The Burrow was strangely silent the next morning. Well, sure there was the occasional cough, but there wasn't any screaming or explosions. Even the ghoul in the attic had caught the bug and wasn't making a racket. Hermione knew it was because one of the twins was down for the count.
Fred, instead of compensating for his twin's inactivity, like Hermione thought he would do, became just as quiet as George. She supposed that he now considered himself marked, and that it was just a matter of time. Either that or he was bound and determined for her not to be able to tell the difference between them for as long as possible. She supposed that was more likely.
"Hermione." She was jerked out of her musings, and faced with a somber looking Fred.
"Fred," she greeted, giving him a small smile in acknowledgement. She could tell them apart! At last! Of course, it had taken a disease forcing one of them into bed to do it, but at least she could greet them without worry.
"You want to get the top two floors? I'll take the first and second." Fred was, of course, referring to the juice, which needed to be...
Wait a moment, Hermione thought to herself. He's talking about juice. He's talking about approaching this mess in an organised fashion. He's…being serious.
"You're…being serious," she said out loud, clearly surprised. He raised his eyebrow and looked at her in mild annoyance.
"This is no time to joke-" Hermione barely contained her gasp, "-This is a serious time. Do you have any idea what will happen if those Leprechaun Tablets get in to the water supply?" he said with a resigned sigh. Hermione was taken aback.
"Er, we'll all turn in to leprechauns?" she asked, hazarding a guess.
"Exactly! And do you know what's even worse than being sick?" he didn't wait for her to answer, and continued, "Being a sick leprechaun! They cough up hairballs, you know."
Hermione, who had read an awful lot of books in her time, had admittedly never run across anything about sick leprechauns. She therefore had no prior knowledge to compare this statement to. Still, she took what he said with a grain of salt.
"Oh?" she asked skeptically.
"And they sneeze gold. Not even real gold, either, that disappearing stuff. Have you ever had metal forced out your nose?" he asked, getting slightly hysterical.
"Have you?" Hermione asked, skeptically again. It was awfully hard for her to take this as seriously as Fred was.
"Don't ask, really," he muttered, looking pained.
"Well, I'll keep an eye out for those bird things and the tablets then," she said, steering the conversation away from one where she honestly couldn't tell whether she was being toyed with or not. "Say, what were those things, anyway?"
"Erm…" he mumbled, looking skyward.
"Yes, Fred Weasley?" Hermione asked. What had they done
"I'm not sure, actually. We conjured them, or something."
Or something? This doesn't sound good.
"Well, if they're conjured then they should disappear; conjured things don't usually last for very long," she said busily.
"I think they were conjured. There was an awful lot going on in the cauldron, and I'm not sure which spells we used…"
"What have you done?" Hermione asked, narrowly resisting the urge to bang her head against the wall.
"George did some of it too!" Fred said indignantly.
"I meant you as in the collective sense; the Fred and George block," she said, massaging her temples.
"We aren't a block!" Fred said, frowning.
"Not a cube, obviously," I don't want to be having this conversation right now, I want to get to work, "It's a turn of phr-"
"Everyone thinks of us as a single entity," Fred said, cutting her off. This was the most that Hermione had seen him frown since that Bagman incident fourth year. "We are very different. We're individuals. Why can't anyone see that?" It was Hermione's turn to get a bit hysterical.
"Every day since I arrived neither of you would tell me who you were," she started. "You can barely keep track of yourselves, and you ask other people to sort you out?" Fred looked pensive for a moment.
"Valid points, valid points. Maybe when this is all done, I'll tell you the secret of how to tell us apart," he said calmly. Hermione was taken aback. She had expected him to argue, or defend his position a bit more. Odd.
"That would be nice," she said cautiously.
"In the meantime, care to join me for some juice?" he asked. Hermione made a face, and Fred grinned.
On the top floor Ron took a sip of his water. Then, all of a sudden, he felt very, very strange.
A/N: I don't deserve you lovely, lovely reviewers! Over a 100! Wow! And here I am with this pathetic short chapter for you wonderful people...sigh. I won't even try to make excuses, I'll just say that I'm trying my hardest to update as soon as I can. The next chapter should be longer, because I have a plan!
And for those reading War of the Weasleys, I'll try and update soon. My muse for that is even...deader. On the bright side I have the prologuesfor two new fics, one FW/HG and the other FW OR DM/HG. I know I have a problem with starting stories and then leaving them, but I really do have bunches of ideas for both of those. I think I'll post the prologues today, and work on the one that gets the most reviews.
Speaking of which, please review! I PROMISE shorter update time/longer chapter next time!