Chapter 19 - Revelations

The first full week of June was exam week. Thursday, even though Exams weren't quite finished yet, Harry managed to drag Hermione away from her studying long enough for a visit to Hagrid.

The frosty silence between Hermione and Ronald was oppressive as the trio walked to Hagrid's hut. After knocking on the door and being allowed inside, the first thing Ronald spotted was "Scabbers!"

Hermione glared at the boy that had accused her Crookshanks of eating his Pokemon, when the evidence was circumstantial at best. Now that they had proof that his Raticate hadn't been eaten by her Espurr, Hermione was sure she deserved at least an apology for the unfounded accusation. An apology that never came. After being admonished by Hagrid to take more care of his Pokemon, Ron completely ignored her!

After a long chat with Hagrid, the trio was making their way back to the castle. Suddenly, Ronald let out a cry as Scabbers bit down hard onto his finger from his position being carried in Ronald's arms. Ronald dropped the Raticate who scampered away. Chasing after his fleeing Pokemon, Ronald eventually remembered that he could simply recall his Pokemon into his Pokeball and promptly did so.

Meanwhile, Harry and Hermione followed after Ronald at a more sedated pace.

As Ronald was putting away his Pokeball, a loud growl was heard before a large black shape burst out of the shadows, grabbed Ronald by the leg with its mouth, and quickly dragged him away.

Hurrying after the shape and Ronald, Hermione was able to identify the shape as the Pokemon Houndoom. Following the Pokemon dragging Ronald, the duo were led to a tree within the forest that had a large tunnel under it before losing sight of the two. They followed the tunnel that came up into what appeared to be a rickety, abandoned house.

Unknowing as to where they were, the duo exchanged uneasy glances. They each released their starter Pokemon to watch their backs. The duo crept around the bottom floor, carefully looking for either Ronald or the Houndoom. After making sure they had searched the entire ground floor, they headed up the stairs. The first room they came to held a terrified Ronald.

Harry, overwhelmed with seeing his friend looking relatively unhurt, dashed in to Ronald. Hermione entered more cautiously, looking around the room. Once she passed the entryway, she spotted a haggard man dressed in prison rags. Assuming this was Sirius Black, Hermione was confused. Why wasn't he attacking? He was just standing there, staring at Harry like a drowning man would at a life raft.

Hermione was shocked by the story she had just listened to. Sirius Black wasn't the one who betrayed Harry's family. It was Peter Pettigrew who had. Pettigrew had framed Black for his crimes. Pettigrew apparently had the ability to change into a Pokemon, and was a Raticate. A Raticate that once went by Wormtail and currently went by Scabbers.

Hermione's head was spinning as Harry rushed to hug his Godfather and accept his invitation to live together once they turned in Pettigrew and got him freed.

Just then, Ronald decided to speak up. "But Scabbers has been in my family for twelve years!"

"Twelve years? It's been twelve years since he's betrayed his best friends! If you take him to the main government facility, they can check if he's really a Raticate or a human masquerading as a Pokemon." With that last statement, Sirius Black sent them on their way with a promise to have Scabbers at least checked to verify his claims.

The rest of the year passed by uneventfully, besides Ronald needing to do to the infirmary to get his leg looked at and their last exams taking place. The only other thing of note was Professor Lupin resigning which came as a shock.