crooked

-x-

"It's crooked," Sixth year Katie Bell grinned from behind Filch, pointing towards the eightieth rule Umbridge had come up with. She was bored and Filch was an easy target. Did that make her a bad person? Probably.

Filch muttered to himself, but did try to straighten it out.

"Still crooked!" She called, giggling to herself. It was probably sad that she had resorted to this as a form of entertainment, but she was too lazy to find the twins.

Speak of the devils - they ran right past her without a second glance a few seconds later, not even seeing her. She arched an eyebrow and turned to watch them go, just before she heard a loud shriek.

Before she could react, Umbridge ran out of the next corridor over.

"I did it," she said automatically, the Hufflepuff in her coming out. She wasn't sure what exactly it was until her eyes found Umbridge's scalp. She fought the urge to giggle and mentally gave kudos to the twins.

Umbridge glared at Katie. "Detention!" She shrieked.

Her stomach dropped. She had heard from Fred and George how bad dentitions with Umbridge were, but she held her head high and nodded. Whatever Fred and George had done, she was going to take the blame. They had gotten so many detentions this week, their hands were going to scar.

Katie had gotten none so far.

They were her best friends and she was willing to take one for them.

"Come along," she said, her voice going from loud and harsh to soft and sugary sweet.

Katie swallowed hard.

-x-

"Now," Umbridge said, after Katie had settled into a chair. Her hair was bright green and her eyes were furious. Katie wanted to laugh, but she knew that'd only get her into more trouble.

Instead, she gripped the quill in her left hand hard, part of her hoping it would break.

"Write I mustn't play practical jokes fifty times." She said, her eyes twinkling. Katie felt the urge to throw up - how could someone get so much pleasure out of hurting others like this?

Her eyes hard and her bottom lip between her teeth to keep from screaming at her 'Head Master,' she pressed the quill to the parchment and started.

I mustn't play practical jokes.

Not a second after she started writing, her hand began burning and she knew without looking at it the words were being carved into her skin.

I mustn't play practical jokes.

It hurt, oh god did it hurt, and she wondered how Fred and George could ever take this. Tears stung at her eyes, but she willed them not to fall. Still, one did, the droplet splattering against the parchment she was "writing" on.

-x-

When Umbridge finally let her go, she started to head towards the Great Hall for dinner, her left hand painfully pulsing, when she realized Fred and George were sitting outside of Umbridge's office.

They seemed to be just as shocked to see her as she was to see them.

"Katie," George managed, eyes wide.

Fred didn't speak. When her eyes found him, he looked both vivid and nauseous. His right hand clenched and unclenched several times.

George, seeing this too, moved towards his twin, his hand resting on his shoulder gently, as if to say "calm down," but it didn't work.

Fred shrugged his hand off and moved closer to Katie, who was trying to hide her hand. If they knew she had done that for them, they'd kill her, then they'd beat themselves up about both letting her take the blame and killing her.

Really, it was best for all involved if it stayed her little secret.

Obviously, Fred didn't agree.

"Let me see your hand," his voice was quiet but deadly, like calm before a storm.

"No." She tried to keep her voice strong, but her hand was hurting and she was tired and hungry. Katie's voice wavered.

Fred's face softened and he moved closer, so they were standing within inches of each other. He softly took her left hand in his, his sleeve moving back to show his own faded scars.

George must've slipped quietly away, decided his twin could handle this on his own, because when Katie glanced behind Fred again, he was gone.

Her eyes then found Fred, who was reading her hand. His face was twisted up in pain, and when he glanced back at her face, her breath caught in her throat.

"You took the blame for us."

Katie nodded. "Yes."

Something changed in his eyes, and without warning he leaned down and pressed his lips hard to Katie's; hard enough to make her stagger back. Fred's arm shot out to balance her, before sliding up to the nape of her neck to hold her face to his.

Her eyes widened - hello, her best friend was kissing her - but then she relaxed and kissed back. His hand moved from holding onto her wrist to look at her broken skin to grasping her fingers gently in his.

Katie brought herself up onto her top toes, her free arm encircling his neck, pulling him closer and closer, until her body was flush against his.

When he pulled away, she opened her mouth, but he beat her to it.

"I've been in love with you since my second year, Katie Bell." His voice was a whisper, and if they hadn't still been embracing, she probably wouldn't have heard him. His hand moved from her neck to tangle in the hair behind her ear, leaving a trail of goose bumps in its wake.

Her cheeks coloured red, and her bottom lip found its way into her teeth.

This had been something she had been hoping for since her first year, when she tripped over her suitcase and stumbled into the twins' compartment. There was something about Fred that she had always found herself drawn to, and now that she was here with him confessing his love to her the way she had spent countless Ancient Ruins classes daydreaming he would, she couldn't stop herself from pressing her lips to his again, wordlessly.

"I love you," she murmured against his lips after a few moments, loving the way his smile felt on her mouth.

"Oh!" He said suddenly, making Katie jump as he pulled away. His left hand dug into his pocket and he produced a small container of lotion-like stuff. "For your hand," he murmured at her questioning gaze, as he opened it up and stuck his long, right index finger into it.

Katie nodded, her mind foggy. Hand? What? It was only when she glanced down to see the scars, did she remember the pain. It seemed kisses really did heal - if only for five minutes.

Fred took her hand again, and gently ran the finger with the lotion over her cuts. The pain immediately dulled, and then stopped complete, after he had rubbed it over her scars.

"Thanks," she said, smiling slightly up at him.

"You're welcome," he muttered, a frown back on his face as he glanced down at her hand, and Katie could tell he was still beating himself up over it.

"Stop," she said, pressing her good hand to his chest, making him glance up at her in curiosity. "I chose to take the blame. I could have easily ratted you guys out, but I didn't. That was my choice, and I don't regret it."

Her left hand found his right, and she leaned up to kiss him.

Fred met her halfway.

When they pulled away, there was a grin on Fred's face. "Let's go," he said, tugging her hand so that she was pressed to his side.

As they walked down the corridors towards the Great Hall for dinner, Fred smirked. "We should get you a chair to stand on next time we snog, so I don't have to bend down ten feet just to reach you."

Katie smacked his chest. "It's not my fault you're like eight feet tall." She muttered, but there was a smile on her lips.

For the first time, something good had come out of a bad dentition, and that made her almost as happy as Fred did.

As they passed the rules, Fred paused, before pointing towards rule eighty. "That one's crooked," he remarked, and Katie grinned.

"Right? That's what I said, but Filch did a horrid job at fixing it."

"Wait, what?" Fred asked, curiosity in his eyes.

Katie launched into her story about boredom and terrorizing Filch and Fred listened intently as they walked towards dinner.

All the while, his hand never left hers.

-x-


a/n: i'm starting to want to write nothing but Katie/Fred now. what is my life. mdkfddf'dkfd anyways, hope you enjoyed this! :D