"Wait, wait, wait. Let me get this straight." Fred held out his hands as if mediating. "You're going to miss what could, quite possibly, be the BEST Weasley and Jordan show ever put on tonight because you have to do—that?"
Ginny, who was sitting nearby on a couch, raised her eyebrows, listening.
"That—that thing, with the parchment, and the quill, and the ink, and the thinking—"
"Ginny, how many times must I ask you to please not utter that abominable word in front of me? It gives me the chills," Fred finished in a disgusted voice, collapsing into an empty armchair next to George's.
"You," Fred stopped him, turning his head to look at his brother, his mouth in a stern line of mock-seriousness, eyebrows raised over eyes that couldn't quite conceal the humor in them, "are dead to me."
"Alicia told me—"
"Ah, Alicia, Alicia!" Fred erupted in a dramatic voice, getting up from his chair and sweeping theatrically around the room, adopting a Shakespearean voice and speaking loudly, so that the eyes of every student in the Common Room were on him.
"And the lover triumphs, as always! Leaving the scorned brother to fend for himself in a harsh world that feeds on loners, searching out solitary victims from whom it can steal the very happiness that gives a light to your soul!"
His voice had risen so much that he was almost yelling. Uncertain grins were appearing on many students' faces now, and those who knew the twins best were fighting the hardest not to laugh, hoping to hear more.
"In the end, of course, retribution will be mine…" Fred continued, still in his theatrical voice. He'd completed his sweeping around the room and was back at his chair by now. A bunch of first years held their breath expectantly, listening intently.
"And why's that?" George asked.
You could almost hear the first years suck in their breath collectively.
Fred shrugged, collapsing once again into the armchair by the fire.
"It's a tragedy. Everyone dies."
"That," said Ginny, "was sorely disappointing."
"Well, what were you expecting, Shakespeare? It's Fred."
"I'll have you know, dear brother, that I have won over the hearts of many a lady with my poetry."
"Fred, much as I love you, mate, making me wear a wig and one of Ginny's sweaters while you recite a few really, really bad rhymes to practice a misguided attempt to impress Angelina doesn't quite count."
"They were not bad rhymes. They were the epitome of excellent poetry."
"And I quote: Roses are red/ violets are blue/ I'd do anything/ to be with you./ I'd take a shower/ I'd brush my hair/ I'd even stop putting/ bugs in your chair./ I'd give you my chewing gum/ whenever I'm through/ I'd spit-shine my shoes/ to look good for you./ I'd clean out your cauldron/ all the frog guts and slime/ I'd even stop hexing you/ (well, most of the time.)"
Ginny snorted. "Charming."
"I was seven."
"You were fifteen."
"Well, you remembered it, didn't you? And that was the general idea. Technically."
"I thought it was really sweet. And I've never heard anybody recite poetry so beautifully, George."
The twins both jumped and turned around. Hermione had come up behind them and was leaning on the back of George's armchair.
"Hi, Hermione," Fred said brightly. "George here was just doing homework."
"Oh, really?? Wow, I looove doing homework. Did you know that? I could help, if you want."
George sighed. This whole love-potion thing had been fun at the time, and their time together in Hogsmeade had certainly entertaining, but now George was ready for the potion to wear off, so he could just focus on spending some time with Alicia.
"That's okay, Hermione. I think I know what I'm doing."
"Since when?" Fred chimed in.
"Since always. I know everything."
"WE know everything."
"Obviously not. Since you didn't know that I knew everything."
Ginny threw a pillow at them. "Some of us are actually trying to concentrate."
"Yeah, Fred, some of us are."
"Okay, okay, fine." He lowered his voice so that only George could hear him. "But after I get back tonight, I want to know exactly what happened in Hogsmeade."
George grinned. "No problem. And I want to know how everything plays out tonight."
"What exactly is happening tonight?" Ginny asked from her spot on the couch. Hermione was now sitting next to her, scribbling away furiously on a piece of parchment in her lap.
"Right. I'll pretend I believe that."