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08 February 2009 @ 12:40 am
Fic: End of the World  
Title: End of the World
Rating/Warnings: PG
Length: 736 words
Summary: It's an emergency, a disaster, and the end of the world according to Fred.
Author Note: Written for Round Two, Challenge Three of fwhg_ldws.  It won. :o)

End of the World

Saturday: because Fred asks her to.

'Emergency! Disaster! End of the World!' says the scrap of parchment that arrives by owl post early on Saturday morning and Hermione Apparates to just outside 93 Diagon Alley with her wand held tightly in her hand, hoping it's a joke.

Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes is crammed full of teenagers. Hermione takes it as a good sign that no one is screaming and pushes through the crowd, still gripping her wand, until she finds Fred, by walking into him.

"What's the emergency?" she demands.

"Last weekend before this lot go back to Hogwarts," Fred says. He sneezes and then wipes his nose on his sleeve, which is disgusting, but his hands are occupied with a cage of Pygmy Puffs so she supposes he couldn't do anything else. "It's bloody bedlam and George got the flu. Thank you for volunteering as an honorary staff member for the day!"

He carefully balances the cage on his hip, holding it steady with one hand, then pulls a crumpled paper crown out of his back pocket, which has 'WWW STAFF' on it in flashing purple lights, and ceremonially places it on her head.

"Can't someone else help?"

"Everyone who was at the family dinner the other day is out for the count. Except Charlie, who is in Romania, if you hadn't heard, and Ginny, who is scarily immune to these kinds of things, but who has a small child and a famous husband who're apparently really not." He lifts a stack of boxes off the counter and dumps them in her arms, forcing her to sheath her wand and take them before they fall. "I'll pay you. Promise."

Fred disappears into the crowd, taking the Pygmy Puffs with him, before she can reply and before she realises that she was going to say 'yes' anyway.

Sunday: because she needs to return the hat.

Hermione Apparates directly into the shop before it's scheduled to open, making use of the old Order passwords that allow her to bypass the twins' security. She intends to drop off the stupid hat - that she'd forgotten she'd been wearing when she left the day before -and leave, but the shop looks like it's been hit by a hurricane and Fred looks worryingly pale. She ends up taking pity on him, helping to tidy up.

By the time they're finished Fred looks like he's about to collapse and she makes him take the day off.

Verity doesn't seem surprised to see Hermione there, 'STAFF' hat on her head, when she arrives for work whilst Hermione spends the rest of the day wondering what just happened.

Monday: because she has no where else to be.

Hermione Apparates into the shop, storms up the stairs, and pounds on the door of the twins' flat, which swings open.

"Oi! Headache over here," Fred calls out from where he's lying on the couch in the combined kitchen and living room. He raises his head to see who it is, then lets it fall. "Don't you have your own place of employment to be at?"

"Yes, I do!" she says hoarsely. "But since certain creatures at the Ministry can have severe reactions to human diseases I was sent home!"

"Then why aren't you there?" Fred asks, bemused.

"Think she's mad at you, mate," says George, emerging from the bedroom. "Now, if you two walking Inferi will excuse me, I happen to have a lunch date."

Fred mournfully covers his heart with a hand. "Oh, Angelina."

"Well, whilst you were felled by a Wall Attack some of us heroically rescued damsels in distress." George shoves a box of bright orange tissues into Hermione's hands with a wink as he walks out. "You two have fun sneezing."

"Git," Fred mutters.

"My sentiments exactly." Hermione shoves Fred's feet off the couch, sits down, and throws the tissue box at his head. He catches it and plonks his feet in her lap.

"You should have come to the dinner," he says, "then you could blame Victoire for being ill, like the rest of us."

"It would have been awkward. Not going with Ron."

"Bollocks," says Fred. "You'll make us think you never liked the rest of us. Or Mum's food, even."

Hermione grins. "Oh, I liked the food."

Fred snorts, then sneezes and thankfully makes use of a bright orange tissue instead of his sleeve.

Tuesday: because she never left.
feeling: giddygiddy
sugar_fey: HP- ravenclaw buffy quotesugar_fey on February 8th, 2009 05:29 am (UTC)
Oh, this was just what I need right now. Sweet, yet not too sweet, and utterly believable. I adore it and your brilliance.
inkvoices: hp:fwhg_ldws cheerleaderinkvoices on February 8th, 2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you! 'Believable' is such a great compliment, and yes, too sweet is not good. :oD
luvscharlieluvscharlie on February 8th, 2009 09:04 am (UTC)
I loved, loved, loved this fic. It's been my favorite of the entire competition. So, so well done.
inkvoices: hp:weasley charlieinkvoices on February 8th, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
Wow, really? Thank you!

Out of all the stories I've written for this competition so far I'm fondest of 'Pain-Easing' and this was the one I was least confident about. lol, funny how that happens.
sarahetc on February 22nd, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
So very sweet! And sneezy. And there are pygmy puffs. Who eat snot, right? A feast! :D
inkvoices: hp:tonksinkvoices on March 1st, 2009 12:42 am (UTC)
Hehe, thank you. *grins* Yes, the pygmy puffs must have been very happy with the ill people.