A/N This series of one-shots have been written for NCCjellybean, my Brit Slang buddy over in America, who asked me in a review for 'Timeless' if a git was a good thing, a bad thing, a swear word or not.
Git is a complicated term and here are the many different ways we in England use the word. Enjoy!
An old git - A person or a member of a group of people, not necessarily elderly, who enjoy being miserable and letting their misery be known to all who will listen and most others who won't. They also enjoy seeing and causing misery in the lives of others.
Ron and Harry were walking back from Quiddich practice when they saw Argus Filch emerging from the forest with a face so utterly miserable he resembled a wax Blood hound that had been beside a roaring fire for too long.
"Oh look," Ron said as he nudged Harry in the ribs, "it's the world's most charismatic man."
Harry chuckled at this and heaved his broom over his left shoulder, the right having gone a bit numb from the long journey so far.
"Why are we going the long war round again?" Ron said, his amusement fading as he turned away from Filch and back at Harry.
"I want to drop in on Hagrid, I told you, we've been neglecting the poor bloke this year and you know how much he gets a kick out of our little visits. What harm is it doing you?"
"I wasn't complaining," Ron said as he held up his hands defensively, "just wondering that's all. Blimey mate, bite my head off or what?"
Harry sighed deeply.
"Sorry. I'm just feeling a bit guilty about not dealing with the situation with Hagrid a bit better than I did. We should've known he'd expect us to take care of magical creatures and gone to see him before his feelings got as badly hurt as they did."
"Care of magical creatures in N.E.W.T. year, could you imagine it?" Harry tried not to laugh as Ron burst into quite an alarmingly accurate impersonation of Hagrid's accent, "This week we're gonna be devoured by man eatin' Tibetan mountain trolls so we can study the complicated digestive system from the inside!"
Harry's glasses almost vibrated off the end of his nose as he shook with laughter. Ron seemed quite pleased with himself until his face suddenly crumpled into a frown and he thrust his broom into Harry's free hand and stormed over to Filch at the edge of the forest.
"What the hell?" Ron had muttered before breaking into a run.
Harry blinked and pushed his glasses further up his nose so he could squint after his departing friend. Filch was waving a familiar rust bucket of a car out of the trees and Harry saw that Hagrid was behind it pushing with an annoyed shake of the head. Harry picked up the pace so he could hear what was going on.
"What the bloody hell do you think you're doing?" Ron yelled as he reached the school caretaker as he kicked the side of the car with distain.
"That car is a wreck," Filch said with a curl of the lip, "I'm getting rid of it once and for all."
Ron looked outraged and took a step between Filch and the Ford Anglia.
"You can't do that. This is my dad's car."
Filch narrowed his eyes and took a step towards Ron with as much menace as he could muster, which wasn't a lot seeing as Ron was a full foot taller than he was.
"If your father wanted it he would have come and got it when we owled him to remove the eyesore."
"What?" Ron frowned and glanced to Hagrid.
The half-giant cleared his throat and kicked at a tuft of grass at his feet, causing a large clump of turf to overturn, before forcing himself to meet Ron's eye and explain.
"Well the thing is there Ron," he began, "Argus 'ere told yer dad that he had to pay for the car's removal if he wanted it back. Seein' as it caused so much damage when it got 'ere like."
Harry panted and drew to a halt just in time to see Ron turn on Filch with a ferocious glare.
"You asked my dad for money?"
"This isn't a dumping ground y'know boy? This is a school."
Ron stepped up to look down on the oily squib.
"And you're a caretaker, it's not your business to go clearing out the forest," Ron turned his head to look back at Hagrid again, "is the car bothering you Hagrid?"
"No," the half giant said as he took a step back wards and lowered his head, "no trouble at all."
Harry marvelled at the sight of his best friend standing up to Filch and almost laughed out loud to see Hagrid cowering in the wake of his indignation.
"Well this is my family's property and as a representative of my family I'm claiming it."
While Filch flapped his jaw soundlessly Ron jumped onto the bonnet and crawled into the drivers seat through the shattered windscreen.
Filch looked as if he was on the verge of explosion and almost trod on his beloved cat Mrs Norris as he stepped forward and banged his fist upon the roof of the car.
"You wouldn't have dared challenge me if Professor Umbridge was still running things boy, you'd be living in fear just like students should be. I am your elder, your superior, you owe me respect!"
Ron snorted at this and Hagrid looked at Harry pleadingly. Harry didn't know what he was supposed to do. The car did belong to Ron's family after all but it was on Hogwarts property.
"Get out of that scrap heap now!" Filch growled as he flung open the driver's side door and reached in for Ron to haul him back out.
"You can't touch me I'm in my own property and you are not permitted within the boundaries of this car."
Filch froze on the spot and blinked.
"You can't physically move me without overstepping my property line and I can get you arrested for trespassing," Harry was quite impressed at Ron's quick thinking under the circumstances. Fred and George were definitely beginning to rub off on their younger brother.
"He's got a point," Harry shrugged.
Ron looked almost jubilant now that Harry was backing him up with his pointless fight for a worthless heap of scrap and beamed with renewed confidence at his best friend.
"And a witness," he said as he turned back upon Filch, "You can't touch me. You can't move me and I'm not getting out of this car."
Harry laughed as Ron slammed the driver's side door and put on his seatbelt for good measure before locking the doors. The passenger side door fell off and hit the ground with a dull thud. Ron cringed and refused to look over his shoulder at the gaping hole where a door used to be.
Filch thought to himself for a moment before marching away from the car and over to a rickety shed that was hidden in the shadow of Hagrid's hut.
"I may not be able to touch you, but I can dismantle that bloody car around you."
Ron looked back at Harry and silently pleaded him for help. Harry didn't really understand why Ron wanted to save the car so much but thought that he should assist his friend on principle. Ron was in the right after all and Filch didn't have the authority to confiscate something as large as a car from a Hogwarts student. This was head of house business.
Harry pulled out his wand and levitated the car, with Ron still inside, into the air with a swish and flick of his wand. As Filch dropped the tools he was holding and ran back out of the rickety little shed towards them Harry jumped onto his broom and kicked off the ground to hover out of reach of the livid caretaker.
"Get back down here now. Hooligans, the pair of you, that's what you are!" Filch shouted with a shake of his fist.
Harry hoped they wouldn't get into too much trouble for this little stunt and looked across to Ron who was leaning out the window to snigger down at the livid caretaker.
"Ron quick," Harry called across to his friend, "fly the car to the other side of the grounds and let it drive away and hide."
Ron shook his head and patted the dashboard.
"No can do I'm afraid Harry, the old girl's knackered, she's on her last legs. Well she would be if she had any."
Harry blinked and sat back on his broom as he realised that Ron was risking months of detention for a car that wouldn't fly, drive or even keep out a draft. Ron seemed to have read his friend's mind and swallowed.
"It's my dad's car Harry. It's his to throw away not that old git down there," Ron pointed a finger down at the ranting Filch and Harry's pride and admiration swelled inside of him, "We don't have a lot but what we do have is ours to get rid of if and when we choose. It's our car Harry he can't have it."
"I'll get you expelled for this. Expelled and then I'll send your father a bill for disposing of that pile of rusty old junk for good measure!" Filch was snarling.
Ron looked across to Harry and took a deep breath in and out before shaking his head.
"You don't have to get into trouble with me Harry. I'll hold the car up with my wand and you go and tell Hermione and Ginny that I said goodbye ok? Tell Hermione I got thrown out for defending house elves though," Ron added quickly, "don't tell her I was expelled defending a clapped out old car."
Harry smiled at his best friend and thought about how he had ridden an invisible flying horse all the way into London to be ambushed by Death Eaters and almost killed and all because he wouldn't let Harry face trouble alone.
"Like you said Ron," Harry shifted his weight on the broom and angled it down to the ground, "this is the property of the Weasley family. Nobody steals from my family."
Ron's eyes lit up and a broad smile broke across his face. Harry thrust himself toward the ground and Argus Filch with such unexpected force that Hagrid yelled out and covered his eyes, thinking Harry was about to crash into the ground head first. Filch ran and Harry pulled up his broom to pursue him all the way into the shed where he hid. Harry jumped off the broom and slammed the door closed, turning the rusty five inch key in the lock and holding it up to show Ron with as much pride as if he had just caught the golden snitch.
"Swallow the key!" Ron yelled down to him with enthusiasm while Filch pounded upon the locked door.
"It's huge!" Harry exclaimed as he stared down at the key and tried to imagine lodged in his throat.
"Well throw it into the lake or something," Ron said with a roll of his eyes, "Call yourself an anarchist?"
"No," Harry blinked back up at Ron, wondering where on earth his friend had got that idea.
Hagrid seemed to be looking nervously from Ron twenty feet up in a levitating car to Harry who was in the process of throwing the key to his tool shed into the forest. He didn't want to get them into any trouble but he knew that imprisoning the school caretaker inside a shed wasn't really ethical either.
"Get that rusted heap of scrap metal back down now you worthless little trouble maker!" Filch shouted through the door from behind Harry just as he noticed two figures approaching through the now rapidly encroaching darkness of the dusk light.
"Look I think you'll agree that abusing him or the car isn't going to help much," Harry said diplomatically before jumping away from the door as it shook with the pounding of fists on the other side of it.
"Ron?" the running figure of Hermione called up at the car as she arrived on the scene followed by a panting Neville Longbottom, "Is that you up there?"
Harry glanced up to see Ron's head drop and begin to thump repeatedly on the steering wheel. Hermione's arrival could only mean one thing; nagging.
"I saw you arguing with Filch over the car and came to..." Hermione began before looking around herself and seeing nobody else around her but an anxious Hagrid wringing his hands, "...where did Filch go?"
Harry jumped as the door was pounded upon from behind him once again.
"Harry you didn't?"
Before Harry could defend himself from Hermione's rage Ron did what he always does best, he drew her full fury upon himself.
"He's just helping me defend my rights Hermione. This is a matter of ownership and property and...other stuff that basically means that old git's trying to take my dad's car!"
Hermione put her hand to her head and gave a weary sigh. Neville frowned up at Ron and waved.
"I think you're doing a very noble thing Ron. Keep it up."
Ron gestured at Neville as Hermione spun around and glared at him for supporting this exercise in mass expulsion.
"Y'see, Neville understands. This is my property and I am defending it."
There was another thump on the door behind Harry and he kicked out behind him with his heel to try a shut Filch up.
"Oh Ron do you honestly think your dad would want you to get into trouble over this? If he really wanted the car he would've..."
"He's trying to extort money from him Hermione!" Ron yelled back down as he pointed at the shed.
"Why you little sod!" Filch's muffled voice roared from inside the tool shed, "that car caused galleons worth of damage to Hogwarts property and we didn't ask your family for a penny and you didn't get thrown out then like you know you should have."
"This isn't like some fanged Frisbee you can take from a first year and lock up in your office," Ron yelled back down and Hermione shook her head at the escalating scene that she could see no way out of, "this is the private property of Arthur Weasley and if you want it removed or payment for removing it you've got to get permission from Dumbledore first and you know it!"
Hermione's eyebrows raised slightly and she looked across at Harry who couldn't help himself from smiling.
"Actually Ron that's a very good point," she said before remembering their current situation and stamping her foot with frustration, "and I wish you had thought of it before you went ahead and did this!"
"I was the one who levitated the car actually," Harry began before petering off under the look of scorn from Hermione.
"It'll be getting dark soon, you'll freeze," Neville called up to Ron.
Ron frowned and thought about this problem for a moment before leaning out of the window and calling back down.
"I'll try the lighter thingy."
Ron leaned forward in his seat and pushed in the lighter button on the dashboard, waiting for a moment before sitting back and leaning out of the window again.
"I don't think it's working," he called down to them.
"No," Hermione said with an annoyed look on her face while Harry and Neville struggled not to laugh, "a cigarette lighter won't warm a car without any windows, even when the battery is connected!"
"What's a battery?" Ron frowned.
"We need to get him back down now," Hermione said as she turned to Hagrid, "Where's the key to the shed?"
"The genius here threw it away," Filch's voice grumbled from within the shed and Harry shrugged with an amused grin that angered Hermione even more.
Hermione let out a huff before marching over to Harry who braced himself for the full force of her rage.
"Right I'm going up there to talk some sense into him," she said firmly as she snatched Ron's broom from Harry's grip.
"Wait Hermione," Ron said nervously as he leaned out of the window to see her mounting his broom, "what are you doing? You're not much of a flier and if you bust my broom I'll..."
"Levitate it rather than throw it away because it belongs to you?" Hermione snapped as she kicked off from the ground and made her unsteady way up to him in the car.
Hermione swung out her foot to pull herself and the broom through the missing door and into the passenger seat of the car. Ron watched her and gripped the steering wheel nervously.
"Listen," she began with a surprisingly low and even tone, "its time to give it up, the car's gone. You're clinging to the corpse of a car."
Ron looked back out through the glassless windscreen and gave a weary sigh.
"Just because it's a bit battered and nobody else would want it doesn't mean that it's completely worthless y'know?" he mumbled.
"I didn't say that Ron, I know that this car saved you and Harry from Aragog's offspring that time but the car's gone. It doesn't fly, it doesn't drive and it's rusted away into a shell of itself."
Ron tapped at the steering wheel thoughtfully and lowered his eyes.
"This was the only thing we ever had that was actually good," he said quietly.
Hermione shifted in her seat and lifted her hand to reach out for him but Ron punched at the dashboard, causing her to squeal and jump back with fright. She stared at him with concern.
"We had something cool Hermione. My dad bought something and made it into something nobody else had. We had a flying bloody car and we were the only ones who did. We had an invisible flying car!"
Hermione swallowed and tried to understand why Ron was having so much trouble letting go. It was only a possession after all. Surely Ron wasn't that shallow.
"We had one good thing and I wrecked it," Ron said before turning away to stare out of his window and over the trees.
Hermione understood now. She stared at the back of Ron's head and struggled for the right thing to say.
"All I do is mess everything up. Well I might have trashed his car but I'm not going to let that spiteful little squib just take it because we can't afford to..."Ron stumbled over his words, "I mean we could afford to if we wanted to but it's the principal of the thing Hermione."
Hermione nodded and Ron turned back to face her. Even in the ever-decreasing light of day she could see that his ears were burning bright red.
"I see that Ron," she nodded, "I see what you mean now. Why should you have to pay to reclaim what's yours in the first place?"
Ron swallowed and nodded once.
They sat in silence for a minute before Hermione shivered and Ron pulled off his Quiddich robe and offered it to her.
"No really I'm fine," Hermione protested but he forced it around her shoulders before sitting back in his seat and staring back through the non-existent windscreen at Hogwarts castle.
"Put your seat belt on," he mumbled with a very slight smile.
Hermione gave a small laugh and did as she was told before looking around at the car's battered and torn interior.
"I can see why you like it," she said.
"Don't patronise me," Ron huffed as he folded his arms across his chest.
"I'm sorry," she smiled, "you're right I was. The thing is Ron, you're not exactly the kind of person one can reason with."
Ron smirked and nodded.
"Oh you're right there."
Hermione chuckled at this before swivelling around in her seat to look at Ron in concern.
"You must be starving;" she said as she rested her hand on his shoulder to nudge him into to looking back at her, "you've been up here for ages. It's lucky you didn't have to go to the loo really."
Ron grinned back at her sheepishly.
"It's lucky you didn't sit in the back seat."
Hermione's eyes widened and she jerked her head to look at the cracked leather of the back seat and sniffed warily.
"I'm joking," Ron laughed and she punched him in the arm with a relieved smile of her own.
"Oi," Harry shouted up to them from his spot guarding the tool shed, "I'm ready for my dinner are you done chatting or what?"
The pounding on the shed door began again and Filch's voice sounded hoarse with fury.
"The headmaster will hear about this! I will not rest until all four of you are out on your ears for this!"
Neville frowned and looked at the worried Hagrid.
"Oh come on there's no need to take it out on Hagrid Mr Filch."
"I'm talking about you not him!" Filch bellowed and Neville looked terrified as he suddenly heard his grandmother's voice in his head berating him for being expelled for something as stupid as this.
"Oh now come on Filch," Hagrid said upon seeing Neville's distraught expression, "I think you'll find our Ron's got you on a little technicality there, that ownership thing he was talkin' about before, and 'Ermione's gonna know what books to find the wizardin' law tha saves all their skins so you'd best just let this one go and leave the poor lad to have his car if he wants it."
Harry beamed over at Hagrid and the half giant almost blushed with pride at his eventual involvement in this chaos having gone down so well.
"What about me being imprisoned in a bloody shed?" Filch bellowed as he pounded on the door again, "I'll string you all up by your toes when I get hold of you!"
"Now even if I wanted to let you out I wouldn't because of your negative attitude," Harry said with a disapproving tone.
Filch's rage was almost at explosion levels as he rattled the door while roaring through the crack in the door.
"Me? You're talking to me about my attitude? You've all but taken me hostage, all of you are on school grounds after dark without permission, you're levitating dangerous machinery without a professor to supervise you and I'm being unreasonable? You're having chats in a dilapidated tin can and you're telling me I have an attitude problem. I have a brat problem, that's what I've got!"
Harry leaned forward to answer Filch through the same crack in the door.
"You see? That doesn't make me want to let you out."
Harry leapt back as the door rattled and Filch began to rant once again. He turned to Neville who looked both petrified and amused at the same time.
Back in the car Hermione was making slow progress.
"So as far as I can see you can either stay up here until the mediwizards from St Mungo's come to lock you away with Lockheart or you're going to have to give it up. What's it going to be Ron?"
"I'm not the type to give up, I'm the type to flip-out," Ron smiled, "the loony bin sounds alright with me."
Hermione reached out and rested her hand upon his and she fixed him with a hard stare of steely determination that she get her point across once and for all.
"Ron," she began as she squeezed his hand, "your father's greatest achievement isn't a flying car."
She nodded to the rear view mirror and watched as Ron's eyes drifted over to look into it.
"He made something much better than this old thing about seventeen years ago and I'm sure he'd much rather have this car thrown out of Hogwarts than you."
Ron looked back at Hermione and gently swished and flicked his wand to lower the car back down to the ground. Hermione smiled at him as they landed gently without a word between the two of them. Hagrid took a step toward the car to help Hermione out but she held up a hand to tell him to wait, which he did without question.
"I'm going in for dinner," she said pleasantly, "are you coming?"
Ron tried to open his door to get out but it was jammed so he crawled out the same way he had come in, through the windscreen and over the bonnet. He slid onto the ground and walked around to the passenger side of the car with an amused grin on his face.
"I'd open your door for you but it's not there."
Hermione let out a delighted laugh and unfastened her seat belt. She climbed out and the two of them turned to Harry.
"We're going to get something to eat," Ron said nonchalantly, "you coming?"
Harry nodded over his shoulder at the tool shed.
"What about Filch?"
Hermione smiled the same smile she had when she presented the jar containing Rita Skeeter to him on the Hogwarts Express.
"Let him out to rush to the headmaster and explain why he has littered the Hogwarts grounds with an old wreck when it was perfectly well hidden within the woods until now," she shrugged as she opened the door with a flick of her wand and Filch stumbled out of it looking livid, "and I'm sure Professor Dumbledore would be only too interested to hear about your like extortion scheme to get money from students families without his knowledge Mr Filch."
Hermione turned back to Ron who was stifling a laugh and gestured towards the castle.
"Yes I think we shall," Ron nodded as the two of them set off, followed by Neville, Harry and Hagrid.
Just before they reached the steps leading up to the main doors of the castle Ron gave Hermione a slight nudge and smiled.
"Thanks," he said quietly.
"Anytime," Hermione replied with her own satisfied grin before looking over her shoulder at Filch scratching his head and wondering what on earth to do with this old wreck he had hauled out of the forbidden forest, she scowled playfully and mumbled so only Ron could hear her, "Old git!"