Title: Hermione’s Rat
Author: Princess Taffy
20 minutes with Amy challenge
Disclaimer: Personal entertainment only, Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer do not belong to me.
“It’s my rat,” he told the witch. “He’s been a bit off-color ever since I brought him back from Egypt.”
“Bang him on the counter,” said the witch, pulling a pair of heavy black spectacles out of her pocket.
Ron lifted Scabbers out of his inside pocket and placed him next to the cage of his fellow rats, who stopped their skipping tricks and scuffled to the wire for a better look.
Like nearly everything Ron owned, Scabbers the rat was secondhand (he had once belonged to Ron’s brother Percy) and a bit battered. Next to the glossy rats in the cage, he looked especially woebegone.
“Hm,” said the witch, picking up Scabbers. “How old is this rat?”
“Dunno,” said Ron. “Quite old. He used to belong to my brother.”
“What powers does he have?” said the witch, examining Scabbers closely.
“Er-“ The truth was that Scabbers had never shown the faintest trace of interesting powers. The witches eyes moved from Scabbers’s tattered left ear to his front paw, which had a toe missing, and tutted loudly.
“He’s been through the mill, this one,” she said.
“He was like that when Percy gave him to me,” said Ron defensively.
An ordinary garden rat like this can’t be expected to live more than three years or so,” said the witch. “Now if you were looking for something a bit more hard-wearing, you might like one of these-“
She indicated the black rats, who, except for one, promptly started skipping again. Ron muttered, “Show off…but what’s with that one?”
“Oh, She’s been here for a while. Perfectly healthy, but she’s been here for ages. With her attitude, no one seems to want to take her. Do you want her?” asked the witch.
“No, I want to keep Scabbers.” Insisted Ron.
“Oh, well, I hoped…but if you don’t want a replacement, you can try this rat tonic,” said the witch, handing Scabbers back to Ron and reaching under the counter, bringing out a small red bottle.
“Okay,” said Ron. “How much – Ouch!”
Ron buckled as Hermione pushed him aside to get a closer look at the rats in the cages. Or, in particular, the unenthusiastic on, crouching in the corner of the cage. Scabbers shot out of his hands like a bar of soap and scampered away towards the door.
“Scabbers! Ron shouted, racing out of the shop after him; Harry followed, leaving Hermione still in the shop, looking at the poor, depressed rat.
“How much do you want for that rat?” asked Hermione, pulling out her money pouch.
"Ooh, you can have her, No one’s going to buy her anyway…Poor dear,” said the witch, reaching into the cage for the rat.
“Thanks…what’s her name, though?” inquired Hermione.