Hagrid came into the staffroom with a loud bang and a large sob. "Yeh can' let Harry go back ter those muggles!"
The Heads of Houses and Dumbledore were currently having a meeting in the staffroom, and all had paused in their talk.
"Hagrid, come in!" Dumbledore said pleasantly as if this was a normal occurrence. "Have a seat please."
"Yeh can' let Harry go back ter those muggles!" he repeated coming farther in the room. "He don' deserve this! Harry is the mos' carin' boy an' he don' deserve this! Those stinkin' muggles!"
"We are in the middle of a meeting." Snape sneered, his lip curled upward slightly. "It said just as much on the door, 'Heads of House Meeting, Staffroom closed'." Hagrid ignored him.
"I'll take Harry, he can live with me!" Hagrid insisted.
Dumbledore pulled out the extra chair that was between him and Sprout, enlarging it slightly, and gestured to it. Hagrid hesitated, and then sat down.
"Should we not," Snape cut in. "Continue with our meeting?"
"I think we've touched on everything, and it's getting late." Sprout said rising. "I have to get back to reading."
"Reading, Pomona?" Flitwick asked.
She simply lifted a very large and thick stack of papers. "I'm grading essays."
McGonagall hummed shortly. "I saw you looking quite horrified at those papers shortly. I take it there was a particularly bad paper in that mix?"
Sprout looked uncomfortable. "It was terrible."
The two women stared at each other for a while, the others watching the interaction. Finally, McGonagall sighed deeply. "It was never my intention to read them."
Sprout sank back into her seat, and pulled out her wand to transfigure the stack of papers back into the first book. "I'm at the end of chapter three.
"I was just starting on chapter four myself." Dumbledore admitted looking quite grave.
"The pages o' the book're all soggy, I jus' couldn' stop cryin'." Hagrid sniffed. "I got all the way ter chapter three when I jus' couldn' take it no more."
"When I first saw the books, I hardly looked at them." McGonagall said. "Put them to the side to forget about, nearly burned them. I had no reason to read anything she gave me. But I'd started hearing things that... that got me curious. I didn't want to believe it, but I had to know for myself."
"'S so sad. Yeh jus' can' let tha' sweet boy go back ter them muggles!" Hagrid said once again.
"I agree something must be done about Harry's living arrangements. I will visit the Dursley's at the start of summer and speak with them. I will make sure Harry is safe there. As for now, would you like some tea?"
McGonagall's head snapped up. "Excuse me?"
"Tea," Dumbledore said again. "Would you like more, Minerva?"
"Potter will not go back to that house, whether accompanied by you or not! I will not have my student anywhere near those muggles! I should have taken him that night, I'd seen with my own eyes how horrible they were!"
"They will not treat Harry poorly again." Dumbledore said with an air of finality.
Snape looked sour. "Are we quite finished?"
"Have you not taken the time to read the books yourself, Severus?" Dumbledore asked.
"I can assure you I have better ways to spend my time." Snape muttered. Truth was, when Weasley had come in yelling nonsense, his curiosity had been peaked. He read it. He got to the end of chapter two, the part Weasley was screaming about no meals, and had to take a breather before going back to it.
Reading left him stuck. He did not mean for it to happen, but he sort of... identified with Potter. The situations weren't exact. The Dursley's mistreatment was mostly neglect, from what he'd read they didn't physically abuse him. But not having a home there, or feeling like he mattered... being told he didn't matter... he identified with that.
"Why don't we take some time to read now. It looks like Pamona will be caught up with the rest of us soon, and I'm sure we can fill in any gaps for you." Dumbledore said pleasantly. Of course he knew Snape had taken the time to read, it didn't matter how well trained he was at Occlumency he still would have somehow knew. Snape glanced around the table. Sprout had her head in her book.
"I'd rather not."
Dumbledore just continued to stare pleasantly.
"But I suppose." Snape muttered. "Since I'm already here."
"Wonderful, why don't we move in front of the fireplace!" said Dumbledore. Hagrid took his handkerchief out, dabbing his eyes while Dumbledore once again enlarged a seat for him. Snape was making a face as if he'd eaten something bitter as he sat in the seat closest to the fire, away from Dumbledore and the giant. With one flick of his wand, the book fell into his lap and opened to the right page. He opened his mouth but Pamona raised a hand, not looking away from the book.
One more moment, and she nodded, closing her own book to listen to Dumbledore.
Dumbledore yelled as if the sound were actually in the room. "Oh!" McGonagall exclaimed.
"Must you?" Snape groaned. Dumbledore's eyes were twinkling with mirth.
The person outside knocked again, Dudley woke up with a start asking if there was a cannon while Uncle Vernon sped into the room holding a rifle. It must have been what was in that package from before.
"Oh, I've heard of those, that they are like muggle means for the killing curse!" Flitwick squeaked.
"Is it safe to bring around those children?" McGonagall asked. "Those muggles, when I see them again..."
"Minerva." Dumbledore said quickly and sternly. McGonagall frowned. Wasn't she allowed to act out of instinct as well? She's a Gryffindor afterall.
He shouted out for the person telling them he was armed. For a moment it was quiet before-
"Albus!" McGonagall ground out. "We'll understand just fine without the volume!"
The door swung forward breaking from it's hinges and landing on the floor. In the doorway was a huge man with a face hidden behind a long, tangled beard.
"Oh Hagrid!" Sprout sighed feeling relieved. "I should have known, why didn't you say it was you?"
Hagrid shrugged, still a little emotional. "I though' yeh knew."
He made his way inside, put the door back in the frame, blocking the noise from the storm, and asked for tea... as if this were a regular occurrence.
"Hagrid!" McGonagall scolded. "Have you no manners? You do not come into someone's... living space after knocking over their door and ask for tea!"
"Yeh wan' me ter be polite with 'em! Didn' yeh see wha' they did ter Harry!" Hagrid roared.
"Yes well," McGonagall frowned. "You didn't know at the time."
Dudley was still on the couch, frozen, and Hagrid told him to get away while calling him a great lump.
"Hagrid that is a child!" McGonagall scolded. Snape twitched but no one noticed. He wondered if McGonagall would have something to say about his teaching methods. Though he can defend each and every one of them.
Dudley listened at once, as he ran to hide behind Aunt Petunia, who was hiding behind Uncle Vernon. He greeted Harry with a great big smile.
Hagrid sniffed. "Oh Harry! I was wonderin' why he was so small. It's 'cause they don' feed 'im!"
He told Harry when he saw him last he was a baby, and that he looked just like his father but he had his mother's eyes.
Sprout gasped so suddenly, everyone looked to see if she was alright. "He... He'd never seen his parents! He had no idea what they looked like! This is likely the first time he's gotten any idea of what they look like!"
A shiver went up Hagrid's spine. He truly had no idea at the time.
Uncle Vernon made himself known demanding the giant leave, and stating he was breaking and entering. Unbothered, the large man told him to shut it and took the rifle away, bending it beyond use.
"Hagrid... did you know?" Flitwick squeaked. "You're usually so kind, did you know Harry's Aunt and Uncle were awful?"
"Did I know? Did I know?!" Hagrid huffed. "Yeh think I'd've jus' let 'em off easy like tha' if I knew!"
"Hagrid there is no reason to get upset right now." Dumbledore said patting his elbow.
"I ain't stupi', I saw Harry wasn' happy, could tell! I didn' know they weren' feedin' 'im, though. But I know bad people when they come 'round."
Then he turned back to Harry and wished him a happy birthday, saying he had something for Harry that may have gotten a bit squashed if he'd sat on it, but it should taste the same. Then he pulled out a box and gave it to Harry. He trembled as he opened it and saw it was a cake that read Happy Birthday Harry.
"Hagrid..." McGonagall smiled. "That... that was very kind."
"Did you make that yourself?" Flitwick asked. Hagrid, a little too emotional to speak, simply nodded.
"His first birthday cake... and home made from the heart." Sprout smiled.
"Didn' know I'd be the firs' person ter be nice to 'im." Hagrid sniffed.
Looking at the ginat he wanted to say thank you, but instead he asked who he was.
Snape hummed, his lips curled into a larger frown. "Seems Hagrid isn't the only one lacking manners."
"It's alrigh', I didn' even tell 'im who I was. Mus've been a bit of a shock."
The man introduced himself to be Rubeus Hagrid along with the title of Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts and he shook Harry's hand. Then asked about the tea again, stating he wouldn't mind if they gave him something stronger.
Dumbledore laughed, clearly amused, but he was the only one.
When he saw the chips bags he snorted and somehow lit a fire with the damp wood in the fireplace. He sank into the couch and began going through his pockets pulling out things like a kettle, sausages, a poker, a teapot, chipped mugs, some type of amber blue liquid and then he began making tea. They watched as he made it as well as the sausages, and when he made the first sausage Dudley moved a bit. Uncle Vernon told him not to take anything Hagrid offered.
Simply chuckling, the giant said his son didn't need any more fattening and instead gave the sausage to Harry, who thought it was the most wonderful thing he'd ever tasted.
Those who had some of Hagrid's food before, which was all but Snape, knew how significant this was. Hagrid was a sweet man, and would give anyone any amount of his food they wanted, but his food wasn't... the best.
He still eyed the giant, and finally said he still was confused as to who this giant man was. The man explained to call him Hagrid, and said again he was Keeper of Keys at Hogwarts, and assumed he knew all about Hogwarts. Harry admitted he did not and Hagrid was shocked.
"Shocked? I wasn' jus' shocked! Harry Potter, James an' Lily's son, didn' know wha' Hogwarts was! I was summat a bit more 'an shocked!"
"An' then he says sorry! I didn' know wha' ter think!"
Hagrid repeated the apology in disbelief and looked back at The Dursleys claiming it should be them apologizing. Hagrid said he knew Harry hadn't read his letter yet but he didn't think he had no idea about Hogwarts and asked why Harry didn't ever wonder where his parents learned everything. Harry asked what he was talking about and Hagrid yelled out again in disbelief.
"Dear, dear." McGonagall said with a satisfied smirk. "I do hope you don't do anything rash."
Hagrid huffed almost like a bull, and muttered something about like he 'shoulda done more'.
He stood and turned to The Dursleys again, who were against the wall. He asked them if Harry knew anything, which Harry thought wasn't fair. His grades at school weren't that bad after all.
A genuine chuckle came out of the heads of houses apart from Snape, who likely hadn't chuckled genuinely in years, and Hagrid, who was getting angry again from experiencing this day all over.
He quickly spoke up saying he knew stuff like math, but Hagrid specified he meant about their world. Harry asked what world and Hagrid got riled up again, yelling at the Dursleys while Uncle Vernon was pale and terrified.
"How long do you think they were going to get away with all of this?" Sprout asked.
"They have had so much power over Harry for so long," Dumbledore said. "And power create illusions of invincibility."
Hagrid insisted he had to know something about his parents and their fame. Genuinely confused, Harry asked what they could be famous for. Looking a little distressed, it seemed to finally sink in that Harry didn't know anything about who he really was.
"Yeh didn' warn me, Professor Dumbledore." Hagrid sighed. "Yeh didn' tell me he wouldn' know anythin'."
"I didn't know myself." Dumbledore said solemnly.
"Are you telling me, Albus, that you didn't check on him at all?" Sprout asked, an eyebrow raised.
"Of course I checked in on him, but I did not know-"
"Then you didn't really do a good job then, did you?" Sprout interrupted, something she would never do out of respect if she weren't so upset.
"The important part was that he was safe, I checked in and made sure he was still alive and well. I trusted in his family to provide him a sustainable living environment."
"Well, that was not good enough." Sprout frowned. "Sir."
Dumbledore sighed. He had hoped he'd done what was best for everyone, but the more he learned about Harry's living space, the less he was sure.
Uncle Vernon yelled out, forbidding Hagrid from telling Harry anything, but this just put Hagrid's attention back on him. He asked if he told Harry anything that Dumbledore had left in the letter.
"Hagrid are you going to tell him?" Flitwick asked a bit astonished. "I never knew you were the one to tell him the truth!"
"Well it wasn' a grea' momen' fer me. I wasn' prepared ter be the one ter tell'im either!" Hagrid sighed. "Tha' boy... he had no idea."
Snape's mouth twisted just enough for McGonagall to look over at him. "You've been awfully quiet, Severus, any thoughts?"
"None." he said. "I've met Potter's relative's before, I'm well aware of how horrible they are."
"But I'm sure you had no idea he'd been treated like this!" Flitwick asked.
"Everyone has a tragic backstory." Snape sneered. "Mine is that I'm forced to hear about Potter's."
Dumbledore made a sound that could have been a cough or a chuckle, either way, it caused Snape to fall silent.
Harry asked again what he was talking about, and Uncle Vernon yelled that he forbid Hagrid again with a touch of panic added to his voice while Aunt Petunia was gasping. Hagrid told them to boil their heads and then turned to Harry and told him he was a wizard.
"Sprout gave a little giggle. "That's it then? No lead up?"
"Figure' he jus' needed ter know." Hagrid scratched his head. "Erm... maybe I should've eased 'im inter it a bit."
"I think you did just as you should have." Dumbledore praised him. Hagrid didn't look up or acknowledge this at all. Dumbledore needn't wonder why. He knew fair well how much he'd been idolized throughout the years, how mystical and brilliant he seemed. Many young witches and wizards were about to find out how human he was. Hagrid was finding out right now, and he was likely very confused about it all. Dumbledore didn't press it, he kept reading.
The hut was quiet after these words until Harry asked what. Hagrid said a wizard again, sitting down, and said he thought he'd be a good one, his parents were great.
Snape let out a small scoff. Dumbledore raised an eyebrow. "I know, Severus, you aren't suggesting Lily and James Potter to be untalented in witchcraft and wizardry, right?"
Snape was getting really tired of Dumbledore dropping hints about what he only knew because Snape was in a weak place when he told the old man. "They were fine."
Yes, everyone here likely knew of his connection with Lily... and him. But he didn't need it addressed.
Hagrid told him he felt it was time Harry read the letter, and pulled out the envelope that was addressed to Harry on the floor in the hut on the rock in the sea.
McGonagall scowled, if she'd just looked over the letters she'd seen the first one addressed to the cupboard, and the Dursley's would really have a reason for disliking magic.
In it, it said the school's full name as well as the headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, and all of his titles.
For a moment, Hagrid smiled. He realized, in that moment, how significant this all was for Harry, and he was the one to be there. He saw it, he was the one to save Harry. It warmed something in his chest.
Reading the letter, it said that he was accepted to Hogwarts telling him there was a list of books and equipment for him to buy and that the school year began on the first of September and they needed his confirmation owl by July 31, and ended with a sign off from the deputy headmistress, Minerva McGonagall.
Harry had dozens of questions but finally asked what owl they were talking about. Hagrid said he remembered something and pulled out an owl from another pocket along with a roll of parchment and a quill. He started writing a note which Harry read upside down.
"Upside down!" Flitwick squeaked surprised. "I can hardly read Hagrid's handwriting right side up! Er- no offence."
Hagrid waved him off, smile still in place. "I don' know if yeh notice', but me hands are righ' large, and those quills are real flimsy. Makes writing' a little hard."
It was short, just saying to Dumbledore he gave Harry his letter and he'd buy everything tomorrow. He ended by saying the weather was horrible and he hoped he was well.
"Amazing!" Flitwick praised. "How did he develop such a skill? Was it natural or practiced?"
"Why don't you ask him?" Snape sneered.
"Eager to get back to the chapter?" Sprout winked.
Snape did not give her a wink back as he said, "Eager for this experience to end."
He rolled the note up and gave it to the owl, which took it and Hagrid threw the owl into the storm and came back, again, as if this were normal. Harry's mouth had been hanging open and he quickly shut it.
Dumbledore gave an amused chuckle. One of his favorite moments was the wonder on young witches and wizards eyes when they begin their wizarding life journeys.
Hagrid turned back but Uncle Vernon had found his voice, claiming Harry wasn't going.
"I'm sure this conversation goes well." Flitwick said.
Hagrid said he'd like to see a muggle like him try and stop him. Harry asked what a muggle was and Hagrid explained it was someone without magic, and Harry's relatives were the biggest muggles he'd ever seen. Uncle Vernon swore he would stamp all of it out of him, and Harry asked incredulously if he knew. Aunt Petunia spoke up at once saying of course she knew, as her sister was a witch. She'd gotten a letter as well and went to the school, came back every summer doing odd things, and Aunt Petunia saw her as a freak. But their parents were so proud to have a witch in the family.
Snape let out a great scoff. "She's always tried to find ways to bring her down."
McGonagall raised an eyebrow at Snape, who avoided all eye contact.
She stopped for a breath and Harry got the impression she'd been wanting to get this off of her chest for years. She went on to say she met Potter and they went and got married.
Snape had to admit to himself that he was insulted that he hadn't come up at all, although he supposed if he had, Potter would have some questions that he would have no interest in answering. Still, Snape felt he was important enough in Lily's life that her sister wouldn't forget about him just as soon as Potter came around. But then again, didn't Lily?
And then had Harry, and Aunt Petunia knew he'd be just as odd, and then she went and got herself blown up and she had been stuck with Harry. Shocked and a pale, Harry called out he'd been told they'd died in a car crash. Hagrid repeated this with a roar, finding this unbelievable as it was ridiculous that a car crash killed James and Lily. And it was an outrage that Harry didn't know his own story, as every other kid knew it. Harry asked what the story was, and Hagrid looked anxious as he didn't know all of this would be in store when coming to give Harry his letter. He was only told by Dumbledore that he may have trouble getting a hold of Harry but he had no idea he knew so little.
"I didn't know that he was told nothing." Dumbledore felt the need to express. "I admit I regret not paying more attention, but I truly thought they would tell him the truth. I knew of Petunia's resentment, but I thought she would let that aside for her family. Alas, I was mistaken."
McGonagall's own irritation at Dumbledore simmered down and she sighed. "I think this is something you need to speak to Potter about. He deserves to hear that from you himself."
Hagrid wasn't sure if he should tell him, but at the same time he couldn't go to Hogwarts without knowing.
"Oh my, could you imagine!" Sprout said, looking, for all matters, like a concerned mother. "If he had no idea, that poor dear."
With a dirty look at the Dursleys, he made up his mind saying he had to tell him. He started by saying it began with one person who Harry should know, everyone else knew. Harry asked who it was but Hagrid said he didn't like saying his name.
"Oh Hagrid, please don't fear his name." Dumbledore said. "It will only make you fear him more."
"I jus' can' though! Couldn' har'ly say it when he was gone, an' I really can' now 'at he's back!" Hagrid
Harry asked why that was and Hagrid explained people were still scared. He continued saying one wizard had gone really bad, worse than bad, and was going to say his name, but it got lost in his throat. Harry suggested writing it down and Hagrid said he couldn't spell it.
Snape scoffed and rolled his eyes. He didn't see Hagrid give him an indignant and annoyed look.
Finally he said, Voldemort, and shivered. He said he didn't want to say it again. He went on saying about two decades ago, he'd started getting followers, those who liked his power or were afraid of him. No one knew who to trust and terrible things happened.
"And now it will all start again." McGonagall sighed.
"There's no sign of such a thing." Snape cut in. "All this talk of his return and our biggest threat at the moment is a ministry official."
"Severus," Dumbledore warned.
"I'm not saying he's not back." Snape said, almost regretting anything as he didn't want the attention on him. "And I'm not saying he is, I'm just saying he hasn't been showing his face."
"Of course not." McGonagall snapped. "Because he's busy plotting and discrediting Potter! Do not tell me you think when he started coming to the forefront without planning for the first war. You're smarter than that, Severus."
"It's just not the same feelings now as it was when I was young, is my point, because he hasn't confirmed his return." Snape said calmly. "There was fear and paranoia that isn't around now."
"Yes you would know, as you helped cause it!"
"Minerva." Dumbledore calmly tried to stop her but she was not done yet.
"And believe me, Severus, there is still fear. Why do you think everyone is so adamant about denying his return? That is fear, and that's how it starts. The ten death eaters that escaped Azkaban? That's him getting his followers. He's biding his time, strategizing. Then it will be the death of several families and it will just get worse from there. I know the signs! I saw it with my own eyes!"
"That's enough Minerva." Dumbledore said.
McGonagall sat back in her chair with her arms crossed. Sprout gave her a thumbs up that did not go unnoticed.
Some stood up to him, but they ended up killed. A safe place to go was Hogwarts, as Dumbledore was the only one You-Know-Who was afraid of. Harry's parents were great, and were even head boy and head girl at Hogwarts.
"I suppose you didn't find it necessary to tell him about what he liked to do for fun?" Snape spat. Hagrid gave him a look that would likely make another man quiver.
"No I didn', I'll do tha' the nex' time I see 'im. An' while I'm at it, why don' I tell 'im wha' you use' to ter do" he bit out. "Why don' I tell ev'ryone?"
McGonagall smiled to herself.
Hagrid wondered why You-Know-Who never tried to get them on his side.
Flitwick let out a weird sound. "James and Lily work for You-Know-Who?! He wouldn't want Lily, for his bigoted way of thinking would get in the way of him seeing pure talent. But James? I'll eat my hats when that happens!"
"He's dead." Snape snapped.
"Whether James were alive or not, and whether Lily was muggleborn or not, we know they would never join You-Know-Who." McGonagall spat. Snape was growing tired of her antics. He knew she was speaking of his childhood desire to somehow have Lily join him as an ally to the dark lord.
But figured they were too close to Dumbledore. Still, Hagrid thought maybe You-Know-Who thought he could persuade them, or just wanted them gone. Ten years ago on Halloween he went to their village when Harry was only one years old. Hagrid said You-Know-Who went to their house and then Hagrid cut himself off, blowing his nose in a dirty handkerchief. He apologized for the interruption, but it was so sad and Harry's parents were so nice.
Snape scoffed again, this time keeping it quiet as he was aware that speaking up seemed to make him a target.
Continuing, Hagrid said You-Know-Who killed them. But the mystery is he tried to kill Harry as well, probably just because he liked killing.
Being of the few who knew the real reason, Snape felt a wave of nausea and irritation at Potter living and Lily dying. Lily would have brought something more to the wizarding world than vanity and arrogance.
But it didn't work. He pointed out the scar on Harry's forehead, stating it wasn't just a scar, and it was from a powerful, evil curse that destroyed Harry's parents and even his house.
"Actually, Hagrid, the killing curse doesn't destroy houses." Dumbledore informed. "It's more likely he used another curse to destroy the house in order to get to them."
But somehow it hadn't worked on Harry, and that's where Harry's fame came from. When You-Know-Who decided to kill someone, they wound up dead, including great witches and wizards like the McKinnons, the Bones, the Prewetts. And Harry was only one years old, and somehow he survived.
Harry suddenly remembered the flash of green light, as well as a high, cold laugh.
Dumbledore almost looked shocked for a moment, and Snape, for the first time, looked mildly interested. There was just no way Harry would remember this much about a traumatizing night when he was only one year old. This did, however, agree with some of the theories Dumbledore had... Theories that seemed more and more likely the more he learned about his student.
Hagrid gave him a sad look as he finished by saying he took him from the house and brought him to The Dursleys. Uncle Vernon cut in saying it was all a load of old tosh, startling Harry as he'd forgotten they were there.
"As did I," Flitwick admitted.
With newfound courage, he stood forward with a glare and clenched fists.
"Oh please," Sprout giggled. "What does he have in his mind to do?"
He said he'd accepted Harry's oddities, and felt a good beating could have probably cured it.
"Touch Potter and I will-" McGonagall flared up at once.
"McGonagall, awful may they be, they are muggles" Dumbledore said. "And would have no way of defending themselves against a hex or curse."
"And are you to tell me that some muggles aren't deserving of such a fait?" McGonagall snapped. To her surprise, the headmaster went quiet, and from the distant look in his usually active eyes, he seemed to be thinking of something... or remembering something. "Albus?"
"It all leads you to Azkaban, Minerva" he finally said. "And where would I be without you?"
McGonagall gave Dumbledore a worried look. She was not expecting quite a reaction. But as to not draw anymore attention to it, she responded with, "I'll be sure to not get caught then."
He continued saying Harry's parents were freaks and the world was likely better with them gone
"What did he say?!" Flitwick yelled, standing ontop his chair and yet still only coming up the same height as Sprout while she was sitting. She looked no better, however, red in the face and angrier than any of them had ever seen her.
And they'd asked for their downfall after mixing with the other weirdos, and he always knew they'd meet a sticky end.
Hagrid let out a monstrous yell, more of a roar, "I SHOULD'A DONE MORE! I SHOULD'A DONE MORE 'AN WHA' I DID!"
"Hagrid!" McGonagall yelled, eyes wide. His rage was enough for hers to come down a little bit more. "Hagrid, I don't know what you did, but I assure you, whatever it was, if you'd done more you likely would have gotten in a lot of trouble. You could likely get in trouble for what you did do."
"I DON' CARE! I DON-"
"Hagrid, remember who is reading these books!" McGonagall said quickly. Hagrid's face drained color, as he realized as soon as Umbridge found out what he did, he'd be in a lot of trouble. Terrified, he wondered if he could go back to Azkaban for this.
Dumbledore spoke up, "I will defend you, Hagrid, no matter what you did."
Hagrid didn't speak, he was shivering now.
"Hagrid do you need a moment?" Sprout asked.
"I'm alrigh', jus' didn' think 'bout that, s'all." he said softly. "Yeh can keep goin'."
Dumbledore's eyes lingered on the giant for a moment longer before looking at the book again.
Hagrid had heard enough, and pointed his pink umbrella at Uncle Vernon, warning him he'd better not say another word.
Before McGonagall's reminder of Umbridge being a threat, they might have cheered. Now, they feared this could backfire horribly on Hagrid.
Uncle Vernon stayed silent, pushing himself back against the wall. Hagrid let out a heavy breath and claimed that was much better, sitting on the couch again. Harry asked what happened to You-Know-Who, and Hagrid said he vanished. That's another reason Harry was so famous. Some people thought he was dead but Hagrid felt he didn't have enough human left in him and he couldn't die.
Dumbledore was actually surprised, that was right in line with his theories.
Some believe he's out bidding his time, but Hagrid said he didn't think so. A lot of people on his side came out of trances, and he didn't think they would be able to do that if he was still out there. Most people think he'd lost his powers and was weak, something Harry'd done stumped him. Hagrid had respect as he looked at Harry, but Harry didn't feel pleased with himself. He felt there'd been a mistake, if he was really a wizard, wouldn't he have turned them all into toads whenever they treated him badly?
"Would have been quite nice, wouldn't it?" Flitwick said. "If his accidental magic accidently-"
"Blew them up?" McGonagall finished with a satisfied smirk. "It'd been such a shame."
If he'd defeated a great evil like Voldemort, wouldn't he be able to defeat Dudley easily? He voiced his concerns, as Harry felt he couldn't be a wizard. Hagrid just chuckled.
"James an' Lily's son, not a wizard." Hagrid chuckled again.
Hagrid asked him if he'd ever made things happen when he was feeling highly upset. Harry thought back to every strange thing that had ever happened around him. He thought about the boa constructor he'd just set on Dudley.
"If only it'd done something more." Snape muttered to himself, though a few still heard. For the first time since they'd been there, McGonagall agreed with him.
Harry gave Hagrid a smile, and he beamed back stating the ridiculousness of his previous statement and telling him he'd be famous at Hogwarts. Uncle Vernon spoke up again. He said again Harry was not going to Hogwarts, he'd be going to Stonewall High. Vernon read what rubbish the boy would need if he went but Hagrid cut him off saying if Harry wanted to go Uncle Vernon wasn't going to stop him. Hagrid said Uncle Vernon was mad for even thinking it, and Harry's had his name down since his birth and he will be going to the finest school for his magic for seven years! He'll be taught under the greatest headmaster, but Uncle Vernon said he wasn't spending any money on Harry being taught magic tricks by some crackpot old fool!
Despite his mixed feelings towards the professor, this still darkened Hagrid's mood. Yes, he may have made mistakes, but he was still to be respected.
Uncle Vernon had gone too far, as Hagrid pointed the umbrella again yelling at Uncle Vernon to never insult Albus Dumbledore in front of him. With a swish, he pointed it at Dudley and with the sound of a firecracker, Dudley was dancing with his hands over his butt, and Harry saw a curly pig's tail come out of his backside.
Dumbledore let out a great laugh. "Very creative, Hagrid."
"It's not worth Azkaban, is it?" Hagrid asked with a sigh.
"You will not be going to Azkaban Hagrid." Dumbledore said sternly. "Some muggles are deserving, and this had no lasting effects to my knowledge."
Yelling, Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia pulled Dudley away into the other room, slamming the door behind him. Hagrid looked at his umbrella pensively, saying he shouldn't have lost his temper, and he meant to turn him into a pig. He figured Dudley was so pig like there wasn't much else to do.
Snape smiled, despite himself.
He glanced at Harry and asked him not to say anything, as he wasn't supposed to do magic. He could do a bit to get to Harry, which was a reason he was excited to do the job. Harry asked why he wasn't allowed to do magic, and Hagrid explained he got expelled from Hogwarts in his third year and they napped his want. Dumbledore kept him as gamekeeper though, he was a great man.
Hagrid smiled. Yes he still believed this, after all, Dumbledore also gave him a job.
"Thank you Hagrid." Dumbledore said honestly. "And my offer still stands, you can go back to school if you wish. I'm sure I can do the necessary paperwork."
"Tha's alrigh', I'm happy where I am" he answered.
Harry asked why he was expelled but Hagrid tried to change the subject, claiming they had a lot to do tomorrow.
'If he didn't want the brat to ask, he shouldn't have brought it up.' Snape thought, mildly annoyed.
He said they'd have to get to town to get Harry's books and gave his large coat to Harry. He told Harry to stay under the coat, and if it wiggles, that's because he had dormice in one of the pockets.
"And that's where the chapter ends!" Dumbledore smiled.
"I'd say the best chapter so far!" Flitwick said sliding out of the chair.
"Certainly the most satisfying." McGonagall said.
Dumbledore smiled. "Why don't we do this again? We can plan for chapter eight on Sunday night?"
Hagrid got up, knocking his chair back. "Oh, sorry abou' that. I'll be here on Sunday, bu' please professor. Don' send Harry back ter them muggles."
With that, Hagrid picked his chair up and left with a small wave. Dumbledore changed his chair to the correct size. With a yawn, Sprout got up as well. "It's late, I should get going as well."
"As should I, but I'll be here Sunday night!" Flitwick grinned.
Snape began to get up as well, when Dumbledore stopped him. "A word, Severus?"
Annoyed, he sank back into his chair. McGonagall gave Dumbledore a kiss on the cheek. "Goodnight Albus."
She left behind Flitwick and Sprout while Snape looked at Dumbledore expectedly. "Sir?"
"While the books are harmless at the current chapter we are at, we have to do something about the other books."
"What do you mean?" Snape asked.
"The Order, Severus." Dumbledore said. "There are many things in these books that need not be public knowledge."
Snape was so distracted by the appearance of the books themselves, he didn't even think about the trouble he could be in if one of the students went to their parents about his role in the war. Parents that could be close to The Dark Lord. Of course he could play up that he was double crossing them, but it was a risk he didn't want to take.
"We can't keep them from reading them, but perhaps we could keep them from speaking about what they've read." Snape said slowly. "I'll figure out the best way to do this and get back to you."
Dumbledore nodded. "Very well.
Kay guys I need you. Next chapter a group of students will be reading together. In this group includes Harry and Draco. The other people reading depends on you guys.
So here are the options!
Group 1: Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy, Ron Weasley, Blaise Zabini, Michael Corner, Hannah Abbott, Lisa Turpin
Group 2: Harry Potter Draco Malfoy, Hermione Granger, Pansy Parkinson, Zacharias Smith, Padma Patil, Justin Finch-Fletchley
You can vote on my profile, on twitter, or on tumblr! (On tumblr you'd just leave a comment, I'm pretty sure they don't have a poll option on there.)
As always, my twitter is QueenofCreating and my tumblr is queen-of-creating.