The Creevey brothers are baby-sitting Kevin, the "You-bust-slug"-kid from the Quidditch world cup. Surely, nothing can go wrong there...
'Thank you, Professor McGonagall,' the witch said as she was led into the teacher's office. 'Come, Kevin.' The boy was shyly trailing after her, clutching her hand. McGonagall closed the door after them.
'Please Lorina, call me Minerva. You are not a student any longer.' The lady laughed.
'Oh, is that so, Professor? I thought a student never fully grew up in the eyes of their teachers.' Minerva smiled, a thin little smile.
'Some don't, I am afraid to say. But you seem to do well for yourself these days. Please, sit down.' And they all took place at a small table. Minerva poured up tea. Kevin got lemonade.
'What a fine boy you have here,' Minerva said, smiling at him. 'He has your face, you know.'
'And his father's clumsiness, I'm afraid to say. But he's simply adorable. Say hello to my old teacher, Kevin.'
The boy looked up, meeting the eyes of the unbelievable old woman who smiled at him. He hid his face in his mother's robes.
'You bust slug,' he mumbled. Lorina chuckled.
'He's shy,' she explained. 'He has not been in such an exciting place as this since the world cup.
'I don't blame him. Hogwarts is strange enough even for us who live here. But please, let me know what fate has put in your way since you left school.'
And the grown up started to talk about uninteresting stuff. Kevin quickly lost interest, and decided to explore the office. A bit unsteadily he walked over to a desk and stood on his toes to be able to peer over its edge. Mostly papers and boring stuff, but he could see a quill that looked interesting. He tried to reach it in vain for a while, and then gave up. Slightly disappointed, he continued his examination. An open door caught his attention.
'Don't go too far, Kevin,' his mother said and he nodded.
The room he entered was small and stuffy. There was a table with a number of chairs and a window, through which the sun was shining. At the table two boys sat. They had brown hair, dirty robes and were looking curiously at him.
'Hi there,' one of the boys said. 'Who're you?'
'I'm Kevin,' Kevin answered in a silent voice, debating whether to leave or not.
'Come over here, Kevin,' the older of the boys said. 'We'll show you something cool!' Hesitantly Kevin took a few steps towards the table. The boys grinned friendly at him.
'I'm Colin, by the way,' said the older boy. 'And this's Dennis, my brother. He's younger than me.'
'What did you want to show?' Kevin asked, not wanting to be distracted.
'Oh yeah. Look closely.' Colin had drawn a stick figure on a piece of parchment, and now waved his wand over it. 'Animata,' he muttered, and the figure suddenly started to move. Colin directed it with his wand, making it walk to the edge of the parchment and back, dancing and - by the look of it - singing. A small speech bubble appeared, and the text was rapidly changing. Kevin did not know what it read, but both of the brothers were laughing. So did he.
'Do more, do more!' he begged. Colin nodded.
'Sure. Look now. Engorgio.' The stick figure grew almost as big as the parchment and started to push against the edges as his amount of space shrunk. Carefully Dennis put a larger piece of parchment next to the first, and the stick figure jumped over to it, at once looking less uncomfortable. Colin made it dance, an insane dance in faster and faster speed. The three boys were laughing so much that they got tears in their eyes.
'Funny!' Kevin exclaimed, standing on his toes to see the stick figure properly.
'Very much so,' said the voice of the old lady from behind them. 'Especially since the two of you were supposed to do lines.'
'Sorry, Professor,' Colin answered innocently. 'Just entertaining this kiddo a bit. Didn't want him to be bored.'
'I am sure,' she answered dryly. 'Now, I think you are finished with your detention, and I therefore ask you to leave my office and try not to do any more mischief for a while.
'Aw, Professor. Can't we stay and play with Kevin?' Dennis asked. McGonagall frowned.
'I am not sure your influence on a young boy is an entire positive one, Creevey,' she began, but Kevin's mother, who had also walked into the room, interrupted.
'Actually, if these two students agree to baby-sit Kevin for a while, you could show me around without us having to bore him to death. What do you say, Kevin?' The boy hopefully looked up at her.
'Wanna play with Dennis and Colin!' he said. She ruffled his hair.
'Want to, not wanna. What do you say, Creevey, was it? Would you mind baby-sit Kevin for a while?'
'We can? Awesome!' the brothers answered in unison.
'Lorina, I am not sure that I recommend these particular students to care for anything, least of all a child.'
'Nonsense, Minerva. You'll be fine, won't you Kevin?'
'Yes mom,' he answered politely. The Creevey brothers bolted up from the chairs.
'Cool! Let's go Kevin. We'll show you the giant squid.' The three boys ran out from the office. Colin stoped in the door for a moment and nodded to McGonagall. 'See you next detention, Professor'
'Be careful with him,' McGonagall called after them, but they were gone before they had time to answer.
'Who's the squid?' Kevin asked, trying to keep up with the older boys.
'It's this really cool gigantic octopus who lives in the lake,' Colin answered, panting. 'He can juggle, and he's bright orange. You'll like him.' They dashed through the entrance hall of Hogwarts, passed a few Hufflepuff students who looked at them slightly bemused, and then out through the door, out to the sunshine. The lake was before them.
'Nah,' Dennis answered. 'He's fun. When I was going here by boat and fell into the lake, he rescued me.' The halted at the edge of the lake, catching their breath.
'Have you driven a boat?' Kevin asked jealously. Dennis grinned at him.
'Don't worry, Kevin. When you're as old as me, you can go by boat as well.' The boy brightened up.
'Sure! You can even steer.'
'Hey, there it is!' Colin exclaimed. 'Here, squiddy. Come here!'
Kevin stared. The surface of the lake was broken by a slender, orange body, looking something like a gigantic lemon. Several tentacles grew from the base of the body, propelling it lazily forward. Two gigantic eyes regarded them. The brothers waved and shouted to it. Kevin hid behind them, but he made sure not to look away.
'He's coming,' Dennis cried, stretching out as far as he could to pat it. The squid merrily waved at him and gave him a playful push with the tentacle. Dennis, who was standing in a risky angel from start, lost his balance and fell into the water. The squid made a bubbling noise that might have been some kind of laughter, and pushed him up again. Colin was himself stroking a tentacle, and did not even glance at his brother when he fell into the water. He motioned to Kevin to come closer.
'Come on, pat him. He's nice.' Hesitantly the small boy stretched out a hand, and carefully touched the point of the tentacle.
'He's wet,' he said, and touched it again.
'Sure he is,' Dennis said, dripping with water. 'He lives in the lake. Do you wanna see him juggle?'
'We have nothing he can juggle with,' Colin objected.
'Can't we give him some books or anything?'
'Nah, we already used the spell books for that, and they are back at the towers anyway.'
In the end they found three rather large stones that they throw to the squid. He happily began flinging them around with a really remarkable accuracy. The boys cheered and clapped their hands when it did extra impressive moves, such as the five-tentacle fast-catching. After a while the squid dropped the stones on the shore and waved at them, swimming back towards the middle of the lake.
'Wanna see more squid,' Kevin said disappointed. The older boys nodded.
'Yeah, but I think he's tired now. He's up at the surface much less during fall... Hey, we can go to Hagrid's and see if he has any fun creatures around.'
'Sure! Last there is a flobberworm!' And they turned around to run, but their way was blocked by a large and skinny man with a sour face and a rake.
'My, my. If it isn't the Creevey hooligans,' he hissed. He bent down, looking closely at the boys. 'And a new little terrorist I see. Training him already to do horrible, criminal things, do you?' He sneered. 'Let me tell you, that if the two of you curse my compost heaps one more time, just one single more time, then I'll have you hanging upside down from your thumbs in the dungeon. Got that?'
'Yes mister Filch,' the brothers answered in unison, smirking. He snorted.
'Dumbledore's too soft with the likes of you, I always said. The cane's a far better teacher then anything, but does he let me use it? Oh no. It's all cuddling and letting you get away with things... What are you still standing here for? Get lost!' And the boys started to run. The Creevey brothers adjusted their speed to allow for Kevin to keep up. They kept running until they had put a small shed between themselves and the sour-looking man.
'Who was that?' Kevin asked, his voice a bit shaking. 'He was scary.' Colin bent down so their eyes were in line with each other and spook gravely, staring Kevin in the eyes.
'That was the Giant Squib. He's a really mean man, who does all sorts of mean things to children. Better stay clear of him.' Kevin regarded him with large eyes.
'Does he really?'
'Yes he does. He puts them in his closet and beats them with a big whip he has, and he has a dungeon where he locks them in and never let them out, and he... he...' He glanced at his brother for support. Dennis quickly filled in.
'And he eats them. Makes stew and pie and sausages off them,' he said with a serious voice. Kevin looked doubtful.
'Nah, you're kidding.'
'Are not,' the brothers said. 'He ate my brother,' Dennis added. Colin shot him a glance and looked a bit surprised. Dennis thought a few moments and then went on. '...that is, we were three brothers from the beginning. I had a baby brother too. Actually, he was just about your age...'
'It's true,' Colin supported. 'He was just walking around, minding his own business, but the Giant Squib caught him and boiled him. He and his cat ate him together with mashed potatoes and pickled onions.
'Said he tasted nice,' Dennis went on. Kevin suddenly looked a bit less sure of himself.
'Don't wanna be eaten,' he mumbled.
'Oh, it's OK. He only eats children who wander off. And you are with us, right?' Kevin lit up.
'Then he can't eat me?'
'Of course not. Now, let's go to Hagrid's!' And they ran on.
Hagrid's hut was a cosy place at the edge of a forest. Hagrid himself was a gigantic man with a gigantic beard, for the moment digging in his garden. He nodded at the boys.
''ullo kiddos,' he said as they came closer. 'All right?'
'Yeah!' Colin said. 'This's Kevin. He likes the squid.' Hagrid smiled.
'Ain't it a beauty? Nice to meet ya Kevin. Are ya a Creevey as well?' Kevin shook his head.
'Good. I was afraid there were three of ya rascals... two's just enough. One more and ya would be a match even for the Weasley twins.' The gigantic man laughed, his belly jumping. He looked funny.
'Who are the twins?' Kevin asked. Colin sat down on the ground next to him.
'They were the coolest of all people at this school. They left last year, and now they run a shop in London. Selling really cool stuff... There was once this lady, a really wicked lady who was really mean...'
'Did she eat children?' Kevin wanted to know. The brothers exchanged a glance.
'No, not personally. But she enjoyed cooking. She had a large oven she put them in, then she gave them to Filch. The Giant Squib, you know.' The boy nodded.
'Well, anyway, this lady was doing a lot of mean stuff, but then Fred and George, that are the twins, come and like put on a lot of firecrackers, right under her nose, and they like went exploding all around the school for the whole day and she was trying to put them out...' Dennis took over the telling. 'Yeah, and then they like turned the whole second floor to a swamp, just flooding it and bringing in goo and stuff, and she and the Giant Squib were all slimy, but they caught them and were just to cook them, but then they just, No Way, and took their brooms and flew off, dropping this massive crate of dungbombs in the head of the lady so she stank like poo for a whole month, and now they are running this wonderful store.' He sighed, something dreamy in his eyes. 'They're the coolest thing that ever happened this place. I wanna be like them when I grow up.'
'What happened to the lady?'
'She got lost in the forest and couldn't find her way back... but do you know, she's still out there, looking for the way back. So don't go walk in the forest alone, least the lady will catch you.' Kevin nervously glanced over his shoulder, but no menacing ladies seemed to be lurking in the edge of the forest.
'Do the Giant Squib really eat children?'
Hagrid laughed again, ruffling the brothers in their hair. Dennis small head almost disappeared in his big hand.
'What rubbish are ya putting in the 'ead of the young lad?'
'We're only warning him. Can't be to careful at Hogwarts, right.'
'Yeah, whatever. Do ya want to have tea by the way?'
'No thanks' said Colin, who knew Hagrid's cakes for what they were. 'You have any cool creatures we can show Kevin? We're giving him the tour, you know.' Hagrid scratched his nose thoughtfully.
'The tour ya say... Yeah, I have something that might amuse ya. Come here.' Abandoning his garden he walked over to the garden shed, where he picked up his crossbow and called for Fang, the large boarhound. Together they sat out towards the forest.
'What if that lady turns up?' Kevin asked anxiously.
'No problem,' Colin said carelessly. 'You are with Hagrid.'
'Yeah,' Dennis agreed. 'Nothing bad can happen you when you are with Hagrid. Common knowledge.'
'Hurry up, ya lot.'
Together they walked deeper into the forest. Hagrid strode first and the boys followed, running to keep up. Kevin was flanked by the brothers, who kept a running commentatory of what creatures lived in the forest.
'...and then there are the thestrals who are like invisible horses, but eat meat and can fly. And there are those who say there are trolls in here, but I've never seen any, and there are the centaurs and the spiders and...'
'Sssshh! We're there. Be silent and peep carefully.' Hagrid motioned them over to a stand of trees. The boys silently sneaked forward and glanced through the branches.'
'Cool,' Colin whispered.
'Awsome!' Dennis hissed.
'Froggies!' said Kevin happily, glad to recognize the creatures. Hagrid chuckled.
'Yeah. Ya might say that, I suppose... but quite impressive, right?'
The creatures in the muddy pond before them were frogs, but at least twenty times as large as the frogs Kevin knew. Many of them were easily bigger then himself. There were about a dozen of them, crawling around in the mud.
'What're they doing?' he asked.
'They're about to hibernate,' Hagrid said. 'Finding a nice patch of mud and digging a nest, where they are spending the winter. When spring comes, they crawl up and goes back to the rivers. These beauties can be at least ten years old. Not bad for a frog.'
'What do they eat?'
'About anything the right size. And beware of their tongues... Look at this.'
Taking a dead rat from his pocket, Hagrid took aim and threw it in a wide arch towards the pond. As the frogs spotted it, three of them shot out long, sticky tongues towards it, the fastest catching it a good six feet away and dragging it back to his mouth.
'Wicked!' exclaimed the boys. Eager to get a closer look they jumped up from the trees. Kevin stood tiptoed to see over the bushes.
'Oi!' Hagrid cried. 'Not that close'
But it was too late. One of the frogs had spotted him and surprisingly fast jumped two quick jumps towards him and shot out his tongue. It caught Kevin around his waist, and before he understood what was happening he was in the gap of the frog. Due to his size, he could not be swallowed whole, but he felt the jaws closing around him unfortunately tight. He screamed.
'Ya let go of him, stupid frog!' Hagrid cried and hit the creature in the head with his crossbow. Surprised the frog let go of his grip, and Kevin fell to the ground. The Creevey brothers had rushed to his rescue as well, with the only result of them too being caught by the frogs. Rapidly Hagrid freed them and brought them to safety on the other side of the trees. The frogs mournfully followed them with their eyes.
'Ya all right?' the gamekeeper anxiously asked. The three boys standing in front of him were all covered in slime and smelled like the pond in which they had almost been dragged. But all three were radiating of eagerness.
'Well, ya seem to be right enough. Let's go back. Ya need a bath.'
'Aw, Hagrid. Can't we have another go? They like us.'
'Yeah they do. That's the problem. Come on!' And vividly discussing their recent experience of the frogs feeding expertise, they went back, following the winding forest trail.
'Colin,' Kevin said as they were yet passing the lake, walking towards the entrance of the castle. 'Wanna ask you a thing.'
'Do the squib-man REALLY eat children?' The brothers laughed.
'You would better believe it. And much faster then the frogs.'
'Bet you are kidding.'
'We are not.'
'Bet you are!'
'Ooooh ickle baby-boys, naughty slimeballs.'
'Hello Peeves!' Dennis said brightly, waving at the poltergeist who hovered over them. 'This is Kevin. We are giving him the tour.
'Ah! Smelly little Kevy taking tour, is he? Peevsie will help him on the way.' Laughing menacingly he crabbed Kevin in his robe and floated upwards with him. They were in the great hall, and the ceiling was very far away.
'Weeee!' Kevin shouted in joy! 'Faster, FASTER!'
'Smelly Kevy sitting on a stick
Looking down untill he gets sick'
- Peeves sang, putting the boy on a shelf, high above the floor. Laughing, he flew off.
'Hold on up there,' Colin cried, producing his wand. We'll get you down. He pointed the wand at the boy on the shelf, who was by now starting to realize that he was stuck.
'Wingardium Leviosa,' Colin yelled. Kevin felt an invisible hand griping him, lifting him from the shelf and lowering him towards the ground. Quite fast. Very fast. He screamed.
'Wingardium Leviosa,' another voice said, an older voice. Kevin felt himself slowing down, slowly drifting to the floor. He landed before the feet of a bald old man, quite pluffy, and with an enormous moustache. He shook his head.
'Creevey,' he said with a slightly tired voice. 'I must stress the inappropriate in single-handedly trying to levitate a boy of almost your own weight when a mistake will result in him falling to a stone floor. Five points from Gryffindor, and you will have detention with the head of your house.'
'Okidoki, Professor,' Colin answered. 'She will be glad to have me back. She says her office is lonely without me. This is Kevin by the way,' he said, indicating the boy who had landed on the floor. 'We're giving him the tour. Kevin, this is Professor Slughorn.' Suddenly Kevin's face lit up and he smiled with his whole body to the slightly surprised Professor. He rose from the floor and gave the old man a slimy hug.
'YOU BUST SLUG!' he cried.
The Creevey brothers began to laugh. Slughorn obviously couldn't decide whether to be insulted or not, and settled at smiling at the little boy and walking away, leaving them all three laughing at the floor of the great hall.
'Where to now?' Dennis asked.
'To the kitchen?'
'Nah, the elves are under order from Madam Pomfrey not to give me any more sweets.'
'What about the tower?'
'Yeah, we can show him Potter!'
'And take a bath'
'If we have time.'
'Wanna meet the twins,' Kevin suddenly said, remembering what he had been told about the legendary Hogwarts top prankers.
'No can do, Kevin. They're in London... but actually we can go see the swamp.' Dennis jumped to his feet.
'Awesome idea. Let's go. It's wicked!'
Together they ran up the stairs, almost running into a group of first years who scattered as they ran past. Soon they reached the east wing and the swamp. It consisted of about five square feet of a roped area which was in all respect a real swamp. It was soggy, gooey, smelly and wet. They all agreed that it was indeed awesome. They stood on the other side of the rope, watching it. Kevin did not actually reach as far from the floor that the rope was in his way. He shot a glance at the brothers. They glanced back at him. They all regarded the swamp again. It was just a few square feet. Which was just enough.
When Kevin's mother and Professor McGonagall happened to pass that way about ten minutes later, all three boys were involved in a happy mud fight- covered all over in slime. McGonagall sighed, tiredly covering her eyes with her hand.
'Lorina,' she said. 'I am afraid that your son has indeed got involved with bad company.' She raised her voice slightly. 'Could please Creevey and Creevey go back to their dorm, immediately, and there take a long, thorough bath, and then come down to my office to continue a detention that should obviously not have been interrupted in the first place.'
'Sure, Professor,' they said, crawling up from the swamp.
'Just a moment, boys,' Lorina said. 'I want to thank you for taking care of Kevin today. As far as I can see, you seem to have kept busy. Have you had a nice time, Kevin?'
The slime-thing that was her son gripped her robe and looked up, meeting her eyes. He was radiating of joy.
'This was the funniest thing I have ever done, mom. Please can we visit here again?' he asked.
'I'm sure we can,' his mother smiled. 'Here boys,' she went on, producing a large paper bag and handing it to Dennis. 'It's just some Bertie Bott candy as thanks for the help.'
'Cool!' both brothers exclaimed. 'Thanks a lot, Madam! See you soon Kevin!'
'So,' his mother said to the older lady. 'I think it is time for us to floo home. Kevin seems to need a bath. I just want to...' And they went back to grown up talk. Kevin quickly shuffled over to Colin and Dennis, who were just about to leave. There was still one thing he had to know.
'You DID kid about the squib-man eating children, right?' he asked anxiously. Colin laughed and put a hand on his shoulder.
'Yeah, we did. It was just for the fun of it. He doesn't really eat kids, Kevin.' Kevin regarded him in silence for a few seconds, his eyes narrow.
'I don't believe you!' he concluded. 'I think he DOES eat kids.' The brothers exchanged a surprised glance.
'But we lied. He does not eat children.'
'I bet he do.' Kevin stubbornly repeated, and then, since his mother was calling him, he waved his hand a bit awkwardly.
'I wanna see you again,' he said sincerely.
'Sure!' Dennis said. 'Come see us any time.'
And they said goodbye and Kevin walked away, his hand in his mother's. He was stinking of goo, slime, frogspit and giant squid secretion. And he was the happiest boy in the world.