Chapter 3: A Cunning Plan
The welcoming feast was as
enjoyable as always, and throughout its duration, the twins almost completely
forgot about Ron and Hermione. They would almost unconsciously glance
down the table at them every now and then, but the two seemed to be
acting perfectly normally.
Afterwards, they dragged themselves
up to the common room and flopped into a pair of armchairs by the fire.
“Ah,” said George, patting
his stomach. “Is it just me, or is the food in this place getting better?”
“I won’t argue with you on
that,” Fred replied.
“That’s one thing I’ll really miss.”
“Stop talking about that!
It’s a whole year yet.”
“Yeah, sorry.” They lapsed into silence. They weren’t alone. The Gryffindor common
room was uncharacteristically quiet tonight. People were still tense
about current events. It didn’t matter that Hogwarts was probably one
of the safest places on the face of the Earth, people were worried,
scared. George absently wondered what it was like in the Slytherin common
room right now. They were probably celebrating. His lip curled slightly
at the thought. Well he wouldn’t-
The thought was cut short
by the portrait hole slamming open to admit a very annoyed looking Hermione
Granger. In her wake came Ron, who seemed to be in the process of apologising
for something. Harry came reluctantly behind Ron.
“Look, I’m sorry, I just-“
“No Ron! Why bother apologising?
What’s the point? I don’t know why you even brought it up!”
“I don’t want to hear it,
Ron! It’s none of your business! Goodnight.” She turned on her heel
and walked up the stairs to the girls’ dormitories. Ron just stopped,
mouth open, watching her go.
Fred and George looked to
Harry for answers, but he just waved his hands and mouthed, “Don’t even
“But I want to ask,” Fred
wined quietly to George.
“Oh, I give up!” Ron shouted
up the stairs. “Fine! If you’re going to be
this way, why bother even discussing it?” He turned and walked towards
the stairs leading to his own dormitory.
“I think that’s the point
she was trying to get across to you, Ron,” George called out. Ron shot
them a venomous look and continued up the stairs. Fred opened his mouth
to say something.
“No, don’t even ask Fred,”
said Harry, who turned to follow Ron.
“I’m only trying to help!”
Fred pointed out to anyone who would listen. “Seriously, those two fight
like a married couple.”
“You always hurt the ones
“Right again, George.” The
silence caused in the common room by the unexpected commotion had passed,
and people had returned their attention to whatever it was they had
“Well, enough sitting around,”
Fred said, getting to his feet. “Let’s go harass Ron again.”
“No wait,” said George suddenly.
I’ve got a better idea.”
idea than annoying Ron? Well I’ve got
to hear this.” He sat down again and gave his brother a questioning
“Well, maybe, rather than
just poking fun, we could do something constructive for a change.”
“I resent the implication
that we never do anything constructive. But I will hear you out anyway.
What exactly do you have in mind?”
“Well, rather than just sitting
around saying that they should hook up, we could give them a push in
the right direction.”
“Hmmm, I believe I can see
where this is going, George. And I am intrigued. Very much intrigued.
But let’s just make sure we’re speaking the same language here. You
are proposing that we would set our little brother up with the girl
of his dreams?”
“Play matchmaker, as it were.
Yes, that is what I am proposing.”
Fred glanced up the stairs
that Hermione had stormed up a few minutes earlier. “Well, never let
it be said that I don’t enjoy a challenge.”
“Oh come on, she’s got a soft
spot for him, you can tell.”
“Maybe, but I think first
Ron needs to learn to keep his mouth shut. Whatever he said down there
really got her riled up.”
“Yeah, so it’s our job to
mould him into someone with a better grasp of social conversation. Come
on, we can do this! A nice little project.”
Fred looked thoughtful for
a second, and then stuck out his hand. “All right then, it’s a plan.
Where do we start?”
“Well, Ron is the one who needs help. So we give it to him.”
The twins walked up to the
table where Ron and Harry were eating breakfast. Hermione wasn’t anywhere
to be seen. Perfect opportunity, they had agreed. As they neared their
intended victim, Harry looked up. Ron looked to see what had gotten
his attention, and froze. Fred and George smiled
in what they hoped was a non-threatening fashion and took two empty
seats opposite Ron and Harry.
“Can I help you?” Ron asked
through clenched teeth.
“Actually, we were wondering
if we could help you,” George said.
“And what do you want to help
“We wanted to help set you
up with Hermione,” Fred told him.
Ron spluttered and almost
choked on a mouthful of toast. He stood up, grabbed the twins by their
collars and pulled them in close to him. “It’s bad enough without you
two interfering!” he said in an angry whisper. “I’m going to be lucky
if she’ll ever talk to me again the way I’m going now, and if either
of you two say or do anything I’ll flay you alive!” He released
them and sat back down in his chair. Then he stood back up again. “I’m
going. I’ve got things to do.” He turned and walked off, leaving a half
eaten breakfast behind him. Fred and George stood up in unison, smoothing
the fronts of their robes, and made to follow him.
“I wouldn’t if I were you,”
Harry warned. “I’m sure you only want to help, but just leave him for
now. He’s pretty annoyed with himself about last night. He doesn’t need
you two hounding him. You probably just scared the living daylights
out of him.”
“Well what the heck happened
last night anyway?” Fred asked.
“Yeah, what stupid thing did
he say this time?” seconded George as they sat back down again.
Harry looked from side to
side and leaned in a bit closer. “He offered some, ah, select comments
about Victor Krum.”
“Oh boy. Open mouth, insert foot.”
“Yeah. I thought all that nonsense was over, and Hermione did as well. She
“Well, she went off pretty spectacularly from what we saw.”
“You should have heard her
before she got up into the common room.”
“Do you think we’ve got the
right idea about this, Harry?” Geroge asked.
“What are you talking about?”
said Fred. “Of course we’ve got the right idea. Ron told you himself.”
“You’re right about Ron, I’m
sure of that much,” Harry said. “As for Hermione, well, I don’t know
“Well we’ll find out about
her, won’t we George?”
“Yes we will.”
“I really think you should
wait until things have settled down a bit,” Harry said.
“So you think that us doing
this is a good idea, then?” George asked.
“Maybe. But don’t get me involved in it.”
“No, you’ve got enough to
worry about without having Ron trying to kill you as well.” Fred instantly
realised he’d put his foot in his mouth just as badly as Ron the previous
night. “Oh cripes, I’m sorry Harry, I didn’t
mean that like it came out.”
“No it’s allright Fred. I’m
used to it.”
“No, look, I’m really sorry-“
“I said don’t worry about
it. At least you two can laugh about it. People have been treating me
like I’m made of china.”
There was an uncomfortable
pause, which George broke. “Well anyway, enough of
that. We’re going to bloody well give this a shot, because I think it’ll work just fine, as soon as the facts of the matter
are brought to their attention. You sure you don’t want to be part of
“What, and have Ron want to
kill me too?” Harry said with a laugh. “You’re absolutely right, Fred,
I’m in enough danger as it is.” He grinned at them.
“Well, as long as you can
laugh about Ron wanting to kill you, it’s allright.” The twins stood
“Hey, guys,” Harry called
out to them as they walked off. “Good luck.”
“Ha. If things keep up like
this we’ll certainly need it,” George replied.
and George sat at the back of the potions class they shared with Hufflepuff, idly stirring the cauldron they shared. “So what’s
the plan?” Fred asked.
“Easy, next time we run into him, we
pull him away and give him a talking to. Tell him the facts of life.”
“What, those facts
of life? I don’t want to talk to him about that.”
“No you idiot, I’m sure he’s
already aware of the, ahem, physical aspects of it. We need to school
him in the behavioural aspects. How to not make a
fool of himself.”
“You know, I can’t believe
he didn’t inherit our natural self confidence and charm. If I was faced
with such as situation, it would be ‘bang! Hey there, babe, wanna go out with me? Why sure Fred, I’d love to, on account of you being
Fred’s vivid imagery was interrupted
by the unwelcome voice of Professor Snape. “If the two Weasley brothers
have finished discussing whatever it is they find so much more important
than this class, they might be able to pay attention for long enough
to hear that they’ve lost themselves ten points. Each.”
“Thank you very much, Professor,”
George said. “It’s a pleasure to be back in your class.”
“Another five points for your
disrespect and sarcasm, Weasley. Don’t give me cause to make it any
more.” Snape turned back to the board and continued writing.
to be back.”
“Yes indeed, now where were
“I was telling you that the
next time we see Ron, we drag him aside, and give him a stern talking
to. I’m sure that he’ll understand that we’re trying to help him once
he pulls his head out of his-“
“Fifteen points each, Weasleys.”
“You’re giving us fifteen
points, Professor?” Fred asked hopefully. The class chuckled. Snape
“Obviously only some males
in your family earned the gene for intelligence, Weasley. I am subtracting fifteen points for each of you, plus another five for continued
“Oh, so that’s where
I’ve been going wrong all these years. Silly me.”
“Yes, and I though we were
earning all those points for our house. What a stupid mistake
Snape scowled at them, but didn’t perform any further subtraction at their
“What are you talking about
that’s so interesting as to be worth fifty five points?” Lee asked,
leaning over to them.
nothing. Just a little project we’re
“Oh, boy. In that case, I don’t want to know what you’re talking about.”
Snape interrupted, “Neither do I.
What I do want is for one of the Weasleys to answer my question. What
is the final missing ingredient from this potion?”
“That’s easy sir,” Fred said.
“Root of Nimphrodel.”
good guess, Weasley. As
much as it pains me to say this, five points to Gryffindor.”
Fred sat back in his chair
looking satisfied. “My work here today is done.”
“Fifty five down, five up.
Got to be some kind of record.”
“I feel so satisfied.”
The twins managed to make
it to the end of the class without loosing any more points. They walked
out into the corridor, and headed for the Gryffindor common room to
dump their books before lunch. As they rounded a corner, they collided
with a familiar looking redheaded boy who wasn’t watching where he was
going. Grins yet again graced the faces of the Weasley twins.
“You look a little pre-occupied
Ron. Something on your mind?” George asked.
“Oh don’t even start.”
“We want to help you, Ron.”
Fred told him. “And we don’t even mind that you already owe us a favour
for getting you those new dress robes for an early birthday present.
That’s how generous we are, you know. Veritable angels,
the two of us.”
angels, yeah. Great,” said Ron as he
made to leave. George sidestepped to block his path. “Get out of my
“Oh come on, Ron, we really
want to help you.”
“Maybe you haven’t realised
that I don’t want your help!”
“Well, if you’re just going to be like that, fine.” Fred said. “No gratitude,
this boy. We just give and give and give, but it’s never enough for
you, is it?”
“What I’d like you to give
me now is some peace!”
“He doesn’t know what’s good
for him, Fred, you’re right about that.”
“Look, just let me go!”
“What’s the magic word?” Fred
Ron pulled out his wand and
waved it threateningly. “I’ll give you some magic words in just a minute
if you don’t get away from me.”
“Well all you had to do was
ask!” George said stepping out of the way. Ron just gave him a dirty
look and hurried off.
“Well there goes plan A,”
“Good thing we’ve still got plan B
lined up.” George said.