Chapter 18 : Chapter 18
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It was Friday evening and they’d just had their final detention with Umbridge and after Hermione had coated everyone’s scars with the green gel they all just sat there, complaining about Umbridge.
“It’s torture- we can see our bones!” Lee exclaimed.
“Nobody tells mum, she already didn’t want us in the DA if she finds about this she’ll kill us all,” Ron said.
“Good call Ron,” Fred agreed.
“At least it’s over,” Ginny said.
“Over? It’s not over until Umbridge is out of here,” said Harry. “I could tell she was evil ever since I saw her at my hearing for the Dementor attack and Patronus in front of Muggles thing.”
Ginny shuddered as she did every time Dementors were mentioned. She wasn’t affected as bad as Harry but because of the Chamber of Secrets her encounters with the creatures were far from pleasant they were hardly bearable.
“Umbridge is going to be taken down- and we are going to start the Anti-Umbridge action,” said Fred proudly.
“We’re leaving anyway they can’t really do anything to stop us. Detentions don’t matter to us anymore- we’ll survive. What else can they do? Threaten to expel us? We’re leaving so that’s not going to scare us,” George pointed out.
“Do us all a favour then...make her life hell,” Lee grinned.
“We will and that’s a promise,” said Fred.
The next day Hermione had woken at seven and naturally everyone was asleep due to the fact it was a Saturday. She went down to the Common room and started to read. She was sat there when the portrait hole swung open and Fred and George stumbled in.
One look at their faces and Hermione knew they’d done something.
“What mischief have the two of you gotten up to now when it’s only seven am?” she asked.
“Well...we were sort of in Snape’s potion supply closet trying to get something effective to spike Umbridge’s food with but you know that stupid Inquisitorial Squad thing has now set up patrol,” George said.
“Yeah so Montague comes along sees us and is calling for Umbridge and other squad members. We’re going down and that’s not an option so we rounded on him- we chased him down a couple of corridors then shoved him in that old vanishing cabinet,” Fred explained.
“And he um- he’s gone,” George said.
“Yep he just disappeared and we just don’t know where to,” Fred told her.
They were expecting Hermione to explode and start lecturing them about rules and people’s rights but to their disbelief she just laughed- laughed uncontrollably causing the twins to look at each other in bewilderment. They laughed unsurely as if still expecting to be told off. After a while the musical laughter that filled the room slowly died down.
“Disappeared? Just gone-without a trace?” Hermione asked incredulously.
“Well um yeah...” George said wondering if this would be the start of a tirade and rubbing his neck with apprehension.
“Just wait until news spreads that Umbridge has just allowed a student to disappear. Nobody knows it was you so it will be all on her. The Minister surely can’t back her after that?” Hermione said excitedly.
“Just for the record- you’re not angry with us?” asked Fred uncertainly.
“If anything has harmed Montague I assure you I will be furious but on these grounds it seems quite comical and I think some good can come of this,” Hermione told them.
“Who cares if the git is hurt, he got what he deserved as far as I’m concerned,” shrugged Fred.
“Fred whilst I agree he got what was coming I don’t wish ill upon a fellow student,” said Hermione.
“Admit it Hermione how many times have you considered hexing Malfoy? And what did you do to Edgecombe again?” asked George with a smirk.
“No...I- well I- that was diff...” Hermione was interrupted by George.
“Face it Granger we’re the same as you. We just use our intelligence, skill and power in a different way.”
“Very different way,” Hermione agreed.
“Oh don’t act like that Hermione we’re not exactly good and evil we’re more like...” Fred trailed off.
“Good and Saintly,” George finished for his twin.
“Just a hint we’re the Saintly part,” Fred whispered loudly with a wink.
They all laughed.
“Also we need some expert advice,” said George.
“Oh really...?” Hermione asked with a smirk.
“Yes actually we were wondering if we could borrow you,” Fred said.
“For what exactly...?” Hermione asked though she wasn’t entirely convinced she wanted to know the answer.
“See there’s this extremely interesting book on advanced transfiguration and you see some of them are quite gruesome and difficult to reverse. Naturally a book like this can only be found it the restricted section of the library. And despite countless attempts of attaining said book we haven’t managed...”
“This is where you come in,” George said. “Because of our reputation and past activities no teacher seems to see it fit to present us a note which would gain us entrance to the restricted section for our book. However I’m sure McGonagall would be more than happy to offer her star pupil this privilege. So we were curious as to whether you’d ask for a note to enter the restricted section so you can get the book to do some extra research on the subject and then you might lend it to your good friends Fred and George.”
“Uh-huh so you want a book from the restricted section of the library and are going to shame my innocence but including me in your plan?” Hermione asked them.
“Yes,” Fred nodded.
“Alright I’m in,” Hermione smiled.
“Really?” asked George.
“If it’s going to bug Umbridge I’m all for it,” Hermione grinned.
The twins were surprised but decided it was a shared passion- bringing down Umbridge and destroying her happiness.
“I’ll ask McGonagall today but I need the title of the book,” Hermione told them.
“It’s called Treacherous Transfiguration and it’s by Anthony Partridge,” said Fred.
Hermione bit her lip and thought, “You owe me,” she told them shaking her head.
“We know, but I’m sure what we do with the information in that book will give you enough for repayment,” George said.
“Hmm... perhaps,” Hermione smirked.
“What do you want from us?” Fred asked warily.
“You’re going to be here for another three weeks or so and in them you must not test any of your products on Gryffindor, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff first years,” Hermione told them.
“So we can test on second years and above and Slytherins?” George asked looking for confirmation.
“No, you know what just stick to being able to test products on Slytherins okay?”
“Fine,” George sighed.
Later that day Hermione entered the packed common room and approached Fred and George who were sat with Lee, Alicia and Angelina around a coffee table. She dropped the heavy book onto the table in front of them.
“You have a week before I need to return it to the library,” she told them.
“You really are an angel Hermione,” George grinned.
“Thanks Granger, not a bad job for a girl who always follows the rules,” Fred said causing Angelina to hit him.
“Well bye then everybody, we’ve got some serious work to do!” George called as he and his twin disappeared out the portrait hole.
Hermione looked around her and felt slightly out of place as she looked for someone to talk to. Harry, Ron and Ginny were nowhere to be seen. Neither was Lavender or Parvati. She saw Seamus and Dean and decided they were best for company and went and sat with them.
“Hey Hermione,” Seamus said with the grin that seemed permanently plastered on his face.
“Hello Hermione,” Dean said not looking up from his drawing.
“What are you drawing now Dean? And Seamus you don’t have any explosives on you at all do you?”
“Very funny Hermione, but I swear I don’t blow things up on purpose.”
“A lion...” Dean said raising his sketch pad to show her, “...attacking Umbridge.”
Hermione laughed, “How creative. That is a very good drawing...”
“Thanks but that’s just the beginning...watch this,” Dean said taking out his wand and pressing it to the page and muttering a spell. The picture came to life like a short clip showing a lion running and pouncing on Umbridge then ripping her head off before the entire page flooded red with blood.
“That is truly great,” Hermione smiled.
“I know- I showed it to Fred and George yesterday before I’d added colour they said it had inspired them and ran off,” Dean told her.
Hermione’s eyes widened, “Oh no...They wouldn’t? Would they? A lion attacking Umbridge, that’s what they’re planning? Brilliant as it may be I’d rather they don’t end up in Azkaban.”
“Planning? What planning? What are they planning?” Seamus asked.
“They asked me to get them a Transfiguration book from the restricted section of the library- something about taking down Umbridge,” Hermione groaned.
“They wouldn’t attack Umbridge at that level would they?” asked Dean suddenly worried that this was his entire fault.
“It’s Fred and George- nobody knows what they’re willing to do to get their way,” Hermione said shaking her head.
“Oh no,” said Dean looking alarmed.
“They could be put in Azkaban for something like that!” Seamus exclaimed but Hermione just smiled.
“How can you just smile they might get locked up in Azkaban,” Seamus demanded incredulously.
“It’s Fred and George if they are planning that they’re still not stupid enough to get caught, they’re too brilliant at making trouble. Mischief is their thing they won’t get caught,” Hermione explained. “But I’m still going to try and find them to talk them out of this.”
“Good luck,” they called after her.
Just then Harry came down the steps of the boys’ dormitory.
“Harry I think the twins are going to try and attack Umbridge with a lion. I’ll explain later can I please have the Marauders map?” Hermione asked desperately.
“Yeah sure,” Harry said running back up the stairs and then passed her the old, blank piece of parchment. “You know how to use it?”
“Yes,” Hermione nodded, “thanks Harry I’ll see you later.”
“No probl...” Harry started to say but Hermione was gone. He shook his head ‘she’d do anything for George,’ he thought with a grin.
“I solemnly swear I’m up to no good,” Hermione whispered tapping her wand to the parchment then watching the ink flood the page forming a map of the castle grounds. Her eyes scanned the parchment looking for either one of the names and found them. Fred and George’s footsteps were on the second floor and stood still at a corner. She tucked the map into her robes and continued walking, down a staircase and took a few turns before she heard the familiar voices.
She walked silently, sneaking up behind them. And stood there hands on her hips waiting for one of them to notice her. After a few minutes they remained unaware of her presence so bored of waiting she spoke.
“And what exactly are the infamous Weasley twins doing lurking around corners?” she asked with a smirk leaning against a pillar.
Both twins jumped.
“Jesus Christ were you trying to give us a heart attack?” George asked clutching his chest.
“Bloody hell Hermione you scared me half to death!” Fred exclaimed.
Hermione was laughing loudly immediately causing George to laugh as well followed by Fred with a slow chuckle. But Hermione stopped laughing quickly and stared at them intensely wanting answers straight away.
“You aren’t really going to try and transfigure something into a lion and have it attack Umbridge are you?” demanded Hermione.
The twins’ faces fell.
“How did you-?”
“You couldn’t possibly have worked that out by yourself?” George asked.
“You do remember that Dean’s my friend right? He showed me the picture and then told me your reaction...I wasn’t impressed! Please tell me that isn’t what you’re planning?”
“Hermione dear, you underestimate us! Dean’s picture did inspire us but doing exactly what was described in that short animation would be plagiarism and we are very original people so...” Fred started.
“...we put our own little spin on it. Now what’s going to happen is we did a very advanced charm, which I’m sure you will be impressed by, so not long from now Umbridge will be transfigured into a lion. Obviously students and teachers will go wild and try and stop it getting loose in the school. At the very least someone’s bound to stun her! It’s going to be hilarious. Also we replaced her wand with a fake one so she won’t be able to transfigure herself back. We thought it all through,” George explained.
“One little glitch in your plan...” Hermione began to say.
“Glitch?” Fred asked, “What on Earth is a glitch?”
“Sorry Muggle phrase it means like a problem or issue,” Hermione explained.
“Ah so you see an issue? Do share your concern Hermione,” Fred said his voice unusually posh.
“You may not care about being expelled but with this sort of thing you could be locked up in Azkaban,” Hermione told them.
“Hermione we promise no one will ever know it was us,” George said.
Hermione looked at him as if he just grew another head, “B-but But...”
“We are the best of our kind- trust us we know what we’re doing,” Fred said.
“I’m a Prefect,” Hermione said, “this is going against everything I’m supposed to do.”
“Don’t be a Percy,” George whispered into her ear with his breath warm against her neck. “Just sit back, relax and enjoy the show. It goes down at dinner,” George told her before he and Fred disappeared.
Hermione felt oddly warm as she wondered up the stairs back to the Gryffindor common room.
She was half way up the stairs when she saw Harry, Ron and Ginny coming down the stairs so she paused and waited for them to level with her.
“Hey Hermione,” they all chimed.
“Where’ve you been?” Ron asked curiously.
“Library but I’m certain you could have guessed that,” Hermione lied convincingly. She lied for two reasons. One, the twins could come to their senses and realise the possible consequences of their plan and change their minds. That was unlikely but very slightly possible. Two, if they went through with the plan she was sure Fred and George would want it to be a surprise so telling them would ruin it.
“Oh yeah should have guessed,” Ron shrugged. “We’re heading down to dinner.”
Hermione’s stomach churned either from anxiety or excitement she wasn’t certain which. “Okay...I’ll come with,” she said unsurely.
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