The tiny gangsters chasing us reach the alley mouth, filling the air with the BAMF! BAMF! of their disruptor blasts. The whoosh of charged particles rushes past my ear. We skid behind a dumpster full of discarded machine parts, looking for some kind of cover.
“I told you this was a bad idea!” Scarlett gasps.
“And I told you I don’t have bad ideas!” I shout, kicking through a doorway.
“Oh no?” she asks, cracking off a shot at our pursuers.
“No!” I drag her inside. “Just less amazing ones!”
“Who’re you going with, then?” said Ron.
“Angelina,” said Fred promptly, without a trace of embarrassment.
“What?” said Ron, taken aback. “You’ve already asked her?”
“Good point,” said Fred. He turned his head and called across the common room, “Oi! Angelina!”
Angelina, who had been chatting with Alicia Spinnet near the fire, looked over at him.
“What?” She called back.
“Want to come to the ball with me?”
Angelina gave Fred a sort of appraising look.
“All right, then,” she said, and she turned back to Alicia and carried on chatting with a bit of a grin on her face.
“There you go,” said Fred to Harry and Ron, “piece of cake.”
“Alexia had found pregnancy relatively manageable, up to a point. That point having been some three weeks ago, at which juncture her natural reserves of control gave way to sentimentality. Only yesterday she had ended breakfast sobbing over the fried eggs because they looked at her funny. The pack had spent a good half hour trying to find a way to pacify her. Her husband was so worried he looked to start crying himself.”