Harry Potter and the Scarlet Beetle lncident

By Penmom

Author's Notes: (1) OK, so I don't know what possessed me to write a Harry Potter fic - just read book five and saw the movie. (2) A couple of things - this short fic - it should run just a few chapters and it takes places in the winter of Harry's seventh year at Hogwarts. So please don't envision this as taking place with young kids - ick - really. This will be an R fic but nothing awful or tasteless - still STAY AWAY IF YOU AREN"T OLD ENOUGH, YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE! (3) Just so you know, I picture this as sort of a Buffy version of Harry, if that helps put things in perspective. (4) As always I like feedback just like everybody else.

Chapter 1

The Joke Shop

Fred and George Weasley fought back another round of laughter as they congratulated themselves on their latest line of magical paraphernalia. In the two years since they had left Hogwarts, they had met with a good bit of success. Their little magic shop was doing quite the business and their primary investor just asked them to reinvest his part of the earnings back into the shop. And due to said benefactor's generosity, they were now embarking on a new line of items geared toward pursuits that would cause their mother to blush for a fortnight.

As was their practice they carefully locked up their newest test products at the end of their workday. They then added several incantations to guard against theft - or espionage, for that matter – the joke shop industry was quite cutthroat these days. You just never knew.

While George packed up the new goodies, Fred made up Harry's usual parcel. Given both his initial generosity and his continuing philanthropy, the twins made it a practice to send Harry a parcel straightaway every month of their most popular items by way of owl post, sort of a dividend if you will. It also didn't hurt a bit to put in one or two of their newest tricks so other students could see the products and begin to dream of trying them out for themselves.

And so this is how it started, innocently enough. As George packed away his prototypes, Fred inadvertently swept a small bag of sweet smelling little candy balls into his package for Harry.

Soon they were off to the Owlery down the street, the topic of conversation the same as it had been ever since George had come up with the idea for their new product line a month ago.

"Told you Potions would come of some good one day." George boasted. "Made the best score in my class three years running. With Snape – mind you."

Fred shook his head at his brother's sudden pride in his only academic achievement. Not to let George's head get too big, Fred sniped back, "Yeah, I can see you and Snape trading love potions in the back of dungeon."

From there Fred leaped together a mock conversation with George and Master Snape discussing the various physical effects of different aphrodisiacs