Rowling owns Harry Potter and his magical world. This story is only for fun, not profit.
Thank you to NightZephyr,
my beta-reader, for all of her help.
Fred and George Weasley
lounged in a pair of armchairs by the crackling fire in the Gryffindor common
room. Though the room was filled with
students, it was very hushed since the majority of them were studying. Fred stretched out in his chair and propped
his feet up on the table in front of him.
George held The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 7, on his
lap, but was using it as a desk. On the
top of the book, George balanced a bottle of ink and a sheet of parchment that
was filled with scribbled notes for new inventions for Weasleys’ Wizarding
“We’re established here,
so I think we can count on a good stream of business from students,” Fred
explained. “But our premises are in
Diagon Alley, so we’ll be dealing mostly with adults during the school year. If we’re going to make a go of this, we need
to expand our range of merchandise so we can appeal to both the young and the
young at heart.”
“Right,” said George,
reclining in his chair to think. He
tapped his quill absentmindedly against the bottle of ink. “I have an idea,” he said brightly. “What if we tried the reverse of Extendable
Ears? You know, something that could
“Go on,” said Fred,
intrigued by George’s suggestion.
“Say your mum has found
out about something you’ve done, and she’s having a go at you. Hypothetically speaking, of course,” said
George, raising his eyebrows.
“Of course,” returned
“You’d pop these in your
ears and you wouldn’t hear a thing,” George continued. “I reckon they’d be good for adults, too.”
“It sounds good to me. Of course we’d have no use for such a thing,
but I’m sure loads of people would,” said Fred lightly. “We could call them Shout Stoppers or
something like that.”
“Yeah,” agreed George,
jotting Fred’s idea down on the parchment.
The portrait hole opened
and several first years entered the common room. Fred recognized them as some of the students who had tested the
Skiving Snackboxes earlier in the year.
He gave them a smile and a jaunty wave that caused them to turn pale and
Fred and George returned
to their work, looking up only when they noticed a shadow move across the
Ginny Weasley stood in
front of her brothers. Fred and George
glanced up, said “Hi, Ginny,” and continued to work.
“I need to talk to you
two,” said Ginny seriously.
“Not now, Ginny. We’re busy,” said George, scratching out
Ginny looked between them
and narrowed her eyes. Taking George by
surprise, she quickly snatched the parchment away from him.
“Well, I suppose they
didn’t make you Seeker for nothing,” said George, in a slightly impressed
Ginny gave a small smile,
and then added, “I was just talking to Harry, and he needs our help.”
“What for? Why didn’t he ask us himself?” Fred asked, frowning.
“He seems preoccupied, so
I offered to talk to you,” she said simply.
“Well, step into our
office,” said Fred, grandly waving his arm at the chair beside him.
Ginny perched on the edge
of the armchair and leaned close to Fred and George. “Harry needs to talk to Sirius, but he can’t because Umbridge is
watching the fires and the post,” she said quietly.
“What does he want to
talk to Sirius for? Does it have
anything to with the Order?” Fred asked
in a somber voice.
“No, I don’t think so,”
said Ginny, shaking her head. “It
didn’t seem like an emergency. But I’m
sure he wouldn’t go to so much trouble if he didn’t think it was worth it. At any rate, he’s going to need help with
Umbridge lurking about.”
“Where do we come
in?” George asked, with a sly grin.
“Well,” said Ginny, “the
only way Harry could talk to Sirius would be Umbridge’s fire because it’s the
only one in the school that isn’t monitored.
Obviously, the problem is keeping Umbridge away from her office. Your Wildfire Whiz-Bangs kept her very busy,
so I thought you might have something handy hanging around. Something that would cause a little diversion,” she continued, returning George’s
“Ginny, are you
suggesting that we deliberately cause a ruckus?” George asked, in an artificially dramatic voice. “They grow up so fast. Don’t you agree, Fred?”
“Indeed,” Fred replied,
pretending to wipe away a tear.
Ginny laughed, and nudged
Fred’s arm. “Alright, you two. Do you have any ideas or not?”
A wicked grin spread
across Fred’s face. “We have just the
thing,” he said, with a meaningful glance at George.
George nodded and broke
into an identical grin.
Looking between them,
Ginny asked excitedly “What are you going to do?”
“You’ll find out soon
enough, little sis,” said Fred, reaching over and patting Ginny on the head.
Ginny glowered and
swatted Fred’s hand away. “What is this
anyways?” She asked, starting to unroll
the parchment in her hand.
Fred quickly snatched it
back. “I’ll take that, thank you,” he
said, tucking it away inside his robes.
“What are you working
on?” Ginny asked suspiciously, her
“Would you believe
schoolwork?” George offered.
“No,” said Ginny,
laughing. “Are you two planning to
study for your N.E.W.T.’s at all?”
“We’ve been busy with
other things. Maybe tomorrow,” said
Fred, standing and stretching.
“Or next week,” added
George, rising out of his chair.
“Or not at all,” finished
Fred with a grin.
“But it’s very kind of
you to be concerned with our education, Ginny,” said George.
“I’m more concerned about
what Mum will do to you when she sees your marks,” said Ginny seriously.
“There are plenty of ways
to make your way in the world aside from marks,” said Fred casually, though he
looked slightly anxious. “Excuse us,
Ginny, but we’ve got some planning to do.”
As they wound their way
out of the crowded common room, Fred whispered to George, “We might have a use
for our invention after all when Mum sees our marks.”
Just as they reached the
boys’ staircase, Crookshanks shot out from underneath a table. He stopped abruptly and turned his squashed
face up to them. His yellow eyes seemed
to register Hermione’s dissent in her absence.
“Don’t give me that
look,” said Fred, narrowing his eyes.
“We’re just trying to help a friend.”
He led the way up the boys’ staircase, followed by George.
Fred quietly opened the
door to their dormitory and peered inside the empty room. Fred walked across to his bed, knelt down,
and pulled his trunk from underneath.
“I thought Lee might be here, but we’ll catch him later,” he said to
George, who had shut the door and was now standing beside Fred.
“This is the perfect time
for phase two,” said Fred, looking up at George. “Ginny’s right, the Wildfire Whiz-Bangs were a real problem for
Umbridge. But it seems like she’s
settled down a bit, so now’s the time to shake her up again. And we can do a little product demonstration
in the process.”
Fred’s trunk, like
George’s, was crammed with items for Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes. It was bursting with piles of fake wands and
the new and improved Ton-Tongue Toffees, which, in addition to swelling a
person’s tongue, could turn it one of ten different colors. In a far corner, there was a small stack of
Fred and George’s newest invention, Gold Grabber Galleons. Taking their inspiration from Hermione’s
D.A. Galleons, they had created fake, yet convincing, Galleons that left traces
of red on the hand of anyone who tried to steal them. Next to the Galleons, there was a slogan scrawled on a scrap of
parchment that read: Has someone been nicking your pocket money? Try Gold Grabber Galleons and catch them
Fred took a small, soggy
paper sack from the brimming trunk. He
pulled a face when its contents squished and sloshed as he reached inside. Fred removed his hand and revealed a mess of
“Ugh,” said George,
covering his nose with his robes. “It
smells disgusting! It turned out even
better than I’d hoped!” He said happily.
Fred laughed and prodded
the slimy lump with his finger.
“I’ve got five left. How many more do you have?” George asked.
“Four, I think,” Fred
replied, looking over his shoulder at a larger bag that was dripping over a
stack of old order forms. “Once
everyone gets a load of this, they’re going to go quick.”
“Yeah, we’d better make
more soon,” said George. “Recreating
the Wildfire Whiz-Bangs has been enough trouble,” said George, pointing to
several shards of burnt wood in Fred’s trunk.
“We can’t be running out of things once we’re in the shop.”
Fred nodded. He looked at the miniature swamp in his
hand, and then at the contents of his trunk.
“It’s safe to say that we’ll be remembered here after we leave. But if this works half as well as I think it
will, we could join the ranks of the Marauders,” said Fred, grinning madly.
“Yeah,” George replied,
with a dreamy expression. “But as much
as I’d like to spring this on Umbridge now, I think we should wait until the
end of the holidays. Ginny said it’s
not an emergency so we’ll have plenty of time to get ready.”
Fred. “The best time to do it would be
after the last lesson of the day.
Everyone will be in the corridors, and the more people that see the swamp
the quicker word will get back to Umbridge.
While she’s occupied with the swamp, Harry will have some time to talk
to Sirius uninterrupted.”
The dormitory door
creaked and opened. Lee Jordan slouched
inside carrying several large books under his arm.
“Hi, Lee!” Fred said enthusiastically. “Just the person we wanted to see!”
Lee looked between the
twins, and then to the open trunk.
“What’s going on?” he asked, perking up. He tossed the books on his bed and strode over to join the twins.
“How would you like to
help give Umbridge exactly what she deserves and support a worthy cause in the
process?” George asked, slinging his
arm around Lee’s shoulders.
“Excellent!” Lee exclaimed. “Count me in. What’s the
“Let’s just say we’d be helping
a mutual friend,” said George, with a furtive glance at Fred.
“Good enough for me,”
said Lee. “When do we get started?”
“The first day back to
lessons. We want the maximum amount of
mayhem,” Fred replied.
“Are you trying the
Portable Swamp?” Lee asked hopefully.
“Great minds think alike,
mate,” said Fred, opening his hand to reveal the swamp.
Lee’s grin slipped
away. “Wait a minute. I just thought of something. Umbridge will be able to get rid of it
easily enough. I’m sure she’ll try to reduce
it straight away. Aside from the
initial shock, it’ll be more of a nuisance than anything.”
“That’s where the special
part of the plan comes in,” said George, with a devilish grin. “You see, we prepared this particular swamp
especially for Umbridge. It’s much
bigger than the others and it can only be activated by two people.”
“How’s that going to make
a difference?” Lee asked skeptically.
“Who’s the only person at
Hogwarts who’s loyal to Umbridge?”
George asked, eager for Lee’s reaction.
“Filch,” said Lee
simply. Suddenly, his eyes grew
wide. “Filch is a Squib! He’s the only person here who won’t be able
to help Umbridge!”
Fred and George nodded
proudly. “Ron told us about Filch being
a Squib ages ago, but we were waiting for the perfect opportunity to use it
against him. And what do you know? That opportunity has presented itself,” said
“When Umbridge tries to
reduce the swamp, it’ll spring right back,” Fred explained. “She’ll be so riled up that she won’t even
realize that one spell isn’t strong enough.
She’ll think that it didn’t work at all and she’ll try something
else. That’s the beauty of it, nothing
she tries will work.”
“She’ll have plenty of
time to brood over it, then,” said Lee, laughing. “I don’t think any of the other professors will be keen to help
“Yeah, we’re sure
Professor Flitwick will recognize the solution, but we hope he’ll let Umbridge
bumble along for a bit,” said George.
“So, how big will the
swamp get?” Lee asked.
“We don’t know,” George
responded. “We tested one by the pitch,
but it was a small one. This one would
get noticed if we tried to test it. But
it doesn’t matter, it’s much more fun with the element of surprise.”
“What do you need me to
do?” Lee wondered.
“The swamp is going to
act as a diversion,” Fred began. “So,
we need you to keep watch for Umbridge while we activate it. Can’t have her ruining all the fun now, can
“We need to draw Umbridge
away from her office, so the swamp should be as far away from it as possible,”
George continued. “That way she’ll have
to cross the castle and we’ll have extra time.
I think we’ll be able to get about twenty minutes before she totally
goes mad. She’ll probably come looking
for us right off, but by then we’ll have accomplished our goal and it won’t
Fred furrowed his brow
thoughtfully. “What do you think about
using Gregory the Smarmy’s corridor in the East Wing? It would be big enough for the swamp and it’s far from Umbridge’s
office,” he suggested.
“That’d be perfect,” said
George. “I’m sure Gregory would approve
of our plans.”
“How did you come up with
the idea for these anyways?” Lee asked
in an impressed voice, scooping the muck out of Fred’s hand and examining it.
“Ginny told us that Neville
Longbottom has a Mimbulus Mimbletonia.
It exploded on the Hogwarts Express and sprayed Stinksap all over her,
Neville, Harry, and Loony Lovegood. It
gave us an idea,” George explained.
continued. “Stinksap is totally
disgusting, but it’s easy to remove. We
had to use it for something. So we
thought ‘Who wouldn’t want a swamp they could carry in their pocket?’”
Lee laughed. “You’re going to sell loads of these.”
“That’s the plan,” said
“Then it’s settled,” said
Fred, clapping his hands. “All we need
to do is discuss things with our friend and we’ll be ready.”
The remainder of the
Easter holidays passed quickly, and soon the Sunday before lessons resumed was
upon them. That night Fred and George
discussed their plan with Harry, Ron, and a pessimistic Hermione. Their plan finalized, Fred and George spent
a restless night in their beds. Eager
to begin the day, they rose early on Monday morning. They dressed, collected the Portable Swamp from Fred’s trunk, and
quietly left Gryffindor Tower for breakfast.
Once inside the Great
Hall, they strode alongside the Gryffindor table, smiling at the other students
as they went. They sat down and pulled
several dishes towards them.
George rubbed his hands
together and surveyed the food before him.
“Smells excellent, doesn’t it?” he asked cheerfully to several sleepy
Gryffindors who did not respond.
As Fred and George
finished their breakfast, Lee joined them at the table. He yawned, stretched, and then piled food on
his plate. George glanced up and down
the Gryffindor table for Harry. Lee
noticed and exchanged a concerned look with him.
“Where do you think he
is?” George whispered to Fred and
“Do you think he’s changed
his mind?” Lee wondered.
“Nah,” said Fred,
confidently. “He’s probably just
running late. We’ll see you in Binns’
Lee nodded, and Fred and
George stood up to leave. Hermione
Granger entered the Great Hall and marched up the aisle. She gave Fred and George a disapproving look
as she swept past them. They shrugged
and continued through the Entrance Hall and up the Grand Staircase to class.
George passed the time in
the tedious History of Magic lesson, the last one of the day, by drawing a
picture of Umbridge trapped in the Portable Swamp. George tapped the picture with his wand and the animated Umbridge
flailed her arms as she sank in the muck.
George nudged Fred awake and slid the drawing over to him. Fred laughed and passed it to Lee. Lee snorted, though none of the other
students heard since all of them had been lulled to sleep by Binns’ droning
voice. When the bell finally rang,
startling the students awake, the class filed out into the corridor. Fred, George, and Lee dashed out first and
made their way to the fifth floor in the East Wing.
Lee set off for the end
of the large corridor while Fred and George stood by the statue of Gregory the
Smarmy. George watched the opposite end
of the corridor while Fred checked his watch. “It’s five now, we’d better start. Harry should be ready,” he said.
Fred removed the tiny
swamp from his pocket and placed it at the foot of the statue. Lee appeared at the end of the corridor and
grinned at the twins. Fred and George
wound their way through the hall, now crowded with students, to the opposite
end. They withdrew their wands, waited
for several students to pass so that they could aim properly, then pointed
their wands at the swamp and shouted “Engorgio!”
An ominous rumbling
filled the corridor. The Portable Swamp
expanded and contracted, as if it were breathing. A group of Hufflepuffs, who had just exited a nearby classroom,
heard the sound and turned towards the swamp.
Then they spotted Fred and George with their wands out. The students, realizing the connection
between the Portable Swamp and the twins, pushed and shoved each other in a
desperate attempt to escape.
Just as the group
sprinted past Fred and George, a tremendous boom echoed throughout the corridor
and the swamp exploded into a monstrous stretch of green mess. Fred and George were thrown backwards by the
force of the expanding swamp. Fred
smacked hard against the wall and slid down onto the floor in a heap.
George grimaced as his
head connected with the cold, stone floor.
He squeezed his eyes shut as a piercing pain sliced through the back of
his head. He could hear the screams of
the other students becoming fainter as they ran away. Though they were far away, the pounding of their feet resounded
in George’s head. He propped himself up
on his elbow and with his other hand touched the back of his head. He was relieved to see that there was no
blood. George scrambled to his feet and
called “Fred! Fred!”
“Over here,” said Fred,
in a disgruntled voice. George slid
across the slippery floor and helped Fred up.
With an enormous plop, a wad of Stinksap fell from the ceiling landed on
George’s already soaked robes. George
peered up and saw that the entire ceiling was covered in the thick, green
substance. The majority of it had
already fallen back into the swamp leaving long, glistening threads suspended
from the ceiling. They reminded George
of repulsive, green icicles. When both
of them were standing, they surveyed the Portable Swamp.
For a moment, they were
speechless. The swamp stretched almost
the entire length of the corridor, except for small areas at each end that were
merely slippery with Stinksap. There
was a miniscule amount of marshy land that surrounded the swamp, which had the
consistency of something between liquid and solid. The surface bubbled as though something sinister were underneath,
fighting its way out. Huge opaque
bubbles swelled until they burst, sending a revolting stench into the air.
Panicked yells broke the
silence and Fred and George noticed for the first time that three students were
trapped inside the Portable Swamp.
Worried, they called to
Lee. “I’m alright, but there’s some
kids trapped,” he called to them. Fred
and George could barely make Lee out at the end of the corridor. The Stinksap had smeared the walls, making
it dark and difficult to see. Lee was
now knee deep in the swamp, wading his way out to a frightened boy.
The other two were
desperately trying to fight their way to the edge. They scrapped and clawed, but could not grasp anything solid to
hold onto. Brittle branches poked here
and there from the land but snapped off futilely in their hands when they
attempted to grab them.
Fred and George
immediately set to work. George
struggled through the swamp towards a boy who was close to him. Fred squinted down the corridor at a tiny
girl who was thrashing and screaming.
“I’m going to get you out
of there!” Fred shouted as he pointed
his wand authoritatively at her and exclaimed “Wingardium Leviosa!”
The girl rose mere inches
from the swamp, and then sunk further into the muck. Fred felt the color drain from his face. He looked at George, who had managed to drag
the other boy to safety.
“George, help!” Fred shouted. George raised his own wand and together they shouted “Wingardium
The girl rose slowly out
of the mess. Their arms quavered under
her weight and the pull of the swamp.
Steadily, they moved her towards the more solid ground against the walls. She was within a few feet of the edge when
she fell back into the swamp with a great splash. Fred shoved his wand inside his robes and shimmied along the
slick wall with his back pressed against it.
Fred reached the girl,
knelt down, and stretched out his hand to her.
George had rushed along behind him and had grasped the back of Fred’s
robes so that he could reach further.
The girl waved her arms back and forth, panic causing her to miss Fred’s
connected. Fred grasped her wrist, and together
they pulled her out of the swamp and led her back to the end of the
corridor. Though shaken and covered in
Stinksap, she was otherwise all right.
“Thanks,” she squeaked before she scampered around the corner and out of
Fred scanned the opposite
end of the corridor and called, “Alright, Lee?”
“Yeah,” said Lee, pushing
several drenched dreadlocks off his forehead.
“I got him out, he’s long gone now.”
“Well, aside from the
stampede, and people getting stuck in the swamp, I’d say things worked
according to plan,” said George.
exhausted. He put his hands on his hips
while he caught his breath.
“Thanks for your help,
Lee!” George called.
“Anytime!” Lee replied. He pointed his wand at himself, and said “Scourgify!” He waved at the twins before disappearing
down the stairs.
Fred and George took
their cue and did the same. The spell
removed the majority of the Stinksap from their robes but the hem of their
robes remained green. Fred clapped
George on the back and then said, “I think our twenty minutes are up, we should
get out of here. Hopefully, Umbridge is
on her way here and Harry got to talk to Sirius. She’s going to have loads of fun with this.”
They hastily left the
corridor and joined the glut of students in the Entrance Hall. The buzz of voices made it seem as though
they were in a hive. Peeves, floating
above the students, seized the opportunity to startle some first-year girls by
blowing raspberries near their ears.
“Stop where you are,”
said a drawling voice from behind Fred and George. They slowly turned around and glared at Draco Malfoy, who was
flanked by Crabbe and Goyle. Fred
snorted derisively at Malfoy; he turned to George and then said, “Come on,
“Not so fast,” said
Malfoy, his mouth twisting into a tight grin.
“I know you created that swamp.”
“What swamp? Fred, do you know anything about a
swamp?” George asked innocently.
“Don’t get cute with me,
Weasley,” sneered Malfoy. “You’re not
as clever as you think,” he said, pointing at the hem of George’s robes.
“So,” said George
nastily. “Use your eyes, Malfoy. We’re not the only ones with this stuff on
us. We just happened to be at the wrong
place at the wrong time. You can’t
“Maybe not,” said Malfoy,
with another twisted grin. “But I’m
sure that’ll be plenty of proof for Headmistress Umbridge to expel you.”
Fred and George laughed
in Malfoy’s face and turned to leave.
“You’re not going
anywhere,” Malfoy snarled, his pale face pink with anger and embarrassment. He quickly produced his wand and pointed it
at the twins. In a flash, Crabbe and
Goyle had drawn their own wands. Several
other members of the Inquisitorial Squad materialized from the crowd with their
Suddenly, a breathless Umbridge
appeared at the top of the stairs. Her
entire faced seemed purple with rage.
“We’ve got them,
Headmistress,” said Malfoy, a smug smile on his face. The other students backed away from Fred and George until the
twins were left at the center of a large circle. They turned to each other, realizing that they were cornered…