“We will for sure if’n ya keep talkin’ that, Tommy,” Céilidh turned back toward towards Tom, “Now just calm down. Rosmerta ain’t gonna say nuthin’ an she can’t prove nothin’.”
“Listen to your mistress,” Rose giggled, still caught up in the euphoria from their little adventure. “Don’t make us slap you again.”
Tom’s head snapped toward Rose, “You…are not…funny.”
“I am too.” Her impish grin faded as Rose looked at his cheek. “Um… we didn’t really hurt you, did we?”
Tom took a deep breath and smiled, “No. I just didn’t know you had it in you.”
“She started it.” Laughing again, Rose linked her arm through Céilidh’s and then grabbed Tom with the other one. “I can’t believe how fun that was.”
“Aye, exhilleratin’, Foozle said, coming up behind them, “isn’t it?
Rose nodded, taking a deep breath, “Almost intoxicating!”
“Nay,” Céilidh began, as she reached into Foozle’s knapsack and pulled out a bottle full of amber liquid,”This is intoxicatin’…”
“And it’s no, nay, never,”
“Lift up yer kilt!”
“No nay never no more,”
“Will I play the wild rover”
“No never no mooooore!”
The two Scots collapsed back onto wooden porch of the Shrieking Shack, their faces red with laughter and drink. Foozle fell into Cee a bit as they did, the slanted flooring only worsening his already impaired balance. Of course in the landing she too over compensated herself on the way down, and they both wound up flat on their backs.
“You two are adorable.” Ambrosia beamed. She and Tommy sat across from them, leaning against each other. She clasped her hands together in her lap.
“Yeah,” Tom said, nodding. “Remember the time when we were little, an’ took that trip up to visit, and your dad-” the young Llewelyn started laughing almost uncontrollably, “your dad tried teaching my dad that song?”
“Aye,” Foozle nodded. He peered down the neck of the bottle with one eye to it’s empty glass bottom and tossed it aside. It rolled down along the wooden planks and stopped against Rose’s shoe.
“Yuir da,” Céilidh shook with laughter, turning to Ambrosia, “‘Brosia, Tommy’s da was iled up.”
“For serious?” She looked at Tom, who was doubled over trying to catch a breath between his laughter.
Cee’s red locks bounced as she nodded her head. “Completely blootered.”
“Mum was livid,” Tom said when he was finally able to get words out.
Foozle tapped into the next bottle and took the first pull before passing it across to Tom. “Me da ayeweys said yuir da haed a bonnie singing vyce. ‘Giles Llewelyn haes the pipes oa songbird’ he’d say.”
Tom took a swallow, then offered the bottle to Rose who shook her head, so Tom passed the bottle on to Cee, “To simple times,” she said raising the bottle. She took a long drink as the others echoed her toast.
Rose picked up one of the empty bottles and looked around mischievously, “I have a wonder – hic – ful idea!”
“‘Brosia Shrridn, A am nae playin’ shpin the bot’le with this lot!” Céilidh said with a shudder.
“Nae, lass tha’be like kissin’ muh sister…”
“Okay then what do you suggest,” Rose said crossing her arms.
Céilidh smiled wickedly, “Truth or dare.”
Rose’s eyes lit up, “Oooooooooooooooooo, yeah.”
“Oh bloody hell,” Tom rolled his eyes. “I hereby raise protest to that idea.”
“What? Tom started to stand, but thought better of it half-way up and flopped back to his seat, “You can’t deny a man his protest.”
“An would ye be lookin’ tae put it tae ah vote, Tommy-boy? Because ye’d still come up on the short end.”
Tom frowned, turning the idea over in his alcohol laden mind, trying to figure Cee’s angle, “How do ya figger, Red?”
“Why Tommy,” Cee began in a voice dripping with sugar-coated sarcasm, “‘Brosia an A aire prefects, so our votes carry twain the weight of yers.” To add insult to injury – literally – Céilidh reached out and patted Tom on the cheek.
“Okay then, now that that’s settled, who’s first?”
“Oh, A dinnaken…” Foozle pulled at the front door to the shack in vain. As he knew it wouldn’t, it didn’t budge. “How aboot Tommy?” He kicked the door and turned about, a grin on his face as he looked down at Tom.
“Ohhhhh, no,” Tom put both his hands up in protest, “I don’t even think so.”
“Oh come on, Tom. Don’t be such a baby.” Rose grinned at her friend, her expression slightly more vacant than normal. “We’ll be gentle… for now.”
Tom sighed in resignation, “Fine, fine. I’ll take truth.”
“Hmm… now we need to make it good. Oh I know…” Giggling, Rose glanced over at Cee then turned back to Tom. “Why did you and Céilidh ever break up?”
Tom turned bright red for a moment, “We were thirteen! Like we knew what the bloody hell we knew what we were doing!”
“Oi Tommy,” Céilidh said shaking her finger at him, “If A remember righ’ it was cause o’ tha little hussy ye kept twistin’ yer neck around ta watch e’ry time we were t’gether.”
“Michael Thomas Llewelyn!” Rose exclaimed with mock scorn.
“Ach, dinnae be to hard on the lad, ‘Brosia,” Céilidh said. She leaned over and gave Tom a kiss on the cheek, “Nae meant to be, twas. Tommy’s the best brither A never had.”
“Your pick, Tommy.”
Tom looked at the other three around him, “All right how about you Lando?”
Foozle grinned like the cat that ate the canary. “Daur.”
“Come aff it, Fooze,” Cee poked him with the bottle, which he properly took from her. “There’s no much ye’d nae do e’en if ye warna already well smeekit.”
“A canna help me own jauries, hen,” he said, and took a pull from the bottle. Wiping his mouth with his cuff, he handed it over to his inquisitor. “But fair eneuch. Trowth, brither.”
“All right, hmmmmm,” Tom tried to look serious for a moment, “True or false you have a crush on a girl in Hogwarts?”
“Well,” Foozle started. He kept his eyes on Tom, careful not to let them stray or tell more then they should. By all accounts Orlando MacFoozle could have been born to be a politician or barrister. Samantha Monkshood had at one point remarked that were Foozle properly motivated, he could talk his way into the position of Minister of Magic. Over his fifteen years he’d talked his way out of hundreds upon thousands of sticky situations. Nonetheless he felt the firewhiskey cotton up the works. “Hogwarts? Ah course! Open yuir eyes, brither. There’s narry a greater collection in all o mairy ole England.”
“That’s not fair, Orlando, that didn’t answer the question.”
“I’m sairy, Brosia.” Tommy smiled passing the bottle over to Rose who giggled. “A forgat the actual question. Whit A meant tae say wis “True”.” He winked.
Rose pouted for a minute. “That wasn’t very satisfying.” But he had technically answered the question, so she couldn’t really complain. “But fine. So who’s the next victim?”
“As yer so eager, lass, trowth,” Lando turned away from Rose for a moment before spinning back around in an attempt at theatrics. An attempt marred by the fact that his balance was off and he very nearly fell into her lap, “Ar daur?”
Something about the whole situation struck Rose as undeniably hilarious and she gave in to a long moment of giggling. Finally wiping the tears from her eyes, she grinned and pushed Foozle with her foot.”Nice try… but Céilidh hasn’t had a turn yet either.”
Lying on his back, Foozle felt the earth spin beneath him. Or was it the sky above him? Perhaps it was both. He enjoyed the ride a moment. Beside him he a glimpse of Wolfwood licking clean the mouth of an empty bottle. “Alrigh’ then, Red.” He rolled in her direction, propping his head and body up on bended elbow. She looked down at him, firewhiskey in hand. “Yuir fate has been troked. Pick yuir pushion.”
Without so much as a blink Céilidh exclaimed, “DAUR!” Rising up out of her seat with her fist held high. She realized how much of a mistake that was and quickly sat back down.
Foozle chuckled from there on the ground, “Aah, lass A love ye like me own sister, but Ah have to say, pot-kettle-black.”
“Alrigh’, alrigh’…. trowth!”
“Hokay…” His brow furrowed in thought. “Shall we keep whit the theme, then? Ah’ve seen yuir eye on Mr. Forster Barclay, hen. Yuir nae a shy lass. Why haven’ ye made a move on th’ lad?”
“A, eh… Céilidh’s cheeks flushed a shade of red complimentary to her hair and her stomach fluttered, “A dinnaeken. There’s jus’ sumpthin’ different aboot the lad, A guess.”
“Forster?!” Rose squealed, clapping her hands together. “Oh please please please tell me I can help. Pleeeeeease. He’s so nice and really smart and you two would be so cute.”
“A’ll nae be agreein’ ta anythin’ while A’m un’ner th’influence, ‘Brosia dear,” she shot Rose a wink and a smile. “Talk ta me t’morra efter me heid stops hurtin’.” Her smile grew and her eyes grew – if it was at all possible – even more mischievous, “An nou, it’s doun tae ye, lass. Whit’ll be? Trowth? Ere daur?”
“I’d have to drink a lot more of that stuff before I took a dare from you guys,” Rose giggled. “Not that I’m going to. So I guess that leaves truth.”
“Alrighty, then…” Céilidh tapped her lips in thought, “Ye ayeweys hae yer neb birry’d in thae romance books, an yer ayeweys tryin to sort thegither this lad and thae lass… Wha wis yer fairst snog?”
Laughing again, Rose waved off the question. “I haven’t had a first kiss yet. Everyone knows that. But it’s going to be perfect and romantic and…” Slowly the grin faded from her lips. “Oh no!” she wailed, turning to Tom and hitting him as hard as she could. “How could you let a girl be my first kiss?”
Foozle and Céilidh stared first at Rose, then at each other, then back to Rose. Tom rubbed his shoulder where she’d slugged him, the diminutive blonde was stronger than she looked. “Ow! Jeez, Ambrosia, that hurt! How in bloody hell was I supposed to know that Cee was gonna snog you?”
The two Scots burst into laughter. Foozle rolled about on the ground clutching his stomach and Céilidh threw her head back, laughing so hard that she fell off the log that she’d been perched upon. Their revelry quickly faded, however, as they realized that Ambrosia nor Tom had joined in.
Hugging her knees up against her chest, Ambrosia curled up into a little ball. “I was saving it,” she whispered, hiding tears behind a cascade of golden curls. “It was going to be… special.”
Tom laughed, “You read to many romance novels Rose.”
“You’re a right git, Tom Llewelyn!” Wiping her eyes on the back of her hand, Rose staggered to her feet and pushed past everyone. Forgetting the fact that they shouldn’t be out here at all, she stormed off towards the school as fast as her somewhat unsteady legs could carry her.
“Rose!” Tom jumped up after her, “I’m sorry, hold on wait please,” Tom started to chase after her but was stopped by Céilidh.
“Tommy, let me handle this.”
“But I hurt her. I can’t just let her…”
“Tommy, trust me she’ll be okay, but right at this point she don’t wanna see ya.”
“Fine go ahead,” Tom flopped down onto the porch next to Foozle.
“Don’ worry aboot it none, lad.” Foozle looked at the scene where they sat. An old slanted porch, four nearly empty bottles of drink, and a ferret. By all rights, the signs of a good time. He put his arm around Tom’s shoulders. “She dinnae mean it. Well, she did when she said it, but when she remembers she’ll see she dinnae…” Picked up the last bottle, several gulps of amber liquid sitting in its base.
Tom’s shoulders slumped under the weight of Foozle’s arm. He couldn’t tell if that feeling in the pit of his stomach was guilt or booze. “I am a right git.” It was probably both, he determined.
“A’coursh ye are, mate.” Lando tossed the now empty bottle under the porch and pulled Tom tight against him a couple times. “An so am A. An yuir drunked. An so am A. An so are ye. An so am…” Foozle stopped. “Yuir still a good man. When tha time comes, Tommy Llewelyn, ye’ll mae et right.” The Hufflepuff let Tom go. He turned around and pulled at handle of his rucksack, dragging it over. “Here,”he rummaged into the bag. There was the sound of clinking glass and papers before finally he pulled out a small, rather nondescript corked bottle. He held it over to Tom. “Tae two wauchts.” The Gryffindor gave a puzzled look. “Mouthfulls.”
Tom eyed the bottle, “What’s in this?”
“Ground maeger wings, some purple wiggums, a bit o this and that.” Foozle shrugged. “Et’s a soberin’ mixtur Danny an A are wirkin on.”
“Thanks that makes me so much more confident,” Tom downed the contents. Tom twitched for a moment, and then grabbed his head with both hands, “Merlin’s beard, my head!”
Foozle hopped to his feet, patting his friend on the back. He stepped to the side, on the off chance Tom threw up. “Atta boy, Tommy. Roid et oot. Juist takes a couple a minutes…”
“I…feel l-like my brains want to slide out of my ears.”
Foozle was attempting to make mental notes, but his own inebriated state was making such a feat difficult. “Don’ sweat et, brither. We got plenty o bottles gif thay dae.”
Hearing Céilidh’s light footsteps behind her, Ambrosia slowed to a stop. Besides, she hadn’t really thought her dramatic exit through very well; she had no place to go. “I just wanted to be as fun and adventurous as you are. I didn’t want you to be my first kiss,” she sniffled, not turning to face the other girl. “And I’m not crazy. I know things don’t happen like in my books… but is it so wrong to have wanted my first kiss to be special?”
“No, et’s nae wrong. An Ah’m sure et will be.”
“Not anymore. Now I get to tell everyone that you were my first kiss.” Rose buried her face in her hands.”I’m never gonna hear the end of it.”
“This disnae count. We wis acting, and ‘sides who’s gaun t’tell o’ the four o’ us?”
“Ye’ve kissed yuir da ‘fore, right? And Ah’m betting yuir mum too. This is juist like that. Et’s nae a kiss that means onything. Git it?”
The little blonde was silent for a minute then she groaned. “I called Tommy a git.”
“Well… it coud hae been iller. A remember this ane time Foozle walked in on me changing. It wis an accident, but ye shoud’ve haurd the name A cawed ’em.” Hearing Rose give a grudging giggle, Cee put a hand on the girl’s shoulder and began to lead her back. “Come on than.”
Tom and Foozle had finally finished picking up the bottles from the porch of the Shrieking Shack when Céilidh and Rose rejoined them. Tom walked up to Rose and gave her a slight hug, “Sorry about earlier, are we okay?”
“Do we agree that that was about the worst possible thing to say to me?” Rose asked, doing her best to continue to look horribly offended.
Tom smiled, “Yes ma’am.”
With a grin, she reached out and gave him a somewhat unsteady hug. “What would I do without you?”
“Now I know she’s drunk.” Tom looked to his Hufflepuff friend who was sticking the empty bottles under the porch. ” Fooz, you might want to give Cee and Rose a bit of that curative and take some yourself.
Somewhat hesitantly, Lando nodded. He pulled his bag over and dug out the small bottle. “It’ll ail ye fur a bit, hen, but it’ll clear yuir mind, Brosia.” He held the bottle over.
Rose looked at the bottle, then to Tom, then to Cee. The fiery redhead shook her head. “Nae for me, lass. A like me mind a wee bit cloudy.” She winked.
She gingerly took the bottle. “One sip’ll dae ye…” Nodding, Rose took a sniff. It didn’t smell terrible, but it was less then pleasant. She took a deep breath and drank.
Foozle’s unkempt brown head of hair poked out from the passageway and looked both ways. The hall was empty. “We’re good.” He emerged from the dark opening and was followed by the others. Back in the safe confines of school, half the quartet was still a bit tipsy but they were all happy to have arrived back without incident. He pushed the opening back in place. “Sauf an soond an a good time had by all, no?”
Smiles were all around. Tom tucked the books he’d hidden in the passageway under one arm and put the other around Rose. “I’d say so, thanks. I just hope Nicollete doesn’t hang me.”
“A said Ah’d take care of ‘Collete, an A will, mate.” The four of them fell into a group and started down the corridor. “Have nae fea-” Walking around the corner they walked smack into another student, sending his books flying.
“ORLANDO!” Eric Netrue looked up with wide eyes as his hands scrambled to pick up his things.
Rose dropped down to help her housemate with his books. “Sorry, Eric!” she pipped a bit nervously, though she was as sober as she was the moment they left the grounds.
“Sairy, mate,” Fooze bent down with the others to help him collect his books, “A didnae see ye comin’ thare.”
Eric seemed overly jostled. “Orlando! Wh-What are you doing?” He looked at the others, “Here, I mean. What’re you doing here?”
“Walking?” Still a bit smeekit, he laughed.
“Everybody’s looking for you!”
“Half the teachers and prefects! They’re looking for you and Danny! Peter Porsblat is offering ten galleons to any student who will hand you over to him.”
They all looked at each other rather confounded, Foozle in particular. “Whit for?” Cee looked at him.”Whit did ye dae?” He shrugged his shoulders, looking a bit bemused.
Eric shook, his head in particular. “I don’t know. There was a huge explosion earlier on the fifth floor. Jarvis Ramesy told Alan McTeever and Andella Langtry that it looked like one of the bathrooms exploded…”
Rose and Cee’s eyes met. “Oh no!”
Céilidh smacked MacFoozle across the back of the skull with the flat of her palm. “Whit did ye dae?”
“I-I should go.” Eric took his things and hurried away from the four of them.
“Naething. A sweir.” He looked down around the corner. “But whitiver this is aboot, if’n it’s that bad, it’s best we sinder, fore more fowk spy us thegither.”
“But we could vouch for you Fooz, tell Dumbledore you were with us all day.
“Nae! We wis aff tha grunds… drinking…” He shook his head. “Ahmno gaun drag ony a ye intae this… this whitever. Look, ye niver see’d me today. Whasomiver tarragats ye, we were niver thegither. Gottit?”
Tom gave a concerned look to his friend, “You sure?” Foozle nodded and bolted down the hall.