PART II: FRED AND
GEORGE’S FRIENDLY ADVICE
Ron wrote Hermione back and his mother
said that she would send a reply with Pigwidgeon to Mrs. Granger the next
morning. As Ron stomped upstairs to his bedroom after dinner, his brother
Fred accosted him by jumping out of the twins' room and blocking the stairs
up to where Ron slept.
"So, Ickle Ronniekins, going to see
"Shut up Fred," replied Ron,
as usual, and tried to push past his brother and continue up the stairs.
Unfortunately, at that point, George also popped out of the room to block
the way. Although now taller than his brothers, Ron was not as wide as
the two of them together, and they managed to bar him from passing.
"Ron, I think you might want to listen
to what your very wise older brother has to say. He’s unfortunately usually
right about these things, and it could turn out to be valuable information."
With that, the twins grabbed Ron, one
on each arm, and dragged him into the room. "Wha…gerroff me. Information
about what?!" grunted Ron, trying to break free from his brothers’
"Look, Ron, anyone who isn’t blind
can see that you fancy Hermione," said Fred, pushing Ron into a chair.
"What!?" exclaimed Ron, his
voice unusually high-pitched. "I don’t! She’s my friend. And
she’s Harry’s friend, but that doesn’t mean that either one of
us fancy her, you stupid git."
"Ron, Ron, Ron…" started George,
his arms crossed, pacing in front of the chair, "Sure, you don’t
fancy Hermione, and she doesn’t fancy you, that’s why she invited you
to visit her at her house this summer."
"She invited Harry too! But he can’t
come! What are you on about?"
Fred assumed an investigative air, "And
is not Hermione good friends with our dear sister, Ginny?"
"And did she invite Ginny
to her house this summer?"
"Ginny isn’t working at the Ministry.
You know Hermione. She doesn’t do anything if it isn’t educational. She
only invited me because she wanted me to learn more about Muggle affairs."
Fred ignored Ron and threw back his head
and laughed a silly, loud, mocking laugh, "HaHaHa, and did not Hermione
also write a letter to Ginny this evening, which, after reading, caused
our sister to stare at you and erupt into a fit of giggles?"
"Stupid girls," muttered Ron,
"always finding ways to gang up on me. I’m sure that there’s a surprise
waiting for me somewhere."
"Look, Ron, okay, say you don’t
fancy Hermione, which would make you stupid, because she’s become quite
an attractive young woman…" (at this point George had to duck to
avoid Ron’s fist in his face) "at some point in your life, most likely
in the next year or so, you are probably going to fancy some girl
and are you going to know what to do?"
Ron stared at George with a look of shock
on his face. It was true, he hadn’t the foggiest idea what to do with
a girl. He certainly knew that his botched attempt to ask Fleur to the
Yule Ball last year had not been correct and he knew that Padma Patil
most likely considered him the worst date ever.
"We aren’t doing this for you
Ron, we are doing it for the Weasley name," began Fred, a solemn
note in his voice. "All of the Weasley’s have traditionally had quite
a lot of success with women. Maybe it’s the freckles, maybe it’s the firey-red
hair, or maybe its, well, we’ll tell you more about that later,
however, we can’t have you going around making a fool out of yourself,
can we? I mean, even Percy managed to get himself a girlfriend
when he wanted to, and quite a pretty one at that."
"And where did you get all of your
wise information then?" asked Ron sarcastically, "what girlfriends
do the two of you have hiding?"
"We were instructed by none other
than Charles Weasley himself, who, you may have noticed, is quite the
girl magnet. He learned all he needed to know from the ultra-cool, wild
man Bill Weasley, who heard it all from Dad, we suppose. You can’t expect
Dad to give the same lecture to all of us – he’d be dead tired after the
sixth time. It’s obvious, however, that Dad is quite successful with the
female species – he’s got seven children after all."
Ron made a face and threw a blanket at
Fred. Fred and George had accosted him like this two years earlier to
explain to him how it was, exactly, that children are created after Ron
had professed ignorance as to why a male cat was necessary to produce
babies. It was more information than Ron really cared to know about his
"Enough with that," continued
Fred, pulling the blanket off of his head, causing his red hair to stick
up at all sorts of angles and making him resemble some sort of mad scientist,
"I have had some experience with girls, as has George. Nothing serious,
mind you, we’re not the types to settle down early, but you, Ickle Ronniekins,
you may be different, so shuddup and listen."
Ron crossed his arms and shifted uncomfortably
in his seat, but he knew that Fred and George intended to hold him there
until he listened to them, so he made a decision to at least listen to
them. Ron remembered the way that Fred had asked Angelina Johnson to the
Yule Ball the year before. He was so cool, so collected. Ron had found
the whole experience terrifying. Maybe Fred did have some valuable advice
to dole out. And just because he was listening, didn’t mean that he was
going to try any of their tricks with Hermione. What were they on about,
insinuating…it was just ridiculous.
"Listening?" inquired Fred,
standing up and pacing around the room, his fingers rubbing his chin in
an attempt to look studious. "Right, well, girls, women, especially
ones like Hermione, put up an act to try to scare boys away. DON’T LET
THAT FOOL YOU!" here, Fred banged his fist down on the desk, causing
a pile of books to topple over.
"They don’t really want to scare
you away, they want you to notice them. At the same time, they want you
to feel like whatever you are doing is wrong, because they need to make
you feel that they are in control. It’s all very confusing." Ron
had to admit that Fred was actually making NO sense at this point, but
he continued to listen.
"What you need to do is let them
feel that way but STAY IN CONTROL. They want to drive you crazy, but you
can drive them crazier. How? Here’s how. Start with physical contact,
but just a little, and you have to be very subtle about it. George! You’re
the girl. Sit here." Fred motioned to the bed and sat down beside
George, who was holding his hands under his chin and giving a weepy smile.
"We’re at the dinner table. We’re eating." George pretended
to cut some meat, while Fred did the same. Fred bumped his hand against
George’s and George quickly drew his hand away and gasped in a silly falsetto,
"Oh no! Freddie’s hand just touched mine! I will never wash it again!"
Fred leaned in to speak to Ron earnestly, "It doesn’t seem like much,
Ron, but it’s a start. Watch the girl’s reaction. If she flinches, and
moves her hand away quickly, then that’s a good sign. It means that she
noticed, and it bothered her, but she’s not sure why. If she keeps her
hand there, then she probably doesn’ t care a bit for you."
"This is all so STUPID," grumbled
Ron, rolling his eyes. "If you like a girl, why not just tell her?
This is all so ridiculous."
"Have you ever tried to just tell
a girl that you like her? Not easy is it? This way you can ease into it
and give yourself some reassurance, AND CONTROL. Okay, now, you want to
continue doing this type of thing a few more times. Reach for the salt
when she does, grab the same book she grabs, if it’s Hermione, anyway,"
(Ron looked for something else to throw at Fred, but nothing was within
reach) "this will drive the female object nutters and she will be
dying for more contact."
Fred motioned for George to stand on the
bed, which he did with a leap. "Now, you’re out for a walk. There’s
an obstacle of some kind, a rock, a wall, who knows, whatever, something
that the girl can’t climb off of" George pretended to be falling
off the bed. Fred caught him and grabbed his hand and, George, using a
piercing high voice, exclaimed, "Thank you big, strong wizard! Hold
my hand so that I won’t fall again!" Fred deepened his voice about
three octaves and replied "I will gladly hold your hand, Miss. However,
I will pretend that nothing is different except that I have forgotten
to let go of your hand. That will drive you crazy with wonder." George
replied in his girl-voice "Why is he still holding my hand? Does
he like me? Or did he just forget? I am so confused, but I think I luuuuurve
At this point, Fred and George took a
deep, solemn bow. Fred carried on, "Now, once you’ve held the hand
for a length of time longer than five minutes, there is really no going
back. You can continue to find ways to hold the hand again, if you are
unsure how to proceed. The next logical step, however, is the kiss. It
is very important to time this correctly. You must be sure of your emotions,
so that you are ALWAYS IN CONTROL!" Fred shouted so loudly that Mrs.
Weasley called upstairs, "Boys! Keep your voices down. What are
Ron grimaced, "I am not kissing anybody."
"Then you, my dear brother, are missing
out on one of the greatest experiences in a young man’s life. If only
I could return to the days before my first kiss, the days of innocence.
I didn’t know, I didn’t suspect, that life could be so wonderful."
Fred paused for a moment, looking dreamy, "Angelina, in the bushes,
too bad Snape made us leave…" He stopped, blushed, and assumed his
normal expression, "you must take the girl by surprise. It’s best
to administer the kiss when the girl least expects it – a surprise attack.
Then you will be able to judge her true feelings. A girl truly in love
will be shocked, but will kiss you back if she likes you. Observe."
With that, George walked up to Fred and
said, "Freddie, would you like sugar in your tea?" and Fred
grabbed George, put his hand over George’s mouth, and pretended to give
him a big kiss. When he let go, George stammered in a fake voice "Oh!
Freddie! That was…wonderful!" and then he grabbed hold of Fred and
gave him the same fake kiss. The two let go of each other and took more
deep bows. Ron did not applaud.
"After that, Ron, you’re on your
own. If you’re a true Weasley, then nature will pick up after that
point." And with that, Fred and George each grabbed Ron by the arm
and pushed him out of the room. "Night Ickle Ronniekins! Don’t bother
to say thank you now, wait until we meet in Diagon Alley!" Fred and
George exploded into laughter and Ron walked sulkily upstairs.
"Stupid Fred and George," he
muttered crossly, "a fat lot they know."
Still, when he went to sleep that night,
he couldn’t help wondering how Hermione would react to his attempting
to hold her hand. He shuddered at the thought.