The Sugar Quill
Author: LMiC2001  Story: A Sugar Quill Christmas  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

When Ginny Weasley woke up Christmas morning she eagerly began to open her presents.  She tried not to make a lot of noise until she remembered that she was the only fourth year who had stayed for the holidays.  With no Yule ball this year to keep them around, everyone else had returned home.

There were rumors that there would be a ball for Valentine's, so the new dress robes she had just opened from Bill would come in handy.

From Ron she received a box of sugar quills.

The large lumpy package from Mum could only be a Weasley sweater.   "Oh please, not red again," she muttered to herself.  "Only one way to find out," she resolved quietly as she dug into the wrapping.  Sure enough a Weasley sweater greeted her eyes, but in lavender, not the horrid red of years past.  She held it up.  It was almost beautiful.  "I'll have to write Mum to thank her," she exclaimed excitedly.

Percy had sent a new cauldron a card inside.  It stated, "Ministry Approved. Thickness Standards Enforced by P. Weasley."   She had to laugh at that.

Charlie had sent new dragon hide gloves and a scale belt.  Father had sent a copy of her favorite book from his Muggle collection, "Where the Wild Things Are."

Hermione walked into the dorm room as Ginny began to open her gift.  "Do you know how it works?" she asked as Ginny stared in wonder into the small box.

"It's truly wonderful, Hermione," Ginny said removing her necklace from the box.  She touched the sides of the locket and it projected a small star chart marking the position of the stars for the exact moment that she had been born.  "Thank you," she said her voice filled with awe.

Quickly Ginny got up and put everything away except for one box, which she approached with great caution.  She laughed at the strange look of confusion that crossed Hermione's face.  She explained all with one simple statement, "Fred and George."

With that explanation Hermione nodded and also took two steps backwards.

Slowly Ginny reached towards the box.  She gingerly touched the lid before she quickly threw it open.  There, on tissue, lay hair chopsticks.  They looked to be the same ones George had caught her admiring back in the summer when Ron was being fitted for his new dress robes.  Their bead encrusted tortoise shell shafts glittered in the torchlight.  "Oh my," Ginny exclaimed in a hushed tone.

Gently, she lifted one to study it more closely.  They were beautiful and absolutely perfect.  She couldn't wait to wear them.

Hermione walked closer.  "Those are from Fred and George?" she asked with some confusion.  "When did they grow up?"

"I don't know.  But aren't the simply lovely," Ginny answered.

"Uh huh," came the skeptical reply.

"I've got to go shower.  I'm wearing these today," Ginny said springing up and making a mad dash around the room to gather her toiletries.  "Won't they be perfect?" she asked as she rushed out the door turning towards the bath.

"But... Ginny, wait," Hermione sputtered.  But Ginny was already too far away to hear.  "They might not be safe," she finished with an anxious whisper.  She sighed and turned back to her own dorm to get ready for the day.

Ginny spent fifteen minutes fixing her hair "just so" in the chopsticks.  She smiled with satisfaction at the finished look, and then dashed down the stairs to meet the others for lunch.

Ron, Harry and Hermione were waiting for her in the common room.

"It's about bloody time," grumbled Ron, earning an elbow from Hermione.

"Ginny, you look lovely," she said with a smile.

"Thank you.  Where are Fred and George?  I really want to thank them for the chopsticks," she replied.

"They went on ahead. We'd better hurry or we'll be late and I'll starve," Ron urged pushing them towards the portrait hole.

"Oh Ron, you will not starve! Honestly!" exclaimed Hermione, rolling her eyes in mock disgust.  Nevertheless she led the way through the portrait hole.

Cheers from Fred and George heralded their arrival in the great hall. "I really don't think we could have held out much longer.  So nice of you to join us," they teased.

"Don't blame me.  I'm not the one who bought her something for her hair," Ron said, gesturing towards Ginny.

Ginny fought the childish urge to stick her tongue out at her brother. Instead she smacked him lightly on the back of his head.

"What?" he exclaimed, feigning innocence.

"Just sit down and eat you great 'starving' oaf," she replied.

The only place left for her to sit was between Fred and George.  Sighing she sat down, a little fearful of what they might cook up to torture her with today.  But then again it was a holiday.  They might surprise her by being nice, as they had with her gift that morning.

A suitable feast was set before them, complete with turkey, ham and the traditional Christmas goose and fig pudding.

Fred started them out with their crackers.  He pulled the little ends and with a cannon-like "boom," he received a press-on wart kit.

Harry went next getting a new chess set, which was good considering the ones he'd been using were on the verge of mutiny.  Just the night before he'd stopped them from trying to take their own king to stop the game. Apparently they were tired of being massacred by Ron's pieces.

Ginny grabbed a cracker and pulled the ends.  Out popped sugar quills.

As the meal progressed, the stacks of favors and treats grew in front of each person.  George and Hermione also received chess sets and Ron wizarding marbles.

But every cracker that Ginny pulled delivered only sugar quills.  After the third one she began to suspect that Fred and George might have something to do with that.  She reached for the next one, but instead of grabbing the one in front of her, she reached into the pile in front of George.  Fully expecting something different, she was surprised when out popped sugar quills again.

A roar of laughter went up around the table.  It only got louder as George reached into the stack in front of Ginny for his next one and received gobstones.

Ginny raised her hands and shook her head in defeat, then joined in the laughter.

After dinner they headed back to the common room arms laden with their treasures.

When they reached the common room, Ron pulled out a deck of exploding snap cards and invited all to play.  A chorus of "I'm in," followed.

"I'll play next round," Ginny said.  "I want to change sweaters so I don't get soot and ash all over this one."  And with that she went up stairs to change.

She put on Ron's maroon sweater from the year before which he'd given her right after last Christmas.  On her way out the door she grabbed some of her sugar quills to share with the others as they played.

Shortly before three o'clock the twins excused themselves to go check on their brooms.  As they left they jostled a small pile of the snap cards.  These exploded taking out several of the sugar quills, which splattered all over Ginny.

She muttered in disgust as she washed the syrupy mess from her face.  As the clock struck three, Ginny felt a pop at the back of her head.  Her perfect hairdo began to fall.  In alarm, she reached back to try to figure out what had just happened.  Instead of feeling the new chopsticks, she felt feathers and more syrupy goo.

Her shriek of anguish echoed through the common room.  She yanked the quills from her hair in a vain attempt to keep the goo from spreading all through it.

Hot angry tears threatened to spill from her eyes as she ran upstairs to take another shower.  She was angry with Fred and George for successfully setting her up.  More than that she was angry with herself for trusting them to begin with.  But she was absolutely livid that they had trampled her heart so viciously, by giving her something she had wanted, then taken it from her just for a laugh.

As she showered, she planned her revenge.

Ten minutes later she returned to the common room asking pleasantly, "Have either Fred or George returned yet?"

"No, I don't think they have," Hermione answered, looking up from the game of chess she was playing against Ron.

"Good.  I'll be right back," she said turning to climb the stairs to the boy's dorm.

Once she reached the dorm room the twins shared, she quickly located their old sweaters from last Christmas and used a lengthening charm to make them dress length.

She found their towels and charmed them to shrink in the heat of the bath using the Steamus Shrinkus Charm.

For socks she left them long, mismatched garish socks that would have made the house elf Dobby proud.  She also left them each a pair of boxers, which she had turned pink with purple polka dots.  She considered adding lace to them, but she didn't, only because her new sweater had not been ruined by their pranks.

Finally, she gathered the rest of the clothes and robes in the dorm room and took them to a safe, well-concealed closet in the hallway of the girl's dorm.  She then returned to the common room to begin the next phase of her plan.

Using the rest of the sugar quills she received from the crackers, Ginny began transfiguring them into sticky darts.  Once she finished transfiguring the darts, she charmed them to hit only Fred or George and nothing else.

Finally she took a bucket of cold ashes and suspended it in the air six feet from the entrance to the common room.

A few minutes later they returned.

As they walked in Fred called out, "So Gin, Got any sugar quills?"

Ginny glared icily at them both.  Pointing her wand at them she uttered the Leg-Locking Curse, stopping them at the right spot.  Then she ordered the hovering darts to fly saying, "Fugit."

They flew and stuck all over the twins oozing the sugar quill syrup.

She waited a moment to let the syrup spread then tipped the bucket overhead.  Ashes rained down on them.

A smug little smile appeared on her face as she told them, "Now you have to shower again today, too."  Finally, she released the Leg-Locking Curse and sat back down ignoring them as they passed on the way up to their dorm.

Across the room Ron, Hermione and Harry were holding their sides from laughing so hard.

Ginny smiled at them, and then walked over to the steps listening for the showers to start.  As she heard the water, she rushed up to the maintenance closet next to the bath.  She pointed her wand at the pipes and muttered, "Aqua Verde."  Then rushed back down to the common room to wait for the results.

It was a long wait.  She watched Ron defeat Hermione.  Then it was Harry’s turn as he led his new chessmen into a spectacular defeat.

Finally, about five minutes before supper the twins returned to the common room.  Their red hair shone in stunning contract with their now chartreuse skin tone.  The elongated sweaters fell to just above the knee and were occasionally highlighted by a flash of their polka-dotted boxers.  But the most shocking thing was that they had applied lipstick and accessorized with barrettes and pearls.

A gasp escaped Ginny’s lips as she realized that they fully intended to appear at dinner dressed as they were.

They bowed to their captive audience, showing everyone a bit more of their boxers, then swept out the portrait hole with mock snobbery. 

Ginny and the others walked slowly behind them to dinner.

The staff and the rest of the students stared at them, but never questioned why.  Knowing the twins and their sense of humor, they just assumed that it was either intentional or as a result of one of their practical jokes. 

Even Ginny calmed down enough by the end of the meal to appreciate their sense of humor, a little bit. 

Around eight o’clock, Ginny was lying on her bed reading from her new book when George knocked on the door.

“Erm, Gin, can I come in?” he asked.

“Not if you are carrying sugar quills, but otherwise, yes,” she answered laying her book to the side.

He chuckled a bit as he walked in the room.  He sat a box on the bed in front of her.  “We actually did get the real ones for you.  We used them as models for the ones you got.”

She opened the box to see hair chopsticks lying there on cotton.  Without hesitation she pointed her wand at them chanting, “Finis Maxima Incantatem.”  Nothing happened.  They were the real deal.

She jumped up and hugged him, tears threatening to fall again.  “Thank you,” she whispered.

“You’re welcome, Gin.  I’m sorry we got so out of control today,” he answered. “Happy Christmas anyway.”

“Happy Christmas to you, too.  Um… I suppose you’d like your clothes back?” she asked a little sheepishly.

“It might be nice, considering I have a date with Charmagne Dugan of Hufflepuff in about an hour,” George replied.

“You dog! What about Alicia?” she questioned. 

George sighed, “She dumped me.  One too many practical jokes she said.”

“Smart woman.  George, I will give you back your clothes on two conditions,” she said.

“Name them,” he said.

“First, that you never again trick me with something that you know I really want.  It’s too heartbreaking when it disappears. And second, I never want to have another sugar quill filled Christmas,” Ginny instructed.

“I promise,” he said.  

“Good.  Now follow me for your clothes,” she said, leading the way.

“Oh, by the way, how long will we stay green?” he asked.

“Only about another fifteen minutes or so,” she answered.

“Oh good.  Remind me to hire you in product development on our Revenge line when you finish school.  You have a gift in that department.”

“Thanks,” she laughed while she opened the concealed closet for him.

“Good night, George.  Have fun on your date.  And don’t get caught by Filch this time,” she said leaving him to tote his clothes back to his room on his own.

“I won’t,” he laughed.  “Good night, Ginny.”



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