*Disclaimer: All the characters included in this fic are the property of J.K. Rowling. I'd quite like them for my own, but the closest I can hope for is that they start marketing a 'Giant Squid' plush doll.
Confessions of a Giant Squid
Most people don't put much stock in the thoughts and feelings of a Giant Squid. What they don't realize is that they tend to miss out on a great many number of things. Indeed, being a squid isn't all inspiring mortal terror in Merpeople, or being fed, cold, discarded bits of toast that are thrown into my waters. Nope. Not by a long shot. I'm proud to say I come from a ling line of distinguished squid. In fact, my ancestors have inhabited this lake from the time Hogwarts school was built. They poked their head above the surface, flailed their tentacles idly, and watched the great castle take shape, all those countless years ago.Now, I regret missing out on such a grand historical event as that, it is true, but I have not entirely been excluded from my own fair share of momentous occasions. In the fifty or so years (I'm afraid I can be no more precise, for it's become rather hard to keep track of time down here. If only anyone had passed on the toast and thought to throw down a calendar!) Through all the years I've made these waters my home, I have glimpsed a good number of happenings. I have observed a good number of people.
I am not without my own stories to tell.
It was when I was but a tiny squid, no bigger than a common octopus, that I first saw the Great One step up to take command of Hogwarts. With his long white hair and beard blowing in the breeze, he would often take slow, easy strolls around the grounds. He would gaze silently across the lake's still surface, and one could tell by the far-away look in those light-blue eyes, twinkling merrily behind their crescent spectacles, that he was contemplating great and wondrous things. Other times, he would sit on the sloping lawn by the waterside, intermittently popping strange, tiny yellow objects into his mouth while muttering, "Nothing helps the tired mind more than a lemon a drop or two, bless muggles for creating such a perfect refresher."
I suppose that was around the time I first began seeing the Giant as well. I was to see much of him over the coming decades, though of course I didn't guess it at the time. He always stuck me as a kind but disaster-prone fellow who trusted too much for his own good. Granted, I was always grateful for the respect he showed me, but if you could only see the...beasts he took an interest to! I once saw him lead a gargantuan spider, no less than eight feet tall, into the forest to hide. On other occasions, he could be seen chatting with centaurs from between the trees, and once a pure white unicorn, silver horn lowered, pursued him angrily right up to his cabin door! It appears he had tried to get a saddle over it's back, maybe thought of riding it like a horse. I, personally, don't blame the poor creature for charging him- a man that size? Unfortunate demise, being squashed to death. Let me pray it never enters the bloke's head to use me as a form of water transportation. It's never really been a goal of mine to someday become a sailboat.
And then, of course, there came to school that infamous group of four. Now those were seven years I'd rather have migrated south for vacation. The first year started with the planting of that dreadful raging tree; it was always catapulting branches and debris into my waters, mucking them all up. So, one day, I started chucking spare bits of soggy toast at it. It shakes its branches angrily at me, I flail my tentacles furiously back; it's been a long, ongoing war.
But if all that weren't bad enough, I've never seen such a group of trouble makers! Well, actually, it was mainly just the two- the untidy-haired one with glasses, and the tall, brawny, dark-haired one. The things they did to deface my lake! Any trash they could find- boots, tires, bottles of empty butterbeer- they made a point of throwing into the water, making a contest of whose could be thrown the furthest. And then there was that one terrible time I went to check on them as they stood at the shore, and when I poked my head up, they explained that through the use of a dungbomb, they had accidentally backed up all the toilets in the castle, and that I had better move out of the way, because nature was calling rather insistently. So then they- I'm afraid I cannot go on, it is simply too horrible to describe. But you can be rest assured I made it a point to stray far from that particular shoreline for quite a time afterward.
The two were near always accompanied by a short, squat, pointy-nosed lad who seemed to follow them everywhere. He usually served lookout as the pair preformed their treacherous antics, then shared the blame when they all got caught. I felt sorry for him, for he wasn't quite clever enough to survive alone, and so was forced to become loyal to the troublemakers or else be targeted by them.
But it was the last of this group I saw the most of. Tall, and slim verging on scrawny, with light-brown hair that grew progressively duller throughout his time here, he often came onto the grounds at sunset. He would always sit on the same broad, flat stone at the water's edge, reading quietly until the light grew dim, and then he would lay back and look to the heavens. He would watch the stars twinkle slowly into existence like candles being lit, and wait for the moon to rise. And as it rose majestically above the horizon, his already aged and tired face would be illuminated in the pale light. It would be reflected in the weary hazel eyes, catch the golden flecks within them so they shown brilliantly into the night...his were the saddest eyes I've ever seen. They would stare miserably up at the glowing orb floating in the sky, and he would shiver, though the nights were often warm.
I would sometimes see the boy being led by a witch across the lawns toward the angry tree, and I felt it a pity for the unlucky boy to have to associate with such a foul specimen of plant life.
I always had a suspicion about the quiet lad, though. For one night, as the moon shown full and bright overhead, I came to find a large gray wolf laying on the same flat stone usually occupied by the boy. As I came closer, the creature stirred, and its eyes sparkled sad hazel shot through with gold before it rose and padded silently away into the forest.
Besides the wolf, I often saw three other animals present on the grounds at night: a large, graceful stag; an enormous, shaggy black dog; and a small brown rat. They would venture to the angry tree and I'd just catch a glimpse of the rat racing towards its base before the tree would suddenly freeze. I quite enjoyed these occasions, as it amused me to no end to see the great raging tree frightened immobile by a mere rat amongst its precious roots. The three creatures would then disappear into the trunk, and, momentarily, return, accompanied by the large gray wolf. Once they had safely escaped, the tree would come to life and shake its braches furiously after them, cursing them for rescuing its prisoner. Heh-heh. Slimy, bark-covered git. I would snigger and cheer on the wolf and his friends, looking forward to next month's humiliation.
Oh, and of course I'll never forget those moonlit strolls. I watched these with enjoyment, I must admit, for it was the only time the one with glasses didn't seem bent on destruction. No, instead he walked hand-in-hand with a beautiful girl, a girl with shoulder-length red hair and bright, emerald green eyes, eyes so full of life that they shone in the darkness even on cloudy nights. The two would sometimes stay out until dawn, gazing up at the stars and moon, though without the misery shown by their sad-eyed friend. No, they pointed out the different constellations, and pondered if the moon was made of cheese.
And any fool could tell, by the way she leaned her head on his shoulder contentedly as they walked across the grounds as if in a dream, and by the warm, furtive looks the boy gave her behind his glasses whenever he thought she wasn't looking; it was obvious these two were in love. And as I watched the couple grow throughout their years here, I knew theirs was a love that would last.
But all good things must come to an end, and finally the (ahem) sad day came when the four friends and the girl left Hogwarts. Interestingly enough, I never caught sight nor sound of the stag, dog, rat nor wolf again. Or at least...not for awhile.
But that's a confession for another day. Perhaps I'll come back soon and relate the rest of my story...if only I had a bloody calendar to set the date. Oh, well. I have plenty of time for dreams and wishful thinking. In the meanwhile, I believe I'll settle for a bit of toast...I do hope they remember that orange marmalade is my favorite.
But, then again, most people don't put much stock in the thoughts and feelings of a Giant Squid...