[ERROR LOADING WITTY DISCLAIMER 17-D REBOOT]
Dedicated to the following: all
Hermione Granger was not having a nice
day. She wasn't particularly surprised, as it was the latest in a
string of rather un-nice days, the first of which happened some weeks
ago when she tricked a teacher into insulting centaurs and followed
one of her best friends to the Ministry of Magic only to have his
surrogate father figure killed before his very eyes.
Harry was, admittedly, probably having
a worse time of it than she was. But at least Harry didn't have a
Crookshanks was a smart cat. Not only
that, but he was intelligent, which is much rarer among both cats and
people. But regardless of the power of his brain, it was still cat
shaped, and it convinced him to do cattish things.
Which was why Mrs. Smith was in her
living room, telling her in gruesome detail all about how Crookshanks
had violated her sweet,
darling little Muffy-Boo-Boo-Kins, and what was wrong with cats
today, and what was wrong with teenagers today, and how you don't get
the same sunrises you used to get back in her
Hermione said finally, in an exasperated and almost begging tone of
That was more of a Ron or a Harry thing to say. Fortunately, the
older woman was at an age where she couldn't talk and listen at the
same time. “I said... it's getting rather late in the day,”
she finished lamely.
Mrs. Smith looked
at her watch. “Oh, it is! I'm going to miss all my programs!”
She hurried to the door, but just before leaving, added, “You
just keep that... beast away from Muffy-Boo-Boo-Kins!”
thought Hermione as Mrs. Smith shut the door. It wasn't as if
Crookshanks could help it. It was just the kind of things cats did.
She'd read a very interesting book to that effect: A Pet
Society: Cats, Dogs, and the Rules That Bind Them.
Besides, she knew for a fact that Muffy-Boo-Boo-Kins was out every
night on Mrs. Smith's fence, yowling for various paramours.
Her parents had
spoken with her about Crookshanks' romantic escapades, with subtle
questions about how the Ministry would feel if a part-kneazle went
around siring other part-kneazles. She had
explained that the Ministry probably wouldn't care or notice and, at
Hogwarts, Crookshanks had what one might call a feline harem. His
pick of the prime pussy, if you will. (Not that Hermione would, but Ron might. Not to say that Hermione gave a damn what Ron thought, or would indeed give a damn given the opportunity.) It's only natural that he would
assume the same to be true out of school.
even Hermione had to admit, perhaps it was going a bit too far. Mrs.
Smith was the only the latest to complain. Fortunately, she was the
loudest, and generally thought to be a few tacos (i.e, all of them)
short of a combo platter. It was only a matter of time,
though, before the coherent voices overtook Mrs. Smith's, and asked
inconvenient questions, such as, “What kind of cat is
he, anyway?” and “Where is this so-called gifted school
you disappear to every year?” and “Anyone else notice the
owls always around here lately?”
Perhaps she should look into getting
She sighed. This wasn't a problem at
Hogwarts. Almost as soon as the school first started, according to
Hogwarts, a History,
Salazar Slytherin had put up a ward to assure that no living
creature could procreate on Hogwarts grounds. It generally made life
easier, though the other founders had supposedly complained that it
encouraged the “wrong kind of behavior.”
Like having a kitty harem, Hermione
thought. Right, she decided. As soon as the Doctors Granger returned,
she'd have a talk with them about getting Crookshanks neutered.
Hermione frowned. Neuter was such an ugly word. Perhaps...
making gender a moot point.
Hmm. She'd think on
Sinclair. Male. I'm not entirely sure about the breed. It's just that
he's been... spending a lot of time with
the other cats in the neighborhood. Oh, you can? Tomorrow? Wonderful.
Thank you, Dr. Sinclair. Good-bye.”
had not only given her the money to have Crookshanks de-gendered, but
also money for a taxi, money for lunch, and likely would have
arranged for a small police escort if she had asked. Apparently they
were just as tired of the complaints as she was.
The next day, she
was awoken by an incessant tap-tap-tap on her window. She
opened her eyes reluctantly and looked to see what had woken her. It
was a small owl, and clutched in its tiny talons was a letter,
presumably addressed to her. Pig, her brain reminded her. It
took a moment to realize she had to get up to let him in.
She rolled out of
bed and opened the window. Hermione wondered what Pig was doing there
so early, as it had to be before seven, since her alarm hadn't yet
gone off. She checked the alarm clock. 12:00. 12:00. 12:00.
Hermione froze. Her
clock must have got unplugged during the night! She ignored Pig for
the moment, who was buzzing merrily around her bedroom, and following
the alarm's power cord to the wall. Indeed, it had come loose—just
loose enough, in fact, to reset the clock but keep it on. Odd.
Another odd thing:
Crookshanks wasn't sleeping in his usual spot, but right next to the
outlet that had fed her clock.
Hermione shook her
head. There was no time to investigate anything but the time. She
dashed out of her bedroom and into the kitchen. The microwave said it
was eight forty-three.
She did some quick
math. If she called the cab now, she could get dressed, put
Crookshanks into his carrier, and perhaps beat her hair into
submission by nine, and still be at Dr. Sinclair's office for the ten
o'clock appointment. She'd have to skip breakfast, but at least she
had money for lunch.
Hermione called the
cab company, who promised to be there in fifteen minutes or less.
Then she hurried to her room and dressed, only paying marginal
attention to what she put on. She was vaguely certain the outfit as a
whole involved pants in some way.
Next came the hard
part. “Here, kitty,” she said, hoping it would work. Of
course, it didn't. In fact, she had no idea where he was. He had
been sleeping next to the outlet, but there was nothing there now
apart from a few ginger hairs. “Here, Crookshanks, kitty,”
she said sweetly as she unmade her bed, looked underneath, and
checked her closet.
Pig, who had long
since dropped Hermione's letter somewhere, was circling around her
school trunk which, she remembered, hadn't been locked. With cat
carrier in hand, she opened it, only to find the slightly
guilty-looking cat sitting on her robes. She ushered him into the
carrier before he could think about objecting.
Pig, who now felt
helpful, gave a happy hoot and flew around Hermione's head. She
opened the window again so he could get out. She then grabbed the
letter from the floor and left, foregoing the hair-taming.
Cats don't keep
journals. Not simply because they lack the opposable thumbs requisite
to write in one, but also because they generally have better things
to do with their time, such as eat, sleep, and/or engage in feline
Crookshanks did keep a journal, the entry for this day would
look something like this:
Mistress has foiled my plan to hide.
Would have gotten away with it if not for that meddling owl.
Come to think of it, owl ruined
first plan to sabotage alarm. Must add revenge on owl to things to do
1) Save genitals
2) Revenge on owl
Am now in cab to the butcher. Hope
last-ditch effort will not fail. Am rather attached to lower bits.
Music: radio is playing, not sure of
Mood: frightened for genitalia
Poor Crookshanks, thought
Hermione. It wasn't fair, really. But all the other male cats in the
neighborhood had been... degendered, so it wasn't as if he would be
alone in his suffering. Besides, there might be some sort
of spell to, erm, regenerate,
she added mentally.
She was filling out
papers and allowing her mind to wander as she filled out the obvious
parts: name, address, telephone number, and so forth. Then she
reached “What type of animal? _Cat _Dog _Other (please
specify)” After a moment's hesitation, she checked “Cat.”
It was technically true. He was mostly cat. Only a little bit other,
as far as she could tell.
She felt a tap on
her thigh. Crookshanks was reaching through the bars of his cage.
Quite suddenly, she felt terrible. She wanted to just take him
home give him a can of tuna and forget the demale-ing. But she
couldn't, she knew. If she didn't do it today, her parents would
probably do it themselves tomorrow. “I'm sorry, Crookshanks, I
really am,” she said, slipping the cat's paw back through his
cage door. “You won't feel a thing, I promise.”
finished the papers and gave them to the nurse. When she returned to
her seat, she found that Crookshanks had elected to face the back of
his carrier, as if offended. “Poor kitty,” she said.
indeed, offended. But he was also thinking. If he'd been human, one
might have described him as brooding.
Plan to guilt mistress has failed.
Only hope now is to destroy butcher.
Still blame owl. Will destroy it.
Hermyown? Hermeeonay? Herm... Miss Granger? Dr. Sinclair will see you
in room three.”
Dr. Elliot Sinclair
was one of those people who it is difficult to imagine middle-aged.
He looked as if he had gone from young to old with no middleman.
Also, the shape of his head was mildly off putting: he looked like
he'd been last in the line for chins, but only because he'd gone
through the forehead line twice.
He was currently
waiting for a girl he had decided to call “Miss Granger”
soon after he'd seen the forms. When she walked in, he was surprised,
if not a little frightened. Not of the girl, but of the carrier that
she had. It looked large enough to hold an adolescent tiger. When the
girl placed the cat on the table and the doctor peeked in, he was
very nearly sure that it did.
Granger,” Dr. Sinclair said, making a mental note to try to
sedate the cat from a distance, “you look as if you have
won't hurt him, will it? And I read about personality changes due to
neutering, how much of an effect will that have? There aren't too
many side effects, are there? Could there be complications? How many
times have you performed this?” The girl asked all these
questions very quickly, giving Dr. Sinclair the very correct
impression that one should never ask Hermione Granger if she has
He gave himself a second to allow his
brain to catch up with her inquisitive attack, and grabbed a pamphlet
from a nearby wall and handed it to her. “You'll find most of
those answers in there.” After a moment, he added, “Owners
generally prefer not to be present during this type of thing.”
“Of course,” Hermione said
distractedly, already absorbing as much knowledge as possible from
her “Veterinary FAQ” pamphlet.
After she left, Dr. Sinclair readied
the sedative and opened the small cage door. He then reached in to
retrieve the cat, which would prove to be the greatest mistake of his
Apparently, Hermione had learned, she
would have to leave Crookshanks overnight. This worried her slightly,
as Crookshanks had never been separated from her for any length of
time. One should note that, like most cat owners, she ignored the
fact that Crookshanks spent most lengths of time separated from her.
She read the pamphlet quickly, as there
wasn't much of it to read. Apparently, people only frequently asked
five questions, none of which were what she had asked the doctor.
She'd have to ask again tomorrow. Rather crossly, no doubt.
When Hermione entered the waiting room,
she noticed a rather odd-looking girl. It wasn't the way her chin and
nose seemed just a little too pointy, or her eyes a little too large
for her face, but that her hair was, against all reason, plaid. And,
despite the summer heat, she wore a sweater. A sweater that, from the
great black “T” on it, could only be a Weasley sweater.
“Wotcher, Hermione,” said
Hermione snorted quietly. “Do you
not believe in subtlety?” she asked sarcastically. Before Tonks
could answer, though, Hermione added, “What're you doing here,
“In order? No, and I'm picking
you up. Ron wrote you, didn't he?”
Hermione remembered the letter in the
back pocket of her jeans. She opened it and read.
Sorry to spring this on you so
quickly, but we only just found out! Dumbledore said that it would
probably be a good idea for you to spend the rest of the summer at
the Burrow, because of your closeness to the situation, or something
like that. He said he'd get hold of your mum and dad and tell them,
so you should just be ready for Tonks to pick you up.
See you soon!
Love, Your friend, Your--
Hermione gave a
little sigh at her and Ron's generally confused state, and then
remembered that Tonks was sitting right next to her. “How'd you
even know to come find me here?” she asked.
She said this as if it were a fact, as opposed to a person.
“Shouldn't you get Crookshanks?”
completely forgot! She hoped the doctor hadn't started yet.
She dashed back to
room three, Tonks close behind. The sight that greeted them was
surprising, to say the least.
It looked as if
they had just missed Chaos Incarnate. The carrier lay on the floor
beside the table, which had been turned over. In fact, most
everything that could be turned over looked as if it had been,
including a supposedly spill proof mug proclaiming its owner to be
“#1 Vet.” Crookshanks was on top of a cabinet, just out
of reach, not that the doctor was reaching for anything. He had
apparently stabbed himself with his own needle and was taking a nap.
The cat, noticing
Hermione, hopped gracefully onto the sleeping doctor and crossed the
room, taking a seat near the cat carrier.
said Hermione, ever the queen of understatement. “We should go
want your money back?” asked Tonks, for whom a room like this
seemed normal, at least by the time she got done with it.
“I think they
need it more than I do.”
quite sure what had happened. After vanquishing the doctor, the
Mistress had apparently decided that his genitals should be left well
enough alone, which suited the cat just fine. Now he was in a cab
with the changing girl and the Mistress.
home for a minute, Crookshanks,” the Mistress said, “and
then we're going to go see Ron.” After a moment, she added,
“And Harry, of course.” Crookshanks could see the
changing one smirk.
Crookshanks would have thought, given proper cognitive faculties. The
mate of the Mistress. The owl's Master.
He liked Ron. Especially because he had delicious looking pets.
enjoy his summer.
I think this is my longest one
chapter Harry Potter story yet. Proud? Yes, yes you are.