Title: Red on Redheads and the Difference Between Mauve and Lavender
Pairings/Characters: Ron, Fred and George, Harry, Hermione
Word Count: 943
Author's Notes: Written for harrypotter_las for challenge 1: Queer Eye for the Straight Guy comes to Hogwarts (or ... Make someone over).
"No, no, no! Absolutely not! Put it down, back away. Slowly."
Ron froze. A bright red sweater was pulled halfway over his head, appropriately adorned with a rearing golden lion. Unlike most of Molly Weasely's knitting projects, this particular sweater didn't cause the wearer to wince every time he glanced in the mirror.
"Oh come on," Ron complained, yanking the sweater off. "What did I do now?"
Fred and George leered threateningly; Ron shrank away. "Put. It. Down," Fred repeated. Meekly, Ron dropped the sweater. George woefully shook his head; Hermione smothered a giggle. Whipping his head around, Ron scowled.
For half an hour, Harry and Hermione found themselves holed up in the boy's dormitory, watching Fred and George… well, play dress-up with Ron, for lack of a better description. Eagerly dashing from one side of the room to the other, the twins snatched this shirt or that pair of pants and held them up to their distressed brother: "Try this one, Ron," "That one's horrid, Ron," "What do you think Ron—mauve or lavender?" Harry (or Hermione, for that matter) shouldn't enjoy Ron's torment so much, but Ron really brought this upon himself.
"I can't believe we're related," George moaned. The Gryffindor sweater sailed across the room into the "rejected" heap. "Are you blind?"
Ron huffed. "I liked it."
George gave an exaggerated sigh. "It was red, Ron," he said slowly. "Red."
Ron stared blankly. "And...?"
"You're ginger," Fred explained. From Ron's expression, it didn't explain much.
"So?" The twins threw their hands in the air. "You're a ginger! The sweater is red! Under no circumstances should a redhead ever wear red."
"Well, that's true," Hermione whispered to Harry from behind her book.
Ron sputtered. "What? I'm a Gryffindor, I have to wear red!"
"And you always look terrible," George replied primly.
"You two wear red all the time!"
"Not the point," said Fred promptly. "We're here for you, dear Ronald, not us. You need to learn these rules for when we're not around."
"Rules?" Ron demanded. "What rules?"
"Rules. Like no red on redheads," George answered.
"Or no white after Labor Day," continued Fred.
"Labor Day?" Harry mouthed. Hermione shrugged.
"The point is, you need all the help you can get." Ron's mouth opened but George swiftly cut him off. "Nuh-uh. Two words: Yule. Ball."
Ron's face flushed. "You know that was mum," he muttered.
"Excuses, Ronnie-kins," George said airily. "Now, you desperately need more casual outfits. You always look so... drab."
"Try these on," Fred commanded. A pair of trousers hit Ron in the face. "George, old boy, is our dearest Ronald a winter or a summer?" The twins resumed scouring for clothes.
Ron eyed Hermione. She obediently turned away, eyes covered. Ron tore off his jeans and hopped into the slacks. "I hate you both," Ron hissed, struggling with the zipper.
"Your own fault, Ron," Harry said, grin wide.
"The stupid potion was your idea!"
"I didn't think you'd actually try it."
"Well, if Hermione had helped me like I asked…"
"And I told you it wouldn't work," Hermione chimed. "Is it safe?"
"Yeah, yeah." The zipper finally gave and Hermione uncovered her face.
When Lee Jordon begged him to speak to his brothers about their messy room, Ron could've just talked to them. Instead, Harry mentioned potions homework, one thing led to another…
"It was just supposed to give them cleaner habits," Ron defended.
"You shouldn't experiment with poorly written potions," Hermione shot back.
"Ron, try this!"
Ron dragged himself away from the bed, throwing one last glare over his shoulder.
"It sort of worked," Harry pointed out. Fred forced a green shirt over Ron's head.
"Mmm-hmm," Hermione answered vaguely.
"Shouldn't it have worn off by now?"
Over the top of her book, Hermione glimpsed the twins spinning Ron in circle to examine him from different angles. A smiled quirked at her lips. "By my calculations, it wore off about thirty minutes ago, after we rearranged the common room."
Harry nodded. Just as he suspected. "Should we rescue him?"
Hermione looked up. "No good," said George. "He looks like a Christmas tree." She smiled again and shook her head.
"Maybe in time for lunch," she suggested. "A lesson needs to be learned, after all."
"Don't borrow potion books from Lavender Brown?"
"Ron shouldn't mix potions alone."
A green shirt landed on Harry's head. "Nice shot," Fred stage whispered.
"Harry, dear–-" George sounded just like Mrs. Weasely "–-you really should keep that one."
"It brings out your eyes," Fred added kindly.
Ron smirked as Harry and Hermione exchanged panicked glances. Harry really didn't like how thoughtful the twins looked...
Hermione snapped her book shut. "I can't read here," she announced. "It's too chaotic. I'm going to the common room."
"Me too," Harry seconded hastily. "I've a potions essay to finish."
Ron's expression turned murderous. "You-–" But Harry and Hermione were already out the door, Fred and George still chatting away as they dashed down the stairs:
"Ah, the common room—-some of our finest work. Fabulous."
"Too bad Harry left, though. Great cheekbones."
"You know who has great cheekbones? That Malfoy kid."
"If we appealed to his fashion sense, think he'd stop hating us long enough to model some outfits?"
"Nah. But he does have great taste. I guess we'll have to settle with Ronnie-kins here. So, Ronald: mauve or lavender?"
"There's no bloody difference!"
"Ronald! I'm shocked you would say such a thing."
"Next you'll be saying royal blue and navy blue are the same."
"Or lime and yellow-green."
"Or eggshell and off-white!"
"Don't wave your hands around like that Ron—-you're stretching your vest."