Emaleneangel: Me back, and me not own.
It had been over three years since I had taken a vacation, so when my bosses decided to hold team-building convention in Las Vegas I wasn't going to complain. Although we did attend the daily classes where we helped others climb through nets and over walls without magic, it obviously wasn't on the top of anybody's priority list. The majority of my colleagues showed up hung-over. I, on the other hand, had decided to remain mentally fit during the sessions. If I was going to become an ambassador by the age of thirty I needed all the extra boosts I could get against the competition. So before I had even stepped off of the plane there I had decided that, although I would be a good girl, the last night was mine.
I hadn't planned on getting drunk and not remembering a good portion of it. Infact the whole thing had started innocently enough with a Celine Dion concert. I know most of my friends, at least the muggle-born ones, would probably disown me if they found out my obsession for the Canadian superstar, and really who could blame them? She's supposed to be for soccer moms and women who read cheesy Romance novels because they have no job and their husbands ignore them. Anyway, after the show I went to some popular club that my friends had been bragging about, and while I was there I think some repressed part of me snapped because as soon as I ordered the first drink I couldn't stop.
That's when things began to get a bit fuzzy. But I couldn't have done anything that bad. I mean, even drunk as an Irishman I'm still Hermione Granger. At least that's what I thought until I woke up the next morning and felt warm arms wrapped around my naked stomach.
My first reaction was to jump and screech, which was bad because it led to me falling out of the bed and I had one hell of a hangover. The man in my bed appeared to have over imbibed as well because he simply groaned at my shriek but didn't move. Then I took a look around from my squatting position on the floor and realized that I wasn't in my hotel at all and screeched again. It wasn't that I was a virgin or something, I just wasn't accustomed to spending the night with men that I didn't know the name of.
I slowly pulled myself off of the plushly carpeted floor, wrapping a sheet around me as I stood. As soon as I looked at him my hands flew to my mouth in order to suppress a sob. Fiery red hair and a back that looked like it had been attacked with freckles. I stood there like that for a few moments before my brain seemed to catch up with my eyes.
'This is Ron,' I thought to myself. 'I'll just tell him that nothing happened.' Of course I knew that I was lying to myself. Articles of my clothing had been randomly tossed throughout the room. My silk panties were twirling around the ceiling fan for Merlin's sake. But Ron would believe me and I could go back to lying to myself.
I leaned forward to prod the side of the man who had spent the night beside, and most likely inside, me. That's when I realized with a shock that he wasn't Ron at all. No his hair was a bit longer and his shoulders were wider. But that wasn't the worst part.
No it was that I still had no idea who was laying there, sprawled out like a dead man. So without any other course open I poked him. "George?... Fred?" I tried again.
I awoke the next morning to someone calling my name. I wasn't quite awake enough to wonder where I was or whose raspy voice had brought me back into consciousness. I only knew that my body was splendidly gloriously relaxed in such a way that only a night of intense shagging could have provided. So without a second thought I turned around to kiss the woman who was currently prodding my ribs with her fingers. Although I probably should have realized something was wrong when she didn't respond to my kiss it wasn't until she shoved me away with a resounding, "Eeep," that I even opened my eyes.
For a second everything was blurry, and then both my vision and my pounding headache began to come into focus. I wasn't sure which caused me to swear first. I stared at the mass of hair that could normally house a small family of gnomes but was beyond gigantic post-coital. "Hermione?" I gasped. Yes I, Fred Weasley, actually gasped. But, honestly, I had just been woken up by my brother's ex-(and quite naked under her sheet from the look of it)-girlfriend. I wanted to say something reassuring, or at least one of my witty trade mark responses but my mother's words kept on running through my head, "if you don't watch your liquor Fred your going to wake up one day married to a stripper," extra venom on the 'stripper.' Well fate had gotten part of it right, even if it had been the least interesting part. It was the only piece of advice that she had given solely to me and not as a two for one lecture, which George and I could later laugh about. Finally I just covered my eyes and growled. "Close the fucking curtains, will you?"
"Honestly," I could feel a lecture happening but at least she proceeded to do as I asked. "This isn't a time to bloody swear. Fred, George, whoever you are." At that I couldn't prevent a smile from spreading across my face. She didn't know who I was. "Oh so you think that's funny do you?" I could feel her bouncing back and forth from hysteria. Her voice cracked and changed like a pendulum on speed. It was such a golden opportunity that I couldn't prevent myself from saying what I did next.
"I'm Fred? Or am I George? Who knows?"
"If you do not tell me you're name right now," she said. This time her voice was like a string that was being pulled unbelievably taut. It was raspy and damn sexy, but I finally found my common sense and decided it would be better not to piss her off anymore. "And I mean RIGHT NOW, I will not be responsible for my actions."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes I'm bloody sure." With that she sighed and sank down into a chair across from me. "So what happened?" I asked.
"Well I should think that would be obvious." I rolled my eyes.
"I meant before that."
She turned to face me, raising her head from her hands. "Believe it or not I don't remember." She said it with a smile, almost as if she was proud of the fact that she had gotten trashed. Great! Why did I have to be around the one time that Granger decided to let loose. "By the way," she started, interrupting my thoughts, "where are we?"
"My hotel room." Her eyes signaled for me to continue. "George and I arethinking about opening a store here. There's a rather large wizarding community in Las Vegas."
"I'd believe it," she muttered. "By the way, where is George?" As if the fates were taking a perverse pleasure at listening into our conversation I heard the automatic lock on the door click open. We both stared in horror as first one foot entered, then another, then an entire George Weasley.
"Hey Fred. I got some breakfast since you were pretty messed-up yesterday and from the way it sounded through the wall you weren't alone." If he hadn't of ordered me breakfast I would have cursed him out for being so damn chipper, but George always had been able to hold his liquor better. I watched with some sick sort of pleasure as he took the final step that would reveal Hermione. "Oh I see that you still do have company. Hi, my name is George. I'm the cuter twin."
"Do you say that to every girl?" scowled Hermione. I smirked as I watch my brothers face change from flirtatious to puzzlement to outright shock. Although my family has always been teased about our last name the truth was that none of us look even remotely like a weasel. Charlie's always been a lizard, Ginny, a parakeet, and Ron, a horse. But George has some movements that are quite reminiscent of a squirrel. So when he saw Hermione and I in the positions that we were in I wasn't at all surprised when he scampered back, his wrists flying to his face but his finger tipsstill extended away from his body. "Her…her...her…" he attempted.
"Oh, honestly, George. I know that you didn't graduate but you should at least be able to pronounce my name." My brother then turned to me.
"Nasty piece of work you got there, Fred." I laughed when Hermione's jaw tightened and then decided I had better change the subject.
"So what are we going to do?"
"Nothing. I mean, no one has to know except for the two… I mean three of us.
Oh God," she groaned. "I'm so late. What is my boss going to think?" Only Hermione would worry about her job when waking up with, if not a total stranger, a long-time acquaintance. But overall I thought that her plan was pretty good. George seemed to have other ideas, however.
"It may be a bit presumptuous, but would I be wrong if I presumed that you werein a similar state to my brother yesterday?"
"And what state was Fred Yesterday?"
"Stumbling, singing obnoxiously, uttering horrible pick-up lines."
"Then you would be correct."
"Um Hermione, look at your left hand." She followed his advice and the first thing she did was groan like she was constipated. Then she raised her hand and I saw the sparkle on her ring finger.
We had been eating silently for a good half an hour. After the revelation we really hadn't been in the mood to talk. I watched as Hermione buttered her toast. Her knife had long since spread the condiment over the bread but she continued to swipe the silver utensil absently. I carelessly stirred lumps of sugar into my coffee. George tried to mask his amusement with plates and food but I could see it in the way he arched his eyebrows. Finally he turned to me and broke the silence. "So how do you feel?" he asked, sympathetically. I didn't think my face muscles were working enough to glare properly so I left the sarcasm behind.
"I feel like I've had a broom stick shoved up my butt and out my ear. Repeatedly." To my surprise Hermione nodded in agreement.
"Well from what I heard yesterday night that may well have happened."
Hermione glared at my brother and I sighed. She must really not know George because nothing is more likely to make him continue teasing than a challenge, even one issued by something as subtle as glance. Suddenly his voice changed to an off-key imitation of hers. "Oh Freddie, you be the rabbit and I'll be the Elephant. ROAR." This time when she blushed her face became as red as my hair, which if you think about it is sort of fitting. I mean, now that she's a Weasley she should possess our infamous red in one way or another.
"Anyway," George continued. "If your head hurts so much why don't you just perform the charm?" If I wasn't afraid that my head would explode I would have slammed it down onto the table.
"Do you mind doing it for me? I don't know where my wand is at the moment."
George chuckled but put both Hermione and me out of our misery.
After George performed his charm I was able to think again for the first time in what seemed like centuries. I also realized how stupid I was with a hangover and resolved never to have one again. Smiling I turned to the twins. "I've got it." They looked at me and then exchanged glances as if to say, 'she's back.' I chose to ignore them. "Don't you see? Nothing has to change. We don't have to tell anybody. We can just go home and file for an annulment." Then I remembered the clothe-less state in which I had awoken, "or maybe in this case a divorce. I know that it might get a bit complicated but I AM in the Ministry so…" Ok so I didn't have that big of a job at the ministry, I KNEW that I didn't have that big of a job at the ministry, but I WAS in the process of lying to myself.
"Whoa, slow down Hermione," said Fred, reaching out and grasping my hands. I looked up at him. It was the first time he had touched me the entire mourning. "What do you mean? It's perfect!"
"There's a few things you haven't taken into consideration," George continued for his brother. "First of all you weren't married in England so you'd have to deal with international law. Secondly, do you even know where you were married?" Fred and I looked at each other and shook our heads. "You can't very well get divorced if you don't know where you were married."
"And how would YOU know all of this anyway?" I knew I was being nasty when he was only trying to be helpful, but goddamit, why couldn't he just say what I wanted him to?
"He's in charge of all the business transactions at Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes," said Fred.
"Well since a lot of it deals with contracts and such I've decided to get my IMLL," George finished for his brother. My eyes widened a little as he said it. IMLL stood for International Magical Law License.
"Oh congratulations." I couldn't prevent myself from hugging him. "I haven't graduated yet," he laughed and for a moment everything was back to normal. Then I had to talk again.
"But back to the problems you mentioned; we can deal with those. We can find out where we were married, and I'm in the department of International Co-operation so that shouldn't be a problem." Fred simply stared at the wall and George continued to shake his head. "What! What aren't you telling me?" I was looking at George but it was Fred that answered.
"We can't get divorced." At that my body finally did what it had been threatening to do since I had first sat down. I fell out of my chair. For a second I just laid there, hoping that the plush carpet would somehow envelope me. Luck, unfortunately, has never been on my side.
"What do you mean we can't get divorced?" I enunciated, pretty sure that my face was twitching.
"We can, just not for a year." At that I slammed my head against the leg of the table. It took a couple moments of breathing exercises but I was finally able to look at them again. George once again picked up where Fred had left off. Even in my state I couldn't help but notice how professional he sounded, and how much like Dumbledore.
"As you know divorce is very popular amongst muggles. The thing that they don't know about marriage is that there is a great deal of magic involved in the ceremony, even if none of the participants posses a drop of magical blood. And you know how the Ministry is when wizards don't take magic seriously. By the way, how do you not know about this?
"Like I go around researching random topics," I snorted. Both Fred and George stared at me. "Fine I do, but I wasn't scheduled to read An Appraisal of Magical Marriages for another three months." I ignored the obsessive eye-rolling.
"Anyway," George continued. "marriage rites, at least in countries of Anglo-Saxon influence, which the US is, have their marriage laws based on ancient Pagan Handfasting ceremonies. Basically every year the couple involved either renews their vows or goes their separate ways. Thus if you want to get divorced the day you got married…"
"You have to be married for a year before you can actually do it."
"You could always claim that he beat you…"
"How could you even say that?" I asked. For a moment it was silent. Then, "But we can just not tell anyone, right? I mean, nothing will change." I looked up at them
plaintively, begging them not to say what I was pretty sure they would, because even then I think that I knew it was a lost cause.
"You know the papers will find out about it. It isn't that George or I are THAT successful. But you know that they haven't had anything to write about since Voldemort was defeated. Who am I kidding, they never had anything to write about." I turned to Fred. He had always been one of the few people raised in the wizarding community that hadn't been afraid to say that name. That fact had always made me respect him in a way I doubt I would have otherwise.
"So what do we do then?" I asked my husband.
"We'll have to tell my family at least. I don't know if yours is in touch with the magical world." I shook my head in response. "I can't even imagine what Mum would do if she read it in the paper first, but I'm guessing that you wouldn't have to worry about a divorce."
"How long do you think we have before they find out?"
"A week, tops."
"So I should probably stop over for dinner in a few days."
"Yeah, it just kills me that she was right though."
"Who was right about what?" I asked Fred, but once again George answered. I loved them both but this was just getting annoying.
"Mum predicted that he would get drunk and wake up married to a stripper."
"Oh, so is that what you think of me Fred?"
"Ooh, Freddiekins, if you don't watch it you'll be sleeping on the couch."
"No he'll be sleeping in HIS house. Speaking of home I'd better go. I've already missed the plane so I had better dissaparate." Ever since the attack on the Twin Towers wizards traveling in large groups had been forced to enter and exit America the non-magical way so as to not confuse security guards and the CIA. "I'll call you tomorrow." Fred nodded. I leant down and kissed them both on the forehead before I grabbed my clothes and left for my hotel room.
Emaleneangel: so there's chapter one again. The best is yet to come