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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 on 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.
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.
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.
It is possible that, at times, there may be 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 was enchanted to become a Portkey. They may possibly also co-operate 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.
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, implying that his position as head of the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office was neither well-respected nor well-paid. The office was considered to be smaller than a broom closet, and the two desks inside were cramped tightly, another sign of the position's unimportance.
This may have changed after the Second Wizarding War, as the government actively began combating prejudice.
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.
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.
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, 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.
In the summer of 1996, after the Ministry of Magic had finally acknowledged Lord Voldemort's return to power, Arthur was immediately promoted to Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects under new Minister for Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour. It is unknown who became head of the office after Arthur’s promotion, but it is likely to have been Perkins.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (First appearance)
Notes and references