A/N: Sometimes things worm their way into my head and don't go away (Not even vaguely serious plot).
We are them; we are they.
We are the Wizards in Black.
"You're up, Harry," called Theobald Triggs, Harry's boss, as he poked his grinning head into Harry's cubbyhole. "It's an AM1988-B27, just the thing to start the day."
"Aww shit, Theo," groused Harry, as he spun in his chair and opened his filing cabinet. He started looked for the correct forms with a well-practiced hand. "Where's this one turned up? I thought we'd seen the last of them last year with that nest that turned up in Milton Keynes."
"Seems like one got away," said Theo cheerily. "This one's in Carlton Colville apparently."
"Carlton wh- Ah, there it is!" He pulled out the form, and quickly made himself a copy to work with. "Sorry, Carlton what?" he asked. "Never heard of it."
"Colville," supplied Theo. "Near Lowestoft, not that far from Milton Keynes actually. It probably made its way cross country to get there."
"Shit, right, I'm on it," said Harry absently as he started ticking off options on the B27-A before him.
"Take Patil with you, she's got nothing on her plate this morning," Theo advised as he popped off to ruin someone else's morning.
"Let's see," Harry said to himself as he continued on the form absent-mindedly speaking under his breath as he filled it out. "Name, H. Potter. Date… uhh. 23rd? Ah, close enough. Position, Oblv. Event, is AM 1988 aaand location is, what did he say? Carolton Colevill? It's not like anyone really checks this shit anyway."
After filling out the rest of the form, including boxes asking for his favourite colour (red), the length of his nose hair (up to 12mm) and the number of children he'd had (zero) he finally made his way towards his assigned partners desk.
"Morning Padma," he said agreeably. "We've got an assignment. A B27 near Lowestoft."
The attractive dark-skinned young woman looked up with a welcoming smile as he approached. "Hey Harry," she said cheerily before her face darkened. "A B27… isn't that a-"
"Yeah," sighed Harry. "Seems one got away last year. Merlin knows what it's been up to all this time. You can thank Theo, by the way."
"I'll be sure to," she said as she scrunched up her nose in distaste. "Oh well, you done the paperwork?"
"Mostly, just need you to remind me what time you were born, I always forget that." Harry admitted.
"Twelve minutes and 37 seconds past 3 in the morning on April the twelfth," she reminded him.
"Yeah, that's it," said Harry, "Always forget the minutes." He quickly jotted it down on the form and sent it winging off through the corridors to wherever it was paperwork went to die.
"Right, you good to go?" he asked.
Padma quickly gulped down the last of her coffee and grabbed her official pitch black robes. "Yep, let's go."
Harry nodded and together they walked to the service Portkeys. As they arrived another form fluttered over to land on Harry's shoulder, a cursory examination told him dispensation had been granted. It also told him that whoever was on the other end of the paperwork chain was able to draw an impressive likeness of him. It was a bit creepy how they'd drawn him snogging some girl he didn't recognise.
Workplace flirting was all well and good but the woman, he hoped it was a woman, who managed his fieldwork transportation requests had never even told him her name.
"She's still trying then?" asked Padma.
"I don't know if it counts as trying when all she's doing is drawing me in increasingly fewer clothes," said Harry with a shrug. "It's more like suspiciously up front stalking."
He scrunched it up and tucked it into the little recess made on one of the Portkeys before he and Padma grabbed it simultaneously. The paperwork was a bitch but at least he didn't need to know how to Apparate to every useless little town in England this way.
They arrived on an empty street, and a few of folk from Misuse were already on the scene. Gerald Adkins' was looking on as his three understudies advanced cautiously on the garage of one of the houses. Every now and then an ominous snapping or crashing noise could be heard from within.
"Hey Gerry, what's the situation?" Harry called out to the team leader.
"Bloody Moody," he growled in frustration. "You'd think being dead would mean he'd stop pissing me off."
Harry and Padma nodded in sympathy with the man's plight. Moody had single-handedly kept the Misuse departments in business before his untimely death at the wand of Voldemort a few years before. The departments had been mostly laid off as a result of his death, only for them to discover that death was apparently no obstacle to Mad-Eye Moody when it came to insane paranoia.
"The thing's rabid," Gerald continued. "It's already got two muggles, the wizard who called it in and one of my interns. I have no idea how it managed that, there shouldn't be enough space."
"Space expansion charm on top of the rest then?" asked Padma in interest.
"Must be I suppose," accepted Gerald, "but why would you even bother?"
"It was Moody," Harry pointed out. "If it means it can eat more people before he has to muck it out then that's reason enough."
Suddenly a rumble sounded from the garage on the other side of the street, immediately followed by the girlish scream of another of the interns. It was abruptly cut off. The two remaining wizards came scrambling out of the garage in a panicked frenzy on limbs.
Behind them was the most feral looking wheelie bin Harry had ever seen. Black, with a green lid like most wheelie bins but this one exuded an air of menace. It was covered in scratches and scars and even, worryingly, had some dried blood caked on its wheels. It rumbled quickly across the driveway of the house behind the squealing students.
"Jenkins, Jemima!" called Gerald in frustration, "You don't run from it! That just makes it w- Oh, well that's Jenkins gone too then."
"How long have they been on the job?" asked Harry in interest as Jemima cowered in a corner and the wheelie bin rolled slowly closer, it seemed to savour her fear.
"First outing," admitted Gerald. "Dropping them in at the deep end I suppose with a Moody B27 but they have to learn some time."
"Seems a bit harsh," said Padma. "I think they'd probably be better suited to a screaming kettle or something."
Gerald shrugged. "I don't get to choose the jobs that come in," he said. "Just have to take them as they come."
Another abruptly cut off scream echoed across the street. Gerald breathed an annoyed sigh.
"I don't suppose you two would mind giving me a hand here?" he asked.
Harry and Padma shared a pained glance before both sighing in resignation. "All right," said Harry for both of them. "But you owe us both drinks. We didn't fill out a form for this, it's gonna takes ages to get squared out."
"Thanks mate," said Gerald as he clapped Harry on the back. "Let's get my interns out of that thing, I think they've learned enough for the day."
They all split up, each approaching the bin from a different side. Seeing them approach it started to snap and charge at them threateningly. Every time it targeted one of them the others would quickly draw its attention away from them and slowly but surely they were able to get close enough.
"Right," called Gerald, "On three!"
Spindly white threads of light shot from three wands and wove around the struggling wheelie bin, wrapping it tightly in unbreakable magic. Slowly the threads cut through the charms layered heavily upon what should have been an ordinary wheelie bin. A simple Finite would never cut it, after so long it had gained something of a sentience of its own.
The moment the last charm gave way the bin exploded in a cloud of stinking excrement and screaming people.
"I thought you said it had only got four people before we arrived?" asked Padma in confusion as they found themselves looking at the pile of more than twenty groaning bodies.
"It's been roaming the countryside for a year and was in Milton Keynes for even longer," Harry pointed out. "The rest are probably muggle hikers or shoppers."
"Right, well," said Gerald as he rubbed his hands together. "I'll leave this bit to you. My work here is done."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Yeah, right, thanks for the assist Gerry, much appreciated."
"Come on kids!" called Gerald as he walked over to where they were slowly righting themselves, shell shocked expressions on their faces He started giving them the lecture Harry had heard from him a hundred times before. "Let that be a lesson to you, the Aurors have it easy, it's Misuse that sees the real action. I suggest you get out now if you can't hack it."
He gathered them together quickly and they vanished in a swirl of colours. That left just Harry and Padma to deal with 18 terrified muggles.
"Right, so what explanation will we go with this time?" asked Harry, "Marsh gas and light of Venus?" It was his go to explanation for everything.
Padma rolled her eyes. "That doesn't have anything to do with wheelie bins," she pointed out. "And how does it explain all the time they've lost?
"I'm pretty sure it explains everything up to and including the mysteries of the heart," Harry said easily.
"Look, whatever, you do your thing I'll do mine," said Padma. "Personally I'm going for aliens."
"Some people just have no imagination," said Harry ruefully as he ambled over the the closest muggle.
"Obliviate!" he said before giving his old reliable excuse. "You lost track of time while looking at some marsh gas that was being hit by light from Venus that bounced off the Moon."
The muggle nodded vaguely while staring into space. Harry wondered for a moment how long he'd been stuck in the bin. Too late to ask now. He moved on to the next.
"Obliviate!" he said to the young woman. "Moon, Venus, marsh gas, etcetera, etcetera, you get the idea."
He glanced back at the still glazed man who may have just lost five years of his life. Perhaps he'd do his good deed for the day. He turned back to the woman.
"Also, don't you think he looks like the strong sensitive type," he said while pointing at the first man.
She had obviously not lost as much time as the man because she came out of the stupor then and gave him a confused look. "What? N-"
"Obliviate! Let me rephrase that. That gentleman beside you looks like the strong sensitive type. You'd like to keep in touch with him," he said firmly. She nodded in the normal fuzzy way of the recently Obliviated.
He worked his way along the line. A few he would offer fashion recommendations, to one overweight muggle he suggested that he really wanted to start a fitness regime. He met Padma near the middle and found her looking at him disapprovingly.
"What?" he asked defensively.
"You know you're not supposed to do that," she said without much fire.
"There's no box for it on the liability forms," said Harry with a shrug. "Therefore it's entirely OK."
"It's not on the liability forms because it's supposed to be common decency," Padma argued.
"I'm doing them a favour!" said Harry positively. "They'll thank me one day. Well, they would, if they ever knew I existed."
A/N: Don't expect to see anything more from this, it's a Oneshot for a reason. Still, at least it's out of my head now.