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Muggle Artifacts on a Rampage

Title: Muggle Artifacts on a Rampage
Pairing: Harry/Ginny
Rating: PG
Word Count: 2900
Summary: Ginny has had a rather trying day.

Harry picked up his cloak and spun on the spot, Apparating home after a tiring day at the office. He looked forward to doing nothing this evening but curling up next to Ginny and maybe dozing on the couch after eating one of her wonderful dinners.

The sound of his apparition echoed through the hall and he smiled when he heard movement from the kitchen. “Hey, Ginny, I’m –“ He stopped mid-sentence, blinking rapidly as he surveyed the destruction of what had, when he left this morning, been the nicest room in Grimmauld Place. Ginny was standing there, looking annoyed and aggravated, but alive. He took that as good news because it definitely looked like there had been a battle here and the intervening years since the War had done nothing to lessen the terror in his heart at the idea she could have been fighting for her life.

“Hullo, Harry. Glad you’re home.”

“Uh . . . what . . . I mean, are you all right?”

“I’m fine, I guess.” She wiped her hand over her hair. “I think I’m bleeding a little, but it’s nothing serious. Sorry that you had to come home to this.” She looked around vaguely but made no effort to explain what had happened or even to clean off a seat so he could sit down. She looked slightly shell-shocked and Harry felt a renewed stirring of anxiety.

Then she put her hands on her hips, stomped her foot, and said, quite clearly. “Merlin’s Beard! This is unbelievable!” Her eyes flashed and she pulled her wand out. “And you’re probably hungry!”

“A bit, but . . . you don’t need to worry about that now.” She was obviously fine so his heartbeat slowed and he waited to hear what she had to say. “I can make a sandwich or something.”

She shook her head slowly. “I’m going to kill my father. He started this.”

“Ah.” Harry moved a few pieces of what looked like chunks of wall plaster from a chair and sat down. He definitely needed to hear this.

“He came by this morning with a box. You know, like he does every so often. Said he had gotten these so-called Muggle appliances from work.”

“I know that story. You’ve got to tell him to stop bringing them, Ginny. We’ve got loads of them already.”

“I know, I know. But these were interesting, I mean, for him. They’d been cursed, of course. But he said that had all been taken care of.” She moved to the counter and flicked her wand at some broken tiles near the stove. They came back together and she wiped the plaster dust off them.

“What were they?” He wondered what sort of appliances could possibly cause this kind of damage.

“A coffee pot, a can opener. I’ve seen those before. But then he had a . . . I think he called it a toastee stove. It’s a wee little stove to sit on your counter. Have you ever seen one before? I think it must be for children.”

Harry bit his lip to keep from chuckling. He had learned from past experience that laughing at her when she mis-identified things got him nowhere except sleeping on the couch, and she had obviously already had a rough day. “Toaster oven, Ginny.”

“Oh, really? All right. And then he had this wicked looking knife. You actually plug it into the wall and it cuts . . . Well, it looked like you could cut off an arm with it. Two nasty-looking blades. I was going to let you tell me whether they were useful or not. So I put the box on the table. That was my first mistake.” She turned and looked at the table carefully. “I think a couple of the legs are cracked, Harry. Maybe you could take care of those for me?”

He bent over to look under the table and sure enough three of the legs were cracked pretty severely. He fixed them quickly and then tried to look covertly around the kitchen for the mysterious box of objects but couldn’t see it.

“I haven’t finished the story yet, Harry. Don’t bother looking for the box. It’s not here anymore.”

“Oh, sorry.”

Ginny cleared a space on the counter and the pulled two plates down from the cupboard, flicked her wand at their icebox and grabbed some bread as it floated toward her. “Beef or ham?”

“Ham’s fine.”

“Anyway, I got back to doing breakfast dishes and I heard noise behind me. The blasted things were moving – in their box. They’d sprouted legs! And they were climbing over each other trying to get out over the edge!”

“Ugh! That sounds pretty creepy.”

“Definitely. It reminded me of charms class, remember? Making our pencil boxes and teacups walk around the table?”

Harry laughed, remembering those lessons well. “Still, creepy.”

“And these were no pencil boxes. That knife was flickering on and off, stabbing the box. I think it was trying to cut the stove thing’s cord off. So, I froze them. But it didn’t work.”

“It didn’t work?” Harry blinked in amazement.

“Not at all. They just got angrier. Anyway, once they managed to get out of the box, they froze in place.”

“Did they still have legs?”

“You know, Harry, no offense or anything but I wasn’t really paying that much attention to whether they had legs or not at that point. Did you want cheese?”

“Huh? Oh, yeah. Swiss if we have it.”

Ginny flicked her wand again and a package of cheese soared toward her. “I think the Muggle-baiting charm they had on them was that when you look away, they crawl toward you. They just sat there, still and frozen as far as I could tell and then when I would look at them again, they were closer. It was giving me the creeps! So I levitated them back into the box and banished it upstairs.”

“Ah.” At least that explained why the box of appliances wasn’t sitting there in plain sight. But it didn’t explain what had happened to the kitchen. Ginny added mustard and lettuce to his sandwich, then handed him the plate.

“Did you want crisps?” She sat down heavily in the chair across from him, ignoring the plaster on her side of the table.

“No, this is fine. Thanks.”

“I guess it’s needless to say that plan didn’t work. I went up to our room to make the bed and get ready for the day. By the time I came back down here to grab a spot of tea, they were sitting on the counter. All of them. Looking like they’d been here for years.”
“Oh, my God!”

“I’m telling you, Harry. I jumped a mile. I ran upstairs and found the box and it was in pieces. Little bitty pieces. That had been cut with a knife.” Harry just stared at her. “I’m not mad, Harry. I’m serious.”

“No . . . I believe you.” His eyes flicked along the counter.

“I’m not done with the story yet, Harry. Trust me when I say they are no longer in the room!” She took a bite of sandwich and then stood up. “Did you want something to drink? I thought maybe I would just not come back into the kitchen, you know, until . . . well, I could figure out what to do, but they started following me around the house. I’d be tidying one room and suddenly I’d hear scuffling and there was one of the appliances. These things were persistent.”

“Were they trying to hurt you?”

“No, I don’t think so. It was more like they wanted attention. But suddenly feeling cold metal against your leg when you’re dusting is really upsetting. So I levitated them upstairs again and locked them in the empty room, figuring any damage they did there we could deal with.” She wrinkled her nose and wiped her face with a dirty hand. It left a cute little smudge on her nose but Harry wisely didn’t point it out.

“You locked the door?”

“Wouldn’t you?” She took another bite of sandwich.

“Yeah, I guess I probably would.”

“They started pounding on the door. All four of them, I guess. Constantly. The sound was so loud and the empty room made it echo. I couldn’t get away from it anywhere in the house. So I floo-called my dad. I was going to tell him to come get the blasted things, but he was busy. In a meeting. And his secretary wouldn’t let me talk to him. No matter how much I begged. I told her what was happening and she laughed.” She took a drink and cussed loudly.

Harry nodded. “Right. But I don’t hear anything now.”

“I haven’t finished the story. Trust me. It just gets better.”

“Wow. It’s hard to imagine.” He finished his sandwich and looked rather sadly at the fridge. Ginny had promised him pork roast at breakfast this morning and the sandwich hadn’t really filled the hopeful void of his stomach. “Do we have any pudding?”

“Yeah. Mum’s cake is still in the cupboard.”

“Lovely.” He grabbed a clean plate and pulled the cake plate out. Chocolate. Molly really knew how to tempt him. “Did you want a piece?”

“Sure. Thanks. Anyway, so then I tried Hermione. But she apparently is out of town for the week. Did you know that?”

Harry knew it well. Ron had done nothing but moan about missing his wife since Hermione had left two days ago. Harry was about to strangle him if he had to hear about her absence one more time. “Yeah, I knew. Sorry I didn’t mention it.”

“I was desperate by then and I figured if I was in for a Knut, I was in for a Galleon and I had nothing left to lose. I called the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office general line. I thought maybe if Dad couldn’t help me, one of his coworkers would step in. They said a fully-trained witch should be able to handle it, suggested a few things I’d already tried, and said they would come back tomorrow if I hadn’t got it sorted by then.” She flushed bright red. “I’m afraid I called the guy on the other end of the floo a few choice names. My story might wind up in the Prophet tomorrow.”

Harry shrugged. It wouldn’t be the first time he and Ginny had made the paper and undoubtedly not the last. “They should have come and helped you. That’s kind of their job. I’ll mention it to Kingsley.”

“I’ll mention it to Dad, when he eventually gets here to help me.”

Harry handed her the plate of chocolate cake. “Not to be rude, Ginny, but so far I haven’t seen or heard these mysterious things. What did you do with them?”

“I was just getting to that.” She took a bite of cake, then Accio’d the milk over to the table. “So, I’d tried locking them up, freezing them in place, ignoring them, etc. I finally decided the only way they couldn’t keep bothering me is if I stuck them to something.”

Harry suddenly understood where the wall plaster had come from. “Oh.”

“I tried the walls first, as you can plainly see. They seemed to be more aggressive when they were near each other, so I tried one per wall. It didn’t work. Even a permanent sticking charm had no effect whatsoever. They just crawled along the wall, like really large annoying spiders. Ugh.” She shuddered. “I couldn’t help blasting them. That’s why there’re holes in the walls. Well, that and the fact that they kept trying to break free of the charm and did some damage of their own.”

“What kind of Muggle-baiting spell was put on these things and why the hell would your father think they were safe to bring over?!” Harry looked around the room in dismay. All of the beautiful plasterwork they had hired a contractor to do was destroyed. He wasn’t sure their magic could actually fix it, either.

“I think the combination of all the spells I was putting on them along with whatever the original spell was and the attempt the Ministry office made to remove it are what caused them to be so, well, alive. I really don’t think I can blame Dad completely for this one, even though I wish I could.”

“Why didn’t you call me, Ginny?”

She chuckled and Harry bristled slightly. “I thought about it. I really did, but I rationalized that you don’t know anything more about de-charming an object than I do and that anything you could do, I could do. I really needed an expert. So, don’t take it personally, love, but I don’t think you belong in that category.”

“No, I guess not. But still. It would have been another wand.” He knew there was more coming to the story since these things weren’t stuck to the walls around them now.

“I finally realized that they were moving around the walls because of those annoying legs and thought that if I could make those useless, they’d just have to hang there. So I stuck them to the ceiling.” She took another bite of cake.

Harry automatically looked up. He couldn’t help it.

“Don’t bother to look for them, Harry. That didn’t help either.”

“Somehow, I knew you were going to say that.”

“They just maneuver around by hanging from their cords. They crawl around the ceiling and drop stuff on me. That’s why my head was bleeding a bit when you walked in.”

“What kind of stuff?” Harry blinked rapidly at the idea of his wife being attacked by these animated objects.

“I don’t know. Metal bolts, screws. I think they’re cannibalizing each other.”

“Well, that’s just lovely.”

“Yeah, tell me about it.”

“Can I just ask you one more thing, Ginny?”

“Of course.”

“Why didn’t you go to your Mum’s?”

“I guess I should have.” She squirmed in her chair. “I don’t like going over there just to visit, but maybe I was being stupid.”

“Why not? I thought you get on.”

“Oh, we do. It’s just that . . . well, we’re married now, so she thinks she needs to teach me things. Weird things.” She flushed slightly and concentrated very hard on her plate and her next bite of chocolate cake.

Harry stared at her, his mind racing as he tried to suss out what she meant. “You don’t mean, like, . . . sex things?”

Ginny’s eyes opened wide and she flushed even redder. “Merlin, Harry! No! Ooh, that’s just . . . sickening!” She stood up and grabbed her plate and his, then took them to the sink. “She and Dad were so poor for so many years, you know.”

“Yeah, I know.” Money was much more plentiful now, helped significantly by George’s shop as well as Arthur’s new position and the fact that all of the children were out of the house and providing for themselves. He had always felt bad they had so little money, but realized that their family had a lot more going for them than some others who had more money than they knew what to do with.

“So . . . she picked up all sorts of helpful money-saving tips. How to darn socks. How to make one chicken last through a whole week’s worth of dinners. How to charm your own cheese.” She shrugged. “She’s always lecturing me on what I can do to be a better housewife. If I tell her I work most of the time and don’t have the inclination to make my own sour cream and aside from that, how we have gobs of money to buy new socks, plenty of chickens, or store-bought cheese, she starts lecturing me on being wasteful. It gets rather uncomfortable. That’s all.”

Harry heard a weird scuffling noise over his head and Ginny pulled out her wand. “Get ready, Harry. I think they’ve noticed you.”

He looked up and couldn’t believe what he was seeing. A can opener was swinging through the door on its cord and an electric knife was buzzing over his head. Something hit him in the nose and he gasped as it bounced across the table. It was a piece of metal, maybe cut from the side of the toaster oven. “Duck, Ginny!”

She looked calmly at the intruders, then blasted them both and Harry was hit with a shower of plaster dust. They scurried away and the door shut behind them. “I haven’t seen the stove for a while. Maybe the knife killed it. Be grateful it wasn’t the coffee pot that bombed you. It keeps pouring scalding hot coffee over me. Stupid thing.”

“I don’t care what your mum says or does! Let’s get out of here!”

“Right. Well, with you there, she won’t bring it up. Apparently it’s just me that can be wasteful of our resources. ‘His money might not last forever, Ginny. Then what will you do?’ Let’s go.”

They both stepped toward the fireplace in the living room, but not before Harry checked the ceiling for the coffee pot. Before they got there, the fire flared up and Arthur stepped through.

“Hello, Harry, Ginny! My secretary told me you were having some sort of a problem?” He hadn’t finished his sentence before he was hit with a screw on the top of his head. He looked up in shock and his eyes widened as he took in what had just happened. “Oh, my. This cannot be good.”


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Feb. 20th, 2012 03:06 am (UTC)
OMG! Please tell me there's a continuation to this story. LOL!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


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