I am so sick of the blooming lot of them, Ginny Weasley thought to herself as she stormed up the stairs to the girl's dormitory. She shoved the door open; the force sent it careening into the stone wall of the castle.
"I don't know who is worse," she said to the empty room. "Fred and George and their foolish practical jokes, or Ron who goes along with them every time they play a prank on me. Well, I'll show them. I am going to teach them all a lesson they'll never forget!"
With that brave declaration, Ginny climbed up on to her four-poster bed and fell asleep.
Down in the common room, the three Weasley brothers, Harry and Hermione stared at each other in amazement. They'd seen Ginny angry before, but never as angry as she was just then.
Harry turned to Fred and George and said, "Alright, what did you two do to her this time?"
Fred and George looked at each other and back to Harry.
"We didn't do anything this time," declared Fred.
"No, honestly, we didn't," said George, at the sight of Harry's doubtful face.
"Well, somebody did something," stated Hermione baldly, "and he or she had better watch out because that girl is on the warpath."
As she spoke, Hermione became aware of the soft sound of laughter beside her. She turned to look and found Ron shaking with laughter. He was laughing so hard that he could barely contain his mirth. "I think we found our culprit," she said.
Finally, Ron could no longer contain himself and he exploded with laughter. "It was me… it was the funniest thing I have ever seen in my life. Ginny...sh-sh-she just kept getting angrier and angrier," he tried to say, but he dissolved back into a fit of laughter.
Harry gave Ron a few whacks on the back to help him catch his breath.
"Ron, will you get yourself under control," Hermione demanded. "We can't understand a thing you are saying."
"Sure, Hermione," he gasped. "Just give me a second. You are going to love this."
Hermione got a thoughtful look on her face. "Don't say anything yet," she said as she stood up. "Let me take my books upstairs, then I'll be right down. I don't want to miss a thing."
Hermione grabbed her bag and ran up the stairs.
"Pssst…Ginny…wake up," she whispered as she shook the girl's sleeping form. "I'm going back downstairs, but I want you to sneak down to the doorway and listen to what we are saying. I think you'll find it quite interesting."
With that, Hermione dashed out the door, followed more slowly by Ginny.
"Okay, Ron, you can start now," said Hermione as she sat down next to Harry.
"Well, Fred and George asked Ginny to help them with the books for their new business," began Ron.
"And a capital idea it was," said George.
"That's right," agreed Fred. "Nobody is as good at numbers as our Ginny."
On the stairs, Ginny felt some of her anger melting away as the boys complimented her.
"Well, anyhow," Ron continued, annoyed at being interrupted by the twins. "I replaced the ink in her ink bottle before she started working today. No matter what she did, every time she wrote something, all that would show up on the paper was, I love Harry Potter!"
"What!!!" both Fred and George exclaimed.
"You stupid little git," continued George. "That's our business you were meddling with."
"That's right you smarmy little bugger," added Fred.
"That's how we plan on making a living!" interjected George.
Harry and Hermione just sat silently staring at Ron.
Ginny had heard enough. She quietly crept up the stairs and began making plans for revenge.
"Hey, Ron," Harry called from across the Gryffindor common room. "Do you have any sweets? I'm starving all of a sudden."
"I don't know," Ron replied, as he stood up from the chair. "I don't think so. I was going to stock up this weekend in Hogsmeade, but let me go take a look."
Ron left the common room, and Harry risked glancing across the room to Ginny, who winked at him covertly and turned back to her potions homework.
Ron came thundering back down the stairs to the common room. "I was wrong, Harry. I found this box of sugar quills in my trunk. Here," he said, "have one." He tried to hand the package to Harry,
"No thanks, Ron," replied Harry as he stifled a laugh. "I changed my mind."
"Oh, well…whatever," said Ron. He set the box down on the table and picked up his Divination homework. "Harry, have you seen my quill? I thought I left it right here?" he asked as he looked all around his chair.
"Uh...no," answered Harry. "Why don't you just use one of the sugar quills to write with until you find your other quill?"
"Might as well…I have to get this done, or Trelawney will kill me," said Ron. He opened the box, picked up a quill, and dipped it in ink. He began to scribble madly on his parchment with the quill. A moment later Lavender Brown entered the common room.
"Hi, Ron," she trilled as she sat on the arm of his chair. "Are you doing your Divination homework? I can help you with it if you'd like. Professor Trelawney says I have the sight, you know."
Lavender reached down, grabbed his hand and looked closely at his palm "I see romance for you, Ron Weasley. Romance with someone close to you." She leaned closer and added, "Someone who loves small furry animals."
Ron pulled his hand away so fast, it caused Lavender to tumble to the floor. His face turned every shade of red imaginable. "Uh…no thanks, Lav. I have to run to the library," he stammered as he gathered up his books, parchment and sugar quills. "I'll see you later, Harry."
Harry managed a strangled, "'Bye, Ron," as he tried to contain his laughter. He leaned over to help Lavender up off the floor.
"'Bye, Ronnie. Remember what I saw in your palm," Lavender shouted as Ron ran out of the room.
Ron scrambled out past the portrait of the Fat Lady and headed off to the library.
What the heck is wrong with Lavender? Ron thought to himself. I certainly don't mind the help with the homework, but the ‘I'm going to have a romance with someone who loves small furry animals?' What was that all about?
Ron entered the library and spread his books out, ready to start working once again. He picked up his sugar quill and absentmindedly nibbled on it while he tried to come up with some dire predications about himself.
Madam Pince walked quietly across the room and came to stand next to Ron. "Working on Divination, Mr. Weasley?" she whispered as she leaned down next to him. "We have some wonderful books on Divination in the Restricted Section. I'd be happy to take you there myself so that we could look at them in private.
Ron's face again turned every different shade of red known to man.
"N-n-no th-th-thanks Madam Pince," he stammered. "I-I forg-g-ot something back in my room. I have to leave. NOW!"
Ron gathered up his stuff and ran from the room, oblivious to the soft sound of giggling that came from behind him.
After a rather sleepless night, Ron got up and made his way down to the Great Hall.
Cautiously, he took his usual place next to Harry and began to fill his plate. Hermione sat across from the two boys.
"Ron, I must say you look rather, well, dreadful," stated Hermione in her usual no-nonsense voice.
"Thanks, Hermione. Glad to see you are being so supportive," muttered Ron. "Do either of you notice anything different about me?"
"Yes," chimed in Ginny as she took a seat next to Hermione. "You look even pastier than usual."
"Butt out. Ginny…nobody asked you," snapped Ron. He turned to Harry and Hermione. "I'm headed down to Potions. Are you two coming?"
"We'll be along in a minute," said Harry as he shot the two girls a look. "We're not quite finished here."
"Fine," said Ron. He gathered up his belongings and muttered, "I never in a million years thought I'd be looking forward to Potions."
Harry, Hermione and Ginny waited until Ron was out of earshot before they burst out laughing.
"Ginny, you have to stop this," Harry said as he tried to compose himself. "Poor Ron looks like he's losing his mind.
"Good," said Ginny, laughing. "He deserves it after all the pranks he's pulled on me. He's just as bad as Fred and George. Seriously though, I couldn't have done it without your help, both of you." She glanced at both Harry and Hermione.
"When are you going to end this?" Hermione asked.
"Tomorrow night at the latest, I promise," Ginny said. "And if I don't, you have my permission to tell Ron everything. Now get to Potions, you two. I'll be along in a minute, thanks to Harry's Invisibility Cloak."
Ron walked into the dungeon classroom where Potions was held and placed his books down on the table.
"Hi, Ron," said a rather shrill voice that was trying to sound seductive. "I've been waiting for you."
Ron turned to find Pansy Parkinson walking slowly across the classroom towards him.
"Where have you been all my life, handsome?" Pansy continued.
Without a word, Ron grabbed his stuff and ran out the door, past Harry and Hermione.
"She's gone insane," he yelled as he went by.
Harry and Hermione burst out laughing and Ginny's light little giggle could be heard faintly as she turned and raced after her brother.
Ron, gasping for breath, dove into the out-of-order girls' lavatory that was the home of MoaningMyrtle.
He stood at the sink, splashing water over his face, and didn't notice the door quietly opening and closing as Ginny, still shielded by Harry's cloak, slipped in.
"What is going on?" he said out loud. "Is the whole world going insane? Maybe I'll just stay in here until I die." He leaned against the sink.
"Oh, Ron, wouldn't that be wonderful," said Moaning Myrtle. "Then we could spend eternity together."
"Oh, God, not you, too?" shouted Ron. "I'm getting out of here."
Ron ran out of the girls' lavatory, and straight into Professor McGonagall.
"Oh, good, Mr. Weasley, there you are. I was looking for you," said the professor. "I thought you might want some Transfiguration tutoring."
Ron looked at her with fear, grabbed his bag and ran out the door and across the grounds of the school to Hagrid's cottage.
"I'll be safe here," he panted.
He pounded on the door, "Hagrid! Hagrid! It's me, Ron. Let me in."
The door opened and Ron tumbled inside. He landed in a lump at Hagrid's feet.
"Eh, Ron," said Hagrid. "What's wrong with yer?"
"Rubeus, who iz zis charming little gentleman?" asked a voice from the back of the room.
Ron looked up trembling in fear as Madame Maxime walked into the light.
"‘Ello you ‘andsome thing. Come sit with Madame Maxime and tell me all about yourself."
Ron groaned, got up and ran out the door for all he was worth.
I know, he said to himself. I'll go to the Quidditch pitch. I should be safe there.
When Ron arrived at the Quidditch pitch, he found a secret practice going on. Fred and George were training as Chasers, while two of the regular Chasers, Katie and Angelina, were floating on their brooms holding bats to hit any stray Bludgers that came their way.
Ron crept quietly up into the stands and took out a piece of parchment and one of the sugar quills and began to write down everything that had happened in the last twenty-four hours. Suddenly, he heard yelling coming from the Quidditch pitch. He looked up to see Katie trying to hit Angelina with her bat screaming, "He's mine! He's mine! I saw him first."
Without a second thought, Ron shoved everything into his bag and took off running yet again. He made it back to the castle and slipped through the hallways, trying to stay in the shadows. At the portrait of the Fat Lady he whispered the password, "Bonbons."
"Oh, yes you handsome boy. ‘Bonbons' it is…and would you care to share some with me?" asked the Fat Lady. "Why don't you climb right up here into my frame and have a seat?"
The portrait was moving to reveal the passageway even as the Fat Lady spoke, and Ron wasted no time in climbing through and entering the Gryffindor common room.
A few minutes later, Hermione and Harry entered the room and sat on either side of Ron.
"Ginny, I think he's had enough," said Hermione to the apparently empty room.
"Oh, no…now you two are talking to invisible people," moaned Ron. "The whole world is going crazy."
Suddenly he sat up. "Invisible people?" he said in an outraged voice. "Invisible people? Ginny Weasley, you show yourself right now!"
Ginny took of the Invisibility Cloak and dissolved into laughter. "Had enough, Ronnie Boy?" she asked.
"What did you do?" he demanded.
"First, do you promise never, and I mean NEVER to play another practical joke on me again?" she asked.
"Anything, anything, just tell me what's going on here," begged Ron, his voice cracking from all the stress he'd been under.
"Empty your bag," said Ginny. "Let's see if you can figure it out."
Ron dumped the contents of the bag on the floor and began to sort through them.
"Parchment, ink, spell book, sugar quills…." He stopped. "You did something to the sugar quills."
"That's right…they're charmed to turn you into an irresistible ‘Studmuffin' to the opposite sex," said Ginny. "Hermione helped me find the charm, and I hid them in your trunk, with the help of Harry's Invisibility Cloak. I also followed you around all day ready to do the counter charm in case you got into any real problems."
"Any real problems?! Are you crazy? This day has been nothing but problems," he complained.
He turned towards Hermione. "How come you weren't affected by this?" he asked.
"I had a counter charm," she said blushing slightly.
"Too bad," said Ron "I wouldn't have run from you. Ginny, can you please reverse this spell now? I swear, no more practical jokes on you. I don't think I could go through anything like this again."
"Lusticus Endus," said Ginny as she waved her wand over the sugar quills on the floor. "There, it's over," she said.
Just then Parvati Patil walked into the room.
"Hi, everybody," she said. "Ron, Padma was looking for you. Did she find you yet?"
Ron gave a strangled gasp and ran from the room while the others laughed and Parvati stared in confusion.