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Clever Mischief Chapter 10: Up To No Good
by rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
at January 10th, 2006 (09:49 pm)

Clever Mischief, Chapter 10: Up To No Good
Date: Saturday, September 10, 2005
Location: Hogsmeade
Character: Hermione, Fred, George
Rating: Any Age



It was a lovely Saturday when Hermione left the castle and headed to Hogsmeade. Instead of enjoying the early morning sun on her face and the lovely scenery, she was focused on getting to town to see if two mischievous twins happened still to be staying at the Three Broomsticks.

After the incident on Sunday with Kingsley and then the one with Neville, she had started to pay more attention when she was outside her library. The students were pranking one another as well as their professors. She’d caught a glimpse of Skiving Snackboxes and two students with hair that rivaled Kingsley’s before they’d broken the curse. She had also heard the professors discussing a line of students having to visit Pomfrey after they'd turned into canaries.

The canaries had done it, of course. Her suspicions had been confirmed as soon as she heard Filch mutter about finding Canary Creams in the Hufflepuff dorm. She had known, then, that it had to be Fred and George behind everything. A part of her hoped that meant they were back to stay while another part of her knew she should be annoyed that they were disrupting her school.

With every step closer to Hogsmeade, she tried not to get excited. It had been so wonderful to see them again, though, and the students did seem happier, even if the professors were ready to start hexing them all. Peeves was probably the most delighted with the way the school term was beginning because the past few years had made him rather depressed. He hadn’t needed to see a therapist, he’d just needed Fred and George to come home, where they belonged.

She arrived in Hogsmeade and started towards the Three Broomsticks, hoping to find the twins still in residence and to hear them confirm that they weren’t planning to go back to that Canada place. On her way, she noticed purple smoke. A closer look showed her that it was coming from an abandoned building that had formerly been the home of Zonko’s. A slight smile crossed her lips as she deviated from her routine path for the first time in many years and walked to the half-open door, uncertain what she’d find as she carefully pushed it open.

"For the love of all things mystical, you stupid git!" George gasped, coughing billowing purple smoke out of his lungs as he headed toward the stairs.

"Not my fault!" Fred shouted back, though his shout turned into more of a squeal as hundreds of furry feet scrabbled over his chest. "Oh FUCK, get them off me!"

But George was already running toward the loo just as Hermione entered, leaving Fred to contend with the experiment gone terribly awry. It shouldn't have been so hard to make blocks of cheese turn into live mice, should it have? Fred shuddered. His shirt had turned into a patchwork of purple mice that promptly crawled over him. They migrated quickly to the floor, leaving him shirtless and shivering. He did not like mice.

"Finite incantatem," Hermione said firmly as she aimed her wand at the purple mice. She frowned at the floor when it was suddenly covered with pieces of cheese. She was curious what transfiguration spell they’d used to work on such a large amount of objects but remembered she was supposed to scold them for bringing such pranks back into the halls of Hogwarts, not ask for their trade secrets.

"Are you okay?" she asked as she stepped over the cheese and turned her attention to Fred, she recognized instantly, meaning George had been the one to run to the back. She suddenly noticed that Fred wasn’t wearing a shirt. There was far too much skin, far too many freckles, and the shop was a bit too warm. She blinked as she ran her hand through her hair and took a step back, squishing a piece of cheese beneath her boot heel. When had Fred started looking like that beneath his baggy old T-shirts?

Fred froze, acutely aware of his state of undress in front of Hermione. He ran a hand through his hair, unconsciously mirroring her own gesture. "Fine. Um. Hello."

She cleared her throat and looked away from the patch of freckles on the left side of his tummy above his hip. Goodness, could his trousers get any lower? They were practically indecent, riding low on his hips in a way that was entirely too distracting. No! She meant to say inappropriate. Right. Very inappropriate.

"Hello," she finally stammered even as her gaze went back to those intriguing freckles. She looked up at him and hoped the shop was too dark for him to notice that she was blushing. She tugged on the sleeves of her shirt, glad to have something to occupy her hands as she decided to think about this odd reaction she seemed to be having later. "You do know that breaking and entering, especially to create havoc with moldy bits of cheese, is still illegal in Hogsmeade. I think you can be sent to Azkaban for the use of the cheese, alone."

"We're not-" he caught himself, clearing his throat. "If anyone's breaking and entering here, missy, I think you are." He grinned at her, one hand on his hip as he surveyed her. There was no crime in that, was there? He was just taking a look at her. And if he happened to notice the way her hair framed her face and the way her shirt clung to the soft curve of her breasts, well- No. He was not looking at her breasts. He immediately refocused on her lips. No, wait, her eyes.

"There's nothing wrong with our cheese. I'll have you know that that's high quality brie."

"The door was open," Hermione informed him matter-of-factly. "I believer there is a Cheese Clause in the statute regarding breaking and entering that states a person is exempt from prosecution when purple mice and smelly old cheese are involved."

She frowned as his gaze lowered for a moment and she glanced down discreetly to see if she’d somehow grabbed the wrong shirt from her wardrobe. A quick glance confirmed it was clean so she wasn’t exactly sure what had caught his attention. When he looked at her quickly, she had to admit she was slightly intrigued because there was no possible way he’d just been---no, it was absurd. Fred Weasley had not just ‘checked her out’, as Ron would crassly put it. She was imagining things, obviously. If Kingsley had spiked the glass of pumpkin juice he’d given her before she’d left that morning, she’d hex him so well that he’d only wish he had long white hair again.

"I’d suggest there was something wrong with your cheese if it suddenly becomes awful little mice," she said with a shudder, doing her best to pretend he wasn’t standing there looking far too---naked. "As for not breaking and entering, Fred Weasley, I would assume that means you have permission to be on the premise?"

Fred retrieved his wand from his back pocket and pointed it at the lumps of cheese. With a complicated little flourish, they reassembled themselves into his black t-shirt, and he picked it up off the floor and gave it a shake.

"Cheese?" he laughed. "What cheese? I don't see any cheese."

He slid the shirt over his head and settled it back into place, deliberately avoiding her other question. He and George hadn't officially announced their ownership of Zonko's yet, and he didn't want to tell a member of the Hogwarts staff, even if she was Hermione.

"What cheese?" she repeated in a ridiculous tone that was very exaggerated. She walked over to him after he, thankfully, put his shirt back on and ran her finger along the collar, briefly touching his neck as she removed a remaining bit of the cheese. She glanced up and suddenly realized how close she was to him. She moved back a step and offered her fingers as evidence. "This cheese, perhaps?"

Hermione’s eyes narrowed suddenly as she realized he’d avoided her question. Her mind quickly set all the pieces of the puzzle together as she looked around carefully before she focused back on him. With a triumphant smirk, she said, "You’ve moved back, I see."

He arched an eyebrow at her and leaned forward as if to examine the cheese. Circling her wrist with his strong fingers, he eyed the smear of cheese, sniffed it, and at last brought her hand to his lips. He licked the bit of brie off the pad of her finger, not quite sucking the whole digit into his mouth. "Mmmmm," he said, scraping his teeth lightly against her knuckle before releasing her from his mouth. "It's very good cheese after all."

Oh bloody hell. Maybe Kingsley had spiked her juice with some sort of potion to induce naughty thoughts because Fred Weasley had just not nipped and licked her finger. There was also no way that she was having such thoughts about Fred, of all people. He was just---Fred. The silly infatuation she’d had on him for a very brief time (two months, one week, and four days) during fifth year was a thing of the distant past. Besides, that had never been about him licking fingers or any other body parts, thank you very much.

She was flustered and wished she was even remotely decent at this sort of playing but she wasn’t. Viktor hadn’t played these games, fortunately, and she didn’t know how to combat such a distraction. She was good with her mind and it was failing her at the moment. He was simply doing this because he knew she was unaccustomed to such behavior. She looked from his fingers around her wrist to his lips and then scolded herself for letting him distract her.

"It’s not going to work," she told him matter-of-factly. "I’m immune to such tricks, Fred Weasley. It takes far more than that to distract me. Now stop it and answer my question!"

Her skin felt too soft beneath his fingers, and he let her go. Tricks. Right. He'd been distracting her. "Really, love, you've become so suspicious. What on earth could you possibly think we're up to? When have we ever been up to anything?" He batted his eyelashes at her, thankful that his circulation seemed to be getting back to normal and providing his head with more oxygen. What was with these weird reactions?

Hermione was glad when he released her wrist. It was much easier to think when he wasn’t touching her. And he was dressed. Right. She tugged her sleeves down again until they were around her palms and looked at him suspiciously. "Fred, anytime you or George attempt this innocent act, it’s simply confirmation that you are up to something" she told him with a roll of her eyes. "If you want to be deceptive and convincing, I’d suggest admitting you are up to no good so people then believe you’re simply lying."

She looked around the shop again and met his gaze. She asked once more time as she mentally ran through a variety of hexes she might use to get the information she wanted if he gave her another vague answer. "Have you and George moved back home?"

"We are up to no good," two voices chorused, and Fred turned to see George re-entering the store proper. They exchanged a grin as George came to rest against the counter. His hair was wet and rivulets of water were dripping onto his shoulders.

"Hello, hello," he said, flashing Hermione a smile. "Good to see you again, love. This one caused me to inhale a cloud of purple smoke that stained my whole head mauve."

"It wasn't my fault," Fred insisted.

"Of course not," George smirked.

"You're the one who added the diricawl feathers at the wrong time!"

"It would have been the right time if you hadn't been saying the muris mutatium spell."

Fred stuck his tongue out. "At least you didn't have mice crawling all over you."

"Back to the drawing board," George sighed. "And how are you, Madam Granger? Students behaving themselves?" He couldn't quite keep the flash of mischief from his eyes.

"You know they’re not," she snapped as she glared from one to the other and resisted the urge to stomp her foot and demand they answer her. She noticed that George’s hair was a shade or two darker when it was wet and the length was something she still hadn’t quite gotten used to even if she did find it attractive, in a purely platonic observance, of course. "Personally, I could care less what mischief the students get into outside of class as long as they’re careful and nothing is dangerous.

"However, the first time one of them brings one of your pranks into my library, I’ll be holding you both responsible," she said with a firm threat that she fully intended to keep. "You can attempt to distract me all you want with shirtless poses and licking and long wet hair but it won’t work. I’m on to you both now, boys, and I’ll not have you disrupting my school no matter how pleased I am that you‘ve obviously moved home. Are we clear?"

The twins exchanged resigned looks. It was rather difficult to deny that they were back in business when they were in a shop whose shelves were lined with their products, and when the witch before them had seen their pranks firsthand at the school. George cleared his throat. "It's not official, you realise."

"We haven't made any announcements that we're back yet," Fred added.

"And of course we can't make promises about just where your students use any product they might happen to pick up."

"They're responsible for their own actions, after all." Fred smirked at her. "So. Do we get a 'welcome home' hug?"

George laughed. "Or better yet, a drink?" He rather liked the way she said "home" so easily. Hogsmeade had never really been their home, after all.

"You may not be able to control how they use what they buy, but I’ll still hold you both responsible when it comes to my library. Understood? I will not hesitate to use hexes that you two only wish you knew," she warned as she looked from one to the other.

She stepped forward and hugged Fred, lingering a bit longer than she had planned once she had her arms around him. She brushed a kiss beneath his ear before she quickly turned to George and gave him a hug and a kiss on his jaw. "Welcome home, boys."

"I’ll have to owe you both a drink," she said with an apologetic smile as she moved away from them. She darted a glance at Fred, studying him curiously for a moment to see if she could tell if something was different to cause such a confusing reaction before she finally decided she was just glad they were back in Britain where they belonged. Right. That’s all it was because she certainly was not attracted to Fred Weasley no matter how good he looked without his shirt and how tempted she had been to count the freckles above his hip.

What had she been saying? "I’m meeting a friend for brunch and he’ll probably wonder if I’ve forgotten to deviate from my normal routine as it is," she said with an affectionate smile as she thought about Seamus. He’d probably gone to the Three Broomsticks already to make sure she remembered she’d agreed to try some new recipe he’d found for chocolate tarts.

George snorted. "So what was I hearing when I walked out here? Licking and shirtlessness? Just what were you up to before I came out, children?" He winked at Hermione and returned the kiss on her cheek.

Fred flushed with something too strange to understand. How could he be attracted to Hermione Granger again after all these years? It had been a schoolboy crush, nothing more. But when she touched him... oh dear. This needed some serious contemplating. And Fred had never been good at serious. "Oh yes, it was a veritable love fest you broke up, George."

"Figured as much," George laughed. "I suppose we mustn't keep your friend waiting, Hermione."

"Yes, it was a regular old orgy of sin and debauchery. You really should have been here," she said dryly before she laughed. "I had better run, actually. I planned to stop by the pub to see if you two happened to be around to confirm my suspicions but my friend gets rather disgruntled when I’m late. He can be quite fussy when he chooses to be, you know? However, he’s promised me chocolate so I can’t complain."

"I’ll owe you both a drink," she told them as she realized she’d not stopped smiling since she’d learned they were actually not only back in Britain but moving to Hogsmeade. She had missed them and looked forward to seeing them more often as well as thwarting any attempts they made to disrupt her school.

She walked to the door and glanced over her shoulder. "You might try using jobberknoll feathers instead of diricawl. The latter reacts badly with dairy products and might be one reason your experiment had a few problems," she told them before she smiled and left the shop, humming to herself as she tried not to dwell on a patch of freckles on golden skin as she walked to Seamus’ flat.

Comments

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Posted by: Quin Firefrorefiddle (firefrorefiddle)
Posted at: January 11th, 2006 04:28 am (UTC)
HP Bad Hair

Wonderful as always, but I'm a little confused why George says: "Licking and shirtlessness? Just what were you up to before I came out, children?"

Posted by: mysty_kitty (mysty_kitty)
Posted at: January 11th, 2006 05:17 pm (UTC)

umm...when she was telling Fred that she couldn't be distracted...the licking was fred licking the cheese from her fingers and the shirtlessness was because fred's shirt turned into mice...George was just teasing her about the way it sounded....

Posted by: Quin Firefrorefiddle (firefrorefiddle)
Posted at: January 11th, 2006 07:52 pm (UTC)

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: January 16th, 2006 06:36 am (UTC)

Posted by: Robin (robin777)
Posted at: January 11th, 2006 04:30 am (UTC)
hrfredgeorge brain v brain by fading_mel

Shirtless Fred Yum!

This was great as usual.

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: January 16th, 2006 06:37 am (UTC)
Gargoyles- Moonlight

Thank you!

Posted by: Liz (draconic_rogue)
Posted at: January 11th, 2006 04:46 am (UTC)
Sarah/Jareth Embrace

The silly infatuation she’d had on him for a very brief time (two months, one week, and four days) during fifth year...

Only Hermione would actually keep track of the amount of time she had a crush on someone. This had me laughing hardest of the whole chapter. Though I really liked George teasing Fred and Hermione about what was going on while he was out of the room.

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: January 16th, 2006 06:38 am (UTC)
Faerie- Froud- Dark Lady

Thanks so much! We really enjoyed writing this chapter :)

Posted by: forgottenpolish (forgottenpolish)
Posted at: January 11th, 2006 04:50 am (UTC)
ggirls-Lorelia Squee

Just wonderful. I cannot wait for me!

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: January 16th, 2006 06:38 am (UTC)
Gilmore Girls- Luke- Coffee

Thank you!

Posted by: Millie (millieweasley)
Posted at: January 11th, 2006 05:33 am (UTC)

SQUEEE!

I absolutely LOVE it! It's gorgeous and pretty and Herminoe and Fred are all flustered and sweet - and just GAH! Love it.

The silly infatuation she’d had on him for a very brief time (two months, one week, and four days) during fifth year was a thing of the distant past

And this is so much Hermione. And oh so funny. She is too sweet.

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: January 16th, 2006 06:39 am (UTC)
HP- Bad Fic- Harry Cellist

Awww, thank you! We're delighted that you're enjoying so far!

Posted by: chanteur_dombre (chanteur_dombre)
Posted at: January 31st, 2006 01:53 pm (UTC)

Posted by: selene2 (selene2)
Posted at: January 11th, 2006 05:37 am (UTC)
gryffindor

The Fredness! *dies* Love this as always!

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: January 16th, 2006 06:48 am (UTC)
General- Frodo has failed

*giggles* Thanks!

Posted by: meara_j (meara_j)
Posted at: January 11th, 2006 05:48 am (UTC)

Mmm...shirtless Fred! Hermione and Fred are so cute when they are flustered over each other!

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: January 16th, 2006 06:48 am (UTC)
Muppets- Bork! Bork!

Thank you :D We loved writing them!

Posted by: witchiepooh (witchiepooh)
Posted at: January 11th, 2006 06:03 am (UTC)

Dang, was about to go to bed and then I saw another update. Yipeee!!! I'm so loving this story. :)

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: January 16th, 2006 06:49 am (UTC)
BtVS- Spike- Kitten poker

LOL Glad we're interesting enough to keep you up for a little while longer!

Posted by: Traci Jo (miss_guided1986)
Posted at: January 11th, 2006 06:41 am (UTC)
SQUEE
Fred/Hermione

I Squeed when I saw that you had updated. Oh dear god. I love how seductive Fred was. It was just perfect. Hermione is a lucky duck. I loved this update and must here more soon. Must, I tell you, MUST.
~Traci

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: January 16th, 2006 06:50 am (UTC)
Re: SQUEE
Queen- Freddie- signature

*g* We promise to update as fast as our little fingers can type. I'm delighted that you're enjoying it!

Posted by: Marina Healer (marinaargentum7)
Posted at: January 11th, 2006 08:28 am (UTC)
Elphaba - Defying Gravity - Exaltation

Shirtless Fred deliciousness... *puddle*
*reconstitutes herself* Wonderful chapter as always! I look forward to squeeing - I mean seeing - the next update.

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: January 16th, 2006 06:53 am (UTC)
HP- Lockhart Smile

Oh, Wicked icon! I'm listening to Wicked right now! Dearest darlingest Momsie and Popsical... *coughs* Aaaanyway. Thanks for the squee!

Posted by: Bulletproof Cupid (monifieth)
Posted at: January 11th, 2006 09:41 am (UTC)

Mmm... Shirtless Fred! Lovely!
I love this story. Love it. Cannot wait for more, hehe. Brilliant as ever.

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: January 16th, 2006 06:58 am (UTC)

Love your icon. Thanks for reading!

Posted by: neespence (neespence)
Posted at: January 11th, 2006 01:36 pm (UTC)

Thoughts of a shirtless Fred have made my day. And while I love that Hermione kept an exact time of how long she had a crush on Fred, I also really loved

"They were practically indecent, riding low on his hips in a way that was entirely too distracting. No! She meant to say inappropriate. Right. Very inappropriate. "

I love this story!

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: January 16th, 2006 06:58 am (UTC)
Jon Stewart- Pro Con

*g* We're very pleased that you're enjoying it!

Posted by: Bramble Rivers (bramble_rivers)
Posted at: January 11th, 2006 04:50 pm (UTC)

I've had an absolutly horrid day today, and reading this made me smile for the first time all day.
So thank you.
Also...the images of half naked Fred, and wet George...well...they just cheered me up even more.

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: January 16th, 2006 06:59 am (UTC)
Beatles- lyrics- Monkey

That's the best thing I could hear, that this chapter made your day better :D

Posted by: mysty_kitty (mysty_kitty)
Posted at: January 11th, 2006 05:18 pm (UTC)

it was pretty....
mmmmmmm. and you talked about cheese. Everyone loves cheese.

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: January 16th, 2006 07:00 am (UTC)
Jon Stewart- giggle

The world is a better place because there is cheese in it :D

Posted by: rogueravenclaw (rogueravenclaw)
Posted at: January 11th, 2006 08:58 pm (UTC)

I've just started reading your series and I absolutely adore it! You characterize so well, and I love the friendships that have developed after the war. They seem unlikely, but make sense. Wonderful job.

P.S.
Can't say I blame Hermione for not getting distracted... ;P

Posted by: rose_whispers (rose_whispers)
Posted at: January 16th, 2006 07:01 am (UTC)
Get Fuzzy- Bucky hammer

I'm glad you're following us! One of the things we're enjoying most is having a chance to envision a post-war world.

51 Read Comments
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