The doorbell rang at the break of dawn.
“Coming!” I shouted sleepily.
I opened the door to see someone wearing what looked like a giant pillowcase, holding a clipboard in his hand. Why did the fanatics always come in the early hours of the morning?
“Excuse me sir! Would you be willing to donate money to the house elf rehabilitation centre, for those abandoned, neglected and abused house elves who-”
I slammed the door in his face. All of these Harry Potter charities had started popping up all over the place, asking for money for a new wand or advertising Hogwarts Castle for sale. It always happened around Halloween time, and it drove me crazy – especially when it disturbed my sleep. I hadn’t even read the Harry Potter books…
I looked back and saw the man was still outside the door. He had suddenly whipped out what looked like a large stick and I felt myself shrinking uncontrollably. What was happening? I felt my skin become wrinkly and my eyes getting larger, my clothes turning white and pillow-like. I could no longer reach the door handle of my own front door. I was trapped.
“LET ME OUT!” I cried, but my voice had turned high-pitched and squeaky. “What have you done to me!?”
The man muttered something under his breath, pointing the wand at the door, and it opened. He picked me up and put me in his backpack.
“Hello little guy!” he said. “Owner abandon you?”
“YOU did this. You made me into a… a…”
“Oh look at you. You’re a feisty one aren’t you?”
He winked at me. “Trust me, you’re safe. It’s only one day. You’ll last one day – right?”
What was he talking about? What was he doing? I wracked my brains to remember what he’d said before. A charity for house elves… was he going to take me to the rehab centre? Oh no, no, no…
When he finally took me out of his backpack, I got a good view of the rehabilitation centre. There were at least thirty house elves playing around, which from my limited Harry Potter knowledge didn’t seem right – weren’t house elves, in all essence, slaves?
“Here, we rescue abused or neglected house elves, and train them to find useful roles in the wizarding society.” the charity man said.
“Wait… how is this happening? Harry Potter isn’t real…”
“Yeah he is.” he said. “I am Harry Potter.”
“After I defeated Voldemort, I didn’t find real fulfilment in being an Auror – so I decided to set up a charity for the protection of house elf rights. Now I live a happy life.”
I decided to go along with him. “So you don’t sell anyone?”
“No… not usually.” he said. “But I hear that the Malfoy family is in need of a new house elf. We do offer rental services to teach any misbehaving house elves that they’re very lucky to be rescued… it usually sets them straight. And maybe it will set you straight too…”
“You can’t do this. This is slave labour! This is kidnapping!”
“And it’s what thousands of house elves go through every year.” he said. “You should have donated. You should have donated…”
I sighed, knowing I just had to deal with it. It was only one day right? Surely I could last one day? Malfoy… the name sounded nice enough. What could go wrong?
“Clean my shoes elf! Where are you, you good-for-nothing, mudblood loving elf!”
I had long since gotten past refusing. The first time had got me a kick and the second something much more deadly… some sort of spell. He even made me feel as if I had it easy, saying “You’re lucky I don’t use the cruciatus curse on house elves.” I didn’t know what that was, but it didn’t sound good. I started to polish when I noticed a pair of scissors on the table, out of reach. When he wasn’t looking, I stacked his shoes on top of one another to give me a lift, and slid them off the table. Then I cut two small holes out of the pillow case so it looked like a ghost costume. Whenever he poked his head around the door I went back to my cleaning. Luckily for me, he was preoccupied keeping the trick-or-treaters off his lawn, scaring the living daylights out of the little kids. It was time for my revenge.
The next chance I got, I hung myself from the ceiling using a piece of string and waited. As soon as he came into view, I shouted as loud as I could, “BOO!”
He froze… and then burst out laughing. He wouldn’t stop. I felt some sort of anger boiling up inside of me.
“You think I’m scared of that cheap muggle imitation?” he said. “You’re lucky I’m amused enough not to punish you. But I’m not buying you a new bedsheet. You’ll be wearing that the rest of your life.”
“Wait… WHAT?!” I said. “But this is a rental service…”
“Well the stupid rehabilitation centre shouldn’t be stupid enough to lend house elves to me – unless they want me to ruin their little “charity”…” he said, fingering his wand gently.
My heart sunk. I was trapped forever…
But then as the brink of dawn caught on the horizon, the strangest thing happened. I started to grow, as my body changed back into human form. Malfoy watched on horror stricken as my skin smoothened and my eyes shrunk back to normal size, before he finally fainted. The string that had been used to tie me to the ceiling broke.
I smiled and said, “Trick or treat.” before running out of the house at full speed and donating £1000 to the house elf rehabilitation centre.
This was done as part of the What If? Monthly Writing Challenge. This is officially a voting process, so if you think mine was the best entry out of a number of entries (please read the others before you vote!) then go to okaywhatif.com and vote!
EDIT: Sorry, wrong website to vote! Go to http://www.inlinkz.com/wpview.php?id=323239 (you could have gotten there from the What If? Monthly Writing Challenge as well).