Finding Fred and George

Fred gave the toy he was developing another prod with his wand. Fuming, he tossed both objects on the table and stretched. Who was he kidding? He couldn't work like this, and neither could George. He walked through the lab, looking for his twin.

In the years after the War, life had gotten back to normal for the most part. Unfortunately for the twins, this meant the return of their mother's affection for the Ministry—especially with the way it was changing under Kingsley. They both knew that their parents were proud of how well they were doing. However, one breakfast with them was quite enough to see that they thought that while their other children (Harry included) were changing the face of the Wizarding world, Fred and George were playing with toys. This was precisely why they normally opted out of family breakfasts on "developing days."

"George!" Fred called. He turned as he heard swearing.

His twin wheeled himself out from under a large orange thing. Fred still wasn't sure what it was… "You rang?" George muttered, wiping soot off of his forehead.

"How's your day going after that wonderful, uplifting breakfast?"

"Brilliantly."

"Thought so," Fred said, smiling. "Care for a walk?"

"Sure."

They descended the steps to their store and stepped into the crisp morning air. Walking through Diagon Alley, Fred brought the frustrating topic up without preamble. "It shouldn't bother us," he said, kicking a stick.

"I know," George said, nodding. "But really, we're not…It'd be different if they paid attention."

"What?" Fred asked, not completely following the internal paragraph in his twin's mind.

"It's not just Mum. We've spent so long being the twins that no one really notices our distinguishing characteristics," he explained, striking a pose. "And I'm not even talking about 'What's Fred's favorite color' or 'Which of the Holyhead Harpies did George have a crush on when he was 9'—"

"Christianna Cooper," Fred said, grinning.

"Shut up. I'm saying they don't know basic stuff that defines us as an entity, if you will. Or how to tell us apart, without glancing at my lack of ear."

"To be fair, we are identical." Fred shrugged.

"As a top-notch joke product inventor and distributor, I expect better from you," George joked. "Come on, we both know better. The eyes can fool the fool, right? The Creator gave us five senses for a reason. For example, if I close my eyes and pull my hair," he did so. "And then pull yours," he gave Fred's hair a tug. "I can tell you that your hair is, as it's always been, coarser than mine. More like Ron's and Charlie's, while mine is like Bill and Percy's. If I close my eyes and you say something…."

"I'm the cuter twin," Fred said, taking the prompt.

"And I say the same thing. I'm the cuter twin," he demonstrated. "The careful listener will observe that your voice is slightly deeper."

"Well, you're my twin. You're supposed to notice this stuff. If you don't know it, no one will."

"No one else does."

"Fair point."

They continued walking down the cobbled street. George, stopping again, turned to Fred and asked, "What do you think? I mean, I feel scummy complaining about this in the privacy of my own head and with you. It's not like we can just sit them down and…and…." He stopped upon seeing The Look on Fred's face. It was a wide grin that made the corners of his eyes crinkle. It was a grin that told George there was something slightly devious going on in Fred's mind. "Fred?"

"Let's get back to the shop," his twin said, taking his arm. "I'm suddenly in a much better mood."


April 1st

"Hi Mrs. Weasley!" Harry said, walking toward the 3Ws. "You know why their birthday party's taking up the whole day?"

"No idea, dear," Molly said.

"It looks like Ginny and Tonks are here already," Arthur told them. As they approached the couple, two more people Apparated next to them.

"Morning you lot," Ron said when they reached them.

"Are the twins meeting us here, then?" Hermione asked, glancing at the shop's "Closed" sign.

"I guess," Tonks said.

"Wonder where Angelina and Katie are," Harry said. "You'd think they'd be here."

"They're probably on their way with the twins," Arthur said. He checked his watch. "We're a bit early."

They waited outside of the shop for another few minutes. Then, at ten o'clock, the door opened with a small click!.

"What gives?" Ron asked, following Harry in.

"No idea," Harry said. He led the way to the center of the room where a sheet of poster paper lay. "Who is this?" he read when everyone had crowded around. The words were in classic "ransom note" cut-out letters above a picture of a small Weasley child.

"That's Fred," Molly said. "I think."

Ginny tilted her head to the side. "No," she said. "That's George."

"Very good!" came George's voice from nowhere.

The rest of them jumped. They looked around for the source of the sound, but neither George nor Fred was anywhere to be seen.

"We're glad you all decided to join us today," the voice continued. "You see, Fred and I thought we'd put you all to a fun little test today. Care to explain, Freddie?"

"Right you are, George," Fred's voice came. "We're sending you lot on a little adventure. Think of it as a getting-to-know-you survey. All the clues will have something to do with us. If you're successful, the prize will be wonderful and delicious. Right Geor—George, stop eating the prize!"

"Sorry," George's voice said through a mouthful of something.

The family laughed at the twin's disembodied argument.

"Anyway," the Fred voice continued. "We'll start off with an easy one. Go to the place where we were born and listen to some music. Have fun!"

"What the bloody hell?" Ron murmured to Hermione.

"They want us to go to St. Mungo's and listen to music?" Tonks asked.

"No," Arthur said, shaking his head. "They want us to go home. They were a surprise, and we couldn't get to the hospital in time. The twins were our only home delivery."

"Well, let's go see what they've got planned for us, shall we?" Molly said.