Disclaimer: I don't own HP or any of these characters. That belongs to JKR, Scholastic Books, Warner Brothers, etc. This is just something to pass the time while waiting for the next book.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
That had been the general consensus when Fred and George had placed that sign up in the Gryffindor seventh-year boy's room. Lee Jordan had fervently agreed with that sentiment—Fred and George were great friends who had the best sense of humor ever to grace Hogwarts but Lee did NOT want them messing around in his love life.
That's why he felt an odd sense of relief when he walked into his dorm room to find the twins taking that blasted sign down. He was very glad indeed. He should have been quiet and just let sleeping dogs lie instead of indulging in his curiosity in what exactly had happened. However, as anyone who has ever attended a Gryffindor-Slytherin Quidditch match could attest to, Lee sometimes had problems with thinking before opening his mouth.
So he found himself saying before he could stop himself, "Why are you two taking the sign down? Are you going out of business?"
The twins turned to look at him with a pair of aggrieved faces.
"I hate to say it," started Fred.
"But we're just not cut out for this type of business," George finished for him.
"It's best that we get out while we're still ahead."
"Before we make total fools of ourselves."
"As compared to making fools out of those around us, as is usually the case."
"So we give up. Weasley twins cannot a match make."
"Wait, wait, wait." Lee held up his hands. "You lost me. Someone actually paid the two of you to get them together with the girl of their dreams? What did you feed them and where can I get my hands on some?"
"Actually no one did hire us."
"No one would trust us." Lee did not trust the crocodile tears forming in the twins' eyes.
"Said that the idea of us matchmaking was too horrible to contemplate."
"So we decided to take on a charity case."
"As an example really. Sort of like, if we can get this couple hooked together, we can get any pair together."
"Your logic really, really scares me, but go on. Who was the lucky victim?"
"None other than our own brother, Ron, of course."
"He's been completely over the moon about Hermione for ages now."
"And he didn't do a thing about it—or rather, he didn't do anything successful about it."
"Not unless you count all the times he made Hermione so mad that she was giving off steam. At least he had her full attention then."
"So it was the perfect charity case. All of Hogwarts knows by now how inept ickle Ronniekins is with girls."
"Except we just made things worse. So we decided to cut our losses and run."
"Before we actually had to run from Ron."
Lee and the twins had been close friends for all their seven years at Hogwarts. Throughout that time, Lee had watched and encouraged his best friends as they wreaked havoc on their brother Percy. Now that Percy was long gone from the halls of Hogwarts, they found themselves concentrating on their younger brother with the same support from their friend. So it was out of force of habit that Lee was actually urging them with to continue with this particular matchmaking enterprise.
After all, a Ron besieged by pranks was a most funny thing.
"It can't be that bad," Lee said. "He probably just needs some encouragement. All you have to do is write a really soppy love letter or something like that."
The twins looked at each other and sighed before facing Lee again.
Care of Magical Creatures was the perfect place to start with Operation Get-Ron-His-Honey-Hermione. It was outdoors and the two vict—I mean, subjects would be working close together. Best of all, it was extraordinarily easy for Fred and George to arrange to be near them during the actual class. As they had a free period anyway, all they had done was gone up to Hagrid and asked to spend more quality time with blast-ended skrewts before they had to leave Hogwarts forever. Hagrid had just smiled and gleefully accepted that excuse, as only Hagrid could.
It had been too easy. That should have been their second hint that their plans would not work out as expected.
But hope springs eternal in the spring and so it was George was keeping a lookout for any possible interlopers while Fred was floating a forged love letter over to Ron. They had attempted to mimic Hermione's handwriting but had failed miserably. Her handwriting was simply too neat for them to copy and they had wound up with a letter whose handwriting was indeterminable. That didn't stop them from carrying out their plan.
After all, with a little luck, Ron would get some courage from the letter and do something really drastic. Like start snogging Hermione in the middle of class. Gred and Forge had "borrowed" Colin Creevey's camera just in case.
Unfortunately for the would-be matchmakers, they had missed the first hint by a mile. During this spring, the weather had been rather gusty. In other words, it was not the ideal conditions to float a letter to someone outside.
It was, however, a perfect opportunity for Murphy's Law to visit two of its favorite proponents. As Fred was carefully floating the letter along, a strong gust of wind came and blew the letter in Harry's direction.
"Oh no!" Fred exclaimed and dropped his wand.
"What? What happened?"
"Don't tell me you somehow managed to land it in the lake!"
"It's going towards Harry!"
"How did that ever happen?"
"The wind, you fool."
"Well then do something about it."
"All right then." Fred closed his eyes and clenched both of his hands. "Don't go to Harry. Anyone but Harry. Don't go to Harry. Anyone but Harry."
"Idiot!" George smacked his brother on the shoulder to stop his chanting. "Are you a wizard or what? Use magic!" He pulled out his wand from his sleeve, intent on succeeding where his twin had failed.
Murphy's Law was not done yet with playing with its favorite pair of twins. Just as George had waved his wand to cast a spell over the letter, another gust of wind came and George's spell missed its mark.
The letter landed right at Hermione's feet. Curious about what it could possibly be about, she picked it up and opened it. It read:
To My Very Dear Friend—
I've been thinking about you for quite some time and I can't seem to get you out of my mind. If you feel the same way I do, could you somehow give me a little hint or clue?
It was unsigned. She didn't know who it came from or who it was intended for. She looked in the direction that it had came from to see if that would give her a hint about the identity of the writer. The letter had come from the direction of—
Harry. Who was her very best friend. And the letter was to the writer's best friend.
Hermione looked down at her shoes and blushed.
"Ok," Lee said, "So she thought the letter came from Harry. That doesn't mean that you couldn't save the operation."
"Yes, that's what we thought too."
"It would be a tad much to call it an unmitigated disaster—"
"Although it did come close if you ask me—"
"And I didn't. So we thought we'd change our strategy and attempt to clue Ron in during a class that Hermione didn't attend."
"Of course, that meant no embarrassing snogging photos but we thought we could make up for that later."
"The only problem was that the only class that they didn't have Hermione in was Divination."
"And they were doing crystal ball gazing again and we thought what a chance!"
"We'd rig Ron's crystal ball. Only we switched the wrong one."
"Let me guess. You gave it Harry instead."
"Bingo! You have heard the gossip that's been going around school, haven't you?"
"Actually, no I haven't. I had better things to do than worry about other people's love lives."
"Like worrying about your own?"
"We can help!"
"Do not even go there! Just tell me what happened."
"Look on the bright side," Ron said quietly to his best friend. "If we're supposed to be gazing for hints from beyond about our love life, then there's no way she work a death prediction into that."
"I don't think so," Harry replied. Then with an amazingly accurate impression of the Divination professor's voice, he intoned, "You shall find your one true love and die for it."
"I take it back. I guess she can."
Harry returned his attention to the piece of glass sitting in front of him. He sighed, wishing that they would leave the realm of crystal ball gazing far, far behind. There were only so many jokes that you could crack about cloudy weather being in the future before they all became old.
Those sorts of jokes had lost their appeal quite some time ago.
As usual, staring at the crystal ball produced no results. Harry was not surprised one bit. He was beginning to think that Hermione was right and Divination was just one big lie. True, Trelawney had made one true prediction two years ago but what were the chances of that happening again?
In case you were wondering, the odds of that happening were placed at 72-1 amongst the staff.
Harry looked up from his task to take a quick glance around the room. It seemed that no one was having much luck with their results. He sighed again. This meant that the old bat would soon feel the need to take matters into her own hands and she'd once again see something about his doom.
However, he got the shock of his life when he looked back down again. It was actually getting a little less cloudy. There was a face forming. It was—Hermione!
Harry fell out of his seat, causing Ron to run over. "What happened?" Ron asked. Speechless, Harry merely pointed a shaking hand towards the crystal ball.
Ron turned around to look at what could have been so surprising. "It's Hermione!" he shouted, gaining the attention of the entire class. "It's just her face but it's obviously Hermione. Wait, the scene's changing. It looks like she's working on something—that's typical. She's writing something down. It looks like she's writing—I :heart: you?"
Harry groaned at Ron's words. Why did he have to say that sort of thing in front of the whole class? Harry only hoped that Ron had somehow been mistaken. He got to his feet to see if Ron was right. The Hermione in his crystal ball was indeed writing "I :heart: you" over and over again.
Harry looked down at his shoes and blushed.
"All right, so your second plan didn't go as well as you thought it should."
"That's the understatement of the year."
Lee glared at the twins. "I wasn't finished speaking. I was going to say that perhaps you should just forget subtlety and go for the obvious."
"Just as a matter of intellectual curiosity, what would that be?"
"Push the two lovebirds together."
"By setting off an explosion of dungbombs near them or something?"
"We thought of that already."
"Simple is best and all that."
"We should have known better."
"Why would that go right for us when nothing else had?"
Fred and George waited eagerly for the smoke from their latest plot to clear. This time it would work. Hermione would be frightened by the explosion and fall into Ron's arms. If Ron didn't know what to do then, they would have to take him aside to explain some very basic facts of life.
That had an appeal of its own. Either way, Fred and George would win.
However, when the smoke cleared, Hermione was in the arms of the wrong boy.
She was kissing Harry. It wasn't a gentle, sweet first kiss. It was a madly passionate, full-blown snog. Her hands were roaming up Harry's back until she finally buried them in his unkempt hair. He was crushing her to him as their tongues dueled for control.
"Where did he ever learn how to kiss like that? They never taught that in our sex-ed class."
"Forget that. We have bigger problems on our hands."
Ron had been staring in shock at his two friends making out in the hallway after the explosion. It hadn't taken him too long to figure out who had illicitly smuggled the dungbombs for the blast, not with them standing in front of him, gawking at the awful sight.
"Um . . . run?"
"Sounds good to me."
The twins glared at their friend, who was laughing hysterically at their tale.
"You did wind up running from Ron! So much for quitting before that!"
"Oh shut up!"
"We don't want to hear it."
"We've learnt our lesson. We're not matchmaking anymore."
"Why stop now?" Lee asked. "Not when you have another younger sibling who you've not tried to help out."
The twins paused to think about that proposition.
"With our luck," they chorused, "We'd set her up with Malfoy!"
Author's note: If you've already spent this much time reading the fic, I would very much appreciate it if you could take an extra minute or two to leave a review and let me know what you think. Also, thanks goes out to Nappa, who convinced me to post this fic here, although I wouldn't encourage you to press your luck.