Awww! Being woken up by house elves is such a cute start to the story, even if it was at three o’clock in the morning. Obviously, it isn’t that nice for Professor McGonagall to experience such an early morning alarm call, and I expect the elves weren’t really appreciating having to get her up either, but they did sound as though they were at their wits’ end. I love the voices of the elves in this, with their unconventional use of grammar, so typical of their canon portrayal. I could potentially gush quite a bit about the cuteness of house elves, but I’ll spare you the overload!
I wondered who was destroying the kitchen. It did sound like something that Fred and George Weasley might be involved in, but then again, as destructive as they were, I imagined them to have some consideration for others and making a mess of Hogwarts’ kitchen doesn’t sound entirely typical. However, McGonagall seemed convinced as to who the perpetrators would be, as she marched forth, woman on a mission, and I feel quite sorry for the Weasley twins ending up on the receiving end of her wrath. I can’t imagine Molly Weasley taking parenting tips off McGonagall, though; the only person Fred and George actually seem to truly respect (and fear?) is their mother, after all.
Umm, I wasn’t expecting Dumbledore and Dobby to be the culprits! That was a complete turn-up for the books. How strange! I wondered what on earth they were doing at silly o’clock in the school kitchen. Are they both heavily drunk?
Hold on a moment – they’re making taffy? That’s an odd choice of muggle sweet for someone in the UK to be making (much less at three in the morning), from a recipe they found in a London library. It’s possible, I suppose. Oh, whoops! That cauldron explosion was unfortunately timed. Poor McGonagall.
OMG Hahahahaha!! Dumbledore offering McGonagall a piece of strawberry-flavoured taffy from his own hair? That’s bizarre … but absolutely hilarious. I cannot blame McGonagall one iota from owling in sick the next morning!
This was brilliantly funny! Thank you so much for the read!
I can so feel this story, from both a teacher's perspective and a mom's. Three AM is a horrible time to deal with anything, especially if it involves thinking about stuff, and doing stuff... and you know, being awake. LOL!
Oh no! It's Dumbledore?? Hahaha! I don't think I would have the words either, not at the given time. I expect that poor, poor Minerva has blown a few vessels in that moment of discovery. A warm shower or bath might be in order, but not THAT sort of shower. The complete obliviousness of Dumbledore is written perfectly!
Boy, you sure know how to pull a surprise. I don't know what the challenge was that you wrote this for, but you caught me completely and utterly off guard in this. I would never have expected what you did here. And it was HILARIOUS!! Great job, perfect comedic timing. And of course, as usual, the great warmth of people-ness is prevalent here, as in all of your fics. Even though it's not the ideal situation, I still get a warm-fuzzy after read ing this. You are a star at capturing slices of humanity.
And yeah, I'd have called in sick the next morning as well. She had a perfectly logical reason. I hope she at least got a taste of the taffy before cleaning herself off. It might have been the tiny bit of a silver lining in the whole experience. Strawberry taffy sounds absolutely delicious!
Loved this so much!
Hehehehe. Your praise makes me giggle, given it was like a YEAR after the challenge that I finally got this up. And it's so short! I really had no excuse - just lazy.
Being a teacher IS hard. Somedays, when I get to go home after the day finishes, I thank all my lucky stars that I do NOT teach at a boarding school. Having to be with the kids ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT - I might go nuts. Well, more nuts.
Oh, I'm so glad you enjoyed the elves speech. THat's hard to write! I always worry I won't get it correctly.
I just figured that McGonagall automatically thought of the the twins because as their head of house, she's the one people would go to first when the boys get in trouble, and I also imagine they get in trouble a whole lot.
Thanks again! So glad you enjoyed this!
Oh Merlin! The way you started with Minerva being convinced the trouble brewing kitchens had to involve Fred and George, all I could think of was when my son attempted to make pancakes and nearly blew up the place. But for it to be Dumbledore?
And of course leave it to the Headmaster to attempt to make something sweet. I do have to wonder, though, when it exploded whether McGonagall was hurt. Taffy typically is heated upwards of 275 degrees. Not that I think Minerva would have noticed at that point. I love how you pointed out she hadn’t had a decent night’s sleep in ages.
The dialogue well done, too. I could readily hear Richard Harris speaking Dumbledore’s words – a solid indication you nailed the way the Headmaster speaks.
The other thing that really stood out to me is the details you slipped in. The color of Dumbledore’s nightshirt and the teddy bear hairclips. How both he and Debby had donned aprons. You painted the perfect picture.
The only thing I would have liked to see is McGonagall mentally compare the difficulties of dealing with the Weasley twins in her House versus the struggles she had with the Marauders. Fred and George might be formidable, but there were four Marauders and one of them was a werewolf. I think it would have been natural for Minerva to compare these set of boys.
Overall this was a wonderfully and unexpectedly sweet tale!
That sounds like a very interesting story. Pancakes and explosives don't usually go together.
And oh, don't die. I'm not very good at bring people back from the dead. Though I AM very happy it made you laugh so much.
Yeah, I know taffy gets REALLY hot. I just kinda ignored that fact in this story because it took away from the humor to go explaining how hot it was and how she took measures to protect herself. I just finally went - whatever. That's bad, huh. LOL.
Oooh, thank you! It's always such a compliment to know you get Dumbledore right!
Poor McGonagall really has had to deal with all the mischief makers, hasn't she. No wonder she needs a long nap!
Thanks so much for the review!
*Transferred from HPFF*
Hahahaha! Oh this was great!! You write McGonagall so well and this was no exception. I was so sure in the beginning it was going to be the Weasley twins wreaking havoc in the kitchen (which would have been pretty fantastic, given how excellently you write the twins!) but then DUMBLEDORE. IN AN APRON. And Dobby too, with a matching one! So great. I actually had no trouble visualising that in my head because it didn't seem that unrealistic for those two, haha. They're both very weird characters and a midnight taffy-making experiment really seemed like something they might do.
Dumbledore nonchalantly tasting the taffy after it exploded... of course. McGonagall counting backward in Latin. The other house elves sensing that this is all a bad idea the whole time. The characters are PERFECT in here and this was a really enjoyable read!!
Hehehe, so you read it, huh? After my mix-up from the PM. LOL.
Glad you liked it! I am trying to learn to write McGonagall (we'll see if that still holds after people read the next chapter of Ashes). She was fun to write here, though. It was a little too much fun to write her grumpy.
I knew people would assume I was writing the twins - why I put that line in there. And it WOULD have been fun to write them in such a situation, but I just knew it had to be Dumbledore and Dobby.
Yes, Dumbledore in an apron - I think once Minerva calmed down she wished she'd had a camera. hehehehe. And sh, don't tell them they're weird - they'll get a complex and need therapy.
Thanks so much for such a fun review for the swap! Yours is coming today, I promise.
You are awesome!
Transferred from HPFF
Hufflepuff CtF Review
Haha, this reminds me of ProfessorMinnie’s story I read the other night where Dumbledore couldn’t sleep and Minerva helped him =P In my brain these stories are happening in the same universe.
I love Minerva, and I really appreciate it when people focus on simple little moments like this with her. There is so much interesting that can be done with her character, but because she is such an intense character, I most enjoy it when we see the simple quiet moments in her life like this.
Something seemed odd to me about the elf saying that they were coming to Minerva because “we can’t stand it any more.” It doesn’t seem like a house elf to disturb their master because something is inconveniencing the elf personally, but rather because the matter would disturb the master. I think that applies in this case. I know this is nitpicky, it’s just a little thing that stuck out at me.
You can tell Minerva is angry - she’s tying her dressing gown *savagely* XD
Ohh, the troublemakers here are Fred and George. That makes sense - at first I assumed it was the trio, because your banner reminded me of her “Why is it when something happens, it’s always you three?” line. But Fred and George make more sense for something lighthearted for this.
Wait no, it’s Dumbledore! Bahahahaha! That makes the elf’s line from earlier make more sense, well done!
o.m.g. This is so perfectly Dumbledore I can’t stand it.
I’m not sure if Dumbledore is enabling Dobby or the other way around. ;) Either way, both of them are perfectly adorable.
Haha, I give Minerva props for even trying to tell Albus off, but yup - it’s clear soon enough that would do no good.
Haha Dumbledore, what a hoot.
Good on you, Minerva. Take tomorrow off so hard. I hope she can actually relax and not spend the whole day washing strawberry taffy off herself.
This was such a fun delight of a story!
I haven't read that story. Sounds like maybe I should!
I love McGonagall as well. She's one of my favorite characters and she gets used so little. I love having the chance to show a slightly different side of her.
hehehe. I'm glad you liked the "savage" tying - I did that on purpose, and it apparently worked!
Fred and George - also loved that so many people take the bait of my red herring. I love the twins, and people know this, so I assumed most people would think I was writing about Fred and George anyway. I figured I might as well go with it and throw people off for a few seconds at least.
And I'm glad you thought the elf's words from earlier make more sense now you know who it is.
Writing Dumbledore exercising his more lighthearted, fun side was so enjoyable. And throwing Dobby in there - I just couldn't resist!
Minerva certainly deserves her day off. she puts up with a lot.
Thanks so much for this fun review!
Hi, farmgirl! Transferring some reviews from the old place to the new place...
The premise of this is nothing short of hilarious. Poor McGonagall! If she's not struggling to manage her unruly, mischievous students, she's struggling to manage her adventurous, sweet-toothed boss. I loved the panic that the elves brought to the start of the story and I loved the way that you very gradually built up Minerva's head of steam. For a short piece, the pacing of this was brilliant. You did such a good job of interspersing her thoughts, letting her anger grow and focus. Excellent work.
And the visual of Dumbledore and Dobby cooking taffy was off the hook. I can see it all so easily, the twinkle of barely restrained glee in Dumbledore's eyes and the earnest joy on Dobby's face as he helps with something that he doesn't understand in the slightest. One of the talented illustrators of the Potter fandom should seriously take this up.
Awesome, awesome job! This brightened my day!
Writing this was really fun, even though my muse got derailed in the middle and it took me a year to get back to it. I love when I can write Dumbledore being quirky and a bit silly instead of all serious as he got toward the end. And Dobby is always a hoot.
I've developed a real fondness for McGonagall and it was so much fun to push her to the limit of her patience here. LOL. She really is the only responsible adult around sometimes, isn't she.
That would be amazing to see a picture of this! I'd draw it myself but it would look like a pile of sticks... But I am so very glad you liked the picture I tried to paint in the story.
Thanks for a review that brightened my day! As always, you are the best.
Jill! It's been far too long since I actually reviewed any of your work, but I know you've been uploading stories on the archives and - as always - being far too self-deprecating about your work, which means you definitely deserve some love in review form!
I know that I've commented on this before when I've read some of your other stories, but I love your characterisation of Professor McGonagall. To me she always seems like such an intimidating character to write, but I really like the way you portray her in your stories - even in this story, in which she's placed in a somewhat surreal situation. I really like the fact that you manage to show the stricter and more relaxed sides of her personality, and the fact that she's so dedicated to her work as well.
The opening of this story was fantastic - the way that she was woken up so urgently by the house elf made me worry about what was happening. My first thoughts were that someone was in trouble, or it was something to do with the Death Eaters, but no - it's just your average troublemakers meaning that poor Minerva gets woken up at three in the morning to sort out the problem.
Or at least, so I thought.
You also did a great job of depicting the house elf who came to wake Minerva up - I always think it's so hard to capture their speech because it's easy to oversimplify it, but you got the syntax just right and it felt like the speech JKR would write for one of her house elves.
And then, oh my goodness, Minerva arrives in the kitchens and expects to see Fred and George Weasley there, causing havoc (and really, who can blame her? She's had to deal with their shenanigans often enough in the time they've been at Hogwarts) but it's actually Albus and Dobby!
I laughed so much reading this, and you captured the whole humour of the situation brilliantly. It felt really surreal to see Dumbledore and Dobby there cooking up a storm (almost literally) in the Hogwarts kitchens, and I don't blame Minerva for being completely nonplussed. But the description that you included - like Dumbledore's periwinkle nightgown - really helped bring it to life. It was hilarious that he was there so happy and oblivious to the mess that he was making, just excited to make some Muggle sweets in the middle of the night. The best part is that I can actually imagine Albus Dumbledore doing this and thinking nothing of it, and I just couldn't help laughing throughout that scene.
I really don't blame Minerva for deciding to take the day off work sick tomorrow, either :P