Griffins and Ravens
Author’s Note: This is the direct sequel to Luna Lovegood and the Dark Portrait Going up a day early since I will be home very late tomorrow and unable to upload then. Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, J.K. Rowling and Joss Whedon do. Thanks very much to my Beta, Letomo, but all mistakes are still mine. The following ways of notation may be found in this story. This is excluding whatever I need to represent chatting, texting and stuff like that. And you can thank Twilightwanderer for the Abbott and Costello. Speech:
“Who’s on first.” Thought:
*What’s on second.
#I-don’t-know’s on third.# Many thanks to AllenPitt and wolfman for recommending this story. And finally many, many, many thanks to Cordyfan for the basic format that means that my stories now actually can be read normally. I’ll be going back over all of the previous chapters and changing them, but it might take some time. Chapter 3 Griffins and Ravens
After his disastrous Divination class and slightly better Transfiguration class, and a more than depressing Lunch Harry was rather surprised to feel himself cheered when he heard Luna’s voice behind him after Lunch.
“Hello, Harry. I heard that Professor Trelawyney predicted your death?”
“Yeah. I also have a deadly enemy, apparently.” Harry replied glumly.
“Oh good! It would be rather annoying to learn after all this that he’s only a half-hearted enemy and really wants to be friends. That would be rather a damper on the beginning of your friendship then, wouldn’t it?”
Harry grinned. “And what about my death?”
“Apparently she does that every year, I asked Myrtle, and Professor Flitwick.”
“Professor McGonagall said the same.” Harry confided.
“Ah, but Harry, a good researcher tries to find as many sources to corroborate her theory as possible.” Luna said sagely. “Well, I’m off to Potions. Glad you’re not worrying! Bye!” Luna skipped off, rather happier than Harry at the prospect of taking Potions.
Harry smiled after her and went out of the school to take his first Care of Magical creatures class. He made a mental note to ask Luna about the Grim later. If anyone would know anything about the creature, it would be her or her father.
“Good afternoon class!” Professor Kettleburn leaned easily on a post of the paddock fence, a seven foot long oak staff in his hand. “For those who do not know me, I’m Professor Kettleburn, next to me, and he was introduced yesterday, so you have no reason not to know him, is Professor Hagrid. Now, he is my associate professor that does not mean he lacks knowledge, only practical experience as a teacher of Magical Creatures. He has fought more dangerous creatures than you can think off, seen and handled even more than that and has a deep and abiding love and respect for them.”
Kettleburn grinned as Hagrid blushed. “He’s also been a lot more successful at keeping himself whole while wrestling these beasties then I have, so you lot listen to him attentively!” He glared at where Malfoy, Goyle and Crabbe were grinning.
“If you get hurt here, it will most likely be your own fault. Now I understand there was a coc…err…mistake with the ordering of the Monster Book of monsters
and that the Manual was not provided with it. Who has no manual?” About ten pupils raised their hands, including Malfoy, Goyle and Crabbe. Kettleburn nodded. “Professor Hagrid will note down your names and we’ll send an order off Friday after all classes have been taught. Now as those of you with a Manual will have read, the Books respond to kindness, both in petting and stroking as well as with words.”
He took an old, grizzled volume, filled with many bookmarks and ends of parchment from his own tatty old bag and held it up. It snorted, snuffled, seemed to look round and then started to snore. “This is my copy; I’ve had her for years. She gets snappy in cold weather and hates the wet as well as jungles. The point about this is that, like with all magical creatures, if you know generally what a species likes and dislikes, and later, once you’ve met an individual, its foibles, you will get along fine.”
He pointed at Neville, who was holding his book at arms length as it snapped and slavered at him. “If you don’t, you will be in trouble. Rubeus, give young Longbottom a hand, would you?”
Hagrid took the book and gently ran a soothing finger down its spine, murmuring words. The book fell open to a page and Hagrid held it out to Neville, who took it. Hagrid looked at Kettleburn, who nodded.
“Now Professor Hagrid is fetching the creatures we will be studying today and will take over the lesson. I will be assisting and I will be watching to see who pays attention and who doesn’t. Is that understood?”
Hagrid smiled. “Now, you’ll be wantin’ to turn to the same page as young Mr. Longbottom. You jes’ stroke yer book and it;’’ turn right to the page yer want, page seventy-eight, on Hippogriffs!”
“Hippogriffs?” Hermione looked and sounded dreadfully excited at the prospect and soothed and gentled her book until it showed the correct page. After some practice everybody, even Neville, managed it.
Hagrid nodded and left to fetch the Creatures that would be today’s lesson, which he had obviously stabled behind his hut. He returned with dozen large chains, six in each hand. To each chain a Hippogriff was attached, their rear ends and bodies those of horses, the front ends those of giant eagles and their cruel steely-greybeaks and orange yellow eyes snapping and piercing. Neville took a step back.
Hagrid let the Griffins run ahead of him, the long chains attached to padded leather collars allowing the creatures quite a lot of running room.
“Hippogriffs! Like I sed. Now, Hippogriffs can be dangerous to those that don’t know how to handle them. Wha’ye have to do is be polite. They’re very proud, Hippogriffs, easily offended. Don’t insult one.”
“Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle. Professor Hagrid is giving instructions on how to handle today’s creatures. And you aren’t listening.” Kettleburn stood behind the three Slytherin boys, who suddenly looked a lot less amused.
Hagrid looked at the three and continued. “Yeh always wait fer the Hippogriff to make the firs’ move. It’s polite, see? Yeh walk towards him, and yeh bow, an’ yeh wait. If he bows back, yer allowed ter touch him. If he doesn’t bow, then get away from him sharpish. Don’t look ‘em in the eye until they bow.”
Hagrid looked around. “So, who wan’s to go firs’?” He asked hopefully.
Kettleburn cleared his throat in obvious amusement when there were no volunteers. One of the Hippogriffs reared.
Harry finally volunteered. He kept his eyes averted and bowed. The hippogriff seemed unimpressed and Hagrid looked worried until the beast suddenly decided to cooperate with his lesson and bow back. Harry rather hesitantly approached the beast and petted its head and neck, as demonstrated by Hagrid. He got applause, which was nice, in a way. Then Harry got a near heart attack when Hagrid suggest he ride the thing.
The flight was not an unqualified success, Harry much preferred his Nimbus. *Much smoother. Less smelly. Oh, I think I’m going to throw up. Maybe if I swing this way I can hit the Slytherins.*
The landing went rather well. He got applauded again, and people tactfully refrained from making remarks about his green face.
“Hey Potter! That colour looks good on you! Was that what you looked like after the Dementor?”
Harry groaned. *Apparently Luna’s talk didn’t work long.*
Hagrid clapped his hands. “Right! Everybody find a Hippogriff!”
There was some confusion as the class split up and every pupil found a Hippogriff.
“Mr. Malfoy! Wait until it bows back before you approach! Are you affecting the Muggle way of Blonde thinking?” Kettleburn’s voice rang out and Malfoy flew several feet backwards, propelled by the old Professor’s wordless Wingardium Leviosa spell
. Even a few Slytherins laughed.
“Now wait until the others have approached Buckbeak and then try again, politely! Is that understood?”
“Yes Professor.” Draco replied sulkily.
Neville was having a great deal of trouble mounting. The Hippogrif had knelt easily, but seemed unwilling to stay down long enough for him to mount and Neville was getting nervous. Kettleburn approached the beast and patted its neck.
“Easy, old girl. He’s not his mother, no matter he smells like her.” He looked at Neville kindly. “Just pet her for now lad, come to me after dinner and I’ll properly introduce you. I never thought her memory would be so strong as to be able to recognize you.” He put a hand on Neville’s shoulder and squeezed gently.
He suddenly turned round and flicked his wand, just as Hagrid did the same. Malfoy was launched and good twenty feet into the air, his arm dripping blood, a scream just coming from his mouth.
“I told you to wait Malfoy! Mordred’s teeth! Rubeus, continue. I’ll take the boy to the infirmary. You lot!” He eyed the Slyhterins. “Detention for letting this idiot boy injure himself. Come see me after class.”
Pansy opened her mouth to protest but shut up under Kettleburn’s glare. “CLASS! ATTENTION!” Kettleburn bellowed. All eyes that weren’t on him yet, including the gold-orangey orbs of the Hippogriffs, turned to him. “When professor Hagrid or myself give safety instructions we expect them to be obeyed! Magical creatures can be just as dangerous as any potion or spell, if a classmate disregards those warnings, stop them and alert us. AM I UNDERSTOOD?!” The last thunderous demand was enough to elicit a chorus of ‘Yes sir’s! ’.
Kettleburn had lowered Malfoy as he spoke and cast a few wordless charms on him that had stopped the bleeding. “I’ll be taking Mr. Malfoy here to Madam Pomfrey. Don’t make his mistakes! Understood?”
Without waiting for an answer Kettleburn stalked off, propelling Malfoy in front of him, floating in the air, looking as flustered and embarrassed as Harry had ever seen him.
Luna scowled as her hair flicked itself out of her mouth. She then returned to the massive list of paintings in the book before her. Apparently Hogwarts housed well over three thousand living portraits and well over two hundred unmoving ones. She looked up at Myrtle, who shrugged. “We’re not going to find him without more hints. Half of these are in conversational storage.”
Luna sighed and closed the huge leather bound tome, a full two feet high and one broad and almost a foot thick. “You’d think a simple description would do, but no, their entire lives are interspersed to show why they are depicted with these particular attributes.”
Myrtle grinned. “There are no easy answers. Just easy questions.”
Luna mock glared. “Don’t throw your Ravenclaw platitudes at me, Myrri!”
“Someone has to, what with all the time you spend with Gryffindors.” Myrtle answered slyly. “Or a certain Gryffindor? You did seek him out after lunch to reassure him…”
Luna shrugged. “It would worry me if someone prophesied my death; I thought he could use the reassurance. I’m going to see Mr. Portrait after the after dinner study hour, will you be there?”
Myrtle smiled. “Sure. It will finally be quiet enough to get up there without everyone asking where we’re going.”
Luna was sitting in the library glaring at her hair. Harry stood watching for about half a minute as the girl tried to grab it and stuff an end into her mouth. Each time it flew out and out of her reach. A dandelion of blonde hair was surrounding her head and the sight was attracting attention. Draco Malfoy’s for one. Malfoy’s arm was lightly bandaged. He’d spent about an hour in the infirmary, mostly until the blood replenishing potion had done its work, and had then been returned to class by Madam Pomfrey and had tried to use the rest of the day to restore his lost pride.
“Hey, Lovegood! Practicing for sunflower?”
Luna turned her silvery grey eyes on the blond boy. “Hello Malfoy, how’s your arm? No, I have a habit of chewing my hair and someone put a charm on it to prevent it, and I really want to chew my hair.” She looked utterly woebegone and Harry grinned.
Draco blinked, not used to getting serious answers to his scathing words. Or questions about his health that were apparently sincere. “Oh. I see. Err, the arm…err… well it still hurts, despite what Madam Pomfrey said, my father will take me to see a specialist. He owled me.”
“Oh, that’s good. There may have been Frumplers under the Hippogriff’s claws, they can cause a nasty infection and itch terribly.” Luna replied.
“Hah. Sure, Lovegood. I’ll remember to tell that to the Specialist.”
“Gladly done.” Luna nabbed a strand of hair that was just floating down, held it firmly in her fist and stuck it in her mouth. “HA! Got you!” The strand struggled against her grip and teeth and the look of concentration on her face as she tried desperately to read, chew her hair and keep hold of both her quill and the writhing blonde locks made Harry smile as he walked closer.
He reached out and gently took the hair from her mouth. “Let it go, Luna. You can’t study like that.”
Luna looked at him, her eyes wide and sad. “But…I need to chew it!”
Harry took out his wand and pulled out a hair of his head. “Err. Pilus Dentfrisius?” *You’ve done this with matchsticks and needles! Come on Harry!* The
hair fluttered a bit and then shortened and became thin wooden toothpick. And then a hair again. Harry sagged. “Sorry Luna.”
Luna smiled up at him. “Doesn’t matter, Harry, it’s the thought that counts. So, why are you in the Library?”
Harry flushed slightly at the rather accurate barb that he wasn’t in the library as often as he should be and only in times of dire necessity. “Luna, what do you know about The Grim?” He asked softly.
“The Grim what, Harry?” Luna asked confused.
“The dog, the omen. That one.”
“Oh. Hmmm. Not very much, but I can ask Daddy and a friend…” Luna’s eyes went slightly dreamy as she planned out her research path.
“Thanks, Luna that would be great.” Harry smiled gratefully.
Luna turned to him again. “You think you saw one?”
Harry blinked. “Yes. How do you know?”
“You’re upset about it. I’ll ask quickly, okay?” She put a hand on his lower arm. “It will be alright Harry. I promise.”
Harry left the Library in a far better mood than he had entered it. He didn’t notice Ginny glaring at him and Luna as if she wanted to change both of them into warthogs.
Luna closed her book and took out a parchment and started to write a letter to her father.
The ancient owl that landed on her sill alerted Jean that Molly had probably received her own letters from Ron, Ginny and Percy. Her own from Hermione had left her trembling and afraid. She gently undid the scrap of parchment around the great hairy claw and gave the owl a bit of chicken. It wheezed and ate gratefully. She also put some water in a saucer. She unfolded the parchment. Jean, I think we need to talk, want me to come by? At four o’clock? Molly.
Was written in a clear if old-fashioned hand across the parchment. Jean turned it over and wrote her reply. Molly, I quite agree! See you at four.
Luna climbed the stairs to the landing feeling slightly annoyed. When she reached the landing she fell on to the provided pillow and sighed. “Myrri? Are you here?”
Myrtle flowed out of the portrait and smiled. “Just getting a hug. It’s been a while.”
“Yeah. Ginny is mad at me and I don’t know why.” Luna grabbed her hair and started to nibble and it flew out of her mouth. “Oh, Ocelot!” She glared at the portrait, who was watching her with interest.
“Can you at least give me a toothpick? Harry tried to change one of his hairs into one for me, but he couldn’t do it. He got quite far though.” Luna sounded impressed. “And he thinks he saw The Grim and wants to know about it, and he’s sort of worried so I’d appreciate it too. Please?” Her voice had gotten rather anxious near the end of her sentence.
The Portrait let out a gentle laugh. “He didn’t see The Grim.”
“Oh? Well he saw something! Harry wouldn’t lie about that.” Luna said defending Harry.
“He saw a great big black dog, if he saw it more often several of them. Or he’s picked up a familiar. Not a Grim.”
“Why not? I mean, Riddle wants to kill him! He might be after him right now!”
“Luna, do you know why seeing the Grim is supposed to cause death?” The Portrait asked with a serious tone to its voice.
death? I thought it was a harbinger?”
“Not quite. It rips out people’s throats and then eats them. They’re magical creatures, very fierce and untameable. Unlike dogs.”
“Oh. So Harry is safe?”
“Yes. Harry is safe, from Grims at least. Now, tell me what has been happening with you in the holidays.”
“Well the holidays were quite fun but when we came back on the train there was this Dementor and I fainted because It made me remember Mummy’s death.”
The portrait’s voice was startled. “Tell me about these ‘Dementors’. Tell me everything you know.”
Jean welcomed Molly with some cookies and a pot of warm tea. “Hello Molly.”
“Hello Jean. It might be fastest if we just read each others?” Molly held out two letters, one in Ron’s distinctive, near illegible scrawl, the other in Ginny’s girlish round handwriting. Jean in turn handed over Hermione’s almost obsessively neatly written letter.
“Hope you can read them.”
“I’m a dentist, I write out recipes.” Jean quipped.
Molly tilted her head. “That sounds like you think it should be amusing. You’ll need to explain it to me, I fear.”
Jean smiled. “It means I will have no trouble with these. Let’s read.”
It took Molly about as long as Jean to read her letter, Hermione was rather more descriptive and verbose than Ron or Ginny. The older woman looked up, her face grim. “First I need to explain to you what Dementors are.”
Jean’s mouth quirked. “Actually, first I’d like to know about this ‘punishment’ Ginny keeps referring to. I thought you were just going to give her a talking to and make her read that book on dangerous intelligent artefacts? Hermione was quite miffed she couldn’t find a copy to take with her on holiday.”
Molly rolled her eyes. “That girl.” She took a sip of her tea. “We had six sons, big strapping lads. And we expected Ginny to be a boy too; and here she is the first female Weasley in more than two hundred years.”
“You spoiled her.” Jean smiled.
Molly grimaced. “Not in the material sense.” Molly looked around the well appointed kitchen a little wistfully, but without envy. “But she got out of chores her brothers didn’t, got away with more naughtiness.”
Jean smiled. “I’m sometimes very glad we only had one child. I’m also glad Hermione has always been more into books than tricks.”
Molly giggled. “I’ll tell you about my twins, Fred and George one day. They think I can’t keep them apart and keep trying to pull pranks based on that.”
Jean snorted. “Haven’t they caught on yet?”
“I’m very good at acting clueless. But anyway, Ginny’s not telling us about the Diary, well that sort of opened our eyes. So she’s been doing all the chores she should have been doing. And because she’s very stubborn, she didn’t ask for help on how to do them the best and the easiest. And Arthur isn’t very good at the one she’s been assigned and he
taught her how.” Molly rolled her eyes. “That poor girl has been in the garden non stop all the time we weren’t in Egypt and still
my garden is overrun by gnomes.”
“Hermione wrote that Ron wrote that she might go for Beater.”
Molly’s lips quirked. “Your phrasing is a good deal less scathing than Hermione’s. That girl really does not like flying.” Molly took a deep breath. “I think we should floo over and have quick talk with our children.”
“Isn’t that against School policy?” Jean pointed out.
“Hang school policy. If school policy includes hiring rapists as teachers, its time to change it. I want to see my children. And I think they need us. I’ve got a great deal of respect for Minerva McGonagall, but she’s not the motherly type.”
Jean nodded. “I’ll come along. Do we call anybody first?”
“No, Albus will just say everything is fine. He said everything was fine last year too.”
Jean smiled. “Right then. We need to go past Diagon Alley first. If we make this a habit, as I intend, I want to have some Floo powder on hand.”
Molly nodded. “Of course.” She smiled a little sadly. *She’s buying me Floo powder, knowing it’s really too expensive for us. And I won’t refuse, because I want to go. What a tangled web we weave…* End Note: Next chapter two mothers at Hogwarts talking to their children. Not everything I wanted in this chapter, but I hope it suffices for now.