Just a little idea that jumped into my head. Takes place post-DH, all deaths or pairings are cannon. Enjoy.
Dobby's Polka-Dotted Sock
Disclaimer: All characters, settings, and ideas you recognize belong to JK Rowling. Professor Edward Pemberly belongs to me.
S.P.E.W. Is Insignificant
18 year-old Neville Longbottom sighed yet again, looking up from his Charms essay which was due the next day. It wasn't incredibly difficult, as he had had this class material taught to him last year. No, Neville had not failed his seventh year at Hogwarts, he had to take it again because of a few of his subjects having been taught inadequately by unqualified professors (Death Eaters, to be specific.) and that resulted in not having been able to take his N.E.. He needed to take these exams if he wished to be qualified himself to teach, Herbology specifically, which was his dream, as he had not been given a pass like some people (a certain Golden Trio came to mind).
Interestingly enough, it was a member of this famous team that was distracting him from his school work. But it wasn't surprising that even though Hermione Granger, lover of all things educational and Ron Weasley, had been told she did not need to take her seventh year, she took it anyway. But unfortunately for him, Neville had had the misfortune of asking her about what it was the older girl wished to do when she graduated. Truth be known, she had quite the extensive plan, and was now rambling about making changes to Wizard laws, including freedom, wages, and benefits for House Elves.
"Hermione, give it a rest," Ginny Weasley, now also seventh year, cut across. "No one, not even the House Elves, wants things to change, and even if Neville took a 'spew' badge from you a few years ago, he's not really that interested." Neville flushed a little at having been called, but Hermione's frustration was unleashed upon the red-head.
"It doesn't matter if people don't want the change, Ginny, it has to happen. They're being treated like slaves! And it is S.P.E.W., not 'spew'!" she glared heatedly at the hated nickname given to her precious organization.
"Granger, shut up!" Another student complained from across the study hall classroom. "No one cares, and we're tired of hearing your voice."
The bushy-haired brunette turned a dark red color to match the Gryffindor crest on her robes, and was about to retort when—
"Pardon me, I couldn't help overhearing," spoke the man who had this whole time been sitting in his large wooden chair at the front of the classroom, feet resting comfortably on top of his desk, one leg crossed over the other, head tilted to the side as if absorbing the chaos in some type of study. He placed the book he had been reading on the desk, to the right of his feet, and Professor Edward Pemberly focused his full attention on his study hall, eyes focused on Hermione. "Who exactly are being treated as slaves?"
Neville felt sorry for the new Muggle Studies professor, for the man did not know what he had brought upon himself.
"House Elves, professor," Hermione said eagerly, no doubt hoping she would find a follower. The man was obviously muggleborn; the way he dressed, the books he wore, and the fact that he used paper and pencil or pens instead of parchment and quill, it all screamed 'muggle'. "Wizards who can afford to buy them own them, make them do anything they order, and sometimes abuse them horribly. That's why I started S.P.E.W.: the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare. It's to start the movement to free House Elves and have them treated as true members of the Wizarding World." Quite a few students snorted at the young woman's speech, but quickly choked on their snot at the professor's response.
"I'm afraid that isn't necessary, Miss Granger." The Gryffindor looked hurt, shocked by his dismissal.
"Sir, it most certainly is, slavery is wrong—"
"Yes, and illegal." There was murmuring all around. Owning House Elves wasn't illegal, everyone knew that. But then Pemberly smirked, and Neville couldn't help but wait in anticipation of what the man would say. "Under the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 passed by Parliament, the owning of slaves within the British Empire was made illegal." Again, the confusion.
The one who had insulted Hermione earlier snorted and rolled his eyes. "Professor, with all due respect, that's the muggle government. We're wizards."
"And loyal British citizens, who must follow British law the same as anyone else. Mr. Redding, where do we live?"
"Great Britain, sir."
"Correct. We are allowed to live on British soil, own property, and make use of public conveniences, such as transit. In return, we pay taxes and obey laws passed by Parliament, Great Britain's lawmaking body. Naturally, as we are wizards and have chosen to hide our existence from the muggle populace, we need the Wizengamot to pass laws that we follow that deal with magical situations. However, we still must follow all laws passed by Parliament. This making sense?" Most students nodded, Neville among them, but Redding wasn't finished.
"Sir, House Elves are creatures—"
"And are capable of human, if not higher, intelligence." Pemberly's voice was cool, and the man sat up fully, looking the student directly in the eye. "They can think, speak, and act for themselves just as well as any wizard, just as well as any human. That, therefore, makes them British citizens in the eyes of the law. Owning or abusing them is illegal. The movement to free them was already started and completed over a hundred years ago."
"Oh, of course!" Hermione said, eyes shining with excitement, and looking only slightly put out that there really was no reason for S.P.E.W. to exist. "But sir, why hasn't anything been done about it?"
"Most likely because the Minister of Magic has neglected to tell the Prime Minister about it, Miss Granger, as the only interaction the Prime Minister has right now with the Wizarding World is through meetings set up by the Minister of Magic." The man shook his head at this, clearly disagreeing with the policy.
"So then the Prime Minister isn't getting the full story!" Ginny spoke up, indignant. Her father wasn't the only Weasley who spoke up for muggles, after all.
Pemberly nodded. "No, sadly he does not. Wizards are rather paranoid of showing even the Prime Minister too much of the Wizarding World. Unfortunately, this results in rather crude, medieval practices, such as the owning of House Elves, to continue."
"But, if it was brought to the attention of the Prime Minister, it could be stopped?" Hermione asked hopefully, and Neville could see her writing the letter in her mind.
"It's certainly worth a try," said the Professor with a shrug, but Neville thought he could detect a hint of support and hope in that statement.
That was all the encouragement Hermione needed. His fellow Gryffindor was packing everything in her bag, no doubt ready to make a mad dash to the library to look up facts and the like. Redding, and several other students looked stunned at this revelation that so many had been knowingly breaking a law, or that such a law existed in the first place.
The bell rung then, cutting through the amazed classroom, and Hermione was out the door. Other students began getting all their things together and heading out. Professor Pemberly stood, stretching lazily, then grabbed his long coat which had been slung across the back of his chair, and headed out of the classroom.
"I hope the House Elves have prepared an excellent lunch. If so, I'll have to give them a hefty tip."
Yeah, I know that it's probably random, but I still like it. Please review and let me know your thoughts. Thanks for reading.