Catja Mikhailovic

Fred Weasley had Never Been Kissed. He thought about it like that, too, in capital letters. Never Been Kissed.

It was not for lack of trying. On his part, at least. It wasn't his fault that no one wanted to stay still long enough to let him. Well, maybe it was, owing to an unfortunate incident involving a Cockroach Cluster, a jar of pickled pigs' feet, and the daughter of the local constable, but really. He'd been six. Ridiculously long memories, some people had.

George, on the other hand, had kissed lots of people, and had only been punched once or twice for his efforts. He was getting insufferably smug about it, too. Fred might have considered kissing George -- had, in fact, considered it -- but for the fact that George would crow about it forever. Well, maybe not crow, but he'd make a point of looking at Fred and smirking and running his fingers over his lips and Fred would just want to kick him, so, no. The balance of power in a twin relationship was delicate, and currently, Fred was riding on his superior tickling skills and the fact that sprinkling shrinking potion in Marcus Flint's jockstrap had been his idea. He wasn't going to come crawling to George for his First Kiss, not when he had that kind of advantage.

So whom should he kiss? The denizens of Ottery St. Catchpole fled when they saw him coming, so that left his family. Not that his family didn't flee, but Fred had a better chance of catching them, since they had to come home for meals and such. Bill and Charlie were never there, and Fred's cheeks still flamed in embarrassment about the summer he spent clinging to Charlie's every step (it had been last summer, which was even worse, but he was older and wiser now etc.). Percy was out of the question, though it would give him the opportunity to break Percy's glasses in the process; the whole point of this exercise was that the Victim -- er, Recipient of his Affection -- not squeal and scratch and attempt to gouge his eyes out. Ginny might let him, but she was even worse than George for smirking, and besides, she spent far too much time in Percy's company, -- voluntarily, even! - and that couldn't be healthy.

So that left Ron.

Ron would soon be starting his first year at Hogwarts, and he was falling all over himself in bursts of puppyish enthusiasm. But he had, simultaneously, a positively Percy-ish sense of his own dignity, and tried to hold in his eagerness and bouncing and questions, which luckily he had Ginny to ask for him, but the strain was starting to show. He was practically vibrating with anticipation. And this, Fred reasoned, was promising; Ron wanted so powerfully that anyone who stepped in his path had the potential to benefit.

Fred decided to concoct a plan. His previous efforts at kissing had usually consisted of knocking the other person over and sitting on them, but as that had failed to get the desired results, a new approach was necessary. He had sneaked looks at his Mum's books, all of which seemed to have titles like His Wicked Wand and Polyjuice Passion. From these, he had learned that witches, at any rate, like to be Wooed, although he wasn't exactly sure what a "turgid tumescence of throbbing joy" was, so he, or rather Ron, would have to do without that.

He tried giving Ron Meaningful Glances Laden with Unspoken Desire over the dinner table, but Ron just looked at him quizzically and Ginny asked if Fred had something in his eye. Chocolates wouldn't work, as Ron had learned long ago never to accept food that the twins made a special point of presenting. Fred picked a bouquet of dandelions, but when he handed them to Ron, he just rolled his eyes and said, "You have to get the roots out too, Fred, otherwise they'll just grow back."

Kissing Ron, or rather, Not Kissing Ron, was proving incredibly frustrating. The parts of his brain normally occupied by… well, he wasn't sure, because now everything he saw or heard or thought about seemed to remind him of Ron. It was humiliating, really, when he saw a quill and thought about the way Ron's fingers curled around it almost tight enough to snap, or he bit into a green apple and it smelled like Ron's hair; all reminders of his failure. Ron had a way of pursing his lips and tilting his head to the side when he was confused, and this was now his habitual expression when Fred was in the vicinity. He'd only shoved Fred away once, though, and that had been when Ron had been reading a comic book in the kitchen and Fred had brushed against him fifty-seven times in the course of half an hour, so Fred couldn't really blame him for that.

It didn't help matters that Ginny and George seemed to be conspiring about something. Their heads were always bent together, and they were whispering and laughing. About him, most likely, and his pathetic inability to get anyone to kiss him. Though Ron seemed to think they were talking about him, the egotistical git, because he scowled whenever he saw them.

It was two weeks before school began and Fred was nowhere closer to his goal, so he retreated to the room he and George shared, in order to Brood Manfully. Ginny would have called it sulking, but Dare Thickwand from The Amorous Animagus didn't sulk, so Fred didn't either. But in the midst of his Brooding, a knock came at the door, and Ron's voice called his name, tentatively. Though Ron was the last person Fred wanted to see, Brooding was awfully boring unless someone could see you and be impressed by it, so Fred let him in.

Ron perched gingerly on the edge of the bed, and fidgeted and sighed and started to speak and stopped and Fred just wanted to… punch, yes that was it, punch him, but he nodded encouragingly and tried to focus on something other than the curve of Ron's mouth, but then he realized that Ron had actually managed to say something.

"...kissed anyone?"

Fred blinked. "What?"

"Well, have you? I bet everyone at Hogwarts has and I'm going to come in and be the only one who hasn't and everyone will find out and..." Ron trailed off, embarrassed.

Fred opened his mouth to tell Ron that Dumbledore kept a troll in the dungeon just for that purpose, but what came out was, "I'll kiss you."

Shit. So much for the Plan.

Ron's eyes widened and he swallowed visibly and Fred was about to take it back, but his words were silenced by Ron's warm mouth against his own. And maybe that was all that was necessary.


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