The Sugar Quill
Author: A.L. de Sauveterre (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Just Desserts, or The Recalcitrant House-Elf  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

AARRRGGGHHH

Disclaimer:  The Harry Potter universe belongs to JK Rowling.  I just like playing in it. 

 

Author’s Note:  Takes place after the events of the as-yet mythical Book 7 and the defeat of Voldemort.  Just a wee plot bunny that refused to go away.  Many thanks to the SQW for putting up with my little bursts of insanity and to Emma Dalrymple for arguing in defence of silliness. ;)

 

 

Just Desserts

 or, The Recalcitrant House-Elf

by   A.L. de Sauveterre

 

 

AARRRGGGHHH!!!!

 

I pressed my lips together so tightly I was certain my jaws would break.  Gingerly, I pried my burnt and bruised fingers from between the sizzling over doors.  Looking at the crust of singed green skin on my hands, withered and powerless… I nearly cried, unbecoming as it might have been.  No one should have the right to do this to our kind.  This wasn’t the way it was meant to be.  If given the opportunity, I could recount a list of ancestors dating back to Beowulf if need be, but that didn’t seem to count for much anymore.

 

Times change, my father had warned me.  Even in his parting breath, he had warned me of changes he had seen, changes known only to himself and the Elders.  Changes that would deplete our kind of the power we had always possessed.  I had always insisted that he was wrong. 

 

As fate would have it, I was wrong.

 

“Go on, then,” urged Fudge.  “Finish the job.  Crunch, crunch.  Chop, chop.”  The Minister’s piggy eyes watered and his belly shook as he laughed at his own unimaginative slapstick.  I knew what I’d slap with a stick… if only I had one.

 

“You know, this is for your own good,” he whispered, raising his sparse brows, sneaking an oblique glance at the official entourage observing from the door.  The familiar faces of wizards and witches in the Order filed past in a blur.

 

I glared at Fudge there in the Ministry’s canteen, hating every sycophantic slimy inch of him from his balding blockhead to his pretentious second-hand pinstripes.  If I could have garnered even a fraction of the power they had usurped from me and my kind, he’d have been nothing more than an oleaginous lump of lukewarm sludge on the limestone floor. 

 

Instead, the Fates had seen fit to make him my new master.  Master.  With Herculean effort, I fought back my expletives.  Even thinking the word was nearly enough to send me into convulsions. 

 

Turning away (for even a simpleton like Fudge couldn’t fail to recognise the murderous glint in my eyes), I swung the doors against my hand again, howling in pain with each sharp crack of brittle bone until the Ministry officials nodded in the threshold.

 

“All right,” said Fudge, with a patronising wink.  “Enough.”  The man was clearly enjoying my plight far too much for my liking.

 

I looked down the pointed end of my long nose (my nose!) at my bleeding fingers and hitched up the filthy dishtowel wrapped around my waist.  Not wanting to speculate on what things now looked like underneath, I focused my remaining energy on a venomous glare directed at the tubby Minister’s retreating back.

 

Where had it all gone wrong?  Whose bloody idea was this anyway?  Who thought that it would be best for our kind to be reduced to this for our own “protection”?  Wouldn’t it simply have been best to send us away?  Time would matter little.  Our kind have lived long and have been patient, quietly hidden from the rest of what some loosely call “society”.  We could be that way again.  Gather our arms.  Plot.  Wait.  And then… strike!

 

But why wait? I said to myself.  We still have some power left, after all, haven’t we? 

 

At eye level, beckoned the glimmer of a butcher’s knife by the sharpening stone.  In an eyeblink, I had the knife in my hand and lunged forward, taking aim at the Minister’s back—

 

But the knife clattered to the floor as I tripped.  Tripped over those spindly green legs, part of this cursed elfin body.  Fudge swung round at the sound of the commotion, then fixed me with what I suppose on anyone else would have been a withering look.  As it was, my view of him was upside down, owing to my awkward angle on the stones.  It could have been a smile for all I knew.  Blinking again, I realised that it was.

 

An evil, calculated smile.  On Fudge.  Who knew?

 

Then his next words hit me like no spell any of my kind had ever cast.

 

“Do it.  Go on.  You know you deserve it.”

 

I was inches away from the knife.  I could have plunged it right between his eyes if I’d wanted to. 

 

But I also had this compulsive urge… to slam my ears in the over doors.

 

Trancelike, I moved towards the oven.  I had no choice, it hurt to resist.

 

Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam!  The echoes of the doors and the shrill undignified cries, which I soon realised were my own, reverberated against the walls until Fudge stopped me with a condescending pat on the head.

 

“There, there.  That’s enough,” he said.  “When you’re through cleaning this mess, you can start with bringing up the tea trays.  The Order has convened a special session at half past.  Professors Dumbledore and Snape will take the head table.  And this time… see that it’s prepared in a timely fashion.”

 

My first instinct was to rip him apart with my bare hands, but I remembered that my fingers were broken.  I slumped against the cupboards, impotent and enraged.

 

As I fumed, Fudge half-turned from the door with a smug, self-satisfied sneer.  “Oh, and one more thing…”

 

What NOW?!

 

“Remember, that the actions of a house-elf are meant to be appreciated, Lucy,” he snickered, “not seen.”

 

And although I knew it would inevitably mean my head in the oven for the next several hours, I managed a direct hit to his smirking face with the mortar and pestle. 

 

He clearly hadn’t seen that coming, and I thoroughly appreciated it.

 

That’s “Lucius” to you, you pompous, gas-blowing, beef-witted toadflax!

//
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