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Messes of Men by Roonyskatoony
Chapter 26 : Time for Heroics
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 20


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 “I swear I'll buy you a decent set of underwear for Christmas,” Ace said through a mouthful of food as we sat at Slytherin table. 

I rolled my eyes, I had a feeling it was going to take a lot to make him actually shut up about that.

“Fuuuuck,” a voice breathed behind me. I turned slightly to see Elliot Sanders looking rather corpse like.

Ace let out a bark of laughter.

“Where you been?” He asked.

“Fuck off,” He grumbled sitting down.

I raised an eyebrow slightly.

“You know you look lovely in pink,” I said pleasantly.

They both looked at me blankly for a moment.

“Lipstick,” I said in aggravation.

“Fuckin’ hell you’ve been busy,” Ace grinned.

Elliot gave a huge grin back, waggling his eyebrows.

“Ah crap, forgot, how rude of me. Have a nice evenin’ Iris?” Elliot said pleasantly.

Ace tensed ever so slightly, probably rather anxious about exactly what I was going to say.

“It was great,” I said sarcastically.

“You’re a very good dancer,” He smirked.

“Oi fuck off, you wan’ it? Date it,” Ace said.

I rolled my eyes.

This was why I didn’t like sitting with Ace and his friends.

“I’m allowed to look aren’t I?” Elliot smirked.

“Fuck off Sanders,” I said flatly.

He smirked at me.

I rolled my eyes, moving my forehead into my hand, closing my eyes as my head continued to throb.

“Alright Ell, Ace,” came a voice.

My eyes snapped open, glancing up in time to see ‘Juice’ (idiot I didn’t like) sit down, followed closely by his mostly silent friend, Tim or something.

“Alright Iris,” He grinned when my eyes narrowed into a glare.

The idiot had the ability to drive me mental in seconds.

“Dandy,” I drawled.

He grinned before turning back to the boys.

“Had a great night last night, three girls...” He started.

“Oh god, pull the other one, you couldn’t get laid unless you paid a considerable amount of money, dream on lover boy,” I said rolling my eyes.

He was just about to say something when I heard a cheerful chirp that was instantly recognizable of Pearl.

For the sake of her innocence generally it was considered better to keep her away from him.

“Oi Levy,” Juice grinned, nudging Elliot.

Elliot just rolled his eyes.

Pearl looked at Juice with a frown and slowly she lowered herself onto the bench.

“...my name’s really Pearl,” She told him in a conspiratorial whisper.

“He knows that,” I told her.

“My god Iris you look like hell...” She said before she stopped, giving a gasp and moving a hand over her mouth. 




“I didn’t just say that,” She said.

“...ok,” I said slowly. 




“I’m not allowed to curse,” She told me.

“...right,” I said.

She smiled at me before reaching across the table for the large pack of cereal, babbling as usual.

“Nice tits love,” Juice grinned.

She just looked at him.

“...err...yours are really nice too...” She said.

Ace choked on his butterbeer while Elliot gave a snort.

She frowned ever so slightly before turning to me, an almost questioning look on her face.

 I don’t know how she’d managed to go through her entire life being so naive.

“Ignore him,” I said fixing ‘Juice’ with a hard glare.

“Oi Tim, what d’you get up to last night then?” Elliot said, an almost mocking glint to his eyes.

I turned to look at the boy. He was a bit odd looking to be honest, small and skinny with a large forehead and glasses that appeared to be far too big.

He was almost laughable. 




“Not much I guess,” Ace smirked.

Pearl looked round at him. 




“Don’t be mean to Tim,” She chatisized.

Ace looked at her in surprise.

“He knows loads about numbers, don’t you?” She said encouragingly.

Tim turned bright red.

“...although you do go red a lot...you should probably go see a healer about that you know, I heard there’s this disease and you keep going red and then one day you turn as red as a lobster and then you choke and die!” She told us.

I just shook my head slowly as I chewed. I really wouldn’t have bothered but I was fucking starving.

“I don’t think you’d die...” He said quietly. 




“...you do! There was this woman in Witch Weekly the other day...” She began.

“I doubt anyone wants to hear about what you read about in Witch Weekly Pearl,” I sighed.

“Oi shut up, let her speak,” Ace said.

I looked at him, raising an eyebrow.

“Oh...no it’s ok, I forgot what I was going to say anyway, I just kept talking because I’d started,” She said cheerfully.

“So Pearl, no one’s sent you anymore ducks have they?” Elliot said.

“No...you know I never found out who it was...I didn’t think it was very funny though,” She frowned.

“No...you know if you find them just call us,” Elliot said.

“We’ll make sure they don’t send you anymore ducks,” Ace nodded managing to look quite serious too.

...what was it with blokes and Pearl? I swear they loved her.

She nodded before she frowned.

“You’ll be nice though won’t you?” She said.

“...nope,” Ace said matter of factly as he stuffed a whole sausage into his mouth.

Pearl frowned.

“Why are you so mean to people? They don’t like it,” She said.

“...I’m not mean,” He said.




“Yeah you are, you’re little brothers really nice,” She said.

Ace’s expression darkened. 




“Don’t talk about that little fuck...” He started when Pearl stopped him. 




“Don’t swear,” She told him.

“Sorry,” Ace mumbled. 




I paused, turning to look at him in total disbelief. 




“Maybe you could talk to him...he said your mum sent you something for your birthday...she’s really upset you know,” Pearl said.

He stopped stuffing his face, turning to scowl at her.

“Shut up,” He said.

She looked at him, a slight frown coming to her face.

 ...now I thought about it I’d never really seen Ace and Pearl interacting...it was kind of entertaining. 




“You know Ace you should really stop following Cane, I don’t like him. He’s mean and he says mean stuff and he hurts people and you’re not like that,” She said.

He just looked at her, seemingly at a loss of what to say.

“And neither should you Ell, you can be cool without hurting people,” Pearl said matter of factly.

Silence.

“And you should be nice to Tim because he’s cleverer than you are,” Pearl deduced.

They all turned to look at Tim who apparently didn’t know what to do with the attention.

“My daddy said I should be nice to people and I think if he met you he’d say the same thing,” Pearl said to Ace and Elliot.

“...right...” Ace said slowly. 




“Look at James, he used to be mean but then he was nice and he’s always nice to Lily. I think Lily’s very lucky and that she should be very happy to be with James. I’m sure you want girls to be happy that they’re with you,” Pearl said pleasantly as she resumed eating. 


Again they didn’t appear to have an answer.

“Err...” Elliot said slowly.

“And at the moment Leda isn’t happy Ace,” Pearl said shooting a look at him.

“...well there’s nothing I can do about it,” He supplied eventually, shrugging it off.

She frowned at him.

“Yes there is, it’s...it’s like Alec,” She said.

I moved my head into my hand. Please, just don’t go there! I begged silently.

“Alec loves Iris and Iris is...and I don’t mean to cause offense or anything, but you’re kind of...mean...in fact lots of people don’t you like Iris,” She told me matter of factly.

“I know, I don’t care,” I replied easily.

“Yes you do. Everyone cares when people don’t like them because then you’re alone and we’re not supposed to be alone,” She said.

I just looked at her oddly.

“That’s what my daddy always says anyway,” She shrugged.

...spending time around Pearl with a hangover was hell.

“Because you all like people liking you and then you pretend that you don’t care that they like you. That’s why people don’t like you,” She said.

...did that even make sense?

She moved back to her food after that, thankfully moving back to nonsensical babbling and not the philosophical talk that had been streaming out of her mouth.

It creeped me out.

I chewed slowly, unable to shake this odd feeling; unnerved by how easily the subject changed...maybe I’d been right to keep Pearl at arm’s length after all.

The days seem to fly by, the rumours of mine and Ace’s ‘relationship’ reaching new heights. The annoying thing was this time it was partly my fault, getting utterly pissed, snogging the crap out of him and stumbling up to his room (you know really that was an impressive feat, I don’t know how I even managed to get there) and then expecting people to actually believe me when I told them that we weren’t sleeping together was admittedly rather unreasonable.

Not even Hemera believed me at first, I had to spend ages pushing her to take a proper look in which case she just began giggling and the teasing got worse. I then of course, none too subtly, brought up Elliot and...certain incidents which thankfully shut her up.

“You promised you’d never bring that up again!” She moaned. 


“Well then you should fucking believe me!” I cried giving her an almighty poke.

“Owwww!” She whined massaging her arm.

I stuck my tongue out at her.

“Plus I never go on about you and Andy,” I said.

“That’s because Andy and I don’t do anything,” She pointed out.

“Well neither do I!” I said.

She snorted.

“Do you actually take note of where his hands are going?” She said.

I rolled my eyes. 




“That makes it sound dodgy,” I said.

“It would do,” She said pleasantly.

“Fuck off,” I said childishly.

She let out a giggle.

“Winding you up is way too much,” She said happily.

I scowled at her again.

“Hemera,” came a voice behind us. We both turned to see Andy. I rolled my eyes and she shot me one of those classic ‘be nice’ looks.

I had to admit, I rather enjoyed winding him up.

He was ridiculously protective of Hemera you see, assuming that I was doing my very best to turn her into one of my minions to use and manipulate. It was quite entertaining actually.

“Morning stud,” I said pleasantly.

He scowled at me. 




“Iris,” Hemera sighed.

“Yes?” I said lightly.

She shot me another look.

“Oh! You want me to leave you alone!” I said.

She looked at me flatly despite her cheeks now bright red. I couldn’t help my gleeful smile.

“Don’t get up to anything I wouldn’t darling, be safe, there’s a fantastic...” I started.

“Piss off,” She said in a very small voice obviously beyond embarrassed.

 “Pardon? I didn’t quite hear you,” I said.

“Leave her alone Iris,” Andy ground out.

I gave a pout.

“Gosh I’m sorry,” I said innocently. 




She glared at me.

“I’ll get you back later,” She hissed at me. 


I gave another pout.

“That sounds horri...” I began when I felt a hand move over my mouth, an arm moving around my waist. 




“Sounds like you’re talking again,” a familiar purr said.

My gaze flattened.

“Fuck off Ace,” I said...well would have done but his hand was in the way so it was therefore unintelligible.

“Come on babe, we have work to do. Last Friday of term,” He grinned.

I paused, turning my head slightly before I grinned back at him.

I’d almost forgotten, it seemed like ages ago since we’d made that bet up.

Was it really possible to fall for someone in under two months?...Well I guess we’d find out.

“You got the veritaserum?” I said moving his hand away.

“Yup,” He said.

“...hate to interrupt and all but...veritaserum?” Hemera said.

“It’s fine,” I said dismissively.

 “I told you ages ago...or at least I think I did...ah well,” I shrugged.

“See you around Blondie,” He smirked at Hemera.

I threw Ace a look as he wheeled me off.

“What?” He said.

“...were you hitting on Hemera,” I said.

He grinned.

“Why would you get jealous if I was?” He said. 


I raised an eyebrow.

He chuckled, glancing over his shoulder.

“That one annoys me more than his brother,” He said. 




“I guess you mean Andy,” I said flatly.

“Whatever his name is,” Ace said dismissively.

I rolled my eyes.

He chuckled as we continued to walk, speaking again after a bit.

“Iris...” He said slowly.

I turned to look at him.

“What?” I said.

He sighed, rubbing the back of his neck.

“I’m going home,” He said.

I stopped, looking at him with raised eyebrows.

“Not permanently, just for Christmas,” He hastened to add.

I grinned at him.

“That’s great!” I said.

He sighed.

“I was...so do you wanna come with me?” He said.

I didn’t say anything for a moment. He turned and glanced at me.

“Well?” He said roughly.

“You’re actually asking me?” I said in surprise.

“Well I’m not going by myself and who else am I gonna ask?” He said.

I looked at him before I grinned.

“Seeing as you asked so nicely, sure,” I grinned.

He studied me for a moment, looking slightly unsure and I couldn’t help but laugh.

“Stop looking so bloody nervous,” I said as I began to walk.

He continued to eye me for a moment before speaking.

“Right, you are NOT to EVER stay in a room with my family without me. You do not speak to my mother, aunts and more specifically my other cousins...don’t flirt with my cousins or brothers, don’t let them touch you, if they make a move on you, run,” He said, suddenly business like as he reached my side.

“...that really doesn’t fill me with confidence Ace...” I said slowly.

“You will be asked if we are getting married; we are not, don’t even joke about it...seriously. Aiden will most probably have already told them you are pregnant, we will do our best to get rid of these rumours but some of them are stubborn old bats so it may take a while. I am not asking you because I like you more than anyone else, don’t get big headed about it. This is out of desperation. If my mum, aunts, grandma or great aunts or any other female relation you can think of asks; no, we are not serious.” He said urgently.

“Heck feel free to add that we’re not sleeping together either...just don’t say that around my brothers or cousins. You’ll recognise them because they’re all blokes. Err...what else...?” He said thoughtfully.

I just looked at him, utterly bewildered.

“Ah yes. Believe me, no matter what you think Aiden is not to be trusted, he’s a little git,” He said darkly.

...Right...

“Ok...” I said slowly.

“...and don’t eat too much of my mum’s cooking either,” He frowned.

“...why?” I asked.

He looked at me.

“’cause you’ll get fat, I don’t want a fat girlfriend,” He said.

I raised an eyebrow.

“Excuse me?” I said. 




He however failed to notice me.

“Oh yeah and anything that happens at the house, stays at the house, ok?” He said.

“...Ace did you say you thought I was fat?” I demanded.

“...god they’re probably going to do the elf thing again...” He said grimly, more to himself now.

“Bastard,” I scowled.

*

I sat cross legged before the mirror, doing my make up, my face set into a frown. Everything had been organised. Courtesy of Ali, Kim, Nora and the rest of the girls and of course Ace’s equivalent. From some tiny thing it had spread like wild fire through our group.

I guess they were all waiting for some kind of shocking revelation...or perhaps not so shocking seeing as most of them believed I was carrying his child (yes, still). I couldn’t help but be a little...nervous. Suddenly unsure of exactly what it was I felt, I didn’t think I loved Ace, he was entertaining, nice to look at but...he was Ace.

No. I guess it was more the idea of veritaserum, I’d always had an aversion to it, the idea quite frankly repulsed me.

Something that could cause anyone to spill every truth they kept dear to the them, for anyone to hear.

I sighed, trying to stem my unnecessary nerves as I found my way to the unused classroom.

It was actually rather frightening how over done this had become.

They’d temporarily decorated the ceiling in thick material that fell from the ceiling to the walls like a tent, the window pane of the door, covered in the back material to block any onlookers...it really was ridiculous.

I slid into the chair opposite Ace at the table, glancing around.

They were all there, all my ‘friends’ (excluding Elsa and Mary who thankfully were currently ‘out of the clique’).

Ali started rambling on, I guess in what she supposed to be a ‘mystic’ voice, the lights were dimmed...I think there was a perfect example of overkill.

Across the table Ace was smirking, looking at me amusedly.

I looked turned to look at him as he handed Ali the small vial of veritaserum and watched as she tipped two drops into each cup. My anxiety suddenly increased. I didn't think I loved Ace but apparently you could never be sure about these. Not to mention all the other crap, I'd decided that if anyone asked any other irrelevant questions I'd simply keep my mouth shut. 




“Ok," Ali said handing each of us a cup. 




"Cheers," 




"To us," I smirked before downing the liquid. He did the same before we both showed one another our empty cups before setting them down. 




"You first," I said. 




"Ladies first," He responded. 




"Alphabetical order," I said. 




"Bu...oh bloody hell fine. Ask me," Ace said. 




"Do you, Ace Aimes, love Iris Tear?" Ali said. He looked at me for a moment, considering it before he spoke. 




"Fuck no,” He said leaning back in his chair. 




"No you're only allowed to say no," Elliot tutted. 




"No," Ace said. 

He looked ever so slightly relieved.




I smirked at him. 




"Do you, Iris Tear, love Ace Aimes?" Ali asked me. It was rather entertaining how they all leant in. 




"No," I said simply. 




"You're lying!" Ace cried. 




"No I am not. I do not love you. We both lost," I said. 




I was extremely relieved actually, both due to the fact that saying that I loved him in front of the largest concentration of gossips in our year was too worse a fate to even contemplate and also for my own peace of mind. It was clear and simple and it allowed things to remain that way. 




"Still think you cheated,” He grumbled. 




"No, I just don't love you," I laughed. 




"Well I don't love you either,” He said. 




"So this in essence was an utter waste of time," I said before pushing back my hair and going to get up. 




"Yeah...but I'm not getting another girlfriend...unless it's you I guess,” He said. I paused and turned to look at him. He was now frowning at himself. 




I grinned at him. 




"Softy," I teased. 




He made a face at me before getting up. 




"Well this has been lovely and all but I think I'm going back to bed," He said stretching. I eyed him amusedly. In other words he was escaping while he was still vulnerable to blurting out the truth every five seconds. My thoughts exactly. I left moments after him although he must have taken a different route because I didn’t see him. I moved to the staircase when suddenly I felt someone yank me round and into...a broom closet. Why was I always being yanked into closets? 




"What the..." I started. 




"Shut up, it's only me," I heard a familiar voice say. Ace. 




"What do you want?" I asked. 




"I told you, I don't trust you...and I don't want you to get all big headed and crap about what I said,” He said. 




I chuckled. 




"Don't worry, you're pretty far up there on my list of dateable guys," I said. 




I saw him grin faintly in the darkness. I smiled back. 




"You're not too bad you know,” He told me gently. 




"And you're not quite as big an idiot as I assumed," I replied. 




"I meant it you know, about the dating thing, if we're not together I don't want anyone else,” He said. 




I looked at him, my eyes now adjusted to the lack of light. 




"...this is getting kind of weird,” He breathed. 




"I'm starting to think it surpassed those lines a while ago," I agreed. 




"Before we know it we'll end up being one of those 'cute couples',” He said. 




I made a face. 




"Sounds awful," I said. 




"Does doesn't it?" He said. 




I was of course pressed between him and the wall by now. 




"You'll forever hold the label of the bad boy gone good," I said. 




"Yuck,” He said. 




"We'd probably end up...in love or something," I said my voice hitching halfway through as he shifted, his lips trailing down to my neck. 




"That'd never do,” He said. 




It felt like there was fire running through me now, whether it was a reaction to the veritaserum or Ace I couldn't be sure. 




"And worse than that we'd end up as those bastards who say that can't live without each other,” He said. 




"Christ," I breathed. 




He moved my hand from his cheek, looping his fingers through mine. 




"...So how d'you wanna do it? Wanna go for drama?" He said, smirking. 




I grinned. 




"Do we really have time, it's the last week and you never know when these symptoms may catch up," I said wisely. 




"Sounds worrying,” He nodded. 




"I'm gonna miss it Ace...us and all," I said my hands running up his chest and meeting round his neck. 




"I'm gonna miss it too. Us against the world,” He grinned. 




"You know this is a shit break up," I said. 




"Meh, special circumstances,” He shrugged. I laughed. 




"So...wanna still be friends?" I said. 




"I thought we banned that word?" He said. 




"You also attempted to ban me from speaking, that didn't work out too well either," I smirked. 




"Damn forgot about that,” He chuckled, his arms moving round my waist. 




"We can still hang out and stuff...right?" I said. 




He grinned. 




"You're not getting rid of me that easily,” He said. 




"And we're allowed to shag/see other people, no getting mad?" He said. 




"Yup," I nodded. 




"So here's to us. Us against the world,” He grinned leaning his forehead against mine. 




"To us," I laughed. 




And that's how it went. Sometimes I often wondered what would have happened if we'd stayed together, if we'd continued and fallen in love, if it would have ended in a mess or if we would have gone long haul, if we'd have stayed together after school...but there was never point dwelling on what could have been. As always in life one thing leads to another, the obvious one may bring you happiness but another may deliver the same, if not more.

 *

I sighed miserably as I sat down in the compartment with Lily, Hemera and Franny.

I don’t even know how or even really why but for the first time in 7 years I’d been summoned back to the orphanage for Christmas. This of course cancelled out my plans with Ace which despite myself I’d been rather looking forward too.

The rest of the week had been quite simply hectic. I spent a great deal of it, sewing and stitching, desperately trying to churn out the appropriate gifts to everyone who’d given me anything. Luckily I could use the excuse that I was still pissed off at the majority of my ‘friends’ although I did have to cater for Tamsin Toil and a few of her other Ravenclaw friends. Lily, Franny, Hemera, Pearl, Annabel (she gave me a book and I did live with her so I had to do something) and then gave Katy a mangy sock as she’d given me something so mangy it was quite frankly unidentifiable. I didn’t know what to get Ace so simply didn’t bother then told anyone else I’d forgotten that I’d give them something after Christmas.

I’d need to go to the market near the orphanage to get some more material which meant sneaking out.

I sighed once more.

Unfortunately no amount of protesting could have changed this fact. I’d tried everything I could think of when Moody had insisted I go, saying that I’d do something stupid like go on Deatheater hunt in my freetime...Moody however simply informed me that he’d just have someone stalk me to make sure I didn’t, hence the reason I was sitting in the compartment in the seat next to the windows, my cheek pressed heavily against my hand.

It wasn’t fair.

I never went back for Christmas.

Ever.

“It’ll be alright,” Hemera said gently next to me.

I glanced at her before I sighed.

“Sure,” I breathed sarcastically.

I felt like crap, my stomach churning uncomfortably, twisting into tight sickening knots.

“So erm...I heard you and Ace are...over,” Lily said tentatively.

I glanced around to see them all looking at me.

"Yeah," I shrugged. 




"Why?" Franny said. 




I snorted. 




"Because it was never going to work. He's an ok guy but it was just getting...weird," I said. 




"What so...you still like him?" Hemera asked. Funnily enough I think I may have neglected to tell her.

I thought about it for a moment. 




"As a friend, sure," I said. 




In all honesty I was a little confused. I'd spent so long disliking him on his reputation alone that getting to know him was a bit of a shock. He was a good bloke really even if he could be nasty to others. He was good to me and I had no reason not to like him. We were similar and it was nice to talk to someone who...understood, I could have spent days with him. Hemera was my best friend and I loved her as such but so was Ace in an entirely different way. 


I'd never seen him do any of the infamous attacks (other than when he'd hexed Barry Whites finger off which was beyond disgusting), in my mind they just simply didn't exist. I didn't want to sound pathetic and overly optimistic but he'd changed, I couldn't truthfully claim it was me because I doubt it was. He was still a git to people he didn't like but so was I, I couldn't criticise something that I did so often myself. 




Either way I was still a little guarded, it had been a little weird the night we'd broken up, both of us had said some things and neither knew quite where to stand with the other anymore. Hence the reason we were both doing a rather fine job of avoiding one another. 




"I dunno, I thought you were good together," Franny said. 




"You bickered like a married couple," Hemera nodded. 




I chuckled slightly, looking down at my hands before sighing. 




"I know but...Sirius..." I started. 




"You still like him," Franny said. 




"I don't know why. I haven't had a normal conversation with him in ages but...he just makes me feel...good. With Ace it's always guarded but Sirius just grins at me and I just end up turning into some soppy mess," I admitted sheepishly. I'd never really opened up to anyone other than Hemera before but I trusted both Lily and Franny enough not to tell. 




"He likes you too you know," Lily said. 




I sighed. 




"I dunno anymore," I said miserably. 




"He does. He's just upset, you guys used to be really close and hate to say it and all in case you bite of my head but you and Ace looked like a serious couple for a bit," Hemera said. 




"I tried talking to him the other day but it just turned into another argument," I said glumly. 




Franny unexpectedly giggled slightly. 




"That's Sirius for you, he's moody. You just have to give him time to come round, he has to have time to mope then get over that," She told me. 




We spent most of the time talking eating sweets from the trolley. It was nice; I hadn't done anything like it in a while and it made me feel a hell of a lot better about all the crap going through my head. 


It even managed to distract from the whole misery of going back thing. 




"Hullo Lily Flower," a familiar voice said when the door opened revealing The Marauders. 




"Oh...hi," She smiled blushing slightly. 




He grinned at her. 

"Mind if I talk to you...alone?" He asked looking a little nervous but determined none the less. We all shared a significant look. 




"I found another toffee shaped like a rat!" another voice cried before Peter shuffled into view, presenting the aforementioned sweet to James. 




"Err...Pete, Sirius, let's err...talk to...oh just get in there," Remus said pushing them inside. 




"Oh...Iris," Sirius said, his grin disappearing. It kind of hurt to be honest. 




"Err..." I said. 




"I'm spose to be..." Sirius started moving back towards he door but Franny pulled him back by the collar. 




"No, Lily and James are talking!" She hissed. I looked round to see all the others by the door, peering through the curtains. 




"What was that....that sounded like hippogriff," Pete said looking confused. 




"No it was...err...yeah actually I think it was hippogriff," Remus said. 




"He's babbling," Hemera told us. 




"So...looking forward to going to Christmas?" I asked awkwardly. Sirius looked ever so slightly surprised. 




"Err...yeah," he said. 




I nodded before my gaze moved to my hands sitting in my lap. 




"So...I heard you and Ace..." He started. 




"Yeah...yeah we are," I said a little too fast. 




"Oh...cool," He replied. 




I nodded before turning to look out the window. It hadn't really occurred to me that part of the reason I refused to allow myself to like Ace was because it was Sirius I was waiting for. It seemed obvious now. 




"So...where you spending Christmas?" Sirius asked. I looked up. 




"Oh...urm...well the...the orphanage," I sighed. 




"What you're clearing your stuff out?" He said. 




I laughed slightly and shook my head. 




"No. There's not really much to do on that front but...I have no idea really, I was just told I had to," I said picking at my nails in my lap. 




"Oh," he said. 




Well this was nice and awkward. 




"Look Iris," He said before glancing at the others and crossing over and sitting down next to me. 




"I'm sorry," He said earnestly so that only I'd hear him. I felt my gaze soften. 




"I'm sorry too...and I tell you Black you better not be crossing your fucking toes," I said. 




He looked at me before he grinned. 




"I'm not," he said. 




I looked at him before I smiled. 




"I've kind of missed you," I admitted sheepishly. 




"I missed you too, who knows what you've been eating," He said. I laughed. 




"Will you write?" I asked him somewhat unexpectedly. 




He looked at me before he grinned. 




"If you write back," he said. 




I smiled. 




"Wanna start again?" He said after a bit. I sent him a questioning look. 




"Forget the past month," He said extending a hand. I looked at him before I laughed. 




"Hello, my name’s Iris Tear," I smirked. 




"Sirius Black," He said his hand closing around mine. 




"Pleased to meet you," He said shaking it. 




"Pleasures all mine," I said. 




"Is he asking her to marry him?!" came a sudden cry. 




We both turned back to everyone by the door. 




"No! He asked her if she wanted to come round in the holidays...Pete how does that even sound like a marriage proposal?" Franny said. 




"Well I dunno," Pete shrugged self consciously. 




"You know...Iris about...about what I said...about moving in together," Sirius said returning back to me, continuing in those low tones. 




"Yeah...it's ok if you've changed your mind..." I began. 




"Nah, I was just wondering if you remembered. Still up for it?" He said. 




"If we can go without murdering each other, sure," I laughed. 




He grinned. 




That train ride was the best I'd ever had. I had my best friend back. Lily and James were snogging in the corridor, Pete was still expressing his delight at finding a rat shaped sweet...again, Hemera was with Andy who appeared to be in such a good mood he didn’t particularly mind my presence...all was well and good. 


I would have given anything to make it last longer, the feeling of dread as I stepped down off the train, onto the platform was awful. 




"I'll take you back if you like?" Sirius offered. I looked at him in horror, shaking my head. 




"No...no...god no, I can manage," I said. 




"Sure?" he said.




I nodded. 




"Bye Sirius," I smiled once I'd said goodbye to everyone else. 




"What I don't get a hug anymore?" He pouted. I laughed before hugging him tightly. 




"Sorry this term’s been so crap. New year; new set of arguments," I chuckled. 




He laughed. 




I smiled, letting go. 




"Bye," I smiled at all of them before turning. 




"Wait! Iris," Sirius said catching my hand. I turned towards him. 




"Iris look I...I've been a git and I'm sorry, I've treated you like shit but Iris I...I lo...well I think I l..." He started when suddenly a shriek sounded through the platform. We all turned in time to see a green flash past right past us. 




The station erupted into pandemonium, people screaming, parents desperately gathering their children, streaking for the boundaries, away from the hooded figures. 




Deatheaters.




Author's Notes: 

So first off I feel the need to apologise for such a horribly fluffy chapter! I will be going back and fixing it (along with several others) in the near future. Reviews still welcome though!


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