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Messes of Men by Roonyskatoony
Chapter 31 : The Well Below the Valley
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 19


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 “FUCK YOU! JUST FUCK YOU!”

“Ace! No please, he was only be silly, just come back inside,” the plump woman said rushing out of the house after the tall, tousled brown haired boy, several of whom I could only assume were his brothers, flooding out after her.

“Ace please!” She cried hurrying to the gate moments as he’d pulled the heavy trunk through, apparating meer seconds later.

The last thing I saw before the scene took a violent jerk was Ace’s mother standing by the gate, her hand over her mouth as she gave a sob, her husband wrapping his arms around her, his jaw set furiously as he looked at the spot that Ace had occupied seconds before.

*

I landed heavily among pristine lawns, my knees buckling slightly with the force as Hemera landed lightly beside me. She held out her hand to me before leading me up over the small hill, pausing slightly as a large manor house appeared before us.

“Cane’s house,” She breathed somewhat grimly.

“What?” I said. 

“Cane, that’s his house...I hate this place,” She muttered before leading me down, navigating her way easily until we came across the two of them. Cane and Ace sitting round the back, Ace’s suitcase now gone as he stared out across the grounds, his jaw clenched.

"I thought you were never going back," Cane chuckled, lighting a cigarette with the tip of his wand. 





Ace shook his head tersely, taking one too and lighting it himself. 





"Bastards," He muttered. 





Cane chuckled. 





"What and your fuck didn't turn up?" He smirked. 





Ace turned to look at him. 





"Iris isn't a fuck," He growled, bristling slightly. 





Cane laughed. 





"She's got you wrapped round her little finger," He chuckled shaking his head. 





He glared at him. 





"No she hasn't," He snapped. 





He just gave another chuckle. 





"She says jump, you say how bloody high? What d'you expect from her? If you wanna get your leg over just get it fucking done with," He said exhaling, the smoke writhing and fading as it rose. 





Ace didn't say anything. 





In fact he didn’t say anything for rather a long time, his jaw clenching and then unclenching, his thumb and forefinger pressing against the thin strip between his fingers before eventually he spoke. 





"What did you do to her?" 





Cane looked at him. 





"What?" He said slowly, his movements slowing to a complete halt. 





Ace continued to look at the ground blankly.

"What did you do to her? Iris. What did you do to her?" He asked slowly. 





Cane continued to look at him, his eyes almost guarded although he still let out an easy light chuckle.





"Why? Did she say something?" He asked, his demeanour almost mocking, amusement spilling into his words. 





"Nothing. She never says anything about you, that's the thing," He said turning to look at him. 





Cane smirked before he shrugged. 





"I didn't do anything, it was all her," He said. 





"What?" Ace asked. 





"Why? Does this bother you? That I know something 'bout her that you don't?" He mocked.  





Ace scowled and Cane gave a chuckle.





"If it makes you feel better to believe it, fine, I didn’t but someone needs to bring her down a peg or two," He said, muttering the last part. 





Ace remained silent for a moment, rolling the cigarette between his fingers, apparently lost in thought and Cane watched him the entire time, a serious look moving across his face.

“You’re gonna let her get in the way Ace,” He said.

Ace turned and looked at him.

“Get in the way of what?” He said flatly. 





Cane shook his head.

“We’re leaving soon Ace, soon as we leave those walls, we’re nothing and believe me your sluts not going to want anything to do with you when you don’t mean anything anymore,” He said.

I frowned. What?!

“Oh for fuck’s sake Cane! I. Do. Not. Like. Iris,” Ace snapped.

“Really Ace? Do you really believe that?” Cane said sceptically. 





Ace turned and looked at him, irritation and even a little anger spilling through onto his features.

Cane looked at him for a moment, his gaze sweeping over him before he turned away. 





“Good,” Cane said.

There was another round of silence and felt my face remain assembled into the same frown.

“Where’s Ell, I thought he was staying here?” Ace asked.

“I don’t want him in my house,” Cane said tersely.

“Why?” Ace frowned.

Cane didn’t say anything before he paused, the smallest smile moving onto his face before he looked up.

“Because he betrayed us,” He said.

...why did I have this feeling that this was where that whole ‘Iris and Elliot slept together’ thing was about to surface?

Ace turned and looked at him, raising an eyebrow with a smile tugged on his lips.

“He ‘betrayed’ us, really? Shit!” He said sarcastically. 





Cane’s gaze flattened.

“You seriously need to lighten up mate...” Ace began, laughing now.

“What and go get a fuck? Because I think Elliot took your advice. I’m surprised at you Ace, I didn’t think you were one to lie down and take shit like that,” Cane said lightly, inhaling a deep lungful of smoke.

That stopped Ace laughing.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” He frowned.

Cane turned to look at him, raising his eyebrows in a show of admittedly brilliantly acted surprise.

“...I thought you knew,” He said giving a frown.

“Knew what?” Ace said adopting the same frown.

“...Iris and Ell were shagging...” He said.

Ace looked at him for a moment before giving a scoff.

“Shut up Cane, no they’re not,” He said.

“Where’d you think they disappeared too for the entire day on your birthday? Or did you really think they were ‘making you little decorations’,” Cane said, his tone turning mocking.

...what?! I was with Hemera the entire day, that was the day we made up...

“...doesn’t mean they were fucking,” He said, his tone turning slightly aggressive.

Cane shrugged.

“Fine, I’m sorry, don’t believe me,” Cane said. 

Ace looked at him. 



“...Ell doesn’t fuck my girls...” He snapped.

...oh thanks! Nice to know I’m just a possession now! Sexist bastard!

Cane shrugged.

“I dunno but I saw what I saw,” He said. 

Ace just sat there for a moment, opening his mouth before closing it again, giving a scoff.

“She...” He started.

“Yes because Iris is known for her non hypocritical ways, isn’t she?” Cane said.

I heard Hemera give a snort behind me.

I turned rapidly to glare at her but she simply help her hands up in mock surrender.

Funnily enough Ace didn’t detest this point in the slightest...

“I am so not a hypocrite!” 

“Yes you are,” came a voice behind me.

My eyes snapped open, blinking several times as I found myself staring up into Hemera, obviously having falling off the bean bag I’d been sitting on.

I sat up, blinking a few more times as the room of requirement swarm back into focus.

“...but...we hadn’t finished!” I said.

“Do you know how long it took me to pin that down, it was tiring, try again another time, promise, just after we’ve had something to eat,” She said, taking my hand and pulling me up.

“But...I already knew that Cane told him I’d cheated with Elliot!” I cried in aggravation. 

“Fine then, you figure out a way to look...oh wait no, you need me to look into the past, don’t you?! Ah crap,” She said sarcastically.

I scowled.

“I can’t believe Ace believed that,” I grumbled.

Hemera gave a long suffering sigh. 

“You can be really thick sometimes. Did you not pay any attention?” She said.

“Yes!” I said.

She motioned for me to continue.

“Cane for some reason has something against Elliot...and apparently me and for some weird reason seems to be...” I started.

“Good but it’s more than just that, Cane makes Ace feel stupid, Ace doesn’t like feeling stupid, Ace is acting like a twat to you probably to prove to Cane that he doesn’t like you...and Cane appears to think he’s well on the road to becoming a Deatheater,” She said.

“...Well we knew that already, he’s a complete and utter creep,” He said.

“...true,” She nodded fairly.

 “Plus who’s going to let Ace become a Deatheater?” I snorted.

She turned and looked at me, her eyebrow raised.

“...you don’t...Ace wouldn’t...” I said with another snort.

“Do you really believe that? Do you really believe, deep down that Ace wouldn’t?” She asked.

I paused, looking straight ahead before I shook my head, giving a laugh.

“Of course not, it’s Ace for fuck’s sake,” I said.

She didn’t comment on the pause.

Neither of us did.

But it hung in the air, that question, it dogged me throughout the day.

And that pause.

That pause, that momentary hesitation, that’s what disturbed me.

“So then I said to Tom that I was just so not dealing with it anymore and I mean, he expects me to watch him for now and I just...ugh no way in hell!” Ali was saying beside me as we moved down to the courtyard we usually sat in.

“You’re so brave,” June nodded beside her.

“And you know I can’t believe Elsa went Mary with Mary, she’s so in the wrong,” Ali continued.

“Well they are both complete bitches,” One girl said beside her.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

“And I SO can’t believe Sirius is actually staying with her!” Ali cried.

I’m pretty sure that would have been the only thing able to grab my attention back in that moment in time.

“Well I guess being a slag must get you further than everyone gives it credit for,” I muttered.

They of course all turned to look at me.

The contingent had grown you see to include the smaller group of the Ravenclaws slags and then Tamsin Toil and her Hufflepuff slags (...well they probably weren’t as slutty as the rest of them but still) had retreated back to their usual position; half in but not too much to get into the whole politics crap.

Mary at present, only had Elsa which was of course why Sirius was staying with her, because she was now some poor innocent maiden in need of his help (well...maiden...pfft).

“I swear...” Ali started.

“FIGHT!” a voice sounded through the courtyard as some scrawny little kid skidded into view.

...I could have bet at least 20 galleons that the Marauders were someway involved.

“...Ooo I really hope it’s not Tom, his parents said if he got in trouble again they’d get McGonagall to take them off the team,” Ali said worriedly as we moved off after the kid.

It really didn’t take long to find.

“Move,” I said in a bored voice parting a group of people, a line forming a little after.

...you know being ‘Queen Bee’ really does have its props.

Of course The Marauders were there, Cane, Ace...and the Carrows...and Severus Snape.

I looked round to see Elliot and the rest of Ace’s usual group just standing by, a stony look on Elliot’s face and...what looked like the starts of a black eye...oh dear.

You see recently Snape and James hadn’t actually be in any fights, when they were...well...it wasn’t good.

Despite that, pretty much moments after I’d arrived, the professor’s were breaking up. I let out a long sigh, partly of relief as I moved to Sirius side.

“You know, one day deary, you’re going to get hurt and you do realise I will laugh at you, don’t you?” I said.

He turned towards me, looking a little surprised before he grinned, giving me a pout.

“No you wouldn’t,” He replied.

“Yeah I would and pretty damn hard too,” I answered.

“That’s bullying,” He informed me.

“Endlessly getting into...” I began when all of a sudden there was a simply deafening noise and then, just like that, everything went completely black.

*

The lesson of this story would appear to be, never let your guard down when an irate James hexes an equally furious Snape. The result? Both Cane and Snape blasting some ridiculous spell and landing 5 people in the hospital wing...including me...

When I said I’d laugh when Sirius got hurt perhaps I may have been lying.

You see I was the first to wake (visions mean that, generally I heal faster than most) and found myself in the hospital wing in the bed next to a rather bloodied Sirius.

Not the nicest surprise I have to admit.

Madame Pomfrey did clean him up, snappily insisting I stay put but in the end just left me to it, forcing everyone else out.

“Sirius,” I called gently as he began to stir, by now I’d thankfully calmed down a bit.

He frowned slightly before turning over onto his other side and hugging his pillow...right...

“Sirius,” I said again.

He began stroking it...

“SIRIUS YOU PRAT WAKE UP!” I cried.

He jolted awake before letting out a yelp and falling off the edge of the bed.

...whoops.

“I told you you’d get fucking hurt!” I grumbled, crossing my arms over my chest.

“...wh...what...underwear and...” He said stupidly as his head reappeared above the bed.

“...what?” I said, my expression crumpling in confusion.

He looked at me for a moment, his eyes widening before he spoke.

“...Iris,” He said.

“...Sirius are you ok?” I said becoming ever so slightly concerned.

He didn’t say anything for a moment before he shook his head.

“No,” He said in a small voice.

“...do you want me to get...” I began.

“Iris I told you to go back to bed! Probably scared the boy half to death! Go on!” Madame Pomfrey snapped, appearing from her office, shooing me away.

“What happened?” I frowned as I looked across the room to see the curtain shut around a few of the other beds.

She gave an irritable sigh.

“Explosions now! Explosions! If it were up to me, you’d all have your wands confiscated!” She cried as she pulled Sirius up by the arm and sat him on the bed.

“How many fingers am I holding up?” Madame Pomfrey questioned Sirius.

“Three,” He frowned.

She nodded before pulling out her wand.

“Where’s James and Remus and Pe...” He began.

“James is next door...and he’s fine,” She told him, adding the last part rather hastily as he got up. 



“They need to rest, you’ll all be staying overnight and I’m warning you, if there’s any trouble tonight I’ll...” She started sternly. 



“Who else is here?” He asked.

“It’s none of your business!” She snapped. “Don’t make me strap you down Black,”

Sirius opened his mouth before closing it again, scowling.

He looked a great deal like an overgrown child as she continued her tests before leaving, telling us that we could ‘talk quietly’.

“I’m not even bloody injured,” He grumbled.

“Well you obviously were,” I retorted shortly.

He turned to look at me as I moved onto his bed.

“What about you?” He said.



 I shrugged.

“I don’t feel any different...must have been a crap explosion,” I shrugged.

 “What was it about this time anyway?” I asked.

“Ace looked at me funny,” He scowled.

I just looked at him for a moment before my eyebrow made its steady procession into an arch.

“He ‘looked at you funny’?” I said.

“Yes,” He scowled.

“You’re such a prat,” I said rolling my eyes.

“He’s more of a prat,” He snapped.

“Really? I’d say you were about equal...and he doesn’t have a slag for a girlfriend,” I said lightly.

Sirius looked up before beginning to pick at the sheets.

I watched him, part of me wanting to retract that statement, make a joke of it and pretend I’d never said but the other half thought he deserved to sit there and squirm.

“I...Iris she has no friends,” He said pathetically after a moment or two.

“That would be because she’s an awful bitch, you know she’d never show you the same kind of decency in return, she’s after my adopted mother’s godson for fuck’s sake,” I said flatly.

“I know,” He said.

 “...so aren’t you going to...” I started.

“Well what difference is it really going to make Iris?” He said eventually, looking up at me, our gazes meeting, his eyes almost pleading for some message to get through to me...

And yet even then I still couldn’t bring myself to just...to just go that little step closer and answer him properly.

I wanted him to just...to say it, to just come out and make it clear.

“I don’t know,” I said quietly.

 He sighed.

“Exactly,” He breathed, his gaze returning back to his hands as we continued to sit cross legged opposite one another.

 “But...you could be dating someone else you actually liked,” I pushed.

He shrugged.

“I don’t hate her,” He said.

“What so you like her now?” I said, raising an eyebrow.

“Wh...n...I...Iris just stop it ok? You don’t like her, I know, but do you have to be so...so bloody difficult all the time?” He snapped in frustration.

I’m being difficult? Sirius she threatened to shred me, she’d have had me...” I started.

“Well maybe it would have done you some good,” He snapped.

I paused, simply looking at him.

“So you’d rather have me as some poor pathetic snivelling little thing so you can play the knight in shining fucking armour?” I growled.

“Wh...no! Iris do you ever hear yourself when you’re with them? Did you see yourself when you were with Ace? You hung around like some little show thing for him to just...” He started.

“Oh so I’ve changed? What and let me guess, because you don’t like it, it’s for the worse, is that it?” I cried.

 “No! It’s just that sometimes Iris, believe it or not, you can be a right...” He began before he stopped himself letting out another sigh, running a hand over his face.

“Look I don’t wanna fight with you anymore,” He said.

I pursed my lips, simply looking at him.

“Go ahead and say it then, ‘you can be a right bitch’, I know, I’ve heard before,” I said coldly.

“No...Iris please, I don’t wanna fight, really,” He said as I began to get up, catching my hand.

I turned to look at him as he stood up.

“Look can’t...can’t we just try to be like we used to?...before it all got complicated...and we couldn’t see each other without yelling,” He said.

I didn’t say anything. 

“Come on, I’ll even be the one to apologize,” He said, with a small smile.

I looked at him before a smile tugged at the corner of my lips.

“You know I’m beginning to become suspicious, you’ve been holding my hand for quite some time now,” I told him.

He looked down before withdrawing, mumbling something incoherent.

“I’ll save that apology for another time, whenever I like,” I said giving him a grin.

“You can’t save apologies,” He laughed.

“Yes I can...and I guess you can too, I’ll make it even, I give you one apology for some time whenever you feel like it,” I said. He snorted.

“Getting an apology out of you is like trying to extract blood from a stone,” He said.

 I laughed.

“You know that could be seen as an insult,” I tutted.

“So whenever I like?” He said.

“...well it’s probably best if I’m not angry because then I’ll just hex you,” I said.

“...we’re going to have come up with a better way than that...” I mused thoughtfully.

“I have an idea,” He said.

“Mmm?” I asked as I sat back down beside him.

“So the other person has to do something for the other,” He said simply.

I frowned slightly.

“What do you mean?” I asked somewhat suspiciously.

“Something small. Like I say ‘I owe you an apology’ and then later, when you don’t expect it, I make it up to you,” He said.

“...you do know that’s really corny don’t you?” I said despite the smile spreading across my face.

“But I accept,” I grinned.

He beamed back before holding out a hand for me to shake.

And that was how that tradition began. Stupid I know but I liked it, it was our thing, our small thing that, even when the world appeared to be falling in, we still shared.

*

“You know I can never decide which I like best, sherbet lemons or sherbet snaps,” Sirius said as he routed around in the bag full of sweets.

“I didn’t know there was much of a difference...” I said.

“There isn’t,” James whispered having now joined us, sitting on the edge of the bed.

Thankfully he was pretty much alright, apart from a number of cuts and scratches and a knock to the head.

...unfortunately Cane and Ace were on the other side...with a boundary between the two sides to stop any...unpleasantness.

“Yes there is,” Sirius said impatiently.

“Sherbet lemons aren’t as sour, sherbet snaps have a lingering taste, a higher sugar percentage and get you hyper faster,” He said, rolling his eyes as if we were just stupid or something.

“You’re a junkie,” I laughed shaking my head.

“And honeydukes favourite customer, they gave me a badge saying so in 3rd year,” He told me proudly.

I laughed.

“So how did Christmas with Lil...” I began when Sirius pretty much lunged at me, moving his hand across my mouth as he looked at James warily.

Too late.

“It was amazing,” James grinned stupidly.

Sirius gave a strangled groan before dropping his hand.

“She was standing there in the snow...her hair looks good in the snow...all shiny and...” He began.

“In short, James dragged me, Pete and Remmie up to go meet her in some muggle place, we nearly got arrested and urm...well that’s about it really,” Sirius said.

“...what the hell did you do?” I asked as James went on in a great deal more detail.

“We were just playing around,” Sirius said, waving a hand dismissively.

My gaze flattened.

“Then she said ‘hello James’...” James continued dreamily.

Both Sirius and I turned to look at him before shaking our heads and turning away again.

Thankfully however, James was stopped by the only thing that could ever pause these things; Lily’s actual arrival.

“Lily!” James beamed.

“Are you alright?” She said worriedly.

“Yup,” He grinned.

She looked at him before she did something very unexpected; she smacked him round the head.

“I TOLD YOU TO STOP IT JAMES! YOU PROMISED ME!” She snapped.

James simply blinked.

“Why can’t you just stay out of things?! It’s not that hard to just WALK PAST!” She yelled.

“B...” He said, wincing slightly.

“It’s like trying to keep tabs on a five year old James! In fact no! It’s not because 5 year olds don’t go round...” She started.

“I...” James tried again.

“DON’T INTERRUPT ME!” She snapped.

“I don’t know how many times I have to tell you! And you!” Lily said rounding on Sirius.

“You’re just as bad! If you have a problem with someone you talk it out!” She cried. 

“I was worried for Merlin’s sake!” She finished finally after a giving a rather long lecture, collapsing into the armchair.

Pearl reached across and patted her hand from where she sat in the armchair beside Lily before getting up. 

“Where you going?” Franny asked.

“To see Ace,” She said pleasantly.

“...wh...why?!” Sirius said indignantly.

“Because he’s my friend silly,” She said as if it were obvious.

“...really?” Pete said peering across at Ace who was currently sat on his bed across the room, scowling heavily.

“Plus he looks sad and when he looks sad he acts angry,” She told us all matter of factly.

I looked across the room at him, my eyes flitting across his face.

“Well tell him I said hello then,” I drawled.

“Ok,” She said cheerfully before flouncing off and sitting herself down next to him, giving him a wave after a moment or two when he didn’t make any signs of acknowledgement.

“Bastard,” Sirius scowled.

I ignored him, moving my magazine back into place despite the fact that I was still watching them.

I...I don’t know but I felt a certain amount of...relief when he ignored her.

You see generally Pearl wasn’t ignored by any of the guys (and I don’t just mean in terms of her chest), Ace may have been an utter arsehole but even he’d admitted he felt slightly bad after being mean to Pearl (...I really don’t know what it was about her...), the fact that he was now ignoring her just reassured me that it wasn’t just me, that it wasn’t my imagination.

“There’s something wrong...and I don’t just mean the fact that he seems to hate you now,” a voice murmured.

I turned to see Hemera.

“I know,” I said quietly.

“There’s...it shouldn’t have happened,” She said quietly, shaking her head.

“What?” I said.

“He shouldn’t have gone to Cane’s,” She told me.

“Well I know that...” I murmured back.

She sighed, leading me back to my back over to my bed to stop us from being overheard...even if they did all know about our visions and stuff now...

“No I mean it really shouldn’t have happened,” She said.

I frowned at her slightly. 

“Doesn’t it feel wrong to you?” She asked. 

“W...yeah but...” I began.

“No, no buts, you need to stop trying to rationalise that ‘gut feeling’, it doesn’t always make sense but it is ALWAYS right, in some way or another,” She told me, somewhat sternly before she continued.

“I was looking back, at the whole thing, trying to get more of the whole conversation thing but it wouldn’t budge, it just kept skipping  to these completely random scenes...quite a few of them episodes of that bloody soap opera from like years ago,” She said rolling her eyes.

“How long has the show even been running?!” I laughed.

“I don’t know, I don’t even know how they manage it, I’m pretty sure they’ve repeated every story line...this isn’t important!” She said.

I looked at her before I laughed.

“Ok, b...” I began when I was interrupted.

“Mum...Dad...what are you doing here?!” James cried from where he was sat on his bed with everyone else. 

“All of your parents were called in,” Madame Pomfrey said appearing moments later.

It was actually frightening how much James looked like both his parents...

“...so I’m guessing he’s in detention...again,” Mr Potter said somewhat cheerfully.

“We already were...from last year,” Sirius beamed proudly.

“Ah,” He nodded.

“...So what’s the problem then?” Mrs Potter asked politely turning to Madame Pomfrey.

“Well...he did hurt himself but really it’s about his...behaviour...well actually all of them,” She said.

Mrs Potter turned and frowned and I heard Hemera snort beside me.

I was just about to say something when I heard a loud bang followed by a very familiar voice.

“...where is she?! Is she still beautiful?! Because you know, we’re taking her back if she’s not,”

“FRANCESCO!” Marie cried sounding absolutely scandalised before they both appeared by my curtain, everyone now looking at them, Marie’s hair was a disorientated mess with both of them sporting large mud stains across their, quite obviously, rather expensive clothing.

...oh and Marie had one stiletto in her hand.

You know when she said ‘your parents were called in’ I didn’t think I was actually included in that.

“Look, snapped right off darling!” She said when she noticed me looking, waving it about.

“Next time you see that bastard Francesco darling, tell him he should start designing better shoes,” Marie babbled turning to him.

“I do darling, frequently,” Francesco said, looking at the shoe disdainfully.

“How are you darling, we came as soon as we heard?” Marie said before pushing off her other shoe and moving round my bed side, sitting herself down.

“...yes...whose fault was it?! We will not have our daughter being...what happened again?” Francesco said before turning to me.

“Err...” I began.

“Erm Mr...” Madame Pomfrey started.

“And for Merlin’s sake! What is this thing?! I won’t have her seen in it!” Francesco said dramatically.

“Francesco...” Marie began.

“Oh it’s giving me a headache already,” He moaned.

Marie rolled her eyes before conjuring him a seat in the corner.

“Darling, really, one of these days,” She said shortly as she guided him to the chair.

“...is he alright?” Lily asked.

“He’ll be fine, he just has a phobia of ugly things,” Marie said matter of factly.

“What happened to you?” I asked as I looked over their clothes.

“Little mishap on the way here,” She smiled.

...I didn’t bother inquiring further into that ‘little mishap’.

“Oh...oh wait darling! Marie what was that thing we had to remember...” Francesco said clicking his fingers.

“Oh!” Marie said before seeming to conjure a book out of nowhere, flicking through it for a moment, humming to herself before she seemed to find the right thing.

“Ah yes,” She said before looking up, seeming to take a moment before speaking ‘very seriously’.

“We’re not happy young lady,” She said, her hand moving onto her hip.

“...why?” I said.

“You’re grounded!” Francesco exclaimed.

“...why?” I repeated. 

“Because...wait give me a minute...it’s in here somewhere,” Marie said stopping to flick through a few more pages before coming to a halt, wrinkling her nose.

“They punish people for that nowadays?” She said.

“What is it?” Francesco asked.

“’Innapropriate dress’...and duelling in the corridors...what is this tosh?” She frowned before they both turned to look at me.

“...well that doesn’t look appropriate,” He said motioning at the hospital gown.

“Her skirts the size of a postage stamp,” came an irritable drawl. I rolled my eyes as I looked at Katy who’d looked up from her magazine, where she sat beside Franny. 

“...and you get detention for that?” Marie snorted before they both burst out laughing.

“Hahaha ‘Oh I’m giving you detention because I’m a pruuude’,” Francesco giggled.

...right...

Marie burst out into further torrents of laughter while everyone continued to look at them in complete and utter silence.

“Ok, ok,” Marie said after a moment, managing to compose herself, taking a few breaths before she began spoke.

“We’re...docking your allowance,” She told me.

“Ok,” I said.

“...well aren’t you going to argue a bit?” Marie said looking a little disappointed. 

“There’s hardly anything to buy around here,” I pointed out.

“...she does have a point darling,” Francesco said.

Marie looked at him before pausing in thought.

“...right...I can’t come up with anything,” She said after a while.

“You’re hereby pardoned...don’t let it happen again,” Francesco said.

“...thank you?” I said slowly.

“Merlin that was exhausting,” Marie sighed before sitting herself down, using her wand to sort herself out before clearing her throat and looking at the stunned people, her hands clasped in her lap.

Silence...

Marie nudged me.

I sent her a questioning look.

She motioned with her hand at something.

I sent her another confused look.

“Oh for goodness sake darling, aren’t you going to introduce me to your friends then?” Marie asked.

“Oh, yeah right,” I said in realization.

She sent a brief smile at them before turning back to them.

“Erm this is Hemera, Franny, Katy, Remus, Pete, Sirius, Andy, Lily and James...and James parents,” I said motioning at them in turn.

“Pleased to meet you,” Marie said, flashing a large smile.

“Wait...sorry did you say Lily?” James’ father said, looking round at the red head.

“My god I thought you were a thing of fiction,” Mr Potter said pushing his glasses up his nose as he looked at her in amazement.

“We were really starting to worry about you James,” Mrs Potter said looking immensely relieved.

“...Thanks,” James said slowly. 

“We’ve heard so much about you,” Mrs Potter said turning to Lily.

Lily smiled meekly.

“...so who’s that then?” Marie whispered.

“James, the one with glasses, has been obsessed with Lily, the redhead, since first year and they just got together last term,” I whispered back.

“Awwww,” She cooed.

“He’s not too bad looking actually darling,” Francesco informed me matter of factly as he moved onto my other side.

I wrinkled my nose.

"Ooo and so is he over there, he’s nice darling," Marie said motioning at Andy. 



Yeah right. 

"He's dating my best friend," I told them flatly. 

"Hmmm...not quite worth it..." Francesco said thoughtfully. 

I rolled my eyes. 

"He's a prat anyway," I said. 

"But a good looking one," Marie beamed. 

"No! Good lord darling, that one over there!" Francesco said nodding over at...Sirius. 

"Oh no I'd say the one over there," Marie said looking over at Ace. 

I rolled my eyes again. 

"Sirius, that one-" I said motioning slightly. 

"Is my best friend," I said. 

Well...mostly. 

"That one over there is a prat," I said. 

"So that's the famed Sirius Black," Marie said. 

"Famed?" I said. 

"Oh darling he caused a huge scandal you know. The Black's really used to be something you know, now of course they've gone a little too far over...if you get what I mean, last I heard, they were funding you-know-who, we went to school at the same time Bellatrix did, beautiful of course but we never really did get along," Marie sighed. 

It was strange, I'd never heard Marie talk about Voldemort or any of that, it was too easy to write both of them off as completely oblivious but, like most things, first impressions could be deceiving. 

"I hated the lot of them," came a tight voice. I turned to see Francesco, his demeanour suddenly tense, his lips pursed. 

"She was twisted Iris, no matter what anyone tells you when you're out and about, this blood purity tosh is a waste of time," Francesco said, his face uncharacteristically serious. 

I frowned slightly. 

Marie sighed. 

"It’s an awful business darling," She agreed grimly. 

There was a moment of silence and I felt my heart become just that little bit heavier. I know it was stupid but...perhaps unfairly, it had seemed to me that Francesco and Marie would always remain in that little bubble, a piece of their own little world, as if I should be the one to shield them from it. 



But you know, Marie and Francesco WEREN'T stupid nor were they oblivious, no matter how they made themselves out to be, there was plenty more going on that no one had any idea about. 



 



 "SNAP!" 

"You cheated!" 

"No I didn't!" 

"It's not my fault, you're obviously just slow," I retorted testily. 

"I'm the UNBEATEN champion," Sirius said indignantly. 

"Well according to the 10 or so games we've played, you're now very much beaten," I told him, cracking a crooked smile. 

We were still in the hospital wing. 

Most of the visitors had left by now although Lily and James were currently sat together away from the main group while Hemera, Andy, Sirius and I remained around my bed. 

"...aren't you just using or visions?" Andy said. 

"It's not cheating, it's involuntary," Hemera laughed from where she sat in his arms. 

"Exactly. I don't see it, I just feel it," I said simply. 

"Just like I always FEEL when the doorbells about to ring or an owls about to arrive," Hemera said. 

"Really? I get that too," I commented. 

"I thought you saw the past..." Andy said slowly. 

She shrugged. 

"I do and I see the things being set into motion," 

"While I see it happen," I finished.

"Still cheating," Sirius grumbled. 

"Well fine then, don't play with the psychic girl," I said rolling my eyes. 

"I'll play," Hemera offered. 

I grinned at her. 

"Sure," I said. 

She beamed back at me, taking Sirius place opposite me as he moved onto one of the seats. 

You know you'd think I'd win hands down but apparently not. 

Hemera, as usual, surprised me. 

"Ok fuck it! How are you doing that?!" I cried in aggravation after losing two games in a row. 

She grinned. 

"It's easy, I just draw up a picture of which cards are where and what order they're in, then I can keep tabs even after they're shuffled," She said lightly as she gathered the cards up again. 

"You have photographic memory?!" I cried indignantly. 

"Well yeah...I can see the past iris..." She said. 

"...bugger," I muttered. 

"I told you!" She laughed. 

"Oh so you get it in your head, I have to spend hundreds on endless pots of ink...my pencils always end up snapping." I said moodily. 

As you may have guessed we did actually have the cubicle sound proofed...just in case. 

"Wait wait wait so...you're drawings are prophetic?" Sirius said. 

"Yup," Hemera and I said together. 

"I...so...when you drew that picture of me, last term it..." he started before he stopped, struggling to find the right words. 

"What? What did you see?" I asked curiously. 

"I dunno, it was weird like...it made no sense, like I saw something but they were just outlines and that was it," He said. 

I frowned, turning to Hemera but she simply shrugged. 

"I'm sorry, I don't know, I don't draw," She shrugged. 

"Well...did your mum?" Andy asked delicately. 

She paused, seemingly mulling it over before she spoke. 

"Not really, not in the same way, she couldn't do people but she could do landscapes, there was this really pretty one she did that used to hang in the hall, I have no idea where it was but it'd change each day and you'd see how everything had changed there and what it was going to look like and it'd change to reflect the season," She said a slight smile touching her lips. 

I would have inquired further into her use of past tense but eventually decided against it. 

The conversation lightened again, easily moving onwards to safer grounds before Hemera just froze. 

I thought she was about to have a vision but her eyes were trained intently on something as she slowly and carefully removed Andy's arms, getting to her feet. 



I turned, my eyes widening ever so slightly when I saw her father. 

He seemed somehow taller in real life, handsome and strong and perhaps even a little more sever. The last point of course may have had a lot to do with the expression currently splashed across his face. 

"Dad," She said eventually. 

The two boys turned and her father’s gaze momentarily moved back up to hers. 

"Who is this?" He said tersely, motioning at Andy. 

Her cheeks flushed slightly. 

"Andy...he's urm...my boyfriend," She said.  

Andy's eyes widened ever so slightly before he got up, offering a hand. 

"Pleased to meet you sir," He said formally. 

I would have laughed had it not been for the look on his face. I therefore settled with the slight cringe as Hemera's father just surveyed it with something close to disgust. 

"I wish I could say the same," He drawled eventually, his expression finally settling on something close to irritation. 

"What are you doing up here? Are you ill or something?" He said, his gaze moving back to Hemera, surveying her coldly. 

"No," She said quietly. 

He allowed her to stand there squirming for a bit, his eyes wandering lazily over the rest of us, landing on...me. He paused, a slight crease pinching between his eyebrows but he didn't comment. 

"You can leave now," He told Madame Pomfrey. 

She gave a nod before moving off rather fast. 



He waited a moment or two, his gaze lingering on Andy, his lip curling slowly before he turned and walked across the room and towards Cane. 

"Urm...I should-" Hemera cleared her throat. 

"I'll be right back then," She said before she turned and moved off after him. 

"...that's her dad?" Sirius said. 

"Yeah," I said watching intently as he moved to Cane's bedside. 

He'd seen something, I know he had. The crawling sensation along my arms told me he knew who, or more importantly, what, I was. 



Yet I couldn't honestly claim this to be a good thing or a bad thing. 

"He's friends with my parents," Sirius said flatly. 

I turned to look at him, ever so slightly surprised; he VERY rarely spoke of his family. 

"...I don't think he likes me," Andy said managing to look rather upset. 

I couldn't help but snort. 

"Oh dear," I pouted at him. 

His gaze flattened as he glared at me. Funnily enough Hemera's father's 'issues with certain people' may have actually been something to worry about seeing as...well...as you've seen he was fully capable of murder. 



I turned back, looking across the space at them, Hemera, Cane and her father. 



The one thing that struck me immediately was the expression on Cane's face...I don't know what it was, admiration? 



Aloysius had sat down in the chair closest, his forearms sitting against his knees as he spoke to him, looking at him intently. 



Cane's expression slowly changed though, his eyes widening as he looked at the man, seemingly drinking in the information he was being given. 



Hemera's hands were clasped in her lap, sitting very still indeed but something appeared to be irritating her because she appeared rather tense. 

"...wait...why's he talking to Cane?" Andy said. 

I rolled my eyes. 

"Took you a while. He was...friends with Cane's dad," I said. 

"...was?" Sirius said. 

"He's dead," I said flatly. 

"Oh," Andy said, the question poised on the tip his tongue vanishing instantly. 

"Does Cane know?" Sirius said. 

"Well judging by his expression now, I'd say yes, he does," I said simply. 

"What happened to him?" Sirius said somewhat absently as he watched them too. 

"He was murdered," I answered. 

"How do you know that?" Andy said. 

"Because I saw it," I said becoming ever so slightly irritated. 

“...You saw someone be murdered?” Sirius said sounding pretty much horrified.

“I see it all the time,” I replied simply before turning away again. 



We sat there in absolute silence after that until eventually, Hemera's father got to his feet, leaving Cane sitting up in the bed and Hemera by the side of the chair, her expression now inscrutable. 



I was too busy focusing on that to notice Aloysius move towards us.  

"You," He said nodding at Andy. 

Andy opened his mouth to speak but he'd already begun to speak again. 

"Stay away from my daughter," He said coolly before leaning in slightly. 

"I promise you, you lay a finger on her and I'll make your worst nightmares look like paradise," He growled before turning and sweeping out, the black robe swirling at his feet leaving Andy in stunned silence.

I watched him go until I felt someone move beside me. 

"I need to speak to you," Hemera said quietly. 

I looked up at her, glancing discreetly at Cane before getting to my feet. 

"What happe..." Andy started, getting to his feet. 

"I promise I'll tell you later but this is important," She said before guiding me towards the double doors, both of us glancing back at Madame Pomfrey’s office before we stepped outside. 

"What happened? What's wrong?" I frowned. 

"Cane's inheriting everything," she said simply. 

"...what?" I said. 

"Cane's inheriting everything from his father...and mine," She said. 

"WHAT?!" I said. 

"I was never allowed to inherit the house, there are rules and all that but...my point is, is that Cane's my father’s heir," She said. 

"I...so you have nothing?" I said. 

She sighed. 

"Cane IS everything I have, it's all up to him," She said. 

"But...don't you get some money or something?" I said. 

"Yes, enough to get a place and stuff like that and remember my dad isn't actually dead yet but...he hates Cane, he REALLY hates him," She said. 

"Why?" I asked. 

"Because he's like his father, scarily so actually," She told me. 

"That doesn't make sense," I said slowly. 



She sighed before sitting herself down, leaning her head back against the wall. 

"My father doesn't make any sense," She muttered. 

"Cane looked so..." I began. 

"He would do. Cane's always wanted to be my dad’s heir," She said. 

"...I don't understand, I thought they were friends, your father and his," I said. 

"I quote: 'I've always hated you', end quote," Hemera said. 

"Well if he did then..." I began. 

"I guess he needs an heir he can manipulate," She said grimly. 

"And there's no way you could have inherited?" 

"Nope," 

"Bugger," I said grimly. 

"Yup," She said. 

"...he doesn't seem to like Andy much," I said after a moment. 

"He wouldn't do," She said. 

"It's like Moody...only worse," I said although I honestly couldn't help the slight snort of suppressed laughter. 

She did give a snort in return before nudging me. 

"Don't be mean, this is serious!" Hemera laughed. 

"The look on...on...on his f...face!" I giggled. 

"He did try," She offered. 

"'Hello Sir'," I mimicked. 

She laughed. 

"If it weren't my dad it would have been fine," She said childishly, almost defensively. 

"There were very prominent 'do not grope/shag my daughter' themes running through there," I laughed. 

"My god he'd kill him...and I mean KILL him," She said sobering up slightly.  



I gave another laugh until Hemera looked at me. 

"...oh...right...not funny," I said slowly.

"...so....would you?" I asked. 

"What?" She said in confusion. 

"Shag him," I said. 

She turned bright red. 

"Iris," She moaned. 

"...that better not be an 'I've already done it and not told my best friend' blush," I said sternly. 

“Of course not!” She said.

I opened to mouth to speak before pausing.

"Actually wait, I really don't want to go further into this. Mental images of Andy shagging someone will lead to visions of the above and I seriously don't want that," I breathed, massaging my temples. 

There was a moment of silence before we both simply burst out laughing. 

That of course attracted Madame Pomfrey's attention and seeing as I wasn't supposed to be out of bed anyway, she wasn't best pleased. 



I was therefore sufficiently relieved to be out of there the next day (which rather conveniently happened to be the weekend of the Hogsmeade trip). 

"Next time deary, when someone looks at you funny, just look away," I said rolling my eyes as I walked with Sirius down to breakfast, his arm around my shoulder, just like old times.  

He pouted. 

"I'm not joking Sirius," I said flatly. 

He continued to pout but apparently it was too much to resist because that bloody grin soon broke through. 

"I wuv you?" He offered. 

I rolled my eyes. 

"Sirius that's not cute, never has been, never will be," I said despite the small smile tugging on my lips. 

"That looks like a smile there," He grinned. 

"No it's not," I said testily. 

"Yeah it is because you luuuurve me and you think I'm fuuunny," He grinned, nudging me. 

"No, I think you're incredibly irritating ESPECIALLY when you're in a good mood," I said. 

He beamed, leading me further into the hall. 

"You loved spending all that time with me really," He nodded knowingly. 

"If you're trying to get into her knickers I wouldn't bother trying that hard," came a voice behind us. 

I turned to see Ace, Cane by his side. 

"Shut up Aimes," Sirius growled turning immediately hostile. 

"...And I think that's more than enough," I said beginning to guide him away.  

"You move on pretty fast don't you Iris?" Ace spat. 

"Don't be so gullible Ace," I said as I pushed a rather resistant Sirius away. 

"Sit," I said flatly when we came to Gryffindor table. 



Sirius just glared.  

"You're acting like some kind of territorial dog. Sit. Down," I snapped. 

"Well you wouldn't be too far off," Remus chuckled under his breath. 

I laughed before sitting down, Sirius finally doing so moments later. 

"Bastard," He muttered. 

I rolled my eyes. 

"You're being..." I began but was cut off by the oh so delightful appearance of Mary. 

My gaze hardened before l turned away, getting myself my breakfast. 



I could almost feel the triumphant smirk on Mary's face but I 'just so happened' not to see it. She sat herself down on Sirius' other side, ignoring how the majority of the group went quiet as the tension spiralled. I left early, shooting a quick goodbye before walking out, crumpet in hand. 



Whore. 



How DARE he SPEAK to me after fornicating with that...bitch! 



There was a VERY good reason she was alone and...how could he be so naive?! 



He KNEW she was after Antony and yet he played on anyway, hiding behind the excuse that she was suddenly a 'damsel in distress'.  



I scowled as I stalked along the corridor, my heels making their usual clack as I took a slightly more scenic detour on my way to the staircase, hoping to perhaps calm my mood a little. 

"Iris," came a voice behind me. 

I paused, turning, my expression crumpling when I saw Elliot Sanders of all people, moving towards me. I hadn't seen him up close until then, the large ugly purple bruise spread across his left eye looked worse now, the skin of his cheek discoloured and his lip, although reduced, was still rather swollen. 

"What happened?" I said finally, my eyes running over his face. 

He shrugged. 

"It doesn't matter," He said somewhat waspishly before letting out a sigh, running a hand over his face. 

"Look tell Kirl to watch out, 'Kay?" He said. 

I frowned. 

"Why?" 

"Because Cane's after him," He told me. 

I opened my mouth but he'd already started speaking again. 

"Her dad, blonde one, doesn't like Andy around; his business is Cane's business," He shrugged 

"Why can't you tell him?" I asked. 

"'Cause he's gonna take it as a threat and believe me, I'm the least of his worries," Elliot said darkly before simply turning and walking off, pausing after a stride or two, turning back. 

"Oh and stay away from me," He added as an afterthought before continuing off, leaving me standing there utterly stunned. 

...'stay away from me', that was probably the first time I'd ever spoken to him alone and that conversation had consisted of a meer minute or two.



I sighed, rubbing the back of my neck as I began walking again. 



I should tell Hemera...but it seemed stupid, I'm sure she was more than capable of coming to that conclusion herself. She also had a far better chance of getting Andy to actually see sense and subsequently butt out. 



I guess I'd just been in a convenient position at the right time, his talking to Hemera would alert Cane instantly...even if he supposedly wasn't in favour. 



I needed to pull my finger out and take a good look at a fair few things. 

And yet I was becoming increasingly afraid of my visions. 

Night time was still the best time, when my visions overtook my dreams and my mind could wander through them but they were disturbing, there were some nights where I was scared to close my eyes, afraid of what I'd see and others where I'd do HAVE to do something, anything, to stay awake just that little bit longer. 

It was barely the beginning, dark times were looming and my visions pushed that at me, repeatedly, delving from scene to scene, leaving me no time to recover. It was an overload and I often woke up exhausted but I guess that was just part of what I was. I KNEW there were bad things coming, terrible things, after all it was only two years ago that anyone had even heard of Voldemort, now they had, they wished they hadn't. Within months the press had simply stopped printing his name, people were too afraid to utter it. 



And that fed him, that made him grow stronger and those sick bastards that fed on that sort of power rallied round and joined. 



I can't quite sure when I decided to but my feet seemed to have taken the initiative to carry me toward Dumbledore's. 



I had no idea exactly what it was I wished to say to him but that didn't seem to particularly matter. I allowed myself to be carried up the stone staircase, running a hand through my hair with a sigh before I moved to knock on the door. 



I didn't though because it was just then that I heard voices. I paused, half of me admittedly straining to hear when the door opened, three figures staring out at me. 

"Morning Iris," Dumbledore said pleasantly, that usual serene expression in place. 

"Morning," I replied rather stupidly. 

"Miss Tear, delighted to see you, I trust you got our letters?" A rather stout looking man said, moving forward. 

"...pardon?" I said. 

"He's with the ministry," Dumbledore said when I glanced at him. 

"Oh. Oh yes I did," I said. 

"And?" He said but I'd paused, my eyes grazing over the last person in the room before my brow furrowed slightly. 

"...Antony?" I said. 

"Morning," He smiled with a slight nod of the head. 

"I..." I began. 

"We would ensure that you were given the utmost security..." The ministry official began. 

"I'm sorry, who are you?" I asked flatly. 

"Arbeous Collins, Defence Secretary," He told me. 

"...I thought that information was classified," I said glancing at Dumbledore. 

"It was," Dumbledore said somewhat tiredly. 

"Think of the people you could HELP, you could save lives," He continued, walking besides me as I moved further into the room, shutting the door softly behind me before fixing him with a steady stair. 

"My visions don't work like that," I said slowly and clearly. 

"...I'm sorry did..." Antony started. 

My eyes widened in surprise, jumping over to him before turning to Dumbledore almost questioningly. 

"I'm sorry Iris, I should have explained. Antony's been working for the..." He began. 

"I..." I began before turning, pulling out my wand and adding another soundproofing charm, just in case. 

"Firstly, the ministry has already been infiltrated on several accounts, admittedly unsuccessfully but if I'm splashed across several 'top secret' documents, which are the ones they ALWAYS go for first, then how can you expect me to trust that it'll be held in the 'strictest confidence'," I demanded. 

There was a moment of silence before Mr Collins spoke. 

"As the defence security, it IS my business," He said, puffing out his chest slightly. 

"Because the last one was murdered just the other day," I finished. 

He pursed his lips. 

"And..." I said turning to Antony, trailing off questioningly. 

"I don't work for the ministry...I work with them," He told me. 

I just looked at him. 

"Means the same thing to me," I said flatly. 

The corners of his mouth twitched ever so slightly. 

"Iris," Dumbledore said and I turned back to him. 

"Moody has personally..." He began. 

"Don't talk to me about Moody," I said flatly. 

He raised a questioning eyebrow before holding up a hand as he began to speak. 

"Actually I think it's probably best you didn't start just yet," He said, his eyes twinkling. 

I pursed my lips as I sank into one of the chairs. 

I sat through all the explanations (some delivered a little too patronisingly for my liking) and although I couldn't claim to be particularly pleased I grudgingly accepted that there was 'very little to be done about it'. As for Antony...well there wasn't much to discuss about it, accepting the other to wipe his memory seemed a little drastic so it was something I simply had to settle with it. 



In reality what had happened was a matter of human error. Some secretary had mixed up the files and copied the wrong documents, it was an embarrassment but considering it only a few people received, it was easily contained and therefore easily 'dealt' with. 

I went back to my dormitory to change before heading down to Hogsmeade where I'd said I'd meet Hemera. 

I walked into The Three Broomsticks first looking around briefly but it didn't take me long to find Sirius, the rest of the Marauders, Lily, Franny, Hemera and Andy...I swear that guy was physically glued to her side. 



I stopped by the bar, waiting for the two or so customers ahead of me to finish up, one of whom was currently being manhandled by the landlord while 'Madame Rosmerta' the latter of which I shared a mutual dislike...I can barely even remember why, she was barely a few years older than me but had also seemed a bit of a floozy to me. 



I gave a sigh, perching myself on the bar stool, tapping my nails against the wooden surface. 

"Oh...Iris," said a voice beside me. 

Much to my surprise I looked up to see Antony standing there, holding a copy of the daily prophet. I hadn't really taken a proper look at him, I'd spoken to him vaguely at the fittings but he'd barely addressed me since New Year's Eve, I probably could have attempted to start a conversation on several counts but whatever I came up with always sounded a little foolish. 

"...Antony," I said. 

"I...I have something for you actually, from Marie...Feathers is sick...supposedly," He said before slipping a little package from within the folds of his robe. 

"I'm sorry if it's a little battered," He said holding it out for me to take. 

"Oh...thank you," I smiled, taking it although in all honesty I had no idea where to put it and no way how to continue. 

It ended up simply hanging uselessly pressed between my hip and my hand. 

He stood there. I stood there. 

"So would you like a drink?" We both managed to blurt out at the same time. 

...what the hell was I saying...since when did I buy BLOKES drinks?! 

"Oh god, that sounded awful...yes you may buy me a drink," I said, feeling unduly nervous, almost kicking myself at my last comment as Bridgett's words carried back to me 'he knows they're only after him for his money'. 

Way to look like a bloody gold digger. 

Thankfully however Antony interrupted my spiralling dismay with a laugh. 

"Butterbeer?" He said. 

I nodded, internally writhing from embarrassment

He gave a short nod before turning to the barman who had now begun serving once more. 

I had no idea what I was doing, I could barely talk (oh Ace would be pleased...would have been...) and now I was going to sit, most probably in rather awkward silence, making awful small talk. 



I should have refused...I didn't particularly want to but I should have done. 



It was better him thinking I was rude than a mute or incapable of forming proper conversations.

I glanced briefly at Sirius and the rest of them when I heard a laugh but I don’t think they’d noticed me come in, it was after rather crowded.

“Do you want to get a table or something?” I offered as one came up just as Antony turned towards me, both drinks in hand.

“Sure,” He said.

I smiled before moving towards it, catching it just as a group of 3rd years started towards it.

“Thanks,” I smiled as he set the drink down before me, sliding into the booth opposite me.

Well here comes the awkwardness...

“Any idea what this is?” I asked rather stupidly after a moment, picking up the package and rattling it slightly.

“No idea, I’m just replacing Feathers for the moment, I had to come here anyway so...” He said.

“...Feathers?” I frowned.

“Marie’s owl,” He chuckled.

I raised an eyebrow before I gave a snort.

“Feathers? For an owl? Christ that’s original,” I laughed.

He laughed.

It was later that I discovered that Feathers put Francesco to shame on the whole melodrama front, Marie had spoilt him terribly and therefore he appeared to see it as 'beneath him' to deliver your letters. He also occasionally decided that he simply wouldn't do it at all and just turn back, leaving your letter undelivered. 

I too soon learned to hate him along with the many others that came into contact with him. 

“I’d agree but my owl is called owl so I suppose I can’t really comment,” He said.

I laughed. 

“Well Feathers is a lot like naming your dog ‘fluffy’, which is possibly far worse,” I said.

“...I used to have a rat called Fluffy,” He said.

I looked at him for a moment before we both began laughing.

If in doubt, the answer obviously seems to discover either the weather or people’s choice of pet names.

“So...I suppose you’re with The Order,” I said somewhat absently although I did drop my voice slightly as my finger skirting the rim of my mug. 

“Yeah...I suppose you are too,” He said.

I nodded.

“I...I’m sorry do you mind not telling anyone about...well...you know, I’d love to tell Marie and Francesco but...” I said somewhat hesitantly. 

“Combined they have the largest mouth known to wizarding kind,” He finished for me with a smile.

“...pretty much, yeah,” I said. 

“I won’t tell anyone, I promise you,” He told me, his gaze meeting mine and...well...I guess I just...trusted him not to, pathetic as it sounds.

“Thanks,” I said softly.

He smiled back at me and that’s how we stayed for a minute, simply staring at each other before eventually our gazes dropped and the conversation moved onwards.

It took a little while but eventually it relaxed, the words coming easier and fewer stretches of silence, coming between each topic.

He of course had to leave after a while but I was content that, even if we remained fairly distant, I could talk to him at any rate.





Author's Notes: 

So next chappie up the same day I got back from holiday! Just as I promised! :P As with before, I will try and get the next chappie out asap :}. 

Righto so I'm afraid this chappie is yet another filler but a more important filler than the others :P. I'm sorry about the end it's...Antony somehow never manages to come out how I bloody want him too! I guess he may come over time so...well...give him a chance? :P 

Oh and just because I feel it necessary...IT'S MY BIRTHDAY SOON! XD 


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Messes of Men : The Well Below the Valley

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