Ron looked down at his clipboard again, as he counted the stock out onto the shelves. It was like this every evening with little sign of it slowing down. He smiled to himself. He preferred this to being an Auror, any day! Yes, it could be monotonous, and yes, it could be busy and crowded but it more than paid off when he could get home to Hermione and the kids on time and in one piece, if not always in the same colour. He snorted to himself about the time he’d turned up at home, blue and purple from head to toe. He had looked hideous with his red hair. All thanks to a Chameleon Caramel early on when he’d started. He’d learned since never to touch any proffered sweets or drinks, especially if George had anything to do with them. He sighed sadly as his mind flitted to Fred. He missed his brother but nowhere near how much George missed him. He would catch George glancing in the mirror sometimes, a haunted look in his eyes. He shook his head again. There was nothing he could do except be there for him.
He took a deep breath as he surveyed the recently stocked shelf. He nodded in appreciation as he turned over the page. It was a list of new products which they were hopefully going to Launch just before Christmas. George had bumped into the daughter of the great wandmaker, Cordelia Ollivander, who had taken over her father’s business. They had been in talks to launch some wand-related pranks and tricks. Ron’s personal favourite was the exploding wand, it was a single-use hex however it made any spell the user tried to cause the end of the wand to erupt in a massive puff of green smoke. A grin broke out on his face when he had tested the ‘Bloom broom’ on Ginny’s broom, causing it to erupt into a mass of wildflowers. He laughed at loud when he remembered that it had happened when she was halfway up in the air. He could only laugh because she hadn’t fallen. Something which Hermione had angrily pointed out to him. He’d nodded solemnly and slightly guiltily; however, she’d had it coming for that stunt she’d pulled with the floo powder. He shuddered as he forced those memories away.
He jumped suddenly when he heard a loud banging at the door. He turned to see a red-faced woman stood on the other side of the glass. He walked to the window and pointed to the sign.
“Sorry. We’re closed,”
“You open this door right this second before I hex it down.”
Ron rolled his eyes as he began to open the door. One of the “perks” to working with the public was the public. This wasn’t the first disgruntled victims of one of their pranks to bang on the door and they had learned to deal with it there and then. If only he had been further around the corner, where she couldn’t see him.
“Good Evening madam, how can I help you?” Ron asked his practised customer service voice firmly in place.
“Do you realise how long it has taken me to get here?” She asked. Ron could think of several cutting comebacks, none of them polite but realised she wasn’t wanting an answer to the question, she just wanted to be angry about everything.
“Traffic bad?” Ron asked, trying not to let the smile creep onto his face. The woman looked at him as if trying to work out whether he was serious or not.
“Yes. It was.” She said. “It has taken me almost an hour to get here and then when I get here, I find you closed. I’m not happy, to say the least.”
“Oh, I do apologise, I thought we had our opening times on the window.”
“You do but you should take into account that your shop is in the centre of London and getting here can be problematic even by Knight Bus.” She took a deep breath “You should stay open longer.”
Ron looked at her for a moment and decided that she was indeed serious. He took a deep breath before he spoke again.
“Right so how can I help?”
“My son purchased a ‘Skiving snack box’ from this establishment the other day” She looked around the shop in distaste before she continued “And decided to try one of the ‘Puking pastilles’. Before a dinner party! He was sick everywhere, over Cornelius Fudge and his poor wife, their dog, ‘Peony’ and also projectile vomited over the entirety of their family portraits.” The woman covered her face with shame as if reliving the event. “He then proceeded to lose the second half and ended up in St Mungo’s.”
Ron stood as he waited for the woman to get to the end of her story. He tried not to let his amusement show on his face, but the idea of Fudge covered in vomit made his lip twitch. “Now I am here because I would like to know what you are going to do about it? The Fudges are demanding that we cover the costs to get the portraits retouched and it is no small cost. Some of the portraits are hundreds of years old.”
“Well that is unfortunate,” Ron said seriously. “There isn’t anything that I can do.”
The woman shook as if she had just been jolted as her face began to turn redder “Nothing you can do?” She asked quietly at first. “Nothing you can do?” She shouted. “My son. Was Sick. Over Cornelius Fudge. Because of your product! You will do something!”
Ron shook his head as he watched the woman grow crimson. He wondered abstractly whether she had a colour to go after red.
“I cannot” Ron shook his head again “On the reverse of all of our products, there is a disclaimer saying that the products must be used responsibly and that any damage, injury or embarrassment caused by said product is at the customer’s discretion. The only thing I would be able to do is refund your son the value of a skiving snack box which would be five Galleons.”
“Five Galleons?” Said the woman. “That’s it? Five Galleons?”
Ron nodded as he watched the colour drain from the woman’s face, apparently white came after red. Who Knew?
“Now, I really must close up as it is past closing time. If you have the receipt, I would be more than happy to sort out your refund.”
“You can keep your damned refund!” She spat “I’m going to go to the papers about you! You’re con men!” She screamed. “I’ll tell the Auror department, I’ll get you shut down! I know people in high places!”
“Oh? Do you know the Minister?” Ron asked, eyes wide.
“Yes, I do.” The woman spluttered. It was obvious that she didn’t.
“Then you’ll know that she’s my wife and believe you me, if there was anything that could be done to shut us down, she would have done it already! Everything we do here is above board, legal and compliant with all laws and regulations. I am sorry that I am unable to help further.”
“You don’t want to help me. You’re a jobsworth!”
“Thank you for visiting Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, please come back soon, we have a few new ranges being launched including ‘Angermonium’ ‘Going Postal’ and ‘Lust Dust’ Perfect for every breakup, hook up and comeuppance. Strictly sold to over seventeen’s only.” Ron smiled his brightest and blankest ‘lightbulb’ smile as he held the door open for the woman, who stormed out without another word.
“Well handled little bro!” Came George’s praise from the balcony upstairs. “Knew it would be handy having a former Auror and Minister’s husband on board!”
They both laughed as they met to get their coats. It had been another long but enjoyable day.
***Cordelia Ollivander is a great writer/fan who offers me a lot of support and feedback. I wanted to include her in my stuff somewhere as a thank you. Please take a look at her stuff here. ***
Accio Day 29