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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2223456
Mixed fandoms. Wodehouse meets Rowling. Due apologies for any liberties taken! 1st place!
All Words: 1626

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"If you'll pardon me for observing it, Miss, you seem to be perturbed about something."

Jeeves put Hermione's goblet of pumpkin juice on the desk in front of her, having first moved aside the huge tome propped against the candle-stand there. Hermione looked up from the parchment she had been feverishly covering with tiny writing.

"Yes, Jeeves, I'm perturbed. Oh, thank you, cold pumpkin juice is just what I need." She downed the nectar in one gulp. Jeeves raised an eyebrow. This, he could see, was serious. Very serious. Hermione Granger did not usually down goblet-fulls in a gulp.

"If I could be of assistance, Miss ..."

"Jeeves, you can actually. You are the very person who can."

"I am glad to hear it, Miss."

Hermione put the parchment down, smoothed her hair, which she had rather ruffled as she wrote, took a deep breath, and began.

"It's Hagrid," she said.

"Indeed, Miss?"

"Yes, Hagrid. You know what he wants to do now, Jeeves?"

"I am not aware of Master Rubeus's latest endeavours, Miss, I have been away from Hogwarts for a week now."

"And you've turned up just in time to help me solve this. Listen. If I've told Hagrid once, I've told him a million times -- keep dangerous creatures out of the Care of Magical Creatures class. But will he listen?"

"I gather, from your tone and the agitation of your manner, Miss, that he will, in fact, not listen. Am I correct in supposing this?"

"You are, Jeeves, you are. I've been trying to plan lessons for him ..." she pointed at the parchment "... but for all the notice he takes of them, I should do other things instead, like my Transfiguration homework. Anyway, for his next lesson, he has planned to bring in ..." she shuddered. She could not go on.

"Um -- a big creature?" Jeeves hazarded, trying to help her along.

She shook her head.

"A small creature, then, Miss?"

She nodded.

"Very small?"

She nodded again.

"A species of insect, if I might guess?"

"Yes, Jeeves, yes. He wants to bring in a ... a ... housefly!"

"A housefly, Miss?" Both eyebrows went up.

"He says they're sort of fun, the way the sit on cake and rub their little legs. He says it's so beautiful the way they buzz around as they fly. I've tried to tell him they're not magical creatures, I tried to tell him they're pests and don't need to be cared for. But will he listen? Will he listen?"

"Again, Miss, I gather he won't."

"You gather right, Jeeves, you gather right. I simply don't know what to do."

"If I might suggest ..."

"Jeeves!" Hermione's eyes shone as she looked up at him. "Jeeves! Don't tell me you've thought of an idea!"

"I fancy I have, Miss, if I may explain ..."

"Go ahead, Jeeves, go ahead!"

"My theory, Miss, is based on the psychology of the individual. Actually, one individual and a group of individuals."

"The one individual being Hagrid, and the group being ..."

"I fancy what I'm about to say might disturb you, Miss, but I request you to hear me out."

"I'm hearing, Jeeves, I mean, I'm listening."

"Yes, Miss, thank you. The group of individuals being the House-Elves of Hogwarts, Miss."

"The House-Elves? What's your idea, Jeeves? I'm not having any House-Elves subject to insect attacks, you know."

"Far from it, Miss, I do know your propensity to protect the rights of House-Elves. In this case, Miss, I'm complacent enough to believe you'll approve. My idea actually involves the House-Elves having some fun."


"Yes, Miss. If I may proceed?"

"Proceed, Jeeves, please!"

"You, Miss, are Muggle-born. Therefore, I think you might have heard of robotic insects."

"I have."

"Well, they're little creatures that can be operated by something called a remote control. My idea involves having the House-Elves operate a hundred of these, and annoy Hagrid and his canine companion, Fang. Once this has occurred, Miss, I think Hagrid may possibly lose his enthusiasm for the creatures."

"You've hit it, Jeeves! You've hit it! Can you get a hundred robotic houseflies?"

"Certainly, Miss. I shall procure them within two days, I think."

In their excitement, both the great brains had forgotten something. The intelligent Muggle-born witch and the unbeatable Muggle butler had forgotten that Muggle devices don't work properly around Hogwarts. The greatest minds are subject to lapses. Inexplicably, two great minds each had a lapse at the same time.

The House-Elves of Hogwarts had a great time, though.

Two days later, the parcel came for Jeeves. Not by owl, since it had been ordered from a Muggle shop. It came by hand-delivery, they accepted it at the gate and Hermione wiped the memory of the delivery-girl.

Excitedly, they took it to the butler's pantry, which was between the kitchen and the Hufflepuff common room. They opened it, checked the instructions, and, in all fairness to them, did try two of the robotic creatures out. In a Muggle room, (a butler's room, at that) they worked exactly as they should. Even Jeeves had the hint of a smile on his face as he made his fly pull one single hair of Hermione's bushy brown curls.

Pronouncing the product 'perfect', Hermione proceeded to the kitchens. So as not to hinder the work of the kitchens, it had been decided that the House-Elves, in groups of five, would be trained in the use of the robotic flies in the butler's pantry. The 'training' progressed - now overseen by Jeeves, now by Hermione, now by both, depending on who had some free time.

Four days later, they were ready.

A hundred excited House-Elves had been trained -- and knew the role they had to play to create the maximum amount of mayhem -- mayhem which would exasperate even Hagrid. The plan was to be carried out during one of Hagrid's visits to the forest, when he was trying to get the best plants for some of his other creatures to eat. Some of those plants had to be cut or plucked just so, to be of any use, and having twenty flies buzzing around your head, another fifteen around the plant, and the rest hounding (pun intended) your poor dog was sure to put the keenest entomologist off.

About forty of the House-Elves were required to be in the forest, the rest could operate from the kitchen.

"Okay," said Hermione, who had been watching through her Omnioculars. "He's started out with Fang. Now, everyone, ACTION."


Professor McGonagall was demonstrating her animagus transformation to her third years when the first of the flyaway flies hit the school.

She had just done her magnificent transformation into a cat, when, instead of applause, she heard laughter. Something was tickling her nose and her ears. Flies. Muggle houseflies. At Hogwarts! For the first time in Hogwarts history, Professor McGonagall dismissed a class before the bell had rung.

Professor Flitwick was trying to get his first-years to swish-and-flick with a nice wrist movement. "Wingardium Leviosa" the class chorused -- and every feather in the room rose into the air, clutched firmly in the wings of the tiny robots. The class cheered.

The Potions master, Professor Snape, was teaching his advanced NEWT students a very complicated recipe. He was measuring some green liquid drop by drop into a bubbling cauldron when he heard the sudden, loud buzzing in his ears, causing him to empty the whole phial into the cauldron. The contents exploded and Snape could only raise one eyebrow, having lost the other in the flare up.

Chaos reigned almost as badly as it had when Fred and George had let off their famous fireworks on Umbridge's first day as Headmistress. Peeves zoomed around, commentating on the happenings with glee. From the greenhouses, shouts could be heard, and the Quidditch pitch was obviously being ravaged.

Hermione and Jeeves were in the Astronomy Tower, trying to put things right from that height.

"Most disturbing, Miss," Jeeves observed.

"Most disturbing? Most disturbing?" Hermione choked. "Jeeves, you -- oh my goodness, did that sound come from Professor Dumbledore's room?"

"I would venture to say it did, Miss. If I might put forth my opinion, I think some of our robotic insects have made an entry there."

"What'll they do there?" Hermione gasped. "The Headmaster's study!"

"I fancy Professor Dumbledore will be more than able to reverse any such damage as might be done by robotic houseflies, Miss. He is an extremely able wizard."

"Never mind his abilities, Jeeves, how am I going to explain this?"

"Explain what?" came a familiar voice from behind them. The Headmaster was in their midst.

"Good day, Sir," said Jeeves.

"Good day, Jeeves. What does Miss Granger want to explain to me?"

"I think Miss Granger wishes to confess that I had a rather unfortunate idea which she helped me carry out, Sir."

The story was told in two minutes. Dumbledore's wand flew through the air, and he muttered something. In another thirty seconds, all one hundred robotic flies were back in their original packaging, gleaming slightly.

" ... and I see Hagrid returning to his cabin. He seems to have got a nice lot of plants for his lessons," Dumbledore concluded, giving his wand a final flourish. "Shall we go visit him, and ask him for a cup of dandelion juice? Catching flies is thirsty work."

"Ah don' know, Hermione. Ah sure don' know," Hagrid said, as they sipped their fourth cup of dandelion juice. "Makin' all that trouble in the school, an' you a model student. An' Jeeves a model butler an' all. I don' know. I guess I'll give up the houseflies, on account of how much trouble you got into."

"Indeed, Master Rubeus?" Jeeves enquired.

"Yeah, Jeeves. Ah have heard that mosquitoes are more in'eresting, anyway."

"Journey Through Genres - June 2020 Winners!
First Place - "Jeeves at Hogwarts"
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