Disclaimer: See chapter one.
A/N: So yeah, it's been a few…years now, hasn't it? Never mind, fanfiction's always there to welcome you home, eh? Thanks to everyone who sent in suggestions and even more so to those whose suggestions I've used. Happy Halloween everybody!
162. I am not allowed to dress up like Neville's Grandmother at Halloween.
'I've got no idea why they keep letting us dress up for Halloween when literally every time, your brothers have taken the - well, taken the mickey,' Hermione remarked to Ron as they watched the aforementioned twins wander into the Great Hall. The hall was resplendent in Halloween decoration, with Hagrid's colossal pumpkins twinkling merrily from the corners and charmed bats swooping low under the floating candles, making the light flicker even more than usual.
'I would bet half the galleons in my vault that Dumbledore keeps the stupid costume thing up only until Fred and George leave school,' Harry said, reaching for a toffee apple and taking a large, sticky bite. 'He likes a laugh, I'm thinking,' he said thickly.
The twins found a spot some way down the table and sat down next to Angelina, dressed as a skeleton, and Lee Jordan, who'd gone the extra mile: painted himself gold and come as a snitch.
'I wonder how long it'll take Snape to notice?' Neville whispered nervously from beside Ron. 'I bet I get blamed for it!'
Ron shrugged. 'I think Snape will be too incensed to even think about anyone other than my brothers.'
Fred had reached up to tuck away the orange hair that poked out from under the steely grey wig while George was reaching into a large red handbag for his spectacles. He leaned a little too far forward and his eagle topped hat toppled off his head, pulling the grey wig with it, both tumbling into the jack-o'-lantern in front of him, where they were quickly engulfed in flames.
'Uh oh,' Hermione said, peering down the table at the twins and whipping her head round to see the staff table's reaction.
True enough, Snape had caught sight of the flickering flames at the Gryffindor table and was storming over quicker than the twins could think to put out the fire.
'Aguamenti!' Angelina cried, dousing the blackened remains of the hat immediately. George stuffed his handbag under the table just as Snape arrived behind them. They turned and Snape's disdainful expression slid into one of rage.
'What do you think you're doing dressed like that?' he snarled at Fred.
'Who, me?' Fred said indignantly. 'What about -' he turned to his twin, before blinking and crossing his arms. George, who looked awkward and chastened and a little fearful, actually, was only wearing lady's robes and lipstick, with no hint of Neville's boggart about his costume at all now the hat was gone and the handbag hidden.
'My office, now!' Snaped hissed as he pulled Fred up by the elbow. 'And take that stupid hat off!'
George kept an eye on his twin as he was ejected from the hall, and felt only a little guilt over the situation, but mostly because he'd definitely seen Fred mouthing 'I'll get you for this' as he went.
224. Even if I myself do not believe in it, I will respect that the school observes daylight savings time.
'I'd understand a bit more if you had chosen to turn up to classes an hour late,' Dumbledore said, not looking up from the letter he was writing. 'But you went to every class an hour early.'
'Yeah, we thought we'd keep you guessing a bit. "What are these wacky twins up to now" sort of thing. Keep our mysti-i-i-que,' Fred said, stifling a yawn.
Dumbledore shrugged. 'It seems your plan worked, to a degree.'
'Yup,' George grinned. 'Besides, it's just crazy. Where does that hour go? You go to sleep at midnight and then it's suddenly eleven again, or even one! Who can keep track? We were trying to start a trend of people disregarding the madness.'
'Madness,' Dumbledore repeated. 'Daylight savings time.'
'Yeah!' Fred nodded vehemently. 'It's a conspiracy!'
'Time! It's an illusion! It's all a big, twisty...wibbly wobbly...'
'It's a crazy request to ask us to respect time, Professor, when time clearly does not respect us!'
Dumbledore held out a hand to pause their rambling. 'While these are all excellent points that I, of course, will take on board -' the twins grinned '- I'm afraid I'll have to reprimand you - and remind you that whatever the school's policies on the wibbly wobbliness of time are, you will have to respect and follow them. To the letter.'
'Don't get us started on letters, Professor!' Fred exclaimed.
'Twenty six bits of squiggly information that form everything? I refuse to accept it!' said George, slapping his knee, while Dumbledore's hand met his forehead in exasperation.
360. I will not change house passwords to the names of muggle science fiction films.
'It's so good to be on this couch again,' Ron said, stretching out luxuriantly on the sofa in front of the fireplace. The common room filled up behind him and he settled himself into the perfect position on the soft cushions.
'Move your feet, you pillock' Fred said, tugging Ron's feet off the end.
'And the rest,' George added, shoving him into a seated position from the other side.
'Oh are you both tired? Has it been a hard day of being locked out of your common room?' Hermione said scathingly, sitting on the floor next to Harry's armchair. 'Honestly, if it hadn't been for the Ravenclaws we'd all still be out there, as there's no way you would have told anyone what you'd done!'
'Come on, Hermione, it's only been since this morning. Dumbledore would've fixed it if the Ravenclaws hadn't worked it out first,' Harry snickered. 'Lucky there are a few muggle borns in Ravenclaw who know their vintage sci-fi!'
'Yeah, I bet it really annoyed you that theirs had to be in question form,' Lee Jordan said, perching on the arm of Harry's chair. 'Gave the game away a bit, hmm?'
'What 1968 film starred Jane Fonda. To be honest we could have been a bit more wordy, made it a bit less muggle sounding, but we were tired, and wanted to get on with things, you know.' Fred yawned. 'it's not as easy as it looks, being us.'
'Shut up,' Ron said from between his brothers. 'So Ravenclaw was Barbaranarama - '
'Barbarella, you moron,' Fred interjected, patting Ron on the head.
'- and they alerted Dumbledore, who then had to fight his way to the front of all the crowds in front of the other entrances and change ours from the Ricky tricky micky show?
'Rocky Horror Picture Show,' Hermione supplied, grinning.
'What were the other ones, Ron?' Harry asked, amused at Ron's utter ignorance of the muggle world.
'Hufflepuff was Forgotten Planet?'
'Forbidden,' Hermione giggled.
'I remember Slytherin,' Ron said. 'Alien. Nice.'
'Over the summer, you should come and visit me for a change, Ron,' Hermione said. 'I've got Barbaranarama on video, I feel like you'd rather like it.' She smiled at him, her eyes twinkling. Ron grinned for a second before -
'Oooooooohh!' Fred and George said in unison, slapping Ron on the back and thoroughly ruining the moment.
369. I am not allowed to cause mass hysteria among the first years by freaking out when the ghosts arrive.
'You're still trying to beat our record, aren't you?' Ron said, pulling out his chess set and plonking it on the table in front of the fireplace.
'Shut up, Ron,' Fred said, sounding grumpy. 'And no.'
'Kind of, though,' George said. 'I mean it's not the aim but we're all in agreement that it would be ideal.'
'It's never going to happen,' Harry said, lining up his own chess men against Ron's. His knight tried to walk straight back off the board, but Harry caught him as he reached the edge and prodded him back into place.
'Well this is going to be easy,' Ron said to Harry, rolling his eyes before turning back to his brothers. 'So you scream bloody murder at the sight of the ghosts and all those poor little muggle borns scream right along with you.'
'Yeah because they're the only ones who haven't seen ghosts before, or at least heard about them,' Harry added.
'It kind of comes off looking like a hate crime actually,' Hermione pointed out. 'You look like you were making fun of muggle borns.' Her voice was getting higher with every word. 'Was that your intention?' she shrieked.
'Don't be stupid, of course not,' Fred said, looking indignant. 'And nobody else thinks that either!'
'I dunno, mate, maybe you've made yourselves some pals in Slytherin for making a spectacle of the muggle borns!' Lee said, flicking over one of Ron's pawns, who, in retaliation, leapt onto Lee's finger and wouldn't let go.
'Listen, if anyone looked stupid, it was us!' George said, sitting up. 'We didn't mean to-'
'But we didn't! So it's fine! Nobody would think that we would -' Fred spluttered.
'Well, your complete inability to defend yourself properly does more or less convince me you weren't trying to humiliate muggle borns,' Hermione sniffed and nudged Harry's rook.
'Oi! You can't play my game!' Harry said, batting her hand away.
'Don't worry, it won't make much difference,' Ron grinned. 'Plus we're still waiting for Lee to lose a fight with a pawn.' He gestured at Lee who was indeed still struggling to remove the belligerent pawn from his finger.
'Well at least we no longer look like the stupidest ones in the room,' Fred said darkly to George.
'I don't know about that,' Hermione said as Lee finally wrenched the little chess man off his finger. 'You either just either accidentally committed a hate crime or you screamed like baby girls at a bunch of ghosts. You look pretty stupid to me.'
583. There are no secret doors, rooms, passageways or items that can be found by pulling books off the shelves. Attempting to discover these places only results in distressing the librarian.
'It's usually Snape that pulls these ones out, isn't it?' Fred remarked to his twin. 'He's usually the one with the hideous imagination when it comes to punishments.'
'Well, we did highly irritate Madam Pince. I bet she's read about this punishment somewhere,' George replied. 'Always reading, that one. It's sinister.'
'She literally charmed us into a book. We're literally inside a book right now. I can't move anything but my face. We don't know when she'll be back!' Fred said, not sounding alarmed in the least. 'She might forget about us. We'll just be stuck here for years and years and then someone will pluck us from the shelf and we'll just start screaming at them because we'll have forgotten how to speak.'
'Fred,' George said, starting to sound a little worried. 'That sounds suspiciously like the behaviour of a book from the restricted section if you ask me.'
'She hasn't actually turned us into books, you pillock. She's just popped us inside one. All illustrated. And two dimensional.'
'Still, you're not worried?' George asked, desperately wishing he could scratch his nose.
'Will you two shut up!' a face loomed above them; Madam Pince's.
'Sorry, didn't think there had to be silence in the library when you are the library!' Fred said loudly. 'When will you let us out?'
'When I want to,' she replied. 'Might be another hour or so before I've got the library perfect again, and you're not getting out until then!'
'Madam Pince?' George asked in the sweetest voice he could muster.
'Yes?' she said, peering closer.
'Can you scratch my nose for me?' he asked, smiling as wide as he could.
Madam Pince smiled warmly. 'No,' she said, and promptly closed the book.
371. I will not tell Umbridge that it's not Halloween, although her Medusa interpretation is perfect
Professor McGonagall took off her spectacles and rubbed the bridge of her nose.
'Have a ginger newt, boys,' she said, placing her glasses back on. The twins in front of her didn't reach for her biscuit tin, merely exchanged a glace.
'You sound tired, Professor, are you alright?' Fred asked, leaning forward and smiling blithely.
'I'm ruddy exhausted, Fred,' she replied. 'And I told you to have a ginger newt!'
'Keep your tail on, Professor,' George said, reaching for the tin. 'Umbrigitis got you down again?'
'Professor Umbrige is a member of staff, and you should treat her with the respect she is due,' McGonagall said perfunctorily.
'We do,' the twins said in unison, and she very nearly smiled.
'Out,' she said, inclining her head towards the door. 'And listen, boys,' she said, following them to the doorway. 'If you're going to do stupid things like annoy the minister's toady, try and do it in a way where you won't get caught all the time, hmm?'
'Did you just give us permission?' George asked, delighted.
'Absolutely not,' she replied, holding the door open. 'I'd really just prefer not to have her send you to me day after day after day.'
'Yeah, okay, Professor...' Fred grinned, popping a ginger newt in his mouth. 'We'll be the very picture of discretion!' he said, spilling crumbs as he did.
'At least until we get Peeves involved, eh?' George nudged his brother, and before she could react, they'd both sauntered off, leaving her with a feeling that was both unease and amusement.
577. Not all defence against the dark arts teachers have faces on the back of their heads and you do not need to go through extensive lengths to confirm this.
'Lupin's really good at the odd prank too, isn't he?' Fred said musingly to his brother. They were both re-cataloguing library books, a punishment doled out to them by a highly amused Professor Lupin earlier that day.
'Yeah, like, weirdly good.'
'How did he know we were going to ask him about the back of his head?' Fred asked, scratching his chin with a broken quill he'd found behind a stack of biographies.
'Well, he's probably heard about Quirrell in the staff room…I'm more concerned about how he knew we'd ask today. And how he was so prepared!'
'Yeah, like…has he been putting that mirror charm on the back of his head every single day since he started here?' Fred asked, pulling the feather apart on the quill.
'Surely not, other people would've noticed,' George responded, pulling a book off the shelf and placing it on another shelf at random. 'But maybe he cast the spell ages ago and put a trigger on it, so that when he wanted to, he could activate it again?'
'Like you said, that's weirdly good at pranking. No other teacher has thought to do something like that before. I mean, he just whipped around and showed us the back of his head, and there was me – or you – or us! Just staring back at me. Or you. Or us.'
'He's a mystery, that Lupin,' George agreed, pulling the same book back off the shelf and replacing it in its original space. 'Remember when we asked Lockhart?'
'Yeah, he just went on and on about his hair care routine. I actually think that was a worse punishment than this,' said Fred, reaching for George's book and turning it upside down before placing it back on the shelf. 'Although to be fair, they might make us do this punishment again.'
584. You are not to sell inaccurate maps of Hogwarts to the first years.
'So it was chaos, really,' Hermione said crossly, throwing a dirty look at the twins who were sitting next to her. 'The whole group were confused, half of them were showing up in advanced classes and this stupid map had another bunch of them pulling books off shelves in the restricted section! The whole library was wailing, along with Madam Pince who I think just about had a heart attack – it was dreadful, and as prefects, it was us who had to deal with the fallout!'
Dumbledore peered over his half moon glasses at the three Weasley brothers sitting across the desk from him.
'Ronald, do you have anything to add?' he enquired politely.
'Er, no. Not really. She's pretty much covered it. The library was a bit of a flashback, haven't you done that before?' he asked, turning to his brothers.
'Yeah, about two years ago,' George replied, leaning back in his chair. 'Sometimes we like to reminisce.'
'Yeah, I bet mum will love getting two letters about the same thing again,' Ron said quietly, looking at Hermione's impatient expression.
'Oh, we've done that before too, haven't we?' Fred chuckled. 'It is getting hard to keep track, I must admit.'
'Yes, well, I have to say, this one did end rather messily, even for you. I think one or two first years ended up in Fluffy's old room and almost fell down into a pile of dried up Devil's Snare,' Dumbledore said. 'That reminds me, I must see to it that that gets properly sealed up…' he trailed off, mind elsewhere for a moment. 'And another few ended up stuck in Professor Trelawney's office for an hour while she decided which of them would meet their demise first this year. They were quite upset by it. I surely don't need to remind you that there's a reason we don't offer Divination until third year and it's not entirely to do with the subject matter.'
Hermione sniffed loudly. 'Professor, will you -'
'Yes, Miss Granger, a punishment must be dealt. I think the two of you shall make excellent guides for the first years, hmm? You shall take them to classes, join them for lunch and help them with their studies, I think.'
'What? Fred yelped. 'Hang out with them you mean?'
'Oh no, Professor, couldn't we just do lines?'
'Not in this case, I'm afraid, Dumbledore said, smiling lightly. 'And how long did it take you to become used to Hogwarts, Miss Granger?'
'I'm still not used to it,' she said, grinning wickedly. 'I think they should do it all year!'
Fred elbowed Ron sharply and he blurted out 'a week ought to do, Sir, surely?'
'A month,' Dumbledore said, still smiling. 'I imagine the first years will know the castle very well in that time.
'I think you're just anxious to make sure there's another set of decent pranksters coming into the school and you want us to train them up,' George said, leaning forward in his chair.
'Well,' Dumbledore leaned forward too and lowered his voice. 'You two leave after this year, and we can't let Minerva get complacent, can we?'
The twins and Ron grinned, while Hermione looked scandalised.
580. "The quest to find a decent Slytherin" has never been noble.
'It's just the usual attention seeking, drama creating nonsense from the two of you again, isn't it?' McGonagall paced in front of her fireplace, her heeled boots clicking against the flagstones. 'Just the same old thing and here I am again, just handing out lines left right and centre...'
'You're muttering now, Professor,' Fred said, slumped in a chair, watching her path back and forth, back and forth. 'Muttering's not very noble.'
'What's this about noble?' McGonagall paused in front of the fireplace and crossed her arms.
'We were on a noble quest,' George said, sitting up a little. 'To find ourselves a decent Slytherin.'
'Well that quest is pointless and would be quite short if you were being honest. Frankly I expect better explanations from you both these days.' She resumed pacing.
'Oh so it's not noble then?' George said, leaning forward. 'We've been nobly trying to find a decent Slytherin, hopefully someone who is also noble. Us noble types like to stick together.'
McGonagall frowned, pausing again. 'It's not noble! You can't just say things are noble!'
'Noble noble noble,' Fred grinned. 'Word's lost all meaning.'
George patted his brother on the head and turned back to the agitated professor. 'We were just on a noble quest, Professor. To find a decent Slytherin. I don't know what else to tell you.'
'The quest to find a decent Slytherin has never been noble!' she shrieked, and the twins faces cracked into identical grins.
'Aaaaaand there's the phrase for our lines,' George said, jumping up. 'How many would you like, Professor?'
'Two hundred? Three? We'll have them for you by tomorrow...'
They scuttled out of her office together, leaving her alone and annoyed, and not without hearing '...posted up all over the Great Hall!'
510. I will not get Hermione Granger drunk.
Ron held the Quidditch house cup loosely in one hand as he lounged on the sofa in the common room. Dean and Seamus were nearby chatting to Lavender and Parvati - Dean still looking a bit melancholy about Harry and Ginny's kiss a couple of hours previously while Seamus and Lavender flirted awkwardly and Parvati poured them all drinks from a charmed never-emptying bottle of butterbeer. He was happy and feeling a little misty and very pleased with himself, not to mention he'd had about a glass and a half of firewhisky and was extremely interested in locating some more, because he'd started thinking about Harry kissing Ginny again and it was still making him feel a bit queasy. He pulled himself off the sofa, dragging the cup along with him and quickly searched the crowded common room before locating his brothers sitting on the bottom steps of the boys' staircase, with Hermione a step above.
'Hi Ron!' Hermione said brightly at the sight of him. 'How – hic! How are you?' she asked, punctuating each word with giggles. 'You played so well today, Ron. I mean I don't even like Quidditch very much but you did, you played brilliantly. So did you two!' she added, throwing her arms around the twins below her.
'Thanks Hermione, but we actually weren't playing,' George said, patting her on the knee.
'We don't even actually go here anymore, we left, last year,' Fred added. 'It was quite a big show actually, there were fireworks and a swamp and everything.'
'Oh yes, so you did,' Hermione said quite seriously. 'Yes, you came back because Ron was playing and you love him, because he's your brother,' she smiled, squeezing Fred and George tighter around their shoulders.
'Yeah, and also because we knew there'd be an after party and plenty of business opportunities!' George said, gesturing at the crowd in front of him. 'We've sold about fifty skiving snackboxes tonight!'
'Not to mention quite a lot of firewhisky,' Fred said. 'Though we didn't exactly sell it to you, did we Hermione?'
'No, I grabbed it from you and when you said I was being uptight I took a massive long drink of it and then everything was just really nice and funny and a bit swimmy,' she said, releasing the twins and leaning back on the stairs. 'Hi Ron,' she giggled again.
'She is drunk!' Ron said indignantly. 'You can't get Hermione drunk - that is so reckless! What if something happened?'
'Relax, Ron, she's fine!' George said, summoning her a glass of water. 'Look, have this, Hermione.'
'Aguamenti!' she said happily, waving her wand aimlessly, and a great jet of water shot out of the cup and drenched them all.
'That's it,' Ron said, himself instantly sober. 'I'm telling!'
A/N: I know it's been an unforgivably long time, but I still read and appreciate every single review, and would love to hear your feedback again. Let me know if I've lost my touch!