107 Scarlett Draco
"It is not in the nature of a dementor to understand pleading or excuses. I therefore warn each and every one of you to give them no reason to harm you. I look to the prefects, and our new Head Boy and Girl, to make sure that no student runs afoul of the dementors," he said.
Percy, who was sitting a few seats down from them, puffed out his chest again and stared around impressively.
Arth nodded to Dumbledore's words. Dementors were very unforgiving. Especially Sebastian. One time in Azkaban, a prisoner insulted Arth, and the very next moment, Sebastian grabbed the prisoner by the throat and almost performed a dementor's kiss.
Dumbledore paused again; he looked very seriously around the hall, and nobody moved or made a sound.
"On a happier note," he continued, "I am pleased to welcome two new teachers to our ranks this year. First, Professor Lupin, who has kindly consented to fill the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher."
There was some scattered, rather unenthusiastic applause. Only those who had been in the compartment on the train with Professor Lupin clapped hard, Arth just clapped silently.
"As to our second new appointment," Dumbledore continued as the lukewarm applause for Professor Lupin died away.
"Well, I am sorry to tell you that Professor Kettleburn, our Care of Magical Creatures teacher, retired at the end of last year in order to enjoy more time with his remaining limbs. However, I am delighted to say that his place will be filled by none other than Rubeus Hagrid, who has agreed to take on this teaching job in addition to his gamekeeping duties."
Arth, Harry, Ron, and Hermione stared at one another, stunned. Then they joined in with the applause, which was tumultuous at the Gryffindor table in particular. Harry leaned forward to see Hagrid, who was rubyred in the face and staring down at his enor- mous hands, his wide grin hidden in the tangle of his black beard.
"We should've known!" Ron roared, pounding the table. "Who else would have assigned us a biting book?"
"I thought that the book was interesting... it's an ingenious concept really."
"Oh shut up you book worm. I don't want to be tainted by your geekiness."
"It would do you some well if some of Arth did rub off on you." Hermione said distastefully. "It would make you a little more bearable I suppose."
Harry and Arth chuckled at the wronged look on Ron's face.
Professor Dumbledore started speaking again, and they saw that Hagrid was wiping his eyes on the tablecloth.
"Well, I think that's everything of importance," said Dumbledore. "Let the feast begin!"
The golden plates and goblets before them filled suddenly with food and drink. Arthur, suddenly ravenous, helped himself to every turkey leg he could reach and began to eat.
It was a delicious feast; the hall echoed with talk, laughter, and the clatter of knives and forks. Arth, Harry, Ron, and Hermione, how- ever, were eager for it to finish so that they could talk to Hagrid.
They knew how much being made a teacher would mean to him. Hagrid wasn't a fully qualified wizard; he had been expelled from Hogwarts in his third year for a crime he had not committed. It had been them who had cleared Hagrid's name last year.
At long last, when the last morsels of pumpkin tart had melted from the golden platters, Dumbledore gave the word that it was time for them all to go to bed, and they got their chance.
"Congratulations, Hagrid!" Hermione squealed as they reached the teachers' table.
"All down ter you three," said Hagrid, wiping his shining face on his napkin as he looked up at them. "Can' believe it . . . great man, Dumbledore... came straight down to me hut after Professor Kettleburn said he'd had enough... It's what I always wanted..."
Overcome with emotion, he buried his face in his napkin, and Professor McGonagall shooed them away.
Arth had finally spotted Scarlett sitting alone at the Slytherin table and gave a smile.
Just as expected.
Arth went over to the slytherin table and sat right next to her, earning some hateful glares from the Slytherin's.
Arth ignored them.
"Hey Scarlett, how are you doing?"
Scarlett rolled her eyes.
"I'm doing fine, I see that this is the famous turkey leg that you told me about. I have to say that they are quite good."
Arth wore a smug look that said I-Told-You-So.
Arth felt a hand tap on his shoulder and turned around.
It was Draco Malfoy half glaring at Arth, half staring at Scarlett with a engrossed look. Draco snapped his focus back onto Arth and gave a snarl.
"What are you doing here Arthur? Don't you know it's only pure bloods allowed? Who invited a filthy mudblood like you?"
Arth raised an eyebrow.
Draco was being especially toxic today. He glanced at Scarlett who was next to him and came to a realization that almost made him laugh.
Draco has a thing for Scarlett. To be fair, Scarlett was a beautiful young girl and it would be surprising if no one was attracted to her but for Draco to be attracted to Scarlett? How laughable.
Scarlet frowned and rugged on Arth's arm.
"What is a mudblood?"
Draco, eager to impress, quickly responded before Arth could answer.
"It's a word used to describe the worst of wizards, a muggleborn mutant like him. Those who have impure blood, less magical talent than those with pure blood like ours."
Arth snickered when he saw the frown on Scarlett's face.
"Is that so." She said. "Now may I ask who you are?"
"I am Draco Malfoy, a pure blood wizard," He turned back to Arth with a disdainful smirk. "You'll soon find out some wizards are much better than others. You don't want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there."
He held out his hand to shake Scarlett's, but she didn't take it.
Arth sighed. He just had to use the same line he used in his first year. What an idiot.
Scarlet turned around and faced Arth with a questioning gaze.
"Can I slap this annoying person?"