There’s something mysterious about twins – even when they don’t have magical powers, they still seem like something that could only have emerged from a glitch in the Matrix. Surely, some sort of sorcery must have gone into the creation of a pair of people so precisely matched.
So when you find two of a kind and add in some magic, you’ve got sublime human beings – in the form of Fred and George: brothers, pranksters, sportsmen and all-round good ginger souls.
Here’s why we’re especially jealous of the matched magical pair.
Molly Weasley was especially attuned to trickery, having taken on the heroic role of raising somewhere in the vicinity of 100 red-headed males. But even she, with her mother’s eye and her suspicious mind, was not immune to a Fred-and-George bait-and-switch. We’d love to be able to get away with fooling Molly – even if it would probably end with no supper, a Howler and a healthy dose of motherly guilt thrown in.
‘Fred, you next,’ the plump woman said.
‘I’m not Fred, I’m George,’ said the boy. ‘Honestly, woman, call yourself our mother? Can’t you tell I’m George?’
‘Sorry, George, dear.’
‘Only joking, I am Fred,’ said the boy, and off he went.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Hermione, Ron and Harry made up a heroic threesome, but Fred and George’s friendship was perfectly synced. There’s something about unflinching reinforcement that makes even the most difficult decisions and diabolical plans seem easy – like, for example, abandoning your education and jeopardising your future when a tyrant like Professor Umbridge takes hold of the place you once loved best.
‘George,’ said Fred, ‘I think we’ve outgrown full-time education.’
‘Yeah, I’ve been feeling that way myself,’ said George lightly.
‘Time to test our talents in the real world, d’you reckon?’ asked Fred.
‘Definitely,’ said George.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
They finished each other’s sentences, they laughed at each other’s jokes and they made up a formidable pair of Beaters on the Quidditch pitch.
‘You haven’t got a letter on yours,’ George observed. ‘I suppose she thinks you don’t forget your name. But we’re not stupid – we know we’re called Gred and Forge.’
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
It stands to reason that the most serious scheme the pair ever embarked on was opening a shop devoted to jokes and pranks – but Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes proved that their teamed-up-talents weren’t useful only in tormenting Filch and Mrs Norris.
Together they created their products, secured funding and opened a successful business, without so much as a misstep. Going into business together would wreak havoc on many a relationship, but it only united the Weasley twins further. Thank goodness, too, because where would the wizarding world be without U-No-Poo?
Set against the dull, poster-muffled shop fronts around them, Fred and George’s windows hit the eye like a firework display. Casual passers-by were looking back over their shoulders at the windows, and a few rather stunned-looking people had actually come to a halt, transfixed. The left-hand window was dazzlingly full of an assortment of goods that revolved, popped, flashed, bounced and shrieked; Harry’s eyes began to water just looking at it.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
No matter how accustomed you are to trouble, it is very difficult to make light of losing a body part, even in the wizarding world, where bones can be regrown and Splinching is simply a consequence of learning to Apparate.
But when George found himself suddenly lacking in half of his hearing and a chunk of his head, the presence of his brother made him able to turn it into a joke. After all, he still had three ears to rely on, which is more than most.
Colour flooded Fred’s pale face.
‘Pathetic,’ he told George. ‘Pathetic! With the whole wide world of ear-related humour before you, you go for holey?’
‘Ah well,’ said George, grinning at his tear-soaked mother. ‘You’ll be able to tell us apart now, anyway, Mum.’
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
No one got through the years of Voldemort’s tyranny without running into a bit of tragedy, but George, arguably, was hit worst of all, with one half of himself lost to the Battle of Hogwarts.
In the aftermath of Fred’s death, it would be easy to assume that George might have just given up. To lose both an ear and a twin all in the same short space of time is more than most could tolerate, even if they do come in pairs.
From what we learnt from J.K Rowling after the series ended, she didn’t think George ‘would ever get over losing Fred’, but that he still managed to make a happy life for himself.
He even kept Fred’s legacy alive and named his first son after his brother. On top of that, he married Fred’s first girlfriend, the sparky Angelina Johnson. We wonder if Fred would find that amusing.
Angelina, who had been chatting to Alicia Spinnet near the fire, looked over at him.
‘What?’ she called back.
‘Want to come to the ball with me?’ Angelina gave Fred an appraising sort of look.
‘All right, then,’ she said, and she turned back to Alicia and carried on chatting, with a bit of a grin on her face.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire