A/N: JK Rowling is the genius behind the
characters. Without the characters, there would be nothing.
PART I: MISUSE OF MUGGLE ARTIFACT DEPARTMENT
Ron Weasley was
having an interesting summer. He had managed to satisfy both of his parents by
working twice a week at the Ministry of Magic with his father and spending the
rest of his time at home, doing chores and practicing Quidditch. Ron hoped to
try out for the Gryffindor Quidditch team in the fall: Gryffindor did not have
a Keeper lined up and Ron had his eye on the position. All summer, on the days
that he wasnít at the Ministry of Magic learning about Muggle affairs with his
father, Ron could usually to be found in the woods behind his house trying to
block enchanted balls in the air.
Ron had to admit that he was actually
enjoying working at the Ministry with his father. Mostly he performed clerical
tasks, but it was interesting to go to the Ministry twice a week and hear all
the happenings of the British wizarding world. He
really felt as though he were in the middle of things. Also, he was allowed to
practice magic "as it related to Ministry affairs." Usually Hogwarts
students were forbidden to use magic during their holidays. So far he had only
used magic to deliver memos and organize files, but still, it was cool that he
had permission. Ron also had a new sort of respect for his father. Arthur Weasley was obviously well-respected at the Ministry and he
worked hard. Ron felt much more grown-up than he had at the beginning of the
summer. He looked more grown-up as well. He had grown several inches and due to
the Quidditch practice, in addition to having twice as many freckles as usual,
had filled out a bit. He now stood level with his father, and taller than all
of his brothers. This was a very monumental event. It meant that he no longer
fit into their old clothing and he had acquired some brand new clothes as a
result. Everything he chose was blue and he had made a resolution to burn all
of the maroon items in his closet as soon as he returned to school.
One Monday afternoon towards the end of the
summer, Ron was at the Ministry, watching the Muggle-monitoring screen for
misuse of magic alarms. Whenever an alert was sounded, Arthur Weasley would have to Apparate
quickly and investigate. This day had been extremely quiet, when all of a
sudden, a picture formed on the wall in front of him. It showed a large,
cavernous room with a lot of what looked like tools
around the sides. Four boys around Ronís age were standing against the walls
looking very shocked. A set of drums was in one corner and some poles with
bulbous looking devices were near the front of the room. In the center of the
room, a guitar was spinning around and emitting a wonderful noise. Ron had
never heard anything like it. It was music, but not music like he heard on the Wizarding Wireless Network. Ron sat mesmerized for a
moment, until he remembered that perhaps the stunned look on the faces of the
boys in the room was not normal.
"Dad! Come here and have a look at this!"
emerged from his office. His blue robes were worn in places, but he was rather
tall and thin and walked with an air of dignity. He peered at the wall and
"Well, it looks like another guitar gone
crazy. I wish we could find the wizard who keeps doing this. Iím sure that it
has to be the same one. This place isnít too far from here Ė you want to come
along and see what can be done? I think we can get there by Muggle-taxi fairly
Ron smiled delightedly. Until now he had not
been allowed to accompany his father on any of his forays into Muggle-land.
Mr. Weasley had
been correct about the location. A ten-minute taxi ride deposited them at the
house in question. The large room that Ron had observed on the alert screen
turned out to be a garage, although a rather shabby looking Fiat was parked in
the driveway because the garage was filled with gadgets. Ron thought his father
might faint from joy. Arthur Weasley collected, among
other things, Muggle plugs and adapters and was fascinated by electricity. The
boys that Ron had watched earlier were still staring transfixed at the guitar.
He could hear their conversation, although he really didnít understand it.
"Wow, I mean, like, that is so cool.
Whereíd you get that guitar?"
"At Nigel Zartís pawn shop.
It was dirt cheap. I bet heíd kick himself if he knew what this could do! There
must be a battery somewhere, the thing isnít even
The guitar was making a noise that sounded
like nothing Ron had ever heard before. It made him want to shake his head up
and down in time to the music, or jump up and down. For some strange reason,
despite the enjoyment he was receiving from the music, he also had an urge to
take the guitar and smash it against a wall. Mr. Weasley
was busy writing down something in his notebook and muttering "Nigel ZartÖNigel ZartÖhmmmÖ doesnít
"Play 'Stairway to Heaven!' shouted one
of the boys. "Bloody Ďell!" and
"Awesome!" could be heard coming from the others as the guitar
switched gears and began playing a rather delicate sounding melody.
"Come on then, Ron," said Mr. Weasley, taking out his wand, "pay attention. Watch
closely." With that, Mr. Weasley pointed his
wand at the guitar and uttered a spell, Confuto
restituo!, at which
point the guitar bounced over to the nearest chair, shuddered, and propped
itself against the chair leg. "Right, letís go Ron." said Mr. Weasley briskly, turning to walk away.
you going to do a memory charm or anything like that?" asked Ron,
"No, we generally donít bother with
teenage boys. Often theyíre too embarrassed to tell anyone, or if they do, no
one believes them."
For the rest of the day, Ron could think of
little else but the boys in the garage and the guitar. It seemed that Muggle
teenagers lived a completely different lifestyle than he did. He understood a
bit why his father was so fascinated with Muggle objects. And the music! He had
never heard music like that before. He wondered if Harry or Hermione knew much
about Muggle music and made up his mind to write and ask them about it that
At dinner that evening, Ron told his mother
excitedly about their adventure during the day. Mrs. Weasley
was surprised and obviously relieved to see Ron take an active interest in
something other than chess or Quidditch. When Ron finished his tale, Mr. Weasley cleared his throat and said,
"Well, Ron, you are lucky in that you
have two good friends from Muggle households. If youíre really interested in
learning more about Muggle affairs, then why donít you see if you can spend the
last two weeks of the holidays with Hermione? It would be educational for you,
and I am sure that she would be happy to have you."
"Yes Ron," said Fred in a solemn
voice, "and we all know that The
Adventures of Martin Miggs, the Mad Muggle is
your favorite comic book."
Ginny smothered a giggle.
"What about Harry?" asked Ron quickly. "Why canít I stay with him if I am going to
stay with a Muggle family? At least Harry will know boy things to do and
anyway, he has it much worse than Hermione and could do with some
Molly and Arthur Weasley
exchanged worried glances. They obviously knew of a reason why Ron shouldnít
visit Harry, but they werenít going to say it. Mrs. Weasley
smiled at Ron and said, "Now, we know Harry is lonely there, but thereís
not much time left in the holidays. Remember, Harry probably doesnít lead a
Ďnormalí Muggle life during the summer anyway. And you and Hermione are
friends. Iím sure sheíd love to have you. Iíll send an owl to Mrs. Granger
"Sheís probably all tired out after her
trip to Bulgaria," muttered Ron crossly, stabbing a potato with
his fork and stuffing the whole thing into his mouth.
Ron kept quiet during the rest of the meal,
but just as they were clearing the table, a hoot told them that Pigwidgeon had returned from a journey. The tiny owl, a
gift to Ron from Sirius Black, landed on Ronís shoulder and rubbed his beak
against Ronís cheek. Pigwidgeonís affection for Ron
was much more demonstrative than Ron cared for. Still, Ron rubbed Pigís beak
and slowly untied the parcel of letters attached to her leg.
Ginny ran up to Ron, "I wrote to
Hermione yesterday, so one of those is probably for me." Ron detached the
letters and recognized Hermioneís neat penmanship. He handed Ginny her letter.
She opened it, scanned it quickly, and erupted into a fit of laughter.
In addition, Pigwidgeon
carried a letter for Mrs. Weasley from Hermioneís
mother, and one addressed to him from Hermione.
you for the letter last week. It sounds like your summer has been very
interesting. I would love an opportunity to work at the Ministry! I hope that
it is an educational experience and that you are learning lots. We just got
back from Eastern Europe last week. It was a
wonderful trip. Budapest was my favorite, there is a beautiful cathedral there
called St. Stevenís, and inside is the mummified hand of St. Steven himself!
Okay, I wasnít quite excited about that, but I thought that you might find that
interesting. We also visited Viktor Krum in Bulgaria. I donít think much of
that country. It was a bit run down, but Viktor seems to like it.
thought I would say this, but now that I am back from our holiday, Iím a bit
bored! Mum and Dad started working again and I am alone all day. I wish I had
five brothers and a sister! I was thinking, do you think that your mum and dad
would let you visit me for a week or two before school starts? If you come next
week, we can have two full weeks until the start of school. We can meet up with
your family and Harry at Diagon Alley a day or two
early. Harry wrote me that you wanted to visit him but that the Dursleys werenít letting anyone visit, or letting him go
anywhere. I guess you know that he isnít too lonely because Sirius has been to
see him three times without his aunt and uncle knowing! It would probably be
interesting for you to see how a Muggle family lives, after all of your work
Let me know
if you want to come. I can show you how a telephone, record player and computer
"What does your letter say, Ron?"
asked Mrs. Weasley with a smile.
"Hermione wants me to come
visit for the last two weeks of the holiday. Sheís asked Harry as well, but
heís not allowed. I guess Iíll go then." Ron tried to affect an air of
"Yes, Mrs. Granger also extended an
invitation. What an amazing coincidence! Well, great minds do think
alike. I think itís a wonderful idea. You can go next Sunday. Weíll get your
father to put the Grangerís on the list for the Floo network
for that day."
"Not a problem," added Mr. Weasley cheerfully. "I can take him, Molly. Mr.
Granger promised to show me his Muggle dentist office the last time we met. I
think Iíll take him up on the offer."