The Plan is Hatched
Ron paced nervously.
Students were pouring down the steps—couples arm in arm—dressed in their bests, laughing and joking with one another.
But Ron didn't feel like laughing.
In fact, he was on the verge of losing his dinner all over the marble floor.
He pulled at his bowtie—suddenly hot and finding it difficult to breathe.
This was wrong . . . . This was stupid. There should be no way in Hell that he should be standing outside the doors of the Great Hall, dressed up, and waiting for his scheming, conniving, twin brothers to show up and ruin his evening.
No, scratch that: Ruin his life.
He should be up in his room right now, boycotting this stupid dance. At least then he would be out of these uncomfortable clothes and having a much better time.
He could feel something building in the pit of his stomach: What was it?
No, he wasn't excited. In fact, he was dreading every second of this night.
Okay, so maybe there were some nerves—for obvious reasons—because honestly, what if this actually did work?
He shook his head, as if physically trying to remove the thought from his mind. No, this was a much stronger feeling. But what was it?
But what was he afraid of? It's Fred and George—his own brothers.
He paused, the thought circling his head, and suddenly, the answer was acutely crystal clear.
It's Fred and George—his own brothers.
And, no matter how good their intentions are, this plan was not going to work . . . and it was going to be Ron that got the brunt of it. He would have to live through this. He would have to face her was his life that was going to be ruined . . . because it was Fred and George.
This was going to backfire. He didn't know how . . . but he just knew that it would—deep down in the pit of his stomach.
Because it was Fred and George.
Ron scoffed through his nose—laughing out loud at his foolishness. He had actually bought into it all: Bought into the romanticism, bought into the miraculous invention, bought into the fantasy that he could finally obtain what he was always to chicken to go out and get . . . .
Shaking his head, he couldn't help but smile.
This was a trap. Nothing good was going to come from this. It was pointless to wait anymore. He was going to leave—he was going to stop this before it started.
His mind made up, he turned swiftly toward the Grand Staircase and began to maneuver through the crowd of students, determined to spend the remainder of his evening locked up in his room in Gryffindor Tower—sulking, alone, and depressed.
It would be less painful that way—because he wouldn't have to suffer the anguish of this stupid dance.
Promise or no promise.
But, just as he lifted his foot onto the first step, a hand clapped heavily onto his shoulder. "Oy, Mate! Where you off to?"
Ron sighed heavily before he turned to face Fred. "I was leaving."
"Leaving? What?" George's incredulous voice broke in.
"I was sick of waiting for you."
"Well, we're here now," Fred slung his arm around Ron's shoulders and began walking him toward the Great Hall, "so it must be your lucky day."
Sulking, Ron remained silent, but allowed his brother to lead him.
George walked up beside him.
Taking a step back, he studied him briefly—his eyes traveling down the length of Ron's body—before he reached out and fingered Ron's lapel. "Nice duds, little brother. Where'd you get 'em?"
Ron pulled away from his grip, annoyed. "Harry lent them to me."
Fred dropped his arm from Ron's shoulder and circled him slowly. Stopping beside George, he suddenly burst out laughing. "A little short in the leg, huh?"
Ron's black pants stopped a few inches from the top of his shoe, revealing his black socks, and he tugged at his pant leg self-consciously, his face flushing hot as blood rushed to his cheeks. "Yeah, well it's better than what Mom sent me," he said defensively.
Suddenly wanting to floor to open up and swallow him, Ron subconsciously took a step backward, toward the staircase.
Fred noticed this and gripped his arm once more. "Relax. Seriously . . . you look fine."
George circled to Ron's opposite side and took his other arm. Locked in place between the twins, Ron had no other choice than to follow their lead.
"So, where is dapper young Harry tonight?"
Pouting, Ron's response came from between tight lips. "He's already inside."
"As should you be."
Ron shook his head. "Really, guys . . . . I-I don't think this is such a good idea. In fact, I'm not feeling too well. I think maybe I'm coming down with something and I should just go up to my room straightaway and get into bed . . . ."
He pulled at his restraints, trying to free himself so he could flee, but the twins held firm.
"You're not going anywhere, Ronald Weasley." George's voice was light, but firm.
"But, why? I don't even want to be here." Ron's response came out much whinier than he wanted.
"You're not going anywhere, because we have this." Releasing his arm, Fred fished in his coat pocket momentarily before he smiled and held up a tiny vial between his forefinger and thumb. The petite glass bottle glistened in the light with pale yellow liquid.
Ron barely lifted his eyes from his shoes. "What's that?"
"This, dear brother, is what we have been slaving over for you."
Ron raised his eyebrows, his head fully vertical. "That's it? That's your miraculous invention?"
George clicked his tongue. "Oh, ye of little faith. You scoff at what you do not know."
Ron's mouth turned downwards into a frown. "And what don't I know?"
Fred held the bottle up to the light and looked at it proudly. "That this is your ticket to happiness."
The frown remained plastered on Ron's face, but an involuntary surge of excitement radiated through him. He could feel his heart beating heavily against his chest and he tried to remain calm. "What does it do?"
Taking the vial from Fred, George wrapped his arm around Ron's shoulders and held it before both of them. The liquid sloshed and Ron was mesmerized by the way it seemed to sparkle.
"This, my dear boy, is going to get you laid tonight."
Ron jerked from George's grasp, his feeling of excitement immediately gone and replaced with a feeling of horror.
Fred smiled. "That's right. Tonight, all of your dreams are going to come true."
Ron shook his head. "No . . . no, no, no," he turned to each brother in turn, condemning them with a pointed finger to reiterate his point, "no . . . . no!"
Fred gripped Ron's finger and lowered it from his face. "Oh, c'mon. You know that you want to . . . . We know that you want to . . . . Hell, everyone knows that you want to. We're just giving you . . . ."
George finished Fred's sentence, "a gentle push in the right direction."
Fred nodded, "just a little help."
Ron's eyes closed, he slowly swayed his head back and forth, refusing to listen. "No . . . . no. It's not going to happen."
"Why not? You can't tell me that you don't want it. This is your chance . . . ."
"A once in a lifetime opportunity."
Ron's eyes snapped open, a newfound fire eluding from them. "No. This is barbaric. I respect her far too much." He rubbed his hands furiously over his face. "I can't believe I listened to you . . . . But, then again, I wasn't expecting this. I mean, this is an all-time low for you two."
"An all-time low?" George's mouth fell slack. "This is one of the greatest presents we could have ever given you."
"A present?!" Ron's jaw dropped as his voice rose. "What you're talking about is date rape. It's vile and disgusting. How is that a present?"
"No, not date rape—"
Fred held his hands up, trying to explain, but Ron waved him off impatiently. "I am not going to ROOFIE my date!"
George looked around, his eyes wild, relieved when not many heads turned their way. "Shhhhh! What are you—?"
Fred shook his head furiously. "No . . . no, no, no. We would never . . . ."
George mimicked Fred's head movement. "It's not a date rape. Believe me; we respect her far too much for that as well."
Ron stood, his arms crossed in self-defense, too angry for words.
Fred scrambled for an explanation. "It's nothing like that . . . . You see, it has to be consensual."
George nodded. "It has to be . . . or it won't work. We would never be that—"
"It just amplifies the subconscious, that's all."
"A crush enhancer."
"And you can't tell me that she doesn't have some feelings for you that are a little stronger than friendship."
"It's purely innocent."
"Really, it's nothing more harmful than a strong aphrodisiac."
His brothers' words were slowly beginning to sink in. Could she have stronger feelings for him than just friendship?
His heart fluttered at the thought, butterflies swarming in his gut, but Ron shook his head, his jaw set, determined not to stoop to his brothers' disgusting level. "It's not purely innocent . . . and I'm not going to be a part of it. It's wrong, disrespectful, and you two should be ashamed of yourselves."
Spinning on his heel, he took a single step and paused, his breath knocked completely from him.
There she was.
Linked in arm with Lee Jordan, Hermione Granger walked gracefully down the stairway, almost appearing to float as her hips sashayed slightly.
Clad in silver silk that dragged lightly on the floor, she was a vision.
The satiny material glistened in the dim lighting, accentuating her small waist and the curve of her hip. The neckline dipped low, the point coming to a rest only a few inches above her navel, revealing a deep set collarbone, porcelain skin, and the slightest hint of how full her breasts were. Delicate straps rested over her thin shoulders, crisscrossing toward the back before securing behind her neck.
Loose curls framed her face softly, her eyes bright with simple, yet glamorous makeup.
She was laughing, her teeth white and perfect, and it caused her cheeks to flush faintly, causing a healthy glow to radiate from her face.
Lee and Hermione reached the bottom of the stairs and, still laughing, walked past Ron—whose mouth was slightly agape and suddenly very dry.
Hermione turned her head and waggled her fingers at Ron briefly, her smile warm and genuine, before turning her attention back to her date.
Ron watched her walk toward the Great Hall.
If his breath had been lost by the sight of her from the front, he must surely be dead now that he was able to see her from the back.
Her hair was pulled up, pinned in elegant fashion, and exposed her long, naked back. Her skin was smooth—immaculate—her shoulder blades sharp.
A chain traveled from her neck to where the dress came to a stop, at a point, at the lowest part of her lumbar, splitting her back in two as it followed the deep inset of her spine. The material hugged her hips, emphasizing her firm, round ass, and didn't leave much more to the imagination.
Ron's heart beat painfully against his ribs and he watched her, his eyes repeatedly traveling the length of her body—soaking it all in—until she slipped seamlessly through the doors and disappeared into the Great Hall.
His palms sweaty, he wiped them once, twice, on his pants.
He stood, staring at the door in a daze—not quite able to comprehend if what had just happened was real.
Spinning carefully, his eyes slightly glazed, he turned toward his brothers. They stared at him, almost in concern, as he maneuvered toward them in zombielike fashion.
Licking his lips, he slowly reached out and took the vial that was clasped gently between George's fingers with a shaky hand. He then swallowed thickly before speaking, and even when words came, it didn't sound like him—it sounded far away in his head.
"So, how does this stuff work?"