December 24, 1997

Dear Fred,

I'm so glad to hear that Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes is performing so well just before Christmas, especially since Diagon Alley has been such a quiet place since the attack. It's good your owl-ordering business is picking up. Have you considered expanding to Hogsmeade? Hogwarts is the one place Voldemort hasn't hit yet, and though there's extra security, they haven't yet canceled Hogsmeade weekends.

Harry seems to be taking the whole situation all right, though he's noticeably tenser than normal. It seems to be affecting Luna as well, as she isn't nearly as…well, like herself as she normally is. Your brother and sister are holding up well, both of them trying to keep our spirits up as best they can. I don't think Ron's doing it on purpose, as you know how he hates to let any of the Quaffles in—I'm sure you remember that song—but when he flipped over on his broom…

Ginny seems to rather melancholy lately, and she won't tell me what's wrong. She probably wouldn't want me to mention it to anyone, but you're her brother and I don't know who else to talk to. Harry's too caught up in his own problems. Ron wouldn't understand, as he's too protective of her. Not that you aren't, but you're less volatile than he is—not to mention that you're farther away than he is so it would take extra effort to retaliate.

Well, I'm afraid I rather walked in on something last week when I was in the library. You know that corner in the back that's rather hidden? No one really ever goes there because it contains research manuals for advanced Transfiguration. I was working on a special project for Professor McGonagall on Animagi transformations and Madam Pince directed me to that corner.

I found someone else in there. Two someone else's actually. Ginny, obviously—but I also found Draco Malfoy. Something had happened between them, but neither would admit to it and Malfoy left before I could say anything. He hasn't been acting normal lately either, though it isn't in the way one would expect from what I've told you. He's been increasingly obnoxious to Harry, Ron and myself, although he's ignoring Ginny—and to her I think that might be worse than what he does to the three of us. At last he acknowledges our existence.

Now, I don't want you to do anything rash. I'm telling you this in confidence and I'd like to think that means something. I'll be looking forward to hearing from you with any suggestions you might have.

Sincerely,

Hermione

P.S. I hope you like your present; I'm sending it by express owl.

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December 27, 1997

Dear Hermione,

            Malfoy? My sister is cavorting with a bloody Malfoy? The same Malfoy she hit with a bat bogey hex two years ago? The same Malfoy who called you the name which I will not repeat? Malfoy, who is practically next in line for Voldemort's throne? You know what we overheard at that last meeting, Hermione, I told you about it when we met in Hogsmeade. Malfoy's being inducted as a member as soon as he graduates—he's practically a spy already!

            You want to know what I recommend? I recommend that you let me do something about it—preferably including painful removal of important parts which I sincerely  hope have not been used anywhere near my sister, in which case after removal of said parts will come a slow and painful death. I won't do anything about it yet, but if you think he's hurt her in any way, shape, or form, I want you to hex first and then come get me so I can do it too. Actually, on second thought, hex first, then get my brother and Harry, then get me.

            You're lucky I'm not coming up there now. If Malfoy thinks he can touch my only sister and get away with it, he's got another think coming—not to mention a very painful death.

            Why, Hermione! I'm shocked. I can't believe you would give me such a thing for Christmas. I didn't think you had it in you. I can't figure out how to get it out of my hair…

            …How did you do it?

            And how do I get rid of it?

Truly and pinkly yours,

Fred

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January 1, 1998

Dear Fred,

            I've attached the recipe on the second sheet of parchment. I came up with it over the summer and was waiting for the time to tell you about it—I realized a practical presentation would get the point across best.

            I don't suppose you might give me some actual advice, would you? You've known her longer than I have—how can I get her to talk to me? I worry about her, Fred. She's been worse after Christmas, and I sometimes catch her stealing glances over at the Slytherin table. I realize he's Malfoy, but if Ginny accepts him… Maybe he's changed, at least a little bit. I just hate seeing her so unhappy.

            On a separate but related note, Dumbledore seems amazingly chipper, considering how badly the war has been going lately. He smiled every time he sees Ginny or Harry, this twinkle in his eye that only makes me more curious. I think he knows it, too. I wonder if he knows something I don't. Maybe something about Ginny, or about Harry and what's coming. Wasn't there a mention of it at that last meeting in late December? I hate being here at Hogwarts when I feel so cut off from the outside world. It's adversely affecting my studying.

            I just wish I knew what was going on.

Yours,

Hermione

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January 4, 1998

Dear Hermione,

            Something has the ability to affect your studying? I'm shocked! I do believe the world as we know it is coming to an end…

            Count yourself lucky that you don't know what's happening. The attitude out here is draining at best. At worst… Well, I don't even know how to describe it. Everyone is shooting glances over their shoulders and talking in whispers, even in our store. Speaking of which, it isn't very busy. Our owl-order business is booming, however. I spoke with George about expanding to Hogsmeade, after which we talked with Dumbledore. We're going to rent out the Shrieking Shack for the next Hogsmeade weekend. Nothing like a haunted house for a joke shop, is there?

            Fine. If you want my opinion on what you should do about Ginny and Malfoy, I'll let you have it. I don't think you should do anything. If they can't work it out themselves, then they shouldn't be together—which, by the way, is completely fine with me. You don't have to control everything, Hermione. Especially my little sister's love life. Something I don't want to admit she has.

            Thanks for the antidote. I was starting to get questions from the customers. I'm thinking about getting it adapted into a product we can sell here: "The Perfect Present for that Pesky Neighbor!" I think it'll be a bestseller.

Red again,

Fred

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January 7, 1998

Dear Fred,

            I suppose you're right about Ginny, so I've stopped pestering her about the scene in the library. I don't particularly want to leave it completely alone, however, so I'm keeping an eye on her. She still seems depressed. Harry's better, though I don't know why. I don't think anything has happened that would have marked such a change in attitude.

            You'll be here for the next Hogsmeade weekend? How wonderful! I can't wait to see you then. I'm sorry for cutting this letter short, but vacation just ended and I have a pile of work to get through!

Yours,

Hermione

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January 22, 1998

Hermione,

            I'm sorry it took me so long to respond. I was doing some work that needed immediate attention. I don't know if I'm going to be able to make it to Hogsmeade this weekend; George will have to do it alone, which should be fine. He's better at the business thing than I am.

            Glad to hear you've stopped pestering Ginny. I hope everything is back to normal presently, as I can't help worrying about her. A Malfoy, for Merlin's sake…

            I'm afraid I can't make this letter much longer, as it hurts to write for this long, but I look forward to your reply.

Take care,

Fred

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January 23, 1998

Dear Fred,

            What do you mean, it hurts to write? You had better be all right, or I'm going to come and see you myself!

Write soon,

Hermione

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January 23, 1998

Hermione,

            You don't need to come. I'm perfectly all right.

Definitely not pink,

Fred

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January 25, 1998

Hermione,

            You really did not need to come. I'm touched, I really am, but I was fine.

Love,

Fred

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January 26, 1998

Dear Fred,

            I do not know why you insisted that you were fine. You were not fine.

            Oh, and about what happened afterwards—I think we should forget about it, don't you?

Sincerely,

Hermione

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January 27, 1998

Hermione,

            That's crazier than you skipping school to come visit me in Diagon Alley. Which, ironically, actually happened. I am not forgetting what happened, and you had better not either.

Love,

Fred

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January 29, 1998

Dear Fred,

            I don't see why you're so adamant about not forgetting it if you obviously didn't care in the first place!

- Hermione

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January 30, 1998

Hermione,

            You know that is not true. I care about what happened, especially since it was between us! We need to talk about it. Meet me at Hogsmeade this weekend; I'm getting you permission from Dumbledore.

Love,

Fred

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February 2, 1998

Hermione,

            Why didn't you come? Are you all right?

Love,

Fred

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February 5, 1998

It was not necessary to rip up my letter, Hermione.

- Fred

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February 15, 1998

Fred,

            I can't believe you! What did you do to Hermione?

Your brother,

Ron

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February 17, 1998

Ron,

            Is there a reason you're reading Hermione's mail?

- Fred

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February 18, 1998

Fred,

            It's her own fault she left it lying around. I thought it was her Transfiguration paper and started reading it. But no, it turns out that Hermione and my brother are having some type of illicit affair!

- Ron

P.S. You wouldn't happen to know what's wrong with Ginny, would you? She's disappearing all the time.

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February 20, 1998

Ron,

            You really are overreacting.

- Fred

P.S. How would I know where Ginny's going?

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February 21, 1998

Fred,

            Please, I am not. You had better make up with Hermione—she's been miserable the past few weeks!

- Ron

P.S. Because you're one of her favorite brothers!

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February 23, 1998

Ron,

            I've tried, you nimwit. She won't listen to me; ripped up my last letter, in fact.

- Fred

P.S. Now, Ron, don't blow—Draco Malfoy.

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February 26, 1998

Fred,

            I'll make sure she reads it; just make sure you send it.

            But if you don't mind my asking…why? Why Hermione?

- Ron

P.S. I'm not going to blow. I'll just be going to speak with our sister.

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February 27, 1998

Ron,

            I don't know why. With Hermione, everything is just simple. She makes everything clear—and wonderful.

- Fred

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February 28, 1998

Fred,

            You love her, don't you?

- Ron

P.S. Er, you wouldn't know anything about removing pink and purple streaks from one's hair, would you? I think our little sister overreacted a bit.

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March 2, 1998

Ron,

            I don't see why it's any of your business.

- Fred

P.S. Yes, I do, but I don't think you deserve to have them removed. You should have left Ginny alone; you know she takes after George and I the most.

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March 13, 1998

Dear Hermione,

            This is the last time I am writing to you. I am not sorry for what happened. In fact, I am glad that it happened as it made me realize that I care about you more than what I should feel for my brother's best friend.

            Take a look at what I've enclosed, and tell me what you think

Love,

Fred

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March 14, 1998

Fred,

            She read it. I don't know what she thinks. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

- Ron

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March 20, 1998

Dear Fred,

            Yes.

Love,

Hermione