the pearl

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Fred and George were trouble from birth.

Especially after the solemnness of Percy's babyhood. It seemed as if, right from the start, one knew what the other was doing, because Fred would start crying if George was picked up, and George would start crying if Fred was feeding, and both of them would be crying if they were in the arms of different equally large and loud aunties.

After about a week of this, it simply became easier for Molly to watch them if they were in one crib. They would only sleep through the night if they were together, and with Percy so quiet and Bill and Charlie off at school, it was so much easier to have them sleeping through the night as quickly as possible.

They became used to sleeping in the same bed, and it was only logical to buy a double bed once they were too big for the crib. Each night, after being forced into bathing, they would climb onto their bed, crawling across the vast expanses until they reached the middle, quickly falling asleep, arms and legs sprawled across each other, two heads of mussed ginger hair peeking out from underneath the covers.


Being that they dressed in a combination of hand-me-downs and whatever Molly could find at the St. Mungo's Charity Shop, it was only on extremely rare occasions that they wore matching outfits.

Also, it made it easier for people to remember which one was which. If Fred was wearing blue and George was wearing green, then when the neighbors came to complain about a gnome through their window or their apples being missing or any number of problems, Molly then knew who to scold.

But once Ron was old enough to go outside and play, it was only a matter of time before they started taking extra jumpers along, so when the neighbors complained about a red-headed blue-jumper wearing boy stealing the plums off of their tree, Molly would find Fred in burgundy and George in green and Ron in a jumper two sizes too big, with tears and dirt on his face.

Molly soon started knitting jumpers with their initials on them, charmed to fit only the proper owner. But even the charms couldn't match up with their growth spurts, and, eventually, no matter which one wore which jumper, they looked the same, with wrists showing and shoulders tight.


Their first night at Hogwarts, they couldn't sleep.

The second night, they used the spell they had learned in Charms to push their beds together.

Their dormmates complained, and the house elves repeatedly moved the beds back, but, each night, they pushed the beds back together, just so they could get to sleep.

It was only when MacGonagall pulled them aside after class one day to have long talk with them, that they stopped.

It took them a month to finally get a good night's sleep. And when they returned home, they slept on opposite sides of the bed for another month before finally landing in the same positions they had as babies.

It became a yearly cycle for them. One month of being unable to sleep in separate beds, the rest of the school year doing fine, one month of sleeping on opposite sides of their bed at home, then two months of sleeping as they used to.

Occasionally, one would end up in the other's bed in their dorm, but no one ever mentioned that. They were twins — if you saw one get out of a bed in the morning, you expected it was the right one.


When they were thirteen, they came back to their dorm at night to find copies of What Every Young Wizard Needs To Know on their pillows.

It turned out to be a year-wide program, brought on by a very insistent Muggle parent involved with something the Muggles called "sex education". The teachers protested, of course, but faced with the option of just having a book or having another student leave suddenly in the middle of the term due to "an unforeseen event," they decided that it'd probably be for the best.

The boys in the Gryffindor dormitory spent hours laughing at the book, reading aloud choice bits and sniggering loudly at the illustrations. It became even more of a joke when they found themselves in a classroom with a red-faced Professor Flitwick, attempting to talk to them about what was happening to them.

Fred and George put the entire common room in stitches that night, imitating Flitwick. Eventually, they got onto the concept of Snape doing it, and spent most of the night saying "penis" in a perfect imitation of Snape's voice.

Upstairs, in one of their beds, the book lay open to the chapter on "wizards who love wizards".


"Angelina," Fred said, his voice low. "There's something you have to know. About us."

The Yule Ball was bustling indoors, but, outside, it was quiet, the only sound the occasional crunching of people's feet on snow. Angelina looked up at him, a curious look in her eyes.

"Right, so, you and I, we're great pals and we get along fantastic, and I like you...a lot, right?"

She nodded, smiling.

"But...okay. I'm a twin. And that's a lot. There's George. And there will always be George. And..." His voice trailed off. "I like you, and he likes you, and I know he likes you 'cause he's just like me and we're twins and we've always shared everythin' and..." He trailed off again, looking away.

"Fred — do I look like I'm in Hufflepuff?"

He stared at her in confusion.

"Fred..." She shook her head lightly, still smiling. "I knew."

He was still staring.

"Oh, Fred, how could I not know?" She paused, smiling sadly. "The way you look at him's the same way you look at me."

His mouth opened. "B-But I —"

She shook her head again, kissed him on the cheek, and walked back into the ball.


They left school together on matching broomsticks, with matching smiles.

They had a small flat above their store, nearly big enough for two, with a sofa and a bathtub and a double bed in a single room, just like when they were children. The shop was, despite their mother's fears, a success, children constantly clambering in and out, smiles on their faces and mischief in their hearts, Fred and George supervising the mayhem with identical wide grins.

And if, at night, they no longer just slept, but kissed and stroked and made love in ways What Every Young Wizard Should Know did not include...


That was something else they shared.

This Harry Potter story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at