A/N: I own none of this. I do not own Harry Potter or any rights to his image or personality. I do not own the moon or the stars. I do not own human genders, other than my own personal original factory equipment. Honest. Nope, not me. I most certainly do not own the rights to a billion dollar literary work. .. Damn it.

Terror

"I've got somethin' special fer yeh today."

There was a low moan from the class. Even Hermione joined in. She liked Hagrid, liked him a whole lot, but if the half Giant described a creature as 'something special' that pretty much ensured that it would be huge, covered with poisonous spikes and would have a mouth full of teeth designed to eviscerate your average Hogwarts student.

Hagrid led the class back behind the Hogwarts stables to an outdoor enclosure. There in the middle of a corral like structure was a tall man like creature with huge bat-like wings. Hagrid entered the corral and casually strolled up to the inhuman demon.

"This class, is a Balrog," the half giant said in his lecture tone. "I named 'im 'Mister Flopsy' As yeh can see, they are taller than most peopleā€¦ not me o' course. They have the ability to shroud 'emselves in fire, darkness, an' shadow. They frequently appear armed with fiery whips o' many thongs, an' occasionally use long swords. It's said tha' they cannot not be killed. Only dragons rival their capacity fer friskiness an' tomfoolery."

Hermione joined the rest of her class in their shared absolutely silent while nervously edging away from the corral and the demon it contained, hoping to be well away from the fearsome creature before it noticed them.

"Oh come on," Hagrid called out. "Yeh can't possibly be afeared o' this cute little feller. I mean, look at

'im!"

The demon manifested its fire-whip and moved to attack the Care of Magical Creatures Professor. Hagrid scooped the demon up from the ground and cuddled him like a small child. "Jus' look at him," Hagrid cooed, "Ain't he cute? Wants to play, he does."

Placing the writhing demon back onto its feet, Hagrid made his way out of the corral. "Alright, who wants to be first to pet the Balrog? Harry?"

"HAR'Y?" the demon echoed in a thunderous voice.

At the edge of her peripheral vision, Hermione spotted Harry backed away from the enclosure shaking his head.

"No?" Hagrid asked in a confused tone. "A'right, how about you, Ron?"

"R'N?" the demon growled.

Ron's wide eyed terror spoke for itself. For her part, Hermione was starting to regret badgering her boys into returning to school for their 7th year.

"No?" Hagrid asked again, "You lot are going to give Mister Flopsy a complex acting like this. How about you, 'ermione?"

Before she could answer, the balrog focused its attention on her. "ER MY OWNEE?" the creature roared, sounding like a giant sized Viktor Krum. "ER MY OWNEE!" it bellowed, slicing through the corral with its fire whip.

"Mister Flopsy!" Hagrid shouted as the assembled students scattered and the balrog escaped its enclosure.

The demon ignored its keeper and the fleeing students, instead focusing on Hermione. The terror of what was happening had her frozen in place until Harry put himself between the demon and his friend. "Hermione, run!" he shouted, raising his wand to defend against the demon.

Harry's words had her turn and start to run for all she was worth. Chancing a glance behind she saw Harry be batted aside as the demon continued its single minded pursuit of her.

Hermione felt a terror even greater than that she felt when confronted by Voldemort wash over her as she dug deeper and found more speed. The demon continuing to bellow her name only added inspiration to run as if hell itself were on her heels.

Reaching Hagrid's cabin, Hermione paused to banish the half giant's pumpkins at the rampaging demon, before sprinting away. She heard, rather than saw the giant squashes smash into the balrog. Hoping that the creature's vision was impaired by the vegetable assault, she changed direction and headed into the forbidden forest.

Her hopes were dashed when she heard the sounds of the balrog crashing through the trees and underbrush. This distraction was her undoing when she tripped over a tree root and fell head first into the trunk of a tree.

She knew she was trapped, blinking to clear her vision, she saw the fuzzy outline of the demon framed by the forest canopy. Utterly spent, she couldn't run any more even if she could manage to get to her feet. The demon loomed over her prone form, and Hermione found herself unable to face the terror any longer, she closed her eyes and awaited the inevitable.

And waited.

And waited.

After at least a full minute had passed, Hermione opened her eyes to find the demon's face inches from hers. A scaly talon tapped her shoulder.

"TAG," the balrog bellowed. "YUR IT!"

The demon rose from where it has squatted over her, and made its way toward the grounds of Hogwarts before turning back to face her.

"NO TAGS BAK!" it giggled maniacally before running away.