Title: The Joke’s On Me
Author: Jinni (email@example.com)
Pairing: W/Fred Weasley
Genre: BtVS/HP Crossover.
Disclaimer: All things BtVS belong to Joss Whedon, et al. All things HP belong to JK Rowling, et al.
Distribution: WLS, WLF, NHA, BMP, Aislin, Serena.
Author’s Note: Pairing #25 at The Quickie Challenge – http://quickie.moonlitpaths.com .
It was a stupid prank, in retrospect. He never should have done it. Too dangerous, too many potential side effects. Just too much.
But that had never stopped one of the Weasley twins before, and he certainly wasn’t going to let it stop him now.
Fred Weasley looked down at the vial in his hands, purchased from a discreet little shop in Diagon Alley, only a block down from the joke store he ran with his brother George. He hadn’t known what possessed him to buy that particular potion the day that he did.
But now he saw the genius of it all.
Downstairs the Weasley house was packed full of visitors for the holidays. Among them Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Willow Rosenberg; all now alumni of Hogwarts, two out of three of them currently teaching at the school.
Hermione was dating Ron so it wouldn’t do to slip this into –her- drink. And he really didn’t fancy seeing Harry or any of his brothers under the influence. So that left only one possible victim.
He pocketed the small vial and went down the stairs. Everyone was in the living room, laughing and watching what appeared to be a more lively than usual game of wizard’s chess between Ron and Harry. He slipped onto the couch next to the red head his current sights were set on, flashing her a goofy grin.
“How’s it goin’ Red?”
“Seems odd to be called that by a fellow red head.” She snickered, giving him a grin of her own.
Fred shrugged, leaning back into the couch and observing the room carefully. He caught George’s eyes and gave a slight nod of his head. This was it; the prank was on just as soon as he had a chance to get the potion into her drink. His brother tilted his head in response. The message was understood. All Hell would break loose very soon.
The moment he was waiting for came sooner than he had expected. With a soft murmur the witch excused herself to go to the bathroom, and there was her drink, sitting near his elbow on the end table. He smiled a touch wickedly and pulled the vial from his pocket. Making sure that no one was watching, he poured a small amount of the odorless, tasteless liquid into her drink, watching discreetly as it settled without a trace.
So far, so good.
He gave her another goofy grin when she returned, patting the couch next to him with a playful wink. It worked, she laughed.
Moments later she reached for her drink.
He held his breath unconsciously, praying and hoping that she wouldn’t somehow, someway, notice the change in her drink. She swallowed once, twice, three times – and set the glass back on the table. Across the room George was grinning like a mad man.
And so was he. He couldn’t help it. This was going to be so –
“I don’t feel so good,” she whispered, holding a hand to her head. He turned in time to see her eyes shut, her entire body slumping forward as she fell head first towards the coffee table.
Fred reacted instinctively, grabbing at her shoulders and pulling her back onto the couch. He felt his heart hammer in his chest. She was so pale. This wasn’t an after effect of the potion, not that he knew about, anyway.
“Mum!” he yelled, breaking the steady flow of voices in the room. He cast George a worried glance, one that did not go unmissed by his mother as she entered the room at a jog. She gave them a stern glare as she caught sight of Willow, now propped up on the couch, pale and unconscious.
“What *did* you *do*?” Molly Weasley screeched, racing to the other witch’s side. Hermione was already up, checking for a pulse and mumbling diagnostic charms over Willow’s prone form.
“I will not ask you again, young man, what did you do?”
Fred winced at the tone of his mother’s voice and pulled the vial from his pocket. He handed it to her, waiting for the inevitable ---
“How much did you give her?” Molly Weasley’s voice was a deadly whisper.
“Not much,” he stammered, eyes wide with fear. He had never heard his mother speak like that before. Never. “Hardly a good dollop.”
His mother went from red faced to stark white, her eyes round with a look that he hoped to never see again.
“Harry, Ron. . . Please go fetch Professor Snape from Hogwarts. . . tell him Fred got it into his head to *poison* Willow with a Potion of Fiery Love.”
Hermione gasped, her eyes flying to the bottle in Mrs. Weasley’s hand. And then Fred new true fear, the fury of the brunette raining down upon him in a torrent of screaming words, slaps to his arms, and threats of bodily harm should any injury come to Willow because of his outright stupidity. His twin, he was unhappy to see, had managed to escape somewhere where he personally wouldn’t fall under the wrath of their mother.
He had a feeling he was going to be in very serious trouble for this one.
“She should be fine. Any more and that idiot son of yours would have well and truly killed her.”
Fred looked to his mother, hoping to see at least some indignation over the ‘idiot son’ portion of Snape’s comments, but found nothing. She agreed with him, it appeared.
“Thank you for coming so quickly, Professor. Will Willow be alright?”
Snape sighed and cast a scowl at Fred Weasley.
“There will be some side effects. . . until the potion wears off that is.” He smiled coldly, devoid of sympathy, and gave Fred another look. “May I suggest a partial punishment for your son?”
Fred’s mouth dropped open, a look of horror shooting across his face.
“Mum….? Please. . . have pity. . .”
She cast a glance at him that clearly stated that she had no pity for a grown man that had very nearly killed a friend with a ‘joke’.
“Come along with me, Professor. I’ll make some tea and you can give me that suggestion.”
Fred shook his head, mentally counting the days until the end of winter holiday when he could retreat back to the little flat he shared with George, far away from his maniacal mother.
A week left.
Merlin help him.
The red haired man groaned, hiding his eyes with his hand.
“Freddie, c’mon, I know you can hear me. Don’t you love me anymore?”
Fred sighed and opened his eyes, mentally fortifying himself with the phrase ‘just two more days’. He gave the girl in front of him a smile.
“Willow – don’t you have somewhere else to be?”
Oh yes, this was punishment. He had been forced to be the first person she saw when she woke up from her potion induced slumber – and now he was the object of her undying love. For at least the next week or so – though he’d only need to be here for two more days. Two more days of punishment. Snape was truly an evil, evil man to suggest this to his mother.
“Nope.” She shrugged. “Nothing else for me to do except looooooooove you.”
The singsong voice she was using on him was just about too much. This wasn’t the kind of adult love that he hoped to one day find. This was childish schoolgirl love. Like the crushes girls had in their second or third years. It was bloody annoying.
The perfect punishment, in other words.
“You okay, Fred?”
He tore his eyes away from Willow and gave his father a small smile.
“Only two more days, Dad. Two little days.”
“Yes, well, about that,” Arthur Weasley murmured, looking anywhere but his son’s face. “Professor Snape has indicated that it would be unhealthy for Willow to be separated from you for any length of time until this has run its course.”
“But --- I have to go back to work.”
“Yes, yes. That you do – and she shall be going with you.”
“Oh! Isn’t that wonderful, Freddie-poo? I can help you dust the shelves and ring up the purchases and –“
Fred didn’t hear her past that point, he had already turned out the rambling voice. He knew when the potion wore off she would be dead set on hexing him to within an inch of his life – but at this point he couldn’t wait. . .
“Only another week or so if you’re lucky.” His father grinned, clapping him on the shoulder.
“If. I’m. Lucky?” Fred enunciated each word slowly, as though he could hardly believe his ears.
“Well, yes,” Arthur smiled indulgently. “Didn’t Professor Snape tell you? This could take up to three months to wear off completely with the dose you gave her.”
Fred looked from his father to the red head at his feet.
This was Hell.
He was certain of it.