Disclaimer. I don’t own it. If I did, I’d be at the top of a multibillion dollar empire ruling the world…oh, waitaminute. That’s Microsoft. Erm…nemmind.
A/N: As with all my fics, this is dedicated to the memory of my sister FireLemming, who used to be my beta. She didn’t even follow the Harry Potter fandom, preferring TLK instead, and yet, would take time to offer much needed (and often unappreciated) critical advice. Having an expert in English literature, anthropology and mythology standing over your shoulder and making snide comments about your writing can be a pain, but it also makes research much easier.
Albus Dumbledore sat at his overly ornate desk, in preparation for what he felt was certain to be a long, and boring day. Before him, was a thick stack of parchment detailing the minutiae required for running a school as large as Hogwarts. Sighing, he picked up one piece and began.
Half an hour later, he was getting frustrated. After all who cared how many times a napkin needed to be laundered before they were replaced? The house-elves always made certain they were pristine. Sighing, he touched his fingertips together and leaned his forehead heavily against the steepled digits. Closing his eyes for a moment, he prayed for the strength to continue this mindless drudgery.
Sighing at the mentality of bureaucrats everywhere, he opened his eyes and reached for the next bit of useless trivia…or he tried to. His fingers were firmly stuck both to each other and to his forehead. No matter how hard he pulled, he could not unstick them, and the harder he pulled, the more it hurt.
Climbing to his feet, he walked over to his fireplace. Seeing as how he had no usable hands, he carefully leaned over the mantle to knock over the pot of floo powder. As some of the scintillating powder fell, he blew as hard as he could and the flames below turned bright green.
“Minerva!” He yelled. “Come to my office immediately!”
Seconds later, he felt the gargoyle below move aside.
Minerva dashed into the office to find Dumbledore with his hands joined, as though in supplication.
“Albus!” She gasped. “Whatever has happened?”
“I fear I have been pranked. My fingers are stuck together and I cannot unstick them. Would you be so kind?”
“Never a quiet moment with you, is there. Finite incantatum!”
The spell washed over the old wizard, but when he pulled his hands away, they refused to go, remaining happily where they were.
“Erm…Would you try again?”
Shocked at the failure of her spell, Minerva cast the finishing spell again. As before, it had no result.
Instantly, she knew who was responsible.
“I shall go and fetch the Weasley twins.”
Fred and George were in the common room razzing Harry Potter as Ron trounced him once again in Wizard’s Chess, when an extremely irate Professor McGonagall entered.
“Mister’s Weasley, you will serve detention with me every night for the rest of your time here at Hogwarts! Now, undo whatever it was you did to the headmaster!”
Hermione Granger looked up, shocked. “What have you done?” She yelled in a tone that was frighteningly like their mother’s.
“Never mind that, Miss Granger. I will be handling this…personally.” She growled the last, more like her animagus alter-ego than a human being. “You two, come with me.”
Turning back at the portrait hole, she added: “Mister Potter, mister Weasley, neither of you has the time for games, as you are both far behind in your assignments. She paused, then went on. “Unless you have both caught up on the three essays you failed to turn in? No? Then I would suggest you turn your efforts to something that will actually help you in your schooling.”
McGonagall led the inverterate clowns, from the common room. No one noticed a satisfied smile grace the lips of one particular student. She dug into her book bag and withdrew a thin leather bound tome, opened it and prepared to enjoy the show.
Marching the twins through the castle, McGonagall was growling chastisements in a low tone. “Never, in all my days! How dare you! Such flippant disregard for the headmaster!”
All along the way, the twins were wondering what the ruddy hell she was ranting about.
They found themselves at the gargoyle below the headmaster’s office. The stone guardian jumped aside and they all ascended the circular stairs.
“Do come in, Mister’s Weasley.” Came Dumbledore’s deep voice.
They entered the office to a most unusual sight…even for Hogwarts. Headmaster Dumbledore was seated at his desk, with his hands pressed to his head, and to each other.
“Mister’s Weasley, while I really do appreciate a good prank now and then, I do have work to do. Could you please undo whatever you have done, so that I might do it?”
Fred and George Weasley were the undisputed prankmasters of Hogwarts School, and as such, they were more than familiar with being accused of pranks they didn’t actually perform. Points loss was easy to make up, and the infrequent detentions they actually served, were more to gain access to Professor Snape’s potions stores, or Filch’s trove of confiscated items, than for doing anything useful. What most people didn’t know was that they had long before perfected wandless cleaning charms, knowing they would come in handy. They’d cast the charms, cast illusions to cover their work and then one of them would go ‘exploring’ while the other remained behind to cover.
While most pranks of which they’d been accused, were the efforts of rank amateurs, this was the work of a consummate professional! They both looked carefully at Professor Dumbledore, and then at each other.
They set to work. Carefully trying one spell after another, and carefully noting down the results, they inadvertently earned the appreciation of Minerva McGonagall. She knew these two were bright, but never understood how bright. They could easily supplant Miss Granger as the most brilliant students her, albeit along a different line, if they’d ever focus their attention on their schoolwork rather than their silly pranks.
Sixty-seven spells later, fourteen of which Minerva was convinced they had used as ‘experiments’ they came to a consensus.
“Well that’s all of ours.”
“What do you think?”
“Usually the same thing you do.”
“We do, after all…”
“Share a twin bond.”
“Now that you are quite finished, will you tell me what you are talking about?” Minerva asked with some asperity.
“Well, professor, as much as we would love to take credit for this…” Fred snickered.
“…and we would LOVE to take credit for this!” George continued, no less amused.
“We didn’t do it.” They both chimed in perfectly.
“It’s not any of our spells…”
“Either in use or development.”
“It’s not magic at all, as a matter of fact.” They chimed.
“Then what is it?”
“From what we can see…”
“It looks like glue.”
“A special kind of glue.”
“We have some products…”
“That might be able to remove this.”
“Then go and get them!” She ordered.
Both turned to go, but Minerva was not about to let them both out of her sight. There was no telling when they would return. She grabbed the nearest twin by the scruff.
“One of you! The other will remain here.”
“A hostage?” The redhead’s eyes grew wide at the thought that the venerable transfiguration teacher would even consider the use of such underhanded methods.
“If you prefer to think of it as such…” She replied smugly. Minerva also saw a newfound respect for her. She actually flushed at the unspoken praise.
George sat and Fred departed.
Fred returned ten minutes later, with a small satchel of plastic tubes and tiny glass bottles.
“Close your eyes tightly, Sir. This stuff is rather dangerous.”
Albus did as Fred asked, squeezing tightly. A nasty, acrid smell filled his nostrils, and within seconds his fingers were free.
“Keep them closed!” Came the order. A second smell, astringent, this time, and a cool, wet cloth was scrubbing his forehead.
A stream of air chilled his skin, until the moisture was gone and he felt someone carefully scrubbing each of his fingers.
“OK, you can open now.”
Dumbledore did. Fred was cleaning his fingers with the alcohol moistened cloth.
“I thank you for your assistance. Have you any idea who would have done this?” Asked Dumbledore, his fingers still stuck to his forehead.
“Well…” Fred began, but before they could began their ‘twinspeak’ Dumbledore glared at them. “ONE of you!”
Several quick games of ‘rock, paper, and scissors’ followed, before they gave that up as fruitless. Fred nodded to his twin, and George explained: “It would have to have been a muggleborne or muggle-raised, as nearly nobody in the wizarding world knows anything about polymeric adhesives…”
“Superglue. It’s something the muggles came up with several decades ago. It combines with the amino acids in your sweat forming a nearly unbreakable bond. Once cured, and that cure takes only seconds, it becomes nearly inert. Fortunately, as you’ve seen, it can be dissolved.”
“We do have a suspect, but I’d think her hands would fall off and her brain would explode before she even thought of trying such a prank…especially on you, sir.”
“And who would that suspect be?”
“Hermione Granger. She’s smart enough to plan this, sneaky enough to try it and has an excellent alibi.”
“I concur, Headmaster. While Miss. Granger is well able to plan and even execute such a prank, she has never shown even the slightest inclination toward pranking.”
“I agree. It is not in her character. It must be someone else.”
In the Gryffindor Common room, Harry snuggled into the chair next to his best friend. Hermione sighed and wafted her wand enlarging the seat a few inches. They weren’t as small as they used to be, after all.
“So…” He gestured at the image in the book she held. The image was another of her ideas. She’d placed monitoring charms in the headmaster’s office…amongst other places, and the book she held, allowed her to watch whatever she wanted. “They suspect?”
“Fred and George do.” She replied with a smirk. “Dumbledore and McGonagall are still convinced I’m the second coming of Jesus. Don’t worry, as long as I keep my shields up they’ll never know for sure.”
“You’re scary, you know.” He whispered. “Brilliant, but scary!” He kissed her neck. Hermione sighed at the kiss and then, seeing as how the entertainment was over for the time being, blanked the image and closed the book.
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