Author's Notes: Harry and Ginny Potter's children get the
family in trouble with the Ministry of Magic.
It was a beautifully sunny, clear spring day that showed off the
English countryside at its best. Ginny Potter was using some time off
from work to garden and keep an eye on Megan and Ian, who were flying
around the garden on their child-size broomsticks. Ginny understood
now why her mother loved gardening so much. It had taken Molly's mind
away from her worries for her husband and children during the war
years. Yes, it had also helped put food on the table when income was
limited and there were so many mouths to feed. But Ginny knew that
Molly still enjoyed gardening, and took great pride in her flowers
and the wonderful produce that she would put on the table at weekly
At least money was something that Ginny had no worries about. She
and Harry easily could have lived solely on interest from Harry's
inheritance. While the wars were over, she still had the stress of
treating her patients, especially those orphans that still had not
found families to take care of them. And of course, Harry's Emergency
Magical Rescue job was unpredictably dangerous at times. It didn't
involve just illness and accidents, but could include dealing with
fires, spells gone wrong, violent arguments, and whatever could leave
magical people hurt and in need of emergency healing.
Ginny continued to turn the cool, moist earth, slipping the young
plants into the soil where they would bloom in late summer. The fun
that the children were having added to Ginny's peaceful mood, and she
smiled to herself at the children's gleeful cries. One of the best
things she and Harry ever did, she thought, was to adopt these two
children when the last of their relatives had died.
Then something about the way the children were flying caught her
eye. She watched a while with growing alarm and then took out her
wand, ready to do an emergency levitation if it became necessary.
"Megan! Ian! Come here right now!" Ginny pointed to the
grass beside her. They came to a stop next to her. "Get off your
brooms and hand them to me." Her manner had an amazing
resemblance to one of her mother's sterner moods.
Ginny did a Revealing Spell on each broom. "All right, you
two. Both brooms were flying higher and faster than they should have
done. What can you tell me about it? Who changed the spells on the
brooms?" The children were looking at each other nervously and
were holding each other's hands the way they used to do in fearful
"I repeat. Who changed your broom, Ian? Who changed yours,
Megan?" They silently pointed to each other. "Explain
yourselves. Now! How did you do it? And are you casting blame on each
other? You know what your papa and I think about that."
"We have to tell her, Ian. I told you it mightn't be a good
idea." Megan looked at Ginny anxiously. "We weren't lying,
Mama. I really did change Ian's broom. And he changed mine."
"I showed her how first, Mama!" Ian grinned proudly. "It
was brilliant! I read about it in Papa's magazine." Then he saw
Ginny's expression. "Oops. We're really in trouble, aren't we?"
Ginny nodded grimly.
"Now, you two tell me how you did it. In detail. Whose wand
did you use?"
The children looked at each other again, this time in puzzlement.
"Were we supposed to use wands?" Ian asked. "We didn't
have any and the magazine didn't say anything about a wand."
"Bring me the magazine you used and show me what you read."
While the children ran into the house, Ginny locked the brooms in the
tool shed. Soon the children scampered back to Ginny and handed her a
recent copy of Performance Broomsticks. "Show me what you
read." They leafed through the magazine and pointed.
As Ginny finished scanning the article a movement in
the sky caught her eye. An owl approached them and landed by Ginny.
She removed the message from the owl's leg. The message was a form
Official Notification of Violation
Dear Parent(s) and/or Guardian(s) of
(a) Magical Child/Children:
The Ministry of Magic has detected
_____three _____more than three
instance(s) of Illegal Intentional
Underage Magic at your residence within the last
Using the Official Delivery Owl, you
are required by law to return to the Ministry the receipt at the
bottom of this Official Notice with the appropriate information and
box(es) checked. If this is a First Offense, please check the
appropriate box and you will be sent a free brochure entitled:
Suddenly Magical: What To Do With A Child That Exhibits
Unexpected, Uncontrolled Or Alarming Magical Symptoms
If the receipt is not returned
immediately, your residence will be visited by a Ministry Official or
other Representative within
return portion below dotted line
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
[ ] Send details of violation(s) [ ]
Violation(s) admitted [ ] Violation(s) denied [ ] Send
I/We acknowledge receipt of Notification of Violation(s)
________ (signature required by law)
The owl had begun to shuffle from foot to foot and pointedly
stare at Ginny. "Just you wait, you. I need to get a quill."
When Ginny returned, the owl had just accepted an owl treat from the
supply that Megan always seemed to have in her pockets. When the owl
spotted Ginny it again lifted one leg and waited for the receipt to
Ginny glared at the receipt and thought. Whose name? Harry's
and mine? The children's? Which address? Floo, physical, or owl post?
Obviously the Ministry knows where we are. Date? Do they want today
when we got the notification, or yesterday when the supposed
violation probably occurred? Ginny did vaguely remember a lot of
giggling last night associated with the children's brooms. She and
Harry had been unconcerned as long as the children did not try to fly
them in the house.
The owl began its impatient shuffling again, until Megan mollified
it with another owl treat. Ginny sighed, and attacked the receipt.
Okay, use my name. Just check the boxes for brochure and for
"violation details." I'm curious what they thought they
detected. Even though I'm sure the kids did something, let's not
admit to anything, right? I've had enough of the Ministry mucking
about. After a final glance over the form, she added the
"required signature" and the current date. Why did they
put the perforations there, where they don't do any good? Ginny
folded the parchment on the dashed, not dotted, line and carefully
tore off the receipt.
Ginny jokingly warned Megan, "Don't give the owl any more
treats or we'll likely get a notice of attempted bribery of an
Official Government Owl." Megan looked up in puzzlement. "Never
mind, dear. Let me attach this receipt to his leg."
Megan smiled as she watched the owl fly out of sight. "Oh,
Mama, wasn't that a nice owl? He was almost as pretty as Hedwig."
Megan's affinity for all sorts of living creatures was a constant
source of amusement and sometimes alarm for her family.
"Now, you two..." Ginny's manner became severe. She
paused until she knew that she had Megan's and Ian's full attention.
"You should have remembered what we told you about doing magic.
We said that you were far too young to deliberately do magic.
Do you understand me?" Both children nodded uncomfortably.
"But we didn't use a wand, Mama," Ian said plaintively.
"Ian," Megan said worriedly, "I reckon it was still
magic, even if we didn't use a wand."
"Too right it was magic," Ginny responded grimly. "You
could have seriously hurt yourselves. You are not allowed to
deliberately do magic until you go to school at Hogwarts. Even then,
you must not do magic away from school until you are seventeen. That
is the law, and the Ministry of Magic is very strict about it. That
is what the message was about."
"Now, for your punishment..." the children's faces fell,
"... each of you is to go to your own room and write an essay on
what you did to change the brooms. You may draw pictures if that
helps. I want them done before Harry gets home. I will come in from
time to time to check on your progress."
* * *
All through supper the children had been nervously whispering to
each other. As far as they knew, Ginny had not yet told Harry about
the afternoon's events. Ginny had told the children not to leave the
table when they were done eating.
"Harry, the children put us in serious trouble with the
Ministry of Magic today." Ginny handed him the message from the
Ministry. Taking a cue from her carefully neutral expression, Harry
read the message without comment. "As punishment, I required
both children to go to their rooms and write essays about what they
did." She handed them to Harry. His eyebrows jumped around as he
read them, but otherwise he managed to keep his expression relatively
Harry looked severely at Ian. "Where did you learn how to do
this?" He held up Ian's essay, which consisted mostly of
pictures of broomstick parts drawn with a childish hand, surrounded
with arrows and little comments.
"I read it in your magazine, Papa. You know, the one with the
pretty witch flying a Firebolt Special. It was fun to do and..."
Ian stopped his eager explanation when he saw Harry's grim
expression. Ginny silently handed the magazine to Harry, who nodded
Harry then looked at Megan. "I see that you didn't write just
about the broomsticks. We didn't know that other bits of magic were
happening around you when you were by yourself. It's very good that
you told us. If accidental magic happens around either of you again,
you must tell your mama or me. Do you understand?"
Both children nodded solemnly.
"We can help you to learn control of your magic. It is very
important for your safety. In my job, I see far too many magical
accidents, and we don't want either of you to come to harm. Don't
deliberately try to do magic! That's what the Ministry of
Magic detected. Do you both understand?" Both children nodded
mutely. "Now go to your rooms and stay there. We'll come up at
your bedtime to tuck you in."
"And read us a story?" Megan asked hopefully.
"Yes, and read you a story," Harry finally relented and
"Papa?" Ian looked worried. "Are you going to
change them back to baby broomsticks?"
"Yes, for now. And you still must have an adult keeping an
eye on you when you fly."
As the children proceeded up the stairs, Ginny and Harry looked at
each other with slowly widening grins. After the children's doors
closed, Harry and Ginny grabbed each other, and gleefully kissed.
"Harry, it was so funny that I could barely keep a straight
face. You know how Ian is always drawing brooms, and Megan has loved
to write her little stories. They kept trying to hide from me that
they were actually enjoying doing their essays." She paused.
"Harry, they did it without wands! Both of them! Is it tricky,
what they did to the brooms? I just skimmed the article that they
Harry shook his head. "It's actually pretty simple... with a
wand. So they did it without a wand just because the article didn't
mention on that page that it was needed. It does say all the
tuning spells require a wand for proper control, but that's on
another page." He thought a moment. "Blimey! We're going to
have our hands full until they go to Hogwarts, aren't we?" Harry
grinned at Ginny. "Well, anyway, no more worries about whether
they will get their letters from Hogwarts, right?"
Ginny's face fell in sudden realization. "Oh, Harry. That's
only a year and a half from now, for Megan. Then Ian goes two years
after that. They'll be gone for so long. I'll miss them so," she
"Dearest love..." Harry kissed her on the forehead and
held her close, "...they haven't packed their trunks yet, you
know. And you did want to increase your hours at the rehabilitation
center eventually, remember? Also Ian will be here without his sister
for her first two school years. You know how he's still so dependent
on her. You'll need to help him with that."
Ginny murmured against Harry's chest, "Yes, I know how that
feels. I was the youngest, and it took a bit of getting used to when
Ron left a year before me."
Ginny looked at Harry seriously. "You do realize that my
brothers and I were flying faster and higher than these 'baby
broomsticks' can, when we were Megan's age, anyway. Ian and Megan
will discover that fact eventually. We need to be ready for that."
Harry chuckled. "I was planning to raise the speed and height
limits a bit anyway, once I checked over the safety charms on the
brooms. Let's hold off on that for a while, so that the children
realize we mean business. All right?" Ginny nodded agreement.
"You're hoping to find a real potential for Quidditch, aren't
you?" Ginny looked at him with a knowing grin.
"You caught me." Harry laughed. "I think I'll not
set the height and speed all the way back, just to see if they
notice the difference."
"You think they'll tell you if they notice?"
Ginny had a wry smile. "Most kids don't think a thing about
"Especially Weasley kids."
"Harry! Ian and Megan aren't Weasleys."
"They are now. Fred and George are their favorite
uncles, aren't they? And they have the prettiest Weasley of all for a
"If you say so, love." Ginny smiled up at Harry, then
pulled his head down to kiss him thoroughly. "Let's go up now
and read them a nice long story. All right?" Then side by side
they slowly walked up the stairs, Harry's arm around Ginny's
shoulders and her arm around his waist.
Author's Notes: I could not resist doing a parody of badly
designed Official Government Forms. This story is a part of my Healer
Harry series of stories, still under construction.