Aubrey Fitzwilliam didn't appreciate being covered in slime. Nor did he appreciate being covered in slime and then coated with feathers. However, this was his current predicament. He really ought to have thought his plan through before he put it into action.

One might be wondering, why would Aubrey ever condescend to playing a cheap prank on someone? But to really understand why, one must look at Aubrey's sock drawer.

Socks are an essential part of any outfit (unless one intends to be barefooted), and when one wakes up to find a disturbing lack of socks in one's sock drawer, then one must do ones best to figure out where they have gone.

So this was what Aubrey had planned. He had seen a similar slime incident occur at a festival one year, where the big-footed clowns would throw cream pies at eat other, and then throw bird feathers at them, creating a sticky, feathery mess. The victims of these attacks were always easy to spot, as the cream dried quickly onto the skin, effectively gluing the feathers to skin.

When Aubrey woke up one morning to find all his clean socks gone, he immediately put into action a plan to discover the culprit. Using the laws of sympathy, likeness and multiplication, he managed to turn a small bowl of water and a single down feather from his pillow into a perfect slime and feather routine. All the culprit had to do was be within a metre range of his dressing table and the goo and feathers would instantly shower themselves onto them.

Aubrey's genius plan had backfired when he went to the dressing table to grab his cufflinks.

In truth, he really should have thought of that.

Now he was rather cold. Not to mention soaked with the water-slime that was losing its slimy character as the spell failed. A feather tickled his nose, making him sneeze.

Just great. he thought, get attacked by my own plan and then get sick from it all.

Today was really not Aubrey Fitzwilliam's day.

To make matters worse, George Doyle chose that moment to stride into Aubrey's bedroom, announcing that both Sophie, Caroline and his parents were waiting for him to be ready for their trip to Penhurst Estate for King Albert's engagement party.

Taking in the sight of his friend, George couldn't help but burst into laughter.

'What have you done, old man?' he exclaimed loudly between guffaws. 'It looks as though you've been attacked by a chicken.'

Unable to join his friend in laughing (his teeth were shuddering too much), Aubrey chose instead to give his friend a deadpan glare as he did his best to shake off the feathers from his jacket.

Drooping his shoulders, Aubrey spoke a simple cleaning spell using a neat, but carefully constructed application of the law of constituent parts. The feathers were expelled from him like two magnets, the watery slime dripping to the floor around him in streams.

In under a minute, Aubrey was looking as presentable as he was pre-slime. Turning to his friend, Aubrey admitted that his socks had all gone missing and he though he would be clever and create a trap to ensnare the culprit, a trap that had unfortunately backfired.

George's laughter started up again, rocking his body so much that he had to hold onto the door frame for support.

Aubrey gave his friend a wry glance is turned back to his dressing table to finish getting ready. When he finished dressing fully, sans socks, Aubrey was ready to head downstairs. Before George turned to leave, he turned to his friend and drew a single pair of Aubrey's socks from his jacket pocket.

Winking at his friend he turned to rejoin the rest of the party downstairs, leaving Aubrey with a shocked look on his face.

Ignoring his hot face that was most definitely red, Aubrey hurriedly put on the pair of socks and then his shoes, tying up the strings with such force it was a surprise they didn't snap. Running a quick hand through his hair, Aubrey decided that now was as good a time as any to join his family and friends downstairs.

George had apparently spared his friend of any embarrassment by not mentioning his "slimy" situation to his parents. The grin that graced his face however, suggested that the same courtesy would not be given in regards to both Caroline and Sophie. Aubrey knew George would take all the pleasure in telling Sophie and Caroline of how Aubrey was going to catch a sock thief by coating him in feathers, only to be caught up in his own spells.

'Aubrey, you've got a feather in your hair.' remarked Caroline as Aubrey came to stand next to her. Looking down in perpetual embarrassment, and to avoid catching George's eyes, Aubrey raised a hand to swipe away the stray down feather.

He was never going to live this down.