Months have passed and final exams are coming up. Like, tomorrow. Well, Hiccup and I got perfect scores on our partner Charms project, so I'm kind of over my frustration with Rapunzel. I hope she knows. In fact, I think I'll tell her now.
"Rapunzel!" I call, running to catch up with her. She turns around, and when she see me, her face falls. "I'm sorry!" I reach her, breathless.
"For what?" she asks, confused.
"I was so mean to ye, and I feel horrible 'bout it!" I cry. "Ye are the greatest friend I've ever had in me life, and I wanted to thank ye for that."
Rapunzel laughs. "Whoa, whoa, talk a bit slower. I can't understand you when you're upset. Your accent gets a lot thicker."
I laugh, too, and pretty soon, we're both laughing too hard to stop. For the first time in a long time we are two best friends that are having a laugh. Which we need.
"Jack!" I yell, banging on the entrance to the Slytherin common room. "There's something wrong with Merida and Rapunzel! And I don't know what to do about it!" About two minutes later, Jack slips out of the common room.
"What's wrong with 'em?" he asks.
I drag him upstairs to where I left Merida and Rapunzel. Rapunzel is now laughing so hard she's crying, and Merida looks like she can't breathe, her face is so red. "Look at them! They can't stop laughing long enough to tell me why, even."
Jack stares at them, an odd look on his face. Suddenly, he bursts out laughing, too, making the girls laugh harder.
"Why are you laughing?" I ask, puzzled and mildly exasperated.
"I don't know!" snorts Jack. "I really don't know!"
Against my will, I let a small giggle escape. And then I can't stop.
"What's so funny?" Phillip asks, coming up behind us.
"Final exams," chortles Merida, and for some odd reason, we all laugh harder.
"Okay," Phillip says slowly, slowly sliding away.
"Final exams," sighs Jack, his laughter slightly subsiding. "I still don't get it."
We are so ridiculous. We're currently taking our Potions exams, and for some reason, all the first years are in the same room at the same time. Every time any one of us looks at another and catches their eye- me at Jack, Jack at Hiccup, Hiccup at Merida, Merida at me- we all burst out in giggles. We've actually gotten in trouble a few times, but I really don't care, because all of my friends are themselves again.
"Time's up!" calls Professor Zumbro, who is overseeing all of our exams. We pass them to the front of the room and he says, "You are dismissed. You have the rest of the afternoon to do as you please." I wait behind for Merida, Jack, and Hiccup. When we are all together, we leave the classroom.
"Did you see Zumbro when Hiccup couldn't stop laughing, even after we got in trouble?" laughs Jack.
"His face was so red!" snorts Merida.
"You guys are so immature," I say jokingly, rolling my eyes. Hiccup is still laughing so hard he can't speak.
"Hey, weirdos!" someone from behind us calls. All four of us abruptly stop our laughing, halting in one straight line across the hall, and turn around in unison. Reginald stands before us, a cocky smirk on his face and Emmett standing next to him. (And, just for the record, the cocky smirk looks way better on Jack.)
"What did you just call us?" Merida growls, stepping towards them.
"You heard me, you weirdos," Reginald sneers. I can tell that Merida is just itching to jump at him and punch his lights out (it's a phrase Jack taught me), but she restrains herself.
"What do you want, Reginald?" sighs Merida.
"I want you guys to be normal, you Mudblood," Reginald says. I freeze. That's bad, mudblood. He's a jerk.
"Aaaahhhh!" This fierce cry is emitted by... Hiccup? He charges Reginald, this scrawny, eleven-year-old boy with a metal leg, and punches him right in the nose. "Don't ever call her that again!" Hiccup shouts as Reginald turns around and runs. Emmett stays, a look of disbelief on his face.
Emmett grins, holding up his hand for a high five. "Way to go, Hiccup!" Looking a bit surprised himself, Hiccup slaps Emmett's hand. Letting out a sob, Merida throws her arms around Hiccup. He doesn't even flinch.
We all passed our final first year exams, and Rapunzel was probably the most excited of all of us. Emmett's started hanging out with us, and even though he isn't as close as the rest of us, it's been fun. It's the end of first year, which is scary. But I and my friends are consoled by the knowledge that we will see each other in two months. And it is going to be great.
"Jack!" hollers Merida, running towards me with Hiccup and Rapunzel close on her heels. "You can't just leave without saying goodbye properly." We're on the platform right now, and our parents are waiting for us on the other side of the barrier. Merida, Hiccup, and Rapunzel hug me, and I hug them back, all of our arms entwined.
"Thanks, Ginger," I say, the jab directed at Merida. She shoves my shoulder. "Hiccup, you stay strong, kid." Hiccup nods, seemingly unable to speak. "And Punzie... good luck."
We each hug once again, and we push through the barrier. Each of my friends walk off to their parents, and I look around to find my family.
"Jack!" a young voice calls. "Jack!" A little girl runs through the crowd and I scoop her into my arms.
"Emma," I breathe into my little sister's hair. "I've missed you."
"I missed you more, Jack," laughs Emma as I tickle her. "Mama told me to come find you. Can we go now?"
"Sure, Em," I say, hoisting her onto my hip and pulling my trunk behind me. "Let's go home."