Fred and George's secret

The Weasley twins try and nearly fail at keeping their Weasley's Wizard Wheezes project under wraps

Extract from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

by J.K. Rowling

‘How big did his tongue get?’ George asked eagerly.

‘It was four foot long before his parents would let me shrink it!’ Harry and the Weasleys roared with laughter again.

‘It isn’t funny!’ Mr Weasley shouted. ‘That sort of behaviour seriously undermines wizard–Muggle relations! I spend half my life campaigning against the mistreatment of Muggles, and my own sons –’

‘We didn’t give it to him because he was a Muggle!’ said Fred indignantly.

‘That’s not the point!’ raged Mr Weasley. ‘You wait until I tell your mother –’

‘Tell me what?’ said a voice behind them.

Mrs Weasley had just entered the kitchen. She was a short, plump woman with a very kind face, though her eyes were presently narrowed with suspicion.

‘Oh, hello, Harry dear,’ she said, spotting him and smiling. Then her eyes snapped back to her husband. ‘Tell me what, Arthur?’

Mr Weasley hesitated. Harry could tell that, however angry he was with Fred and George, he hadn’t really intended to tell Mrs Weasley what had happened. There was a silence, while Mr Weasley eyed his wife nervously. Then two girls appeared in the kitchen doorway behind Mrs Weasley. One, with very bushy brown hair and rather large front teeth, was Harry and Ron’s friend, Hermione Granger. The other, who was small and red-haired, was Ron’s younger sister, Ginny. Both of them smiled at Harry, who grinned back, which made Ginny go scarlet – she had been very taken with Harry ever since his first visit to The Burrow.

‘Tell me what, Arthur?’ Mrs Weasley repeated, in a dangerous sort of voice.

‘It’s nothing, Molly,’ mumbled Mr Weasley, ‘Fred and George just – but I’ve had words with them –’

‘What have they done this time?’ said Mrs Weasley. ‘If it’s got anything to do with Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes –’

‘Why don’t you show Harry where he’s sleeping, Ron?’ said Hermione from the doorway.

‘He knows where he’s sleeping,’ said Ron. ‘In my room, he slept there last –’

‘We can all go,’ said Hermione, pointedly.

‘Oh,’ said Ron, cottoning on. ‘Right.’

‘Yeah, we’ll come, too,’ said George –

‘You stay where you are!’ snarled Mrs Weasley.

Harry and Ron edged out of the kitchen, and they, Hermione and Ginny set off along the narrow hallway and up the rickety staircase that zig-zagged through the house to the upper storeys.

‘What are Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes?’ Harry asked, as they climbed.

Ron and Ginny both laughed, although Hermione didn’t.

‘Mum found this stack of order forms when she was cleaning Fred and George’s room,’ said Ron quietly. ‘Great long price-lists for stuff they’ve invented. Joke stuff, you know. Fake wands and trick sweets, loads of stuff. It was brilliant, I never knew they’d been inventing all that ...’

‘We’ve been hearing explosions out of their room for ages, but we never thought they were actually making things,’ said Ginny, ‘we thought they just liked the noise.’

‘Only, most of the stuff – well, all of it, really – was a bit dangerous,’ said Ron, ‘and, you know, they were planning to sell it at Hogwarts to make some money, and Mum went mad at them. Told them they weren’t allowed to make any more of it, and burnt all the order forms ... she’s furious at them any- way. They didn’t get as many O.W.Ls as she expected.’

O.W.Ls were Ordinary Wizarding Levels, the examinations Hogwarts students took at the age of fifteen.

‘And then there was this big row,’ Ginny said, ‘because Mum wants them to go into the Ministry of Magic like Dad, and they told her all they want to do is open a joke-shop.’

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

By J.K. Rowling