All That Glitters is Not Gold
One evening as Harry and Ron were relaxing in the
Gryffindor common room, Harry picked up the Marauders Map and tapped on it. On
the map, something suddenly caught Harry’s eye – a dot marked Mundungus
Fletcher that was moving rapidly out of Hogwarts castle.
Harry said to Ron, “Hey Ron. Mundungus is on the
Marauders Map. What is he doing here at Hogwarts? He doesn’t need to keep an
eye on me here!”
lazily said, “I dunno. Maybe he is up to some new money making scheme as usual.”
us follow him and see what he is up to. Come on Ron, let’s go.”
I am so comfortable on this couch, I don’t feel like getting up.”
“Come on Ron. I am sure something is happening.
Maybe it is some news of Voldemort and the Order is meeting. We need to find
don’t think we should, Harry. But my curiosity has been piqued. Ok let’s go.”
Harry and Ron slipped out of the Gryffindor common
room and followed Mundungus Fletcher. To Ron’s alarm, the dot marked Mundungus
was heading towards the Forbidden Forest.
Ron said, “Harry! It looks like Dung is offering
himself as dinner to something in the Forbidden Forest. I did not know he was that generous
“Shh! We don’t want Filch to hear us. Maybe he is
just heading towards Hagrid’s hut.”
Harry and Ron increased their pace to catch up
with Mundungus, at the same time keeping an eye on the map. The dot kept moving
towards the forest and not Hagrid’s hut. Soon it disappeared to the path
leading into the forest. A few minutes later, Harry and Ron found themselves at
the edge of the forest as well.
“Now what do we do? You don’t want to go in there,
do you, Harry? Who knows what we may run into? Centaurs, Grawp or even Aragog!”
“I am going in, Ron. Dung wouldn’t have gone
inside too far if he is meeting with someone from the Order. Maybe you should
wait here for me and keep a lookout.”
“All right. You better get back quickly.”
Ron waited for ten minutes and there was no sign
of either Harry or Mundungus. Reluctantly and with great trepidation, Ron
followed their footsteps into the Forbidden Forest.
As it grew darker, Ron said “Lumos.” His
wand lit up and he could see the path. Several minutes passed by and he saw
nothing and heard nothing. Suddenly, the path forked into two. The left fork appeared
to be the main path going further into the forest while the right fork looked
less travelled. A small piece of Harry’s sweater that was stuck to a thorny
branch sticking out into the right path caught Ron’s eye. Ron recognized it as the
green sweater his Mum had sent Harry for Christmas.
The right fork was excruciatingly hard to
navigate. It was very narrow at places with thorny bushes and closely spaced
trees. The deafening silence in the forest was suddenly broken by a terrifying scream.
Ron could not make out who was screaming and charged with his wand held forward.
As he rushed past a slimy part of the path almost slipping, he suddenly burst
into a clearing. The sight that awaited him almost left him stunned. In the
clearing was a beast he had never seen before. It looked like a small dragon or
a huge serpent with two legs and beautifully colored, feathered wings. Mundungus
was pinned under its legs while Harry lay on the ground motionless. A bright
silver oval object lay on the ground. The beast seemed indifferent to Harry and
raised its head to strike at Mundungus with its fangs. Without thinking, Ron
waved his hand and said “Impedimenta.” The beast gave a screech as the
blast hit it, but turned towards Ron, obviously not affected by the impediment
curse. Ron noticed a huge branch dangling from a nearby tree and tried to summon
it to perhaps use it as a weapon. However, instead of the summoning charm Accio,
Ron croaked “Avis” as the beast swung towards him. Several small birds erupted
from his wand and flew at the beast. Apparently distracted, the beast rose off
the ground and advanced at the birds.
Immediately, Mundungus got up, pocketed the silver
object, picked up Harry and said “Run.” Ron and Mundungus ran back on the path
as fast as they could. They heard a screech of anger behind them, but they did
not look back. They fled as fast as their legs could carry them till they
“I am surprised you did not recognize an Occamy
when you saw one,” said Hermione. “It is a beast from India
that is highly protective of its eggs made of pure silver. And thank heavens,
it prefers eating birds to humans.”
“Why was Dung after the Occamy’s egg?” asked Harry
as he sat up on the bed sipping the potion that Madam Pomfrey had made for him.
“He wasn’t. Some joker had palmed a fake parchment
to Dung for a galleon. The parchment apparently mentioned some buried gold in
the Forbidden Forest. So, Dung got a Niffler to dig for the gold and headed
off into the forest. The Niffler led him all right, but dug for the shiny
silver egg of the Occamy. Needless to say, the Occamy was not pleased,” grinned
Harry continued, “When I reached the clearing,
Dung already had the Occamy’s egg in his hand, but he looked puzzled. I was about
to ask him what he was up to when the Occamy attacked me from behind. My head
hit the ground and I passed out. Well, it was a lucky escape. I wonder what
Dung was doing inside the castle in the first place”.
“Ah! He couldn’t read the parchment. So he came
here and asked me to read it for him. Even though I told him it was a fake,
Dung went ahead with the Niffler,” Dumbledore walked in with a smile. “Yes, Ron
and Harry. It is our choices that make us what we are.”