- Story Summary:
- A Toadstool Tale by Beatrix Bloxam (an author famed for her banned series of Wizarding children's books because they have nauseated her readers). The House-Elf tells the tale of a young boy and his family's house-elf. It is inspired in part by the children's book Goodnight Moon and provides a possible reasoning for elf servitude. Warning: graphic violence.
Author's Note: This is a little inspired by Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd. The first half of the first sentence is directly taken from the story. I do not own Harry Potter or Goodnight Moon.
By Beatrix Bloxam.
In the great green room, there was a bed and a chair with rickety legs. A house-elf stood atop the chair, gesturing wildly and tugging at the curtains that framed the window. A little boy was nestled in the covers of the bed, smiling lazily, dazedly, happily. The approaching night was dark and cold, but the covers of his bed were safe and warm. The house-elf, Tinker, tugged harder at the curtains, and in the corner a potted Devil's Snare twisted and slithered away from the exposed rays of the sinking sun.
"Time for bed, time for bed," the house-elf chanted squeakily. "The sun is gone, the night is long and it is time for bed."
Mathus Trallock looked indignant. "Tinker," he argued, "I haven't yet said goodnight!"
The smile vanished from Tinker's face--just for a moment--and then returned. His whole face brightened and his eyes twinkled in the darkening room. "Yes, sir," he said. "Goodnight to me, goodnight to you, goodnight to room and--"
"Goodnight to room?" Mathus asked breathlessly, curious and wondering.
The house-elf faltered and the chair upon which he stood tittered under him.
"Goodnight to you," the boy spoke, experimentally, smilingly, "goodnight to me, goodnight to everything I see!"
Tinker hopped off the rickety chair and skipped in circles about the room, pointing at things he passed. "Goodnight key," his fingers ghosted over the tassels that hung from the heavy metal object, "and goodnight lock!"
In the corner the Devil's Snare twisted ever upward toward the night, pausing only to bow shallowly at the elf as it passed, shouting, "Goodnight plant and goodnight clock!"
Finally, the house-elf stopped, facing the framed portrait of the boy's parents on the wall. "Goodnight to portrait!" He pointed at the large faces of the boy's parents on the wall, their eyes warm and lips twisted in kind, pleasant smiles. "Goodnight to parents, goodnight to eyes and nose, goodnight to fingers, and to toes!" The house-elf grinned toothily.
Mathus relaxed back onto the pillows and spoke, "Goodnight mother and goodnight father--"
The boy was interrupted by the whisper of cloth and the clicking of a door being opened. Tinker had moved to another corner of the room. "Goodnight to parents!" he repeated loudly, the closet door behind him. "Tell them yourself!" Tinker pointed toward the inside of the closet, his ugly arms holding back a bundle of shirts and sweaters that shielded the view. "Goodnight to parents, from this elf!"
Inside the closet were the boy's parents, the skin and muscle and sinew of their chests and shoulders sliding messily over the coat hangers from which they hung. Their eyes dangled from their sockets and the words "good" and "night" were carved brilliantly into their bare, mangled stomachs.
Mathus screamed and the house-elf crawled toward him, licking his teeth. The palms of his hands now left puddles of blood on the floor.
"Goodnight, boy," he chirped, pushing the hair back from the boy's forehead, trails of blood sliding down Mathus' cheek like tears. The boy froze and whimpered, his throat raw from screaming and his eyes burning with uncomprehending tears. Tinker continued, cooing gently.
"Goodnight to you. Goodnight, goodnight, farewell, adieu!"
Mathus trembled as the house-elf's hands fell to his neck, twisting it sharply until an audible, sickening snap was heard. All fell still and silent, the only noise in the room the echoes of the ripping and tearing and slicing and biting as the house-elf was all the while rocking the limp body of the boy in his arms.