Victoire loved her cousin Fred dearly, but when she entered the Ravenclaw Common Room the morning before Halloween to find the statue of Rowena Ravenclaw emitting sparks that spelled out ʻHappy Halloween, bookworms,ʼ she immediately decided that this meant war.
However, as soon as she started trying to come up with an actual plan, she hit a brick wall. It was always Fred and Lexy who came up with the good ideas – she was really only useful when it came to executing them, preferably without getting detention. She was good at that. Coming up with a good prank in the first place...
She slumped against the wall that separated the girlsʼ staircase from the boys'. It was all well and good to declare war on him, but it wouldnʼt mean anything if she couldnʼt think of a good way to get him back.
And she knew that it was him. Who else would break into her Common Room and deface the statue?
Someone emerged from the stairs leading up to the boysʼ dormitories and stopped dead at the bottom step. She glanced over at the boy with curly blond hair. He was staring at the statue with a mixture of horror and dismay on his face. “Fred.”
“Fred,” Victoire agreed. “Iʼve just declared war on him.”
Her friend Micah looked around. Most of the Ravenclaws were taking advantage of the lazy Sunday morning and sleeping in, but there were a few groups of students - mostly first, second, and third years - scattered around the Common Room. The first years in particular kept glancing toward the statue as though they were afraid the sparks might do more than just spell out words.
Victoire was not entirely convinced that those fears were unreasonable.
“Well, Iʼm in.” Micah ran a hand over his unruly curls. Either he hadnʼt bothered to brush his hair that morning or it just hadnʼt made a difference - they were completely out of control. “Do you know the password to the Gryffindor Common Room?”
Victoire made a face and followed him over to an isolated circle of couches and chairs as far away from the sparks as they could manage. “No. Itʼs not fair - all he had to do was walk us back to our Common Room once and he knows how to get in forever. We have to find out the new password every few months.”
Micah blew out his breath and settled into the couch heʼd claimed. For Micah, settling in tended to mean taking up as much space as humanly possible - heʼd already put his feet up on one of the arms so he could lay backward onto a large mountain of bright blue pillows.
Thankfully, Victoire - who was quite familiar with her best friend's habit of spreading out as much as humanly possible - had chosen to claim an armchair instead.
“Well, we need the Gryffindor password,” he said. “Think Cheyenne would give it to us?”
“Doubt it.” The trouble was that Victoire, Micah, and Fred had the same group of friends, and heʼd almost certainly tipped off the Gryffindors not to give anyone the password.
Micah sighed. “Too bad Teddyʼs gone. Heʼd give you the password in a heartbeat.”
Victoire was momentarily diverted from her plans for revenge. “Why do you say that? Fred wouldʼve tipped him off, too.”
He shrugged. “Yeah, but heʼd have told you anyway.”
Victoire chose to ignore this, and before he could say anything else, there was a loud bang from the statue. They both jumped and looked over at it as two of the first years squealed and made for the stairs. The sparks had turned purple and were now spelling out, “Ha-Ha-Ha, bookworms.”
Micah seemed to take this as a sign that he probably shouldn't be teasing Victoire about Teddy, which she was just as grateful for. “You could use your feminine charm on Dale Scovell. Heʼs been wanting to ask you out for ages.”
She wrinkled her nose. She had nothing against Dale Scovell - not really, anyway - but if she were going to try to charm the password out of anyone, Dale would be near the bottom of the list. She didnʼt like his nose. Or his hair.
Or anything, really.
“You use your charms on Leslie Wyatt. Iʼve seen her staring at you in the Great Hall - I think she likes your hair.”
Micah looked intrigued by this information. “Really?" His hand jumped up to his curls. "Leslie, huh?”
Victoire stretched out her foot to kick him before he could get distracted. “Micah. Focus.”
Before she could say anything else, however, they heard a voice from just outside the circle of chairs. “Hey, Vic.”
Victoire looked up. A slight girl with long blonde hair was leaning on one the back of one of the chairs, looking a little unsure of whether she was interrupting a private summit. “Hey, Domi. Do you want to join us?”
Her sisterʼs face broke into a smile and she slipped into the chair next to Victoireʼs. “What are you talking about?”
“How to get into the Gryffindor Common Room,” Micah said from his spot on the couch. “We want to get even for the statue.”
“Oh. I thought Fred might have done that. It seems like something he would do. Do you need the password?”
Micah nodded and let his head fall back against the pillows. He was probably starting to think about Leslie Wyatt. Victoire kicked him again, and he gave her a sheepish grin that told her that her instincts had been right.
Something in Dominiqueʼs tone had intrigued Victoire, so she turned back to her sister. “Do you know the password?”
“What? Oh, yeah, of course I do. The other day Hannah and I were trying to convince Mason to give football a chance, and he went into his Common Room to get away from us.” Dominique did not seem to be particularly perturbed by their friend's reaction. She and her friend Hannah - who had introduced her to football in the first place - were used to it.
“Oh. Itʼs ʻPatronus Charm.ʼ" She shifted in her seat. "Can I come?”
Victoire looked her sister over. Dominique was very enthusiastic, but she wasnʼt very good at breaking the rules or coming up with excuses if she did. If they got caught, sheʼd probably just get them into hot water.
And besides, Victoire doubted that her parents would approve of her leading her third- year sister in breaking at least ten school rules.
“Er - no, I think itʼll just be us sixth-years.”
Dominique shrugged and got up. “Well, good luck.” She seemed to have ascertained that the conversation was not sufficiently interesting, so she left them to it.
Victoire's sister had a very low threshold for boredom.
Victoire and Micah exchanged a grin. It was time for Fred to get what was coming to him.
As soon as they could figure out a suitable prank, anyway.
“He didnʼt do it alone, you know,” Micah pointed out as they made their way downstairs for lunch. "Fred never does anything alone. Somebody helped him."
He was right. Fred had a deep aversion to ever doing anything by himself - he claimed it ruined the fun.
"Lexy?" Victoire offered after a moment of thought.
Micah's nose wrinkled slightly. "Definitely Lexy."
When they entered the Great Hall, however, Lexy was sitting alone at the Hufflepuff table, pushing her food around her plate with her fork and looking more than a little disgusted.
Victoire glanced over at Micah. "Maybe not Lexy, then."
"Maybe not." They made their way over to the Hufflepuff table, which was looking rather empty for a weekend lunch.
"What's wrong with you?" he asked as they slid in across from her.
Lexy glanced up. "Don't ask." Now that they were closer, Victoire could see that her hair was still damp, and there was the faintest scent of lavender in the air, probably from Lexy's shampoo. That was odd – she knew that Lexy never showered in the morning.
"We're asking." Micah began to serve himself from the Hufflepuff platters.
Lexy sighed and ran her hands through her hair. “Fred decided to set off a dungbomb in the Hufflepuff Common Room.”
Lexy shot Micah a withering glare. “Yes, just one, Micah. We don't have windows. One was really more than enough.”
He had the good grace to look remorseful, though Victoire strongly suspected his expression wasn't genuine. “All right, one dungbomb. Why'd he do that?”
Lexy threw her fork down and glanced over at the Gryffindor table. Fred was nowhere to be found, which as far as Victoire was concerned was probably a good thing.
“I guess because he wanted me to help him prank you guys for Halloween and I said no.” The surprise must have been evident on their faces – Lexy never turned down the chance to prank someone – because she hurried to add, “Well, I wanted to, but Neville caught me out of bounds a couple days ago, and he said that if I put another toe out of line before Christmas he'd ban me from Hogsmeade for the rest of the year. And tell my mother.”
Micah whistled. “Harsh.”
“Mm.” Lexy frowned into her goblet. “Stupid Neville. Wish he played favourites like Dorny does.”
Victoire could sympathise, but she had another, more pressing question. “Out of bounds meaning what, exactly? Breaking curfew?”
Lexy snorted. “If only. He caught me in Hogsmeade. No, not coming back from Hogsmeade, Micah – in Hogsmeade.”
Victoire winced. “Oh.”
“Yeah. I was stupid, honestly, I should have known I'd get caught at this time of year, but...” She trailed off. “Anyway, I don't want to be banned from Hogsmeade for the rest of the year, so I figured I'd try to keep my nose clean. Breaking into the Ravenclaw Common Room definitely goes against that.” She raised her eyebrows. “What did he end up doing?”
“Charmed our statue to say, 'Happy Halloween, bookworms.' Among other things.”
Lexy clearly did not properly understand how very insulting that was. “That's it?”
“What do you mean, it?” Victoire and Micah said together.
“It's an insult to the founder of our house,” Micah said.
“And it's really annoying,” Victoire added. “The noises were scaring the first years.”
“We're not just bookworms, you know. That's an unfair stereotype.”
“And who knows what the sparks are going to do next – it's Fred, it could be anything.”
“They could set the couches on fire.”
“Or turn into beetles.”
Lexy held up her hands. “Okay. Okay. I get it. It's horrible, terrible, and an insult to your entire house. You can shut up now.” She wrinkled her nose. “But on the bright side, it's not dungbombs. The Common Room is going to smell for days, I don't see how the house elves will get that smell out, whatever they said. Personally, I'd probably take the insult to my house, though probably not the beetles.”
Victoire acknowledged that with a shrug of her shoulders while Micah said, “So, are you up for getting him back?”
Lexy sighed. “No, Micah. I'm still supposed to be staying out of trouble, and I doubt Neville will accept 'but he started it' as an excuse.”
“No,” she repeated. “But I will give you the password, if that's worth anything.”
“I really wouldn't have minded flirting with Leslie until she told me,” Micah said offhandedly. “For future reference.” Victoire shot him a look, and Lexy kicked him. “What?”
“Well, would you like some of my firecrackers? Or help planning it?”
Victoire snorted. “So you're keeping to the letter of the law, huh?”
“Well, I can't imagine he's expecting any better. He said not to get into trouble. This isn't getting into trouble, it's helping other people cause trouble. It's totally different.” Lexy grinned. “So, what have you thought of so far?”
It occurred to Victoire to be quite thankful that Lexy wasn't involved, since Lexy really was very good at coming up with pranks.
A/N: I know, I know, wrong holiday. I actually started writing this for Halloween. Shows how much free time I've had lately.
Hopefully you enjoyed this, and if you have a moment, I would love it if you would leave a review! <3
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