Chapter 2 : In Hagrid's Hands
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A small sleeping baby.
Harry Potter fitted in the giant palm of one of Hagrid’s huge hands, the little bundle of blankets snuggled in tightly against his fingers.
Rubeus Hagrid had always been big, right from the start.
Not big, as in tallest of the class big. That was normal big.
Big, as in, the tallest of tall.
Tallest of the school. And believe me, being taller than your headmaster was not something you'd want to experiece in your life.
And all his life, Rubeus Hagrid had wanted to be smaller. Not as small as Flitwick, but as small as Dumbledore who was indeed a bit above average for his height. Hagrid wanted to be as tall as a normal person - he used to dream of shrinking as a boy.
All the shrinking potions he’d tried had failed on him - in the right hands, they might’ve succeeded - but in these massive clumsy hands not one of the potions worked.
Hagrid tugged his billowing cloak closer around him, the folds of biting wind ruffling his hair, and shaking the broad curls of his black beard.
Even big people could feel the cold.
His hand fitted nicely over the handle of the motorbike, feet firmly footed on the tarmac, steamy goggles over his blinking eyes.
He had a duty to do for Dumbledore, the best possible head master of Hogwarts there had ever been and ever would be.
The best wizard of all time.
Hagrid was always amazed by the kindness and wiseness of Albus Dumbledore - if all the people that knew him and praised him were anything to go by. Not one person had spoken ill of Dumbledore, other than that disgusturous Malfoy. As Hagrid had constantly told Dumbledore, nobody that was worthy of opinion actually listened to Malfoy, or the codswallop that spilled out of his mouth. A salamander had a higher IQ than Mr. Malfoy, and was probably better looking too.
Now Hagrid, he mentally scorned himself. That’s fools talk - you’re not exactly a Unicorn yourself.
A pungent odour arose from his coat as the wind picked up, slapping him in the face with nipping nails and clawing like a wild grindylow at his bare skin. He took a timid sniff, scrunching up his nose in disgust.
And that coat doesn’t smell like one either, he chortled to himself. More like something that came out the rear end of a River Troll.
His fingers flexed over the handle bars, digging his mud-caked fingernails in to the begrudging plastic, and kicking the rearing motorbike in to life. The head lights glared down at the road, giving shouts of protest, as Hagrid clutched baby Harry to his chest with one hand and pressed down on the handlbar to sprint down the road in the other, taking off in a whirl wind of dust, in to the night sky.
If there was anybody who knew the importance of keeping small things safe, it was Hagrid. He'd had experience of that from a young age, to keep important things close to you, at all times.
Otherwise, all hell would break lose.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Flames flickered in his eyes, fury pounding through his chest in indignation, such burning hatred at the boy. Aragog was nothing but a caring creature! How could he even think to accuse such a sweet spider of such horrifying and unspeakable things? For a start, Aragog wasn’t capable of weaving a web, let alone opening the chamber of secrets.
Hagrid dreaded to think of what people would think of him if he was expelled - Dumbledore surely couldn’t let this happen? Not the kind head of Gryffindor that he knew.
In a way, Hagrid was pleased his father wasn’t alive to witness this - he couldn’t bear to think of the horror and shame he’d have to go through.
“You used dark magic, to open the chamber of secrets, didn’t you? And this...this thing,” Tom Riddle said with such disgust in his sneering voice, it made Hagrid’s heart race even more, if that was possible.
Boom-boom-boom went his giant heart in his chest, so loudly that he was surprised Tom couldn't hear it. He thought no one could make him angrier, no one could ever be this mean.
Hagrid clenched his fists, tears springing to his eyes.
“No I never!” He rose to his full height, towering over the boy, feeling more inclined than ever to stamp on him. “Aragog would never do that!”
Being big was useful in times like these. Though if there was one person in the whole world who didn't feel intimated by an abgry half-giant, it was Tom Marvolo Riddle.
Tom pointed his wand deliberately at the creature, his eyebrows knotted in to an outraged scowl at some scum being allowed in to his education. A jet of jade green fire spurted out the end, setting the room alight in flickering fire, sending Aragog scuttling away.
“Run, Aragog!” Hagrid called, his desperate voice echoing off the walls of the cupboard. There was a brief clatter of a mop on the floor as Aragog sprawled away from the brooms and the buckets.
More jinxes were hurled in his direction, leaving him with a narrow escape out the door and in to the castle.
Tom turned on Hagrid, his eyes dark with something deep and nasty, so malicious that it made Hagrid squirm inside his scuffed worn boots.
“I’ll get you for that!” He stuttered in a choked voice, wiping away the tears fiercely from his face.
“Is that a threat?” Tom inquired cooly, his face now paler than ever, making his dark eyes look like pools of murky water.
Hagrid shook his head, beyond words, beyond surging anger. This was still a prefect, he remembered with a painful jolt.
He wanted to just shrink in to his boots, fall until he was big enough to live inside his shoe.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The motor bike stuttered through the sky, chugging out a slow stream of grey mist in a trail behind it.
Harry’s eyes were tight shut, his tiny hand wrapped around one big sausage finger of Hagrid’s, his perfect breaths uttered from his triangle mouth in rhythmic time. Hagrid wouldn’t insult Harry by saying he’d want to be Harry now, because Harry must have so much sweltering sadness at his new-found orphanage, but Hagrid wouldn’t mind it if he was Harry. A blissful sleep in his mind, so small and innocent to life, a new life.
Yes, Hagrid would like that. Mind you, he wasn’t having a hard time of it at the minute, not quite soaring through the air but stumbling through it, on a mission for Dumbledore. His throat started to form a lump.
“Oh merlin, Rubeus you bumbling fool. Not the wa’er works again, ‘nd ‘all,” he cursed softly out loud, grip tightening around the bike and Harry as the bike climbed higher in to the sky.
His eyes were spiked with tears.
The bike let out a growl of reluctance, making Hagrid suck in his breath hastily and shoot Harry a fleeting glance. Seeing the one year old sleeping serenely, Hagrid exhaled slowly again, relief flooding his face.
He tilted his head back to look at the stars.
It was a clear night.
In his mind, he mentally mapped out the constillations.
There was the plough, easiest one to spot really, and then there was the North Star shining it’s slivers of delicious cool star light.
He could spot Sirius, the dog-star, from a mile off, and melancholy memories clouded his mind, ticking over in his head like an old projector film. One paticular memory seemed to jump out of him, he pondered to himself, probably conjured by the dog star.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“So here we are, really. ‘Ome sweet ‘ome.”
His gruff voice sounded more anxious than usual, as he gnawed at his lip in raw tension.
He’d never had any visitors to his Hut before - none bigger than a ferret, anyway.
Hagrid glanced down, to see the gormless blank expression on his visitor’s face, taking it that he wasn’t impressed.
“I know, I know, not exactly Bucking’am Palace. But it’s ‘ome - I only ‘ave it on a gamekeepers wage,” he said apoligetically, although there was no need to apoligise really.
The visitor looked at him with an expression that said: “Is that all you do?”
“I was ‘oping you could keep me company, see, the days can get so lonely,” Hagrid explained himself wistfully, shaking off his coat and hanging it off the bronze curve of his coat hook.
The visitor let a slow moan escape his lips, gazing up at Hagrid with an expression Hagrid couldn’t quite place. Hope? Sadness? No, that wasn’t it. The visitor turned it’s drooping head towards the oval oak table, and then back up at Hagrid’s round face, red cheeked from the cold.
“Oh,” Hagrid chuckled, striding over to the table and picking up the slab of raw lambs meat. He tossed it to the coal black blood hound, the sticky blood dribbling down his wrist and tickling his skin. The dog’s joules wobbled in anticipation, his lolling tongue licking around his thin black lips, and he pounced on the slab of lamb.
“Q’uite an appetite, you ‘ave there,” Hagrid told his new dog, sitting carefully down on his arm chair.
It sagged beneath him, the faded rich autumnal colours to a meek amber and yellow, the once fluffed up and padded cushion turned to something as comfortable as cardboard.
Right then, Hagrid couldn’t care less, as he admired his new beast attacking the meat.
“I know what I’ll call ‘ya, ‘ow about Fang, because you got a bi’e there,” Hagrid contemplated, his thick furry eyebrows raised.
Fang looked up, his canines deep in the slimy flesh of the meat, a bemused glint in his eye. It rather suited a ferocious guard dog; the name Fang. Fang seemed to approve anyway.
“Fang t’is then.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Hagrid was so close to each star, he felt he could reach up his hand and brush it.
Of course, he knew that they were glittering about a thousand light years away, and even if he set out to see them now he’d never reach them before he died.
But it was nice to imagine what a star felt like - a sliver of shining moonlight, a crumb of Heaven itself.
His hands weakened around the handle bars, his eyes turning to little Harry Potter once more.
Not for the first time in his life, Hagrid thought how small babies were, how small Harry was. How tiny and unimportant against the most evil wizard of all time. How could such a tiny creature reject He-who-must-not-be-named like that?
In his sleep, Harry smiled this small, secret smile, making his scar ripple slightly. Hagrid wondered how long the scar would take to fade, if it would ever fade. A constant reminder for him and He-who-must-not-be-named that Harry had defeated him.
So tiny, and yet so famous. He was a symbol of hope, for the people, that He-who-must-not-be-named could and would be defeated. Eventually. If He-who-must-not-be-named wasn’t dead already, and Dumbledore doubted he was.
Hagrid trusted Dumbledore’s opinion on this.
All of his life, Hagrid had felt so big and massive, to the point of where it was uncomfortable.
Now he felt small - against the backdrop of a starry night sky - clutching Harry Potter, The Boy who Lived.
In Hagrid’s hands, lay the duty of Dumbledore.
In Hagrid’s hands, lay Harry Potter.
A/N. Well I've finally updated this story! Lots of stuff, including good TV and being lazy, have stopped me from even considering writing another chapter, but here I have another one following the theme of being Big (not that the title's a clue or anything!)
I love Hagrid so so much - he's honestly so gentle - and I really think he doesn't get enough credit for being so valiant and brave! I hope you enjoyed this chapter, and please leave a review if you have time :)
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