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What Happens in the Forest
By myenzie

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Category: Pre-OotP, The Detention Challenge (2023-1)
Genres: Humor
Warnings: None
Story is Complete
Rating: PG
Reviews: 2
Summary: Ginny and Harry share a detention in the Forbidden Forest. A strange detention, but one that brings some new realizations.
Hitcount: Story Total: 557

Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights ? J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.


What Happens in the Forest Stays in the Forest. Sometimes.

Harry said he didn’t want to discuss the reason he was in detention, but when I pointed out that the rumor mill said that he had somehow managed to drop some sort of viscous liquid on Umbridge’s head and that it had dripped onto her pink sweater, turning it an even uglier shade of orange, he didn’t deny it. I have to admit, seeing her stalking through the halls with her orange splotched sweater, and uttering words best not repeated amongst friends, or in the company of children, that I had already sussed out the truthfulness of the rumor.

I refused to confirm that my detention was in any way related to the bottle of sherry following Trelawny around, bopping her on the head.

It wasn’t too bad, being assigned to Hagrid for the detention that Saturday afternoon, and could have been much worse. We might have been stuck with Filch, or Snape, or, worst, Umbridge.

As it was, we met up at Hagrid’s hut just after the mid-day meal, and Neville and Luna(!) we’re both already waiting with Hagrid. As such, we didn’t have a chance to learn what could have earned either of them a detention.

Hagrid told us what we would be doing as he led us into the forest. There had apparently been a visitor to the castle during the summer who had accidentally carried some Billywigs with him. The large number of the insects that rapidly bred from them had nested in the Forbidden Forest, drawing in swarms of Cornish Pixies. The pixies had consumed every last one of the Billywigs, but then started noshing on the plant life. Hagrid wanted to cut down the numbers of the non-native pixies by catching them.

This is where we came in. It was our job to stun and cage the pixies.

After dropping Neville and Luna in one clearing, Hagrid led Harry and me deeper into the jungle. Reaching a second clearing, he handed us the large cage he was carrying and told us to capture as many Cornish Pixies as we could and to cage them for him to dispose of.

I have to admit, I was somewhat aghast. “You aren’t going to kill them, are you?” I blurted out.

Hagrid only smiled (at least, I think he did, given his beard), and answered, “Nay, wouldn’t do that, would I? Just send ‘em on home, where they belong.”

I didn’t and don’t want to think of what the reaction of the Cornish people would be to such a delivery.

Hagrid wandered off, and Harry and I set to work, chatting amiably as first he stunned and I gathered the pixies, before swapping off.

Before long, though, we heard what sounded like a stampede approaching rapidly. We made a run for it to the tallest tree we could find. Harry, ever the gentleman, boosted me up to the lowest branch, and then started to clamber up himself. As he wrapped his arms around the lowest branch and shimmied his feet forward, his arse hung there for a short moment.

It was just then that a herd of centaurs rushed into the clearing. Most stayed back, but Firenze (I learned his name later) came forward. He didn’t have much to say, but it was nevertheless interesting. He looked at Harry, all but ignoring me, and said, “Uranus is ascending, near Pluto. Saturn is hidden, but will return in time.” Then he turned and galloped off with his herd.

Harry dropped to the ground and I scurried after him, refusing his offer to help.

With Harry in the lead, we headed back toward the center of the clearing. However, we didn’t make it far before Harry slipped, landing arse over teacup in some horse manure. A few choice words and a cleaning charm later, we were ready to return to work.

As we resumed stunning and caging, we continued chatting, the topics growing more serious as time passed.

We ended up talking about Umbridge, his detentions and how he felt about the students’ treatment of him and disbelief in what he was saying. I knew it was bad, really bad, but coming to realize how much it had hurt him made me feel a bit closer to him and I think he felt better from releasing his feelings and thoughts openly.. (I didn’t realize then how many more confidences this would lead to or how it would affect our relationship going forward.)

Suddenly, Luna burst into our clearing, riding a unicorn. Completely starkers. (Her, not the unicorn.)

Before we could quite wrap our heads around that, she looked at us, asked if we had seen any blibbering humdingers, and then, seemingly answering her own question, galloped off into the brush opposite us.

Not long after, and before we could resume our chore, Neville ran into the clearing with wand raised, and immediately slipped in the deposit left by Firenze. I didn’t know what to say, and apparently neither did Harry. Neville rose, and resumed his course before slipping again, falling over fresh unicorn droppings. (Unlike most things unicorn, I can assure you that their crap is like most, if not all, others: not shining, beautiful and fresh.)

We didn’t have time before Neville pulled himself up, covered in dung, raised his wand skyward, and shouted, “Don’t worry, Luna! I’m coming!” And he was gone.

We looked at each other. Harry blinked. I blinked. And then we fell to laughing, so hard it took us some time before we set again to work.

I was stunning a large batch of the pixies when I heard a chittering sound. Turning around, I saw that Harry had raised his wand and was pointing his wand into the forest. A giant spider thrashed through the forest towards us, and Harry shouted, “Arania Exumai!” It appeared to bounce off the Acromantula, which stumbled only a little but carried on towards us. Harry exclaimed, “Shit!”

We didn’t have time to do anything else before the beast tumbled to a halt only a few meters in front of us. Oddly enough, it spoke English. Even odder, it asked for directions to its lair. Harry pointed, it scurried off, and once again Harry and I stared at each other before blinking.

Neither of us laughed this time, though.

(The thought of the spider made me think about what Ron’s reaction to it would be. That made me think about suggesting a new wheeze to Fred and George. So, I get a 10% cut of sales. But I digress. Again.)

All I could do was ask Harry, “Ok, we’ve seen everything now, so what else could happen?”

He looked at me sternly, and said, ”Now you’ve done it. Jinxed us. There’s bound to be something else.”

Although we set to our task again, we weren’t really focused on it, both of us now expecting even more odd happenings.

We didn’t have long to wait. Luna galloped back onto the clearing, still atop the unicorn, but Neville had joined her. Also starkers. They didn’t stop, which was a good thing, since I don’t know what I could possibly say to them.

Hagrid appeared a few minutes later, gasping for breath and holding a large, green-spotted insect-like thing that was buzzing loudly in his hands. After catching his breath, he asked us which way Luna and Neville had gone. We just pointed and he hurried off after telling us to gather the pixies we had caught and drop them off at his hut; the detention over. As he disappeared into the denser part of the forest, we heard him shouting, “Luna! Neville! I’ve got one!”

We dropped the pixies and empty cages at Hagrid’s hut, and walked slowly up towards the castle, mostly quiet, until Harry said, “That was the best detention ever. We should do it again.” He was smiling but there was something else in his eyes.
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