The Sugar Quill
Author: Zsenya (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: A Muggle Summer  Chapter: Part II: Fred and George's Friendly Advice
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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 your girlfriend?"

"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’ hold.

"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?"

"Yeah, so?"

"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 parents.

"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 him."

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 you doing?"

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.

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The Sugar Quill was created by Zsenya and Arabella. For questions, please send us an Owl!

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