A/N: Love to reviewers
And to Countess Black, who is ever so much kinder to us than Madea
I'd no idea Tibby even kept a diary, or that Madea somehow persuaded her to post segments, but here it is. Why one would want to read about a house elf, I'm sure I couldn't say. My son suggests you leave an Owl, because he's suggested sending Tibby to the homes of those who do not is punishment fitting to the crime.
To be clear: This is from Hermione's first days in our happy home. Since old habits die hard, we were moved to leniency in the matter of her preparation of food. My wife scolded her sternly later on, never fear. She was most penitent and the matter was resolved favourably all round, which means I still get those biscuits as long as my dear daughter in law is only directing the elves.
'What is my thought like?' was apparently played by muggles at some point. Madea has the directions if anyone is interested.
Oh, and I did NOT have to let out my waistcoats due to weight gain. I didn't want the seamstress elf to grow bored, was all.
4.30 AM : We is glad to greet a new day.
Tibby yawned, stretching, and popped out of the cabinet. Straightening her towel, she went to the cabinet and took out her breakfast, a delicious can of mouldy sardines with fuzzy strawberry tops and some green bread. Sighing, she shook her head as she tucked in. A shame her wizards couldn't eat as well. She was always trying to sneak them healthful food…poor darlings would be lost without her. Feeling purpose burning anew in her chest, she ate.
8.30 AM: We is making sure young Master is starting the day right.
Draco was having the nicest dream. He and Granger were flying on a magic carpet. He was doing filthy, filthy things to her, and she liked it. They were flying over a meadow, and Granger carefully climbed atop him and---
"Good morning, young Master!"
His eyes flew open. "Tibby! Dear God, don't do that!" The elf was an inch from his nose, smiling brightly and reeking of some unspeakable mixture of fruit and seafood. The elf smiled and reached forward to ruffle his hair like he were still five and not almost a married man. "How is young Master's sleep being?"
"Fine." He had a problem. A problem he couldn't rectify while Tibby was there. He wiggled, which just made it worse.
"I am getting the young Master's tea now." Tibby chirped, apparently unaware of Draco's need.
"Yes, tea, good, just go." He took the situation in hand, so to speak, and began to picture the scenario in his dream. He and Granger sailing above hills and valleys, as he flipped her over and inserted his--
"We is having your tea, young Master!"
For the second time, Draco's erotic interlude was interrupted by the zealous elf. Disgusted, he stood and walked toward the bathroom. "I'm taking my shower, and don't you dare come in, do you hear?"
"We is knowing. Young Master is doing it for himself." Tibby chuckled, shaking her head fondly. In her mind, he was still roughly six and his attempts at independence were adorably inept.
"What about young Master's tea?"
"Torment Granger with it!"
As the water hissed to life, Tibby heard the strangest sounds from the bathroom. Shrugging, she went to wake Miss, then though better of it.
"Young Master is sure he is not wanting help?"
9.00 AM Miss is needing more training.
Hermione was awake. Dressed in corduroy trousers and a t-shirt, she was arranging her knick-knacks on a shelf, murmuring to herself as she polished the glass on the picture frames with an old rag. Here was Ron and Harry First year, and here was Mum on her wedding day, and Dad as a baby, and—
She nearly dropped the picture. Quickly setting it down, she turned, expecting that Tibby was badly injured at the least. Instead, she found the elf staring at her in mute horror, a puddle of tea spreading on the back of the armchair nearest the fire.
Hermione quickly vanished the mess before the upholstery was ruined. "What's wrong, Tibby? Is Draco hurt?"
"You is doing housework!" From the tone, she might as well have been saying 'committing axe murder'. Hermione smiled and said, in what she hoped was a soothing way 'Now, Tibby, it's not a thing to be upse--"
Clearly, stronger means were called for here. Tibby reminded herself that she would do anything to keep her wizards happy and uphold the dignity of the family and began cracking her head against the bedpost, wailing as though she were being eaten alive.
"Tibby is bad elf! Bad, bad elf! Miss is not listening to Madam and it is being all Tibby's fault! Bad elf! Tibby should close toes in door! Bad elf!"
"No, don't do that! I shan't do it anymore, look! I'm resting, it's all right." Hermione plopped down in the closest chair , which was still a little soggy, and made herself sit still. Tibby's wailing stopped.
"That is being better. Miss should be waiting here while Tibby goes and gets a nice cup of--"
"What. In. Bloody. Hell. .?" Draco, looking very grumpy, stepped into the room and shook a bit of water from his hair. Hermione sighed and threw her hands over her head. "I'm not quite sure myself, honestly. I was just dusting my photos and she started--"
Tibby began to wail again, even more loudly. "Oooooohhh! Tibby is awful elf! Dreadful, wretched elf!" She began banging the bed frame more enthusiastically than ever. Draco's face grew even stormier. He came over and sat down on the bed, arms crossed.
"Shut up, Tibby! Whatever it was Miss did, she shan't ever do it again. Go downstairs and find something useful to do, won't you?"
Tibby snuffled and nodded, pleased by the results her wailing had got. Young Master turned to Miss. "And you, Hermione Jane, I have half a mind to--" Draco was reaching out to pull her close when a familiar 'pop!' was heard.
"We is almost forgetting Miss' tea!"
11.00 AM We is definitely needing to work on Miss
With Draco pacing and muttering a very distracted way, Hermione decided to make a batch of those no bake biscuits. She couldn't possibly ruin something that consisted of stirring and then letting the ingredients sit, could she?
Lirry was much easier to talk into things than Tibby; she sent one of her helpers for the ingredients they did not have, got out the ingredients and watched as Miss carefully combined everything in the bowl and then dropped the batter onto waxed paper. Draco was harder to convince, but after a few moments of consideration, he'd decided his parents probably wouldn't mind much if there were biscuits after.
Tibby was not pleased. Miss was terribly delicate. She needed to be cosseted and helped, not working herself to the bone this way. And young Master was encouraging it! She hadn't spent all that time teaching him how to treat a lady so he could disregard her advice and allow Miss to half kill herself. And that Lirry was going to get an earful as well.
It was time to summon help. She DisApparated and appeared a moment later in Narcissa's rooms.
11.10 AM Madam is being reasonable, at least.
Narcissa got through the door first, convinced the children were in desperate peril. Instead, she found them sitting at the table together, playing a wizarding parlour game called 'What is my thought like?' and debating whether all of Charms theory could be lumped together for the purpose of comparing it to a gym shoe.
"Admit it, Granger, you're mystified. Pay the damned forfeit and we'll move on."
"I've nothing to give you, Malfoy. I'm not wearing earrings or anything today."
"How about a kiss?" He leant over the table, all thoughts of sweets forgot, only to hear
"Draco Lucius Malfoy!"
"M-mother! Good morning. You're looking pretty today." Draco tried a charming smile, but Mother was less than moved, oddly. She stalked to the table and gave him a fearsome Look.
Lucius came in next. Expecting to find the house on fire at the very least, he was a tad disappointed that everything was boringly normal. His wife was looking quite annoyed—this should prove entertaining, at least.
"Lucius Abraxas Malfoy! Your son—your son—honestly, the two of you get more alike every day!"
"And that's bad? Really Cissy, I would think you'd see the benefits of having two dashing Malfoy men about." Lucius tried his own charming smile and Narcissa relaxed a fraction. Smiling, she shook her head and turned to look at the children.
"Tibby seems to think Hermione was in mortal peril. Something about working herself sick?"
Draco murmured, trying to find a way to explain. An idea came to Hermione and she leapt up, went to the counter and brought back the plate of biscuits, setting them down on the table. Both Malfoy parents raised an eyebrow and looked at one another.
"This was what the fuss was over?"
"Yes, Mother. I wanted to make them for everyone as a gesture of my affection."
Narcissa beamed and kissed the top of Hermione's head. "What a sweet girl! But darling, who's to do these things?"
"Lirry, Mother. But she doesn't know what goes with what. This is a muggle receipe."
Draco was incensed that Mother got to kiss his little girl when he didn't. On the other hand, given that Mother could have opted to give them both as serious punishment for disobeying, he couldn't complain too much. But he could pout, and he did.
Lucius noticed his son's glower, but his attention was elsewhere. Like the tray of biscuits. He reached out and popped one into his mouth, wondering what it would taste like. Given that Hermione had made it, he expected something rather like chocolate sand.
11.20 AM We is having to save Master from himself
It was…decent. There was a sort of creamy, nutty taste that was actually quite good. If it wasn't unthinkable for a Malfoy female to turn her hand to menial labour, he might have asked Hermione to make them again. His son apparently felt the same, because the boy beamed and said around a mouthful of sweet "Nice work, Granger. Not half bad."
Granger beamed right back and the two shared a long look. Really, they had to get the two of them married and quickly; Lucius wasn't sure he could stand anymore yearning glances. Disconcerting, somehow, from one's child. Lucius shook his head to clear it and reached for another biscuit.
Only to find the plate had floated away. Tibby shook her head regretfully. "Master is having to let his waistcoats out again if he is eating too many, and is not being time for dinner yet."
"I don't know what you mean, I'm sure. Hand me the plate, Tibby, like a good elf."
Tibby's face crumpled. "Bad elf! Master is having indigestion and it is being all Tibby's fault! Tibby should slam fingers in door!" The Malfoys watched, utterly impassive, used to house elf manipulations. Hermione was looking more and more nervous and finally said "Shouldn't we do something?"
"Quite right. Tibby, that's enough. Narcissa, I haven't gained weight, have I?"
Narcissa smiled lovingly at her husband. "Now, darling, some would say that extra weight is distinguished looking."
Draco, trying to make his beloved father feel better, said brightly "And it sets off the grey at your temples nicely." He tried to take another biscuit from the plate and Tibby, less constrained because she had, among other things, toilet trained him, fixed him with a gimlet eye. "Young Master."
"Tibby, darling, just one more." Draco smiled his very sweetest and reached slowly for the plate.
"Young Master is waiting until after dinner. He is not taking nutrient potions much anymore, like he should be doing." Draco blushed, squirming, as his mother fixed him with her own gimlet eye.
"Why can't young Master being more like Miss? Miss is taking her potions like a good girl." Tibby nodded approvingly at Hermione and offered her the plate. Taking a biscuit, Hermione broke it in two and handed half to Draco. Grumbling, he ate, planning a terrible revenge on the elf.
Lucius was subtly patting his stomach. Had he gained so much weight? He was not an excessively vain man, but he did like to look his best. Hermione, noticing, said "I don't think you look heavier, Father."
Making a mental note to send the girl jewelry of some kind, Lucius smiled gratefully. "Thank you, darling." He raised an eyebrow at Narcissa, pleased to be right. His wife said nothing, just raised an eyebrow back.
"And even if you are, when my Dad gained two stone, he won 'Darlington's handsomest dentist.'"
Had he just been compared to a muggle? Lucius wondered whether that hoard of ravening locusts—otherwise known as his beloved brother Death Eaters—had left any firewhiskey. He hoped so. He hoped so very much.
7.45 PM Miss is learning faster than we is thinking
Hermione frowned slightly, debating between robes. She hated having to spend time on things like this. If it were up to her, all her robes would look alike so she wouldn't have to fuss like this every evening. She finally decided on the purple and tugged it over her head, fastening the hooks and eyes and tugging on the sleeves.
Tibby appeared just as she was getting ready to smooth a little talc on her neck for scent. She eyed the girl with the sort of critical adoration at which house elves excel. They had a little time before supper, after all, and the girl simply couldn't go about looking this way.
"Miss is not wearing the dark blue?"
Hermione sighed. "This one is easier for me to manage, Tibby. The blue is longer, and the sleeves drag. I don't want to get anything on myself. Or trip down the stairs."
"But Miss is looking so pretty in the blue."
"I'll wear the blue another time, Tibby, all right? Tonight I'm going to wear the purple one."
"It is being chilly tonight. The purple is being very thin, and Malfoy manor is being old. The stones is trapping the cold and the wet, and warming charms is only doing so much. But if Miss is not minding getting sick…"
Hermione found herself looking at the bed posts with a certain longing. If she just hit her head on it a little, the elf would go awa…no, that was not an option.
"I won't get sick, Tibby. I feel warm enough, and supper doesn't take too terribly long."
"Oh, but Tibby is never feeling better if Miss is getting sick. Then we is having to call the medi-wizard and the apothecary, and Miss is staying in bed. Though Madam is saying Miss is needing a good purge anyway…perhaps it is being for the best that Miss is getting sick."
"Oh, yes, Miss. Perhaps with some nice leeches. Or a dose of--"
"All right, all right! I'll wear the blue." Tibby felt better, as she hooked Miss into the blue and gently adjusted the sleeves.
"Is this how Miss is wearing her hair?"
Hermione threw her hands up. "You don't give up, do you?"
"House elves is living only to serve. Now, about Miss' hair…"
11.00 PM The day is winding down
Hermione closed her eyes and sighed as the brush glided down her hair. Narcissa set it down and braided the thick curls for sleep. She found she quite liked having a daughter, at moments like these; it was a good end to the day.
At her elbow, Lemmy was scowling. She didn't like that Madam was doing house elf work; she should have been the one to brush Miss' hair. Wizards and witches thrive on orderliness and structure, and she wasn't sure any good could come of disturbing the routine.
"Madam is catching a chill."
"Lemmy, I'll only be a few moments more. Miss needs her hair brushed."
"Lemmy is brushing it while Madam rests."
"We had this argument last night, Lemmy." Narcissa was inclined to be lenient with Lemmy, who had served the Malfoys faithfully since time out of mind. It had been Lucius' nanny when he was small and even he, who disliked house elves as a rule, had a fondness for it.
Lemmy's scowl deepened as Tibby appeared, carrying a mug of hot chocolate in her hands. She set it down carefully on the table beside Narcissa's favorite chair. "Here is Madam's chocolate. It is being very hot; Madam is being careful?"
"Yes, Tibby, I'll be careful." Narcissa saw Hermione's lips quirk and then straighten again and gently squeezed her shoulder. Lemmy narrowed her eyes at Tibby and Tibby gave it right back. "Lemmy is Madam's maid."
"Tibby is Madam's nanny. Tibby is holding Madam first of anyone."
"That was before, this is being now. Tibby is being only a nursery maid, not lady's maid."
Tibby sniffed. "Tibby is always getting Madam her chocolate. Lemmy is only serving her twenty five years."
"Enough. You'll upset Miss with all this bickering." The two elves spared one another a final hateful look and subsided. Hermione was sleeping in a little bed that had been moved into Narcissa's dressing room; Draco was a very good boy, but he was also eighteen years old. It was better that Hermione stay somewhere that precluded temptation entirely.
Hermione climbed into the bed and laid down, surprised by how tired she was. Narcissa gently brought the covers up under her chin and kissed the girl's brow. "Good night, precious. Wake me if you have a nightmare."
"I will, Mother. Good night." She closed her eyes and let herself drift. Sometimes she still couldn't believe she was here, on sweetly scented sheets in a cool, quiet room, rather than sleeping in that tent on the Moors.
The two elves waited until Madam had gone for her bath to resume the fight.
"You is upsetting Miss!"
"No, you is upsetting Miss. Tibby is helping Miss."
"Hmmph, not that Lemmy is seeing. Tibby is letting Miss cook today!"
"Miss is not cooking, she is showing Lirry muggle receipes so Lirry is making next time! She is having very delicate stomach and is needing special foods." Tibby looked over to see that Miss was still sleeping, satisfied that she was still comfortably oblivious to what was going on between the elves.
Lirry sniffed. "Still, it was making Miss sick."
"Miss is being a lady, she is always being sick!"
"Miss was being especially sick."
Lemmy, satisfied at having the last word, Apparated away. Tibby went to check on Miss a final time and then went to see the young Master.
He was in bed reading, a single candle burning. Tibby appeared on his pillow and frowned. "It is being almost midnight, young Master."
Tibby raked her fingers through his hair. "Tibby is saying it is almost midnight, young Master."
Draco huffed. "I know what bloody time it is, Tibby. Go and torment Granger, won't you?"
"Miss is being asleep like a good girl. Master is still being awake; perhaps Tibby should ask him if young Master should be going to bed. And about that word young Master just used to Ti---"
"All right, all right! God, a man can't get a second's peace with you around."
Draco gave Tibby the book he'd been looking at and allowed her to snuff the candle. A knock came at the door and Lucius stuck his head in. "Goodnight, Draco."
Tibby tugged the blankets up to his chin, ignoring his sighs and grumbles. She stroked his hair for a moment before she quietly left, knowing he would call her if he needed anything. Not that she'd have it any other way; she missed the days when he wanted her to stay close all night.
He claimed he was too old to be tucked in, but Tibby knew better; he'd also refused to admit Miss was his female when he'd first ordered her to serve but Tibby had known all the same. Whenever young Master tried to hide something from Tibby, his ears would go pink and he'd have to look away. "Goodnight, young Master."
"Tibby? Don't come in here before ten tomorrow, understand?"
Tibby smiled indulgently. "All right, young Master. We is staying out." With a final fond look, she went to the kitchen. Finding her supper, a soft brown peach and some beef bones, she tucked in. There were more of those noises coming from young Master's room, a sort of panting combined with a curious creak, like bedsprings.
How odd wizards are, though Tibby, as she popped the peach stone in her mouth and chewed it. How very odd indeed.
And with that, she retired, knowing her work would start anew, relishing it. Wizards think they work, after all, when they go off and do things for a few hours a day; Tibby could have told them that a house elf's work is never done.