I lay on my bed a few days later, absently helping myself to the huge box of chocolates I'd been given by Marie, pouring over the newspaper, looking for anything that may possibly need more attention.
It was funny how quickly I'd gotten used to my new surroundings...well mostly, there were still times when it just blew me away.
I was just reaching the sports pages when I heard the door bell ring. I sat, self consciously pushing a hand through my hair before pulling open the door and hurrying to the entrance hall, delighted to see Antony.
He'd come every day after the party...even if he wasn't actually here for me...sometimes I couldn't help but feel a little stupid as he didn't seem particularly interested unless on a conversational level.
This time however, I had promised myself that it would be simple, I wouldn't fuck it like I had with Sirius...wait no correction 'we'...heck no I refuse to settle with that HE fucked it up...even if he had been rather nice on the train...in other words I wanted the sod out of my head.
"...hi," I said somewhat breathlessly (this place was too big to be rushing from room to room).
"Hi,” He grinned.
"Darling! Darling, darling, d...oh Antony!" Marie cried looking as if she were halfway through getting dressed.
"Hey, I thought I'd drop by, I had your reservations booked for Paris,” He told her. Despite simply being her godson, Antony mostly worked on these things for her as she mostly got them horribly wrong.
"Fantastic! Oh you're such a clever boy! Iris you'll love P...” She started.
"Err...I hate to...you do realise it's the 10th of January don't you?” He said.
"Yes..." I said slowly.
"Sorry, I just...I thought you went to Hogwarts,” He said.
"I do," I said.
"...they started back at school 6 days ago,” He told me.
"Oh fuck!" I cried.
"Oh bloody hell, I don't suppose you could have mentioned this before darling," Marie cried.
"...sorry?” He offered.
"Oh god I did know I just...I completely forgot about it!" I cried.
"What's all the commotion about?" Francesco said appearing from the other room.
"Darling Iris was supposed to go back to school 6 days ago," Marie said.
He looked at us before shrugging.
"Who needs school anyway?” He said dismissively.
"Francesco! It's fundamental! Iris needs to be an educated young lady and if it were up to you she'd be...uneducated," Marie said, finishing rather lamely.
"Well you're smart aren't you? What's 4x4?" Francesco asked me.
"16 but I really..." I began.
"Exactly see she's fine. Why anyone would want to subject themselves to that hell hole I just don't know,” He muttered before disappearing off again.
"He had a hard time at school," Marie explained dismissively.
Marie sent a patronus to Dumbledore (who she appeared to know...not that that was surprising, she knew everyone) and told him we were on our way. Francesco downright refused to come with us but it didn't matter much.
My trunk was unbelievably heavy and took four people to get it out. This wasn't even all of it. By the time I'd reached school (by portkey) I was exhausted. I said goodbye to Marie (and Antony who had come with us) before moving off.
It was the end of the school day by the time I'd reached the dormitory, collapsing onto the bed finally able to at least begin to wrap my head around everything that had happened.
Let's start from the beginning shall we?
I could have been possibly getting over Sirius, establishing that I just disliked him...then he'd fucked that up by being nice. Deatheaters had attacked at the station and I can swear I actually felt compelled to defend Lily and James which sucks because I'd been fucking aiming for Bellatrix. Despite aforementioned attack I'm still shipped off back to the orphanage (great!). I sneak out only to run into Ace (who’s apparently a market stall holder now...) and then agree to go spend Christmas at his. I go back to get my trunk...which now I think about it was still there...only to get caught. I’m then adopted by two eccentric rich people who, despite being magical had decided to be muggles for the day. I'd then spent the remainder of the day moving round shops that I ordinarily couldn't have dreamt of going into. Bridgett was under the impression that I was in dire need of a filthy rich husband. And now I may possibly have had the teeniest crush on my adopted mother’s godson when I wasn't sure he even noticed me like that...ugh what is wrong with the male half of the species! The ones you don't want are all over you but the ones you do aren't, what is up with that?!
"And then...OH MY GOD IRIS!" a voice cried before someone jumped on me, winding me in the process.
"WE THOUGHT SOMETHING HAD HAPPENED TO YOU!” She cried.
I quickly established it was Franny.
"Franny...you know I need air to...you know...stay alive," I said.
"Oh right yeah, sorry," She said moving off me.
I sat up, pushing a hand through my hair.
"Oh my...you look...different," Lily said.
I raised an eyebrow.
"Really?" I said.
"Good different...my god where have you been?" Franny said.
I grinned at her.
"I WAS ADOPTED!" I cried happily.
I beamed, sitting down on my bed just as Tupps appeared.
She gave a loud disgruntled miaow, probably not at all happy with the fact that I’d been away for so long.
I’d had to leave her at school, mostly because I didn’t want to stress her out by moving her about, not to mention she was due pretty soon.
She wrapped herself round Hemera’s legs, purring loudly.
“How’s she been?” I asked, somewhat distractedly.
“Fine, we took her down her to Professor Dibbit who said that we should just make her comfortable...she should actually be in the boys’ room right now, Dog seems to be irritating her,” Lily said scratching Tupps’ head affectionately.
“So I guess I should ask, once they’re weaned, anyone want a kitten?” I asked.
“I will!” Hemera said.
“James has already reserved one as his and Lily’s ‘love kitten’,” Hemera grinned.
Lily flushed bright red, mumbling something.
“What’s it going to be called, James jr?” I asked.
“No, Periwinkle, Lily picked it,” Franny said.
“I was joking,” She squeaked.
“No you weren’t!” Franny laughed.
I let out a loud laugh.
“You know James will be taking that very seriously,” I giggled as I sat down on the floor, stroking Tupps head.
We stayed in there until dinner, I filled them in on everything (...well actually other than Antony, it didn’t seem entirely necessary) and they returned to favour.
By dinner I was absolutely starving, happily making my way down to the dining hall, smiling somewhat cautiously when I saw Sirius.
I’d almost managed to convince myself that I’d made the whole make up thing up, that he’d turn and glare at me but he didn’t.
"Where've you been?!" Sirius cried when he saw me.
I grinned as I sat down beside him.
"Nice to see you too," I said.
"We thought something had happened! You weren't replying to anyone’s owls," Sirius said.
"I'm sorry, I got kind of...distracted," I said.
"How come you're back so late?" Remus asked.
"Lost track of time," I said matter of factly.
"By six days?" Franny laughed.
I couldn't help but laugh.
"Ok ok! I completely forgot! I'm sorry," I laughed.
"So how was your Christmas?" he asked.
"Weirdly and ridiculously amazing," I said.
"Damn prongs, I think that beats ours," Sirius said to James.
I was in an uncharacteristically, undeniably fantastic mood that evening and for the rest of the week in fact. I was delighted to hear from Marie in the form of a letter. I was just on my way up to the owlery when I bumped into Ace of all people.
"Why haven't you said hello? Hmmm?" I demanded.
He just looked at me and I couldn't help how my playful teasing exterior faltered. He just looked...I don't know, his eyes just appeared cold to me.
"I didn't know you were back," He replied flatly.
I raised an eyebrow.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"Nothing," he said.
"...sure..." I said slowly.
He moved to walk round me which simply confused me further.
"Are you pissed off about the holidays?" I asked somewhat curiously.
He stopped, visibly tensing.
"It's none of your business," He spat before stalking off.
I just stood there, frowning for a moment, half of me rather tempted to go after him and just push him until he told me (it worked usually) but somehow it felt...different...he felt different. I watched him go, something in me giving an unpleasant twist before I turned and moved up the staircase to the owlery, wrapping my jumper further around me (yes, shock horror I now had a jumper of my very own) as the cool air met me.
I tied the roll of parchment to the owl just as another came soaring in, dropping something right by my feet before making a loop back out once more. I picked it up, one quick glance confirming that it was from Bridgett. I pushed open the seal, raising an eyebrow when a wedding invitation slipped out.
Of course I knew pretty much every single bloody detail by now...although she’d omitted to tell me it was actually in Venice.
I’d never been anywhere other than London and Hogwarts, obviously I’d seen the place in my visions or in those magazines but I’d never thought I’d actually be going there.
She was picking me up on Friday evening despite the fittings being on Saturday. I’d be staying with her (which didn’t exactly fill me with feelings of joy due to the awkward amount of tension between Bridgett and Frederick). Obviously ordinarily I would have stayed with Marie but she was currently in Paris and Francesco was in Milan so I would be there on my own.
I sighed before tucking it into my bag and moving back down the stairs.
"You're going to Bridgett Collin's wedding?!" Franny cried when I told them later in that day in the common room.
"Yeah, fittings are on Friday," I said.
"Oh my god! That's going to be amazing! There are going to be press everywhere, she's a model," Franny said as if I didn't already know that.
"I know," I said.
"So what's bugging you then?" Hemera asked tugging on a liquorice wand.
Leave it to Hemera to notice.
"I urm...I met a guy..." I said somewhat nervously.
The effect was instant, Hemera began choking, Lily just looked wide eyed and Franny pretty much mirrored that state.
"My god and you're...you're admitting it?!" Hemera said.
I rolled my eyes.
"What about Sirius?" Franny asked.
I didn't know quite what to say to that. Did I still like him? Hell yes. Did fancying a bloke you'd spent one evening with make any sense? No.
Did aforementioned bloke even show signs of having noticed me? No.
Was I therefore understandably confused? Of course.
"He's got Mary," I said eventually.
True that and worse than that I really don’t think he had any intention of getting rid of her any time soon. He didn't love her or fancy her but I think slowly he may have been warming to her, he smiled at her anyhow, most probably because she now had no friends (well other than Elsa) and as he so often liked to demonstrate, he loved to play the hero. I didn't want to get into the whole thing again. If he wanted me he would have chucked her.
I couldn't spend my time hoping and wishing for things that could never come.
"B...but he..." Franny started.
"No, Franny," I said.
"So you...really like this guy?" Hemera said.
"Well I don't know. I was just stating a fact, you guys don't have to jump to the conclusion that I've met a guy and fallen madly in love with him. I liked him, full stop. It's not like I'll ever see him much," I said. Hemera didn't say anything for a moment before she gave a snort.
"Bullshit,” She said.
"Pardon?" I said.
"Bullshit, you would never have mentioned it otherwise, you want to see him again and what's more for once...well possibly twice you're unsure enough to ask for advice! Welcome to the land of the norms, a land where boys don't hop off the shelf because you snap your fingers...sucks to be human doesn't it,” She teased.
I looked at her before I let out a moan.
"Hemera shut up!" I moaned.
"Never!" She cried gleefully.
My gaze flattened.
"I'm not THAT bad," I said.
"Ooo but you will be because that's the thing; you want what you can't have, ok so he's still a guy and all but who knows you might even have to employ that thing, you know...kindness, charm,” She said.
I glared at her.
"You're enjoying yourself," I said.
"Oh hell yes!" She said happily.
"I'm sure he likes you back," Lily put in comfortingly. By now Hemera was pretty much choking from laughter...I thought this was unfair!
I'd never tease...ok so maybe I would...oh fuck it.
"You don't know anything about him," I snapped childishly.
"Antony,” She replied easily.
"Fuck you," I snapped.
"So?" She said.
"So what?" I said irritably.
"Are you going to tell us anything about him?" She asked.
"No, you'll take the pee out of me again," I said childishly.
Her lips twitched.
"I'm sorry,” She offered.
I glared at her.
"Ok ok! I'm sorry for teasing you, I forgot you didn't have a sense of humour,” She grinned.
I scowled once more before sighing.
"Why don't you owl him?" Franny said.
I raised an eyebrow.
"Saying what exactly?" I said.
"Well...did he get you anything for Christmas?" She asked.
"We met at a New Years Eve party," I said flatly.
"Ooo very cliché," Hemera grinned.
"Shut up," I said nudging her with my foot. She laughed.
“And?” Franny asked.
“Well...we talked and we danced a bit,” I said lamely.
“...and?” Lily asked.
“And that was it,” I said.
“...so you didn’t kiss, you know, new year’s and all that,” Hemera said.
I looked at her flatly.
“I wasn’t going to kiss a stranger I’d spent like 3 hours with,” I said.
“Plus, he’d have to kiss me,” I added.
“That’s so romantic,” Franny breathed.
“I mean you met him at a New Year’s Eve party! You should owl him Iris! He could be the one!” She said.
I just looked at her before my eyebrow arched, almost of its own accord.
“The one? Franny there’s no such thing as ‘the one’,” I said flatly.
“Yes there is!” She insisted.
I rolled my eyes.
“There’s no such thing,” I said.
Believe me, I knew, in that was one thing I could claim to be positive on.
“Yes there is, like...Lily and James!” Franny cried.
“Ok that is it! Could everyone stop going on about it! It’s been MONTHS!” Lily suddenly cried.
Everyone turned to look at her.
“I mean seriously!” She said.
I looked at her before I began clapping.
“Christ Lils that actually almost sounded like you were actually telling someone off!” I said in mock horror.
She settled back, a slight blush to her cheeks.
“Sorry Fran,” She said.
“Either way, James and Lily don’t count anyway,” I said dismissively.
“Oh!” Hemera suddenly gasped.
We all turned to look at her, slightly taken aback to see the brilliant white emanating from her eyes before they fluttered shut and she simply flopped down and off the sofa.
...shit...did I really look like that when I went into a vision? Oh Christ.
“Hem...” Franny cried looking startled.
“No, no, just leave her, someone go get some water or something,” I said calmly getting to my feet...and hand me that pillow or something,” I said.
“...shouldn’t she go in the recovery position?” Lily asked.
I thought about this for a moment.
“Err...probably...” I said...I’d never been the one on the outside of this before...it was kind of weird.
Franny went upstairs while Lily shepherded all the curious onlookers out of the way. By a few minutes however I was becoming both impatient and even a little worried. Hemera didn’t usually collapse...I was tempted to go in a vision with her but that would probably look rather odd...
“What happened?!” an urgent voice suddenly cried.
I looked up to see Andy...oh and The Marauders.
“What happened to her?” He asked.
I rolled my eyes at him.
“You know Andy, she is a big girl, she doesn’t need to be fussed over every five bloody seconds,” I breathed.
His gaze snapped over to mine in irritation.
“Just because you have issues with attention hogging...” He started.
“Oh shut the fuck up, you don’t like me, fine, if I’m perfectly honest I think you’re a right prat...no don’t interrupt me love, Hemera isn’t some helpless little flower fairy,” I said in irritation.
“What do you know about her anyway?!” He snapped.
I gave a loud laugh at that point.
“What do I know about her? Probably a great deal more than you do love,” I said.
“You completely ignored her for nearly a month! You let Ali and...” He started.
“...Do you really have to argue right now?” Lily said shortly.
“Oh no, let him speak I’m just dying to hear what he has to say,” I said sarcastically.
“You...” He started.
“Andy shut up,” Sirius sighed.
“You said you didn’t like her last term either,” He said rounding on him.
Sirius didn’t say anything, looking rather guilty.
I rolled my eyes.
“You chose Ace Aimes over your best friend...” He started.
“I’m sorry but why do my relationships bother everyone so much? If Hemera, yes only Hemera, has a problem then she is more than capable of talking to me about it, Jesus and I used to think chivalry was a good thing,” I said, the last part in an undertone.
“She defends you and...” He started.
“Well she would do wouldn’t she,” I said rolling my eyes.
“Are you always this much of an over protective, controlling div?” I asked in aggravation.
He looked rather offended...had no one ever pointed this out to him before because it just seemed like one of those glaringly obvious faults.
“Andy why don’t you go get another damp cloth,” Lily supplied eventually.
“No,” He said sitting himself down in the armchair, his arms crossed stubbornly over his chest.
“...oh so you enjoy fussing and being ridiculously annoying but when it comes down to doing something useful...” I started.
“...I’ll just go get it then...” Remus said.
“Prick,” I muttered, sitting back down against my haunches.
It was understandably a bit awkward after that.
“So...err...have a nice Christmas?” Franny asked Andy awkwardly.
“S’alright,” He shrugged.
I sighed, placing a hand against Hemera’s brow.
“Oh for god’s sakes, wake up,” I breathed although in all honesty I was starting to get a little worried. This REALLY wasn’t like Hemera.
“I guess someone should get Madame Pomfrey then,” I said grimly, chewing my bottom lip anxiously before getting to my feet, picking my wand off the arm of my chair, just about to conjure my patronus, when I was hit out of nowhere by that blindingly white light.
It was too sudden to do anything and I was aware of flopping against the sofa before it shifted.
I arrived in a huge, exceptionally grand looking place, a fire roaring heartily in the hearth and sat in the armchair nearest, was Hemera, staring blankly as the flames rose and danced.
“Hemera,” I said softly moving across the large Persian carpet.
She looked round and I frowned slightly as I saw the tears sliding down her cheeks.
“Hemera, what...” I began when a door burst open at the opposite end of the great room, an impossibly tall, handsome man striding into the room, pushing a hand through his greying hair, a slightly shorter one, blonde this time following moments after.
The first moved to a drinks cabinet I’d missed at first, pulling out the stopper of a whisky bottle and pouring the liquid into a glass with shaking hands. Hemera had stood now, walking slowly to my side before her gaze returned to the men.
“I want that thing out of here,” the first said, his voice wavering shakily.
The door opened again and a plump woman walked in, her face pale and her eyes red.
“I TOLD YOU TO LOOK AFTER HER!” The tall man roared turning on her.
“I’m so sorry, I left her alone for...” She began but he let out a snarl chucking the glass at her, she jumped, managing to avoid it, the glass shattering against the wooden panelling moments later.
“I...” She began again, beginning to cry.
“GET OUT! GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!” He yelled, shoving several of the glasses off the shelf in his rage, the glass making a horrible clatter as it hit the ground.
She let out a sob, pressing her hand against her mouth as she hurried out of the room.
The man stood there for a moment, his chest rising and falling heavily before his gaze turned to the other man who simply watched him, a drink in hand.
The first man’s jaw clenched before it relaxed, his shoulders dropping as he turned back to the cabinet, nursing his hand when the door opened again, a man in a black fishtail suit ensemble coming forward.
“Get rid of it, I want it out of my house,” the greying sever looking man said, his voice calmer now.
“Yes sir,” the man said.
“And have someone clean this up,” He said motioning at the shards of glass littering the floor.
“...I...would you have me dispatch an owl to your daughter sir?” the man asked.
The first turned to look at him.
“That isn’t necessary. She will be told her mother has been sent away,” He said simply, somewhat coldly.
The man nodded before walking out, the door closing behind him.
“Cane isn’t to know either,” the man said sharply turning to the blonde man who had remained silent thus far. It was only then that I recognised Cane’s father, Hades...my stepfather.
“And why not?” Hades asked.
“Because your son has the irritating tendency to enjoy tormenting people and my daughter isn’t to know about this,” the man said simply.
“You know sometimes Aloysius, I get the feeling you dislike my son,” Hades chuckled.
Aloysius turned to him, failing to look particularly amused.
"Your son may do whatever he pleases to any other slut out there but my daughter isn’t to be molested like a common whore,” He said before he gave a slight bitter laugh.
“Women will be the downfall of both you and your son Hades, you were a fool to bring him up like that,” He said.
“Don’t worry, you’re precious flower is safe,” Hades mocked, chuckling.
Aloysius shook his head before turning and walking over to the seat Hemera had been occupying a little while ago, running a hand tiredly over his face.
“The Dark Lord would wish to hear of this Aloysius,” Hades said.
Aloysius stopped, dropping his hand tiredly.
“She was never any use to him,” He said simply.
There was a moment of silence.
“I know what you’re thinking,” He said as he stared into the fire.
“The Dark Lord will find out, he will punish you,” Cane’s father said.
Aloysius stood moving forward until he towered over the shorter man.
“I turned a blind eye to your harassment of my wife, I have allowed your bastard to walk these halls and I will again, always, I saved you from Azkaban, I killed the bastard who supposedly fathered a nonexistent child...I ask of you one thing Hades, one thing,” He growled.
Hades looked at him coolly.
“I won’t lie,” He said shaking his head.
Aloysius didn’t say anything for a moment, I saw his jaw clench and unclench before he turned and walked away.
“Fine. Leave, leave my house,” He said simply.
“He will believe me Aloysius and he will reward me, he needs that seer. You will only miss a daughter, she will be taken care of...” He started.
I let out a slight gasp as Hades fell almost soundlessly to the floor, his glass sitting unharmed in his hand as the liquid slid out.
Aloysius pocketed the wand I hadn’t even noticed him withdraw, reaching down and picking the glass up, placing it on one of the small tables.
“I always hated you,” He muttered before turning and walking calmly out of the room leaving the dead man lying on the floor, his eyes still wide with surprise.
...Ok so I know I said I'd stop updating and do some editing instead...scrap that! My resolve is ridiculously weak, I've decided to keep updating...and do redo the earlier chapters at the same time!
Right so that's done! If the later part of this chapter makes no sense, have no fear! Everything'll be explained in the next chapter! Oh and because it's obvious, Hemera was the seer they were talking about, not Iris, they don't actually know about Iris yet so bear that in mind!
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