Beam ducked out of the corridor into the Hufflepuff common room with a sigh. A full day of classes plus Quidditch practice and then study group with the third years? It was way too much for him to handle. The Headmaster had better make him a prefect next year so that he could use the private baths. Relaxing in them sounded so good right now.
He was ready to go upstairs, shower, and fall into bed. And his mind was set on that until he saw three figures on the floor huddled around the fireplace. Stepping closer, he came to see Pete sitting between Wayo and Can, each with a hand on the former’s back.
“What are you doing?” he asked, his presence startling them. “It’s almost midnight. What are you doing up?”
“Well,” Wayo said, glancing at his two friends before looking back to Beam. “Pete decided it would be a great idea to drink his weight in Fire Whiskey. Can and I are here to supervise.”
Only when he stood behind the couch did he notice the half empty bottle in Pete’s hands and the pink flush to his cheeks. It was Tuesday, and he’d decided that now was the best time to get drunk? Pete didn’t even like alcohol, not to mention he had zero tolerance for the stuff.
Which was only proven when he slurred his words, “I can stop whenever I want to.”
“Then how about now?” Can offered, reaching to take the bottle from him. “Because you’ve almost drunk the entire thing.” He held his hands up to his shoulders when Pete glared at him and took a long swig.
Seeing as he wasn’t going to get a wink of sleep any time soon, Beam circled around to the front of the couch, sitting back against the pillows. “Want to explain why you’re willingly giving yourself a horrible hangover, my little badger?”
“Let me tell you,” Pete exclaimed. “I have been growing Moondew in the greenhouses for two months.” He shoved his hand in Beam’s face, holding up two fingers. “Two. Months. And they were beautiful! I was going to give them to Madame Pomfrey to use in healing antidotes. But that idiot Bright had the audacity to cut them from their roots! Said he wanted to make extra-sweet Butterbeer to see if it actually got people drunk. Who does that?”
Taking another long drink, he shook his head quickly, bangs flittering across his forehead. “I can’t believe him. Does he even know who I am? I could kill him.”
“Sweetheart,” Wayo said cautiously, placing a soothing hand on his arm as Pete’s fingers curled into warning fists. “You almost cried the first time you pet a Pygmy Puff. I doubt you could kill a Gryffindor beater.”
“Then does he know who my boyfriend is? All I have to do is look at Ae,” he widened his eyes and put an innocent pout to his lips, “and Bright would be dead in front of me.”
Wayo nodded, continuing to pat his arm. “Yes, yes. People as cute as us only have to bat our lashes, and we’ll get whatever we want.” He looked across Pete to Can. “Isn’t that right?”
Can nodded. “Ai’Tin likes to think it’s a Hufflepuff curse or something. We’re all destined to be adorable.” He flashed a smile in Beam’s direction. “But you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you, P’Beam?”
Beam rolled his eyes, ignoring how his three underclassmen laughed at him. He was oh-so glad they were enjoying themselves, but as their senior, he had to maintain some sort of responsibility over them.
“I’ll be sure to pass the threat onto P’Bright tomorrow,” he said, standing up. “But for now, bed time.”
“You’re not the boss of me,” Pete said, hiccupping as he struggled to get to his feet. “You’re not my mom.”
“Funny, because that’s exactly what I feel like right now. Come on, let’s go – hey!” Beam grabbed onto Pete before he could stumble over his own feet and fall flat on his face. His only reaction was a fit of giggles, and Beam swore under his breath. Compared to his friends’ younger housemates, his own were usually easy to handle. But tonight of all nights, they decided to be the biggest handful imaginable.
Securing an arm around Pete’s shoulders, he led him to the stairs. Looking behind him, he asked, “Are you two going to just stand there or are you going to help me?” They both shrugged, following after him.
Pete wasn’t making things easy for him. He kept leaning against his chest, head lulling onto his collarbone as he mumbled incoherent nonsense in his ear. Grunting, he managed to get him to stand up straight. “You’re going to hate yourself in your nine o’clock Charms class tomorrow.”
“I can’t wait to hold this over him forever,” Wayo said, sounding far too giddy. “Pete’s never done a single bad thing in his life. I can’t believe he got this fucked up over a couple of plants.”
“They were not just plants!” he snapped, waving his finger in Wayo’s face. “But you wouldn’t know, because you suck at Herbology!”
Beam shushed him as well as Wayo and Can who had begun to laugh again. Opening the door to their shared dorm room with one hand, he dropped Pete onto his bed. He wouldn’t let go of him, and Beam, twice as tired as he had been when he walked in, wasn’t having it.
“Go to sleep. If you want someone to cuddle, ask one of them. I’m going to my room.”
“Or we could just get Ae,” Can offered, giggling behind his hand.
“Ae?” Pete asked, perking up.
Beam shook his head. “Absolutely not. We tell no one about this. Do you know what N’Ae would do to all of us if he knew we let his ‘precious, innocent Pete who can do no wrong’ get drunk? Or worse, what P’Kongpob would do? We wouldn’t be able to leave the Hospital Wing for the rest of term. And P’Arthit would probably give him house points for it.”
As realization hit them, Wayo and Can shared a look before nodding in agreement. This entire incident didn’t leave this room.
It was no use trying to get Pete to agree, seeing as he’d passed out against his pillows. But when he woke up with a pounding head ache and no recollection of the night before, Wayo made sure to fill him in on just what he forgot. After he apologized profusely, thoroughly embarrassed, he easily agreed with them. No one needed to know about that night.