Make your house fair as you are able....
Characters: Hermione, Harry, Crookshanks Status: complete
Grimmauld Place was something of a mess.
Hermione had not wanted to admit it, even to herself, but she'd let the housekeeping slide quite a bit over the last few weeks. She was nervous about bringing Leila there and so had spent much of her free time at Ron's, and of course the Crazy Cat Lady of Hay-on-Wye had chosen this month to advertise "free, tame, de-venomed Miniature Nundu Kittens!" as the Perfect Christmas Gift. Hermione had had to spend the better part of a week tracking down the kittens, which really were de-venomed and quite friendly, but "miniature" only if compared to a Clydesdale stallion.
It was better than what poor Jack had had to endure, though. He'd had to shut down an entrepreneur who'd decided that Devil's Snare seeds smeared on Mexican pottery animals was the Perfect Christmas Gift. Somehow Jack had gotten some of the seeds caught in his hair, and he'd looked a perfect Medusa when he'd marched in to report to Tanner.
Hermione had been more than ready to take a few days off to clean. The house wasn't nearly as bad as it had been when Walburga Black's portrait had shrieked from the front entry, but there was more than enough dust that she'd had to cast a Bubblehead charm on herself while cleaning the library. It had been exhausting, and sometimes disgusting, but seeing the furniture gleam with new wax and the rooms smell of orange oil had its own satisfaction.
Her own bathroom was last. It was functional and rather plain, but Crookshanks loved to crawl under the huge clawfoot bathtub while she bathed. There was also a nice little niche in the bottom of the linen closet that was perfect for his litter box.
A few quick spells and a bottle of Mrs. Skower's All-Purpose Bathroom Sparkler had left the bathroom looking almost new, and now it was time for said litter box. Crookshanks liked it clean, and by the way he had looked at her most of the day, it was not up to his exacting specifications.
Hermione wrinkled her nose at the smell of ammonia as she levitated the box out of the linen closet and lowered it to a carefully laid out square of old newspapers. Crookshanks leaped onto the sink and mraowed politely, then began to wash between his toes. Hermione laughed and scritched his silky ginger head.
"Half a mo' and you'll have just what you want," she said. "Then it's bathtime for me, with a glass of wine and - "
She drew her wand above the box, concentrated, and spoke. "Scourgify harenus!" The litter box shimmered, the smell died away, the sand was as perfect and pristine as if she'd bought it new -
And without warning, it fountained upward in a blast of clumps, clots, cat dung, and a hairball the size of a newborn kitten.
Crookshanks yowled and disappeared under the bathtub. Hermione gagged at the stench and spat what she hoped wasn't cat piss into the sink. The beautifully clean room now looked as if the miniature nundus had spent a week shitting on every fixture, every towel, even her toothbrush...
Hermione staggered to the window and threw it open, grateful for the cold blast of smoggy London air. She'd cast that spell thousands of times since she'd gotten her cat - what had gone wrong?
I must be more tired than I thought. Good God, what a mess! She slumped against the window sill and did her best not to swear. For once she wished she had a house elf on staff, even if most elves thought her mad.
The air was starting to clear, so she cautiously cast a spell to clean the worst of the mess from herself and made her way to the Floo in her bedroom. Ron was likely at practice, so that meant the one other person she could rely on no matter what.
"Harry? It's Hermione - it's - hard to explain, but could you pop round for a few minutes? Please?"