I wrote this ages ago because watching the BAFTAs and JK making a lovely speech really made me feel all bubbly and warm inside. I feel sad already that the Saga is almost completely over.

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.

"Today's assignment will be an ongoing task," Professor Nettle informed the class as she twirled her wand in her pale hands. "You will form a partnership, and in this pair, will work hard to raise one of these." She gestured to a tray, in which sat something that resembled a twig. "Baby Bowtruckles," she explained. "We rescued the nest when some... joker," her eyes flashed briefly to where Albus stood, and he knew immediately that it had been James who had done this crime, "set fire to the tree it was settled in. Unfortunately, the parent Bowtruckle is nowhere to be found. We believe it was a victim." She picked up one of the trays and reached in, grabbing the twig. At once, it made a growling noise, which made Sandy Brown, one of the popular girls in Slytherin, squeal. Nettle ignored this and continued with her long monotonous explanation. "As you can see, they are already becoming fairly accustomed to humans, which means that we will have to keep them in captivity if they have a hope of survival. This means we must domesticate them, and this will be your task."

Automatically, Albus and Jem Jones, his best friend, moved away from the group as if to silently announce their partnership, but Nettle caught sight and called them back.

"I will be partnering you together," she said, and at once the class groaned in synchronization.

She moved around the class selecting random people and placing them together. Jem was partnered with Rose, Albus's cousin, who looked less than thrilled at the prospect of having to work with the Welsh boy.

The group of leftovers grew smaller and smaller, and Albus was losing all hope of being partnered with someone he vaguely liked.

"Potter," Nettle said, calling him up when there were only eight people left. "You can partner... Malfoy."

Albus suppressed his groan. He turned to look at the blond boy, who looked thoroughly disgruntled.

"Well, don't just stand there," Nettle snapped. "Get to work!"

Scorpius rolled his grey eyes and glowered at her before grabbing the nearest tray up.

"Hey, wait a moment," Albus called over at Scorpius, who turned with a heavy look.

"Yes, Potter?"

"You didn't even check to see if the bloody thing had a head," snapped Albus, grabbing the tray from his hands. He checked the twig like thing over.

"Satisfied now, Potter?"

Albus glowered at Scorpius and thrust the tray roughly at him. "Go find a bench. I need to talk to Jem."

Unfortunately for him, Nettle had happened to pass them at that particular moment.

"Five points from Gryffindor for disrespect to a classmate. If I see you speak to Jones, I will have you in detention." She turned and walked away, leaving Albus to pull a face at her back.

"Old hag," he grumbled in a voice he thought only he could hear. Scorpius grunted as if trying to stifle laughter. Albus turned to frown at him.

"I suppose we'd better name the damn twig," Scorpius said hastily, Albus still staring at him oddly. "I mean, if we're supposed to domesticate it, then we'd better give it some respect."

"Names?" Albus said bluntly.

"My family have a tradition," continued Scorpius. "Each child is named after a star or galaxy or constellation, if you get my drift. I vote we name it something like 'Hydra'."

"And my family have a tradition of naming their children after respectable people," said Albus coolly.

"We could compromise," Scorpius suggested.

"No," Albus said flatly. "I refuse to compromise."

"Why?" Scorpius asked with a sneaking smile. "I thought respectable people compromised all the time."

"Stop playing all your voodoo mind shit on me, Malfoy," snapped Albus with a glare. "Everyone knows your family's shit at Astronomy. Sirius told my Dad."

"Sirius?" Scorpius's face flickered in amusement. "My father's fugitive cousin?"

"I can hardly imagine that it's a very popular name," Albus said. "Bordering child abuse, in fact."

Scorpius smirked. "And is he deemed respectable by your family?"

"Yes, but my brother's named after him," Albus said slowly. "So don't try and steal it."

"Well, let's try this another way," Scorpius said with a smile. "What traits would you like to see in our child?"

"What the hell, Malfoy?"

"Well, what would you like your child to grow into? A figure of strength? Intelligence?"

"A Gryffindor."

"Ravenclaw," Scorpius corrected quickly. At Albus's questioning glance, he grinned and said, "Compromise."

"So, a Ravenclaw," Albus said bitterly, "with strength, and black hair..."

"Chestnut brown," Scorpius solicited. "It's a mixture."

"Okay, a Ravenclaw with chestnut brown hair. Is he allowed to be strong or does he have to have a crutch to make you feel more comfortable?"

"Who says it's a he?"

"You are maddening."

"A Ravenclaw with chestnut brown hair. Strength is attributing, but we need them to be intelligent. I think the correct description would be canny."

"This is starting to sound more and more Slytherin-like."

"Ravenclaw," corrected Scorpius.

"I beg your pardon," snapped Albus. "Ravenclaw, my bad."

"Let's call it Hercules."

"Hercules the twig?" Albus snorted. "Well, there's something catchy about that."

"See, I'm not totally stupid, you know," grinned Scorpius. Albus shrugged.


They failed to see Professor Nettle smiling in the background.

This will be continued! :)