Disclaimer: The Harry Potter universe does not belong to me. I'm not making any money off of this.

Card Tricks
By DagniroVanaliel

Five past six.

Jenna had been checking her watch every couple minutes for the past... two or three hours. She was close as ever to the desired time, but the hands still refused to point to seven o'clock.

Slouching against the cash register, she stared broodily out into the white blanket of snow coating the village. Christmas was supposed to be the paper store's busiest time of the year, what with everyone wanting gifts and stationary on which to write Christmas letters to loved ones, but so far no one had come in.

She checked her watch again. Ten past. Sighing impatiently, Jenna glared at the cash register as if it were all its fault that there were no customers.

The little ding of a bell interrupted her thoughts, and she glanced up.

Immediately, a grin crossed Jenna's face. The red-haired twins, Fred and George, walked cheerfully into her shop. One went down Aisle Two, and the other approached her.

"Hi, Jenna," he said, a stunning smile on his face. Jenna giggled. "Getting lonely?"

She nodded. "Yeah. Supposed to be the busiest time of year, this."

"Well, I just learned a new card trick," the boy--George, she thought--said cheerfully. "Care to be the first to test it?" Jenna shrugged, pretending not to care, but inside she was soaring. "All right, then."

"George, are you showing off to the girl again?" his twin interrupted. George ignored him and pulled out a deck of cards. As he began shuffling, Fred tried to point out the obvious flaws in his technique. Jenna ignored him.

"Okay, Jenna, here we go. Pick a card."

An hour later, George was perched cheerfully on the counter, waving cards around at lightning speed, while Fred examined a row of pens and forced himself not to comment on the oddity of the ballpoint. Jenna only had eyes for George.

"Wow!" she gasped appreciatively, and George tried not to laugh. He had his wand hidden up his right sleeve, and while he knew it was a stupid and reckless abuse of his abilities, he didn't really care. Besides, the girl thought it was all clever Muggle magic tricks.

She checked her watch. "Oh! I didn't realize how late it was!" she exclaimed. "It's already a quarter past seven! I'm really sorry, but I need to close."

George shrugged. "All right. I'll come back tomorrow," he said, and made to leave as Jenna began locking things up. "Actually, Jenna... Would you like to come have a drink with us?"

Jenna thought for a moment--or rather, she pretended to think. She'd already made up her mind. "Okay," she agreed. "I'd like that."

And as the three left the little paper shop in the Muggle village, George's arm looped through the girl's, and the snow falling all around them, George found his worries pushed to the back of his mind. Here, in this village, with this pretty Muggle shopgirl, he could enjoy the weather, enjoy Christmas, and enjoy a world where magic was regarded as a party trick with which he could impress young girls.