A/N: In this installment, we owe apologies to Billy Squire, the TV show Dinosaurs, possibly Warner Brothers Loony Toons (though Im not certain they own the copyright on anvils), Monty Python, and possibly others. Also, you may have noticed that we skipped Divination and went right on into COMC. Well, thats because when we started on this little endeavor last year, we didnt have a DVD handy to check the order of events. I guess we were just too lazy to check the book, especially since the COMC scene practically wrote itself. In any case, this oversight has already been corrected in chapter four, so please bear with us until then.
Somehow, it seemed as if Harrys head had just barely hit his pillow when he found himself traipsing out to Hagrids hut the next morning along with the third-year Gryffindor and Slytherin classes for Hagrids first Care of Magical Creatures lesson. Harry was surprised to see that Hagrid was covered in cuts and scratches, and his clothes were torn in several places. In addition, his clothing seemed to have shrunk; his sleeves ended at his elbows and the hem of his trousers fell just below his knees.
"Hagrid? What happened to you?" Harry asked.
"Twerent nuthin, Harry. I was up at the crack o dawn this mornin. Alfonso wanted the Whomping Willow moved...said it was spoiling the view outside his trailer. Then he wanted me ter move m hut cuz the trees on the right side o the castle didnt fit his artistic vision as well as the trees on the left side o the castle. Bloody directors and their bloody egos."
"But Hagrid, youve got to admit, the camera angles are astounding, arent they?" Hermione piped up from the crowd of students.
"Who gives a flying flip about ruddy camera angles when your trousers are too short? In case you havent noticed, Hermione, none of my ruddy clothes fit!" Hagrid complained.
Ron nodded in agreement and then craned his neck up at Hagrid. "Are you taller?" he asked.
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Dont be ridiculous, Ronald. Giants stop growing after theyre thirty-five years old. Hagrid couldnt possibly be taller."
"Thats what I thought, too," Hagrid said gruffly. "Then again, what do I know? I thought stretching racks fell out of favor after the reign of the last dark wizard." He shuddered briefly, which was a remarkable feat indeed, considering his new girth. "Theres no tellin what this new Dark Lord will do next. Thinks hes the Almighty himself, that one does, bendin reality to suit his purpose, all in the name o immortality. He showed up on the grounds last night, gave us all a terrible fright...."
"Voldemort was here?" Harry gasped.
Hagrid shook his head. "No, not him, Harry. Tother one. Cua-"
"No, Hagrid, dont say his name! Hell know!" Ron shouted as he clapped his hands over his ears.
Hagrid paled and then he nodded. "Right. Right. Anway, class is about to start."
"Hagrid, shouldnt you visit wardrobe first? You do realize your attire isnt exactly...appropriate for a professor, dont you?" Hermione said, gesturing towards Hagrids shirt and trousers.
"Now, why didnt I think of that?" Hagrid asked. "Oh, thats right. I did think of that. Unfortunately, I was informed that every last cent of the remaining costuming budget has been allocated to purchasing hip hugger pants and pink half-zip pullovers from Old Navy, and that Ill just have to make do."
Hagrid scowled fiercely at Hermione, who blushed and looked away. Without another word, she followed Ron and Harry to Hagrids hut, where Hagrid was preparing to address the rest of their Care of Magical Creatures class.
"Good mornin! Er, why dont all of you open yer books," he said nervously.
As one, the class glared at him, except for Neville, who, as usual, did as he was told. From the rear of the gathering, shredding sounds could be heard, paired with intermittent, muffled screams of "Get it off me! Get it off me!"
"Yer got to stroke them," Hagrid explained patiently. He yanked the Monster Book of Monsters off of Nevilles head, which the book had apparently been attempting to devour, and proceeded to stroke it. The book shivered orgasmically and fell open into his hand.
"OH, of course," Malfoy said sarcastically. "You have to STROKE them. Why didnt we think of that?"
Suddenly, an odd look came over Malfoys face. He backed up several steps until he was even with Goyle and the New Guy. The three of them began dancing in unison with perfectly choreographed steps. The students gathered around in a circle as Malfoy began to sing while Goyle and the New Guy performed backup lyrics.
Malfoy: Grab your Monster books...said it ain't no joke If ya wanna read it...just do the stroke Don'cha take no chances...keep your eye on top... Do your fancy dances...you can't stop, you just stroke it, stroke it! New Guy and Goyle: Stroke, stroke! Malfoy: Stroke it, stroke it! New Guy and Goyle: Stroke, stroke!
Malfoy did a final twirl, and then landed on the ground in a half split. As quickly as it had begun, the performance was over. Malfoy picked himself up off the ground and dusted off his uniform. He looked around to find the rest of the class staring at him apprehensively, except for Pansy Parkinson, who had swooned into oblivion.
"What?" Malfoy demanded rudely, shaking his hair out of his eyes, which, unless Harry was mistaken, had lengthened a quarter of an inch during the performance.
Malfoy didnt seem to notice, nor did he seem to find anything unusual about breaking into song and dance during the middle of class. He grabbed his Monster Book of Monsters and looked at his cronies. "Goyle, Crabbe!" he began, but then noticed Crabbe was missing. "Where the hell is Crabbe? Oh, who cares. Here, you, New Guy. Stroke my book!" he demanded, thrusting the book at the as-yet-unnamed student, who began stroking it enthusiastically.
Meanwhile, a commotion had begun again towards the back of the group. Harry walked over to find that Nevilles book was once again attacking him. Nevilles clothes were in tatters, and he was slapping desperately at the book, which had taken a hold of his arm and refused to let go.
"You have to stroke it, Neville," Harry repeated.
"I did, but it just went beserk again!" Neville cried.
"Maybe you rubbed it the wrong way?" Harry ventured. He wrestled the book off of Nevilles arm and stroked it for him until the book was docile.
"Thanks, Harry," Neville said gratefully.
Harry suddenly experienced an acute desire for, of all things, a cigarette, which was strange, because he had never smoked a day in his life. After a moment he shrugged and returned his attention to Hagrid.
"Today were studying Hippogriffs. Can anyone tell me-"
Before Hagrid had a chance to finish his question, Hermiones hand shot into the air. She didnt bother to wait for him to call on her before speaking.
"Hippogriffs are half-griffin, half-horse, with the body of a horse and the head of an eagle. And they cost about a million and a half dollars a minute to put in this film," she said authoritatively.
Hagrid rolled his eyes. "Well, I spose that does it for Hippogriffs. Id give fifty points to Gryffindor, but we dont seem to be keeping track of points this year. Now, this heres Buckbeak," he said, indicating the very large, very realistic looking Hippogriff at the back of the paddock. "Who wants to be the first to come say hello?" he asked.
Buckbeak reared, so Hagrid threw it several small, dead animals, which it greedily gobbled up.
"What are you feeding that thing?" Malfoy asked, his usual sneer absent.
Hagrid turned and grinned. "Ferrets," he replied.
Malfoy turned greenish and muttered, "I think Im going to be sick." He scampered off into the woods alone and returned a few moments later, pale and shaken. Harry could hear him whispering to Pansy.
"It keeps looking at me. Do you see it?"
When Buckbeak was calm again, Hagrid led him back to the students. "Come on, dont be shy. Step on up!"
The entire class took a giant step backwards, with the exception of Harry, who had caught a glimpse of something pale and shimmering among the trees deeper in the forest. He started to mention it, but suddenly Hagrid was dragging him forward towards the Hippogriff.
"Wait, I didnt..." he began, but noticed the entire class looking at him expectantly. Its about time I got to be the center of attention, he thought. Bravely, he stepped forward with Hagrid, who was explaining the proper procedure for approaching a Hippogriff.
Suddenly, Buckbeak reared again. Hermione reached over and grabbed Rons hand, smiling shyly and winking at him as she caught his eye. Immediately, the rest of the class reached into their robes and pulled out yellow hardhats, donning them quickly as they looked skyward. Harry followed their gaze just in time to see a giant, black anvil falling from the sky. It landed directly in front of Ron and Hermione, which, unfortunately, was where the Slytherin New Guy had been standing. Somewhere off in the distance, Harry thought he heard someone shout, "Call the casting director! Looks like were gonna need another Timmy!"
But he could have been mistaken. In any case, he followed Hagrids instructions and bowed to Buckbeak, who bowed back. Harry was further rewarded by being allowed to stroke a large balloon tied to a stick in front of a gigantic blue screen. Then, without warning, Hagrid swooped him up and deposited him onto Buckbeaks shoulders.
"Have fun, Harry! Better enjoy the ride while you can, cause yeh sure wont be playing Quidditch much this year."
"Huh?" Harry asked, but Buckbeak had already leapt away from Hagrid into the sky, carrying Harry along with him. They flew over Hogwarts then over to the lake, where Buckbeak swooped low enough to dip one of his claws into the water, making it obvious to anyone who was watching that he was enjoying the heck out of himself.
Harry threw both arms back and felt the almost irresistible urge to scream "Im the King of the World!" However, he quickly glanced down to the frigid, unfathomable depths below him, and thought better of it. Instead, he threw his arms back around Buckbeaks neck and held on tight until Buckbeak had landed and Harrys feet touched solid earth once more.
Malfoy looked supremely unimpressed with Harrys success.
"Anything Potty can do, I can do better," he announced as he strode confidently towards Buckbeak. He reached out a hand to the Hippogriff. "Youre not dangerous at all, are you, you great, ugly CGI brute?"
Quick as lightning, Buckbeak slashed out with his enormous talons and caught Dracos arm, severing it between the shoulder and the elbow. The students gasped collectively. Malfoy jumped back, mildly alarmed. He seemed not to notice that most of his arm remained on the ground.
"Whats the matter with you people?" he asked.
"Oh, my poor Draco, your arm!" Pansy moaned.
Malfoy looked down to see blood staining his robes, soaking through to the Backstreet Boys T-shirt he wore underneath."What? Its only a scratch."
"A scratch? Your arms off!" Pansy shrieked hysterically.
Malfoy shook his head. "No it isnt."
Blood was spurting from the stump at regular intervals and pooling on the ground.
"Well, whats that, then?" she cried, pointing to his arm on the ground.
Malfoys gaze followed to the spot she indicated. He shrugged. "Ive had worse."
"Draco!" Pansy shrieked again.
"What? Its only a flesh-wound!" Malfoy insisted.
Next to Harry, Ron had been watching the exchange with an expression of amusement. He glanced over at Harry. "You know, I almost hate to do this, but the plots lagging. We should have gotten to Defense Against the Dark Arts by now."
As Harry watched, Ron again withdrew the mysterious sheaf of parchment from his robes and calmly walked over to Malfoy.
"Believe me, mate, this is going to hurt me worse than it does you," he said apologetically.
"No, wait!" Malfoy protested, but he was too late. Ron hauled back and thwapped him upside the head with the thick roll of parchment again. Malfoys gaze clouded over as he looked down to where his arm lay on the ground in a pool of his blood. His screams split the air, and several of the students held their hands to their ears.
"Aaaah! Im dying! Look at me, its killed me!" he whimpered.
Hermione, who had been checking her makeup in a small mirror, stepped forward. "Hagrid, you DO know you need to take Malfoy to the hospital wing, dont you?" she announced.
"Im so glad youre here to inform me of these things, Hermione. Why, I mightve let him lay there and bleed to death if it werent for you," Hagrid replied sarcastically.
He kneeled down and lifted Malfoy into his arms, then indicated the severed arm with a nod of his head. "Ron, grab that and bring it along, would you?"
Ron rolled his eyes but he walked over to the limb and picked it up by the thumb, holding it gingerly away from his body as he and Harry followed Hagrid. As they began walking towards the castle, Harry could hear Malfoy griping the entire way.
"You and your bloody chicken. Ill have you fired for this. My father is close personal friends with both the Minister of Magic AND Colonel Sanders!"