Happy Birthday, Fred and George Weasley!

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Apr 01, 2018

Posted by: Dawn Johnson | Comments

Birthdays, Books, Character Birthdays, Fandom, Fans, Films, Fun, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Philosophers / Sorcerers Stone, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Humor, J.K. Rowling, Movies, News

J.K. Rowling knew what she was doing–has there ever been any doubt?–when she chose April 1 as the unforgettable day Fred and George Weasley were welcomed into the world. It may be known as April Fool’s Day, but Fred and George were no fools. They loved a good laugh, and the more the better. But more than that, they loved a good joke, and they managed to combine their penchant for light-hearted hilarity and magical skill into a thriving entrepreneurial venture as students at Hogwarts and, later, as the owners of Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes joke shop. Quite the feat of transfiguration!

More than their business sense, their instinctual quick wit and self-confidence drove their ability to approach every circumstance and opportunity with good humor. We could fill an entire volume with their quips alone! But, in honor of their birthday and in hopes of garnering some genuine April Fool’s Day laughs, lets remember some of their funniest outbursts and antics from the Harry Potter series.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

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Fred and George may have delighted in teasing their siblings and pulling pranks that gave their parents more than a few gray hairs, but joking aside, they loved their family with unabashed devotion. When other kids their age might have shied away from wearing homemade sweaters and sitting with their annoying brothers, they did so proudly, and we love that about them!

‘Merry Christmas!’
‘Hey, look – Harry’s got a Weasley jumper, too!’
Fred and George were wearing blue jumpers, one with a large yellow F on it, the other with a large yellow G.
‘Harry’s is better than ours, though,’ said Fred, holding up Harry’s jumper. ‘She obviously makes more of an effort if you’re not family.’
‘Why aren’t you wearing yours, Ron?’ George demanded. ‘Come on, get it on, they’re lovely and warm.’
‘I hate maroon,’ Ron moaned half-heartedly as he pulled it over his head.
‘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.’

And later, upon spying older brother Percy, who they delighted to pester over his head-swelling prefecture, there was no avoiding a spot of togetherness.

‘P for prefect! Get it on, Percy, come on, we’re all wearing ours, even Harry got one.’
‘I – don’t – want –’said Percy thickly, as the twins forced the jumper over his head, knocking his glasses askew.
‘And you’re not sitting with the Prefects today, either,’ said George.
‘Christmas is a time for family.’
They frog-marched Percy from the room, his arms pinned to his sides by his jumper.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

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Though Fred and George were known as jokesters, what made their humor so effective was their incomparable timing. They could judge any situation, test any waters, and determine how a joke might land. They knew when to take things seriously–and when it would be just as well not to. In Harry’s case, this worked to his benefit. He so often carried the weight of others expectations and assumptions on his shoulders, that Fred and George’s complete disregard for that was a much-needed relief. (Not to mention they were loyal enough to rescue him from a barred room with an enchanted Ford Anglia!)

Fred and George, however, found all this very funny. They went out of their way to march ahead of Harry down the corridors, shouting, ‘Make way for the heir of Slytherin, seriously evil wizard coming through …’
Percy was deeply disapproving of this behaviour.
‘It is not a laughing matter,’ he said coldly.
‘Oh, get out of the way, Percy,’ said Fred, ‘Harry’s in a hurry.’
‘Yeah, he’s nipping off to the Chamber of Secrets for a cup of tea with his fanged servant,’ said George, chortling.

They also had a knack for being in the right place at the right time–that is, for picking up useful information and avoiding trouble. (It doesn’t count if you’re not caught, right? That was their philosophy, at any rate.) And in the case of their older brother, it really ought to have helped Percy take himself a little less seriously.

‘Oh, that,’ said Ginny, giggling. ‘Well – Percy’s got a girlfriend.’
Fred dropped a stack of books on George’s head.
‘What?’
… ‘You won’t tease him, will you?’ she added anxiously.
‘Wouldn’t dream of it,’ said Fred, who was looking as if his birthday had come early.
‘Definitely not,’ said George, sniggering.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

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Fred and George had their own curious set of priorities and ambitions, and they differed from those of their siblings. They were loners in that way, but they were confident, and they had each other. They knew what they were good at and endeavored to excel, not bothering to waste time on the things that didn’t matter to them.

‘What do we want to be Prefects for?’ said George, looking revolted at the very idea. ‘It’d take all the fun out of life.’

That said, they were remarkably generous. They didn’t need to achieve success in the eyes of their professors or peers, but they more than succeeded in other ways–as teammates and as friends.

‘What’s that supposed to be?’
‘This, Harry, is the secret of our success,’ said George, patting the parchment fondly.
‘It’s a wrench, giving it to you,’ said Fred, ‘but we decided last night, your need’s greater than ours.’
‘Anyway, we know it off by heart,’ said George. ‘We bequeath it to you. We don’t really need it any more.’
‘And what do I need with a bit of old parchment?’ said Harry.
‘A bit of old parchment!’ said Fred, closing his eyes with a grimace, as though Harry had mortally offended him. ‘Explain, George.’
‘Well… when we were in our first year, Harry – young, carefree and innocent –’
Harry snorted. He doubted whether Fred and George had ever been innocent.
‘– well, more innocent than we are now – we got into a pot of bother with Filch.’
‘We let off a Dungbomb in the corridor and it upset him for some reason –’
‘So he hauled us off to his office and started threatening us with the usual –’
‘– detention –’
‘– disembowelment – ‘

…‘This little beauty’s taught us more than all the teachers in this school.’ 

…‘Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs,’ sighed George, patting the heading of the map. ‘We owe them so much.’ 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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Fred and George decided to put their interests and skills to good use, maximizing their talents. And considering their cleverness, their family really ought to have known they’d find a way to do so.

‘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.’

They weren’t completely in the dark, of course. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley knew them far too well for that. How far Fred and George had come with their gags and magical products, that was the surprise!

‘What are you two up to?’ said Mrs Weasley sharply, her eyes on the twins.
‘Homework,’ said Fred vaguely.
‘Don’t be ridiculous, you’re still on holiday,’ said Mrs Weasley.

If thinking they could trick Dumbledore’s age-line wasn’t humorous enough, their knack for a well-timed sarcastic aside continued to be invaluable in alleviating tension, especially as Harry faced the challenges of the Triwizard Tournament.

‘Don’t be a prat, Neville, that’s illegal,’ said George. ‘They wouldn’t use the Cruciatus curse on the champions. I thought it sounded a bit like Percy singing… maybe you’ve got to attack him while he’s in the shower, Harry.’

And who can forget their hilarious approach to avoiding the teen angst of finding a date to the Yule Ball?! Simply have confidence in yourself and refuse to be dragged into it–the more straightforward and blunt the better. Given the rollercoaster ride of drama that was Ron and Hermione’s relationship for seven books, Ron might have taken his brothers’ example to heart. (Or one of them might have pulled him aside and talked a bit of sense into him. Although, knowing his brothers, Ron might have been skeptical about their practical wisdom.) In the end, we’re fairly certain Fred and George had a much better time at the dance than their brother did, though!

‘Who’re you going with then?’ asked Ron.
‘Angelina,’ said Fred promptly, without a trace of embarrassment.
‘What?’ said Ron, taken aback. ‘You’ve already asked her?’
‘Good point,’ said Fred. He turned his head and called across the common room, ‘Oi! Angelina!’ 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 turned back to Alicia and carried on chatting, with a bit of a grin on her face.
‘There you go,’ said Fred to Harry and Ron, ‘piece of cake.’

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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It was no surprise that Fred and George took their pranks to an entirely new level upon coming of age, much to their mother’s consternation (and much to our enjoyment!)

‘Hello, Harry,’ said George, beaming at him. ‘We thought we heard your dulcet tones.’
‘You don’t want to bottle up your anger like that, Harry, let it all out,’ said Fred, also beaming. ‘There might be a couple of people fifty miles away who didn’t hear you.’
‘You two passed your Apparition tests, then?’ asked Harry grumpily.
‘With distinction,’ said Fred.

They also took their side business to a whole new level, so let no one argue they weren’t hard workers. No, they were simply picky about what they sacrificed their time–and good looks!–for. Magical ability had nothing to do with it. (Or everything to do with it, depending on how you look at it!)

‘Testers?’
‘Us,’ said Fred. ‘We take it in turns. George did the Fainting Fancies – we both tried the Nosebleed Nougat –’
‘Mum thought we’d been duelling,’ said George.

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‘So top grade’s “O” for “Outstanding”,’ she was saying, ‘and then there’s “A” –’

No, “E”,’ George corrected her [Hermione], ‘”E” for “Exceeds Expectations”. And I’ve always though Fred and I should’ve got “E” in everything, because we exceeded expectations just by turning up for the exams.’

And in perhaps their boldest and best move of the series, Fred and George opted to turn their sights upon a truly worthy opponent in Dolores Umbridge. She had no idea what she was in for!

Fred: ‘Anyway… we’ve decided we don’t care about getting into trouble any more.’
‘Have you ever?’ asked Hermione.
‘Course we have,’ said George. ‘Never been expelled, have we?’
‘We’ve always known where to draw the line,’ said Fred.
‘We might have put a toe across it occasionally,’ said George.
‘But we’ve always stopped short of causing real mayhem,’ said Fred.
‘But now?’ said Ron tentatively.
‘Well, now –’ said George.
‘– what with Dumbledore gone –’ said Fred.
‘– we reckon a bit of mayhem –’ said George.
‘– is exactly what our new Head deserves,’ said Fred.

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In fact, Fred and George starred in the showdown that left us all cheering–out-grown full time education, indeed!

Umbridge: ‘You two,’ she went on, gazing down at Fred and George , ‘are about to learn what happens to wrong-doers in my school.’
‘You know what?’ said Fred. ‘I don’t think we are.’
He turned to his twin.
‘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.
And before Umbridge could say a word, they raised their wands and said together: ‘Accio brooms!’

‘We won’t be seeing you,’ Fred told Professor Umbridge, swinging his leg over his broomstick.
‘Yeah, don’t bother to keep in touch,’ said George, mounting his own.
Fred looked around at the assembled students, and at the silent, watchful crowd.
‘If anyone fancies buying a Portable Swamp, as demonstrated upstairs, come to number ninety-three, Diagon Alley — Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes,’ he said in a loud voice, ‘Our new premises!’
‘Special discounts to Hogwarts students who swear they’re going to use our products to get rid of this old bat,” added George, pointing at Professor Umbridge.
‘STOP THEM!’ shrieked Umbridge, but it was too late. As the Inquisitorial Squad closed in, Fred and George kicked off from the floor, shooting fifteen feet into the air, the iron peg swinging dangerously below. Fred looked across the hall at the poltergeist bobbing on his level above the crowd.
‘Give her hell from us, Peeves.’
And Peeves, who Harry had never seen take an order from a student before, swept his belled hat from his head and sprang to a salute as Fred and George wheeled about to tumultuous applause from the students below and sped out of the open front doors into the glorious sunset.

 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

“The thing about growing up with Fred and George,” said Ginny thoughtfully, “is that you sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”

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“Am I about to discover where you, Ron, and Hermione disappeared to while you were supposed to be in the back room of Fred and George’s shop?’
‘How did you…?’
‘Harry, please. You’re talking to the man who raised Fred and George.”

Fred and George did not feature in the sixth entry nearly as much, since they were off building their successful business in Diagon Alley. However, their influence on their family was not to be denied, and Rowling took every opportunity to imbue humor into the otherwise dark story with scattered references to our favorite twins.

“Fred, George, Harry, and Ron were the only ones who knew that the angel on top of the tree was actually a garden gnome that had bitten Fred on the ankle as he pulled up carrots for Christmas dinner. Stupefied, painted gold, stuffed into a miniature tutu and with small wings glued to its back, it glowered down at them all, the ugliest angel Harry had ever seen, with a large bald head like a potato and rather hairy feet.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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We were glad to see Fred and George do what we always knew they could, use their magical prowess for more than jokes. Though always proud of their ingenuity, it was good to see them return as members of the Order of the Phoenix, bravely committed to helping Harry evade the Dark Lord, and at great risk to themselves. (Remember, George became quite “holey” after the Battle of the Seven Potters.)

When he straightened up again, there were six Harry Potters gasping and panting in front of him. Fred and George turned to each other and said together, “Wow — we’re identical!” “I dunno though, I think I’m still better looking,” said Fred, examining his reflection in the kettle.

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Fred and George joined the Order at the Battle of Hogwarts as well, and in the midst of that horrific fight, it was a Weasley twin whose characteristic bluntness cut the tension of a long overdue family reunion. Levied at their brother, Percy, the message was clear–we will hold you to account. We won’t ignore the hurt you’ve caused. But we’re your family. Stand with us. We never stopped hoping you would.

There was a scuffling and a great thump: someone else had clambered out of the tunnel, overbalanced slightly and fallen. He pulled himself up on the nearest chair, looked around through lopsided horn – rimmed glasses and said, ‘Am I too late? Has it started? I only just found out, so I – I -‘

Percy spluttered into silence. Evidently he had not expected to run into most of his family. There was a long moment of astonishment, broken by Fleur turning to Lupin and saying, in a wildly transparent attempt to break the tension, ‘So – ‘ow eez leetle Teddy?’
Lupin blinked at her, startled. The silence between the Weasleys seemed to be solidifying, like ice.
‘I – oh yes – he’s fine!’ Lupin said loudly. ‘Yes, Tonks is with him – at her mother’s.’
Percy and the other Weasleys were still staring at one another, frozen.
‘Here, I’ve got a picture!’ Lupin shouted, pulling a photograph from inside his jacket and showing it to Fleur and Harry, who saw a tiny baby with a tuff of bright turquoise hair, waving fat fists at the camera.
‘I was a fool!’ Percy roared, so loudly that Lupin nearly dropped his photograph ‘I was an idiot, I was a pompous prat, I was a – a -‘
‘Ministry-loving, family-disowning, power-hungry moron,’ said Fred.
Percy swallowed.
‘Yes I was!”

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There’s not much more to say than this. Fred and George loved their family. They loved life. Wholeheartedly. And at the end of the day, they were willing to fight for both. We raise our wands to the Weasley twins. Happy Birthday, boys. Thank you for the laughs and for showing us how to treasure each and every one!

And many thanks to the Harry Potter Lexicon for compiling a good selection of quotes, some of which we used here, aiding us greatly in putting together a memorable tribute.





The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.