Fandom: Harry Potter
Character(s): OCs, with cameos from Rita Skeeter and Draco Malfoy
Warnings: Ridiculousness and boderline crack.
Word Count: 2,224
Summary: Just a typical day for the hard workers in the Office of Ethical Magic Use.
Disclaimer: Not mine, and making no profit from this. It's all in fun.
Author's Notes: This was written for the Aurors fest hosted on AO3. Beta by captainraychill.
A Day in the OEMU
9:30 AM, Monday, Office of Ethical Magic Use
"Ten galleons says he tries it the second he walks out of the Ministry building."
Olivia raised her head to glare at Siriol, who only grinned and turned back to Gifford, who leaned back in his chair with a casual shrug. "Nah," Giff said, "it'll take him half an hour, at least. Too stunned we exist at all to try telling someone about it until then."
"So we're on?" Siriol put out a hand.
Giff pursed his lips, then put his coffee-colored hand in Siriol's freckled one. "Ten galleons."
Olivia had enough. A flick of her wand shocked their hands apart, and another saw flowers springing from both their heads. "Betting on how long it'll take the poor guy to blab is unprofessional and against everything this office stands for, you prats."
Giff had the good grace to look slightly shamed, but only slightly, while Siriol put on a pout. "C'mon, Livie, it's just a bit of fun."
"Oh, yeah, I'm sure it'll be fun if the Head walks in and sees you at it."
That wiped the goofiness right off Siriol's face. The Head of the Office of Ethical Magic Use was not known for her sense of humor. Head Granger-Weasley hadn't been quite so uptight, but she only kept the office long enough to see it formed, up and running before she handed it off to Prichard and went off to the next project that needed her attention. Not that anyone here held a grudge against their first Head, but they all wished they knew why she'd chosen Prichard to succeed her.
Wilhelmina Prichard believed in the work they did more than anyone other than Hermione Granger-Weasley herself, and did not look favorably on those she thought took their duties too lightly. Siriol was already on her radar, and if Giff weren't careful he'd end up there as well.
"You're just as bad as she is," Siriol muttered.
"Pouting doesn't suit you, Pendry."
Still, half an hour later, they still hadn't received notice that the poor sod who'd signed the Denial of Magical Knowledge Affidavit had tried talking about his experiences in the strange magical London underbelly. That didn't come for another hour.
"Can I give you an IOU?" Siriol sighed in the general direction of grinning Giff.
10:15 AM, Monday, Office of Ethical Magic Use
Elliot still hadn't arrived. Olivia was tempted to send an owl to see if everything were all right. Sometimes he forgot to send one, if something happened with one of the kids. She didn't have any kids of her own, but she could understand how, with a sick four year old, one might forget to send an owl to work for a few hours.
She'd almost made up her mind to go to the Ministry's owlery when Giff's desk exploded. All of his papers went fluttering around the office like birds or butterflies, and the desk itself went on a rampage around the room, until it found another desk to its liking and proceeded to attempt desk copulation. Giff, for his part, sat stunned in his chair like the rest of them, at least until his chair turned into a flamingo. Then he sat on the floor, stunned and with a pained tinge to his expression.
The only non-stunned face in the house was Siriol's. I should have known.
Just as Olivia moved to rise, the door to the office opened and the flamingo that had been Giff's chair bolted for freedom. It nearly knocked over Prichard.
"What in the name of Merlin's natty beard is going on?"
Olivia wondered if Giff and the rest felt as much like kiddies in school as they all pointed at Siriol, who at least had the good sense to have stopped laughing.
11:59 AM, Monday, Office of Ethical Magic Use
Via the office wireless:
Rita Skeeter: Good day, fair listeners. This is your beautiful and humble host for Skeeter's Scandals, Rita Skeeter. Now, as you all know, I normally prefer to keep our scandals in the arena of the social, and stay away from the sticky and altogether boring political. However, in light of recent goings on at the Ministry of Magic, specifically in the Office of Ethical Magic use, I thought today we might make an exception.
Unidentified Male Voice: A wise decision, Ms. Skeeter. I find that most witches and wizards have no idea of the inner workings of the Ministry of Magic, or of the decisions being made that can and will affect their lives.
Skeeter: Dear listeners, the voice you've just heard is that of the incomparable Draco Malfoy. Before we proceed any further, Mr. Malfoy, it seems prudent to address the vicious rumors of your past dealings with a wizard whose name is not mentioned in polite magical society.
Draco Malfoy: Yes, of course. Regrettably, I must admit to the truth of some of those rumors.
Skeeter: No! Surely not!
Malfoy: Yes, I am afraid I must confess. I was young and impressionable then, and very much wanted to impress my friends. I will not name names, because it would not do to speak ill of the dead or the imprisoned, but I will say that without certain influences, I could have followed my childhood dream of being a Healer.
Skeeter: My word, and why can't you pursue that noble dream?
Malfoy: You must know that my family is currently out of favor. Finding any respectable career in this current climate is difficult at best, Ms. Skeeter. Being a Malfoy means I am unfortunately mistrusted. My own father was much maligned in the aftermath of those unfortunate times, and there are still many otherwise decent witches and wizards who judge me based on rumors of the father's misdeeds and on my unfortunate childhood mistakes.
Skeeter: How positively dreadful for you!
Malfoy: I thank you for saying so.
Skeeter: Personally, I find it difficult to believe anyone would not be charmed by your devastating good looks and clear aristocratic breeding. Ah, if only I were thirty years younger!
Malfoy: (Laughing nervously.) Your compliments are greatly appreciated Ms. Skeeter.
Skeeter: Well, I suppose we should get on to the purpose of this interview, though later I simply must insist that you give our listeners an accounting of your availability on the dating market.
Malfoy: Er, I really don't—
Skeeter: The most controversial stance of the Office of Ethical Magic Use is, undoubtedly, their ban on use of the spell Obliviate when confronted with a Muggle who has discovered the magical world. For those dear listeners out there who have only just heard of this now, the Office of Ethical Magic use, or the OEMU, subscribes to the belief that this spell could be harmful to Muggles, especially if used often on the same individual. As a result, this office has enacted some fairly shocking bits of legislature.
Malfoy: Ah, yes. Well, it's completely ridiculous. Wizards in the Ministry have been using Obliviate for centuries, with no discernible adverse effects on Muggles.
Skeeter: Yet, these misguided wizards and witches in the OEMU have pushed through laws that restrict the use of the spell to the most extreme of cases.
Malfoy: Indeed. My friends in the Ministry—no, please, don't ask me to name names—have informed me that even now, there are Muggles who are not related to Muggleborn witches or wizards, who know about the existence of magic and of the wizarding world.
Skeeter: No! But what of the International Statute of Secrecy?
Malfoy: Ms. Skeeter, the Statute is upheld by nothing stronger than a Muggle's signature to a contract stating that they will not tell a soul of what they discovered.
Skeeter: But that's—
Malfoy: Ridiculous, I know. Why, eventually the entire Muggle world will know of us, so why do we even have a Statute of Secrecy if that is the case? If I didn't know better, I might think the abolishment of the Statute were the agenda of the OEMU to—
Prichard abruptly snapped off the wireless.
"Enough of that twaddle. I assume you all have real work to do somewhere in this office?"
As they wandered off to their respective desks, Siriol leaned over to mutter in Olivia's ear, "Next time I see Draco Malfoy, he'll want to watch where he put his tongue."
Olivia sighed as she imagined having to file the paperwork on a tongueless Malfoy.
1:13 PM, Monday, Office of Ethical Magic Use
Elliot finally stalked in just after one o'clock, his face an absolute horror of anger. Which, if Olivia knew him, and she did, probably meant he'd had a run-in with a certain Auror of dubious reputation.
"Damned Kentwight," he growled as he approached his desk, directly across from hers. The words only confirmed her fears.
"Saw him Obliviate a Muggle this morning. Poor chap was a first-timer, not on our lists, but Kentwight pulls out his wand and wipes the man's memory without even pausing. I've been in the Auror Office all morning trying to convince them to give Kentwight a stern talking to and a mark on his record, but of course not. Even though he blatantly ignored protocol!" Elliot tossed his copy of The Daily Prophet on his desk and flopped into his chair. "For all the times he's ignored the new protocols, he should be suspended from duty."
Before Olivia could respond, he frowned and asked, "Why on Earth is Gifford sitting on a flamingo?"
3:34 PM, Monday, Office of Ethical Magic Use
Despite Draco Malfoy's flippant statements on Skeeter's Scandals, Muggle involvement in magical affairs was actually rather rare. At least to the extent that, in the past, an Auror or other Ministry official would only rarely officially feel the need to Obliviate the poor soul. Olivia completely understood Elliot's irritation with Kentwight and his type, who used any excuse they could to erase memories because it made them feel powerful. In all honesty, the number of times Muggles came upon magic in a manner so blatant they could not find a way to ignore it on their own were so few and far between as to be laughable—with the exception of any year in which the Quidditch World Cup was hosted in England. Those years it became quite a bother, mostly because non-Ministry people tended to forget themselves in their excitement. A nightmare for any government.
The point being, to have two such instances in a single day—Kentwight's unfortunate victim did not count, as that was not a legitimate case—was quite unusual.
"Please read the agreement carefully," Olivia said to the woman sitting across from her. "This is for your protection, Mrs. Pritt, so it would behoove you to understand what you are agreeing to by signing."
The woman, still quite flabbergasted from her encounter with a group of uncharacteristically unruly goblins unassociated with Gringott's, just stared at the paper, blinking. Olivia could tell she wasn't reading, as her eyes did not move. Sighing, Olivia reached out to take the paper from her and explain it.
"This is your agreement that, as a non-magical person," they tried not to introduce wizard slang to Muggles who would probably only be insulted by it, "you will never speak of what you've seen to any other non-magical person for the remainder of your life."
"My… my life?"
Olivia nodded. "We work very hard to keep our world from interfering with yours, but it doesn't always work. We used to have a very different policy involving a memory charm—"
"Memory charm?" Mrs. Pritt looked at Olivia straight for the first time.
"Ah, yes. A spell to erase memories. It's very dangerous, at least, we think it is, when used—"
"I want that."
"What? A memory charm? Mrs. Pritt, our department exists to protect you from this spell. It can be dangerous if used too often—"
"Has it ever been used on me before?" The shell-shocked, rather slow woman from only a moment ago disappeared, replaced with a determined Muggle. "If it hasn't, then it can't do me any harm if it's only dangerous after multiple uses."
"Well, I don't—"
"Don't I get a choice in the matter?"
At that, Olivia was struck dumb.
Fifteen minutes later, Mrs. Pritt was led from the Ministry building, a soft look in her eyes that spoke of befuddlement. The Auror who took her away gave Olivia a smirk over his shoulder. She ignored it; she had other things on her mind.
Don't I get a choice in the matter?
5:12 PM, Monday, Office of Ethical Magic Use
Elliot stood outside the building, hands in the pockets of his robes, scowling. Olivia stepped up beside him.
"Day didn't get any better?"
"I could use a drink."
"Sara won't approve."
He shrugged. "Right now, doesn't matter. I need one. You coming?"
She needed some time to think, and someone to bounce thoughts off, and Elliot remained her oldest friend in the Ministry. If anyone could make sense of the scene with the Muggle woman earlier, it would be him. They could talk it over, and he'd tell her if the ideas in her head had any merit. She'd still run them by others, maybe Siriol, who could be serious sometimes, despite her pranking streak.
"Sure. Why not?"
It was only Monday.