As you might imagine, Mrs. Molly Weasley was incredibly, most wondrously, extraordinarily angry. Already displaced office items scattered to make way for her thunderous footsteps, and anything made of glass- little windows on doors, snow globes, pictures-- all shattered under the white heat of her magical rage. Maternal fury radiated around her in waves so strong they cause heart murmurs in pedestrians blocks away. Stacks of papers spontaneously burst into flame; the sides of filing cabinets crumpled and imploded with fear. Everyone's heart skipped a beat, and not the "in love" kind of skipping beat, no, it was the heartbeat skip of clammy, moist-palmed fear. It was rumored that You-Know-Who himself woke from a terrible nightmare that day and, whimpering like a little school girl, beseeched Wormtail to hold him until drifted back to sleep.
Janice Wilson did perhaps the wisest thing she had ever done in all of her aloof and uppity life. She ran like hell. But as established, a clever woman Janice was not, and so of course what she did next was profoundly stupid. She ran, she ran correctly like hellfire and fury were nipping at her half-inch heels. But she ran to the pastel office Hercules Lockhart, where she ignorantly felt she would be protected.
She flung open his office door and gasp, partly in shock and a little in delight. Hercules' back was to her. He stood in front of his overturned desk, covered in those despicable Weasley children. They were screaming and beating on him. Ah, but one of them, one of those horrid twins (she hoped with all her might that it was Fred) was turning blue as Lockhart's hands clamped tightly around his neck.
"MISSUS JAAANICE WIIIILLLKES!!" The children's mother roared.
Janice slammed the door.
Ron spun around, his eyes filled with joy. "MUM! MUM WE'RE IN HERE!"
"SHOOSH!" Janice cried desperately, "Hercules! You've got to help me!"
"Certainly… madam…" Lockhart was gasping. His voice sounded strangely muffled, as if he had a cold. "After… I… kill…"
"Let go of him!" George screamed.
"Let him go!" Janice agreed frantically, "Their mother… she's- she's psychotic!"
Hercules sighed irritably and shoved Fred away. He flew, rolling right over the desk and coming to rest on the floor behind it, where he didn't move. George and Ginny leapt to his aide. Ron had pushed past Janice and was beating on the door, still screaming, "MUM! MUM IN HERE!"
"RON?" Mrs. Weasley had finally heard. "RON, BABY?"
"THIS WAY MU-" Ron was silenced as Hercules got to work half-strangling him as well.
"RON BABY? " The mother roared again. It was the strangest thing Janice had ever heard; a mixture of incredible anger, love and worry. Her eardrums popped violently.
"Ronald! There are so many doors! Call out again," said the shaky voice of a man.
Janice sank to the floor, her face twisted in grief. Oh, Lord! Was this to be her last day on earth? What had she done to deserve this? She was a selfless, compassionate Saint, for God's sake! She thought of her young life, the sacrifices she'd made for the rotten little children she drug away screaming from their homes to plant somewhere better! What a waste, what a horrible shame!
"I should have been a Go-Go dancer!" Janice moaned squeakily, tugging at her scalp. Fat tears rolled down her cheeks, leaving Miss Modern Maroon mascara tracks.
Molly Weasley was preparing to knock down random office doors when she heard Janice's cry. She froze, her wand raised.
"Darling… Molly, now let's just go in there and get the children and take them home," Mr. Weasley begged, "The Ministry wizards are right behind me, they just needed to make a quick paper trail-"
"-PAPER TRAIL?" Mrs. Weasley yelled, her face the color of a raging forest fire, "A PAPER TRAIL WHILE MY CHILDREN ARE BEING PRODDED AND MOLESTED BY MUGGLES?"
"They don't understand, darling. They don't understand-"
"I'm a wonderful mother," said Mrs. Weasley, her eyes growing watery, "Here… I heard that cow in here." She rapped on the door. Her fist exploded through it, as if the door was crepe paper. Inside she heard a woman shriek- shoes scuttling across the floor. "OPEN UP!"
"MUM!" The voice of her daughter.
"MUM!" The voice of one of her twins.
One of her twins?
She waved her wand and the barrier between her and her children was instantly a pile of dust. The scene she saw inside was enough to give herself and everyone near a coronary.
A golden-haired man with a long, long nose-- his hands around her youngest son's throat. Her Fred, panting and gasping over a desk that lay on its side, his twin brother behind him, patting him on the back. Her only girl, pale with fright.
A deadly calm came over the room. Mrs. Weasley's shining eyes settled on Mr. Lockhart. The only sound was that of her teeth; grinding, grinding, grinding.
The fair-haired man was suddenly embracing Ron as if they were the best of friends.
"There, there, now, George my boy," Hercules said, laughing nervously and patting Ron gently on the back. "We got that nasty chicken bone out of your throat, didn't we? All better."
"He tried to kill us, mum!" cried Fred, George, and Ginny. Ron could only sputter, but nodded furiously.
Molly Weasley took a deep breath that seemed to suck all the air out of the room. Janice tried to make herself as small as possible in the corner, hoping beyond hope that the madwoman wouldn't notice her there. The mother was carrying one of those polished sticks, and what on earth had those disgusting children done to Hercules' nose?
It must be one of those concealed crack pipes, Janice thought, You can't fool me lady, I read Newsweek. Oh Lord save us. That crack-cocaine doubles your strength. She's going to smoke a rock of crack and kill us all!
Janice let out an anguished moan, her face crumpling like a rotten plum. "I don't want to die!"
What a grave mistake.
Mrs. Weasley's head snapped right, and her eyes pierced Janice. Janice shielded herself as if the stare would melt her, whimpering for Hercules to save her. He, however, was busy inching slowly, slowly toward his overturned desk.
Janice was very surprised to see Mrs. Weasley smile at her. Or was she baring her teeth?
"Are you Mrs. Janice Wilkes?" said Molly quietly, her grin widening.
"Er- actually my surname is… yes."
"Pleased to meet you, Mrs. Janice Wilkes."
"Oh- oh yes… it's very nice to meet you, too-"
"May I call you Janice?"
"Janice, I am not a violent woman."
"I wouldn't presume to think so, er- Mrs. Weasley-"
"You may call me ma'am."
"I am not a violent woman, Janice, unless I come home from the shop and discover that my children have been carted away!" Mrs. Weasley put a hand on her hip. "Why did you take my children, Janice?"
But Molly didn't wait for an answer. She was charging forward for the attack, but luckily for Janice, the thin man stuck out his arm and stopped her.
Arthur Weasley was still looking at Lockhart. The corners of his mouth were pulled into a chilling frown. "Why, sir, did you try to kill my children?"
"Why-" Mr. Lockhart stammered, "I-I-"
"They're wonderful children," said Mr. Weasley, now looking perplexed, "Rambunctious, yes, but a great joy."
"Oh I agree," said Lockhart brightly, "We've surely enjoyed having them-"
"Shoosh," said Mr. Weasley.
"Fred," said Mr. Weasley. "George."
"Dad?" Fred replied hoarsely.
"Did you two turn this man's nose into a penis?"
"I only wish we could take credit, dad. Ron did it."
Mr. Weasley's face was still as serious as a statue, his eyes never leaving Hercules. His wife stood beside him, watching her husband with interest.
"He deserved it, dad-"
"-Ronald, I want you to apologize-"
"I'm not apologizing to him!" Ron shrieked.
"-I want to say you are sorry for giving this man that nose-"
"-for the rest of his life."
Suddenly the room was aglow with no less that six Weasley grins.
"Mr. Lockhart," said Ron crisply, "I'm sorry you have to be a dickhead for the rest of your life."
"Thank you, Ronald," said Mr. Weasley, then, turning to his wife, "Go ahead, Molly, dear."
Before he could turn around, a desperate war-cry sounded from Janice's direction. Her heels flew off her feet as she blindly flailed her legs at Mrs. Weasley's wand, crying all the while. The wand flew and Janice flung herself at a stunned Molly-- Hercules dove for his desk-- the Weasley children ran toward their mother-- Mr. Weasley, having never seen a girl fight, stood horrified for a moment by the torrent of hair-pulling and fingernail gouges.
"Stay back-" He ordered his children, poising his wand, "I'll stop this, you keep an eye on him."
The children stopped obediently and turned to pounce on Hercules, but just then he laughed manically and threw what looked like an Muggle aspirin bottle on the ground. A black, roaring, swirling hole opened up in the floor, spreading outward, swallowing Mr. Lockheart, Fred, George, Ron, and Ginny.
Mr. Weasley, Mrs. Weasley, and Janice gasped and dove at the hole, but it was closed before they hit the ground.
"NOOOOOOO!" Janice shrieked, "My darling Hercules!"
Mrs. Weasley's face purpled on the verge of exploding. She made a sweeping motion with both arms and the floor ripped open, exposing the basement below. But there were no children or a Hercules Lockhart down there.
Mr. Weasley snatched up the aspirin bottle, which had landed in the corner. The package read:
Super-Potent Squib-Be-Gone Ultra! Emergency Escape Concoction
Even the Magically-Challenged Need Protection from Dark Forces!
"Merlin's Temple," muttered Mr. Weasley. "Molly, have a look at this."
But Mrs. Weasley was occupied. She had located her wand and Janice was hanging upside down over an unscathed portion of the floor. "Tell me where my children went," she was saying, "Or I'll make another hole with your head."
To be Continued.
Yeah, so, um… I'm going to try really hard to not take two years to update this again. Sorry about that.