Hogsmeade and Pygmy Puffs
Life without Quidditch for the Weasley twins was proving to be most challenging. They were growing agitated, the hours where they’d be on the Quidditch pitch were replaced by evenings in Gryffindor tower, surrounded by students doing their school work and general doings that uninterested Fred and George’s rather chaotic nature.
The twins had a lot of energy (surprisingly) that they were longing to burn off. Professor Umbridge had not only banned them from ever playing Quidditch again whilst she walked on Hogwarts’s soil but she had also found it prudent to take their beloved broomsticks from them and lock them away in that ghastly pink office of hers. This energy was therefore put into late night wanderings, all of which they had begged for Skylar to join them (to which she plainly refused) and, most unfortunately for her, throwing their attention onto that damned list of theirs. Skylar had plainly refused their ‘ingenious’ idea of drinking Firewhiskey till she was red in the face and the twins had left her burning of embarrassment after pushing her into a nearby Roger Davis and instructing her on a contraceptive spell to use if she ever were to need it.
Skylar was reaching the very end of her patience having the Weasley twins around her so often. Her evenings were once relaxing, where she could do her Charms work; the only sounds being the soft crackling of the fire and soft purrs from Wilfred as he wound his body round her legs. She did not enjoy the evenings where Fred laughed manically at George while he turned into large canary.
“Don’t you two ever have homework?” She shot at them one Wednesday evening over the top of a particularly nasty Arithmancy essay.
Fred gave her an indigent look, “Of course we do,” he said in matter of fact sort of tone.
“But does that mean we do it?” George smirked. “’Course not,”
“You two are unbelievable.” Skylar seethed, though the corners of her mouth twitched. She had to admit, the twins were annoying but if anybody’s antics was to make her laugh despite interruptions, it would be Fred and George Weasley’s.
Their DA lessons had also proven to be an outlet for Fred and George’s loss of Quidditch. All members of Dumbledore’s Army had progressed greatly, their focus being various hexes and jinxes such as Impediment Jinx, Reductor Curse (which both Ginny and Skylar had excelled in) and perfecting the Stunning Spell. The twins thrived in stunning one another and casting jinxes behind Skylar’s back, rendering her immobile for several moments.
“One more time,” she spat to a pair of giggling twins once she regained movement in her arms, “and I swear to Godric Gryffindor–”
George crossed his long arms over his chest, amusement evident in his eyes, “You’ll what?”
“Stomp your feet and pout your lips?” Fred smirked, prodding Skylar’s bottom lip that had jutted out.
“Shut up,” She swatted his hand away with a mildly annoyed expression. She turned her attention away from the twins and focused instead on Harry, who had just signalled the end of the session, “You two are unbearable.” She added under her breath.
“I am loving all of these insults Skylar,” Fred beamed with glee when he and the other members of the DA exited the Room of Requirement in small groups, so to not attract attention of a prowling Argus Filch.
“I dare say they were insults Freddie,” said George with a wry smile, “More of a compliment. I quite like the idea that Skylar finds us unbearable. All the more fun in infuriating our favourite girl.”
Skylar went pink the face, she had not been anybody’s favourite before, let alone two of the most popular guys in Gryffindor. Though the twins may have been joking, she still couldn’t help but be flattered at the idea of being the Weasley twins favourite.
“Favourite girl?” She spluttered as the three of them reached Harry at the door to the room, his magical map in hand and ushering them quickly out of the room.
“Of course you’re our favourite, you git,” Fred smiled, hooking an arm around her shoulder and bringing her into his chest, “We showed you our secret research centre–”
“–Research centre? It’s a shoddy looking shack in Hogsmede that most believe to be haunted. It’s hardly a place for mass research Fred.”
“Oooooh,” teased Fred, pinching her rosy cheeks and exchanging a glance with George, “she’s being sarcastic George, would you look at that?”
“I was sure cynicism wasn’t in Skylar’s jargon,” George beamed.
“You were quite wrong then,” Skylar said, irritation more than evident in her voice but as a comical afterthought added, “as per usual.”
“Fred, I’m not going.”
“Oh come on, please.”
With a long and irritable huff, Skylar got out of her chair nearby the fire and seized Fred’s arm. He punched the air with a triumphant smile on his face before the two Gryffindors clambered out of the portrait hole. It was a Saturday and Fred was clearly bored to tears since George was, well Skylar didn’t know where George exactly was, but Fred Weasley was itching to be anywhere beside inside the castle.
“What?” Fred had a truly guiltless smile on his face and it was a sight Skylar could hardly ever imagine Fred ever possessing again.
Skylar motioned frantically to the statue of Gunhilda of Gorsemoor. The hump on the witches back had suddenly opened, revealing a short slide that led to… Merlin only knew, “this isn’t the kitchens Fred.”
“I know,” he smiled warmly at her, “now come on love, hop in.”
“I’m not ‘hoping’ in there! Godric knows where I’ll end up–”
“Uh oh,” interrupted Fred, peering around the corner where the statue was concealed, “I smell an Umbridge.”
Skylar scoffed, not believing a word Fred said, “No you–”
“Filch!” A shrill voice was screaming down the corridor, “goodness sake, where is that man!”
Skylar could not have climbed through the passage any quicker than she did. Her body slide down a short slide and she landed, rather ungracefully, on her bottom. Fred followed suit less than a few moments later, getting to his feet and hoisting Skylar into a standing position. He grinned down at her but Skylar looked up at him, unconvinced.
“Don’t make that face at me,” Fred said playfully, taking his wand from his pocket and murmuring ′Lumos’, “we’ve got a rather long walk up ahead love, so we’ll have no cheekiness, alright?”
Skylar mimicked his actions, using the same spell to light her wand and followed as Fred walked down, what Skylar now realised was a tunnel. She rolled her eyes at Fred’s words and added, “Me? Cheeky?”
“Yeah,” Fred said, stopping for a few moments as she caught up with his long strides, “Recently you, little Miss Harrison, have been awfully bold.”
A small smile pulled at the corners of her lips.
Fred had not lied when he said they had a long walk ahead. They had been walking for forty five minutes and were yet to reach their destination, whether that was (Fred had not yet informed her exactly where they were going).
“So where exactly are you taking me?” Skylar asked curiously, tucking her lit wand into the back pocket of her jeans and yawning idly.
“Well since you’re too far in the passage to run back now, we’re going to Hogsmeade!” Fred clapped his hand, as though he was giving Skylar a rather spectacular treat but Skylar begged to differ.
“Fred!” Skylar scolded him, but Fred grabbed her wrist and dragged her further along the tunnel, “Do you realise how much trouble we’ll be in?”
He stopped and turned to face her, holding her shoulders with his hands and locking eyes with her, blue meeting with brown, “Miss Harrison, do you honestly think that I, Fred Weasley, would allow for you to be caught breaking several Hogwarts rules?”
Skylar hesitated, “Well no but–”
“Exactly,” he smiled, patting her head and continuing to make his way along the tunnel, “we’re going to pay a visit to our Pygmy Puffs.” Fred Weasley knew full well that this statement would make her follow him along the passage. He grinned in triumphant for the second time that day.
The route into Hogsmeade wasn’t as simple as Fred had made it out to be. The passage ended and a ladder was presented in front of them. Skylar made to go first, but Fred stopped her with a nervous laugh.
“You probably don’t want to go up there yet Skylar,” he grinned unconvincingly, “don’t want to get caught.”
“Get caught?” She whispered in a harsh tone as Fred moved up the ladder at an impressive speed so to get away from her, “Don’t ignore me Fred!”
He hushed her as he gently pushed at a sort of trap door, carefully moving the wood that covered the exit and peering around his surroundings. Skylar could feel her heart racing, what if she and Fred were caught? What if people realised that she and Fred had not attended dinner? What if Lewis, the tattletale he was when it came to Skylar, (though there was very little he could rattle on) informed Professor McGonagall of their absence?
Before Skylar could do no more than moan, thinking about the long walk back, Fred grabbed her hand and tugged at it, instructing her that the coast was clear and to climb up the ladder.
The passage, as it turned out, was located in the cellar of Honeydukes Sweetshop. When Skylar realised this she rebuked Fred for luring her into trouble. But Fred, clearly having done this countless times, shushed her. He took her hand and dragged her out of the cellar, then casually clambered out onto the shop floor. Skylar was shaking with nerves while Fred was in his element.
“Do you want some Cauldron Cakes, love?” Fred quipped Skylar in a casual tone.
“Nah you’re right,” said Fred, wrapping his arm around Skylar’s shoulder and giving her a squeeze, “your homemade Cauldrons are a lot better.”
Skylar shot Fred a look of absolute confusion before he led them out of Honeydukes.
“What the name in Merlin were you doing in there Fred!?”
“I thought it was rather obvious,” Fred replied with a raised brow, “act like we were shopping then leave,” and with a smile he added. “Wanted to make it fun and act like a couple.”
Skylar instantly retreated from his embrace and Fred laughed manically at her reaction as they made their way through a snowy Hogsmeade. She playfully pushed Fred, which barely moved him due to his towering and muscular figure.
“You’re ridiculous Fred.”
She gave a short giggle as a rouge blush crept across her cheeks, “stop it.”
“Will do honey.”
The Shrieking Shack was unattractive as ever. But since Skylar had actually been inside she wasn’t as apprehensive as she had been previously. Though her anxiety would have been non-existent if they had not entered Hogsmeade town without permission and had to sneak through Honeydukes. Fred grinned down at Skylar before he began to move planks of wood that covered the boarded up front door. This time Skylar helped, placing the wood down carefully, as opposed to Fred who was throwing the wood far away from him with a large grin etched on his face.
“Stand back,” Fred warned as they reached a rather difficult piece of wood. Skylar obliged as Fred used Confringo to blast the remaining piece of wood aside, to reveal an opening where she and Fred could slip through easily, “Ladies first.”
“No, you go first,” Skylar practically pushed Fred through the opening.
Fred laughed, “Still scared of the place then, Sky?”
“Just a little apprehensive,” she muttered, following Fred through the opening. The room was still as it had been the first upon entering, still cluttered with broken furniture and a moth-eaten sofa with large gashes ripped from them. Though she knew from being in the Shrieking Shack before that the house posed no danger, the thought of who, or what could have done that to the sofas made her shiver.
“Lumos Maxima,” Fred mused and a ball of light shot out of his wand, illuminating the room and Skylar’s rather pale face as she looked more closely at the furniture. “What’s wrong?”
Skylar did not reply, instead she manoeuvred her way across the room toward a cupboard that had something that looked horribly like scratch marks down them. The ball of light had followed her as Fred stood behind her, peering at the scratches with a raised brow.
“What do you think could’ve done that?”
Skylar did not immediately reply, a feeling a dread had taken over her body and she felt chills run through her very being. “It looks… it looks as though a werewolf did this.”
“You’re joking,” Fred said in astonishment, firstly how Skylar could identify that the scratch marks had been made by a werewolf and secondly that it had been a werewolf. “That’s cool!”
“Cool?” Skylar squeaked, getting to her feet and staring up at Fred with wide eyes. “A werewolf was here Fred! They’re dangerous and completely out of control unless under the influence of Potion! What if it still comes here? Oh Merlin–”
“Calm down Sky,” Fred very nearly laughed, but instead he steadied her by holding her shoulders. “I promise you that I won’t let anything to you… or even myself because I’m devilishly handsome.”
“You’re beginning to sound like Gilderoy Lockhart,” Skylar said with her most coy smile, “But thanks.”
Fred smiled before clapping his hands quite suddenly, causing Skylar to jump in alarm, “Now enough chit chat, if you want to be at Hogwarts before curfew.”
This time, rather courageously, Skylar pushed open the door that led into the dark and dusty hallway, but she shrieked when she noticed a large rat in the middle of the entrance way and jumped back.
“Remind me never to get you a pet rat,” chuckled Fred, now leading the way towards the rickety staircase that had previously broken when Skylar, Fred and George had climbed it weeks before.
Weary of just how frail and weak the wood of the staircase was, Skylar and Fred moved slowly, but quick enough to maintain a pace ascending the stairs. Skylar made sure to skip over the hole she had previously made in the wood and she and Fred reached the landing above with little hassle.
They continued across another hallway and opened the door at the very top. It was just as she remembered, tables stacked with advanced Potion books and sets for brewing such Potions, ingredients lined the shelves and various boxes labelled ‘Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes’, fit to bursting with the twins products. Skylar made herself busy by lighting the fire with her wand and the room was bathed in an orange, cosy light and brought warmth to the room almost instantly.
Skylar then strayed over to where Fred stood in front of a desk, where a large cage was situated. She smiled when she saw the squeaking pink, purple and blue fluffy balls that dashed around their cage in excitement.
“I still think you shouldn’t keep them here,” said Skylar, eyeing Fred as he opened the cage and the five small Pygmy Puffs climbed up his arms to rest comfortably on his shoulders so it looked as though Fred was wearing a rather peculiar jacket.
“They’re better off up here than anywhere Umbridge could get her hands on,” Fred mused, starching Elfie as he nuzzled against Fred’s freckled neck.
Skylar sat down on the chair beside the desk with that the advanced Potion set on, Keiko resting on her lap whilst the other Pygmy Puff danced around Fred’s legs as he worked on a Potion.
The cauldron that Fred had been adding dried nettles to had suddenly made a loud and obnoxious hissing noise, causing Skylar to frown and Fred to curse.
“And what exactly are you making?” She enquired, eyeing the gurgling grey liquid residing in the cauldron with a disgusted look.
“Attempting to perfect the Fainting Fancies,” Fred explained with a look of distaste, vanishing the Potion. “George and I have redone this recipe more than ten times and still nothing!”
Skylar could tell that Fred was beginning to feel agitated, his wand letting off red sparks before he tapped it against the cauldron again. Keiko nestled against Skylar’s hand and she gave her a final scratch before she stood up. Her Pygmy Puff gave a squeak before her fellow pink, purple and blue balls of fluff all scurried towards her and they all nestled into the seat Skylar had been sat.
“Huh?” Fred looked rather confused, his brows furrowed as he poured over his heavily annotated Potion book, apparently ready to burst with the Weasley twin’s recipes.
“If you want whoever takes the Fainting Fancy to faint,” Skylar explained. “Rosewood is used in most Potions that allow for the drinker to fall asleep, faint or what not. Try Rosewood.”
Fred obliged, following the recipe he and George he conjured. But instead of adding dried nettles to the billowing potion, Fred used Rosewood. At once, the potion turned a bright red, almost matching the colour of Fred’s hair.
The tall Gryffindor blinked several times before his face broke out into a smile. “You’re a genius!”
Skylar also smiled widely, but she let out a shriek when Fred had actually lifted her off of her feet whilst he embraced her. His arms around her waist, spinning her around so the Pygmy Puffs let out several squeaks and squeals of joy and followed Fred’s steps as he spun about the room.
“A genius! A true genius!”
Skylar finally laughed at Fred’s gratefulness, “Alright, alright. Could I ask for you to put me down now?”
Fred obliged, placing Skylar’s feet firmly on the ground (where she’d very much like them to remain). He would not stop smiling at her, very clearly thankful for Skylar’s help in a potion that had been frustrating him for the past half hour.
“Stop smiling at me,” she said with a raised brow. “It’s rather creepy.”
Fred ignored her and continued to smile idly.
“You just helped me make a product.”
“Evidentially. So what?”
Fred crossed his arms, surveying her with a smirk. “You just assisted a prankster, in a rather spectacular joke product. You Skylar, are officially, an accomplice.”
“Oh no!” Skylar feigned horror, holding her hand over her heart. “Please don’t tell McGonagall!”
“Sarcasm again I see Skylar?” Fred asked, a twinkle in his eyes. “I thought sarcasm was the lowest form of wit?”
Skylar turned away, once again browsing the products to see whether Fred and George had updated any ranges. She once again reached the WonderWitch products and Skylar observed Fred with a disbelieving look.
“What?” He laughed, his eyes had clearly been following her as she walked about the room.
“Really still going ahead with these ghastly products?” She questioned Fred, eyeing the several bottles of love potions. She selected a pink, swirling colour labelled ‘Twilight Moonbeans’ and read the label aloud “Guarantees the drinker to fall in love with the first person they set their eyes upon”.
“Naturally,” replied Fred, eyeing the products also. “Fancy a swig Sky?”
She politely refused the offer and Fred turned his attention of the matter of the list.
“So two out of ten complete,” Fred began encouragingly and Skylar turned around to look up at him curiously. “How about you take up those kissing lessons I offered, you won’t regret.”
Skylar raised an amusing brow, “And what makes you so self-assured Fred?”
“You know what they say about red heads?”
“Uhm…” Skylar began, tilting her head in confusion, attempting to read the smug expression on Fred’s face.
“We’re amazing in bed,” Fred spoke in such a nonchalant way that it made Skylar’s eyes widen and she actually let out a small shriek that only made Fred howl with laughter.
“I–I, er,” Skylar was spluttering and stuttering, her face so red and burning that she was certain her temperature rivalled with that of the fire.
Fred took a step closer to Skylar, causing her to back away from his lean, muscular frame. She felt her backside collide with the table and Fred grinned at her roguishly.
“And our feisty attitude,” Fred continued, twisting his finger around a curl in her hair. “Imagine that, in the bedroom?”
“Fred!” Skylar warned in a whisper, refusing to meet his gaze.
Fred Weasley could not help himself. He exploded into pearls of laughter.
“Your face!” He exclaimed, holding his stomach as Skylar watched him, rather alarmed and finding herself biting back a smile. “I should try and seduce you more often.”
“Seduce me?!” Skylar’s reaction was not what Fred, nor she, had expected. She smiled a devilish smile and her eyes found his, “You couldn’t seduce me even if you tried Fred Weasley.”
Fred didn’t move his gaze from her for several moments and Skylar was concerned that she had insulted him as opposed to humouring him. But when the corners of his lips turned into a smirk, she felt relived. “Don’t try and challenge me Miss Harrison.”
Wishing, more than anything, to change the subject Skylar enquired, “So where exactly is George?”
Fred smirked once more, turning away her curious gaze and towards the fire. The five Pygmy Puffs followed, climbing up with leg when he had sat down on the sofa, his fiery red hair clashing dangerous with the deep purple of the sofa. Skylar, evidentially still inquisitive, mirrored his actions and sat beside Fred on the loveseat.
“Do you really want to know where my dear brother is?” Fred asked of her as he leaned back into the sofa, his long and muscular arms stretched over the arms of the chair. “No matter how scandalous the circumstances may be?”
“Scandalous?” Skylar frowned, but her curiosity won over her apprehensions concerning Fred’s warning and she encouraged Fred to continue.
Fred smirked, undoubtedly he was eager to gossip about where George Weasley exactly was, “George is reliving certain emotions.”
Skylar could not hide her bemusement. “Reliving emotions? Is he crying somewhere or–”
“Merlin no Sky,” Fred said with a laugh, “It’s not so much emotions, more feelings. Rather needs to a physical need.”
“Oh!” Her face went pink and she turned her head to stare into the fire, “Do you – er – think he’s having fun?”
“I don’t doubt he’s having the time of his life,” Fred replied with a grin, his eyes twinkling devilishly, “I recall George stating that Charlotte Austen has the spirit of a tiger–”
Skylar clasped her hands over her ears as Fred exploded in fits of laugh which resulted in a playful slap from his friend. “Don’t! Fred!”
“Just teasing you Sky,” Fred shot her a wink, “You know how I love to tease you. Though, I’m telling the truth in regards to Charlotte–”
“Shut up!” Skylar tried her best to sound angry, but her anger trailed into humour and she released a laugh that emitted throughout the whole room.
Fred watched her for several moments, before laughing himself and relaxing further into the sofa, “You should laugh like that more Skylar.”
“Laugh more?” She repeated, a warm flush creeping up her cheeks.
“What I mean is,” Fred explained, turning his head and in her direction and grinning idly at her. “Laugh like you just did. Loudly, without a care.”
Skylar looked back at him with a raised brow, an expression that was evidentially concealing her laughter, “Laugh without a care? You’re telling someone who cares an awful lot, not to have a care?”
“I’m not telling you care,” said Fred, “I think it’s great, no, amazing, how much you care. Being caring is your greatest strength Sky.”
Skylar frowned slightly, choosing to pull at the material of her school skirt, “I think it’s my greatest weakness.”
“Well,” said Fred, giving her a genuine smile, a smile Skylar was sure she had never seen on Fred Weasley’s face before. “I don’t think so.”
“Thank you Fred.”
The Hogwarts grounds were pure white. Snow had fallen mid-December and the students of the castle had been blessed with hours upon of snowball fights, tobogganing and even ice skating on the Black Lake with makeshift skates. Skylar had been convinced to join Fred and George in a snowball fight against Lee Jordan and Angelina Johnson one Sunday afternoon (which she very much regretted as the twins had chosen to gang up on her), which left her frozen the bone and longing for a steaming cup of tea.
Skylar retreated to the dormitory, feeling rather happy. She had never before had a close friendship with the Weasley twins, sure they had always been nice and friendly to her, a few pranks here and there, but now she had come to realise that Fred and George were more than just pranksters, they were brilliant friends; they cared for Skylar immensely and had taken her under their wing without questions asked. They brought out a different in side in Skylar, one she had never quite seen before, and one she never knew she had. She had become a little quicker witted, quick a bit cheeky and laughed more easily.
She smiled to herself secretly as she reached the grand staircase, she couldn’t deny that for the first time in her life, she was happy, and it wasn’t because of her grades.
“Oi, Cry Baby!”
Those damn, dreaded words.
Skylar turned, her hands shaking as she did so. Malcom Grimstone was smirking darkly, walking up the staircase towards her.
“I’ve got a rather nasty Divination essay that I can’t be bothered to complete,” he said, dropping a large, heavy book onto the step in front of Skylar. “Awfully boring, you’ll have to do it.”
“But…” Skylar began, looking down at the book fearfully, then back up at Malcom. “But I don’t do Divination.”
“Looks like you’re going to have to do some research then,” he teased. “You always have your nose stuck in a book anyway, shouldn’t be nothing too difficult for a lonely dweeb like you.”
Skylar blanched, all she could do was stare down at the book on the floor. She wanted to say no, she didn’t have the time, she had her own homework to do and that she wasn’t Malcom’s slave but she couldn’t; her mouth appeared to be glued together and her hands were still shaking with nerves and fright. Oh, why couldn’t she be more like Fred and George, they would have laughed in his face and told Malcom to do one, walking away with their heads held high. Why couldn’t she be more like Angelina Johnson? Who would have raised her eyebrow dangerously and jinxed him into a newt, leaving her to wrath on the floor helplessly? Why couldn’t she be a Gryffindor?
“Run along now,” Malcom said dismissively, “That essay has to be done by tomorrow morning.”
Skylar’s mouth hung open, she stared at the Slytherin, wide-eyed.
“You have ears, don’t you?” Malcom spat. “Yes, tomorrow Harrison.”
“I can’t–” Skylar spluttered, feeling helpless, her chest rising and falling quickly, her hands shaking, her breathing rapid. “I can’t do that! I don’t do Divination and I can’t–”
“Can’t?” Jeered Malcom, he took a step closer to Skylar, causing her to flinch and her eyes to water in sheer terror. “Of course you can, Cry Baby.”
“I can’t!” she squeaked, she could barely control her breathing as Malcom moved ever closer to her. She was rooted to the spot, she couldn’t move, she was paralyzed with fear as to what Malcom would say, would do to her.
“Not good enough, Cry Baby,” Malcom spoke in a dangerous whisper, Skylar realised with a gulp that he was pointing his wand at her. “You’ll do my essay.”
Skylar could not stop the tears from falling from her eyes, she was terrified. She was a coward. She wanted to be brave. She wanted to be someone else, anyone else.
“No objections?” Malcom smiled, noticing the tears running down Skylar’s face.
Her bottom lip quivered as she shook her head slowly, squeezing her eyes shut as her breathing remained uneasy.
“Excellent,” he grinned, giving her a rough pat on the shoulder. “You’ve got an essay to do Cry Baby–”
Skylar let out a squeal at Fred’s loud yell; she was so relieved. The Weasley twins were making their way towards Skylar and Malcom, their jaws clenched, wands out.
“Get away from her.” Spat Fred, he squared up to Malcom, his brown eyes were dangerously dark; Fred easily overpowered Malcom in height and build.
“Why should I?” Malcom asked, looking over at Skylar who avoided his gaze. “We were just having a little chat.”
George looked at Skylar, his eyes worried. He was looking at her very carefully, almost analysing her. She knew he could plainly see the tear stains on her cheeks.
“What did he say you?” George asked her, his voice was calm and collected, though Phoenix could tell he was bubbling up with anger inside.
She couldn’t say anything. She tried to speak but only gasps of air came out, she covered her face with her hands in embarrassment and let out a sob. George patted her back reassuringly, but she still couldn’t speak. She was too overwhelmed. Instead of speaking, she pointed down at the book on the step in front of her.
“Right,” Fred snarled. “Well, Grimstone, firstly you can fuck off if you think that Skylar is doing your bloody homework.” He picked up the book and threw it back at the Slytherin, making sure that it hurt.
Malcom laughed, “She’s already agreed Weasley,” he said with a smirk. “She always does. Cry Babies are always too scared to–”
Fred grabbed Malcom by the tuffs of his robes, lifting him up with ease and slamming him into the wall of the staircase. “Don’t you dare call her that!” growled Fred, Skylar had never seen Fred so angry, so enraged. She felt so guilty, it was all her fault.
George was pointing his wand at Malcom, eyeing him carefully. “I’d think carefully about what you say next, Grimstone.”
Malcom looked at both twins, he was scarlet in the face, Skylar couldn’t tell whether or not it was from anger or Fred’s hold upon him. He did not say a word. Fred glared at him, releasing his grip, causing Malcom to trip down a few steps. Fred was quick to pull out his wand as Malcom mimicked his actions.
“You really want to duel us?” George laughed. “Two against one?”
Malcom clenched his jaw. He glared at the twins one last time before he put his wand back into the pocket of his robes, turned on the spot and walked away.
Fred and George watched him retreat, as though they were making sure that he wasn’t about to turn around and jinx them when they had their backs turned.
“I’m sorry,” Skylar whispered, looking at her shoes as she did so. “I’m so sorry.”
“Don’t apologise Sky,” Fred said, his voice softening as he spoke to her. He came to stand beside her, cupping the back of her head as he pulled her into a fierce hug. “We’re sorry for leaving you, we should have known the Slytherins would be slithering about today.”
“No,” Skylar cried, gripping into the back of Fred’s robes. “I’m sorry for being a coward.”
“You’re not a coward,” said George. “You were put in Gryffindor for a reason, there’s something inside of you that wants to fight back.”
“–Skylar, you’re an extremely smart witch,” said Fred, pulling out of the hug to hold her at arms’ length. “You could jinx those Slytherins into oblivion if you wanted to, you’re powerful. The only reason that they pick on you is because they know you’re kind, and you would never use magic against them to hurt them. They know that you’d break them in half, given the chance.”
“I… I… I would never hurt anybody,” she whispered, pulling at the material of her school robes.
“We know that Skylar,” said George. “We’re not saying you should go around cursing everybody left, right and centre–”
“–Though we would pay all of our Galleons to see that,” grinned Fred. Skylar giggled, she was so thankful for the comic relief. She needed it.
“What we mean is, if they try it again, just scare them a little,” George said cautiously.
“We’ll be there,” Fred coaxed, pinching her cheek playfully. “We have your back Sky.”
“We’ll happily jinx anyone who hurts you.”
“But we cross the line at Unforgivables.”
Skylar laughed, “That’s a shame.”
The twins both laughed, hooking their arms through Skylar’s, hoisted her up (much to her dismay), and together they made their way back to the Gryffindor Common Room.
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