A/N: It’s times like this I’m horribly
grateful to the Veritaserum board. I blame the forums entirely for this small
offering. Virtual cookies and a big ol’ grin to ZQoB.
(That’s Zsenya, Queen of Betas.) Oh, and if you think I’ve stolen anything from
Saturday Night Live, you would be absolutely correct.
Fred and George
Weasley surreptitiously glanced at the Slytherin table with a dubious air.
“What d’you think?”
“I have no idea.”
Katie Bell chimed in
from a few seats away, “Marcus Flint says he – she – it keeps its things stowed away in a closet off the common
room, and it never comes to bed – sleeps on one of the divans. Some Slytherins
do, he says, but almost never first-years.”
“And it’s not like
these robes show much difference in the sexes,” grumped George.
“Much to my chagrin,”
said Fred, with a wink at Angelina, who promptly poked him with her fork.
“So are you two going
to do anything?” asked Katie.
Fred and George looked
at each other. “Oh, I think it’s become a matter of Gryffindor honor.”
“And as tomorrow is
Halloween, we can slip away during the feast and – ”
George whispered something to Fred, who promptly started snickering.
“Secrets are no fun
unless you share,” said Angelina sententiously.
The Weasley twins shared
a glance. “Well – ”
everything – ”
“Almost everything – ”
“We’ve had people
spying for us in Slytherin, trying to see which lav the person in question goes
in – ”
“But – er – the person
in question always evades us.”
“The ghosts have been
no help at all.” Fred sounded righteously disgusted.
“And we’ve tried
everything but actual personal contact – ”
“Which, with our
glowing reputations, shouldn’t be too hard – ”
“Since everyone wants to know how to evade Filch,
especially the firsties – ”
“And we’ve set up an
appointment with the person in question tomorrow night for a bit of a game,”
Katie said, “A game?
What sort of game?”
Fred snorted. George
“We honestly can’t figure
out how Blaise Zabini is going to
evade answering the question any longer.”
Katie and Angelina stared at the twins with dropped jaws.
Fred preened. “Brilliant, isn’t it?”
George shook Fred’s hand. “An excellent
“Why thank you, Weasley.”
Angelina said faintly, “You’re going to play strip
poker…with Blaise Zabini…to find out what gender he…she…is?”
“Nothing else has worked,” pointed out George.
“Well, you can keep me out of it,” said Katie, getting up
from the table. Angelina followed. “You’ll likely end up in Dumbledore’s office
for leading a first-year astray, and then where will the team be? You know
we’ve just found a Seeker, and there’s no one else in the house who will work
as well together as you two do with the bats.”
Fred said, “We’ll tell Dumbledore it’s for scientific
research. Can’t see how he can argue with that.”
“And it’s not like we’re going to go till we’re all
starkers – just far enough so we can tell.”
incredulous, “You don’t think you’ll actually get a first-year to play strip
poker with you?”
Fred looked insulted. “Angelina Johnson, you
underestimate the power of the Weasley male.”
Katie shook her head and walked away, calling over her
shoulder, “I’d like to see how the power of the Weasley male fares against a
very irate Headmaster!” Angelina just laughed as she followed Katie.
George stared after them. “They have so very little faith
“We’ll just prove them wrong, then. Have you got the
“I should certainly think so.”
“Do they still work?”
“Yes – as long as one of us deals, the hand should go in
“Where did that chap that Dad got the cards off of work? Las
Vegas, wasn’t it?”
I think. Glad Dad raided him – we’re putting them to a good purpose.”
“D’you think Dad will notice
“Probably not – he likes his plugs and batteries more
George looked thoughtful. “You know, we really ought to
send him a present to thank him for the use of the cards.”
“See if we can get something off one of the Muggle-borns,
“Maybe. Of course, that would
mean telling him we’d taken them.”
“You know he’d think it’s funny. At any rate, if we get a
present, we can send it along with Ginny’s toilet seat. Shall we continue
else to do.”
“Except that Potions essay.”
“Well, once we’ve found out whether Blaise Zabini is man
or maid, we can make our next project getting Snape to bathe. Might cheer him
At the feast the next night, the twins were much amused
by the fact that neither Katie nor Angelina would speak to them.
They watched Blaise come into the Great Hall, look at the
bats swooping around the jack-o-lanterns floating in the air, and sit at the
Slytherin table with a general mien of anticipation. “Not too much longer now –
we may as well enjoy the feast.”
Harry and Ron came in and sat next to the twins, starting
up a Quidditch conversation while they waited for the food. When it appeared on
the plates in front of them, all conversation stopped as they tucked in.
Their meal was interrupted when Professor Quirrell dashed
into the hall and stopped dead at Professor Dumbledore’s chair. They heard him
wheeze, “Troll – in the dungeons – thought you ought to know.” When they saw
him sink to the floor, the twins stood up like the rest of the school to see
what was going on.
“Think we should go wrestle the troll?” yelled George to
Fred under the hubbub.
Fred shook his head and shouted something, but George
couldn’t hear him – it was that loud.
Professor Dumbledore called, “Prefects, lead your Houses
back to the dormitories immediately!”
They fell into line behind Percy and went back up to the
common room, where they collapsed on one of the couches with considerable
“You do realize,” said Fred, “we can’t find out now. When
are we ever going to have a chance like today? By next year, Zabini will be too
experienced to realize that we’re always up to no good.”
“The matter of Blaise Zabini’s gender will remain one of
the great mysteries of Hogwarts,” said George dramatically.
“It will earn its own chapter in Hogwarts, A History,” predicted Fred.
“There’ll be pages and pages of differing theories of the leading experts in
no one will ever discover the truth – just like that Chamber of Secrets that
Salazar Slytherin was supposed to have.”
“And we can go down in history as the people who got the
closest to figuring it out.”
They looked at each other and grinned, somewhat appeased.
“You do realize,” said Katie Bell’s voice from behind them,
“that the easier course might be simply asking
Angelina handed each of them a sandwich and a flagon of
pumpkin juice and plopped down next to them. “Really – I would have thought
that two fine Weasley males such as yourselves would be smart enough to figure that out.”
“Oh, we figured it out easily enough,” said George airily
around a mouthful of sandwich.
Fred said, draining his flagon, “Honestly, woman – don’t
you realize that flat-out asking spoils the fun?”
Katie and Angelina looked exasperated; the twins began to