By Zephyrus Prolixity
Disclaimer: This story is
based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling. I am
not doing this for money. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark
infringement is intended.
Summary: Dumbledore surprises
Hagrid with an unusual request.
Rubeus Hagrid was gobsmacked. He
knew he must have misunderstood the Headmaster's request...
"Yeh want... yeh know about Fluffy,
Headmaster, sir?" Hagrid was shocked. "I mean o'course yeh know about him,
'course yeh do. Erm... sir, could I ask how yeh know about Fluffy?"
Dumbledore's eyes twinkled so much
they seemed to flash blue sparks. He smiled, "Rubeus, I am aware you acquired
this unique pet under circumstances that could appear rather dubious...
how I know isn't important at this time. It is enough that I know and trust
you. I count you to be a friend not just a subordinate. I've known of your
special affection for magical creatures of the-- more challenging nature
shall we say-- since you were an eleven year-old first year at this very
school. You have few secrets from me, Hagrid. None of the students
ever have as many secrets from the Headmaster as they wish to believe.
I'll even tell you why in a moment as you should probably have known it
already. But first, tell me about Fluffy. Is he controllable? I mean could
you bring him inside the castle?"
Hagrid nodded his head slightly.
"Yeh could bring him inside easily enough once yeh get control o' him.
An' that's easy enough... all yeh have ter do is play him a bit o' music
an' he'll go straight off ter sleep."
"What does he eat when he isn't
allowed to hunt food for himself?" queried Dumbledore politely.
"Well, yeh see that's sommat interestin'
right there... yeh'd think with three heads he'd eat a great lot, but he
only uses the one in the middle ter eat with an' he only has the one stomach
and not three." Hagrid warmed to his subject with excitement.
"What should we feed him once we
have him here in the castle?" Dumbledore prompted gently.
"Err...well, sir, yeh can feed him
just any meat I suppose, as that tends ter be what he eats in the forest,"
"Excellent... when can you have
Fluffy ready? We need everything in place before the start of term." Dumbledore's
eyes sparkled merrily.
The forest surrounding Hogwarts
was a mysterious place. This morning, low hanging patches of thick fog
swirled and drifted under the gigantic trees. This further reduction of
the normally dim light made the job of finding anything difficult, to say
the least. Rubeus Hagrid walked slowly through these familiar surroundings
looking about for signs of Fluffy's passage. The huge Cerberian Mastiff
lived, most of the time, in a dark cave that was to be found high up on
the side of a large hill. The hill was on the opposite side of a bubbling
brook still some distance away from where Hagrid was walking. There was
little evidence that Fluffy had been across the brook in some time.
"Must be game enough on t'other
side ter to keep him fed," Hagrid mused. He often spoke aloud when wandering
in the forest.
There was a sudden rustling in the
bushes to the left and slightly behind Hagrid. Turning quickly toward the
disturbance, he raised his crossbow and challenged, "Who's there? Show
yerself, or I'll shoot!"
The underbrush gave another enormous
rustle and from its midst stepped a large Forest Troll.
The troll must have been about eleven
feet tall, with pale green skin the colour of watery pea-soup. His straggly
hair hung over his eyes in thin moss-green strings, and he had several
bleeding wounds on his legs and arms.
"Ung, Bargud. Hungdem gromp grumph
burgaw gerong hemdag! Mung gruh gromph brung grangmah grong burgaw?"
Hullo Hagrid, That bloody hell-hound
tried to eat me! When you gonna do somethin' 'bout him? Hagrid translated
in his head before replying, "Well Gra-el-moak, yeh probably didn' get
anythin' more'n yeh deserved... shouldn'ta tried ter eat him first, eh?
So where'd all this take place?
The troll didn't speak but looked
tremendously put out at Hagrid's words. Reluctantly it seemed, he pointed
behind himself and off to his right.
Hagrid nodded and then asked, "How
Gra-el-moak shrugged and looked
"When did yeh see 'im last?" demanded
The look of concentration of the
troll's horrible face was almost sickening as he tried to answer this question.
Holding up his hand again he showed Hagrid two fingers.
"Two days ago?" asked Hagrid.
"He'd better not be hurt any, Gra-el-moak,"
Hagrid nearly growled, "'Cause if'n he is, I'll skin yer carcass an' feed
me Thestrals with it."
If it was possible for a troll to
pout, Gra-el-moak certainly gave the appearance of it. Giving a low
sullen grunt, he shuffled back into the underbrush nursing his injuries.
Hagrid finally located his elusive
quarry sitting in the shade of an ancient Chestnut tree, gnawing on a large
blood-encrusted bone of undetermined origin.
Upon scenting Hagrid's approach,
the left head of the great beast gave an inquisitive woof while the
right one pricked its ears and starred alertly toward the game keeper and
the center-most continued to gnaw at the bone.
"Hiya, Fluffy! How's me boy? Bet
yer glad ter see me!"
Giving out loud echoing barks--to
anyone but Hagrid they would have seemed terribly ferocious--Fluffy sprang
from his crouch. Landing with astonishing force his forepaws on Hagrid's
shoulders, Fluffy came close to knocking Hagrid to the forest floor.
An observer might have concluded
at first glance that Hagrid was in deadly peril but on second look--even
though Fluffy was using all three of his mouths and some of his nips were
far from delicate--it became clear the huge Cerberian Mastiff was using
his tongues far more extensively than he was his teeth.
"Gerroff--gerroff, Fluffy--" Hagrid
sputtered. "Take it easy boy... get down now." Finally managing to gain
space enough, Hagrid retrieved a crudely made--but serviceable--wooden
flute from a pocket in his dripping coat. Wiping a great amount of ropy
drool from his face Hagrid began to play an old lullaby his dad had whistled
to him when, as a tyke, he'd had trouble falling asleep.
The effect on the massive dog was
instantaneous... six great eyelids began to droop as Fluffy folded his
legs as he was overcome with sleep.
Waving his battered pink umbrella,
Hagrid caused Fluffy to float into the air and glide away in the direction
of Hogwarts castle... all the while playing away upon his flute.
Once Fluffy was safely kenneled
on the third floor in a corridor the headmaster had prepared, Dumbledore
told Hagrid he could use the Prefect's Bathroom on the fifth floor to take
a nice long relaxing bath if he wanted...
Hagrid decided that would be a fitting
end to his latest endeavor.
AN\ This Fic is actually and abridged
version of Training Hagrid Chapter Four likewise entitled Fetching Fluffy.
I created the Cerberian Mastiff
name for Fluffy's breed because Fluffy is based on Cerberus the huge three-headed
canine guardian of the Underworld in Greek Myth.
The Forest Troll's name is a combination
of things one would find in a forest: Grass, Elm and Oak.