By the time Howard's old enough to take his A-levels--Quentin and Catriona insisted, not for a career but for the sake of what they call "his humanity"--he's ready for a real challenge.
And then he falls in love.
Erskine has no advice, and Torquil's teaches him that his adoptive parents had a point about humanity.
He tries Hathaway's suggestion.
Eventually Ginger breaks the kiss, smiling. "I thought maybe, but I wasn't pushing my luck. Not with--you know." He gestures vaguely, meaning "Venturus" and "power."
"We can work something out," Howard promises, and hopes he's telling the truth.