The Sugar Quill
Author: Phoenix's Melody  Story: Explaining Computers and Chizpurfles...  Chapter: Default
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Chizpurfles

Explaining Computers and Chizpurfles

By Phoenix’s Melody

 

Posted on September 2, 2004 on the Sugar Quill website:

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:

Chizpurfles

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 electrical artifacts.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

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 crablike Chizpurfles.  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 hand.

“No!”

Mita looked 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 stuff.”

“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 few days…”

“I’m fine, really, I’m fine,” he hastened to reassure her.  “You just take a break.”

“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 cell.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Brenda Wardock 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 calling her.

“Hi, Steven.”

“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 his girlfriend.

“What is it?”

“I’ve been working on my friend’s servers and I think we have a Chizpurfle problem on our hands.”

“Ah.”  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.”

“Thank you!”

“We’ll be there soon.  Are there any people we should watch out for?”

“Um, other than Mita?  Everyone else is off on vacation or something…”

“Lucky for us.  I’ll see you later.”

“Bye.”

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 vote yes.”

“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 off-hand reply.

“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, from Egypt.”

“A treasure-hunter?”

“Curse-breaker.”

“At Gringotts, isn’t that the same thing?”

“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 commented.

“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 floor.

“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 coats.

Mita!  Um…”  Steven fumbled for an explanation.

Mita, it’s 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 terminal.

“Just a little glitch.  Nothing big.”

“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!

 

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