Now there was a witch (a Ravenclaw; Ms. Lisa Turpin, if you must know) who was most in love with cool, calm literary creation; with the soothing patterns of words on a page; with the easy way some Muggles had with language, how they wrangled it and wrestled with it and beat it around behind the scenes, only to have it fall perfectly in line, to arrange it so delicately and beautifully that one would never know they’d engaged in secret and terrible battle to do so.
So she vowed to help them at it. She opened a small hotel, a place that promised maximum relaxation and inspiration, nestled in a neat glen, rates quite reasonable, decor both countrified and bohemian, with all the fresh air and natural views a creative type could ask for. And when they came she plied them with Baruffio’s Brain Elixir, she slipped Wit-Sharpening Potion in the tea, she invigorated their senses and enflamed their talent with Memory Draughts and with Scintillating Solutions.
And then the real work began. At 5 sharp, she would rap on the doors of their rooms to tell them that some error had occurred — they needed to be downstairs promptly to telephone someone somewhere about banks and debts and credit. At 6 she invented horrific plumbing problems and sent them all out to the local town to find very specifically-named nonexistent men who excelled at un-stopping drains. By 7 she would have organized a meet-and-greet that none would want to attend, and she would force them to trudge, miserable, back up the road to find appropriate clothes and also to pick up her latest order of napkin rings. Eight on the dot brought the daily croquet match, which the longtime guests had learned to passionately despise. At 9 she invited the very boring local vicar to expound at length on the sacred duty of literary persons to enshrine morality in their fables. Ten in the morning was tea, and her yowling cats would scratch at their doors until they arrived downstairs to partake in it. Eleven brought more plumbing problems.
Until, finally, at midday, they would howl at her in rage, quit the meet-and-greet as a group, and stomp back upstairs.
"That woman is impossible!" they would tell each other.
"Completely mad!" they would say. "Doesn’t she know I came here for some quiet? Doesn’t she know that I came here to write in peace?"
And they would each conclude, separately, that by God they would. They would confound this horrible innkeeper, with her intrusive little problems, those mundane daily wrestling matches of country life that she would throw on them. Damn her. Damn her. They would ignore her for the rest of the day, and by seven in the evening they would have eleven thousand words, just to spite her.
And for the rest of the day perfect calm would reign. Shut up in their rooms, her guests would force all life’s little problems onto the page and so conquer them. They would write.