|SIYE Time:19:34 on 21st April 2021|
Category: Muggle Technology Challenge (2014-1), Muggle Technology Challenge (2014-1)
Characters:Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley
Genres: Fluff, Humor
Warnings: Mild Language
Story is Complete
Summary: Fred and George Weasley have never been so popular. Even though they didn't complete their last year at Hogwarts, they've got a business booming and a million adoring fans. A few months after the start of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, George came up with an idea for a new joke, for the more advanced pranksters. What is it? Magical spy gear! Specifically, a device that recorded everything it saw and heard, like a camera. How do they make it? Well, I won't bore you with the details. How will they test it is the real question. Which is where their kid sister Ginny comes in. Fred gets flabbergasted with it all and leaves George and Ginny to deal with the new Spy Gear line. It will make hundreds, George assured his brother. If we don't blow up. And of course, Ginny places the camera-thingy in Ron's dorm, trying to catch him in something embarrassing. But Ron will suck his thumb before Ginny admits an ulterior motive, and before Harry admits he's in love.
Hitcount: Story Total: 2803
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is not, was not, and never will be mine. No amount of wishing will change that.
I needed something fluffy to write in the midst of After. Enjoy!
Fred stared at the two of them blankly. He stood on the other side of the cashier's counter in Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, Ginny sat on the counter and George stood opposite, holding what looked like a Muggle video camera in his hand. The store was empty, as it had closed for lunch. All three of them were wearing 'Hello, My Name Is' tags.
“I don't get it,” Fred said.
George scowled, Ginny held back a snort at the look on her older brother's face.
“It's a camera,” George said, his voice exasperated.
“I never took Muggle Studies, George, just tell me what the blasted thing is!” Fred snapped.
Ginny shot him a look. He muttered an apology. George sighed.
“It's like a little thing,” George said, “it can see and hear, but not move. You put it somewhere, turn it on, and leave it alone. Everything it sees and hears it records so you can watch it later.”
“Do you really want to know?”
Fred sighed. “No, not really. But does it work?”
“Of course it does,” George said. Fred raised his eyebrows. “I might have yet to test it, but it will work.”
“How will you test it?”
“Ginny here is going to take it to Hogwarts with her and set it up somewhere. After she's got a week of recordings, she'll send it back here and we can play it back.”
“But how do you play it back?” Ginny asked.
“You've heard of pensieves, right?”
“Course,” Fred said. Ginny rolled her eyes and nodded.
“This camera works sort of like a pensieve. You open this panel here and prod it with your wand and it starts playing back everything it saw.”
“That makes sense,” Ginny said, nodding.
“I guess it could work,” Fred said, looking down at the odd thing in George's hands. George grinned.
“Of course it will work!” George said. “I made it!”
Both Fred and Ginny raised their eyebrows at him.
“That doesn't give me much comfort,” Fred said. “Remember the Detachable Head Hat you tried to make? The one that was supposed to make it look like you could pop your head on and off but ended up taking off the actual head of the dummy we used?”
George winced at the memory. “Okay, so maybe I made a couple of mistakes in the past-”
“A couple?” Ginny said, laughing. “Ask Hermione if she found your Punching Telescope funny.”
George scowled. “Are you on my side or not?”
“Oh, remember the Blood Loss Lollipop for the Skiving Snack-Boxes?” Fred said, starting to smile.
“The one that turned you into a mummy?” Ginny said.
“That's the one!”
“Were you supposed to be a mummy?”
“Far from it,” Fred said with a laugh.
“Oh, and the Self-Pranking Quill, the one that when you used it, it wrote all sorts of insulting things?”
“That one just wrote gibberish.”
“Fine,” George sighed, stopping them from reminiscing any more. “A lot, but this will work.”
Fred and Ginny exchanged a glance. Ginny leaned over and whispered in Fred's ear. Fred shrugged, and nodded.
“All right, we'll do it,” Fred said. George whooped and spun around in a circle. Fred gave his twin a weird-ed out look and looked down at the 'camera' on the table.
“My only question is what does it have to do with pranks?” Fred said. George stopped dancing.
“Blackmail material?” George suggested.
“Scaring the heebe-jebbies out of people?” Ginny suggested. Fred raised an eyebrow.
“Well, the playback function has a feature where you can turn it on or off remotely,” Ginny said. Fred started to nod like he was seeing the appeal of this new toy.
“How will you test it?” Fred asked. Ginny shrugged.
“Stick it in the common room and see what happens,” she said. “I'd stick it in Ron's dormitory, get some footage of him sucking his thumb, but George hasn't put in the rating filter yet.”
“Rating filter?” Fred said, raising an eyebrow.
“I'm still working on it,” George said, “it's so you can stick it places and not worry about getting more than you want. It'll bleep out profanity and delete any nudity and stuff like that.”
Fred handed George the camera. “Take the rest of the afternoon and work on that. Common room is good and all, but I like the idea of getting proof that dear Ronnie sucks his thumb.”
George grinned and ran off. Ginny watched him go with a smile.
“I swear he's like a little kid with all this,” Ginny said.
Fred nodded, a small smile curling his lips. “No kidding. Well, I've got work to do, and you missy, as low girl on the totem pole, have the honor of getting everyone lunch.”
Ginny snorted. “I'm the only employee you have,” she said, hopping off the counter.
“Well, get yourself an ice cream while you're at it,” Fred said, waving a hand dismissively.
“Fine, what do you want?”
“Something from the Leaky Caldron,” Fred muttered, tapping a code into the cashier. He pulled out some money and handed it to her. “Cheap, mind you.”
Ginny tucked the money into her pocket. “See you later,” she said, stepping towards the door. Fred waved to her as he stepped into the back office. The bell tinkled as Ginny opened the door, and stepped outside.
The bright sun hit her face like a spotlight; she raised a hand to cut the sunlight streaming down on her.
Diagon Alley was rather empty for a beautiful summer day like this, especially since summer was almost over. But then it was Tuesday and lunch time. Most people would be at home or work or outside doing whatever. Ginny glanced up and down the street and walked towards the Leaky Caldron.
She spotted her brother, Ron, sitting outside Florean Fortiscue's Ice Cream shop, gazing into space in the direction of a thick and heavy textbook. Across from him, Harry had his head on his book, and was snoring loudly. Ginny chuckled as she past them. Ron looked up and glared at her. He suspected she was the one to suggest Mum send them there to do homework.
Mum had sent him and Harry with her and the twins that morning to the shop, telling them it would be good for them to get out of the house and telling Ginny she needed them out of her hair. Mostly it was Ron's fault, but it would be unfair to separate the two. Ginny waved to him, the money in her pocket jingling merrily, and gave him a cheerful smile. His scowl deepened. He drew one finger across his throat, pointed at her, and glared some more. She shrugged, and walked on.
After she delivered Fred and George their lunch, Fred told her to go get some ice cream. She gladly obliged.
She dropped into a chair between Ron and Harry. Ron glared at her; Harry jerked up and said stupidly “I wasn't sleeping!”
“Yeah, and I'm going to give you some of my ice cream,” Ginny said sarcastically. Harry perked up hopefully. She rolled her eyes at him, but held out her spoon to him. He gulped it down and grinned at her.
“What kind is it?” he asked thickly around a mouthful of ice cream.
“Chocolate, stupid,” Ginny said, but she smiled.
“Do I get any?” Ron said, a hopeful look in his eyes.
“No,” Ginny said, taking a bite.
“Why not?” Ron whined.
“Because I don't like you,” Ginny sniffed.
Ron raised an eyebrow. “So you like Harry, then?”
Ginny turned red. Harry choked on his ice cream. Ron laughed.
“You walked right into that one,” Ron said, still cracking up. Ginny glared at him, and chose not to answer his question. She glanced at Harry, who was looking down at his book. He was smiling. Ginny took another bite of her ice cream and decided to put George's camera in an area of Ron's dorm that would cover both her annoying brother and his best friend.
Ginny watched and waited alone in the common room. It was Saturday morning, the second Saturday after school started, and any minute now Ron and Harry would be heading down to breakfast. Their other roommates had already left, and as soon as her brother and his best friend came downstairs, the dorm would be empty. The Weasley Recorder sat in her bag, waiting to be set up.
She heard the clatter of footsteps on the stairs, and Ron came bounding down the stairs.
“Come on, Harry!” he called. “Hurry up!”
Harry came downstairs more slowly, and a lot more quietly. His hair was more of a mess than usual, and sticking up on the left side, like he had just been dragged out of bed. Ginny guessed he had been, judging by the annoyed look on his face, and the fact that the buttons of his shirt were done up wrong and his socks did not match.
His eyes roamed the common room and landed on hers. He missed the last step on the stairs, and stumbled forward a step or two. Ginny suppressed a giggle. Ron grabbed his arm and dragged him a way. Harry gave her a little wave as the portrait hole slammed shut in his face.
Ginny rolled her eyes at her brother's antics, but darted up the boys stairs. She ducked into Ron's dormitory, and clapped a hand over her mouth as the smell rolled over her. She stepped over a pile of laundry and hopped over a five day old sandwich. These boys hadn't even been here a month! Where were the house elves?
Ginny got past the other boys' beds, and stopped at Ron and Harry's. The smell wasn't as bad there. Ron's reeked of that cheesy cologne Fred and George had sold him, but Harry's almost smelled pleasant. Like broom polish and rich spices. It would have been nice, and Ginny would have bottled the smell to sell, if it weren't for the other typical teenage boy smells in the room.
Ginny grabbed a chair and dragged it over to Harry's bed. She climbed on top, and pulled the Weasley Recorder out of her bag. She waved her wand, and a hook appeared in the ceiling. She hung the Recorder on it, and tapped it with her wand. A red light went on at the front, and Ginny smiled. She tapped it again, and turned the Chameleon function. Grinning, Ginny hopped off the chair and ran from the room.
Two Saturdays later, Ginny waited in the common room again. Again, Dean, Seamus, and Neville had already left, and so had Harry. Only Ron left now.
Ron came down the stairs noisily and practically sprinted for the portrait hole. Ginny shook her head at him, and started up the stairs.
The room was a bit cleaner than when she hid the Recorder, but not by much. A window had been thrown open, sucking the stale corn chip smells and cheesy colognes out. Ginny crossed to Harry's bed, and dragged over a chair. She climbed on it, and waved her wand. The Recorder appeared, and Ginny grinned. The red light was still on. She unhooked it from its perch, and climbed down. She pushed the chair away, and turned towards the door. She hesitated, looking down at the Recorder. It wouldn't hurt to watch it here, would it?
Ginny sank onto Harry's bed, and slid back the panel on the top of the Recorder. She prodded it with her wand, and an image of the room rose up to greet her.
The first thing she saw was her own face, grinning at her. Then, she jumped down and ran out. Ginny propped her chin on her palm as she watched.
She fast forwarded- poking the image with her wand to start and stop- the boring parts, and when Ron failed to suck his thumb the first night, Ginny felt disappointed. This was a prank wasted. But then...
“Uhhhhhhhhhh......... Ginny......... you're really pretty..........” Harry mumbled in his sleep. Ginny froze up, startled. She felt her cheeks warm.
Harry talked in his sleep, very interesting. He thought she was pretty. Extremely interesting.
She fast forwarded to the next night. Harry lay sprawled on his bed, one leg dangling over the side and drool dripping onto his pillow. Ginny wrinkled her nose.
“Ginny,” he mumbled. “Ginny, come back.”
He rolled over, a smile ending the flow of drool.
“Gin,” he mumbled, “be mine.”
Ginny felt her cheeks grow warmer. Intensely interesting.
She watched the recording, and laughed when Ron finally stuck his thumb in his mouth. Frequently, she heard Harry whisper her name as he slept, in various forms of delight and longing.
All too soon, the two weeks were up. Ginny prodded the image, showing her smiling face, and it fell back into the Recorder.
“Having fun with that, are we?”
Ginny started. She hadn't noticed the door opening, or the person approaching her.
“Harry!” she said, jumping up and hiding the Recorder behind her back. “I- uh, I didn't think you'd-”
Harry walked around her and plucked the Recorder out of her hands.
“I never could figure out what it was up there,” he said, looking over it. “I guess this was it.”
Ginny debated between holding the information to herself, or telling him. In the back of her mind, she heard the recording of Harry, murmuring her name.
“Yeah,” she admitted. “Something Fred and George put me up to.”
Harry looked up at her. His green eyes sparkled warmly at her.
“It looks like a video camera,” he said.
“It is,” she said.
“I thought Muggle things didn't work at Hogwarts?”
“They don't,” she said. “That's something George cooked up. It runs off magic.”
Harry handed it back to her. “I guess you were watching us, then,” he said. Ginny blushed.
“No, only Ron, really,” she said. “The Recorder was just watching him.”
“Get any good blackmail material?”
“Proof that Ron sucks his thumb,” she said proudly.
Harry raised his eyebrows skeptically. “Really? Can I see?”
“Sure,” she promised rashly. She slid back the panel and prodded the little box within. The image rose up again, and she saw her own face. She fast forwarded quickly.
She stopped on the recording of three nights ago. Ron lay sprawled in his bed, snoring loudly. He rolled over, and his thumb found its way to his mouth. Harry laughed.
But then: “Ginny,” mumbled recording Harry. Real Harry froze. Ginny quickly went to prod the image, but Harry's hand closed on her wrist. His face reddened as recording Harry went on. “Ginny.... want you.... be my-” a snore interrupted the rest of his words.
“Proof you snore?” Ginny suggested weakly. Harry looked up at her, his cheeks the color of her hair.
“Ginny,” he started, “I swear-”
“You don't feel that way?” she finished, annoyance flickering in the back of her mind. “You accidentally kept talking about me in your sleep?”
“I talk in my sleep?”
“I've got two weeks of footage to prove it,” she said, nodding.
Harry let go of her wrist. She jabbed the image with her wand, cutting off the recording of Harry, who was mumbling something about sweet flowers and silky hair.
“I swear-” Harry stammered. Ginny pressed a finger to his lips.
“The recording doesn't lie,” Ginny said. “I'll send Fred and George the clip of Ron sucking his thumb and delete the rest, all right?” Harry said nothing. She sighed. “I'll leave you to think.”
She left the dormitory.
Ginny sat with her chin on her arms, staring blankly at the open text book before her. She really needed to finish this assignment. She was supposed to have read the past five chapters of 'Muggles of Great Britain and Ireland' by first period next day, not to mention write a summary. She sighed, and rubbed at her eyes. She glanced at her watch and groaned. Half past 12. She couldn't concentrate. She kept thinking of Saturday morning.
She had sent Fred and George an owl and the Recorder, with only the two second clip of Ron sucking his thumb inside. She told them it worked perfectly and that the clip of Ron was the only thing worth watching and had so deleted the rest. Truth be told, she hadn't. She had copied it into another Black Box, which was what held the recording inside the Recorder and made them possible to watch, and now kept it under her bed in her dorm. She would never forget what she had seen and heard on the Recorder.
She glanced up. Harry dropped into the seat next to her.
“Shouldn't you be in bed?” Ginny said.
“I was, until five minutes ago,” he said. “I came down because I left my Potions book down here. Why aren't you in bed?”
Ginny gestured to the book. “Got to finish this. I'll be up around two, probably.”
Harry frowned, and hesitantly said, “Gin, I need to talk to you.”
Ginny could tell whatever it was, it was serious. She closed her book and turned her full attention to him.
“I...” he hesitated, looking down at his lap. “I wanted to explain about some of the the things I said in my sleep.”
Ginny nodded patiently. He glanced up at her warily, and then plunged on.
“You see, the truth is I've fancied you for a while now,” he said, “pretty much since- since Sirius died. I didn't really realize it until that day in Diagon Alley, when your mum made me and Ron go with you and the twins.”
Ginny nodded. “The day I fed you ice cream.” Harry cracked a smile.
“I- I tried to deny it,” he said, “but it hit me then, that I really did like you. I- I mean, what's not to like? You're smart, you're beautiful, you've got spunk!” Ginny smiled at the compliments he paid her, as he rambled on. “You're wonderful, all around! I couldn't help but fall for you.”
Harry met her eyes, and she saw the lingering fear in them. “Ginny, I swore I would never say this,” he said, glancing away from her, “I said if Ron sucked his thumb I would tell you!”
Ginny laughed. “Guess you have to say it now,” she said, smiling. Harry gave a little laugh. He looked up, and drew in a deep breath.
“After I say this, we'll still be friends, right?” he said quickly. “Nothing has to change.”
Ginny shrugged. “Sure, unless you want something to be different.”
Harry's smile twisted into something more wry for a second. “Ginny, I- I think- I am in love with you.”
Ginny sucked in her breath. Harry closed his eyes, as though waiting for a tirade. Ginny pressed a hand to his cheek, and he opened one eye in surprise.
“Harry,” she said, “you understand something must change now, right?”
He sighed. “I guess so,” he mumbled. Ginny smiled. She leaned forward, and gently pressed her lips to his. Harry seemed very startled. Ginny pulled back.
“We can't be 'just friends' anymore,” she said. “Harry, I love you too.”
Harry blinked at her a moment, stunned, and then a grin cracked his face and he whooped. He threw his arms around Ginny and lifted her out of her seat. Ginny laughed and Harry grinned at her. And then, he kissed her.
Fred and George laughed at the two second clip and put it away. George crossed his arms over his chest and smirked at his twin.
Fred sighed. “It worked. You were right.”
George pumped a fist. Fred shook his head at his twin. “You'd better get started,” he said to his brother.
“Started? Started on what?”
“Our new Spy Gear line!” Fred laughed. “Make a bunch of these and we'll release them in a month or so.”
George grinned. He clapped Fred on the shoulder, grabbed the recorder, and went away laughing. Fred sat down at his desk and pulled out a sheet of parchment and a quill.
Dipping his quill into an ink pot, he began writing.
Ginny ate her breakfast Monday morning cheerfully. Harry sat beside her with his arm around her waist. He couldn't stop grinning, and to be honest, neither could Ginny. Ron gave them a weird look and started inhaling all surrounding food at top speed. Hermione smirked and Ginny stuck her nose in the air at her, but smiled. Everyone else gave them curious looks and a few were whispering near her, especially Lavender Brown and Pavarti Patil, but Ginny didn't care. She laid her head on Harry's shoulder, and he pressed a kiss to the top of her head.
Ron stopped inhaling his bacon. “Harry,” he said, frowning, “did you-”
“Yes,” Harry said, taking a bit of toast. Ron raised an eyebrow.
“Doesn't mind,” Harry interrupted.
“Does that mean-”
“Yes,” Harry said calmly, cutting off the rest of Ron's question. Ron glanced at Hermione, who was pouring herself a cup of juice.
“Open your eyes, Ronald,” Hermione sighed. “Yes, it is obvious they are dating now.”
Ron blinked in confusion. Ginny wasn't bothered, but she could tell Harry was worried. He had clenched his jaw and wouldn't look away from Ron.
Ron glanced between the two of them. He raised his eyebrows at Ginny. She smiled, and scooted closer to Harry. He shrugged, and went back to his food. Harry relaxed, and grinned at Ginny. She grinned back. Harry leaned down and kissed her quickly. She heard Lavender Brown or Pavarti Patil or both gasp, but didn't care. She kissed him back eagerly.
When they were done, she found Ron with his spoon halfway to his mouth, egg dripping from it onto his lap, eyes wide and mouth open. She rolled her eyes at him and went back to her breakfast.
An owl fluttered down in front of her. Ginny took the letter, the owl ruffled its feathers and flew off. She opened it, taking notice of the seal on the front- three interlinked W's- and pulled from it the sheaf of parchment.
“Dear Ginny,” it read. “George is ecstatic the Recorder worked. I'm glad too, I would have hated it if another one of his projects failed. Next time Ron bugs you about something, just tell him about that clip. It'll shut him up immediately. We're going to mass-produce the Recorder and start a new line of jokes: Spy Gear! Great, yeah?
“My question is though, at the end of the clip, we heard something that sounded remarkably like Harry's voice, but we only heard him say 'gin.' Is he sneaking alcohol or something? If he is, tell him to get brandy, or whiskey, it's better than gin by far. If he isn't, why is he talking about you in his sleep?”
Ginny felt her blood run cold. She thought she had timed it perfectly, so her brothers could see Ron suck his thumb and not hear Harry. She read on, a frown forming on her face.
“I know you tried to get rid of that part. I trained you, remember? All of your tricks I taught you. Does Harry talk in his sleep or were you there?”
Ginny's cheeks warmed.
“I'm guessing he talks in his sleep, because you're smarter than to be in his bed and not perform the proper charms. Have you taken advantage of your new knowledge? Have you captured Harry or let him alone? Write back, soon, baby sister! I'm dying of curiosity.
Your favorite brother, Fred.”
Ginny tucked the letter into her bag.
“What was that?” Harry asked.
“Letter from the twins,” she said. “The Recorder was perfect, they're going to sell it.”
“Great,” Harry said.
Ginny smiled and kissed his cheek. “I didn't cut the video enough. Fred wants to know if you're sneaking alcohol.”
Harry stiffened. “No!”
“He figured that too. His other guess was that you talk in your sleep. I'm going to owl him back with a Howler or something, tell him to mind his own business. Should I tell him?”
Harry sighed. “Well, the whole school will know by the end of the day. You might as well.”
Ginny nodded. “I'll send a hex with it anyway.”
Harry laughed. “That's probably a good idea.”
Ginny grinned and went back to her breakfast.
Fred sipped his coffee in the back room of the shop, looking down at the little Recorders in front of him. George was doing good.
A tap at the window caught his attention. He set down his coffee cup and went to open the window for the owl.
“Hello, Hedwig,” he said. He went to stroke her feathers and she snapped her beak at him. “Sorry,” he muttered, giving her a strange look. He took the letter from her leg, she fluttered her wings, hitting him in the face, and flew back out the window.
Rubbing his face where her wing had struck him, Fred glared out the window at the snowy owl. He absently opened the letter, wondering what Harry wanted with him. Was it because of the accusation he made in the letter he sent to Ginny?
A loud crack sounded and bright green slime spewed from the envelope, hitting him full in the face. Fred spluttered as George came running in. George started laughing, so hard he fell to the ground. Fred wiped slime off his face, glaring at both his twin and the letter, and turned to read it.
“Dear Fred,” it said. “MIND YOUR OWN EFFING BUSINESS!”
Fred blinked, startled. Effing? He made a mental note to tell Ginny to wash her mouth out. “Harry is not sneaking alcohol. He may or may not talk in his sleep. Yes, I took advantage of what he may or may not have said. We are now a couple. Next time you try to interfere with my business, it will be worse than green slime.”
Fred wiped more slime from his face, feeling both impressed and annoyed. He read on.
“Your annoyed sister, Ginny. P.S. You are not my favorite brother, and I have my own tricks. P.S.S Your hair will be green for a week.”
Fred stared down at the post script, then turned to a mirror in horror.
Sure enough, his hair was a bright shade of green.
“Shut it,” he told his twin, who was still laughing. He stepped over George, and went to go wash off the slime best he could. He could try and take the green out of his hair, but he doubted he would be able to. Ginny would have done something to it to make sure he had it for the full week.
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