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Story {Harry Potter Books} Surprise Winnings

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by devilinthedetails, Mar 4, 2020.

  1. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    Title: Surprise Winnings

    Fandom: Harry Potter Books

    Timeframe: During the summer between Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban.

    Characters: Arthur Weasley: Molly Weasley; Percy Weasley; Ron Weasley

    Genre: Family, General

    Summary: The Weasley family celebrates Arthur's surprise winnings.

    Surprise Winnings

    It was the Monday after Percy, the twins, Ron, and Ginny had returned home from Hogwarts, and Arthur would have preferred to stay at the Burrow breakfasting with his family, but instead he had dragged himself dutifully to the office that the twins had dubbed a small broom cupboard the last time Molly had bullied him into taking them into work with him to get them out of her hair. Shutting the door of the tiny (but not broom cupboard-sized) office he shared with Perkins, Arthur performed a routine glance at his in-tray. To his relief, he saw that it was empty, which meant there had been no nasty incidences of Muggle toilets cursed to explode their contents or keys spelled to shrink whenever an owner searched for them in a pocket or purse.

    Perhaps that omened a promisingly slow work week ahead. He didn’t know. He hadn’t taken Divination in school. He had taken Muggle studies, however, and it had set him down this not exactly illustrious but certainly satisfying career...

    Humming to himself, he sank into his desk chair and contemplated the pictures of mailboxes–he believed that was the proper term for them–he had cut from what Muggles called picturebooks (their pictures didn’t move like Wizarding photos but could be quite interesting and exciting anyway)–he had hung in the scant decoration space available to him in the tight office. Staring at the pictures of the mailboxes, he tried once again to gain a deeper insight into the Muggle post system. It had to be less messy than owls but slower, he decided, stroking his chin.

    His musing was interrupted by the door creaking open and then closing again. Perkins entered along with a strong smell of cat litter, robes as always caked with cat hair he had been too absent-minded to brush off. Molly, Arthur was sure, would have an overwhelming and instant desire to wash Perkins robes if she ever met him.

    “Morning, Weasley,” Perkins offered his usual morning greeting as he settled into his own office chair, the Daily Prophet crinkling as he opened it to the community events section–the only section Arthur had ever seen Perkins read. “Hmm...What’s going on that is good in the world today? Ah, the Prophet will be having their annual Grand Prize Galleon Draw. Entries are due at the end of next Friday with the winner announced that Saturday. Well, that’ll be good news for one lucky bloke, eh?”

    “Yes, it will, and I hope the lucky bloke will be me.” The one gambling indulgence that Arthur allowed himself every year was the Grand Prize Galleon Draw. It brought a spark of hope and excitement to his life even if Molly scoffed at it as a waste of hard-earned money that could have been better spent on a host of other things given that the pyramids of Egypt Bill was so fascinated by would crumble before Arthur won the drawing. “Thanks for the reminder, Perkins. I’ll have to remember to submit my entry today if I have the time. Seems like it’ll be a slow day if my in-tray is any indication.”

    Perkins made an indistinct noise that was obviously meant to be a general reply to everything Arthur had said as he flipped to the next article with fingers that were already ink-stained. “Ah, there’s a cat competition with prizes to be awarded to the cats with the finest coats over in Berkshire county this weekend. Think I might go even if most of the fur on my cats ends up on my close. Still, one of my cats might merit an honorable mention at least, don’t you think?”

    Arthur had never made the acquaintance of any of Perkins’s many cats (which, given the regular state of Perkins’s robes, he couldn’t exactly bring himself to regret) but he answered nevertheless, “Oh, yes, certainly.”

    That day Arthur did indeed enroll in the Grand Prize Galleon Draw, arranging for the entrance fee to be withdrawn from the joint account he shared with his wife but forgetting to check how much money would be left in the account after the transfer. The question of how much money would be left in the account didn’t occur to him that night at dinner when Molly mentioned that she wanted to go into Diagon Alley the next day to buy herself some new robes since her current ones were getting frayed.

    It was only when he returned home on the evening of Molly’s shopping excursion to Diagon Alley that the full weight of this oversight hit him in the chest with Molly’s glare. “Did you know there were only five Knuts left in our account when I told you I’d be heading into Diagon Alley to buy myself new robes?”

    “Um, no.” Arthur cleared his throat, wondering if he dared to comment that the stew she had been stirring smelled like a delicious blend of lamb and vegetables only to decide that he didn’t. That would probably only infuriate her further rather than appease her. “I had forgotten to check with Gringotts how much money would be left in our account after I paid the entrance fee for the Grand Prize Galleon Draw I enter every year.”

    “Oh, Arthur.” Molly returned to stirring the stew with a vigor that communicated her unabated ire more clearly than words could have. “You’re less responsible with money than some of our children are. I bet Bill or Percy would never be so careless.”

    “Yes, you have some very responsible sons and a very irresponsible husband. Forgive me, Molly.” Arthur bent to kiss her forehead, but she ducked away from him. “The Grand Prize Galleon Draw is my one indulgence, and you know it.”

    “No, it’s not your one indulgence. All that Muggle rubbish you keep in your shed that you hope to fix but never will be able to are all useless indulgences, every one.” Molly’s wooden spoon jabbed over their shoulders in the direction of the garden shed Arhur really did need to get around to preparing one of these days–perhaps while the boys were home from school and could pitch in on the back-straining chore. “Thanks to your indulgences, I couldn’t get my new robes. I hope you like seeing your wife in tatters.”

    “You’re beautiful no matter what you wear, but of course I don’t like seeing you in tatters.” Arthur decided now was not the moment to argue about whether Molly’s current wardrobe constituted tatters. “I wish I could buy you the finest things, but you know I can’t afford it.”

    “I don’t care about having the finest things.” There were tears in Molly’s eyes now. “I want you to be happy–to be able to have all the pointless indulgences you love so much–but I just want you to be responsible too.”

    “I’ll try to be more responsible.” Arthur felt subdued as he always did after a scolding from his wife.
    Molly’s anger dulled the luster of his enrollment in the Grand Prize Galleon Draw, and by Saturday, it was not on his mind at all until a tawny bearing a folded piece of parchment with the Daily Prophet’s seal fluttered through the kitchen window as Molly scrambled eggs and fried bacon for breakfast.
    Slitting open the letter, he read with mounting disbelief and joy:

    Dear Mr. Weasley,

    We are pleased to inform you that you have won the Grand Prize Galleon Draw. After taxes, this amounts to a winning of seven hundred Galleons. This sum has been transferred to your account at Gringotts. Congratulations on your victory! We hope you will consider entering our Grand Prize Galleon Draw again next year!

    Yours Sincerely,
    Larisa M. Stone
    Manager of Finances
    Offices of the Daily Prophet


    “Molly!” Arthur exclaimed, waving the parchment in his excitement. The elation he felt was unspeakable, but he tried to put it into words anyway. “I’ve won the Grand Prize Draw! I’ve won seven hundred Galleons!”

    “Seven hundred Galleons!” Astonished, Molly turned away from scraping a load of bacon from the pan onto a plate. Several curls of bacon dropped to the floor, but she seemed oblivious to that as she went on, looking happier than Arthur had seen her all week, “That’s more money than we’ll know what to do with!”

    “Mother. Father.” Percy materialized in the kitchen. His face was obscured behind a book on Ancient Runes–he was already studying intensely for his O.W.L’s although summer had barely started, having already declared his desire to match Bill’s twelve O.W.L’s–but Arthur could imagine the frown he was wearing at this disturbance. “What’s all this commotion?”

    “Your father won the Grand Prize Galleon Draw–seven hundred Galleons! Isn’t it wonderful?” Abandoning her cooking entirely, Molly wrapped Percy into an enthusiastic embrace. Before Percy could answer, she continued merrily, “We can finally go on a family trip to see Bill or Charlie. That’ll cheer up Ginny after her ordeal with the Chamber of Secrets this year.”

    “Better make it a trip to see Bill then, Mother. He’s her favorite brother.” Percy spoke in a matter-of-fact manner as always. “He can also help me study for Ancient Runes. I’m sure he must translate Ancient Runes all the time in his line of work, and he must have decoded some truly difficult runes.”

    “We’ll go on a family trip to Egypt to explore the pyramids together.” Molly gave a beaming nod. “Before that, there should be money for me to buy myself some new robes before our trip, and money to...”

    “Buy me a new wand?” suggested Ron. With his unerring sense of when food was about to be served, he had arrived in the kitchen and snatched a slice of bacon on which he now munched. “Mine’s sort of being held together by Spellotape right now.”

    Arthur was wondering just how long his youngest son had been using a wand held together by Spellotape, but his wife seemed too happy to question anything. “Of course we’ll have the money to buy you a new wand at Ollivader’s too, dear. And after all that we still should have some money to put away in the bank for a rainy day.”

    After breakfast, Arthur decided to pursue the lingering question of just how long his son had been using a taped-together wand. Knocking on his Ron’s door, he was told, “Come in!”

    “How did your wand get damaged?” he asked once he had opened the door and stepped inside.

    “Um.” Ron’s ears went red as bacon strips. “It might’ve gotten the worse of a crash with the Whomping Willow when Harry and I flew the Ford Anglia to school.”

    “Why didn’t you write to your mum and I that it had gotten damaged at the start of term?” Arthur shook his head at the idea of his son not only going through a year of school but an adventure in the Chamber of Secrets with what had to be an at best sporadically functional wand.

    “Because I didn’t want another Howler from Mum screaming at me that it was my own fault my wand got snapped for the whole Great Hall to hear.” Ron rolled his eyes as if this should have been obvious to anyone who didn’t have a hollow cauldron for a brain.

    “I wouldn’t let your mum scold you twice for the same thing.” Arthur ruffled his son’s hair. “You know you can always tell us anything, right?”

    “Whatever you say.” Ron twisted away from the hair-ruffling. “Would you stop messing up my hair now, Dad?”
     
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