A/N: My apologies to all my readers out there my absence has been inexcusable, however I would like to correct a mistake I made in a previous chapter.
IMPORTANT PLEASE READ! In Chapter 2 I said that Charity Burbage was the muggle studies professor, however in Chapter 3 I said that she was a seventh year Hufflepuff. I would like to remedy this by saying, she is definitely the muggle studies professor in this story, ignore my slip-up. Thank you.
Also, I'd like to welcome and thank my new beta JamesandLilyLove
So….on with the chapter!
"The Keeper of the Keys,"Dana read.
"Hagrid." The room seemed to sigh in relief, the loudest being Lily.
Hagrid grinned at the hall filled with students.
They knocked again. Dudley jerked awake.
"Where's the canon?" he said stupidly.
"Idiot." Regulus said. "I never get tired of calling him that." He finished with a grin.
There was a crash behind them and Uncle Vernon came skidding into the room. He was holding a rifle in his hands – now they knew what had been in the long, thin package he had brought with them.
"What!?" Lily shrieked angrily. "He brought a dangerous weapon near my son, how dare he!" James tried to calm he with shushing sounds and by rubbing her back, even if he too was equally incensed.
"Who's there?" he shouted. "I warn you – I'm armed!"
There was a pause. Then -
The door hit with such force that it swung clean off its hinges and with a deafening crash landed flat on the floor.
A giant of a man was standing in the doorway. His face was almost completely hidden by a long, shaggy mane of hair and a wild, tangled beard, but you could make out his eyes, glinting like black beetles under all the hair.
"Jeez, Harry's descriptions make Hagrid seem like some sort of beast." Benji said with a roll of his eyes.
The giant squeezed his way into the hut, stooping so that his head just brushed the ceiling. He bent down, picked up the door, and fitted it easily back into its frame.
"Yes, Hagrid my pretty! Intimidate the muggles! He he he he he!" Dorcas cackled with happiness over the Dursleys being scared.
"Yep, she's cracked." Fabian said, with a shake of his head.
"Indubitably." Gideon added, with a nod.
The noise of the storm outside dropped a little. He turned to look at them all.
"Couldn't make us a cup o' tea, could yeh? It's not been an easy journey..."
"Only you Hagrid." Harvey said, grinning and shaking his head at Hagrid's sheepish face.
He strode over to the sofa where Dudley sat frozen with fear.
"Budge up, yeh great lump," said the stranger.
"Finally! Someone told that fat pig what he really was!" Robert praised, his face raised heavenward.
Dudley squeaked and ran to hide behind his mother,
"She isn't going to be able to hide you Porky." Marlene muttered.
who was crouching, terrified, behind Uncle Vernon.
"….He however, might." Marlene added.
"An' here's Harry!" said the giant.
Harry looked up into the fierce, wild, shadowy face and saw that the beetle eyes were crinkled in a smile.
"Las' time I saw you, you was only a baby," said the giant. "Yeh look a lot like yer dad, but yeh've got yer mom's eyes."
"Thank you Hagrid." James said, smiling at the giant. "I don't think you truly understand the importance of what you said to Harry… but thank you."
"S'all righ' James" Hagrid smiled at the black haired boy and the girl in his lap.
Uncle Vernon made a funny rasping noise.
"I demand that you leave at once, sir!" he said. "You are breaking and entering!"
"Fuck off Vernon." Dorcas muttered.
"Miss Meadows!" McGonagall exclaimed.
"Yes Professor?" Dorcas asked with a sickly sweet smile.
"Language!" McGonagall answered primly, ignorant of Dorcas' rolled eyes.
"Ah, shut up, Dursley, yeh great prune," said the giant, he reached over the back of the sofa, jerked the gun out of Uncle Vernon's hands, bent it into a knot as easily as if it had been made of rubber, and threw it into a corner of the room.
"Wooo! Go Hagrid!" Oscar exclaimed.
Uncle Vernon made another funny noise, like a mouse being trodden on.
"Trod on him for real Hagrid" Frank said, with a uncharacteristically mean grin upon his face.
"Anyway – Harry," said the giant, turning his back on the Dursleys, "A very happy birthday to yeh. Got summat fer yeh here – I mighta sat on it at some point, but it'll taste all right."
"Thank you again, Hagrid." James smiled softly.
From an inside pocket of his black overcoat he pulled a slightly squashed box. Harry opened it with trembling fingers. Inside was a large, sticky chocolate cake withHappy Birthday Harrywritten on it in green icing.
Lily got up from her place on James' lap and crossed the room to give Hagrid a hug.
"You haven't even known him for longer than a hour and you've still shown him more kindness than my sister did for his whole life… thank you Hagrid… from the bottom of my… our hearts." She said with a smile, turning round she returned to her place on James' lap.
Harry looked up at the giant. He meant to say thank you, but the words got lost on the way to his mouth, and what he said instead was, "Who are you?"
"Harry." Lily chuckled. "Manners." She chided, jokily.
The giant chuckled.
"True, I haven't introduced meself. Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts."
He held out an enormous hand and shook Harry's whole arm.
"What about that tea then, eh?" he said, rubbing his hands together. "I'd not say no ter summat stronger if yeh've got it, mind."
"Hagrid." McGonagall said sternly and disapprovingly.
His eyes fell on the empty grate with the shriveled chip bags in it and he snorted. He bent down over the fireplace; they couldn't see what he was doing but when he drew back a second later, there was a roaring fire there. It filled the whole damp hut with flickering light and Harry felt the warmth wash over him as though he'd sunk into a hot bath.
"Good!" Alice said approvingly. "Maybe, he'll finally get warm."
The giant sat back down on the sofa, which sagged under his weight, and began taking all sorts of things out of the pockets of his coat: a copper kettle, a squashy package of sausages, a poker, a teapot, several chipped mugs, and a bottle of some amber liquid that he took a swig from before starting to make tea.
"How many pockets do you have Hagrid?" Arnold asked, slightly amazed.
"102" Hagrid replied, oblivious to everyone's shocked looks.
Soon the hut was full of the sound and smell of sizzling sausage. Nobody said a thing while the giant was working, but as he slid the first six fat, juicy, slightly burnt sausages from the poker, Dudley fidgeted a little. Uncle Vernon said sharply, "Don't touch anything he gives you, Dudley."
"Don't give him anything Hagrid." Vanessa snarled.
The giant chuckled darkly.
"Yer great puddin' of a son don' need fattenin' anymore, Dursley, don' worry."
Mary applauded Hagrid whilst saying, "Maybe the Dursleys will take a hint and stop trying to kill their son with food… doubt it though."
He passed the sausages to Harry, who was so hungry he had never tasted anything so wonderful, but he still couldn't take his eyes off the giant. Finally, as nobody seemed about to explain anything, he said, "I'm sorry, but I still don't really know who you are."
"Such a sweet boy." Serena smiled.
The giant took a gulp of tea and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
"Call me Hagrid," he said, "everyone does. An' like I told yeh, I'm Keeper of Keys at Hogwarts – yeh'll know all about Hogwarts, o' course."
"No, he won't." Remus fumed. "Because some idiots deemed it unnecessary to tell him."
"Er – no," said Harry.
Hagrid looked shocked.
"Sorry," Harry said quickly.
"Don't apologise Harry, you've done nothing wrong." Marlene said quickly.
"Sorry?" barked Hagrid, turning to stare at the Dursleys, who shrank back into the shadows.
Dorcas couldn't resist. "Yes, cower in fear you ignorant, selfish little shi-"
"Miss Meadows! Do I have to dock house points!?" McGonagall exclaimed impatiently.
"It's them that should be sorry! I knew yeh weren't gettin' yer letters but I never thought yeh wouldn't even know abou' Hogwarts, fer cryin' out loud! Did yeh never wonder where yer parents learned it all?"
"All what?" asked Harry.
"ALL WHAT?" Hagrid thundered.
"Ooooo… this is gonna be gooooood!" Sirius cackled, rubbing his hands together.
"Why?" Marlene asked.
"Hagrid is mad, you never make Hagrid mad. It's like asking to be terrified." Sirius grinned in reply.
"Now wait jus' one second!"
He leapt to his feet. In his anger he seemed to fill the whole hut. The Dursleys were cowering against the wall.
Dorcas chuckled darkly under her breath.
"Do you mean ter tell me," he growled at the Dursleys, "that this boy – this boy! - knows nothin' abou' – about ANYTHING?"
"Ouch, that's a bit of an ego bruiser there Hagrid." Regulus winched.
Harry thought this was going a bit far. He had been to school, after all, and his marks weren't bad.
"See?" Regulus commented.
"Nobody doubted you Regulus." Narcissa said, rolling her eyes.
"I knowsomethings," he said. "I can, you know, do math and stuff."
But Hagrid simply waved his hand and said, "Aboutourworld,I mean.Yourworld.Myworld.Yer parents'world."
"The best world." Evan smirked.
Hagrid looked as if he was about to explode.
"DURSLEY!" he boomed.
"Kill them Hagrid…just a little bit. Please?" Deidre pleaded.
Uncle Vernon, who had gone very pale, whispered something that sounded like "Mimblewimble."
Hagrid stared wildly at Harry. "But yeh must know about yer mom and dad," he said. "I mean, they'refamous. You'refamous."
"You got your lifelong dream of fame James." Peter squeaked with a smile.
"Okay, A) My lifelong dream isn't to be famous, it's something else and B) I'm famous because I'm dead Peter, that isn't a good kind of famous." James said, scowling at his friend heavily until Peter mumbled an apology.
"What? My – my mom and dad weren't famous, were they?"
"Yeh don' know... yeh don' know..." Hagrid ran his fingers through his hair, fixing Harry with a bewildered stare.
"Yeh don' know what yehare?" he said finally.
"An octopus!" Harvey exclaimed. People stared at him in bemusement. "Sorry, couldn't help myself."
Uncle Vernon suddenly found his voice.
"Stop!" he commanded. "Stop right there, sir! I forbid you to tell the boy anything!"
"Pfft, like that's gonna work against Hagrid." Edgar laughed.
A braver man than Vernon Dursley would have quailed under the furious look Hagrid now gave him; when Hagrid spoke, his every syllable trembled with rage.
"You never told him? Never told him what was in the letter Dumbledore left him? I was there! I saw Dumbledore leave it, Dursley! An' you've kept it from him all these years?"
"Well there lies the problem." Lily said with a frown. "You should have done it in person, not a letter. Letter's can be ignored and the person could say they never got them, but a face to face meeting is infallible… and yes I'm still mad you left my son on a doorstep… in November."
Dumbledore bowed his head with apology.
"Keptwhatfrom me?" said Harry eagerly.
"STOP! I FORBID YOU!" yelled Uncle Vernon in panic.
Aunt Petunia gave a gasp of horror.
"Ah, go boil yer heads, both of yeh," said Hagrid. " Harry – yer a wizard."
"Bold, blunt and to the point." Benji mused.
"We like it!" Fabian and Gideon exclaimed.
There was silence inside the hut. Only the sea and the whistling wind could be heard.
"I'm awhat?" gasped Harry.
"A wizard, o' course," said Hagrid, sitting back down on the sofa, which groaned and sank even lower, "an' a thumpin' good' un, I'd say, once yeh've been trained up a bit. With a mum an' dad like yours, what else would yeh be? An' I reckon it's yer letter."
"Oh stop it Hagrid, you're making us blush." James said, with a wink.
Harry stretched out his hand at last to take the yellowish envelope, addressed in emerald green toMr. H. Potter, The floor, Hut-on-the-Rock, The Sea.
"You guys are frighteningly specific." Hestia said with wide eyes.
He pulled out the letter and read:
HOGWARTS SCHOOL of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Headmaster: ALBUS DUMBLEDORE
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Mr. Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
"I got the exact same letter four years ago!" James grinned.
Lily stared at him for a second, then hit him upside the head and turned to face Dana once more.
Questions exploded inside Harry's head like fireworks and he couldn't decide which to ask first. After a few minutes he stammered, "What does it mean, they await my owl?"
"Gallopin' Gorgons, that reminds me," said Hagrid,
"Galloping Gorgons?" Rabastan said slowly. "Never heard that one before."
Clapping a hand to his forehead with enough force to knock over a cart horse, and from yet another pocket inside his overcoat he pulled an owl – a real, live, rather ruffled-looking owl –
"Hagrid!" Serena and Xenophilius exclaimed.
"Don't worry you two, I take good care of the owls whenever I take them away with me. None of them have complained yet." Hagrid placated the upset animal lovers.
a long quill, and a roll of parchment. With his tongue between his teeth he scribbled a note that Harry could read upside down:
"That is a talent." Amelia said. "I can only just read Hagrid's writing right side up."
Dear Professor Dumbledore,
Given Harry his letter.
Taking him to buy his things tomorrow.
Weather's horrible. Hope you're well.
"Bold, blunt and to the point." Benji mused again to himself.
"We like it!" Fabian and Gideon exclaimed once more.
Hagrid rolled up the note, gave it to the owl, which clamped it in its beak, went to the door, and threw the owl out into the storm. Then he came back and sat down as though this was normal as talking on the telephone.
"What's a telephone?" Gregoris asked.
"Muggle communication device." Sirius replied quickly, wanting to get on with the book.
Harry realized his mouth was open and closed it quickly.
"Where was I?" said Hagrid, but at that moment, Uncle Vernon, still ashen-faced but looking very angry, moved into the firelight.
"Damn, he's still there?" Dorcas muttered.
"He's not going," he said.
"I'd like ter see a great Muggle like you stop him," he said.
"A what?" said Harry, interested.
"A Muggle," said Hagrid, "it's what we call non-magic folk like them. An' it's your bad luck you grew up in family o' the biggest Muggles I ever laid eyes on."
"True. True." Paul said with a short, sharp nod.
"We swore when we took him in we'd put a stop to that rubbish," said Uncle Vernon, "swore we'd stamp it out of him! Wizard indeed!"
Dumbledore's face looked drawn at the mention of stamping out magic.
"Youknew?" said Harry. "YouknewI'm a – a wizard?"
"Knew!" shrieked Aunt Petunia suddenly. "Knew! Of course we knew! How could you not be, my dratted sister being what she was?
"Lily is not dratted!" James, Marlene, Dorcas and Alice exclaimed. So did Severus, albeit not as loudly as the other five.
Oh, she got her letter just like that and disappeared off to that – thatschool– and came home every vacation with her pockets full of frog spawn, turning teacups into rats.
James turned to Lily in amazement.
"It was the summer after first year and it was accidental. Trust Petunia to remember that one occasion after twenty years.
I was the only one who saw her for what she was – a freak!
"Bitch." Sirius, Remus, Fabian, Gideon, Frank and Benji muttered.
But for my mother and father, oh no, it was Lily this and Lily that, they were proud of having a witch in the family!"
"And what is wrong with having a witch in the family?!" Marina exclaimed, angrily.
She stopped to draw a deep breath and then went ranting on. It seemed she had been wanting to say all this for years.
"She probably has." Lily sighed. "She hates me." She finished with a frown.
"Then she met that Potter at school and they left and got married and had you, and of course I knew you'd be just the same, just as strange, just as – as –abnormal–
Lily's face contorted. "Say what you like about me Petunia, but you leave my son out of this!" She snarled.
and then, if you please, she went and got herself blown up and we got landed with you."
The great hall seemed to gasp as one.
"That's how he found out?" Madame Pomfrey murmured. "That's how he found out the true fate of his parents?"
Lily and James had become pale. Lily's bottom lip had started to quiver, to hide her sobs she burrowed into James' already soiled jumper.
Harry had gone very white. As soon as he found his voice he said, "Blown up? You told me they died in a car crash!"
"CAR CRASH!" roared Hagrid, jumping up so angrily that the Dursleys scuttled back to their corner. "How could a car crash kill Lily an' James Potter? It's an outrage! A scandal! Harry Potter not knowin' his own story when every kid in our world knows his name!"
"Kill them Hagrid." Marlene muttered.
"It's no less than they deserve." Sirius finished hollowly.
"But why? What happened?" Harry asked urgently.
The anger faded from Hagrid's face. He looked suddenly anxious.
"Poor Hagrid, he had no idea what he was signing up for." Consuelo said softly.
"I never expected this," he said, in a low worried voice. "I had no idea, when Dumbledore told me there might be trouble gettin' hold of yeh, how much yeh didn't know. Ah, Harry, I don' know if I'm the right person ter tell yeh – but someone's gotta – yeh can't go off ter Hogwarts not knowin'."
Dana interrupted herself. "I expect that would be quite troublesome."
He threw a dirty look at the Dursleys.
"Well, it's best yeh know as much as I can tell yeh – mind, I can't yeh everythin' it's a great myst'ry, parts of it..."
He sat down, stared into the fire for a few seconds, and then said, "It begins, I suppose, with – with a person called – but it's incredible yeh don't know his name, everyone in our world knows –"
"Well – I don' like sayin' the name if I can help it. No one does."
"That's a stupid fear." James muttered.
"Gulpin' gargoyles, Harry, people are still scared. Blimey, this is difficult. See, there was this wizard who went... bad. As bad as you could go. Worse. Worse than worse. His name was..."
Hagrid gulped, but no words came out.
"Could you write it down?" Harry suggested.
"Nah – can't spell it. All right –Voldemort."
"Wow." Remus said, slightly amazed. "Harry got Hagrid to say Voldemort's name."
Hagrid shuddered. "Don' make me say it again. Anyway, this – this wizard, about twenty years ago now, started lookin' fer followers. Got' em, too – some were afraid, some just wanted a bit o' his power,
Most of the room glanced over to the Slytherin side of the room, however no one commented on it.
' cause he was gettin' himself power, all right. Dark days, Harry. Don't know who ter trust, didn't dare get friendly with strange wizards or witches... terrible things happened. He was takin' over. 'Course, some stood up to him – an' he killed 'em. Horribly. One o' the only safe places left was Hogwarts. Reckon Dumbledore's the only one You-Know-Who was afraid of. Didn't dare try takin' the school, not jus' then, anyway.
"I'd hate to imagine a Hogwarts run by Voldemort and his Death Eaters." Amelia said with a frown.
Now, yer mum an' dad were as good a witch an' wizard as I ever knew. Head boy an' girl at Hogwarts in their day!
"What!" Sirius, Remus, James and most of the Great Hall exclaimed.
"Lily we all expected, but James? No offence." Frank said.
"None taken." James said, still shocked.
By this point Lily had stopped crying and was now laughing at James' incredulous expression, although even she was faintly surprised.
Suppose the myst'ry is why You-Know-Who never tried to get' em on his side before... probably knew they were too close ter Dumbledore ter want anythin' ter do with the Dark Side.
"Never." Lily and James said fiercely.
Maybe he thought he could persuade 'em... maybe he just wanted 'em outta the way. All anyone knows is, he turned up in the village where you was all living, on Halloween ten years ago. You was just a year old. He came ter yer house an' – an' -"
The hall bowed their heads for the loss of Lily and James. Sirius and Marlene clutched each other tighter.
Hagrid suddenly pulled out a very dirty, spotted handkerchief and blew his noise with a sound like a foghorn.
"Sorry," he said. "But it's that sad – knew yer mum an' dad, an' nicer people yeh couldn't find – anywa..."
"Aw, thanks Hagrid." Lily smiled.
"You-Know-Who killed 'em. An' then – an' this is the real myst'ry of the thing – he tried to kill you, too. Wanted ter make a clean job of it, I suppose, or maybe he just liked killin' by then. But he couldn't do it.
"Shows how powerful Voldemort is then doesn't it?" Fabian said with a shrug.
Never wondered how you got that mark on yer forehead? That was no ordinary cut. That's what yeh get when a powerful, evil curse touches yeh – took care of yer mum an' dad an' yer house, even – but it didn't work on you, an' that's why yer famous, Harry.
"If Harry is anything like me he'd rather have his family than fame." James said softly.
No one ever lived after he decided ter kill' em, no one except you, an' he killed some o' the best witches an' wizards of the age – the McKinnons,
The hall gasped. "Marley!" Lily, Alice and Dorcas exclaimed.
Marlene hugged Sirius, who hugged her closely in return.
"I guess this answers the question as to why I wasn't there to beat the shit out of the Dursleys for the way they treated Harry." Marlene said quietly, a tear slipping down her cheek as she hid her face in Sirius' shoulder.
"What!" James exclaimed in the silence of the shell-shocked hall. "Millie, Eddie, Arnie, you guys can't die!"
"Maybe it doesn't mean all of us James." Edgar said with a brave, yet wobbly smile as Marina sobbed on his chest.
the Prewetts –
"Fabian!" Dorcas cried, as she collapsed sobbing on her boyfriend's chest.
Fabian looked down at his girlfriend, then looked around in desperation. "Hagrid doesn't mean Molly does he? Surely she'd count as a Weasley right? Right!?"
Gideon was being comforted by Benji trying not to think of whether their older sister had lived, she had just had her third son.
an' you was only a baby, an' you lived."
Something very painful was going on in Harry's mind. As Hagrid's story came to a close, he saw again the blinding flash of green light, more clearly than he had ever remembered it before – and he remembered something else, for the first time in his life: a high, cold, cruel laugh.
Lily gasped; a watery, wet sound almost drowned by her tears.
Hagrid was watching him sadly.
"Took yeh from the ruined house myself, on Dumbledore's orders. Brought yeh ter this lot..."
"Load of old tosh," said Uncle Vernon. Harry jumped, he had almost forgotten that the Dursleys were there. Uncle Vernon certainly seemed to have got back his courage. He was glaring at Hagrid and his fists were clenched.
"Like that's gonna do anything." Bert muttered, softly.
"Now, you listen here, boy," he snarled, "I accept there's something strange about you, probably nothing a good beating wouldn't have cured –
"You lay one finger on him Dursley." James threatened. "And I will curse you so bad even your bones will have bruises."
and as for all this about your parents, well, they were weirdoes, no denying it, and the world's better off without them in my opinion –
The hall exploded in outrage. How dare Vernon say that, to their orphaned child no less? One thing was certain, every student and teacher of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry: 1976 hated Vernon Dursley.
asked for all they got, getting mixed up with these wizarding types – just what I expected, always knew they'd come to a sticky end -"
Rage was written upon every students face; even the Slytherins.
But at that moment, Hagrid leapt from the sofa and drew a battered pink umbrella from inside his this at Uncle Vernon like a sword, he said, "I'm warning you, Dursley – I'm warning you – one more word..."
"Curse him Hagrid." Dorcas muttered thickly.
In danger of being speared on the end of an umbrella by a bearded giant, Uncle Vernon's courage failed again; he flattened himself against the wall and fell silent.
"That's better," said Hagrid, breathing heavily and sitting back down on the sofa, which this time sagged right down to the floor.
Harry, meanwhile, still had questions to ask, hundreds of them.
"But what happened to Vol -, sorry – I mean, You-Know-Who?"
"Never be sorry for intelligence Harry." Lily said, softly.
"Good question, Harry. Disappeared. Vanished. Same night he tried ter kill you. Makes yeh even more famous. That's the biggest myst'ry, see… he was gettin' more an' more powerful — why'd he go? Some say he died. Codswallop, in my opinion. Dunno if he had enough human left in him to die.
Dumbledore looked thoughtful at future Hagrid's statement.
Some say he's still out there, bidin' his time, like, but I don' believe it. People who was on his side came back ter ours. Some of 'em came outta kinda trances. Don' reckon they could've done if he was comin' back. Most of us reckon he's still out there somewhere but lost his powers. Too weak to carry on. 'Cause somethin' about you finished him, Harry. There was somethin' goin' on that night he hadn't counted on —Idunno what it was, no one does—but somethin' about you stumped him, all right."
"My godson is awesome." Sirius whispered into Marlene's hair.
Hagrid looked at Harry with warmth and respect blazing in his eyes, but Harry, instead of feeling pleased and proud, felt quite sure there had been a horrible mistake.
"Now this is a rare sight." Remus grinned. "A Potter without an ego." James glared mockingly at his werewolf friend.
A wizard? Him? How could he possibly be? He'd spent his life being clouted by Dudley, and bullied by Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon; if he was really a wizard, why hadn't they been turned into warty toads every time they'd tried to lock him in his cupboard? If he'd once defeated the greatest sorcerer in the world, how come Dudley had always been able to kick him around like a football?
"Because it doesn't work like that." Severus muttered ever so softly.
"Hagrid," he said quietly, "I think you must have made a mistake. I don't think I can be a wizard."
To his surprise, Hagrid chuckled.
"Not a wizard, eh? Never made things happen when you was scared or angry?"
Harry looked into the fire. Now he came to think about it… every odd thing that had ever made his aunt and uncle furious with him had happened when he, Harry, had been upset or angry… chased by Dudley's gang, he had somehow found himself out of their reach… dreading going to school with that ridiculous haircut, he'd managed to make it grow back… and the very last time Dudley had hit him, hadn't he got his revenge, without even realizing he was doing it? Hadn't he set a boa constrictor on him?"
"Not technically, no." Narcissa smiled, slightly.
Harry looked back at Hagrid, smiling, and saw that Hagrid was positively beaming at him.
"See?" said Hagrid. "Harry Potter, not a wizard — you wait, you'll be right famous at Hogwarts."
But Uncle Vernon wasn't going to give in without a fight.
"Haven't I told you he's not going?" he hissed. "He's going to Stonewall High and he'll be grateful for it. I've read those letters and he needs all sorts of rubbish — spell books and wands and —"
"Will someone please, shut him up!" Regulus exclaimed. "He is really starting to piss me off!"
"If he wants ter go, a great Muggle like you won't stop him," growled Hagrid. "Stop Lily an' James Potter's son goin' ter Hogwarts! Yer mad. His name's been down ever since he was born.
He's off ter the finest school of witchcraft and wizardry in the world. Seven years there and he won't know himself. He'll be with youngsters of his own sort, fer a change, an' he'll be under the greatest headmaster Hogwarts ever had Albus Dumbled—"
"I AM NOT PAYING FOR SOME CRACKPOT OLD FOOL TO TEACH HIM MAGIC TRICKS!" yelled Uncle Vernon.
The whole hall sat in shell-shocked silence as they watched Hagrid get redder and redder in anger over the insult of the headmaster. Dana quickly read on under Dumbledore's prompting.
But he had finally gone too far. Hagrid seized his umbrella and whirled it over his head, "NEVER —" he thundered, "— INSULT — ALBUS — DUMBLEDORE — IN — FRONT — OF — ME!" He brought the umbrella swishing down through the air to point at Dudley — there was a flash of violet light, a sound like a firecracker, a sharp squeal, and the next second, Dudley was dancing on the spot with his hands clasped over his fat bottom, howling in pain. When he turned his back on them, Harry saw a curly pig's tail poking through a hole in his trousers.
The entire great hall burst out into laughter, or at least everyone cracked a smile.
Uncle Vernon roared. Pulling Aunt Petunia and Dudley into the other room, he cast one last terrified look at Hagrid and slammed the door behind them.
"Finally!" Regulus muttered.
Hagrid looked down at his umbrella and stroked his beard.
"Shouldn'ta lost me temper," he said ruefully, "but it didn't work anyway. Meant ter turn him into a pig, but I suppose he was so much like a pig anyway there wasn't much left ter do."
"Hagrid stop!" Alice giggled. "You're killing me!"
He cast a sideways look at Harry under his bushy eyebrows.
"Be grateful if yeh didn't mention that ter anyone at Hogwarts," he said. "I'm — er — not supposed ter do magic, strictly speakin'. I was allowed ter do a bit ter follow yeh an' get yer letters to yeh an' stuff — one o' the reasons I was so keen ter take on the job."
McGonagall rolled her eyes. "What are we going to do with you Hagrid?" She said, sounding amused.
Hagrid blushed and shrugged sheepishly.
"Why aren't you supposed to do magic?" asked Harry.
"Oh, well — I was at Hogwarts meself but I — er — got expelled, ter tell yeh the truth. In me third year. They snapped me wand in half an' everything. But Dumbledore let me stay on as gamekeeper. Great man, Dumbledore."
"Why were you expelled?"
"Hagrid will never answer that question. We've tried… many times… even with alcohol… didn't work." Remus said with a frown.
"What was that Mr. Lupin?" McGonagall said with flared nostrils.
"Nothing Professor." Remus replied, angelically.
"It's gettin' late and we've got lots ter do tomorrow," said Hagrid loudly. "Gotta get up ter town, get all yer books an' that."
He took off his thick black coat and threw it to Harry.
"You can kip under that," he said. "Don' mind if it wriggles a bit, I think I still got a couple o' doormice in one o' the pockets."
"Why would you have dormice in your pocket?" Hestia asked.
"Probably for the owl." Harvey replied, to a now green looking Hestia.
"And that is the end of Chapter 5!" Dana exclaimed happily.
"I think it's time for bed." Lily said, softly. "It's been a stressful day, and I think we deserve some well earned rest… shall we continue tomorrow?" She directed this question to the headmaster who replied with a nod.
"You heard Miss Evans, off to bed now students." Dumbledore said and with a clap of his hands the torches in the great hall started to dim as the students slowly made their way back to their dormitories.
A/N: Okie-doke, you guys know the drill I'm thankful you are reading my story, thanks for all reviews I receive. Please review and thank you for waiting for this chapter…until next time, goodbye! xxx
(From the Beta: I'm sorry! It was my fault it took so long for Prongsie to update! I apologize D:)