Chapter 30 : Sticks 'n' Stones
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“Hemera I know you’re awake,” I said gently.
“Oh Iris...” a voice started but Hemera had sat up, the tears beginning to spill down her cheeks seconds later.
“My...that...my m...mother died and...and he calls her that ‘thing’,” She gasped between sobs.
I looked at her before wrapping my arms around her, hugging her tightly.
She let out a loud sob, shaking her head.
“It was his fault, it was all his fault, he did that to her!” She said.
I had no idea what to say. I was confused, in fact I was still trying to wrap my head around everything. Hemera’s dad had killed Cane’s father...who apparently seemed to think Cane’s almost predatory behaviour should be encouraged.
He’d said the man was hiding something...and that something was Hemera.
“I...I shouldn’t have left,” She sobbed, shaking her head.
“It’s my fault, I shouldn’t h...have left,” She said.
“It’s not your fault,” I said forcefully.
She gave a loud sob and I moved her back to arms length.
“Hemera listen, it’s not your fault, if she was ill or...” I said.
Hemera shook her head, sobbing harder.
“She was...she killed herself,” She said.
Oh...once again I couldn’t quite muster something particularly insightful or comforting to say so I just hugged her again.
...you know it’s times like these that I think perhaps Lily deserves more credit. I had no idea how to comfort people.
“H...Wh...Hemera what’s wrong?” I heard a familiar voice say...Andy. I think for once I was glad he was around. She was my best friend and I felt I should do something more but...everything I could think of just sounded so...pathetic.
She cried for an hour straight and then just like that she stopped, wiped her eyes and headed off to the bathroom leaving us all in utter silence.
She came out after a little while and told me that we needed to go to Dumbledore, as calmly as if nothing had happened at all and I just...well...followed.
“I’m so sorry Hemera,” I said quietly after we’d been walking in silence for about 5 minutes.
She turned to look at me before her gaze dropped to her feet.
“He deserved to die Iris,” She muttered.
I didn’t say anything.
She let out a deep breath.
“Cane’s dad was every bit as bad as Cane, perhaps even worse, she...she wasn’t well and he used that and...and my father just let him, he let him walk all over her,” She said quietly before taking a shaky breath.
“And yet he pulls out every stop to make sure I’m ‘safe’, but it’s not even about me, it’s about what I can do, what I can be used for. My mother loved him and he completely destroyed her, she was a tool and that was it, after I was born and he discovered I could see things to he just abandoned her and what’s more he made me think she was evil and...I believed him, because he was my dad. It took me until I was 11 to challenge that, 11 years of living in that same house and I’d never spoken to her. He kept her away from me and I didn’t stray because I was afraid of her,” She said, her voice becoming thick with tears.
“And you know even now, even if I tried my hardest to bring him down, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference because he knows every single one of my weaknesses and even if I did want to, I couldn’t...no, it’s not even that, I wouldn’t. It’s stupid but I really couldn’t,” She said shaking her head.
I moved my hand through hers, giving it a tight squeeze before letting my hand flop back to my side.
“Your mother did you a favour taking you away, you...I assure you, you don’t even want to imagine what your life would have been like otherwise,” She said wiping her tears with the back of her other hand.
I didn’t say anything, watching the ground beneath my feet as I moved my hand through my hair.
“So what are we telling Dumbledore?” I asked.
“The truth, everything I can,” She said simply.
I could never have understood the sacrifice Hemera was making, despite everything that her father was, everything that he’d done, he was still her father and whether it made sense to me or not, she really was tied to him.
Dumbledore was sitting in his office, alone, when we arrived. He looked up, that usual expression of polite interest moving onto his face as he motioned for us to sit.
She really didn’t waste a single moment.
It came out, all of it, what she could do, how it worked, bundles of information on a whole load of Deatheaters, corrupt ministry officials...and when she was done she simply sat there and waited.
She’d omitted her father as she said she would and Cane and his father but by the end even I was flabbergasted.
She didn’t stop there though, she told all of them, Lily, Franny, The Marauders and Andy.
Andy just looked at her before looking at me, his mouth hanging open ever so slightly.
“Yes me too...if you dare tell anyone I’ll hex your arse off,” I snapped.
“And...so...why were you crying?” Pete asked.
“My mum died,” She said simply, before I could open my mouth to cover for her.
“Oh...oh my...we’re so sorry,” Lily said.
She shook her head.
“It’s fine, it’s in the past I suppose,” She said.
I looked at her for a moment, studying her carefully but she didn’t give anything away.
It’s funny; Hemera was most probably far harder than anyone gave her credit for, I guess I often forgot that she’d seen everything I had, perhaps even more, no matter what anyone said, that hardened a person.
“I really don’t think I should go,” I said biting my lip as I looked at Hemera, my large handbag sitting open, half filled in preparation for Bridgett picking me up. It was Friday afternoon and absolutely chucking it down, I really REALLY didn’t want to go.
Hemera rolled her eyes.
“I’m fine,” She said.
“But...” I started.
“Seriously Iris, plus Bridgett would rip your head off and you know it,” She said.
“I can’t just...” I began.
“You know you’re starting to sound like Andy,” She said testily.
I barely suppressed my grimace and she cracked a small smile.
“I don’t know how you put up with him,” I said shaking my head.
“He’s sweet,” She said.
“He’s an overprotective pain in the arse,” I said flatly.
“Ok so perhaps a little but he’s ok,” She said.
I made another face.
“So...do you think Antony’s going to be there?” She asked.
“No idea...I hope so,” I said.
“Isn’t it the rehearsal, I think he’ll be there...” She said.
“No, the weddings in Venice...I’m pretty sure the rehearsal will be there...” I answered.
“Venice? Very nice,” She laughed.
“I wish you could come,” I said.
“I mean this in the nicest possible way but Bridgett scares the bejeezus out of me,” She said.
“It’ s Frederick I don’t like,” I grimaced, throwing my underwear into the bag.
“Nah, he’s just determined to shag you to piss Bridgett off,” She shrugged.
I turned and looked at her.
“Because that’s hugely comforting,” I said sarcastically.
“Makes you wonder if they’re going to even actually get up the aisle,” She said.
“Oh they will, I’ve seen it,” I said.
“Really?” She laughed.
“Only REALLY quickly, I was looking for something else and then it skittered off to another Spanish soap opera,” I said.
“...what is it with visions and soap operas?!” She laughed.
“I don’t know! There’s this one, with Maria and her sister having it off...” I started.
“Yeah! I’ve seen that one!” She laughed.
“Haha! I have spoilers!” I laughed.
She gave a giggle.
“So how did idiot take your visions then?” I asked.
“Very well actually, I think he was a bit upset I didn’t tell him at first but he got over it pretty quickly,” She smiled.
“Mmm,” I said.
Her gaze flattened.
“Just because you don’t like him, doesn’t mean he’s not a nice guy,” She scolded.
“And you didn’t have to tell him about your visions either,” She put in.
“Well you trust him enough don’t you? If he fucks it up I’ll just hex the crap out of him and blame you,” I shrugged.
“Charming,” She said rolling her eyes.
“I...Iris,” She said after a moment as I turned back to my wardrobe.
“Yup?” I said.
“I...it isn’t my decision...or any of my business but...I wouldn’t tell Bridgett about my visions... if I were,” She said.
I frowned and turned to her.
“Why?” I asked.
“It’s not that I think she’d tell anyone,” She put in hurriedly.
“She’s kind of...ambitious and I’m pretty sure that she has that ambition for you too but...visions and power don’t go well,” She said obviously picking her words very carefully.
I raised an eyebrow before I let out a snort.
“Do you think I’m stupid or something? I knew that even when I was 11, there is no way in hell I’d ever tell her,” I chuckled.
“Oh it’s just...I thought you kind of...looked up to her,” She said lamely.
“I do but I’m not blind, she’s an utter bitch half the time, unhealthily ambitious even heartless at others...but she helped me more than I could say,” I said, the last part somewhat more quietly.
She didn’t say anything for a moment before moving the conversation onwards.
“I’m going to have to go, I’ll see you Sunday right?” Hemera smiled as we moved down to the common room.
“Sure,” I smiled.
“Ciao darling,” I said before pulling up my heavy overnight bag and starting toward the portrait hole. I was halfway towards the staircase when I heard someone behind me.
I turned, smiling when I saw Sirius.
“Hullo Stranger,” He grinned.
“Hullo Mr Black,” I teased gently.
“I was...I was just wondering if you wanted to come to Hogsmeade one this weekend, we’re gonna go restock our supplies, they’re running low,” He grinned.
“What the sweets or the Zonkos crap?” I said.
“It’s not crap Iris,” He said shaking his head testily.
I laughed before giving a sigh.
“I can’t,” I said grimly.
“Oh,” He said.
“Bridgett’s weddings like a few weeks away and she’d decapitate me if I missed the fittings,” She said.
“Oh...oh right that’s...fine,” He said.
“Another time?” I said somewhat hopefully.
“Sure,” He smiled.
“So, is that where you going now?” He asked.
“Bridgett’s probably in a bad mood already and I’m kind of late so...” I said trailing off.
“Oh...right...yeah,” He said.
You know I hated how awkward it was nowadays, it seemed like an age ago that we’d spent pretty much every waking second with one another.
“I could...I could walk with you...or something?” He said awkwardly.
“Ok,” I said.
There was a moment of silence as we headed off down the staircase.
“So feeling better?” He asked after a while.
I turned to look at him, slightly confused.
“You hit your head...when you fell...you know the other day,” He said.
“Oh, oh no I’m fine, my hair doesn’t just look good love, it’s a very good cushion,” I teased.
The conversation flowed easier after that and for a while it was almost as if it were back to the old times.
“So how is our dear Tupps then?” I laughed.
“...pretty much the same, we’ll owl you if anything happens,” He beamed.
“You do know you’re supposed to leave them alone after they’ve been born right?” I said sternly.
“Mr Remus has already told us,” He grinned.
“Don’t get into too much trouble when I’m gone,” I said as we rounded the corner to the entrance hall.
He beamed at me.
“...don’t get expelled,” I corrected.
“Don’t worry, we’re not going to get caught this time, it’s been very carefully planned, this’ll be anonymous,” He told me matter of factly.
I shook my head.
“See you Sirius,” I smiled before turning and walking off, my small heels clacking against the stone floor as I walked toward the graceful figure standing in the centre.
“You’re late,” She told me flatly.
“By exactly 3 minutes,” I retorted.
She looked at me, rolling her eyes before pulling a roll of parchment out of her bag.
“Here’s the schedule and itinerary...I assure you, you don’t want to be late,” She told me coolly.
I took it, glancing at it before returning it to my bag, falling into step beside her as she began walking, conjuring a large umbrella as we headed out into the torrential rain and to the carriage waiting.
She was tense, I could see it, like a spring wound far too tight, her lips pressed into a thin taut line.
“So...how are the preparations going?” I asked perhaps somewhat stupidly as the carriage lurched forward, the two of us sitting in it’s heart.
Her gaze snapped up to mine.
“Awful,” She said.
“I spent 4 fucking hours on the phone to the flower arrangers, Frederick is being a prat...as usual, Mary fucking Tottering’s bitch of a mother’s shoving the girl at Antony...again...I’d rather die then let that girl anywhere near my cousin,” She hissed furiously.
“...Antony...Antony’s the guy Mary’s trying to...” I stammered.
“Yes,” Bridgett said testily.
“Not to mention she got herself invited to MY wedding, then of course sets up as a bridesmaid,” She said.
“...can’t you stop her?” I asked.
“Irritatingly enough; no, I can’t. I’d be an idiot to try and go up against her parents,” She said irritably.
“...so...does Antony like her then?” I asked, trying to keep my voice even and casual.
“It doesn’t matter whether he likes her or not because it’s not going to happen, if the worst comes to the very worst I’ll just bring Dione into it, I think she’s probably the only person who could shut her up,” She muttered.
I looked at my hands.
“But...if he likes her...” I started.
“He’s not an idiot Iris, he should know by now people are out for his money...whether he likes to acknowledge or not,” She told me flatly.
“Oh,” I said.
She didn’t say anything for a moment and I looked up to find her watching me.
“Why are you so interested?” She asked. I paused momentarily, somewhat guiltily but when I spoke I was satisfied that my tone sounded pretty convincing.
“I’m not, I was just curious,” I shrugged.
“Mary isn’t exactly subtle about things, I was just wondering if she was actually having any success, she’s dating a friend of mine,” I said off handishly.
She chuckled ever so slightly.
“I doubt she’d ever have much luck,” She said before leaning forward.
“Well anyway, you know what we’re going to have to do, don’t you?” She said.
“We’ll just have to show her exactly what she’s up against. There are men richer than the Nobles,” She said.
“The problem is finding someone who’s wealthier than you are...” She said thoughtfully.
My eyebrows shot up in surprise.
“...that shouldn’t be a problem...right?” I said.
She looked at me before she laughed.
“Shorty do you have ANY idea how much you’re coming into?” She asked.
“...well...Marie never mentioned it...” I said slowly.
“Marie wouldn’t,” She put in with a smile.
“It’s limitless, really. I forgot to say, congratulations on that,” She smiled.
“I didn’t really do anything,” I said.
“Marie’s a good person Iris, completely off her rocker but she means well,” She said.
I looked at her in slight surprise, it wasn’t often that Bridgett actually complimented people’s personalities.
“When I was little me and Ant used to go over to her place in the South of France, she always had the most amazing things...” She said smiling to herself slightly.
“Really?...she doesn’t look that old,” I said in surprise.
“Oh gosh pull out the age card Shorty! Are you saying I’m old!” She laughed.
“’course not,” I said.
“Whatever you do, NEVER bring up her age, don’t even ask. She’s ’20 something’ and likes to remain like that, she gets in a strop and there is nothing more irritating than a stroppy Marie...usually it ends up in some mad scheme actually...I think last time it was opening a canary sanctuary in Outer Mongolia...” She said casually.
“A canary sanctuary?” I said raising an eyebrow.
“Yeah, there have been all kinds of things, some of them are completely daft, like trying to give a unicorn to a muggle homeless charity to ‘brighten their days’,” She snorted, shaking her head.
“Why do I get the feeling that I WAS the mad scheme this time?” I chuckled.
It was funny how easily I relaxed, somehow I always managed to be slightly anxious about being with Bridgett then, when I was, it was fine, she was hard but she did have a sense of humour really.
“Antony’s going to be over in the morning, it’s a rare occasion to actually drag him away to work but he’s promised me he’ll be at the wedding,” She said happily as she pulled out the keys to her plush apartment. It was still pouring outside and steadily nearing midnight but it didn’t matter too much.
“You’re really close, aren’t you?” I asked, smiling ever so slightly as I moved inside.
She glanced at me.
“He’s the only reason I still have faith in the male half of the species,” She laughed.
“I seriously thought every guy in the entire world was like Antony...then I went to Hogwarts,” She said.
I gave a laugh.
“I’m not so sure, I’m starting to think Hogwarts breeds a completely different type of bloke,” I said.
“It’s being away from their mothers,” She explained.
I gave a giggle.
“Anyway! Get off to bed, it’s going to a long day tomorrow and you’re going to need all the sleep you can get,” She told me.
“Oh and Iris, no matter what Mary shoves in your face, be nice,” She told me.
“Christ, I forgot she’d be coming,” I said.
“Yeah well now you remember...I mean it iris, I won’t give a damn if you’re tired in the morning,” She told me.
“I’m going, I’m going,” I said holding my hands up in surrender.
“I TOLD YOU I WANTED BLUE YOU IDIOT!” Bridgett roared, throwing down her clipboard. We were all stood in the huge marbled entrance hall where Francesco’s offices were.
“I...” The poor woman started.
“Does that look like blue?” She asked softly.
The woman shook her head hurriedly, looking pretty much terrified.
...as you may have been able to tell by now, Bridgett was (unsurprisingly) Bridezilla Incarnate.
“Bridgett,” came a resigned sigh.
We all looked round, all 20 bridesmaids, the terrified flower arranger and of course Bridgett.
I couldn’t help but narrow my eyes slightly as a good percentage of the girls beside me immediately stood a little straighter when Antony arrived.
...I’m sorry, was I the only one who sees the Cinderella esc thread carrying through this?
“You’re late,” She hissed at him.
“I know, I got away as soon as I could but something came up...” He began.
“Something always ‘comes up’ Antony! Why don’t you just fucking forget about the fucking wedding?! Because it obviously doesn’t matter that it’s the biggest day of your cousins life!” She yelled.
“Bridgett don’t be like that, I’ll make it up to you, promise...look let me deal with the flowers ok? You’re already late for the fittings and Francesco’s not going to wait around for much longer,” He said.
She glared at him.
“It better be fucking huge Noble...and when Marie’s stopped flirting with the waiter, tell her to get her arse over to Francesco,” She said.
I saw Antony’s lips quirk ever so slightly.
“Right on it,” He told her with a nod before turning back to the flower arranger.
“Sorry about that,” He said pleasantly.
I think the poor woman was close to tears by now.
“Move,” Bridgett said striding through the group.
“Oh and don’t you dare try a colour change charm on those flowers, they wilt faster...I want a new batch set up perfectly on the day...and what idiot delivers them a month beforehand?!” Bridgett cried throwing her hands up in the air before walking off.
I could practically see the ever growing black cloud above her head. In Bridgett’s world, everything ALWAYS fit perfectly, seamlessly. This however, wasn’t.
“But I am head bridesmaid,” the girl, who I could only guess to be Sarah, said angrily as all 20 bridesmaids sat in the plush waiting room of Francesco’s main office, waiting for the 5 or so tailors to come out.
All 20 bridesmaids (yes 20!) were now sitting around the plush waiting room for the 5 or so tailors to come out.
I looked over the magazine I’d been flicking through to see Bridgett turn to her, her expression suddenly cool.
“You were,” She corrected simply, in the same low tones as Sarah.
I was sat closest to them...and funnily enough nearest to the door too.
“You can’t do this to me,” She hissed.
“I can do whatever I want, it’s my wedding,” She retorted coldly.
“I have 2 jobs lined up on that,” Sarah said, something new entering her voice, desperation perhaps.
“Well then you should have come to me beforehand, shouldn’t you?” Bridgett said icily.
“Please,” Sarah said quietly, her voice barely above a whisper.
“I told you not to mess with me. You know I could blacklist you from every designer, agent and agency out there,” Bridgett told her.
“Ple...” Sarah started, tears beginning to cloud her voice.
“I’m not going to, I’m not going to touch you, heck if you like you can have Frederick after the wedding but for the moment, do yourself a favour and stay out of my way,” Bridgett said before moving away from the refreshment table leaving Sarah simply standing there, her back remaining to the entirely oblivious room.
I was just about to turn back to the admittedly rather dull article when her gaze snapped over to mine.
She simply looked at me for a moment before her jaw clenched and she turned away.
Translation: ‘I have no idea what you’re name is, I have no idea who you are. Bridgett hasn’t mentioned you but my super bitch senses have come to the realization that you are the new head bridesmaid. I will therefore make your life as miserable as fucking possible...oh and you look fat in that top’.
Yes, really, all that from a single glance.
“So then anyway, I said to Sirius, you know Sirius Black...as in the Black’s...” I distantly heard Mary say.
“Wasn’t he disinherited?” the girl beside her asked.
“Yes but he’s still an amazing...” She giggled but I’d quite frankly had enough.
I set down the ‘Country Life’ magazine on the small round table in front of me (of which most of the girls in the room had been featured in at least once) before getting to my feet and starting towards the door and the bathroom I’d spotted on the way here.
“Where do you think you’re going?” a testy voice said behind me.
“To the bathroom,” I replied simply.
“I’m sure you can hold it,” Bridgett replied flatly.
“I’m sure I can’t, I’ll be back in a minute,” I replied somewhat irritably.
She pursed her lips.
“Heck you can time me if it makes you feel better,” I said rolling my eyes as I pulled open the door. I wanted to be back at schoolso badly, I would much rather have spent my Saturday prizing Sirius away from Honeydukes or even enduring Andy.
I knew better than to prod Bridgett in a bad mood but I was bordering on one myself and was pretty sure if I heard Mary mention another word about Sirius I’d hex her.
To think I’d really thought the girls at school were bad.
They were nothing.
Ok so they spent most of their time ogling guys and gushing about shoes and handbags but every single girl in that room was there because of position and the influence of their parents.
I felt a sudden pang of sympathy for Bridgett although perhaps there wasn’t really a great deal of need.
She knew what she was getting herself into.
It just seemed such a horrible thing to have every aspect of that supposedly ‘one perfect day’ ruled by the politics of the Wizarding World aristocracy. The flower arrangements alone were enough to cause offence, not to mention distribution of guests, designs of the dresses, bridesmaids, the oh so important Bridesmaids +1...ugh.
I didn’t spend long in the bathroom, just long enough to calm down enough to stop myself tearing people’s heads of.
“Oh hello Iris,” said a cheerful voice beside me.
I looked round to see Marie.
She was probably the only even vaguely happy looking person around.
“Hey,” I said tiredly.
“Bridgett hasn’t broken anything yet has she?” She said cheerfully.
“She’ll break Francesco in a minute if he’s not careful,” I muttered.
She rolled her eyes.
“He’s such a drama queen,” She sighed dramatically.
“I’ll bloody speak to him,” She said.
“Other than that, nobody’s murdered anyone yet, right?” She said.
“I don’t think they’re far off...I have no idea who any of them are,” I said grimly.
She simply patted my hand.
“Your Francy Godmother’ll sort the bitches out, just don’t get too dragged into it, Bridgett means the best but she’s a little nuts sometimes,” She told me matter of factly.
I couldn’t help but laugh.
“You know, she said the exact same thing about you,” I said.
Marie grinned at me.
“Ah but I’m the fantasidosi type of nuts!” She told me.
I couldn’t help but laugh slightly before she ushered me out of the bathroom.
“...wait a minute, Marie I thought you were in Milan?” I said.
“Paris Darling, only arrived back this morning,” She told me matter of factly.
“Oh right,” I nodded.
She babbled all the way back to the fitting rooms, marching straight into the other room that Francesco was supposedly in.
Marie may not have been very good at sorting people out but she seemed to be the only person who could make Francesco do anything.
Bridgett of course wasn’t particularly impressed but apparently not even she dared to yell at Francesco.
See having Francesco as your designer, although not good for your stress levels due to the fact that he was terribly dramatic and a hypochondriac, was the best you could possibly get. He only took up jobs for people he sighted as ‘good enough’, meaning that his things were usually very unique.
He was a pain in the arse when he was in ‘designer mode’ but the best of the best none the less.
“Get rid of those thighs,”
“...just stop eating,”
“Do something about that hair,”
“...Francesco,” Marie frowned, whacking him as she followed him along the line of Bridesmaids.
“Darling, I’m simply stating my opinion,” Francesco said shortly.
She looked at him.
“Wid...” She started but he snapped over to her, giving her a very pointed look.
She beamed at him.
Francesco scowled before turning back to the girls.
“Fine, be fat,” He said.
It was a very long morning.
“You’re an utter bitch,” I said shaking my head as I sat with Marie and Francesco enjoying the only thing that could replace the vast amounts of alcohol they both drank; tea. The other bridesmaids and Bridgett having gone off somewhere. Francesco thankfully had saved me, insisting that he needed another fitting...which was a lie but still.
“Darling punish your daughter!” Francesco cried at Marie.
“Oh darling he’s an awful bitch and you haven’t even seen him when he’s PMSing,” She said.
“I do not PMS darling,” Francesco said shortly.
“Yes you do darling,” She told him.
“Well I’ll just stop speaking to you then,” He said childishly, crossing his arms over his chest.
They were really really childish when they were together.
“I wuv you Widdle,” She said.
He snapped over to her.
“Marie, Widdle was a past life,” He said sternly.
“...Widdle?” I said.
“His names not really Francesco Deorté darling, it’s Eustace Widdle,” She said, giggling childishly.
Francesco pursed his lips.
“Well...you used to fat!” He shot at Marie.
“No I wasn’t!” She giggled.
“Eustace? Really?” I said trying hard not to laugh.
“Past. Life,” He said slowly.
“He used to be so sweet, he used to have these huge glasses and he was so small...I miss school,” She sighed.
“If we’re going to start talking about school I’m going to need a bottle whiskey,” He muttered.
She patted his head sympathetically.
“School children can be such buggers,” She nodded.
His scowl deepened.
“Hate that bloody school,” He muttered.
“Br...oh...oh Merlin, I don’t suppose you know where Bridgett is?” I heard a familiar voice say. I turned, my assumptions proved correct when I saw Antony.
“Antony!” Marie cried happily.
“Hey,” He chuckled.
“Come! Sit!” She insisted.
“I...” He started.
“Sit!” Francesco said.
He rolled his eyes before moving to occupy the only available seat round the small table in that oh so very pink office.
“Why didn’t you owl me?” Marie complained, poking him.
“I’ve been rushed off my feet,” He said apologetically.
“Ugh, work,” Francesco said with a shudder before conjuring a shot glass and filling it with a clear liquid...then rethinking and pouring two more, pushing one towards Antony and another towards Marie.
“Want one darling?” Francesco asked pleasantly.
“I’m ok,” I said.
“Francesco you know I don’t...” Antony started.
“Are we not your olders and therefore appropriately betters?” Marie said.
“If you say so,” He teased.
“So had any other over ambitious mothers approach you this morning?” Marie said pouring the clear liquid into her tea and swirling it.
He gave a chuckle.
“No,” He said.
“I want you to get married,” She moaned.
“Marie...” He started.
“I mean I don’t know what happened to you,” She continued, pouring herself another drink.
“Me neither darling, under our loving, guiding hand and he turns into some horrible respectable, ‘hard working’ prat,” Francesco said shaking his head solemnly.
“I’m not even talking about that,” She said solemnly.
“Darling when’s the last time you had sex?” Marie asked.
Antony choked on his drink.
“Marie...” He started.
I couldn’t help but snort into my tea.
“Darling it’s a perfectly reasonable question, I mean it’s not like you did much rebelling as a teenager and you know Francesco and I are just worried about you,” She told him matter of factly, giving his hand a pat.
“That we bloody well are...are you gay darling because you know I have plenty of...” Francesco started.
“I’m not gay!” Antony cried in aggravation.
Well that certainly would have been an interesting twist...
“Oh,” Marie said looking ever so slightly disappointed before she brightened again.
“Ooo! When you get married and have little baby Antony’s, you could call them after us!” She said motioning between her and Francesco excitedly.
“Make sure they’re attractive though darling, I don’t give my name to just anyone,” Francesco added.
“If you say so,” Antony said amusedly.
“Ooo and you too Iris! OH! OH GOOD MERLIN!” Marie suddenly cried.
“What?” I said looking ever so slightly alarmed.
“I’D BE THE MOTHER OF THE BRIDE!” She cried happily.
“So would I!” He cried.
“I don’t know who would give you away though...” She said thoughtfully.
“We could always hire someone...” Francesco said.
“You can’t hire someone darling,” Marie said shortly.
“You do know they’ll spend the rest of your life planning your wedding now, don’t you?” Antony chuckled quietly, his gaze flicking over to mine.
Is it pathetic that I was pretty sure my heart just skipped several beats?
“I look forward to it,” I chuckled sarcastically.
“You know darling, legally you’re the daddy,” Marie told Francesco.
“...you know that that was fraudulent don’t you?” I said.
They looked round.
“Why?” Marie asked, frowning.
“You put down that you were married,” I reminded them.
Marie gave a dismissive wave of her hand.
“Darling we are married,” Francesco told me matter of factly.
“...what?” Antony said.
“Oh yeah, we got married when we were like 18,” She told us simply.
“...but...I thought you were...” He began.
“Oh he is darling,” Marie said.
“Then...how comes you’re married?” I said.
“You don’t have to be straight to get married darling, it’s not like they actually ask,” Francesco said.
“But...” Antony started.
“We were completely drunk, apparated to Las Vegas and got married,” Marie said pleasantly.
Both Antony and I just stared at them.
“All those nasty papers you have to fill out to get a divorce and all...well we just decided to stay like that,” Francesco finished simply.
“...you got married when you were drunk?” Antony said slowly.
“Yup, I’m sure it was a lovely ceremony...I don’t remember much of it though,” Marie frowned.
“...so you’ve been married all this time and never told anyone?” Antony said.
“Well no one ever asked darling,” Marie said somewhat defensively.
I shook my head as Antony began to laugh.
I repeat; you just can’t beat my role models.
Both Antony and I were later dragged out by a rather disgruntled Bridgett but my mood had vastly improved...even if hers hadn’t.
“MARIE LYNETTE’S YOUR MOTHER?!” Ali cried, catching me completely by surprise as I sat at Gryffindor table beside Sirius (and therefore subsequently scaring the bejeezus out of me).
“Err...” I started.
Of course I’d known that it wouldn’t stay quiet forever, I just wasn’t quite sure what to say.
“OMFM you seriously have to get us her autograph!” June Hunt cried sitting down beside me.
“Oh my Merlin, you could so get Francesco’s stuff early,” another girl (who can safely say I’d never actually spoken to before) flapped excitedly.
“Err...” I said.
“I heard you were modelling,” Ali said enthusiastically.
“...I’m not,” I said slowly, shaking my head before pouring myself a glass of orange juice.
“Aren’t you head bridesmaid?” Ali asked.
“Yes...” I said.
“Wow,” June breathed.
“Well...don’t you have anything better to do than watch me eat?” I said somewhat rudely.
“Are you meant it carbs?” another girl asked.
I turned to look at her, my eyes saying things my mouth simply didn’t need to.
She turned bright red and mumbled something.
They all sat down (thankfully not right next to me), yattering excitedly.
“So I forgot to ask, did you get everything?” I asked turning back to Sirius.
He beamed at me through a mouthful of food.
“Wait, wait, wait, swallow...then speak,” I said holding up my hand.
“You know even now he hasn’t quite mastered that,” Remus told me matter of factly.
“It’s going to be HUGE!” Sirius grinned having now swallowed.
“But not so huge or unique that they know it was definitely us,” James added.
“Every last things planned out,” Pete said proudly.
“...James...” came a low warning from behind the tall messy haired boy. James turned slightly, his eyes widening slightly.
“...Yes Lily Flower?” He said.
“You do remember your head boy...don’t you?” She said slowly, sitting down beside him.
“...yes...” He said looking a lot like a little kid waiting to be reprimanded.
She rolled her eyes.
“Make sure it gets cleaned after,” She breathed before pulling her notebook out onto the table and continuing her essay.
We all simply looked at her in complete and utter disbelief.
“Wh...are you serious?!” James said excitedly.
“If it permanently defaces the school, hurts or humiliates anyone...that includes Slytherins and Sev...Snape, then no, if not then fine, I guess it won’t do THAT much harm,” She shrugged looking up.
Everyone continued to simply stare at her before a huge grin broke across James’ face kissing all over Lily’s face (which of course resulting in her turning bright red).
“I’ve told you I love you today haven’t I?” He said.
“You did yell it down the corridor...” She said fairly.
“...wow, I think I just watched the world fall in...” Sirius murmured to me.
I turned and laughed.
“If you like we’ll even do it in your name,” James said happily.
“I’d really rather you didn’t...if you don’t mind,” She said.
I couldn’t help but snort.
“Oh and out of curiousity, does anyone know what the thing in the student commons tonight is supposed to be about?” I asked.
Apparently there’d been an announcement of some kind which I’d obviously missed.
“No idea,” Sirius shrugged.
“Me neither,” Franny said.
“Nope,” Remus said.
We all turned to Lily and James.
“Well we don’t know,” James shrugged.
We all turned to Lily.
“...we really don’t,” She said.
“Hmm,” I mused.
“Couldn’t you just check,” came a surly voice beside me.
I didn’t even need to look round to see it was Andy. I glanced round at Ali etc but they didn’t appear to have heard.
“Mine doesn’t work like that...stud,” I said pleasantly.
His eyes narrowed into a glare.
I rather enjoyed winding him up by now and ‘stud’ always seemed to be an excellent starting point.
“How do we even know that you can actually see anything?” He said although he had lowered his voice.
“Oi,” Sirius frowned at him.
“Well I know that you’re mad because Hemera just yelled at you because you bad mouthed me...again,” I grinned.
His expression soured further as he sat down.
“I also know that Pearl’s apparently going to come to some horrifying conclusion though at present I don’t know what it is, urm...a ministry officials going to be arrested tomorrow for corruption and money laundering, Franny’s brother is going to score the winning goal in the match later on today, Roger Chartley is finally going to ask Elizabeth Boulevard out for a drink on the 7:20 train to Liverpool Street Station, after 10 train journeys together, they’re going to fall in love and have a lovely puking, yucky, messy baby...and then another two others after that...ooo I so needed to tell Hemera about that...” I mused. You see there were some people that visions just seemed to like, like the sequences of some kind of soap they always managed to seek them out; just random, mostly normal people, not just those who would change the fate of the world, just bog standard people.
“Anyway, Francesco’s going to get yet another award for something or other, in a decade or two there this wonderful thing called ‘The Internet’ where you can probably find rat shaped sweets in abundance with just a few clicks of a button,” I said matter of factly.
“Oh and on Tuesday it’ll be a sunny day with temperatures dipping below freezing in the latter part of the day,” I finished pleasantly.
Andy didn’t say anything.
“If you don’t believe me just wait and see,” I told him coolly.
“And then if you still don’t believe me get Hemera to cross reference it,” I said simply.
Well that shut him up...bastard.
You know in the end that ‘small meeting’ ended up being some horribly cringe worthy occasion of gargantuan proportion.
“So it’s my attention recently that...well...you’re all beginning to realise that there are various...differences between the two sexes,” Professor Levy, the school councillor...well and Pearl’s aunt of course.
Yes deary, we noticed that a very long time, hence the reason broom closets are such frequented destinations.
Pearl’s hand shot into the air.
Oh dear lord...I had a really bad feeling about this.
“Yes Pearl?” She asked kindly.
“...why do we need to know the difference?” She asked.
“BECAUSE TEENAGE PREGNANCY IS ON THE RISE!” Moody declared loudly causing us all to jump as he hobbled into the room filled with 6th and 7th years.
...he looked straight at me.
“Oh for fuck’s sake,” I breathed rolling my eyes.
“Well...” Professor Levy began somewhat meekly.
“Let’s get to the point shall we? You lot-” He said motioning at the half of the room that seated the 7th years.
“Have been documented as THE WORST year in terms of behaviour EVER, over 10,000 hours of detention in the entirety of your school carers!” He cried.
A few cheers ran up through the room, James and Sirius waving proudly.
I couldn’t help but smirk to myself despite the fact that Moody looked like as if his blood pressure were about to hit rather dangerous levels.
“So what does sex education have to do with this exactly?” I asked when the noise had died down.
“Well I...as well as a few professors thought that perhaps it might help if you were all a bit more...well informed,” She said.
Pearl of course remained looking rather confused.
I breathed a sigh leaning my chin against my hand.
“Sex can be an amazing, fun thing but you also need to be...”
“SEX IS BAD!” Moody interjected.
“W...” She began.
You know, there really is a god out there because it was round about then that there was a knock on the door followed by a 2ndyear appearing at the door.
“Urm...Dumbledore would like to see Iris Tear,” came a voice.
Moody’s gaze snapped over to me before his eyes narrowed.
It took everything in me to suppress my delight.
“Couldn’t it wait?” He asked tersely.
“...I...I don’t know,” He said.
“Sounds super urgent,” I said happily...you know I must have been thrilled because ‘super’ is in the category as ‘Gee’, in other words, reserved for sarcasm only.
“Gosh you know, I’m so mad about missing this and all,” I said as sincerely as possible without laughing as I pretty much ran to the door (despite my heels).
“I’m sure it was going to be very...informative,” I said with a grin.
“Well if you like you can always come back and...” Professor Levy began.
“Pfft, yeah right,” I scoffed before pulling open the door and walking out.
I was grinning rather broadly to myself as I walked up with a spring in my step.
...that however was short lived (as things often are). I turned the corner to see the rather peculiar sight of Ace, Cane, Elliot, Severus Snape and The Carrows...they really didn’t ordinarily mix.
I slipped back round the corner, watching with a furrowed brow as Amycus Carrow handed Ace something, his expression intense as he spoke in a low murmur before Ace slipped the thing into his pocket.
They dispersed after that, Cane, Severus and The Carrows before Ace turned and began walking for right where I was hiding...well...standing.
“What are you doing with The Carrows?” I asked as he walked past.
He jumped, whipping round.
“What did you just see?” He asked seriously.
I frowned at him.
“Nothing but what are you doing with The Carrows?” I asked.
“It’s none of your business,” He told me slowly, his eyes wondering over my face, seemingly trying to find out whether I were lying or not.
"What is your problem?" I asked him eventually.
“My problem?” He said raising an eyebrow.
“...yes your fucking problem, what’s wrong with you? You’re...just...you’re acting weird,” I said.
He just looked at me before shaking his head.
"Just fuck off Iris," He snapped.
"No. What's wrong with you? You're acting like a complete and utter bastard!" I cried. He looked at me, his jaw clenching.
"I'm being a bastard? Iris you're the most screwed up bitch in this place. You can't fucking live without someone fucking drawling over you,” He retorted.
"And this is your problem why?!" I snapped.
"I FUCKING WAITED FOR YOU FOR AN HOUR! AN ENTIRE FUCKING HOUR!" He exploded.
I just looked at him.
"I told you I may not have been able to get out..." I began.
"YOU MADE ME LOOK LIKE A FUCKING IDIOT! DO YOU KNOW THE AMOUNT OF STICK I GOT FROM THAT?!” He yelled.
"Then I find out you were fucking adopted and...you don't bother telling me, you don't fucking write, I don't hear a fucking thing!” He cried.
I just looked at him for a moment, my gaze softening.
"Ace I didn't mean...” I started.
"I don't want your fucking sympathy,” He spat.
"I can explain,” I said.
"I don't want you to explain! I don't give a shit! If it weren't for Cane...” He started.
"If it weren't for Cane? Ace do you know what a prick he is?” I said.
"Shut up,” He growled.
I shook my head in disbelief.
"He’s a fucking...” I started.
"Don't you dare lecture me Iris,” He said.
"Fine! You're mad at me! I get it! I'm just asking you to just...use your head! Cane is not...” I started.
"Cane isn't what?" He growled, advancing on me.
“Cane's an utter...” I started in frustration but he simply interrupted me.
“Iris how would you EVER, call out ANYONE? What about Elliot?” He asked.
I looked at him blankly.
“What?” I said.
"Don't act like you don't know Iris," He said, something close to disgust moving into his voice.
“You fucked another bloke when WE were together, you’re a fucking hypocrite, you know that don’t you?! If I’d...” He started.
“Cane told you...” I began.
“Yeah he fucking well did!” He yelled.
“No I fucking well didn’t!” I cried furiously.
“Elliot’s my best fucking mate!” He yelled.
“Wh...I DID NOT! H...how the fuck can you even believe that...” I began.
“Because Iris, you’re a liar and a fucking slut,” He growled.
I just looked at him. Somehow that managed to hurt more than it had ever done before.
“Ace,” I said quietly, shaking my head slowly as I continued to just stare at him.
“Ace you know I didn’t sleep with Elliot, I w...” I started.
“Well you'd say that, wouldn't you?” He spat.
“...and I suppose Cane told you this,” I said.
“He’s not a liar,” He ground out.
And that’s when it suddenly hit.
Elliot was his best friend, I was his...well...was his friend...Cane was isolating him.
I just...I just had no idea why.
Oh god I'd just like to say, I'm really sorry for the wait...I'd then like to also apologize for such a boring chapter but hey, what's life without some fillers right? I will try really hard to make the next chapter a little more...well...interesting...maybe longer too (although this one is actually 17 pages long...). There may be a wait for the next chapter (again) but I will try REALLY hard to make it shorter...and write a whole load to so that I can go back to my normal update times. I thought I'd get this chappie out now before I did something stupid like delete it all in frustration xD
Anyway! I know this chapter was quite frankly crap (and probably a little on the rushed side too :S) but there will be more on Hemera's dad. Ace, Cane, Sirius(!) and Iris...obviously. Oh and just in case you're wondering Cane doesn't actually know that his father's dead at the moment...and...gah I think my brain must be melting or somethinng because I really can't remember all the stuff I was going to say...gah! Muse come back to me! Well anyway, as you can see, my muse seems to have gone on holiday...
Oh and if you check back to chapter 5 I added a chapter image...feel free to add that in the review...hinthint :P
Well anyway reviews are still more than welcome, they really help!
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