Crookshanks' Magical Staff
Disclaimer: It's the usual
one you read everywhere. Harry Potter, his friends, and his world are
owned by J. K. Rowling. The one possible exception is Crookshanks, who
just may own J. K. Rowling. With felines, one can never be certain. I
should rate this story PG-9 or PG-10, although Crookshanks would laugh
at such caution if he had a sense of humour. (I've noticed that felines
have a well developed sense of fun,
but seem to totally lack a sense of humour.)
Author's Notes: This outtake
refers to events in Fleeing Hogwarts
and takes place two or three days after the beginning of Aftermath. It is not necessary to
have read either story since Crookshanks has arranged for you to see
that his viewpoint is what
Suddenly I become fully alert in my spot in the sun when I hear
distinctive popping sounds. Humans are coming! Is my Designated Mother
one of them? Yes, I see her bushy hair and her walk, which is less
the taller redheaded male beside her. Don't they know yet how to walk
without sound? I show them time and again but they never learn.
My humans have been unacceptably absent for more
than two days and nights. I watch them check for dangers, but I already
there are none. They do not understand that I would not be there if
there was danger anywhere near the cottage.
My Designated Mother waves her stick and
speaks the noises only humans have some strange need to voice. I
have learned to distinguish some of their noises, but I have chosen to
any for communication except 'kitty' and 'something-to-eat'. I have
trained humans to call 'kitty' when they think there is something of
interest to me. Their understanding of my interests is hardly reliable,
but I let the practice continue by responding often enough that the
are not discouraged from using the noise. The noise I have had most
success teaching them is 'something-to-eat'. These humans! They
understand so little of True Speech. They are all crippled by lacking
the graceful body needed for expressing it. There is another noise that
my Staff use around me often: 'Crookshanks'. I think
they may be saying it because they recognize my presence, but I am not
certain of this, so I usually ignore that odd noise.
At last they approach me. Since they have been away for far too long, I
must communicate my displeasure at their
absence. Oh, the training of my Staff is so tedious! I sit straight
and tall with my back just so. I still watch my Designated Mother out
corner of my eye, so I may judge her reaction to my overly exagerated
gesture in True Speech. She understands so little! She did not even
for another human to present me with appropriate food. I actually
needed to eat my own prey!
"Awwww. Poor Crookshanks. We left you all alone. Poor kitty." I
still ignore her obvious overtures and turn
further away, to reinforce my communication. One must exaggerate so
much, when training humans! They open the door so I may follow them
into the cottage. I see that everything
has been rearranged by the humans in black clothing that took away
the redhaired female. Now I must memorize the new arrangement of
furniture. How tedious!
No, perhaps not. My Designated Mother and her mate are waving sticks
and making those odd noises. The furniture is moving back to where I
remember it and the books are replacing themselves on the shelves. I
approve of this, of course. I wait until they finish. I see burned
places and torn cloth become whole. The redheaded male makes a noise
waves his stick, and another stick comes out from under the
couch in the corner. I wish to chase it, but he picks it up. I have
seen the redheaded female
play with it. The redheaded male seems very pleased. And now I am
already know this arrangement of furniture. This very night I shall run
and jump on it to give it a final
"Ron, there was something else. Where is my list?" She examines a
"Harry's Invisibility Cloak! I dropped it in the tunnel." She steps
outside and the redheaded male follows her as he so often does.
She disappears with a small pop, just as the tall one is saying, "Wait.
That space is too small to..." He sighs and seems worried. Shortly, a
tiny pop signals her return. She has made herself almost transparent.
She is under that fascinating cloth that they prevent me from playing
with. Oh, this is interesting! She is behind him now, as he looks
around, apparently not seeing her as easily as I do.
"I heard you come back, Hermione. Where are you?" She taps him on his
left shoulder and quickly steps to his right side. "Oh, it's like that,
eh?" He suddenly reaches out but his hand swings through empty air.
laughing, he turns to quickly grab the air at his other side. She is
just out of reach, one hand at her mouth. Then he looks down and then
turns to where she is standing in the grass. "Ahah!" She dashes away
from him, laughing now, and dodges to one side and he runs past her. He
stops and raises one hand to scratch his head. He turns around slowly,
carefully looking at the grass again. I become curious about what he is
looking for, and walk over to him, but see nothing unusual. Then the
cloth catches my interest and I stroll over to sniff its edge where it
touches the ground.
"Hah! Accio cloak!" I am
disappointed as the cloth flies out of reach. He has it now, and he is
running after her. She is laughing as she runs into the house and slams
the door. I hear a click from the doorknob, that frustrating object
that I have not yet learned to manipulate. "Alohamora!" Then he
opens the door and I scurry in just after him, before the door closes
again. Chasing things is such fun!
Then he begins that awkward stalking that humans do. He looks
one place after another, and when he reaches the other male's sleeping
he puts the fascinating cloth in a trunk and closes it. Now I cannot
play with it. I have not found a way to open the trunk, although I have
tried many times. Then he finds her behind the door in the room where
they sleep. He pounces, and she squeals and laughs, and they touch
Oh, they are getting caught up in another of their mating rituals.
Mouth to mouth? It still seems so odd. Rubbing faces and biting the
of the neck where you carry a kitten - that is the proper way to use
teeth. The whispers they do are so much less satisfying than the
singing that felines do. Oh, the singing! I think fondly of the tabby I
We make beautiful music when we are together. I am bemused by these
humans with their laughs and giggles and other odd noises!
I wish to study the rest of their mating patterns, but they never
understand my curiosity. Every night they eject me from the room they
occupy, despite my persistent communication that I wish to remain. Will
they ever learn? Training them is such an endless effort. And now they
eject me again as they sometimes do in the daytime. I hear their
laughing and giggling, their squeals, hums, and many quiet noises that
only humans seem to make. Then there are more of the noises they make
when they touch mouth to mouth. The door remains closed when I push it,
so of course I seek a suitable place to nap. Yes, the sun shines on a
now, so I will take my rest there. I am purring as I curl into the
that the sun has made warm for me.
Later, I awake as I hear the noises I have taught my Designated
and 'something-to-eat'. I stroll into the food area and, yes, they have
my food where I prefer it. There is no need to eat my own prey again
today. As I eat, I notice that I am purring. Then I arch into her hand
as she rubs my back. Now everything is as it should be.
Author's Notes: It is said
that dogs consider their humans to be
part of their Pack, whereas cats consider their humans to be their
Staff. The more discriminating cat may choose one or more humans to be
a substitute mother who has the privilege of carrying out additional
duties assigned by the cat.
To Crookshank's ears, there is no significant
difference between human laughing and canine barking. Both are
pointless and totally incomprehensible. Human giggles, titters, and the
like resemble bird noises, but do not signify that there is something
to hunt. What can a cat do but completely ignore such absurdly
behaviour and seek a comfortable place to doze?
A technical point must be made. Why didn't Mrs. Norris see Harry and
others under the Invisibility Cloak? Unlike Crookshanks, the
unfortunate Mrs. Norris is not part Kneazle, and therefore does not
have the needed magical perception.
By the way, I am strongly allergic to cats, but not to cat stories.
I do hope that my wonderful beta reader, NightZephyr, has no such
conflict in her life.