Written for the Twin Exchange January Challenge.

Pairing: Fred/Hermione

Prompt: Bubbles

Quote: "I'm not so certain this is a good idea."

Theme: Severus Snape, born January 9 1960

A/N: For purposes of this fic working out I am just going to assume that the Hogwarts students' Christmas break extends past January 9th.

"I'm not so certain this is a good idea." Hermione said decidedly as they approached the decrepit old house. Fred, walking three paces ahead of her, didn't reply.

"Fred!" Hermione hissed. She wasn't used to her opinions being ignored -- quite the contrary; when she, Ron, and Harry were up to something they often took her opinion with great reverence, almost.

"Don't worry, Hermione." Fred looked back, a wide grin on his face, "You'll thank me for including you in this later."

He opened the front door slowly, some light from a table lamp in the front hallway spilling out into the cold, early morning darkness that came with winter. The cold made Hermione anxious for returning to Hogwarts the next day, even if it meant the beginning of revision for her 6th year exams.

"I'll thank you?" She asked incredulously. "We're going to get caught, and we'll be dead. Worst of all, I'll lose my chance at Head Girl next year!"

Fred rolled his eyes, "Of course, on the list of worse case scenarios, losing Head Girl-ship obviously outweighs death. Calm down Granger, you can't back out on me now."

"Remind me why I'm here at all?" She asked, "Where's your other half?"

"Out with his other half, Verity. Of all days for their anniversary to be…" Fred muttered, but brightened, "Either way, I can't go wrong having a bright little witch like you as my back-up, right?"

It was Hermione's turn to roll her eyes, "Still doesn't explain why I chose to come along." She muttered. Fred heard.

"Well, Hermione, who wouldn't want to spend some quality time with someone as devastatingly handsome as I?" Fred teased. Hermione was thankful that the old house was fairly dark because that way, he couldn't see the red staining her cheeks at the moment.

If she were honest, alone time with Fred was probably the only logical reason she could think of for abandoning all logic and agreeing to this ridiculous -- yet oddly exhilarating -- plan.

"All right." Fred whispered, "According to Dung, this door's his bedroom."

Hermione groaned, "Please don't tell me this fate of this plan is depending entirely on Mudungus Fletcher's reliability." Fred shushed her,

"Dung's all right."

"Fred, you call him Dung." Hermione pointed out. "I wouldn't take the word of someone with a name like Dung."

"You're one to talk about unusual names." Fred teased, then sighed, grabbing her hand, "Come on, we can't waste any time, or else we'll get caught."

Hermione swallowed and tried to ignore the butterflies swelling up in her stomach, momentarily pausing to hope that her hands weren't sweaty and disgusting. Completely irrational... she thought.

Fred opened the door to what they hoped was the bedroom. They were about to creep in when they suddenly heard a groan, and the springs of the bed shifting as it's occupant arose.

"Run!" Fred hissed. Without thinking, he grabbed Hermione's hand -- her stomach flipped again -- and dragged her further down the hall, and consequently further into the house. He ran into the nearest room and closed the door.

"Fred!" Hermione exclaimed in a hushed tone. "What were you thinking? Why didn't we just go downstairs and leave? Now we're trapped in Severus Snape's house, for Merlin's sake!"

"I couldn't just leave his house unpranked!" Fred almost whined.

"Well now we'll be leaving it in body bags!" Hermione shot back, the stilled. "Oh no."

Fred strained to listen and after a moment heard the footsteps walking down the hallway --towards the bathroom they were in now.

"Hide!" Hermione hopped from one foot to another frantically.

"The bathtub!" She and Fred quickly piled in and closed the shower curtain.

"This is terrible." Hermione muttered. "I'm hiding in Snape's bathtub. I am hiding in my Potion's teachers shower. What is wrong with me?"

"Look on the bright side," Fred reassured her, "He'll never find us in here."

"What makes you so sure?" Hermione frowned. Fred grinned.

"Come on, it's not like he's going to use it-- look at his hair!"

"Fred Weasley, now is not the time to be making jokes. He's going to find us and turn us into bats!"


"Bats! I can't be a bat, how will I take my exams! Bat's can't hold quills!" Hermione began frantically, and Fred had to cover her mouth and pull her against him as they heard the door open.

"You know Granger," Fred whispered in her ear, "You're kind of cute when you get flustered like that." Fred slowly moved his hand away from her mouth but didn't release his hold on her. Hermione felt her heart begin to race. This was dampened by the sounds they heard immediately after.

"Oh Merlin." Hermione muttered, "I can't believe I'm listening to my professor go to the bathroom! This is so embarrassing!"

"Let's hope he washes his hands." Fred smirked deviously and she swatted at his arm.

Thankfully, Snape did wash his hands. Unfortunately, they then saw his hand reach behind the shower curtain and turn the shower on. Both cringed as a jet of warm water hit them, soaking their clothes within seconds.

"Lovely." Fred rolled his eyes as he heard Snape leave the room.

"Lovely?" Hermione nearly screeched, "We've got more important things to worry about! He's going to find us in his shower, Fred!"

"Who would've thought he'd actually use it?" Fred mused to himself, ignoring her again. "Maybe it's like his own present to himself -- a yearly hair wash."

Hermione, who at this point was extremely frustrated, stomped on Fred's foot. "Fred!"

"Yes, Hermione?"

"What is that?" She pointed at his pocket where a multitude of milky, colored bubbles were emerging and spreading through the room.

"Oh, bloody hell!" Fred cursed, "A new prototype George and I have been working on, for our Tricking Toiletries line. The bubbles appear to be a type of bubble-bath, but they actually stain your skin with whatever color the bubble is. On the bright side, they smell amazing." A bubble popped against Hermione's arm, leaving a large blue circle in it's place.

"Fred!" Hermione hissed, "We are going to get caught and you don't care at all!"

Fred shrugged, "I do care." He admitted, "But mostly I just enjoy getting you worked up."

"What!" Hermione went to slap his shoulder, but he caught her hand. "Why?!" She demanded.

"Because, in case you haven't guessed yet, I rile you up on purpose. You're pretty all the time, of course, but when you're angry or passionate about something, you're even prettier." Fred said simply. Hermione opened her mouth to say something, then closed it.

"I -- uhm -- well," She started, "What?"

"I thought I'd made it pretty clear." Fred laughed, "For such a smart person, you can be rather oblivious sometimes, Hermione."

"Oblivious?" She asked.

Fred sighed, running a hand through his wet hair. "I didn't ask you to come with me because I thought you'd be particularly good at pranking, Granger. I asked you to come with me to spend some time with you by myself."

Hermione's first thought was that she should take offense to Fred's statement that she would be bad at pranking. Her next thoughts were simultaneous; she shouldn't be mad at him not only because he was probably right about that, but also because he had wanted to spend time alone with her specifically, and that alone made a blush spread throughout her cheeks.

"Really?" She asked shyly. He smiled down at her.

"Really." He replied, his face leaning in towards hers. Hermione closed her eyes and felt his lips hovering over her, the gap just about to close when--

"WEALSEY!" Snape yelled after throwing the curtain open. "Granger?!" He added as a confused afterthought.

"Uhm, Professor!" Hermione's face turned crimson. Even Fred seemed stunned into silence. Snape stood there fuming, when a big red bubble drifted down from the ceiling and landed on his nose. Fred and Hermione gazed at it in horror as it popped, leaving Snape looking rather like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Hermione let out a strangled laugh.

Finally Hermione responded. "Surprise?" She smiled weakly.

"Happy birthday?" Fred offered.

"GET OUT! "Snape roared. They took that as all the indication they needed, clambering out of the shower and running through and out of the house.

"Next time you want to spend time alone with me, just take me out to dinner." Hermione panted as they continued running. Fred grinned alongside her.

"Will do."