The next morning Terry committed the error of commenting on Tiffany's slightly swollen face to only suddenly and rather painfully find himself covered in boils. Needless to say, the boys in Slytherin gave Tiffany an ample roundabout after that. Beyond that things remained much the same with the occasional peeking of Tiffany at her future intended in Potions. Vespucci largely ignored Tiffany's glances as either he was still unaware of their future marriage or was simply electing not to react to her periodic glances.
Either way time quickly passed as October arrived spreading a damp chill over the grounds and castle. Madam Pomfrey was kept busy by a sudden brought of colds among the staff members and students. Those feeling slightly ill were given Pepperup Potions that worked instantly though left the drinker smoking out of their ears several hours afterward.
Regulus was one such case. He'd been looking rather pale for a few days and was instantly dragged away by Bethanie to the infirmary to see Madame Pomfrey. Unable to escape from the gazes of the two fierce females Regulus was forced to take the potion. The steam pouring out of his ears for hours caused the impression of his insides about to explode.
Raindrops the size of bullets thundered on the castle windows for days on end. Under the gray sky the lake rose, the flower beds turned into muddy streams, and Hagrid's' pumpkins swelled to the size of garden sheds. The air was beginning to feel crisp as the bitter chill of October slowly crept up. And one clear evening, Rowan was dragged outside for a walk by Severus and Lily.
Grumbling Rowan said, "I don't see why I have to go and see Hagrid."
"Because he's nice and he's our friend," Lily plainly stated as she kept a tight grip on Rowan's arm lest she tries to slip away, which Rowan had attempted to twice already.
"Says you," Rowan muttered under her breath as Severus flashed his twin a triumphant smirk and tightened his hold on her other arm. "It smells like mold out here," Rowan complained as they passed the mossy rocks by the overflowing lake.
Refraining themselves from rolling their eyes at Rowan antics, Lily says, "Oh look, we're almost there!" Only twenty feet from the gamekeeper's cabin, Hagrid's front door opened. "I saw y'all from the window," Hagrid beamed. "Come in for a cuppa of tea and homemade treacle toffee."
Rowan pales at the sound of that and digs her feet into the ground to no avail. Lily and Severus drag the very unwilling figure of Rowan inside of the one-roomed cabin. Beyond the threshold of the cabin is an enormous bed in a corner, and a merry fire crackling in the other.
Take a seat on a lumpy couch, Hagrid grabs the whistling kettle and begins bustling about to make them tea. From under the bed, a soft whine can be heard as a scarred pup whined. Curious the large black puppy emerged from underneath the bed with its tail wagging. "Ah, how cute," Lily said as she motioned for the puppy to come over.
The boarhound puppy happily trotted over and slobbered all over Lily's hand as Severus and Rowan both sniffed and leaned away in disgust. Although Rowan's eyes did linger more a few moments on the black boarhound puppy. Because if she recalled correctly, the puppy to be known as Fang wasn't found by Hagrid until 1984. And yet here it was in 1972, a whole twelve years before he should have been in existence.
"Eh, I found 'em poor pup," Hagrid explained. "His mum didn't want the poor thing. He's the runt of the litter."
The puppy begins to loudly bark as Hagrid says, "Hush, Fang! We got guests." The puppy licks his tongue and quiets down panting.
"Fang?" Lily said in puzzlement. "But he's so cute."
"Aye, but he's gonna grow," Hagrid said as he poured the tea into a chipped tea set. "Fang 'ere's a boarhound. He's gonna grow big, ya'll see."
Hagrid paused to move a half-plucked rooster off his scrubbed table and sat the tray. Motioning to each of them to grab a cup, Lily gives Fang one last pat on the head and reaches for a cup as Rowan and Severus stiffly each grab one as well. Taking a sip of the strong tea, Lily almost chokes.
"Hagrid, what have you been up?" Lily carefully spat her tea back into the cup as she placed the tea onto the table. Rowan and Severus had wisely waited for Lily to take the first sip and each shared a nod. They both politely pretended to take a sip and set the cup down.
"Well, I've had a bit of trouble of getting' some kelpies out of a well," Hagrid explained as he pushed some cakes towards them. Lily weakly takes a treacle toffee and takes a bite to only find her jaws cemented together. Left no choice, she tries to sip at the tea in order to loosen the cementlike substance.
"But iz okay now, I've solved the problem," Hagrid said as he trustily patted the large pink umbrella beside him causing Rowan to subtly slide away as far as she can from the menacing pink umbrella."'Er 'ave some more," Hagrid offered as he scooted the plate towards the twins.
"Severus and I ate an entire stack of chocolate frogs before coming over," Rowan quickly lied as Severus cast Rowan a grateful look. "I'm afraid we'll have to decline this time."
"Eh, well, dat's fine den. 'Ere's always next time," Hagrid cheerfully said.
Lily had finally pried her mouth open and quickly stood up. "Hagrid, can we take a look at your pumpkin patch? James and the other boys said that they were huge."
"Y'ar right!" Hagrid proudly said as he led them outside.
In a small vegetable patch behind Hagrid's house were a dozen of the largest pumpkins ever seen. Each the size of a large boulder. "Getting' on well, aren't they?" Hagrid said happily. "Fer the Halloween feast. should be big enough by then."
"What've you been feeding them?" Lily curiously asked as she took a step for a closer look along with Severus.
Hagrid looked over his shoulder to check that they were truly all alone. "Well, I've bin givin' them you know a bit o' help ." Rowan took an extra step back at Hagrid fondly patting his pink umbrella. Lily and Severus didn't seem to notice as they continued to study the large pumpkins with fascination.
"An Engorgement charm, I suppose?" Severus said with some measure of approval.
"That's what Lupin said," Hagrid said, nodding at Severus.
Severus and Hagrid chatted for a bit more, before Lily said, "We'll we best getting back, Hagrid." Hagrid nodded his head as he led them to the front of the cabin and waved goodbye. On their way back, Lily quietly says, "Wasn't Hagrid expelled in his 3rd year?"
"Yeah so?" Severus said with an arched eyebrow.
"Well, how can he cast an Engorgement charm?" Lily worriedly whispered.
"What the ministry doesn't know can't possibly hurt them," Rowan bluntly said as Severus nodded his head in approval. "For being a law-breaking Gryffindor, Lily, you're awfully a prude."
"Am not!" Lily flushed in protest.
"Are too," Rowan and Severus teased. Lily huffed and ran off with Severus laughing after her in tow. Rowan merely sighed and muttered something about energetic youths, before slowly heading inside.