Day 2

Title: Day 2
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: G
Pairing:  Fred/Angelina, George/Lee
Disclaimer: Not my characters, not my 'verse. I don't get paid a cent to play. Please don't sue and make things worse.
Summary: As the war intensifies, Fred and George worry about their store… and their colds.
Note: Part of the 12 Ficlets in 12 Days project 2009-2010. Requested by Brigidmn


The after-holiday slump hit Weasley's Wizard Wheezes hard. Fred and George spent Boxing Day doing inventory and going over the books. When they re-opened the store the day after that, there were only a few customers. At first, the twins figured everyone was still enjoying the holidays. But as the week progressed, they worried that what had happened to the rest of the street was happening to them.

“If things don't turn around in the next two months, we'll be forced to close,” George said, as he went over the figures for the second time.

“Things will turn around,” Fred told him. “They have to.”

George shook his head. “I hope you're right.”

Fred and George spent the last week of December working on their new line of love potion detector potions. They had figured they needed a good line of products for the gents to supplement their successful one for witches. It included packaged discounts of some of their best joke products as well as some new things they hoped would catch some attention. They even put out some spectacular advertisements in the Daily Profit and the Quibbler.

To their great surprise… it worked. The store filled slowly but surely. The handful of customers a day turned back into a steady rush. “I guess we just needed to remind people we were still here,” Fred said, ringing up an order as George restocked the display case for the second time that week.

“Either that, or it's all this snow forcing people inside again,” George said.



The snow fell mercilessly over Diagon Alley. It was one of the worst winters on record. It was all the twins could do to keep up with the wet, cold customers. They put down ever-dry doormats and offered free warming potions to anyone who made a purchase of five galleons or more. They sponsored a snowman-building competition for kids, with prizes so alluring that some of the parents of the children who didn't win ended up buying the items anyway to make their kids happy.

They were so happy and relieved to be busy that, when a case of the sniffles invited itself into their store, they had no time to pay it much mind.

“I was thinking we should cough, cough move this display back a little,” George said. “That way there's more room for people when they enter to shake off the snow without getting our products wet. Sniffle, sniffle.” George wiped his nose on the sleeve of his bright purple store robes.

“If we do that, we'll have to move the… sniff! The pigmy puffs to the other side of the store. They can't be so near the potions. Remember what happened last… last…” Fred rubbed his nose frantically before finishing, “last time?”

George smirked at his twin. “You were going to sneeze for a second there, weren't you?”

Fred shook his head, insisting, “Of course not.” His nostrils twitched and he rubbed his nose again. “Maybe.”

George shot him a look. “If you sneeze, I'm calling Angelina to come collect you.”

Fred groaned. “We can't afford to take time off, SNIFF! Not after business finally started picking up again.”

“I know,” George agreed. “But we can't afford for you to get worse and have pneumonia eith-er.” His face fell suddenly, and he quickly pinched his nose between his thumb and forefinger.

He looked up to see Fred chucking quietly to himself. “Now who was going to sneeze?”

“Cut it out, Fred. Sniffle, sniffle!

“I expect Lee would have something to say about it.”

“You wouldn't.”

“I would!” Fred insisted. “If you can threaten to call my girlfriend, I can threaten to call your boyfriend.”

George coughed again into a fist and croaked out an “I'm miserable. But I'll be fine” that wasn't the least bit reassuring. But they didn't have much choice in the matter. Percy was persona non grata, Charlie was back in Romania, Bill was either working for the bank or the order, and their parents had more than enough to deal with as the war intensified.

“Then I'll be fine, too,” Fred echoed, despite the fact that he turned away a second later, pulled a thick hanky out of his pocket, and blew his nose profusely.

“Excuse me?” A boy who couldn't have been more than seven stood in front of the counter. Both of the twins had to lean forward to see him. “I want to buy my mommy a birthday present.”

Fred immediately patted George on the back. “Go on then, George. Help the boy out.”

George sighed, shoulders sagging, so that only Fred would see. “Are you sure you wouldn't like to—”

“Unless you don't feel up to it,” Fred teased.

Looking defeated, George went off, and Fred took the opportunity to blow his nose again before he had to ring a few customers up.

A few hours later, both Weasley twins felt utterly miserable, but the store was still packed. They tried to keep smiling. They tried to continue their warm and welcoming, joking personas… but even they got exhausted sometimes.

“Georgie,” Fred whispered, as George waved his wand and wrapped up a lady's purchases so they would remain dry out in the snow. “I thidk I'b dyig,”

George handed the lady her purchases and gestured to the next customer who wanted to check out that they would be right with her. He guided his twin toward the back hallway, just out of sight of the floor, and put his hand to Fred's forehead. “You're not dying,” George declared. “But I am.” He rubbed his head, where shooting pains had taken over.

Fred tried to laugh, but coughed instead. He pulled out the handkerchief, which he had charmed, thank goodness, and blew his nose again. He stopped just as George sneezed.


Fred raised a weary hand, pointing at him. “You just sdeezed.”

“I know,” George said, sniffling. “Sorry.”

“S'okay, I've sdeezed about a hudred tibes today already.”

“I noticed, actually.”

“I just wadt to go upstairs and lie dowd,” Fred moaned.

“Can we afford to close—”

“The store? I dod't thig so. Just a few—”

“More hours? Yeah.”

Fred nodded resolutely and George guided them back out.

What they found when they returned to the counter was Lee working the cash register and Angelina writing up receipts and passing out potions to save the customers in line time when they got to the register to pay.

Lee looked over his shoulder and smiled at the twins. “Hope you don't mind. I was in town when this blizzard struck and ducked inside. It looked like you could use some help, so I called up Angelina.”

George moved forward instinctively, so grateful he wanted to kiss Lee, but Lee shooed him back immediately. “Keep your distance, you cold-ridden cutie!” He smiled kindly, though. “You two go upstairs and get in your beds. We'll be up to see you at the end of the day.”

Angelina handed out a receipt to the last person in line, and blew a kiss in Fred's direction. “You should have called us earlier,” she said.

Fred nodded back. If his brain had been working properly, he would have thought of that. “Thadk you,” He called back to her.

“Just wanted to remind you that we're still around,” she replied. “Now go up to bed.”