The Sugar Quill
Author: zzzFF Arrows' Biggest Fan  Story: The Bow Of A Centaur  Chapter: Default
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The Bow Of A Centaur

The Bow Of A Centaur

A Story for the Forbidden Forest Exploration Mission 2003 by Arrows’ Biggest Fan

 

***

 

DISCLAIMER: Albus and Aberforth Dumbledore, Tom M. Riddle, Harry Potter, Firenze the Centaur, Hogwarts, Gryffindor, Slytherin, Quidditch, the Triwizard Tournament, the Nimbus 2000, Doxies, Honeydukes Chocolate, the Forbidden Forest, and the Black family all belong to Joanne Rowling (not necessarily in that order). Nothing malicious intended. Please do not send me to Azkaban.

 

***

 

When Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore told a certain Harry Potter, in that boy’s second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry the Tom Marvolo Riddle, a.k.a. Lord Voldemort, You-Know-Who, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, et cetera, et cetera, was the school’s greatest ever student, he had not been telling the entire truth. Examination results showed that there had been one better student than the aforthmentioned Et Cetera, Et Cetera, but if Albus had said so, Harry would probably thought he was boasting.

 

It was March, in 1854. The real greatest ever student was in his forth year at Hogwarts. His brother, Aberforth, was in his first. They were standing together in the courtyard, eating blocks of Honeydukes’ Chocolate.

 

“Oy, you there!” Another forth-year, Serpens Black, a Slytherin and one of Albus’ greatest enemies, walked over to the brothers. “Think you’re so great, don’t you Dumbledore?”

 

Albus’ eyes twinkled. He put down his chocolate. “If you’re talking about my recent marks, yes, they were quite good. Or were you talking about Quidditch, what was the score last time again – 560-20, wasn’t it? Or the Triwizard Tournament, how many points did I get?”

 

“One hundred and forty-nine,” spat Black. “149 out of 150.”

 

“Yes, that was it,” smiled Albus. “One hundred and forty-nine. Not bad, eh?”

 

“You should have seen the amount of chocolate he bought with the Galleons,” piped up Aberforth, the remnants of the very same chocolate spread messily around his mouth. He was not as bright as his brother, nor as good at sport – there wouldn’t be a House Quidditch player younger than Albus when he started for another century – or more accurately, another one hundred and forty years, when Harry Potter would pick up his Nimbus 2000 for the first time.

 

“Yes, I expect he brought you a new broom as well, squirt,” jeered Black. “Great King Dumbledore, saviour to all the little slimy Gryffindors.”

 

Albus had his wand out in a flash. “Don’t insult me or my brother again,” he growled. “Or you’ll wish you hadn’t.”

 

Black nodded nervously as Albus put his wand back and resumed his normal, friendly self. “What was it you wanted to see me about again?” Albus questioned.

 

“Well, I, erm …” stammered Black. “I was just wondering if – to prove you’re so great, go into the Forest and bring back a Centaur’s bow.” He said this last phrase very quickly and Aberforth sniggered.

 

“Think something’s funny, do you?” glared Black, his bravery returned. “’Cause if you do –“

 

Albus stepped between his enemy and his brother. “Break it up! Surely perfect little Serpens wouldn’t want to bully a poor little first-year?”

 

Black stepped back. “No, no, of course not.”

 

Albus extended his hand. “I’ll go into the Forest.” Black nodded, but did not shake.

 

***

 

Albus woke his brother at midnight. “You can come into the Forest with me. I’ll Disillusion you.”

 

So he did, and the two walked out of Gryffindor Tower, through the castle and across the grounds to the Forbidden Forest.

 

Albus had been into the Forest several times before. He was good friends with many Centaurs, especially Kerpo, who was to be the great-great-grandfather of Firenze, who would teach Divination at Hogwarts. His plan was to ask Kerpo for a bow, and present it to Black at breakfast the next morning. If all else failed, he would Conjure up a bow himself.

 

He was not in the slightest bit worried about the dare. His imaginary image of Black’s look of surprise the next morning easily dispelled the darkness of the Forbidden Forest.

 

Aberforth yawned. “Where can we find these Centaurs?”

 

“Over here, I think,” replied Albus. “Though I’m not sure.”

 

A high-pitched buzzing sound filled the boys’ ears. A swarm of Doxies shot out form behind a gnarled oak tree. They didn’t see the Disillusioned wizards and flew straight at them. Aberforth screamed, but Albus had his wand out. “Impedimenta!” The Doxies froze in midair and the brothers walked on, further into the darkness.

 

A rumble of hooves filled the Forest. “Kerpo!” shouted Albus. “Is that you?”

 

“Yes,” replied a voice. “Welcome, Mr. Dumbledore!”

 

An old, grey-haired Centaur stepped out from behind a tree. He had a brownish body and was carrying a crossbow.

 

“Hello, Kerpo,” smiled Albus. “This is my brother, Aberforth.” The younger boy raised his hand in nervous greeting.

 

“Greetings, Albus and Aberforth,” boomed Kerpo. “Why have you ventured into the Forest tonight?”

 

“We were just wandering if we could borrow your bow,” said Albus. “Just for one night.”

 

“If you promise to return it,” answered the Centaur. He handed over the weapon and cantered off.

 

It hadn’t been the hard really, thought Albus as he lay back in his bed that night. He couldn’t wait to see Black’s face the next morning.          

  

   

 

 

 

  

 

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