First things first: this story is meant to be humorous but it does include some flirtation between the twins so please don't read if that makes you uncomfortable.
However, if you like the idea of George hitting on Fred as the result of a product-test-gone-wrong, you are in the right place! :P
For those of you who read my EBTFD fic and have been waiting for me to get this posted, my sincerest apologies! I really didn't mean for it to take so long. I love the Christmas season but there's so much going on and it tends to make me a bit crazy! Hope you all don't hate me too much for making you wait.
Dedicated to Harlequin-Raven for suggesting that I turn this into a one-shot! :)
And a HUGE thanks to PhoenixPhlames for being awesome and helping me along when I'd get stuck. Most especially, thank you for helping me figure out a way to avoid using the word "armpit" !! haha :P
I don't own anything so please don't sue me and I try to catch all my typos but please forgive me if I missed something. I hope you all enjoy finding out what really happened the day George tested the Sweet-Talkin' Sweets ;)
George Weasley was sleeping quite soundly, nestled in his warm, comfortable bed, when he was suddenly jostled awake by a large, heavy, something throwing itself across him. He clung desperately to the mattress, trying to keep himself from being bounced out of the bed and onto the floor, and when his eyes popped open, he gave a startled shout, seeing a face hovering incredibly close to his own. Almost immediately, however, he recognized the pale, freckled skin, the deep brown eyes, and the wide, sly grin, of his identical twin, Fred, and George let out a groan that was a mix of something between relief and annoyance.
"Rise and shine, sleeping brother o'mine!" Fred said, bouncing up and down on the mattress and laughing at George's annoyed grunts and swears as he tried to steady himself. "Time to get up! Lots to do today, Georgie!"
"Bloody hell, Fred," George grumbled, reaching up to shove at his twin's chest. "Tone down the perkiness, would you?" Catching Fred off guard with a particularly rough push, George took the opportunity to flop over onto his stomach and when he heard the satisfying thud of Fred being deposited on his backside on the floor, he smiled against his pillow.
Fred hissed in pain, rubbing his sore bum as he rose to his knees and knelt at the head of George's bed so that he could share his angry glare with his brother. "Good morning to you too, sunshine," he said in a bitter tone.
George snorted a laugh. "Serves you right for waking me up so early. It's Sunday, for Merlin's sakes! Since when do we ever get up before noon on Sunday?"
"Since you had the brilliant idea that we beg off work early yesterday instead of sticking around to do our product testing. 'We'll do it tomorrow,' you said."
"Yeah, but that was before I knew you were going to keep me up until three o'clock this morning!" George said, not really caring if he sounded grouchy. He just wanted to go back to sleep.
"Yes, well, I can't help it that I had a bit of a sugar rush! Need I remind you that it was you who bought me that bag of Sugar Quills from Honeyduke's?"
"That bag was supposed to last you a week! I hadn't really expected you to eat the whole lot in one sitting now, had I?"
"But you know they're my favorites! I can't eat just one if there's a whole bag of them just calling my name. Honestly, George, you should have known better."
"I should have known better?" George said, narrowing his brows. "I'll keep your lack of gratitude in mind the next time I think about putting my time, money and heart into buying you a present."
Fred rolled his eyes. "It was only a bag of Sugar Quills."
"This time. But what about next time? I've seen you eyeing that new Firebolt and I had half a mind to get it for you, but now I'm not so sure..."
Fred's expression became an odd mix of adoration and disappointment as he stared at his twin. "Come on, Georgie. Don't be like that. You know I appreciate every gift you've ever given me."
George chuckled at Fred's sudden change of heart. "Let me sleep another few hours and maybe I'll be able to forgive and forget your insensitivity." Smiling to himself, George snuggled down into his mattress and let his eyes drift shut.
"Oh, no you don't!" Fred said, laughing loudly. "Perhaps I didn't make myself clear when I said we have lots to do today but if we don't test those products, we'll never get them packaged and on the shelves by the end of the week so," Fred paused and forcefully yanked the covers away from George, leaving his body, only clad in boxer-shorts, exposed to the chilly air, "get up and get in the shower while I make breakfast."
"Oi! It's freezing in here!" George shouted, reaching up and trying to wrestle the blankets from his twin's grasp, but his muscles weren't quite awake yet, giving Fred an unfair advantage. "You can be a right arse sometimes, you know that?" George said, letting go of the blankets and choosing instead to curl into a tight ball to preserve his body heat. "Just for that, I think I'll stay here a bit longer." He snuggled against his pillow and closed his eyes again, intent on going back to sleep in spite of how cold he was, but just before he could doze off, he felt a sharp, painful sting against his backside and he yelped, jumping out of bed and rubbing a hand over his left buttock which was tingling in a most unpleasant way.
Fred was wearing an evil grin, tiny red sparks issuing from the tip of his drawn wand which was still pointed at George. "That's more like it. Now," he said, shoving his twin towards the door and out into the hallway, "shower. And you better hurry up in there or I won't save you any breakfast!"
"Alright, Fred," George said, rubbing his hands together in anticipation, "what's next on the agenda?" A hot shower, a full belly, and two hours of testing products with his twin (George's favorite part of running a joke shop) had put him in a much more amicable mood.
"Just a few sweets left," Fred replied, a little distractedly. He was seated on a stool at one of the many tables arranged throughout their laboratory, and he was hunched over, still jotting down notes about the hair-color-changing potion (the latest development in their line of WonderWitch products) which had just been successfully tested on George.
He briefly glanced up from the ledger he'd been writing in and surveyed the assortment of untested sweets which were labeled accordingly and sorted into little bowls in front of him. He picked up a candy from the first bowl but, recognizing it as a Sweet-Talking Sweet, (a brand-new product he and George had been developing, designed for blokes who were too shy or insecure to chat-up pretty witches), he dropped it back into the bowl.
It wouldn't do to test those out on George. Not only was George Weasley already extremely confident (bordering on cocky, some might say) but there weren't even any girls around for him to do his sweet talking to. So, Fred turned his attention to the next bowl which was filled with Crunchy Cauldrons - a chocolate-and-nut sweet that could easily be charmed to hold and disguise various potions and elixirs. Very handy for smuggling love potions to the object of one's desire, you see. The Crunchy Cauldrons in the bowl were not filled with anything, of course, as Fred and George were still working on perfecting their flavor.
Fred turned his face back to the ledger and flipped to a clean page where he wrote the words "Crunchy Cauldrons" across the top. In his periphery, he could see George's hand, outstretched and waiting and so, without looking away from his task of writing, Fred reached into a bowl, picked up a sweet, and dropped it into George's palm.
Fred underlined the heading at the top of the page and then moved down a little, making a bulleted point beside the place where he would start recording his and George's observations, and then he looked up again, straightening in his seat, and waiting for George's reaction.
George, who had immediately popped the sweet into his mouth, was now rolling it around on his tongue, a thoughtful, though mildly confused expression forming on his face as the sweet melted and disappeared.
"Still doesn't taste right?" Fred asked, noting George's less-than-ecstatic countenance, and frowning at the thought of having to tinker with the Crunchy Cauldron recipe for the fourth time.
George's tongue darted out, licking away the residual sweetness from around his lips before it slipped back inside, and then he opened and closed his mouth a few times, smacking softly, and then swallowed, like he was still trying to taste the thing he'd just eaten.
His brow furrowed as he set his gaze on his twin. "What did you just give me?"
Fred's brow furrowed in a way to perfectly match George's. "Crunchy Cauldron."
George just shook his head.
"What d'you mean no? 'Course it was."
George narrowed his eyes and leaned over the table; he opened his mouth and gently blew his breath into his brother's face. Fred, looking just a little fearful, took a tiny, tentative sniff, and after finding the scent to be a pleasant one, he breathed a little deeper.
"Mm," Fred hummed, grinning at his brother. "Minty."
George straightened up, raising an eyebrow. "Exactly."
Fred's smile slipped. "Oh."
There was nothing minty about the Crunchy Cauldrons. In fact, although several of the candies looked similar, Fred and George both knew that there was only one that contained peppermint - only one that was meant to freshen breath to increase the effectiveness of a guy's attempts at sweet-talking a desirable female...
"Erm..." Fred said, giving his brother a small, innocent smile. "Whoops?"
"Fred!" George shouted, though it sounded a little more like a scared yelp.
"I'm sorry! I must have grabbed one of the Sweet-Talking Sweets by mistake!"
George's eyes went wide. "Do you not even look at what you're giving me to eat?"
"Do you not look at things before you shovel them into your mouth?" was Fred's retort.
George had to admit: the man did have point and, regardless of who was to blame, the fact remained that this was not good... He started pacing, trying to think if there was anything he could take to counter the effects of the sweet before it had a chance to start working.
"Come on, George," Fred said, frowning at his brother's anxiousness. "It's not that big a deal."
"Not that big a deal?" George stopped his pacing and turned to stare at Fred. "You do realize I'm going to start coming onto you any second now, don't you?"
"Well," Fred said, rubbing the back of his neck as he considered that for a moment. "Yeah. But you'll just be overly-flirty, right? I mean, it's not like you're going to start trying to snog me or get into my pants or anything."
George clapped a hand over his face, whispering a muffled and thoroughly freaked-out, "Oh, sweet Merlin."
In all honesty, neither twin was sure how a sweet designed to assist the timid and romantically-incompetent would affect George who was already both confident and flirtatious by nature. For all George knew, he really might start trying to snog Fred.
He shook his head as if trying to clear his mind as that unwelcome image crept into his brain. This whole thing was getting far too weird, even for a Weasley twin.
"You know," Fred said, the uncomfortable expression on his face indicating that his mind had been occupied with similar thoughts, "I'm sure we could find a girl for you to do this with." A sinister smile spread over his face. "I'll bet Katie Bell would love to help. Shall I go find her and ask?"
"Only if you want to be murdered in your sleep tonight," George said simply.
"I'll take that as a no, then," Fred said, still grinning. "How about that cute blonde witch who keeps coming to our shop for no other reason than to ogle us? I'm sure she'd love to be on the receiving end of your flirtatious advances." He finished with a wiggle of his eyebrows.
"If I'm going to flirt with a girl, I'd rather rely on my own, natural charms, thanks. There's no telling what this stuff will make me say or do and I really don't care to ruin my reputation with the ladies."
Fred just playfully rolled his eyes. "Looks like you're stuck with me, then," he said with a casual shrug of his shoulders, but then he smirked and leaned forward in his seat, adding, "but if you start getting handsy, I will have to hex you, Georgie."
George knew that Fred was only joking around, but all the same, he'd really rather not find out what would actually happen if he started trying to get frisky with his twin. "I don't think this is a good idea, Fred... Maybe you should just leave."
"What?" Fred said, laughing and staring at George like he'd just said something utterly ridiculous.
"Maybe you should leave," George repeated. "Before things get... awkward."
Fred frowned deeply. "Not very bloody likely, George."
Awkward side-effects or not, Fred wasn't leaving his twin alone after ingesting a completely untested product. They'd only experienced a few minor testing-related injuries and illnesses so far, but George's life was one thing he didn't fancy taking chances on.
"Just long enough for it to wear off?" George asked, though he knew it was no use.
"No," Fred said, crossing his arms over his chest and giving his twin a stern glare, meaning that they were finished discussing it.
George huffed. "Fine. But just so we're clear, I'm not responsible for anything I might say or try to do to you, and everything that happens stays between us." He was suddenly feeling a little weak so he lowered himself onto a stool across the table from Fred. "You're not even allowed to record it in the ledger, understood?"
Fred snorted a laugh. "Relax, George. It won't go in the ledger," he said, flipping the book shut to support his claim.
"Good," George said, though he was still frowning.
"So, how long until it kicks in?"
"Umm--" George paused, glancing up at the clock on the wall. The numbers looked a little fuzzy and he had to squint to see them properly. "Should have started already, actually."
"Oh?" Fred turned to look at the clock, as well. "Maybe it's a dud," he said, without any real conviction. They both knew that nothing they invented was ever a "dud." "Or maybe," Fred continued, "it won't work on us because we're related."
George was beginning to feel a little dizzy. "'Pretty sure us being related won't make much difference," he said, closing his eyes in an attempt to block out the slowly-spinning room.
"Why not?" Fred asked, sounding confused. But then he said, "George?" and George didn't need to see him to know that he was smiling. "Are you secretly in love with me? Is that why you're so nervous? Afraid you're going to slip up and confess your true feelings?"
Normally, this would have been the point where George would have punched Fred in the arm, but he was currently too busy trying to stay up-right in his seat.
"You know, Georgie, this is really something that should have been brought to my attention sooner--"
"Unnghh," George groaned. His vision was slowly fading in and out and he began to sway on his stool. "Fr-Fred?"
All traces of teasing disappeared from Fred's face. "What's wrong?" he asked, already jumping off of his stool and rounding the table.
"Think I'm gonna pass out," George managed to say, right before following through and doing just that.
He was already well on his way to landing on the hard, concrete floor, but Fred got to him just in time and, hooking his hands beneath George's underarms, Fred was able to save his twin from crashing to the floor and seriously injuring himself.
"George?" Fred called his brother's name as he lowered him to the ground and then knelt over him, peering down at his paler-than-usual face. George was still breathing, a comforting fact made evident by the steady rise and fall of his chest, but Fred couldn't help feeling scared at the sight of George lying there, totally unconscious. "George?" Fred called out again, reaching up and firmly patting his twin on the cheek in an attempt to revive him.
For a few seconds there was no response, but then George's lids began to flutter, and he finally opened his eyes, glancing around the room for a moment before focusing his gaze on Fred.
Fred breathed a sigh of relief. "Hey, Georgie."
George blinked a time or two. "Am I dead?" he asked, and then smiled softly up at his brother. "Is this Heaven?"
Fred narrowed his eyes, wondering if something had gone wrong inside George's head. "Pretty sure you just passed out for a second, mate."
"Oh, really?" George said, and his soft smile quickly turned into a flirtatious smirk. "Could've sworn you were an angel."
Fred's eyes widened and his mouth dropped open in shock for the briefest of moments.
To say that he and George were close would be an incredible understatement. They lived together, they worked together, they spent their free time together. They were generous with their praises and compliments towards each other and they were even rather touchy-feely with each other, completely comfortable draping an arm across the other's shoulders, standing so close that their arms were pressed together, or sitting close enough for knees to touch. But this? This was different. George was still lying on the floor, staring up at Fred with a seductive little smile that Fred had seen plenty of times, only it had always been aimed at pretty girls and never at him.
"Do you know who I am?" he asked, warily.
"Course I do," George said, now frowning. "I could never not know my Freddie."
And then Fred grinned. "Just checking." He was going to tease George about this for the rest of their lives. "Think you can stand?" he asked, bracing himself on the floor with one hand and offering the other to George.
George took hold of his brother's hand. "No problem."
"Up you come, then," Fred said, pushing himself to his feet and pulling George with him. "How're you feeling?" he asked, once George was completely up-right and leaning casually against the side of the table.
"Fine and dandy, thanks," George responded and then flashed a bright smile.
Fred was finding it difficult not to return his brother's contagious smile, but George had just been unconscious, and he was still a little worried about him. Grasping George by both arms, Fred ducked his head a little so that he could closely and carefully study his twin's face. "You sure? I don't want you passing out again."
"You worry too much," George said, waving a dismissive hand through the air. "I'm fine." And then his expression became more serious and he leaned in even closer to Fred's face. "You know," he began, his gaze slowly darting back and forth between both of Fred's eyes, "you have the most incredible eyes."
Fred just stared back at George, pursing his lips in an attempt to keep himself from laughing.
"I can't believe I've never noticed before," George continued, unaware of his brother's amusement. "They're like--" he paused for a moment as he tried to think of a way to explain just how incredible they were, "--they're like pools of melted chocolate. Yeah..." He inched his face even closer to get a better look. "Pools of melted chocolate that I could spend eternity swimming in. I don't think I'd even mind if I drowned in them."
George was so close now that Fred had to tilt his head back a bit to see him properly. "Is that right?"
"Mm," George mumbled, giving just the slightest nod of his head.
"That's very romantic and poetic of you, George," he said, not caring to conceal his smirk.
"Oh, yeah?" George said in a sultry tone, obviously pleased with Fred's approval. "I've got loads more where that came from."
Fred snorted a small laugh. "I'll bet you do."
George grinned. "You know what I was just thinking?"
"No," Fred said, chuckling softly. "For once, I actually don't."
"I was just thinking," George said as one of his hands came up to gently finger a lock of Fred's gingery hair, and Fred's eyes rolled upwards as he tried to watch, "that your hair and my pillow are perfectly color-coordinated." He let his hand drop from Fred's hair and Fred noticed that George's eyes were now twinkling with a very familiar, playful mischievousness. "Wanna go upstairs and see for yourself?"
Fred let out a loud, barking laugh, surprised (but highly entertained) by George's forwardness. "I'm already well-acquainted with our pillows, thanks. And I'm afraid that was neither romantic nor poetic, Georgie. In fact, if I was a self-respecting witch, I probably would have kneed you in the groin for that vulgar proposition." Fred raised his eyebrows in a manner that suggested he was scolding George, but he just couldn't stop smiling.
"Well," George began, and his tone made it clear that he knew his brother was enjoying this game, "lucky for me you're not a self-respecting witch then, eh?" he said, and then he added, "you know you like it," and gave Fred a slow wink.
Fred just shook his head in amusement.
"And, you know," George said, continuing with his flirtatious suggestions, "I've always really liked that shirt on you." He paused and reached out to tug at the hem of Fred's t-shirt. Fred watched, prepared to act quickly in the event that George became more daring in his explorations, but then George dropped his hand and Fred relaxed. "But I think it would look much better on the floor," George finished.
Fred laughed again. "Has that line ever actually worked for you?"
"Well that depends on your response, now doesn't it?" George said with a sly grin.
Which Fred repaid with one of his own, accompanied by an amused little hum. "As tempting an offer as it is, brother, I think we should leave my shirt exactly where it--"
The words died on his lips and he gasped as he felt the rough fabric of George's jeans suddenly brushing against his own near his shins. At some point during their conversation, the twins had repositioned themselves, and Fred now found himself with his backside resting against the edge of the table, George standing directly (and far too closely) in front of him as they faced each other.
"Erm..." Fred began, his laughter now slightly shaky. "Do you think, maybe, you should take just a tiny step back?"
"Why?" George said, and then he slowly leaned forward, reaching around his twin to rest one hand on the table on either side of him. "Does this make you uncomfortable, Freddie?"
Fred glanced down, swallowing loudly as he noted the miniscule amount of space between them. They'd certainly never stood together like this before.
"Just... just a little, yeah," he said, and dared to glance back up at George's face.
George, however, was quite busy staring elsewhere, eyes slightly glazed-over. "You have a very pretty mouth," he said, rather bluntly.
"What?" Fred said, and it came out a little more squeaky than he'd meant for it to. The hungry way in which George was eyeing his mouth had him beyond unnerved now.
"Looks a little lonely, though," George continued, bringing his gaze up to meet Fred's again. "What d'you reckon we introduce my lips to yours so they can keep each other company?" he said, the corners of his own mouth quirking upwards to form just the faintest impression of a smile.
Fred's eyes grew wide as the words slowly sunk in and he realized that George was actually suggesting that they... kiss.
"Umm--" Fred began, but was startled into silence when George lifted a hand and began to tenderly rub the corner of Fred's mouth with his thumb. A string of terrified and shocked expletives echoed inside Fred's head. "I don't think I've ever said this to you before but... This is a really bad idea, George."
But George apparently found the protest to be unconvincing and Fred's heart began to pound wildly in his chest as he watched the tip of George's tongue dart out to moisten his lips, and then George's eyelids fluttered shut and he began to lean in ever-so-slowly, and Fred really began to panic. Sure he'd threatened to hex George if things got carried away, but he wasn't confident that he could perform even a simple body-binding spell against his own twin. And even if he could, his wand was in the front pocket of his jeans and George was standing so close to him that he didn't think he could retrieve it without making contact with George's thigh and, well... Fred shook his head, not even wanting to wonder where that train of thought might take him.
He couldn't, wouldn't, physically harm his brother, but he couldn't exactly kiss him either!
He clenched his eyes shut as he wracked his brain for a solution...
"Oh, Merlin," George whispered suddenly. "Fred?" he said and his voice sounded less flirtatious and much more horrified.
"Ye-yeah?" Fred whispered back. The twins' faces were still so close that they could each feel the other's breath. Both still had their eyes clenched tightly shut.
"What am I--I mean--why are we--?" George stumbled over his words and then swore softly to himself before taking a deep breath and trying again. "Please tell me I wasn't really about to... kiss you."
Fred gave a shaky, breathy laugh, relieved that his brother seemed to be in his right mind again, and when he opened his eyes, he found George staring back at him, looking wide-eyed and flushed with embarrassment. "Sorry, Georgie. You were definitely about to kiss me."
George groaned, cupping his face in his hands, and he took a big step back from his brother. "Oh, Merlin," he said again. "See? I knew you should have just left while we waited for it to wear off."
Fred crossed his arms over his chest, frowning. "Oh, yeah. That would have been a great idea," he said very sarcastically. "You passed out and probably would have cracked your skull on the floor if I hadn't been here to catch you."
George's annoyed demeanor immediately softened into a sheepish smile. "Yeah, thanks for that."
"Yeah, yeah," Fred said, playfully rolling his eyes. "Don't go getting soft on me. You did just try to kiss me, you know--" he paused, beaming when George narrowed his eyes and pursed his lips, "--and that's more than enough affection and appreciation for one day, don't you think?"
George, feeling annoyed again and thinking he'd gone above and beyond the call of duty for work that day, stormed towards the door, shoving Fred as he passed him, but he froze when his hand touched the doorknob and he looked back over his shoulder. "You were just standing there," he said, head cocked to the side slightly as if he was trying to make sense of something.
Fred, who'd been following George out of the lab, stilled his steps, looking confused. "What?"
A tiny, playful smirk was beginning to form on George's lips. "I was a fraction of a second away from kissing you and you just stood there!" The smirk became a full-fledged smile. "Is there something you need to tell me, Freddie?"
"What?" Fred said again. "No! I--"
"What happened to 'if you start getting handsy, I will have to hex you, Georgie,'?" he said, mocking his twin's voice which, of course, sounded exactly like his own.
Fred frowned. "I'd like to see you try to hex me. I'd be willing to bet our entire shop that you wouldn't be able to do it anymore than I could."
"I dunno, Fred," George said, chuckling. "If you were about to shove your tongue down my throat, I think I'd be able to come up with something."
"I beg your pardon, Mr. Your-Eyes-Are-Like-Pools-of-Melted-Chocolate," Fred said in a dry tone and George blushed.
"What d'you say we never speak of this again?" George asked, smiling sweetly and hopefully.
"I say you've got yourself a deal," Fred said as he crossed the room to his twin. George held his hand out for a handshake and Fred glanced down, but he didn't take his brother's hand. "I dunno..." he said, his mouth stretching into a wide grin as he looked back up at George's face. "Perhaps we should kiss on it?"
And then George punched him in the arm.
Well, that was fun to write! :D Hope you enjoyed it. Reviews are adored and hugged (figuratively speaking, of course) and replied to! So please let me know if you enjoyed the story. It makes me happy :)