The First Signs of Magic

Fred and George Weasley

An Addition to the Series begun by Icarus on FictionAlley.org (written with permission)

Fred Weasley stared at the large clock by the wall with intense curiosity. His twin brother George was trying desperately to get out of the playpen. The seven-year-old Percy was flipping through a colorful book, looking up at his brothers every so often. Ronald, only three years old, was chewing devotedly on the ear of his teddy bear. Charlie – ten and a half – was outside playing a revised sort of Quidditch with his fourteen-year-old brother Bill. Fred observed all this carefully, and was feeling rather annoyed.

Molly Weasley peeked into the room to check on her children, then outside to caution Charlie and Bill. She was carrying her daughter Ginevra, barely a year and a half, who was grinning. Clearly she was enjoying all the attention she was getting from her mother, which annoyed Fred even more.

“Mummy! I want to watch Bill and Charlie!” George whined noisily, plopping on the ground. He had surrendered from trying to get past the enchantments his mother had placed on the playpen.

Molly peered into the living room again. “You can see them through the window, dearie.” She gently placed Ginny into the playpen next to Ron.

“Mummy, we’re much to old to be in here with the babies.” Fred pouted and joined his twin.

Molly Weasley did not hear her son’s complaint, having already rushed out of the room to scold Bill, who had knocked Charlie off his broom. Fred sat down and George followed him.

“Percy, let us out.”

Percy peeked over the edge of his book. “Not if you promised me everything in the world.”

Fred turned to his brother. “There must be some way we can get out.”

“We’ve always been able to get out,” agreed George.

“It’s not our fault that Mummy can’t find her knitting needles,” Fred said angrily.

“She just hasn’t looked in the attic yet,” added George.

“I’m telling!” piped up Percy. He was ignored.

“That’s no reason to lock us in here…” Fred began.

“…And treat us like prisoners,” finished George.

The redheaded twins looked around their small cage anxiously. Fred grinned.

“Mummy put Ginny through the top, right?”

“Yes…?” George didn’t catch on.

“That means she didn’t need to touch the sides. We can get out through the top!” Fred grinned triumphantly.

“How?”

Fred stopped grinning. “Don’t know.”

A loud crunch sounded behind them. The twins turned around. Ron was chewing on the ear of his teddy bear. Ginny was asleep in the corner. What had the noise been? George saw the problem first, but didn’t say anything. If Fred was going to be angry, he didn’t want it to be at him because he had seen it first.

Fred saw the problem quickly after, and he ran to it. “YOU BROKE MY BROOM!” He wrenched Ron’s teddy away from him, and the three-year-old’s eyes began to fill with tears.

“Fred, I don’t think that’s a good idea….” George made a grab for the bear but missed and fell on the ground.

Percy eyed the two suspiciously. Fred and George tried to look innocent, but failed miserably. “MUM!” Percy shouted.

The twins frowned. Almost certainly he was telling on them. He always did. Fred threw the bear back at Ron, who scooped it up greedily and began chewing on the ear again.

“You don’t need to shout in the house, Percy, I’m right here,” Molly hurried around the corner, looking stressed.

“I’m going outside.”

Fred and George looked at eachother, surprised. Percy wasn’t tattling? Unrealistic.

“Very well, dear.”

“Just so you know I don’t want to be responsible for them.” Percy pointed at Fred and George.

“You weren’t responsible for them at all; they can’t get out.” A look of panic spread across Molly’s face as she smelt smoke. “Hurry along!”

Molly rushed back into the kitchen and the smell of smoke soon ceased. Fred grinned evilly.

“Mummy thinks we can’t get out.”

“She’s right.” George kicked the edge of the playpen but his efforts were useless.

“No she’s not! I don’t care. I’ve got a really cool idea.” Fred insisted. “Percy’s gone – nobody can tattle. Ronnie won’t-” the twin shot his little brother a threatening glare, “-will you?”

Ron stopped chewing on his bear and shook his head vigorously. “Can I help?” Clearly he had forgotten what his brother had just done to him.

“No,” George said matter-of-factly, “you’re too little.”

Ron pouted but his grief was short. “Whatcha gonna do when you get out?”

“Dunno,” Fred responded.

“Okie. Tell me when you come back.”

Both the twins failed to tell their brother that they had absolutely no intention of coming back…once they had gotten out, that was.

“What’s your idea?” George asked Fred. Fred leaned over and whispered in his twin’s ear. George beamed. “But it won’t get us out.

“So?”

“Mummy will be angry….”

“So?”

“It’s only a toy; Daddy can fix it. But it doesn’t get us out”

“So?”

“Whatever.”

Fred grinned evilly and turned to face their little brother again. “Ron, you want some adventure?”

Ron grinned and nodded his head.

“Close your eyes….”

Ron closed his eyes.

“Hold your breath….”

Ron held his breath.

Ron realized that the teddy bear in his arms was behaving oddly.

Ron stopped holding his breath.

Ron opened his eyes.

Ron looked down to see that his teddy bear wasn’t really a teddy bear anymore. “MUMMY!!!!”

Molly Weasley rushed into the living room to find her youngest son in tears. He had crawled to a corner of the playpen and was hugging his legs very close to him. Scurrying around the playpen was a rather large spider. She lifted her children out of the playpen hastily and put them on the ground beside it. Ginny awoke with a start and began crying. Molly scooped up her daughter and youngest son and quieted the two of them the best she could.

Fred grinned and spoke quietly, “Told you we’d get out!”

“You were just lucky.”

“Hmmph!” Fred turned his back on his brother. Then, looking quickly behind him, he began to sneak away from the playpen. George followed.

“JUST A MINUTE YOU TWO!” Molly roared, sending the two children in her arms into a new set of tears.

They turned around. “Yes?” the two boys asked in unison.

Molly leaned down until she was at the twins’ eye level. “Exactly what just happened?” she asked in a dangerous voice.

“Ron’s teddy bear…” began Fred.

“…Turned into a spider,” finished George.

How?

The twins were silent, pondering this question.

“Don’t know,” answered Fred softly. “He broke my toy, and it made me angry. I wanted to break his.”

Molly looked at George, then back to Fred. “Have either of you ever done this before?”

The boys shook their heads, both of them looking at their feet. Molly nodded, deep in thought and dreading the next five years of her life.

* * * * *

“Hello Weasleys!” Arthur Weasley entered the room with a smile and a greeting. He was just home from work, and judging by his mood he had just experienced a most fascinating day.

“Many attacks today, dear?” Molly asked, relieved that the house was silent at last. Ron and Ginny had finally fallen asleep, Fred and George were confined to their room, Percy was still reading, and Charlie and Bill were de-gnoming the garden.

Arthur beamed at his wife. “Only one, but it was the most amazing thing! It was an orphanage, and the electrician was a wizard. Seems he found it funny to….”

Molly turned around and glared at her husband. “I can tell you something ‘amazing’. Fred turned Ron’s teddy bear into a spider this afternoon!”

“Did he really? That’s wonderful! The twins have shown their first signs of magic!”

Molly rolled her eyes and turned back to supper. “No, Arthur, that is not wonderful. Ronald and Ginny were crying for nearly an hour.”

“But the firsts signs, Molly! It should be a memorable day! We ought to be happy for the two of them!”

“That’s the other thing, Arthur. There was no them. Fred did it because Ron broke his toy. George didn’t do anything.”

“Oh,” Arthur frowned, but he did not look nearly as upset as his wife. “Cheer up, Molly! There’s always tomorrow.”

Molly shook her head. “I was afraid you would say that.”

* * * * *

“Everybody, dinner!” Molly banged a spoon on a pot, and the entire Weasley clan minus the youngest two raced for the table.

Once seated, Fred found his father was smiling at him proudly, although he didn’t quite understand why. According to his mother, he had been bad all day. Why would his father be pleased with him?

“Hello, Daddy,” Fred muttered and poked at his dinner cautiously.

“Congratulations, son. Your mother and I are so proud of you,” Arthur said as he helped himself to some potatoes.

“In a manner,” Molly mumbled.

“Why?” Fred grumbled. “If you and Mummy are proud, how come George and I in trouble?”

Arthur looked at Molly. “Are they?”

“Of course they are! You don’t think I could let Fred turn Ron’s teddy into a spider, then let him get away with it!”

“Sorry, dear. Of course you’re right.” Arthur Weasley turned back to his son. “Don’t worry, Fred, we’ll fix up your broomstick! But I can’t go against your mother, you know, so after supper back up to your room with you.”

Molly glared at Arthur, but allowed him to continue.

“From this day forward, Fred, you may find that strange things happen around you. Don’t worry, these things happen to all capable young wizards,” Arthur continued.

“Dad’s right. Before Hogwarts, I was making teapots breathe fire, Bill was levitating things, and Percy was silencing people.”

“Hush, Charlie.”

“Sorry, Mum.”

“Daddy?” George spoke quietly. “Does that mean that Fred is going to Hogwarts, too?”

“All in due time, George.” Arthur shoveled some turkey into his mouth and chewed thoughtfully. “But not until he’s ten, so you don’t have to worry about that for a long time yet.”

Unfortunately, Arthur’s mouth had been full of turkey and gravy, so all that his family heard was, “Bunutatlestinsovudunhafduwuriabutdatfralunktinewet.” Arthur swallowed and repeated himself.

“You mean I don’t get to go?” George furrowed his brow angrily. Fred frowned.

“I’m not going without George.”

Molly piled corn onto the twin’s plates. “Don’t be silly, we never said George couldn’t go.”

“But you never said he could!”

“I have no doubts about your brother. We’ll see, darling.”

“Probably soon.”

“Hush, Bill.”

“Sorry.”

Cries erupted from upstairs and Molly raced to quiet Ginny, hoping that Ron was still asleep. This left all the boys at the table with no one to scold them.

“How big was the spider, Fred?” Bill asked, passing the gravy to Percy.

“This big!” Fred stretched out his arms as far as they could go.

“Don’t be silly, Fred, it wasn’t that big,” Charlie said. Then he explained to everyone else, “Mum brought me in to get rid of it. Having her wand or not, she’s deathly afraid of spiders.”

“Oh, yes.” Arthur smiled. “I remember one time after I had first met your mother-”

Arthur Weasley stopped abruptly. None of his sons had the opportunity to find out what had happened that day, because Molly came down the stairs with two very sleepy looking children. They all resumed eating contently and quietly.

“When do I find out when I get to go to Hogwarts?” George asked suddenly, stirring his fork in his potatoes.

“I’m sorry, darling, I couldn’t say,” Molly answered.

George pouted, but didn’t speak again.

* * * * *

The next day found Fred and George locked in their room again. Molly had said she was sorry, but she couldn’t deal with any more spiders. Fred didn’t mind so much – he wanted to practice this new ability. George minded – he had nothing to do.

“Spider,” said Fred forcefully, glaring at George’s bed.

“Still a bed,” George said half-heartedly.

“Stupid bed,” grumbled Fred. “Spider!”

The morning had gone on like so. By lunchtime, Fred had gotten very angry at the bed and had given up on it.

“Spider,” Fred said to his pillow.

“Still a pillow,” George mumbled, drawing a picture on the floor.

“Stupid pillow.” Fred stared very coldly at the pillow. “Spider!”

The next three hours went on like that. Discovering that his pillow was very happy being a pillow, he surrendered for the day, but was convinced that he could turn things into spiders tomorrow.

“It’s not fair,” complained George. “Bill and Charlie can do lots of things. And Percy made the radio be quiet last week. Now you can turn things into spiders! I can’t do anything.”

“You’ll make something happen! I know you will! You’re my favorite brother – you have to! I won’t go to Hogwarts without you!”

George smiled at his brother’s kindness, but didn’t realize that at the moment Fred was trying very hard to turn his twin into a spider. He returned to the complicated drawing he had concocted. He heard Fred muttering spider under his breath again, but didn’t pause to question it. He hadn’t managed to turn the bed or pillow into a spider, why would he succeed with anything else?

“Hey, George! Mummy’s letting us out!”

George looked up again, towards his brother. “I didn’t hear her.”

“The door is open.”

George looked at the door. It wasn’t closed. “Let’s go!”

George ran out ahead of his brother and nearly knocked Molly down the stairs. “Sorry, Mummy.”

Molly wasn’t phased. “Where do you think you’re going, young man?”

George looked from his mother, to Fred, and back to his mother again. “Outside. You opened the door – that means we aren’t in trouble anymore!”

“I didn’t open…” Molly began, but caught herself. “Oh, no.”

She had spotted the twins room, and discovered that not only was the door not closed, but it also wasn’t there. “Alright you two, to the kitchen!”

Molly stood with her hands on her hips until both her boys had passed her. Then she followed behind them. She didn’t speak again until both boys were seated at the table, looking crestfallen.

“Where’s the door to your bedroom.”

“Don’t know,” the twins said in unison.

“You made it disappear, didn’t you Fred?”

“How do I do that?” Fred asked eagerly.

“I don’t know. What were you doing?”

“Trying to turn things into spiders?”

“What things?”

“George’s bed, my pillow, George…”

“That’s mean!” George yelled.

Fred looked about him in a daze. A minute ago he had been sitting across the table looking at his mother. Now he could only see his mother’s feet. How had he gotten on the floor? He hadn’t climbed out of the chair….

“Well, I think I know what happened to the door now. Thank you boys. Back up to your room.”

“Yes’m,” the two said in unison.

As they climbed the stairs again, Fred glared at his brother. “You made my chair disappear!”

“Well, you tried to turn me into a spider!” George accused.

Fred grinned. “This is going to be a lot of fun.”

George grinned back. “We can make things disappear, and turn things into spiders. Mummy will never be able to trap us anywhere! Nobody will be able to stop us!”

“Favorite brothers?” asked Fred.

“Best friends,” agreed George.

They embraced and raced eachother to their bedroom. Fred and George Weasley were gifted with magic. Watch out world – here come the Weasley twins!

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"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

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