Morna who had just left the greenhouse was headed by the lake to get back to the castle. She froze as she heard movement. The bushes to her left moved and she screamed a high pitched terrified sound, as she was frozen in place.
Hagrid blinked. Frowning deeply, the half-giant rose from the bushes. He stared at the girl, unblinking. Then, after a moment, Hagrid shrugged and turned back to the lake. Silly screaming girls...
Morna's scream died on her lips as the poor terrified girl fell to the ground in shock trying her best to hold off a faint.
At length, Hagrid glanced over his broad shoulder again. The girl was now lying on the ground. Odd place to take a nap... Hagrid studied Morna for a moment, before shoving his notebook into his fur coat and approaching the girl. "Ah, Mizz, are y'alrigh'?" Hagrid rumbled, with a thick West Country accent.
Morna looked up at him from the flat of her back. She blinked looking up and up and up. "I don't know." She replied.
Hagrid's brow crinkled. "How c'y'not know? Y'either know... or y'don'." It made sense to Hagrid... He shrugged his mighty shoulders, reaching a broad hand down to Morna. "A girl is more respec'able on her feet, than on her back, mizz." Again. Hagrid Logic.
Morna placed her shaking hand into his very large hand. "Thank you." She braced herself and struggled from the ground. "I know that." She snapped. "And in reference to how I am doing.. if you had just gone through what I did... and you know how you feel let me know." She tugged her hand from his.
If Morna expected a reaction, she had stumbled upon the wrong Gryffindor half-giant. Hagrid shrugged, drawing his notebook from his furs again. "Ever seen a kelpie, mizz?" muttered Hagrid, peering at the lake now.
"A kelpie?" Morna asked. "No I haven't, I have read about them, but
I have never seen one." She grinned. "Is that why you are out here?"
"Tha's what I said in m'journal," Hagrid pointed out, as if Morna should have read his journal. Creature sightings were very important, after all. "I think there's one o'them in 'ere." Towering over Morna, Hagrid eventually returned to crouching on the grass. He glanced at Morna, obviously preturbed that she was still standing (even though she was easily just as tall as Hagrid when he crouched so). "Sit down, mizz. Y'will scare th'kelpies!"
Morna bit back a grin. A kelpie? I could see a real kelpie? Still wary of the giant boy she dropped softly to her knees and peered to where he was looking.
Silence. After several long minutes, Hagrid glared at Morna again. "Y'smell funny, mizz -- what if th'kelpies don't show now, eh?" Hagrid whispered harshly, ruddy nose flaring. Sweat.
Morna gaped at Hagrid. "You smell funny too." She whispered back. She knew it was childish but it was the only insult she would throw at the larger person seated next to her.
Hagrid blinked. Lifting his arm, Hagrid sniffed his armpit. He didn't smell that funny... With a slightly puzzled, hurt look, the half-giant eyed Morna. "Do not," retorted Hagrid. Hmph. Childish.
He's going to kill me and eat me.. Morna rolled here eyes and sniffed her own shirt. Grimacing she sighed. "Its not my fault." She paused. "I'm sorry, that was horribly rude of me."
"S'not nice t'blame othahs," Hagrid pointed out gruffly, settling back down. He glanced to his left, noticing that the two branches which he had been using as camouflage had fallen. Grabbing one for himself, Hagrid shoved the other leafy branch at Morna. "Hide."
Morna growled softly, surprising herself. "It wasn't my fault." She hid behind the branch.
Hagrid frowned, looking at Morna as if she was nutters. "There y'go agin!
Blamin' othahs!" Hagrid grumbled, shaking his head and shoving the branch into the back of his fur jacket -- so the branch framed his tangled hair like a peacock's feathers.
"Augustus Rookwood, I am going to kill you." Morna muttered under her breath. Catching sight of Hagrid she barely contained the giggles.
Hagrid canted his head, catching something of Morna's words. "Fustin' bookworm?" The large student paused. "... y'goin' t'kill -me-?" Hagrid rumbled, surprised.
Morna shut her mouth with a snap. She shook her head frantically. Terrified out of her mind.
Hagrid seemed to recover quickly -- after a moment of studying Morna intently, the half-giant nodded good naturally and returned his gaze to the lake. "Kelpies like girls. P'haps y'might b'helpful aftahall."
"What-what would I have to do?"
"I'm sorry you have to be a little more specific." Morna said softly.
Hagrid frowned, apparently in deep thought for a moment. "Meh. I don' know. Err..." Bugger. Hagrid grunted. "Nevahmind."
"So what? Would it help if I sat by the lake?"
Hagrid glanced at Morna again, brow crinkled. "... Eh, go 'head," nodded the larger student.
"Your the expert." Morna whispered. "I just want to see a kelpie."
As they bickered (or rather, one grunted and glowered
and the other whispered and cowered), a silverly head rose above the waves. Its mane was like seaweed, and it peered at the pair on the shore with odd silver eyes. But then, before either of them noticed, it slipped away without a ripple. Hagrid eyed Morna for a moment, before returning his gaze to the calm pool. "Bah. I was prolly wrong, anyway," Hagrid muttered.
"True." Morna sighed. "I want to see one... I always have wanted to." She grinned sheepishly. "Sorry to interrupt your evening."
Closing his still blank notebook, the half-giant peered at Morna. "Y'like dangerous creatures, mizz?" Was that a hint of interest, in Rubeus' voice?
"I do like to see them," Morna began. "I am not some sissy. Like the rest of the girls." She said firmly forgetting that he terrified her a little bit.
Hagrid blinked silently, before shoving the notebook into his furry coat. "Y'look sissy," Hagrid noted, honestly. He never was very good with girls. Poor giant-boy.
Morna smirked. "You look scary." She replied. He'll kill me won't he?
Hagrid grunted, used to being ridiculed for his appearance. "At least I don' smell funny."
"Says who?" Morna grinned. "Maybe you smell funny to me."
"I don'," Rubeus replied gruffly. The branch, which had been shoved into the back of his coat, slipped -- falling over his unruly hair. He frowned. "B'sides. Y'smell like a sweatin' pig." Well. She did smell... sweaty.
"You be in greenhouse three and not smell like sweat." Morna snapped. "The temperature must have been extra high in there."
"Why were y'there, o'all places?" Hagrid asked, battling with the branch that was obscurring his vision. "Bloody late t'be workin' on a project."
"I was..." Morna paused. "Studying." She nodded. "Studying." She repeated and reached out timidly to move the branch from his eyes.
Hagrid froze, allowing Morna to draw the branch away. He stared at the girl, absolutely confused by the gesture. "Studyin'? Bah. Why d'y'need t'study anyway?" Hagrid grumbled. Studying is stupid...
"I need to study, so I can do well in classes." Morna replied. "I may be a Hufflepuff, but I refuse to conform to the stereotypes." She grinned.
"Wha' stereotypes?" Apparently, Hagrid wasn't one for gossip or common-room-talk.
"We are stupid." Morna muttered. "And weak, and just all around losers."
Hagrid shrugged, after a moment of silent contemplation. "Why d'y'listen? I don'."
"My parents listen." Morna said. "Then they tell me what I should do." She shrugged. "I don't myself listen to the others."
"Yeah y'do," insisted Hagrid, glancing at the lake. "Y'listen t'the rumors 'bout me."
"What rumors?" Morna asked.
Hagrid grunted, lying back on the grass. "Bah. Y'know. That I'm jus'... an oaf, or summat."
"To be honest, I don't know much about you at all." Morna said. "But from what I have seen and heard tonight, I would have to disagree."
Hagrid glanced over at Morna, frowning still. "Meh..." Well, what an intelligent answer.
"Meh?" Morna teased. "What do you mean by meh?"
... Okay, no body had ever bothered to implore further as to Hagrid's usual answer. He scowled deeper. "Meh. Jus' meh." Hmph!
"Okay." Morna said quickly and looked up at the sky. "Oooh its clearing up."
Hagrid returned his gaze to the sky. "... when was it not clear?"
"When it was getting dark." Morna said. "Tonight is supposed to be really good to just watch."
"Watch wha'?" Hagrid grunted. Stars were dumb.
"Planets, goofy stuff like that." Morna shrugged staring up.
Hagrid wrinkled his nose, grumbling. "Wha's so great about planets an' stuff?" Hagrid protested.
Morna laughed. "Nothing really. I just like them. Is that so wrong?"
"Meh," Hagrid grunted again, glowering at the sky. "Guess not."
"How many creatures have you seen out here on the grounds?"
Morna asked suddenly.
Hagrid brightened immediately. Holding up his large hands, the half-giant began to count them off. "Definitely seen an augurey, a few bowtruckles, centaurs, 'bout a dozen doxies an' gnomes, a grindylow, a pair o' jarveys, mokes an' nifflers, a unicorn one time, an' I swear I've seen a hippocampus once an' a common welsh green, too." He grinned proudly, glancing at Morna for approval.
"I like nifflers." Morna grinned. "But please tell me what in the world is a hippocampus. I have never heard of it." She added. "I am impressed. Maybe I should wander around focused on what is around me. Not in the sky."
Hagrid blinked. "Argh! How c'y'not know wha' a hippocampus is!" bellowed the half-giant, though his grin never faded. "Grand creature, really. Got the head an' forequartahs o'a horse, an' the tail o'a mighty fish."
"I've never seen one." Morna replied. "It sounds nifty.”
"Tis," Hagrid nodded, settling back down. "Nevah documented any of m'finds though... can't seem t'catch one."
"What have you caught? Everything else? Or what?" Morna asked.
"Oh, not much. I got an -- " Hagrid stopped. He had almost mentioned Aragog. With a quick grunt, Hagrid shrugged. "Nonthin', really."
"Come on.. you can tell me." Morna said scooting closer. "Please?"
Hagrid glanced at Morna, surprised that she was actually getting -closer-. He frowned, in thought. "... I can' tell," Hagrid muttered.
"Could you show me?" Morna asked hopeful. She wanted to see something.
Hagrid stared at Morna. "Yeah... I guess..." the half-giant mumbled, confused by the girl's interest. No one was ever interested... no one ever bothered to have such a conversation... especially not a -girl-.
"Show me something please?" Morna pleaded. "It interests me."
Hagrid caved. After all, the poor half-giant rarely met anyone who was interested and pretty. He frowned, but lumbered up to his feet. "Y'can' tell anyone, mizz..." threatened Hagrid sternly.
"Please. Call me Morna." She grinned. "I won't tell a soul."
He seemed to consider it again for a moment, studying Morna wordlessly. Then, finally, Hagrid held out his massive hand again to help her up. "Hagrid," the half-giant said simply. "Call me Hagrid." The name Rubeus was just so... formal.
Morna placed her much smaller hand in his. She stood. "Pleased to meet you." She grinned. "You are very elusive."
"I try," grunted Hagrid, before lumbering off toward the school with Morna. He led the way through the castle, holding the door wordlessly for Morna at every turn but not speaking a word. His mind was racing. What would she do? What would she say?
Morna followed beside Hagrid. What's he got in the castle?
Hagrid finally emerged at an abandoned classroom, in the very deepest of the dungeons. He opened the heavy door... and stepped into a room with a simple (but huge) straw mat and a table. On the table was a box. He lumbered over to the box, holding it in his two hands and facing Morna. "Y'won't tell, righ'?"
"I swear." Morna said seriously.
Hagrid stepped past Morna, shutting the door firmly and bolting it. Then, turning to face the girl again, Hagrid lifted the lid. Inside was a furry spider, maybe the size of a softball. It was still young, but peered up with glittering black eyes. "It's name is... Aragog."
Morna peered inside the box. "It’s furry." She said softly. "Aragog?"
"It's an... acromantula," Hagrid said gruffly, studying Morna carefully for a moment before lowering his gaze to Aragog. He grinned slightly. "Intelligent little buggah."
"Will it bite?" Morna asked. "I mean if I try to touch it."
Hagrid shook his head. "'Course not. Aragog wouldn't hurt a fly." He grinned, reaching in and stroking the furry arachnid's large abdomen. "See?"
Morna reached out a tentative finger. She stroked the spiders abdomen lightly. She looked up and grinned at Hagrid. "He's soft."
Hagrid's grin grew wider, eyes glowing now. "Yeah. Aragog's a nice little guy. He doesn't make fun o'anyone." Mhm.
"I'm sorry." Morna smiled. "I apologize if I said anything to offend you."
Hagrid looked up, frowning slightly and studying Morna quietly. "... y'didn't." Hagrid shrugged, pulling the box back and closing it. "Y'bettah than most, I suppose... sorry, it's Aragog's bedtime. If he doesn't sleep, he gets cranky an' does summahsaults."
Morna nodded. "As much as that idea amuses me, I suppose that it is better that he gets his rest." She stated with a grin.
Hagrid glanced over his shoulder as he set the box down. "Oh, it's bloody amusin' -- until he starts spittin' acid." He grinned broadly.
"Yup. I think it is best he sleeps then." Morna said covering her shock with a small laugh.
Hagrid nodded earnestly, glancing away from Morna. Now came a wave of uncertainty. Not sure what to do, Hagrid began to rub his thick neck nervously. "Er..."
Morna blinked sleepily. She fought against the enormous yawn she felt approaching. "What?"
Hagrid studied Morna. He glanced at the straw mat... Nah. She wouldn't want to sleep there. He nodded, moving and unlocking the door. "C'mon. It's late. Y'should sleep... or summat..."
Morna nodded, she turned to walk out the door and instead walked into a wall, due to her sleepy mood all of a sudden. "Damn." She cursed a sign of how tired she really was.
Hagrid blinked, reaching out and catching her as she stumbled back from the wall with a broad hand. "Err... y'alrigh', miz-- err, Morna?" Hagrid rumbled.
"M'fine." Morna muttered. "Just sleepy." She sighed and shuffled out the door. "Thank you."
Hagrid looked slightly regretful, but followed her out and shut the door. He frowned slightly. "I'll... err... walk y'to y'room, Morna," Hagrid mumbled.
Morna looked up at him and grinned. "I'd like that thank you."
Nodding, Hagrid shuffled along -- keeping a guiding hand near
Morna, should she wander off balance. She did smell funny, but it was beginning to grow on Hagrid. Beneath the stench of sweat, Morna smelled almost like... peaches.
Morna turned down a long corridor that ended in the Hufflepuff common room. "The home stretch..." She giggled feeling really loopy. Maybe there was something to the whole muggle idea of sleep deprivation. She twirled and grabbed Hagrid's hand. "I appreciate you walking me back sir." Morna grinned.
Hagrid blinked, but didn't pull his hand away. He grinned slightly, nodding. "Er... anytime, mizz..." Hagrid said blandly, not sure what to do. Errr...
When they had reached the painting covering the common room, Morna turned back to him and hugged him. "Night Hagrid."
Hagrid blinked again (and again and again). He slowly threw an arm around Morna, maybe hugging her a bit -too- hard. "G'nigh', Morna," replied Hagrid, grinning widely.
Moran pulled away with a grin. "See you around." She gave the password to the painting and stepped inside. She gave a little wave and closed the painting gently.