[A/N: Inspiration can strike at any time. I was reading another Harry Potter story and in it Molly Weasley was complaining about the Twins not following in their older brother's (Percy) and father's footsteps by getting jobs in the Ministry. My thanks to Tris Day over at Harmony Fanfiction rated K-T on Facebook for encouraging me to write this.]
Just An Errant Thought
Summer before 5th year at Grimmauld Place
Molly Weasley was in fine fettle. Her dulcet tones could probably be heard in Düsseldorf thanks to the volume she was ranting at about the grades her younger children had gotten. The Twins never applied themselves, Ronald was being lazy, the usual…
"I just don't understand where I went wrong with you! Why couldn't you apply yourselves so you could join the Ministry like Percy and your father?" She continued to yell.
Harry sat on the couch and rolled his eyes at Hermione who was seated opposite him in an armchair ostensibly reading a random book she pulled from the shelf. He just didn't understand her reasoning for yelling at the three boys. Hell, even Ginny was getting a bit of the woman's anger directed at her and Ginny was supposed to be the family favorite! One thing did strike him as odd though.
Harry held his hand up to get the Weasley Matriarch's attention, "Mrs. Weasley? Was there a specific job you had in mind for them? Maybe if they had a specific target that you had in mind, it might get them to focus better? After all, there must be hundreds of jobs available?"
Gesturing broadly at Harry, she rounded back on her boys, "See? Even Harry understands! Thank you, Harry but no, I just want them to get a job within the Ministry. I don't care if they're sweeping out the owlery at this point."
Later up in the room he shared with Ron, Harry was busily writing something down that had his full attention as well as that of Hermione's. Ron and Ginny entered quietly (well, as quietly as any Weasley normally could. Elephants on a rampage were quieter.)
"Hey, mate. Whatcha got there?" Ron slapped Harry on the arm in what he thought was a playful manner. Never mind that it caused Harry to jump and flinch a bit.
"Hello Ron. Ginny. I didn't hear you come in. There must be some thunder outside," he replied ruefully as he rubbed his arm. Hermione snorted quietly at his deadpan delivery. Subtlety and Ronald Weasley were not words spoken in the same sentence.
Ginny tried to sit down in Harry's lap but he shunted her off to the bed, "Not now, Ginny. I don't have time for your games. I have something serious to discuss with you two and the Twins. Hermione? Would you please go bring them down?"
A somewhat loud crack was heard as the pair apparated into the room, "You call, and we shall appear. What's up, Harry?"
Hermione stood up and paced back and forth before the assembled Weasleys, "Boys… and Ginny. Something your mother said to us downstairs earlier made us stop and think about our futures. We all know that your mother wants her family to have nice stable jobs. In all her ranting, that has never varied. What Harry and I have realized is that in all that loudness, Molly Weasley has never specified which jobs within the Ministry she wants you to get, just that it has to be there."
Ron was sitting there with a relatively blank look on his face as opposed to the slightly pinched look he usually had whenever she was speaking which meant he somewhat understood what she was talking about. Ginny was toying with her hair and giving Harry the cow-eyes in hopes that he would change his mind and let her sit on his lap. Hermione shook her head mentally; when was that twit going to realize that she stood no chance of landing Harry Potter when the boy had already asked her to be his girlfriend last year at the Yule Ball?
The Twins had a calculating expression on their faces; she could tell that they might've just figured out what she and Harry had realized.
"Let us see if we got this," George (?) started.
"Our dear, sweet mother…" Fred (?) picked up.
"…doesn't care which job we get…" replied George.
"…as long as it's within those hallowed halls…" echoed Fred.
"…of the bureaucratic model of inefficiency?" They finished in stereo.
"Exactly." Both Harry and Hermione responded in stereo as well. They glanced at each other and giggled. Hermione waved Harry on as it was his idea.
"So here's our idea. We took a look at the Ministry Directory and came up with a fairly short list of possible departments each of you could work in to satisfy your mother's demands."
Ron started whining, "But I don't want to work at the Ministry! I want to play as Keeper for the Chudley Cannons."
Harry managed to keep himself from rolling his eyes at his friend, "Ron, you'd probably be able to do both at this point. Regardless of which department you end up in, you'd be starting at the bottom. That means part-time work."
Ron nodded dumbly, "Oh. Well, that's different."
"Tell me what department you think I'd be best at, Harry," Ginny purred in what she thought was a seductive tone. Hermione thought she sounded more like a cow lowing.
Harry picked up the parchment and cleared his throat, "Ahem, alright. Ron? Let's start with you, eh?" Ron sat up a bit straighter, pleased that he got to go first for a change. "We can see you working at the Department of Sports and Games. You could eventually work your way up to the position where you'd be in charge of organizing and managing the Quidditch game rotations, tournaments and whatnot. You could introduce new games or retire old ones. Just think Ron, imagine adding competitive chess games and playing against some of the greatest chess masters in all of Magical Britain." Ron's eyes started glazing over the potential fame.
"Ginny? At this point of your life, you still have a few more years of schooling left so your options are rather limited. As good as you are at playing Chaser, both Hermione and I could see you at least trying out for the position with the Holyhead Harpies. There's also the possibility that you've inherited your mother's potion brewing talents so if by some miracle Snape is no longer teaching, you could very well become a world-class Potions Mistress." Ginny looked thoughtful at the advice as she nodded her acceptance.
Harry now turned to the Twins who drew themselves up in mock-pomposity, "Gred? Forge? We could see you starting in the Department of Mysteries." Both of them dramatically widened their eyes in surprise as their mouths dropped open. Hermione picked up the narrative, "Think about it. You both are geniuses when it comes to inventing stuff for your pranks. Imagine getting nearly unlimited funding and very little oversight to further study whatever catches your fancy? You wouldn't be able to tell anyone just what it was you were working on nor would you be able to let anyone know that you even worked in the DoM but the pranking possibilities are endless. You want to own a joke shop? Imagine what you'd be able to come up with product-wise if you had a couple of years' worth of Unspeakable training under your collective belts?" Fred and George were practically drooling at this point.
Harry held up the parchment sheet and mentioned that there was one other name but it was a shame that Percy wasn't around any longer to share their views with him.
George cleared his throat, "Um, Percy does still come around, Harry. He meets with our dad once a week when mum is back at the Burrow picking up things or tending to the animals. It's only because of her he doesn't come around much."
Harry bowed his head before looking up at his girlfriend who shrugged silently, "Okay, when is their next meeting?"
The next Saturday, Arthur and Percy met on the back stoop to discuss the goings-on at the Ministry. The backdoor opened to reveal Harry peeking out to see if Molly was in the area. He smiled pleasantly when he saw Percy sitting on the bench.
"Ah! Percy, you're here. Just the man I hoped to see." Harry stepped out and settled into an empty chair.
"What did you wish to speak to me about, Mr. Potter?" Percy responded stiffly.
Harry pulled the parchment sheet out of his pocket, "It's just something that Hermione and I came up with after one of your mother's usual rants about how Ron and the Twins aren't applying themselves."
Both Percy and Arthur rolled their eyes in exasperation. Arthur loved his wife but even he thought she went overboard sometimes. Harry explained the back story and the resultant ideas that he and Hermione had come up with for each of the Weasley kids.
"So you have something in mind for me? Isn't it a little late? I already have a job," Percy commented.
Harry pursed his lips, "Well, you haven't been there all that long. I suppose there is the possibility that you could transfer? Anyhow, Hermione and I thought that you'd be a shoe-in for the DMLE on the law side working as a paralegal."
Percy looked momentarily confused, "A paralegal? What's that?"
Hermione came out at that moment and answered the older boy's question, "A paralegal is someone who helps the lawyer prepare for the court case. He or she preps the parchment work by making sure that all the forms have been filed, collated and ready for the lawyer's instant perusal within the courtroom. You would need to know the ins and outs of all pertinent laws and regulations, dates and times. You would be conducting legal and factual research, drafting court documents and correspondence, reviewing and summarizing records, filing documents with the court, maintaining files, and communicating with clients."
Arthur looked surprised, "That sounds like a job that was tailor-made for you, Percy. It might be something to keep in mind if the job you have now becomes too boring."
Percy tilted his head and thought for a moment, "Those cauldron bottom thickness reports are getting rather tedious…" he trailed off as the idea of this position percolated through his mind.
Time Skip, Ten years later
The younger Weasleys took Harry and Hermione's advice, mostly. Percy did transfer over to the DMLE after demonstrating his near eidetic memory skills to the head of the legal team. His organizational skills and attention to detail made him one of the most sought after people to help the lawyers build their cases. His reports were so detailed and thorough that it wasn't long before he was recommended for training to become an actual lawyer. Both Molly and Arthur were immensely proud of their ambitious son.
Fred and George Weasley became the Department of Mysteries darling duo; tackling some of the most head-scratching puzzles Director Croaker could ever come up with and succeeding each time. Their out-of-the-box thinking led to the discoveries of some of the department's most vexing problems. It was they who discovered just what the Veil of Death was originally used for. It turned out that the Veil was used not only to sentence condemned criminals to the afterlife (at least until Azkaban was built) but also to return the Dementors back to the underworld. According to their research, the demons were brought forth via a forgotten ritual to suck the soul from the condemned then use that soul as a gateway ticket through the Veil. As per their findings, the Dementors of Azkaban were herded from the prison to the Ministry along with a list of the prison's most hardened and violent criminal witches and wizards; the Dementors feasted then as one, they turned when they felt the call from the Veil and returned to the fiery pits of Hell or wherever it was they came from.
Ginny barely put in the effort to get some halfway decent grades, thinking that if all else failed; she could just become the wife of Harry Potter and live comfortably for the rest of her life. That dream was shattered beyond repair when she and her family received invitations to Harry and Hermione's wedding. To make matters worse, she ended up not being able to play for the Harpies because of those lousy grades. Instead, she got the job that Ronald was supposed to have. Ginny Weasley became the Department of Sports and Games' youngest Department Head in twenty years after Ludo Bagman retired.
Ronald did get a part-time job working in the Ministry at the same department Ginny did and that both Harry and Hermione had recommended but his sloth and general lack of drive eventually led to his dismissal. He bounced around from department to department, the Heads offering a basic position out of respect (and pity) to his father. Eventually no department wanted him, not even his own father wanted him around so Ron left the Ministry and applied to be the Keeper for his beloved Chudley Cannons. He got the position purely because there were no other candidates. He still plays to this day even though now he's a back-up for the team thanks to his growing weight problem due to his metabolism taking a hit thanks to his ever present feeding frenzy, forced the team manager to pull him from the starter line-up.
Harry decided to take his own advice and looked really closely at what he wanted to do with his life. After finishing up with his long-time problem regarding Voldemort and the subsequent celebrations and congratulations; Harry proposed to Hermione who practically tackled him to the ground while peppering his face with heartfelt kisses, repeatedly saying over and over that 'yes, she would love to marry him.' Harry decided that he loved being outside, chasing clues to mysteries, meeting new people and learning new skills. He once had the idea to become an Auror but quickly decided that chasing after every wannabe Dark Lord wasn't something conducive to a long and happy life. He thought about teaching but couldn't see himself sitting behind a desk trying to decipher students' handwriting for whatever topic he'd choose. It was Hermione at the end that came up with the perfect solution. Rather than try to shoehorn his life into the limited offerings of the magical world, Harry ought to think about going back to the muggle world and look for work there.
After a bit of soul-searching and examining the possibilities, Harry Potter went back to school and graduated with a degree in Archaeology. He applied for and became a field archaeologist for the British Museum of Natural History. He traveled all over the world and quickly became the go-to guy whenever the team encountered hostile forces. None of the team members understood what it was about him nor why but Harry always managed to get the locals to calm down and discuss terms for their safe passage. After ten long years of backbreaking field work, Harry was promoted to work within the Museum itself as an Assistant Curator. His first task was to put together an exhibit covering the world history of magic and how it was applied and viewed by the ancient world to present.
At first, the ICW was terrified that it would be the result of Harry's work that would expose their world to the muggles and sent out multiple requests for him to abandon the project but he refused. His exhibit was tastefully done and any demonstrations of magic were viewed by the muggles as being nothing more than parlor tricks and sleight of hand.
Hermione Jean Potter nee Granger decided to go against her original plan of working in the Ministry for the Department for the Control of Magical Creatures simply because Harry talked her out of it. He explained that the bigotry and narrow-mindedness that the purebloods always had would've made it impossible for her to get promoted or even respected. She agreed after speaking with some of the friendlier Ministry workers and other muggleborns who did work there. It wasn't long after Hermione convinced Harry to go back to the muggle world to continue his education that she decided to do the same. She got her degree in Library and Archival Sciences and eventually landed a job within the National Archives where she handled and logged legal documents going back hundreds of years. It was during her and Harry's honeymoon that a side project of hers garnered her international acclaim. After watching a documentary on television about the Voynich Manuscripts, Hermione managed to get herself an invite to see the documents itself. She surreptitiously and magically copied the Manuscripts when no one was looking. She happened to go into Gringotts to speak with their Account Manager about an investment opportunity that had arisen when the Goblin spotted her notes and the copied Manuscript and inquired where she got her hands on one of their ancient texts. To say that she was surprised by this would be an understatement. She explained the mystery behind the Voynich Manuscripts as well as what little translations that had been attempted over the years.
Her Account Manager got her an appointment with the Goblin King, Ragnok to see if she would be allowed to continue her research into translating the manuscript or if she could assist in its return to the Goblin Nation. As of this date, she and the Goblin representative were still in negotiations with the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.
Harry was relaxing with Hermione on the beach at Nantucket Bay one lazy summer afternoon. She had her face buried within some book while he let his eyes roam the sandy beach. 'It's amazing how different life could become just because of an errant thought during a ranting speech from a harpy of a pseudo-mother.' He turned his attention back to his wife, or more specifically to his wife's midsection, which was just now starting to show the early stages of pregnancy and smiled.
All was well…