Breaking the Rules
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Ravenclaw
in need of a date does not go anywhere near a Weasley.
This is a syllogism reinforced when one is a Patil
the Weasleys in question are Fred and
George. In fact
we, the women of Ravenclaw House, have
several rules governing interactions, and this afternoon I have
managed to break every single one of them, to my undying shame and
Rule 1. If there is a Weasley
in the library, and they ask for help, they are generally not doing
If the Weasley is Percy, then he is
doing extra credit, if it is Ron, he is preparing for his next
adventure, and if it Fred or George, they are trying to blow something
inflate it, or transfigure it - preferably using a non-standard and
One might think that I would have learnt not to accept anything at
value by now. So when George Weasley asked
if I would
help him with a spell, I was naturally surprised, given that he is a
seventh year, and I am in my fifth. He
explained that some of the
ingredients were unfamiliar, and perhaps I might be able to explain.
Most of the items on his list were spices from India
had a fairly good idea of their possible uses. It certainly wasn't
they were taking an interest in their culinary applications. We talked
least half an hour, during which there were no pranks, no being
or over-awed, and the definite presence of a civilised
conversation. Suffice it to say, I was left somewhat speechless.
Rule 2. If a Weasley
offers to help you, it is wise to look a gift horse in the mouth, the
the behind, just to check the health of the animal, and the likely
Once my mind had suitably processed the shock to my system, I
with my work, pausing only when it was time to head to the Great Hall
lunch. I was somewhat surprised when, not having been in any particular
or hurry the contents of my bag were sprayed all over the floor of the
I suspected that it may have been one of the Hufflepuffs,
but it turned out to be the ice prince himself, Draco
Malfoy, deigning to interfere in my
affairs. He stood
to one side, commenting as my hands struggled to grasp the books about
obviously wasn't worth my place in Ravenclaw,
brains must have been addled if I was voluntarily consorting with Weasleys, and even consenting to accompany Weasley minimus to
such as the Yule Ball. Before he could drawl any longer, I found myself
surrounded by heads in varying shades of red, and half a dozen helpful
with one of them being directed towards breaking the spells placed on
and another being forced to restrain Ron from hexing Draco.
Rule 3. If a Weasley
offers you anything, refuse. They're either the unwitting pawns, or
actively testing a joke.
They insisted on my being accompanied into the Hall, and invited me
them in their 'repast'. I was not unfamiliar was the Gryffindors,
and as Parvati was already there, the
seven of us had
a very enjoyable meal, with the brothers actively trying to make amends
mischief of Mr Malfoy.
That wasn't the only error of manners that they attempted to
seemed to consider Ron a fair target for embarrassment, as he had been
unconscionably rude to me at the Yule Ball, according to him, and
this poor etiquette should be dealt with accordingly. He had been
treat a woman with better manners than that, and he deserved everything
I found myself being waited on hand and foot - nothing was too much
and the good humour flowed freely around
George was a most attentive companion, and I discovered he had a brain
most of my own house to shame, even if he did prefer to use it for
less high-minded pursuits.
Rule 4. If one is desperate, a Weasley is always worth having around for
only for entertainment value. With the potential for entertainment
the potential for embarrassment, and one is
encouraged to choose your Weasley wisely.
It being a Saturday we would be free all afternoon, and given the
weather, Fred proposed that we should sit by the lake. Hermione wanted
to go to
the library (as did I) but Ron and Harry slipped their arms through
hers, and Parvati grabbed me before I
could make my own escape. To
keep Hermione's thirst for knowledge slaked, Fred started to explain
the magic behind their work - spell-building, potions development and
like, whilst George provided an illustrated commentary taking a tour of
less successful inventions, and more spectacular results.
I found myself drawn into a discussion of the interaction between
and metaphysical magic with George, Ron and Hermione, while Fred was
showing Parvati how to animate her
I didn't realise that I was talking
only to George
until twenty minutes after Ron and Hermione had been sighted on the
of the lake near the folly.
Rule 5. Weasleys
are more intelligent than they look, less innocent than they appear,
have any money.
For someone that only managed five OWLs
more about the practical applications of magic
than I would ever have thought possible. His mind is quick, his
is witty, and I find his conversation quite compelling. He talks
grandiloquently of his plans for the joke-shop with his twin, and the
has for the future. I am impressed by their acumen - they have
backing, and a goblin-approved business plan.
Conversation drifts to other things - being twins notably, and start
speculating about what it would be like to try a poly-juice potion of
twin, if only to find out exactly what the physical differences between
He asks politely about my background - although we are both from old
families we hardly move in the same circles - and I tell him about
as an Anglo-Asian witch, combining the two magical heritages. He asks
they differ, and I get into a long exposition of the way certain magics are part of daily life. I tell him about
some of the
love potions and their effects, and he has the grace to blush a little,
his natural curiosity wins out.
Rule 6. If you need to ask,
probably don't want to know
I finally give in, and ask what he wanted the ingredients for
explains, with a blush, that Fred wanted to surprise his girlfriend,
found a couple of books with some ideas in, but the translation charms
rendered the contents any less comprehensible. Apparently the recipe
intended to transform a room into a pleasant multi-sensory experience.
He brings up poverty for the first time - how it's great to be in a
family, but when the only time you get privacy is at school, it's a bit
worrying. I can only nod. There's only me and Parvati,
but my aunt has a lot of kids, and much as I love my cousins, it's too
It's clear that he adores his little sister,
all that she can be a pain in the neck. He describes some of her more
escapades, albeit glossing over the events of her first year. The sun's
over the forest as we head inside, ignoring the comments of the others.
into the library, and find my favourite
perches on the desk, and we read in companionable silence - his book is
through the ages' while mine is a guide to advanced transfiguration,
Every time I look up, I catch his eyes, but he doesn't say anything,
smiles, and carries on. Towards supper time, he stops working, and I
him watching me.
"Look. I know it's weird. You dated my brother once, and it wasn't
best, and you're probably scarred for life, and completely put off my
but would you, possibly, could you ever, find it in your heart to go
with me to
the Leaver's Ball with me."
Rule 7. Never, ever, agree to go on a date with a Weasley. This goes double for any formal
doesn't know how to behave, the twins don't know how not to misbehave,
Percy doesn't know how to stop behaving.