Percy slowly opened his eyes. His head hurt, and he was sure he was growing lichen on his tongue. Where WAS he? This wasn’t his flat. He glanced to the side, wincing at the crick in his neck, and saw Neville sprawled on his stomach hanging over the opposite end of the sofa. Right. He and Neville had consumed almost that entire bottle of Muggle whiskey from Uncle Ed while Neville told him about what had really been going on at Hogwarts under the direction of Snape and the Carrows. Merlin.
When Percy stood up, an afghan fell to the floor. He had a sinking feeling as he looked at Neville, also half covered with an afghan. Of course, Aunt Gussie had seen them like this when she came home from wherever she had been. Maybe she wasn’t too furious if she’d covered both of them with afghans? And maybe he could apparate home for some hangover potion for himself and Neville before she woke up.
Percy apparated straight to his kitchen, and opened his potions cupboard. He took out one vial of hangover potion and drank it. His head immediately cleared, and the lichen left his tongue. He picked up another vial to take to Neville and apparated back.
When Percy arrived, he glanced at the sofa, but Neville wasn’t there. Aunt Gussie was, however. She glanced at the vial in his hand, and said, “I unlocked the liquor cupboard when Neville came of age, and told him he could help himself. I also told him I disapprove of drunkenness, and he would not be partaking of hangover potion in my house.” She reached her hand out to Percy. “You may hand that over to me, and I will return it to you later, or you may apparate home and put it away. You are welcome to return for breakfast.”
Percy thought quickly. “Breakfast would be lovely, thank you. I’ll be right back.” And he apparated.
Percy arrived in Neville’s bedroom. He really hoped Aunt Gussie hadn’t heard him. She hadn’t sounded angry, and he didn’t want to change that.
Neville was leaning on his dresser, barely able to hold himself up. He didn’t even jump when Percy apparated into his bedroom. Percy put a finger to his lips to warn Neville to be quiet, grabbed his arm and side-along apparated him to his flat.
“What!? Huh?” Neville sputtered at arriving in Percy’s kitchen.
“Here. Drink this.” Percy handed Neville the vial.
Neville drank it without even asking what it was. He began to look better instantly. “Thanks, Percy!”
“You’re welcome. Your grandmother said you couldn’t have hangover potion in her house. She never mentioned my flat.”
Neville snorted. Percy took his arm again and apparated back to Neville’s bedroom, dropped off Neville, then apparated immediately downstairs.
Percy walked into the kitchen and said, “Breakfast smells good, Aunt Gussie. May I do anything to help?”
Aunt Gussie looked at him shrewdly, and Percy tried not to quake beneath her stern gaze. “Don’t think for one second, young man, that I don’t know what you just did. I may be old, but I still have the senses of an auror.” Percy blushed, as Neville walked into the kitchen. “Breakfast is ready. You two miscreants will be doing the washing up.”
Aunt Gussie had not said anything else to them about getting drunk the night before, although she had managed to summon both of their wands before Percy and Neville even noticed what had happened, so they were doing the washing up without magic.
“So where was your Gran last night?”
“She had her E.W.W.W. meeting.”
Neville laughed, “Yeah, Gran tells people it’s ‘Elderly Witches Weaving Wraps’, but that’s just the cover story. People expect older witches to knit and sew and that sort of thing. It actually stands for ‘Elderly Witches Wielding Wands.’ Gran teaches other friends of hers dueling techniques so they’ll be prepared in case of a Death Eater attack. It’s her way of helping the war effort without being too much in the thick of things.”
“So did you fill her in about Potterwatch?”
“I had already told her about what happened with Luna, so she didn’t miss anything anyway. Gran said she’s been teaching you how to duel?”
“Yes. I haven’t yet managed to get a spell through her shield, though.”
“Me neither. Gran’s been teaching me, too, or at least she was over the summer. I was planning to have her start up again. Maybe you and I should practice together, and she could teach both of us.”
“Good idea. From now on, dueling here and drinking at my place.”
Neville laughed, and Percy joined him.