The Sugar Quill
Author: Mysterious Muggle (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: A Push in the Right Direction  Chapter: Chapter 1: What’s a Secret Between Friends?
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The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

A/N: None of this belongs to me, it is all the property of the amazing J.K. Rowling, so don’t sue!

I’d also like to thank Moey, my beta-reader.

This story follows on from “Getting It Out In the Open.” Fred and George know who Ron likes, and they decide to help him out in the only way they know how. Just so you know, I didn't write this in euphoria at GIOITO being published. I have been sitting on GIOITO for a long time, and only recently discovered Sugarquill. I had half of this already written, and decided to finish it off and post it after its prequel.

Chapter 1: What’s a Secret Between Friends?

“Woops,” exclaimed Fred Weasley as his carefully thrown bag of potions ingredients missed his trunk entirely. “Be a sport wouldn’t you, George old boy, and pick that up for me.”

Fred’s twin brother George bowed with mock courtesy and picked up the bag. A glance inside confirmed his suspicions that the contents of the bag should probably be handled with slightly more care than the two boisterous 17 year-olds were giving it. “That bottle of dragon’s blood might be tough, but it isn’t going survive much more of this. I know mum reckons the stuff’s a great cleaner, but she’ll have an aneurism if you get it all over the room.”

“Well I won’t get it all over the room will I?” Fred responded, injecting a touch of hurt pride. “Third time’s the charm, give it here.” George handed the bag to him.

“Maybe you should actually face the trunk when you throw it.” Fred looked aghast at this suggestion. “Well it was just an idea,” George conceded with a chuckle. Fred nodded, glad to have put his brother in his appropriate place, and proceeded to lob the bag over his shoulder, landing it softly in the trunk on top of some not-so-neatly folded robes.

“Ah! What did I tell you? A piece of cake.”

A shout of, “Are you boys finished packing yet?” came wafting up from downstairs. The twins sighed.

“Yes mother,” they said in unison.

“Good,” said Molly Weasley’s disembodied voice, “because there won’t be any time tomorrow. You know how busy things have been around here…” The voice faded out as she went about whatever it was she was doing.

The twins did know “how things had been” around there. They’d managed to get Harry away from the Muggles a few days ago, and his presence had changed the entire mood of the house. With recent events being how they were, tension seemed attracted to the fifteen-year-old boy like a paperclip to a magnet. No one spoke about it, of course, but every now and then something would come up in conversation, and everyone would go quiet. Abrupt subject changes had become a way of life over the last few weeks.

George glanced at his watch. Quarter to ten. If past years were anything to go by, they would be up at the crack of dawn again next morning. With five kids, each with their own trunks, transportation would be just as hard as ever. “I guess we’d better hit the sack soon, brother-of-mine,” he said.

Fred yawned in agreement. They managed to mauver around the mountains of clutter that obscured the floor of their room, and into the bunk beds in the far corner from the door. George was on the top, Fred on the bottom. They had a complex calendar based system to decide who slept where. Neither of them really minded at all, they just liked arguing about it because of how much it annoyed Percy. A snap of Fred’s fingers extinguished the candles in the room and they lay there in silence.

After about twenty seconds, Fred said, “I think that’s some kind of record for lying here and not talking. I guess it shows how tired we really are.”

“Well I know I’m tired, I had to keep picking up that bag of potions stuff. That really takes it out of you, you know.”

“You just need more practice. I’ll throw some more stuff around tomorrow.”

“Excellent.” George yawned, interrupting the conversation.

“Boy, you are tired aren’t you? So, anyway, come on, tell me this big secret of Ron’s!”

George grinned to himself. This hadn’t let up for the past three weeks, ever since he had returned from their brother’s room having been sworn to secrecy on what had been discussed. “You keep asking me that, don’t you?”

“I’ve got it written on my hand right here. It says, “Note to self: pester George re: Ron’s secret.” I have to know. Come on, since when have you been able to keep secrets?”

“Well there was that time when Lee did that thing with the gobstones and the-“

“Yes yes, but that was different. That was practically a matter of life and death.”

“Point taken.”

“Anyway, since when have you kept a secret from me?”

“Well, there was that other time a few years back when I put the frogspawn in the-“

“Yes, well that was different too. Everyone got a laugh out of that, so it was OK. But by keeping this secret, don’t you see that you are reducing the possibilities for laughs? You are going against everything we stand for.”

“He made me swear on the joke shop.”

“Oh no. Please tell me you didn’t. Oh, my own brother, my very flesh and blood, swears himself to secrecy, against me of all people. I’m so ashamed.”

“You know I’d like to, but a promise is a promise, Fred.”

“Oh come on, George. Just tell me.”

“Ah, now you’ve run out of clever arguments.”

“I’ve got plenty, I’m just saving them so that I can keep this up for another few weeks till you crack. Now why won’t you tell me?”

“Because I feel kind of sorry for the guy.”

“I feel kind of sorry for you. You’ve somehow gotten it into your head that when Ron says something is a secret, that means you don’t tell anyone. You poor deluded soul.”

George just smiled to himself. If Ron knew how much anguish it was causing Fred to be kept out of the loop, it may have gone to some lengths to reduce his own anguish that George was in the said loop. Three weeks earlier, George had looked into his younger brother’s room to investigate unusual thumping noises that had sounded suspiciously like large textbooks being flung around in a violent manner. George, being the pure embodiment of brotherly concern, had proceeded to grill Ron until he finally got to the source of the problem. Ron had a crush on Hermione Granger, and was feeling somewhat…conflicted and awkward about it. Not that Ron had told him directly. He had let it slip, and begged George to stay quiet about it. George had been disappointed, but could understand how the kid felt. He sighed.

“What are you sighing about?” his twin asked him irritably.

“Look Fred, Ron didn’t even mean to tell me, he let it slip because frankly, he isn’t real good at keeping his emotional reactions under control. I guarantee that you will pick up on this within a month. And then, all will be good.”

“A month?” Fred replied in whiney voice. “But I want it now.”

“Well you’ll have to show some patience, won’t you?”

“Just give me a hint.”

“Goodnight, Fred.”

Fred grunted. “Yes, well, you can rest assured that we’ll talk about this in the morning.”

“The anticipation is killing me.”

“It won’t be the only thing if you don’t tell me soon.”

“Shut up Fred.”

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