The Sugar Quill
Author: zzzFF GroovyGirl  Story: A Romp In The Forest  Chapter: Default
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“No

A Romp in the Forest

GroovyGirl

The forest at Hogwarts is home to magical creatures like unicorns and centaurs. Because the Canadian editions are printed on Ancient-Forest Friendly paper, the Harry Potter books are helping to save magnificent forests in the Muggle world, forests that are home of magical animals such as Orangutans, Wolves and Bears. It's a good idea to respect ancient trees, especially if they have a temper like the Whomping Willow.

-- J.K. Rowling, Canadian edition of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

 

“No! Move over here – over here!” Euan Abercrombie hissed frantically. Stanley Mesch, who had been headed over toward a tree to the right of Hagrid’s cabin, scampered as quietly as he could further away from the man’s hut. They were going into the Forbidden Forest, and whatever they did, the two boys did not want to be caught.

Euan and Stanley had been planning this mission for the last week. The idea had waltzed into Euan’s head one afternoon in Herbology, when he had spotted several large flocks of birds fleeing from the forest; it was almost as if they had been plucked out of their tree. . . . His liking for the idea had only intensified when he heard a strange roar from within the forest, a roar that sounded nearly human-like . . .

They were going to find out what it was. It was partly Gryffindor courage and partly stupidity that propelled them to do it, but nothing would withhold them from quenching their curiosity.

The two boys crept further into the Forbidden Forest, knowing that if they were caught, they may as well pack their bags. They walked on, however, trying with all their might to stay quiet, though this was not an especially easy task. Every time either of the two heard the snap of a twig or the crunch of a leaf, they both tensed. One would whisper, “What was that?” and the other would reply sheepishly, “That – that was me.” Their goal of silence, moreover, was not easily reached.

            Euan and Stanley froze as they heard a noise in the trees, coming from the far right. After roaming in the forest for two whole minutes (which felt like eternity to the two of them), this was not unexpected. It was only very surprising. The boys had been expecting danger, but they just hadn’t been expecting the danger to actually be dangerous. The fact that they did not know what the sound was or even if it meant anything did not seem to be consoling.

            But when Euan heard the noise again, this time nearer, he was sure it was a very dangerous danger.

            Stanley nudged Euan in the side. “What?” Euan whispered, turning to his friend. Stanley hissed for him to be quiet, pointing up at the nearest tree. When Euan looked up, he saw exactly ‘what’.

            It looked like something between a tree-frog and a monkey. In the dim moonlight the boys could see a wide, grinning mouth, four long limbs, and a hairless, mottled-green body. But the most distinctive feature they could see was a strange, glowing bulb in the center of the creature’s horned head. “What –” Euan started, but Stanley clapped a hand over his mouth. He was too late, however. The creature looked down, and the two boys were startled to see something like panic in its small, bulging eyes. Euan’s breath was stilled, and he could no longer hear Stanley’s increasingly shallow breaths either. They were both waiting for the strange animal – being – thing to do what it may. What would it do to them? Inside that menacingly grinning mouth, were there teeth, hungry for man flesh? What was it? He didn’t see any claws . . . but that didn’t make it safe. Minutes passed by, and the creature did nothing but stare at them, the scarlet light on its forehead pulsating madly. Then, to their immense relief, the creature swung away on its long, monkey-like arms.

            Both boys sighed with relief. They did not move for several minutes, however, only stood, wary of other creatures like these to come and do more than just stare. But why had that creature been fleeing so intently from the center of the forest?

            After a few minutes of silence and stillness, the boys looked at one another. Euan raised his eyebrows, and Stanley silently responded by raising his own. They carried on, this time more wary of the danger. “Euan . . .” Stanley choked as they passed a fallen tree with a gigantic bite out of it. “Euan – maybe we shouldn’t be here – that Dumbledore man said the forest was out of bounds –”

            “Should’ve thought of that before we came in here, eh?” Euan hissed angrily at his friend. “It’s not like I wasn’t listening when he said that! And keep your voice lower – what I should say is don’t talk at all. What if there are more of those monkey things around?” Stanley was silent. They moved on.

            It wasn’t long, however, before they began to get nervous again. They hadn’t heard a noise in a few minutes, and Euan was sure they were very, very deep into the forest by now . . .

            A flock of birds erupted into the air above them, shrieking, and Euan heard a crunching sound up ahead. He tensed, and then turned to his friend.

            “We – we m-must be g-getting close,” he said, much more shakily than he had intended. He looked at Stanley, who nodded jerkily. They both hesitated to move, however, and each waited for the other to move forward.

            Once they actually got moving again, Euan was in a state of numb nerve. He was beginning to get the feeling that Stanley was right, and they should have listened to Dumbledore about the forest. But they couldn’t turn back now, they were too far in, and so close . . .

            But they soon had a very good reason to turn back.

As the boys moved forward, they suddenly heard a rustling in the trees ahead. Euan froze, and flung out an arm to stop Stanley progressing any further.

A roar erupted in the trees ahead. A giant hand swept the path in front of them. A monstrous, booming voice rang out through the forest.

            “HAGGER!”

            Euan was frozen. Stanley, whose eyes had popped out in a fashion resembling a Muggle cartoon, stepped back slowly, then broke into a run. Euan followed him. The giant – monster – whatever it had been – tried to follow, but something was restraining it. “HAGGER!” it shouted again, this time louder. Euan’s heart seemed to be pounding in his throat. He could barely breathe for panic. He kept running, listening to the colossal howling behind them growing steadily fainter.

            It seemed like days before they reached the edge of the forest once more. Panting, Euan and Stanley slowed to a halt, clutching at a nearby tree for support.

            “I don’t care . . .” said Stanley, clutching at his chest, “. . . what we hear in there . . . I am never . . . never going in there again.”

            Euan nodded, staring blindly ahead. He could no longer see what in the world had possessed them to come in the forest in the first place. And no matter what idiotic notions tempted him to do it again, this forest was out of bounds. Forever.

//
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