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Chapter 1 : All's Fair in Love and War
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A/N: This is the second chapter of a story written for the 2014 “Speed Dating Valentine’s Challenge.” The first half of this story was written by my partner, LightLeviosa5443, and can be found on her archive page under the same title.
This story is also AU. It takes place in a universe that ignores the fact Fred Weasley died at the end of Deathly Hallows.
Chapter 2: “All’s Fair in Love and War”
“…a hundred and twelve years old, boys! That’s a hundred years too old to be sitting cross-legged on the ground at a flim-flam festival! This is the last straw! I am writing both of you out of my will!”
“Oh, Aunty Muriel, you wrote us out of your will ten years ago,” Fred Weasley said to the ancient woman who was currently shoving her cane in his chest.
“After that melting sofa incident at Christmas,” George reminded her.
Fred grinned at the memory, sharing a secret look with his brother. Those had been good times… Then he shook his head, pulling his thoughts back out of the past and returning to the fuming woman in front of him. “Besides, if we hadn’t invited you, you’d have been mortally offended,” he told her bluntly.
“Hmph,” Aunty Muriel groused, refusing to meet his eyes.
“Now, why don’t you just enjoy the free food and captive audience and find someone to bore to death with the latest gossip,” George offered, giving their great-aunt a cheeky wink.
“If you look around, we think there might be cake.”
Appearing every bit like a bear that had been awoken two months early from hibernation – albeit a bear dressed in frumpy robes and a hat covered in molting canaries – Aunty Muriel stalked off.
“One down…” George said.
“…one to go,” Fred finished with a sigh, watching the determined figure of their mother storming across the grass in their direction. He briefly considered making a bid for escape, but then decided that would look less than manly, especially on his wedding day.
“Frederick Gideon and George Fabian Weasley!” His mother stopped right in front of them, her finger jabbing the air in an erratic fashion, as if she couldn’t make up her mind who to yell at first. Beside him, George leaned back lazily in his chair while Fred plastered on his most charming grin.
“Yes, Mum?” he asked innocently.
“You two! I can’t believe you just…! Grass mats and a llama? Tibetan chanting? Belly dancing House-elves?”
Fred smiled as her eyebrows disappeared into her greying hair. That had been one of his more brilliant ideas, if he did say so himself. The perfect touch for their ceremony. Aziza had thrown back her head and laughed and laughed, her mesmerizing black curls bouncing in the breeze while her soft, brown eyes shown with joy. Besides, the House-elf Belly Dancing Club had been so pleased. Apparently, it had been their first real gig. How could he say no to that?
“How could you not tell us? Tell me?” his mother’s shrill voice continued, cutting through his musings. “Not one word!”
“Mum, you really should calm down,” George tried to interrupt the rapidly increasing flow of words, but it was futile, like trying to stop a rushing river with a pebble.
“Look at me, wearing house-robes! And Bill…! No guests! No reception! And the girls! What will people think? What will we tell them? And…and…oh my baby boys! I can’t believe it! You’re married!” Suddenly, she’d thrown herself at them, pulling them both into such a tight embrace that their heads nearly knocked together as she sobbed into their robes.
Fred rolled his eyes in George’s direction. This was exactly why they’d hatched The Plan in the first place. They’d watched Bill get married, and Ron, and Harry. The moment their mum heard the word “wedding” she turned into a giddy, crying, planning monster. There was no way they were going to allow themselves to suffer through that torture. They wanted the most outlandish, insane weddings they could think of. That and the fact that they just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to pull the prank of the century, inviting their family over for a casual, summer party and springing a double wedding on them instead. The looks on everyone’s faces as they gradually figured out what was going on…he would cherish those memories until his dying day.
Which, if his mother continued to clinging to his neck like this might come sooner than he thought. Fred decided his robes were wet enough; time to end this.
“Mum…can’t…breathe,” he choked out, only half pretending.
“D’you want us to…pass out on…wedding day?” George added.
Their mother released them, stepping back and wiping at red eyes. She shook her head for a moment and then let out a long-suffering resigned sigh.
“Look on the bright side, Mum,” said George cheerily.
“We could have eloped,” finished Fred.
“Oh, you two!” she cried, smacking at the backs of their heads, but Fred thought he saw a tiny smile tugging at the corners of her lips. “And what of Aziza and Akila? How could you do this to them? A little girl dreams of her wedding day! How could you take that away from them?”
“Mum, you think we thought this up on our own?” George asked, aghast.
“Are you kidding? This was mostly their idea!” Fred threw in, glancing over to where their incredible girlfrie – wives were chatting with Ginny and Hermione.
Wife. He had a wife now – the cleverest, smartest, most devious woman on the planet. Oh, and she was beautiful as well. And in a few hours, he’d help George send everyone packing from this party so he could escape with Aziza to that sweet little Persian-themed tent he’d rented and then the real festivities would begin…
“Remember that eloping we mentioned?” George’s words pulled back his wandering thoughts once more.
“That was our idea. Besides, this wedding was amazing! Who wants a wedding with a stuffy official, uncomfortable dress robes, and rows of bored guests? This was so much better! We got to pull off the best prank of our careers while marrying the most amazing women in the world, and you lot got a wild party!”
“It really is a win-win for everyone.”
“What am I going to do with you two?” their mother said, shaking her head. This time, there was no doubt about the smile gracing her wrinkled face. “Come here,” she added, pulling first Fred into another hug, and then turning to George to do the same. “Congratulations. I really am very proud of both of you.”
Just at that moment, a loud explosion rocked the garden, followed by a shrill voice spewing forth the most creative of expletives. Fred didn’t even try to contain the laughter that rose up and spilled out at the sound.
“Looks like Muriel found the cake!” he said between chortles.
“See, Mum! Weddings are a blast,” George added, laughing so hard he had to lean forward on his knees.
Before them, their mum just buried her face in her hands.
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