Title: The Blind Date
Rating: G now, and I don't imagine anything over PG-13
Disclaimer: Geez, you know the drill: These characters do not belong to me. They belong to someone else. Alas.
Fred and George appeared in Percy's office a little before noon. They breezed in and sat down in the chairs in front of Percy's desk with a thump. "Hey, Perce," said George brightly as Percy looked up.
"What do you want?"
"Hi to you, too." George picked up a file on Percy's desk and began flipping through it. "Ooh, International Floo transportation restrictions." George's eyebrow arched. "High-level stuff, Perce."
"Put that down." Percy snatched the file away irritably. "Why did you come here?"
"Naturally, for the pleasure of your company," Fred replied.
"Very funny. What is it?" Percy was already in the middle of a bad day, and the twins grating presence was just making it worse.
"Why Percy, you don't have to be so hostile. Am I wrong, or are you suggesting that George and I have come here under false pretences? That we have some ulterior motive besides wanting to spend some quality time with our favorite brother?" Fred melodramatically clutched his chest. "I am insulted. Nay, wounded. That hurts."
"Ow," George added mournfully.
Percy raised one eyebrow.
"Oh, all right. We just came to drop off a lunch from Mum. She's worried you're not eating enough." George produced a heaping brown paper bag.
"Yeah. She told us…oh, what was it? Ah. I believe her exact words were, 'He can work all he likes, but there he'll never be the Minister of Magic if he starves to death first'."
Percy smiled a little and accepted the bag, then picked up a report and began leafing through it. "I see. So you came all the way out here to drop off a lunch?"
"No. George and I volunteered to run it down." The twins shared a glance. "And we wanted to talk to you about something."
"Oh?" Percy's eyes spared the twins a glance, and then froze on their way back to his report. Oh no… The twins were smirking. Grinning, in fact. The patented, Weasley twin grin that struck fear into the hearts of mortals everywhere. The grin that was usually followed by Percy's hair turning green, or Ron's pajamas shrinking steadily over breakfast. "What is it?" Percy hesitantly asked.
"Well, Perce, my man, George here and I have decided that you need a boyfriend."
"I don't have time for a boyfriend," he replied hastily.
Fred and George's grins reached epic proportions as Percy's face suddenly flushed. "Wait. No. That's not what I- I'm not," Percy gaped, his mind in a panic. Oh no. Oh no oh no oh no. They know. They'll have a field day; probably come up with a whole new set of names for me, like Percivella or Gives-Head Boy. "I…How did…?" He sputtered.
"Never mind that," George interrupted. "The point is, Perce, you work too much, you're completely antisocial, and if you don't do something about it, you'll end up a lonely, miserable old man."
"So, George and I decided to do something about it."
There was a moment of heavy silence. Oh sweet Merlin, no. It just keeps getting worse. "What do you mean, you decided to do something about it?"
"We mean, Percy, that you have a date this Friday." From his exuberant facial expression, Percy almost expected George to add a "Ta-da!" at the end. A date?
"What??" Percy's already dazed expression reached the level of pole-axed.
"You'll like him," Fred promised.
"He's tall," George said.
"The girls seem to think he's cute." Fred shrugged.
"And," George added, with another dangerous smirk, "he's about your age too."
"You're meeting him 8:00 at Waverly's restaurant."
"Do you know where that is?" George asked. Percy remained frozen in his chair, silent, eyes wide.
"It's right off of Eloquet Alley. On Baker Street," Fred continued.
"We went there for Bill's birthday, a few years ago."
"They have really good Pasta Primavera," Fred added a moment later. They seemed to run out of steam here.
"I…" Percy managed.
"I…" he tried again.
"Great! We can even escort you there, just to make sure you don't forget." Fred put in.
"I…" Percy shook his head. "Fine," he muttered. Once the twins got an idea in their heads, it was as easy to stop them as it was to stop an oncoming train by standing in front of it, raising your hand, and saying, "Halt!" in a firm voice.
"What's his name, by the way?" He looked on suspiciously at the knowing glance the twins shared. They turned back to Percy.
"Ah. Top secret information," said Fred
"You'll find out once you get there."
"I…fine." Percy felt very exhausted all of a sudden.
"Well, we're going to go," George told Percy. Mission accomplished, they stood to leave. George stopped. "Hey Perce?"
"Are you going to tell the rest of the family?" he asked.
Percy looked back down at his report. "Um…Yes, eventually, I guess."
"Well, whatever," George smiled. "Oi! Fred! Show him what we got."
Fred smirked again and put a folded T-shirt on Percy's desk. "Here. Got this for you." Grinning, they turned to go.
"Don't forget- 8:00 on Friday." And then they left. Percy slumped back in his chair. Leave it to the twins to leap from outing him to setting him up (with Merlin knew what) in the space of five minutes. It was remarkable.
Percy reached over and picked up the T-shirt they left for him. What on earth? He unfolded it. In bright rainbow writing, charmed to sparkle and change colors, the T-shirt read:
"Let go of my ears- I know what I'm doing"
Percy blushed and started laughing at the same time.
"Come on Perce," George said. They were outside Waverly's. Percy was idling outside. He looked nice, in a Percy fashion, wearing khakis and a crisp shirt.
"I don't really know about this." Percy fairly radiated unease.
"You'll be fine. Here," Fred replied, and smoothed Percy's hair.
"Wait." George fiddled with his collar.
"And lastly…" Fred said, pulling out his wand and pointing it towards Percy's face. He murmured, "Purgora." Suddenly Percy's mouth tasted cleaner.
"Now you're minty fresh," said George.
"Just in case," Fred added, waggling his eyebrows suggestively.
"Now go!" they both said in unison, pushing Percy towards the door. When he was gone Fred looked at his brother.
"Oh, George. Our little guy is all grown up," Fred remarked in a tearful voice.
George only sniffed in reply.
Percy took a deep breath and looked around the restaurant. He still hadn't found a satisfactory explanation for why he was here- the only one he'd hit on was that the twins were right- he was lonely. The idea of Fred and George being right about him was too disturbing to contemplate, though, so Percy dismissed it. He glanced at the tables, his mouth pressed into a thin, tense line. Percy Weasley was very nervous indeed.
He wondered what his date would look like- Fred and George had been decidedly vague about the whole thing. Whenever he had pressed them about the identity of this mystery person, they had only smirked and said, "Oh, you'll know." No doubt he'd be able to identify him by his excessive nose hair or something like that. It'd be just like the twins to set him up with someone who had the grooming habits of a flubberworm. Percy stiffly made his way over to a table to wait.
"Percy!" A voice came from his left. Percy looked over and started slightly. It was Oliver Wood, sitting in a booth near the corner. Oliver waved him over, smiling.
"Hello Oliver." Percy returned the smile, just a little bit. Inexplicably, he felt even more nervous than before.
"Hi. Wow, it's been a while, hasn't it?"
"Yes. A few years." Percy felt himself beginning to ramble. "Because I last saw you at the Quidditch World Cup, right? That was…a few years ago. Right." Percy shifted, rather uncomfortably. Percy and Oliver had never been more than casual acquaintances at school; there had always been something about the Quidditch player that made Percy feel awkward, and tonight was no different.
"So, what are you doing here?" asked Oliver.
"Oh. I'm supposed to be meeting someone. You?"
"Really?" Wonderful, Percy thought. I get to watch Oliver with some girl all through my dinner with nose-hair man.
"Yeah, you know your-"
"Well I should probably go, in that case." Percy was suddenly very anxious to leave.
"Right," Oliver murmured.
Oliver stood up and held out his hand.
"Nice running into you again, Percy. It's too bad- if I didn't have this blind date thing we could have caught up some more." Oliver smiled at Percy, who hastily shook Oliver's hand and turned to leave.
He got about two feet from the table when he froze. Oliver's last sentence registered in his brain. The twins wouldn't. They couldn't have.*Oh, you'll know…*
Fred and George were dead men. Dead.
Still, maybe, hopefully, it was just an odd coincidence. Percy swallowed and slowly turned around back to face Oliver. "Um, hello again. I…this may sound rather odd, but Fred and George didn't have anything to do with your blind date, did they?"
"Yeah, they did. I was just going to say- wait, how did you know?"
I'm going to kill them.
Percy sat down across from Oliver, his face overheating. He stared fixedly at the table as he said, "Hello, I'm Percy. Your date for the evening."