It had been a surprisingly usual day. Harry was shocked to learn about Madam Pomfrey. He was wondering why Hermione and Ron looked so sad when they met up after breakfast. The day went by quietly. Harry was happy that he didn’t have Defense today. The last thing he wanted was to see the Toad after what happened in detention. After dinner, Harry, Ron, and Hermione went back to the common Room and started on their homework.
The door to the Defense classroom opened up and two people walked out.
“Now, I hope that we won’t have to go through this again,” Dolores said, her voice squeaking with glee.
The student didn’t reply, he just walked down the hall. When he turned the corner, he walked right to his twin.
Fred wrapped his arms around his brother. George just sighed in his brother’s arms, his head on Fred’s shoulder.
“Have you lost your mind?” Fred growled quietly in his brother’s ear.
“It was worth it,” George said. He sounded weak.
Fred pulled him back to arms length and looked at his twin.
“What did she have you do?”
“Take me to our room,” George answered.
Fred eyed his brother a moment longer and then pulled him towards the stairs.
Harry and Ron were sitting by the fireplace playing Wizard’s Chess when the portrait opened up. Ron was trying to concentrate on his next move when he abruptly stood up. Harry, shocked at the sudden movement, looked up at Ron.
“Ron, what’s wrong?” Harry asked.
Hermione looked up from the book she was reading. She was sitting on the couch behind Ron and Harry. Ron didn’t say anything. He just looked over at the entrance way. Seconds later, Fred and George walked in. Ron rushed over to his brothers’ side. In his quick movements, Ron knocked over the chess board, not that Harry really cared, as his attention was on Ron, wondering what was wrong. Before Ron even reached his brothers, George opened up his arms and prepared for his younger brother to collide within his arms.
“It’s alright,” Fred whispered in Ron’s ear as George held their youngest brother. Fred looked up in time to see Harry and Hermione on their way over towards them. He could see the worry on their faces.
“It’s okay,” Fred said once Harry and Hermione were close enough.
“What happened?” Hermione asked.
Harry just looked at how Ron was clinging to his brother.
“It’s the bond,” Fred said, shaking his head. “Ron will be fine.”
George whispered something into Ron’s ear and the two of them headed towards the dormitories.
“Ron will probably be staying with us tonight,” Fred told Harry and walked off to follow his brothers.
Fred and George were in their seventh year, so they had a little bit of a perk. They had a room to themselves. It came in handy as they were always experimenting with new products. The other Gryffindors didn’t complain that they had their own room because the dorm mates that they had during the first five years of their schooling were used as guinea pigs for their products. Not having to room with the Weasley twins meant that there were no unexplained mishaps that had to be explained to the medi-witch.
George and Ron walked in the room with Fred two steps behind him. Once Fred closed the door, George looked down at his brother in his arms.
“You know, I’ll still be here when you let me go,” George said, trying to lighten the mood. It only succeed in Ron tightening his hold. “I’m fine, Ron. I promise.”
Fred walked over towards them and saw George’s hand. Standing behind Ron, Fred looked at his twin, his brow furrowed. George looked at is twin’s face and knew what he was asking.
“Ron, sometime today,” George said again, his voice not betraying how he was feeling.
Ron let go of George and stepped back.
“What happened?” Ron asked, looking up at his brother.
“He had detention with Umbridge,” Fred said.
Ron turned and looked at him. Fred looked at Ron. He could tell that Fred had a no nonsense air about him.
“You better not get detention with that Toad,” Fred said, sternly. “You will not like me if I find out that you did.”
“I won’t,” Ron said.
Fred’s eyes squinted as he looked at his brother. Then he turned and headed towards the bathroom. George walked over to the end of the bed and sat down on his trunk. Ron slowly walked over towards George and stood in front of him.
“Oh my goodness,” George said, teasingly. “Ron, you are too much.” He opened his arms.
Ron once again moved towards George, but stopped in his tracks when he saw his brother’s hand. Ron had been having an uneasy feeling all evening. Ron usually was able to beat Harry within a few moves. But tonight, Ron was off his game. No, Harry wasn’t winning, but he was giving Ron a run of his money.
Ron remembered he was annoyed by the way the bond would work. Actually he was scared the first time it happened. Fred and George were trying out one of their products and it went wrong. Fred was lighting the firework and for some reason the wick burned quicker than Fred could get away. The firework worked beautifully, but Fred’s hand was burned badly. Ron was, at the time, in trouble for not cleaning his room, so he was told he couldn’t leave his room until his room was cleaned. So he was upstairs when the firework went off. He went to his window when he first saw the flash, then within an instant, he had the desperate need to get to Fred and George. He knew he couldn’t leave without getting in trouble with his mum. Ron tried to get back to cleaning his room, but the longer he was away from his brothers the more painful and antsy he became.
Tears began to burn the back of his throat as he tried to get his clothes off the floor. The pain was becoming unbearable. Not being able to stand the pain anymore, Ron rushed out of his room and in a full run. In his rush to get down the stairs he nearly knocked Ginny in the hallway and pushed past his dad on the stairs.
Molly was already outside when the firework went off, so she was bustling towards Fred. She had mixed feelings about checking to see if her son was okay and then paddling him with her spoon until he couldn’t sit easily until he came of age. Fred was sitting on the ground and his mother was on her knees beside him looking over his hand. George was kneeling on the other side of Fred, watching her. While she was fussing over Fred’s hand, she wasn’t expecting her youngest son to barrel out of the house and collide with Fred. Arms wrapped around Fred’s neck, sitting in his lap, Fred was just as surprised at Ron’s actions as was George and their mother. Ron had never been one to show such emotion towards his brothers, especially since he started Hogwarts last year.
Arthur walked out of the house and saw the scene and showed the same amount of shock as the rest of the family. Surprisingly, Ron was careful not to touch Fred’s hand, but he refused to let go or even get up from Fred’s lap. It actually took some extensive maneuvering to get Fred standing up so that they could get back into the house. Once they got into the house, they sat Fred down on the sofa. Ron still had his arms wrapped around his brother’s neck. Now that Fred was sitting on the sofa, Ron was in his lap, again.
Molly and Arthur both tried and failed to get Ron to let go of Fred so that Molly could tend to his hand. Fred looked up at his twin and George walked up and put his hand on Ron’s shoulder and leaned down towards his ear.
"Let Fred breathe,” George whispered into Ron’s ear.
For the first time since colliding and attaching himself to his brother did Ron lift his head. He looked at Fred and then turned and looked at George.
"Ron,” Fred said. “You know you can attach yourself to George just as easily as me.”
Fred was shocked when he looked at his brother’s face. Ron looked completely heartbroken. There were tear stain tracks on his flushed cheeks. With great reluctance, Ron let go of Fred and stood up. George grabbed Ron’s shirt and turned him around and embraced his brother. George could feel Ron shaking in his arms.
It took a second for Molly and Arthur to come out of their stupor but when they did, Molly began working on Fred’s hand. Arthur walked over to George and Ron.
With his hand on George’s shoulder, he steered his son’s towards his study. When they arrived, Arthur closed the door and put up a silencing charm on the door. There were things that Arthur wanted to discuss with his sons and he didn’t want Molly to hear.
"Ron,” Arthur said. “Face me, please.”
Ron’s arms tightened a little on George but he did what his father had asked and turned and faced him.
"How are you feeling?” Arthur asked.
Shocked by the question, Ron stood with his mouth opened like a fish out of water. Arthur smiled a little before asking the question again.
"I’m okay,” Ron said, when he found his voice.
"Not antsy? Upset? Worried?” Arthur asked going to sit down behind his desk. Ron shook his head.
"Well, what about when you nearly knocked me and your sister down the stairs?”
Ron paled. His freckles were the only source of color on his face. George looked between his father and his brother. Arthur, not wanting to put his son into a panic, stood up and went to his son and cupped his cheeks with both of his hands.
"Ron, son, it’s alright,” Arthur soothed. “I’m only asking questions. Everything is alright. Everyone is alright. Breathe for me, son. Take a breath. That’s it, son, breathe for me.”
Arthur stayed by Ron until he made sure that his youngest son had calmed down.
"Are you okay, son?” Arthur asked after a moment.
Ron nodded. Well, as much as he could with his head trapped in his father’s warm hands.
"Do you think we can continue with this?” Another nod. “Wonderful.” Arthur lowered his hands and took a step back. Ron looked up at his father. “Now, the reason I asked how you were feeling was I wanted to be certain about what was going on.”
"You know what’s going on?” George asked, looking incredulous.
Arthur looked at both of his sons as he was leaning against his desk.
"Yes,” Arthur nodded. “I think I know what is going on. One of the side effects of trying and failing to make an unbreakable vow.” Arthur looked pointedly at George, who in turned looked abashed.
"You formed a strong bond between your brothers,” Arthur told Ron. “I was afraid of this, but there is nothing that can be done to change it.”
"So I’m going to be clinging to Fred and George for the rest of my life?” Ron asked.
"No,” Arthur laughed. Once he sobered, he looked at his youngest son. “What it means is that the sibling bond that you already have with them will be stronger than with your other siblings. At some point you will need to see them a little more than you do the others, but no, what happened today won’t be a every time occurrence. I think there were several factors as to why you are acting the way you are now.”
"You were being punished in your room, correct?” Ron nodded. “When was the last time you saw your brothers?”
Ron thought about it. It had been a couple of days since he saw them. Which wasn’t really strange if they were working on one of their inventions.
"I take it you realize that you haven’t seen them for a while,” Arthur said, bringing Ron out of his musing. “Then on top of everything else; Fred got hurt. That amplified it. Hence the reason of the rushing out of the house and then plastering yourself to Fred.”
"Is there any way to stop it? I don’t want to cling to Fred and George while we are at school.”
"I don’t know, son,” Arthur said. “With your brothers’ ability to want to give your mother and me heart attacks with their inventions, I can’t say this won’t happen again. Just try to keep them in your sights more. And maybe this,” he said, waving his hand around. “won’t be too extreme.”
George looked at his brother, then his dad.
"Dad,” George said. “Why did you put up a silencing charm?”
"Well, your mother doesn’t know about the unbreakable vow you almost did. And I do love having you and your brother around; you make everyday an adventure. You know your mother will do worse than what I did when I found out.”
Waiving his wand, Arthur took down the charm. The room immediately filled with Molly and Fred voices coming through the door.
"Now,” Arthur said, walking back around to his desk. “Go save Fred from your mother. I need to send a message to Professor McGonnagall.”
Ron was about to ask why, but thought better of it. Both boys walked out of the room.
Ron stood in front of George as he sat on the trunk in their room. Ron saw the hand and realized why he was acting the way he was. Sighing, Ron sat next to George and they embraced. Fred came out of the bathroom with a jar labeled Essence of Murlap.
One thing that the twins prided themselves on was that people underestimated them. What people didn’t know was that the twins were a geniuses with potions. With everything that they were inventing on their products, they had to be. The only one who knew how they were in Potions was Professor Snape. In their first year, Fred and George were caught in one of the abandoned classrooms in the Dungeons, brewing a very toxic potion. Snape was on his way to his chambers when he found them. After vanishing the failed potion and giving them both two months detention, Professor Snape began privately tutoring them.
Fred pulled a chair in front of his brothers and took George’s hand and began applying the salve. Before Fred finished, Ron fell asleep on George’s shoulder.
“I thought he didn’t want to show his clingyness at school,” Fred said absently as he closed the jar back.
“Yeah, well,” George said, tightening his hold of his baby brother. “It’s been a hard day. Learning about Madam Pomfrey and we did miss breakfast this morning.”
Fred looked at his now asleep little brother and then to his twin.
“Don’t do that again,” Fred said, his voice trembled a little. “She is not worth it.”
George’s eyes became fierce looking at his twin.
“She shouldn’t have said it,” George growled. Ron stirred but didn’t wake. “Making that assumption was just wrong.”
“But did you have to turn her hair and clothes green?” Fred said, exasperatedly.
“Just making her look like the toad she is. I’ve never seen a pink toad before. I just made her color match her face.”
If the matter wasn’t so serious to Fred, he would have laughed at that.
“I can’t lose you, Georgie,” Fred finally sighed.
“You are stuck with me, Freddy. Nothing will happened. I won’t let it and I know you won’t let it.” They looked at each other for a long moment as if having a silent conversation. Fred then stood up, casting a feather-weight charm on his brother and picking Ron up.
“I’m going to get him to bed. Why don’t you get ready for bed? Be careful not to get your hand too wet.”
After Ron and the twins left the Common Room, Harry bid Hermione good night and decided to go to bed. He closed the curtains on his bed, curled up with his bear. He didn’t realize how tired he was until his head hit the pillow.
Harry looked around trying to remember where he was. It was dark and when he looked down he had on his Champion uniform from the Tri-wizard Tournament. He took a couple of steps and recognized where he was. He was in the graveyard.
"Is this part of the challenge?” Cedric asked.
Harry turned to face the voice. There Cedric stood, alive. He wanted to run towards him and make him take the cup back to the school he didn’t want to see it again. Then behind him he heard it.
"Kill the spare.”
"No!” Harry shouted as he watched a green light flash and Cedric now laid dead at his feet.
The scenery changed and he was standing in his room. He looked down and saw that he was in his pajamas. Quietly, he walked to the door.
"Find the boy.”
Harry looked down at the crack in the door and saw a flash of green light. He backed up when he heard and saw the door handle begin to turn. His heart felt like it was going to beat out of his chest. He didn’t want to see who was on the other side of the door. Stepping back further in the room, Harry was against the far wall when the door opened up. Harry’s breath caught in his throat when the door opened. He let out an audible sigh when he saw who it was and rush towards the man in all black.
"Da,” Harry said as he wrapped his arms around him.
"It’s all your fault.”
Harry let go of his Professor and stepped back.
"She died protecting you. It’s all your fault,” Snape sneered.
"But, sir,” Harry’s voice choked in his throat as he took a step back. Tears burned his eyes as he looked up at his Professor and saw nothing but disgust and hatred in the man’s face.
Harry couldn’t believe after everything that he and his Professor had been through he really didn’t like him.
Harry looked back up at where his Professor was just a moment ago and he was gone.
Harry looked around. He was no longer in his old room. He didn’t recognize where he was. He knew that he was standing in a hallway. At the end of the hallway was a door.
He turned and looked at the other end and it looked like the corridor went on forever. There were no other ways out, so Harry began walking.
When he got to the door and opened it, Harry was really confused. It was a brick wall on the other side.
Harry wondered why would someone put a door in front of a brick wall.
Harry closed the door back and decided to see where the other end of the hallway led to. Within a few steps the scenery changed. He was standing in a dilapidated house.
Harry had been hearing his name being called for a while, but this time it voice was louder. Walking up the stairs, he saw that there was a broken door frame.
Harry walked towards the room as he now knew that the voice was coming from there. When he walked into the room, he saw a red-headed woman. She turned around and a smile came across Harry’s face.
"Mum,” Harry said, walking towards her.
"I’m very disappointed in you, Harry,” Lily said, looking stern.
"Mum,” Harry said, taken aback at the harshness of his mum’s voice.
"Such a disappointment. Why did I save you?”
Harry’s breath caught in his throat.
"Mum, I’m sorry.”
"Useless. That’s what you are. Completely useless. Can’t even deliver a simple message.”
"Mum,” Harry said, tears burning his throat.
Harry sat up in his bed. That was a weird dream, he thought. He looked down and saw that the bear was at the foot of the bed. Leaning forward, he retrieved the bear, curled back up and tried to go back to sleep.
Harry thought about going to Professor Snape’s chambers after the dream he just had, but for some strange reason now that he was awake, it really didn’t bother him. It was like deep down he knew it wasn’t true. As he laid there with the bear clutched to his chest, Harry thought about the dream. With everything that was in the dream, it was the look on Snape’s face that stuck out for some reason. He thought about the look that his dream Snape gave him. He remembered the years before that the sneers and looks of disgust that he would get from Professor Snape were nothing like what he saw in the dream. Thinking more of it, Harry thought that Snape’s face looked a little distorted.
Actually now, finding it a little funny, Harry smiled into the back of the bear’s head, took a deep breath, and drifted back off to sleep.
Ron woke up. The first thing he realized was that he was not in his dormitory. Sitting up, he saw that he was in fact in his brothers’ room. With a groan, Ron fell back on the bed and put the pillow over his face.
“Ah, he’s awake.”
Ron sat up and threw the pillow in the direction of the voice, actually hitting his mark in the stomach. Ron laid back down and pulled the covers over his head. Fred, who was the one that got hit, heard mumbling from under the covers.
“Well, since I am not fluent in mumble,” Fred said, gripping the covers and moving them from Ron’s face. “What did you say?”
“Please tell me it didn’t happen again?” Ron whined.
“The clinging,” George said, walking to the other side of the bed and sitting down.
Ron looked at his brothers with horror on his face.
“In front of everyone?”
“If it makes you feel any better,” Fred said, “only a few saw. But the only ones that were worried about you were Harry and Hermione.”
Ron moaned, laying back down. He wanted to cover himself back up, but Fred was still holding on to the covers.
“Come on,” George said, getting up. “Time for breakfast. And if I know you, little brother, you’re hungry.”
“Fine,” Ron said, getting up out of the bed. Fred and George went to their respective beds as Ron headed towards the bathroom, but Ron stopped on his way in the bathroom, turning to face George.
George feeling his brother’s eyes on his, turned and faced his younger brother.
“Are you sure you okay?” Ron asked, his voice sounding of a small child.
As much as he didn’t like the bond sometimes, he did love the closeness he had with his brothers. Being the youngest boy in a house full of sons, sometimes he felt overlooked. The one good thing that Ron loved about this bond was that he knew that he mattered to two people no matter what. Yes, he loved his parents and he knew that his parents loved him, but it was a different feeling when it came to Fred and George.
George smiled and opened his arms. It took all of two steps and a second later, his arms were full of his younger brother.
“I’m fine, Ron,” George said, squeezing just a little tighter, then pulling him out to arms length. “I promise.”
Ron let George go and turned to see Fred standing in front of him. Ron hugged Fred and rushed into the bathroom. Fred and George looked at each other and then went back to gathering their things for the day.
Ron, Fred and George walked out of their dorm and saw Harry and Hemione waiting for them in the Common Room.
“Oi, why are you still here?” Ron asked, walking over to the couch.
“Waiting on you,” Hermione said. “You had us worried last night.”
George and Fred left the three friends alone and headed out of the Common Room.
“Everything is fine,” Ron said, trying to act nonchalant.
“Are you sure?” Hermione asked.
“Yeah,” Ron said, looking at his friends he knew he would have to explain. “Look, it the side effect of the bond that I have with Fred and George. Harry, you understand, don’t you?”
Harry looked at him, puzzled at what he meant.
“How you felt yesterday?” Ron rushed to explain. He sighed when the look of understanding came across Harry’s face. “You really needed to see the Professor.” Harry nodded. “It’s the same thing. Maybe not as strong as yours, Harry, but still there.”
“Well, lets get to breakfast,” Harry said. “The last thing I want is to be late for Defense since we have her first.”
The trio left out of the Common Room and headed for breakfast.
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