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On The Subject of a Portable Swamp

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Fred hummed around the end of his sugar quill, trying to distract himself from the disturbing mental image of George and Lee Jordan in the shower together. He shuddered and crossed out a line of his Defense essay.

After another few minutes of staring at the parchment, he sighed and pushed his supplied away from him. NEWTs were for boring people anyway. He really needed to speak to George about when they were going to leave for good. Though, knowing George, he’d want to stay as long as possible to be with Lee.

He contemplated taking a puking pastille so he didn’t have to go to class, but he didn’t want to deprive any other students from buying their products to ditch Umbridge’s Defense classes.

Knowing George and Lee would be taking at least another twenty minutes in the bathroom, Fred rolled over on his four poster, shoved his arms under his pillow, and buried his face in it. A nap wouldn’t hurt.

A nap would hurt, apparently. Not even five minutes after Fred had fallen into a half-sleep was he startled awake by a loud BANG and a loud screech. He had jumped so high that he fell off his four post and had to reach back up under his pillow for his wand. George and Lee hadn’t heard the noises, since the shower was still running.

He peeked over the top of his bed and saw a pile of bushy hair sticking up in all directions, coated in a layer of stinksap. He stood with a grin, leaning casually against the end of his bed.

“Come to confiscate our personal possessions, have you?” Fred drawled, arms crossed over his chest.

Hermione wiped the stinksap from her face with a handkerchief before turning around, trying to pat her hair down proudly. “Of course not! I’ve just come to…” she touched her hair again, “I’ve come… Oh for Godric’s sake,” she pulled her wand from the pocket of her robes and cast a cleaning charm on her hair. The stinksap seemed to sink even further into her hair and turn the color of bubblegum. She caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror attached to the wall and let out a shriek. “Fred!”

“Granger,” Fred regarded her with amused interest, watching her cast Tergeo after Scorgify after Tergeo and trying not to laugh as her hair turned green and purple and blue. He did let out a chuckle when it turned a brilliant shade of red, matching the carpet and the bedsheets.

She finally stopped trying to clean out the stinksap and shot Fred a glare. “I didn’t come to confiscate your things, I came because… Well, because Ron’s told me about this ‘portable swamp’ you and George have come up with and I wanted to see the blueprints,” she mumbled the last part, looking down at her hands. “How did you charm your trunk to shoot stinksap at anyone who tried to open it?”

“Ah, ah. Sorry, Hermione. We don’t give out our secrets,” Fred said offhandedly, walking around Hermione to eye his unopened trunk. “And it’s quite simple, actually. You’ll just have to ask Neville for some of the sap from that plant by his bed.”

“Can you fix my hair, then? Please?” Hermione asked, eyes flitting up to Fred’s face.

Fred heaved an incredible sigh, like Hermione was forcing him to put a great deal of effort into this. With a short flick of his wand, the stinksap vanished and her hair was returned to the, in Fred’s opinion, boring shade of brown. He pursed his lips for a moment before flicking his wrist again, making his trunk open. He dug through for a moment before pulling out the blueprints for the portable swamp.

“You can’t tell George I showed you. He’d throw a right fit,” Fred eyed her suspiciously for a moment before opening the roll of parchment.

“Where is he, anyway?”

He regarded her curious expression with a mischievous grin. “In the shower. With Lee.”

“With… With Lee?” she squeaked, eyes wide.

He stood and pulled her over towards the bathroom, motioning for her to press her ear to the door and doing the same himself. Barely heard over the sound of running water were low groans. Hermione’s brown eyes widened even more and she opened her mouth to speak, or shout. Fred put his finger to his lips and took a step back from the door.

Normally, he’d be staying on his bed and trying to forget what was happening in the next room, but he got a thrill from seeing the blush creep up Hermione’s neck and cheeks.

“By the sounds of it, they’ll be in there for a while yet,” Fred said, grimacing a bit as a louder moan could be heard through the door. He walked back to his bed and sat down. Hermione sat across from him, leaning forward to get a clear view of the parchment as Fred explained how it works.

“And you’ve tried it already?” She asked, impressed by the sheer intelligence it takes to develop this kind of idea.

Fred nodded. “Only in the forest behind the Burrow, but it seems to work pretty well outdoors. We haven’t tried it indoors yet.”

For a moment, Fred couldn’t understand why it suddenly seemed so quiet in the room, and then he heard the door to the bathroom start to squeak open. He shot Hermione a meaningful look and then dragged her out of the dorm room before they could be seen.

Pressed against the cold stone of the tower, Hermione shivered and bit her lip to keep quiet. Fred pressed his ear to the dorm room door and listened to George and Lee rustle around. And then a murmured, “Again?” followed by a long groan. Fred almost gagged.

He turned back to Hermione and, without thinking, reached out his hand to pull her lip free from her teeth.

“Did you guys really come up with that on your own?” she whispered, brown eyes bright in the sunlight that crept into the tower’s staircase.

“Contrary to popular belief, George and I are very intelligent,” Fred argued, stepping closer to her and watching as she pressed herself farther against the wall. His thumb trailed down her jaw and landed on her chin, tilting it up slightly.

“I-I didn’t…” she trailed off as Fred leaned in to press his lips against hers.