trick or trick

"Ow! Fred, watch your step! We don't want to wake him."

"Sorry, George. But if Ron kept his side of the dorm neater, I wouldn't have to worry about being swallowed whole by his soddin' junk!"

The twins crept silently past Harry's bed, wands in hand, to stand by Ron's night table.

"Ready Fred?"

"Ready George."


The pumpkin juice was exceptionally spicy this morning, tinged with a pinch of satisfaction. Ron licked his lips, paused for a moment to acknowledge Harry's point in the "discussion" with Hermione - something preposterous about saving those pesky house elves. He was too tense to listen fully. Harry gave his hand a brief squeeze under the table, and a reassuring nod.

Neville Longbottom was the first to scream, then Seamus and Parvati. In a matter of moments the entire dining hall had turned their attention to Fred and George, each staring at the other's face encased in an arachnid's body. The commotion was extraordinary, both Fred and George scuttling about in a panicked frenzy on their eight hairy legs. Not that Ron noticed. He sat frozen in place, eyes tightly shut, white knuckled hands gripping the table, until Hagrid arrived to gather the twins to whisk them off to the infirmary.

"Ron? Open your eyes, it's all over." Harry whispered in his ear and nudged him encouragingly. Ron cautiously opened one eye and then the other. He grinned at Harry, the color slowly returning to his face.

"The deflection amulet actually worked! That was bloody fantastic!" He looked around excitedly at the mass of riled up students returning to their benches and their breakfasts. "They'll think twice about trying another prank on me now."

"Or they'll plan for an even worse prank next Halloween." Hermione scolded, arms crossed looking entirely unimpressed. "You're both lucky Professor Snape didn't catch you slipping that transfiguration potion in their juice, or you'd both be expelled for sure!"

"We were careful! And next year, we'll be ready for them, won't we Harry?" Harry smiled from behind his goblet, feeling Ron's warm fingers tracing the inside of Harry's palm, and the taste of pumpkin spice on his wet lips.