Computers and Chizpurfles…
Posted on September
2, 2004 on the Sugar
The Sugar Quill is temporarily closed in order to test
all of our wards. Some of the most highly-skilled wizards in the Ministry of
Magic are currently testing them, headed by Mr. Bill Weasley. They hope to
finish no later than September 7, 2004
(Note: there has been a slight delay due to a conflict with some Chizpurfles in our equipment).
Taken from page seven of Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them By Newt Scamander:
M.O.M. Classification: XX
Chizpurfles are small
parasites up to a twentieth of an inch high, crablike in appearance, with large
fangs. They are attracted by magic…in
the absence of magic, Chizpurfles
have been known to attack electrical objects from within. Chizpurfle
infestations explain the puzzling failure of many relatively new Muggle
It should be admitted upfront that Chizpurfles don’t mix with toasters…or Internet
servers. This was something that had
Steven Wardock, esteemed electrical engineer, cursing
under his breath as he struggled to reboot the Muggle machines. A few days ago, a friend of his had contacted
him, requesting his aid for a website that was running a little behind schedule
during its upgrade. He had agreed,
taking a week’s absence from his governmental job and asking a coworker to help.
Steven hadn’t even realized that there
were Chizpurfles in the lab until this morning, when
he saw something tiny scurrying across the floor of the room. When he tried to kill the creature, which he
thought was a cockroach, it jumped about a foot into the air and disappeared
into one of the server boxes. Steven had
cautiously opened the server to find it was swarming with hundreds of tiny
He had quickly slammed the metal box shut when the creatures began to
fling themselves at his face. Steven had
spent the rest of the morning panicking over what to do. Despite growing up with magical siblings, he
hadn’t a clue how to reach anyone at the local magic governmental offices.
“That’s it! I’m calling tech-support.” Mita Stanton,
Steven’s coworker, threw up her hands in defeat and reached for the phone. Knowing that normal tech support would be
utterly helpless in the face of what appeared to be a nasty Chizpurfle
infestation and would only raise awkward questions from Mita
and whomever tech-support send out, Steven performed a maneuver worthy of an
Olympic long jump metal and snatched the phone from his shocked coworker’s
at him as if he had lost his marbles.
Steven scrambled for a logical explanation.
“I—I can handle it. How about you take a break?” he suggested,
desperate for a reason to get Mita’s mind off of his
behavior. “I’ll call someone I
know. She’s an expert at this sort of
“Are you sure?” Mita
seemed a little wary of him. “I mean,
are you feeling okay? You’re acting a
little feverish. Maybe you need a little
air. We’ve been at this problem for a
“I’m fine, really, I’m fine,” he
hastened to reassure her. “You just take
“Okay…” With one more concerned glance
in his direction, Mita reached under her desk for her
purse. “Then I’m going to get a latte. Do you want anything?”
“I’ll take a cappuccino,” Steven
fished out his wallet from his jeans and handed her a five-dollar bill. She took it and left the room. Steven breathed a quiet sigh of relief. ‘If is really is a Chizpurfle
problem, I’d better call Brenda…. Hopefully,
Mita won’t ask too many questions…’ Steven sighed and then dialed his sister’s
had just finished checking the innermost wardline of
her work site when her cell rang. She
brushed an offending strand of hair out of her face as she searched her coat
pockets for the tiny gadget, a gift from her Muggle brother. From the number that was flashing on the
display screen when she flipped it open, it was that same brother who was
“Brenda.” She smiled, hearing the relief in her little
brother’s voice. No doubt he needed her
help with something. The last time he
had called her in a panic was when he needed urgent advice on how to propose to
“What is it?”
“I’ve been working on my friend’s
servers and I think we have a Chizpurfle problem on
Brenda paused to consider the implications. “How bad?”
“How about all of
the servers have crashed? And I
can’t get any of them to reboot?”
“I see. That would
be a problem.”
“No kidding. Mita is about ready
to call tech-support and I know that
tech-support can’t do anything for this.”
“But I can,” Brenda caught on to her
brother’s reasoning. “You know you’re
lucky that I’m in town…and that my colleagues are willing to take a field trip
during their lunch break.”
“We’ll be there soon. Are there any people we should watch out
“Um, other than Mita?
Everyone else is off on vacation or something…”
“Lucky for us. I’ll see you later.”
Mita hung up.
“Who was that?” ask Marcus Galliano as
he picked up his jacket.
“My brother, Steve. He needs help.” She smiled at him and then raised her voice
to catch the attention of her coworkers.
“Hey, guys,” she called, adding, “and gals, my little brother called and
he’s asking us to bail him out of a Chizpurfle
problem. I’ve told him that we wouldn’t
mind taking a little break from this to help him out. What do you say?”
“Well, can we afford to leave the
wards like this?” Marcus gestured toward the site. As one, the twenty-person team turned towards
their expert cursebreaker, Bill Weasley. He nodded.
“Yes, the forum wards are almost
done. All we’ll need to do is do a final
testing and then we can move on to the archives.”
“All right then,” someone piped up, “I
“Yeah,” someone else chipped in, “Chizpurfle baiting will be a great change of pace!”
“All right then, time to head down the
street,” Brenda called out cheerfully as she picked up her coat and began to
lead the way to Steven’s current location.
“Should be rather interesting,” Bill
Weasley commented as he strolled next to her.
Brenda grinned up at him, “Are you sure about that? American Chizpurfles
can be pretty vicious.”
“They can’t be more vicious than
garden gnomes,” he replied.
“Are you sure?” she asked him, and
then returned her attention to finding the building where Steven was working.
After quickly confirming Steven’s
suspicion, Brenda and her team went to work making the necessary disposal
potions for the creatures.
“He doesn’t look like someone in your
field,” Steven murmured to his sister as he handed her a paper bag. Brenda glanced up at him and then returned
her attention to mixing the baiting potion.
“Who are you talking about? Give me a hand here, will you?” she asked,
trying to stir the ever-thickening liquid as she poured in some noxious
smelling purple powder. Steven took over
the stirring with ease, wrinkling his nose at the smell.
“Do I want to even know what that is?”
“No, probably not,” was Brenda’s
“Okay,” he conceded. “I’m talking about him,” Steven nodded in the
direction of Bill. She looked up briefly
and then replied, “Mr. Weasley isn’t from my office. He’s on special assignment from Gringotts,
“At Gringotts, isn’t that the same
“More often than
not…yeah. You can stop stirring
now. And give me those bottles.” She nodded in the direction of a few glass
beakers. Steven handed them over and
Brenda began to carefully spoon the glop into the containers.
“Long way from home,” Steven
“Yeah, but he was a special request
from one of the higher-ups.”
“Pulled a few strings?”
“A few big strings.”
“What are you guys doing?”
“I don’t talk about my work,” Brenda
spared a moment of concentration to frown at her sibling, “And you don’t talk
about yours. Otherwise, Washington
will be on my head and you’d lose your job.
Did you turn off the power source?” she asked him sternly. “I don’t want anyone getting electrocuted.”
“Yes,” he replied.
“Now,” she pushed a glass beaker into
Steven’s hand, “carefully pour that over the infested machines, slowly.”
With everyone working together, the Chizpurfles began to drop off of the servers and onto the
“Just sweep them up when they drop off
and everything will be back to normal.”
Bill handed Steven a broom and dustpan as everyone else bustled around
the room, cleaning up the used materials and equipment.
“Sure.” Steven looked at the objects
in his hands and nodded. “I’ll—um, no
problem. Consider it done.”
“Good.” Bill smiled and then checked his watch. “I think lunch break is over.”
“Then we’d better get back to work,”
said Brenda, coming over to hug her brother briefly after pocketing the
portable, shrunken cauldrons. “I’ll see
you later, Bro.”
“Thanks for the help Sis. Thank you everyone.”
“Not a problem,” Bill replied.
“Um, what’s going on?” Steven froze at
Mita’s puzzled tone.
She had walked in, purse slung on one shoulder, a Starbucks coffee cup
in each hand. The entire team of witches
and wizards swiftly slipped their wands back into hidden pockets or under
Steven fumbled for an explanation.
so nice to see you again,” Brenda exclaimed, stepping in. “I was just dropping by. For a visit you know.”
“Is this your tech support?” Mita glanced appreciatively at the various males in the
room. Steven nodded. She handed him his cappuccino while saying, “I
never knew tech support had so many cute guys.”
Brenda smiled and replied, “I supposed
you could say that. Well, I wish I could
stay and chat, but I have to get back to work.
I’ll see you later.”
“Bye, Brenda,” Mita
waved as the room emptied. Then she
turned to Steven, “Well, is it fixed?”
“Yep. It’s okay now.”
“What are those things on the floor?”
“I’ll sweep it up later. Can you go turn on the power source? I had to shut it down when they came.” Mita nodded and
exited the room. Steven quickly swept up
the dazed Chizpurfles and put them into a bag which
he would later mail to the local magical government offices.
“So, what was the problem?” asked Mita when she returned and sat down at her computer
“Just a little
“That’s good to hear.”
As Brenda and her coworkers walked
back to their worksite, they congratulated themselves on a job well done.
“That went off without a problem,”
Marcus said cheerfully.
“However,” Brenda pointed at the
figure that towered above their worksite, “that
is a problem. What is that giant doing?”
“NO, GRAWP!” someone bellowed, “PUT
THAT SERVER DOWN!”
Everyone winced as Grawp
dropped the server on top of the network router.
“Oh dear, looks like we’re in for a
long shift…” Brenda sighed.
Posted on September 7, 2004 on the Sugar Quill website:
The Sugar Quill forums
are now open. Bill Weasley's team is still testing the wards on the fan fiction
archive and the rest of the site. . They hope to finish no later than September 12, 2004 (Note: they've dealt
with the Chizpurfles, but now Grawp
keeps trying to eat the hardware).
Author’s Notes/Disclaimer: The only things that I’ve
created are the plot and the characters of Steven and Brenda Wardock, Mita Stanton, and Marcus
Galliano. I have no claim to Bill
Weasley, Grawp, or the Chizpurfles—they
are the creations of JK Rowling. The
posts are the property of the SQ Administrator who wrote them. I’m currently taking a break from There’s A Place,
but I promise that I will continue it as soon as I can. Thanks for reading!