Apologies it's taken so long to update! This is going to be the last chapter, I'm afraid that despite our planning UltimateGryffindork and I simply don't have the time or inclination to bring it to its full seven-year potential.

Thank you to everyone who's stuck with this story.

oOoOoOo

'Wakey wakey, rise and shine!'

'W...What...' said Scorpius groggily, forcing his eyes to open. He had been having a very strange dream in which he was running through the Forbidden Forest chasing Rose as James Potter shouted insults from behind him, whilst wearing a tea cosy on his head.

He sat up and rubbed his eyes.

It was the 18th of November - his birthday. Oh Merlin, he was officially a teenager.

'Presents!' Albus yelled, and threw one at his head. Scorpius ducked as it exploded into pieces of brightly coloured wrapping paper, and flying chocolate frogs. A card fluttered to the floor and the frogs, to Scorpius extreme surprise, began hopping off in different directions and croaking. 'Al, watch out!'

'Whoops,' said Al, hastily snatching up escaping frogs and glancing at the card. 'Oh no. They're from Rose; Merlin's pants she's going to kill me…' He flung himself at a frog which was about to make a quick getaway under his bed. 'A little help here!' he said breathlessly.

Scorpius laughed and pushed himself off the bed; crouching on the floor he made sweeping motions with his arms to guide the frogs together.

'Here, froggy froggy,' said Al, unfolding his spare blanket and dropping it over them. 'Gotcha,' he said, as the billowing folds muffled the croaking. 'What do we do with them now?'

Scorpius bundled up the blanket and shoved it into his suitcase. 'Let's just hope I remember to eat them before they melt.'

Al had the decency to look sheepish.

Scorpius shook his head with an exasperated smile and reached down to take the next present off the pile.

'Open mine next,' said Al.

Scorpius pulled off the wrapping paper to find a small, pink bottle on which was written Melinda Doveday's Loquacious Love Liquor: Guaranteed to get that special someone dreaming of you all night! (as advertised in Witch Weekly, Doveday Potions Ltd are not responsible for the adverse consequences that may ensue as a result of gross infatuation.)

Albus burst out laughing at the abject horror on Scorpius' face.

'Just kidding, that's an empty bottle I filled with sherbet powder. This is your real present,' he added, shoving a parcel into Scorpius' arms. 'Happy Birthday!'

It was a Weaseleys Wizard Wheezes Selection Box!

"Wow, thanks Al," said Scorpius and opened the box, which promptly squirted water in his face.

Stunned, he sat there dripping as Albus split his sides laughing. Then he threw himself forwards and opened the box in Al's face face – within seconds they were running around the dormitory laughing like maniacs, squirting water at everyone and waking them all up.

After apologising to their soaked and slightly annoyed dormitory mates, Scorpius decided to take the rest of his presents downstairs and open them in the common room.

He'd barely stepped of the stairs when Rose flung her arms around him. 'Happy birthday, Scorpius!'

'Thanks, Rose,' said Scorpius, feeling slightly awkward, and she pulled her arms back.

'So,' said Rose, 'did you like my present? I charmed them myself.'

'I loved it, but Al managed to…'

Albus elbowed Scorpius in the ribs.

'Al managed to what?' Rose frowned.

'Al managed to drench half the dorm with a squirting charm inside the box of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes he gave me,' Scorpius covered smoothly.

'You're totally bonkers,' Rose smothered a giggle.

'You know you love me,' Al said with a huge cheesy wink, tugging on Scorpius' pyjama sleeve. 'Come on, let's open the rest of your presents.'

oOoOoOo

Sitting on the common-room floor, Scorpius surrounded himself in shreds of wrapping paper, while other Gryffindors paused to congratulate him on their way to breakfast.

'What have you got from your parents?' asked Al.

Scorpius' face fell. There wasn't a present from his parents.

'Scorpius? Hey, what's up?'

Scorpius stared down at the colourful shreds of paper and brand new gifts on the floor. Surely, surely he'd left a present upstairs - his parents wouldn't have forgotten him. They couldn't have forgotten him…could they?

'I…I… haven't got one from my parents.'

Al frowned. 'That's weird. It must have got lost in the post.' He poked Scorpius with a cheerful smile. 'You know what those stupid wizards down at the sorting office are like – always striking - always demanding compensation for owl attacks…'

'Don't worry,' said Rose, 'they won't have forgotten you, you'll see. It may well come in the owl post.' She smiled at him and looked so sure that Scorpius managed to smile weakly back.

'You know,' said James, popping up from nowhere as usual, 'My dad -'

'Our dad,' muttered Albus, rolling his eyes.

'My dad,' continued James obliviously, 'never got presents from his Aunt and Uncle. Even if they did remember his birthday, he'd only ever get a tissue or an old coat hanger. But he didn't complain at all though – even though they were cruel and neglectful and…'

'Aren't you going to wish Scorpius happy birthday?' asked Rose, and edge in her voice.

'Why should I, if even his own parents didn't bother?' said James casually.

'James!' Rose gasped, too shocked to give any other response. Scorpius got to his feet; this day had just gotten terrible, and he was sick of James' arrogance and constant derision.

'You know what,' he said, staring James square in the eyes, 'I don't care whether you wish me happy birthday or not.' He smirked. 'I wouldn't care if you decided to jump off the Astrology tower. In fact, the best present you could give me would be to shut up, and go waste your life trying to annoy someone else.' He raised both his eyebrows. 'That's if your tiny brain can even comprehend what I'm talking to you about.'

'I-what?' said James.

'Exactly,' said Scorpius.

oOoOoOo

'Sorry about my brother being such a git,' said Al, as they were eating breakfast. 'You should really try standing up to him more often.'

'Hmm,' said Scorpius, poking absent-mindedly at a pile of creamy, hot scrambled egg. Despite Rose's words, he felt slightly sick. He tried to tell himself to stop being ridiculous - he was 13 years old, and upset because of a birthday present? Maybe his parents hadn't sent him anything on purpose. I mean, he knew they loved him and all, but they weren't always overly affectionate. But they hadn't even sent him a card…

Suddenly, a whooshing and hooting swept through the hall; the owl post had arrived.

A large, tawny owl swooped low over the Gryffindor table, dropping a long, thin package above where the three friends were sitting.

'What the -'

With a crash it landed in a porridge tureen, spraying gloopy lumps all over Albus.

Scorpius dragged the whatever-it-was out of the now half empty tureen, and Rose used a quick charm to clear up the mess, which was mainly dripping from Al's hair. She left, however, a large blob on his nose, and asked as though she hadn't noticed.

'It's for me!' Scorpius said, tearing off a small card which was attached to the brown paper wrapping.

'And brooms can fly and I'm a wizard - course it's for you! What does it say?' asked Albus, craning over to read it, blob of porridge on his nose wobbling precariously.

'Our darling Scorpy...'

'Scorpy?' spluttered Albus.

'Sorry - must have read that wrong,' Scorpius blushed furiously. Rose smiled. Suddenly, the card whipped itself out of Scorpius' hands and hung in the air, proceeding to read out its message in the smooth, cultured tones of Astoria Malfoy.

'Our darling Scorpy,

We wish you a most wonderful Happy Birthday! Your father and I can't believe that you're a teenager already – my, you're growing up fast into a capable young man. We do so hope you'll like your present, and be sure to have a lovely day.

Much love, your Mum and Dad.

PS. Mr Tinkles says how do.'

'See, I knew they wouldn't forget you!' said Rose. Scorpius breathed a sigh of relief; she'd been right of course. 'Who's Mr Tinkles?'

'Our cat,' Scorpius explained, 'He's evil, trust me.'

'It's the right shape...it's a broom, it's got to be!' breathed Al, who was running his hands over Scorpius' package. The blob on his nose remained unnoticed.

Scorpius gingerly began opening the suspiciously shaped package; most of the surrounding Gryffindor table was staring at it…and at Albus' nose.

Grinning like a maniac, Scorpius carefully slid out the present-

-it was a broom. But not just any broom

'Merlin's baggy y-fronts,' yelled Albus. 'It's a Stormstreaker 2020!'

There was a crash as James fell off the bench.

'Wow,' gasped Scorpius, not believing the beautiful thing in his hands could belong to him. The long brown handle was made of smooth, glossy wood; every twig grafted to the end straight and even. It shivered under his touch as though it couldn't wait to shoot off into the sky.

It was awesome.

"C...can I touch it?" said Albus, eyes round and rapturous.

'I wouldn't,' said Rose.

'Oh...the memory wood,' said Al, disappointed, 'I forgot.'

Scorpius frowned. 'Memory wood?'

Al clapped a hand to his forehead. 'Honestly Scorp – you just get given the most groundbreaking British model since the original Firebolt, and you don't even know about memory wood?'

Rose shifted on the bench and Scorpius knew it was lecture time. 'What with you actually now owning an example of this, it's about time you found out,' she said primly, and her voice switched into textbook mode, 'memory wood is a relatively new concept in broom making, but a very useful one.' She reached out a finger and pointed along the handle. 'The wood used for the brooms is enchanted while it's still growing, to recognise and remember the touch of whoever first holds it. You can literally imprint yourself into the wood - which means that whoever handles it before it is bought must be extremely careful, and wear gloves at all times'

'Had huge delivery failures when they first experimented with the concept,' Al chipped in, 'New owners getting a nasty shock when their brooms rejected them and tried to fly back to the shopkeepers.' The dollop of porridge on his nose quivered as he became more and more animated, and Scorpius he couldn't tear his eyes away from it. 'I heard one lady got thrown off over the centre of muggle London -'

Rose cleared her throat and Al was quiet. 'Once you've imprinted yourself on the broom,' she continued, 'It'll recognise your touch and will work at its best with you. Like Al said, given a choice it will only ever fly with you. The ownership of the broom becomes indisputable, which is useful if it is ever stolen; obviously you have to do is perform a few simple charms to reveal the true owner and who else has handled it in the mean time, though of course I find it shocking that some people would be so low and foolish as to try and steal a memory-wood broom...'

'Broom theft,' said Albus smugly, 'has dropped by over three quarters in the past four years.'

'Wow,' breathed Scorpius. 'I've always wanted my own league-standard broom.'

He realised that most of the students in Gryffindor were still staring, both at his broom and at Albus' nose. There were several giggles.

'I've no idea what they think's funny about a broom, but at least they're not staring at me for once,' said Albus.

'Should I tell him?' mouthed Scorpius.

'No,' Rose mouthed back. 'Treat it as an extra present.'

Scorpius grinned.

oOoOoOoOo

Thanks so much for hanging in there all of you, I've had fun polishing up this old baby – it was the first fic I ever wrote, back when UltimateGryffindork and I were 14.

It'd mean the world to me if you could leave one final review...go on. ;)