Miranda has a lovely summer, some of it spent at Karen's and some in Italy and some at home.
She shows up with Karen at the train platform and they look for Minor.
"And they can't challenge me to a duel for asserting that I'm confident all their grandparents are human."
Snort. "They can't!"
"I do worry somebody'll attack Cricket over it but unlike me he's very nimble."
"I'd suggest you tell Timothy he did good but I'm sure he knows."
"I am also sure he knows."
And before they know it they have exams to study for. Michael doesn't sleep very well at home for some reason so he mostly stays at school while preparing for his N.E.W.T.s.
Miranda has not gotten very far on convincing her roommates to each adopt a firstie next year, because of their anticipating that O.W.L.s will take up most of their time (she doesn't get anywhere with the argument that pet firsties can run errands for you), but she has all but one on board with picking up a pet firstie in sixth year instead. The current fifth years are harder to convince. She does talk two of them into it, which will be two adopted firsties, at least. She can work on the current third years next year.
N.E.W.T.s roll around. He does outrageously well on the practicals and adequately on the written bits. Minor corrects him on a couple points from Ancient Runes and is very smug about it.
"Now I have to get a job," he complains on the train.
"...did you not anticipate this ahead of time?"
"No one ever mentioned I couldn't just sleep around and get into flashy duels and live off my parents' money forever!"
"If I realized this was something that needed mentioning I might have said something, I'm sorry."
"I forgive you," he says magnanimously.
"What are you going to do?"
"Well, I was considering tutoring duelling but I am persona non grata among everyone respectable enough to be hiring their children duelling tutors, so probably enchanting commissions at Euphemia's in Diagon Alley while I try to work out a way to make records of sound that play back clearly, that'd be terribly exciting and then I'd be independently wealthy enough to return to my irresponsible ways."
"Not all of your irresponsible ways, presumably."
"I will leave the convents alone."
"That sounds like a fun project though, the recording one - it'd be sort of a cross between a dictation quill and - I don't know why I started with 'a cross between'."
"Yeah. A dictation quill and then its inverse."
And home go the Ways. Michael's little brothers are enchanted with Catherine.
(Nell makes a point of telling them that it's a really bad idea to have children so young even if it worked out all right in that case.)
"Why did you do it?" he asks Rebecca one day. "Did you not know it was a bad idea?"
"You're being very rude."
"I don't mean to be I just can't imagine it."
"Sometimes people make mistakes and it's not at all acceptable for every person they meet for the rest of their life to have rights to interrogate them about it."
"But we're family, I'm not going and asking all the girls in the nunnery."