A/N: Hey everyone! This chapter is basically Fred and George's story of what happened during their Yule Ball experience. It will definitely be a lot more light hearted than the previous chapter so hopefully you will enjoy! Thanks a bunch!
Fred and George made their way up Hogwarts' winding corridors in the direction of the Owlery, broad grins spread wide across both of their faces, an extra spring added to Fred's usual strolling gait.
"Did you see Ronniekins' face?" he asked for the thousandth time since they'd left Gryffindor Tower. George nodded, his grin widening as Fred broke into another round of enthusiastic laughter.
"I think you surprised Angelina just as much though mate," George stated, thinking back to the incident in the common room. "I doubt she expected to be asked to the ball like that." Fred shrugged his shoulders, rounding a corner in the hallway and continuing down the corridor, walking backward so he could see his twin.
"Still said yes though didn't she?" he responded, narrowly avoiding an inconveniently placed suit of armor with a swiftly executed sidestep. George grinned, his twin's excitement contagious.
"That she did mate."
The temperature took a definite plunge the closer the two got to the Owlery and by the time they reached the circular room's drafty interior, both boys were shivering with cold.
"You'd think, this being a school for wizards," George began, having difficulty speaking through his chattering teeth, "that they would have found someway to heat it up by now." Fred snorted his agreement, stepping precariously over a fresh splash of owl droppings and making his way cautiously through the straw. After a few near misses involving regurgitated rodent skeletons and hidden patches of ice, Fred reached a perch where several school owls were nestled and glanced up at them expectantly, pulling a concealed envelope from within the pocket of his robes and holding it outward.
"Alright, which of you lovelies wants to go on a little trip?" he asked, eyes trailing from one bird to another. The owls peered down at the boy though none made any move to assist him. On the contrary one of the group, a rather proud looking eagle owl, turned around completely in a gesture of superior disdain, hooting dismissively down at the boy. Fred scowled at it.
"Little shite," he muttered. The owl gave an indignant screech, released a generous amount of droppings on the ground at Fred's feet, and took off to find a higher perch.
"Fetching, that one."
George had obstacle coursed his way across the room to stand beside his twin and was now tempting a large screech owl with a crumbling treat held delicately between his fingers. He shrugged upon seeing Fred's raised eyebrow.
"Bummed them off Ron when he wasn't looking," he stated in response to the unasked question. The owl hooted happily, snapping the treat up in his beak before extending his leg for Fred. The boy attached the letter and the twins stepped back as the bird took off, beating the air with its wings and heading towards the snow covered window.
"Think Bagman'll actually respond to this one?" George asked once the owl had vanished beyond the frosty hills. Fred shrugged, turning and beginning to pick his way back across the straw strewn ground.
"If he doesn't we'll have to think of other methods," he replied darkly. "Seems being polite only goes so far." George frowned at him but before he could reply his foot hit a concealed patch of ice and he pitched backwards, the floor rising up to meet him at an alarmingly quick rate. With an audible splat he hit the ground, his right hand landing in something wet and gooey, his left on a patch of frozen straw. Fred whirled around and couldn't help the grin that melted onto his lips when he saw George pull his hand out of a particularly large pile of owl dung, a look of utmost repulsion on his face.
"Eugh…" he groaned, getting to his feet and staring at his hand with a disgusted grimace. Fred burst into gales of roaring laughter, ducking quickly as George took a swipe at him with the offended limb.
"Better go and wash that off mate," Fred choked, a smirk still dancing on his lips. "Even with your good looks you won't be able to pick up a date with that all over you." George scowled at him, using some of the cleaner patches of straw to wipe the worst of the waste off his hand.
"Suddenly a genius in the ways of women are we?" he asked shortly, holding his hand awkwardly to the side to avoid further sullying his robes. Fred grinned wickedly.
"Remind me Georgie, which of us has a date to the ball?" he asked, allowing his twin to fall into step beside him as they made their way back down the spiraling staircase. It took every ounce of George's self restraint to stop himself smearing the remainder of the owl poo all over his brother's robes.
The two parted ways upon nearing the Fat Lady's portrait, Fred to return to the common room and George to stop by the loo and clean the rest of the dung from his hand. Using about five times the normal amount of soap, George allowed the hot water to wash over his skin, stream through his fingers and remove any leftover droppings from his hand. He supposed, now he thought about it, that a scouring charm might also have done the trick. Yet excess usage of soap had left a rather pleasant lemony scent on his hand, something he wasn't sure the little charm would have supplied.
Exiting the toilet he turned in the direction of the common room, Fred's earlier words turning over in his mind. Remind me Georgie, which of us has a date to the ball? As much as he hated to admit it, his twin had brought up a good point. He didn't have a date to the ball yet and, unless he acted soon, all the good ones would be taken. They're just girls, George found himself thinking, I've never been afraid of talking to them before. Why should this be any different? Yet different it was and he couldn't help but wonder if he should just follow his brother's example and shout at the next girl he came across.
Voices reached his ears as he stepped around the next bend in the corridor and he paused as Katie Bell and a rather large Hufflepuff boy came into view. George frowned as he looked at the Hufflepuff, not recognizing his large girth, squashy nose, and acne strewn face.
"I've seen you play Quidditch," the boy was saying, taking a step closer to Katie. George couldn't help thinking that his voice possessed multiple troll-like qualities: deep, gruff, and stupid. "And you play just as good as you look." The redhead's eyebrow rose. That was the best this nutter could come up with?
"Er, thank you," Katie squeaked, clearly very uncomfortable with the situation.
"So uh," the Hufflepuff continued, taking yet another step closer to Katie. "Would you go to the ball with me?" Even from where he was standing George saw the girl's face flush, her cheeks as crimson as his hair.
"W-well I…" she began, her eyes darting around for some type of escape route. The Hufflepuff frowned.
"Has someone already asked you?" he inquired, a pudgy hand rising to scratch at a pimple sitting on his nose. If possible, Katie flushed darker.
"I, well n-"
"Yeah, as a matter of fact, she does." Katie jumped and the Hufflepuff blinked stupidly. The pair turned towards George, who had spoken, identical looks of surprise on their faces. It was the Hufflepuff who recovered first.
"It's you then is it?" he inquired, crossing his arms over his chest and scowling irritably. George shot him a winning grin, slinging an arm over Katie's shoulders and pulling her into him.
"That's right," he responded. "Katie and I are just mad for each other, aren't we love?" Katie gave a mystified squeak which George decided to take as a yes, plowing on before she could form a coherent sentence. "So better luck next time mate."
And, before the befuddled Hufflepuff could respond, George turned on the spot and led Katie off in the direction of the Fat Lady's portrait. It wasn't until they were around the corner and safely out of the other boy's sight that he released his hold on his teammate's shoulders, granting her full control of her body.
"Owe me a butterbeer for that one Bell," the redhead stated, grinning knowingly at her. Katie shook her head in exasperation though George didn't miss the flush that crawled across her cheeks.
"Thanks," she mumbled gratefully, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear and grinning sheepishly at him. George shrugged it off and continued down the hallway, Katie falling into step alongside him. The boy opened his mouth to say something though stopped as Fred's words rang in his ears for the second time that day: "…date to the ball…"
George suddenly stopped, hesitated for the briefest of moments, and then turned rather abruptly towards his teammate. Katie glanced up at him in mild alarm for an all too familiar smirk had folded mischievously across his lips.
"So I'll be seeing you for the ball then?" he stated, more of a confirmation than a question. Katie blinked, startled, before a snort escaped her lips and she crossed her arms in mock defiance across her chest.
"And what makes you think I don't already have a date?" she asked defensively, her cheeks turning a light shade of pink. George shrugged his shoulders.
"Well if its a contest between me and this other bloke I think the answer's pretty obvious," he remarked. "I know you find gingers wildly irresistible."
Katie did her best to hold a straight face but failed, giggles bubbling freely from her lips.
"Alright you win," she said, unable to hide the smile that spread across her lips. "I'll go with you."
It was as though someone had used a vanishing spell on the weight in George's chest and he grinned broader than ever.
In the blink of an eye Christmas was upon them and the twins woke on the morning of the Yule Ball with an anticipatory energy thrumming in their veins. Fred had been quite pleased upon hearing how George had managed to secure Katie as his date. He had, of course, wasted no time pointing out that his twin's tactics hadn't been quite as exciting as his own yet all the same, job well done.
"Rise and shine Lee!" Fred called across their dormitory, grabbing the pillow from his bed and chucking it at his sleeping friend. "You've got presents!" Lee muttered something undecipherable to human ears but sat up nonetheless, blinking tiredly in the morning sunlight. Yet five minutes later all sleepiness was forgotten as the twins and Lee pounced on their gifts with exuberant ferocity, littering their dormitory with long, multi-colored pieces of torn tissue paper, glittering wrappings, and curly ribbon.
Fred and George tore open identical lumpy packages from their mother to reveal lovingly knitted scarlet sweaters within, each decorated with a beater's bat and a large golden F and G respectively. The twins exchanged matching sinister grins and immediately swapped garments, Fred donning George's 'G' imprinted sweater while George pulled Fred's over his head.
"Wish you two would stop doing that," Lee mumbled, having witnessed the little exchange. Being their best mate he was normally quite good at figuring out who was Fred and who was George, yet little stunts like this did nothing to make the process easier.
The day passed quickly, the twins heading down to the Christmas feast and enjoying several mouthwatering helpings of pudding and large bites of juicy turkey, every once in awhile taking a break from the meal to pull Cribbage's Wizarding Crackers with various housemates and friends. As the close of the feast came upon them, Fred and George joined the other Gryffindors making their way back into the entrance hall before slipping into the shadows of the large double doors and waiting for Ron to make his way out. They had planned their own 'Christmas Surprise' for their youngest brother. A minute later George nudged Fred and pointed to where the boy was making his way towards them, flanked as he always was by Harry and Hermione, and seemingly arguing with the latter.
"-don't see why you refuse to tell us," he was stating grumpily. "Honestly we're going to find out anyway."
"Because it's none of your business Ronald!" Hermione responded waspishly, "and if you don't stop asking me I'm going to hex you!"
"Not a bad idea Granger," George spoke up, he and Fred stepping suddenly from the shadows of the large doors and joining the trio in their trudge across the hall. "Preferably some kind of tongue tying jinx so we don't have to listen to him prattling on all day."
"Clear off," Ron muttered, shooting a glare in his brothers' direction.
"Can't do that mate," Fred stated cheerfully. "George, if you would."
And before Ron knew what had happened George had swooped down and grabbed his legs while Fred went for his arms and together they began to carry their struggling brother towards the large front doors leading out to the grounds. Ron yelled and protested, making such a spectacle that more than one person stopped to peer curiously at them from their scattered positions around the entrance hall. Harry and Hermione followed, both with large grins on their faces as they did nothing to aid their captive friend. Upon reaching the doors Ron struggled even harder in his bid for freedom while Fred turned to Harry, mischief dancing in his eyes.
"Potter, would you mind?" he asked. Ron immediately turned his eyes on his best friend.
"Harry if you do I swear-" yet he was cut off as Harry pushed the door open, allowing the twins to scurry out with Ron still swinging between them.
"That snow pile looks rather good wouldn't you say?" George inquired, jerking his head in the direction of a rather large drift stationed about ten feet from the large front doors. Fred's answering grin was response enough and together the two slipped and slid through the snow, not relinquishing their hold on Ron for a second.
"Don't you dare!" Ron bellowed. "I swear I'll murder you-"
"Count of three!" Fred exclaimed, pointedly ignoring his brother's threats. "One…Two…Three!"
The twins gave a great heave and Ron sailed out of their grip, momentarily airborne before landing in the drift with a soft fwoomp. Fred, George, and Harry roared with laughter and even Hermione couldn't help the giggle that escaped her lips at poor Ron's expense.
"Well done Harry," George stated, clapping him on the back with a grin while Fred nodded his agreement.
"Think that's funny do you?" Ron growled, attempting to claw his way out of the snow bank. "Harry I'm going to bloody kill you."
"Oh come on Ronniekins, it was just a bit of fun," Fred stated with a laugh, reaching down and helping to pull his brother out from within the drift.
"Oh really?" Ron questioned, a grin of his own melting across his lips. "I'll show you a bit of fun!" And with that he lunged forward, wrapping his arms around Fred's middle and tackling him to the ground. The two boys hit the snow with an audible thump, rolling down the sloping lawns in the direction of Hagrid's cabin before finally coming to a halt at the bottom of the incline. George, Harry, and Hermione followed in swift pursuit, arriving in time to see the boys spring apart, Ron leaning down to arm himself with a snowball.
"They'll freeze!" Hermione gasped, already rubbing her chilled arms in an attempt to recapture some of her earlier warmth.
"They'll be fine!" George responded, scooping up snow in both hands and hurrying forward to get in on the action. Harry wasn't far behind him. Hermione huffed, crossing her arms across her chest and shaking her head at the boys in front of her.
As the hour neared seven the group finally abandoned their snowball fight and made their way back up the grounds to the castle. Hermione had left them hours before in order to prepare for the ball and the twins couldn't help but notice that Ron had seemed rather grumpy about it. Yet they decided, for once, to let the matter slide and together tromped back through the corridors and up to the Gryffindor common room, passing through the fat lady's portrait ("Lairy fights, that's the one!"), before finally leaving Harry and Ron to enter their own dormitory.
Upon arrival, the two wasted no time changing into identical sets of forest green dress robes, feeling very lucky indeed that neither pair contained frills or moldy bits of lace. They would be meeting Katie and Angelina in the common room around seven thirty so they had a few minutes to kill before then. Lee Jordan had already headed back down the spiral staircase, having donned robes of deep navy blue minutes before the twins got back.
George leaned over his trunk, shifting through the usual mess in attempts to find a comb he knew he had in there somewhere. Clearly his lack of knowledge regarding its whereabouts proved how little he bothered with it. All the same, he knew his mum would kill him if he didn't make some effort to straighten up his appearance so find the little comb he must. Fred, on the other hand, had clearly tidied himself up as much as he deemed fit and was now crouched over his knee, lacing up a pair of his father's old dress shoes.
"You about finished?" he asked once the lacing was complete, straightening up and fixing his brother with an impatient stare. George, who had had enough of the little brush eluding him, finally pulled out his wand and used a summoning charm, the evasive accessory flying into his hand a second after.
A few brushstrokes later, the twins were making their way back down the spiraling staircase and into the common room that was now overflowing with Gryffindor students. Dress robes of all colors flashed prettily in the warm light provided by the fire dancing in the hearth, a rather drastic switch from the usual muted black tones.
The two stood in the center of the general chaos, glancing around gleefully at the students milling across the room attempting to locate their dates in all the confusion. George nudged Fred and pointed to where Ron and Harry were making their way down the staircase, Ron's face pulled into a sour grimace that most definitely had to do with the frayed robes draped unflatteringly over his form.
"Mum would be so proud," Fred muttered causing George to snort with laughter. At that moment the sound of someone clearing their throat cut through the common room's banter and the twins turned, mouths falling open in identical expressions of surprise. Katie and Angelina were standing there, glowing in the firelight and clearly pleased at the reaction given them by the Weasley boys. Not that anyone could blame them as both girls looked very pretty indeed. Angelina was wearing robes of deep scarlet, her dark hair curled flatteringly around her face, and shadows of gold rested on her eyelids, drawing attention to her chocolate brown eyes. Katie was sporting robes of glittering blue, her hair pulled back in an elaborate bun and several sparkling bracelets jangled cheerfully on her wrists.
"You two look nice," George spoke up before Fred had a chance to find his voice, a rare occurrence indeed for the usually outspoken Weasley twin.
"Thank you," Katie responded, absolutely beaming at George. Angelina looked expectantly at Fred who grinned at her and said:
"Right then, let's be off!" Angelina blinked. This was clearly not what she'd been expecting him to say.
"Such a gentleman," she stated dryly though wasted no time sliding her arm through Fred's proffered one. The four made their way towards the portrait hole, Fred making sure to wink at a very pink faced Harry as they passed him on their way out.
"Makes you feel a bit sorry for the Patil twins eh?" he muttered to George who grinned his agreement. Ron, they'd noticed, was still looking sour.
The entrance hall was even more packed than the Gryffindor common room had been. Various Hogwarts students were scurrying to and fro, attempting to locate their dates before the Great Hall doors opened at precisely eight-o-clock.
"Katie! Angelina!" The quartet turned to see Alicia Spinnet and Lee Jordan weaving their way through their scattered classmates, Alicia beaming and waving her hand madly in their direction. Angelina and Katie quickly stepped away from the twins, hurrying towards their fellow chaser, every bit of Alicia's excitement mirrored on their faces. The girls exchanged a massive hug in which a lot of giggling was involved, talking to each other with waves of exuberance available only to teenage girls. Lee sidled his way around the trio, rapidly closing the gap between him and the twins. Fred waited until he was sure the girls were looking at him before springing into action.
"Lee!" he exclaimed, so loudly he could be heard over the din of everyone else in the entrance hall. "Mate it's been ages!"
"You look positively smashing!" George continued, shoving Fred out of the way and throwing his arms around Lee with all the exuberance shown by the girls and none of the giggling.
"Oh shut up," Angelina told them, marching over and practically ripping George off of Lee.
Right at that moment a loud creak rent the air as the oak front doors opened, admitting the Durmstrang students and Professor Karkaroff. Beside him George heard Katie murmur: "That girl with Krum, who is she?"
George peered curiously in that direction, his eyes finally landing on a brown haired girl in blue robes who was looking quite lovely indeed. He was about to shrug and say he didn't know when she suddenly smiled and the realization hit him like a bludger.
"Bloody hell…" Apparently Fred had realized it too for he turned to stare at George, their eyes meeting in identical expressions of dumbfounded astonishment. Yet before any further discussion could be had on the matter Professor McGonagall's voice was heard, calling loudly over the excited babble of the students.
"Champions over here, please!"
"There goes Harry!" Alicia whispered. Sure enough, Harry was practically being dragged across the floor by Parvati who looked much more enthusiastic about the whole thing than he did.
"Oh and Cedric Diggory!" Katie piped up. "Doesn't he look charming tonight?" George faked offense as Alicia nodded enthusiastically.
"Contrary to popular belief, we have feelings too you know," he stated pointedly.
"Yeah. Bit rude to be blowing kisses at someone else's date with your own standing right there," Fred agreed, mischief sparking in his eyes.
"I wasn't blowing kisses!" Katie protested, going rather red in the face.
"Come on, we're heading in," Angelina interrupted, nodding towards where all of the students were filing into the Great Hall. The six wasted no time following everyone else's example, allowing themselves to be swept along into the crowded entryway. The girls gasped and even Fred and George couldn't stop the awed expressions that crept onto their faces upon catching a glimpse of the decorations. It was like the Holidays and thrown up all over the Great Hall. Glittering silver frost lined the walls from top to bottom, reflecting the lantern light from a hundred circular tables occupying the space where the four house tables normally stood.
"Watch your head," Fred muttered in his twin's ear, nodding up to where an abundance of mistletoe and ivy were crisscrossing every which way across the velvety ceiling above. "Wouldn't want to get caught under that with anyone unpleasant." Katie, Angelina, and Alicia were giggling behind them and Fred had the strong suspicion that they were discussing the exact same thing. The six fell into a table behind the one at which Ron was sitting, not far from where the teachers, judges, and ministry officials were seated.
"Isn't that your brother?" Lee Jordan suddenly hissed as a few more students filled the table's remaining vacant seats. The twins frowned.
"Afraid you're going to have to be a bit more specific," George retorted flatly. Lee rolled his eyes but nevertheless jerked his head in the direction of the head table. The twins followed his line of sight to a familiar head of red hair and horn rimmed spectacles.
"What the bloody hell is Percy doing here?" Fred asked, clearly too surprised to remember to keep his voice down and several nearby Beauxbatons students glanced disapprovingly in their direction.
"And look who else," George continued so quietly that only Fred could hear him. Ludo Bagman was speaking rather animatedly to Madame Maxime, his bright purple robes with their shocking yellow stars hard to miss against the pearly silver backdrop. Fred's eyes darkened.
"Excellent. Won't have much choice but to talk to us now will he?" he responded grimly. Angelina watched this exchange with mounting exasperation.
"If you two have finished scheming you might want to know the Champions are walking in!" she hissed.
"Not like we haven't seen them before," Fred mumbled to himself, leaning back in his chair and turning his gaze towards the double doors. Nevertheless he joined with the others in applauding the champions, all save Harry looking as though they were greatly enjoying this time in the spotlight.
"Blimey!" Lee Jordan suddenly exclaimed, rising a bit off his chair and peering enthusiastically around the students in front of him. "Is that Hermione Granger with Viktor Krum!" Several of their table's occupants swiveled around in their seats at his words, all craning to get a better look at Krum and Hermione.
"I didn't even recognize her!" Alicia said in astonishment while Katie and Angelina nodded their agreement.
"No wonder Ron's looking so sour," George muttered to Fred who snickered.
Dinner passed in a whirl of delicious aromas and sensuous flavors. It was an unusual treat to be able to order whatever they wished from the menu in front of them and Fred had to resist the temptation to shout out multiple entrées at once. The house elves down below had clearly outdone themselves this time. Once the main course had been thoroughly consumed the desserts appeared and Fred found himself wishing he had two more mouths so he could enjoy it all at once.
Yet all too soon the last of the puddings and cakes had been disposed of and Dumbledore again got to his feet, the rest of the students following his example. In the blink of an eye all the tables had zoomed back to the walls, leaving the Great Hall's floor empty of all save students and teachers. A moment later the Weird Sisters appeared on the stage summoned forth by the Headmaster and Fred and George let out loud whoops as the Great Hall burst into raucous applause. The lanterns were doused as the champions took the floor, Harry stumbling a bit as he was pulled rather unceremoniously forward by Parvati.
A slow tune picked up and several minutes passed as the champions swayed to the music, every eye in the hall fixed on them. Fred mimed a yawn and Angelina swatted him.
"Want to dance?" she asked, nodding towards where several staff members and various students had begun to swarm the floor alongside the champions. Fred rubbed his arm, raising an eyebrow at her.
"What you just hit me and now you want to dance?" he asked, tone all innocence. Angelina however, wasn't buying it.
"Shut it and come on," she told him, grabbing his hand and pulling him towards the dance floor. Fred nearly tripped over his dress robes as he was dragged along behind her, suddenly experiencing a rather large bout of sympathy towards Harry.
As the two swayed to the music Fred decided that slow dancing wasn't really his style and he was hard pressed to suppress another yawn. Sure it was nice having an attractive girl on your arm and all, but in general he found the placid movements required rather dull. The next song that picked up however was much more to his liking. Stepping back from Angelina he immediately started rocking back and forth to the upbeat rhythm, moving his body in a rather violent fashion. Yet Angelina wasn't about to be outdone.
"Not bad Weasley," she said with a grin. "But try this!" And with that she began to move her body back and forth to the music, the girl's dancing every bit as exuberant as her partner's. The pair were so caught up in their fervent steps that they didn't notice other students backing pointedly away from them, afraid of getting caught up in their overenthusiastic jiving.
George and Katie were dancing a couple feet away, albeit a little less ardently than the previous pair. Every once in awhile they were forced to perform a rather un-rhythmic sidestep in order to avoid being plowed over by Madame Maxime and Hagrid who were taking up a good majority of the dance floor.
"Going to kill someone they are!" George grumbled as Katie pulled him out of the way for a third time that night. "I think they've forgotten there's anyone else on the dance floor!" Katie giggled.
"Look, I think Hagrid's had a few," she said, gesturing to where the gamekeeper was staring adoringly up at Madame Maxime, cheeks tinged a bright, rosy red.
"That'd explain a thing or two," George muttered in response. Yet any irritation caused by the ample pair was soon lost in the thrill of music and dance, the Weird Sisters' fetching tunes calling students to the dance floor again and again. As the final notes from the latest song hovered in the air Katie finally stopped dancing, brushing a few stray hairs from her forehead with her fingertips.
"I think I'd rather fancy a butterbeer," she stated breathlessly, smiling up at George. "Would you care for one too?"
"Yeah alright," the boy responded, glancing over towards Fred and Angelina. The two had finally taken a break from their enthusiastic dance steps and had joined in with the thunderous applause at the Weird Sisters' latest performance. Katie followed his train of sight and grinned, grabbing George's arm and pulling him over to where the other two were standing.
"Angelina!" she called over the first blaring notes of the next song. The girl turned, as did Fred beside her, and the pair immediately smiled at George and Katie's arrival.
"Hello!" Angelina responded, shouting to be heard over the music.
"Want to grab a few bottles of butterbeer with me?" Katie inquired, gesturing in the direction of the refreshment table. Angelina glanced briefly at Fred before turning back to Katie and nodding, a knowing smile spreading across her lips.
"Alright sure," she replied. Katie beamed at her and the two girls turned towards the mottle of students surrounding the beverages. Fred and George made to follow them but Angelina quickly put a stop to that.
"We'll meet you back here!" she told them.
"Don't worry, we'll grab yours for you," Katie concluded and with another giggle the two set off across the room. The twins stared after them for a moment before Fred shook his head, running a hand through his hair.
"Women. I will never understand them," he stated loudly.
"Hear, hear," George responded and the two grinned at each other. At that moment a familiar pompous voice broke through the roar of the music and the twins glanced up to see Percy carrying on a conversation with Hogwarts' current Head Boy, a rather short Ravenclaw with dark hair and a twitchy complexion.
"Poor bloke," Fred murmured condolingly.
"What do you reckon we lend a hand?" George asked, though he needn't have bothered as Fred had already begun to weave his way through their fellow classmates in a beeline towards the older Weasley sibling.
"Weatherby!" he called loudly, slinging an arm around Percy's shoulders and fixing him with a positively winning grin.
"Fancy meeting you here!" George continued, sliding up on Percy's other side and flinging his arm over Fred's. The Ravenclaw Head Boy took advantage of the distraction and quickly melted away into the crowd, disappearing in a matter of seconds. Percy immediately scowled, ducking out of his brothers' grip and straightening his glasses in an attempt to maintain some semblance of dignity.
"If the two of you don't mind!" he snapped, straightening his robes and glaring at them. "I happen to be working!"
"Working?" Fred repeated, raising a brow. "Here?"
"What, Ministry get bored of cauldron bottoms already?" George inquired, a wicked grin spreading across his face. Beside him Fred donned an expression of incredibly over exaggerated shock. Percy however, drew himself up importantly, puffing out his chest in an all too familiar fashion.
"I've been promoted!" he stated in a grand voice, speaking loud enough so those standing close by could hear him too. "I am now Mr. Crouch's personal assistant and as he could not make it tonight, I am here representing him."
"Personal assistant eh?" George stated, clearly trying not to laugh. "That's pretty impressive Perce."
"He learn your name yet?" Fred inquired innocently. Percy visibly colored.
"Of course he- don't know where you get off- stop speaking rubbish you two!" he spluttered, a small tick forming underneath his left eye.
"So he hasn't then?" George pressed, grinning widely. Percy glared at him.
"Where's your date Perce?" Fred inquired suddenly, glancing around. "Seeing how you're Mr. Crouch's personal assistant and all I'm surprised you're not beating the ladies away with a stick." If possible Percy flushed even deeper.
"For your information, I came by myself tonight," he responded waspishly. "Unlike the pair of you, I'm not here for fun. This is strictly wo-"
"Of course, how stupid of us," George interrupted, putting on a serious face. "Why on earth would anyone do something like attend a ball for fun?"
"Sorry Weatherby, our mistake," Fred added. Percy gaped at them for a moment before shaking his head, turning on his heel and marching away, mumbling something under his breath that sounded suspiciously like: "…write to mum…" The twins could contain themselves no longer and burst into loud gales of laughter.
As their amusement with their brother faded, Fred found himself glancing around the Great Hall, looking over the sea of heads for any sign of their dates.
"Now where have the girls got to?" he inquired, his mouth quirking downward in the hint of a frown. George snorted.
"Probably halfway through an incredibly enticing gossip session complete with high pitched giggles and other girly rubbish," he responded flatly.
"Well let's leave them to it then," Fred responded. "I don't know about you but I'm in no rush to interrupt that." George was about to nod his agreement when rapid movement in his peripherals caught his attention. Glancing to the right he saw Hermione Granger storming across the floor, a very frazzled expression on her face, her hands clenched into angry fists. Suddenly suspicious, the boy glanced back in the direction she'd come from and wasn't surprised to see Ron sitting with Harry, looking every bit as perturbed as Hermione. Nudging Fred's shoulder, George gestured over to where the girl had sat herself down on one of the chairs and slammed her forehead into her palms, looking as though she was about to cry. Fred winced.
"Looks like ickle Ronniekins opened his mouth again, doesn't it," he muttered.
"Care for a go at cheering her up?" George asked. Fred hesitated.
"I dunno mate. I'm not sure how many more crying women I can handle throwing themselves at me," he answered. Yet he sighed at a pointed look from George and followed his twin across the floor and over to where the brunette was sitting. Surprisingly it was he who spoke first.
"Unfortunately I'm a little short on tea, but care for a sweet?" Fred asked the girl, plopping into the seat beside her and pulling a slightly squashed candy from his pocket. Hermione lifted her head from her hands and gave him an incredulous look.
"Oh you would love that wouldn't you, Fred Weasley! Me turning into a plump little canary in the middle of the dance floor! Yes of course, that would make my night so much better!" she exclaimed, brown eyes flashing angrily. Fred blinked. Well that hadn't gone quite the way he'd expected it to.
"Well that wasn't exactly what he had in mind," George spoke up, wasting no time sitting on her other side. "Though if you did fancy a canary cream, all you'd have to do is pop this little beauty in your mouth." And without missing a beat George pulled another brightly wrapped candy from his own pocket and held it out to her.
"On the other hand, if you wanted to slip it to our younger brother instead we wouldn't complain," Fred stated knowingly, trying a grin. To his great relief Hermione's face finally broke into a watery smile and she swiped a hand quickly across her eyes.
"Saw that did you?" she asked. George shook his head.
"Not exactly," he told her.
"But you have to understand," Fred put in, "that after living with Ronald for as long as we have, one learns to assume idiocy wherever he's involved." Hermione sighed, her palms finding her forehead again.
"He's just so thick sometimes!" she moaned. The twins snorted.
"Preaching to the choir love," Fred told her.
"There you are Herm-own-ninny," said a voice suddenly from behind them. The twins glanced up to see Viktor Krum standing there, two butterbeers clutched tightly in his hands.
"Oh yes, hello Viktor," Hermione said, attempting a smile. Krum frowned.
"Who are these two?" he inquired, nodding at Fred and George.
"Oh! Er, well-" Hermione began, but was interrupted as the twins got to their feet.
"Fred and George Weasley, pleased to meet you," Fred introduced spiritedly.
"Rather large fans of yours actually," George added with a grin.
"Please continue doing your best to annoy our little brother as you've done a splendid job already!" Fred continued. Krum frowned.
"You two behave yourselves now," George interrupted.
"Because we obviously won't," Fred finished and with a wink the two left a gaping Krum and an exasperated Hermione behind them.
The pair made their way back across the Great Hall, weaving between dancing classmates, dodging Hagrid and Madame Maxime, and finally drawing within eyeshot of the refreshment table. Fred was about to suggest going in search of the girls when his eyes fell on a figure clad in bright purple and shocking yellow. Ludo Bagman. He was moving away from the dance floor, a rather large smile on his face, his eyes set on the butterbeer. Elbowing George rather painfully in the ribs Fred jerked his head in the direction of the senior Ministry member.
"Let's go," George said determinedly and the two set off across the floor.
"Mr. Bagman!" Fred called, striding purposefully forward. "Mr. Bagman!" Bagman glanced over at them and his smile disappeared almost immediately.
"Oh, er, hullo boys," he said awkwardly, eyes darting all over the room for some sort of escape route.
"We need to talk to you about-" George began but Bagman cut him off.
"So sorry you two but I've just remembered something urgent I've got to speak with Dumbledore about. Ministry business I hope you understand," he told them, his voice rising a few octaves in pitch.
"Enjoy the ball!" the man told them and before the twins could say anything he bustled away across the dance floor.
"That slippery git!" Fred growled in frustration, glaring after Bagman's retreating back.
"He's not even talking to Dumbledore, look," George muttered, watching as the man in question immediately engaged Harry and Percy in conversation. "He could at least pretend like he's not lying to us."
"Like who's not lying to you?"
The twins turned to see that Angelina and Katie had finally returned, scrumptious looking bottles of butterbeer held invitingly in their hands.
"Oh, er, no one," George replied evasively. Angelina raised a skeptical eyebrow but didn't press the matter, much to the twins relief.
The butterbeers were popped open and thoroughly enjoyed, the return of Katie and Angelina helping to push the twins' annoyance at Bagman to the backs of their minds. They polished off their drinks in no time at all and barely five minutes later had returned to the dance floor, throwing themselves headfirst into the throng of dancing students.
Fred twirled Angelina around, grinning as she laughed delightedly, her upbeat dance steps causing her hair to fly around her face like a dark halo. As the two moved to the music Fred couldn't help thinking that events such as these really should take a front seat on Hogwarts' priorities list.
"Want to take a break?" Angelina asked breathlessly as the last notes of the song hung in the air. Fred shrugged.
"Sure," he responded. The pair left George and Katie on the dance floor, carefully making their way through the groups of students and ending up near the refreshment table again.
"Care for another?" Fred asked with a grin, motioning towards the enticing looking butterbeers sitting on the table. Angelina laughed.
"Alright," she responded. Fred swiped one of the bottles from the table and popped it open, handing it to Angelina before grabbing one for himself. He took a long swig, relishing the taste as the liquid slid deliciously over his taste buds.
"Having a good time?" Angelina inquired, diverting his attention from the butterbeer in his hand. Fred grinned at her.
"Definitely. You?" She nodded, her eyes flicking towards the entrance hall. The front doors leading to the grounds were standing open and they could just make out the glow of fairy lights fluttering from somewhere outside.
"Want to take a walk?" Angelina asked, rather out of the blue. Fred blinked.
"Yeah, alright," he responded, suddenly experiencing a twinge of unexpected anticipation. Shrugging it off he grinned at Angelina, who was staring oddly at him, and lead the way out into the entrance hall.
As the two stepped onto the grounds Fred couldn't help a low whistle of approval from escaping his lips. Not that he was one for lovey-dovey romantic nonsense but even he had to admit, the scenery was impressive. The rose garden sparkled with the glow of twinkling fairy lights that lined their way down the steps and out to a winding, ornamental path. Large stone statues were placed every so often along the trail and somewhere in the distance Fred could hear splashing water. Of course. Obviously no romantic scene would be complete without a fountain.
The two of them strolled along the path, not saying much, exchanging amused grins whenever they stumbled upon couples getting intimate in the shadows of the bushes. Another peaceful minute ticked by and Fred found himself wishing he had thought to bring a few rounds of filibuster fireworks with him as the grounds were a little too serene for his tastes. He was about to express his views to his date when the girl suddenly spoke up.
"Oh look! There's the fountain!" she said excitedly, hurrying past a stone reindeer to where a tall fountain was indeed glowing brilliantly in the fairy light.
"Never seen one of those before have you?" Fred asked, grinning as Angelina rolled her eyes.
"Oh shut up," she told him, yet was unable to help a slightly sheepish smile from folding across her lips. Slowly the boy strolled over so the two were standing side by side, staring down at the glittering water and the glowing fairy lights reflected on its twinkling surface. Turning his head Fred looked at Angelina, taking in her eyes, cinnamon lips, pink tinged cheeks, and silky hair framing it all.
"You look beautiful tonight Ange," he found himself saying, not exactly sure where the words had come from.
That bloody fountain.
She smiled at him and an amused giggle escaped her lips.
"Took you long enough," she told him in teasing admonishment. Fred frowned.
"To tell me I look nice," she explained, laughing as Fred said nothing. "Normally you're supposed to say it right away and I was beginning to think you weren't going to."
"Oh," the boy said, finding it was his turn to look sheepish. "Guess Ron's not the only thick one in our family."
"Oh really?" Angelina asked, taking a step closer to him.
"Yeah," Fred responded, fully aware of how close she was standing to him. "I mean there's Percy too…" His voice trailed off as she stepped even closer, smiling up at him.
"And…?" she breathed.
"And…can I kiss you?" Fred found himself mumbling. Angelina's smile widened and she wrapped her arms around his neck.
"Is that you or the butterbeer talking?" she whispered.
"I-" Fred began but before he could even finish his sentence Angelina had pressed her lips to his and whatever he was going to say jumped out of his mind faster than Goyle on Christmas pudding. Yes, he thought as his arms wrapped around Angelina's waist, he definitely had a thing or two to say to Dumbledore regarding priorities.
Yay! Alright I had a lot of fun writing this chapter so I hope you all enjoyed reading it. I'm going on the assumption that Fred and Angelina were a bit of a couple at some point in the series, as it was vaguely hinted at in some places. Don't worry, I'm not forgetting about George and Angelina getting married. In any case thank you so much for reading! Let me know what you thought! Thanks for all the reviews and support so far!