AUTHOR'S NOTE: Some of Rolanda's "great ideas" are actually other stories that I have written. Check them out if you have time :) Also I just have to say that I in no way condone kicking cats in real life. While this story is meant to entertain and amuse, animal abuse is a matter not to be taken lightly.
DISCLAIMER: I do not, nor will I ever own Harry Potter. I am merely an admirer of the magical world that J.K.R has created. A world that she has kindly let people, like myself, play around in.
"I know what we're going to do today!"
Rolanda Hooch practically skipped into the staffroom. She was slightly damp and muddy, her Quidditch robes hugging her boyish frame. Her usually spiky grey hair was plastered to her forehead. She had been for an early morning fly, as she usually did on Sundays, and the winter weather had been unforgiving.
"I know what we're going to do today!" she repeated, to the small group that had congregated before breakfast.
Poppy Pomfrey, on a rare break from the hospital wing, looked up attentively. Pomona Sprout put her knitting aside. Septima Vector brushed a strand of black hair from her eyes. Minerva McGonagall didn't even look up from her book. She was so used to her friend coming in on tangents, that she doubted if anything could have surprised her.
"Is this another one of your brilliant ideas?" Minerva inquired, rolling her eyes.
"Yes, because they always work out so well, don't they." said Septima, with definite sarcasm.
"Like the time we played Truth or Dare, after several glasses of eggnog." Poppy said, "Total success."
"Or the time you stalked Severus, on Hug-A-Slytherin day," Pomona added, "I seem to remember you hid in a closet for several hours."
"This is better! And it benefits everyone."
"Unlike your Truth or Dare game." said Septima.
"Yes," said Minerva, "because that bought nothing but pain and suffering."
"It was fun though!" Rolanda retorted, "Anyway, that's not what we are talking about. We were talking about what we are going to do today."
She walked across the room and sat on the edge of chair, staring at the four woman dramatically.
"Who," she whispered, "is our least favourite kitty cat?"
"Minerva." Poppy said, instantly.
"Just kidding, just kidding." she laughed, ducking as Minerva aimed a blow at her head.
"Mrs Norris?" Pomona guessed.
"Top marks, Mona!" Rolanda smiled, "And guess where the little rat was lurking this morning?"
"I'm going to say, by the door when you came in from flying." said Pomona.
"Right again!" Rolanda replied, though her smile was becoming strained. "And who did the little monster go and get when it saw me dripping mud on the floor?"
"Argus Filch," sighed Pomona, "I'm just too good at this."
"Got it in one!" Rolanda said, meanly. "And then he came and yelled at me for getting mud everywhere. I mean, I'm a teacher! Not some...student! What right does he have to yell at me?"
"Come now, Rolanda," Minerva said sternly, "he's only doing his job."
"I know, I know. But he's too damn stubborn! I could have easily vanished the mud, if he'd given me the chance. But he won't let anyone help him. Sometimes I feel sorry for him."
"So how does all this relate to your great plan?" Poppy inquired.
"Well," Rolanda said, "as I was being berated, I thought to myself "What is the thing that students have been wanting to do since the beginning of time?" The answer is, of course, give Mrs Norris a good kick in the backside!"
"Let me get this straight," Poppy said, "You feel sorry for Argus...so you're going to kick his cat?"
"It seems an elegant solution." Minerva said, sarcastically.
"You're not seeing the full picture!" Rolanda moaned, "That cat has been taunting me since it came here. It knows when I go flying and it is always waiting for me! And's not as if I haven't tried to befriend the cat. My last attempt resulted in six stitches in my left hand. Six stitches! That's my wand hand!"
"Yes, dear," Poppy said, patiently, "but you only got stitches because you refused to let me heal it properly."
"I needed everyone to see what a beast that thing really is!" Rolanda said.
"It's a cat, Ro!" Minerva cried, "You're a fully qualified witch! Don't you think this is a bit childish?"
"No, I do not think it a bit childish!" Rolanda protested, "That cat is a menace! It's a danger to society! I will not rest until I've seen it get its just desserts!"
"So it's war is it?" said Septima, looking interested.
"You bet it's war!" Rolanda replied, jumping to her feet. "Who's with me?"
"I can't kick a cat, Rolanda." Poppy said, "Sorry."
"I've got things to do." Pomona said.
"If you think I'm wasting my morning running around the castle, just to settle your scores, then you are sadly mistaken." Minerva yawned, going back to her book.
"Awwwww, you guys used to be fun!" Rolanda moaned.
"I'll do it, Ro." Septima said.
"You could ask Severus," Minerva suggested, "he usually plays your little games."
The potions master, Severus Snape, had just entered the room and, at the mention of his name, he turned his head inquiringly.
"Ro wants to know if you'll play with her and Septima." Pomona said, in answer to Severus's questioning look.
"It's not a game!" Rolanda scowled, when Severus glanced at him with amusement. "It's a full scale war!"
"Against whom, may I ask?" Severus drawled, in his usual bored tones.
"Mrs Norris." Rolanda muttered.
Severus smirked. Watching Rolanda embark on pointless quests was one of his favourite pastimes.
"I suppose I could accompany you." he said.
Rolanda clapped her hands together.
"Good, good. I think three is enough, we don't want too much of a crowd. I'd ask Filius, but I don't think he'd have it in him to kick a cat. A bit like you, Poppy."
She looked over at her friend.
"You should go out with him."
"Rolanda!" Poppy cried.
"You're right, you're right." Rolanda said, "I can play Cupid later. Right now I have to focus on the Devil's representative on Earth."
She turned to her two companions.
"We'll meet back here after breakfast."
She stretched her hand out. Cautiously, Severus and Septima put theirs on top.
"1,2,3 BREAK!" Rolanda yelled, before sprinting out of the staffroom, leaving Septima and Severus standing in confusion.
"She did say she'd meet us here." Septima said, glancing at her watch for the seventh time.
She and Severus had left the Great Hall and gone straight back to the staffroom. There they had waited for Rolanda, who was nowhere to be seen.
"This seems to me, to be a forewarning." Severus said, "It's telling us to leave while we can."
"We can't, Severus!" Septima scolded, "Ro would be so disappointed!"
Severus muttered something indistinguishable and, as he did, the staffroom door burst open. It was immediately clear why Rolanda had taken so long. She was dressed from head to toe, in a black body suit. She pulled up the hood and looked at her conspirators with disdain.
"Really?" Rolanda said, "We're going on a mission and you don't even change! Severus I guess you've got the right colour scheme, but Sepima! Red, honestly? What were you thinking?" "What were you thinking, is probably a more apt question!" said Severus.
"You've been watching the Muggle Studies resource videos again, haven't you?" sighed Septima, "I keep telling Albus that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is not an appropriate film to keep in a classroom."
"It doesn't matter what I've been watching!" Rolanda defended, "What matters is that you're not dressed according to plan!"
"And pray tell, what is this plan?" asked Severus.
"I call it Codename: Kick-The-Cat." Rolanda said, proudly.
"Original," quipped Septima, "think of that on your own?"
Ignoring this remark, Rolanda spread out a piece of parchment on a near by table. It contained a few drawings, lots of scribble marks and the words TOP SECRET.
"I drew it during breakfast." Rolanda said, "Basically we have to sneak up on Mrs Norris, check for Filch, kick the little beast and run like hell!"
"Once again, your attention to detail astounds me." said Severus.
"What's that?" Septima asked, pointing to one of the drawings.
"It's a cat!" Rolanda scowled, "But I had trouble with the ears."
"And what's that?" Severus said, "It looks like a potato with legs."
"That's you!" Rolanda replied, rolling up the parchment before her artistic ability could be further scrutinized.
The corridors were mostly deserted, due to the fact that it was a Hogsmeade weekend. This didn't stop Rolanda looking round every corner, tip-toeing across the stones and ducking beneath the windows. Septima and Severus walked side by side, eyebrows raised, wondering whether to laugh or run away.
"Rolanda, is all this necessary?" Septima asked.
"Course!" Rolanda scoffed.
"But why?" Septima sighed.
"Because," Rolanda replied, going into a full body roll across the floor, "I didn't watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I watched Charlie's Angels."
She spread both her hands against the wall and glanced around the corner. Her head snapped back to look at the other two.
"I can see a cat!" Rolanda whispered, "I'm going in. Watch my back."
She slipped around the corner and a few seconds later there was a humongous screech.
"ROLANDA HOOCH!" a familiar voice screamed, "IF I WASN'T DOUBLED UP WITH PAIN, I WOULD CURSE YOU INTO OBLIVION AND BRING YOU BACK SO I COULD DO IT AGAIN!"
Rolanda sprinted back into view. A wild look was in her eyes.
"It - wasn't - Mrs - Norris," she puffed.
"What? Who-" Severus started.
"Minerva - angry - run!" Rolanda said, starting to run back down the hallway.
Septima grabbed Severus by the wrist and followed her, not looking back.
After the run in with Minerva McGonagall, Rolanda was a lot more careful before she actually kicked any more animals. She had been getting strange glances from students for her body suit and the last thing she needed was to be known as an animal abuser. She only wanted to kick Mrs Norris!
But it seemed that the only cat she wanted, was the only one the she, Severus and Septima couldn't find. They had searched the entire castle twice and the caretaker's assistant was no where to be seen. It was nearly lunchtime and Rolanda was on the point of giving up.
"I just don't think we'll find her." she told the others, dejectedly.
"I've been voting we stop for three hours!" Severus said, a remark which got scathing looks from both women.
"I know this was important to you," Septima said, kindly, "but sometimes- oh-my-god-there-it-is."
Rolanda turned her head slowly. A slightly scruffy, dirty brown cat stood before them. It stared up at them with reddish eyes, its tail flicking from side to side.
"Finally." Rolanda whispered, looking up at the ceiling as if to thank some unseen force.
She cautiously walked up to the beast and stood before it. It didn't flinch, she didn't flinch. It was a classic western showdown (without the outfits). She took a deep breath.
Argus Filch had walked around the corner. Mrs Norris saw him and jumped on his shoulders. Rolanda clenched her fists and nearly swore.
"Mr Filch?" she said in a strained voice, "Can I help you?"
"I was going to ask you the same thing." he said suspiciously.
Rolanda cocked her head to side and gave a smile that was a strange mix of honey and poison.
"I'm fine, Mr Filch. Just fine."
He grunted, nodded and turned away, the cat still on his shoulders.
It's hard to tell if cats can smile. But the expression on Mrs Norris's face could be described as nothing other than a smug grin. A condescending grin of such smugness, that it made Rolanda's blood boil. She narrowed her eyes as they moved out of sight.
Today she, Rolanda Hooch, had been bested by a kitty. But she wouldn't dwell on it. She'd go and apologize to Minerva, probably try set up Poppy and Filius, maybe make herself a sandwich. Yes, a sandwich. With ham. She would continue as she usually would. But tomorrow was a brand new day. And that cat couldn't run forever. It would have to stop some time. And when that time came, she would be waiting.
"Yes, my feline foe," Rolanda said, to no one in particular, "just...you...wait."