The Power of ToolsAuthor: lee_westCharacters:
Arthur, and Molly in absentiaRating:
Arthur is doing research work in Muggle London and finds out something interesting about the power of Muggle tools.Warnings:
It seems a recurrent warning whenever I write Arthur and Molly: don't
try this at home, kids.Kinks chosen:
Power toolsWord Count:
The things I put my betas through...they deserve much more than thanks. Thanks again, onehundredmoons
for all your help.
Following the end of the war, the wizarding world entered a period of sheer adoration of all things Muggle. Houses were fitted with special spells to allow for televised Muggle shows to be enjoyed by all in wizarding Britain. Of special interest were the soap operas, the main topic of conversation of witches of any age. Floo Talk became a second-rate means of communication, used only by those who couldn't afford one of the new tellyphones powered by Floo powder from a city main. It was much nicer – and cleaner - than sticking your face into a dirty and sooty fireplace, the witches said, fluffing their hair with one hand while the other held the handset to their ears.
On a social level there were even more important changes: it was considered wrong and politically incorrect to refer to non-wizarding folk in a derogatory way, and parents taught their children to be tolerant, under the threat of being outcasts in school. Of course a few families were still quite prejudiced, but even those parents bit their tongue in public and in front of their children, reserving their bitterest words for the privacy of their bedrooms. No-one would be foolish enough to incur the wrath of society and the obvious shunning that would ensue.
And it was a fact that Muggles had invented wonderful gadgets to make life easier or more fun, without an ounce of magic in their bones. Even the old purebloods who felt disdain for the Muggles in secret had a new tellyphone in their house. Rather reticently, they had to agree it was an improvement over the old method, but they would never admit how pleased they were with it. Or with Muggle shows.
In all of wizarding Britain, there was no-one happier than Arthur Weasley. He felt vindicated for all the years he'd spent studying the various Muggle artefacts and had been made fun of because of that. But even the derision had paid off: Arthur was now the Head of the newly-created Muggle Research and Development Division of the Ministry of Magic. It was an important position, reporting directly to Minister Shacklebolt, who himself was a lover of all things Muggle – especially a very nice Harley-Davidson he'd acquired while working for the "other" Minister, and which he rode every weekend he was free.
It had been Arthur's group that had developed the tellyphone, a telephone-television combination, which used the Muggle technologies of image and voice transmissions to create a machine that was powered by Floo Powder for ease of communication and allowed the speakers to see each other in a small screen where the telephone dial was. This way the biggest advantage of traditional Floo talk, the ability to see the interlocutor, was maintained and was considered a step above what the Muggles had achieved. Arthur had received a commendation from Minister Shacklebolt for the success of the project.
Arthur had been happy beyond description. He truly loved his job and the commendation only gave him an even stronger desire to find yet other means to improve the quality of life of wizarding society. After a short talk with Kingsley, it was decided that Arthur would spend some time in Muggle London, observing new technological developments that could be useful for wizards, too.
He arrived at the Burrow in a state of ecstasy. Finally he'd be able to live
among Muggles, learn about their technology and, in addition to not
being ridiculed, would get paid
for it! The Ministry had arranged for a flat for him and Molly to live in during the research period.
At home, though, his happiness suffered a severe blow. Molly announced, point blank, that she was not
going to live in Muggle London for several months. When asked why, she pointed out that she was needed by the other members of the family. Firstly, Fleur was about to give birth, and Molly wanted to be around to help her daughter-in-law.
"But her mother can come and help her, Molly," Arthur pleaded, already seeing his dreams of living a nice Muggle existence fast disappearing in smoke.
Molly shot him a somewhat crazed look. "What? And let someone else take care of my
"It'll be her
grandchild, too. And daughters usually prefer their own mother's company at a time like this."
"NEVER!" she shouted, shaking her head in disbelief at his preposterous idea. "Arthur Weasley, I can't believe you're suggesting such a thing. It's our oldest son's baby and I'll surely help care for him or her."
"But you can still come to London and then return to help out with the baby. It won't be born for another month or so. You and I can get settled in London and you can Floo or Apparate to St Mungo's when the time comes."
She pondered that for a minute or so. "Still can't. Fleur is getting bigger and needs help now, too. Besides," she added, before he had time to suggest Mrs Delacour again, "there's also the issue of Ginny and Ron."
He furrowed his brows. "What issue?"
"Well, Arthur, they're both in serious relationships and it's not a good idea to leave them on their own. Merlin knows what they'll make of this house if we're not here."
Arthur had a good idea of what Molly meant, but it didn't make sense. Ron and Harry were sharing a flat near Diagon Alley, and Ginny and Hermione were also rooming together not too far from where the two young men were. If they wanted to do whatever Molly was suggesting, why would they need an empty Burrow to do it? In actuality, he was sure
that the rooming arrangements were a bit of a sham, and that Ron was living with Hermione while Ginny and Harry shared the other flat. More than once they had knocked at either the girls' or the boys' flats and been told to wait a few minutes. In those times he'd heard the sound of Floo or Apparition movement, but Molly seemed oblivious to it.
"Molly, they're all on their own! They're adults and they should
be able to live their lives."
"Not under my roof," she huffed, crossing her arms, indicating that the conversation was over. But, when she saw the dejected look on his face, she softened a little. "You can go, though, Arthur. I can come for a few days and help you get settled. And I'm sure you'll have days off here and there to come back home."
In all those years of blissful marriage, Arthur had only slept away from Molly less than a dozen times, and six of those were baby deliveries, when she had stayed at St Mungo's overnight with a new baby – or babies, in the case of the twins. And in those times Arthur had slept restlessly, missing the comforting presence of his wife next to him. He could only sleep well when he was spooning against her, his arms encircling her waist and her hand tenderly holding his against her stomach. She had grown from the lithe little thing he'd married to a full-figured matron, and Arthur had accommodated to the increasing girth, bringing her even closer to him as she got bigger.
It was all about companionship. Arthur had to be sincere with himself and admit that, while he missed Molly by this side, he didn't miss the sex. It had been great while they were younger, but as time had gone by, his libido had decreased considerably, to the point that he and Molly hardly ever made love at all. She didn't seem to mind, either, so he was happy with holding her tight every night.
He was disappointed that she wouldn't be there every night with him, but she insisted and he caved in.***
The flat was the same one that Kingsley had occupied when he worked for the Muggle Minister, furnished in contemporary, sleek European furniture that had nothing to do with the homey atmosphere of the Burrow. Molly went through the rooms with her usual efficiency, arranging his clothes in the wardrobe and making sure the cupboards were stocked with a few staples, like tinned soup and instant porridge oats. He had assured her that food would be the least of his worries, as there were a variety of restaurants near the flat.
He wouldn't be using magic at all, so she showed him how to start the stove. He marveled that she could do it despite never seeing a Muggle stove in her life, but she shrugged it off, saying that those things were just logical. By the same token, she studied the washer and dryer critically before nodding and informing him that all he had to do was to put the laundry detergent in, let the water run and then
put his clothes in.
Arthur had been reading the instructions under the lid and told her that she was wrong: he had to put the clothes first and then
the detergent, close the door and the water would run. Molly contended that pouring the detergent right on top of the clothes might stain them, and her way was better. After a little discussion, in which he told her she had to read the manual, and she said she didn't need
to read any manual, because it was all common sense, he gave up and pretended to accept her instructions. Privately, though, he decided he'd do it his way, and if the clothes did stain, then he would worry about it later.
He took her out for dinner and was desolate when she Apparated back to the Burrow, leaving him alone in a flat full of things that would have been like Christmas, had she been there with him to enjoy them.***
Arthur spent his days lost in research. Every little thing was a wonder for him: his favorite place in the world was a hardware store not too far from the flat, where he spent hours on end. He was becoming friends with the clerks, who answered his numerous questions about plugs with the patience usually reserved for the friendly feeble-minded. Arthur knew that he was considered odd by the employees of the hardware store, but he didn't mind. He had been learning a lot about Muggle tools, and had added quite a few different specimens to his plug collection.
He had also enrolled on a computer course, which hadn't been too successful to date. Arthur knew what computers were used for, but he had been so amazed by the basics of internet searches that he hadn't got much farther than that. At first, the instructor had been bothered that Arthur didn't show interest in the most common software applications, but since he never disturbed the class and just sat in his corner doing various searches, the instructor let him be.
Arthur was fascinated with the idea that wizards would be able to fit the contents of old libraries of magical compendia inside a little sleek box – that would save precious time for everyone involved, from the Healers at St Mungo's to students at Hogwarts. He decided that making a magical computer would be the next development to help wizarding society become even more efficient.***
One day Arthur was sitting at his desk with the brand new computer he'd purchased, reading the manual thoroughly and trying to figure out how to adapt the contraption, when there was a knock at the door. Curious, since he never had any visitors, he opened the door to a serviceman from the gas company. The man informed him tersely that he could smell gas coming out of the flat and he needed to check it inside.
Arthur was overjoyed. He would finally see a maintenance man in action. He opened the door and accompanied the man to the kitchen, where the man proceeded to take various tools from a box that brought sparkles to Arthur's eyes. He wanted them! All of those!
Faking a foreign accent, something he'd started doing to avoid funny stares when he asked the names of common things, he asked the man how to say the various tools in English, and copied their names carefully into his little notebook. As soon as the man left, he would go to the hardware store and purchase the list.
The man put his head under the sink and swore. Suddenly, a strong smell of gas filled the little flat. The man cursed louder. "Sir, you'll have to open your windows and doors. I'm sorry about the smell, but it seems that the problem is much bigger than I thought. I have to call the outside maintenance team."
Arthur nodded sombrely. He had no idea what the man was talking about, but it seemed serious enough. The smell was horrible and he was instructed not to turn the stove or the hot shower on. The maintenance men would be there shortly.
It was all very exciting. Arthur knew that he would be able to repair the gas leak with a simple movement of his wand, but this was exactly what he had come to London to do, to see how Muggles dealt with their problems. He sat down in front of the computer, immediately doing a search for 'gas leaks,' and finding so many entries that he knew he would be occupied the whole day long.
He was totally immersed in his research, getting more excited with each entry, each description of the problem and what could be done to repair it. Another knock at the door startled him and he ran to usher in the maintenance man again.
"Sir, the outside maintenance is here. They should have your gas situation corrected in no time."
"Vill they come in?" Arthur asked, anxious for an affirmative answer.
"No, everything will be done outside. They'll let you know when you can use the gas again."
That was disappointing. Arthur would love to see the 'outside maintenance crew' in action, and the disappointment obviously showed on his face, because the man apologized for the inconvenience.
"No, no inconvenience at all. What about you? Vill you do more vork inside?"
"No," the maintenance man answered. "I'm all done. Sorry for not being able to repair it," he added with a sad face, mistaking Arthur's disappointed expression again.
"Not to worry," Arthur answered, forgetting to fake the foreign accent and hoping the man hadn't noticed it. There was nothing else he could do, so he closed the door after the maintenance man and went back to his search.
And then he heard a strange noise, like a rat-a-tat of a machine gun he'd seen in the Muggle television. The noise was a little different, though, as if the noise of the machine gun was accompanied by rocks being broken. Arthur looked at the television. It was showing the financial news. The noise was not coming from there.
The noise stopped for a second, and then started again. Very curious now, he tiptoed to the window, ready to duck if there was someone actually using a machine gun outside. Carefully he moved the curtain and saw a few men on the street, one of them holding a huge piece of apparatus in his hand. With it he was breaking the pavement, his arms shaking with the effort and his brows wet with sweat, even though it was a cool day.
That was the most beautiful machine Arthur had ever seen. The man took it from the small hole he'd managed to excavate and Arthur gaped. It had two handles, a thick body and a pointed end. As he was gawking, the man put it back into the hole and started it again. Pieces of pavement flew, broken by the sheer force of the tool.
The man was intent on his job and he kept forcing the machine into the pavement, his body straining with effort. Arthur had never seen something so beautiful – that communion between man and power tool. Something stirred inside him, something akin to carnal desire and, transfixed, he realized he was getting hard.
As the machine drilled into the ground, Arthur, his body hidden from view from the waist down, unbuttoned his trousers and lowered them to the floor, together with his pants. He was turned on, like he'd been with his wife during his youth, hard and wanting. He touched himself, feeling the power of the tool fucking the ground mercilessly, opening it to its desires.
He pulled his foreskin back, exposing the head of his cock, teasing the slit with his thumb, then fisting his cock and moving his hand, firstly a bit slower to prolong the sensation, then faster and faster, as the man outside drilled a bigger hole with his tool. He couldn't close his eyes, but he imagined it was him
drilling into Molly just as intensely.
He came at the same time the man turned the machine off for a deserved rest, and his gasp of pleasure was heard through the open window. The man raised his eyes at him, surprised by the noise and Arthur, caught sort of in the act, had the presence of spirit to ask, "Vat is ze name of ze tool?"
"This?" the man asked, looking at the machine while Arthur bent down slightly to pull his pants and trousers up.
"Yes. I not-English vell," Arthur lied while buttoning his trousers
The man shrugged. "This is a jack hammer."
"Jack hammer," Arthur repeated, memorizing it. It was strange, almost like someone's name. He went to the bedroom quickly, cleaned himself, changed clothes and ran to the hardware store. One of his friends took him straight to the place where the jack hammers were, and Arthur, on a whim, bought a red one. Like his hair. That
As soon as he got home, he Apparated to the Burrow, jack hammer in his hands. Molly was in the kitchen, having a cup of tea with Fleur, and she squealed when Arthur grabbed her by the waist and started pulling her upstairs.
"What're you doing, Arthur?" she asked, blushing violently when he whispered in her ears, "Taking you to our room, of course."
"But we have guests," she protested weakly.
"Judging by the size of her belly, she knows exactly what we'll be doing," he answered, telling his daughter-in-law to make herself at home. They'd be back downstairs later.***
Arthur went back to Muggle London the next day, looking tired, but happy. He Apparated hand in hand with Molly, who had promptly agreed to stay in London with him until the end of his project.