The First Prank
A/N: This bunnie takes place on a Saturday afternoon, sometime in the last two months of Manticore's third year.
James and Rose were sitting at the table in Manticore Tower, working on a new prank. They were concentrating, and didn't notice Chimera filing in until a polite cough and nudge at their shields made them look up. The rest of Chimera was sitting around their table and all of them were looking at the twins.
Adam had been the one that attracted their attention. "It has come to our attention that you two have an unfulfilled promise to keep to us. You have told us a couple of times that you would tell us about the prank that got you sued, but something has always happened that delayed the story. Now, since we don't have any crisis, and James hasn't had his head busted open, this seems to be the perfect time for you to confess." Adam grinned at the rapidly reddening twins as they waited for the twins to respond.
James sighed, and rolled up the scroll they'd been working on. "Rose, would you care to start? The first part of the story is yours."
Rose sighed, got up from the chair she'd been sitting in to help James, and curled up in her window. "The story begins just after we turned eight."
James was depressed. Rose could feel that quite clearly, but since he'd disappeared early this morning, she tried to ignore it. Two hours later, she gave up and concentrated on the feel of James. She got her Broomstick and flew in his direction.
As she had thought from the direction he was in, he was in the small cave half way up the Daggerfall cliff. She landed in the cave and joined him at the mouth of the cave. She looked down; shivering at she remembered just how James had found the cave.
She waited but he merely turned, and she turned with him, so that they were back-to-back and leaning on each other. "Tell."
James shrugged, a motion she could feel quite well. "Successful Prank."
Rose tried to remember when they had last pulled a successful prank, and grinned at the memory. "Immortal spider."
James nodded, "Four months."
Rose followed his logic. It was indeed getting harder to pull pranks on their friends and family. "Solution?"
James shrugged again. "No."
They discussed it for a while, but they didn't have any ideas.
AT dinner that night, Mary Evans, their mother told them not to wander too far the next day, as they were going into Central City for school things. James' depression fell away, replaced first by an electric glee, and then by some serious thinking.
Rose waited for him to talk to her, but after nearly five minutes of being ignored, she poked him. She was surprised when he didn't react, and reached for the extremely sensitive spot under his ribs. He jumped, and Rose felt the flare of anger, instantly suppressed. "Cured?"
He grinned at her. "Public." It was Rose's turn to think as he suggested pulling their pranks on somebody besides friends and family. He frowned, and looked at her, uncertainty in his face. "Sales?"
Rose blinked as she thought about selling the pranks they had created using a combination of Indian and Wizard magic. She looked at him. "Difficult."
James nodded, but pressed her. "Can we?"
The rest of dinner was a series of one word sentences between the two of them as they tried to figure out just how it could be done.
Mary watched them with amusement, and a touch of apprehension. She knew the time of Elric's Prophecy was coming, and she was afraid these two would be in the thick of it. They had a large number of gifts that were not normal, in either of the Clans their parents belonged to.
Mary might believe in the Prophecy, but she was still a mother first. She looked at her husband, indicating the twins. Robert Evans was watching them as well, and he grinned at his wife. "Security."
Mary stared at him for a minute. "Unlike our children, I haven't got the faintest clue what you're talking about."
Robert touched her hand as he indicated the twins with a nod. "That speech would make great security."
Mary looked at her husband for a minute, and used a one-word sentence anyone would understand. "Nuts."
The adults smiled at each other while James and Rose began the long task of making the idea work.
After dinner they did the dishes and went to their favorite room. Rose sat in the Bay window that was her favorite seat and James flopped in his chair, resting his legs over one arm of the chair, and leaning his head against the arm so he could see Rose.
James smiled as Rose fluffed her pillow. "What are you going to do when we go to the Academy? I don't think the North American Academy of Wizardry is going to let you sit in their window sills."
Rose settled into her seat and raised an eyebrow at James, a mannerism she'd learned from their mother. "At least my window sills have never tried to bite me." Rose smirked as James acknowledged the hit. He reflexively rubbed his left shoulder, where the eagle chick had made coming down the Daggerfall cliff an experience James didn't want to repeat.
Rose turned the subject back to the pranks. "What are we going to attach the pranks to? I am assuming that you're planning on using the 'Living Magic' spell somehow."
James nodded. "I was thinking of using it to attach the spell to something like a miniature wand, but I'm not sure yet."Emma Weasley interrupted James. "What is a 'Living Magic' spell?"
James shrugged. "It's a Shaman spell that allows the user to attach a spell to a living thing, usually a plant or tree. It uses the life force of the object to power the spell, allowing the spell to survive for decades without the Shaman having to use his energy, and even surviving the death of the caster."
Rose added, "It used to be widely used, but now it's mostly used to keep sacred sites Unplottable by Muggles."
Lisa frowned as she thought about it. "I assume that you modified it somehow, since the wooden disks you use are no longer alive."
James smiled wistfully. "Just a bit. It was the first spell I ever tinkered with, and I'm quite proud of it."
"This is all every interesting," said Hangeld, "but can we get back to the story?"
James grinned and looked at Rose, inviting her to continue the story.
"What about using a coin?" Rose asked.
James shook his head. "I think I can use the spell to attach it to something that used to be alive, but metal was never alive."
Rose nodded slowly as she considered that. She had another idea. "What about a coin shaped wooden disk? Something you could easily hide in a pocket or pouch?"
James smiled at her. "Perfect. Cheap, easy to make, and just as easy to hide." He sat up in his chair and began making notes. "We'll need to create markings for the disks, and a name for our business."
Rose looked at him. "Are you serious about selling these things?"
James looked up at her. Of course I am. Didn't you read that article in the Wizard's Eye? Those Weasley twins from England are making a fortune with their stores, Weasley's Wizard Wheezes."
They discussed possible names for their business, but went to bed without having made a decision.
Rose woke up the next morning and she knew what the name had to be. She put on her robe and went across the hall to James's room. She shook him until he blinked blearily at her. "The Green Flower."
James looked at her, trying to absorb what she was saying. "Fine. I was up late though, so will you leave so I can get some sleep?" he muttered plaintively.
Rose smirked at him. "You can go back to sleep, but that would probably mean that mom will pick out your school things."
James opened his eyes again. "I don't think so. Get out of here so I can get dressed."
Rose grinned and turned to go. As she reached the door, she turned, about to say something only to duck as James's pillow sailed through the door where her head had been. "I said get out, not make sarcastic comments." Rose closed the door, laughing.
In central City, they got the things they needed and then stepped into the Muggle world through the back wall of Jerry's Diner, an old café run by a Wizard.
Central City was like any other Wizard city, hidden in a Muggle city. In the case of Central City, it was hidden in Helena, Montana, and was the biggest Wizard city in the central section of North America.
The twins were still debating a prank when they went into a store to get some jeans. Rose was looking at socks while James was waiting to try on a pair of jeans. As he waited, a large man pushed past him and opened one of the dressing room doors. The teenage boy inside turned red and started yelling at the man, who shut the door hastily.
James was sudden intent on an idea, and Rose looked at him. She came over, and waited until James wasn't quite as intent on his idea. "First prank?"
James smiled, still thinking about his idea. "Do you know where mom has that book of junk she bought awhile back?"
Rose grinned, even as she looked around for their mother. "You mention that book in her presence, and you won't need any school things," she murmured, even as she thought about it. "Yes, I know where it is, why?"
James grinned as he began explaining what he had in mind. Rose looked at him when he was done. The twins were still planning how to make it work when they got home. The first thing they had to do was get the Book O' Junk, as James called it.
Mary had purchased the book a year or so earlier, from an ad in the Wizard's Eye. The book supposedly held fifty spells to help anybody maintain their house, cleaning, cooking, and over spells.
It did have fifty spells… all of which were either so simple that anyone could do them, or so silly that none of the Evans's could figure out why you'd want to do them. The "Door Shutter" would shut a door behind someone, with out hands. Useful, but the spell had been around so long that even Muggles had stories of doors that shut themselves. The "Wandering Key" was one of the silly ones. If you lost your key, you simply called for it, like you would your dog, and if it was within the sound of your voice, it would come to you. It worked, too well. The key would come to you, no matter what was in the way. People, glass, wood, it didn't matter to the key.
James looked through the book, and pointed out a spell to Rose. She read it and looked up at James. The matching smiles that spread across their faces boded ill for something or someone.
Rose and James began working on the prank, adapting the spells they would need to make this work. James was using a simple color-changing prank to test the "Aglutino" and "Living Magic" spells that would be part of the disks. The "Aglutino" spell was the spell that allowed the disk to stick to things without damaging them.
While he did that, Rose was learning the spell that they were going to be using for this prank. Once she had it down, she taught it to James. Something about the bond they shared made it easier for one of them to teach the other one something.
When they weren't working on the prank, they were trying to figure out just how much they would have to make on each disk in order to make a profit. This led to a number of talks with their parents about profits and losses, and led them to make a few changes in the disk.
Two weeks before the beginning of school the prank was ready and the twins made one hundred of their first public prank. On the first day of school, James and Rose spent the entire day passing the word to the Wizards in the school. Much as Wizards hid their cities in Muggle cities, they had hidden a wizard school inside the local school. The Wizards went to the regular school for some classes and to the Wizard school for the rest.
By the third day, when James and Rose were going to start giving out the pranks, every Wizard child knew something was up, and James didn't disappoint them. Before school on the third day, he distributed all of the disks, with instructions on how and where to place them. It was simple, as all they had to do was say "Aglutino" and put the disk against someone's robes. It would stick there, and the prank would normally go off one minute later.
Today, James had set all the pranks to go off at the same time. He wanted to make an impression, not have most of the disks confiscated because one person used their disk too early.
They went into their classes, only to find out that there would be a special treat today. The Secretary of Magic would be giving a speech in Central City today, and the Wizard children were going to see it.
James grinned at Rose as they left the classrooms to go to the Portkey site. "I think we're going to have a bigger audience than we thought for our debut."
Rose nodded, but she was frowning slightly. Something about this was making her very nervous.
All of the children were in front of the stage where the Secretary of Magic was going to give the speech by 1145
The Secretary of Magic showed up just a couple of minutes later, and walked through the crowd, shaking hands and kissing babies, just as any other politician that has to run for office did.
He finally reached the stage at 1157, and strode up to the podium. The speech was going to be carried on the Wizard Wireless, (The Radio, don't ya know… Raven having fun.) and the Wizard Window. (Can you say Television? I knew you could. Mrs. Rogers.)
Everything was ready for the Secretary's speech, and in the crowd the only disturbed person was Rose, who knew that something bad was about to happen, but who didn't know what.
At 1200 noon, central time Rose found out, and James found a large flaw in his prank. James and Rose had taken a spell designed to allow wizards to see out of their windows without having to open their curtains. Basically, it turned cloth into something like one-way glass, see though on one side only.
James's idea had been simple. The make disks that make the wearer think his or her clothes had disappeared. Of course, everyone else would still be able to see their clothing, and wouldn't understand what they were talking about.
That was the idea, anyway.
What happened, was that not everyone listened to the instructions that James had given them. Instead of sticking the disks to the outside of the robes, almost half ended up dropped in a pocket, or stuck to the inside of a robe.
At 1200 noon, the Secretary of Magic started his speech, and the first Green Flower prank went off. Fifty-six people in the crowd started screaming as their clothes disappeared. Everyone else started screaming, as forty-four people's clothes faded away to everyone else's vision. One of those people was the Secretary of Magic.
In front of the Wizard Window, nearly three hundred people, and one highly embarrassed set of twins, the entire world found out that the Secretary of Magic didn't wear underwear.
In Chimera's room, silence reigned while Chimera imagined the scene. Emma was the first to start giggling, and quickly, everyone except the twins was laughing. The twins sat there with red faces, waiting for the merriment to end.
When everyone had quit laughing, Melissa looked at them. "I can see why you got sued. What was the result of the lawsuit?"
James flushed even darker. "We were forbidden to ever use that prank again, required to pay the Secretary a huge sun for embarrassment, banned from playing any prank on the Secretary of Magic and required to test all future pranks privately before using them in public."
Rose grinned at Chimera. "Speaking of which, Brother mine, we do have this new disk to test." Rose tossed James a disk, and James looked at it curiously.
He read the markings on the back and smiled. "You finished it. That's great." James started looking at the other members of Chimera with an expression they all knew well by now.
"Adam, we have a four foot Potions essay to finish," Lisa said, and the two of them fled.
Emma didn't even wait for James to look at her. "If you use that on Hangeld or I, we won't give you anything new for a year."
James weighed that threat and sighed. Emma and Hangeld's potion experiments were just too valuable. Rose grinned at May-ling and Melissa, both of whom were looking decidedly nervous. "Relax, James needs a couple for that disk, a couple willing to kiss."
James was thinking about that, and he finally grinned. "Jerrick and Sonya are upstairs somewhere, and it's only fitting that Jerrick test this one, since he taught me the spell. If you ladies will excuse me, I'll just go have a word with them." James went out of the room whistling.
Rose told the other two what the disk was going to do. Melissa sighed. "Come on May-ling, we'd better go find them. Jerrick's very calm, but Sonya is going to go through the roof over this. Your brother is going to need us soon."
May-ling smiled. "I'll be along in just a minute."
Melissa left, and May-ling spoke to Rose over their new link. "I have heard you and James thinking about a Unicorn. May I know the story behind the Lumbermen and the Unicorn?"
Rose started laughing. "I would love to tell you that story, but I promised that I would never tell it. You'll have to get the story from James."
May-ling smiled, and her eyes lit up. "I love a challenge."