Written for -


- The Spell, Curse, and Charm Competition: Expecto Patronus

Hope you enjoy :)

Fred Weasley liked plans.

Sure, he and George were often satisfied with a good, spontaneous joke, but it was the carefully mapped out pranks that could really pack a punch and make people laugh. After all, pranks simply weren't something they could pull out of a hat like one of those Muggle tricks they did with rabbits.

No, Fred and George usually had to spend at least an hour developing and perfecting their pranks, because what good was a joke if it suddenly backfired midway through the execution?

No good, that's what, and therefore, while many thought Fred and George idle because of their joking demeanors, the twins actually possessed the uncanny ability to strategize and plan accordingly, not to mention that they had their particular ways of finding out information they wished to know. Many times, their plans only worked because of their extensive knowledge of the people around them, and as a result, they could pre-map out exactly what to do in almost any given situation.

And that was something that Fred especially enjoyed doing, because in a prankster's lifestyle, keeping track of people is key.

So naturally, when the time came that Hermione Granger came into his life, Fred was a little bit irked that she never gave enough him time to pin her down and keep track of her.

But one thing quickly became evident about her - her strict obedience to the rules that made her constantly breathe down their backs was more than "a little bit" irksome - it made her actually rather annoying. As a third-year, he warily kept from her, hoping that if he and George did, she'd find no reason to butt into their pranks and ruin them all.

But Hermione had her ways of, first, barging her way into people's lives whether they liked it or not, and then stayingthere, whether they could stand her or not. This happened to be exactly what she did to Fred.

And that was really quite unfortunate, because unlike all of his and George's pranks, Fred didn't even have time to start planning before he fell in love with Hermione Granger.

"Tell me that's not Hermione."

"...I don't know, I think it is."

"Are you sure?"

"I don't know! Maybe. It sort of looks like her."

"But her hair isn't the same."

"Maybe she tamed it?"

"Oh, shush," Angelina hissed at the befuddled twins. "Of course it's Hermione! Why else would your little brother be looking at her like that?" She nodded towards a space behind them, and when Fred and George turned, sure enough, Ron was indignantly gaping up at the stage where Hermione stood next to Viktor Krum.

So was nearly everyone else in the room, Fred noticed. He kept a slightly skeptical eye on Draco Malfoy as the blond's jaw dropped open as he stared up at the four champions and their dates. Specifically, Hermione.

Fred returned his gaze to the stage as well, carefully analyzing each person. Harry was up there, with Parvati. Cedric with Cho Chang from Ravenclaw. Fleur Delacour had Roger Davies clinging on her arm. And there was Viktor Krum with… Hermione.

He still couldn't believe it was her, despite the murmuring of her name that was washing through the crowd. The bushy bulk of her hair was gone, replaced with deep honey-coloured ringlets. She was wearing a lavender dress that didn't seem Hermione-like at all, and yet she looked strangely… goodin it.

Fred shook his head and looped his arm through Angelina's. Hermione was his little brother's best friend. It was odd to be thinking such things about her. As far as he was concerned, she was simply a goody two-shoes who had a knack for barging in the way of his and George's jokes.

While this thought was enough to avert his eyes from Hermione at the time being, Fred quickly discovered through the night that it was to no extent that he would listen to his brain; in short, he spent the entire night watching her.

He watched as she laughed on the dance floor with Krum, the folds of her dress gracefully airing out as she spun. He watched as she spoke to Harry, her chocolate brown eyes sparkling in delight. He watched as Ron blew up at her, and he watched as she desperately ran out of the Great Hall, tears in her eyes, all while he was holding Angelina, the bold girl he'd spent a month trying to woo and finally succeeded at doing.

And yet, Hermione Granger barged into that, too.

"Hey, Fred," he faintly heard Angelina say. "Are you okay? What are you looking at?"

Fred quickly stopped staring at the doors of the Great Hall to see if Hermione would come back in or not.

"Well, I was looking at the food," he made up smoothly with a cheeky grin plastered on his face, "but it's nothing compared to you."

Angelina blushed but still swatted his arm. "Come on," she said. "Let's go get drinks, shall we?"

"We shall." Fred then proceeded on to scoop her up off the ground, which promptly set off a string of curses to his name. But even as he laughed and avoided Angelina's flailing arms and legs, he couldn't help but spare one more glance back at the doors.

And when Hermione didn't barge through them like she usually did, Fred swore his heart fell a little, but he pushed the thought aside because that simply could not and would not ever be the case.

Or so he thought.

One Year Later

"Hey, George. Walk quieter. You're louder than McGonagall when she yells at us in class."

"You're the one shouting like a dying hippogriff, Fred."

"Well, you're going to get us caught."

The sound of George's snort came from a few feet away. "Since when have you cared about getting caught?"

Fred grinned over in the general direction of his brother, though it was invisible under the Disillusionment Charm. "You're right, I don't." He lowered his voice even more. "But you know Lee. He's got ears like Mum's. That Sleeping Potion we gave him can't last that long."

"Right," came George's voice, "except Lee's up in the dormitory, and we're in the Common Room."

Fred laughed a little. "Just playing with you."

George didn't make a reply, but Fred was well aware that his twin was feeling the same dangerous thrill of staying up until midnight and sneaking out. They hadn't done it for quite awhile, considering the hawk-like eye that foul Umbridge liked to keep on their every movement. But both of them had decided that Lee's birthday was an occasion not to be fouled by that toad, so here they were, creeping out of the Gryffindor Tower for their beloved friend.

"So kitchens, then Hogsmeade? Or the opposite?" George hissed into the Common Room.

The room was dimly lit by a few dying embers in the grate, but even had the fire been in its full glory, Fred was certain he'd still be unable to see George. The two had practiced the charm to the point of perfection.

Fred mentally played out every path they'd have to take from the Tower to the kitchens to Hogsmeade. "Hogsmeade before the kitchens would be easier," he concluded.

"Hogsmeade it is, then," George declared.

Fred reached out to gently open the portrait, when he suddenly felt a tingling sensation make its way from his head to his toes. Looking down in horror, he saw that the Disillusionment Charm was no longer in effect, and a quick glance to his right showed that George was also very baffled and very visible.

"Going somewhere?"

Both Fred and George's heads whipped towards the feminine sound by the fireplace. Fred had to squint to make out her small form, but the instant her voice had rung out through the room, he'd known it was Hermione Granger.

She was on the couch, twirling her wand in her hand, and even though she was glaring at them with ferocious intensity, she looked as if she had not slept for days, as if she might collapse any second.

Fred resisted the urge to immediately walk over to her and make her get some rest.

"Hermione!" George stepped forward calmly. "Why are you up at this hour? It's really rather late."

The charming demeanor he had presented obviously did not have an effect on her. "It's none of your business. But you're one… well, two," she corrected, "to talk. Why are youup at midnight sneaking off to Hogsmeade?"

"Ah, well, you don't tell us, we don't tell you," Fred butted in before George could open his mouth. He was suddenly at a loss for anything to say, when he noticed a bowl of something he couldn't quite distinguish on the table. "What's that for?" he gestured.

"Are you asking that because you're genuinely interested, or because you're trying to buy some time for George to sneak out?" Hermione snapped at him.

"Hermione, you wound me!" Fred exclaimed with a hidden smile, putting a hand over his heart. "I would never do something like that!"

If she'd taking one more second to reply, Fred was quite certain that George would already have been opening the portrait.

Hermione sighed, then sat back down on the couch, shaking her head. "I'm sorry," she said, leaving the twins momentarily stunned at the quick change in mood. "I don't know what's up with me. I've just been really sharp with everyone lately." She quickly narrowed her eyes at them. "Though that doesn't make it alright for you guys to sneak out."

Fred shared a quick look with George, and the two mutually agreed and walked around some armchairs to sit on either side of the fifth-year's. It was only midnight - they had plenty of time to go to Hogsmeade and the kitchens before dawn broke.

Since the Yule Ball, Fred had found himself in a predicament that even he was unable to fathom, and going to George, who usually had his back (when he wasn't playing a prank on him), for help would be unseemly and would damage his pride.

He noticed Hermione Granger. A lot more than he should.

At first, he'd thought it was the after-effects of the Yule Ball. Perhaps he was looking at her to see if she really was the same person who was dancing with Viktor Krum. But when it became clear that everyone else was over it except for Fred (and maybe Ron)... well, Fred had quickly learned that he did not have such a solid grip of his thoughts and feelings as he'd supposed.

However, it was this year that made him sure that there was something immensely wrong, but not necessarily bad, about his feelings for Hermione, which should have been nothing, but obviously wasn't.

For Merlin's sake, he spent half his time thinking about her remarks about his and George's pranks, wondering if she actually thought they were ridiculous and not worth time. Speaking of time, he often timed his arrivals into the Great Hall so that she, Harry, and Ron would already be eating, so he could find a seat relatively close to them. He even came up with the idea of testing products on first-years in the Common Room because he knew that she'd come over and yell at him and George!

He had had the slight suspicion that he might be in love with Hermione Granger, but as soon as he'd sat down next to her on the couch, it occurred to Fred that he was quite positive that he was in love with her.

Because why else would he have the urge to scoot closer to her and close the gap between them? Why else would his eyes be taking in every aspect of her soft, brown hair? Why else was he suddenly sweating his palms off, why else was-

"Fred?" Hermione turned to him, her brown eyes slightly concerned. "Are you okay?"

It was a nice change, for her to not be glaring at him. It made her eyes all the more sweeter and brighter, the hazel contrasting with the black of her pupil.

"Freddie." George's arm snaked around Hermione to slap him in the face.

"What?" Fred blinked, swatting George's hand away. "What? Oh, yeah. I'm okay. Your eyes are lovely, by the way."

He didn't realize what he'd said until Hermione furrowed her eyebrows and said slowly, "Thanks," before turning back to stare at the portrait hole.

Fred desperately wanted George to slap him again, or, even better, for them both to escape so he could deal with his mortification elsewhere, but unfortunately, George did not seem to be getting the message, and it would be terribly rude to get up and leave now. So instead, Fred had to settle for mentally cursing himself and his blabbering mouth.

His eyes darted to Hermione, and he was surprised to see a slightly pink flush on her face. She was pointedly staring at the portrait hole, avoiding both of the twins' stares. Even so, a smile slowly spread onto Fred's face at the thought that he'd made her blush.

A glance up at George showed that his smile was duly noted and would most certainly be commented on later.

The three of them stayed like that for about five minutes before Fred clapped his hand to his forehead. "I finally realized why you're still up."

Both Hermione and George turned to him, and three seconds later, the latter's eyes widened. "Oh, yeah! You're waiting-"

"-for Harry," the two chorused together.

Hermione bit her lip. "Yeah. He should be back soon. And speaking of which…" She stood up. "You two should go now. Harry's not fond of people being around when he… gets back. He barely tolerates me staying up," she added with a frustrated grimace.

"Er… you're just going to let us go?" George asked as the twins got off the couch as well.

Hermione bit down on her lip again, which attracted Fred's line of sight to the curves of her lips. Merlin, he had to learn to resist himself. "Well, it's for a slightly good cause," she finally replied. "Lee's birthday, right?"

"How did you know?" both the twins said in surprise.

She shrugged at them, and a sheepish grin finding its way to her face. "We're all in the same House. Word kind of gets around." She waved towards the portrait hole. "Go before I change my mind. Which will probably be soon, but I just really want to show Umbridge that we're not totally under her control."

Fred grinned back at her at these words, and just for a slight moment, they were just two teenagers staring at each other with wide grins on their faces. Fred watched as her eyes smiled up at him in surprise, but good surprise, and her shoulders relaxed a little. And without even thinking about George's presence beside him, Fred reached out and squeezed her shoulder.

"You're a good friend to Harry," he said quietly before turning and starting towards the portrait hole. "See you, Hermione."

George rushed to meet him. "Yeah, see you."

As they clambered out, Hermione called softly, "Make sure to be really, really nice to the house elves! Don't you dare order them around!"

"Wouldn't dream of it."

It wasn't until they were trekking back up to Hogwarts from the Three Broomsticks, bottles of butterbeer in their hands, that George turned to Fred with a devilish grin on his face.

"What?" Fred asked without looking at his twin.

"Hermione, huh?" George pronounced each syllable with care.

Fred used his spare arm to punch George's shoulder. "Shut up."

"It's kind of tough though. Not sure how Ron's gonna react."

"He's not going to, because you're not going to tell him," Fred glared.

"Of course not. But for the record…" George leaned in conspicuously. "Even though she barged into our plan and you're not fond of that type of occurrence, I think you still might have a chance. That tension in the air when you two were lovey-dovey-staring at each other." He let out a low whistle. "Could barely stand to watch, you two were so- Hey!"

For Fred had taken that moment to dump a bottle of butterbeer over his loving brother's head.

Four Years Later

Just like everything else she did to Fred's life, Hermione Granger barged into the Weasley twins' shop. And she did so at 8 o'clock in the morning, barely half an hour after the shop had opened.

Fred, at that moment, was stacking boxes in the back room, so he had not the privilege of seeing her frizzled hair and vivid hazel eyes scour the store for him. He did not hear her when she spotted his twin at the cash register and, walking straight up to him, managed to splutter out through gritted teeth, "There you are. But your twin! Where the hell is he?"

"Back room, darling, but ah, ah, ah," George said, wagging a finger at her direction, "employees only, and you, my dear, are not an employee."

"I don't care!" Hermione hissed. "Let me see him."

"Oh, is this about the product? It's his gift to you for your special day, after all." George raised his eyebrows at her.

"Don't. Even. Mention it," Hermione growled, then muttered, "And it's only our special day if I don't kill him for doing this."

"Of course," he replied with a wink before calling out, "FREDDIE! Your kind, not-at-all morbid lady is here to see you!"

Four seconds later, Fred appeared from the storeroom, dusting off his hands. His face lit up when he saw Hermione. "Hermione! How nice to have you visit!"

Hermione had him pushed up against the wall before he could say anything else.

"Ah! Don't look, kids, don't look!" George could be heard saying to a small group of young children with their chosen Wizarding Wheezes in their hands. "Get a room, why don't you?" he said offhandedly to the two.

"Not until he explains this!" Hermione reached into her coat pocket and pulled out a copy of the Daily Prophetfolded to the "Entertainment" page. She jabbed her finger at a large ad. "Explain!" she fumed, glaring daggers at the Weasley twin pinned against the store wall.

"Oh, you saw it then?" Fred asked delightedly. "Excellent, excellent!"

Hermione's face turned an angry red. "YOU NAMED A PRODUCT AFTER ME! WHAT'S EXCELLENT ABOUT THAT?" she all but screeched, throwing the newspaper on the ground. The small buzz of voices in the store immediately stopped, and all eyes turned to the pair in the corner. Hermione cleared her throat. "Sorry," she said calmly to the rest of the store, and took out her wand, murmuring a charm that kept sound in so as to not disturb other customers.

"Hermione, lots of people would be flattered to have just something named after them, let alone a Weasley Wizarding Wheezes product."

"Not," Hermione said in a deathly low voice, "when the product is called a "Granger Grenade"!" She stepped back with a glint in her eyes.

"I think it fits rather well," Fred shrugged, taking the chance to push himself off the wall into a more comfortable position. She looked as if to protest, but he put a finger against her lips. "I meant it to be in a flattering way. Because, you know, you're powerful. Grenades are powerful. Well, these are just mini grenades, to create a small distraction if the person needs one. But they're still power."

Hermione raised an eyebrow. "And what about if people see it a different way? Like in the personality sense, that I 'blow up' every now and then?"

"Well, I think everyone in this shop has seen that already," Fred smirked, and ducked to avoid Hermione's slap. "But I never really thought of it that way…" he said seriously.

Hermione's mouth fell open. "Really?" She shook her head. "For someone who helped create an entire system of communication through pen and paper, you've got an extraordinary talent of being daft sometimes," she said wryly, but there was a fond smile on her face that Fred immediately caught.

"You got me," he said with a lopsided grin. "So we're good with Granger Grenades?"

"Not entirely, but I suppose the way you think of it isn't that bad."

"Good," Fred said, "because I had to name something after my girlfriend."

She smiled up at him until suddenly, his hands were on his waist and hers around his neck, and their lips moved in sync with each other, softly, then with more passion.

With reluctance, Fred broke from the kiss to say, "But really. You're alright with the grenade thing?"

Hermione blushed a little. "I might have exaggerated my reaction a bit." She hesitated. "I wasn't all that offended by it, actually."

Fred blinked down at her pink face. "Then why'd you come so early? You could have come later to yell at me. We're having lunch together, anyway. And dinner," he grinned.

Hermione turned an even brighter shade of red. "Well, I kind of wanted a reason to see you earlier?" she suggested in a small voice.

Fred's laughter rang loud and clear, but no one except Hermione could hear it. He was fine with that. Laughter was an intimate thing. "Happy one-year anniversary too, love," he whispered into her ear before kissing her again.

And at that moment, he didn't care that he hadn't gotten time to plan for her arrival - he was just glad that Hermione Jean Granger had barged into his life at all.

Okay, I've just realized how much I love Fremione. I don't know how I haven't come to this conclusion until now, but I'm now 200% certain that they're my OTP. Or at least, if they weren't before, they are now xD

Anyway, once more, HAPPY BIRTHDAY ARI! *sends Internet balloons over to Ari*

And hope you all have lovely days, everyone!