This is the longest drabble I’ve written for this character-focussed series, a quintuple drabble for Hagrid in his first little fic. I have a few more coming up for him in July.
This story is set during Hagrid’s second year at Hogwarts.
“A Holiday Home for Hagrid”
Rubeus shifted nervously from foot-to-foot. He’d never seen the inside of a pub before—his dad had promised to bring him out to his favourite pub to celebrate his sixteenth birthday, but now his dad wouldn’t be there to do that. Rubeus swallowed hard, squelching the tears that threatened to rise up in his eyes. Instead, he looked around the empty pub.
It was a bit old, a bit worn, a bit dark, and the areas of the floor that weren’t polished by foot traffic had interesting layers of dirt and debris in them. A fine spider web in one corner caught Rubeus’s attention. Remembering his promise to himself to be on his best behaviour, he quickly stuffed his hands into his pockets and looked over at the two wizards in front of the bar.
Since his dad had died, the Ministry had told the Headmaster to make arrangements for his general care, particularly over the holidays. Dippet had quickly passed that job on to his deputy, since Dumbledore was also Rubeus’s Head of House. Although Dumbledore was not his official guardian—in fact, the Ministry hadn’t bothered about guardianship since Rubeus hadn’t any close family living—the Deputy Headmaster was to see to his care during Hogwarts holidays. Ordinarily, the Ministry would simply have sent him to a Muggle orphanage over the summer hols, Dumbledore told him, but because of his somewhat unusual appearance, that would be impractical in his case. A twelve-year-old boy who was already over six feet and a good sixteen stone would draw more attention than the Ministry wished to deal with. No point in repeatedly performing various kinds of memory and perception charms on large numbers of Muggles at an orphanage for the sake of a mere boy, after all.
Dumbledore had ruminated on the problem. His own summer schedule precluded keeping young Hagrid with him all of the time, and for the boy to stay by himself in Gryffindor Tower, as Rubeus himself had suggested, was out of the question. The Deputy had hit upon a possible solution; they were going to test its practicality over the Easter holiday—a “dry run,” Dumbledore called it.
The two older wizards turned from their conversation and approached him. Both had similar bright blue eyes, but whereas the Deputy’s twinkled with kindness and comradery, the other’s seemed sharply suspicious. His heart thumping nervously, Hagrid took his hands from his pockets and wiped them on his robe.
“So, yer Rubeus. Knew yer dad. He liked me goats.” The younger Dumbledore looked Hagrid up and down. “He’s a big’un, no mistake,” he said, directing his comment to his brother. “If he’ll help out while he’s here, and keep himself outta mischief, he can stay. Then we’ll see about summer.”
“What do you say, Rubeus?” Dumbledore asked. “Can you help Aberforth with his goats and a few chores around the pub?”
“Yes, sir!” Hagrid grinned. Goats and a pub!
“Yer room’ll be upstairs at the top. Come along, boy! I’ll show yeh now.”