Charlie went to Hagrid first thing after his first Care of Magical Creatures class. He just knew Hagrid would understand. His classmates had liked the lesson well enough, but no one had quite shared his enthusiasm.
Charlie knocked on Hagrid’s door, and if his impatience was any indication, he might have knocked it down if it wasn’t for the fact that it was a rather sturdy door, and he a mere third-year student.
“Come on, Hagrid, open up!” he said under his breath.
When his knocks went ignored for another two minutes, he leaped from the threshold and went around the hut. A smirk grew on his face when he saw the giant figure he had been looking for traipsing through the pumpkin patch, wielding an insecticide gun and humming tunelessly to himself.
“Hagrid!” he yelled, finally catching the gamekeeper’s attention.
“Charlie! I didn’t even hear ya come!” Hagrid returned the greeting. When he offered Charlie a spot of tea with home-made cookies, Charlie declined wholeheartedly. He’d rather help out with the insect control, anyway.
He had always liked helping Hagrid out; the corrals und pens behind Hagrid’s hut, just a few hundred metres from the Forbidden Forest, holding an inordinate appeal for him. It was actually the gamekeeper who tended to the creatures, while the lessons were given by Professor Kettleburn. Many thought the giant man to be strange and queer, but Charlie didn’t share that opinion. Hagrid had a heart of gold, and Charlie found his tales fascinating.
They had touched upon dark creatures in Defence Against the Dark Arts, of course, but would only learn about them in more detail this year. And of course he’d seen the Giant Squid in the lake, and growing up in the Burrow, he had had to degnome the garden countless time, but apart from that, the only magical creatures he had had contact with were the rather elderly family owl and Percy’s rat. Although he strongly debated that, but his brother would not be swayed. Charlie had never known anything like Hogwarts. He only knew he’d always been interested all creatures big and small around the Burrow, and thus had been rather excited for this particular new class.
As Hagrid and Charlie worked through the rows of pumpkins, Charlie chatted excitedly about his new favourite subject.
Professor Kettleburn had led them to the area behind the gamekeepers hut. Charlie could see numerous fires in a pen, and several of his class mates had called out in panic when they could see small bodies in the flames.
“This, third years, are fire salamanders. We’re going to learn about them in your first lesson. If you’re afraid to make your hands dirty, this is not the class for you. We will be working with living beings / beasts here, which means you get instant feedback on whether you did something right or not. Most of the time,” Professor Kettleburn launched the class, before introducing himself.
“Alright, Muggle salamanders are amphibians. But we are going to talk about magical salamanders. They are lizards that dwell in fire and feed on flames. They are born out of fire, and need it to survive. Their blood has regenerative and curative properties, you see, and as they are very useful creatures, you will learn about them in other classes as well. Salamanders can be blue or red, depending on the heat of the flames. Their life cycle is connected to the flames that spawned them.
Now, I want to show you how to approach them and care for them. Who wants to try their luck first? Yes, Mr …?”
“Weasley, Charlie Weasley,” he said, stepping forward eagerly.
“Now, Mr Weasley, what you will be doing is this …”
“It is so wicked!” Charlie exclaimed. “This is definitely my new favourite subject. I don’t even know if I like this more, or Quidditch.” He couldn’t wait to learn more. He had an essay for McGonagall, still left untouched, but he would rather raid the beasts section of the library again. It definitely held his interest better. Though, he’d had to talk to his dad before he ever said that out loud to his mother.
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