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. The general idea for this fic was taken from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, an old film made and owned by MGM.
Chapter One: The Wizards
Summer had come once again to the Burrow and with it came the Weasley children. This summer was different than the previous few, however, in that everyone was laughing more. You could tell the difference it made at the Burrow. While the Weasleys' income was still as modest as ever, everything seemed brighter and newer this particular summer, reflecting the joy felt by the house's inhabitants.
This joy was shared by pretty much everyone in the entire Wizarding World. The Order of the Phoenix had finally been able to defeat Voldemort and most of his followers. Unfortunately, there were some Death Eaters who were still at-large. The Order was working closely with the Ministries of Magic of various states to capture those Death Eaters who had escaped but they had yet to have any luck in finding them. However, most wizards and witches believed that these rogue Death Eaters were too demoralized from their master's defeat to be planning any sort of retaliation. Everyone felt much safer than they had been in the recent past.
So it was that Dumbledore had relented and allowed Harry Potter to spend his summer with the Weasleys, instead of the Dursleys, because he believed that it would be safe enough. The Death Eaters were mostly defeated and furthermore, the Ministry of Magic allowed select students to use magic during the holidays, provided that they follow the rules that adult wizards did regarding the use of magic in front of Muggles. Harry and his friends had all been granted such permission almost automatically because of the role they played in the defeat of Voldemort. Harry was very happy indeed to not have to return to his dour relatives for the summer.
As the next year would be his last at Hogwarts, this relief from the Dursleys had came rather late but as the saying goes, better late than never. Of course, it wasn't enough for the Weasleys only to invite to stay with them. Hermione had been invited as well and the Trio would spend their last free summer together. All in all, everyone felt like celebrating. They had plenty of reasons to celebrate but Percy Weasley evidently believed that they needed one more.
So it was that he decided to lightly tap the table to get the attention of his family and their guests at the dinner table.
Let it be said that lightly tapping a table to get the attention of ten other people never works, especially when they all have food in front of them.
That didn't stop the former Head Boy of Hogwarts of several years past from trying though. He rapped his knuckles against the table as if he expected everyone to immediately look up. When they didn't, he continued to tap the table, albeit with more force. With ten other people eating and chatting loudly with each other, this didn't do any good. Of course, some of family did pick up on what he was trying to do, although he did not know. Fred and George's internal Percy-sense, which was good for teasing their brother and avoiding him back when he was a prefect, had activated at once. They had easily been able to determine that the best way to annoy him would be to ignore him and set about talking even more loudly.
After several minutes of knocking on the table without getting any noticeable response, Percy was beginning to feel a little out of sorts. He had an announcement to make and everyone was ignoring him. He decided it was time to take drastic action. While he would have preferred to throw his plate at Gred and Forge's head to get everyone's attention, he thought it would be better to appeal to the Ultimate Authority.
"Mum," Percy said, "could you make everyone be quiet? I have something to tell you all."
Molly Weasley set about bringing her brood and their friends to order. This was done chiefly by the use of deadly glares and fierce admonitions for everyone to shut up.
It took her approximately twelve seconds to accomplish what Percy could not do in ten minutes.
Percy got out of his chair and stood up tall in front of his family. He cleared his throat twice before finally making the announcement he knew they were just dying to hear.
"It is my pleasure," he began, "to inform you that earlier this week, Penelope had agreed to be my wife." Percy waited for the congratulations to come rolling in.
He should have known his brothers better. Almost as soon as those words left his mouth, Fred jumped up out of his seat from shock.
"Bloody hell! Percy's getting married first?"
"This is all your fault." Bill Weasley glared at his younger brother Fred.
"Yes," Charlie agreed. "If you had been able to keep your big mouth shut, we wouldn't be out here!"
"Oh come on now," Fred replied. "Be a little reasonable here. I didn't throw you two out of the house. You came out here of your own accord."
"And the reason why we did that was your fault!"
George nodded in agreement. "All those here who believe that it's all Fred's fault, say 'aye.'"
"Aye," chorused three Weasley brothers.
It didn't take a crystal ball for anyone to figure out what Molly's reaction to Fred's statement had been. Like a she-bear protecting her cubs, Molly had leapt to Percy's defense. Unfortunately for George, she had held both the twins responsible for what had clearly been only Fred's remark. Knowing better than to fight a losing battle, both twins fled from the scene of the crime, stopping only to take a few bottles of vodka with them before leaving the house.
Most of Molly's attention after that had temporarily been devoted to comforting Percy. However, while Percy had not been pleased by what his younger brother had said, he had soon gotten over it, especially after the rest of the family had congratulated him on his engagement. That was when Molly started to ponder the truth of Fred's words.
Bill and Charlie saw the thoughts that were beginning to take form inside their mother's head and so wisely had decided to leave the room. They were not quick enough in their attempt to escape for Molly had blocked their way before they could leave and launched an assault on their bachelorhood. After she had offered to arrange for dates for them with perfectly nice girls, in her words, the two eldest Weasley brothers had made a concerted charge to break through their mother's blockade of the door. It wasn't exactly polite to push past your mother but Bill and Charlie had been getting desperate. They did not want to stick around long enough for Molly to start inviting potential daughter-in-laws to come over right this instance via Floo Powder.
Like Fred and George had done before, Bill and Charlie also managed to take away a few bottles of vodka before leaving the house. It had been several hours since they made good their escape and now all Weasley brothers were well on their way to being drunk.
"I can still hear her now," Bill whinged to his brothers. Mocking Molly's voice, he continued, " 'You're the oldest of the family Bill. You should have settled down long before now.' Gah! She only says that because she wants grandkids to spoil."
"She wouldn't be hankering after them if you had gotten married, Bill. Then she wouldn't have felt the need to go after me as well."
"Oh, let's not lose sight of who's the real culprit here. If Fred hadn't of opened his mouth, we wouldn't have had to flee for the sake of our bachelorhood!"
"That's what you'd like to believe but you know perfectly well that Mum's thoughts would've turned in that direction anyway after Percy's little announcement. If you're going to be completely honest, you've got to admit that the ultimate fault lies with you." Fred pointed an accusatory finger at Bill.
"I rather like remaining unattached, thank you very much. Besides, there's no hard and fast rule saying that I had to be the one to get married first. If you're so against Percy being the first to marry, why don't you get down on your knees and propose to Angelina?"
Fred spluttered before reaching to take a swig of vodka from the bottle. "I still say that it's all your fault," he muttered.
George snickered at his twin's predicament. "He's not telling you the whole story. He asked but she said no."
Evil grins spread across both Bill and Charlie's faces at that pronouncement. "What happened?" asked Bill. "Did Angelina not find your approach to romance charming?"
"Of course not," Charlie was not going to let his younger brother off the hook that easily. "Most girls aren't too thrilled when you propose to them just by saying 'How about we go off and get married this weekend?'"
Fred choked on his drink, much to the surprise of his brothers.
"That's actually what you said when you asked her?" George exclaimed. "It's no wonder she said no. I would've said no if you had asked me."
"I'd have never asked you, George, no matter what some people say about twins!"
Bill sadly shook his head at Fred. "I hate to say it but that is just pathetic. You should've known better to ask like that."
"Oh, sod off!" Fred turned away from everyone else. "I don't want to hear about it. She's not even talking to me right now."
"Of course she isn't," Bill replied. "You really should write a book, Fred, like 'How to Piss Off the Women in Your Life.'"
"All right. Enough already. I admit I need help in the romance department."
"Have you even tried apologizing to Angelina yet?"
"I'm not that much of a git. Of course I've tried. But she
just sends back my letters and she refuses to answer her fire!" Fred
rested his head on his hands, his shoulders shaking as if trying to hold
back tears. "I don't think she's ever going to take me back after
Bill decided to stop teasing Fred about the obviously painful subject. "Don't worry about that. Just keep on trying. She loves you and she'll forgive you eventually." He raised an eyebrow at Charlie. "Say, do you still have that cabin in Romania?"
"Why do you ask?"
"It's in the mountains, yes? Fresh air, beautiful scenery and all that?"
"Yes, yes to all your questions. What's the point?"
"The point is that you can loan your cabin to Fred for a week or two. He can take Angelina up there and show her just how romantic he can be."
Fred had raised his head from his hands at Bill's words. "It might just work. It might just be enough to convince her to take me back. Angelina's always wanted to visit other countries."
George snorted. "I doubt that. You'll just find another way to make her mad at you."
Fred's face fell again. "Don't even say something like that," he admonished. Then he clapped his hands together, as if struck by an absolutely brilliant idea, and stood up from his seat. "I've got it," he said, "I know how to keep Angelina from getting mad at me again. I'll take all of you with me to make sure I don't say anything stupid."
Bill, Charlie and George all looked amongst each other at Fred's suggestion. "I don't think that's very wise," George said. "How romantic do you think Angelina would think it was if we were always around when you two wanted to get cozy?"
"Then bring along girls of your own. We can all just separate when we want to have some private time." Fred began to pace back and forth. "Actually, the more I think about it, the more I like the idea. George, you can bring Katie and I'm sure Bill and Charlie can find someone too."
"I never said I liked her!"
"Oh stop trying to act like you can hide something from me. I know bloody well that you've liked her for quite some time. Look, you don't even need to say anything to her about liking her. You can just say you want some help in putting me and Angelina back together again."
George scratched his chin while he considered Fred's plan. "I think it could work. Katie's been concerned about Angelina for the last few days." He clapped Fred on the back soundly. "Fred, you're an absolute genius! There's no way this plan will fail!"
Bill and Charlie looked on as the twins started dancing around in glee.
"What do you think Bill?"
"I think we should institute two drinking ages."
"Eighteen for normal people like you and me, and another one just for the twins."
"I don't think they should ever be allowed to drink."
"Exactly my point."
Fred and George had stopped in their dance to stare at their older brothers.
"We don't appreciate that comment."
"And forget about trying to escape because you're coming with us."
"With the women you like of course."
"There's no one that I'm interested in."
"Liar." Charlie glared at his older brother. "I know who you like."
Bill coughed. "I thought we had agreed on a conspiracy of silence about the girls we like, Charlie."
"So there is someone you both like."
"Hopefully not the same person."
"No," Bill said shortly.
"We'll all be in this together!"
"You know I can think of several reasons why this is not going to work. For one, do you really think Angelina's going to agree to go with you considering that she's not even speaking to you?"
"Don't worry about that. If worst comes to worst, I'll just bring her there while she's sleeping or something like that."
"So you want us to abduct our lady loves? I don't think that'd impress them."
"Not to mention the fact that they might press kidnapping charges against all of us."
"You both worry too much. Just turn on the Weasley charm if they get mad."
"Yes, what he said. Stop thinking of all the reasons we can't and start thinking of all the ways to get them to say 'I do.'"
"This is most definitely a plan."
"If it's a plan to get back into Mum's good graces, then forget about. She's already forgiven all of you and besides, you'll probably just wind up upsetting her again."
Bill, Charlie and the twins turned around to face the speaker. While the twins had been trying to convince their older brothers about, Ron and Harry had come out to let them know that they were welcomed back at the Burrow. However, the appearance of the younger boys did not stop the twins from making their plans—rather they decided to include the boys in on them.
"We can take Ron and Harry with us too!"
"What? Might I remind you that they're too young to get married?" Ron and Harry's face were covered by the deepest red blush possible when Charlie had said the word 'married.'
"Yes but they're not too young for serious girlfriends. Besides, if you think I'm bad with girls, you should see Ron. He's loads worse than me," Fred reasoned.
"And Harry's not much better. He can't even ask a girl to Hogsmeade," George agreed. "Look at it this way, if it helps. If you don't help them, then we'll just have to do our sorry best."
Charlie's face paled at that thought. "That's a very scary thought indeed." He sighed. "I don't think we've got much of a choice, Bill. It's one thing to let Fred and George mess up their love lives but we can't let them do the same to Ron and Harry."
"Hold on a second. What are you talking about and when did Harry and me agree to your crazy scheme?"
"How do you know it's crazy?"
"If either Fred or George thought up of it, it must be."
"That sounds right to me."
Fred rolled his eyes at Bill's last statement. "I wouldn't be so quick to toss around such labels until you've actually heard about the plan. We're just all going to spend a week or two together in Charlie's cabin in Romania—with our significant others accompanying us."
"Or would-be significant others in your case. And Bill and Charlie's too I guess."
"And give me one good reason why I should trust you not to pull pranks the entire time?"
"Because we're all doing this to help each other out. I mean, look at us. Bill and Charlie can't manage to get married before Percy and Fred doesn't know how to propose. We're pathetic."
"And what is working together supposed to do? I mean, if none of us are any good with girls, all of us working together is not going to get us anywhere."
"I'll have you know, Ron, that Charlie and I have no problems in the romance department. We just happen to like being single."
"Then why are you coming along?"
"To keep an eye on those two."
Ron squinted suspiciously at his brothers, as if trying to discern if they had any ulterior motives. "All right," he finally said. "I'll come along if only because I trust you two to make sure the twins behave."
"Perfect! It'll be like one large Weasley brother get-together!"
"Glad to hear it," Harry said. "I hope all of you enjoy yourselves."
"But you're coming with us."
"I'm not a Weasley," Harry stated flatly. He did not want to be dragged into this crazy scheme.
"Oh, you're the same as a Weasley. You're practically a brother to us," Ron replied. "Of course you'll in on this plan."
"I'd rather not. I mean, love advice from the twins? Can't you just see us losing what little dignity we have because of that?"
"It's not advice from the twins. It's advice from Bill and Charlie and I thought you thought they were cool."
"They are but—this is just something I don't want to do."
"Oh come on! It'll be fun. Would you rather stay here and have Hermione bother you about doing schoolwork?"
Harry blushed slightly before he answered. "That's better than what you're suggesting, yes."
"You have to come with us, Harry. It wouldn't be the same without you."
"I'm sure you'll do fine on your own. Besides, shouldn't you invite Percy before you invite me?"
"Invite me where?" Percy asked from behind them.
The Weasley brothers groaned at Percy's question, leaving it to Harry to respond.
"They're all going to Charlie's cabin in Bulgaria for a week to get to know each other's significant others."
"Then of course I'll go with them."
"Don't feel obliged or anything like that," Fred said, holding up his hands in front of him. "If you don't want to come, you don't have to. You probably have much else to do, between your work and preparing for your wedding."
"Oh, I've already asked for two weeks' vacation. Penelope has been complaining I work too much and besides she wants to get to know all of you. She wants to know the family she's marrying into, she's said." Percy paused momentarily to give what he thought to be a menacing look at the twins. "I'm sure everyone will be on their best behavior."
"We would dream of doing anything else." Fred suppressed his urge to scowl at Percy. "I mean, I'm sorry about what I said and all that. I just rather thought—"
"Yes, yes, that Bill would get married first because he's the oldest. I quite understand and I've forgiven you already." Percy magnanimously waved a hand in the twins' direction. "If that's the crux of your concerns, then it's all settled then. When do we leave?"
"It's not all settled. I'm not going with you."
"Of course you're coming with us," Percy said matter-of-factly. "Seven's a much better number than six."
"That's not a good reason."
"We can't leave you behind, Harry," Ron said. "That'd be leaving you out and you are one of us. You might not be a Weasley brother in name but you certainly are one in spirit." All of Ron's brothers nodded at his words.
Harry sighed. It looked like there was no way to get out of joining the Weasley brothers in their insane escapades at the moment. They just wouldn't take no for an answer.
"Fine," he said shortly. "I only hope that this doesn't turn out
to be something like 'Seven Witches and a Funeral.'"
Author's note—That's it for this chapter. In the next chapter, The Witches, the Weasley brothers plot out travel plans and figure out how to make the cabin secure before going after their lady loves. Meanwhile, Harry tries to back out of the scheme only to run into Hermione—who is immediately inspired to create the Society to Crush Arrogant Males, or S.C.A.M. for short. As always, I would love to hear what you think about this so please leave a review. Thank you.
Finally a special thanks goes out to Nappa for helping me to kill this
plot bunny! Am sorry about the character name thing—really I wasn't
trying to be difficult!