A/N: Chapter one…first in a series of long chapters. I hope you guys like this one – I had fun writing it. Can youimagine howmuch fun it would be to turn...oh well, read it and find out.
Pink Jelly and Punishments
"Hey, I found another one," Iris's friend, Treaven, called to her, holding up a fragile, yellowing scroll as he walked. When he reached her, he handed it over, grinning, and folded his white wings as he leaned against the wall she was standing by. As he watched her read it, a grin spread across her lips. The two were by an outside wall of the school, passing it as they walked home from the library.
"Pink jelly?" Iris asked, amused. "We're going to turn our teacher's wings into pink jelly? Cool," she added with a grin, conveniently forgetting that they could get into a lot of trouble for doing something like this.
"I'll distract him; you work the spell, okay?" Treaven suggested, and Iris nodded, grinning at her friend. For thirteen and fourteen year old angels, the two were very advanced.
Unfortunately for their teachers, they were also very mischievous. Treaven had access to all of the libraries and scrolls, as he was to be the next scrollmaster. Treaven had met Iris when the two of them had to start training, and she came up with the idea of using his access to find spells and use them to play tricks on their boring teachers. It used to be that Treaven would get her into the scroll room and she'd find the spells, but lately Treaven had started finding the spells for her to work.
"We're gonna get in so much trouble for this," Treaven pointed out, shaking his head. He didn't really care about getting in a lot of trouble. It was just a big nuisance when he could be doing something like research, and he was getting scrapes and bruises from the extra training hours he received as punishment for the pranks.
Iris grinned. "No, you are." She always somehow managed to get Treaven blamed for what she did, except when she got caught, when she'd take the blame and get an extra hour's worth of training as punishment. Not that it was punishment to her, of course. She'd lately started lying to the training master about when she'd started so she'd end up with another hour of training.
Once she'd been training with flips and came home at night with a sprained ankle, limping into the living room.
"Iris Archantere, what have you done to yourself this time?" her mother had asked, resting her hands on her hips, glaring at her daughter in what Iris called the "mother stance."
"Can you heal it for me?" Iris had asked her mother, who just shook her head, saying she needed to learn how to deal with her pain. When she had gone up to the room that she and her sister shared, Angelyre offered to heal it for her, as she was three years ahead of her sister, in an advanced healing course. They had learned to heal minor, and some major things, like stretched ligaments and tendons at Iris's level, but at Angel's they were learning how to heal bones and some other serious injuries. Iris shook her head.
"I'll live with it. How else can I develop a high pain tolerance?" she'd asked her sister, who shrugged and surrendered. Angel knew Iris was stubborn as a mule when it came to things like that. She refused to even admit she was in pain half the time that she was.
This night, Iris had no injuries. When she walked up to the room, she found her sister bent over her schoolwork once more. Iris pulled hers out of her bag, along with the scroll, which she was going to study so she didn't mess up the spell.
"What's that?" asked Angel, pointing at the yellowing parchment next to her sister. Iris grinned and showed her the scroll. Angel read it and started laughing. "Pink jelly? Oh God, Iris, you're going to get in sooo much trouble for this one."
"Oh no I'm not, Treaven is," she argued with a grin. "He gave it to me. 'He made me do it, Master Skirmeister! It was all Treaven's fault!'" Iris said, demonstrating how she was going to get herself out of getting in trouble and get Treaven into it. Angel and Iris just sat there, giggling for awhile.
"Try it on me," Iris's sister suggested. "You do have a reversal spell, right?"
Iris looked over the scroll for a minute, then nodded. She raised her right hand and said "rosellareil." Blue mist flowed from Iris's fingertips and hit her sister's wings.
"It's cold," Angel said thoughtfully. Iris snorted as Angel looked in the mirror and, with a laugh, she realized that her beautiful wings were now made of -she suspected strawberry flavored- pink jelly. She took it in and then started laughing. "You should've seen your face," Iris said between gasps for air.
"Okay, okay, change them back," Angel said after trying to fold her wings unsuccessfully. Iris raised a hand and twisted it, saying the reversal spell, and her sister's wings turned back into feathers as the jelly dripped off. Angel grinned. "Sounds like it'll be fun. I wish I could be there. Better not let dad catch you, or you'll really be in trouble," she warned, "and I know nothing about this."
"I know, I know," Iris said as she rolled her blue eyes, having heard this warning a lot. She went back to her nearly useless schoolwork, which she finished in less than ten minutes.
"How do you finish your work so fast?" Angelyre asked her sister, glaring at her own work. Angel was three years older than her sister, but her sister was doing work only half a year behind her.
"I try not to get distracted. Plus, it's really easy. The sooner I finish this stuff, the sooner I get to go flying and work on something really interesting," Iris said with a grin as she picked up her bag and tossed it onto the floor with a bang.
Their father, having heard it, opened the door and looked around. "What was that noise?"
Iris took a deep breath and, in one long word, completely ignored her father's question. "Hidadbyedad. IfinishedmyworkandnowI'mgonnagoflyingokay? Okaybye," and then walked out, leaving her father scratching his head and blinking at Angel, with a distinctly confused look on his face. Angel shrugged.
"Beats me," she added quietly and bent over her work once again.
Up in the sky, Iris flipped and spun, exercising her stiff wings until a familiar voice said "do you always have to show off like that, even when you think you're alone?"
"Treaven!" She sputtered, stopped midflip and upside-down. He had caught her off guard, scaring her half to death. She turned herself right side up, grinning. "That spell's so easy. I think it turns them strawberry flavored as well as pink. Angel wouldn't have let me taste, so I'm not sure," she explained to an amused Treaven.
"She's your guinea pig, as usual. Good thing you're good at spells, otherwise she'd have snakes and honey for hair, sponges on her pincushion feet and strawberry jelly wings, not to mention a whole bunch of other things you've tried on her," Treaven said, laughing at the image this brought to mind.
Iris laughed as well, then when she calmed down, pointed to their favorite willow tree, which had the perfect branches for lounging around. "Race you," she called as she flew directly over it.
"Okay," Treaven agreed and started flying.
"Hey! No fair, you got a head start!" Iris called, then flew, quickly catching up to him, then passing and beating him to her favorite branch.
"So what if I got a head start?" Treaven asked. "You beat me anyway," he said, amused, landing next to her on another branch. They sat until they heard Jonathan Skirmeister in their heads.
Time for school, younglings, he called in a pleasant voice, knowing he was torturing them and loving every minute of it. He didn't always call them to school, but sometimes when he felt particularly evil, he did it just to prove he could.
Iris and Treaven looked at each other, sighed in unison, and then flew towards Hevanican High, grinning. They landed in the doorway to their classroom.
"Iris, Treaven, you know you're not supposed to fly inside this building," their teacher said jadedly, not looking up from the papers he was sorting through.
"Aww, relax, Jon, we didn't hurt anyone," Iris insisted, smiling sweetly.
"You will address me as Master Skirmeister," he snapped, looking up. Iris and Treaven held up their hands, surrendering, and sat down at their desks, each pulling out a notebook and a pen, which they promptly started twirling. They kept at it until Master Skirmeister gave them his patented "death glare," and their pens went flying to him. He caught them and stashed them in the bottom left-hand drawer of his desk. Iris and Treaven just pulled out more pens. They went through a box every week. At the last day of the week, they'd wait until school got out and take their pens back. Both the teacher and the students knew what the other did with the pens, but Master Skirmeister wasn't going to bother stopping them. Iris and Treaven were excellent students, though they never paid attention in any of their classes. Iris spent her class time composing music and doodling in the margins of her paper. Treaven usually spent his writing, looking over scrolls and passing notes with Iris. Even though their teacher didn't punish them for doing this, something was wrong. No matter how friendly she was towards him, Jonathan Skirmeister seemed to have a strong aversion to Iris Archantere. She couldn't, for the life of her, figure out why.
"Right, class, let's get started." Master Skirmeister started making checkmarks next to every students name as they responded to being called.
Iris had copied down the spell for the jelly wings in her notebook the night before. Now she flipped to the page it was on and looked over at Treaven, who nodded with a grin. Iris grinned as well, but straightened her face when Master Skirmeister looked her way. When he turned to the chalkboard to write something, she grinned and whispered "rosellareil." Tendrils of blue mist raced from her fingertips, to the class's amazement, as they hadn't seen her power yet. That should've come a little later. The mist touched his wings and stretched to cover them. The white feathers slowly darkened in color, solidified, and turned into pink, strawberry jelly. The class immediately bust into gales of laughter.
"What is that smell?" Master Skirmeister asked no one in particular. The students had noted, of late, that he had developed a habit of talking to himself when he was confused.
"What spell – er, smell, Master Skirmeister?" Treaven asked innocently, struggling to hide a grin, causing the class to laugh again.
"It smells like strawberries. May I remind this division that there is no food allowed inside this classroom?" he growled. His growling seemed to have no effect on anyone, since the class just kept laughing. "Will someone please explain to me why the hell you are all laughing?" he hissed, glaring at Iris, who mindspoke to Treaven, having realized that their situation was not good, and that they had made him mad.
You made him mad, not me! I just gave you the spell! he retorted.
"Ah - Sir?" Neal said. Neal was another of Iris's friends. Everyone but her was at least fourteen. She was rather advanced for a thirteen-year old.
"What do you want?" Skirmeister snapped, turning on Neal, who swallowed nervously. Skirmeister seemed to have that effect on everyone, including adults. He was able to make the toughest angel nervous merely by looking at them.
"I – you might want to check your wings," Neal suggested.
Big mouth! Iris snapped, you're going to get us in trouble! Why is he so upset about this? I've never seen him like this before. Iris and Treaven had played several pranks on Jonathan Skirmeister since they met him. The only thing that differentiated this prank from anything else they'd done was that this had been done to his wings.
You don't know? Neal asked, sounding surprised. He nearly got his wings severed in the war fifteen years ago. Healers had to work for hours to reattach them. He's sensitive to everything that touches his wings. Plus, it's better than having him yell at us all night, isn't it? Neal asked.
Skirmeister pulled a mirror out of the air and held it up to look at his wings. Suddenly, it disappeared. "Who did this?" he asked in a dangerous voice. When he looked around at the stunned students and no one answered, he roared "Who did this? I demand to know!"
Iris started to open her mouth, but Treaven and Neal both telepathically told her not to rather loudly.
Skirmeister walked over and slammed his fists down on Iris's desk, making her jump. She thought he was going to break clear through the wood. "It was you! You filthy Malaengel, turn them back!" he roared, his face just about six inches from hers. The class gasped and stared openmouthed at their teacher, who had just called the best student in the class evil.
"But I -"
"I don't care if you say you didn't do it! Turn my wings back!" He roared, interrupting her.
"F-f'valeira," Iris stammered. The jelly dripped from his white wings and Iris took three hours of combat training as punishment. Skirmeister didn't know she liked the "punishment" he was giving her, and she wasn't about to tell him.
"You will start your punishment now. Go," Skirmeister hissed, and she did.
As soon as she closed the door behind her, she heard the class start yelling at their Master for what he'd said to her. She couldn't help smiling – the entire class was defending her.
When she went home, she had a cut on her leg where she had slipped with the sword while flipping, and a cut on her left forearm where her training master had stabbed her with his tridagger – when she didn't make her spinflip as smooth as it should have been – like an enemy would've done. Since she was as good as an older student, they treated her like one.
"If that had been any more jagged, Iris, I would've had to ask your mother how much she had spent on getting a robot of you made," her training Master, Marc Armsman, said, hands on his hips.
"A ro-what?" Iris asked, confused.
"A robot. It's what humans call our shadowangels. I understand, since humans aren't as advanced as us and never will be, that their 'robots' are rather uncoordinated, as you seem to be today. I'm not entirely sure what 'robot' means, but what can you do? None of us understand humans. Redo that flip for me, and make it smoother this time," he ordered. Iris nodded and threw her body into a hard twist, flipping, and landed in her fighting stance. She was now holding her tridaggers instead of her sword, which she was supposed to have in her hand, just in time to block a swing from Armsman. He grinned.
"I approve. Full marks, Iris." He looked at his watch and told her she could go home – she had completed her three hours of training.
"But I started at –" she started to protest, but Armsman gave her a skeptical look and shook his head.
"No, Iris. I set the timer on my watch when you walked in. I know you like the punishments Skirmeister gives you, but I can't give you more training time than I'm supposed to – I could lose my job over that," he told her.
Iris winced. So he did know she liked it. Damn! "Sorry, I didn't know it was that serious." She started to turn and walk home, but then turned back around. "How long have you known I like training punishments?"
Armsman smiled. He had a nice smile. In fact, he was rather good looking, though surprisingly unattached. He had brown-black hair and steel blue eyes. Too bad Iris was twenty years younger than him at his age of thirty three. That was the thing about angels. They pretty much stopped aging after twenty or so, and lived until someone ridded them of their last life. "Since the first day you came to me with a demerit slip from Skirmeister. You had a bounce in your step as you walked over to me and you were trying much too hard to conceal a smile," he said, amused.
Iris shrugged. "Can't blame me for trying to act like I hated it, can you? At least my acting skills have improved since then." She had gotten her first training punishment at age ten. "He'll start giving me different punishments if he finds out I like training, so please don't tell him!" she begged, looking pleadingly into Armsman's eyes.
Armsman laughed and held up his right hand. "I promise – Master Skirmeister will never hear from me that you actually like the punishment he gives you," he said, shaking his head. "I used to hate training when I was your age…You should probably go home, Iris – it's getting late and I'm standing here talking your ear off," he said with a smile.
Iris smiled back, thanked him, and turned, shouldering her bag. Instead of walking home as she normally did, she flew to the tree and landed in her favorite branch-chair. Soon, Treaven landed next to her.
"Wow," he remarked.
"Yeah," she agreed. "I've never seen him so worked up over a prank. I thought he was going to kill me. Did you know he was so sensitive about his wings? Neal told me he nearly got them severed in the last war."
"No, I had no idea. If I did, I wouldn't have let you work that spell. I wish I had known. You okay?" He asked, noticing the blood that had soaked through her jeans. She nodded, indicating that she was fine.
"I slipped with the sword," she explained, patting the hilt of her silvery sword. They didn't get crystal swords until they entered the Academy of Adept Angels, commonly the AAA.
"Shouldn't you clean that?" a new voice suggested on her right.
"Hi, Neal," she said with a smile. "Yeah, I suppose. You guys gonna come?" she asked, diving to the ground. Neal and Treaven landed near her and followed her into her house and up the stairs to her bathroom. There was a mirror in it that opened to reveal not the wall or a cabinet, but the back of another mirror, which opened as well. This was how Iris and Angel talked in the morning without fighting over the sink. Iris was surprised to see that there was no one home. She held the cut on her arm under running water and started wrapping it. Neal sighed and grabbed her arm to pour something over it that stung.
"Ow! What is that?" Iris asked her friend, snatching her arm back.
"Alcohol. Humans use it, and I've found that it works rather well," he explained with a smile. She shrugged and let him finish cleaning it. He wrapped it, then tapped her leg.
"Er," she said, "mind if I change into something different so you can actually see the cut?" she asked Neal, who gestured, indicating that she should change. Iris hurried into her bedroom and changed into a short skirt.
When she walked back into the bathroom, Neal raised an eyebrow, giving her a sly smile that, nevertheless, said he approved. "I didn't know you owned a skirt."
"Shut up and clean the cut," she grumbled as she sat down on the sink.
Neal grinned and poured the alcohol over it as Iris winced and gripped the edge of the sink. He wrapped her thigh and Iris walked around looking for some sort of note, saying where everyone was.
She found it on the mirror in the room her mother and father shared. She scratched her head, wondering why her mother put the note there of all places, considering Iris never went into her parents' room.
Iris dear, your sister and I have taken your father out for dinner. Why weren't you home sooner? I trust you'll explain this to me when we come home. Had we left a minute later, we would've lost our reservations. Lots of love, dearest – oh, tell Treaven and Neal I say 'hello!' –Mother.
She brought the note into her bedroom to show it to Neal and Treaven, and they read it and laughed.
"How did she know we'd be here?" Neal wondered.
"Oh, she knows you two are always here when she's not home. She can sense it. Anyway, she has to know who's here and when, you know, so she developed spells for that."
"Spells? What kinds of spells?" Treaven asked.
"Nothing special, just a couple of detection spells that follow whoever doesn't live here around. Ah, there's one now," she said as she pointed above her mirror to a silvery shimmer in the air that had to be the spell, which was watching Neal and Treaven.
"How interesting," Treaven mused.
"Yeah…mother likes to put them above mirrors because they're already silvery. I think that's why, anyway. She doesn't know I know she uses them, I don't think."
Neal listened to her speak, amused, then suggested they all go flying, having heard that they were having flying exams in a week. "Oh, what are they testing us on?" Iris asked. Neal didn't know, but suggested they practice everything, especially maneuvering.
They flew out Iris's windows and landed on the grass in the backyard, between the woods and the mansion Iris lived in. Iris flew up, then dove down, landing perfectly on the balls of her feet, then shifted her weight so she was standing flat on the ground.
"Aha! I know how we can practice. How about we have a speedflying tournament?" Treaven suggested to the other two, who grinned and agreed enthusiastically.
"I'll beat you, you know," Iris said.
"Maybe you can beat him, but there's no way you're gonna beat me," Neal said with a smirk. He and Iris were pretty evenly matched at speedflying, and both very good at it. This was the main sport in Heaven, and the only one Iris liked even a little. It would always come second to her warrior training, though it actually had a tendency to help with that.
"Let's go," Iris said. "Repeat after me." She flew up into the air slowly, then moved into a slow flip as she dove down, controlling her speed. Neal smirked when she landed and imitated her with ease. Treaven soon followed. Iris then flew up a little faster and flipped twice as she dove to the ground, landing on her feet. After Neal and Treaven had completed a few more of her challenges, she flew up at a very high speed, spinning as she did this, and kept at it as she did five flips and backflips. When she hit the ground, she nearly fell over. She started laughing as Neal shook his head and flew up to continue the tournament. He landed perfectly and Treaven went up. He quickly lost when he hit the ground and fell over.
"Okay, it's just you and me now, Neal," Iris said, then flew up, spinning. She did seven spinflips at breakneck speed, but when she tried the spinning backflips, she felt something pull in her wing, which she had opened to turn her body for the backflips. She fell, unable to fly right, and Neal caught her before she hit the ground.
"It's just as well. That last one would've made me too dizzy," Neal admitted, putting her down. Iris looked at the sky, which was starting to brighten towards the east.
"How long have we been out here?" she asked.
"Hey sis, are you planning to sleep sometime this morning?" Angel asked her sister, who shook her head. She was leaning out the window, in her bright blue pajamas, watching the speedflying. She had never been that good at it, and loved to watch her sister. She was starting to get a little tired, and wondered if Iris was as well, since it was almost four in the morning.
"Are you okay?" Neal asked her, and she responded, asking him why she wouldn't be okay. "Well that just looked a little painful," he answered, indicating her wing. She shook her head.
"You okay, Treaven?" she asked, concerned. He had dropped out fairly fast.
"Yeah, it just made me a little dizzy is all," he reassured her. Iris looked up as Angel called down to her, telling her to come in and relay to her what happened with the jelly spell.
"Bye Iris," the boys chorused. They watched her open her wings and push air behind her, sending her flying in through the open window as she folded her wings tight in order to fit through the space.
As the boys walked away, they heard Angel's cries of "Oh my god! Really?" echoing in the air. They split up and walked home, trying to sneak back inside without getting caught.
A/N: Reviews are happy! )