A/N: If the Evans twins seem a bit young for what happens in this story, please remember three simple facts. People that are fated to fulfill prophecy are generally intelligent. Their father actually developed the strategy they're using here. Last, Fred and George are thinking the same thing you are. "They're just children." Any student of history, or strategy can tell you that underestimating your opponent is a good way to lose.
Standard disclaimers again. (I don't know what order you're reading my stories in, but this is the fifth one I've written, and the disclaimer bit is getting boring.) I own nothing, except the plot. (Well, OK, I created the mirrorback and rainbow friends pranks, but I freely allow anyone to use them. After all, I am using JKR's world.)
Twins Vs Twins
Fred and George led the way into their newest store and the first Weasley's Wizard Wheezes outside of Europe. The mail order business from America had been so good they had decided to open a shop here. Just before they had started the speeches, they had seen two young children in the crowd. Those children had born a remarkable resemblance to Harry Potter. Before they had a chance to speak to them, they had given their grand opening speech. At the end of it, a new and rather amusing prank had gone off in the crowd. The next thing the Weasley twins knew, the twins they had been looking at were introducing themselves as the inventors of the prank. As they led the young Evans twins into the shop, Fred and George were wondering just what they would want for their prank, and how cheaply they could get it. Not that either of them wanted to cheat the kids, but business is business.
In the office that would be the manager's, Fred and George offered refreshments, but the younger twins demurred, saying they had a limited time. "My name is James Evans, and this is Rose." Was James's opening comment, and Fred and George looked at each other again. "You wouldn't happen to be related to a Lily Evans, would you?" ask Fred? "Only distantly." James said. "Fifth or sixth cousins is what our parents say anyway." The Weasley twins nodded. "That explains the resemblance." James looked confused. "What resemblance?" George grinned at him "As best we remember, you look almost exactly like Harry did when we met him, and if Rose had red hair, she'd look just like Lily." The Evans twins smiled. "Way cool, we'll have to tell Mom and dad."
James took a deep breath and launched into the business that had brought them to Fred and George. "We would like to market a line of pranks with you. The Rainbow Friends, that you saw outside is just one of them, and we have a few more." Rose passed two scrolls to them, which listed some thirty pranks, and their effects. "Most of these are one use pranks, cheaply made, and very stable." James pulled a few of the wooden disks out of his pocket. "The spell is on the disk, and is easily activated, even without a wand. The disks will stick to anything, courtesy of a adglutino spell, but can be removed without damaging the item." George looked up from the scroll he was looking at. "That's why that bloke in green and lilac didn't change, He was the focus." James nodded. "All of the spells on that page are completed, and ready for production, and we have a few more that are nearly ready. We can work this one of two ways." James paused, and Rose started speaking. "The first way, requires the largest outlay of money on your side. We will sell the pranks, and all the instructions for making them to you outright. Provided of course, we can agree on a price."
Fred and George looked at each other. The same thought was running through both of their minds. This was not going to be a quick cheap deal. James took up. "The other way, would be much cheaper for you, and easier for all of us. We'll sell you the rights to market the "Green Flower" line, and you give us a percentage of the profits for the line. Admitting that there will be additional bookkeeping that way, we'll keep the percentage low, say forty percent?" For the next twenty minutes the twins dickered back and forth, with the red headed twins pointing out advertising costs, production costs, and the many other things that they would be responsible for, and insisting that 15% of the profits would be reasonable. The sable haired twins talked about the expense of researching the pranks, which they had paid, and the advantages of a second line, better selection and then James dropped a large rock in their laps.
"Of course, we could always turn these over to our Father, and let him bear the cost of starting a competing joke shop, but since you are related, however distantly, we thought we'd give you a chance at it. But we couldn't take less than 30%" Fred and George grinned. "Starting a joke shop isn't that easy, it took us years to get where we are." Rose smiled sweetly. "That it did, but you did not have the Cumulus Co. backing you up." The Weasleys stared at them. "Cumulus?" asked Fred. "Yes," said James calmly. "our family owns it." Rose dug the knife in a bit deeper. "We would have a lot more starting money than you did. But as we said, you're family, if distant, and with us in school, we would not have time to see the shop is run the way we want it, so we are giving you a chance." The bargaining continued for another thirty minutes and finally a deal was settled on. Fred and George would market them, and the Green Flower Co. would get 25% of the net profits. To keep from glutting the market, the pranks would be released one new one every two months. The Weasleys reserved the right to pull any prank that was not selling well, and they made arraignments for the Evans twins to send along any new pranks they developed when they had reached their agreement, Fred started to get some paper, so they could draw up a contract, and James stopped him. "We don't have time for that, so I took the liberty of bringing one with us. We won't even need to change much." James handed the contract to the Weasleys with a smile, and watched as they read the contract, which was almost exactly the deal they'd just made.
Fred and George looked at each other. "Fred, do you get the feeling we've been had?" "Not had brother, Suckered." They turned to the Evans. "How did you know what we would take?" James grinned at the ceiling. "Well, I could tell you it's because Rose is a Seer," Rose smacked him in the back of the head, and he continued without missing a beat. "But the truth is, we've been planning this for about three months, and our Father helped us plan everything we were going to say." "George, I feel better. Being beat by the owner of Cumulus is not a bad thing." " Certainly not when he's been planning for three months and we walk in cold." James grinned again. " Actually, this was the fairest contract we had, as we decided that we'd rather make less money for a longer time." The change was made, and the contract signed. James and Rose were running behind, and the two sets of twins made promises to owl each other.
As James and Rose walked out, looking for their mother, James stopped and threw a bunch of scrolls in the fireplace. Rose watched, feeling his amusement, but not understanding it this time. James grinned at her. "I really wasn't sure which deal they would go for, so I had agreements made for every deal we would have taken. That way, no matter what agreement we came to, I would have the right contract." Rose nodded, "I know that, but what's so funny?" "Rose, the two best pranksters alive think we can judge them right to a T." His grinned grew as they started looking for their Mother. "Just think what that's going to do for the next contract."
A/N: I really don't like this, but I made the mistake of posting an A/N saying I was going to post it, and so here it is.
Usually, I hope you have as much fun reading these stories as I do writing them, but in this case, I hope you have more, because this wasn't much fun, mostly because I'm not really into business, but James and Rose will need that company before the story is over.