CHAPTER SIX - TALONS AND TEA
The Marauders and the girls made their way up to
James’ room with Sirius in the lead that was rubbing
his stomach and complimenting on what a good snack
they had. James was behind him, complaining over his
shoulder to Remus who was behind him about how long it
took Sirius to be satisfied with all of that food.
Peter was listening in the conversation adding his own
comments every once in a while. The girls, however,
weren’t so orderly fashioned as the boys and were in a
circle gossiping about something in a whisper. Every
once in a while they would erupt in giggles.
Sirius opened the door to James’ room and stepped in
before stopping dead. James, who had not noticed
quickly enough, bumped into him. Then Remus who was
looking over his shoulder at Peter bumped into him and
Peter, being stupid, bumped into them. By this time,
Sirius was waving his arms frantically trying to
remain balanced, and if it weren’t for the girls who
were still giggling too much to notice the jam, he
would have. These last bumps made all of the boys
tumble over and fall into a dog pile on the floor,
with Sirius on the bottom and Peter on top.
Now, Sirius is not one to complain, but being squashed
by his best friends wasn’t something that he took
lightly. So he screamed out that he was suffocating,
which made James call out that he couldn’t breath,
which made Remus shout at Peter to get off of him,
which made Peter get up at once. And with Peter off,
all of the Marauders were able to get back to their
feet. Once upright and breathing normally, the entire
group turned to Sirius with stern expressions.
“Why did you just stop in the middle of the doorway,
Padfoot?” Remus asked rubbing his shoulders where
Peter had succeeded in jamming both of his knees into
while getting to his feet.
“Because either James has a twin or someone has come
from the future!” Sirius proclaimed as he turned
around and faced the boy who was now standing at the
window looking at them all with wide, emerald eyes.
Everyone in the room leaned in closer to get a better
look at the boy who seemed too shock to say anything.
Finally, Lily, being the brave one, stepped forward
and said, “Are you Harry Potter?”
The boy nodded slowly.
“Wicked!” Sirius shouted out which proceeded in
getting him smacked in the head by his companions.
“Do you know who we are?” Remus asked.
The boy, Harry, did not answer.
“I’m Remus Lupin, and this is James Potter, Lily
Evans, Peter Pettigrew, Kaya Sasaki, Morwen Otis, and
Sirius waved his arms in front of Remus’ face and
Remus acted as if he didn’t notice. Sirius then
started to jump up in down in front of Remus.
Remus let out a sigh and added, “And the crazy monkey
you see here is Sirius Black.”
No one bothered to ask why Sirius just didn’t
introduce himself instead of a making a fool of
himself. Even if they wanted to they wouldn’t have had
time since Harry started to mouth wordlessly at them
as if not sure as to what to say.
Finally he settled on, “How?”
“Can you be more specific?” Tilly asked skeptically.
“Yeah, how are you here? How do we know your name? How
are you going to get back?” Kaya listed off the
possible “how’s” he could be asking.
“All of the above!” Harry answered.
James took it upon himself, as the only other Potter
in the room, to answer his questions. “I have no idea
how you are here. We know your name because of the
book we are reading. And I have no idea how you are
going to get back.”
“Yeah,” Sirius said enthusiastically as he grabbed the
little ‘harmless’ book and showed it to Harry. “You
see. The Prisoner of Azkaban! That’s me! Though I
don’t want to be…”
“My third year of Hogwarts is recorded in a book!?”
Harry asked awestruck.
They all nodded.
“What part are you on?”
“You barely got to Hogwarts!” Peter said speaking for
the first time.
Harry thought for a moment and then smiled. “Let’s go
on, shall we?”
“What about returning you back to the future?” Lily
“We can worry about that later. I won’t get this
chance again!” They all shared a knowing look before
nodding in understanding.
“Well, *I’m* reading.” Lily said and read the chapter
title aloud, “Chapter Six – Talons and Tea
When Harry, Ron, and Hermione entered the Great Hall
for breakfast the next day, the first thing they saw
was Draco Malfoy, who seemed to be entertaining a
large group of Slytherins with a very funny story.
James – If it has to do with what happened on the
Harry – It does.
James – Bloody Malfoy!
As they passed, Malfoy did a ridiculous impression of
a swooning fit and there was a roar of laughter.
"Ignore him," said Hermione,
Harry – Easy for her to say.
Sirius – Every thing’s easy for her to say.
who was right behind Harry. "Just ignore him, it's not
worth it. . ."
"Hey, Potter!" shrieked Pansy Parkinson, a
Slytherin girl with a face like a pug, "Potter! The
dementors are coming, Potter! Woooooooo!"
James – Bloody Parkinson!
Harry dropped into a seat at the Gryffindor table,
next to George Weasley.
Marauders – They’re cool!
Harry – You guys are their idol.
Marauders - ::proud look::
"New third-year course schedules," said George,
passing them over. "What's up with you, Harry?"
"Malfoy," said Ron, sitting down on George's other
side and glaring over at the Slytherin table.
George looked up in time to see Malfoy pretending
to faint with terror again.
Tilly – That little git!
"That little git,"
Tilly – See? He agrees with me!
he said calmly. "He wasn't so cocky last night when
the dementors were down at our end of the train.
Remus – Bet he wasn’t.
Came running into our compartment, didn't he, Fred?"
"Nearly wet himself,"
All - ::snort::
said Fred, with a contemptuous glance at Malfoy.
"I wasn't too happy myself," said George. "They're
horrible things, those dementors. . . ."
All - ::nod::
"Sort of freeze your insides, don't they?" said Fred.
"You didn't pass out, though, did you?" said Harry
in a low voice.
James – I still don’t get that!
Remus – Oh, you will. And I bet it’s me who explains
Harry – You’re right on that one.
"Forget it, Harry," said George bracingly. "Dad had to
go out to Azkaban one time, remember, Fred? And he
said it was the worst place he'd ever been, he came
back all weak and shaking... They suck the happiness
out of a place, dementors. Most of the prisoners go
mad in there."
Peter – So why didn’t Sirius?
Harry – ::glare no one notices::
Kaya – Maybe he did and there’s a mad convict on the
Sirius – That’s even worse!
"Anyway, we'll see how happy Malfoy looks after our
first Quidditch match," said Fred. "Gryffindor versus
Slytherin, first game of the season, remember?"
All excluding Harry - ::evil grins::
Harry - ::Grimaces no one notices again::
The only time Harry and Malfoy had faced each other in
a Quidditch match, Malfoy had definitely come off
worse. Feeling slightly more cheerful, Harry helped
himself to sausages and fried tomatoes.
James/Sirius/Remus – OOH! What happened your first
Harry – In general? Well, a professor cursed my broom
and tried to throw me off. With Malfoy? A house-elf
cursed a Bludger to go only after me.
Others – WHAT!?
Harry – And even with that all I ended up catching the
snitch both times. The first time I was fine, but the
second time I broke my arm but the git of a professor
we had that year removed them all from my arm.
Sirius – Oh no. Did you have to re-grow your bones?
Harry – ::nod::
Sirius – ::wince:: Poor, poor, Harry.
Hermione was examining her new schedule.
"Ooh, good, we're starting some new subjects
today," she said happily.
"Hermione," said Ron, frowning as he looked over
her shoulder, "they've messed up your schedule.
Girls – Highly unlikely!
Look—they've got you down for about ten subjects a
day. There isn't enough time."
"I'll manage. I've fixed it all with Professor
"But look," said Ron laughing, "see this morning?
Nine o'clock, Divination. And underneath, nine
o'clock, Muggle Studies. And"—Ron leaned closer to the
schedule, disbelieving—"look—underneath that,
Arithmancy, nine o'clock.
Tilly – And *how* does she plan to get to all of
Lily – She *did* talk to McGonagall at the beginning
of the year… maybe it was about her schedule and they
really *do* have something worked out.
Morwen – Are we right?
Harry – I ain’t saying nothing!
I mean, I know you're good, Hermione, but no one's
that good. How're you supposed to be in three classes
All – Yeah!
"Don't be silly," said Hermione shortly. "Of course I
won't be in three classes at once."
Tilly – Well, then-
Lily – Shhh!
Tilly – Sorry.
All – Wow. Freaky.
"Pass the marmalade," said Hermione.
"Oh, Ron, what's it to you if my schedule's a bit
full?" Hermione snapped. "I told you, I've fixed it
all with Professor McGonagall."
Sirius – In code that means “Shut up or I’ll hex
you into next week.”
Lily – That’s possible. I know the perfect Charm to do
Just then, Hagrid entered the Great Hall. He was
wearing his long moleskin overcoat and was
absentmindedly swinging a dead polecat from one
All – Ewwww.
"All righ'?" he said eagerly, pausing on the way to
the staff table. "Yer in my firs' ever lesson! Right
after lunch! Bin up since five gettin' everythin'
Peter - ::nervously:: Getting *what* ready?
Hope it's okay...
Kaya – Hope Hagrid does okay.
Me, a teacher...
Morwen – Me too.
Tilly – Me three.
He grinned broadly at them and headed off to the staff
table, still swinging the polecat.
"Wonder what he's been getting ready?"
Peter – My concern exactly.
Harry - ::glare::
said Ron, a note of anxiety in his voice.
The hall was starting to empty as people headed
off toward their first lesson. Ron checked his course
"We'd better go, look, Divination's at the top of
James – How much do you want to bet they’ll get
Sirius – I *would* bet you, but I ain’t got no
It'll take us ten minutes to get there. . . ."
They finished their breakfasts hastily, said
good-bye to Fred and George, and walked back through
the hall. As they passed the Slytherin table, Malfoy
did yet another impression of a fainting fit.
All - ::glare::
The shouts of laughter followed Harry into the
The journey through the castle to North Tower was
a long one. Two years at Hogwarts hadn't taught them
everything about the castle, and they had never been
inside North Tower before.
Remus – Remember when *we* were looking for the
James – Yeah, we got lost… twice… in the same day!
Sirius – We were lucky to run into what’s his
"There's—got—to—be—a—shortcut," Ron panted as they
climbed their seventh long staircase and emerged on an
unfamiliar landing, where there was nothing but a
large painting of a bare stretch of grass handing on
the stone wall.
Sirius – No!
"I think it's this way," said Hermione, peering down
the empty passage to the right.
"Can't be," said Ron. "That's south, look, you can
see a bit of the lake out of the window . . ."
Harry was watching the painting.
James – Distracted easily aren’t you?
Harry – I didn’t feel like listening to Ron and
Hermione bicker… *again*!
A fat, dapple-gray pony had just ambled onto the grass
and was grazing nonchalantly. Harry was use to the
subjects of Hogwarts paintings moving around and
leaving their frames to visit one another, but he
always enjoyed watching it.
Sirius – Why? I found it rather boring myself.
Harry – I grew up with Muggles, what do you expect?
Sirius – I expect you to be use to it by now and find
Harry - ::sigh::
A moment later, a short, squat knight in a suit of
armor clanked into the picture after his pony. By the
look of the grass stains on his metal knees, he had
just fallen off.
All - ::laugh::
"Aha!" he yelled seeing Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
"What villains are these, that trespass upon my
private lands! Come to scorn at my fall, perchance?
Draw, you knaves, you dogs!"
Sirius/Remus – And what exactly are wrong with
Lily – Will you quit it, you dog obsessed freaks!?
Harry - ::knowing look::
They watched in astonishment as the little knight
tugged his sword out of its scabbard and began
brandishing it violently, hopping up and down in rage.
But the sword was too long for him; a particularly
wild swing made him overbalance, and he landed face
down in the grass.
All - ::laugh::
Marauders – Loser.
"Are you all right?" said Harry, moving closer to the
"Get back, you scurvy braggart! Back, you rogue!"
Tilly – You ask if he’s all right and he calls you
Harry - ::nod::
Tilly – Stu-u-u-u-pid!
The knight seized his sword again and used it to push
himself back up, but the blade sunk deep into the
grass and, though he pulled with all his might, he
couldn't get it out again.
All - ::muttering:: Idiot.
Finally, he had to flop back down onto the grass and
push up his visor to mop his sweating face.
"Listen," said Harry, taking advantage of the
knight's exhaustion, "we're looking for the North
Tower. You don't know the way, do you?"
Remus – You’re asking this guy?
Harry – Hey! We were desperate!
"A quest!" The knight's rage seemed to vanish
instantly. He clanked to his feet and shouted, "Come
follow me, dear friends, and we shall find out goal,
or else shall perish bravely in the charge!" He gave
the sword another fruitless tug, tried and failed to
mount the fat pony, gave up, and cried, "On foot then,
good sirs and gentle lady! On! On!"
Marauders – Good kick then, fat horse and stupid
sir! Git! Git!
Others – ::laugh::
And he ran, clanking loudly, into the left side of the
frame and out of sight.
They hurried after him along the corridor,
following the sound of his armor. Every now and then
they spotted him running through a picture ahead.
Kaya – I saw the painting of Violet do that once or
twice, but other than that I always thought they
stayed in their own portrait.
Lily – They do most of the time, but sometimes they
like to walk around.
"Be of stout heart, the worst is yet to come!" yelled
the knight, and they saw him reappear in front of an
alarmed group of women in crinolines, whose picture
hung on the wall of a narrow spiral staircase.
Puffing loudly, Harry, Ron, and Hermione climbed
the tightly spiraling steps, getting dizzier and
Remus – You’re getting closer to the Grim! The
until at last they heard the murmur of voices above
them and knew they had reached the classroom.
"Farewell!" cried the knight, popping his head
into a painting of some sinister-looking monks.
"Farewell, my comrades-in-arms! If ever you have need
of noble heart and steely sinew, call upon Sir
Sirius – Ron says something sarcastic doesn’t he?
Harry - ::nod::
"Yeah, we'll call you," muttered Ron as the knight
disappeared, "if we ever need someone mental."
Sirius – Am I good, or am I good?
They climbed the last few steps and emerged onto a
tiny landing, where most of the class was already
assembled. There were no doors off this landing, but
Ron nudged Harry and pointed at the ceiling, where
there was a circular trapdoor with a brass plaque on
Remus – The Grim! The Grim!
James - Shut up about that!
"'Sibyll Trelawney, Divination teacher,'" Harry read.
Lily – Thank god! I thought that horrid lady,
Professor Vantra was still teaching for a second.
"How're we supposed to get up there?"
As though in answer to his question, the trapdoor
suddenly opened, and a silvery ladder descended right
at Harry's feet.
Lily – A bit traditional isn’t it?
Remus – Yup, the person who’s going to die has the
ladder stop at *their* feet. You get the Grim, don’t
Harry – You’ll see.
Everyone got quiet.
"After you," said Ron, grinning, so Harry climbed
the ladder first.
Remus – Or is it the person that enters the room
Lily – Probably both.
He emerged into the strangest-looking classroom he had
ever seen. In fact, it didn't look like a classroom at
all, more like a cross between someone's attic and an
old-fashioned teashop. At least twenty small, circular
tables were crammed inside it, all surrounded by
chintz armchairs and fat little poufs. Everything was
lit with a dim, crimson light; the curtains at the
windows were all closed, and the many lamps were
draped with dark red scarves.
Remus/Sirius – I hate that room, it’s always so
It was stiflingly warm,
Remus/Sirius – More like boiling hot!
and the fire was burning under the crowded mantelpiece
was giving off a heavy, sickly sort of perfume as it
heated a large copper kettle. The shelves running
around the circular walls were crammed with
dusty-looking feathers, stubs of candles, many packs
of tattered playing cards, countless silvery crystal
balls, and a huge array of teacups.
Remus – Beware the tealeaves!
Ron appeared at Harry's shoulder as the class
assembled around them, all talking in whispers.
"Where is she?" Ron said.
A voice came suddenly out of the shadows, a soft,
misty sort of voice.
"Welcome," it said. "How nice to see you in the
physical world at last."
Remus/Lily - ::groan:: Could she get anymore
Harry's immediate impression was of a large,
Harry – That pretty much describes her.
Others - ::nod::
Professor Trelawney moved into the firelight, and they
saw that she was very thin; her large glasses
magnified her eyes several times their natural size,
and she was draped in a gauzy spangled shawl.
Innumerable chains and beads hung around her spindly
neck, and her arms and hands were encrusted with
bangles and rings.
Kaya – I wonder what she looks like *without* all
of the jewelry.
"Sit, my children, sit," she said, and they all
climbed awkwardly into armchairs or sank into poufs.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione sat themselves around the
same round table.
Remus – Cliques always do.
Sirius – What’s a clique?
Remus – A group of friends with three or more people.
Sirius – Can you have more than one clique.
Remus – Yeah…
Sirius – So, the Marauders are clique? The trio is
clique? The Slytherins are clique? Quidditch teams are
Remus – Yes, now enough about cliques and lets get
back to the story.
Sirius – Right.
"Welcome to Divination,"
Remus – It’s the Grim! The Grim!
James - ::irritated::
said Professor Trelawney, who had seated herself into
a winged armchair in front of the fire. "My name is
Professor Trelawney. You may not have seen me before.
I find that descending too often into the hustle and
bustle of the main school clouds my Inner Eye."
Kaya – Vantra gave this same speech. Rather boring,
Sirius – I don’t remember it. I was already asleep.
Tilly - *How* are you have one of the highest
Sirius – It’s my charm.
Girls - ::roll eyes::
Nobody said anything to this extraordinary
pronouncement. Professor Trelawney delicately
rearranged her shawl and continued, "So you have
chosen to study Divination, the most difficult of all
magical arts. I must warn you at the outset that if
you do not have the Sight, there is very little I will
be able to teach you. Books can take you only so far
in this field . . .."
All - ::gasp:: What so ever will Hermione do?
At these words, both Harry and Ron glanced, grinning,
at Hermione, who startled at the news that books
wouldn't be much help in this subject.
Boys - ::snicker::
"Many witches and wizards, talented though they are in
the area of loud bangs and smells and sudden
disappearing, are yet unable to penetrate the veiled
mysteries of the future," Professor Trelawney went on,
her enormous, gleaming eyes moving from face to
nervous face. "It is a Gift granted few. You, boy,"
she said suddenly to Neville, who almost toppled off
his pouf. "Is your grandmother well?"
Remus - ::as Neville:: I think so.
Lily - ::as Professor Trelawney:: I wouldn’t be so
sure if I were you dear…
"I think so," said Neville tremulously.
"I wouldn't be so sure if I were you dear,"
Others - ::shocked silence::
Remus/Lily - *So* cliché.
said Professor Trelawney, the firelight glinting on
her long emerald earrings. Neville gulped. Professor
Trelawney continued placidly. "We will be covering the
basic methods of Divination this year. The first term
will be devoted to reading the tealeaves.
Remus – The Gr-
James – The Grim, the Grim… We know, we know!
Next term we shall progress to palmistry. By the way,
my dear," she shot suddenly at Parvati Patil,
Remus – ::as Trelawney:: Beware a red-haired man!
Sirius – Why red?
Remus – Because that’s what Vantra said our first
Sirius – Doesn’t mean she’ll say the exact same thing.
Lily – Yes it does.
"beware a red-haired man."
Parvati gave a startled look at Ron, who was right
behind her, and edged her chair away from him.
Lily/Remus - ::roll eyes::
"In the second term," Professor Trelawney went on, "we
shall progress to the crystal ball—if we have finished
fire omens, that is. Unfortunately, classes will be
disrupted in February by a nasty bout of the flu. I
myself will lose my voice. And around Easter, one of
our number will leave us forever."
Morwen – You know what, this sounds very familiar.
Kaya – Doesn’t it?
A very tense silence followed this pronouncement, but
Professor Trelawney seemed unaware of it. "I wonder,
dear," she said to Lavender Brown, who was nearest and
shrank back in her chair, "if you could pass me the
largest silver teapot?"
Lavender, looking relieved, stood up, took and
enormous teapot from the shelf, and put it down on the
table in front of Professor Trelawney.
"Thank you, my dear. Incidentally, that thing you
are dreading—it will happen on
Morwen – Let me guess, Friday of October.
Friday the sixteenth of October."
Morwen – She *is* cliché. Vantra must have been her
mentor. ::roll eyes::
"Now, I want you to divide into pairs. Collect a
teacup from the shelf, come to me, and I will fill it.
Then sit and drink, drink until only the dregs remain.
Swill these around the cup three times with the left
hand, then turn the cup upside down on its saucer,
wait for the last of the tea to drain away, then give
your cup to your partner to read. You will interpret
the patterns using pages five and six of Unfogging the
Future. I shall move among you, helping and
instructing. Oh and dear"—she caught Neville by the
arm as he made to stand up, "after you've broken your
first cup, would you be so kind as to select one of
the blue patterned ones? I'm rather attached to the
Lily – Why would Neville want a pink one anyway?
Others - ::shrug::
Sure enough, Neville had no sooner reached the shelf
of teacups than there was a tinkle of breaking china.
James – How do you explain that, Lil?
Lily – James, that isn't the question you should be
asking. What you should be asking is would he have
broken the cup if she hadn’t said anything?
James – Erm… ::blink::
Professor Trelawney swept over to him holding a
dustpan and brush and said, "One of the blue ones,
then, dear, if you wouldn't mind . . . thank you . .
When Harry and Ron had had their teacups filled,
they went back to their table and tried to drink the
scalding tea quickly.
Sirius – I never liked that tea.
Kaya – Me either. It gave me a sore throat.
They swilled the dregs around as Professor Trelawney
had instructed, then drained the cups and swapped
"Right," said Ron as they both opened their books
at pages five and six. "What can you see in mine?"
"A load of soggy brown stuff,"
Tilly - ::giggle:: That’s what Lily said when we
said Harry. The heavily perfumed smoke in the room was
making him feel sleepy and stupid.
"Broaden your minds, my dears, and allow your eyes
see past the mundane!" Professor Trelawney cried
through the gloom.
Remus - ::as if he’s in pain:: Why must we never
hear from a true Seers! They’re fascinating! Fakes
like this though are… ::groans::
Harry tried to pull himself together.
"Right, you've got a crooked sort of cross . . ."
He consulted Unfogging the Future. "That means you're
going to have 'trials and suffering'—sorry about
that—but there's a thing that could be the sun . . .
hang on . . . that means 'great happiness' . . . so
you're going to suffer but be very happy . . .."
Sirius – He needs his Inner Eye tested, if you ask
James – Nah. He just got that from Lily.
Tilly – And how are Lily and James meant for each
other? I think Remus and Lily would be a cute couple,
if you ask me.
Harry – That’s kind of a disturbing thought. My mother
and my professor… er…
Others - ::giggles::
"You need your Inner Eye tested, if you ask me,"
Sirius – Great minds think alike!
said Ron, and they both had to stifle their laughs as
Professor Trelawney gazed in their direction. "My turn
. . ." Ron peered into Harry's teacup, his forehead
wrinkled in effort. "There's a blob a bit like a
bowler hat," he said. "Maybe you're going to work for
the Ministry of Magic . . .."
All - ::snore::
He turned the teacup the other way up.
"But this way it looks more like an acorn . . ..
What's that?" He scanned his copy of Unfogging the
Future. "'A windfall, unexpected gold.' Excellent, you
can lend me some . . . and there's a thing here," he
turned the cup again, "that looks like an animal . . .
yeah, if that was its head . . . it looks like a hippo
. . . no, a sheep . . ."
Lily – Hippo means ‘great sadness’ and sheep means
‘secrets are around you’…
Harry - I think either would work well.
James – And how does Miss Anti-Divination know this?
Lily – Just because I don’t like the teacher, doesn’t
mean I don’t think the subject isn’t interesting. I
read my books, James.
James – Ah, so you secretly share the same vision as
Lily – If you put it that way, then yes.
Professor Trelawney whirled around as Harry let out a
snort of laughter.
"Let me see that, my dear," she said reprovingly
to Ron, sweeping over and snatching Harry's cup from
him. Everyone went quiet to watch.
Professor Trelawney was staring into the teacup,
rotating it counterclockwise.
"The falcon . . . my dear, you have a deadly
Tilly – But everyone knows *that*!
Harry - ::weird look::
"But everyone know that,"
Tilly – Whoa-oa-oa-oa.
said Hermione in a loud whisper. Professor Trelawney
stared at her.
"Well, they do," said Hermione. "Everybody knows
about Harry and You-Know-Who."
Marauders – She does have an attitude!
Harry – She’s not that bad… anymore.
Harry and Ron stared at her with a mixture of
amazement and admiration. They had never heard
Hermione speak to a teacher like that before.
Professor Trelawney chose not to reply. She lowered
her huge eyes to Harry's cup again and continued to
"The club . . . an attack. Dear, dear,
Remus – This is not a happy cup.
this is not a happy cup . . ."
Remus – ::sigh:: Sounds like our first class all
over again. Any minute now she should gasp and then
"I thought that was a bowler hat," said Ron
"The skull . . . danger in your path, my dear. . .
." Everyone was staring, transfixed, at Professor
Trelawney, who gave the cup a final turn, gasped, and
Remus – Ah. There we go.
There was another tinkle of breaking china; Neville
had smashed his second cup.
Professor Trelawney sank into a vacant armchair,
her glittering hand at her heart and her eyes closed.
"My dear boy . . . my poor, dear boy . . . no . .
. it is kinder not to say . . . no . . . don't ask me
. . ."
All excluding James – Okay.
"What is it, Professor?" said Dean Thomas at once.
All - ::snort::
Everyone had got to their feet, and slowly crowded
around Harry and Ron's table, pressing close to
Professor Trelawney's chair to get a good look at
"My dear," Professor Trelawney's huge eyes opened
dramatically, "You have the Grim."
James – I knew it!
Remus – The Grim! The Grim!
James – This is serious!
Sirius – No. I’m Sirius.
James – No! What I mean is…
Lily – Harry, are you dead?
Harry – No.
Lily – Do you almost die.
Harry – Yeah.
James – See!
Remus – I almost die all the time, that doesn’t mean
anything! She picks the most likely victim and says
that she sees the Grim in their future.
Kaya – Why do you almost die, Remus?
Remus – Er… ::awkward silence::
Tilly – I happen to know a real Seer and they are
*nothing* like Trelawney *or* Vantra!
All - ::gap:: You do?
Tilly – Yeah. Can’t say who though, you know, the
All - ::nod::
"The what?" said Harry.
Remus – The Grim! The Grim!
Harry – I know now, I didn’t know then.
James – Of course you didn’t! Weren’t you scared?
Harry - ::pause:: No, not really. A bit shocked, I
suppose, but scared? No.
He could tell that he wasn't the only one who didn't
understand; Dean Thomas shrugged at him and Lavender
Brown looked puzzled, but nearly everyone else clapped
their hands to their mouths in horror.
"The Grim, my dear boy, the Grim!" cried Professor
Trelawney, who looked shocked that Harry hadn't
understood. "The giant, spectral dog that haunts the
churchyards! My dear boy, it is an omen—the worst
All - ::fake gasp::
Harry's stomach lurched. That dog on the cover of
Death Omens in Flourish and Blotts—the dog in the
shadows of Magnolia Crescent . . .
Lavender Brown clapped her hand to her mouth too.
Everyone was looking at Harry, everyone except
Hermione, who had gotten up and moved around to the
back of Professor Trelawney's chair.
"I don't think it looks like a Grim," she said
Lily – Now *that* sounds like Kaya.
Kaya – Thank you… I think.
Professor Trelawney surveyed Hermione with mounting
"You'll forgive me for saying so, my dear, but I
perceive very little aura around you. Very little
receptivity to the resonance of the future."
Lily – James, please! I’m not saying that the
*study* of Divination is crap, I’m saying that
Trelawney and Vantra are crap! You have got to see
that she is a fraud!
James – Fine, she’s a stupid fraud!
All – Thank you!
Seamus Finnigan was tilting his head from side to
"It looks like a Grim if you do this," he said,
with his eyes almost shut, "but it looks more like a
donkey from here," he said, leaning to the left.
"When you've all finished deciding whether I'm
going to die or not!" said Harry, taking even himself
Sirius – A bit emotional, aren’t you?
Harry – I was just told that I’m supposed to die quite
soon. I wasn’t in the best of moods I can tell you
Now nobody seemed to want to look at him.
"I think we will leave the lesson here for today,"
said Professor Trelawney in her mistiest voice. "Yes .
. . please pack away your things . . .."
Silently the class took their teacups back to
Professor Trelawney, packed away their books, and
closed their bags. Even Ron was avoiding Harry's eyes.
Remus - ::shakes head:: I can’t decide if Ron is
more like James or Sirius.
Peter – I think it’s a bit of both.
Remus – You may be right.
"Until we meet again," said Professor Trelawney
faintly, "fair fortune be yours. Oh and dear"—she
pointed at Neville—"you'll be late next time, so mind
you work extra-hard to catch up."
Harry, Ron, and Hermione descended Professor
Trelawney's ladder and the winding stair in silence,
and then set off for Professor McGonagall's
Transfiguration lesson. It took them so long to find
her classroom that, early as they had left Divination;
they were only just in time.
Harry – She really needs to relocate her
Harry chose a seat right at the back of the room,
feeling as through he were sitting in a very bright
spotlight; the rest of the class kept shooting furtive
glances at him, as though he were about to drop dead
at any moment. He hardly heard what Professor
McGonagall was telling them about Anamagi (wizards who
could transform at will into animals),
Tilly – Interesting subject, but not when you’re a
and wasn't even watching when she transformed herself
in front of their eyes into a tabby cat with spectacle
markings around her eyes.
"Really, what has got into you all today?" said
Professor McGonagall, turning back into herself with a
faint pop, and staring around at them all. "Not that
it matters, but that's the first time my
transformation not got applause from a class."
James – Especially from us. We just love Animagi,
Marauders - ::grins::
Girls - ::confused looks::
Everybody's heads turned toward Harry again, but
nobody spoke. Then Hermione raised her hand.
"Please, Professor, we've just had our first
Divination class, and we were reading the tealeaves,
Lily - ::squeal:: Ooh! Another dose of McGonagall
hatred of the subject!
"Ah, of course," said Professor McGonagall, suddenly
frowning. "There is no need to say any more, Miss
Granger. Tell me, which of you will be dying this
Everyone stared at her.
"Me," said Harry finally.
Harry – Actually, I don’t die…
"I see," said Professor McGonagall, fixing Harry with
her beady eyes. "Then you should know, Potter, that
Sibyl Trelawney has predicted the death of one student
a year since she arrived at this school. None of them
has died yet. Seeing death omens is her favorite way
of greeting a new class. If it were not for the fact
that I never speak ill of my colleagues—”
All - ::chanting:: Speak ill! Speak ill! Speak
Professor McGonagall broke off, and they saw that her
nostrils had gone white.
She went on, more calmly, "Divination is one of
the most imprecise branches of magic. I shall not
conceal from you that I have very little patience with
it. TTilly Seers are very rare, and Professor
She stopped again, and then said, in a
matter-of-fact tone, "You look in excellent health to
me, Potter, so you will excuse me if I don't let you
off homework today. I assure you, that if you die, you
need not hand it in."
Girls - ::giggle::
Hermione laughed. Harry felt a bit better. It was
harder to feel scared of a lump of tealeaves away from
the dim red light and befuddling perfume of Professor
Trelawney's classroom. Not everyone was convinced,
however. Ron still looked worried, and Lavender
whispered, "But what about Neville's cup?"
James – I still don’t get that.
Lily – It was just a coincidence.
When the Transfiguration class had finished, they
joined the crowd thundering toward the Great Hall for
"Ron, cheer up," said Hermione, pushing a dish of
stew toward him. "You heard what Professor McGonagall
Ron spooned the spew onto his plate and picked up
his fork but didn't start.
"Harry," he said, in a low serious voice, "you
haven't seen a great black dog anywhere, have you?"
Remus - ::innocently:: Only a Sirius type of dog.
Sirius - ::roll eyes::
"Yeah, I have," said Harry. "I saw one the night I
left the Dursleys."
Ron let his fork fall with a clatter.
"Probably a stray," said Hermione calmly. Ron
looked at Hermione as though she had gone mad.
"Hermione, if Harry's seen a Grim, that's—that's
bad," he said. "My—my uncle Bilius saw one and—and he
died twenty-four hours later!"
James – How do you explain that?
Lily – Coincidence.
Lily – See. Even the cleverest witch of her age
agrees with me.
said Hermione airily, pouring herself some pumpkin
"You don't know what you're talking about!" said
Ron, starting to get angry. "Grims scare the living
daylights out of most wizards!"
"There you are, then," said Hermione in a superior
tone. "They see the Grim and die of fright. The Grim's
not an omen; it's the cause of death! And Harry's
still with us because he's not stupid enough to see
one and think, right, well, I'd better kick the bucket
Harry – Poor Ron doesn’t know when he’s arguing a
Morwen – It sounds so silly when you put it like that!
Ron mouthed wordlessly at Hermione, who opened her
bag, took out her new Arithmancy book, and propped it
open against her juice jug.
"I think Divination seems very woolly," she said
searching her page. "A lot of guesswork, if you ask
"There was nothing woolly about the Grim in that
cup!" said Ron hotly.
"You didn't seem quite so confident when you were
telling Harry it was a sheep," said Hermione coolly.
All – True. True.
"Professor Trelawney said you didn't have the right
aura! You just don't like being bad at something for a
All - ::wince::
He had touched a nerve. Hermione slammed her
Arithmancy book down on the table so hard that bits of
meat and carrot flew everywhere.
"If being good at Divination means I have to
pretend to see death omens in a lump of tea leaves,
I'm not sure I'll be studying it much longer! That
lesson was absolute rubbish compared with my
Kaya - ::raises eyebrow:: What does she mean? She
hasn’t had Arithmancy yet, has she?
Lily – She couldn’t have. She’s been with Ron and
Harry the whole time, right?
Harry - ::nod:: That we know of.
Others - ::raise eyebrow::
She snatched up her bag and stalked away.
Ron frowned after her.
"What's she talking about?" he said to Harry. "She
hasn't been to an Arithmancy class yet."
Kaya – My thought exactly!
Harry was pleased to get out of the castle after
lunch. Yesterday's rain had cleared; the sky was a
clear, pale gray, and the grass was springy and damp
underfoot as they set off for their first ever Care of
Magical Creatures class.
Peter – I like Care of Magical Creatures, I’m just
not good at it.
Ron and Hermione weren't speaking to each other. Harry
walked beside them in silence as they went down the
sloping lawns to Hagrid's hut on the edge of the
Forbidden Forest. It was only when he spotted three
only-too-familiar backs ahead of them that he realized
they must be having lessons with the Slytherins.
All - ::groan::
Malfoy was talking animatedly to Crabbe and Goyle, who
were chortling. Harry was quite sure he knew what they
were talking about. Hagrid was waiting for his class
at the door of his hut. He stood in his moleskin
overcoat, with Fang the boarhound at his heels,
looking impatient to start.
"C'mon, now, get a move on!" he called as the
class approached. "Got a real treat for yeh today!
Great lesson comin' up! Everyone here? Right, follow
Peter – That’s not a good sign.
For one nasty moment, Harry though that Hagrid was
going to lead them into the forest;
Peter - ::shiver::
Harry had had enough unpleasant experiences in there
to last him a lifetime. However, Hagrid strolled off
around the edge of the trees, and five minutes later,
they found themselves outside a kind of paddock. There
was nothing in there.
"Everyone gather 'round the fence here!" he
called. "That's it—make sure yeh can see—now, firs'
thing yeh'll want ter do is open yer books—”
Peter – How?
Harry - ::glare::
"How?" said the cold, drawling voice of Draco Malfoy.
"Eh?" said Hagrid.
"How do we open our books?" Malfoy repeated. He
took out his copy of The Monster Book of Monsters,
which he had bound shut with a length of rope. Other
people took theirs out too; some, like Harry, had
belted their book shut; others had crammed them inside
tight bags or clamped them together with binder clips.
James – I want one of those to sic on Snape!
Sirius – Me too!
Remus – Me three!
Peter – Me four!
Harry – Me five!
James – Yeah, that sucks for you. You have him *and*
Moony as a Professor…
Remus - ::glare::
Sirius – When *do* we get to see Moony’s class?
Harry – Probably next chapter.
"Hasn'—hasn' anyone bin able ter open their books?"
said Hagrid, looking crestfallen.
The class all shook their heads.
"Yeh've got ter stroke 'em," said Hagrid, as
though this was the most obvious thing in the world.
He took Hermione's copy and ripped off the
Spellotape that bound it. The book tried to bite, but
Hagrid ran a giant forefinger down its spine, and the
book shivered, and then fell open and lay quiet in his
Sirius – And you were suppose to know that, how?
Harry - ::shrug::
"Oh, how silly we've all been!" Malfoy sneered. "We
should have stroked them! Why didn't we guess!"
"I—I thought they were funny," Hagrid said
uncertainly to Hermione.
"Oh, tremendously funny!” said Malfoy. “Really
witty, giving us books that try and rip our hands
"Shut up, Malfoy,” said Harry quietly. Hagrid was
looking downcast and Harry wanted Hagrid’s first
lesson to be a success.
Peter – Yeah! Leave Hagrid alone!
Harry - ::surprised::
“Righ’ then,” said Hagrid, who seemed to have lost his
thread, “so-so yeh’ve got yer books an’-an’-now yeh
need the Magical Creatures. Yeah. So I’ll go an’ get
‘em. Hang on…”
He strode away from them into the forest and out
“God, this place is going to the dogs,” said
Malfoy loudly. “That oaf teaching classes, my
father’ll have a fit when I tell him-“
All - ::glare::
“Shut up, Malfoy,” Harry repeated.
“Careful, Potter, there’s a dementor behind you-“
James/Lily - ::growl::
“Oooooooh!” squealed Lavender Brown, pointing toward
the opposite side of the paddock.
Trotting toward them were a dozen of the most
bizarre creatures Harry had ever seen. They had the
bodies, hind legs, and tails of horses, but the front
legs, wings, and heads of what seemed to be giant
eagles, with cruel, steel-colored beaks and large,
brilliantly orange eyes.
Sirius – What in the world…
Kaya – What is that thing?
Harry – You’ll see.
The talons on their front legs were half a foot long
and deadly looking. Each of the beasts had a thick
leather collar around its neck, which was attached to
a long chain, and the ends of all of these were held
in the vast hands of Hagrid, who came jogging into the
paddock behind the creatures.
Tilly - *Behind*? Shouldn’t he be in front to make
sure that none of them try to rip you all apart?
Harry - ::shrug:: Rules really aren’t the same with
Tilly – True.
“Gee up, there!” he roared, shaking the chains and
urging the creatures toward the fence where the class
stood. Everyone drew back slightly as Hagrid reached
them and tethered the creatures to the fence.
Sirius – I want one!
James – You don’t even know what it does yet.
Sirius – I don’t care! I want one!
Hagrid roared happily, waving a hand at them.
“Beau’iful, aren’ they?”
Harry could sort of see what Hagrid meant. Once
you got over the first shock of seeing something that
was half horse, half bird, you started to appreciate
the hippogriffs’ gleaming coats, changing smoothly
from feather to hair, each of them a different color;
stormy gray, bronze, pinkish roan, gleaming chestnut,
and inky black.
Lily – I’ve never seen one. Are they just
Harry – In a way: yes. In another way: no.
“So,” said Hagrid, rubbing his hands together and
beaming around, “if yeh wan’ ter come a bit nearer-“
No one seemed to want to. Harry, Ron, and
Hermione, however, approached the fence cautiously.
Peter – Hagrid knows what he’s doing! No need to be
Others - ::nods::
“Now, firs’ thing yeh gotta know abou’ hippogriffs is,
they’re proud,” said Hagrid. “Easily offended,
hippogriffs are. Don’t never insult one, ‘cause it
might be the last thing yeh do.”
Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle weren’t listening; they
were talking in an undertone
Remus – Uh oh. I have a bad feeling about this.
and Harry had a nasty feeling they were plotting how
best to disrupt the lesson.
“Yeh always wait fer the hippogriff ter make the
firs’ move,” Hagrid continued. “It’s polite, see? Yeh
walk toward him, and yeh bow, an’ yeh wait. If he bows
back, yeh’re allowed ter touch him. If he doesn’ bow,
then get away from him sharpish, ‘cause those talons
“Right- who wants ter go first?”
Most of the class backed farther away in answer.
Remus/Sirius/James – Shoot, I would to!
Peter – ::bravely:: I wouldn’t. I would stay close
just to make Hagrid’s first class a success.
Sirius - ::smiling:: That’s why you’re such a good
Harry - ::confused and struggling::
Even Harry, Ron, and Hermione had misgivings. The
hippogriffs were tossing their fierce heads and
flexing their powerful wings; they didn’t seem to like
being tethered like this.
“No one?” said Hagrid, with a pleading look.
“I’ll do it,” said Harry.
All - ::look at Harry:: Are you mad!?
Harry – I think I am.
James – You are going to die.
Lily – How can he die when he’s alive right beside us
and apparently *not* thirteen.
James – I don’t know. He just is.
There was an intake of breath from behind him, and
both Lavender and Parvati whispered, “Oooh, no, Harry,
remember your tealeaves!”
Harry ignored them. He climbed over the paddock
“Good man, Harry!” roared Hagrid. “Right then-
let’s see how yeh get on with Buckbeak.”
Sirius – Beaky!
All - ::stare::
He untied one of the chains, pulled the gray
hippogriff away form its fellows, and slipped off its
leather collar. The class on the other side of the
paddock seemed to be holding its breath. Malfoy’s eyes
“Easy, now, Harry,” said Hagrid quietly. “Yeh’ve
got eye contact, now try not ter blink . . ..
Hippogriffs don’ trust yeh if yeh blink too much . .
James – Tell me that and I will want to blink right
Harry – That’s what happens to me.
Harry’s eyes immediately began to water, but he didn’t
shut them. Buckbeak had turned his great, sharp, head
and was staring at Harry with one fierce orange eye.
“Tha’s it,” said Hagrid. “Tha’s it, Harry… now,
Harry didn’t feel much like exposing the back of
his neck to Buckbeak, but he did as he was told. He
gave a short bow and then looked up.
Lily – Was that a good enough bow?
Harry – If you read, you most likely will find out.
Sirius – You’re just as bad as Remus!
The hippogriff was still staring haughtily at him. It
“Ah,” said Hagrid, sounding worried.
Peter – Heh. That’s never a good sign.
“Right- back away, now, Harry, easy does it-“
But then, to Harry’s enormous surprise, the
hippogriff suddenly bent its scaly front knees and
sank into what was an unmistakable bow.
All - ::sigh with relief::
“Well done, Harry!” said Hagrid, ecstatic. “Right- yeh
can touch him! Pat his beak, go on!”
Feeling that a better reward would have been to
back away, Harry moved slowly toward the hippogriff
and reached out toward it. He patted the beak several
times and the hippogriff closed its eyes lazily, as
though enjoying it.
Girls – Awww!
The class broke into applause, all except for Malfoy,
Crabbe, and Goyle, who were looking deeply
Marauders – Stupid Slytherins.
“Righ’ then, Harry,” said Hagrid. “I reckon he might’
let yeh ride him!”
All excluding Harry – You aren’t actually going to
Harry – What was I suppose to do? Say no?
All – Yes!
This was more than Harry had bargained for. He was
used to a broomstick; but he wasn’t sure a hippogriff
would be quite the same.
“Yeh climb up there, jus’ behind the wing joint,”
said Hagrid, “an’ mind yeh don’ pull any of his
feathers out, he won’ like that . . ..”
Remus – What are you suppose to hold on to then?
Sounds like to me all there is are feathers.
Harry – You’d be right about that.
Harry put his foot on the top of Buckbeak’s wing and
hoisted himself onto its back. Buckbeak stood up.
Harry wasn’t sure where to hold on; everything in
front of him was covered with feathers.
“Go on, then!” roared Hagrid, slapping the
Lily – Ack! Grab onto something quick, Harry! Don’t
James – Now who’s the one that thinks Harry is going
Lily – I don’t think that Harry is going to *die*, I
just think that he may get hurt!
Without warning, twelve-foot wings flapped open on
either side of Harry; he just had time to seize the
hippogriff around the neck before he was soaring
upward. It was nothing like a broomstick, and Harry
knew which one be preferred;
Tilly – ::sarcastic:: Let me guess: the hippogriff?
Harry - ::sarcastic:: Oh yeah, the broomstick is just
James - ::oblivious:: Hey! Broomsticks are *not*
Others - ::sigh::
the hippogriff’s wings beat uncomfortably on either
side of him, catching him under his legs and making
him feel he was about to be thrown off; the glassy
feathers slipped under his fingers and he didn’t dare
get a stronger grip;
Lily - ::praying:: Don’t fall… don’t fall… don’t
James – Lily, it’s going to be okay! Look: Harry, do
Lily - ::glaring at Harry who had opened his mouth to
answer:: Don’t tell us! We just have to wait.
James – Er… okay…
instead of the smooth action of his Nimbus Two
Thousand, he now felt himself rocking backward and
forward as the hindquarters of the hippogriff rose and
fell with its wings.
Sirius - ::shifting in his seat:: That sounds
Harry – You’ll get used to it.
Sirius – Why would I need to get used to it?
Harry – Er… Read, please?
Buckbeak flew him once around the paddock and then
headed back to the ground; this was the bit Harry had
been dreading; he leaned back as the smooth neck
lowered, feeling he was going to slip off over the
beak, then felt a heavy thud as the four ill-assorted
feet hit the ground.
Sirius – Fun! Can we do it again?
Harry – You just wait. You’ll get your turn.
Kaya - But Sirius, I thought you were afraid of
Sirius - Oh yeah... ::pouts::
He just managed to hold on and push himself straight
“Good work, Harry!” roared Hagrid as everyone
except Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle cheered.
Morwen – That means even the *other* Slytherins
Lily – See? Not all Slytherins are bad.
James – And I still say they are, but I will not act
on my theories any longer.
Lily – That’s why I love you.
Others - ::gag::
“Okay, who else wants a go?”
Emboldened by Harry’s success, the rest of the
class climbed cautiously into the paddock. Neville ran
repeatedly backward from his, which didn’t seem to
want to bend its knees. Ron and Hermione practiced on
the chestnut, while Harry watched.
Peter – ::confidently:: They’ll get it right.
Remus – Yeah, especially *together*. ::snicker::
Sirius - *No*, Harry likes Hermione, not Ron.
Remus – And I beg to differ.
Kaya – Yeah, Harry can’t like Hermione because he has
to get with Ginny.
Sirius – Ginny? Bah. She just has a silly crush on him
that will go away with time.
Tilly – Did James’s crush go away with time?
James – I’m different. I’m hardheaded and don’t know
how to take no for an answer, but besides that—He’s
thirteen. He’s getting with nobody.
Morwen – Maybe not in this book, but he will get with
somebody eventually, but I don’t think it’ll be
Hermione or Ginny.
Tilly – Who else is there?
Morwen - ::shrug:: I just think it’ll be somebody
Lily – Could we possibly continue reading?
Others – Oh, right. Sorry.
Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle had taken over Buckbeak. He
had bowed to Malfoy, who was now patting his beak,
“This is very easy,” Malfoy drawled, loud enough
for Harry to hear him. “I knew it must have been, if
Potter could do it. . . . I bet you’re not dangerous
at all, are you?” he said to the hippogriff. “Are you,
you great ugly brute?”
Morwen – Didn’t Hagrid say that hippogriffs have
quite the amount of pride?
Others - ::nod::
Morwen – Uh-oh.
James – I think that’s a bit of an understatement.
It happened in a flash of steely talons; Malfoy let
out a high-pitched scream
Marauders – Malfoy screams like a girl! ::laugh::
Harry - ::grinning:: You should have heard it.
Girls - ::roll eyes::
and next moment, Hagrid was wrestling Buckbeak back
into his collar as he strained to get at Malfoy, who
lay curled in the grass, blood blossoming over his
Kaya – Oh my Merlin! Is he alright?
Harry - ::bored:: He’s fine.
“I’m dying!” Malfoy yelled as the class panicked. “I’m
dying, look at me! It’s killed me!”
“Yer not dyin’!” said Hagrid, who had gone very
white. “Someone help me- gotta get him outta here-“
Hermione ran to hold open the gate as Hagrid
lifted Malfoy easily. As they passed, Harry saw that
there was a long, deep gash on Malfoy’s arm; blood
splattered the grass and Hagrid ran with him, up the
slope toward the castle.
Lily – Fine!? He doesn’t sound fine!
Harry – He’s fine. Don’t worry about him.
Lily – I’m not worrying about him! I’m worrying about
Very shaken, the Care of Magical Creatures class
followed at a walk. The Slytherins were all shouting
“They should fire him straight away!” said Pansy
Parkinson, who was in tears.
“It was Malfoy’s own fault!”
All – Yeah!
snapped Dean Thomas. Crabbe and Goyle flexed their
They all climbed the stone steps into the deserted
“I’m going to see if he’s okay!” said Pansy, and
they all watched her run up the marble staircase. The
Slytherins, still muttering about Hagrid, headed away
in the direction of their dungeon common room; Harry,
Ron, and Hermione proceeded upstairs to Gryffindor
Peter – Why do they put the Gryffindors at the very
top and the Slytherins at the very bottom with
Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws in between? Is that
supposed to mean something?
Others - ::blink:: Perhaps…
“D’you think he’ll be all right?” said Hermione
“’Course he will. Madam Pomfrey can mend cuts in
about a second,” said Harry, who had had far worse
injuries mended magically by the nurse.
Remus - ::nodding:: Cuts aren’t a problem. Just a
flick of the wand and there you go. Unless…
Others excluding Harry – Unless what?
Remus – Unless Malfoy decides to pull a Slytherin on
us and be all dramatic and everything.
Harry – Sometimes you’re too smart to be a Marauder.
Remus - ::grins:: Heh. And sometimes that’s not a good
“That was a really bad thing to happen in Hagrid’s
first class, thought, wasn’t it?” said Ron, looking
worried. “Trust Malfoy to mess things up for him. . .
All - ::grumble:: Stupid Malfoy.
They were among the first to reach the Great Hall at
dinnertime, hoping to see Hagrid, but he wasn’t there.
Tilly – They *wouldn’t* fire him, would they?
“They wouldn’t fire him, would they?” said
Hermione anxiously, not touching her steak-and-kidney
Morwen – Tilly! You’re doing it again!
Tilly – So-o-o-o-ry!
“They’d better not,” said Ron, who wasn’t eating
Harry was watching the Slytherin table. A large
group including Crabbe and Goyle was huddled together,
deep in conversation. Harry was sure they were cooking
up their own version of how Malfoy had been injured.
James – Bloody Slytherins. They’re completely
Sirius – Unless, of course, you need a mindless band
of Death Eaters or somebody to prank…
Peter – Then they’re bloody useful, but other then
Remus – They’re just a bunch of scumbags with nothing
Girls - ::roll eyes:: Marauders…
Harry - ::grinning::
“Well, you can’t say it wasn’t an interesting first
day back,” said Ron gloomily.
Morwen – That’s a nice way of putting it.
They went up to the crowded Gryffindor common room
after dinner and tried to do homework Professor
McGonagall had given them, but all three of them kept
breaking off and glancing out of the tower window.
“There’s a light on in Hagrid’s window,” Harry
Peter – Go visit him then! Hagrid needs his friends
Lily - ::nervously:: But it’s nearly dark…
Sirius – What’s going to happen to him while he’s on
the Hogwarts grounds?
Lily - ::pointed look::
Sirius - ::truthfully hurt:: Oh…
Ron looked at his watch.
“If we hurried, we could go down and see him. It’s
still quite early. . . .”
“I don’t know,” Hermione said slowly, ad Harry saw
her glance at him.
“I’m allowed to walk across the *grounds*,” he
said pointedly. “Sirius Black hasn’t got past the
dementors yet, has he?”
James – Exactly, and besides, the only reason he
wants to get passed the Dementors is probably to speak
with Dumbledore. You know, to tell him what really
Sirius – Hey! That is a good idea! Maybe I *am* trying
to do that.
Kaya – If you didn’t think of it now, I don’t think
you’ve thought of it then either…
Peter – If Remus thinks your guilty in the future,
wouldn’t Dumbledore think you’re guilty as well?
Sirius - ::down heartened:: I suppose you’re
So they put their things away and headed out of the
portrait hole, glad to meet nobody on their way to the
front doors, as they weren’t entirely sure they were
supposed to be out.
James – You could have taken my Invisibility Cloak
if you were truthfully nervous.
Sirius – ::gloomily:: I wish they weren’t…
James – We don’t blame you, Sirius. Apparently
something horrible happened. After all, Moony isn’t
one to jump to conclusions, you know that. It has to
be something really horrible for him to think that you
Remus - ::nods:: James is right, Sirius. I wouldn’t
ever suspect you of something such as murder unless I
had a really good reason to.
Sirius – That’s what I’m afraid of. I mean, what if I
actually *did* do all of that stuff? I don’t think I
would be able to live with myself…
Marauders excluding Sirius – ::comforting pats::
The grass was still wet and looked almost black in the
twilight. When they reached Hagrid’s hut, they
knocked, and a voice growled, “C’min.”
Hagrid was sitting in his shirtsleeves at his
scrubbed wooden table; his boarhound, Fang, had his
head in Hagrid’s lap.
Tilly – Isn’t that Hagrid’s puppy now?
Lily – Wouldn’t he dead by now, then?
Sirius – No, magical dogs live longer than Muggle
Lily – Oh… I suppose that makes sense.
One look told them that Hagrid had been drinking a
lot; there was a pewter tankard almost as big as a
bucket in front of him, and he seemed to be having
difficulty getting them into focus.
Kaya – Drinking is a nasty habit.
Lily – You sound like my sister.
Kaya – Sister or not, it is.
Lily – I suppose…
Kaya - ::shocked:: Lily, don’t tell me you drink!
Lily – I had a couple of drinks on my sixteenth
birthday, but that’s to be expected!
Kaya – ::suspiciously:: Have you had any after that?
Lily – Perhaps… maybe… yes…
Kaya – Lily!
Lily – Kaya! Look, I do what I want to do, right? I
want to drink, let me drink. As long I don’t get
completely drunk and do tons of things I don’t
remember, I don’t see what the problem is.
Kaya – The problem is that it kills brain cells!
Lily - ::roll eyes:: Reading…
“’Spect it’s a record,” he said thickly, when he
recognized them. “Don’ reckon they’ve ever had a
teacher who lasted on’y a day before.”
“You haven’t been fired, Hagrid!” gasped Hermione.
“Not yet,” said Hagrid miserably, taking a huge
gulp of whatever was in the tankard. “But ‘s only a
matter o’ time, i’n’t it, after Malfoy…”
Remus – Malfoy is a bloody git. It’s not your
fault, it’s his.
Sirius – Language, Remus, we have ladies present.
Remus – I completely forgot. ::turns to Sirius::
Please forgive my rude words.
Sirius - ::glare::
“How is he?” said Ron as they all sat down. “It wasn’t
serious, was it?”
Sirius – No, I’m Sirius.
Others - ::groans::
“Madam Pomfrey fixed him best she could,” said Hagrid
dully, “but he’s sayin’ it’s still agony… covered in
“He’s faking it,” said Harry at once. “Madam
Pomfrey can mend anything. She regrew half my bones
last year. Trust Malfoy to milk it for all it’s
Remus - ::groans:: I knew he would play this game.
Harry – Yeah, he’s nothing but a snobby brat. I hate
him. He’s nothing but a Death Eater in training.
Lily – Is he Death Eater material like this father or
Death Eater material like Snape?
Harry – I’m… not sure…
Lily – For all we know, he could be having an inner
struggle with his life style like Snape had. It’s
very, very possible.
Harry – I guess it’s possible, but I won’t be holding
my breath for it to happen.
Lily – And I don’t expect you to.
“School gov’nors have bin told, o’ course,” said
Hagrid miserably. “They reckon I started too big.
Shoulda left hippogriffs fer later… done flobberworms
or summat… Jus’ thought it’d make a good firs’ lesson…
‘S all my fault…”
“It’s all Malfoy’s fault, Hagrid!” said
All – Yeah! Hagrid shouldn’t have the blame!
Sirius – Harry, you, Ron, and Hermione should testify!
Tell them what really happened!
Lily – Yeah! Hagrid shouldn’t get in trouble for
this—he didn’t do anything!
James - ::growling:: We should have known that Malfoy
would screw this up for him. He’s just like Snape
except with followers.
Morwen - ::shuddering:: Don’t say it like that! You
make him sound like You-Know-Who!
Tilly - ::miserably:: That’s all we need… another
Voldemort trying to kill off everyone who has an
Kaya – An opinion?
Tilly – Yeah, if you don’t agree with how he sees
things you’re more or less dead. It doesn’t matter if
you’re pureblood or a squib, he’ll let you join his
ranks either way as long as he has followers.
Remus – It’s horrible.
Peter – I hate it. I wish he would just *die!*
Harry - ::looking at Peter strangely:: Yeah… perhaps
we should continue with the story.
Others - ::nod solemnly::
“We’re witnesses,” said Harry. “You said hippogriffs
attack if you insult them. It’s Malfoy’s problem that
he wasn’t listening. We’ll tell Dumbledore what really
All – Yeah!
Peter – See, it’ll be okay, Hagrid!
“Yeah, don’t worry, Hagrid, we’ll back you up,” said
Tears leaked out of the crinkled corner of
Hagrid’s beetle-black eyes. He grabbed both Harry and
Ron and pulled them into a bone-breaking hug.
Remus/Sirius – ::wince:: Ouch.
Kaya - ::amused:: Have you two been in that position
Remus – Yes, and I immediately couldn’t breathe.
Sirius – It’s bad when he hugs one person, but when he
hugs two it’s like he thinks he has to squash them to
hug them correctly.
Remus – We both had bruises for days…
Remus/Sirius - ::shudders::
Harry - ::snickers::
“I think you’ve had enough to drink, Hagrid,” said
Hermione firmly. She took the tankard from the table
and went outside to empty it.
“Ar, maybe she’s right,” said Hagrid, letting go
of Harry and Ron, who staggered away, rubbing their
ribs. Hagrid heaved himself out of his chair and
followed Hermione unsteadily outside. They heard a
Morwen - ::confused:: Was that from Hermione
dumping out the alcohol?
Harry - ::shakes head:: Nope.
“What’s he done?” said Harry nervously as Hermione
came back in with an empty tankard.
“Stuck his head in the water barrel,”
All - ::snort::
Sirius – Does that actually sober you?
Others - ::shrug::
Tilly – Perhaps it only works on half-giants!
Remus – Er… I don’t think that makes much sense…
Tilly – ::shrugs:: It was just a guess.
said Hermione, putting the tankard away.
Hagrid came back, his long hair and beard sopping
wet, wiping the eater out of his eyes.
“Tha’s better,” he said shaking his head like a
dog and drenching them all. “Listen, it was good of
yeh ter come an’ see me, I really-“
Lily – What? What did they do wrong?
Tilly – Maybe… Ron decided to try the mead?
Kaya – Tilly! That’s not funny!
Lily/Tilly - ::giggles:: We think it is!
Kaya - ::pouts::
Hagrid stopped dead, staring at Harry as though he’d
just realized he was there.
Remus – Oh… right… Sirius is supposed to be after
Sirius – After his blood? I’m not a vampire! That’s
Marauders/Harry - ::snickers::
Lily - ::shakes head:: So rude…
“WHAT D’YEH THINK YOU’RE DOIN’, EH?” he roared so
suddenly that they jumped a food in the air. “YEH’RE
NOT TO GO WANDERIN’ AROUND AFTER DARK, HARRY! AN’ YOU
TWO! LETTIN’ HIM!”
Sirius - ::angrily:: It’s not like I’m going to
suddenly burst into the cabin and kill him!
Peter - ::timidly:: I don’t know, Sirius… if what that
article said is true—though I don’t believe it!—then
you probably would.
Sirius - ::groan:: Ugh… you’re right… Damn this book!
Remus – Sirius, language. If this becomes too much for
you, we can go for another walk to calm down again,
Sirius - ::sigh:: Fine. Let’s continue.
Harry - ::looks confused:: Walk?
Girls excluding Lily - ::shrug::
Hagrid strode over to Harry, grabbed his arm, and
pulled him to the door.
“C’mon!” Hagrid said angrily. “I’m takin’ yer all
back up ter school, an’ don’ let me catch yeh walkin’
down ter see me after dark again. I’m not worth that!”
Morwen – Not worth being caught after dark or not
worth being killed after dark?
Kaya – Probably both.
Others - ::nod::
Lily – That’s the end of the chapter! Anybody want to
volunteer to read?
Others - ::silence::
Lily - ::sigh:: Nobody?
James – I guess I will.
Lily - ::smiling:: Thank you!