Here, There and Back Again: An Uric "the Oddball" Beaufolle story
Disclaimer: Uric the Oddball, Harry Potter and all other recognizable characters do not belong to me. They are the property of J.K. Rowling.
A/N: Chapter three of this story is written by Ozma. I highly recommend her wonderful squib stories:) (http://www.fanfiction.net/profile.php?userid=164445) Thanks to my beta reader, Alchemine:)
Chapter 1 – And Where to Find Them
The fire crackled cheerily in Hagrid's cottage late on that January night. A thick carpet of snow grew steadily outside, fuelled by a cold and driving wind. Inside, the only indication of the storm was the occasional flicker of the fire as the wind crept down the flue.
It was crowded in the cottage. Hagrid hadn't been able to bear the idea of keeping his pets out in the storm, so he and Fang had made room for two Doxies, a Jarvey, and a Streeler. Slimy, the Streeler, had set itself to circumventing the room, slowly eating a hole in the floor with its poisonous slime, while the Doxies and the Jarvey were occupied with the greatest challenge of their lives – eating Hagrid's treacle toffee.
A knock came on the door, and Hagrid cast a puzzled look at Fang. The dog whimpered and hid himself further under Hagrid's bed. The boarhound was afraid of storms, and he wasn't too partial to unexpected guests either. Hagrid shrugged and got up to open the door, making sure to step over Slimy as he passed.
Once open, the wind caught the door and pushed it up against the cottage wall, sending a blast of icy air and snow into the room. Hagrid had to squint through the snowflakes that landed on his bushy eyebrows to see his visitor.
It was a student -- one of the older ones, if he didn't miss his guess -- and a Hufflepuff judging by his house badge. He didn't recognize the face, though, and he was sure he would have remembered the face of the young man who was somehow smiling cheerfully at him out of the middle of a blizzard.
"Can I come in, sir?" asked the boy politely. Hagrid blinked in surprise. No one at Hogwarts called him "sir." "I'm not too worried about myself, but Simon doesn't like the cold, and we've been having trouble finding the castle."
"'Course yeh can come in," Hagrid answered instinctively. He wasn't going to send the boy back out into the blizzard.
The young wizard stepped into the cabin, not even noticing Hagrid's frantic fight to close the door against the wind. He removed his cloak and hung it by the fire, revealing his light-brown hair done up in an old-fashioned braid. Then he took a seat at the table, stepping unconsciously over Slimey's path. He didn't say anything as he reached down into his robes, and the jumper underneath, to pull out a scraggly, damp-looking creature.
Hagrid leant in closer, intrigued by what he rightly identified as a fantastic beast. The creature looked like a cross between a lizard and a bird. It had wings with light-blue feathers. The tiny feathers also stuck out of random places on its otherwise normal green lizard body. It lay shuddering on the table for a few moments, then turned its head to look reproachfully at its master.
The boy hung his head. "I'm sorry, Simon. I shouldn't have had you with me," he said.
"What is he?" asked Hagrid eagerly. The boy looked at him.
"This is Simon," he said gesturing at the creature. "He's a bird-lizard. I'm Uric Beaufolle. I'm a human." Hagrid decided there was something a bit odd about this student, but he wouldn't hold it against someone who owned such a delightful creature. He offered his hand.
"Rubeus Hagrid. Friends call me Hagrid, and you can consider yerself a friend." Uric smiled brightly at him. "I'll get you a cup a' tea," said Hagrid, remembering his manners. "Do yeh need anythin' fer Simon?" Uric considered this as Hagrid started the familiar ritual of making tea.
"A blanket, please. He needs to keep his feathers dry and warm. My uncle didn't breed him as well as he could," said the boy. Hagrid brought the tea to the table, along with a soft blanket that had last been used by his beloved Norbert.
"There you are. Don' mind the char marks. Yer uncle breeds bird-lizards?" he asked. Uric nodded as he began to dry Simon.
"And other things. He started breeding Occamys this year and he's still breeding Diricawls and Nifflers. He even bred a Basilisk once," said Uric proudly. Hagrid's face darkened.
"I don' agree with breedin' Basilisks," he said.
"Neither did the Basilisk," pointed out Uric cheerfully. He finished rubbing Simon all over before wrapping him snugly in the blanket with only his head peeking out. Hagrid could hear his soft chirping. "Do you think our robes should be allowed to talk? Then they could remind us when we've buttoned them wrong, but what if you had an especially talkative robe?"
"Put a cork in it, you right nutty bas-" said another voice. Hagrid hurriedly shoved a piece of treacle toffee into Harvey the Jarvey's, mouth. The large, ferretlike creature stared at him, sulking, while the pair of Doxies (Milerna and Melfina) giggled insanely around their own mouthfuls.
"Sorry 'bout that. You were sayin'?" But Uric was looking at the creatures now. He nodded politely to them before speaking.
"Hello, pretty Doxies and Mr. Jarvey." Harvey made a face at being addressed, and muttered some very slurred insults that Uric didn't seem to notice. The Doxies, however, froze when he spoke to them. Then one of them slowly climbed onto the table and approached him. The Doxy (Hagrid thought it was Melfina) stood staring at Uric, who stared back with a puzzled expression. She chattered something at him in her own language, and Uric nodded.
"Now, Melfina-" Hagrid began, but before he could finish, the Doxy dove towards Uric. Its black body ended up snuggled between Uric's arm and Simon's blanket-wrapped body, her four tiny hands curled desperately around the boy's thumb. She opened her mouth to bite like all Doxies did. Hagrid had quite a few bites from her already.
"No, Melfina," said Uric firmly. The Doxy subsided.
"Seems yeh've got a flair for handlin' my beauties," said Hagrid proudly, watching as Milerna made her way across the table to snuggle down next to her sister. Most of his students had run away when he introduced them, and he was quite sure he had heard Neville yell out something about Cornish pixies.
"Professor Baker says they like being near humans. When they bite, they're not actually trying to eat us, but our auras. They're not very good at it, though," said Uric. He sounded like he was apologizing for the Doxies.
"Yeh had a good teacher, lad." Hagrid paused. There was no Professor Baker at Hogwarts. Hadn't been even when he was a student. And yet Uric sat in front of him, in Hufflepuff robes. "I don' remember you in my classes. What year are yeh in?" Uric made a show of looking around the room, then looked closely at him.
"Late 1900s?" he guessed. It took a moment for Hagrid to decipher that comment.
"What year are yeh supposed to be in?" he asked cautiously, though privately he was considering calling Dumbledore. This was too much of a mystery for him.
"1685, but it might be 1686 by the time I jump back there again," said Uric. He didn't seem worried about the prospect.
"What happened?" asked Hagrid. Uric shook his head, a perplexed look on his face.
"I can't remember. That happens to me sometimes, but not like this. Unless I can't remember that as well. Maybe I can't remember anything?" the boy mused.
"You remembered yer professor," Hagrid pointed out. "What's the last thing yeh remember from your time?" Uric thought for a long time about the question.
"I was in one of the lost rooms, and I found a new passage for me and Simon to explore, and then -- then I was in the Hufflepuff common room, only it was decorated in yellow, not plants and a boy there said it was 1379. I was only there for a day, and then Simon and I faded away and found ourselves in the Gryffindor common room. But it was 2012 and we only had an hour there before we found ourselves back in 1685. I thought that was it then, and went to classes like normal, but after a week we faded away again. Today we landed on the Quidditch pitch, only it was cold and we couldn't find the castle, so we came here." Hagrid was looking at Uric in shock, trying to work out what had happened to the boy. He was unaware that this was probably the most coherent account Uric had uttered in his life.
"Gotta get Dumbledore," he mumbled to himself. He went to fetch the Floo powder, not noticing that Uric was carefully unwinding the blanket from around Simon and saying goodbye to Melfina, Milerna, Harvey and Slimy (though Uric called him Mr. Streeler). Hagrid tossed the powder into the fire, calling out for Dumbledore.
Uric fetched his cloak, and tugged on Hagrid's sleeve to get his attention.
"Thank you for the tea and the blanket, Mr. Hagrid." He bowed. "Sorry to bother you. Tell Mr. Dumbledore hello for me." Uric smiled, and left Hagrid gaping as he slowly faded away, Simon clutched tightly in his arms. A moment later, Dumbledore stuck his head through the fire.
"Can I help you, Hagrid?" he asked pleasantly. Hagrid looked around his cottage. There was something he was supposed to remember, or else why would he have called Dumbledore? He spotted the tea on the table, but was unsure why he would have set out a second cup.
"Er, hello." He paused. "I had it a second ago, Headmaster," he said awkwardly. Dumbledore regarded him thoughtfully.
"This blizzard's putting us all out of sorts, Hagrid," he said finally. "Why don't you come up to the castle, and we'll see if we can't get the house-elves to part with some hot chocolate?"
"I'd like that," Hagrid admitted, though he couldn't shake the feeling that there was something important he was supposed to know.
Later that night, Hagrid washed out the two tea cups and wondered why his Doxies seemed so depressed. It was weeks before they would even bite anyone again.
Next chapter: 1685, 1855, 1248, 1983, 1993:)