Dumbledore was pretty firm with him

Chapter 3: Hagrid

He's worried about Aragog, he isn't well, he's not eating properly, so he's going into the Forbidden Forest to offer him something special, a little tidbit, a brace of ferrets. He thinks, gloomily, well Aragog is over fifty years old, that's a good age for an Acromantula, but it will be a wrench to lose him, he was such a dear little thing when he first hatched, no bigger than a Pekinese, and even cuter than Norbert. I've lost a few pets over the years, but Aragog is special … I was expelled from Hogwarts because of him, they broke my wand, but it was worth it, things couldn't have turned out better – me, a Hogwarts teacher!

He remembers the night that Aragog fled from the castle, the night that Tom Riddle won his Special Services award, and he thinks, I dunno, Tom seemed alright to me … just trying to do the right thing, trying to look after the other students, Aragog wouldn't have hurt a fly but he does look a bit scary if you're not used to Acromantula, but Dumbledore says Tom Riddle is … You-Know-Who, and if Dumbledore says so, it must be so … great man, Dumbledore.

He thinks, remembering those long ago days before he was expelled, it's funny to have Professor Slughorn back again, he was Head of Slytherin back when I was a student! And Professor Snape's teaching Defence Against the Dark Arts, good thing he knows so much about the Dark Arts, the Headmaster says poor Katie Bell would have died if he hadn't been able to stop the curse spreading …. speak of the devil, here he comes now!

He leans against a tree, enjoying the peace and quiet of the forest, and watching Snape striding along the edge of the trees, no mistaking his prowling walk. He idly wonders what takes Snape into the Forest, but he isn't surprised to see him, probably collecting some valuable Potions stuff from the Forest, a teacher's salary isn't large and stuff from the Forest, that's one of the perks of the job, isn't it? And Professor Snape can look after himself in the Forest, the centaurs don't like him, but they don't bother him, either, he went into the Forest to look for Harry the night of the battle at the Ministry, never mind the centaurs, and they would've been in a right state that night …. Professor Snape's a bit like a thestral, he can look after himself alright.

He thinks, people are a lot like Magical Creatures, really, it's a game he likes to play sometimes, forget what people say and just watch what they do, and Snape, well, he's bit like a phoenix, because a phoenix is very loyal, and Snape is loyal to Dumbledore. He knows what they say, "How do we know Snape can be trusted," why isn't Dumbledore's word good enough for them? But they don't see Snape with Dumbledore in staff meetings, when he can't hide how much he likes it when the Headmaster comes in and stands behind his chair and puts his hand on his shoulder, yep, Snape gives McGonagall a look that means, plain as day, you're the Deputy Headmistress but I'm his favourite.

And Snape's something like a centaur, 'cause they would never hurt a foal but they can be pretty hard on adults, look what they did to Umbridge, not that it was near enough, the horrible bitch. He thinks, if the Headmaster had known about Umbridge's detention quill and how she used it against Harry, he might not have been so quick to fetch her out of the Forest … Harry, well Snape's definitely got something against Harry, when Harry comes of age, when he's an adult, there's going to be trouble between the two of them, Snape won't rest until it's been sorted out, once and for all, which of them is top dog, and the Professor might get a bit of a shock, Harry's going to be a very powerful wizard when he grows up …

He thinks, the kids are growing up fast, look at Hermione, she's growing up to be a very attractive young lady, didn't she look smashing at the Yule Ball, that night she walked into the Great Hall with Victor Krum? And wouldn't Hermione be amazed to know that even snarky Professor Snape had noticed? He remembers how Snape's eyes had narrowed when he realised that the attractive girl in blue robes was Hermione Granger, and he smiles, yep, Professor Snape is something like a unicorn, 'cause he prefers women and girls to men and boys. Yep, the Professor definitely likes girls, not that there is any hanky panky between staff and students at Hogwarts, thank goodness, not like the things that go on at Beauxbatons – or would, if Olympe didn't keep a sharp eye out – of course when you have girls with Veela blood, that's asking for trouble, that is. Oh, Professor Snape's a bit of a dark horse, he is, he's been nicking off practically every Saturday night lately, and not to Hogsmeade, either, probably got a girlfriend in London, 'cause often he's not back until Monday morning.

London, it's alright for a visit but I wouldn't want to live there, he thinks, and definitely no place for a Hippogriff, Buckbeak – Witherwings – is much better off back at Hogwarts, of course he still misses Sirius a lot, but it can't be helped … come to think of it, Professor Snape is mostly like a Hippogriff, if you just treat him with respect, he's alright. People think Hippogriffs are dangerous but you just need to know how to treat them and they're as gentle as lambs, of course if they've been knocked around as young ones as some bloody fools do, then you can't trust them, they're unmanageable.

He's just about to pick up his ferrets and head into the Forest when he hears shouting, it's Snape's voice, what's he shouting, "YOU TAKE TOO MUCH FOR GRANTED, DUMBLEDORE, AND I WON'T DO IT! I'VE HAD ENOUGH, I WANT OUT, I WANT IT TO END, I DON'T CARE ANY MORE!"

He thinks, bugger, I don't think anyone was supposed to overhear that, sounds like Snape is feeling a bit overworked … sounds a bit more serious than one of his regular little spats with the Headmaster, think I'll just clear off, I don't want to hear any more of this.


And then he feels the shockwave of dissipating magic swirling past him, tingling his half-giant skin, it doesn't hurt him but Merlin, it was pretty strong, and not Dumbledore's magic, either, something dark and bitter.

He thinks, I dunno what that was about but Dumbledore sounded pretty angry … must be something to do with that blasted necklace, the Headmaster would only get that angry if it was about the students, something threatening the students. I'll be keeping my mouth shut about this, it's none of my business whatever the Headmaster and the Head of Slytherin House are fighting about in the Forbidden Forest, I wish I hadn't heard a word.