[Summary] [HG/SS] (Crackfic) One day, Ron and Harry decide they are tired of Snape picking on everyone that isn't in Slytherin house and make plans to expose that stupid dungeon bat for what he truly is: EVIL! Things do not end as they had hoped. And where the hell is Hermione?! AU/EWE/NC (not even close)
A/N: Um…. I blame…. Cabin fever.
Beta Love: The Dragon and the Rose (may she remain germ-free), Dutchgirl01 (may she be flu-free to everyone but her bosses), and Flyby Commander Shepard (who is, at last tally, disease-free). Ain't the flu season GREAT?!
Evil is a Matter of Perspective
Ignorance, the root and stem of all evil. Plato
"He's right evil," Ron muttered darkly, stuffing the last of a pastie into his mouth.
Harry could only nod in fervent agreement. "You see how he always picks on anyone who isn't one of his bloody snakes."
"I bet he's really a demon," Ron suggested. "I bet he really, really is."
"Too bad we can't prove it," Harry bemoaned.
A slow, wicked grin spread across Ron's heavily-freckled face. "Who says we can't, Harry?"
Ron pulled out a bundle from his bag.
"I went digging around in the back room behind the main library at Grimmauld last summer," Ron explained. "And I think I've found something that should do the trick. There was a tag on it that said—" He pulled out a tarnished looking statue. "Reveal thy true face." His face twisted. "It was all in ruddy Latin."
Ron took the statue and polished the tarnished bottom to better read the words, failing to notice the odd glow that was gathering in the statue. "Bah, you can't really make it out."
"You sure that's going to make people realise the truth about Snape?" Harry asked, frowning.
"Afraid he really is a big ol' bat?" Ron ribbed, sniggering.
"No!" Harry protested. "Of course not!"
Ron started to read the inscription on the bottom.
"What's that?" Hermione asked, looking over her cauldron.
"Nuthin' you'd care about," Ron said, jerking the statue out of sight and into his lap so he could continue to read it.
"I'd hardly care about your stupid Quidditch memorabilia," Hermione muttered. "We need to be working on our potions."
"Well, maybe we have more important things to worry about," Ron hissed at her.
"Like?" Hermione asked, wrinkling her nose.
"Like finding Wormtail so Harry can have his godfather back!" Ron said, making it sound like an accusation.
"He's still alive and at Grimmauld," Hermione said with a huff. "It's not like he's dead!"
Harry shushed Hermione, scowling fiercely at her. "Shh! You want the whole world to know?"
Hermione, chastened, went back to preparing her ingredients and putting them into her cauldron.
Seamus' cauldron exploded nearby, and Neville started fanning the smoke away. Ron started coughing, and he waved his hands around, unintentionally waving the statue around with it.
"Is that a statue?" Hermione asked.
Ron moved it away. "No."
"Let me see that, Ron!"
"No! It's mine!"
"I didn't say I wanted it, I just want to see it!" Hermione said reaching for it.
Snape was coming closer, a frown on his face.
"No!" Ron yelled, pulling it away as Hermione reached for it. But his elbow hit the cauldron with a loud clang. Ron yelped in pain, and his arm came back down, the statue toppling clumsily out of his hands and went tumbling to the flagstone floor.
"Watch out, Ron!" Harry cried, lunging for the statue. They both wrapped their hands around it as they tried to keep it from shattering, tripping over themselves and the table to do it. The cauldron started to burble wildly, and Snape threw over a spell to vanish the potion to keep it from exploding all over the classroom.
Harry and Ron, however, went down together as the statue smashed into the ground with a loud THRUUUMMMMM!
A shockwave went through the room like a bell, knocking students to the floor as they cried out, clutching their ears, even as Ron's voice emitted from the statue speaking the words that he had had been muttering to himself.
Potions bottles exploded. Storage cabinets burst out. Cauldrons toppled. Children went diving under tables for cover.
And the ceiling came crashing down…
Dumbledore winced as another horrified scream came from inside the infirmary.
Poppy sighed. "All of our young witches who were wearing cosmetic glamours are having to face some not-so-attractive truths, Headmaster."
"And what is the truth?" Dumbledore asked.
"Acne, warts, bed head, unwanted armpit and body hair for starters," Poppy said with a gusty sigh. "Plus assorted broken bones, a few concussions, and a great many nasty contusions."
Dumbledore found himself pinching the bridge of his nose. "Have we found the cause of this explosion?"
"Most of the students have the same story. Mr Weasley had some sort of object in his hand. Miss Granger wanted to see it. There was a scuffle to keep it away, and then boom."
"And then… boom," Albus repeated slowly. "And where is Severus?"
Poppy made a face. "I had the house-elves take him back to his private quarters and instructed Foggy to inform me of any changes in his condition. I didn't want him out here in the infirmary where all the students could hear him scolding me for being a harpy."
Albus raised a brow.
"He's a horrible patient."
Albus made a face but nodded.
Minerva came rushing up. "Poppy, dear, have you treated Miss Granger yet?"
Poppy frowned. "She's not here, Minerva, why?"
Minerva's face was drawn with worry. "She's not in the library, the Gryffindor common room or her dormitory, and no one has seen her since the explosion!"
Poppy shook her head. "Minerva, I swear haven't seen her, and I've seen her enough to know when I haven't seen her."
Minerva gave Albus a frantic look. "Can we use the Trace to find her, Albus? She could be hurt? Buried even!"
Albus frowned, but he pulled out his wand and waved it as he spoke an incantation. His wand glowed, a beam shot out—
And sputtered out into nothingness.
Minerva, Albus, and Poppy all stared in shock.
"What does that mean?" Minerva asked quietly, her face ashen.
Albus, his face going the colour of alabaster, dropped his wand hand, struck speechless.
For once in his life, Severus awoke in the depths of the dungeons with comfortably warm legs and a pleasing warmth cuddled up against his chest.
He looked down to see a tiny reptilian snout open wide to expose rainbow crystalline teeth and a bright blue tongue. A crest of fin-like growths wreathed its head and trailed down its back as leathery wings semi-flopped back against the bed. A long, seemingly prehensile tail curled and uncurled much as a cat would flick its tail.
Severus blinked. He looked around. The voice was distinctly feminine, almost familiar, yet warm and lazy in a way he'd expect a cat to sound if it was capable of human speech and was commenting on the warmth of the sunbeam it was laying in.
Don't stop rubbing. That feels reeeeeally good.
Severus froze as his hand seemed to have a mind of its own and was rubbing the creature's chin and belly as if of its own volition. He could feel her disappointment, thick enough to cut with a knife, and he instinctively rubbed again— anything to keep that feeling of gross sadness from sinking in and sticking.
Mmmmm. I've missed you.
Severus blinked. His eye twitched, and he really, really had to relieve himself.
He stood quickly, tromping towards the loo with determination, his brain refusing to process the voice in his head, the flying reptile in his bed, or whatever combination brought those peculiar events together. Vaguely, he remembered that he had forgotten something but not what— Didn't he have class? What class did he have to go to?
You teach Potions, silly.
That voice again. It was so warm, he couldn't be angry. Why wasn't he angry?
Wait… why was he supposed to be angry?
Severus rubbed his head as he walked into the loo and shut the door to relieve himself.
Why was he shutting the door? He lived alone, for Merlin's sake.
He undid his drawstring pajama bottoms, and prepared to do his business when his hands wrapped around something much stranger than usual.
It was fairly normal to do one's business without looking down, and while his bladder was happily emptying regardless of how he felt about it presently, he found himself looking down.
I… have goat legs?! Since when?!
Severus tucked himself back into his pajama bottoms and closed his eyes, counting to ten, looking toward the ceiling.
You know better than to drink whisky right before bedtime, he sternly reminded himself. This is what that gets you. You are hallucinating.
His hooves clacked loudly against the tile floor. He looked down again.
Goat hooves. Cloven. Shiny. Definitely goat hooves. Goat legs too. He was pretty sure those were goat legs attached to the hooves.
Severus washed his hands and stormed out of the bathroom—
And then backed up to look at the mirror.
A wild mane of glossy black hair framed his face as two large, elegantly curving horns moved around his head in a rather dashing curl of—
What the fuck am I thinking?!
Severus stormed back into his bedroom, hopped back into bed, and pulled the covers back over himself.
No more extra-spicy green curry before bed, Severus. Never again, understood?
He fluffed his pillow and closed his eyes.
A warm body wriggled against him, insinuating itself under his arm and then snuggling up against his chest.
You smell soooo good. I missed that too.
Severus opened his eyes and then closed them. No, I refuse to bow to a mere hallucination.
"Go back to sleep so I can wake up from this bad trip," he ordered his hallucination.
Good one, Severus, let's just talk to our hallucinations like a sodding schizophrenic.
Okay, but when we wake up, can we have blueberry tarts?
Severus' nose wrinkled, and his ears twitched. He felt them flick against his mane and horns.
Someone was going to pay dearly for this fucking bad trip—
Silence. Thank Merlin.
You curse more than ever before, the voice observed with a girlish giggle.
"Will you please shut the hell up and let me sleep?!"
The silence was beyond maddening. He almost wanted to start talking to himself just to fill the suddenly empty space. The warm body pressed closer, snuggling, and his arms tightening around it— her— bloody hell.
"Do you have a name, disembodied voice?" he muttered.
Severus' hand shot out to open a drawer in his nightstand, then he grabbed a vial, popped the cork off with one finger, and then promptly quaffed it. "Now I know I'm bloody knackered. Goodbye, dear hallucination."
The effects of the hangover potion hit him like a rogue bludger straight to the face, and then Severus Snape was out like a light. He snored away as one petite faerie dragon chomped him right on the nose.
You'll thank me later. Your memory has always been pants without me.
She stood in the sunlight, golden rays dappling her mane of hair and putting spots on her deer-like hindquarters. Her hair was a bushy poof of greens and golds, much like moss on the tree trunk. Her hands, fingers tapering into delicate claws, gently caressed the trunk of the tree, and the tree burst into bloom, petals slowly drifting in the wind. Her touch always seemed to bring out the life in the forest, and she, much like many of her kind, left life in her wake of her delicate hoofprints.
He had always watched her, ever since he was a young faun. It was as if she were the sun and him the moon— he with black fur and her with such golden sunlight on her very hide.
His brother, Kander, gloried in the chase when his target gave in to their carnal desires, but this dryad was immune to Kander's charms. If anything, the mythical abilities of the faun seemed utterly lost on her. And Severus—
He had never had eyes for any other than this one, ethereal soul, whose careful tending of her forest sent roots deep into the earth and made everything flourish. Even as a young sprog, she would bring health and growth in every footstep. From the very first time he saw her, he brought her fresh water from the chilled springs in the high mountains, rare fruit from wild brambles, nectar from the pitcher plants in the deep forest, and the softest still-living mosses to line her nesting bowl. He couldn't help but adore her— and if she but gave him but one smile, it was enough.
She was looking at him, a merry smile on her face. She pranced around him, draping garlands of vines and flowers around his shoulders and waist. The delicate touch of her hands caused them to bloom— still living, even separated from their mother plant.
Kander pranced in bringing her offerings from the lands of humans—crops, wine, and shiny baubles. At first, the shiny things fascinated her, but as she reached her hand toward them, she pulled back as something about them frightened her.
Then she was gone.
Like a true spirit—
"Show off," Severus chided the faerie dragon as she flitted around him.
You could do it too, you know, she replied.
"What if I end up a bloody Barghest?"
I'd make you look handsome, she replied, her mind filled with laughter and sunshine. There are plenty of beautiful leaves and flowers this time of year.
Severus scowled. "I am a faun, not a trunk of a tree to be decorated."
She flitted back and forth in the air and—
She fell into his arms as a winter wreath, complete with shiny garlands and colourful berries.
Severus sighed. "This isn't winter."
It's always winter somewhere. She giggled and transformed back into a faerie dragon. She flitted about, her wings catching light and colour as the membranes shifted and moved. Come on, Severus, you know you want to. Fly with me!
"There is no guarantee I'd be anything that could fly!" he protested.
Should've, would've, could've! she sang out, flipping and doing a loop-de-loop in the air. Come on, Severus! Just step out into the moonlight and sing! You don't want to be like Kander who can't be anything different!
"Maybe he just prefers to keep his hooves on the ground," Severus muttered.
Hermione slumped slightly as she flew. Don't you want to fly with me?
Severus shook his head adamantly. "Of course I do!"
What's stopping you?
Severus looked down. "Fear of total humiliation."
Nonsense. Fauns have no shame. She chuckled, licking his nose affectionately.
"This one does," Severus muttered. "I could end up like my aunt whose second form was a Boggart."
Hermione's eyes widened. Wicked! That would be so much fun!
Severus eyed her for a long moment. He swallowed hard and looked up to the moonlight shimmering down into the circle of fungi. The clearing glowed in response to the moon's radiance, and there was no mistake to the power nestled in the ring of multi-coloured mushrooms and toadstools.
"What if I end up a strix and want to eat people?"
Eww, she replied. I don't think that would be you.
Severus took in a deep breath. "You promise you won't make fun of me?"
Hermione shook her head. Nope!
"No you won't make fun of me or no you won't promise?"
Severus pinched the bridge of his nose. "Dryads." He rocked back and forth on his hooves and then took a deep breath and walked into the magical ring, feeling the pressure change as the energy shifted around him. He took a deep breath—
Come dance with me
Gift me your touch
And set me free.
Release me from
The chains of one form.
Do grant me another,
The clearing was filled with the glow of moonlight as it seemed to seep through his body and into his very bones. It surrounded him and then seemed to rush in with a great flood, and Severus gave out a cry—
The small faerie dragon did a playful loop-de-loop as the clearing filtered out and became visible again, the traces of magic dampening but not wholly gone. She landed on the ground, her small body changing into that of her true form. Her delicate doe legs pushed up as she stretched, combing her mossy green and gold hair with her hands. She rushed up to the quivering, startled looking black pegasus. His ears were flat against his head and his wings were half-splayed and quivering as his tail swished back and forth wildly.
Hermione wrapped her arms around his neck. "You're beautiful! You see! Nothing to worry about!"
Severus' eyes went wide, but the feel of her arms around his neck brought strength into body he didn't know he had. He snuffled her, his velvet nose playing with the curls of her mane of hair.
Hermione giggled, prancing in place, her tail erect and floofy with excitement.
I am a mutant horse, Severus' voice bemoaned.
"You're the most handsome pegasus of the forest!" Hermione replied. Her hands combed his mane, and where her fingers touched, flowers bloomed with delicate vines, peppering his dark mane with delicate moonflowers. "And you have wings! Just like you wanted!"
Severus tried to be pouty, but the feel of her hands rubbing his ears made shivers of pleasure drive out every piece of vocabulary he had on standby. Nnnnngngggh, he managed to say, causing her to giggle oh so sweetly into his neck as she hugged him.
As she tried to step away, his head and neck curved around her and pulled her back. Get on. If I'm going to make a fool of myself, it better be with you on my back.
Hermione beamed at him and leapt on with no hesitation. She wrapped her arms around his neck as he unfolded one wing and the other, rearing a little to pump them up and down. He took off in a run, awkwardly on four legs instead of two, but gradually became smoother. He spread his wings, and they seemed to grow even larger as the draft carried them up into the air even faster.
"Eeeeeeeeeee!" Hermione said with glee, hugging tight to his neck and rubbing his smooth fur with her hands.
Suddenly, the very sky was no longer limiting, and the pegasus went into a sky-gallop as his great wings blotted out the moonlight below. He tore off over the forest canopy with his passenger in tow.
There was no one else, not that night. Only one faun in the shape of a pegasus and a young dryad on his back and the mutual ecstasy of a freedom of both sky and the forest below.
Severus looked up to see the stars twinkling above. Pastel petals from the flowering trees slowly drifted across his vision, illuminated only by moonlight.
"I like that one," his companion said, pointing one hand up to the sky. "It looks like a great tree with a dragon in it. Like me."
"You're not always a dragon," Severus snorted, rubbing one hoof up and down his calf to itch it.
"I like being a dragon. It's my favourite."
"Most dryads like looking female."
"I am female."
"I mean a woman."
"But I'm a dryad."
"You know what I mean!" he huffed.
"Good thing too. Look at how hard you work to find vocabulary."
Severus turned to stare at her, and she beamed back at him, her feminine face framed in a mane of bushy green and gold hair— the colour of vibrant moss. "Must you always be so difficult?"
"Must you always forget things?"
Severus sighed. "I can't help it. I forget things when you aren't around to bite them back into me."
"Fauns are so silly. They only have so much room for memories," she replied. "Where would you be without me?"
"Lost somewhere," Severus admitted. "Trying to remember what I forgot."
"Everything," she said teasingly.
"Never you," he said adamantly.
"Psh," she answered. "You'd forget me too if I didn't bite your nose occasionally."
Severus shook his head. He pressed his palm to her cheek, brushing it. "I found a huge tree that could be a home tree," he said. "I think you'd like it."
She perked, eyes widening. "Truly?"
She looked up again. "I like this forest. Are you sure I'd like it?"
Severus nodded. "I think you'd love it."
She snuggled into him. "As long as you're there," she said.
Severus scoffed. "Always. I don't know what you're going on about. One day we'll have little sprogs flitting about and making hay like we did as kids."
She looked down, frowning. "Do you think—"
"I mean, would you—"
"Make passionate love to you here under the stars? Of course."
She huffed. "You're such a faun."
He puffed his chest. "Don't you find me acceptable?"
She slid her eyes sideways. "Possibly. You need more green in your hair."
"I am not a sloth!"
"Your memory is a sloth!"
Severus glowered, but she beamed at him, mischief twinkling in her eyes. "We could, you know. Make the bond. Be together forever. Travel the world's forests like our parents did. Father said his memory got better when he bonded to mum."
She itched her legs, her delicate hoof stretching idly over the fur on her leg. "Fauns take forever to decide," she said. "Look at Kander. He's been pouncing on both fair maidens AND males and encouraging their lust for untold centuries now."
"My brother is an utter imbecile," Severus sniffed. "He wouldn't know the best thing in his ruddy life if it literally bit him on the nose."
"I bite you on the nose."
"And I know you're the one, don't I?"
Severus frowned. "You truly doubt me?"
"Fauns live life in the moment. Dryads seek the future," she said sombrely as she looked up to the stars. "Tomorrow, you could meet some human woman and fall in love— like the fauns of old. Following them to the ends of the Earth and pining for them for the rest of your life when they die."
"The only way I would ever be stupid enough to fall for a human woman would be if someone destroyed every memory of you, and long as you are around to bite me on the nose, that won't ever happen," he said adamantly.
He leaned over her, pressing his lips to hers. "Will you consider it?"
"Biting you on the nose? Okay."
He sighed. "I don't want some human woman. I don't want another dryad. I don't want a water nymph, undine, elf, overgrown fairy, naiad, Nereid, mermaid, or sodding banshee. It's you. It's alway been you. Please. Consider it? Be my mate. For now. For always."
"What will our parents think?"
"That it is about sodding time," Severus muttered. His brows furrowed. "Please? Tell me you'll consider it?"
"Yes." She touched his cheek tenderly.
"Yes, you'll consider it?"
She turned into a faerie dragon and bit him on the nose. "I'll be your mate, if you can remember me in the morning." She changed back, eyes twinkling.
He smiled as his mouth met hers in a passionate kiss. "I'll gather the offerings for the Rite," he said.
Severus carried his basket close to his body. The softest moss and spidersilk lay within with the brightest shiniest stones and berries he could find. Glowing, golden pears, various nuts, forest berries, and especially all the fruits that grew out of season due to the young dryad's blessing on her forest. All were a testament to her loving tending and boundless love of life.
Folded in the basket was a soft, fur blanket, woven together from the shed donations from many of the woolier forest animals, all of which gladly donated to the cause. Severus had worked on it for weeks, twisting the warm wool with his fingers onto a spindle and then weaving it into a blanket fit for a dryad. Forest birds had come to him with shiny things they had found on their flights. Unicorns had allowed him to comb their manes and tails for hairs after they dipped their horns into the spring water he had gathered to purify it. So much love had gone into the gathering, and it was as it should be. It was as if the entire forest knew that soon they would be bound to the forest for all time.
And what forest wouldn't want a happy dryad watching over them? The unicorns had come out of hiding for her sake. The darkness of the forest loomed less oppressively, for even it seemed to desire her touch to tend the thorns and brambles as lovingly as the trees and animals. She could make her nest in darkness or light, and both would curl around her as protectively as a mother beast— for without her, his Hermione, the forest would mourn and those like him would forget.
The life would fade from the forest, leaving it— mundane and unmagical.
He, and those like him, would forget how things were and should be. The animals would fight each other. The humans would lose all respect for the forest, forgetting its magic and beauty. The magic would become a myth. They would all become… myth.
Stories to tell the young at bedtime to wonder and scare but not to believe.
Severus clutched his basket tightly.
It would take a month of sleep in a new tree's embrace before his Hermione would wake. Meanwhile, he would tend the tree, leave the offerings, and wait for her. It could not be rushed. She had to gain permission from the old tree to move to a new one, and trees spoke as the mountains moved, on their own time and as they wished it. Meanwhile, Hermione would remain in the tree's loving embrace as they moved mountains of their own, for her.
A younger dryad would most likely take up Hermione's old tree, having large hoofprints to fill, but he knew Dryads were not about competition. Her kind were about tending the lands and frolicking in the places they lived. When they flourished, so, too, did the forest. If anything, the new dryad would appreciate the love Hermione had put into it, knowing they were coming home to a place that had never lacked love.
As Severus carefully placed the colourful items around the trunk of the tree, he gently draped the blanket over a nearby branch along with a string of nuts that clacked together with a pleasant tink. He placed his hand on the trunk of the great tree that had enveloped Hermione for her bonding sleep. When she woke, she would emerge, renewed, and they would step into the magical circle together to be bound as mates for as long as the sun rose and set.
He could wait just a little longer.
Pain unlike anything he'd ever felt before.
His legs were bound! His arms were pinned!
The forest. Why couldn't he feel the forest's touch all around him?
Why couldn't he see? NO! What was going on?!
"Bind him well. We will need his power to stand with the Dark Lord."
"Are you sure this will work?"
"It is the Old Ways," the voice said. "We will bind him here, and his magic will empower our home and our family for all time, passed down from first born to first born until all the families are dust."
"What if something happens to it?"
"Nothing will happen to it, for it will be bound, here, where no one will ever think to find it. The superstitious heathens down there will merely believe the place to be haunted. Dumblefool supposedly bought this place, but no one dares to come in and use it."
Severus let out a shriek of agony, and the very walls of the place shook. Dark wards flared in response and bound him tighter. A beam of energy shot out from the center of the circle and split off, making the man and his companion glow.
"I can feel the magic's power, my wife. Don't you?"
"Our firstborn shall be greatly improved to stand against what is coming, and our line shall remain strong," the man said with pride. "Come, let us leave this dusty old waste bin as this creature makes us the strongest family in Britain."
They shuffled out together, even as Severus strained and screamed as he tried to escape the bindings.
"Wherever did you find that filthy goatman, Orion?" the woman asked with a sniff of disdain.
"The stupid filth was collecting these useless things in a basket," he scoffed. He picked the basket up off the nearby shelf and threw it into the fire where it slowly burned to ash. "Meaningless baubles."
As the couple left, Severus' head turned towards the sound of the burning things— his eyes still blindfolded. His ears focused on the burning embers that turned his beloved berries, flowers, and found treasures to ash. His nostrils flared as he recognised the scents. Two trails of tears flowed down his cheeks as his wails of grief shook the walls of the human structure.
"I'm sorry, my boy, but the only way to release you from this prison is to do something rather drastic," a voice said.
Severus's ears flicked, the words making no sense to him at all. Where was he? Why was it so dark? Why couldn't he move?
Had he been here long? He couldn't remember. Was this home? Where was home?
"The spells they used to bind you rely on your being… not human."
Again the strange words from a different voice. Who was that? What was going on? Was his brother playing some sort of trick on him? He did have a brother, right? What was his name?
"I'm sorry, but you'll have to do a little growing up again, my boy," the voice said. "Hopefully somewhere far from here."
"Are you ready, Miss Prince?"
"I'm ready, Albus."
"You're sure you can do this? Take him somewhere far from here? Far from Britain? It must be far from Britain. Until he comes of age. Promise me, Miss Prince."
"I promise! I'll take him away from here— from Britain!"
Severus heard a grunt and then—
Gut-twisting, limb tearing, agony.
He screamed. His body. What was happening to him?
He was on fire. He was ice cold. He was being torn asunder.
What was happening?!
He screamed. He screamed. He screamed!
"Whaaaaaaaahuh. WAAAAHHHHHH!" A black-haired baby screamed his tiny lungs out in the circle of blood.
Dumbledore hurriedly picked up the baby and wrapped him in his outer robe. He thrust it into the witch's arms with a bag of coins. "Here, take this to cover your travel. Remember. He must be taken far from Britain or unspeakable pain will come to us— especially if the Black family realises their servant has been freed. You must keep him out of their sight. Do you understand?"
The witch was cooing at the baby, who was staring up at her with a puzzled expression.
"Yes, I will!" she said. "But are you sure he has to be—"
"He must! The magic that holds him as human cannot wear off quickly if he is forced to remain in Britain. For his sake and ours, he must leave. My contact will meet you in Wales, where he will boat you to an outside connection to America. You have enough in this pouch to pay any fares and purchase whatever supplies you may need on the way as well as passage back. Now, go! Time is of the essence."
The young witch wrapped her arms around the swaddled baby and fled the shack as Dumbledore closed his eyes and began the very intricate incantations to dismantle the warmachine the Black Family had constructed just outside Hogsmeade.
"Severus, why do you think your father is so mean?"
Severus lay on his back looking up into willow tree. "I dunno, Lily. When he drinks, he sometimes says he never should have turned the boat back to England for mum, but I have no idea what he meant by it," he said. "Far as I know, we've always been in Britain."
Severus looked up into the trees, and for a moment, he thought he saw something staring at him from a high branch— something with wings and a tail. When he blinked, it was gone.
The scuffle had been short, ending with Severus holding a bloody nose and Sirius Black looking victorious. Filch had broken up the fight, but Black looked on hatefully, focused on Snape like he an affront to everything.
"You stay away from us, Snivellus!" James hissed. "The only good Slytherin is a dead Slytherin. That's what my dad says."
"Can't make up your own decisions, Potter?" Severus retorted.
"I'm going to kill you!" Black hissed, launching himself at Snape again—
And he crashed into Dumbledore, who looked down at Sirius with icy eyes.
Sirius backpeddled, wiping his bloody hand over his mouth. His eyes widened suddenly, and he looked down at the blood, confused.
Dumbledore narrowed his eyes. "Mr Black I want you to report to Professor McGonagall for detention. "Mr Snape, please go to the infirmary to have that looked at."
"Watch this, guys," Sirius said. Sirius' smile was utterly malicious. He poked himself with a sharp point and let some of his blood drip. "Snivellus, go dance on the table."
An alarmed Severus Snape soon found himself dancing on the Slytherin table in the Great Hall while children laughed and pointed at him.
"Wicked, mate," James cried, hooting with laughter.
"What else can you make him do?" Peter asked, grinning madly.
Sirius smiled. "I'm not sure, but I'll think of something."
Meanwhile, Severus Snape stared a hole at where Sirius Black was sitting, his eyes filled with pure hate.
Severus sighed as he sat alone during the Christmas holidays, unmourned. He tried to busy himself and enjoy the fact that the other students were gone and gave him peace and quiet, but he was restless. He walked out into the common room to try and relax there, but there were people there making hay and being loud. Disgusted, he stormed back into the dormitory.
A gaily wrapped present sat on his bed.
He looked around. He tugged the ribbon, and he thought he heard a soft giggle. He opened the lid and gasped as the box was filled with shiny stones, berries, and the present of all presents, a soft woven Slytherin scarf and mittens. He stroked the scarf with his hands and quickly put it on, savouring the soft warmth. He snuggled into his pillow and enjoyed the feeling of the unaccustomed comfort.
As he fell into a drowsy sleep, he didn't even notice that the scarf blinked and curled around him with a seemingly loving fondness.
Sirius nudged James with his elbow as Lily reamed them all for mistreating her friend. He stuck a pin into his finger and let the blood drip to the ground.
"Call her a Mudblood, Snivellus," he whispered.
Severus' face twisted in pain as he turned red in the face. "Why would I need help from a Mudblood like you?" he blurted out.
As Lily stormed off, kicking dirt into Snape's face, James and Sirius smirked and shook hands behind their backs.
Severus stormed into the dorm as other students stumbled out of the way, not wanting to get in his path of ire. He flopped on the bed and threw his book bundle to the floor, too irritated to care.
Stupid, fucking Black.
Make me write shite I didn't want to write.
Makes me break my best quills in front of Slughorn.
Make me hump the banister in front of Gryffindor's common room like a bloody pervert.
I hate him.
I hate him!
Severus halted his mental diatribe to look to where the sound was. He sat up and looked towards the "window" where the Black Lake replaced any view of the sky or the forest. He thought he saw something moving in the dark water, but when he blinked, it was gone.
As he stood to look closer, his hand brushed against something on his desk.
A beautiful owl quill the like he had never seen— wrapped in what seemed like vines. The tip was dipped in silver, making it look like moonlight. No, what was that? He peered closer. The tip was formed of crystal that held the stars within its shape. He had never seen such a thing, ever. Surely, it would have cost more than a wand—
Had Lucius heard already of his humiliation?
He pet the quill with a shaky, revenant hand. He picked it up and pressed his face to the quill, drawing it across his face.
It smelled like the forest.
"Go to the Whomping Willow and follow the trail, Snivellus. All will be revealed."
Severus tried to fight it, but his legs moved without his permission, carrying him towards the path towards the Whomping Willow.
"You think you're so cool, Snivellus? Why don't you just march right up and sign up to be a Death Eater. Show them how good you are. Prove yourself a badass. Show us all that you're nothing but a follower."
"Please, they must be moved!"
"So you can betray them? I don't think so."
"They will be killed!"
Sirius snarled at him, scraping his hand against the brick and drawing blood. "Snivellus, I don't want you to talk to the Potters about it. Why don't you go—"
"Please. Black! This is important!"
"Go walk yourself to Hogwarts, Snivellus. Try to get him to believe your Death Eater arse. Plead your case with him. Grovel. Expose all your dirty deeds."
Severus snarled at him as his feet carried him towards Hogwarts, his arms stiff to his side.
"Everything I ever cared about is gone, and it's YOUR fault!" Sirius had Severus by the throat, shoving him into the side of the wall. "They're dead because of YOU!"
"Tried. Warned. You," Snape choked out, his black eyes filled with despair. He didn't even struggle, his heart too broken to put up a fight.
"I'm going to take you in to the Aurors and have you hanged or you'll spend your life in Azkaban where you belong!"
Severus choked a laugh. "Go ahead. Have them read all of my memories. Have them read all the things you had me do but forced me not to say anything. Have them see you smearing your blood all over to compel me to do all the things you thought a good little Death Eater would do."
Black's face grew red with fury as he punched Severus to the face. "I will end you, Snivellus. You've been a bane to everything! I see you, and all I want to do is make you suffer. I rid myself of you, and at least my friends will be at peace."
Severus' black eyes burned a hole through Sirius. "Tell me, what lets you sleep at night? What let you send me away instead of warning your supposed friends? Why even risk it not being true? You did this."
"No! You think I'm stupid?! Peter agreed with me. It wasn't just ME!"
"Trust him, do you? Where is he now, while you are trying to get away with murder?"
Black's face twisted in conflict. He snarled, crushing Severus' throat as he took out his wand and jabbed it into the other wizard's throat. "CRUCIO!"
Snape's body spasmed and convulsed, his hands curled into fists as his body dealt with the pain— but his eyes looked into Sirius with undying hate and accusation. He spat out blood on the street. "Now. Who's. The Dark wizard?"
Sirius, shaking with rage, thrust the wand into Severus' neck and—
A blur of colour smashed into Sirius, a bundle of fangs, claws, and wings. Claws and teeth slashed into Sirius' face.
Sirius' hand locked around the dragonet's throat. "Hiding your toys from me, Snivellus?" Blood dripped down his face as jagged cuts zigzagged across his skin. His left eye was swollen shut where the faerie dragon's claws had raked across it. She let out a piercing scream that shattered the nearby windows.
"Hey, what's going on?"
"Did you hear that?"
"It sounded like a child!"
Sirius' fist clenched, and the faerie dragon desperately clawed and tried to bite him. Magic was surging through her small body as she pulled on the very life around her. The wind began to rise and blow. The skies began to darken steadily— as if the very heart of nature was displeased.
Suddenly, Sirius seemed to realise something in that moment, and he crushed his fingers around the delicate creature's body as he drew his wand and jabbed it into its throat. "I think I finally understand something my father told me when I was a child." He smiled cruelly. "I've spent all my life trying to show the world your evil, but what I should have done was take your power for my own. This— thing— is connected to you. I've always been really good about seeing such things. Where power flows. Where it doesn't. And now, I will disconnect it—and you, Snivellus, will be done."
Sirius clenched the dragon's body, and it gave a choking wheeze.
A clang came from around the corner as someone tripped over some some clutter in the alley as they peeled around the corner.
Sirius' head jerked up as he saw Peter Pettigrew standing there, his hands pulled up, rat-like, as his face twitched. Something passed through Sirius, perhaps the dawning of realisation or perhaps some other, larger grudge.
"You," he spat venomously. He trembled with rage, and in a moment of equal hatred for Severus, drew a ring on the ground and slammed the broken body of the faerie dragon down into it.
"No forest or nature around here can reach it, Snivellus. Have fun watching it die while I entertain my old friend, Wormtail," he snarled as he took off after Pettigrew, screaming threats and insults.
Snape crawled over to the circle Sirius had put down, his expression, confused and pained. He clutched his chest as he moved across the pavement, and he tried to touch the circle of magic to reach the wounded creature within.
Snape cried out in agony as Black's hatred-fueled blood magic tore into his body and tortured him yet again. The creature inside struggled to move, throwing herself against the circle again and again, damaging herself even more— breaking herself even more. Her delicate wings were in tatters. Her body was bent. She was struggling to breathe.
"Stop, please!" Snape pleaded, his fingers reaching inexorably for the barrier.
The faerie dragon whimpered, trying to crawl to him, her pain-filled eyes meeting his.
"Hermione?" he whispered, feeling for the first time in what seemed like forever the pain of more than himself. Images came to him—of her bringing him a bottle when his drunken father was too knackered to do it, of her rocking his crib and humming him to sleep, of her curling up around his neck when he was sleeping to help keep him warm, of her turning herself into a warm scarf, of her sneaking him fresh fruits and berries from the forest to keep him from going hungry, or handcrafting him a quill, sneaking him coins into his pocket so he could buy things he needed, cleaning his books after they were dropped into the mud, and so much more.
She had been with him— always.
How had he not known?
How in the world had he forgotten her?
"Hermione," he whispered, thrusting his hand into the barrier to touch her, gritting through the agony as his finger wrapped around her battered muzzle. Her small tongue darted out and licked him before the pain became too much for Severus and he had to pull away. The joy that filled him the moment he touched her was beyond anything he could fathom— and he remembered. He remembered everything.
But, it didn't last. The barrier arced into him and he went flying against the nearby building. He let out a last, painful wheeze as his eyes glazed over, and he slumped.
Cut off from both Severus and her forest, Hermione whimpered, unable to heal herself, unable to shift, unable to flee. The wizard's Dark blood magic bound her to the cold, unforgiving constructs of man where the roots and dirt barely met and not enough to help her. She wanted to return to the forest where she belonged.
Dumbledore and Minerva arrived shortly after.
Dumbledore looked from one to the other. "Minerva, take Severus to Poppy. Quickly. I'll deal with our unfortunate friend."
"Oh my goodness," Minerva gasped. "Is that?"
Dumbledore shook his head grimly. "Not for long, if I do not act quickly. Take Severus to the infirmary, and I must ask you not to attempt to ask him anything, as it will only frustrate him."
"You're not going to—"
"No, Minerva," Dumbledore assured her. "The only thing that can help him now is time, and time is what our little friend here does not have. Please, Minerva. Trust me now. Take him and go."
Minerva flattened her lips but nodded, wrapping her arm around Severus and disappearing with a crack.
Dumbledore reached his hand out to the barrier, wincing as it arced out to zap him soundly. He narrowed his eyes at the blood circle. "I should have dealt with you long ago, Mr Black. I mistakenly believed that because you were Sorted to Gryffindor, that you were the sole redeemable member of your bloodline, but clearly I was wrong. Karma will find you one dark and dreary night, sooner or later— that, my boy, I can promise you."
Dumbledore put up his wand and pulled out another— a wand seemingly honeycombed like the burls on a tree, suggesting a long, skeletal finger. He traced a complex series of runes in a ring.
"I am sorry, little friend, but to release you, I fear I must change you into something you are not," he said rather grimly. "But I promise you, you will find each other again. I am just sorry it cannot be now, for I must preserve what you are now— weaker and fragile— into a matching form. As you grow, your power will grow. You will remember who and what you really are, and he will be waiting for you— even if he doesn't know he is. I feel I must apologise for not having taken him out of Britain so long ago— had I done so, perhaps you would be together already."
Dumbledore closed his eyes as Fawkes landed on his shoulder. He dipped down his head as a tear trailed down his beak and landed in the wizard's palm. Dumbledore felt his own tear trickle down his cheek and splash down into his palm to mix with it. Magic trembled as the combined tears streamed down his hand and down the length of his wand. He traced the symbols Sirius had scrawled as the tears filled up the blood markings—
A blast of magic swallowed up the circle, and there was a cry from within.
A young child's cry.
As the brightness cleared, Dumbledore looked down upon a naked toddler of perhaps two, her tiny fists balled up as she yanked on her magic-frizzled hair that had transformed into a wild bush of untamed unruliness. She screamed, floods of tears streaming down her little red face.
Dumbledore reached in and picked her up, moving his head back as she tried to sock him in the eye and get her feet tangled into his beard. He struggled with the child until Fawkes dangled a glowing fruit in front of the child. She instantly stilled and gazed upon it with wonder, reaching out to grab it and immediately stuck it in her mouth and sucked on it.
Dumbledore sighed and summoned his Apparate with a crack.
"I could have sworn—" a voice said.
"The cries came from down this alley— I think."
"There's nothing here, mate."
"It was a child screaming, I swear it!"
"I believe you, but there is no child here."
"Let's keep on looking."
As the people went to another alleyway, the glowing runes of the broken circle faded away into nothing.
"I don't understand why I'm even here!" Severus snapped, crossing his arms over his chest with a curl of his lips.
"Severus—" Minerva said. "You were hurt very badly last night, don't you remember?"
"Do you think I would be saying I didn't understand why I was here if I knew why I was here?!" he groused.
Minerva frowned. "Severus, you—"
"Are very fortunate to be alive," Dumbledore stated quietly as he walked in, his arms tucked behind his back.
"Headmaster?" Severus frowned.
"When you are feeling up to it, my boy, I think it's about time we discussed you assuming the duties of Potions Master here at Hogwarts," he said.
"You waste no time, old man," Severus snarled. "The dirt on the Potter's graves have barely settled, and you already wish to—"
"Severus," Albus responded briskly, his lips pressed together. "You will remember our agreement."
Severus twitched. "I remember."
"Albus—" Minerva began.
Albus shook his head slowly at her.
Severus scowled, brushing by them both. "Fine, I'll be in your office." He whirled and disappeared out the infirmary door.
"Albus—" Minerva said, her face wrinkled in conflict.
Albus put a hand on her shoulder. "Some things must be as they are until the time is right. When, I do not know, but when it comes, there will be a reckoning of which neither of us can or should then, we can only hope that Tom doesn't kill us all first."
Minerva closed her eyes and shook her head. "I don't like it, Albus. Who was the monster who hurt him to begin with?"
Albus placed a Daily Prophet on the nearby vacated bed.
Sirius Black Sent to Azkaban For Murder of 16 Muggles!
Minerva stared at the parchment in sheer disbelief as her fingers curled into a talon-like fist.
Sirius Black woke to a problem.
A rather furry problem.
Moony stood on top of him, his lips pulled back in a ferocious snarl. Before he could utter a single word or even cast a spell, Moony's fangs flashed and sank deep into Sirius' shoulder.
Black screamed in pain as dark rivulets of blood streamed down his arm.
He heard a werewolf's savage howl of victory even as he threw himself into the floo and yelled, "Dumbledore's office!"
As Sirius disappeared through the floo, "Moony" turned into a small faerie dragon. Hermione's shimmering wings glowed as she performed a loop-de-loop and flew joyfully about the room in flawless figure eights. A dark-maned faun stepped out of the shadows, his eyes glowing with green fire. His lips turned up into a wicked smirk. "I haven't forgotten you, Mr Black, and neither has she."
The little faerie dragon zoomed around Grimmauld place, and roots and vines began to burst from the ground and take it over. Flowers bloomed. Wild fruiting vines erupted into growth, quickly covering up the Black family portraits, and water pooled up to form a lily pond and fountain filled with fish, frogs and all manner of aquatic and semi-aquatic life, smack in the middle of the old house.
The central fountain sculpture looked unnervingly like a nude Regulus Black depicted as a cupid, complete with bow, cherub wings, and a fig leaf discreetly covering his masculine assets.
"Lovely decor," Remus commented idly as he sat down on a surprisingly comfy moss-covered armchair surrounded by tangled tree roots.
"How could you do that to me, Moony?"
"You bit me!"
"YOU BIT ME!"
"No, mate, I most assuredly did not," Remus shot back, appalled.
"I'd know you anywhere, Moony. You have have a very distinctive scar on your muzzle and that star-shaped patch of white fur on your—"
Remus shot him a look. "Mate, it wasn't me."
"So there is another werewolf out there that did this?!" Sirius yelled angrily, yanking down his shirt to expose his scarred shoulder.
Remus snorted, brows furrowing. "Unless you think I'd break out of a holding cell guarded by Auror Tonks, mate, you're completely mental."
Sirius blinked. "You're— that can't be."
"I don't roam free on moon nights, Padfoot. Never again. Not after I almost killed someone."
"Snivellus deserved it!"
"NO ONE deserves this curse, Padfoot," Remus bit out coldly. "And to be torn to bloody pieces by a werewolf— no. Just… no."
Sirius jerked back. "Moony—"
Remus held up a hand. "Just— look… it wasn't me, Padfoot. You'll have to blame some other werewolf, if it even was one."
"I damn well know what a werewolf looks like!"
Remus just shrugged. "I have no idea what you really know after you just accused me of biting you when I most assuredly did not!" He sighed and leaned on one of the fountain cupids as he sprawled. "I guess we'll see for sure come the next full moon. Better seal off your doors and windows, though." Lupin looked out the window. "Trust me when I say if that if there is a way out, the wolf will find it. That includes climbing up a chimney and getting stuck inside it."
Remus looked up. "Not one of my most proud moments."
Sirius Black Spotted Howling at the Moon in London, Completely Starkers
The infamous escaped convict, Sirius Black, was spotted baying at the moon and running amok throughout downtown London totally starkers, scaring many innocent Muggles and causing much overtime for our Ministry Obliviation teams. The rather shocking sighting, which were widely recorded on various Muggle objects called "mobiles" and "video cameras" spread Black's mad antics all over the Muggle evening news programmes long before the Ministry was informed of the situation. Even so, it took days before they realised that the "nutter" in question was none other than Sirius Black.
Sightings of Mr Black have been few and far between ever since the incident in question. Some say that it was an elaborate prank staged by someone with Metamorphmagus abilities as it would be frankly suicidal as well as incredibly stupid for someone attempting to hide from the Aurors to go howling around London and bringing undue attention to himself.
People are reminded to owl or Patronus the Office of Magical Law Enforcement immediately if they should happen to spot Sirius Black or have any information with regard to Black's possible whereabouts.
Residents of Grimmauld Place in Islington Swear Their Street is Haunted
No one believed Mrs Bettina Weatherby when she claimed her house was haunted, but now people are starting to believe her. Grimmauld Place residents have been reporting a number of strange incidents including plaster falling, dishes rattling, mad howling, and loud thumps in the night, yet when they attempt to locate the source of the disturbances, it's like it's been coming out of thin air.
Some people believe that someone may have trapped their dog in one of the flats, but officials sent to investigate report that they have found nothing to explain it.
"It's downright creepy is what it is," Mr Solomon Gatesford told our reporters. "It's like an episode on one of those ghost hunting shows, only it's real and happening to our entire street."
Gatesford's young son, Aaron, age 5, whispered to a reporter, "there is a naked man that runs across our paintings sometimes. It makes my mummy blush."
Harry put down the newspaper and frowned.
"What are you reading, mate?" Ron asked.
"Muggle news," he said. "Grimmauld was in the news again."
"Again?" Ron whispered uneasily. "Isn't Sirius—"
Harry gave Ron a look.
Ron looked down at his chicken wings. "I really wish we could get in touch with him. Spending detention with Filch every bloody night isn't helping us to get him out of there. Maybe he's just going stir crazy!"
Harry shook his head. "He probably is. We're going stir crazy, and we aren't stuck in a ruddy house all the time. At least he has Buckbeak. And I think Remus visits him."
"We need to get out of this detention every night business so we can figure out how to get Wormtail. Catch him and your godfather is free and clear."
"I'm not sure if there is a way out of this," Harry pointed out. "We almost killed people caving in that classroom. They won't even let me in to see Hermione, and Snape—"
"Good riddance," Ron hissed. "I like Slughorn way better than greasy old Snape anyway."
"But we almost killed Hermione!" Harry protested.
"She should have kept her bloody mitts off my stuff!"
"It wasn't even your statue!"
"What? You on her side now? You think she's right?"
"I'm saying that if you'd just let her see the bloody thing, the classroom probably wouldn't have gotten blown up and we wouldn't have everyone in Gryffindor thinking we didn't give a rat's arse if we blew up our own housemates too!"
Ron shook his head and turned away, choosing to carry on stuffing his face rather than listening to Harry anymore. "Whatever, mate. Even Sirius thought it was worth it to get one over on old Snape."
"You didn't tell him about that statue you nicked, did you?" Harry asked, frowning.
"No, why? He said we could do whatever we wanted with any stuff in that room when we slept there that night."
"I don't think he meant that we could take it," Harry pointed out. "He might be pretty mad that you used one of his family heirlooms on Snape."
"I think he'd give us a ruddy medal," Ron said with a sniff. "Besides, it's not like he couldn't just buy a newer statue. That other one needed some serious polish."
Harry frowned deeply. "Somehow I don't think Dumbledore believed you when you said it was it was purely accidental. Why else would be keep us from seeing Hermione?"
Ron shrugged. "Maybe he knows she's just a nosy little bint." He reached out blindly to the nearby basket of lemon-ginger creams and then let out a terrified scream as the biscuits instantly sprouted eight hairy legs and scurried over him. He started beating on himself, throwing things everywhere, covering most of the Gryffindor table with fish and chips, chicken wings, sausage rolls, pork pies and an entire serving bowl of mushy peas.
"Ron, I swear to Merlin, I'm going to beat your ruddy face in with with my chair if you don't quit!" Seamus yelled angrily as he swiped jelly cubes off his chest and whipped cream out of his hair.
Somehow, food started flying in random directions, and the entire Gryffindor table ended up in a brawl with Ron being piled on by multiple children as the other house tables emptied and slowly slinked their way out of the Great Hall.
"Immobulus!" Dumbledore's voice rang out across the room.
Children and food froze and began to float in mid-action.
Albus' eyebrow twitched. "Thus far, you have been adrift in the sheltered harbour of my continued patience*, but alas— that was only the calm before the storm. All of you may now enjoy a delightful detention with Mr Hagrid helping him to rid the greens of garden gnomes until all the gnomes are driven out."
The spell then released the now-chastened children, and they all stared down at their feet as they shuffled out of the Great Hall.
*(C.B. from Lilo and Stitch)
(Red envelope arrives to dormitory and is shut into a trunk)
RONALD BILIUS WEASLEY!
I DON'T KNOW HOW IN MERLIN'S NAME YOU MANAGED TO ENLARGE NEARLY A HUNDRED GARDEN GNOMES INTO MONSTROUS ACROMANTULA-ATTRACTING MAGNETS RESULTING IN UNTOLD GALLEONS WORTH OF DAMAGE TO THE HOGWARTS GROUNDS, BUT YOUR FATHER AND I ARE GREATLY DISPLEASED BY YOUR SEEMING INABILITY TO CEASE CAUSING TROUBLE, MAKING A RIDICULOUS SPECTACLE OF YOURSELF AND EMBARRASSING THE ENTIRE WEASLEY FAMILY BEYOND BELIEF! IF YOU DON'T SHAPE UP, WE—
(Howler ends abruptly as Ron magicks the sealed trunk out the open window)
(Note to students on public bulletin board)
To all students:
Please do not throw items out the castle windows. It makes the Whomping Willow far more apt to, well, whomp everyone, and no one wants that.
Any items found to have been launched out the castle windows will be sold at auction and the proceeds donated to the Hogsmeade Wizarding Orphanage.
"Ron, did you use my trunk?"
"Why the bloody hell would I do that?"
"Because it's missing, you arse!"
"Why are you blaming me for that?"
"Because I'm not seeing your stuff being sold off to charity with the ash of burnt up Howler still inside it!"
"Oh, so I'm the only one who ever had a Howler?"
Harry scowled. "I swear to Merlin, mate. Howlers are all you're going to have if you keep this up."
"We're happy to announce that Slytherin has earned a combined two hundred house points for volunteering their assistance with the clean up and charity auction of the vast number of trunks and various other items that have been thrown out our windows lately. They have already raised over seven hundred galleons for the Hogsmeade orphanage. Congratulations, Slytherin. Most excellent work. Excellent, indeed."
Please try to avoid stepping in any faerie rings that may be on the grounds. The side-effects may or may not prove to be permanent.
You can recognise faerie rings by the glowing circles of mushrooms shaped in a circle or other shapes such as ovals. If you happen to see one, please place a sign near it to warn your fellow students. Do not under any circumstance step inside one, as we cannot guarantee what will happen to you if you should do so.
Mr Hagrid would like to remind students that faerie rings are not connected to actual faeries such as those eaten by Bowtruckles and Augerys and killing faeries to rid ourselves of the rings is not possible or recommended.