Title: Devil Child
Note: This part was written for the Harry Potter Writer's Guild (the one that is run by Wolfie, as there are several groups now by that name) Exercise #3
Summary: Hagrid (and Fang) find something 'adorable' in the Forbidden Forest.
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine. J.K Rowling created everyone. I'm just having playing around. Please don't sue, I don't have any money.
Hagrid knew that most normal people feared going anywhere near the Forbidden Forest. It didn't get the name for being a nice little walk through the woods; there was a reason it was called 'forbidden.'
But Hagrid liked it. Fang, to some degree, did too. There were several breeds of rodents living in the forest that were fun for the hound to chase. Poor thing just had to remember not to go after the SpinyRat. Even though it looked harmless, the light gray vermin was actually covered in small barbed quills that emitted a slight toxin.
Hagrid smiled through his bushy beard and patted the crossbow at his side. The house elves were always willing to make anything he wanted, but he still enjoyed the occasional expedition into the forest to hunt his own food.
Summer was always the best time to go off on a hunting trip; he could be gone for days without inconveniencing anyone. Dumbledore always encouraged his hunting trips, knew how much he enjoyed them. Great man, that Dumbledore.
Hagrid looked through the thick leaves, noted the fading color in the sky, and smiled down at Fang. The dog picked up on the unspoken decision and they moved deeper into the woods.
For a big man, Hagrid moved silently through the twisted trees. The normally skittish nocturnal animals of the forest didn't shy away from him and looked up curiously as they watched him pass.
Suddenly Hagrid stopped. A small yellow bird was scratching at the dirt with his little yellow feet, looking for worms or maybe small insects.
'A Snitch,' Hagrid thought to himself, watching with interest. The small birds were a protected species and rather hard to spot. This one must have decided the dark forest was safer that it's normal sunlit meadows.
Hagrid was so intent at watching the little bird that he didn't notice something that blended perfectly with the surrounding shadows creeping closer to the golden creature.
A dark predator suddenly jumped out of the trees overhead and pounced on the fragile bird, killing it instantly. Hagrid watched in shock as the small creature began ripping at the yellow feathers.
With two quick steps, Hagrid strode forward and plucked the deceased bird from the clawing hands. The predator looked up, angry over its lost meal, and growled. A thin arm snaked out from beneath the matted dark hair, demanding the return of its catch.
Hagrid held the bird out and its owner tried to reach for it. Hagrid pulled the bird back and took several steps away. The predator narrowed its dark eyes but moved forward in attempt to reclaim it.
They continued the game all the way out of the forest and back to Hagrid's hut at the edge of the forest. It was at the garden that Hagrid finally gave the bird back and as the owner rejoiced; Hagrid grabbed his umbrella from where he had left it and quickly stunned the little creature.
He hadn't stood there long before Dumbledore hurried down the rough trail (having been alerted to Hagrid's early return by the house elves) and looked at the thin figure sprawled in the dirt with the now very ragged Snitch still firmly clasped in his hand.
Dumbledore picked up the alarmingly light body and followed Hagrid into the house.
After being washed, clothed, and wild black hair cut back, the unconscious form was placed on Hagrid's large bed and wakened with a counter charm. The eyes slowly began to animate and fluttered open. They blinked twice before their owner let out a gasp of surprise and flipped over onto all fours with oddly cat-like agility.
Hagrid looked over at Dumbledore, wondering what to do now. "We wait, Hagrid," Dumbledore said softly, anticipating the question.
Dumbledore extracted a persimmon out of his robe and held it out. There was a slight hesitance before it was snatched out of his hand. Dumbledore smiled as their charge began gnawing on the orange/yellow fruit.
"How old do you think he is?" Hagrid asked, watching as Dumbledore moved to sit on the bed. They both looked at the thin little boy. Now that he was clean his skin was startlingly pale from living in areas of the Forbidden Forest that seldom saw much light. In sharp contrast to his skin, his hair and eyes were an almost unnatural black.
"I'd guess four or five," Dumbledore replied. The child continued on with his snack, watching the two adults with sharp eyes.
"Professor Dumbledore, sir?" Hagrid finally began hesitantly, "Sir, I don't think the boy is normal. What I mean," he rushed on, "is that I don't think he's completely human. Well, for one thing, he's the cutest thing I've seen since Aragog invited me to see his grandchildren."
"Oh yes," Dumbledore said with a sparkle in his eyes, "Though if I recall correctly, one of them tried to bite your hand off."
"She was just being friendly," Hagrid said a bit defensively.
Dumbledore smiled and shook his head. "In this case, I believe you are right, Hagrid." He smiled gently then turned to the boy, reached out, and placed his hand gently on top of the child's dark head. The boy flinched at the touch but didn't try to squirm away.
Dumbledore gently eased the black hair away from the boy's ears. "There," he said to Hagrid, "Demon born." Hagrid leaned closer to see. The boy's ears were narrow and sharply pointed at the top. Dumbledore let the dark hair fall back over them.
The child finished with the fruit and rubbed sleepily at his eyes. He slipped out from under Dumbledore's hand and climbed onto the wizard's lap. Hagrid gaffed loudly. "I think he likes you sir!"
Dumbledore frowned as he put his arms around the little figure. "We can't keep him Hagrid."
Hagrid's eyes suddenly filled with tears. "B-but he'll n-never make it alone in the f-forest," he quivered.
"Now Hagrid," Dumbledore started kindly, "He's been surviving on his own in the forest-"
"But he's so little!" Hagrid wailed, making the child's eyes snap back open in alarm. Dumbledore murmured comfortingly to the little boy, gently stroking the black hair, and the child calmed down again.
Dumbledore smiled ruefully down and the sleeping boy and then looked back up at his friend. "Very well Hagrid," he said with a small sigh of defeat, "We will take him back to Hogwarts. But," he added quickly, "I'll need your help watching over him. I can't watch him all day due to teaching."
Hagrid nodded wildly and mopped at his eyes, a wide grin splitting his face. Dumbledore stood and shifted the tiny boy in his arms to a more comfortable position.
"He needs a name," Hagrid reminded the Professor as they made their way outside and towards the castle, the silvery moonlight lighting their way. Dumbledore grinned and looked at the child in his arms.
"You found him, I'll let you pick his name, Hagrid." Hagrid looked wide-eyed at the older wizard and nodded, acknowledging the honor. "I remember a name I found when trying to decide what to call Deavon," Hagrid said slowly.
Dumbledore held back a wince at the mention of the reptilian tiger. The house elves were still trying to repair the gorges in the wall.
"We'll call him," Hagrid announced proudly, "Severus." Dumbledore nodded and gently brushed the dark stands of hair out of the child's pale face. "Then Severus it is."
Author's Note: Review. This was actually written a while ago, and I think my writing style has improved slightly. And don't worry, I have not abandoned my other story.