A/N: A silly little story I thought I'd write as I'm struggling with the plot of another fic.
This story's roots go way back to the summer, when my sister and I, not content with our first visit, decided to return to the Warner Bros Studio Tour, eager for more Harry Potter. We went on our own, on an organised coach trip, a journey time of about 7 hours, but felt longer since the bus broke down just across the Scottish-English border. There we were, a bus full of hyperactive children, sitting at the side of the motorway waiting for someone to come get us. The bus driver (bless him), not much of a HP fan himself, nevertheless tried to keep our spirits up, and Googled a Harry Potter quiz to read out on the bus' microphone to keep the kids entertained. One of the questions was: "What book did Dumbledore leave to Hermione Granger in his will?" The choices were: "A- The Tales of Beedle the Bard, B- Year with a Yeti, or C- The Diaries of Crookshanks the Cat." Of course, all the children got the answer correct, but my mind was racing as I considered the third option. Just how did Crookshanks see the events of the Prisoner of Azkaban? And that thinking kept me occupied all the rest of the way as I told this story to the kids sitting in the seats in front of me. At the Studio Tour, I bough a plush Crookshanks toy as a reminder, but it's only now I've decided to write it all down. I hope you enjoy my ramblings :)
I, Crookshanks, am a cat.
Not one of those prim and perfect Persians, or the sleek, posh tabbies. I am a proper cat. Smart, tough, and above all, fluffy.
The Two-Legs think they are above every other creature in the world. It's almost endearing how great they think themselves. Stupid creatures like dogs like to pander to the Two-Legs and play the fool, but cats … no, we have far more dignity than that.
Of course, I've often got into trouble for this before. I'd once had an old female Two-Legs for a pet, and I was fairly content. The balls of wool that fell at her feet kept me fairly amused, and I was fed regularly, even if the meat was a little tough. She sat in a chair before the fire humming to herself and listening to the little box that spoke, and she was a fairly decent companion, as Two-Legs go. Even if she did try to brush me on occasion.
She was good to me, and in return, I occasionally jumped up and sat in her knee, purring to show her my gratitude. She loved me, and I … well, I wasn't nasty to her. I prided myself on finding such a nice Two-Legs to settle down with.
Until the kittens came.
My Two-Legs pet all of a sudden seemed to have hairless kittens always around at my house. They ran everywhere, falling over when they tried to stand and instead began to crawl. They looked ridiculous, but that wasn't the problem. This was my territory!
I sat under chairs and stools, glaring at the hairless-kittens whenever they came near and hissing to tell them to stay away, but they didn't listen. They seemed even less intelligent than dogs!
It wasn't my fault. I warned them to stay away from me! But no, they insisted on running after me screaming "Kitty!" and trying to hug me of all things! They picked me up, pulled out my beautiful ginger fur and stood on my tail, laughing at me. My Two-Legs pet didn't seem to mind at all, and laughed at the hairless-kittens, giving them treats whenever they did something stupid, like sing a silly song, even though they sounded worse than the wailing of the alley cats. She smiled at them and pampered them, and suddenly I wasn't her favourite anymore! Why? They barely even had any fur!
The final straw came when they attempted to shove me into some sort of box on wheels and dress me up with frilly pink scraps of cloth and push me around the back garden. I am a cat! I wasn't about to stand for that!
So I did what came naturally. I scratched them.
I probably shouldn't have, but I did warn them. They screamed and ran away clutching at their hands and faces like cowardly puppies; I'd barely even touched them! But when my Two-Legs pet came and saw what I'd done she wasn't happy, and she kept me out of the house all night. How dare she! This was my house!
Every time those hairless-kittens came near me, I hissed and swept my paws towards them again, and soon they learned to stay away. But my Two-Legs pet seemed unhappy, and pushed me away whenever I tried to go near her.
Eventually, one day she put me into one of those stupid baskets and took me somewhere. I was not amused about being shoved into a small cage and lugged around, and I hissed at her to prove it. But she did not let me out, and soon took me to a strange street filled with Two-Legs. I peered out the bars of my cage and saw many of them, wearing strange pointed hats on their heads, passing by shops with arrogant owls perched outside that seemed to smirk at my predicament as I passed by.
Soon, she had taken me into one of those shops, and as soon as the smell hit me, I was very unhappy. The entire place was filled with animals like rats and owls and toads. The noise of these inane animals chattering aimlessly to each other was incredibly annoying. I began to get wary, what was my pet planning?
She reached the front of the shop and dumped me on the counter and began speaking to another Two-Legs. I never usually cared what Two-Legs said to each other; listening in and trying to make sense of the drivel they spoke that passed for language was far beneath my dignity. But now, I listened.
I did not understand it all, but I caught words like "grandchildren", "bad-tempered", "unable", "sell" and "replace", which I did not like the sound of. Despite my pride, I had felt a flickering of fear at this. The Two-Legs behind the counter had nodded, pulled out some golden discs and given them to my pet, who pocketed them. Then my pet had looked around the shop a little, and came back with some sort of fluffy looking creature that didn't even seem to have a face and just sat there trilling away inanely. She passed the other Two-Legs some more discs and was given a basket for the furball.
I had begun to understand at that point. She was replacing me.
How could she do that?! She was my pet! She had no right to get rid of me! And for that furball? It didn't even have any teeth! How was it going to protect itself from those hairless-kittens? Someone needed to deal with them!
No, I had decided, she wouldn't do that. I had lived with her for a long, long time. Surely she would not get rid of me just for the sake of those hairless-kittens? I mean, they had asked for it! I should not be gotten rid of just because they were just too stupid to understand the words: "Stay away or I'll bite you!"
But my worst fears were confirmed when she peered into the front of the basket and smiled.
"Goodbye, Crookshanks," she had said, and turned away and out of the shop, the basket containing the furball at her side, where I should be.
I had sat there for a while, unable to believe what she had just done. How could she treat me like this?
I had to be believe that she was coming back. I was her companion, and she my pet. I was loyal, I was intelligent, and I was fluffy! She wouldn't be able to live without me.
So I waited. Day after day I sat in my little cage, not even leaving when I was let out for exercise. My pet would come for me, and I was going to wait right there for her. She'd take me back, I'd scratch her for thinking she could leave me there, and then we'd go back to their house and she'd knit, and I would chase the wool just like old times.
But she didn't come. Other people came into the shop and took furballs, rats and toads, but my pet did not come for me. I grew angry. How could she leave me here?
Eventually, I gave up waiting. I was a cat! I was too good to let myself pine after some Two-Legs like some mangy dog. It was her loss.
Yet it pained me still. I decided then, I would no longer be nice to Two-Legs. They were all the same.
The owner of the shop tried to sell me. Tried. She'd bring me out my cage and give me to some Two-Legs and its offspring to be sold, but I showed her. I bit and I scratched and I yowled so loudly she had to point that little stick at me and do a spell to keep me quiet. I wasn't about to let myself be sold like a piece of meat. I'm a cat! Not some silly kitten that needed protection. I wasn't about to play by the rules.
So I stayed there for many years. The Two-Legs gave up trying to sell me; no one wanted me if I was always going to bite and scratch them, even if I did have beautiful ginger fur. Though, after time, it got less beautiful, and began to look scruffy since I bit the Two-Legs every time she tried to brush me. I wasn't about to play her game. I soon figured out how to unlock my cage, and I wandered about the shop of my own free will. The first few times the Two-Legs tried to stuff me back in, but I showed her who was boss. I strutted around, letting her clean up after me, determined not to make it easy for her. She didn't give a damn about me, and I returned the favour.
I tried to escape a few times, but she always beat me to it. The door was kept firmly shut, and no matter how high I jumped, I could not reach the handle. Every time someone came into the shop, the Two-Legs froze me in place to make sure I would not run out the open door.
I wanted my freedom. I wasn't about to become the pet of a two-legged creature. The other animals in the shop laughed at me and called me strange, but I just stuck my nose in the air and didn't bother to reply. They were submissive and idiotic, I was better than that. Who wants to run around after some Two-Legs all their life? I was determined to be better than that. If I ever got another pet, I would make sure that I was the one in charge
So I waited. I was bored. I was humiliated. But I knew the only way I could leave was to be bought by someone. As ridiculous as it was, it was my only option.
But I was incredibly fussy about who I would adopt. I put them all through their strides. They had to be intelligent (though of course, not more intelligent than I was), they had to be kind, love cats (of course) and be interesting (at least, as interesting as a Two-Legs could be). I wanted something more exciting than sitting around a shop all day. I wanted to be something. I didn't even want a return to the life I had led before. I wanted to prove just how great a cat I could be.
So I bit and scratched every person who tried to buy me but proved themselves to be inferior. I wasn't about to let myself be sold to someone unworthy. I bided my time.
Which brings me to today.
As usual, I was sitting on top of one of the cupboards in the back of the room, watching every person that came in the door, privately evaluating each of them as they walked in. If I liked the look of them, I would investigate, if not, I would go back to my bath and ignore them completely.
Today, something piqued my interest more than it had done in a long while. Today, after a long line of boring Two-Legs and their boring problems with their boring pets, three Two-Legs came into the shop. They were young, barely more than kittens, and at first I dismissed them, and continued cleaning myself.
One of the kittens, a male one I thought, with hair the same colour as my beautiful fur went up to the owner and started blabbering, and I lost interest. But then a new smell caught my attention.
I turned to look at the ginger-kitten and saw him withdraw a rat from a pocket. Only it wasn't a rat.
I felt myself bristle with anger. I restrained myself with difficulty while I examined the situation. It looked old, it was tattered and missing a toe from its front paw. It looked like any ordinary garden rat, but it wasn't.
My hackles rose and I glared at the imposter. It was not a rat! It was only a Two-Legs pretending!
I knew that some Two-Legs like to turn into animals, but I had never heard of one that actually stayed as an animal. It could only be up to no good.
The Ginger-Kitten seemed oblivious to the rat's true identity, and I felt my anger grow even greater. How dare this Two-Legs dare to pretend to be a rat! It was the ultimate insult.
So I did what any respectable cat would; I pounced.
I hurled myself at the Not-A-Rat, bouncing off the Ginger-Kitten's head and threw myself at it, hissing fiercely and spitting at it. The Not-A-Rat, coward as it was took off and scarpered for the door. I tried to follow it, to show to it exactly what I thought of it, but the Two-Legs that owned the shop pulled me back, reprimanding me like I was some unruly kitten and levitated me back into my cage with her stick, while the Ginger-Kitten and his Four-Eyed friend ran after the Not-A-Rat. I yowled loudly to show my displeasure, and immediately let myself out of my cage again, determined to race after the imposter.
"NO, CROOKSHANKS!" my Two-Legs shouted at me. I turned and hissed at her; how dare she order me around? I was a cat!
"Oh, he's so beautiful!" gushed the Extra-Fluffy-Kitten that had accompanied the other two; a female I thought. Immediately, I froze.
I turned and looked at her critically. She was as young as the other two, with very fluffy fur on her head, and she was looking at me with an adoring look on her face. Immediately, this aroused my interest; no one looked at me like that anymore, no one saw me as the adorable creature I was, only a vicious monster.
She was brave this one; I could easily scratch that pretty face of hers. But she came closer and bent down to scratch me behind the ears. My Two-Legs warned her, but I did not attack, and instead found myself purring. This Two-Legs was not so bad.
My own Two-Legs stared in astonishment and started telling her how difficult I was and how no one wanted to buy me. I almost spat at her in derision; that wasn't the case at all. I was only difficult because I did not want them.
But this Extra-Fluffy-Kitten did not care and continued gushing over me, quite admirably; she knew quality when she saw it. She began to ask my Two-Legs how much it was to buy me, and she replied with a price that was far below what I was worth, probably desperate to get rid of me.
The Extra-Fluffy-Kitten reached into a pocket and withdrew some gold discs and began to count them out. I sat and watched, thinking this over carefully. Did I want to adopt this Two-Legs? She was brave, and she had good taste, that much was evident. She was young however, would she be able to provide for me enough? Would she end up having kittens of her own in a few years that would push me to the side?
But something about her made me forget this. She had brains, and she seemed to genuinely think I was lovely, which was more than my current Two-Legs did. And besides, she was friends with those other two kittens, one of which had a Not-A-Rat for a pet. If I went with her … I could get another shot at him.
The idea was tempting. That Not-A-Rat would regret impersonating an animal if I had anything to say about it.
I was decided. I would adopt this kitten. Besides, most anything was better than this hell-hole.
Finally, the gold discs were exchanged, and my new pet stooped down to claim me. She lifted me into her arms and held me tightly, and I snuggled in, liking the smell of her, nuzzling against her neck. Yes, this could be quite agreeable.
My pet turned to leave, and I shot my previous Two-Legs a parting glare, and I laughed at all the other creatures in the shop in a deep meow. They watched me jealously, and I could not help but feel smug. They had called me stupid for being so fussy, they had thought I was strange, and here I was! A brand new pet! I showed them.
My pet carried me out of the shop and down the street, and I blinked in the sunlight, happy to be outside once more in the fresh air. She carried me down the street until we met up with the other kittens, who had by now found the Not-A-Rat cowering away in the dirt. But I did not attempt to go after him just now. I had a new pet, I intended to enjoy myself. I could eat the Not-A-Rat later.
The other kittens, in particular the ginger one, looked outraged, but I did not care, and just kept purring away in my pet's arms.
"You bought that monster?" the Ginger-Kitten asked.
"He's gorgeous isn't he?" my pet answered, and I purred even louder. Yes, I had chosen very well.
They continued to blabber on and I lost interest, content to just sit there purring away, enjoying the scenery. Eventually they all left and headed into some sort of inn, where we met up with yet more ginger kittens, evidently all from the same litter. I ignored them all, my new pet was scratching me behind the ears and feeding me tidbits from the table, and I was perfectly happy.
The stench of the Not-A-Rat however lingered, and I longed to go after him. But I decided to wait. Plenty of time for that later.
I had a new pet, and I was looking forward to a long and happy life with her, this kind and intelligent Extra-Fluffy-Kitten.
Finally, I had now got a pet that deserved me.
A/N: Silly, I know, but I hope you liked it. This story is complete, so the next chapter will be posted shortly :)