Chapter 9Mature

“I don’t know. It seems a little, odd” Harry said, shaking his head over the mountain of toast in front of him.

“Come on Harry. He’s not evil or anything. He’s a good teacher” I said.

“Yeah. But why? I don’t want to be ‘interesting’, like a subject, any more than I have to at least”

“Pass the pumpkin juice Ginny” Ron said, with a mouthful of scrambled eggs. I turned my nose up at the food spitting out of his mouth, before passing him the juice.

“Come on Harry. I’ll go with you” I said.

“Fine, if it will make you happy” Harry said, a smile stretched across his face.

“Oh Ronald, were you born in a pigsty” Fred said, walking past Ron, using Mum’s scolding tone.

“Shut up” Ron said, punching Fred on the shoulder.

“Budge up Hermione” George said before sitting between Hermione and Lee Jordon. Fred and George happily chatted to Lee, turning away from us.

“Why does Professor Peaks want to talk to Harry anyway Ginny” Ron said, still with a mouthful of food.

“I have no idea. He just said that he finds Harry fascinating…” I gazed up at the Teacher Table, It scared me when I noticed Professor Peaks was gazing right back at me, like he had heard me talking about him. I frowned in his direction, and turned back to Harry.

“So you’re going to go” I said .

“Yeah. I guess.”

“When do you want to go?”

“Tonight. Proberly. I will meet you in the common room straight after lessons, we’ll go up then. Okay?”

“Sounds good” I said smiling. Finally, some time with Harry without Ron and Hermione following us everywhere.

*

All day I had looked forward to going to Professor Peaks office with Harry – even though Professor Peaks scared me a little - it’s the only thing that kept me awake in Heboligy. I went to the common room as quickly as possible. Harry was waiting for me by the fire, a smile crept eagerly onto his face when he saw me.

“Good Evening” He said.

“Hey” I ran straight over to him, about to hug him. He lifted me off the ground, into a huge bear hug. I clasped my hands around his neck, he held me away for a while, then placed me back onto the ground. In the corner of my eye I saw Daisy glower at me from the opposite corner of the room. I just kept looking at Harry. He gripped my hand, and led me out the door to Professor Peaks class room. We stopped outside, I saw a flicker of anxiousness shine across his eyes. He looked at me, worried.

“You’re sure he’s nice.” Harry asked.

“Of course. I wouldn’t let you go near him if he wasn’t” He looked a little more reassured, he turned towards the door, lifted his hand to knock it, before his knuckled could tap on the wood the door swung open to reveal Professor Peaks standing there – good looking as ever, almost too young to be a teacher - gazing at Harry, not even sparing a glance at me.

“Harry Potter. Harry Potter. Come in please, come in, come in” Harry shared a glance with me, and then followed Professor Peaks into the classroom. We were silent as we went up the stairs and into his office. Professor Peaks sat in a cushy green armchair, there were two seats on the opposite side of the oak table, nearest the door. Harry and I took our seats. We gazed around the office. It was a small room, with very little furniture. It had thousands of pictures of loads of famous witches and wizards, including Professor Peaks, which I felt was very vain. As I thought this, he smirked at me.

“Harry. Harry Potter” Sir said.

“Yes” Harry said calmly.

“How are you my boy?”

“I’m alright thank you. Yourself?”

“I’m fantastic my boy, fantastic” It was silent for a long time, Professor Peaks gazed at Harry, but me and Harry did all we could not to look at him the eyes.

“So. I hear you can do the Protronus Charm Harry”

“Yes. I can” Harry said, still not looking into Peaks’ eyes. I was shocked at the direction the talk had gone. Very sudden.

“Could you show me?” He said with an eager smile on his face.

“Now?” Harry asked, confused.

“If that is okay with you?”

“Okay. Shall I cast it in the classroom?”

“I’m sure here will be satisfactory”

“Sure” Harry stood up, took out his wand, and cast Expecto Patronum. Rays of white light flew out of the wands tip, they circled each other, before turning into a beautiful stag. The stag cantered and charged around the room, then disappeared in a puff of white smoke. 

“Excellent my boy. Excellent” Peaks said, with a hint of sarcasm, and a tad of bitterness in his tone.

“Thank you” Harry said, obviously not hearing Peak’s tone. He put his wand back under his cloak.

“A stag. Interesting.”

“Yeah. My dad had the same animal”

“Yes. I remember”

“Remember?”

“Yes. I went to Hogwarts at the same time as your father”

“Oh.”

“Yes. James Potter” He said, in a sour voice. Harry and I exchanged a glance of confusion, then looked back at Peaks.

“Were you friends then?”

“Umm. Not really. I am two years younger. I was on the Slytherin Quiditch team, who played against James a lot” Harry and I winced at the word Slytherin.

“Ah. Okay.”

“Your father knocked me off my broom once. I landed on the ground, broke all the bones down my left side” Harry looked at the floor, so did I.

“I’m sorry” Harry mumbled quietly.

“It’s okay Harry. I was friends with Snape though”

“Snape? Professor Snape?” I said with obvious disgust in my voice.

“Yes. The same Snape”

“So you’ve got a good friend in the teachers then” I said. It wasn’t a question, it as a statement.

“Well no. Not really. There was an incident, in Hogwarts… We haven’t been that good friends since…”

“What was the incident?” I blurted out.  He turned to glare at me.

“It’s late. You two should go to bed” He said quickly, he was worrying that he had said too much to us. I sat there, looking at Peaks. Staring into his eyes, wondering what had happened.

“Okay. Well… Goodbye Sir” Harry said, grabbing my hand, and towing me towards the door. I reluctantly allowed Harry to drag me away, he pulled me out the door into the corridor before he turned to look at me. That was so quick. Did he get to the point? Why did he want to see Harry’s protronus? Is he to be trusted? What was the incident?

“I don’t trust him” said Harry.

“Neither do I… Well, not anymore”

“I wonder what that ‘incident’ was”

“I’m not sure… But I’m going to find out” I whispered.

*

“It could be anything Ginny. It could just be a fall out… It could be anything” Hermione said.

“Yes. But it has to be something important, otherwise why wouldn’t he tell us?”

“Maybe it’s embarrassing.” Ron said laughing.

“Check” Harry said, moving his knight into position on the chess board.

“Taken” Ron said, moving his queen so that it whacked Harry’s knight of the board.

“Come on Ron. It can’t be something just embarrassing. It must be more exciting…. Or… It’s just got to be… Something”

“Don’t be so paranoid Ginny.”

“I’M NOT BEING PARANOID. It’s just, Defense of the Dark Arts teachers, are either Good or their bad. Never in between. Remember Moody… Well the imposter Moody, was evil. Loupin was good. Lockheart was a lying cheat. And Professor Peaks is evil…”

“You don’t know that Ginny. There is proberly a reasonable excuse why he wouldn’t tell you” Hermione said, shutting the huge book she had been resting on her knee

“HERMIONE. WHAT DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND”

“You don’t understand either. You don’t know what the incident was. You can’t possibly know.”

“Ugh” I was quiet for a long time. Just listening to their convocation pick up.

“What’s the time Ron” Hermione asked.

“10:23” Ron answered, before taking Harry’s queen.

“How do you do that?” Harry asked, astonished.

“It’s a gift I guess”

“Ugh” I said again, tired of Ron’s constant bragging in front of Hermione.

“I’m going to bed. It’s late” Hermione said, yawning.

“I’m right there with you” I said, glowering at Daisy, on the other side of the room.

“Goodnight Ginny. Night Hermione” Harry said, smiling widely at me.

“Night Harry” I said, smiling back. I walked up the stairs to the dormitory. I got into my PJs, and climbed into bed. I fell asleep almost instantly. I had the Voldermort dream again, when he is walking towards me. This was a daily occurrence now, and the dream got a little longer each time. It was really scary now, it worried me. Why did I keep having this dream? Does it mean something?

*

Someone lent over me, shaking my shoulder gently. Lifting me from my unconscious.

“Wake up Ginny. Shhhh” A calming voice whispered in my ear.

“Hermione?” I spoke into the blackness.

“Yes. Shhhh. Everyone else is asleep.”

“What are you doing? Why aren’t you in bed”

“Harry and Ron told me to come and get you”

“Oh. What do they want then?”

“I’m not sure, I’ve just been told to get you. You need to get dressed apparently”

“Okay. What’s the time?”

“3:30am”

“What. Oh this is ridiculous”

“Yep, just get up Ginny”

“Fine” I said sternly, still tired. I clambered out of bed, and opened my trunk, and got into some jeans and a t-shirt. I pulled my cloak out, and wore that as well. I walked across the room to look out of the window. It was damp grass, so I put on some wellies as well. I tiptoed out the room, and down to the common room.

“Harry, Ron, Hermione?” I whispered. There was no answer. “Hello?” I said, a little louder. No reply again. I turned round and round, gazing into the darkness. Suddenly someone clasped their hand over my mouth. I was trying to scream but I couldn’t. I struggled, but they had a firm hold. I sniffed, and smelt the familiar smell of my home… Ron. Great. He still wouldn’t let go, he just held me there, holding tighter as I struggled harder. A red haze clouded my view of the circular room. A rush of anger filled my veins, I shoved my elbow as hard as I could into Ron’s ribs, lifted my fist so it smashed against his nose. His hands let go, and reached up to grab his nose. I turned my fists up, as if I was about to fight.  I looked into his face, half covered by his hands, blood seeping through the gaps in his fingers.

“Ron” I felt a chill run up my spine, and guilt filled my stomach. I felt like I was going to be sick. My heart pounded as I saw the terrified expression in Ron’s face. Hermione was by is side in an instant. Pointing her wand at his nose, muttering a charm. Ron’s nose immediately stopped bleeding, and straightened on his face.

“Ron. I’m so sorry. I didn’t… I didn’t…” I muttered.

“What the hell were you thinking?” Ron said angrily. “Thank you Hermione by the way” His eyes filled with gratefulness as he turned his head towards Hermione, then it turned back to pure horror as he looked back at me.

“I didn’t know it was you. I’m sorry” He was silent for a long time. Hermione was standing next to Ron, and Harry stood against the far wall, looking away from both Ron and me.

“Ginny. I...I…. Can’t believe you”

“Ron. IM SORRY…. How many times do I have to tell you that”

“I’ll tell you when you get there” Ron turned away from me towards Hermione and Harry. “Come on lets go guys. Ginny” Ron said in disgust. Hermione and Ron strolled out of the door and down the stairs. Harry looked at me meaningfully, then came over to me.

“I understand if you want to run off to those two” I said, and I gestured to the door where Ron and Hermione left. He stared deep into my eyes, then took my fist in his hand.

“I didn’t know you could punch like that” he said, a crooked smile creeping onto his face. I mirrored this smile.

“Is your fist okay Ginny?”

“Yeah. It feels fine. Were you three under the invisibility cloak?”

“Yep.”

“Ahh. That’s why I didn’t see you.”

“Sorry, Ron’s idea. I thought you would have realized it was him. Oh well. I understand why you punched him. I would have done the same thing if I didn’t know who it was” A twinge of guilt fluttered in my body as I remembered the moment that I realized it WAS Ron.

“Yeah” I said, simply.

“Come on. Lets go before they get too far”

“Where are we actually going, no one has told me yet”

“Oh right.” He took my hand properly, and lead me out the door. It shut quietly behind us.

“Shouldn’t you two be asleep” the Fat Lady asked behind us. Harry looked back, and flashed a grin at her “Shouldn’t you?” he asked cheekily, before carrying on walking.

“Where are we going?” I repeated.

“Oh yeah. To Hagrid’s”

“Why so early?”

“Well, first, we have lessons later, and second, he asked to talk to us about something important”

“Do you know what he wants to say?”

“Nope” Harry said.

“I feel awful.”

“Ill?”

“No… Not at all. I mean about punching Ron.”

“Oh don’t worry. He didn’t bleed… much, plus Hermione cured him straight away” he said with a slight snicker. I sighed, and followed him down the stairs, and silently out of the front door.

“Shouldn’t we wear the invisibility cloak Harry?” I asked when we were outside.

“Oh yeah. We should have done. But if we have gotten this far without being caught. I think we can get a little further” He said, I could hear the smile on his face. I looked around to see his teeth shine in the dark, he looked down at me, then forward again to Hagrid’s hut.

“Come on. Lets carry on” I smiled at him, he was facing forward, but as we walked, I saw him gaze at me from the corner of his eye the whole way there. As we got closer to Hagrid’s hut, I saw Ron in the window, looking out at us, with a disgusted look on his face. Harry sniggered at my side at Ron’s expression. We got to Hagrid’s door in record time, running as the rain started pouring from the cloud strewn sky. Hagrid yanked the door open as Harry knocked, he obviously wanted to talk to Harry in particular.

We sat down slowly on the small sofa, next to Ron. I had pulled my hand out of Harry’s when I sat down, so Ron wouldn’t feel too awkward, but Harry clasped it again, a smug smile brooding across his pale face. I kept my hand there willingly. It was quiet for a while, except for the loud scream that the kettle let out when it was boiled, whilst Hagrid was pouring five cups of tea, Hermione spoke.

“Come on Hagrid, what was this big news you wanted to tell us” Hagrid, who was already virtually bouncing up and down from excitement, turned to look at Hermione with a humungous grin on his face.

“I think it would be best if I showed you, instead of telling you” We all looked at each other, we were immediately worried. I looked at Harry last, he was gazing warily at Hagrid.

“What do you want to show us Hagrid?”

“Come on” He hauled Harry up, I came up too since I was linked to harry. Hermione stood up gracefully, Ron stayed sitting, but eventually slouched on after as we left the hut. We followed Hagrid over the grounds, getting more scared by the minute. I clutched Harry’s arm in the dark, he was just a scared as he stood by Hagrid.

“Hagrid. Your not going to the forbidden forest are you?”

“Uhh.. Yeah”

“Hagrid!” Harry said in outrage.

“What. Harry. I know your not supposed to, but I NEED to show you all.”

“What. What do you need to show us” Hermione said, cringing back as there was a small roar from the depths of the forest.

“That” Hagrid pointed into the forest, and listened again. As a second mild roar came from the trees. Hagrid continued walking into the woods, Ron, Hermione, Harry and I stood stock still. It took Hagrid a while to realize that we weren’t following anymore. He gestured for us to follow. We moved our feet slowly, if we were not completely curious about who or what Hagrid was hiding, I doubt we could have lifted our feet of the ground.

We walked for a long time, following an orange light that kept going out, and turning on again in the black. We all stumbled over the loose rocks and branches, but never tripped completely.  After a few hours of walking, we made it to a small clearing, and Hagrid ordered us to stop. My eyes scanned the trees for any approaching danger, my free hand clutching my wand, I didn’t know what I would do to a monster, but it gave me a brief feeling of safety. Harry clutched me tighter, and he too gazed through the forest.

Then we saw it. It came out through the singed and burnt trees, and I realized that the light, was fire, being emitted from the dragons mouth. It was huge, easily four times as big as Hagrid. Midnight black, with glistening white teeth. I hid my face is Harry’s chest waiting for the attack that never came. Instead, when I gained enough courage to look up, the huge dragon was lying on the floor, near Hagrid, Hagrid’s hand patting its nose.

“This, everyone. Is Norbert”

The End

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