"Gred And Forge's Complete Guide To Getting Yourself Into More Trouble Than Is Absolutely Necessary, Part The First"
My Dear Reader,
This morning, when I stepped outside my door (a very dangerous business, that) there was a very large package waiting for me. I've decided to share the contents with you. I hope you get as many chuckles out of this as I did.
Dear Lady Chi,
We happened upon your account of our old friend and business partner's sixth year at Hogwarts and found it to be quite worth the read. Imagine our surprise when you took the time to mention our humble narrative! We're immensely pleased, so we've enclosed the full version, no corners uncut, autographed copy of Gred and Forge's Complete Guide To Getting Yourself Into More Trouble Than Is Absolutely Necessary, Part The First.
Please, enjoy it, complements of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes… "More bangs, whistles, cracks, and funny smells for your Galleon!"
Fred and George Weasley
Gred and Forge's Complete Guide To Getting Yourself Into More Trouble Than Is Absolutely Necessary
Part The First
A Brief Note By The Authors
We, that is to say, Frederick Michael Weasley and George Alexander Weasley, would like to inform you that you have happened upon a marvellous and somewhat dangerous volume containing all the knowledge we've acquired over the years concerning pranks, mischief, thievery, and those sorts of immoral things. Congratulations.
Please note that we had the help of four brilliant "friends" and mentors who made our lives considerably easier, so pulling off some of these stunts might be slightly more difficult than we make it out to be.
At the insistence of our very pompous, but ingenious older brother and our sister-in-law, former Head Girl Penelope Clearwater Weasley, we (the authors) do hereby officially state that Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes takes no financial or moral responsibility for the mischief you cause after absorbing this tome. Unofficially, we wish you the best of luck, and would like to remind you that WWW gives you the most bangs whistles, cracks, and funny smells for your Galleon!
Go now in mischief.
We solemnly swear we are up to no good.
F. and G.
How to Use The Book
Like all other Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes products, this book is a bit… unique. That is to say, it doesn't always work like you expect it to. There is no table of contents, exactly.
If you wish to know about something specific, tap the book with your wand twice, and tell it, quite firmly, mind you, to, "Open up, you bloody bugger!"
It is wise not to try and open the book in front of your mother. Trust us.
Once it opens, there will be a list of topics. Tell the book what you want to know about, and nine times out of ten, it will comply.
Our other quite infamous sister-in-law, Hermione Granger-Weasley, would say that in circumstances like these, appearances can be deceiving.
If you want to read the book cover to cover, we suggest you take a pill and go straight to bed. If, in the morning, you find that you still wish to do so, repeat the earlier instructions, and say, "Tell me all."
If the book is feeling talkative, you might get three or four pages out of it at a time.
If the instructions given are too difficult for you, then we most humbly apologise. We also have some lovely underwater farming land we wouldn't mind selling to you.
Primary Objectives: Establishing a mission goal, establishing a home base. Primary Spells: The basics, The not so basics Conspiracy Theories: Who to trust Escaping: Planning a route; How to forget it Excuses: How and when to use them; How to come up with them Planning a mission Words of Wisdom
Establishing a mission goal
As beginning mischief makers, the first mistake you often make is wandering about haplessly looking for a target for, well, mischief. We have found that this doesn't help at all. It's important to know who and what you're after before you begin.
Often, the reason for a prank is some injustice that must be righted. In these cases, immediate retribution may not be the ticket to ultimate success, particularly after you've built your reputation. (See Section Five, "Words of Wisdom"). Potential targets will be wary and jumpy. Experienced prankers will be able to use this to their advantage, as the target will be more likely to get themselves into situations where they are more easily duped.
In other cases, said target may be a miserable representative of their species, or even genus, hell, his family. (Mrs. Norris is a prime example of this type of target.). In which case, missions against them should be stretched over a long period of time, again taking into account the suspicious nature of such targets.
After you've established a target, the second step is:
Establishing a home base
Another rookie mistake often made by those who came after us without the benefit of our tutelage is failure to establish a "safe" location in which to meet if you and your co-conspirator should get separated. (See Section Three: "Conspiracy Theories") It is imperative that both you and your partner know where to go in such an emergency.
Fairly obvious choices are House common rooms, dormitories and prominent broom closets.
We recommend the lavatories.
Yes, we can see the shocked look on your face, and no, we are not, for once, joking. Consider the benefits of meeting in the loo. For your enjoyment, this is the first Weasley List ™.
No matter what, people have to use the loo. It's a fact of nature. So if you and your partner are in the loo at the same time, it can only be considered natural. (Unless, of course, you're in there for unnatural purposes… Moaning Myrtle…) Using the statement from above, members of the opposite sex often have to use the loo during the middle of the night, as well. This is an opportune time to do some minor snogging and secure an alibi. Finally, the loos are often the warmest places in Hogwarts during the midnight hours. After tramping out in the colder weather of the Forbidden Forest, this is definitely a benefit.
Mischief making becomes infinitely easier once one has passed what we like to refer to as the primary years in Hogwarts, but that by no means limits the activities our younger compatriots can take part in.
It just means they'll have to work harder. However, if you truly wish to become part of the long and glorious history of Hogwarts mischief makers, some effort will have to be put forth.
The first thing that first years must realise is that they can use their somewhat lower status to their advantage. Theoretically, first years know nothing about Hogwarts – the location of classrooms, secret passages, that sort of thing. You could always be "lost". We wouldn't recommend overdoing it with this strategy, however, as it can make you look somewhat less than intelligent.
It is imperative that you learn a few basic spells before venturing beyond Hogwarts walls. Here is the second Weasley List ™.
Wingardium Leviosa – the basic levitation spell can lift heavy objects that have greater gravitational forces than anticipated. It's purely a safety measure. Lumos –this "illuminating" spell can light the way for you in dark places. Full Body Bind – Our sister-in-law, Hermione Granger-Weasley, will attest to the usefulness of this spell. It holds attackers and other nasty things frozen in time, while giving you the chance to escape. It is not a good idea to attempt the Full Body Bind on a teacher.
Of course, there are other spells that could be advantageous for you to know. It's up to you to take the initiative and do some research, however. The library at WWW's could be quite helpful in this situation.
During these primary years, it should be your chief objective to come up with a complete map of Hogwarts: entrances into House common rooms, kitchens, loos, everything. This will be invaluable in the intermediate years.
Okay, congratulations! You've made it past your first and second years… give yourself a biscuit. Now's your chance to come up with even more radical mischief ideas, and to improve your stealth!
By now, you should have worked out the complete map of Hogwarts. Now you should memorise it. Risk going out in the night without it, finding a target and making it back to your House common room undetected.
Increasing your knowledge of jinxes, hexes, and disarming spells should also be a goal of the aspiring mischief maker. We recommend the following books in our third Weasley List ™.
"How To Pop A Wizard Without Getting Popped Yourself" – By Wanda Hurtless "Hexes, Jinxes and Curses For The Less Than Intelligent" – By Ima Nidiot. "Secret Passages, The Architecture And Finding" – By Sorta Bohring "Stepping Lightly"—By Une D. Tectable (Translated From French by Max D. Out)
All of these books can be found in the WWW library at a discount price for those who have read this book and ask for the titles by name.
For those of you really striving to follow in our footsteps, we've written a title just for you, "How To Navigate Hogwarts Without Seriously Injuring Yourself", which is due to be published within the year.
Who to Trust
Solo mischief making is something that both of the authors campaign very strongly against. The reasons why compile our fourth Weasley List ™.
Partners make the adventure all the more safe. Two pairs of eyes are better than one. Partners make missions more fun. Partners can make pretty much anything more fun. Partners provide scapegoats.
Okay, so we were just joking about the third. Giving up your partner, even under torture, is against the Mischief Maker's Code.
Finding a partner, a co-conspirator, a compatriot, is a bit like finding a soul mate. You have to agree with your basic mission at Hogwarts: to make as much harmless trouble as possible.
An immediate connection is usually a good sign, though a waiting period of about two weeks is strongly advised before approaching the candidate with an offer of partnership. During this time, observe the candidate for traits like trustworthiness, sense of humour, and smarts. There's nothing worse than a partner that can't carry out his end of the bargain.
Housemates should stick together in things of this nature. For one thing, it's easier to manage an adventure from one common room, and in the event of an emergency resulting in a cancellation; it makes giving notice that much less awkward.
Siblings make good partners, as we have so effectively demonstrated, so long as you're willing to put your differences aside for the great good of the planned mischief.
Doubting your partner puts any adventure or mission on the line, so if you have a gut instinct warning you not to trust someone, don't.
Planning an escape route
No matter what you and your partner have planned, no matter how perfectly executed the plan is, something can always go wrong.
Inevitably, sometimes, someone is going to find you, or discover your intent. That is why it is best to always cover your ar—erm, rear.
Before going into a teacher's office, for instance, be sure you know the location of all the exits. Determine beforehand every possible entrance for an intruder, even if the entrances may not be plausible, and plan for the event of an intruder using any one of the said entrances.
It's best that both of the partners involved on a mission have separate escape routes. This way, if one partner is caught and pressed hard for information, he will have no idea of the location of his compatriot, and will honestly say that he hasn't a clue as to where the soddering bugger has run off to.
Honesty, even partial honesty, helps in those sorts of situations.
How to forget your escape route
The title of this section may seem somewhat ridiculous to you. It does to us. However, we mean it with all honesty.
Every mission is different. No matter how many times you enter a room in order to cause mischief, no matter how much you think you know about the situation, your escape routes should always be slightly different. That is way forgetting previous escape routes is so vitally important.
So how do you achieve that? Our fifth Weasley List ™ answers that question.
Get involved in a romantic relationship. The frustration will make forgetting things that much easier. Cast a Memory Charm on yourself (not recommended) Get hit in the head with a Bludger …Don't think about it.
How and when to use them
Excuses, alibis, and other things of that nature are useful to the highly intelligent mischief maker, for what we hope are extremely obvious reasons. If you can say with a great deal of certainty that you were never in a particular area, then it makes it quite impossible for you to have committed certain… crimes.
We would like to take this opportunity to restate that we have never been in Snape's office, and we can prove it.
However, there are occasions when using an excuse may not be the best thing to do. These situations are listed in our fifth Weasley List ™.
When you've been married for several years. By now, your wife will have worked out your, well, mischievous nature, and any excuse or alibi you can come up with will be immediately dissected and analysed. At this point, it's best just to confess and grovel. It'll all be less painful that way. When it's obvious you've committed the crime. For example, there is no innocent reason to be dying a Malfoy's nostril hairs red and gold. Believe us, we've tried to come up with one. When it would be much better for all the parties involved to admit to committing the prank. It is bad manners to let someone else take the punishment for an act you've committed. For example, if you've removed all the locks off the doors to the girls' dressing rooms for Quidditch, subject yourself to punishment from up above before the team catches on. Again, this is experience speaking.
Never, ever, use pre-planned excuses or alibis, as they look absolutely ridiculous. On the other hand, don't go into a situation planning to improvise one, either. It's best to settle for a happy medium. Discuss possibilities en route to the target, when possible. When it's not possible, cross your fingers and hope for the best.
How to come up with a good excuse
Experience and time will teach you the best angles to play with every authority figure you will run across during your few short years at Hogwarts and beyond. Every excuse should be moulded to fit the person it's targeted at.
For instance, if the teacher to whom you're directing your alibi seems to know everything, anyway, it's best to keep your excuses short and to the point, as in, "Professor Dumbledore, we have absolutely no idea what we were doing in the Slytherin common room. We must have taken a wrong turn somewhere. Please excuse us."
If the teacher that you're conversing with is very dull, then any excuse will do. For example, "Professor Trelawney, due to the position of Jupiter in the third house, Fred and I were just out strolling, to take in the very obvious benefits that the stars tell us are going to come to us tonight."
We could go on for ages.
However, when faced with an irate mother, we would refer to number one of our fifth Weasley list. She probably already knows everything, anyway. Cutting off the flood before it sweeps you away is often the best strategy in those occasions.
Planning a mission
We've talked a great deal about the basics of mischief making, the very obvious (at least to us) dos and don'ts of the craft, but we haven't spent much time on the logistics of it.
The following is the sixth and last Weasley List ™, highlighting the process that we use to assure optimum success in our little hobby.
Select a target Observe target, watching for any little habits that might give us an edge. Also, in certain situations, having a chat with friends of the female sex might be an advantage, as they're certain to know more than you wanted to know about people they may dislike. Select a date to attack target (keeping in mind events that are important to target, such as tests, romantic encounters, etc.) Select method of attack Plan out routes, entering and returning, allowing for the possibility of encountering groundskeepers, teachers and other staff. Gather supplies needed. Inform a confidant. In case something goes horrifically wrong, this person will know where you were supposed to be. Attack target Return home
Words of Wisdom
In mischief making and pranking, building a reputation and using it are to your advantage. Don't hesitate to claim pranks and mischief occurrences that you had nothing to do with. Be witty and brilliant in class, even when it's a stretch.
If you continue along this path, pretty soon, you will come to be feared and somewhat revered, which makes your mischief making both easier and harder.
It's easier in that the students will willing provide you with ideas.
But it's harder in that you become a target for teachers with no lives. We're making no references to oily-haired gits that teach Potions.
Teach your mischief with the utmost seriousness, and so will everyone around you.
And now, my dear reader, in all seriousness, it's time for me to thank Mr. Fred and George Weasley, for inspiring me so… Without them, this short story would have never come to be.