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The Fred Weasley Memorial Scholarship by ad astra
Chapter 20 : the spirit of fred weasley [or] exit, pursued by a bear
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 10


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As April fades into May, the castle grounds brighten and flourish under increasing hours of bright spring sunlight, and blossoms bloom on the branches of trees for as far as the eye can see.


Apparently, anyway. We haven’t left the castle in about three weeks except for Herbology (Albus, Scorpius and I) and Quidditch practice (Lester, though he takes the team out in the dead of night because who needs sleep anyway.)


Holly hasn’t had any of those opportunities. When she’s not in class she’s up in Ravenclaw Tower or in the library, putting in daily blocks of study that are four to six hours long in addition to the work we’re doing for class. She’s also taken to skipping meals, refusing to leave the library during dinner and going straight there at lunchtime, so the boys and I are taking it in turns to filch sandwiches from the kitchens and bring them to her. She’s determined to get straight Outstandings – she didn’t get Astronomy in OWLs so she’s got more to prove than any of us, and she’s going for Top Scholar in Arithmancy as well. We’re all going for Top Scholar, actually, in our chosen fields – Potions for me, History of Magic for Albus, Runes for Scorpius, and Transfiguration for Lester, which means we have a couple of extra lessons a week with our respective professors. Everything – and I mean everything – in our world revolves around NEWTs, and I’ve learned quickly that the only way I can possibly get through the next few weeks is to plan, plan, plan – everything I’m going to do, every minute of every day, allocating more than enough study hours for each subject and getting them done because the moment I fall behind I start to panic. We’re all on edge, a powder keg of stress and emotion and unbearable tension, and at this point I can’t tell whether we’re supporting each other or driving each other insane.


Lester, I’m pleased to discover, is actually coping better than the rest of us – wandlore is an open entry field and he’s got an apprenticeship lined up with Ollivander regardless of how well he does, so he doesn’t have the same career pressures as us, and Lily – God. Lily’s the best thing for him, she really is, and she comes up to Ravenclaw Tower every now and then, usually in the evenings, to take him for a fly around the grounds – and justifies it by pointing out he’s Captain and Seeker for the Ravenclaw team, so any bit of extra flying he gets in can only be good for him. Given that he’s physically incapable of taking time off, I admire her approach and how well she knows him already.


The final Quidditch game of the season, scheduled for the week after exams finish, is between Slytherin and Ravenclaw, who are virtually tied for first place, but Lester seems to thrive on the pressure.


“Quidditch is his safe place,” Lily shrugs when I talk to her about it. “He has to work so hard for everything else, but he’s a natural flier and a natural leader – it’s something he’s good at without even trying. He’s never put pressure on himself for it, and it’s worked for him so far. I mean – look at him, he’s the best Seeker Hogwarts has seen since Victoire, and that’s coming from me.”


“And you’re competitive as fuck,” I say, nodding. “Well – thanks for looking after him. It’s so good to see him so happy – especially when everyone else is falling apart.”


“I’m not looking after him,” Lily says. “Or at least, not consciously. I just – I dunno. I’m in love with him. Whatever.”


“You’re in love with him?” I repeat, a grin spreading across my face.


Lily frowns. “Course I am.”


“Have you told him?”


“I think I’ll save that bombshell for after he’s finished NEWTs.”


“That’s probably best. Oh – you don’t need any help with Potions study, do you?”


Lily pauses for a moment. “Rose, you have NEWTs coming up.”


“It counts as study,” I say dismissively. “Especially if you let me natter about ingredients and reactions and innovative brewing techniques while I run you through the standard OWL potions.”


“In that case, I’ll round up a few other Slytherins if you’re cool with teaching us as a group.”


“Sounds perfect. We’ll figure out a time once study leave starts.”




 

It’s not till I get back to the common room that I realise (terrible as it sounds) how good it’s been to talk to someone who isn’t part of the group. Albus and Scorpius are at loggerheads again (they were fine for about two weeks, but now exam stress has hit them and magnified every grievance they had against each other, and they’re stuck in an endless cycle of fighting and making up) and Holly is either studying in vehemently enforced silence or crying.


She’s curled into a ball on her chair, hugging her knees and sniffling, when I come in.
“I don’t…understand…these concepts,” she says in a strangled voice, staring at the book in front of her. I pick it up.


Applied Sequence Theory in Advanced Numerology,” I read. “This isn’t NEWT level, is it?”


“It’s a standard text in Year Three Arithmancy studies at the Department of Mysteries,” Holly mumbles.


“Year Three in the Department of Mysteries?” I repeat. “Holly, this shit is four years beyond your level. And classified.”


“Mum pulled a few strings.”


I close the book firmly. “Stop reading this. You don’t need this. This is insane. Here’s what you’re going to do – Holly, are you listening?”


“Yeah.”


“You’re going to leave this book with me. I’m confiscating it.”


“But – ”


“I’m not finished. You’re going to go down to the kitchens and get a lot of dessert from the house elves. You’re going to take that dessert to the Hufflepuff common room, and you’re going to share it with your sister and catch up on family gossip and listen to her natter about Pygmy Puffs and Quidditch and who in her year likes who. And you’re not coming back here till you send her off to bed because she’s thirteen and has classes in the morning and needs her sleep, and then you’re going to take your own advice and go to bed. Okay?”


“But – ”


“No buts. Get going.”


“Rose – ”


Get.”


She gets going, and I take a deep, fortifying breath before delving into the stack of books Llodewick lent me. At least three of the titles have the word theory in them, two have components, and five have magical reactions. The Holy Grail of these is apparently Applied Theory of Potion Brewing: Components and Magical Reactions.


I’m beginning to understand why Llodewick said academia and alcohol go hand in hand.




Finally reaching study leave towards the end of May is an absolute blessing. We’re already feeling burnt out from relentlessly powering through the last of the curriculum, so we take the Saturday morning after classes finish to sleep, and Saturday afternoon to brainstorm how we’re going to go out with a bang.


“I put together a timetable of OWL and NEWT exams,” I begin. “Exams finish on Friday morning of week two – that’s the fifteenth – the official exam period extends to Friday afternoon, but that was set when Alchemy and Xylomancy were still exam subjects.”


“So that’s when the anti-disruption spell ceases?” Albus asks.


The anti-disruption spell is a recent development – put in place after one Teddy Lupin (incidentally, the last recipient of the Fred Weasley Memorial Scholarship) having sat the two exams he had any intention of passing (Transfiguration and DADA) set off a magnificent array of pranks in the Great Hall during the OWL History of Magic and NEWT Potions Theory exam that included but were not limited to a lot of Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder, two dozen geese, and a John Deere tractor he had charmed to fly. (This was the anecdote that made Albus and Scorpius realise they’d been telling stories about the same boy for four years.)


“Yeah, should be,” I say. “Given that afternoon exams are from two till five pm, that means the spell lifts at five on Friday June fifteenth. Friday morning is Divination, which none of us take, so that gives us the whole day to set everything up.”


“Do we have any ideas for what the everything will entail?”


“A lot of alcohol,” Albus suggests.


“I’m thinking, if we want to avoid negative repercussions from this,” Scorpius begins, “We should involve all of seventh year. You know how pretty much every year there’s a big-arse party somewhere in the castle for all the seventh years straight after exams, and the teachers turn a blind eye to it? We need to do something on that scale.”


“Something that involves leading one hundred and fourteen seventh-years into an alcohol establishment,” Albus says.


“Hey, yeah,” I say, my eyes lighting up. “There’s a weird kind of symmetry to that, you know – we made Louis the Pied Piper of Pygmy Puffs at the beginning of the year, and we can be the Pied Pipers of…seventh year? Doesn’t have the same ring to it, but – ”


“We can get James in on this,” Albus decides. “Hire out the bar for that evening – we won’t have to pay to do that, I don’t think – they’re going to make a fortune off vodka and pumpkin fizz. If we can organise a Portkey from somewhere – ”


“We can rig the Portkey as a trigger,” Lester says eagerly, looking up. “Put a delaying charm on it, similar to the one we did in the Gryffindor common room, maybe pressure-based so the moment the Portkey leaves, we can set off – something. I’m open to ideas.”


“We can’t do fireworks,” Albus muses, “Because that’s what Fred and George did, and we have to be original. Same goes with Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder and…geese.”


Holly opens her mouth to say something, pauses, tries again, screws up her face, giggles, and finally manages in a hushed whisper, “Teddy bears.


“Teddy…bears?” Lester repeats.


Animate teddy bears.”


“What the fuck are you on?” Scorpius asks bluntly.


“Fatigue, mostly,” Holly replies matter-of-factly. “But we can…” she pauses, consumed with giggles again, and holds up a hand while she attempts to get herself under control. “Exit, pursued by a bear.”


“Is that…?”


“Shakespeare, yes.” Scorpius takes control of the conversation, because Holly’s incapacitated herself. “Stage direction from The Winter’s Tale.”


“So we have to set this animate bear loose on the grounds,” Lester summarises, “And somehow get it to…chase us to a Portkey.”


“You can rig up a deactivation charm for the bear that’s attached to the Portkey,” Scorpius suggests. “Or just leave him for the teachers to deal with. Either way.”


“Since when did we assign the bear a gender?” Albus asks.


“Since when do teddy bears fit into the gender binary?” Holly asks.


“The gender binary is a social construct,” I add.


Scorpius holds up his hands. “Okay, we’ll leave quod for the teachers to deal with.”


“Did you just – ”


“What? English doesn’t have any gender-neutral accusative singular pronouns, so I borrowed one. What should we leave behind?”


“Bunnies,” Lester says immediately.


“Pygmy Puffs,” Holly says.


“Howlers,” Albus says.


“Doves,” I add.


“Hollyjuice?” Scorpius asks.


“In a fountain.”


Albus leans back in his chair. “This. This is our magnum opus. Our piece de resistance. Our…thing.”


“Right,” Lester says in a businesslike tone. “We’re going to need a lot of conjuring spells rigged to this thing, then – I think the Portkey could just Transfigure into the Hollyjuice fountain, Rose – wait. You’re not allowed to brew – ”


“I’m a Potioneer, Lester. I keep backups of my brews. Especially ones that I invent and probably should patent.”


“Right, good. We can use simple conjuring charms for the animals, the Howlers might be a bit trickier because they’ll have to be prepared in advance – ”


“We could just carry the Howlers in our pockets,” Albus points out. “I know it’s not quite as elegant, but if we just pull them out, rip them open, and drop them on the floor just as everyone reaches for the Portkey – ”


“How are we going to get one hundred and fourteen students to touch the same Portkey at the same time?” I interrupt.


“Protean Charm,” Holly says immediately. “We’ll make the Master Key something relatively inocuous – something that can be left in the Entrance Hall, say – we’ll make that Ground Zero – like – ”


“A Ravenclaw tie,” Lester suggests.


“A Ravenclaw tie,” Holly confirms, nodding. “And we’ll add Protean Charms to everyone’s ties – everyone in seventh year anyway. That way they’ll be Portkey’d – ”


“That won’t work,” Albus interrupts. “You have to let go of a Portkey, and you can’t let go of your tie if it’s round your neck and you’re flying through nothing. Plus, it’s probably a choking hazard.”


“The seventh-year timetable,” I say.


Albus’s eyes widen. “Hey, yeah – that works perfectly – everyone will have one, and it won’t be suspicious to be carrying that round in your pocket – mine’s been in mine all year – nor will it look weird all crumpled on the floor of the Entrance Hall. Filch tends to do his cleaning later in the evening, it’s heavy traffic around 5pm so nobody bothers to pick up rubbish – plus, it’s symbolic. For all of seventh year, you know? It’s not just relevant to us. We’re all getting the fuck out of here.”


“Right, so,” Lester says, scribbling furiously, “We need the timetable as a plain Portkey with a Protean Charm. We’ll need to gather all of seventh year together so we can put the charm on everyone’s timetables and fill them in on the plan – Scorpius?”


“On it. Meet me in the Room of Requirement at five.”


“The fountain…Rose, you could fill one of the little fountains in the quadrangle with the potion, and put a delayed relocation spell on it so it appears in the middle of the Entrance Hall after we leave. We can tweak the Bunny Generator to make it a bunny, dove and Pygmy Puff generator – put it in the corner of the Entrance Hall again, but with a Disillusionment Charm on it otherwise anyone who was at school over Easter will know exactly what we’re doing. The Howlers – ”


“Put them inside the fountain,” I say immediately. “Just in a hollow bit inside the stonework. Delayed Diffindo on the envelopes.”


“You’re a genius,” Lester says, and keeps scribbling.


“We all are. What are we going to make the Howlers yell?”


“We,” Albus says, “Are going to make a compendium of every essay written by a seventh-year student this academic year. And the Howlers are going to yell it.”


“I changed my mind, you’re the genius.”


“It runs in the family,” Albus says graciously. “Now, we’ve got ninety minutes till we meet Scorpius in the Room of Requirement – who’s up for some Charms study?”




NEWTs are just as hellish as we all anticipated. Straight after dinner on Saturday (the meeting with the rest of seventh-year went well, with unanimous agreement for a night of drinking in London, and Albus sent an owl to James immediately) we’re back in the common room to put in a solid six hours of study. The library’s extended hours begin that Monday (the official start of study leave) and we’re in there from 9am to 1am every day. Lara, Alfie and Tom have joined us (there was a lot of tension between Alfie and Albus, understandably so, but being true Ravenclaws they decided that the Scorpius issue was far less important than having someone to work with for Muggle Studies, and once that happened there was reconciliation all round) and we make house trips to the kitchens on our way back to Ravenclaw Tower to grab food before settling in for another few hours of study in the common room. We have forced breaks – an hour for breakfast, an hour for lunch, an hour for dinner, as well as pitstops at 10pm and 1am – and get to bed around three every morning. Holly pulls one all nighter, can’t concentrate due to tiredness for the rest of the day, and never tries it again.


Our first exam is Charms Theory on Monday morning – except for Scorpius and Holly, who don’t take Charms and therefore don’t start till Tuesday. My carefully structured study goes out the window, and I spend Sunday reading The Standard Book of Spells cover-to-cover, twice, before deciding that if I don’t know my Charms theory after that it’s Miranda Goshawk’s fault, not mine, and retire to my dorm with my usual stack of Potions journals and advanced theory books – Potions Theory is on Tuesday morning, and my Top Scholar chances ride on it.


“I’m gonna be sick,” Albus says bluntly the next morning, pushing away his toast and closing his eyes.


“I’d rather you didn’t,” Lester says.


“’Sup Claws,” Lily greets, plopping down on the seat beside Lester. “You look a bit green, bro.”


“You don’t look green enough,” Albus retorts.


“What are you sitting today?” I ask.


“Transfiguration Theory this morning, Defence Practical this afternoon.” She wriggles around a bit, reaching for the rack of toast and the marmalade. “Gonna kick some butt this afternoon. What’ve you guys got? Charms, right?”


“Yeah,” Albus says glumly. “Aka my Wandwork requirement for being a Healer. I need an Outstanding for both Theory and Practical.”


“You’re good at Charms though,” Lily says around a mouthful of toast. “Better’n me.”


“You’re a fifth year.”


“You’re rude when you’re nervous.”


“And you’re a pain in the arse when you exist.”


“Aw, Albutt,” Lily says. “That wasn’t very nice. Well, I’m gonna go bug Hugo. Good luck for Charms!”


“Good luck to you too!” I yell after her, before turning to the others. “How is she so calm?”


“She’s got nothing to prove,” Albus shrugs.


“Lucky her,” I mutter.




I hate exams.


I hate every aspect of them – slowly filing into the Great Hall, which looks foreign and eerie with its rows and rows of single desks, the staff table filled with grumpy Scottish crones who are paid a pittance from the Ministry to supervise our exams, and the great blackboard behind them which reads “DEPARTMENT OF MAGICAL EDUCATION EXAMINATIONS – 3 JUNE 2024” and the parchment waiting at our desks, blank but for the “Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test: Charms Theory,” stamped across the top, and that queasy feeling in my gut and the certainty that I won’t be able to answer a single question once the words on the question booklet appear –


“Good morning,” one of the Scottish crones begins. “This morning’s exams are the Ordinary Wizarding Level, Transfiguration Theory, and the Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test, Charms Theory…”


I glance around, hoping to catch someone’s eye and find some solidarity in shared suffering, but Lester and Albus are both looking pale and sickly, staring resolutely at their exam papers.


Across the Hall, Lily throws me a thumbs up and mouths, You’ll be great, Rose and I feel a bit better.


“You may begin,” the crone concludes, and the questions appear.


The first essay’s on the ‘notable features’ of the Patronus Charm and how it differs from other defensive or conjuring spells. Thanking the gods above for this piece of luck, I launch straight in, quill flying across the page, deaf to the scratches and rustles and shuffles of nearly three hundred students. Introduction, done – surprisingly eloquent, as well. I take a moment to scrawl a vague outline on the back of the question sheet, progression of ideas and salient points, before powering through my first body paragraph.


There are three aspects to this exam – two essays and a short answer section regarding spell use and effects. The second essay is on the mechanics of Aguamenti, and I take a moment to swear under my breath, try and remember Lester’s lectures on elemental conjuring, and wing it.


By the time I’ve gone through the short answer section a handful of students have already left – Tom, Sophie, Lucy and Dylan – and I catch the latter two on my way out.


“Well,” Dylan says bracingly once we’re clear of the Great Hall and have collapsed on the grass in the quad, “That could have been worse.”


“That Aguamenti question though,” Lucy groans, rolling over onto her stomach. “I saw that and I was like oh, fuck.”


“God, me too. The moment I saw the word mechanics I knew it was all over.”


“Good for some people though,” Dylan says, his Hufflepuffian nature shining through. “Lester and Emily’d be kicking arse in there.”


We’re joined, as the morning wears on, by a growing cluster of seventh-years eager for a post mortem on the exam, and by the time we all troop inside for lunch I’m heartily sick of talking about it or thinking about it – which is bad news for Lester who, having finished at exactly 12.30, hasn’t had the chance to go over it with anyone.


“What’d you guys make of the Aguamenti – ”


“No.”


“I ended up writing six feet of parchment, I think, with diagrams – ”


No.”


“Albus – ”


“Shhh,” he says, already buried in one of his textbooks for Muggle Studies, which he has this afternoon.


“I’m gonna go debrief with Emily,” Lester decides, and takes himself off to the Slytherin table.




The Potions Theory exam on Tuesday morning is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.


Question One: Compare and contrast the effects of the Calming Concoction or Calming Potion and the Draught of Peace.



Question Two: Choose a potion from the following list and discuss the ethical issues behind its use:
-Amortentia
-Felix Felicis
-Veritaserum



Question Three: Using the principles of Golpalott’s Third Law, describe the components and method of brewing an antidote to the Draught of Living Death.



Fighting the urge to whoop with glee at the sight of it, I just grin like a maniac, flex my fingers, and start writing.




“That was the best exam I’ve ever sat I’m so happy.”


“That whole time I was just thinking to myself, “Rose must be having fun,” Holly says, stretching out luxuriantly on the grass.


“Rose was having fun,” Scorpius says. “I looked over at her around the midway point and she was grinning.”


“I was grinning the whole time. My face hurts.”


“And it’s just practicals tomorrow,” Lester says. “Charms and Potions. I could do that shit in my sleep.”


“Did you guys do Amortentia for question two?”


“I did,” Albus says. “I didn’t mention anything about Hollyjuice though, I figured that’s your domain.”


“I did Felix Felicis,” Lester says. “Talked a lot about exams and Quidditch matches. Not particularly innovative, I know, but my technical knowledge is sound enough to make up for it.”


“I did Veritaserum,” Scorpius says. “Mainly with regard to its use in the courts.”


“I did Felix Felicis too,” Holly says. “And the butterfly effect, you know, how the fortune of one can be at the expense of another and how Felix Felicis alters fate to support the drinker.”


“Reckon you’ve probably got Top Scholar in the bag,” Albus says, turning to me. “As long as you don’t blow anything up in the practical tomorrow.”




I don’t blow anything up in the practical – nor do I do terribly in the Charms practical that morning. In fact, I’m feeling pretty good about exams by the time I shuffle into Herbology Theory on Thursday morning with Albus and Scorpius – it’s not a brilliant exam, but only Sean Finnigan really enjoys the subject, and the rest of us leave him writing in the Great Hall right up to 12.30.


So far, I’m the only one to have completed my star subject, which means I’m much more laid back during the weekend than Scorpius (Runes, Monday afternoon) Albus (History of Magic, Tuesday morning) Lester (Transfiguration theory, Wednesday morning; Transfiguration practical, Thursday morning) and Holly (Arithmancy, Thursday afternoon). I take advantage of this by fetching food for the others and letting Scorpius talk at me for a while about elements of Runic grammar, before I decide that given my second teaching subject (and one I’ll be studying for the next three years) is DADA, I should probably get some theory down for the exam on Monday morning.


Albus, much to our chagrin, is done and dusted with exams after History of Magic.


This is why you don’t take NEWT Transfiguration,” he says with glee. “Monday morning classes and some of the last exams on the timetable. Sucks to be you lot.”


“Albus I swear to God I will turn you into a fucking tea cosy if you don’t stop gloating.”


“I’d turn him into a baboon. Albutt indeed.”


Scorpius and I finish on Thursday morning after the Transfiguration practical, while Holly and Lester have a killer day that involves Arithmancy in the afternoon and then their 11pm Astronomy exam. Given that they’re holed up in the castle for the next few hours, Scorpius and I take our smug-officially-finished faces outside with Albus and reflect on how anticlimactic it all is.


“Yeah,” Albus says. “I mean, it hasn’t really sunk in, yet, has it? We’ve finished NEWTs. They’re over. We’re done. And it’s still an ordinary, not-quite-warm-enough-for-skinny-dipping-in-the-Great-Lake Thursday afternoon.”


“It’ll sink in when we’re getting shit-faced tomorrow night,” I say confidently.


“Oh yeah,” Albus says. “Got an owl back from James, by the way. He’s set things up with the Three Broomsticks so we can Floo there on our way back to school – on the proviso that we all grab one for the road on our way through.”


“I don’t think that’ll be a problem.”


We stay up till nearly the arsecrack of dawn that night – firstly to celebrate with Holly and Lester when they finish their Astronomy exam at 2am (Albus went down to Hogsmeade on Wednesday and picked up some Butterbeer, then we swing by the kitchens to get some dessert and chat with the house elves about how our exams went) and doing the various charms required for the prank. I take a couple bottles of Hollyjuice (Amor Stultorum, I remind myself, but it doesn’t quite stick the same way) down to the fountain in the quad – Albus has, for once, entrusted me with both the Cloak and the Map, and I feel so gloriously rebellious sneaking around.


Holly and Scorpius are working on the essay compendium using Lester’s Copy Paste charm, while Lester’s tweaking the Bunny Generator. We’ve all pitched in on the giant teddy bear – he’s about eight feet tall, with eyes that Lester describes as “mildly satanic,” and we’ve charmed him to chase us – well, Lester specifically.


“FrankenRaine’s Monster,” Albus says admiringly. “You haven’t seen the best part though.”


“And what’s that?”


“You’ll see,” is all Albus will say, tapping the side of his nose.




We’ve timed the Portkeys to go off at exactly 5pm, the fountain to arrive at 5.01pm and the Howler activated, and the Bunny/Puff/Dove generator to start at 5.02. At 4.30 we release the bear, and Lester bolts.


Albus’s stroke of genius is apparent the moment the bear follows us out of Ravenclaw Tower, because the strains of “Hoggy Hoggy Hogwarts” to an upbeat reggae-style tune are blasting from his tummy. It’s loud enough to bring everyone into the corridors, and somehow, we end up with a conga line.


One hundred and fourteen seventh-year students snake their way through the castle’s ancient, hallowed halls, chased by a giant teddy bear who’s becoming more and more demonic by the second as the tune of “Hoggy Hoggy Hogwarts” slows down incrementally, transitioning to a haunting Gregorian chant. The timing is beyond perfect; we arrive at the Entrance Hall just as the bear is bearing (heh) down on us, the teachers are converging with their wands raised, and the timetables clutched in all our hands suddenly glow.


We arrive in a heap in the middle of James’s.


“Ah!” the eponymous James says brightly from behind the bar. “Hogwarts! Who wants a drink?”


There’s an answering roar from the crowd as we get to our feet and surge towards the bar. James has what looks like his whole staff on tonight, and for fifteen minutes there’s a horrendous din as the entire year group orders drinks, yells that they’ve got this round for their mates (Scorpius buys for the Noble House of Ravenclaw) and then there’s an eerie, momentary silence after the last vodka and pumpkin fizz has been poured.


Scorpius, taking advantage of opportunity, climbs onto a nearby table and is immediately swamped by yells of “Speech! Speech!”


“Head Boy!” someone bellows.


He raises his glass. “To the rest of our lives!”


“To the rest of our lives!” we cry in unison, raising our glasses.


“Now,” Scorpius yells, “Let’s fucking drink!”




A/N: So, this is the penultimate chapter of this story - just one more to go. Credit to William Shakespeare for "Exit, pursued by a bear," and Mary Shelley for Frankenstein's Monster (which I shamelessly ripped off with 'FrankenRaine's Monster.') Particular thanks to Beth (Veritaserum27) and Emma (emmacweasley) for your incredible string of reviews on this story over the last 24 hours - you're phenomenal!
 


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