The Sugar Quill
Author: Zephyrus Prolixity  Story: Gamekeeping Duties  Chapter: Default
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Fetching Fuffy
Gamekeeping Duties
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.

~<O>~ ~<O>~

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," stated Hagrid.

"Excellent... when can you have Fluffy ready? We need everything in place before the start of term." Dumbledore's eyes sparkled merrily.

~<O>~ ~<O>~

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 far?"

Gra-el-moak shrugged and looked bewildered.

"When did yeh see 'im last?" demanded Hagrid.

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.

Gra-el-moak nodded.

"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.

~<O>~ ~<O>~

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.

~<O>~ ~<O>~

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.

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