A/N: This fic is a one-shot linked to my series, "Twin Vice Paranormal Detectives", but it can easily stand alone. Just a bit of guilty PWP, really XD It does take place after Deathly Hallows, but please don't ask why Fred's alive if you haven't read the full thing!


30-Minute Charms

"Alright, you can quit staring!"

Fred continued to ogle her. "You look like you belong on a 1950s Blackpool postcard."

"It belongs to Luna," Nox protested, grimacing at the frilly, striped, one-piece she had been forced into. "She picked it up in a second-hand Muggle shop. I suppose it's better than nothing."

George grimaced. "If you say so."

"I'd have preferred nothing," Fred quipped.

The twins departed, dancing across the pebbled bank towards the water, leaving loud and mocking laughter in their wake. Nox sighed and sat down on their blanket. She wasn't at all sure that Luna's swimming costume wouldn't disintegrate the moment she stepped into the lake, and she certainly wasn't about to risk it.

Nox glanced around for the dizzy witch and caught sight of her inspecting a badger's nest nearby with a pair of psychedelic Spectrespecs. Her expression softened. Whatever people may have called Luna Lovegood, you had to admire her enthusiasm. There was something about the girl that was so naïve, yet shrewd to the point that Nox often believed she was reading her thoughts.

She glanced back to the red-headed Weasley twins. Fred and George had started off as employees in her Paranormal Detective business and somehow, through a series of grand misadventures and, more frequently, near death experiences, had wound up something akin to friends. Before the arrival of the twins and their magical world, Nox had never really troubled herself with companionship before.

'The four of us couldn't get any different, really,' she mused. Where Luna was scatterbrained and dreamy, George was sharp-minded and bold. Nox glanced over to Fred who had conjured up a watery wave of mayhem that was now plummeting down on his twin. Fred was a menace. He was also terribly stubborn; a personality trait which often clashed with Nox, who harboured an equal proportion of stubbornness.

She watched Fred splash about the water like a wild animal in his magenta trunks. The summer sun was beating down on them, baking the sand and burning her toes. The water suddenly looked very inviting, but Nox was certain Fred had something planned for her. All through the morning he had been shooting her looks that clearly told her the prankster had something horribly nasty and potentially explosive in store.

Nox snorted. No, there was no chance in hell she would be dipping a single toe in that water.

She opened the cooler and pulled a beer from a selection of beverages, pressing it against her sweaty forehead. It was reaching midday and the air was already shimmering with the heat. The lake was surprisingly deserted considering the country was in the grasp of a heat-wave. Not that she was complaining. It felt good to get out of Weasley Manor and away from the London and work for a bit.

Taking a gulp from the bottle, Nox stretched out on the blanket and closed her eyes.

"Oy! What do you think you're doing, Mug-a-lug?" a voice demanded above her.

Nox opened her eyes to find Fred standing over her, dripping wet. She shivered as drops of freezing cold water hit her bare legs.

"What I do best during my free time: lounging and beer drinking," commented Nox dryly. "Please move. You're in my sun."

"You can do that any time," Fred protested. "Stop being a poxy bugger and get off your arse."

Before she could refuse, Fred had grabbed her wrist and dragged her to her feet. She had planned to execute a well-aimed knee to the groin at this point, but the wizard was already heaving her over his shoulder. She swore and flailed wildly as he began to jog happily back towards the water.

"What the Hell do you think you're doing, you crazy, freckle-faced, insane bastard!" she bellowed, furious and humiliated at being treated like a rag-doll. "Don't think I won't fire you!"

Fred laughed and pushed her further over his shoulder, one hand pressed firmly on her buttocks to keep her from falling. "You know I never noticed before, but you've got a pretty big bum, Noxy."

Nox blushed furiously. "I hate you."

"Quarrel all you want, but I'm doing you a favour. That temper needs to cool off a bit," he said, then dived off the pier.

The sky rushed overhead, then suddenly water was travelling up her nose and into her mouth. Fred caught her around the waist and together they kicked towards the sunlight dazzling above them. They surfaced, spluttering, Fred laughing uproariously. Nox could only cling to him and glare sullenly, while trying to empty her mouth and nose of water.

"I'd stop laughing if I were you," she growled. "Consider this - you're but a few seconds away from another very painful death."

"Don't threaten me." Fred leered at her challengingly. "You haven't got it in you, Nutty."

Without a warning, Nox dunked his head deep under the water and dived away, cackling wickedly. Fred emerged on the surface again and splashed after her, catching her foot and dragging her back before receiving a well-placed kick to the chin. He howled and Nox roared in laughter.

"Hah! Serves you right!" she shouted, looking very pleased with herself. "You should know better than to relieve a stressed detective of her precious beverage."

"Yeah, well I didn't think I'd receive a foot to the gob, did I?" said Fred, while rubbing his tender chin. As he moved his hand away, Nox saw that she had split his lip in the accidental attack. Fred looked at the blood on his hand and scowled. "Look at me! I'm wounded!"

Nox smiled. "You've had worse, soldier." She swam back to him and pushed his arm away to check the cut. "It's just a flesh-wound. You'll live. Maybe this will teach you to keep your big trap shut."

Fred grinned. "But it's such a talented mouth." His tongue darted out to lick the wound, tasting the blood there. "Hmm. Thankfully, there's no permanent damage."

"Pity," she said, averting her gaze from his mouth.

Their sudden close proximity and his constant teasing wasn't doing any good for the increasing awareness she had been feeling around him lately. Despite having done very little, she felt breathless and hot in the cool water. She didn't want to look at him, but watching Fred had become something of a curiosity for her. He was always laughing and joking, or smiling at one thing or another. In fact, he had made it his business to keep the whole world laughing. It led Nox to wonder what Fred might look like when he was sick of laughing (if indeed such a sickness had ever occurred). Sometimes she had to admit she envied George a little, who had seen every expression ever to cross his twins' daft, freckled face.

Fred's shoulders were beginning to burn under the scorching sun and the freckles on his face and arms were darkening. Nox gently brushed at the red skin.

"You're burning, you big git," she muttered.

Fred shrugged and tapped her shoulder. "So are you."

Despite treading in the cool water, the air between them felt suddenly hot and heavy to her. Why was it that Fred became so attractive when she found herself alone with him? She swallowed thickly; it felt as though something should happen, but what that was she wasn't precisely sure. Silences had never lasted longer than a minute between them and while it had probably only been a few seconds, it felt like an awkward eternity to her. She didn't dare look him in the eye – she wasn't entirely sure he couldn't read her thoughts. Suddenly, she was sure that if she raised her eyes, she would see her thoughts bobbing in the air between them.

"Think I'm going to crash out for a bit," Nox muttered, turning to wade back towards the shore.

Fred grabbed her hand as if on instinct. He looked a bit flummoxed, as if he didn't know why he'd grabbed her himself.

"Hold on, you can't leave alone. George's buggered off after Luna." Fred smirked. "I think he's scared she'll fall down a rabbit hole or something."

He shot her his most angelic expression – one he had perfected with the knowledge that she was utterly helpless against it. But looking at him, standing in his magenta trunks, dripping wet and sun-burnt, only made her realise how flipping gorgeous he was. And that was a problem.

Fred had flirted with her, but he flirted with everyone and he'd always made his feelings clear that they were nothing more than platonic. Her heart sank a little.

"Sorry, Fred… I'm too tired," she said and began to pull her arm out of his grasp, but he caught hold of her hand again and this time he squeezed it tightly.

"Just hold on a sec," he said, his tone suddenly stern. "You've been off colour for weeks. What's going on with you?"

Nox looked startled. "Nothing's going on, I've been fine." Somehow her tone didn't sound all that convincing, even to her ears and the expression on Fred's face told her he thought the same. "Honest."

"Uh huh, and I'm Hermione Granger. Pleased to meet you." He pulled her closer. "George said something about you messing up your date with the other week with that poxy what's-his-name."

Nox narrowed her eyes. "I didn't mess it up. It wasn't even a date. It was a business negotiation."

"Did your giant feet trip you up?" Fred chortled. "Or did you bowl him over with your big bum instead?"

"Thanks a lot," Nox slapped his chest. "For a minute there I believed you were actually capable of tenderness."

"I am." Fred grinned, pressing his forehead against her own. "Which is why I'm taking your mind off things today." His blue eyes darkened and glittered with something between malice and lust.

Nox wasn't quite sure how it had happened after that. The world seemed to spin wildly and suddenly she felt a pair of strong arms gripping tightly around her waist. Her own arms were wrapping around Fred's neck, while her face buried into his shoulder, and she could hear him panting in her ear. Fred was a mix of so many different smells: she could smell the lab and the lake; the Burrow, Weasley Manor – all familiar and inviting. Nox wanted to tell him she couldn't just fool about, that he was the source of her problem, but his mouth had found her shoulder and was nipping gently at the red skin there, silencing her like a charm. Fred stopped when Nox had stood frozen against him for a full minute, heart hammering against his chest, but she was too dazed to move and too shocked by the hardness straining against her stomach. It didn't matter what happened now, she realised; they'd definitely taken a step too far. Or had it been Fred? She couldn't remember agreeing to anything.

"Nox," he said her name suddenly, and the heaviness of his voice surprised her. It was husky, almost hungry, and there was a note of impatience to it. He breathed against her wet skin, causing her to shiver against her will. "I'm going to kiss you now, whether you like it or not."

And she couldn't imagine a scenario where she'd ever be able to say no. He put one hand on the back of her head and inclined his head to kiss her. Nox resisted only a fraction of a second longer before she moved to meet his mouth; and Fred tasted of sugar, blood and magic, all mixed into one strange concoction, and she couldn't taste enough of him. His kisses were hungry and not a little constrained and before Nox could get her mind in working order again, Fred's tongue flicked against her wet lips and the low, guttural groan reverberating in his chest caused her knees to buckle beneath her. His hands slid down to her hips, keeping them in place as he ground slowly against her. Nox let her hands wander every inch of his wet skin. The vast expanse of chest beneath her fingertips felt smooth yet firm and she wanted to be closer to it and so wrapped her arms around his back and pressed her body as tightly as possible against his, closing what little space there was left between them.

Fred shuddered as her thinly covered breasts and stomach rubbed up against his bare torso and she pushed her hips firmly against him. The gently, rocking motion apparently broke the last of Fred's control and his hands slid further north until they hooked under her buttocks and hauled her up until she was straddling his waist. Nox had always known Fred was slightly off-beat, but now she was positively sure he was totally mad; he had to be, clutching her and sucking and kissing her neck like that. She groaned and her head lolled backwards, giving him further access to her neck and chest. She felt his hot mouth above the line of her horrid one-piece swimsuit and moaned his name.

Fred chuckled and pulled back, and for the first time since the start of this unexpected session, he looked her directly in the eye. Nox felt her heart skip a beat; she had never expected to be at the end of one of Fred's lust-filled looks. His stormy blue eyes were dilated and full of passion.

He beamed at her, licking his lips. "Hadn't planned to take things much further than a snog and a fumble," he said and squeezed Nox tighter, locking her in his embrace. "Course, if you're willing, I'm not about to complain."

Nox suddenly felt a surge of anger rise within her, followed by a nice dose of sobering shame. What did she think she was doing, fooling about like a teenager? And with Fred of all people!

Fred caught the change on her face and frowned.

"What's wrong? You look like you just walked in on George and Luna," he grinned wickedly and added, "again."

She narrowed her eyes at him and said, "This doesn't feel at all wrong to you?"

Fred glanced down at their intertwined bodies then cocked an eyebrow at her. "That a trick question?"

"No it's not," she said a bit crossly. "You're a colleague and a friend." Nox paused and shook her head adamantly. "No, you're more than that – much more… and I don't want to ruin things between us."

He pushed his forehead against hers, droplets of water dripping from his flaming hair onto her nose. "You've got to stop over-thinking things, Noxy." Fred kissed the tip of her nose and smiled. "Just go with it."

"That's all well and good," she said sadly, sighing into him, "but where will you go after this?"

Fred fixed her with a stead stare for the longest of moments then leaned forwards to kiss her deeply. "Haven't left you so far, have I?" he muttered against her mouth. "Remember: Fred Weasley, the infamous wizard who cheated Death?"

Nox chuckled and ran her tongue across the little cut on his lip. "This isn't a good work ethic," she told him warningly.

"My work ethic's always been a little unorthodox," Fred replied, pushing Nox down just long enough to slide the awful, moth-eaten one-piece from her shoulders and over her legs. Nox shivered as the air hit her bare, wet chest and she moved to cross her arms over her breasts, but Fred, having removed his own swimwear, grasped her hands quickly.

"Oh no you don't," he told her, smirking. "You're not covering those up," he said and pressed his eager mouth into her chest, placing greedy wet kisses all across the soft expanse of skin there. One hand moved to cup her breast as his lips nipped and suckled on a nipple. She was so distracted with his current ministrations and the sensitive lobe of his ear, that she completely ignored the hand trailing over her backside, down between her legs. She hissed suddenly and arched her back as one thick finger slid against her most sensitive spot. Nox tangled her fingers in his thick red hair and forced his head up so that she could kiss him fiercely. Enthused by her sudden aggressiveness, Fred plunged a finger deep inside her while his thumb massaged her the small, sensitive nub between her legs. Nox slid her hand between them and caught his erection in her hand, wrapping her fingers around his length and stroking him.

"Alright, Noxy, you win," Fred croaked, surrendering to her touch. "That's our friendship well and truly –" his voice broke and he grunted, pushing her hand away and hauling her up to straddle him again. Nox splayed her fingers against his burnt shoulders, shuddering with sheer excitement and bracing herself as he entered her. Fred wrapped his arms possessively around her frame as he thrust in and out of her, growling his desire when Nox found a very sensitive spot beneath his ear, her soft tongue tasting and sucking the tender skin there. His hands squeezed her buttocks harder as he drove inside her, faster and faster, and Nox felt her stomach leap in anticipation of her climax. She could hear herself calling his name in her ecstasy, every single muscle in her body bunching and clenching, and moments later he was joining Nox, spilling his warm seed deep inside her.

Fred dropped deeper into the water with a heavy, relieved sigh, but his strong arms still held on to her, as if for dear life. Nox smoothed her thumb against one shoulder blade, while her other hand reached up to tangle in his flaming, damp locks.

She kissed his forehead and panted, "What were you saying about our friendship?"

"Only that it's a bit like you," he said, eyes twinkling with amusement. "Well and truly buggered."

Nox sucked thoughtfully on her bottom lip for a while then said, "Hmm, then what do you want to do about it?"

"Well, I've got another business proposition for you," he told her. "Equal partnership – how'd you fancy it?"

Nox smiled and opened her mouth to reply, only have the world suddenly spin wildly about her. The perfect, picturesque, summer scene blurred and ran until it resembled an old Impressionists painting, and Nox toppled back in her chair with a start. Gone was the lake and the scorching sun, replaced by a desk and the bustling sound of London's Pentonville road behind her. She was back in Weasley Manor.

A beaming ghost leaned over the desk in front of her, looking very smug about something.

"Patented Daydream Charms!" Fred announced happily. "Guaranteed to give you a full half-hour of satisfaction, delving into the deepest, wildest realms of your imagination! Thought you could do with one, Noxy, you're a bit pent up today - well, more than usual."

"W-what? You can't be serious!" she exclaimed, looking at him as though he were completely mad. "That was a dream?"

Fred shrugged his silvery shoulders and nodded. "A daydream yeah - and pretty good by the looks of it. You're drooling, by the way."

Nox threw her hands down on the table and flew to her feet in a rage. "I can't believe you did that to me!" she shouted, though a bit relieved to find her experience had been completely fictional. She felt her cheeks colour at the vivid memory.

"What, didn't Percy do it for you?" Fred cackled, darting away from the objects now flying at him, every now and again allowing for one to go sailing through his body just to spite her. "Although," he said thoughtfully, "it didn't sound like you were mumbling Percy." Fred's terrible smirk grew all the more pronounced and he leered at her. "In fact, it sounded more like you were saying my -"

Nox was picking up her type-writer and preparing to launch it at his head. "I SWEAR Fred Weasley, finish that sentence and you'll be re-living your death all over again!"

oOo


A/N: Hope you liked it! Please, please review – this is my first fic of this, er, kind…