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21 December 2012 @ 06:58 pm
Fic: Let nothing ye dismay for snorkackcatcher  
Apologies for the later-than-usual posting today!

Title: Let nothing ye dismay
Author: ???
A Gift for: snorkackcatcher
Rating: G
Length: 1330 words
Characters: Rubeus Hagrid, Minerva McGonagall
Summary: Hagrid has missed Christmas dinner, and Minerva is concerned. But Hagrid has some concerns of his own.
Author’s Note Dear snorkackcatcher, among other things you asked what Hagrid thought about Hermione visiting him so much in PoA. Although this is set a little earlier than the bulk of her visits, and evolved more into a look into what Hagrid thinks of Professor McGonagall, I hope you enjoy this glimpse into his world.


“Hagrid!”

He swung round and raised a hand in greeting. “Professor.”

She crunched through the snow that blanketed the courtyard. “You can call me Minerva, you know,” she said. “You are a Professor yourself now, after all.”

“I s’pose.” Only four months ago he’d felt like a soaring eagle just thinking about it, but that had been before it had all gone wrong.

“We missed you at Christmas dinner,” said Professor McGonagall.

“Yeah, well. I couldn’ leave Buckbeak an’ Fang on their own, could I?”

She nodded, looking a bit too sympathetic. She always seemed to understand more than he said, always had. It’s what made her a good teacher, he supposed. He’d been a fool to think he could do the same.

He looked down at his feet. The snow was stained with red. His bag must be dripping. He checked it anxiously.

“Is that their dinner, or yours?” she asked with a smile.

“Bit o’ both, I reckon,” he said, grinning back. That was one thing about the Professor – she might make you feel guilty just by looking at you, but she wasn’t squeamish about that sort of thing. Course, she’d grown up in the Highlands. That, and she ate mice.

“Well, I hope the House-Elves found you some good leftovers. What do Hippogriffs eat, anyway?”

“Insects, mostly,” said Hagrid. “Or small mammals, or birds. But righ’ now the ground’s too hard ter burrow in, and the mammals are sleepin’, an’ he’s not allowed to fly fer birds, so he’s gettin’ chicken an’ beef from the kitchen.”

But that just made him think about that letter from the Ministry, and why Buckbeak wasn’t allowed to fly. He sniffed, and wiped his eyes with his sleeve.

“I’m sorry about what happened,” said Professor McGonagall. “We all are.”

The concern in her voice made something well up inside him. He wiped his eyes again, but the tears wouldn’t stop coming.

“I should never have brough’ him here,” he gulped. “I only wanted teh make a good firs’ lesson, an’ now their goin’ ter kill him fer being dangerous, an’ he’s not!”

“Yes, well,” she said briskly. “This isn’t about that, though, is it? This is about Lucius Malfoy trying to show us that he still has power over the school even though he no longer has power within it.”

Hagrid shrugged. “Wouldn’ make any diff’rence, even without Malfoy,” he said. “They’ve got it in fer creatures that don’ fit.”

He knew all about that. Look what they’d wanted to do to Aragog, when he was only a baby! Then they’d thrown him out of the school, just because he was big and clumsy and Riddle was quick and clever and knew how to talk to people.

Professor McGonagall Transfigured a handkerchief to blanket size and held it out.

“Thanks,” he muttered, blowing his nose loudly.

She handed him a large slab of chocolate. “Here, take this,” she said. “You’re too close to the Dementors, living out there. No point in letting them make things even worse.”

“They’re horrible,” he said fervently.

“They’re getting to all of us.”

He broke off a piece and chewed. To his surprise, it did make him feel a bit better.

“It’s hard enough, your first term teaching, even without this,” said Professor McGonagall. “If you ever want to talk, you’re welcome to drop in on me any time. You don’t need to be alone.”

But he wasn’t alone, not really. He had Fang and Buckbeak and all the creatures of the forest where he could walk without being afraid to break something. And Harry, Ron and Hermione, when they visited.

And actually, he’d been wondering whether he should talk to someone about that.

“There was one thing…” he said.

She waited, their breaths rising visible in the freezing air, while he tried to find the words.

That was another thing about Professor McGonagall – she understood that being slow didn’t mean being stupid. Maybe that was because she knew how much faster you could think when you were small.

“It’s Hermione Granger,” he said at last. “She’s no’ herself.”

The professor sighed. “I know her friends are upset with her,” she said, “but she did the right thing, coming to me. And we’ll get Harry’s broom back to him as soon as we know it’s safe, but it’s going to take time to examine it properly. The Firebolt is such a finely balanced broom, we can’t risk damaging it. The way the propulsion and steering charms interlock is really quite marvellous.”

Hagrid smiled: Professor McGonagall was as Quidditch-mad as the rest of them. Himself, he just liked to watch the players fly; he’d never managed to get off the ground on a broom and could only imagine what it was like to dart about up there.

“It’s no’ jus’ the broom, though,” he said. “She was sort o’ twitchy before that.”

“Twitchy? What do you mean?”

It wasn’t quite the right word, he knew. It was hard to find the right word for something you just felt, like the tension in an injured creature that he couldn’t risk breaking in case it bolted.

“She was always rushin’ off somewhere,” he said. “More than usual, I mean. An’ cryin’, when she though’ no-one can see.”

“Hmm, well. Hermione does tend to overdo things,” said Professor McGonagall. “Don’t worry, I’m keeping an eye on her.”

He couldn’t say why, but it felt like there was something she wasn’t telling him.

“But…”

“You were right to tell me,” she said. “It’s the sort of thing a good teacher watches out for.”

Her approval made him feel a little warmer inside. But he still had a responsibility.

“It’s jus’ tha’ she’s helpin’ me with Buckbeak’s defence,” he said. “And now that Harry an’ Ron aren’t speakin’ teh her, she’s spendin’ all her time with me or in the library. It’s really nice o’ her ter help, but wi’ the way she’s bin, I’m not sure I should let her.”

Professor McGonagall smiled. “Do you think you could stop her?”

Hagrid laughed. “Yeh may have a poin’ there. But I don’ want to encourage her if it’s not good for her.”

“Hermione needs to learn her own limits,” said Professor McGonagall. “If she wants to help, then stopping her would only make her feel guilty. What she really needs right now is a friend.”

“At least she has her cat for company,” said Hagrid. He’d been relieved to see her cuddling the little ginger animal at the start of term. There was something wrong about a life without pets.

“Oh yes, Crookshanks will certainly look after her. He almost took a bite out of my ear, the first time I met him by the Fat Lady. He gave me quite a fright – though probably not as big as the one I gave him by transforming back!”

“Bit off more than he could chew, eh?”

“It didn’t quite get to that, thankfully.”

They both chuckled.

“Better be gettin’ back,” Hagrid said. He swung the still-dripping bag. “Buckbeak an’ Fang’ll be gettin’ hungry.”

“Will we see you for Hogmanay?” asked Professor McGonagall. “We’re starting with a wee dram in my rooms as usual, and Filius has been working on some new fireworks.”

“I’m no’ sure.” Though Hagrid was used to the castle’s corridors, the Professors’ rooms always felt too cramped and too full of things that were too easy to break.

“Come for the fireworks, at least. Filius is letting them off from the Astronomy tower so there’ll be a good view from here.” She paused. “Thinking about it, perhaps you could do something for me.”

“Anythin’ yeh like, Professor.”

“Make sure Hermione comes along? It’ld do her good to have a break.”

“I’ll do me best.”

He’d make sure she went, he thought, as he trudged back to his hut. No-one’s gloom could resist the magic of Filius’ fireworks. And this year, more than most, they had to remember how to let their spirits soar.
 
 
 
primeideal.dreamwidth.orgprimeideal.dreamwidth.org on December 21st, 2012 07:54 pm (UTC)
Ha, excellent point about their various diets! And I hadn't considered that Hagrid would have been out close to the Dementors, that was a clever addition as well.
psyfic: everydayIwritepsyfic on December 22nd, 2012 01:02 am (UTC)
I liked this exchange between two characters I find interesting yet never seem to interact in the series. Very fitting! I enjoy behind-the-scenes moments like this that make perfect sense considering the timing of events. Hagrid *does* worry in his own way and McGonagall is very fair-minded and compassionate in a no-nonsense sort of way. You captured that nicely here. Well done!
#!/usr/bin/girl: grinchmasdelphipsmith on December 22nd, 2012 09:16 pm (UTC)
Very true to character; I do like "gap-fillers" that show us things that go on off-page. I'm quite sure that this, or something like it, really did happen :)

This bit was Hagrid to perfection:

He looked down at his feet. The snow was stained with red. His bag must be dripping. He checked it anxiously.
“Is that their dinner, or yours?” she asked with a smile.
“Bit o’ both, I reckon,”
miip42 on December 23rd, 2012 10:30 pm (UTC)
That was absolutely lovely - and very Hagrid!
忘れな草: reading and researchingwasureneba on December 24th, 2012 12:48 am (UTC)
Oh, this has a lot of great moments! I love the bit about Hagrid's dinner, and seeing McGonagall shore up Hagrid's nerves about teaching (what a lot to happen your first term of teaching, och)---and Hagrid being good about noticing student troubles, and talking to other teachers about them.
snorkackcatcher: Registered Owl Postsnorkackcatcher on December 24th, 2012 03:43 pm (UTC)
Always good to see Hagrid as he doesn't get a lot of fic about him. :) And this one gets him nicely -- the line "she understood that being slow didn’t mean being stupid" summed him up very well. I hadn't thought about him being so close to the Dementors, but that couldn't have helped matters! (Also good to see McGonagall showing off her teacher skills.)
mollywheezy: Frog for Christmasmollywheezy on December 26th, 2012 09:40 pm (UTC)
"Course, she’d grown up in the Highlands. That, and she ate mice."

That line made me LOL. As did HAgrid's thought about Hermione cuddling "the little ginger animal". Hee. ;)

Excellent characterizations of both Hagrid and McGonagall. I absolutely LOVED this! :)
kellychambliss: Xmaskellychambliss on December 26th, 2012 09:51 pm (UTC)
What a fine bit of character exploration; you do a marvelous job with both Hagrid and McGonagall. Your Hagrid voice is excellent -- just enough of the dialect to let us hear him, but not so much that it becomes intrusive. This conversation is so true that I felt as if I were eavesdropping on real people. Their mutual regard and concern is both believable and heartening.

she wasn’t squeamish about that sort of thing. Course, she’d grown up in the Highlands. That, and she ate mice.
Haha! Great line for both of them.
minervas_eule: my Minervaminervas_eule on January 4th, 2013 12:40 pm (UTC)
This is a beautiful scene - it sounds absolutely true to both of them; and the last bit about Crookshanks and cat-McGonagall is so funny ;-) .
lazy_neutrinolazy_neutrino on January 26th, 2013 06:02 pm (UTC)
An absoutely lovely missing moment, and such good characterisation. And this line is so wonderful:

That, and she ate mice.

And Transfiguring the hanky to blanket size! It's the little details, so perfectly observed, that make this story so good.