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Clever Mischief Chapter 25: Keeping Up Appearances
by rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
at August 4th, 2006 (10:44 pm)

Title: Clever Mischief 25: Keeping Up Appearances
Date: Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005
Location: Double Trouble
Characters: George, Fred
Rating: Any Age

George hadn't gone over the sales figures for the week yet, but he knew without looking just how well the business was doing. Their main concern when they'd first talked about buying old Zonko's place had been the lag time between Hogsmeade weekends for the Hogwarts students. They'd thought that the place might be deserted when the students couldn't come to them, but they needn't have worried. Their shop was never empty. Far from it-- the village had embraced them, the mail order business was booming, and people regularly Apparated or Floo'd from all over the British Isles to see them. They were delighted by the range of ages that frequented Double Trouble. Even now, they had an woman easily in her seventies browsing their collection of long distance whoopee cushions (Can't Blame These On the Dog), a pair of thirtysomethings on their lunch break who were positively giggling with glee at the new line of Personal Shadows (Hide in Plain Sight From Bosses, Professors, and People To Whom You Owe Money!), and a witch slightly older than them with a small child in tow. The child, a little boy, looked like, well, a kid in a mischief shop. His head kept swivelling as he took in new delights, and at last he settled on dashing toward the firework kits. Yes, George thought as he moved to intercept the boy, things were swimming along. Fred had said just last week that they should declare 2006 as the International Year of Mischief, and George didn't think it was a half bad idea.

"Hold up there, young sir," George said, crouching in front of the boy before he could get at the Ezee Start Fireworks (No Wand Necessary!). "You wouldn't like these."

"Shiny!" the boy said, reaching for the fireworks anyway.

Something popped next to them, and George looked up to see his twin standing there. Fred had watched the whole scene unfold, and now brandished a fake wand in his hand that had just turned into a tarantula.

"Look at that," Fred said impressively as it reformed into a wand again. The boy squealed and grabbed at it. Fred winked up at the mother as she hurried over. "Only six galleons each, and keeps the little ones occupied for hours."

"Or three for fifteen galleons," George added with a charming smile. The boy scampered off, and George and Fred grinned at each other.

Both paused, their grins going from mischievous to something else entirely, and the temperature in the room seemed to drop ten degrees.

Fred recovered his equilibrium first and Summoned over a set of the fake wands, in case the mother wanted to look at a few different options. He did his best to ignore the awkward silence. There had been too many of those in the last couple of weeks. He watched his twin straighten from where he'd been crouching, and an image flashed through his mind. It was Hermione, her hair gorgeously messy as it tumbled about her face-- many of his fantasies started this way. God, he loved her hair. But then he saw a freckled hand tucking a stray strand behind her ear, and linger, caressing her cheek. The hand wasn't his own, though Hermione was one of the few people who could tell them apart. He pictured her licking her lips, half in nervousness and half in anticipation. In arousal. Fred imagined her reaching for George and pulling him close, her hands settling on his waist as she stepped into his embrace. He could see the desire there, how much they both wanted each other, how much they both needed this. They were together, and Fred wasn't part of the equation.

With a crack, the fake wand he'd been clutching in both hands splintered in two. He came back to himself and apologized to the surprised witch. George arched an eyebrow at him, but didn't ask him what was wrong. They never asked questions like that these days.

Instead, George moved on to the elderly witch in the corner. "Hallo there," he said, using his most winning smile on her.

She cackled, her long, silvery hair shaking with the force of it. "Might have known a pair of Prewetts was behind this."

George laughed. He couldn't remember the last time he'd been identified as part of his mum's family rather than as a Weasley. "George Prewett-Weasley at your service," he said with a bow.

"Weasley, eh? Molly'd be your mum, then?"

"Indeed she is."

"I used to 'sit for your gran, dearie," she said, a rattling cough derailing her for a moment. Her eyes, George noticed, were two different colours. "Used to watch your mam and all. Your uncles, then, would be Gideon and Fabian. Descended straight from those two you are, if this shop here's any indicator."

Fred joined them, making a little bow to the old lady without realizing that George had done the same. "You knew our uncles?"

"Best of friends, those two, and a pair of bigger rapscallions you never did see," the old witch snickered.

"Just like us," Fred said, and he and George exchanged another grin that immediately went awry. George looked away first as a horrible thought overtook him, one that had occurred to him too many times lately. He'd agreed that no matter which of them Hermione chose, they'd all remain the best of friends. But now, after having had the chance to take Hermione out over the last couple of weeks and sharing with her the most intense kisses he'd ever experienced... he didn't know how he'd ever manage to walk away if she chose Fred instead.

But that wasn't what he was thinking about just now. No, just now, he thought about what would happen if Hermione did choose him after all. What would happen to Fred? George loved Fred so much. How would Fred ever handle being excluded if Hermione didn't choose him? How would George himself be able to handle it? It hurt nearly as much as the thought that Hermione might not want him in the end.

The old woman was squinting at them both, and with a deep breath, George pulled himself back together, dispersing those lethal thoughts as best he could. She clucked her tongue. "Shared everything, your uncles did," she said thoughtfully. Then she waved at the whoopee cushions. "Now these here, my grandkids'll love. Won't know what hit 'em when I get 'em with these, will they?"

"Most certainly not," Fred laughed.

"They're best sellers," George added.

"In fact, we've got a new prototype that's not quite ready to be sold to the general public."

"Makes the windows rattle."

"And the floor shake."

"We could give you an exclusive sneak peek, should you so desire."

"Since you knew our mum and all."

"And can probably tell us horrible stories about her."

The old woman didn't seem to have any trouble following their dizzying volley of conversation. In fact, she cackled again. "Lead the way, my lads. Been some years now since a pair of cheeky redheads got into mischief together on my account. Your uncles would be proud, though I don't doubt you drive your mum to distraction."

Fred noticed that the witch with the little boy was ready with her purchases at the counter. "You two go on," he said. "I'll catch up."

He watched as they disappeared into the back room together, and his stomach tightened unpleasantly. He didn't know how he'd ever get by once Hermione's choice was made. Either way would be difficult-- not to be with Hermione, or to be with her while George wasn't. He loved George, and the last thing he wanted to do was hurt his twin. But he supposed there was nothing for it but to let it happen. What else could they do?


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Posted by: the_lone_jen (the_lone_jen)
Posted at: August 5th, 2006 03:57 am (UTC)

Squee! An update!

Good progression, and I love that the witch is hinting at the solution to all their problems. Just have to wait and see if they come to the same conclusion.
:wriggles happily: This is just what today needed, some Clever Mischief!

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: August 5th, 2006 04:14 am (UTC)
PotC- Rum?

:D Glad you enjoyed it! I'm rather fond of the old witch too ;)

Posted by: Britt (britt_1975)
Posted at: August 5th, 2006 04:25 am (UTC)
HP Weasley Sandwich

OMG!!! *dances*

An update!!!

This was brilliant...and I can see the seeds being planted!!! At least, I hope that's what I'm seeing...as my heart is breaking at the cracks in the foundation of their relationship.

I'm so excited to see more of this!

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: August 5th, 2006 12:16 pm (UTC)
Beatles- lyrics- Monkey

Thank you! *g* Seeds, you say? *extra innocent* No idea what you're talking about. *coughs*

Posted by: Sadie (rowanheart24)
Posted at: August 5th, 2006 05:14 am (UTC)
Clever Mischief 25: Keeping Up Appearances

Fantastic! But you must write faster! All the time between installments is killing me!

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: August 5th, 2006 12:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Clever Mischief 25: Keeping Up Appearances
Gilmore Girls- Luke- Coffee

Thank you! And Yeah, we were actually talking about lag time between updates last night. Not being in classes over the summer drastically reduces my online time, so takes away from our joint writing time. But we're going to try to get an update out there at least every two weeks :D

Posted by: Sadie (rowanheart24)
Posted at: August 5th, 2006 07:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Clever Mischief 25: Keeping Up Appearances

Posted by: alisanne (alisanne)
Posted at: August 5th, 2006 05:37 am (UTC)

She's a pretty smart old lady, they should listen to her!
Yay! An update! Thanks for this, it made my night. :) I do feel bad for them, though, both agonizing over Hermione's decision...

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: August 5th, 2006 12:19 pm (UTC)
HP- Fred wink

We're very mean, making them angst ;) Glad you enjoyed!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: August 5th, 2006 05:56 am (UTC)

Yay an update! You've made my Friday night! Wee! Love the writing you two are doing on this - it's dead-on characterization, perfect-perfect-perfect and so enjoyable to read! Like a dark chocolate dessert, but calorie free! How can we convince you to write us another chappie soon? Pretty please?

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: August 5th, 2006 12:20 pm (UTC)
Muppets- Bork! Bork!

*blushes* Thanks! It makes us so happy that people are enjoying this. (and we promise to update sooner this time!)

Posted by: Lliana (gwenlliana)
Posted at: August 5th, 2006 07:18 am (UTC)

HUZZAH! An update! I felt so sad for the twins with thier realtionship so strained. But I loved the old witch and her hints were amazing. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: August 5th, 2006 12:21 pm (UTC)
BtVS- Willow- So Fun

*g* perfect icon. Thanks for reading!

Posted by: Millie (millieweasley)
Posted at: August 5th, 2006 07:19 am (UTC)


Here I am, away from Internet, hardly catching up on anything and the one time I'm in, this is high up on my flist - YAY!

And those two really needs to get their act together, and realise that sharing everything means sharing everything *wink*

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: August 5th, 2006 12:25 pm (UTC)
Muppets- Kermit Connection

*giggles* sometimes boys can be not too swift on the uptake ;) So glad that you had a chance to read this in your time of netlessness <3

Posted by: Chimöhre (tinchen)
Posted at: August 5th, 2006 10:19 am (UTC)
Red Panda - Gnihihi


Oi, that made my morning, I didn't expect finding them both for breakfast ;)
I just love your characterisations. Ack, I just love your writing. Thank you!

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: August 5th, 2006 12:26 pm (UTC)
Jon Stewart- giggle

Eeeeeeeeepandaiconsocuteomg! Er. *coughs* *gets easily distracted by fluffy, cuddling-looking animals* Pleased you're this! Thanks :D

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: August 10th, 2006 05:35 am (UTC)

*g* Glad to be of service! Thanks for reading :D

Posted by: Rebecca Elizabeth (star_faerie)
Posted at: August 5th, 2006 01:27 pm (UTC)

Wow. This was a fabulous chapter :)

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: August 10th, 2006 05:36 am (UTC)
Dragonheart- stars

Thank you!

Posted by: orangeplatypus (orangeplatypus)
Posted at: August 5th, 2006 07:11 pm (UTC)


good chapter ;)

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: August 10th, 2006 05:36 am (UTC)
General- must be true

*g* If only the twins and Hermione would figure that out ;) Thanks!

Posted by: Tani (tani)
Posted at: August 6th, 2006 03:57 am (UTC)
dirty thoughts

Oh, yay. This story is soo much love. I'm really enjoying this. The way that the relationships are going between the three of them is just awesome. I'm really looking forward to the next part.

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: August 10th, 2006 05:38 am (UTC)
General- Comma Sutra

:D Thanks! We're so pleased that you're enjoying it so far!

Posted by: Amy (_celestia)
Posted at: August 6th, 2006 08:45 am (UTC)

Everything is better when you share!

I loved it. The old witch is adorable. :)

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: August 10th, 2006 05:39 am (UTC)
H2G2- Teahead

Thank you!

Posted by: Fred Weasley (twinfest)
Posted at: August 6th, 2006 01:48 pm (UTC)
everything together


Share and share alike...:D

Hurry, we're dying here...what happens next??? *dies*

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: August 10th, 2006 05:39 am (UTC)
HP- Bad Fic- Nagini's hands

Heee. We shall post the next chapter soon. Thanks for reading along with us!

Posted by: kasiopeia (kasiopeia)
Posted at: August 8th, 2006 09:48 am (UTC)

Wonderful :D

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: August 10th, 2006 05:39 am (UTC)
Beatles- George

Thanks :D

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