking up my bag, throwing the letter in, slipping on my shoes and moving off in search of Hemera, my best friend....even if she did manage to keep so many bloody secrets.

It took me fucking ages to find her and when I did she was with Andy.

I however did not have enough patience to wait for them to stop cuddling on the bench (they really were a sickening couple).

“Hemera,” I said breathlessly.

Both of them turned.

“Christ do you know how long it took me to flipping find you?! Could you be in a more ridiculous place I mean Jesus! I’ve been walking round for fucking aaaaages,” I complained, trying to appear more irritated then I really was. After all I didn’t want her to think she’d gotten off lightly.

I was still pissed off.

She just looked at me.

“Oh yeah sorry to interrupt this whole...thing,” I said motioning at them.

Hemera blushed although Andy was currently pretty much glaring at me.

He didn’t like me much, I think it had a lot to do with the whole inter house ‘war’ thing.

“Arse, up,” I said when she continued to just sit there.

“Don’t talk to her like that,” Andy said.

I looked at him, raising an eyebrow.

“Awww I’m sorry,” I pouted.

He opened his mouth to retort but Hemera cut in.

“Ok, ok Iris I think you’ve done enough winding up, I’ll be right back,” She said.

And it was back to old times.

“See you around stud,” I said sweetly before turning and moving off after Hemera.

“...Do you really have to be so...bitchy?” She said.

“Darling I’m your best friend, I mean wouldn’t you rather he hated me than wanting to shag the crap out of me because you know most guys do,” I said simply.

“’re speaking to me again?” She said looking kind of hopeful.

“Was I ever not? We have so much to catch up on...and organise outfits for tonight and...” I started.

“What’re not even going to go on about how I should have told you?” She said slowly.

“I would never do such a thing,” I said sarcastically.


“It doesn’t matter as long we have each other,” I said pleasantly.

She looked at me for a moment.

“But I thought you always wanted to know who your parents were? You can’t tell me you’re not curious,” She said.

“Of course I’m fucking curious idiot! I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU KEPT IT FROM ME!” I cried.

She looked at me before she laughed, clutching a hand to her chest.

“Oh god for a moment there I thought something might have happened to you!” She cried.

“I’m serious! From now on if it affects me I should know!” I snapped.

She nodded.

“Sure,” She said.

“Well...good,” I said deflating somewhat. I’d been ready to launch off into a long rant but it didn’t seem particularly necessary now.

“...Right so, now that’s sorted, you can tell me all about everything while we plan outfits,” I said pleasantly.

“But I don’t think I’m allowed to go to the party...” She started.

“Oh poor me, I’m Cinderella, I have no dress to go to the ball, my ugly step sisters have locked me away...woe to me,” I said dramatically.

She rolled her eyes.

“I’m serious...” She started.

“Don’t worry about it, haven’t you heard it’s ‘Ace Day’ a day of international peace,” I chuckled.

She laughed slightly.

“Oh right then,” She said.

“Anyway come on, let’s go find something to keep your lover boy’s blood pumping,” I smirked.

“...and you can fill me in on the way there...about my parents and stuff,” I said.

“Didn’t I send it...” She started.

“Yes, you did. I want to hear it though, without every phrase ending with ‘I’m sorry’,” I said.

She gave me a sheepish smile.

“You have no idea how crap the last few weeks have been, I mean you’re a pain in the arse and all but it’s really irritating when I have no one to moan too,” I said.

“Bloody hell Iris, that almost sounded like a compliment,” She said in mock horror.

“I know!” I cried.

“I even had to apologise to Ace! As in apologise!” I cried.

She frowned.

“Why?” She said.

“He was pissed off because I was teasing him about not shagging Mary,” I said matter of factly.

She rolled her eyes.

“He got pissed off because he’d passed up the opportunity,” She said, more as a statement.

I grinned.

“I’m so winning that bet,” I said.

“You’re made for each other,” She said rolling her eyes again before she paused.

“What bet?” She asked.

“Oh Ace and I made a bet, who can get the other to fall for them...which reminds me, that should be coming up soon...want to do the veritaserum? I really wouldn’t trust anyone else,” I said pleasantly.

“I leave you alone for five seconds!” She laughed.

“Oh no we started it pretty much at the start of his tutoring,” I said.

She suppressed a grin.

“What?” I asked.

“You fancy the crap out of each other!” She cried.

“No we don’t,” I said in aggravation.

“Then why else are you going out with him AND paying so much attention? You’re a horrible girlfriend usually,” She said.

“Because it’s hardly believable if I spend the entire time halfway around the castle from him...” I said slowly.

“Oh sure,” She said.

“...You know what I think I preferred it when you weren’t around,” I said childishly.

“Ooo scary,” She said sarcastically.

I looked at her before I grinned.

“Oh and by the way, Pearl can speak Japanese so that’s out,” I said.

“Really?” Hemera said in surprise.

I nodded.

“Anyway! Elaborate on my parents please, still not happy,” I said.

“Well...what do you want to know?” She said.

I rolled my eyes.

“What do you think? I want to know who they were, I want to know if I have any family...alive...” I breathed.

We spent the whole of the rest of the day in my dorm while she filled me in.

It was weird.

Make that really weird.

It felt like a fairytale, something distant and detached. I’ve repeated this so many times but...I’d given up years ago, decided that there were something’s that weren’t meant to be known. They were dead but it didn’t mean anything to me, they were just two people I’d never met, never seen before, two distant imaginary characters who I felt nothing for.

And that was the most upsetting thing.

You were supposed to love your parents, every single kid in the orphanage dreamed of finding their parents, of learning who they were and that they’d loved them, that they’d been unwillingly given up.

I had something I’d been dreaming of for years and it meant nothing.

My mother had been married to Cane’s 'father' (Hades...what was it with the wizarding world and their obsession with cursing their offspring with such awful names?!), Cane was the product of another of Hades brothers (that wasn't Hemera's father) having an illegitimate fling with one of the maid, dying and the simply leaving Cane in his brothers hands...although Cane apparently didn't know this and as far as he knew Hades was his father (which was admittedly rather confusing...). My mother was the product of a long standing pureblood family (which had pretty much dissolved); he was the heir to a large estate. My mother and Hemera’s mother had grown up with one another and had been married at the same time.My mother had had an affair with some bloke and I was the result, I had therefore had to be hidden and the orphanage had obviously seemed like a good place (depends on which way you’re looking at it I guess).

“So...what happened then?” I asked.

“Well...urm...Cane’s dad kind of...find out,” She said.

“...and flipped?” I said.

She nodded.

“And murdered her,” She said.

Right, yet another reason not to like Cane then.

“And my dad?” I asked.

“Oh urm...well...” She said uncomfortably.

“Err...well...your dad tried to kill Cane’s dad and dad killed...yours,” She said awkwardly.

I blinked.

“...oh...right then,” I said.

“They loved each other, you’re parents I mean,” She said.

I looked down at my hands, frowning.

“So where do I get my visions from?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” She admitted.

I didn’t say anything for a moment before I let out a sigh, pushing a hand through my hair.

The thing was I couldn’t be sure whether I was trying not to care or if I wwas just genuinely unaffected.

It wasn’t normal.

It wasn’t normal to feel like I did.

I’d like to say that I had thousands of things rushing through my mind, that I was overcome with joy and that I felt as if I’d ‘finally found myself’.

I didn’t.

I just felt like I always had, no different.

And the thing was that I expected too, Hemera expected me to but I didn’t.

It may seem stupid, to be so upset by the fact that I felt nothing, by the fact that this revelation hadn’t sent me off on a stream of anger or brought tears to my eyes but after all, what could I do about it?

What difference did this knowledge make?

I couldn’t do anything about it, I couldn’t turn back time and save my mother from a loveless, abusive marriage, there was nothing I could do about it.

My life may not have been perfect, there may have been times where I wished and hoped for things that I could never have, there may have been hardships but that was life; you can’t spend your time wishing it away.

If my parents had gone through all of that to protect me then why should I waste my time with my head stuck in the past? I’d been blessed with the ability to see the future; to look ahead and that’s what I would do.

I sighed before getting to my feet, tying my hair up into a ponytail.

“Well what do you know, I always fancied myself as a love child,” I said pleasantly as I moved to my wardrobe, pushing the doors open.

“Right...I really should get something I can swim in...” I mused.

“...err...” She said slowly.

“...Fuck that, I’m not swimming,” I said.

“Err Iris...” Hemera said.

I looked round.

“Yup?” I said.

She frowned slightly, searching my face for a moment.

I laughed slightly.

“Look,” I said turning to face her fully.

“I spent years obsessing over this and it didn’t do me any good, I never knew them, they never knew me so I guess...well life goes on right?” I said.

She looked at me, obviously failing to understand.

I didn’t really expect her too; I myself didn’t, so it would have been unfair to assume she could.

Instead I pushed the conversation onwards back to something less awkward or confusing.

Lily and Franny entered the dorm around 3, Franny seemingly rather miserable while Lily continued to sport that blush that nearly always graced her cheeks nowadays.

“Oh...are you getting ready for the party then?” Franny said glumly.

“Yeah, are you guys coming?” I asked.

“Yes,” Lily said.

I couldn’t help the look of surprise that moved onto my face. I honestly don’t think I’d ever seen Lily at a party other than the type that Slughorn threw. She was an English rose, the perfect example of purity and grace, didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, certainly didn’t do drugs...the list went on.

“Franny?” I asked.

Franny gave a sigh, moving onto her bed.

“No,” She said.

I raised an eyebrow.

“And why not?” I said sharply.

“I don’t feel like it,” She mumbled.

“Why not?” I said flatly moving over to her bed, my hands sitting on my hips.

“I just don’t,” She mumbled.

“...Lily what’s wrong with her?” I asked turning to the red head.

“She’s just err...upset?” Lily said moving beside me.

“NO BOYS EVER GOING TO WANT ME!” Franny cried into her pillow.

I raised an eyebrow before my eyes veered into a roll.

“No. They’re not,” I said.

She paused and looked up.

“Franny, who wants a girl who spends her entire Friday night, moping in her dormitory because she can ‘never find a guy’, you’re contradicting yourself, get off the bed and go have a fucking bath ok? Leave it to me,” I said.

She just looked at me while everyone remained silent.

“Well go on then!” I said shooing her off.

She just remained where she was.

I rolled my eyes again.

“All you need in confidence Franny, there’s nothing wrong with you,” I said.

“But blokes like you,” She pointed out flatly.

“They like you too, just because they don’t drawl over you doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate you. Do you think I’d tell you I thought you were pretty if I didn’t?” I asked.

She didn’t say anything before finally giving a reply.

“No...” She said slowly.

“Exactly,” I said.

It took a while but eventually we managed to convince Franny into getting up and changed (Lily and Hemera somewhat more kindly of course).

The dining hall was buzzing, everyone considered cool enough to be invited to Ace’s party was talking about it, due to the temporary truce between the houses until after Christmas, for the first time in a while all was well.

I for one was in a far better mood, I guess after all that unnecessary anger I was simply glad to have Hemera back. Ace was nowhere to be seen and it was only then that I’d realised I’d managed to neglect him the entire day. I’m sure he was fine. I could always pretend that I’d done it on purpose just so that he’d ‘miss me’ before the party.

I highly doubted he would, knowing him he was probably using the excuse to get a few good shags but I didn’t particularly care.

It was nice to be back with Lily and Franny and Hemera, even Katy’s irritating comments seemed less annoying that evening. I sat opposite Sirius although made no move to acknowledge him due to the fact that Mary was by his side.

I couldn’t help but notice Lily and James though.

They’d obviously grown more comfortable with one another, they no longer spent their time blushing and mumbling.

They were kind of...sweet.

I’d known for a while that they would be good together, but somehow it was more than that, something deeper than that, something I couldn’t fathom.

I shook the thought off eventually, returning to my food when I felt a pair of eyes on me. I looked up to see Sirius looking at me so I met his gaze, refusing to be the one who backed down. He stared back at me before he was interrupted by Mary who he turned to.

I continued to look at him for a moment more before once again moving back to my food, unable to quite understand what he’d been looking at.

For the first time in a while, his eyes had portrayed more than just hostility, more...I don’t know, curiosity maybe?

“So Iris, what time are we going to the party?” Kim Burnley said, stealing me from my thoughts.

I glanced up.

“Oh...well I hadn’t quite decided,” I said pushing a hand through my hair.

“What colour are you wearing?” Ali asked.

They were doing their best to be back in my favour you see, they wanted everyone to appreciate that they were supporting me.

In other words, guilty or not, Mary was out of favour and the funny thing was I hadn’t even needed to lift a finger.

“I don’t know, pick whichever colours you like,” I shrugged, pushing my food around my plate distractedly.

I ate the rest of my dinner before we all (all being Lily, Franny, Hemera and I) returned to the dormitory and commenced getting changed.

“There won’t be drinking will there?” Lily asked anxiously.

I turned round to look at her.

“Lily seriously, relax. Just spend one night enjoying yourself, forget the Head Girl crap, forget the whole worrying about other people crap; just do one thing for yourself for once!” I laughed.

“I do stuff for myself,” She argued.

I raised an eyebrow.

“Sure,” I said slowly.

She looked at me before she laughed, rolling her eyes before moving onto her bed.

“Ok so...we’ve all been dying to know...Ace?” Lily said.

I looked round before I chuckled.

“What about him?” I said.

“Well you just seem...close,” Franny said.

I chuckled.

“It’s nothing, we’re friends...on the odd occasion,” I said.

“So you’re not...” Lily blushed. “ know...”

I looked at her before I laughed.

“No. Believe it or not I’m a lot more oblivious then you think, for ages I thought that it really was only physically possible to have babies after you were married,” I laughed.

“Really?” Franny said.

“Yeah, I thought sex and kids were something entirely unrelated...and as far as I remember I thought that snogging was the same thing as sex,” I said.

It was actually only once Bridgett had realised this (and spent a great deal of time laughing about it) that she set the record straight.

“I spent half of first year appalled by the fact that people appeared to be fornicating in public places,” I said.

They were of course all howling by now.

“So when did you have your first kiss then?” Franny asked.

I went uncharacteristically pink.

“Summer before 5th year, I still wasn’t too sure about it all so I kind of...just didn’t do anything,” I admitted.

“You’re kidding me!” Franny said.

“Nope, boys in general just freaked me out. I mean the one’s in the orphanage were the most ridiculously square blokes you’ve ever met, they thought they’d be taking the express route to hell by so much as touching a girl,” I said.

“You grew up in an orphanage?” Franny said.

I paused.

“...I thought you already knew,” I said.

“...No,” Lily said.

“...Oh I just...I thought Sirius and that lot would have...would have told you,” I said.

After all that, after everything, they’d still kept everything quiet...I honestly didn’t understand those boys.

“Wow,” Franny said.

“So...what...what happened to your parents?” Lily asked tentatively.

I gave a slight frown before slowly a small smile came to my lips.

For the first time, I had a definite answer, for the first time I could say it and know the truth.

“They died,” I said simply.

“Oh...I’m so sorry,” Lily said.

“Don’t worry about it, happened a long time ago,” I said distantly.

How strange. For all the things I knew of, of all the knowledge I supposedly held and it was only after years that I could honestly say what had happened to my parents. MY parents.

It felt good.


We spent a great deal of time getting ready and it was actually kind of fun, Ali and June and Kim and Nora and all the rest of the girls arrived later on and admittedly it was just a little...tense to begin with but it calmed eventually. We all arrived at the usual time: a decent way into the proceedings.

It was one of the few events in the social calendar that all the ‘populars’ in the school gathered, mostly in a rare occasion of neutrality. We were all gathered in the top balcony esc fixture.

I couldn’t help but smirk slightly as I watched the admittedly extremely successful party continued around us as I now sat beside Ace.

"You know you owe me BIG time," I smirked. He turned and grinned back at me before beginning to kiss my neck.

"Seeing as it's my birthday...” He started.

"Am I drunk yet? I don't think so," I said.

His face lit up.

"Ah yes, how could I forget? Come on love,” He said pulling me to my feet.

"Wha...?" I started.

"We made a pact didn't we? I get you pissed enough and you give me certain...rewards,” He said waggling his eyebrows.

"Oh I forgot about that. I'm warning you though, you're going to have a hard time," I said.

"You m'lady have never had an Aimes’ classic,” He said. I laughed.

"It’s not going to work," I sang.

"Trust me,” He smirked capturing my lips with his own. I chuckled.

"You’re gonna need a hell of a lot of alcohol," I said against his lips.

He grinned.

"This is gunna be fun,” He grinned before moving round the bar.

I swear I've never seen anyone make creating a cocktail look so bloody good. Being the 'showman' that he was he soon attracted a crowd

He put it in a rather large glass before handing it to me.

"Drink it!" some random bloke cried.

I rolled my eyes, chuckling before taking a gulp.


"Yeah drink it slowly, it's better," Ace grinned when I gave a few coughs.

"That's...god," I said blinking.

"I know, I know,” He said.

"That's the most disgusting thing I've ever tasted," I grimaced.

He chuckled.

"S'not designed for that love,” He told me.

"How on God’s earth do you expect to get a girl drunk on something that tasted so bloody awful?" I said as he steered me off away from the crowd.

He scoffed.

"No idiot, that's just concentrated for maximum effectiveness, hopefully with considerable speed. Plus not like I need to impress you, you're gonna drink it anyway,” He said. I laughed.

"Thanks Ace," I said sarcastically.

"Just here to help babe,” He said with a wink.

We spent a while with his idiotic friends and my equally stupid ones before I got bored and went off to find some of the people I actually liked, Hemera being off with Andy I thought I’d just leave her to it and not interrupt.

“Oh hi Iris," Franny said when she saw me.

I raised an eyebrow.

“Franny what are you doing?" I said moving my hand onto my hip as I took in the sight of her sat besides the refreshment table, the bowl of crisps in her lap. For the amount the girl ate I really don't know how she managed to stay so bloody skinny.

“Err...eating?" she said.

I rolled my eyes and sat down next to her.

“Franny darling, really," I said shaking my head and taking the bowl out of her arms, placing it back on the table where it belonged.

She looked at me miserably.

“I'm the only single one out of all our friends!” She complained.

“Well, you're friends with Katy right? No idiot would be stupid enough to touch her," I said pleasantly. Franny sighed and shot a look over her shoulder. I followed, my gaze falling on...oh my god you had to be kidding me! Katy and...Daniel Kirl? I swear that guy would quite literally take whatever came up.

“Well...Annabel? Annabel couldn't get a date to save her life," I said.

“She's been going out with the same bloke since first year," Franny said flatly.

Oh dear god, what was wrong with the world?

“Christ that's just...weird," I said.

I couldn't even imagine Annabel associating with anything even vaguely male unless it was entirely book related.

“Eleanor's still choked up about Alec, she's worse off then you," I shrugged eventually after raking for something more encouraging to say.

Franny looked at me.

“What? It's the truth isn't it?" I said.

Plus there was nothing like looking at others misfortune to make you feel considerably better about yourself.

“Well yeah're not supposed to say it like that,” She said.

“Well what else do you want me to say? Come on Franny, you're perfectly attractive," I said.

“I...” She started.

“Franny," came a voice behind us. We turned to see Sirius and the other Marauders.

Nice to see you too!

“Oh hey.” She said glumly.

I rolled my eyes and took a large sip of my drink feeling the fiery liquid surge down my throat. The more I drank of it the more I liked it actually; I suppose it was just one of those things you had to get used to.

I didn't notice Sirius watching me until he spoke.

“He's trying to get you drunk you know,” He said over the pounding music. I turned to look at him.

“Heck really?" I said sarcastically.

Sirius just ignored me.

“He's trying to take advantage and you're just...” He started.

“Ace take advantage? Never!" I said the sarcasm becoming more apparent.

“He's a git Iris! You're smarter than this!" Sirius snapped.

“Am I really?" I said coldly before knocking back the rest of my drink and getting to my feet, walking purposely towards Ace who was grinning with Elliot, wrapping my hands around his collar and kissing him right slap bang on the mouth.

If Sirius was allowed to play it like that with Mary I'd play too.

A loud whoop went up around the room and Ace grinned as he kissed me back, pulling me closer against him.

Upon reflection it was immature, stupid and reckless but at that moment I didn't give a shit. I wasn't accustomed to what it felt like to be drunk so I didn't even really notice when I'd had way too much and had completely broken through the label of 'tipsy' and into the wonderful oblivion of 'mind bogglingly ridiculously, completely and utterly fucking smashed'.

I really can't remember everything I got up to that night but I do faintly remember quite a bit of...inappropriate dancing. I'm quite sure Ace had a lovely time, I do happen to remember snogging him rather fiercely and then...well...yet more random, hormone charged snogging with Ace before...well by some odd twist of fate we ended up stumbling back to his room thing lead to another and we both somehow managed up half naked (not completely naked mind!) and still snogging...

“Thiz is stupid!" I exclaimed drunkenly as I tried to undo his belt buckle, it was surprisingly difficult due to the endless swaying that apparently accompanies drunkenness.

“Iris,” He sighed eventually, moving to look at me, ending his assault, his lips drawing away from the soft pink skin of my neck.

“Mmm," I said as I planted kiss after kiss along the strong line of his jaw.

He gave another sigh, moving my hand from their current position on that blasted belt.

“I...I can''re completely out of your head,” He said. I giggled.

Oh god; giggling, seriously the idea still makes me cringe.

“Wazn't tha' the point?" I said.

“Well yeah but...ah crap this is so unfair,” He moaned.

I giggled again sitting back on my haunches where I was on the bed, Ace standing before me.

“Look Iris, I don't feel...right doing...doing this...with you,” He said breaking off into a slight moan as I trailed my lips against the hollow of his neck.

“No no, wait...oh fuck it. Look Iris what I'm trying to say is...” He started with a pained look.

"...that you don't feel comfortable shagging me becauze you're having one of those rare moments where your...hic...conscience haz popped up," I hiccupped.

He scowled.

“Yeah,” He said irritably.

I looked at him for a moment, sitting back on my haunches before shrugging and letting out a wide yawn.

“That can only be a good thing, I'm fucking sozzled," I said before just turning and getting beneath the covers.

He stood there for a while and I could hear him cursing himself under his breath, swearing and grumbling I smiled ever so slightly to myself before closing my eyes. He got in next to me eventually, moving his arm around me somewhat cautiously.

“Remind me never to get you drunk again,” He muttered.


I can tell you I had one hell of a bloody shock in the morning. I woke up with my head feeling like it was about to explode and nausea rolling over me in thick waves. Then came the realisation I wasn't in my own bed...and then came Ace out of the shower...completely starkers.

Not my best morning I have to admit.

Needless to say I completely freaked thousands of images and thoughts of what could have happened the previous night rushing to the foreground...until a more rational voice patiently reminded me that we hadn't actually done anything.

“Bloody hell, you scared the fucking crap out of me," Ace cried clutching a hand to his chest when I let out something that very nearly resembled a scream.

“Do you fucking mind?!" I cried before giving a slight whimper as my hangover fought back against the loud noise.

“Christ Iris,” He said picking up the first thing that came to hand and using it to cover himself.

“Oh god I'm going to have that image in my head for the rest of my life," I moaned sinking back down against the pillows, moving my hands over my eyes.

“Really 'cause I wouldn't have any issues with you in the same state,” He grinned

“Don't you have towels or something?" I said.

“Sure but I was getting changed, not my fault you woke up,” He said.

I sighed miserably when my head gave another spin.

I remained on my side facing the wall while Ace got changed

“Come on love, let's go purge you of your hangover,” He chuckled sitting himself down beside me where I lay curled up, the duvet over my head, before giving me a great poke.

“Fuck off," I snapped somewhat pathetically.

“Don't make me drag you out,” He warned. I scowled before reluctantly and slowly peeling back the covers

“Babbity Rabbity? Really Iris?” He said shaking his head referring to my choice of underwear.

Yes, I was still wearing underwear with wizarding fairytales on them.

Deal with it.

“Well it's not like I'm entertaining anyone is it Ace darling?" I said innocently.

His gaze immediately soured.

“As of now we will never ever talk about what may or may not have happened last night,” He said.

“Well at least you have a clear conscience," I said patting his hand.

He let out a groan and I chuckled quietly.

“Yes darling?" I said.

Like hell I was going to let this one go. It was bloody golden.

“Where is everyone anyway?" I asked tentatively pulling myself up into a sitting position.

“Dunno, didn't come back last night don't think,” He shrugged.

I nodded, yawning as I got to my feet.

“Ugh I hate not being able to change," I breathed as I moved to the bathroom, quickly sloshing some water over my face and having a quick sponge down (door locked of course) before drying myself and having no choice but to put on the same clothes from the night before. I moved back out, finding my dress from last night on the floor before pulling it on.

“I feel like crap," I moaned.

“Welcome to the land of the mortal babe," Ace grinned before chucking a jumper at me which I simply let fall to my feet.

“You were supposed to catch that,” He told me in a condescending voice.

I just looked at him before slowly picking it up.

“Thanks," I mumbled.

“Christ I think I actually quite like you like this. You don't yell, you barely's great,” He said happily as I moved to him, lamely resting my head on his shoulder.

“I want to die Ace," I whimpered.

“If you're gonna be sick then get away from me,” He said exhibiting that usual empathy and sensitivity.

“Fuck off," I mumbled.

“Come on, let's go get you a full English.” He said cheerfully.

I just followed as he led me out into his common room, ignoring the chins that began to wag the moment they saw us.

This time I couldn’t say I blamed them, emerging out of Ace’s room in something that was quite obviously from the night before was rather incriminating.

“So seeing as I was a good bloke and everything do I get any...rewards?" Ace said suggestively.

“I gave you a chance," I reminded him with a shrug.

He groaned.

“That's not fair!” He cried.

I smiled slightly moving my hand into his.

“If it makes you feel any better I am grateful," I said gently. He simply scowled.

“Oh yeah, great, that makes me feel miles better, it doesn't matter because you're bloody grateful,” He said rolling his eyes.

Sentimental moment over then.

I rolled my eyes which actually hurt quite a bit.

“I'm begging you Iris, please, find it somewhere in your cold twisted little heart, you can't tell anyone ok?" He said.

“Thanks Ace," I said sarcastically.

“Iris please?" He pleaded.

“I'm not going to pretend," I said.

“No just do that lying you do when it sounds like one thing and is actually another,” He said.

I rolled my eyes again.

“Fine," I sighed.

He grinned kissing my cheek.

“I love you sometimes Iris,” He grinned.

I laughed.

“Damn I feel special," I said.

“By the way, what in God’s name did you put in those drinks?" I asked yawning as I shuffled into the hall.

He grinned at me.

“Can't tell you, it's an Aimes family secret recipe,” He said with a wink.

“Oh...great," I said.

“Don't worry, you'll feel better, you just had waaaaay too much to drink, 2 of those is usually enough to knock anyone out flat,” He told me. Oh great, I was being told to lay off by Ace of all people?

I just grumbled in reply, not even I was quite sure exactly what I was saying. Unintelligible gibberish I suppose. 


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