Mr. Potter, Miss Granger. Thank you for joining me in my humble abode. Yes, I am sure your silly red haired friend was ill and that is why he was unable to attend and not because he is a little pansy afraid of a few spiders. Well, yes, I suppose we are a bit larger than normal, something I shall explain in a bit, however I feel that is no excuse at all, but that is not why I called you here today.
You see, I have a dilemma.
It started some time ago. I have not always stayed in this forest. While I'm sure Hagrid believes I spend all my time here sucking deer dry, it is quite mundane and rather boring at times; not to mention the view is positively horrid. Every so often, my wife and I like to pack up the kids and go on holiday. We've spent some time in London, a bit in New York, but the problems came when we attended a special tour of abandoned muggle towns. It's been a hobby of mine, ghost towns. I find them ever so fascinating. At first we spent some time in the American Southwest, where we went from ghost town to ghost town. I am always amazed by the ingenuity of muggles, with their technology and opposable thumbs. While we spiders can make do with a few extra limbs, it is not quite the same.
We were in this one particularly nice village when on the horizon my darling wife spotted a most peculiar cloud, one I had not seen before, nor ever seen since. It had the oddest shape, like that of a great toadstool, though a bit rounder at the top. Moments later we were hit by a most terrible wind.
A mushroom cloud? Well, yes, I suppose one could call it such. This was some time ago, in what your people call the 1950s. Our family was quite a bit smaller back then. It wasn't an issue at the time, and we suffered no permanent ill effects. But there was a tingle in the wind that lingered, something I remember to this day.
It was some time later, three decades in fact, when my family and I were able to garner passports to Russia, well, Ukraine now, but then it was all part of the USSR.
Pardon? Mr. Potter! I will have you know I'm a law abiding citizen of the United Kingdom and a loyal subject of Her Majesty! Of course I'd have a passport! Why I had- oh, sorry. I thought you were implying I was not legally crossing the borders. Oh, you were just inquiring as to the photograph. Yes, it was rather poor resolution, however, we were able to purchase larger passports, which dealt with that issue. Special dispensation, you see. No need to apologize, Mr. Potter, it was my mistake.
I had heard that there was another such abandoned muggle town, or City rather and quite recent. The city, Cherry-Nobel, I believe it was called. What was that Miss Granger? Oh, yes, well, I suppose that would be the proper pronunciation, thank you.
Yes, well the entire city had that same tingling feeling, but stronger. It was like a light massage all over. The wife and I spent quite some time there, nearly a year. Low and behold, we'd grown quite a bit, and as you can see, we are much larger than our people should be. Luckily we decided on a second honeymoon, so we didn't bring all the family. When you get to be our age, you have to do things to spice it up a bit, so the children and grandchildren stayed here in Scotland.
Looking back, it was quite a reasonable and well thought out decision as if we had all increased in size, we would have had to expand the farms. Yes, we do farm. Well, we have not yet mastered domestication of the local ungulates, we are well on our way. We could never support the family otherwise. We have some minor trade with the Centaurs: bones and sinew for their bows in exchange for some minor trinkets, but I do feel things could be better.
Trade our silk? My word, what an idea! Thank you Miss Granger, I never considered there would be a market for such a thing. As you can see we do have plenty. What was that Mr. Potter? My story? Oh right! Yes, pardon an old spider, when one grows to my age things tend to slip away if I am not careful.
As I related earlier, that particular tingle had arisen once more. I do not know if it has the same effect on humans as it does my people, but yes, like a light massage when relaxing in the sun. The wife and I stayed on holiday rather longer than we anticipated. It was nearly winter when we returned to Scotland.
There was a bit of a party, Hagrid and my good friend Bane (dragging his foals along with him so they could get some "culture") came over for the slide show. I dare say we took more of, how did you say it, Miss Granger? Ah, right, Chernobyl, than we had of any trip prior. Cost nearly a fortune to get them developed, and I must say the witch at the counter was quite rude. However, this is where my dilemma began.
Hagrid told nearly everyone about my trip, where I had gone and what I had seen. Almost immediately after that muggleborns and muggle raised like yourselves started trespassing, one group released the herds, something which took the family several hours to rectify, in their attempt to find me and my wife. Then they had the audacity to ask me to bite them!
I do not know if it is the same where you come from, but I am quite sure that is not normal behavior for your kind.
And besides, humans have quite unpleasant blood. In the late 1960s I tasted one, some fool in a mask and black robe, and I swore never to do it again. The aftertaste lasts for days.
But these children and teens did not seem to know the meaning of the word "no." They returned time and time again. Bringing goats and sheep, but always asking for me to bite them. And let me tell you, it was the Canadians who were the worst. Very polite, but the most stubborn people I have ever had the misfortune to meet. At least the Americans had the sense not to stick around.
I do believe you see my dilemma now.
Mr. Potter, why are you rolling up your sleeve?
Oh no! Not you too!
AN: I don't own HP and I don't own anything hinted in the story. Enjoy!