An Angelina and
Fred story. They're both second years, 12 years old.
"So, how's Transfiguration going?"
"All right, hold it." Fred stopped and forced Angelina to face him. "What's going on? You drag me out of the common room down to the--" he looked around "--to the lake and ask me in a low voice how Transfiguration is going. Angelina, ever since George and I--you know--you're my partner! You know exactly how it's going."
She sighed. "Okay, so the small talk isn't working."
"I guess not. What's really up?"
She turned away. Fred felt momentary panic. Was she going to cry? He couldn't stand it when girls cried--not even Ginny, and she was still practically a baby. Fortunately, when Angelina turned back, her eyes were dry. Unfortunately, her face was resolute.
"All right," she said crisply. "I need your help to reverse a spell."
"My help?" Fred repeated. He wasn't too bad for a second year, but Percy was much better, and Charlie was getting ready to leave Hogwarts; could probably counter anything.
But as he pointed that out, she shook her head. "You," she said firmly. Then, in a less certain voice, "Will you at least hear me out?"
His nervousness hadn't dissipated much, but she had covered for him and George during the crawfish incident, so... "All right," he agreed. But he stepped back a few paces, to be out of arm's reach. You can never be too safe.
She swallowed. "Please...please kiss me."
Fred was halfway back to the school before he realized he'd even moved.
"No! Wait!" she called. "Please!"
It was the hint of desperation in her voice. He stopped, but made sure that he was well out of arm's reach.
"I don't have any Mandrakes. I don't have time to raise any. That's the only other way I can think of, so please, Fred, please--"
"What are you talking about?" he broke in.
"Mandrakes. You know. They can reverse any spell or enchantment," she explained.
He gave her a withering look. "I know what they are." He suddenly grinned. "Mum had to keep a supply on for when Percy bothered me or George."
"What do you mean?" she asked, obviously wanting to continue their other conversation, but just as obviously curious about his Mandrake experiences.
"We found an old broken wand of Dad's," he explained. "Some spellotape and...Bill and Charlie always got blamed for it, too," he said with a laugh. "We only used it to pull pranks on Percy, though," he added defensively.
"I believe you."
"Er, I'd appreciate it if you'd not mention that to anyone...George'd be livid I told you and, uh, Charlie and Percy still don't know it was us," he told her sheepishly.
"I wouldn't," she assured him.
It suddenly occurred to him that she could blackmail him now--make him kiss her in exchange for silence.
And it must have occurred to her, too.
But all Angelina said was, "I listened to your story, so will you please listen to mine?"
Well, what else could he do but nod?
She looked embarrassed now. "Uh--are you at all familiar with Muggle fairy tales, Fred?"
He certainly hadn't expected that question. "A little," he said cautiously.
"Well, Alicia and I were in the library, and we found a book."
"Oh! Is that where they're hiding them these days?"
She waited a moment, then asked, "Are you done?"
He flushed. "Sorry," he mumbled.
"It was a book of fairy tale spells," she continued. "Like, how to poison an apple or turn pumpkins into coaches or transform straw into gold or--"
"I get it," he interrupted.
She took a steadying breath. "One of the spells was," she began to turn bright red, "a spell to make you look like one of the fairy tale princesses. Uh, you know, blond, beautiful, all that?"
He studied her for a moment. "But you're pretty enough now," he told her.
Angelina's eyes widened. Her jaw even dropped a little. "Uh, th--thanks," she stuttered.
They stood there awkwardly for a moment.
"So, the spell?" Fred prompted.
"Oh, right. So I decided to try that spell. And, um, it backfired."
"What'd you do?" he asked curiously.
The red rushed back to her face. "The title of the spell was on the one page, then you turned the page to read the words and instructions and stuff."
"But, uh, two of the pages were, uh, stuck together, you see."
Fred winced. "Uh-oh."
"But--but you look normal," he pointed out.
"I turned--I turned myself into a frog--at night," she said reluctantly.
His eyebrows shot up. "You what?"
She scowled. "You heard me."
"Um, Angelina, I haven't a clue how to reverse something like that. You should ask a teacher."
"A teacher? Which one? Sprout? But there are no Mandrakes. McGonagall? She'd probably take points away for 'foolishness.' Dumbledore? Snape?"
"Okay, maybe not a teacher," he conceded.
"But I don't have to ask a teacher. The book said there was a way to reverse every single spell it contained."
"Well, there you are. What do you have to do?"
She stared at him. "Well...someone has to kiss me."
He could hear "duh" in her voice. "Should've thought of that myself, eh?" He thought fast. "But can't Madam Pomfrey help?"
"I was going to try her--if you wouldn't kiss me, or if it doesn't work."
"Oh. But, uh, doesn't it have to be, like, True Love's First Kiss or something?"
She shrugged. "The book wasn't that specific. Please, Fred, will you please at least try?"
It was panic versus the crawfish incident and the lack of blackmail. Honor won out. "All right," he agreed, nobly sacrificial. "I'll try."
She grabbed his hands. "Oh, thank you, Fred!"
He pulled his hands away with a nervous chuckle. "Come on, now, no need for any of that, Angelina. Someone could see us."
He looked around. They were much too exposed here. If someone had Omnioculars with ultra zoom-in, they might possibly be seen. "Come on," he said. "Let's go into the trees."
Angelina looked over at the sun. "Okay, but we need to hurry."
He glanced up. "We have about half an hour, I'd guess."
She nodded. They walked past Hagrid's cottage, then turned left and followed the edge of the forest until there were no buildings around.
Angelina again looked anxiously upward. "Well?"
He scrutinized the clearing. "This will do." He straightened up. "Okay. I'm ready."
She walked up to him. "I can't reach you. You're too tall."
He leaned over and kissed her cheek. "There you go."
She blinked. "Uh, Fred?"
"What was that?"
"I kissed you."
"What?" he asked irritably.
"That--won't--do," she stammered.
He gave her a puzzled look, then realization filled his eyes. "You mean...?"
Fred took a deep breath. He'd given his word, though, and maybe it wasn't that bad. After all, Charlie seemed to even enjoy it. So, with the air of a martyr, he rested his hands on her shoulders, bent, and pressed his lips to hers.
But now what? He had to admit it wasn't as awful as all that, but what if George or Lee came looking for him? He lifted his head. "Well?"
She gave him a small, fake smile. "Know in a minute."
"Um, I could write home for some Mandrakes if it didn't work," he offered.
The smile was more genuine now. "Thanks."
The sun set.
Angelina squealed and flung her arms around him. He stiffly patted her head. "Glad to help. Uh, you're not going to tell?"
"I won't tell anyone anything," she promised.
He suddenly realized they were just standing there smiling at each other. "Well, we'd better get going."
"Yeah. Oh, can you do me another favor?"
"If I ever want to try another spell like that, hit me on the head with one of your Bludgers."
Reviews are always appreciated.
Check out chapter two for an alternate ending!