This is a slight AU; Fred is still alive here, obviously, since it wouldn't have worked otherwise.
This plot bunny fell into my head and refused to leave until I'd got it down. I left it for a few weeks, working on MPP&L instead but then I realized that it was my betas eldest daughters birthday, and what better as a present?
So, Happy Birthday, Emma! Hope you have a great day, sweetheart! This story is all yours. And everyone can thank you, since I doubt I ever would have finished it otherwise…
Hope everyone enjoys, JK Rowling owns Harry Potter; I own nothing here!
Baffling Visit to Weasleys Wizard Wheezes
By Katya Sims, London Daily Reporter.
I had absolutely no idea what I should expect when I walked into the famed Weasleys Wizard Wheezes Headquarters in London.
As everybody knows, Fred & George Weasley, twin owners of the by now famed company seemed to appear into the business world out of thin air about two years ago with their unique joke products. At first, consumers were skeptic about the products which people assumed were the same as all others – nowhere near as good as they are described to be.
However, within the first few months of their store opening these two twin entrepreneurs were hailed as geniuses throughout the entire country as their products proved to be above and beyond what was expected and lived up to their so-called 'magical' name.
Most significantly, these twins appear to have perfected voice activation and thus have created dolls that can have what seems to be entire conversations with their owners, and dogs, cats, spiders, and bunny rabbits who appear perfectly lifelike and at the same time always respond to their owners call.
Yet, for all the recognition their inventions receive, neither twin has ever truly been in the limelight. Sometimes caught by photographers, at times answering one or two quick questions from reporters, this is the first time that Fred and George have agreed to an interview from a reporter and even agreed to show off their Headquarters a bit.
I am sure many of you can imagine my shock and surprise when my editor called me into his office and told me that I was to go to the highly private and protected WWW Headquarters and interview the highly elusive Weasley Twins.
But there it was, and the following week I was waiting for them to meet me at the front door, gearing myself to take whatever they threw at me. For despite the use of 'genius' in conjunction with their name, people have quickly found that they are well and truly pranksters at heart.
When I first see them, I am momentarily blinded by their shock of red hair and wide grins. One of them, of course, has a missing ear, which has been a wide source of speculation over the years as to what could have caused such an injury. Many awestruck teenagers claim that it was a result of one of their many experiments.
However, despite this one distinguishing characteristic, none have truly managed to tell them apart. When first asked several years ago, the earless one claimed to be Fred, whilst the other was George. But less then a day later, the earless one introduced himself as George and the other Fred. There seems to be no evidence as to who is who, and so this is the first thing I ask them, to which they reply with mischievous grins and one of them (the one without an ear) answers "Why, my dear, I am the holey Fred Weasley."
"Oi, aren't I Fred this week?" the other one interjects.
"Are you?" the other blinks in surprise.
I stifle my laughter and ask them what exactly I am meant to call them, as I can't go through the whole article calling them the earless one and the one with an ear.
"Well," one declared (with an ear), "I am Fred, and this is my dear twin-in-crime, George."
"I am the Holey one," George says pompously, drawing himself up in an exaggerated snobbish demeanour. This time I don't bother to stifle my laugh.
They step outside to allow me entry with many exaggerated flourishes and I step over the threshold looking around warily to make sure nothing happened. Anyone who has visited the WWW shop knows that when you step through the door you are sprayed with water from seemingly nowhere, yet, to my relief, it does not seem to be the case here.
And then a voice cuts through the air, which I assume (and was proved correct when I asked), goes off any time someone walks through the door. The voice was strange and sounded… I find no other word except greasy or silky can properly describe it; and it asked, "Another Dunderhead? Isn't there enough of you?"
Unfortunately, I can't deny to being startled, and I turn to the twins, who have a rather sheepish look on their face.
Fred speaks without being prompted, running a hand through his hair as his eyes rove around. "We were, uh, experimenting a bit and, well, we sort of accidentally did that –"
"Gave us a right shock, let me tell you," George said, "See, its sort of the voice of our old teacher…"
"Even has his personality," Fred said ruefully. "Felt like being in class again, with Snape harping on about whatever he managed to get his big nose into. So we decided to see if we could use him as a welcomer."
"It's more of a specialized joke, of course," George adds, "which is why you'll never have seen it. More for the people who went to school with us and knew Snape; you should have seen our brother-in-law when he walked into our shop and heard him! Must've jumped about a foot."
"Nah, it's a right laugh. Even if it is a bit… disturbing sometimes," Fred says.
The twins now turn and beckon me down the corridor. I follow and try to think of the best way to use this opening that I have been given.
"So, a brother-in-law, you have a sister, then?" I asked casually, lengthening my stride to keep up and keeping a wary eye on my surroundings.
"That's right," Fred confirmed with a nod of his head. "Our baby sister-"
"Not that she's much of a baby," George continued, "She can definitely take care of herself, she was the most feared wi-oman at our school, ain't that right, Gred?"
"Quite, Forge, quite, but, even though she can take care of herself, she's always got her brothers – and her husband is definitely no slouch himself," Fred continued, smirking at what I assume would be the confused look on my face.
George decides to take pity on me and explains the bizarre nicknames, "You see, every year our mother knits us these sweaters for Christmas." He opens his purple WWW jacket to reveal a sweater with an 'F'. Fred does the same, with his sweater bearing a 'G', confirming my suspicion that they did not tell me the truth about their identities… or they're throwing me off the trail by switching sweater, although they could be wearing the right sweaters… Perhaps it would be easiest to just say that they were trying to confuse me thoroughly and, judging by the wide grins, enjoying it thoroughly.
Fred then continues from where his brother left off, "She always knits us the letter at the front. Don't know why–"
"We're not stupid–" George continues seamlessly.
"We know our names are–"
"Gred–" Fred says with a smirk.
"And Forge," George completes with a wink at me.
I laugh and shake my head. I have to say that I do not envy the woman who had to raise the Weasley Twins. Although, it would seem that she had more then just the Twins. There is evidence to support that the Weasley Twins hail from the outskirts of a small town in England called Ottery St. Catchpole. Residents of said town can recall the family of redheads which tended to be very private, and did not encourage houseguests, bar a few very specific people.
As a matter of fact, just a few months ago a young woman came forward to reveal that she had been working in a shop down in Ottery St. Catchpole and the twins used to come down and visit her, astounding her with card tricks, "Just like real magic, I swear!" she gushed. "It seriously doesn't surprise me that they became so successful; apparently they went to a really exclusive boarding school, and they were always really smart, even if they mucked around a lot."
Remembering this, I ask, "So, this school you mentioned before, it was a boarding one, was it not? I don't suppose we get the name of the school that turned out such geniuses as yourselves?"
Both twins laugh, and Fred spins around to face me, and says, "You don't think we would make it that easy, Madame Katya?"
"Although I suppose we can say that it was quite a big school," George says, musingly. "It must've been what, 600 students?"
"Something like that," Fred said carelessly, stopping in front of a door. "Now, Madame, are you ready?"
"For in here," George continued on in a somber voice, very unlike the joking one they had been using several seconds ago. "You can face your wildest nightmares."
Fred opens the door with a flourish and I step in, slightly apprehensively, only to see that it is a room filled with many rabbits.
The twins step in behind me and begin to explain. "You see, we're experimenting with some things for Easter," George starts. This time, I keep my eyes on the rabbits, as the last time they were going back and forth my neck started to ache from moving so much.
"We want to find a way to get the bunnies to lay eggs," says Fred.
"But it's not working quite so well," George adds.
"You see, we managed to get chickens to pop out chocolate eggs," Fred explains, making my eyes widen in surprise. I stole a glance around and, through an archway into another room there were plenty of chickens over there. Looking to the other side, I could see another archway that led into a room that was filled with little puffs of fur, but from this distance I could not recognize the animals.
"And we thought we could do it with the bunnies, but it didn't work out so well," George shakes his head ruefully.
"We did manage to breed them in different colours, though," Fred added, "So the experiment wasn't a complete loss."
"We've even organized for you to be able to take one home, as a souvenir," George told me, beaming. "See, look, he'll be all ready when you leave." George gestured toward cage set on a table and I inched forward cautiously and, sure enough, there was a bright pink bunny rabbit there chewing on a carrot.
"Our next project is going to be metamorabbits," Fred tells me, looking at the animals fondly.
"What are metarabbits?" I ask cautiously, wondering how in the world they came up with such a name.
"Metamorabbits," George corrected, "And that, Madame, is a secret."
"But for now, time is getting short and you have barely seen anything," Fred exclaims, putting his arm around me as he guided me out the door, before I could say anything about the metamorabbits.
As we walk along to the next door, I ask them, "So, is it true then that you have friends in government positions, considering that you have obviously been tampering with animals in ways that I am quite sure happen to be illegal."
They just look at me strangely and George says, after laughing, "My dear Madame Katya, what we have been doing is hardly illegal, really, how can you think that we would ever break the law?"
"And after all, we would never ask our dear brother-in-law to forsake his duty like that," Fred added.
I pounced on the offered tidbit at once, "So, your brother-in-law works in the government?"
"He's pretty high up in law enforcement, and I'm afraid, Madame Katya, that that is all the information that we can give you," Fred said, guiding me to stand in front of another doorway.
"Or else you would have to kill me, right," I said resignedly.
The two redheads look at me strangely and Fred exclaims, "Don't be ridiculous, Madame Katya!"
"Yeah, we would only erase your memory," George said. Before I can utter the 'huh' that I could feel escaping, Fred opens the next door.
I step in, shaking my head at their bizarre talk of modifying memories and focus on the next room which I had no doubt would surprise me.
"They're fairy lights," Fred exclaimed, beaming.
"Real Fairy lights, none of that stuff they sell at the supermarket," George adds. "No idea why they even call them fairy lights, they're just bulbs."
I look closely and sure enough, they are tiny human shaped things with wings flapping, each shining a different colour. I look at them with wonder, hardly able to believe that such a thing is possible. Of course, it would seem that for the Weasley Twins, anything is possible.
The twins wait patiently for a few minutes as I look around the room at all the tiny mechanical (although not mentioned explicitly, it is my educated assumption) fairies glowing a different. It is truly an amazing site, though the twins seem amused at my enjoyment of them.
"They'll be in stores next week, all ready for your Christmas tree," Fred says.
"We know that they're not exactly joke products," George tells me as they lead me outside a different door then we had entered.
"Although there will be some variation that can be used as a prank," Fred adds, sending me a wicked grin.
"But we thought that they'd look really good," George finishes as though his brother had never interrupted him.
"And we were sick of all of those fake fairy lights being in the supermarkets," Fred adds.
It is at this moment that I take the opportunity to ask another question that have been burning in peoples minds since the store opened. "How in the world does your delivery system work?"
This has been the source of much speculation, as, it didn't matter where in the world you lived, Weasleys Wizard Wheezes would deliver your product within a week at no extra cost. There was never a stamp on the packages, and no one had ever seen anyone delivering the products.
It was a mystery that people were dying to find out, including myself.
"By air, of course," Fred tells with a grin, winking at me. He slips into the next door, holding up a hand to stop me from following, most likely wanting to check something.
I turn to George and decide to pursue this particular avenue, "It can't just be air, what else do you use? How do you get it onto the stoop of peoples homes without being seen?"
"Sorry? I'm afraid I can't hear you. I've had difficulty hearing ever since my ear decided to go on holiday. Bit selfish of it really, not taking me along," George says idly, completely sidestepping the question to my annoyance.
However, before I can open my mouth to repeat the question, Fred pops out and says, "Better not come in here, the experiments gone a little awry."
Sure enough, from inside I was able to hear various pops and bangs.
As we went to the next room which turned out to be right down the hallway, Fred answered my inquisitive look by telling me, "We've been trying to improve our Weasley WhizBangs."
I only shake my head at this, as I, and so are many more, don't know if the WhizBangs can be improved. The government already has huge orders issued for all major events as the fireworks are far above and beyond what most people can see today, making whole shapes and multitudes of colours. Most people would already consider them perfect.
"After you, Madame Katya," the twins chorus at me simultaneously, flourishing their hands excessively.
I roll my eyes and open the door, stepping in – Only to turn around screaming as a large spider scuttled towards me, red eyes gleaming. I backed out against the wall, composure gone as the twins peeked in and slammed the door.
"Your worst fear is spiders?" Fred asked curiously.
Calming down now that the door is closed, but still keeping a wary eye so the damn thing wouldn't somehow find its way out, I asked them, "How do you know that it's my worst fear?"
"That's the point," Fred explained, "It shows you your worst fear."
"That was a hologram?" I ask them incredulously.
"A holowhatsit?" George asks me blankly, making me roll my eyes in exasperation at their obvious attempts of not telling me the truth.
"But then how does it work?" I ask them, my heart slowly slowing down to its normal pace now that I know the spider wasn't real – although it certainly looked it!
"That's the problem," George said with a shrug,
"We don't know," Fred finished. "We've been trying to work it out so we can make it into a product to sell-"
"But, well, it just hasn't been working," George shrugs.
"I think that many people would be very glad of that fact," I muttered as we turned around to continue. I was glaring at the twins, who looked perfectly unconcerned that had just shaved twenty years of my life.
Fred must have noticed my glare for he swung an arm around my shoulders and said, "Come now, Madame Katya, it wouldn't be a visit to Weasley Wizard Wheezes without a nice, proper scare, now would it?"
"And besides, I'm sure you will love the next room," George tells me. "Also the final one we have time for, I believe."
I look at my watch and I was surprised to find that he was right, the time had quite literally flown by. "Perhaps you ought to invent a time machine or something that would let us go back and have more time," I tell them jokingly.
"Ah, I'm afraid that it isn't allowed," George says wistfully.
I look at him strangely, opening my mouth to ask him what in the world they were talking about (had they actually tried to do so?) but, to my frustration, they pushed me into the room which I found to be a chocolate factory worthy of Willy Wonka.
There were sweets of every kind being made there, some that I recognized as their Skiving Snackboxes, a range of sweets that make someone seem ill… until they eat the other part of the sweet which cures them. The Cream tarts that, when tasted, turned out to actually be coloured feathers. There were the Fangin' Fudges, which gave fangs to whoever ate them and, despite repeated attempts by some of the best scientists in the world, no one could work out how they worked. I could also recognize the Choc Veggies, chocolate that looked deliciously appetizing but turned out to have things like Brussel Sprouts or broccoli inside them. There were also hundreds of other sweets that I could not recognize, no doubt new inventions that would find their way into stores within the next few weeks.
"Would you like to try any?" Fred asked, appearing at my shoulder.
I turn around and ask them, "Are there any that aren't prank products?"
The twins just look at each other, and George pulls out a chocolate bar from his pocket offering it to me.
A few minutes later I find myself at the front door, the sun setting behind me as trying to hold onto the merchandise I was given.
"It was wonderful to meet you Madame Katya," George states formally, making it seem strange put together with his purple coat with the red flower in its pocket.
"Indeed, Madame, we hope you enjoyed your visit," Fred says, flourishing his hand and presenting me a rose… with a red stem and a green flower. "Well, that didn't turn out quite right," he says, looking at it strangely.
I just shook my head, having already used up all my surprise and shock inside. I accepted the strange flower and made my farewells, receiving exaggerated bows in return.
It was only as I sat down to write this article, the pink rabbit nibbling on something behind me and the fairy lights twinkling on my verandah outside, that I realized that despite my questions… they hadn't really told me anything.
However, there was one thing that could be certain from my visit to the Headquarters of Weasleys Wizard Headquarters is that Fred and George Weasley certainly deserve their title of 'Genius' and 'Prodigy'. But, at the same time… they're as annoying as hell.
Please, let me know what you thought! And, once again, Happy 10th Birthday for Emma!