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"He works in the most boring department. The Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office... It’s all to do with bewitching things that are Muggle-made, you know, in case they end up back in a Muggle shop or house."
— Ronald Weasley regarding his father's profession[src]

The Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office was a division of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement at the Ministry of Magic. Its head of office was Arthur Weasley until 1996, when he was promoted to head of the Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects.

Location

The Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office was located on the second level of the Ministry of Magic. The office was tiny and drab, but filled with files and charmed objects such as “an old toaster that was hiccoughing in a disconsolate way and a pair of empty leather gloves that were twiddling their thumbs”.[2]

Function

"Like, last year, some old witch died and her tea set was sold to an antiques shop. This Muggle woman bought it, took it home and tried to serve her friends tea in it. It was a nightmare — Dad was working overtime for weeks... The teapot went berserk and squirted boiling tea all over the place and one man ended up in hospital with the sugar tongs clamped to his nose. Dad was going frantic, it’s only him and an old warlock called Perkins in the office, and they had to do Memory Charms and all sorts to cover it up..."
— Ronald Weasley regarding his father's profession[src]

The Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office regulated the use of magic on Muggle objects and tried to keep items that had been bewitched away from Muggles. To this end, members of the Office often participated in raids to keep Dark magic items out of circulation. There appeared to be a law prohibiting the enchantment of a Muggle item with the intent to use it for purposes other than for what it was designed; Arthur Weasley claimed he was able to bewitch a Ford Anglia to fly legally because he did not intend to fly the car.[3]

After rescuing Harry from near-starvation by the Dursleys, Ron explained a scenario in which a deceased witch's bewitched tea-set ended up in the possession of a Muggle woman. When the woman served tea with her friends, the teapot and the sugar tongs attacked the Muggles, causing one man to end up in hospital with third-degree burns and possibly a broken nose.

Arthur worked overtime for weeks to resolve accidents like these.[3] He also got the opportunity to analyse some dangerous books that the Ministry of Magic confiscated, including one that burned a reader's eyes out, one that forced readers to speak in limericks, and a cursed book that a viewer could not stop reading.[4]

A proposed law that seemed to have originated in the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office was the Muggle Protection Act in 1992, drafted by Arthur Weasley. It was considered offensive by some pure-blood wizards and witches; Lucius Malfoy went so far as to plant Tom Riddle's Diary on Arthur's daughter Ginny in an attempt to discredit Arthur and sabotage the proposed legislation.[5]

It is possible that, at times, there may have been minor collaboration between this division and the Portkey Office within the Department of Magical Transportation, in the unlikely event that a Muggle picked up a piece of rubbish that had been enchanted to become a Portkey. They possibly also co-operated during the process of the registry of a Portkey, to confide to the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office the details of the item being used.

Reputation

It appeared that the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office was not held in high regard. It was considered by Ron to be the most boring job at the Ministry. It was located in a tiny office, apparently only staffed by Arthur Weasley and his assistant, Perkins. Percy Weasley also claimed in 1995 that his father had a poor reputation because he lacked ambition and did not receive a large salary.[6] This implied that his job of heading up the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office was neither well-respected nor well-paid.

This may have changed after the Second Wizarding War, as the government actively began combating prejudice.

History

Arthur Weasley's tenure

"Mr Weasley’s dingy office seemed to be slightly smaller than the broom cupboard. Two desks had been crammed inside it and there was barely room to move around them because of all the overflowing filing cabinets lining the walls, on top of which were tottering piles of files. The little wall space available bore witness to Mr Weasley’s obsessions; there were several posters of cars, including one of a dismantled engine, two illustrations of postboxes he seemed to have cut out of Muggle children’s books, and a diagram showing how to wire a plug."
— Harry Potter viewing the inside of Arthur's office[src]

Arthur Weasley, former Head of the office

Arthur began working in the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office sometime before 1992 (obviously due to his obsession with Muggles), with Perkins as his assistant.[3]

During Arthur’s running of the office, the wall in the office was covered with Muggle pictures, including several of Muggle cars (one of which was a disassembled motor), Muggle post boxes, which Arthur appeared to have cut out of a Muggle children's book, and a diagram of how to wire a plug.[2]

In 1992, during one of his night-time raids, he was able to catch a few shrinking door keys and a biting kettle.[3]

On 12 August 1995, on the day of Harry Potter's disciplinary hearing, Arthur told Harry that the previous week, two regurgitating toilets had been discovered; one in Wimbledon, and one in Elephant and Castle. Muggles who pulled the flush had everything coming out instead of disappearing down the drain, making the toilet explode, which turned out to be Muggle-baiting pranks being performed by Willy Widdershins. He also learned from an interdepartmental memo that there was a third regurgitating toilet in Bethnal Green.[2]

In the summer of 1996, after the Ministry of Magic had finally acknowledged Lord Voldemort's return to power, Arthur was immediately promoted to the Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects under new Minister for Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour.[7] It is unknown who became head of the office after Arthur’s promotion, but it is likely to have been Perkins.

2010s

Myra Curio eventually transferred to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and became a Magical Law Enforcement Officer. She worked for the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office.

Sometime after he turned seventeen, Erie Yenning joined the Ministry of Magic and became an Officer in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. He worked for the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office.

Personnel

Behind the scenes

  • When Harry visits in 1995, the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office had barely enough space for Arthur and Perkins. As Curio and Yenning both worked for the division but neither was indicated as head of the office, it would seem that following the de-corruption of the Ministry, the division was subsequently relocated to a more respectable locale, allowing for more space to work and an increase in staff members.

Appearances

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 7 (The Ministry of Magic)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 3 (The Burrow)
  4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 13 (The Very Secret Diary)
  5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 4 (At Flourish and Blotts)
  6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 4 (Number Twelve Grimmauld Place)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 5 (An Excess of Phlegm)
  8. Daily Prophet Newsletters
Department of Magical Law Enforcement
Level 2, Ministry of Magic
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Auror Office · Department of Intoxicating Substances · Improper Use of Magic Office · Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office · Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects · Magical Law Enforcement Patrol · Hit Wizards · Ministry of Magic Witch Watchers · Department of Magical Equipment Control · Administrative Registration Department · Wizengamot Administration Services · Department of Security · Animagus Registry · Misuse of Magic Office
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