Are You With Me, Frederick Weasley?
August Goldfield is a normal, everyday Gryffindor living with the Weasleys, the kind family that took her in just shortly after she arrived at Hogwarts. She's smart, funny, and brave. She's the type of girl all kinds of people are attracted to, and she seems to know everything. One thing no one could've anticipated, however, is the fact that August Goldfield's life is about to get very interesting...in more ways than can be imagined.
Chapter 1: A Prank, A Kiss, and An Alternate Universe: How It All Began
"Hey," said Fred, "did you see the notice board this morning?"
"No," she responded, "I was too busy getting ready for Quidditch trials to remember to check. What's up?"
"Oh, and congratulations on making Chaser, by the way," George said quickly, "but we were just thinking that it may interest you to know-"
"That today's the first Hogsmeade weekend." Fred interrupted, "So...we were just wondering if-"
"I'm thinking what you're thinking?" August finished the sentence for him, smirking.
They smirked back, "Blimey, you read our minds!" said Fred and George together.
"Well let's not dilly-daddle, then." August said, hurrying up to the One-Eyed Witch, touching the statue's hump with her wand, and muttering "Dissendium." the passage slid open and she slipped through, closely followed by fred, then George. The secret doorway closed, plunging them into darkness. "Lumos." August whispered, lighting her wand. The twins did the same.They hurried though the passage, which was muddy and humid.
After an eternity, they began to ascend until they finally reached the cellar door of Honeyduke's sweetshop. August pointed her wand at the cellar door and said, "Homenum revelio." nothing happened, and so August knew it was safe to enter. She opened the door and climbed out, accompanied moments later by Fred on her right and George on her left. They rushed up the stairs and opened the door a crack.
The shop was near empty, and the shopkeeper was putting some new boxes of Fizzing Whizbees on shelves. Fred aimed his wand at the man and said, "Muffliato." They hurried past him, august muttering "Finite." under her breath. They hurried and stood near the door. August directed her wand at the handle and said "Depulso." The door flew open and the bell tinkled. The shopkeeper looked up. August and the twins smiled and waved at him as though they had just arrived and were browsing for sweets. August took several boxes of Bertie Bot's Every Flavor Beans, Fred took around ten or twelve Chocolate Frogs, and George pocketed a Sugar Quill, several Jelly Slugs, some Acid Pops, and a few of the freshly shipped Fizzing Whizbees for good measure.
They hurriedly left Honeyduke's and examined what each of them had stolen, quite pleased with their haul. They then went for quick walk around and stopped for some butterbeer. They then went back into Honeyduke's, used Muffliato on the shopkeeper again, then lifted the charm just as they closed the door that led to the cellar. They quickly went down into the passage and navigated back to Hogwarts, coming back out of the One-Eyed Witch's hump. They went back to the common room, talking about how they would try to sell some Skiving Snackboxes before class tomorrow.
August hurried down the Grand Staircase to the Great Hall for breakfast and sat down, as always, with George on her left and Fred on her right. "So guys, I was thinking," she began,."I've got enough Puking Pastilles to bring in around ten Galleons, and twice that of Nosebleed Nougats. What say we open shop during break and try to snatch a couple of first year buyers?"
Fred and George raised their glasses of pumpkin juice in approval and exclaimed, "Hear! Hear!" August lifted her glass. "Hear! Hear!" They all clinked their goblets together and drank.
After breakfast they went down to Potions. Snape scowled at them when he opened the door. "Mister Weasley, Miss Goldfield, and Mister Weasley. How saddening it is for me to see that you three have not yet been expelled."
"Nice to see you too, Professor!" said August, grinning. Snape continued to scowl. The bell rang and the students entered. August went to a back corner table and sat next to Fred. George was across from her and taking out his cauldron, a mischevious grin on his face.
"Today," began Snape, "We will be making Elixer to Induce Euphoria. You have one hour. The instructions are on the board. You may begin." He turned and stalked back to his desk, glaring at August and the twins.
Really the only personality difference between August and the twins was that she always had top grades. She always let Fred and George copy her work, and sometimes she did it for them. By the end of class all three of them had identical pinkish potions in their cauldrons. The only catch was that they had each added a different Skiving Snackbox product to each of their potions. Fred's had two Nosebleed Nougats, George's had three Fainting Fancies, and August's had four Puking Pastilles. They had done this in the hope that Snape would try one of their potions and the Skiving Snackbox products in that particular potion would either give him a very bad, very difficult to stop nosebleed, a bad puking fit, or make him faint on the spot(for this reason, they desperately hoped he would sample George's).
"Stop brewing! Time up!" Snape called a short while later. He got up and walked around the room. "I will test one of your potions." he said as he continued to walk about. He stopped at the table where August and the twins were, glancing down at their pink potions. "Ah, yes. This should be interesting." he said, taking out a vile and scooping up some of August's potion. He drank, then stood there for a moment, his expression unreadable. Wait for it, August was thinking, Any second now...
Snape keeled over and vomited. He stood up to speak, his face contorted with fury, but then he leaned over and vomited again. "Ooh, you're right Professor, " said August, picking up parchment and pretending to take notes, "This is interesting."
"Yeah, " chortled Fred and George, also pretending to take notes, "Most baffling! We thought it was supposed to make you happy, unless of course, you like eating your food twice!"
"Detention for a month, Miss Goldfield!" he called after another puking fit, "And you as well, Weasleys!" August and the twins rushed off as soon as class ended, laughing as they reminisced about Snape vomiting.
"Man," said Fred, "What a stupid git! What did he think would happen if he tasted one of our potions, that daisies would pop out of his ears?" He, George, and August were laughing so hard they had to lean on each other and the wall to keep from falling to the floor.
"Oh my God!", August said, barely able to breathe from laughing so hard, "The greasy-haired git!" They arrived outside Transfiguration a moment later, still laughing.
Professor McGonagall came out and eyed them suspiciously. "And what, dare I ask, did you three do this time?" she said, her mouth a thin line of disapproval.
"We-we-!" August tried to say, but she was laughing so hard she couldn't even speak. "You tell her, Fred!" she gasped in between fits of laughter.
"Well," said Fred, who was also laughing, "We were in Potions and we-"he gasped with laughter again, "We were supposed to be making Elixer to Induce Euphoria-" another laughing fit," but we messed up August's on purpose and when-and when-" he gasped, "and when Snape drank it, he puked up just about everything you could think of!" He could speak no more as he, George, and August positively roared with laughter. They did a three-way high-five but missed and fell on top of each other. They were now rolling on the floor with delight. August could hardly breathe and felt tears coming to her eyes. Professor McGonagall said nothing, but her line of a mouth was extraordinarily thin. They took a few deep breaths and calmed down by the time the bell rang.
They didn't pay much attention in Transfiguration. Professor McGonagall was going on about how to transform animals into goblets and back and blah, blah, blah. August sat and doodled in her notebook until the end of class.
After Transfiguration they had Charms, Herbology, and Defense Against the Dark Arts. George then went off to the common room to sell some Skiving Snackboxes, while August and Fred went for a walk around.
"So," said Fred as they walked the third floor corridor near North Tower, "The Skiving Snackboxes are coming along pretty well, huh?"
"Yeah, said August. They had both become quite silent now that they were alone. "Fred," she said, turning toward him suddenly,"You and George'll let me run the joke shop with you when it opens, won't you?"
Fred looked at her, his eyes alight. "I wouldn't have it any other way."
And then it happened without warning, without thinking of any sort; and yet it felt like the most perfect moment in the world, like it was what they had both been waiting for, what both of their hearts had been longing to happen; for, the very moment Fred had stopped speaking, August had kissed him. It was the most wonderful feeling; August could feel her heart ready to burst with joy and happiness. The same could be said for Fred, who kissed back willingly, and August knew that he had been wanting this just as much, and for just as long, as she had. Since the day they had met, they had liked each other and, after only a while's worth of nurturing, their like had turned to love; love that burnt like fire in their chests; love that made them feel like they were all that mattered; love that brought them together to become, not two hearts, but one soul. After they finished kissing, August hugged him tightly, not wanting the moment to end. She felt his breath come as deep, slow pulls of air, just like hers. After another while, she looked up at him and said, "Are you with me, Frederick Weasley?"
Fred looked down at her, thought for a moment, then smiled and said, "Like a shield, August Goldfield." She smiled back.
Later, when they entered through the portrait hole, they were holding hands tightly, not wanting to let go. They kissed again before departing to their separate dormitories.
The next day, August sat under a tree near the lake with her two other best friends(although most people were baffled that it could be so), Crabbe and Goyle. Or, as she liked to call them, Greg and Vince.
"Wait a sec," said Goyle, "Can you explain it one more time?"
"What, the alternate reality theory?" she asked, taking a bite out of an apple. They nodded. "Well, " she continued, "It's pretty simple once you get down to it. You see, the thing is -the reason for the theory, that is to say- is that, well...What if there's another you out there? One who lived -is living- a different life, making different choices, living without regret? Like another you, or another me, who's the same...but different. Maybe there is. Maybe there's another me who made different choices, led a different life. Maybe she's in Slytherin. Maybe she's not a prankster. Maybe she's the alternate Snape's teacher's pet. Hell, maybe she's sitting right here, right now, right where I am, talking to a different Crabbe and Goyle under a different tree next to a different lake at a different magical school. For all I know, she could be a Muggle! She could be right here, next to me, close enough to touch, yet forever out of reach. You with me so far?"
"Yeah, yeah, I'm startin' ter geddit!" said Crabbe, "There's a chance there's someone out there like us, someone who is us. They're the same person, but they do stuff differently, think stuff differently. Like, if there's another Crabbe out there, he'd probably be really smart, like a super genius or summat! But why can't we see them if they're there, maybe even right here?"
"First of all, " said August, "You're plenty smart, Vince, and you too, Greg! Just in different ways than other people. You guys are smart in that you know how to stay big, strong. You can defend yourselves a hell of a lot better than most people at the school. Trust me, man, you're not stupid. Everybody's smart at something not a lot of other people are smart at. That's just the way it is. And the reason we can't see the other versions of us is called the Bulk Theory. The Bulk Theory states that there could be five, ten, a hundred different universes, which means that there could be five, ten, a hundred different you's or me's right here next to us. The reason we can't see them is because each universe has a membrane. We can't see it or feel it, but it's there, and it keeps us from touching or seeing the alternate versions of ourselves. Instead of being like a thin layer of plastic and breaking when we push our hands through it, the membrane bends around us so that we never really come into full contact with it. We may never meet our other selves. We may never even find a way to be sure of their existence. We can either choose to believe or disbelieve. That's all there is. Personally, I believe."
"Yeah, "said Crabbe, "Me, too."
"Me three." said Goyle.