August Drabble #1: “Friends” — a Rubeus Hagrid drabble

Hagrid seems to make me particularly wordy. Here’s another 500-word drabble for Hagrid. In Hagrid’s third year, Riddle set him up for the series of attacks on other students, which culminated in Myrtle’s death. This ficlet is set just after that.

One other note: Minerva McGonagall, in my head-canon, will always have been born in 1924, and so she appears here as a sixth-year student.

Characters: Rubeus Hagrid, Minerva McGonagall, Poppy Pomfrey, and Kingsley Shacklebolt


“Friends”

by MMADfan

“Aye, he’ll do. Big enough, any road. But I’d rather a … a man than a lad, if yeh take me meaning.”

The memory of Ogg’s words still stung as Rubeus gazed about him at the room that was to become his home. Those words almost hurt worse than the pain he’d felt when they broke his wand. When Dumbledore, his former Head of House, took it in two hands and snapped it. Sparks flew. Hagrid blinked back tears. Professor Dumbledore had comforted him beforehand, asked if he’d prefer if he broke the wand rather than the stern wizard from the Ministry. It had to be done. Better to be done by someone with pity and sorrow in his eyes than by Auror Flint, whose eyes only held contempt.

Time to shift the tools to one of the sheds. Ogg said he could keep the furniture, what there was of it. A few stools, an old table, a small stove where the groundskeeper used to heat water for his afternoon cuppa. But nothing that would make a teenage boy feel at home.

Rubeus couldn’t blink back his tears any longer. Letting them roll down his cheeks, he sank down on a pile of burlap sacks. Good that his old dad couldn’t see him now. His dad had been so proud when his Hogwarts letter had come. Now he was expelled from Hogwarts, staying on as assistant to old Ogg only on the impatient sufferance of Headmaster Dippet. It was better than Azkaban …

His tears left dirty streaks across his face as he wiped them away with dusty hands. He had only a slight idea of how to go about cleaning up the hut, and none how to make it his new home. He supposed the sacks could make a bed.

There was a tentative knock at the door, then some loud whispers, and another, firmer knock.

Hagrid shuffled to his feet and opened the door, half expecting to find Auror Flint there, ready to say it was a mistake, that he was off to Azkaban after all. But it wasn’t. It was one of the Gryffindor prefects, Minerva McGonagall, and two other students.

“We’re just in time,” Minerva said. “Come along inside, you two—bring the hamper with you.”

“Wha’—”

“Dreadful state Ogg leaves things in,” Minerva continued, shaking her head as she looked around. “I knew you could use a hand.”

Before Hagrid could blink, Minerva had her wand out and the other two—a younger Hufflepuff named Poppy Pomfrey, and Kingsley Shacklebolt, a tall first-year Ravenclaw— were unpacking the hamper.

Two hours later, the four sat at the table sipping tea. Hagrid looked around in wonder. Minerva—Miss McGonagall, Headmaster Dippet would insist—had cleaned and organised as the other two helped him lug the gardening gear to the shed. He even had a new bed, Transfigured permanently from some old packing cases, and a mattress Transfigured from the sacks. Gingham curtains, once a skirt, hung at his windows.

This would be home.

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