“I think they are fun! You get to see the ghosts wafting about and I feel kind of like a junior auror; sleuthing and protecting the general public! I don’t study that much anyways” Laun laughed as he used his dimly lit wand to make designs in the air.
“So is that what you’ve finally decided to do after school?” Bill yawned, “Go into Auror training?”
“I’m not sure yet, I may go into muggle studies actually. That’s something I’ve been thinking about.”
“Yeah?” Bill chuckled. “My dad would love that. He loves anything muggles,” Bill shrugged, “I don’t really get it myself.”
“I think they’re fascinating! You know they have a different kind of healer for different body parts and even some for specific ailments! Crazy.” Laun shook his head in amusement.
The two turned a corner toward the Prefect’s bathroom, when a bouncing light from the other end of the hallway flashed to life about twenty feet away from them. Laun dashed towards the light without thinking, his wand out. He stopped just before the light’s source, back to the wall, holding his wand at the ready.
Bill walked calmly toward the light. “Who’s there?”
“Wid ye please pat yer wand doon,” Liam said with a smile as he lowered his own wand, “n’ whit exactly urr ye daein’ ‘ere?”
“We’re on patrol tonight,” Bill said lowering his wand as well, “and you?”
“Weel tae be honest,” Liam laughed, “Ah wis taking a bath in th’ Prefect’s bog ‘n’ ah wis sae relaxed ah fell asleep.”
Laun lowered his wand.
“Geez man! You’re a prefect! Get it together!” He smiled good-naturedly, “If you had been anyone else you’d be in serious trouble. Not to mention how flimsy that story is.” Laun laughed. Though while he smiled and laughed, he subtly watched Liam pretty intently.
Liam jumped. “Oi Laun, how come th’ hell urr ye hiding in th’ shadows?”
“Waiting to leap out on unsuspecting rulebreakers.” Laun teased.
“What are you a polyjuiced Filch?” Bill laughed.
“Maybe… you’d never know though would you?” Laun laughed as well.
“When Mrs. Norris starts rubbing up on you lovingly we’ll know.” He laughed.
“Weel, lads if ye dinnae mynd a’m gaun tae boost tae mah common room noo.” Liam jerked his thumb down the hall.
Laun thought for a moment. “Why don’t we join you lad?” He said with a wide smile.
“Ah ken whaur a’m gaun.” Liam smiled as he patted Laun on the shoulder.
“Good, then you can show me.” Laun laughed, “I always tend to end up in the Astronomy Tower whenever I try and visit my Rosie,” Laun smiled, “Plus I’ve been trying to find out who’s been trying to get the Riddle Eagle drunk.” Laun laughed once more.
“Really?” Bill laughed.
“Well you account for the vague smell of whiskey around it, as well as the fact that the last two times I tried to enter the tower the answers it was looking for where champagne and pub.”
“Fair enough. Bill shook his head.
Liam looked down at his watch. “Ah dae need tae git back tae mah common room gentlemen, sae if we kin?”
The secret passage in the kitchen’s pantry slid open.
“We took way too long tonight,” Tom stifled a yawn behind his hand, “I have to finish that essay for Slughorn on Golpalott’s Third Law.”
“Th’ stoatin Tam Llewelyn hasn’t finished a homework assignment yit?” Céilidh poked Tom in the ribs, “A’m shocked ‘n’ appalled.”
“Quiet you.” Tom pulled Céilidh close, “And I suppose you two have finished the essay?”
“O’ coorse nae,” Orlando smirked as he pushed the pantry door open.
“We’ve bin waiting fur ye.” Céilidh finished with a laugh as the three stepped into the still steaming and noisy kitchen.
“Dear Gerti’s lady and her gentlemen,” squeaked the tiny house elf that came running up to greet them, “have we been up to mischief tonight?” she smiled happily.
“Us? Never, good lady,” Tom smiled broadly.
“Gerti shall bring you hot chocolate and biscuits.” The house elf squeaked and then ran off to get provisions with Foozle calling after for coffee.
“I worry about what’s going to happen to her when we leave in a couple of years.” Tom leaned against one of the counters.
“Aye,” Orlando nodded, “A’ve done a lot o’ thinking oan that myself. Bit we an’ a’ huv a’maist an entire year tae see whit path tae tak’.”
Tom nodded his head. “I’m sure we’ll think up something.”
“Hot chocolate and biscuits.” Gerti bounced back to them happily balancing a silver tray over her head. “And a coffee.” She beamed.
Tom took one of the mugs of hot chocolate and took a long sip. “Well,” Tom sighed and looked down at his watch, “Blimey it’s nearly ten. We need to get back to our common rooms before we get caught, and since we don’t have the map anymore and uncle isn’t ready yet we are going to have to sneak past, teachers, Flich, Mrs. Norris, and any prefects out there.”
“Ye wirrie tae muckle, laddie,” Orlando chuckled, “Have we ever bin caught afore?”
“I seem to recall you and Danny having a late night run in with Filch not so long ago. You might remember it as the night he took the map.” Tom tossed a biscuit at Orlando.
“Details.” Foozle tried to snatch the biscuit out of the air, but it bounced off his forehead instead. “Sae we’ve bin caucht. Life’s a gamble. Whit’s twa three hoose pynts onywey?” He picked it up and dipped it in his coffee.
“Aye, Céilidh nodded, slurping her hot chocolate, then licking the whipped cream from her upper lip. “Tis nae lik’ Dumbledore is gaun tae expel us.”
Tom shook his head. “That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t exercise a little extra caution. I don’t think you really recognize the heat that is on right now with everything that’s been going on.” He pointed a finger at the both of them. “Don’t make me out to be the wet blanket just because I think we should play it smart now and then.”
Orlando threw his arm around Tommy’s shoulder and clinked their mugs. “Yuir no the wet blanket, Tommy. Yuir the conscience.”
Tommy shook his head. “Riiiight…” He laughed, raising his coco as if to toast the Hufflepuff at gentleman.
“Weel, gif thare is a voyce o reason in this here group, it’s no Foozle.” She kissed her boyfriend on the cheek.
The trio laughed, shoving each other playfully as they headed to the exit. Stepping up to the door hidden behind the tapestry, their laughter fell into a series of scolding shushes and punches to the arm until they were a quietly snickering three some.
Orlando’s head popped into the dark, dungeon hallway followed by Tommy’s above it and Céilidh’s on top. One by one, they slicked out of the kitchens into the shadows between the flickering sconces.
“Alricht ye twa,” whispered Foozle with a thumb jabbed back toward his common room. “Ah’ve see ye th-”
He was cut off as Tommy raised his hand to silence him. He spun around, and all three instinctively flattened against the wall. The Gryffindor Gentleman raised his hand, two fingers walking across the air: the signal for footsteps, and pointed down the dark corridor.
A shadowed figure slipped down the hallway from the dungeons.
“Bloody hell,” Tommy hissed under his breath, “is it Filch?”
“Nae,” the Scots said in unison.
“Leuks like a student,” Céilidh breathed into Tommy’s ear.
Whoever it was, they were gaining ground on the three. Thinking quickly Orlando pulled his wand and tapped the other two then himself on the heads.
Tommy could feel what seemed to be a raw egg cracked on his head that trickled down his body. He looked at Céilidh and Orlando, or at least he tried to. Both had seemed to almost meld into the bricks of the corridor they were in.
Tommy grinned and followed Orlando’s lead pulling out his own wand and a moment later a silent muffliato over them.
Just at that moment, the figure walked through the light of a torch along the wall.
“Merlin’s beard!” Tommy exclaimed, “It’s that bloody Liam Liddell!”
Both Scots turned and stared at him in shock.
“What?” Tommy shrugged, “I cast muffliato.”
Céilidh rolled her eyes. “Whit th’ hell is he daein’ doon ‘ere?” She said as her attention returned to Liam.
“Guid question, Ginger,” Orlando nodded as his eyes narrowed in on a small sack that Liam was carrying, “An ah doubt that’s ony kind o’ midnight munchies either.”