Author's Notes: A short epilogue, separated from the last chapter mainly because it had gotten ridiculously long. Anyway, thanks so much for reading, and a merry...June Eve to you all!
(P.S.: Readers of the blog may note that as of this chapter, every ask-able character got at least a passing mention somewhere in the story. At least, I hope that I didn't miss anyone.)
"Alright, everyone who's not injured, get out of here and go to your common room. Your common room, got it?!" Don said, with a stern look at the students as they filed out of the hall.
Jo and Brick were walking together. "Ha! I can't believe Scrawny kicked his butt so hard!"
"I could have told you that! I've had Defense Against the Dark Arts with Harold, and let me tell you, as long as he doesn't trip over himself…oops! Sorry."
The pair stepped over Noah, who was lying on the ground with a massively swollen face. Owen was at his side, patting his hand sympathetically.
Noah sighed. "I guess I kind of deserve this," he said, his voice muffled.
At that moment, Emma walked by, half-carried by Kitty. Noah immediately emitted a "Meep!" and used Owen's robe to cover his face.
"How you feeling?" asked Mickey, helping his brother into a sitting position.
"Alright. Though I'm a little concerned that the paralysis hasn't worn off yet."
Mickey frowned. "Gee, you didn't dance with anyone, and now this. Sorry I dragged you to this thing in the first place."
Jay was about to respond when Geoff came over, grinning. "Don't worry, little dude! I got something that'll cheer you guys up."
He took out a large bag of gold, then motioned across the Great Hall with a wink. Trent and Gwen were in the trail of students leaving; he had his arm around her as she rested her head on his shoulder.
It took Jay a moment to process what he was seeing. "I won the pool. I WON THE POOL!" He punched the air with both arms.
"Hey! Your paralysis wore off!"
Jay abruptly stopped laughing. "Actually, it's kind of spotty. Can you help me put these back down?"
José sighed as he lifted Alejandro off the table, carrying him out of the Hall. "Come along, little Al. Let's get you to the Hospital Wing before those blisters give you scars…"
"Let me go," Alejandro grumbled, trying to pull himself away from his brother. "I don't want your help. I want Carlos to help me."
"Carlos is in Peru."
"I don't care."
"Well, you should. I'm passing up my chance with Señora Blaineley to help you, you little…"
They passed by Don, who was lecturing a shamefaced Harold.
"First off—ten points to Ravenclaw and Slytherin for knocking out Chris. Secondly, a month's worth of detentions for knocking out everyone else! You two are going to be working so hard, I might just let the house-elves take a vacation!"
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean—oh, wait a sec. Leshawna!"
Billy the Caretaker and Professor Jerd McLean were helping her out of the hall. He quickly sidestepped Don to reach her. "Are you okay?"
She smiled wanly. "I'm fine, sweetie. Just a little beat up." She suddenly coughed, causing some green smoke to issue from her mouth. "Well, except for that. Not sure what Al hit me with…but you kicked his butt for me, didn't you, hon?"
She touched Harold on the cheek, and he straightened up, beaming proudly.
"This night sucked,"Heather grumbled.
"Well…look on the bright side," said Cameron. "Your plan to make Alejandro jealous worked out really well."
However, Cameron couldn't help but notice her expression soften as she watched José drag Alejandro out of the Great Hall. He rubbed his chin thoughtfully.
"Too bad I have to wait until tomorrow to visit my friends in the Hospital Wing," he said. "I mean, I could sneak in there tonight to make sure they're alright…but all the patients will be asleep. Tomorrow morning they won't even know I was there."
Heather stared at him, looked like she was about to yell again. "I…am leaving," she said, rising to her feet and hoping that Cameron couldn't see the blush in her cheeks. "Tell Harold that this pity date is over."
She swept out of the Great Hall. Cameron watched her leave, then glanced over at Harold and Leshawna.
"I'm sure he'll be so disappointed."
"Come on!" Sierra cried as Chef physically wretched her away from Cody. "The Hospital Wing is full now! Won't you need my bed?"
"You're hurt worse than half of these people! Now come on, Crazy Girl."
"WAIT FOR ME, CODY!" she cried. "Oh, if only you'd been hit by a curse too!"
Cody just blinked owlishly as he watched her get dragged away.
"My date sucked," said Taylor.
"Not as bad as mine," said Amy.
Anne Maria scoffed. "Yeah, well, not only did my date suck, the first guy who asked me didn't even—"
The three were about to step out of the Great Hall when Ezekiel suddenly ran up. His dress robes were disheveled and he was panting as he clutched a stitch in his chest.
"Anne Maria! Hi! The Floo—just started working, eh. Did I miss—?"
"UGH!" Anne Maria pushed past him, followed by the other Slytherin girls. Ezekiel looked dejected as they made their way back to their common room.
"So, other than the stupid Duncan stuff, this date actually went well?"
"Well, neither of us are in the Hospital Wing, so the bar was set pretty low." Courtney rolled her eyes, but then smiled at him. "Come on. Let's get back to the common room."
At that moment, however, Scott noticed something across the Great Hall and scowled. "Just a second," he said.
At that moment his little sister Albertha was leaning against a table, talking to Gwen's little brother Kevin. The latter immediately looked up and turned pale as Scott, stony-faced, approached. Albertha, following his gaze, facepalmed.
"You go. I'll talk to you tomorrow," she said. Kevin gave a hasty smile and retreated.
Scott crossed his arms as he reached his sister. "Where is your chaperon?!"
She sighed and pointed to the nearest Christmas tree.
Scott marched over. "Rodney, what are you doing in there?! You're supposed to be out here, protecting your baby cousin from these good-for-nothing idiots!"
"I'm sorry!" the tree said. "But I asked five different girls to the ball and I didn't know to explain myself!"
"Hey! Be quiet over there!" MacArthur called from the neighboring tree, followed by the sound of Brody giggling.
"Amy sure did look miserable, didn't she?"
"Apparently Lorenzo did nothing but harp about Chet the whole night," Jasmine said as the two went off to their common room. "Told you it was a good idea to go stag."
They laughed as Shawn separated from them, heading back to the Slytherin Common Room. Glancing back, he noticed Dave slumping out of the Great Hall and made a beeline toward him.
"Did my sister leave already? Did somebody at least see her face when her boyfriend got beat up?!"
Dave walked by Damien without looking up, but jumped as Shawn came up and slapped him on the back. "Hey, amigo! How'd your date with Sky go?"
Shawn winced as Dave glared. Looking past his friend, he saw Sky glance over and then quickly look away, retreating in the opposite direction.
"...That bad, huh?"
"...Wow. I think we just proved a new magical property of the number 42."
"Let me check these calculations..."
Scarlett, Ellody and Mary were so caught up in their work that they hardly noticed the noise downstairs until Kitty came back into their dorm. "Oh my gosh, are you three still studying? I think you're the only ones in our year to skip the ball!"
"Did we miss anything good?" Mary asked.
"Oh my gosh, there was music and dancing and a duel that put like, twenty people in the Hospital Wing—oh! And I think my sister met a guy!"
"So no, we didn't miss much," Scarlett said, calmly cleaning up their work before bed.