Chapter 32 // Hagrid
I stood in the middle of the entrance hall, trying to figure out what I was going to do this afternoon when I saw Hagrid.
‘Hey, Hagrid!’ He was carrying a weird can with some liquid I didn’t even want to ask about.
‘Oh, Macmillan!’ he smiled behind his black beard.
‘Please, call me Katherine,’ I snickered as I stood beside him. ‘Mind if I walk with you? I need to get out for a bit.’
‘Sure,’ he pushed the doors open and a chilly wind strung my face. I pulled my robes tighter around me and followed him through the snow. We walked in silence. I admired the snowy fields and kept glancing at the Forbidden Forest.
‘So, Hagrid,’ I started, wanting to know more about the forest.
‘I won’t tell ya,’ he said, cutting me off before I could say anything.
‘How did you know what I was gonna ask?’ I said in amazement.
‘Ya hav’ that look,’ he answered, pointing his big fingers at my face, ‘I know it all well. Those three carry it too when they come to hear me out.’
‘Harry, Ron and Hermione, ‘course,’ he said, putting down the can with liquid, ‘they came ‘ere, asking about the Chamber of Secrets. Ya have the same look.’
‘But I wasn’t going to ask about the Chamber,’ I insisted, ‘I’m way more interested in the Forbidden Forest.’
‘I’m not telling ya anything,’ he muttered, ‘I told ya to stay away from the Forest. It’s too dangerous. Even Firenze wouldn’t help you get too the cave.’
‘So, there is a cave?’ I asked in excitement.
‘I shouldn’t have said that,’ Hagrid muttered, ‘I should not have said that.’
‘What do you know, Hagrid?’ I pleaded, ‘Please. This is the only way for me to get to know my parents. To find a way to make this right again.’
‘Ya think ya can make it right with your folks?’ Hagrid shook his head, ‘They abandoned you, kid. Don’t bother.’
‘But I have to try,’ I put my hand on his arm, ‘You might be right. Heck, you are right. But I would never forgive myself if I didn’t at least try. Please, Hagrid, help me.’
‘Come on in,’ Hagrid opened the door to his hut and beckoned me in. A large dog started barking as I entered the house and as soon as I took a seat, he put his head on my lap and started drooling all over my robes. Hagrid was fiddling around with teapots and cups. When he finally gave me a cup off tea and sat down, I had bitten off two fingernails, something I did when I was very stressed.
‘Can you tell me what you know?’ I asked again.
‘Yeah,’ Hagrid sighted and stared into his cup, ‘after ya told me ‘bout the cave, I went into the Forest and asked some centaurs ‘bout it. They’re an awfully unhelpful lot, but they kind of remembered your father. Said he was very kind te them and they’d like te meet ya.’
‘That’s great!’ I said.
‘I have te warn you,’ Hagrid interrupted, ‘Centaurs are weird. They can turn on ya in a heartbeat. Don’t trust for a second that you’re save with them;’
‘Did they say anything about the cave?’
‘Only that it’s in the Western part of the Forest. They didn’t explain where. I don’t think they really know, but they would never admit that.’
‘So, I’m no step closer to finding the cave,’ I sighted.
‘Kettleburn might know something,’ Hagrid said, ‘He’s been around for ages. Could’ve helped your father build the cave.’
‘I need to get into the Forest. I read in a book that there are some exceptions when students get to go into the Forbidden Forest. Do you know about that?’
‘They go in there for Care of Magical Creatures,’ Hagrid answered after taking a sip of his tea, ‘and sometimes during detention.’
‘Do students go into the Forbidden Forest when they get detention?’ I asked in disbelieve, ‘That’s crazy.’
‘Last time I went into the Forbidden Forest with some students was last year,’ Hagrid shrugged, ‘we were looking for a unicorn. Found something way worst on the way.’
‘What did you find?’
‘Don’t wanna talk ‘bout it,’ Hagrid shook his head, ‘doesn’t matter either. Professor Dumbledore decided that it was best not to bring students into the Forest for detention anymore.’
‘There isn’t any other way to get in?’
‘There are a lot of ways to get into the Forbidden Forest, without anyone knowing,’ Hagrid explained, ‘by broom, or if you follow the path down the Great Lake… I shouldn’t have said that.’
‘There’s a path by the Great Lake that goes into the Forbidden Forest?’
‘Don’t ya dare go in there! I’m telling ya, you’d be stupid to do so. It’s way to dangerous for a first-year.’
‘My father did it.’
‘I don’t care,’ Hagrid beamed, ‘You’re not going in there. Ya could be killed.’
I decided it was best not the press the matter. Hagrid told me enough to go back and search for the path. After that, I would make Kettleburn tell me all about the Forbidden Forest. If Hagrid was right and he did help my father build that cave, then he wouldn’t have a problem with showing it to me. If he didn’t help build it, I’d have to find another way.
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