Hagrid's New Job
| Noticing them, he smiled and made his way over.
"Hey kids. Thursty?"
"Yeah." Ron replied as he counted the change he'd gotten from his last purchase.
"More than a bit."
"Four butter beers coming right up. My treat." Hagrid said Brightly. After thanking him, Harry Ron and Hermione found a table and sat. He joined them a moment later with four bottles of butter beer and three pumpkin pasties.
"Wow. Thanks Hagrid." said Harry as they all began opening their drinks. Hermione asked,
"What's got you in such a generous mood today?"
Ron took a long draft of the refreshing chilled beverage.
"Man." he said setting it down.
"That's good. Yeah Hagrid. What's with all the treats?"
"I thought you'd never ask." He leaned in close and said in a hushed voice,
"They're startin' a new course this season and guess who they want to be the teacher?"
Ron pointed at him.
"No way! Well that's..." Hagrid's left hand muffled Ron's noisy exclamation as he pressed his finger to his lips with the other.
"Shshsh." He looked around to see if anyone might have overheard.
"Its not finalized yet, but I've got a real good feeling Dumbledoor's made up his mind."
Hermione smiled and Harry sported a thumbs up.
"So what new course will you be teaching?" asked Hermione around a mouth full of pasty. Just then, an owl flew in with an envelope for Ron. It was a brief letter from his mom Stating that he should phone her as soon as he got it and to bring Hermione along. She also Wrote that he should not let Harry know where he's going as she wants to discuss a surprise birthday Party for him. He Quickly crumpled the sheet of paper and rose.
"Uh, hermione?" He said interrupting the conversation.
"Snape wants to see us right now in his classroom before school starts." a slightly confused look crossed her face.
"Snape? Why? I hope I'm not losing more points for letting you copy my homework again." Harry and Hagrid chuckled. Ron blushed.
"Well, he didn't say, but he said it was important." Hermione sighed and slid off her seat.
"Lets get this over with." They said goodbye and left.
"So as I was sayin'," Hagrid continued in an almost whisper.
"They gave me six of them to practice with this summer, and sep fer me forgettin' a few things, I can drive them better than apollo. Wanna tryam out?" Harry didn't respond. He rested his chin on his hand and had a dreamy look in his eyes and a silly grin that till now, Hagrid hadn't noticed.
"Harry!" He said more loudly snapping his fingers in front of his fixed stare. Harry blinked.
"I'm sorry Hagrid. What did you say?"
"I said do you wanna tryam out?"
"Try what out?" Harry asked confused.
"The flying unicorns!" He nearly shouted in exasperation. Hagrid covered his own mouth this time and didn't have to look around to know the eyes he felt turning in his direction. He cleared his throat and stammered,
"Isn't that a great band there Harry? My favorite, actually." Harry suppressed a snort.
"yeah. Mine too."
"Think I got a few of their live albums at home like I was sayin, wanna check'em out?"
In his embarrassment, Hagrid nearly carried harry out of the Leaky Cauldron. Once outside they took a more leasurely pace.
"So." Hagrid began with a smirk.
"What's the special young lady's name?"
"Huh? What lady?" Harry questioned, faining perplexion.
"Cmon, Harry." He replied waving a hand dismissively.
"I've been here a long time. Only time boys ever get that look in their eye is when a girl put it there. So tell me. Who is she?"
Harry let out a longing sigh.
"Its Hermione." Her name escaped his lips with such tenderness Hagrid had to smile.
"She's my girlfriend now. I like her so much. Always have, but was never sure how she felt about me till today. I love her hair, her dazzling smile, those big beautiful brown eyes. Whenever she looked at me, I felt like...like, christmas in heaven."
On and on his admorations pored out the entire way to Hagrid's hut.
"Congrats to the both of ya. You make a great couple. If ya get the hang of drivin' these chariots, I'll even letcha take her out in one sometime, but keep that tween you and I, k?"
They went to the back of the hut where 4 unicorns stood in a row softly braying and swishing their lion tails. Their gentle eyes welcomed the company.
"There they are. Beautiful, aren't they?" He reached out to stroke the nose of the creature closest to him. He peered at her name tag.
"Moonlight. one of the calmest of the bunch. you'll love her. We'll take her and Cupid. Always need a male and a female. Never forget that."
Harry marveled at the lovely beasts but wondered why such a course was necessary when they had their broomsticks. in the next instant his question was answered.
"Very relyable." Hagrid said his back now turned as he rummaged through a bag of sattles and rains.
"and better to travel with at night than broomsticks." He sattled the animals, and then preceeded to instruct Harry on how to handle them.
"All it takes is a light flick of the wrists like this to get them going." He demonstrated.
"Right flick to turn right, left to go left. Give a little kick to go faster, small pull up on the rains for up, tiny pressure on the stirrups to go down, little pull back to back or go backwards. Nothin' to it." Harry couldn't wait.
"Great! Lets go!" Hagrid scratched his head and peered up into the bright morning sky and knew he had forgotten something but wasn't sure what. Deciding he would deal with the problem when it arose, he helped Harry mount Moonlight before climbing onto Cupid. Harry flicked his wrists once and was taken forward on a slow canter, Hagrid beside him at the same pace. For a while they each enjoyed the quiet sounds of the morning. Then they gently pulled up on the rains and the unicorns spread their downy wings and smoothly lifted into the air. Harry was surprised to discover the flapping of the wings neither hindered his ability to drive or his line of vision, and actually found the sound soothing. He seemed to glide.
"How's it goin', Harry?" came Hagrid's surprisingly clear voice a few yards behind him.
"Cool!" He said giving Moonlight a little kick. She took up speed. Hagrid followed as closely as was possible.
"I knew you'd like it. Lemmie know if you have any questions."
He looked down and was amazed at how high up he was. Hogwarts, the forest and other sections now looked to him like a miniature map. Squinting, he caught sight of Dumbledoor looking up at him and Hagrid with horror. Harry smiled, leaned over a bit to wave and call to him.
"Hey! I'm alright! This is gr..." but in his pure joy he excitedly kicked his feet and Moonlight took off like a flash of lightening. The next thing he knew he lost his seat and was gripping the rains for dear life as the now biting cold air tore through his hair, chilled him to the bone and threatened to rip the shirt right off his back. He desperately tried to remember the gesture to slow the creature down but panic scattered his thoughts and the only direction he could manage to steer was up or down. His grip slipped a bit and with all his might he tried to pull back and only succeeded in pulling up very hard. He was dragged straight up, the rains now slipping away from him at an even faster degree due to the virtical angle. Now came the overwelming brightness of the sun which grew brighter somehow every second. Suddenly, the rains were snatched from him in the opposite direction and before he could comprehend what had happened, a shreak of pure terror tore from the depfths of his soul as he plummetted back to hogwarts. Then just as suddenly, he was caught, and hovered there, less than a mile above ground on his broomstick. His heart beat wildly in his chest and he was drenched in a cold sweat as he was brought gently and safely down. he shivered. The glair of the sun temperarily blinded him. Dumbledoor's soothing voice spoke to him.
"Are you hurt?"
His teeth chattered and his breath was so labored that he could barely answer. His glasses were handed back to him.
"We'll get you to the nurses office just to be sure."
"h-h-hag..." Harry stammered.
"Hagrid is safe. I will speak with him personally as soon as I get you over for medical care."
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