Disclaimer: We do not own the Harry Potter characters or world, but the over-active imaginations that produced this we will claim.

Author's Note: Sorry for the very short chapter. mmagicwolf is on a car trip and WickerChair has had three major projects all due this week. We promise that we will return to your regularly scheduled update this coming weekend.

Rituals and Consequences

by mmagicwolf and WickerChair

Chapter Eighty-Five: Prelude in D

Tuesday, July 23, 1991

Arthur Weasley sighed as he left his office for fifth time that day. He had arrived before dawn in response to a report of a toaster that had been enchanted to eject the slices of bread with enough force to embed them in the ceiling. Once the enchantment had been removed and the family obliviated, he had to hurry to the office. No sooner had he arrived than a report came in of a store window whose mannequins were dancing a gavotte, the lone male mannequin was singing the Hogwarts song as accompaniment for the dancers.

It looks like another long day. I wonder if things will settle down after Harry appears at Hogwarts. The minister hasn't said a word about the promised expansion of the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office. Arthur filed his three reports for the morning and rubbed the wrinkle between his eyes. I only took the position because of the increased responsibility and promise of a raise. It will be difficult having four children at Hogwarts. At least Ron can make do with hand-me-downs for most of his books. We'll still need to get quills and parchment though. I wish the twins were taking the same electives as William and Charles, but every child is different. At least they only need a single set of books between the two of them. Mentally going over the finances for the family, Arthur tried to come up with a means of setting aside a few extra galleons, but could not come up with a solution. Hopefully Charles' old wand will suffice for Ronald. There's no way we can afford to get him a new wand of his own, not with having to purchase yet another set of books for defense. Arthur's thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the Wizengamot leaving the morning session.

After the rush was over, his door opened and the Chief Warlock, Albus Dumbledore, entered his office. Dumbledore's chartreuse robes were spangled with silver stars that shot around in gentle circles, and his full beard echoed the silver streaks. "Arthur, just the man I wanted to see," Albus Dumbledore cheerfully. "How are your children doing?"

"William is in Egypt. He's doing well as a curse breaker and wanted a chance to try his skill on the Egyptian tombs. I know that Molly worries about him, but we're proud of him as well. Charles is already working with the dragons on the reserve," said Arthur proudly. "His supervisor is staggered that it has taken him less than a month. The previous record was a year before a new keeper was advanced enough to work directly with the dragons. It must have been all of the extra time he spent with Hagrid at Hogwarts."

"Yes," chuckled Dumbledore, "Hagrid does have an affinity for large pets. He cannot see that most people are terrified of them."

"Charles is the same. I know he respects dragons, but he does not have the fear of them that most have. Percival is doing well, I believe he wants to enter the ministry when he graduates. Fred and George, well," Arthur paused to consider his words, "they are enterprising lads. I expect that they will go far, but they may cause my death from worry before then."

Dumbledore listened, nodding gravely at appropriate intervals. "And how is your youngest son, Ronald, I believe?"

"Starting at Hogwarts this fall, sir. He'll be a credit to the school. Has the Great Hall recovered from the final prank of the year from the twins?"

"Ah," smiled Dumbledore serenely, "the closing feast was a sight to see. I hope that those two will inform me someday of how they managed to have the candles burn so many different colors. It was quite the sight. I presume Madame McGonagall wrote a note home?"

"Indeed," sighed Arthur. "Those two have been closeted away since they got home and realized that Harry Potter will be starting Hogwarts in September."

"They are energetic lads. I hope Ronald is the same. Has Percival received notice of his grades? I believe that Minerva said that he had done well in all of his classes."

Arthur grinned broadly, "All Outstanding except for an Exceeds Expectations in History of Magic. He also received a prefect's badge."

"He will do well, even if he does have to attempt to control the twins." Dumbledore rose and left the room at a dignified pace, but his dignity was marred by the fact that a star on the back of his robes was sputtering purple and orange sparks that clashed violently with the chartreuse and spelled out the words "Harry Potter is coming to Hogwarts." After a few seconds, the words faded and another star began to sputter.

The twins must have left a few pranks behind when they left school for the year, Arthur sighed. I wonder how they got that effect. He shuddered, Should I tell Molly?