Monday, February 25, 2019

Chapter 6 Talons and Tea Leaves

When chevvy, Ron, and Hermi adept ente inflammation the grand H both(prenominal) for breakfast the next daytime, the show beat social function they proverb was flying dragon Malfoy, who go overmed to be entertaining a large group of Slytherins with a genuinely funny story. As they passed, Malfoy did a ridiculous impression of a voiced fail and thither was a roar of laughter.Ignore him, utter Hermi whiz, who was unspoiled behind b some other. reasonable ignore him, its non worth itHey, Potter shrill Pansy Parkinson, a Slytherin girl with a face ilk a pug. Potter The Dementors are coming, Potter Woooooooooo molest dropped into a seat at the Gryffindor table, next to George Weasley.New third-year course schedules, say George, passing indeed, over. Whats up with you, fire?Malfoy, give tongue to Ron, sitting rase on Georges other cheek and glaring over at the Slytherin table.George purported up in cartridge droper to inflict Malfoy pret hold rear ending to faint with terror again.That myopic git, he express calmly. He wasnt so cocky lead night when the Dementors were come out at our end of the tpelting. Came running into our compartment, didnt he, Fred?Nearly wet himself, utter Fred, with a contemptuous stare at Malfoy.I wasnt too beaming myself, state George. Theyre horrible liaisons, those Dementors crystalize of freeze your insides, dont they? utter Fred.You didnt pass tabu, though, did you? say elicit in a low voice.For jack clear up it, desolate, state George bracingly. Dad had to go out to Azkaban maven time, remember, Fred? And he say it was the thrash dress hed ever been, he came back tout ensemble weak and shakingThey suck the happiness out of a place, Dementors. Most of the pris hotshotrs go mad in there.Anyway, well see how happy Malfoy looks aft(prenominal)(prenominal) our offset printing Quidditch match, verbalise Fred. Gryffindor versus Slytherin, first game of the season, remember?The besides(p renominal) when time chevvy and Malfoy had faced distributively other in a Quidditch match, Malfoy had in spades come mangle worse. Feeling slightly more cheerful, rag helped himself to sausages and fry tomatoes.Hermione was examining her new schedule.Ooh, good, were starting near new subjects at once, she give tongue to happily.Hermione, verbalize Ron, grimace as he looked over her shoulder, theyve messed up your timetable. Look theyve got you down for intimately ten subjects a day. thither isnt abundant time.Ill manage. Ive fixed it all with prof McGonagall.But look, said Ron, laughing, see this morning? Nine oclock, prophecy. And lowneath, nine oclock, Muggle Studies. And Ron leaned side by side(predicate) to the timetable, disbelieving, look underneath that, Arithmancy, nine oclock. I mean, I crawl in youre good, Hermione, hardly no ones that good. Howre you supposed to be in triad syndicatees at one time?Dont be silly, said Hermione shortly. Of course I wont be in trinity partitioninges at once.Well then Pass the marmalade, said Hermione.But Oh, Ron, whats it to you if my timetables a bit full? Hermione snapped. I told you, Ive fixed it all with professor McGonagall.Just then, Hagrid entered the Great Hall. He was wearing his eagle-eyed moleskin overcoat and was absent-mindedly swinging a dead polecat from one enormous hand.All righ? he said eagerly, pausing on his way to the ply table. Yer in my firs ever lesson flop after lunch Bin up since five laborting everthin readyhope its OKme, a tea leafcherhoneslyHe grinned broadly at them and headed glum to the staff table, distillery swinging the polecat.Wonder what hes been trainting ready? said Ron, a note of anxiety in his voice.The Hall was starting to assoil as people headed finish towards their first lesson. Ron checked his schedule.Wed better go, look, Divinations at the fall of conglutination Tower. Itll ware us ten minutes to get thereThey finished breakfast h astily, said goodbye to Fred and George and walked back through the hall. As they passed the Slytherin table, Malfoy did yet another impression of a fainting fit. The shouts of laughter followed devil into the hitch Hall.The journey through the castle to North Tower was a prospicient one. Two years at Hogwarts hadnt taught them everything roughly the castle, and they had never been inside North Tower before.thithers got to be a short cut, Ron panted, as they climbed the s levelth desire measurecase and emerged on an unfamiliar landing, where there was zipper but a large painting of a bare stretch of grass hanging on the stone wall.I conceptualize its this way, said Hermione, peering down the empty passage to the right.Cant be, said Ron. Thats south. Look, you can see a bit of the lake re move the window fire was watching the painting. A fat, dappled-gray pony had mediocre ambled onto the grass and was grazing nonchalantly. Harry was utilise to the subjects of Hogwa rts paintings moving slightly and go away their frames to visit each other, but he always enjoyed watching them. A moment later, a short, squat knight in a compositors case of armour had clanked into the picture after his pony. By the look of the grass stains on his metal knees, he had exactly fallen off.Aha he yelled, seeing Harry, Ron and Hermione. What villains are these, that trespass upon my private lands moldinesser up to scorn at my fall, perchance? Draw, you knaves, you dogsThey watched in astonishment as the pocket-size knight tugged his sword out of its scabbard and began brandishing it violently, hopping up and down in rage. But the sword was too long for him a particularly wild swing made him overbalance, and he landed facedown in the grass.Are you all right? said Harry, moving closer to the picture. let back, you scurvy braggart Back, you rogueThe knight seized his sword again and used it to push himself back up, but the blade sank loggerheadedly into the grass a nd, though he pulled with all his might, he couldnt get it out again. Finally, he had to bomb back down onto the grass and push up his visor to disinfect his sw eat face.Listen, said Harry, taking advantage of the knights exhaustion, were looking for the North Tower. You dont k in a nictation the way, do you?A quest The knights rage seemed to vanish instantly. He clanked to his feet and shouted, Come follow me, dear friends, and we shall find our goal, or else shall perish bravely in the chargeHe gave the sword another fruitless tug, tried and failed to get into the fat pony, gave up, and cried, On foot then, good sirs and gentle lady On OnAnd he ran, clanking loudly, into the leftfield side of the frame and out of sight.They hurried after him along the corridor, following the sound of his armor. Every directly and then they spotted him running through a picture ahead.Be of stout heart, the worst is yet to come yelled the knight, and they maxim him appear in front of an alar med group of women in crinolines, whose picture hung on the wall of a narrow spiral staircase.Puffing loudly, Harry, Ron, and Hermione climbed the tightly helical stairs, getting dizzier and dizzier, until at last they hear the murmur of voices above them and knew they had reached the crystalizeroom. valedictory cried the knight, popping his head into a painting of some sinister-looking monks. Farewell, my comrades-in-arms If ever you carry need of noble heart and steely sinew, call upon Sir CadoganYeah, well call you, muttered Ron as the knight disappeared, if we ever need someone mental.They climbed the last few steps and emerged onto a tiny landing, where intimately of the divide was already assembled. there were no doors off this landing, but Ron nudged Harry and pointed at the ceiling, where there was a rotary trapdoor with a brass plaque on it.Sibyll Trelawney, Divination teacher, Harry read. Howre we supposed to get up there?As though in service to his question, the trapdoor short undefendableed, and a silvery ladder descended right at Harrys feet. Everyone got tranquillize. later on you, said Ron, grinning, so Harry climbed the ladder first.He emerged into the strangest-looking partroom he had ever seen. In concomitant, it didnt look resembling a partroom at all, more like a crossbreed between someones attic and an ex tea shop. At least twenty small, circular tables were crammed inside it, all surrounded by chintz arm conduces and fat little poufs. Everything was lit with a dim, ruddy light the curtains at the windows were all closed, and the many lamps were draped with minatory red scarves. It was stiflingly warm, and the push aside that was burning under the displace mantelpiece was giving off a heavy, sickly severalise of perfume as it heated a large copper kettle. The shelves running provided about the circular walls were crammed with dusty-looking feathers, stubs of candles, many packs of worn playing cards, countless sil very crystal balls, and a grand commence of teacupfuls.Ron appeared at Harrys shoulder as the class assembled around them, all public lecture in whispers.Where is she? Ron said.A voice came unawares out of the shadows, a soft, blurred sort of voice.Welcome, it said. How nice to see you in the physical world at last.Harrys immediate impression was of a large, glittering insect. professor Trelawney moved into the firelight, and they aphorism that she was very thin her large glasses magnified her eyes to several(prenominal) times their natural size, and she was draped in a gauzy glitter shawl. Innumerable durance and beads hung around her spindly neck, and her arms and work force were encrusted with bangles and rings.Sit, my children, sit, she said, and they all climbed awkwardly into armchairs or sank onto poufs. Harry, Ron, and Hermione sat themselves around the equivalent round table.Welcome to Divination, said Professor Trelawney, who had seated herself in a winged armc hair in front of the fire. My name is Professor Trelawney. You may not watch seen me before. I find that descending too often into the undulate and bustle of the main school clouds my Inner Eye.Nobody said anything to this ungodly pronouncement. Professor Trelawney delicately rearranged her shawl and continued, So you have chosen to study Divination, the most difficult of all magical arts. I must warn you at the outset that if you do not have the Sight, there is very little I result be able to teach youBooks can take you only so far in this fieldAt these words, twain Harry and Ron descryd, grinning, at Hermione, who looked startled at the news that books wouldnt be a large deal help in this subject.Many witches and wizards, talented though they are in the area of loud bangs and smells and sudden disappearings, are yet unable to propagate the veiled mysteries of the future, Professor Trelawney went on, her enormous, gleaming eyes moving from face to neuronal face. It is a G ift granted to few. You, male child, she said suddenly to Neville, who almost toppled off his pouf. Is your grandmother well?I opine so, said Neville tremulously.I wouldnt be so sure if I were you, dear, said Professor Trelawney, the firelight glinting on her long emerald earrings. Neville gulped. Professor Trelawney continued placidly. We will be covering the staple fiber methods of Divination this year. The first term will be devoted to meter reading the tea leaves. Next term we shall progress to palmistry. By the way, my dear, she shot suddenly at Parvati pukeil, beware a red-haired man.Parvati gave a startled look at Ron, who was right behind her and bump intod her chair away from him.In the punt term, Professor Trelawney went on, we shall progress to the crystal ball if we have finished with fire omens, that is. Unfortunately, classes will be disrupted in February by a cheating(a) bout of flu. I myself will lose my voice. And around Easter, one of our estimate will le ave us for ever.A very tense be quiet followed this pronouncement, but Professor Trelawney seemed unaware of it.I wonder, dear, she said to lilac brownish, who was warm and shrank back in her chair, if you could pass me the largest silver teapot? chromatic, looking relieved, stood up, took an enormous teapot from the shelf, and mark it down on the table in front of Professor Trelawney. take a leak thanks you, my dear. Incidentally, that thing you are dreading it will happen on Friday the sixsometeenth of October.lilac trembled.Now, I want you all to divide into pairs. Collect a teacup from the shelf, come to me, and I will fill it. Then sit down and drink, drink until only the dregs remain. Swill these around the cup three times with the left hand, then turn the cup upside down on its saucer, waitress for the last of the tea to drain away, then give your cup to your partner to read. You will interpret the patterns using pages five and six of Unfogging the Future. I shall mov e among you, helping and instructing. Oh, and dear, she caught Neville by the arm as he made to stand up, after youve broken your first cup, would you be so kind as to select one of the blue patterned ones? Im kinda attached to the pink.Sure enough, Neville had no sooner reached the shelf of teacups when there was a tink of fracture china. Professor Trelawney swept over to him holding a dustpan and brush and said, One of the blue ones, then, dear, if you wouldnt mindthank youWhen Harry and Ron had had their teacups filled, they went back to their table and tried to drink the scalding tea quickly. They swilled the dregs around as Professor Trelawney had instructed, then drained the cups and swapped over.Right, said Ron as they twain opened their books at pages five and six. What can you see in mine?A load of soggy brown stuff, said Harry. The heavily perfume smoke in the room was making him feel sleepy and stupid. branch out your minds, my dears, and allow your eyes to see byp ast the mundane Professor Trelawney cried through the gloom.Harry tried to pull himself unneurotic.Right, youve got a crooked sort of cross He consulted Unfogging the Future. That means youre passage to have trials and suffering sorry about that but theres a thing that could be the sun. Hang onthat means great happinessso youre going to suffer but be very happyYou need your Inner Eye tested, if you ask me, said Ron, and they both had to deaden their laughs as Professor Trelawney gazed in their kick.My turn Ron peered into Harrys teacup, his forehead wrinkled with effort. theres a blob a bit like a bowler hat, he said. Maybe youre going to work for the Ministry of MagicHe off-key the teacup the other way up.But this way it looks more like an acornwhats that? He scanned his copy of Unfogging the Future. A windfall, unexpected gold. Excellent, you can lend me some. And theres a thing here, he turned the cup again, that looks like an animalyeah, if that was its headit looks like a hippono, a sheepProfessor Trelawney whirled around as Harry let out a snort of laughter.Let me see that, my dear, she said reprovingly to Ron, sweeping over and snatching Harrys cup from him. Everyone went quiet to watch.Professor Trelawney was utter(a) into the teacup, rotating it counterclockwise.The falconmy dear, you have a deadly enemy.But everyone knows that, said Hermione in a loud whisper. Professor Trelawney stared at her.Well, they do, said Hermione. Everybody knows about Harry and You-Know-Who.Harry and Ron stared at her with a mixture of amazement and admiration. They had never hear Hermione speak to a teacher like that before. Professor Trelawney chose not to reply. She take down her huge eyes to Harrys cup again and continued to turn it.The floor showan attack. Dear, dear, this is not a happy cupI thought that was a bowler hat, said Ron sheepishly.The skulldanger in your path, my dearEveryone was staring, transfixed, at Professor Trelawney, who gave the cup a fi nal turn, gasped, and then addressed.There was another tinkle of breaking china Neville had smashed his second cup. Professor Trelawney sank into a idle armchair, her glittering hand at her heart and her eyes closed.My dear boy my poor dear boy no it is kinder not to say no dont ask me.What is it, Professor? said Dean Thomas at once. Everyone had got to their feet, and easy they crowded around Harry and Rons table, pressing close to Professor Trelawneys chair to get a good look at Harrys cup.My dear, Professor Trelawneys huge eyes opened dramatically, you have the Grim.The what? said Harry.He could tell that he wasnt the only one who didnt understand Dean Thomas shrugged at him and Lavender Brown looked puzzled, but nearly everybody else clapped their manpower to their mouths in horror.The Grim, my dear, the Grim cried Professor Trelawney, who looked shocked that Harry hadnt understood. The giant star, spectral dog that haunts churchyards My dear boy, it is an omen the wor st omen of stopping pointHarrys stomach lurched. That dog on the cover of finish Omens in Flourish and Blotts the dog in the shadows of Magnolia CrescentLavender Brown clapped her hands to her mouth too. Everyone was looking at Harry, everyone except Hermione, who had gotten up and moved around to the back of Professor Trelawneys chair.I dont think it looks like a Grim, she said flatly.Professor Trelawney surveyed Hermione with mounting dislike.Youll forgive me for saying so, my dear, but I perceive very little aura around you. real little receptivity to the resonances of the future.Seamus Finnigan was tilting his head from side to side.It looks like a Grim if you do this, he said, with his eyes almost leave off, but it looks more like a donkey from here, he said, leaning to the left.When youve all finished deciding whether Im going to die or not said Harry, taking even himself by surprise. Now nobody seemed to want to look at him.I think we will leave the lesson here for toda y, said Professor Trelawney in her mistiest voice. Yesenthral pack away your thingsSilently the class took their teacups back to Professor Trelawney, packed away their books, and closed their radicals. Even Ron was avoiding Harrys eyes.Until we meet again, said Professor Trelawney faintly, circus fortune be yours. Oh, and dear, she pointed at Neville, youll be late next time, so mind you work extra-hard to catch up.Harry, Ron, and Hermione descended Professor Trelawneys ladder and the winding stair in silence, then set off for Professor McGonagalls Transfiguration lesson. It took them so long to find her classroom that, early as they had left Divination, they were only just in time.Harry chose a seat right at the back of the room, feeling as though he were sitting in a very bright spotlight the rest of the class kept shooting furtive glances at him, as though he were about to drop dead at any moment. He hardly heard what Professor McGonagall was telling them about Animagi (wiza rds who could transform at will into animals), and wasnt even watching when she transformed herself in front of their eyes into a fag cat with spectacle markings around her eyes.Really, what has got into you all today? said Professor McGonagall, spell back into herself with a faint pop, and staring around at them all. not that it matters, but thats the first time my transformations not got applause from a class.Everybodys heads turned toward Harry again, but nobody spoke. Then Hermione raised her hand.Please, Professor, weve just had our first Divination class, and we were reading the tea leaves, and Ah, of course, said Professor McGonagall, suddenly frowning. There is no need to say any more, Miss Granger. Tell me, which of you will be dying this year?Everyone stared at her.Me, said Harry, finally.I see, said Professor McGonagall, fixing Harry with her beady eyes. Then you should know, Potter, that Sibyll Trelawney has predicted the death of one student a year since she arrived a t this school. None of them has died yet. Seeing death omens is her favorite way of greeting a new class. If it were not for the fact that I never speak ill of my colleagues Professor McGonagall broke off, and they saw that her nostrils had gone white. She went on, more calmly, Divination is one of the most imprecise branches of magic. I shall not conceal from you that I have very little industry with it. True Seers are very rare, and Professor TrelawneyShe stopped again, and then said, in a very matter-of-fact tone, You look in excellent wellness to me, Potter, so you will excuse me if I dont let you off preparation today. I assure you that if you die, you need not hand it in.Hermione laughed. Harry matte a bit better. It was harder to feel scared of a lump of tea leaves away from the dim red light and befuddling perfume of Professor Trelawneys classroom. not everyone was convinced, however. Ron still looked worried, and Lavender whispered, But what about Nevilles cup?When the Transfiguration class had finished, they joined the crowd thundering toward the Great Hall for lunch.Ron, cheer up, said Hermione, pushing a dish of hatch toward him. You heard what Professor McGonagall said.Ron spooned stew onto his plate and picked up his fork but didnt start.Harry, he said, in a low, serious voice, You havent seen a great black dog anywhere, have you?Yeah, I have, said Harry. I saw one the night I left the Dursleys.Ron let his fork fall with a clatter.Probably a stray, said Hermione calmly.Ron looked at Hermione as though she had gone mad.Hermione, if Harrys seen a Grim, thats thats bad, he said. My my uncle Bilius saw one and and he died twenty-four hours laterCoincidence, said Hermione airily, pouring herself some pumpkin juice.You dont know what youre talking about said Ron, starting to get angry. Grims scare the living daylights out of most wizardsThere you are, then, said Hermione in a superior tone. They see the Grim and die of fright. The Grims not an omen, its the incur of death And Harrys still with us because hes not stupid enough to see one and think, right, well, Id better kick the bucket thenRon mouthed wordlessly at Hermione, who opened her bag, took out her new Arithmancy book, and propped it open against the juice jug.I think Divination seems very woolly, she said, searching for her page. A lot of guesswork, if you ask me.There was nothing woolly about the Grim in that cup said Ron hotly.You didnt seem quite so confident when you were telling Harry it was a sheep, said Hermione coolly.Professor Trelawney said you didnt have the right aura You just dont like being bad at something for a changeHe had touched a nerve. Hermione slammed her Arithmancy book down on the table so hard that bits of meat and carrot flew everywhere.If being good at Divination means I have to pretend to see death omens in a lump of tea leaves, Im not sure Ill be examine it overmuch longer That lesson was absolute rubbish compared with my Arithman cy classShe snatched up her bag and stalked away.Ron frowned after her.Whats she talking about? he said to Harry. She hasnt been to an Arithmancy class yet.******Harry was pleased to get out of the castle after lunch. Yesterdays rain had cleared the sky was a clear, pale gray, and the grass was springy and pall underfoot as they set off for their first ever cover of Magical Creatures class.Ron and Hermione werent speaking to each other. Harry walked beside them in silence as they went down the sloping lawns to Hagrids hut on the edge of the Forbidden Forest. It was only when he spotted three only-too-familiar backs ahead of them that he realized they must be having these lessons with the Slytherins. Malfoy was talking animatedly to Crabbe and Goyle, who were chortling. Harry was quite sure he knew what they were talking about.Hagrid was waiting for his class at the door of his hut. He stood in his moleskin overcoat, with Fang the boarhound at his heels, looking impatient to start. Cmon, now, get a move on he called as the class approached. Got a real treat for yeh today Great lesson comin up Everyone here? Right, follow meFor one nasty moment, Harry thought that Hagrid was going to lead them into the forest Harry had had enough dour experiences in there to last him a lifetime. However, Hagrid strolled off around the edge of the trees, and five minutes later, they found themselves outside a kind of paddock. There was nothing in there.Everyone gather round the fence here he called. Thats it confound sure yeh can see now, firs thing yehll want ter do is open yer books How? said the cold, drawling voice of Draco Malfoy.Eh? said Hagrid.How do we open our books? Malfoy repeated. He took out his copy of The Monster Book of Monsters, which he had bound chuck out with a length of rope. Other people took theirs out too some, like Harry, had belted their book shut others had crammed them inside tight bags or clamped them together with binder clips.Hasn hasn anyone bin able ter open their books? said Hagrid, looking crestfallen.The class all shook their heads.Yehve got ter stroke em, said Hagrid, as though this was the most obvious thing in the world. Look He took Hermiones copy and ripped off the Spellotape that bound it. The book tried to bite, but Hagrid ran a giant index down its spine, and the book shivered, and then feral open and lay quiet in his hand.Oh, how silly weve all been Malfoy sneered. We should have stroked them Why didnt we guessI I thought they were funny, Hagrid said uncertainly to Hermione.Oh, tre set upously funny said Malfoy. Really witty, giving us books that try and rip our hands offShut up, Malfoy, said Harry quietly. Hagrid was looking downcast and Harry wanted Hagrids first lesson to be a success.Righ then, said Hagrid, who seemed to have lost his thread, so so yehve got yer books anannow yeh need the Magical Creatures. Yeah. So Ill go an get em. Hang onHe strode away from them into the forest and out of sight .God, this place is going to the dogs, said Malfoy loudly. That oaf teaching classes, my fatherll have a fit when I tell him Shut up, Malfoy, Harry repeated.Careful, Potter, theres a Dementor behind you Oooooooh squealed Lavender Brown, pointing toward the opposite side of the paddock.Trotting toward them were a dozen of the most bizarre creatures Harry had ever seen. They had the bodies, hind legs, and tails of horses, but the front legs, wing, and heads of what seemed to be giant eagles, with cruel, steel-colored bank notes and large, brilliantly, orange eyes. The talons on their front legs were half(a) a foot long and deadly looking. Each of the beasts had a thick leather collar around its neck, which was attached to a long chain, and the ends of all of these were held in the vast hands of Hagrid, who came jogging into the paddock behind the creatures.Gee up, there he roared, shaking the chains and urging the creatures toward the fence where the class stood. Everyone drew back slightly as Hagrid reached them and tethered the creatures to the fence.Hippogriffs Hagrid roared happily, waving a hand at them. Beauiful, aren they?Harry could sort of see what Hagrid meant. Once you got over the first shock of seeing something that was half horse, half bird, you started to appreciate the Hippogriffs gleaming coats, changing smoothly from feather to hair, each of them a different color stormy gray, bronze, pinkish roan, gleaming chestnut, and achromatic black.So, said Hagrid, rubbing his hands together and beaming around, if yeh wan ter come a bit nearerNo one seemed to want to. Harry, Ron, and Hermione, however, approached the fence cautiously.Now, firs thing yeh gotta know abou Hippogriffs is, theyre proud, said Hagrid. Easily offended, Hippogriffs are. Dont never insult one, cause it might be the last thing yeh do.Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle werent listening they were talking in an undertone and Harry had a nasty feeling they were plotting how best to disrupt t he lesson.Yeh always wait fer the Hippogriff ter make the firs move, Hagrid continued. Its polite, see? Yeh walk toward him, and yeh bow, an yeh wait. If he bows back, yehre allowed ter touch him. If he doesn bow, then get away from him sharpish, cause those talons hurt.Right who wants ter go first?Most of the class backed farther away in answer. Even Harry, Ron, and Hermione had misgivings. The Hippogriffs were tossing their fierce heads and flexing their sizable fly they didnt seem to like being tethered like this.No one? said Hagrid, with a pleading look.Ill do it, said Harry.There was an intake of breath from behind him, and both Lavender and Parvati whispered, Oooh, no, Harry, remember your tea leavesHarry ignored them. He climbed over the paddock fence.Good man, Harry roared Hagrid. Right then lets see how yeh get on with Buckbeak.He untied one of the chains, pulled the gray Hippogriff away from its fellows, and slipped off its leather collar. The class on the other side of the paddock seemed to be holding its breath. Malfoys eyes were narrowed maliciously.Easy now, Harry, said Hagrid quietly. Yehve got eye contact, now try not ter flashHippogriffs don trust yeh if yeh blink too muchHarrys eyes immediately began to water, but he didnt shut them. Buckbeak had turned his great, sharp head and was staring at Harry with one fierce orange eye. Thas it, said Hagrid. Thas it, Harrynow, bow.Harry didnt feel much like exposing the back of his neck to Buckbeak, but he did as he was told. He gave a short bow and then looked up.The Hippogriff was still staring haughtily at him. It didnt move.Ah, said Hagrid, sounding worried. Right back away, now, Harry, easy does it But then, to Harrys enormous surprise, the Hippogriff suddenly bent its scaly front knees and sank into what wasan unornamented bow.Well done, Harry said Hagrid, ecstatic. Right yeh can touch him Pat his beak, go onFeeling that a better reward would have been to back away, Harry moved slowly towa rd the Hippogriff and reached out toward it. He patted the beak several times and the Hippogriff closed its eyes lazily, as though enjoying it.The class broke into applause, all except for Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle, who were looking deeply disappointed.Righ then, Harry, said Hagrid. I reckon he migh let yeh ride himThis was more than Harry had bargained for. He was used to a broomstick but he wasnt sure a Hippogriff would be quite the same.Yeh climb up there, jus behind the wing joint, said Hagrid, an mind yeh don pull any of his feathers out, he won like thatHarry deposit his foot on the top of Buckbeaks wing and hoisted himself onto its back. Buckbeak stood up. Harry wasnt sure where to hold on everything in front of him was covered with feathers.Go on, then roared Hagrid, slapping the Hippogriffs hindquarters.Without warning, twelve-foot wings flapped open on either side of Harry, he just had time to seize the Hippogriff around the neck before he was soaring upward. It was nothi ng like a broomstick, and Harry knew which one he preferred the Hippogriffs wings beat uncomfortably on either side of him, catching him under his legs and making him feel he was about to be thrown off the glossy feathers slipped under his fingers and he didnt dare get a stronger manage instead of the smooth action of his Nimbus Two Thousand, he now felt himself rocking backward and forward as the hindquarters of the Hippogriff rose and fell with its wings.Buckbeak flew him once around the paddock and then headed back to the ground this was the bit Harry had been dreading he leaned back as the smooth neck lowered, feeling he was going to slip off over the beak, then felt a heavy thud as the four ill-assorted feet hit the ground. He just managed to hold on and push himself straight again.Good work, Harry roared Hagrid as everyone except Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle cheered. Okay, who else wants a go?Emboldened by Harrys success, the rest of the class climbed cautiously into the paddock . Hagrid untied the Hippogriffs one by one, and soon people were arciform nervously, all over the paddock. Neville ran repeatedly backward from his, which didnt seem to want to fend off its knees. Ron and Hermione practiced on the chestnut, while Harry watched.Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle had taken over Buckbeak. He had bowed to Malfoy, who was now patting his beak, looking disdainful.This is very easy, Malfoy drawled, loud enough for Harry to, hear him. I knew it must have been, if Potter could do itI bet youre not dangerous at all, are you? he said to the Hippogriff. Are you, you great ugly brute?It happened in a flash of steely talons Malfoy let out a high pitched scream and next moment, Hagrid was wrestling Buckbeak back into his collar as he heavy to get at Malfoy, who lay curled in the grass, blood peak over his robes.Im dying Malfoy yelled as the class panicked. Im dying, look at me Its killed meYer not dyin said Hagrid, who had gone very white. Someone help me gotta get hi m outta here Hermione ran to hold open the gate as Hagrid lifted Malfoy easily. As they passed, Harry saw that there was a long, deep gash on Malfoys arm blood splattered the grass and Hagrid ran with him, up the slope toward the castle.Very shaken, the Care of Magical Creatures class followed at a walk. The Slytherins were all yelling about Hagrid.They should sack him straight away said Pansy Parkinson, who was in tears.It was Malfoys fault snapped Dean Thomas. Crabbe and Goyle flexed their muscles threateningly.They all climbed the stone steps into the deserted overtake hall.Im going to see if hes okay said Pansy, and they all watched her run up the marble staircase. The Slytherins, still muttering about Hagrid, headed away in the direction of their dungeon common room Harry, Ron, and Hermione proceeded upstairs to Gryffindor Tower.You think hell be all right? said Hermione nervously.Course he will. Madam Pomfrey can mend cuts in about a second, said Harry, who had had far worse injuries mended magically by the nurse.That was a authentically bad thing to happen in Hagrids first class, though, wasnt it? said Ron, looking worried. Trust Malfoy to mess things up for himThey were among the first to reach the Great Hall at dinnertime, hoping to see Hagrid, but he wasnt there.They wouldnt fire him, would they? said Hermione anxiously, not touching her steak-and-kidney pudding.Theyd better not, said Ron, who wasnt eating either.Harry was watching the Slytherin table. A large group including Crabbe and Goyle was huddled together, deep in conversation. Harry was sure they were cooking up their own sport of how Malfoy had been injured.Well, you cant say it wasnt an interesting first day back, said Ron gloomily.They went up to the crowded Gryffindor common room after dinner and tried to do the planning Professor McGonagall had given them, but all three of them kept breaking off and glancing out of the tower window.Theres a light on in Hagrids window, Harry said su ddenly.Ron looked at his watch.If we hurried, we could go down and see him. Its still quite earlyI dont know, Hermione said slowly, and Harry saw her glance at him.Im allowed to walk across the grounds, he said pointedly. Sirius Black hasnt got past the Dementors yet, has he?So they put their things away and headed out of the portrait hole, delightful to meet nobody on their way to the front doors, as they werent simply sure they were supposed to be out.The grass was still wet and looked almost black in the twilight. When they reached Hagrids hut, they knocked, and a voice growled, Cmin.Hagrid was sitting in his shirtsleeves at his scrubbed wooden table his boarhound, Fang, had his head in Hagrids lap. One look told them that Hagrid had been drinking a lot there was a pewter tankard almost as big as a bucket in front of him, and he seemed to be having difficulty getting them into focus.Spect its a record, he said thickly, when he recognized them. Don reckon theyve ever had a teach er who lasted ony a day before.You havent been fired, Hagrid gasped Hermione.Not yet, said Hagrid miserably, taking a huge gulp of any(prenominal) was in the tankard. Buts only a matter o time, Int, after MalfoyHow is he? said Ron as they all sat down. It wasnt serious, was it?Madam Pomfrey fixed him best she could, said Hagrid dully, but hes sayin its still agonycovered in bandagesmoaninHes faking it, said Harry at once. Madam Pomfrey can mend anything. She regrew half my bones last year. Trust Malfoy to milk it for all its worth.School govnors have bin told, o course, said Hagrid miserably. They reckon I started too big. Shoulda left Hippogriffs fer laterone flobberworms or summatJus thought itd make a good firs lessons all my faultIts all Malfoys fault, Hagrid said Hermione earnestly.Were witnesses, said Harry. You said Hippogriffs attack if you insult them. Its Malfoys problem that he wasnt listening. Well tell Dumbledore what really happened.Yeah, dont worry, Hagrid, well back you up, said Ron.Tears leaked out of the scrunch up corners of Hagrids beetle-black eyes. He grabbed both Harry and Ron and pulled them into a bone-breaking hug.I think youve had enough to drink, Hagrid, said Hermione firmly. She took the tankard from the table and went outside to empty it.Ah, maybe shes right, said Hagrid, permit go of Harry and Ron, who both staggered away, rubbing their ribs. Hagrid heaved himself out of his chair and followed Hermione unsteadily outside. They heard a loud splash.Whats he done? said Harry nervously as Hermione came back in with the empty tankard.Stuck his head in the water barrel, said Hermione, putting the tankard away.Hagrid came back, his long hair and beard dripping wet, wiping the water out of his eyes.Thats better, he said, shaking his head like a dog and drenching them all. Listen, it was good of yeh ter come an see me, I really Hagrid stopped dead, staring at Harry as though hed only just realized he was there.WHAT DYEH THINK YOURE DOI N, EH? he roared, so suddenly that they jumped a foot in the air. YEHRE NOT TO GO WANDERIN AROUND later on DARK, HARRY AN, YOU TWO LETTIN HIMHagrid strode over to Harry, grabbed his arm, and pulled him to the door.Cmon Hagrid said angrily. Im takin yer all back up ter school an don let me catch yeh walkin down ter see me after dark again. Im not worth that

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