A/N:
I wrote this oneshot after reading Isilarma's fic The Founders Read 'The Philosophers Stone,' where she pointed out that the spells Hagrid does when collecting Harry are actually rather powerful, which may indicate that Hagrid was actually rather skilled. That got me to thinking about what Hagrid's life might have been like if he had completed his Hogwarts education... and this is what I ended up with!

Everything in bold is JK Rowlings. So are all the characters... unfortunately!


The Life He Almost Had

"Evening Rubeus."

Rubeus Hagrid started at the unexpected voice and slammed Aragogs box closed as he jerked around to face the speaker. It was Tom Riddle.

"What yer doin' down here Tom?" He asked curiously?

"It's all over," said Tom as he stepped closer. "I'm going to have to turn you in, Rubeus. They're talking about closing Hogwarts if the attacks don't stop."

"What d'yeh -" Rubeus began, confused. Tom wouldn't tell on him, would he!

"I don't think you meant to kill anyone. But monsters don't make good pets. I suppose you just let it out for exercise and -" Tom interrupted smoothly.

Why that little… Rubeus had trusted him! Fallen hook, line and sinker for his oily lies about 'equality,' 'no prejudice,' and worst of all- 'friendship.'

The two had met in his first year. Rubeus had been crying in a secret passageway after a group of his fellow Gryffindors had been bullying him about his giant heritage. Tom Riddle, then a confident third year had found him and comforted him.

From then on, Tom had become something of a protector for Rubeus, and in return, Rubeus had trusted him completely. The smooth 5th year was the only person Rubeus had told about Aragog- Tom had even suggested this hiding place down in the dungeons when Aragog had grown too big to keep in his trunk all the time.

"He never killed no-one." Said Rubeus, backing away as he closed the door and backed up protectively against it.

"Come on, Rubeus," Tom continued, sounding oh-so reasonable but still smirking smugly. "The dead girl's parents will be here tomorrow. The least Hogwarts can do it make sure that the thing that killed their daughter is slaughtered."

He emphasized the last word slightly, amused by Rubeus' horrified expression.

"It wasn' him!" Rubeus shouted, losing his temper at the traitorous boy. "He wouldn'! He never!"

Tom pulled out his wand and Rubeus knew he had lost.

"Stand aside." He muttered.

His spell flung the door behind Rubeus violently open, crushing him painfully against the wall and knocking over the box inside.

Rubeus watched resignedly as Aragog shot out of the box and scuttled away down the corridor, but as Tom raised his want to curse the fleeing acromantula he leapt up.

"NOOOOOO!" He cried as he knocked Tom's wand out of his grasp and pinned him to the ground. Tom struggled to escape, but now the much bigger Rubeus had a clear advantage.

"Yeh're a bastard!" He yelled in Tom's face. "Yeh know Aragog didn' do it, acromantulas can' petrify no-one, and Aragog never even left this room!"

Tom smirked.

"Well, I'm not aware of any other monsters running round the castle," he chuckled. "I don't know, maybe you helped with the petrifying or something- for fun… after all, giants are known for being bloodthirsty creatures."

Rubeus snapped. He hit Tom hard in the face with a strangled cry, then got up and staggered miserably away.


The next morning, Rubeus was stood in Headmaster Dippet's office with Professor Dumbledore by his side. Tom Riddle was also there, as well as a man Rubeus didn't know who Professor Dumbledore said was from the Ministry.

As soon as he had received the summons from Professor Dippet, Rubeus had gone straight to Professor Dumbledore, the Transfiguration teacher and told him everything. Professor Dumbledore, who had always been fair to Rubeus despite his unusual blood status had instantly agreed to help out, and suddenly Rubeus felt a lot less worried.

"Now then Mr Hagrid, Mr Riddle here has told me all about the events of last night." Said Professor Dippet, looking grave. "Professor Dumbledore has suggested that I hear your side of the story. What do you have to say for yourself?"

Hagrid gulped audibly and stuttered, unsure how to begin. As he struggled to speak, he happened to glance at Tom who was stood across the room from him.

Tom hadn't gone to the Hospital Wing since last night, so he now had a spectacular bruise across one cheek where Hagrid had hit him- presumably as some sort of 'evidence,' Rubeus thought bitterly. The sight of Tom's barely concealed smirk gave Rubeus the surge of anger he needed to get past his nerves, and he began to speak.

"Well see," he began, "it all really started when me Mum remembered me birthday this year. She likes to send me excitin' presents see, and apparently the… er… the giants keep acromantula as pets like we keep tarantulas, so she thought I'd like one.

"I didn' mean no harm 'eadmaster. I couldn' jus' chuck 'im out, cos then he'd've died see, so I kept 'im. First in me trunk, bu' then he go' too big, so Tom helped me find tha' room ter keep 'im in. I was jus' gonna release 'im into the fores' when he go' big enough ter take care of 'imself."

He paused momentarily to draw breath.

"I kept the trunk locked all the time, so tha' on'y I could open it, or even notice it properly, and then I done the same to tha' room I was usin'. Aragog never got ou' Sir I promise, an' even if he 'ad, acromantula are basically jus' big spiders, they can' petrify nothing. An' I don' know how it was that Myrtle Flowerchild got killed Sir, but I'd bet she ain't got an acromantula bite- yeh'd see the mark. An' if she did Sir, they woulda noticed it straight away when they looked at 'er body Sir, cos the venom does this thing where -"

"Yes thank you Mr Hagrid." Interrupted Professor Dippet. "We must, however, consider that if you were capable of bringing one…" he shuddered delicately "…monster into the castle, you may also have brought other more… lethal beasts."

"Headmaster if I may," Professor Dumbledore interjected quickly, "that is purely speculation and is not really any basis for a conviction of guilt."

The ministry representative nodded in agreement.

"I am sure Mr Hagrid would be happy to submit copies of his memories of… ah… Aragog, as evidence." Continued Professor Dumbledore. "I can have my pensive prepared for your use immediately."

The Headmaster had no reasonable option but to agree, so Professor Dumbledore summoned his pensive and guided Rubeus through the procedure of copying his memories of Aragog and placing them in the pensive.

Rubeus and Tom were then sent back to their classes whilst Professor Dippet and the ministry official went through the memories. That afternoon, the two boys were called back to the office to hear the decisions.

They arrived in the office and sat down opposite the two adults. The ministry official spoke first.

"You will be pleased to hear that it has been decided that the ministry will not pursue your expulsion, Mr Hagrid. You will however be summoned to the ministry for a hearing on the subject of your wilful possession of Class A Non-Tradable Goods. You will receive either a caution, or some sort of reprimand- likely just community service or something similar, due to your young age."

Professor Dippet had also decided against expulsion, but Rubeus was to spend every night in detention for the rest of the term.

Tom had also been given detention for his involvement, but only for a week, and he was also awarded house points for eventually bringing Rubeus' actions to light.


Rubeus' hearing was to take place the next week at the ministry. When he arrived, he was ushered into one of the small side rooms of the court with a panel of four ministry officials. He retold his story and certain key memories were shown in the pensive. One official in particular, the head of the Beast Division in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures actually seemed rather impressed by the whole affair, and offered to take Rubeus on for the 6 weeks of community service he was given at the end of the trial.


Rubeus returned to Hogwarts to find the whole school in uproar. The children petrified by Slytherin's monster had all been healed, and several of them had named Olive Hornby, the Ravenclaw 3rd year who had found Myrtle's body, as their attacker, though they were all unsure what the monster itself had been.

When the news was officially broken to the school at dinner time, Rubeus caught a glimpse of Tom Riddle through the sea of students in the hall. He looked pleased at the news, but unlike all the celebrating faces around him, there was a cunning edge to his grin that made Rubeus feel a little uneasy. Could Tom have had anything to do with Olive's unexpected exposure- surely with so many people accusing her, there was no way he could have framed her like he had almost framed Rubeus?


In the last week of term, Rubeus received a letter from the ministry about his community service that caused him to yell with delighted surprise, in the middle of the Great Hall, causing several people to spill their pumpkin juice, when he read it.

He would be spending the summer at a dragon reserve in Wales. The official who had offered to take him was Newt Scammander, a well-known magizoologist who was doing work on dragon behaviour and wanted an assistant for some of the messier tasks such as the preparation of food for the dragons, and mucking out their dens.

The last weeks before summer crawled by, but finally school ended and Rubeus travelled to Wales to start his community service.

In his 6 weeks at the dragon reserve, Rubeus managed to do considerably more than just mucking out a few dens. After the first couple of weeks he had accumulated enough burns to have developed a healthy respect for the dangers presented by dragons, so Mr Scammander assigned him to several observation expeditions in the wild. Rubeus quickly proved to be a natural at understanding and predicting the behaviours of the dragons, to the point where some of the seasoned experts on the teams began to look to him for advice.

Rubeus ended up spending not just the six weeks of his community time, but the whole of his summer holidays at the reserve. At the end of the holidays, Mr Scammander invited him to return to the reserve to work during all his school holidays.


Rubeus' success at the reserve had given him a newfound quiet confidence which, during the new school year helped him to ignore the bullies and even make several close friends. He proved to be a very powerful wizard, and impressed many of the students and teachers alike by working hard to achieve 9 OWLS, which was considerably more than anyone would have expected from him just a few years before.

At the beginning of his seventh year, Hagrid received an unexpected letter from Newt Scammander which was to inspire him to even greater heights than before.

Dear Mr Hagrid,

I have worked with you for just under 4 years now, and I have never ceased to be impressed by your exceptional abilities with magical creatures. There are not many who could singlehandedly raise and domesticate an acromantula (a feat formerly believed to be impossible), and even fewer who could have managed it at the tender age of 13.

Nor are there many who could even hope to advance from general dogsbody who spends their days mucking out caves to virtually leading dragon observation expeditions within the space of just a few short weeks, again at the age of 13.

Due to these prodigal displays of skill in the study and care of magical creatures, I have been given the immense pleasure of writing to you on behalf of the prestigious Institute of Magizoological Practise (IMP) to offer you a place upon the completion of your Hogwarts career.

This place is conditional on your achieving 4 NEWTs graded at 'Exceeds Expectations' or higher, including an 'Outstanding' in Care of Magical creatures.

I have every confidence that you will be able to achieve these grades and I very much look forward to working with you.

Yours,

Newt Scammander

Mr Scammander was not disappointed, as Rubeus not only met his expectations but exceeded them, achieving 3 'O's and an 'E' in his Newts for Care of Magical Creatures, Charms, Defence Against the Dark Arts and Herbology.

He worked closely with Newt Scammander, travelling the world together collecting information on all kinds of newly discovered magical species. In his later years, Rubeus worked closely with dragons, just as he had always dreamed. He formed a particular bond with a female Norwegian Ridgeback he affectionately named Norberta, and even took on an apprentice of his own, a recently graduated young man with a freckled face and a shock of bright red hair.

He married Mr Scammander's daughter Katherine and the two of them had 4 children, who in turn had children of their own, making Rubeus a proud Grandpa.

And that is how we find him now- being dragged excitedly into Flourish and Blotts by a horde of his young grandchildren, not one of them taller than his waist.

"We found them Grandpa!" Squeals one of them, the youngest at just 5 years old. She darts ahead and stops at the display shelves, bouncing up and down energetically.

There they are. Solid evidence of all the years Hagrid has worked, and all the effort he put in. Hundreds of copies stacked up high from floor to ceiling.


30 Years Commemorative Special Edition

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

by Newt Scammander

and

Rubeus Hagrid


A/N:

I like this ending cos I think it's cute, though I may have taken a slight liberty with the date Fantastic Beasts was written to make it fit... maybe it was just written later because with Hagrid's help they found out more so had more to put in... maybe... Not entirely sure about the section leading up to the ending though, so please review and let me know if you think it could be improved!

Kudos if anyone can work out the reasoning behind Myrtle's surname (which I had to make up cos I couldn't find anything official...) HINT- I started at her Harry Potter wiki page ;)