what if the reason nobody can tell fred and george apart is because they really are interchangeable
not in a ~it doesn’t matter~ way but like. molly and arthur used to worry that fred and george might turn out to be squibs because they weren’t doing any accidental magic as children, but they were, THEY TOTALLY WERE, it just wasn’t anything flashy, instead they were just like idly switching bodies all the time
and like sometimes it doesn’t make much of a difference, whatever, wake up in the opposite bed you went to sleep in, but it gets like dangerous and weird if you’re on a broom or in the pond or letting your mum teach you to cook or trying to be mad stealth, so for a long long time everybody presumes they’re clumsy maybe-squibs and that they’re doing their twin lying thing when they try to explain what’s going on, so they learn to handle the issue their ownselves
they just. don’t go anywhere without the other. they start each day deciding which body is going to be which (because at this point they really don’t know which body is technically fred and which is technically george), and they learn to reorient FAST when they switch, and what things set them off, and eventually they learn how to act like nothing’s up even when one of them’s in the air and one’s on the ground or whatever, and then they burn past that til they can finish each other’s sentences — til they can switch midsentence — til they can play beater together — til they can switch in a split second in the middle of a game — til there’s room for other kinds of accidental magic to start showing up
at hogwarts they keep each other awake in history of magic by switching back and forth. in potions they take turns brewing and keeping lookout for the slytherins. in transfiguration and charms they keep their grades up because one of them will always get a spell right on the first try so they switch and make it look like both of them do and then they practice on their own later in private. it keeps the mystery alive.
at first they thought lee was just a lucky guesser but no, lee can always tell one twin from another twin — it’s not exactly telling fred from george, because while they are definitely two distinct personalities neither one of them feels like fred all the time or george all the time — but lee knows who he argued with yesterday or who he lent his notes to or who’s best to ask for help in astronomy and who’s best at runes.
the weasleys are pretty bad at it for the longest time, but then bill comes home from his first year cursebreaking and he can tell, and over a holiday he teaches his trick to charlie so charlie can tell. alicia and katie and angelina can tell. the twins honestly don’t know if oliver can tell or not; so long as they’re doing what they’re supposed to on the quidditch pitch he doesn’t really care about much else. harry can tell. luna can tell. tonks can tell.
the problem is there’s no way for this to end happily
You ever done that kind of deep crying where your teeth won’t stop chattering together and it’s like you’re shivering? it does feel oddly right for some reason, but it’s so confusing like
'body. body, being cold is not my problem right now wtf'
That One Time I Saw Chris Evans’ Back Sweat, and also, Neuroscience
So a week or so ago when I was on the east coast, in a moment of extreme weakness, I went to see the Avengers exhibit at Times Square. It was awesome, I somehow charmed a really sweet employee — ahem, operative — into giving me their rad as hell SHIELD beret, I bought Ellen like sixteen souvenirs (okay, two) — but that is not what I’m here about. (Ask me about the Cap t-shirt I got. Please. Oh my god. Ask me.)
What I’m here about is, unsurprisingly, the Captain America portion of exhibit.
The experience is immersive, all set up so you feel like you’re in SHIELD archives or the like. The Cap section includes the VitaRay (complete with a cameo by the salt stains from, you guessed it, Chris Evans’ back sweat), the rescuing-Bucky leather jacket, some seriously exclusive trading cards I Coulson’d all over, the Avengers uniform, and, endearingly, a section where you can test your strength against Steve’s. There’s also a little portion by the VitaRay that explains the changes Steve’s brain went through after they administered the serum. Being the massive bag of science trash that I am, this is where I spent most of my time.
The info graphic basically told me what we already know: that the serum enhances everything you had going for you before. So Steve’s brain is smarter and faster, the neurons have a longer life span, the hippocampus — that’s your memory storage — is nice and healthy; whatever. But then they said that the part of Steve’s brain that increased the most in mass and synaptogenesis was the amygdala. And I promptly lost all control over my feelings.
Cut bc this is about to get really gnarly. It’s science time, kiddos.