Author's Note: Many thanks to House and Heart of Spells for their unbeatable beta work! Thanks for reading!
Wizards does not pay attention to house elves. We is always busy, but we is never being seen. Mimby remembers one time when he came very very late at night to clean Hufflepuff common room and there was a boy still awake and he shouted when he saw Mimby because he had not seen any house elves before. But we is always seeing. And hearing. Mimby has the biggest ears of all elves in his family. Mimby is good at hearing.
Master Professor Dumbledore is a very kind master, a very smart master. Master Professor Dumbledore knows that Mimby is always burning food when he is cooking it, so he tells Mimby to do cleaning instead.
Mimby likes to watch students. Good house elves is never seen, so Mimby is good at seeing while he's hiding. Mimby is mostly watching while he is cleaning in dorm rooms. Mimby likes to watch students and he imagines what they is like when they is not sleeping.
Mimby especially likes to imagine the girl who is sleeping in the corner on the second floor of the Ravenclaw room. She is changing her decorations very often. Mimby is thinking the girl is very lovely when she is awake. Mimby also likes to imagine the twin girls in the room on the first floor. Mimby knows they is twins because they is having the same faces and hair, and they is having the same things on their tables. Mimby thinks when they is not sleeping they is best friends. They is probably very happy and doing everything together.
But Mimby's favorite people to be imagining is the four boys who is living in the fifth floor of the Gryffindor tower. They is hanging pictures of them and their friends all over their walls. Mimby thinks this makes imagining easier, because he is seeing them awake, a little.
Mimby remembers several years ago when those boys was first coming to Hogwarts. These new boys came when three other boys was finished with school, the boys who was living in that room when Mimby was starting working for Master Professor Dumbledore. They was having a clean room then. All the boys was keeping their things put away all the time. Mimby was not having much work in there.
Mimby remembers how after some time the boys' room was getting messier, just like all the students' rooms was always getting messier. Mimby was being surprised when he was seeing the boys mix all their things up. Mimby thinks the pictures was starting to be on the walls around then, too.
The boy who was sleeping next to the window kept the camera on his table. He was always snoring, and he is not in many of the pictures. Mimby thinks that boy is like him—he is enjoying seeing and not being seen.
The boy with the messy hair was sleeping next to the boy with the camera. He was in the most number of pictures. Mimby thinks that boy would never see house elves, even if we was shouting and dancing together. That boy even now is still being too busy being noticed to be noticing us, or even noticing other wizards.
Mimby remembers watching the pictures changing every year. He can see the boys is getting older. But some things is staying the same, like how they is still all sleeping in the same beds. The third boy sleeps across from the one whose hair is still messy. He is not having as nice clothes now as he was having before. But he is smiling more in the pictures. The fourth boy, the one who is sleeping next to the door and who is having many scratches on his face, is smiling more too.
Mimby remembers when all four boys used to be coming down to the kitchens to visit the house elves and be getting extra food. We is always happy to see them, because they is always happy to be there. Mimby remembers that the boy who is always quiet and not in many pictures was liking apple pie the best. The boy with the messy hair was wearing glasses when he was awake, and he was liking bread made with bananas. The boy who is now having long hair was always asking for dried-up fruit and fruit juice. Mimby was always thinking he could just be having normal fruit and get both things together.
The boy with the scratches on his face always liked tea with milk, and whatever leftover sweets we could be having around, if we could please not be going to any trouble. No matter how many times we was telling him, he still is not knowing there is no trouble. On some days when he was looking very tired, he was asking for hot chocolate with pepper instead of tea. On some days the boy whose face was scratched was not coming at all. His friends was asking for hot chocolate with pepper and they was taking it to him.
Mimby remembers a few years ago when all the pictures of the boy with the scratches and the boy with the long hair disappeared. Mimby was seeing the boy with the long hair sleeping on a couch in the common room on lots of nights. Mimby was wondering what was wrong, and Mimby was imagining. Mimby was not knowing what was making so much bad things. Mimby was thinking about how the boys used to be sleeping in the wrong beds many nights and was sharing clothes and food and books and they was like family. They was a much nicer family than Mimby was ever serving before... no! Bad Mimby! Mimby must put his hands in the fire for saying bad things about—but no, they is not Mimby's family anymore. So it's alright… yes, it's alright.
Mimby remembers that many months later the boy-family was being fixed again. The boy with the long hair and the boy whose face was hurt was being in pictures together again, and they was hugging and smiling a lot. Some days the boy with the long hair was coming to the kitchens by himself and asking for tea with milk or hot chocolate with pepper, and will we please also be getting whatever sweets there are, though he remembers that treacle tart is the best. He is not asking for dried fruit or juice. He is only asking for food for the boy with the scratches.
Some days all four boys was coming to see us, and Mimby was seeing that they was all happy together again. Some days even the boy with the scratched face was coming by himself to ask for the dried fruit and juice.
Now sometimes when Mimby is cleaning in the fifth floor of Gryffindor he is seeing the boy with the scratched face and the boy with the long hair hugging in one bed. Mimby remembers that when the boys was younger some years ago, they was both sad a lot when they was sleeping. And sometimes Mimby was coming to clean and was having to leave because the boy with the long hair was awake and crying and staring toward the door and bed of the boy with the scratches on his face. But now the boy with the long hair is always asleep. And the boys is both smiling while they is sleeping.
The twin girls from Ravenclaw just came here this year. Mimby will be having lots of time to be imagining them. The girl with the pretty decorations will be staying here longer too. But the boy-family is going to be leaving in a few months. Mimby is hoping he will not be forgetting them, but until they is gone, Mimby will be imagining what they is doing after school.
Mimby is hoping that the boy with the glasses will be living with the girl with the long hair who is in pictures and bad drawings on the wall by his bed. Mimby is hoping the quiet boy with the camera will be having a new family. Mimby is also hoping the he will keep taking pictures, maybe of his new family. Another family. He can have his boy-family and a real family.
And Mimby is hoping that the boy with the long hair and the boy with the face that is scratched will be making a new family too and that they will be keeping smiling. Mimby thinks the boy with the long hair will be famous one day, since he smiles so much. Mimby is thinking the boy with the scratches on his face will smile more too.
Mimby was noticing last night when he was cleaning in their room that they is still putting up more pictures, even though they is about to leave. When they is gone, Mimby will be missing the boy-family he was watching for so many years. But Mimby is happy because he is thinking the boy-family will still be a family together and they will still be happy. And maybe the girl with the long hair can join the boy-family.
When the boy-family is old they will not be remembering Mimby's name. They will not even be remembering Mimby's name when they is just gone from school. They was never knowing Mimby's name because they was never seeing or hearing him… even though Mimby was seeing and hearing them for many years. But they does not need to know Mimby's name. Mimby just likes to watch and imagine them.