The Sugar Quill
Author: birgit (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Fluffy in the Forest  Chapter: Default
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Fluffy in the Forest


Severus Snape was walking through the Forbidden Forest. He was walking for more than an hour now, and he still hadn’t found Harry Potter. Almost two hours ago Potter had walked into the Forest with Hermione Granger and Dolores Umbridge, and they had not come back. Either they were attacked by beasts that lived in the Forest, or they had left without coming back on the Hogwarts grounds. Although Severus Snape had no idea at all how they could have done that, the latter was the most likely. It was hard to admit, but Potter and Granger were most certainly able to defend themselves against whatever might attack them.

It seemed that Potter had believed the vision he saw, although he had at least tried to contact Sirius Black. And as Potter always found a way to get what he wanted, he somehow had left the Forest for the Ministry of Magic without anyone noticing. Thus, half of the Order of the Phoenix was now trying to get Potter and his friends out of there. But as there was a slim chance that they were still in the Forest, Severus was looking for them there. He had randomly picked a few students in the Entrance Hall, and sent them in the Forest to help. But it had been more than an hour, and there was still no sign at all of Harry Potter.

Just as Severus decided it was time to go back, he heard voices not far ahead. He walked nearer and saw Ernie Macmillan standing in a clearing, arguing with a centaur.

“We don’t help humans!” the centaur shouted. “Enough humans in our Forest. Leave!”

“I can’t leave,” Macmillan replied, “I need to find Harry. If you just told me if you’ve seen him or not, I can go on.”

“You wizards, you think you can do everything you want! You, and that Ministry woman, and the foal, and Hagrid, with his – his – well, you know! I’ve had enough! No more wizards in our Forest!”

Severus had heard enough. It sounded like Potter, Granger and Umbridge had met the centaurs. But they were no use, because they never answered your questions. Besides, this centaur seemed quite overstrung.

“I suggest you leave us alone, Mister Centaur,” Severus said, stepping forward. “This is an emergency. We won’t harm you or your forest. If you don’t want to help –”

“We don’t help humans!” the centaur interrupted.

“I repeat, this is an emergency. You don’t need to help; just leave us.”

The centaur opened his mouth, no doubt to tell that wizards didn’t have the right to ask the help of centaurs, but then he looked over Severus’ shoulder, closed his mouth, turned and galloped away.

Before Severus could turn around to look at what had driven the centaur away, he saw Ernie Macmillan fall to the ground. For a moment it flashed through his mind that he should have protected his student, but then something sunk its teeth into his left arm and he didn’t care about Macmillan anymore. Somehow, the pain and the smell were familiar. He had a fleeting vision of a three-headed dog trying to bite his leg off in a dark corridor. That had been four years ago, when Quirrell tried to steal the Philosopher’s Stone. But it couldn’t be that dog now – or could it? He pointed his wand at his left arm and cried “Conjunctivito!

It had worked last time, and it worked this time. Severus was released and collided hard with the ground. He quickly sat up and faced his attacker, while trying to get away from it as far as possible. One of the heads of the three-headed dog was blinded, but the other two were already lunging in Severus’ direction. He didn’t have time to stand up; one of the heads of the dog was less than a feet away from his own head. He shot a Stunner to the head, but the dog didn’t seem to feel it. It was ready to jump and bite Severus’ leg and head off at the same time, when –

Impedimenta!

The three-headed dog was blasted backwards. Looking around, Severus saw Ernie Macmillan sitting on the ground with his wand in his hand. Severus quickly stood up, but Macmillan stayed where he was.

“Come on,” Severus said, “quickly, get away from here!”

“No, wait,” Macmillan answered, “I can’t walk, it’s my ankle – I just need to do this.”

Severus looked from the struggling dog to the boy, who picked up a bit of wood. They were wasting time! The Impediment Jinx wouldn’t persist much longer. He conjured up a stretcher to transport the boy back to school. They hadn’t found Potter in the Forbidden Forest. They had somehow travelled to the Ministry of Magic. He sincerely hoped that everyone would get out there alive.

Ernie Macmillan had now transfigured the piece of wood into a guitar. To Severus’ astonishment, Macmillan started to play on it, smiled and pointed.

“Look at Fluffy!” he said happily.

Severus turned his head and spotted the three-headed dog, who wasn’t struggling against the jinx anymore. It was sleeping.

“How do you know that?” Severus asked amazed.

“Oh, Harry told us,” Macmillan answered.

“Potter?! How – where – did you find him?”

“No, he told us months ago.”

Of course, Potter had gotten past the three-headed dog before. And it was no surprise he had told the whole school about it, just to show off.

“Us? Who’s us?” Severus asked.

“Well – you’re not supposed to know,” Macmillan said. “I mean, it’s a secret. And I wouldn’t like to have SNEAK written all over my face.”

Severus understood. It was about that secret society Potter had founded. He had admired Potter a bit for the daring to do such a thing right under Umbridge’s nose. And while he lifted a guitar-playing Macmillan on the stretcher and started to walk back to the castle, he couldn’t help but think that, as the boy knew how to get rid of three-headed dogs, even Harry Potter was starting to become useful.

//
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