Okay, this is a slightly AU. Tom Riddle never learned what a Horcrux was, so he's gone for good. The trio's in fifth year, and the twins are in their seventh year.
I was at work last night, and I was viciously attacked by a plot bunny. What if Fred and George, having just learned the compulsion charm, had decided to help their dear brother with his love life? The results are not what they expected. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Lord Cargyle does not own Harry Potter or any of the associated characters, places, things, ideas, other nouns, verbs, and adjectives, and does not make any monetary profit from this story.
Fred Weasley was bored.
Granted, he was in class, so a certain base amount of boredom was to be expected. Not only that, but it was warm outside, with a cloudless blue sky; prime quidditch weather. That stacked on even more boredom than normal, as he yearned more than anything to be out on his Comet, playing a pickup game with George and the girls.
Doodling idly on is parchment, he caught his twin's eye, and saw him shift his glance out the window.
Could be playing a game, eh?
Fred gave a nod and roll of the eyes.
But we have to learn, of course.
Fred and George had only returned to their seventh year out of respect for their mum. She would be devastated if any of her children didn't finish Hogwarts, and they were treading on thin ice with her as it was. Besides that, they were still scouting out premises for their shop, and that was better done away from the watchful eye of their mother.
They focused on the front of the room as Professor Flitwick called the class to order. They tried to pay as much attention as possible in Flitwick's class; the tiny Charms Professor was their favorite staff member.
"Today, class," the professor squeaked, "we are going to be learning the compulsion charm. Used correctly, this charm will place an irresistible command in the target's head, which will not leave until the desire is carried out or the charm lifted."
Fred looked over at George, who was grinning.
This could be interesting.
Fred gave a wag of the eyebrows.
"The method is simple," Flitwick said, holding his wand up. "It's a simple jab," he stabbed his wand much like a fencer thrust a sword, "and the incantation Compellus! Now, without a command, all the spell will do is cause the target to obsessively carry out whatever idea he is thinking of, which can have disastrous results. What if he was thinking of hexing his boss after a rough day at work? Or finally confessing his love to a married woman? Not a good idea. You must hold a command in mind while casting, and focus on that command only. This is not a spell to attempt if you let your mind wander often."
The lesson went on, but Fred grinned at George.
Oh, the possibilities.
"I think I've gained enough knowledge of this spell to attempt it on live subjects," Fred said as they exited the class.
"Now, Fred," George said in mock sternness. "We've just been given a new ability. We must use it for the betterment of our fellow man."
"Of course, George," Fred nodded with a serious look on his face. "That's obvious. But which man?"
"How about our next of kin?" George nodded at their brother, Ron, who was accompanied (as ever) by Hermione Granger and Harry Potter, the former of whom was currently berating him for something.
"He seems to be having girl troubles," Fred noted, and George nodded, concurring. They were well aware of their brother's secret crush on the curly-haired brunette. And if what they said was true, and bickering meant love, then Hermione certainly reciprocated.
"What that relationship needs is a good snog," George observed, and Fred's face lit up, a positively splendid idea occurring to him.
"You thinking what I'm thinking, George?"
"Why, Fred, I do believe not. But you're most certainly thinking what I'm thinking."
"I think I was thinking it first."
"Let's agree that great minds think alike."
"Agreed. If that's the case, then we think we just came up with a marvelous use for this spell."
"We think so."
"Would you like to do the honors?"
"Oh, no. By all means."
"Well, all right, then."
George removed his wand from pocket, thinking a very simple command.
Snog Hermione Granger. For five minutes, he added as an afterthought. He wasn't sure how long Ron would go without a cutoff point.
Then three things happened in rapid succession. Lee Jordan joined them from Muggle Studies, giving his customary greeting of a shove to Fred's side. Under normal circumstances, the shove would have been returned in kind, but Fred instead fell to the side, bumping into George, whose wand hand moved a fraction of an inch to the side as he uttered the fateful word.
"George…" Fred pointed in the direction his spell had gone. Ron stood bemused, alone in the corridor, wondering where his two best friends had gone.
At least he and Hermione weren't arguing anymore.
The day started off like any other. Hermione awoke bright and early, dressing and getting ready for her day before heading down to breakfast. She ate a simple breakfast of toast and porridge chased with a glass of orange juice. Harry joined her about a half hour later, as she sat and read while waiting for class to begin, eating her toast with one hand and turning her page with the other.
"Good morning, Harry," she smiled at her best friend, who grinned back.
"Morning," he replied, grabbing for a sweet roll, which he swallowed in one bite.
"Harry, you really should eat something a little more nutritious," Hermione chided him, and Harry swallowed and grinned, snatching her piece of toast right out of her hand and stuffing it in his mouth. Hermione gasped, swatting him on the shoulder.
"Harry James Potter!" she said, though she couldn't help but smile at his antics. "I didn't mean that you should steal my food!"
"Aw, but if you picked it, it has to be nutritious," Harry said, and Hermione rolled her eyes.
"Anyway, did you know our Transfiguration essays are due today?" she changed the subject. "You did yours, right?"
"Oh, bugger!" Harry exclaimed, and Hermione opened her mouth, a lecture already half-formed in her head, but Harry grinned. "I went and finished mine four days ago!"
"Har—You prat!" she smacked him again, and he recoiled, now laughing. "You are insufferable!"
Ron joined them moments later, and after scarfing down twice as much as they had eaten in half the time, they hurried off to Transfiguration.
It was as they were exiting Transfiguration class that it happened. Harry had suddenly gone rigid….
Harry didn't know what happened. Here he was, walking from Transfiguration to Charms, just like always, when suddenly, something shifted in his head, like a sudden epiphany had reshuffled his priorities in life. Things that had seemed monumentally important were now mere afterthoughts, and one goal was in the forefront of his mind.
He absolutely had to kiss Hermione. Not just a peck, either, but a full-blown, knee-weakening, taste-her-for-three-days-afterward kind of kiss. If he didn't carry out this objective, terrible things would happen.
He looked to his right to find Hermione looking at him in concern, saying something. Why wasn't she kissing him? Didn't she understand how important this was? Realizing that Hermione wasn't the type of girl to do this sort of thing in public, he took her by the hand and dragged her off to an empty classroom, tugging her in and casting a few privacy charms on the door.
"Harry, wha—mph!" Hermione was quickly silenced as Harry carried out his life's ambition and pushed her (gently) against the wall, crushing her mouth with his.
She was stiff at first, clearly surprised at the sudden contact, and she raised her hands to feebly attempt to push him away, then to just as weakly slap against his chest. She soon gave up, though, and her hands dropped limply to her sides, and she moved her mouth against his.
Harry took his hands away from her shoulders, moving one up to cup her face, the other gently trailing along her neck. She had such wonderfully soft skin, he noted as he poked at her lips with her tongue. She made a small noise in her throat and opened her mouth, and Harry probed around, tasting her. She seemed to be relaxing under him, one hand moving up to stroke his forearm, the other still hanging at her side.
As Harry snogged his best friend he pondered why he hadn't done this earlier. He rather liked Hermione, and she was certainly attractive, having filled out over the course of the year. Her hair still as wild as ever, but she had cut it short, thinning it until it had lost much of its bushiness. But, more important than her looks, this girl was probably the only girl he was comfortable around. She had been his friend since the age of eleven, and friendship like that was hard to come by. Why shouldn't he want to be romantically involved with someone he was already so close to?
"Hmmm," Hermione seemed to be trying to communicate something. That was rather silly; he was kissing her. This seemed communication enough.
Then, something happened. Kissing Hermione suddenly didn't seem like such a good idea. In fact, it seemed like a rather bad idea. Harry broke away from Hermione, and she only stared at him, her expression slightly dazed, her face red. She was gasping for air, and Harry realized that they had been snogging without a break for five full minutes.
"H-Harry?" Hermione stammered, her voice unsure. "Are…you all right?"
Harry wasn't all right. He had just dragged his best friend into a classroom and snogged her senseless, and he had no idea what the bloody hell had possessed him to think it a good idea. He made for the door, but Hermione was closer, and she moved to intercept him, fixing him with a resolute glare. Harry knew that glare. It was the look that meant "I am getting answers out of you, and you'll just have to deal with that."
"Harry, what on earth was that?" she asked.
"I…don't know," Harry said. "I was…walking, and suddenly, I felt this…overpowering need to…snog you. You can't even believe how much I wanted to do it. It was like I was put on this earth just to snog you.'
Hermione looked thoughtful. "Someone must have cast a compulsion charm on you," she said. "That's the only one that your description fits. Though why they would make you…snog me," she turned red again but continued, "is a mystery."
"Hermione, I'm sorry," Harry said, and Hermione moved to hug him looking up at him with a smile.
"It's all right, Harry," she said. "You didn't mean it. And…well as kisses go, that was a good one. Couldn't have asked for a better first kiss."
"That was your first kiss?" Harry asked in anguish. He had stolen Hermione's first kiss. If any other guy had done that, they would be a pile of jelly by now, either through Hermione's design or his own.
"Harry, it's all right," Hermione insisted, kissing him on the cheek. "There's no one I'd rather my first kiss be with."
"What about Ron?" Harry asked, and Hermione's expression turned disgusted.
"Ron?" she asked, her voice matching her expression. "Harry, he's like a brother. An annoying brother who I love despite his faults."
"Oh," Harry said. "I'd just thought…since you two fight all the time."
"Harry, I know you weren't raised in the most loving household," Hermione hugged him. "But relationships aren't built on fights. They're built on the ability to resolve fights peacefully, to admit that maybe you might have it wrong, and to hear what the other person has to say. And when's the last time you've seen Ron and I make up quickly or without some sort of catastrophe forcing us to?"
Harry shrugged. "But you and I have gotten into fights before," he said. "Haven't we?"
"Not really," Hermione observed, still hugging him. Harry wasn't keen on letting her release him, either. "We sort of got into a fight when I got your Firebolt taken away, but you seemed willing to make up pretty quickly. Ron was the one being a prat and breaking us apart."
"Sorry about that," Harry said. "You were just concerned, is all."
Hermione smiled. "That's what I was talking about," she said. "You admitted that maybe you were wrong. Though you're two years too late," she added with a wry smile.
Harry stared at her thoughtfully. "Wait…does that mean…I'm in love with you?"
Hermione turned pink and tried to let him go, but Harry had wrapped his arms around her; he liked having her this close to him.
"Well…what do you think?" she asked softly, unable to look at him. Harry pondered. Despite being under a compulsion charm, he had to admit that he'd made some pretty valid observations while snogging Hermione.
"I think…I might be," he said, and Hermione smiled.
"Well…do you…want to give this a try, then?" she looked up at him. "If it doesn't work, I promise things won't get weird. We'll go back to being best friends and say we tried. It'll be something we'll laugh about ten years from now."
She was rambling, and Harry did the only reasonable thing he could think of; he kissed her again. As he broke away, Hermione smiled, turning red again.
"You look cute when you blush," he said, and Hermione blushed darker, biting her lip.
"So…we're giving this a try?"
Harry grinned. "Sounds good to me."
Hermione hugged him tighter, and they exited the classroom to a barrage of questions from Ron, who would later sit in stunned silence as his friends regaled him with their tale.
Five years later.
"A toast to the newlyweds!" George said, standing, and the wedding party focused its attention on him, along with the newly married Harry and Hermione Potter. "Thank you. I first met these two in a log cabin in the middle of storm on the fifth of April – "
"George, that's how we met Lee," Fred interrupted his twin, with a nudge, and George cleared his throat again.
"Right, well, that's not important," he said. "I just wanted to say, I've never seen two people more suited for each other than these two right here. And in the end, the point is that we cast the compulsion charm, Harry. Cheers!"
"Hear, hear!" Fred said, and the guests raised their glasses, though slightly confused as to what exactly they were toasting. Harry and Hermione, meanwhile, exchanged a series of looks that, practiced as they were at reading each other, Fred and George got the gist of.
They were in for it later.