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A Grave Offence

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As soon as Sirius had torn the red ribbon from his wrist while the witch-summoning ritual disguised as a storytelling session was still underway, Ashe knew the other man had sealed his own fate.

He had, after all, made sure to place special emphasis on the importance of not removing one's ribbon before the end when he'd gone over all the rules. He'd also made a point of emphasising the importance of not leaving one's seat, and of placing the substitution doll in the event that anyone absolutely had to leave their seat for any reason -– yet Sirius had disregarded that as well. Even when he'd warned him, he hadn't cared at all and only demanded an apology from him for daring to speak ill of that heinous murderer Dorothy.

The man had seriously threatened to kill him over it, even going as far as strangling him. In all the years Ashe had spent researching witches, to him that had been first-hand proof of how terrifying adherents could be when they devoted themselves to such a fiend so single-mindedly.

After that, just before Sirius had stormed out, he'd gone so far as to wish that everyone else would be cursed to death –- all because Ashe had called Dorothy the murderer she surely was and suggested she was the grotesque monster Claire saw, and all because the others had taken Ashe's side to stop Sirius escalating things any further.

Yet who is the one who shall be cursed with death? Left alone in the dining room after the fact -– Claire having gone to take her bath, Noel and Wilardo having headed off themselves not long after her -– Ashe smiled to himself ominously.

Truthfully, he thought Sirius had been on thin ice even before the subject of Dorothy came up at all, when he'd given that ridiculous retelling of Cinderella instead of anything remotely scary. The whole purpose of the ritual was to summon a witch by offering up fear to her; even if he'd obfuscated that point by calling it a ghost story session to pass the time, that Sirius would ignore it so completely was utterly unbelievable to Ashe.

This could have been the ritual that finally worked –- the ritual that could have finally brought his family back. If it had been ruined on account of an out-of-place fairytale more childish than anything he'd ever shared with his sister in their youth –- and the only time he did want to hear the tale of Cinderella again was when Lilia was here to enjoy it once more -– then he would never have forgiven Sirius for it.

He wasn't going to forgive him regardless. To him, Sirius had already committed a grave offence by breaking the ritual's rules -– to the point where it was ruined beyond salvation anyway, fairytale or no -– and trying to murder him in the name of that serial killer he worshipped so much.

Picking up the discarded ribbon from the floor, then tucking it away into the same sleeve he hid his scalpels in, he thought that Sirius would only have himself to blame if some horrible deadly curse did befall him in the night.

It would certainly serve him right for getting in the way of his wish... and Ashe was going to see his wish granted no matter what he had to do.