Four's a Crowd
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Why yes, I'm a crossover junkie, why do you ask? After finding out what clowns the Lamborghini twins could be I figured a crossover like this would be a gimmie. But since I haven't found a fic starring the world's two most destructive -- and yet most FUN -- sets of twins yet, I figured I'd write my own. Insert maniacal laughter here...
This story takes place during the summer between Harry's third and fourth year at Hogwarts, before the Quidditch World Cup. Written over the course of two days in a fit of madness. I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.
There's a perfectly logical explanation for why this fic isn't set at Hogwarts. According to "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," machines don't work on Hogwarts grounds. Which means Transformers would most likely drop dead once they set foot on the grounds, and that would make for too short of a story.
Transformers belongs to Hasbro/Takara, Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling. The Chromatus Spell belongs to me, as it's my creation. Please don't sue me...
PURGE & DOWSE, LTD./ST. MUNGO'S HOSPITAL FOR MAGICAL MALADIES AND INJURIES
It was a hot day in London. To be exact, it was a hot, muggy, sticky day in London that seemed to suck the very oxygen out of the air, and so far the eighth in an unbroken streak of hot and sticky days that seemed bound and determined to suffocate the city in a heavy blanket of its own fumes. A ceiling of pasty gray clouds pinned the heat down amidst the streets and buildings, at the same time teasing and taunting the citizenry with an unfulfilled promise of cooling rain. Everywhere one looked they could see Londoners collapsed on benches or at bus stops, mopping useless sweat from their faces or waving newspapers in a desperate attempt to circulate some air. The entire city crawled along at a snail's pace, unwilling or unable to move any faster in the humid heat.
Outside a decrepit department store whose faded sign declared "Purge and Dowse Ltd. -- Closed For Renovation," two teenage boys puttered about miserably, their startlingly-red hair looking rather wilted from the heat. They were quite similar in appeareance -- freckled and imp-faced, gangly and tall, and the inch or so of ankle showing at the cuffs of their jeans legs indicated they were growing fast. One, distinguishable from the other only by a navy blue T-shirt that read Puddlemere United and bore two crossed bullrushes on the chest, kicked idly at a half-crushed pop can. The other, wearing a pale blue shirt declaring Appleby Arrows, leaned against the brick wall of the store with his hands stuffed in his pockets.
"I'm bored, Fred," the one leaning against the wall complained.
"So'm I, George," his twin replied, sending the pop can skittering across the sidewalk with a firm kick. "What do you suggest we do about it?"
"Dunno. Mum threatened to take our brooms if we acted up, remember?"
"If she caught us acting up," Fred corrected, grinning. "Which gives us considerable freedom if we just remember to keep it quiet."
"What's the fun of it if you have to keep quiet?" demanded George.
"Hmmm. Good point."
"Why won't she let us go into the hospital anyway?" George wondered. "You'd think we were raving lunatics or something." He heightened his voice to an absurd level. "'We're off to get your new robes, Fred and George, but first I'm going to St. Mungo's to visit your dear old aunt -- poor thing's got a touch of the dragon pox, you know. I want you on exemplary behavior while I'm in here, and if I hear you've blown up a fire hydrant or something...'"
"She knows good and well we've never blown up a fire hydrant," Fred retorted.
"Have to thank her for the idea, though. Maybe we should try it."
"It doesn't sound bad at all, actually. We could use the cooling off right now."
Meanwhile, less than twenty feet away, two Lamborghinis stood parked along the curb in front of the derelict store, gleaming in the watery daylight. Nearly identical save in color, their windows were darkly tinted as if to conceal their contents, and their sleek, elegant frames attracted many curious and envious looks. One, a shade of red that was referred to as "Arrest Me Red" in some parts of the world, had been parked rather crookedly, so its back end stuck out a little in traffic. The other, brilliantly yellow and waxed to a high gloss, had taken up two parking spots as if attempting to maintain a healthy distance between itself and any other vehicles.
Only an observer with the proper equipment would have been able to pick up the exchange that was taking place between the two cars at this moment.
"I'm bored," grumped the red vehicle.
"Join the club."
"How long do we have to sit here anyhow? If the 'Cons haven't shown their manifolds by now, why not call it a day and pack it in?"
"Stop your whining already, Sides. Primus, you'd think you were the only one having to sit all day in this miserable weather."
"You think ALL weather is miserable, Sunny. If it's sunny it'll fade your interior, if it's cold it'll make your hydraulics seize, if there's even a hint of rain or snow it'll ruin your precious paint job..."
"Unlike SOME mechs I could mention, I actually give a frag about how I look."
The red car gave a snort that made a passing shopper jump and look suspiciously about before continuing on her way. "Yeah, you look like a freakin' banana, shut up already."
"The banana joke was old the day you came up with it, slagger."
"It's all I've got. My CPU can't function right in this heat." He shifted ever so slightly on his suspension. "Primus, Prowl, call it off already and let's get back to the Ark. I have a Night-Elf Hunter I need to level up."
The minutes ticked by. Fred and George continued to mill about aimlessly while Sideswipe and Sunstreaker continued to banter and bicker on their closed-communication link. All the while London continued to slide past the two sets of twins, completely unconcerned.
It was Fred who unwittingly initiated first contact when he kicked the pop can hard enough to send it sailing through the air. It ricocheted off the yellow car's hood and landed with a clatter in the street.
"Hey, watch it!"
"Sorry, mate," Fred replied reflexively.
George pulled away from the building, suddenly intrigued. "Who said that?"
"Dunno, whatever bloke's in that car." Fred jerked a thumb toward the yellow vehicle.
"Wow," breathed George. "That's a bloody wicked ride!"
"Probably one of those Italian imports," Fred noted. "But I think I like the red one better." He reached out and appreciatively stroked the red vehicle's fender.
Sideswipe shivered a little, struggling not to squirm in his tires. Please, kid, knock that off, it tickles...
"Wish Dad would get a new car," humphed George, seating himself carelessly on the yellow Lamborghini's bonnet. "Doesn't even have to be a flying one. Just something so we wouldn't have to keep using the Floo network all the time..."
It was at that moment that Sunstreaker proved he was totally unfit for spy work. "Listen, you little organic pup, if you want to leave this vicinity without being squished into a greasy smear on the asphalt, GET OFF OF MY HOOD!"
George leaped off of the yellow Lambo as if he'd just sat on a pincushion. Fred recoiled as if discovering he'd been touching a Basilisk instead of a car. The twins stared at the two cars in utter shock.
Sideswipe didn't bother resorting to the closed link. "Nice goin', bro."
"He was sitting on my hood," grumped Sunstreaker. "The studs on his pants could have scratched my paint..."
"Slag your paint." He turned his attention to the twins, who were still gaping. "Um... hey there. Sideswipe. Autobot. Nice to meet you."
Neither boy moved.
"What's the matter, electro-cat got your vocalizer?"
"It talks," the one who'd been touching his fender said at last. "Bloody hell, the car talks."
"What'll those Muggles think of next?" marveled the one that had set Sunstreaker off in the first place.
"What's a Muggle?" asked Sideswipe.
"Fraggin' idiots," Sunstreaker muttered. "He already told you we're Autobots. Not fraggin' talking cars."
"What's an Autobot?" the boys asked in unison.
"You're kidding, right?" Sideswipe chuckled. "The whole world knows about the Autobots..." His vocalizer trailed off as the boys continued to stare blankly. "You really don't know, do you?"
They shook their heads.
"Slaggit." He twitched a door panel in annoyance. "Then we'll have to start from scratch, won't we? Like I said, I'm Sideswipe. The slagger behind me's my brother Sunstreaker. What're your names?"
"I'm Fred Weasley," one of them introduced, seeming to calm down a bit.
"And I'm George Weasley," the other added. "We're twins."
"Like it wasn't obvious," muttered Sunstreaker.
"Shove it, Sunny." To the twins he said brightly, "No kidding! We're twins too!"
"You sound like an idiot," Sunstreaker informed him.
"I won't tell you what you sound like," Sideswipe retorted.
"Bloody cool!" Fred gushed. "So you're not just talking cars, you're actually alive?"
"Yup," Sideswipe replied. "Though we're not actually cars. We're Transformers."
George caught on quickly. "So you can transform from cars into..."
"Would you believe giant robots?" Sideswipe told him, having way too much fun.
"Oh wow," George breathed. "Giant robots! Just like those Muggle movies Dad brings home sometimes!"
"What the slag is a Muggle?" asked Sunstreaker.
"Non-wizard human," Fred replied before he could stop himself. He cursed loudly when he realized what he'd said.
Sunstreaker gave a snide laugh. "Right, wizards. So where's your pointy hats and wands?"
"Pointy hats are SO last century," George quipped. "As for wands..." He drew his wand and held each end in his fingers to show the Autobots.
"Yay, it's a stick," Sunstreaker said flatly.
"Shut up, Goldenrod," Sideswipe barked. To George he said, "Show me what you can do with it, please? Pretty please? I've never seen a wizard or magic before!"
"Well, there are rules regarding underage wizards and magical use," Fred noted.
"Not that we care about them," grinned George, and with a swish of his wand he turned to Sunstreaker. "Chromatus!"
Sunstreaker gave an inarticulate bawl as the bright yellow of his paint job suddenly swirled into a kalaidescope of reds, blues, greens, pinks, purples, and oranges. Sideswipe nearly blew a hose from laughing so hard.
"Shut the frag up, Yugo-spawn! Look at me, I look like a slagging hippie-car!"
"It's an improvement," Sideswipe got out before laughter overtook him again.
Fred laughed and waved his wand. "Finite Incantantum."
The colors faded, leaving Sunstreaker's paint completely white before it shaded to its usual yellow. If Fred had been under the impression that the Lambo's mood would improve upon reverting back to his usual color, he was sorely mistaken.
"Rotten little fleshling slaggers," he grumbled, shifting into gear. "Let's find another stakeout point."
"No way, Prowl assigned us here. Besides, I like these kids."
"You would," grumped Sunstreaker.
"Can we go for a ride in you?" asked Fred. "We've never ridden in a sports car before."
"We'd be delighted to give you kids a ride!" Sideswipe said gleefully, raising his gull-wing doors. "Wouldn't we, Sunstreaker?"
"Frag you, pig slagger," Sunstreaker hissed, but he raised his doors anyway. "Once around the block, and that's IT!"
The twins whooped as they clambored inside, Fred claiming Sideswipe and George taking Sunstreaker. They clapped their doors shut, pulled away from the curb, and merged with the London traffic.
"This is so wicked!" gushed George. "Hey, what's this button do?"
"Don't touch my controls!" Sunstreaker barked a few seconds too late as rowdy punk rock filled his interior. George grimaced painfully and jabbed his wand at the radio, murmuring a spell before fiddling with the dials again. Soon a weird folk-rock song poured out of the stereo, a song that delighted George but made Sunstreaker's audials wilt.
"What the slag?" he demanded.
"'Beat Back Those Bludgers, Boys, and Chuck That Quaffle Here,' by Celestina Warbeck," grinned George. "It's a Quidditch song. Very popular."
"Kill me now," he moaned.
Meanwhile, Sideswipe had discovered that Fred had a mouth that could very well rival Bluestreak's when he was on a roll.
"Don't tell me you robots don't know about Quidditch! It's only the greatest game ever played! M'brother and I are Beaters for the Gryffindor Team, and we won the Hogwarts championship last year! And you should see our Seeker, he's the best Gryffindor has had in years! Helps that he rides a Firebolt, though... You and your brother really should come to the World Cup, Dad got our family tickets to see the match! Ireland against Bulgaria! Dunno who I favor to win -- Ireland's got a great team, but Bulgaria's got Viktor Krum, he's one of the greatest Seekers there is..."
"You lost me at Beaters, kid."
"Like I said, come to the World Cup. You'll learn all about it and have a blast too. Dad works for the Ministry of Magic, I'm sure he can rig something that'll allow you guys to come to the game..."
"Sides!" shrieked Sunstreaker. "Get back on the right side of the road!"
"I AM on the right side!"
"No, get on the left!"
Sideswipe swerved back into the left lane just in time to avoid a head-on collision with a delivery truck. Fred applauded the maneuver enthusiastically.
"What the slag were you doing?" demanded Sunstreaker. "You trying to get yourself and the organic killed?"
"Humans are supposed to drive on the right side of the road!"
"You're in England. The left side is the right side here."
"You didn't listen to the briefing, did you?"
"No, I was busy rigging that 'kick me' sign to Perceptor's back..."
"SIDESWIPE AND SUNSTREAKER, WHERE THE SLAG ARE YOU?"
Sideswipe flinched at Prowl's tone, but he answered the radio call as cheerily as he could. "Whassup, Prowl?"
"I've been trying to reach you for the past five minutes!"
"Sorry, I kinda picked up a talkative passenger. What's happening?"
"Jazz, Tracks, and Brawn have sighted Motormaster close to Hyde Park."
"You want us to go help them kick a little aft?" asked Sunstreaker.
"They have that situation under control. I want you two to keep an optic out for the rest of the Stunticons. Alert me if you see ANYTHING suspicious."
"Roger that, Prowl. Sideswipe out."
"Who's Prowl, what's an optic, and what's a Stunticon?" asked Fred.
"It's a long story..." began Sideswipe.
"Blimey!" exclaimed Fred, interrupting the Autobot. "Talking of going the wrong way on the road..."
Sideswipe and Sunstreaker hit their brakes and screeched to a smoking halt. Traffic ahead of them parted violently like the Red Sea for Moses, pedestrians scattering and cars and motorbikes swerving as four vehicles barreled down the road toward the two sets of twins. With a jolt through their circuits the Lamborghinis recognized the vehicles -- a yellow Formula-1 racer, a red Porsche, a white Lamborghini, and a silver Ferrari.
"Are they mental?" demanded George.
"Close enough," Sunstreaker told him. "They're Decepticons."
He popped his doors open. "Get out, kid. This is gonna get messy."
Sideswipe likewise raised his doors. "Run, Fred! Let Sunny and I handle this."
Fred and George climbed out of the vehicles and ran for the sidewalk... just as the four wrong-way vehicles split apart, unfolding limbs and thrusting heads into view. The citizens of London scattered in terror as four of the five Stunticons assumed robot form and looked around with awful, eager gleams in their vivid scarlet optics.
In response Sideswipe and Sunstreaker unfolded from their vehicle modes, springing to their feet and drawing guns from subspace in the time it took to blink. They braced their legs apart in battle stances and leveled their weapons at the Stunticons, their azure optics darkening to a feral navy.
Fred and George exchanged a wide-eyed look and spoke one word only: "Cool."
"Well, well, well, whadda we got here?" sneered Wildrider. "Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, the Autobots' class clowns!"
"Stand aside, Autopunks," advised Dragstrip, "and maybe we won't slag you."
"No doing, pal," Sideswipe replied. "Hey, is that your faceplate, or did you get mixed up this morning and swap it with your skidplate?"
Breakdown erupted into laughter, earning a glower from Dragstrip and a disgusted look from Dead End.
"You talk pretty big for a 'Bot about to be pummelled into scrap," Dragstrip sneered, flicking a gun out of subspace.
"Bring it on, yellow-belly," Sunstreaker growled.
"Look who's talking," Breakdown said snidely.
While the Stunticons and Lamborghinis sparred verbally, trying to keep their respective foes occupied while they searched for a possible opening, Fred and George were doing some verbal parlaying of their own.
"What?" protested George. "I'm not that mental, mate!"
"C'mon!" urged Fred. "They're outnumbered four to two! We've got to do something!"
"Yeah, mate, I'm sure a couple of kids like us are a match for giant robots."
"We're not just a couple of kids," Fred retorted, holding up his wand. "We're a couple of wizards. Maybe we're not fully trained yet, but we still have an advantage. And besides..." And here he gave a sly grin. "Here's an opportunity to see if our joke-shop equipment works on machinery."
Realization dawned on George's face, and he smiled and patted his pockets. "All right then. Let's give this a shot."
"Right." He stepped out into the street and addressed the big red mech. "Hey Rosie!"
Dead End glanced down. "Huh?"
"Nice outfit. Where'd you get it, the wrecking yard?"
"Why you little organic blob!" Dead End howled. There were few ways to set the normally gloomy Stunticon off, but a jab at his carefully primped and maintained frame was one of them. Disregarding the Lamborghinis for the moment, he bent down with alarming swiftness to scoop the young wizard up in one hand.
If Fred was terrified at suddenly finding himself in the grip of an angry Decepticon, he hid it remarkably well. Reaching into his pocket, he withdrew his wand and raised it dramatically.
"Whatever you're doing, it'll do you no good," Dead End informed him. "You're doomed. Matter of fact, your entire species is doomed. If Megatron doesn't decide to have every last organic on this planet squashed into paste, you'll eventually exterminate yourselves by war or some other disaster. Resisting will only delay your doom, you know..."
"How does that Daydream Charm go again?" Fred wondered aloud. "Oh yes -- Fantasiamus Sola!"
Dead End's monologue trailed off, and his visor seemed to haze over as he lowered his arms and stared off into space. Fred tumbled from his hand as his metal fingers relaxed their grip on him. Luckily, as a Quidditch player, he'd fallen from fair heights before, so he managed to roll to his feet with nothing more than some bruises and scrapes from landing on asphalt.
"Well, that went well," he noted, brushing off the seat of his pants. "The Personal Daydream Charm was meant to be cast on oneself, of course, but nice to know it works on others too. Could come in right useful."
"Dead End, snap out of it!" bellowed Wildrider, socking his fellow Stunticon in the arm. The blow only served to make the Porsche topple to the side. Onlookers scattered with hysterical screams as he collapsed atop a parked (thankfully empty) cab, crushing it like a soda can beneath a truck tire. He continued to lie there, not offline but completely unresponsive to his surroundings. Wildrider gave him a disgusted kick, then charged the Lamborghinis with a roar.
Sideswipe met the Ferrari head-on, ducking low to catch him in the abdominal plate, then using his own momentum to flip him. The ground trembled from Wildrider's impact, the asphalt buckling beneath him. He growled and scrambled to his feet, landing a solid punch on Sideswipe's right shoulder. The red warrior snarled and retorted with a left hook to the face, shattering an optic. Wildrider yowled in indignant pain.
Sunstreaker, meanwhile, had his hands full with Dragstrip and Breakdown, who were doing their level best to tear his arms off. George ran up behind Breakdown, drew his wand, and gave it a sharp flick as if to cast a spell... only for the wand to turn into a rubber chicken in his grip.
"Damn it, wrong wand," he grumbled, throwing aside the trick wand and digging for his real wand.
"Get the squishy!" howled Dragstrip, busy trying to wrestle Sunstreaker's arms behind his back.
"Already covered," Breakdown replied with malicious glee, raising one foot and preparing to bring it down on top of George. He barely scuttled away in time before the foot landed.
"What, don't want to play, squishy?" Breakdown sneered, bending down to grab the young wizard.
"Sure, just not the way you like to play," George retorted, drawing something out of his pocket. It wasn't his wand... but hopefully it would do. He picked up a discarded soda bottle from the nearby gutter, tossed the item into the air, and batted it at the Decepticon as hard as he could.
Years of practice as a Beater had given him deadly aim with a club and a Bludger... but in a pinch a bottle and a Dungbomb would do. The projectile streaked toward the silver face looming over him, flying unerringly into the Decepticon's nose-vent. Before he could do so much as jerk back reflexively, the Dungbomb had struck and exploded against Breakdown's olfactory sensors. He yelped in surprise, then gave a horrified cry and clamped his hand over his face as if to block the smell out -- though in reality that action only sealed it in. His air intake systems convulsed in what humans would have called a coughing fit in an effort to expel the noxious projectile.
"Bull's eye," grinned George.
"George, look out!" shouted Fred.
George dashed away just as Sideswipe delivered a final vicious kick to Wildrider, sending the Ferarri flying... right for Breakdown. The two mechs went down in a heap.
"Nice one!" George shouted, saluting the Lamborghini.
Sideswipe grinned cheekily and gave a double thumbs up.
"I wouldn't celebrate too early, Autobot."
Fred, George, and Sideswipe whirled to see Dragstrip holding Sunstreaker in a headlock, pressing his pistol to the yellow warrior's head. Sunstreaker dug his fingers into the yellow Stunticon's wrist joint in an effort to loosen his grip, but to no avail.
"One move, Autobot," Dragstrip snarled, optics narrowed to crimson slits, "just one move, and your brother's CPU is scrap."
Sideswipe ground his dental plates in frustrated terror, his optics flicking from Dragstrip to Sunstreaker as he struggled to figure out just how he was going to get his brother out of this mess. Fred and George looked on in sympathetic fright -- they understood as few others in the crowd did just what the red Lamborghini was going through.
It has often been said that an inexplicable bond exists between twins, an intuitive link that lets one know what the other is thinking or feeling at any given moment. No one could know whether Fred and George silently communicated their intentions to each other across the cracked London street, or whether they simply came to identical conclusions at the same moment. At any rate, they made eye contact, and each gave the slightest of nods before turning to Sideswipe.
"When we say the word, charge him," said Fred, who was closest to Sideswipe.
"Ya wanna repeat that for me, fleshy?" growled Dragstrip.
"Sure I can repeat it," Fred replied with a grin, pulling a bag from his pocket and pouring a fine black powder into his palm. Behind Dragstrip, George did likewise.
"Go, Sides!" Fred shouted, and the Weasleys flung the black powder into the air before taking off as fast as their feet would carry them.
Within seconds a thick miasma of black mist surrounded the mechs, until none of them could see their own hands in front of their faceplates. Dragstrip swore long and creatively... until a fist upside his jaw cut his rant short as Sideswipe took full advantage of the distraction the Weasley twins had set up. He staggered, losing his grip on Sunstreaker, and he soon came to regret that as fists and feet found every weak and sensitive point on his body, somehow striking unerringly even in the impenetrable darkness.
Outside the cloud of blackness, the onlookers, Fred and George included, saw nothing but could hear plenty -- metallic clangs, grunts, swear words both Earth and alien, and in the end horrified cries of "I give up! Stop! Stop! No more! No... argh!"
Fred turned to George and grinned. "I guess the Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder is a keeper, then?"
"Definitley," George replied. "A great success. I wonder how quickly it wears off, though."
They wouldn't find out that day. For at that moment a police car finally worked its way to the front of the crowd, lights flashing and siren blaring. One door opened to allow a plump red-headed woman exit, and she charged toward the boys with the confident, angry strides and expression of a warrior queen.
"Hello, Mum!" Fred said cheerily.
"Where have you been!" she shrieked angrily. "Do you have any idea how worried I've been about you two?"
Before the boys could say anything in their defense, the police car sprouted legs and arms, assuming the form of a black-and-white, red-horned robot who exuded an aura of command. The crowd shrank back fearfully, but he raised his hands and spoke calmly.
"It's all right," he assured them. "I'm with the Autobots." In a less calm tone he turned and addressed the black cloud. "Sideswipe, Sunstreaker, I know you're in there! Come out where I can see you!"
The two warriors emerged from the blackness, Sideswipe with Wildrider slung over one shoulder like a sack of grain, Sunstreaker dragging Dragstrip behind him by the legs. Sideswipe grinned mischeviously while Sunstreaker just glared unrepentantly.
"Mum, meet Sideswipe and Sunstreaker," Fred introduced. "Our new friends."
"And Prowl, meet Fred and George Weasley, our new friends," Sideswipe told Prowl.
Prowl's optics narrowed. "You two are quite aware, aren't you, that needlessly involving an innocent bystander, much less a human, in a conflict is against orders..."
"When I tell you to stay put, I bloody well expect you to stay put!" Mrs. Weasley shouted at the twins. "What were you thinking? You could have been killed! You could have cost your father his job..."
"But Mum, they were outnumbered!" George protested. "We had to help them!"
"And it's not like we dragged them along with us, Prowl," Sunstreaker put in sullenly. "They asked to come..."
Prowl sighed, turning his attention to the human twins. "What on Cybertron were the two of you thinking? You're no match for Decepticons..."
"And what were the two of YOU thinking?" shrieked Mrs. Weasley at the Lamborghinis. "You could have killed my sons..."
"Hey, isn't anyone going to congratulate us on a job well done?" demanded Sideswipe, shifting the Decepticon that hung over his shoulder.
More cars were pulling up at that moment, shifting to robot mode and doing their best to clear away spectators and drag away the defeated Stunticons. At the same time, officials from the Minsitry of Magic were discreetly working the crowd, trying to determine just how many had seen evidence of magic at work.
Mrs. Weasley turned to Prowl. "Thank you for helping me find my boys, Prowl. If I could just get a ride back to..."
"I think it's best if you and your sons accompany us, Mrs. Weasley," Prowl replied. "I'd like to work out just what went down here."
OTTERY ST. CATCHPOLE, ENGLAND
If Fred and George thought Mrs. Weasley had vented all her spleen at the site of the battle, they were sorely mistaken.
"Your father just sent an owl from work," she snapped. "The leader of those... Autumn-Bots..."
"Autobots," Fred and George corrected simultaneously.
"The leader of those Autobots, Prime, wants to meet with Minister Fudge sometime in the near future. At least some good has come of this mess. And at least they've been able to convince the Muggles it was their technology to blame for the black spot in the middle of London, and not magic." She glowered at the twins. "You two can be right thankful that they're putting their necks on the line to cover up for your mistakes!"
"But Mum, we had to help them!" protested Fred.
"There were four of them!" added George. "They would have beat them to pieces! What were we supposed to do, let them?"
She glared a moment longer, hands planted on her hips. Then she sighed and relented. "Well, I suppose I'm glad that you two broke the rules in order to do something decent, for once." She held out her hand. "But simply because the Ministry of Magic's chosen not to punish you for using magic outside of school doesn't mean I can't."
"Aw, Mum..." whined Fred.
"Don't 'aw Mum' me, Fred. Hand over the wands."
With great reluctance Fred and George laid their wands in Mrs. Weasley's hand.
"You'll get these back in a week," she informed them. "And until then, you can occupy yourselves by cleaning up this travesty of a room." She walked out, slamming the door behind her.
"Blimey, you'd think we'd gotten the Dark Mark branded on our arms or something," Fred grumbled.
"Ah well, she's a mum," George replied. "They're all like that."
The two of them sat in silence a moment, contemplating a week without access to their wands. Then Fred gave an evil smile.
"What are you so happy about?" asked George.
"Oh, just remembering something Sideswipe gave me before driving us home," Fred replied, pulling a glass jar of something out of his robe pocket.
"What is that?" asked George, taking the jar and peering closely at the pink, luminous liquid inside it.
"Energon," Fred replied brightly. "It's what the Autobots use as food. And if the Autobots are really going to start working with the Ministry of Magic in the near future... well, it makes sense to have Autobot-friendly -- or Autobot-not-so-friendly -- products in our joke shop, doesn't it?"
George grinned. "Brilliant, mate. Let's get to experimenting."
MOUNT ST. HILARY, OREGON, UNITED STATES
The Lamborghini twins weren't faring a whole lot better than the Weasleys at this moment.
"You should have called for backup as soon as the Stunticons showed up," Prowl told them sternly. "You should have kept human bystanders a safe distance away as much as possible. And above all, you should not have involved them in the battle in any way! This is our war, not theirs, and there is absolutely no need to endanger their lives needlessly."
"Hey, we aren't their parents," Sunstreaker retorted. "And it's not like we forced them to fight."
"Yeah, they wanted to fight," Sideswipe added. "And it's not like we were in any position to stop them. We kinda had our hands full."
Prowl glowered at them a moment, obviously considering whether it was worth arguing that point. In the end, he elected to drop it.
"I must give you two credit, of course," he said grudgingly. "If it hadn't been for your actions, the Stunticons would have done a great deal of damage to the city. And we never would have made contact with the wizarding government. In the morning Prime and I go to the Ministry of Magic to confer with the Minister and the Wizengamot and see if any sort of treaty can be drawn up."
"Sweet!" gushed Sideswipe.
"In the meantime," Prowl said sternly, "you two will keep your vocalizers silent on this topic. The wizards have worked hard to keep their society hidden from the rest of the world. I don't want a couple of louts blowing their cover."
"Sure, whatever," Sunstreaker mumbled.
Prowl flicked a hand toward the door. "Get out of my office."
"What, no time in the brig? No sanitary duty?" Sideswipe grinned. "We're off the hook punishment-wise?"
"If you're going to insist, then report to the Common Room at 0600 tomorrow morning," Prowl retorted with a purely evil grin. "If you're absent, I'll send the Dinobots to go looking for you. Now get out of my office."
Sunstreaker groaned as the two of them left Prowl's office and headed for their quarters. "You just had to remind him, didn't you?"
"Yeah, I had to," grinned Sideswipe. "Otherwise what reason would we have to get our revenge?" He subspaced a tiny pouch and held it out for his brother to examine.
"What is that?" asked Sunstreaker suspiciously.
"Fred called it Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder or something like that," Sideswipe explained. "That stuff he used to confuse Dragstrip. He said it was a free sample from their upcoming joke shop."
Sunstreaker studied the pouch, thoughtful. Then a rare smile worked its way across his faceplate.
"You know," he mused, "having twin wizards as friends might not be such a bad thing after all."