Gabbling with Gargoyles

Goyle receives a kind word of advice. Characters belongs to Rowling.

As he walked down the corridor students fled before him. The younger ones scurried away with frightened expressions. The older ones frowned at him, clutching their wands, but not daring to say anything. Goyle approved of this. It showed respect. Without looking at his fellow students he marched up towards the staff room. The gargoyles outside the door leered as usual. When the boy approached them they turned their heads and followed him with their eyes.

"'ello there, sonny" said the one to the left. "What's up?"

"Hi" grunted Goyle. "Nuffin, really. Came by for a chat."

"Yeah?" said the one to the right. "Somethin's eating ya?"

"Nah" Goyle answered, thrusting his hands into his pockets and leaning back towards the opposite wall. "Just came by."

"Yeah?" said the gargoyle to the left.

"Yeah."

They went silent for awhile. A second year Ravenclaw strolled by, giving the Slytherin a distracted glance.

"Anything interesting happened lately" Goyle asked with gruff voice. One of the gargoyles slowly unfolded a gnawed arm and scratched his nose thoughtfully before answering.

"Fatty Hagrid sat on Flitwick da other day" he leered.

"Said 'e didn't see 'im" the other filled in. "Large row 'bout it. Great fun."

"Yeah. I can see that"

Yet another paus in the conversation followed. Goyle cleared his throat a few times.

"Draco's moody again" he said after awhile. The gargoyles snorted.

"Usually is, isn't 'e? What's up dis time?"

"Got turned into a ferret. Mad's anything 'bout it."

"Yeah, I can see dat gettin' to 'im. Pity with da brainy. Always worked up for nuffin'."

"Yeah" Goyle agreed.

"So how's stuff goin'?" the gargoyle to the left asked kindly. The boy sighed and fussed a bit with his sausage-thick fingers for awhile before answering

"I'm not doing too well in classes" he said grudgingly. "Dunno if I will make my O.W.L.s next year."

"So what?" The one to the left sneered. "Who's ever needed any stinkin' owls? Leave dat to da smartheads."

"Yeah!" Goyle agreed, but then he met the eyes of the statue with something almost like pleading in his eyes.

"Yeah..." he repeated "...only, you know, I could've done well enough in the magical creatures class, but Draco doesn't like Hagrid. Don't want me to play along with him, you know." The gargoyles nodded in sympathy.

"Yeah. Dat's da smartheads for ya. Once they get sumfin' in their 'eads it won't come out. If ya care for a bit of advice, don't cross Draco. Da Malfoys're good at knowin' where da wind's blowin', if ya catch my drift. Yer father's done well stickin' to Lucius, and ya've done well 'nuff with Draco so far, haven't ya?"

Goyle nodded reluctantly.

"Yeah, I suppose" he said, "only, its just that its real fun, being outdoors and dealing with hippogriffs and screwts and stuff, not being locked up in a stupid classroom. I know I could be good at it, and then I would have at least one good grade for show."

"See?" sneered the gargoyle to the right. "I told ya 'e would fall for dat one eventually."

"Shut yer mouth" said the other and turned to Goyle again, his expression as kind as could be managed.

"Ya see, sonny" he said, "grades an' owls an' stuff's just da smartheads way of showing off. Don't bother with it. It's not worth da trouble. Its just der game anyway, an' ya don't want to be like 'em." Goyle nodded glumly, thrusting his hands deeper into his pockets.

"But tell me one fing" the gargoyle went on. "Is der any student at dis school dat's stronger'n ya?"

Slowly Goyle started to smile, but a thoughtful frown appeared in his face.

"Well..." he said hesitantly. "I don't think so, but Crabbe just might be up to it."

"Dat's all right" the statues assured him. "No shame in bein' equal to a decent bloke like Crabbe. And der ya see. Ya don't need to show off as the smartheads as long's ya know yer own value."

"Yeah!" Goyle said, a smile of gratitude in his face. "Thanks."

"Don't mention it" said the gargoyle, leering. "Was der anyfin' else bothering ya?"

"Well..." Goyle said, almost shyly, "There is this girl you see..."

"See!" said the gargoyle to the right, nudging his companion in the side. "Told ya. When da kiddos go glum, go look for da girl. Der's always a girl."

"Shut yer mouth" said the other one, but he grinned. "A girl ya said" he said with kinder voice to Goyle, who was shuffling with his feet, a slightly goofy grin on his lips. "Dat's my boy! How's it workin' out, den?" Goyle opened his mouth to answer, but the other gargoyle interrupted.

"Stuff it. 'Gonagal's comin'."

Goyle silenced and leaned back towards the wall as the door to the staff room opened and professor McGonagall walked out from the doorway. She glanced questioningly at the boy in the corridor.

"Were you looking for someone, mr Goyle?"

"Nah, madam." he gruffed, not meeting her eyes.

"What are you doing here then?"

"Nothing, madam."

"Really? You don't want me to get professor Snape for you?"

"No thanks, madam."

"Well..." McGonagall hesitated, but there were not any rules against lurking in corridors. She nodded at the student. "Very well, mr Goyle. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you."

"Yes, madam." he answered, and followed her with his eyes as she walked away.

"Nosy, dat one" one of the gargoyle's commented.

"Stick in da bum if I'm, any judge" the other agreed. "Anyway boy, what's up with dat girl?"

"Well..." Goyle muttered. "I haven't really told her anything yet. But I think she likes me... at least, she doesn't sneer at me or pretend I'm not there or anything. And once she hit me in the face so I had to be sorted out at the hospital wing." The gargoyles whistled impressed.

"Sounds like a real lady, boy. What's her name?"

"Bullstrode" the boy answered with a blush.

"Well, good luck on ya. If ya should need any advice with how to treat da girles, ya know where to find us." The gargoyles winked at Goyle who smiled back at them. He pushed himself up from the wall and nodded.

"Yeah, I know where to find you. Thanks for listening."

"No problem sonny. Always a pleasure. See ya 'round."

"See you uncle" said Goyle and walked away down the corridor.