Aberforth flopped onto his bed and looked over at his brother, who was lying on his stomach, ankles crossed, chin resting on both his fists, engrossed in a book.
“Mmpf.” Albus’s nose wrinkled. “You’ve been to Powell’s farm again.”
“Helped him with his goats.” Aberforth grubbed around in his pocket, pulled out a few Sickles, then reached under his pancake-flat pillow for a small drawstring bag. The Sickles clinked against a few others. “Grace was asking about yeh.”
“Nice of her,” Albus replied, not looking up from Great Wizards of Antiquity.
Aberforth tossed his socks at his brother. They landed on the open book. Albus sent them flying back.
“Tha’s all yeh can say?” Aberforth asked. “Nice of her?”
“Say ‘hello’ for me.”
“After all the time ye spent together last summer, and the way I found ye two behind her daddy’s shed, come say it yerself.”
“She likes yeh.”
“That’s nice, but I haven’t time for girls this summer.”
“Yeh could pass yer NEWTs now. Yeh don’t need to spend yer summer revising.”
“It’s not revision. Not for NEWTs, anyway.”
“It’s that new friend of yers.” Aberforth scowled. “I don’t like ’im.”
“You don’t have to. You should admire him, though. Gelly’s brilliant.” Albus looked up. “Really brilliant.”
Aberforth snorted. “Just ’cause he flatters yeh doesn’t make him brilliant.”
Albus turned back to his book.
“Yeh should visit Gracie. She’s even prettier than last year.”
“If you like her, you visit her. But take a bath first. You stink.”
“Do not. And I’m helpin’ her daddy. Savin’ for a new broomstick.”
“You can have mine. I won’t have time for Quidditch next year. Gelly’s forming a club; he wants me to join.”
“Yer cracked. He’s no friend of yers. Yeh’ll see.”
Albus turned another page.