How to Kiss a Girl with Glasses
A/N: This is a companion piece to “What Makes You Different.” It will be helpful to the reader to have read that piece before tackling this one. There will be a quiz at the end, to see if you have read them both. (Kidding! We’re kidding.)
Thanks, as ever, to Yolanda. We’re not sure if she wears glasses or not, or we would have asked her advice.
Disclaimer: The Surgeon General has determined that cigarette smoking can be dangerous to your health.
“So this is it?” Charlie Weasley looked with approval around the front room of Fred and George’s new flat. “It’s a good location; away from the noise of the High Street, but still close to the shop.”
“It’s great,” added Bill, opening a door and peering into the bathroom. “Big enough to stretch out in, but not too big to keep clean.”
Fred snorted. “When we advertise for a housekeeper we’ll be sure to mention that.”
Ron, who was opening and closing cupboards in the tiny kitchen, stopped long enough to put his head through the doorway. “You’re not really going to have your own housekeeper?”
“Someday, little bro, someday. When we’re rich and famous. Until then, we’ll have to scrape along on our own.” George stretched out on a tatty old armchair and watched his brothers investigate their new digs. “With any luck, Mum or Ginny will nip in every once in awhile and put the dirty dishes to rights.”
From the kitchen, Ron snorted. “Don’t let Ginny hear you say that. She’ll tell you just where you can put your dirty dishes.” He came into the front room, carrying a bottle of butterbeer, and flopped down onto the sagging, mismatched sofa. “Mum might take pity on you though, if you pretend to be really hungry.”
Bill finished his brief tour of the flat and sat down next to Ron. “That reminds me,” he said, catching sight of Ron‘s butterbeer. “Happy housewarming.” With a flourish and a grin he produced a large amber bottle from the inside pocket of his jacket.
Fred’s eyes lit up as he took the bottle from Bill. “Green Lightning. Let‘s celebrate!” He pointed his wand toward the kitchen. “Accio glasses!” Five tumblers of various shapes and sizes came whizzing toward them from the kitchen. Charlie reached out and caught them in rapid succession.
“Still got it!” he said triumphantly. “Once a Seeker, always a Seeker I guess.”
Fred sloshed generous measures of Green Lightning into the tumblers and handed them around to his brothers, then settled himself on the worn carpet next to Charlie, as all the chairs were already taken.
“To your new home,” said Bill, raising his glass.
“A new home,” they echoed, lifting their own glasses.
Fred looked around at all of them. “So. George has a nice girlfriend,” he said brightly.
George choked and sloshed his drink down the front of himself. “I do not!”
“Wait,” said Charlie, “a girl-friend, or a girlfriend?”
“She is not my--not a--”
Bill raised his eyebrows. “But there is a ‘she?’”
“Now none of that George,” Fred admonished him. “He’s being coy,” he explained to the others. “It’s so cute when he does that.”
“We’ve had lunch together once,” George glared at Fred.
“And gone on a walk,” prodded his twin helpfully.
“Who is it?” Ron asked, sitting forward. “Anyone I know from school?”
“It’s nothing,” George tried to protest, but Fred interrupted.
“It’s not like you to keep secrets from us, George,” he said, in an aggrieved tone. He reached over and patted his brother’s knee in a fatherly fashion. “We’re your brothers. We’re here to help you navigate these rocky waters of romance. If you can’t tell us, who can you tell?”
Charlie picked up the bottle of Green Lightning and filled George’s glass almost to the brim. “Come on, George,” he said encouragingly, “Tell us all about it.”
“Yeah, George,” put in Bill, “no holding back. It wouldn’t be right.”
“You hold back enough when it comes to telling tales on Fleur Delacour,” muttered George.
“He has a fair point,” Ron said to Bill.
Bill waved this logic aside. “I am the oldest, and the most experienced of all of us. There is no wisdom left for me to glean from the rest of you, whereas George here-” he poked at George with his foot- “is still wet behind the ears and needs all the help he can get.”
“Who says you’re the most experienced?” asked Charlie, archly.
Ron sniggered. “Maybe you’re the one who shouldn’t be holding things back, Mr. Dragonslayer.”
“We were talking about George.” Fred reminded them.
“There’s nothing to tell,” George insisted.
“Start with her name,” said Ron. “She must have a name.”
“Ainsley,” said Fred promptly. “Ainsley Dixon. She’s a Ravenclaw, just finished her sixth year.”
“And…” prodded Charlie, nudging George’s glass gently, to remind him to drink up.
George groaned. “And nothing. She came into the shop one day and we started talking, and I asked her to go for lunch and that’s all.”
“Is she cute?” Bill wanted to know.
George grinned in spite of himself. “Oh, yeah. Yeah, she’s cute.”
“She wears glasses,” Fred supplied.
“How do you kiss a girl with glasses?” asked Ron, with great interest. “Do they get in the way, or do you take them off first?” He added thoughtfully, “Harry kissed a girl once. I’ll have to ask him what he did with his glasses.”
“Who’d Harry kiss?” asked Fred. “Not Ginny, I hope.”
“Hermione?” George guessed.
Ron threw a pillow at George. “No, not Hermione.”
“Never mind Harry,” said Bill. He turned to George. “So what do you do about her glasses?”
They were all looking at him. George rolled his eyes and took a long swallow of Green Lightning. “I have never kissed her,” he said, with great dignity. He grinned. “Not yet, anyway.”
“I’ve kissed a girl with glasses,” said Charlie, thoughtfully. “And she left them on. At least, for the first bit. It was hard to get the knack of it at first, but with practice, we got quite good at it.”
“Who was that?” Ron demanded.
Charlie leered at him. “Wouldn’t you like to know?”
“We could always ask Percy what he does with his glasses,” said Fred. “But then one of us would have to talk to the great prat.” He drew himself up primly and affected Percy’s stiff voice. “I do not think it fitting for a Ministry Official to discuss his amorous pursuits with a bunch of randy rascals like yourselves.”
The rest of them laughed, but it had a half-hearted ring to it, and for several moments they sipped their drinks in silence.
Ron was the first one to speak. “So the first time you kiss a girl, are you supposed to…erm--” He drained his glass in one gulp and held it out to Fred, in a rather desperate gesture. “How long is it supposed to be? The kiss, I mean.” His face had gone scarlet.
Charlie and Bill looked at each other. “Shall I?” Charlie said.
“Oh by all means,” said Bill.
Charlie tossed back the remainder of his own drink and refilled his tumbler. “There are two kinds of kisses, Ron,” he began.
“I know that,” said his brother irritably. “I’m not stupid.”
“The long kind and the short kind,” Charlie continued, as if Ron had not spoken. “The long kind involves rather more parts of the mouth,” he clarified.
“Bill and I have learned the hard way--” he raised his glass to Bill, who nodded gravely and raised his back. “We have learned the hard way that most girls prefer the short kind of kiss first. The first several times, in fact. Seem to think it‘s more romantic or something.”
“The hard way? What does that mean?” George wanted to know.
“Oh, slaps to the face--”
“The cold shoulder--”
“Long inquisitions about our feelings--”
“--And our intentions…”
Charlie and Bill both shuddered.
“It’s a risk you take if you start out with--erm--the long kind of kiss,” said Charlie.
“It’s not worth it,” said Bill. “Take our advice and start off slow. You can always build up after awhile.”
The brothers were silent again, digesting this.
Again, it was Ron who spoke first. He turned to Fred and George. “Well, what about you lot? Who’ve you kissed then?”
Fred grinned. “Angelina,” he said. “After the Yule Ball. But it never came to anything. It was just one of those things. Before that, there was that Muggle girl in Ottery St. Catchpole,” he turned to George. “Remember those sisters?”
George nodded. “Oh yes. Maggie Fry and her sister Julie. They weren’t all that good-looking, mind you, but they were obliging.”
Charlie leaned forward. “What did you do?”
George shrugged. “Not all that much, to tell you the truth. A few kisses during the fireworks on Guy Fawkes Night--”
Fred grinned wolfishly. “The long kind.”
“And it wasn’t any too--” George shrugged. “Well, Julie was quite enthusiastic, but it was a little disappointing for all that.”
Bill furrowed his brow. “I know what you mean,” he said slowly. “I reckon kissing--well, it’s a bit like performing a Stunning Spell when you come right down to it.”
Ron snorted. “A Stunning Spell?”
“Yes, A Stunning Spell.”
Charlie clarified. “When you learn to Stun someone, you learn all the right moves in class first. You figure out what you’re supposed to do, and you practice at it until you’re good.”
“But it’s not the real thing,” put in Bill. “Like kissing a girl who’s not the right girl.”
Charlie continued. “I practiced Stunning Spells forever in Flitwick’s class. I Stunned partners who were standing still waiting for it to happen. Partners who were waiting to get it over with so they could practice Stunning me in their turn.
“But then I went to Romania. I started training with the dragons and it was really scary. I loved them, but I was a little afraid of them because they had the power to crush me. And then the time came when I had to Stun one of them and believe me, doing it for real was nothing like doing it for practice in Charms class.”
Bill picked up the thread. “When it’s for real there’s no planning for it. It’s powerful and it just--carries you along with its power. You find yourself in the right time and place and suddenly you just know what you have to do.”
Fred and George and Ron watched their older brothers and somehow all of them knew they weren’t just talking about Stunning Spells.
“So,” said Ron slowly, “you just do what feels right?”
“Not exactly, no.” said Charlie. “Your first inclination is going to be to overdo it; you’ll be carried away by the moment. Just remember, you don’t want to hurt the dragon. You don’t want to make it afraid of you.”
“So,” George said, “short and slow, right?”
“Short and slow is the way to go,” Fred sing-songed.
“And you can leave her glasses on,” said Charlie. “You might bump into them at first, but you’ll get the hang of it.” He grinned and turned to Ron. “As for you--”
“Leave me out of this,” said Ron hastily. “I haven’t got plans to kiss anyone anytime soon.”
“We’re just saying,” said Bill. “If you happened to be studying with a girl sometime--
“--And you were the only ones in the Common Room--”
“I’m not listening to you!” said Ron loudly, putting his fingers in his ears and setting up a loud hum.
His brothers laughed. Fred held up the bottle and refilled their tumblers. “Here’s to Stunning Spells,” he said.
“And dragons,” added Charlie.
“And to girls with glasses,” put in George.
“Here’s to empty Common Rooms,” said Bill, pulling Ron’s finger out of his ear.
“Hear, hear!” The five brothers clinked their tumblers together and drank.