DISCLAIMER: Pardon for my rambling gobbledy-gook, and try not to sue, I beseech you. I own nothing, though if I did, it might add some form of meaning to my life.
IMPORTANT AUTHOR'S NOTE:I meant this to be amusing, not accurate, I don't know how the system works in England, I only know what I have experienced in Clackamas County, Gladstone, Oregon, USA. There is one glaring error: I think my OC should be a police officer, not a social worker, but that really shouldn't matter. Forgive me, and enjoy.
A gray Honda crept across the yard of the Burrow that day, the chickens fled in terror, the dust unsettled and settled back again, and a middle-aged woman with dark features and a short, flippy haircut checked her makeup in the rear view mirror before stepping out of the car.
Mrs. Janice Wilson had what one might call a "fulfilling" occupation. Her work was important, yes it was true, as she removed abused and neglected children from their environments and placed them in better ones, but unbeknownst to herself, Janice would often get a little pretentious, as if she thought she were Mother Theresa, or a Guardian Angel, if you will.
What is meant by this is: perhaps Janice was in this particular profession for other reasons; reasons a bit more selfish than merely helping children.
And today, as far as she was concerned, she was truly delivering the meek and helpless from the valley of darkness.
Four meeks, to be exact.
As she looked upon the rambling shack that towered precariously before her, she felt that she was definitely a savior; why, she should get a metal for braving these ruins, this trash pile that the poor children were forced to live in! It looked as if it might topple down at any second.
Yes, Mrs. Janice Wilson was a brave soul, if she did say so herself.
Like a valiant spirit, she pulled a small notepad from the breast pocket of her tastefully coordinated polyester pantsuit, reviewed her notes, adding some here and there as she went along. After a few seconds she held it at arm's length to admire her handiwork. Her notes read, in exemplary penmanship:
-not attending school
-never had shots
-impoverished living conditions
-believe by authorities to be a "crack house"
-no electricity or running water
-seven children, William, Charles, Percy, George, Frederick, Ronald, Virginia
-mother and father, Molly and Arthur Weasley, under investigation for tax evasion
To this list she had added:
-wild animals running rampant through the yard
-unstable housing structure- like a barn or pigpen - disgusting
-no proper driveway or mailbox
She took a few breaths, did all of her grimacing there by the car, to be sure she would do nothing but smile kindly while in the house with the children, straightened the lapels of her sensible blazer, teased her bangs, and marched like a war hero toward the house. Giving a disdainful look at the pile of rubber boots near the front door, she knocked lightly, and waited.
Eventually an indifferent-looking little redheaded boy answered, and before Janice could open her mouth, he turned and screamed into the house, "PERCY! There's a MUGGLE at the door!"
"Very amusing, Ron!" screamed a voice from somewhere deep inside, "I'M BUSY!" .
"NO, REALLY!" Ron screamed, so loud that Janice almost had to cover her ears. Instead, she wrote down on her notepad; -ill-mannered, probably as a result of abuse- called me some sort of insulting nonsense word.
"THERE REALLY IS A MUGGLE AT THE DOOR. I'M NOT LYING! COME LOOK!" With that, Ron went back in the house and slammed the door shut without another glance.
Janice stood there blinking, utterly appalled by the boy's rudeness. Before she had time to scribble again in her pad, or raise her fist to knock again, the door opened once more, and there stood a taller, thinner boy, presumably Percy.
Janice acted fast. "Good day. My name is Janice Wilson, from the Children's Services Division. Is your mother or father home?"
The boy said nothing at first, staring suspiciously at her over his glasses.
"Your older brothers?" Janice tried.
"What about them?"
"Are they here?"
"They don't live here," Percy replied airily, "I'm in charge- what is your business?"
In a calm, exquisitely professional yet compassionate voice, Janice Wilson told him, "I'm sorry, but I've come take the younger children into protective custody. Your parents have been deemed unfit to care for them. Unfortunately, since you are of age, there is nothing that can be done for you. However-"
As she went on and on, Percy withdrew a polished stick from his pajama dress.
Suddenly she had no idea where she was, or why she was standing there, for that matter. A redheaded boy in front of her was putting a polished stick into his pajamas- he was walking into the house- the door shut of its own accord. She stood there, dazed, feeling as though she'd consumed one too many strawberry daiquiris and not enough Wheat-Thins.
After a few seconds she became aware that she was holding a small notepad. Skimming through her notes quickly, she nodded as she remembered her assignment. Perhaps she shouldn't have stayed up so late last night. The hour of sleep she had lost must be catching up with her.
"Don't worry children," she whispered gallantly to herself, knocking on the door, "I'm here to save you."
After enough time to tie both of one's shoes, even double-knot them, if one was fast, a little girl opened the door a crack and peaked through.
"Hello, darling." Mrs. Janice Wilson said in a cheery, yet no-nonsense voice, " Are your parents home?"
The little girl shook her head, retreating a little into the house. Janice's heart-strings were officially tugged. Poor thing. Abused into shyness, a fear of adults no doubt beaten into her over the short years of her life…how the little girl would look up to Janice for saving her…!
Janice bent over to be at eye-level with the child. "May I come in? Don't worry, I'm from the Children's Services Division. I'm here to help you."
The little girl, who had to be Virginia, seemed to consider this reluctantly for a moment, then hastily shook her head no. Janice smiled sweetly at her.
"There's nothing to be afraid of, Virginia-" the little girl jumped at the sound of her name- "Is there an older brother here that I could speak to?"
The little girl was indicating "no" when the door flew open, she was pulled out of the way, and another redhead, a boy with a wide smile, gestured for Janice to enter. "Welcome, Madam!"
"Please," said another boy, identical to the first, who became visible when the door opened a little wider, "Welcome to our humble home!"
Janice was surprised to be taken by the elbows and escorted into the house. It was a bit cramped, but surprisingly well lit, and well kept- Janice gasped, shook the boys off, and stood transfixed by the first thing she saw in the entry way.
Were those pictures moving? Were those not some of the members of this family she had just met, waving at her from a framed picture that hung from the wall? Had she accidentally poured some Absolut in her coffee this morning?
I must get more sleep,she thought. The twins were urging her forward, and since they didn't seem to notice anything out of the ordinary, Janice brushed it off, making a mental note to set an extra appointment with her shrink that week.
Nothing could have prepared her for the parlor, however. She went through her ritual; shaking off her escorts, letting her mouth open as wide as it could go without splitting the edges of her sensibly-colored lips, bringing a manicured hand to her mouth, emitting a squeak of surprise. She thought she heard the twins giggling behind her.
Somebody, inexplicably, was kneeling before the fire, and their head was in the flames!
Note to self, Janice thought, no more of those New Age vitamins in the morning!
She gurgled at the twins and pointed toward the fireplace, looking remarkably like a fish as her mouth flopped open and shut, open and shut. The twins did not reply, but their eyes were dancing with amusement.
"Something wrong, Miss, er-?" said one.
"Wilson- d- d-don't you see that?"
"What, madam?" said the other with the utmost concern.
Janice repeated her dance of mouth flopping and pointing.
Suddenly the boy's head emerged from the fire, intact, hair and all. "Dad says go with her. We can't very well leave her out on the stoop all night. He says it'll be better just to wipe everyone's memory at once. Less time consuming- FRED! I told you not to let her in!" Percy had noticed Janice standing there. His face turned a very unbecoming shade of red. "You want to get expelled from Hogwarts before you even start?"
"It was George's idea!"
"Fred! You know damn well-"
"Awe, Perce- what's the harm? Her memories going to be modified anyway, isn't it?" one of the twins replied defensively, then, turning to Janice, said, "Would you like to see what a real gnome looks like?"
"Or a ghoul," said the other excitedly, "would you like to see a ghoul?"
"Stop it right now! None of that," said Percy warningly.
Janice's brain went into autopilot. "Don't worry, children," she muttered, "you are going to be taken to better place, where you will have clean clothes, proper education, three square meals a day-"
"-we're allergic," said one of the twins.
"To what?" Janice said. She shook her head a little, tried to wipe away what she'd just seen and go back to performing her job.
"Peanuts," said the other.
"And cereal," offered the first.
"Well," said Janice, gaining her composure, doing her best to ignore another family portrait that was over the mantel, "Best get this out of the way right now. What kind?"
"Both of you?"
"No, just me."
"Which one is you?"
"And we're both allergic to cherries and cucumbers."
George- honey roasted pancakes, Fred- peanut cereal, cucumbers, Janice wrote on her pad. "Right. Now, if there's anything you'd like to bring with you-"
"And fish," piped in Ron.
"Yes, ma'am, Alaskan Cod."
"Wait, wait now," said Janice, scribbling furiously on her notepad, "Fred, Alaskan Cod- George, veal cod-"
"There's no such thing."
"I'm allergic to fish, not him."
Janice looked up. "Which one of you is him?"
Ron- fish, veal, she wrote in her pad.
"But only if it's dipped in chocolate."
"No, a cherry."
"Actually, cucumbers, too. As long as it's dipped in chocolate."
"Oh yes, and green apples."
"But only if they were grown six meters from a tree bearing oranges."
"Alright, George veal and cucumbers, Fred, chocolate cereal apples-"
"And Ginny's allergic to rice and-"
"ENOUGH!" Percy barked, and Ron, Fred and George dissolved in a fit of giggles.
The three boys could have been triplets at this point, she was feeling so loopy. As they had moved to sit on the sofa, they all looked the same height and there wasn't much a of difference, that she could see, anyway, in their three grins.
"Mrs. Welkes," Percy told her, crossing his arms impatiently. "Take them away, please. Maybe now I can get some studying done."
Janice nodded, not bothering to correct him. She put on her most benevolent face and clapped her well-moisturized hands together. "Alright, then. Please try not to be frightened. I'm sure you'll be very happy with your new families. Now, are there any belongings you would like to bring with you right away? The rest can be sent for."
The twins shrugged. Ron shook his head no. Ginny, who had been rolling her eyes at the confusion earlier, told her no also.
"Okay, if you'll all follow me, then," Janice said.
The four of them jumped up and raced for the door.
Very peculiar, she thought. It wasn't normally like this. Usually there was a good deal of crying and carrying on, in which she would be the pillar of strength in the fragile worlds of the children. Through her, they would see that there was a light, however dim, at the end of the darkest of tunnels. Perhaps, she thought sadly, these children were truly so miserable that the prospect of leaving brought them joy. Her heart swelled with pride, thinking of the selfless public service she performed each and every day.
Percy cleared his throat loudly and held out his hand. "Fred?"
"Awe, come on, Perce."
Fred sighed and pulled out a polished stick, not unlike his brother's, from his jacket pocket and placed it in Percy's outstretched palm.
"Well, we'll be off then-" George began.
"George." Percy said, "Hand it over."
George handed over his.
-Possible Satanic/brainwashing practices within the family, Janice scribbled in her notebook, Children appear to be delusional- ideas that they will be rescued by their father- they all carry sticks- perhaps to protect themselves from regular beatings? Eldest one seems to have a degree of animosity toward younger siblings.
"…will come and fetch your around eight this evening," Percy was saying, "Be good, and Fred and George, don't do anything stupid, do you here me? Dad doesn't want a fiasco, he doesn't want any owls sent, he doesn't want to have to do anything but wipe a few memories and bring you home-"
"Yes, mummy," said the twins in unison.
"They're all yours," Percy told Janice, gesturing toward the front door.
Janice blazed the way outside, like a noble monarch leading his knights home from battle, onward toward hope and the bright new future that awaited them.
However, it is unlikely that the knights would walk behind their King in this manner: sniggering and playfully elbowing each other, plotting how they could fit the most amount of trouble into one evening.
"RONALD WEASLEY!" Percy roared when they were halfway to the car, "YOU COME HERE RIGHT NOW AND GIVE ME YOUR WAND!"
Wand? Janice thought.
Perhaps a three or four sessions with her psychiatrist were in order.