This chapter is a little wink to Fledge. Enjoy ;-)

He prowled the corridors, at ease with himself. The night was young and smelled so good. The pale light of full moon washed over the stone floor, giving the school a somewhat eerie feel. This was familiar ground for him, he had walked these paths many times before, when he had slipped away from his carer for his nocturne adventures, and he knew every cranny and nook. Ah what a night!

What was that? He picked up a scent, an exiting, urging scent, promising adventures. He eagerly sniffed in the air, quickly following the luring trail. Part of it was strange and vaguely familiar, even if he for the moment couldn't remember where he had felt it before. Then there was a part of the scent that was very familiar indeed and that he remembered very well where he had felt before, even if his thoughts didn't linger on her for the moment. She was of the past, this new scent was of the immediate future. And the night was young and excitement was building in him.

She stood, as the image of a goddess, in the middle of the next corridor, bathing in the moon light that flowed in through the open window, bringing with it the ancient and still ever young smell of the night. He walked slowly now. Calm, controlled steps, smiling at her, the confident, daring smile that had served him so well before. She turned her head and watched him approach, but didn't comment or stir. Oh well, be it that way. Deliberately slowly he reached to nuzzle her nose, but she turned away her head.

Don't you want me? he asked, and she answered with a snort. You are beautiful! he tried, but that did get no reply whatsoever. But her scent was intoxicating. He took a few steps around her, grinning. She sat as made of stone, pretending not to see him. He tried to nuzzle her nose again, with the same result as before.

Why don't you want me? he inquired, getting a bit more annoyed now. Am I not handsome? And by that he was sure he could see a quickly hidden twinkle of amusement in her eyes. Was she laughing at him? Am I not worthy of you? he asked and she answered that, No, he was definitely not. And she didn't care for his strength or smile or silly pick-up lines, and could he please go away and leave her alone.

He was taken aback, temporarily, but he was not in the habit of giving up. He flashed his widest grin and said that she shouldn't reject him without giving him a fair attempt, that she didn't know what she was missing. He reached out to nibble her ear playfully.

Crookshanks was not really sure what happened after that. But it was a long, long time until he dared to walk the castle at night again. And his already deep suspicion about humans in animal shape was even more aggravated afterwards.

- - -

"Fi... five points from Gryffindor?" Hermione stammered, staring unbelievingly at her teacher. "But why, professor? What have I done?" McGonagall gave her a firm look.

"It is not personal, I hope you realize, Granger, but even so this might serve you as a reminder that the owner is responsible for her pet's actions." Without really noticing it she raised her hand and corrected the bun her hair was tied up in, a very faint smile on her lips. "And that goes for its intention as well," she went on, maybe talking more to herself than the distraught girl in front of her.