Title: The creature
Warnings: Set in the wizarding world of Harry Potter
Word count: forgot to let the program count... meep?
Prompt: 335: Frigthening
Summary: Arthur ponders if it is a good idea to be the only non-magical person in a surrounding where magicall things happened and they weren't all friendly
Author’s notes: Not beta’d. Sequel to last week's drabble.
Arthur walked back to his quarters after a meeting that had taken way too long. Of course the topics had involved the Mercia twins from Slytherin who had run havoc in one of the classes. Arthur was happy that it hadn't been one of his classes. Lately, he had found out that he had no means of defending himself when it came to magic. It wasn't that he didn't know that when he accepted the job but as teacher for muggle studies, he only had to explain the world he came from. Some days he felt like a firstie, discovering the wonders that were this school; on other days, he didn't like the fact that he was defenseless.
Which wasn't true either. He worked out regularly and Percy had showed him some self-defense techniques. They just didn't really work on magic attacks.
Halloween was just around the corner and the headmaster had taken him aside and warned him about all the things that could happen this time of year. Not including the pranks that students came up with.
Walking down the corridor, Arthur was happy that he could get out of his robes as soon as he would enter his rooms. He started getting used to them, but that didn't mean he had to wear them any longer than he was really required to.
When he heard a noise, he stopped in his tracks. What was that now? Just one of the old wooden beams creaking? One of the house ghosts paying him a visit? He'd gotten quite fond of the quick banters with Nearly Headless Nick. Or just one of the students he had had to fail in class trying to get their revenge on the muggle teacher?
The lights flickered and the corridor filled with fog.
"Oh, come on." Arthur rolled his eyes. "It's late and you guys should be in your common rooms already, so can't we all just call it a night?"
The giggles he expected didn't come. Instead, a giant creature appeared out of the fog.
"What are you now? Did Hagrid leave one of the cages open?" Arthur was too tired and just didn't want to deal with this.
When the creature reared its head, opened his mouth to bare large fangs and growled at him, he had to admit that it indeed was a bit frightening. Very very very frigthening. Especially since this seemed to be a creature of magic and he had nothing to counter it with.
Defensively, he held his papers in front of him. "Listen," he tried to negotiate, "I don't know what you want, but can't we all just pretend this didn't happen? You won't have to do anything you'd regret later and I won't have to report you?" Maybe it was just a really well-played prank? And some of his students were hiding in the shadows just to see how the muggle teacher would deal with it?
The creature came closer and its mouth became even wider and Arthur could smell the bad breath, but he couldn't move. This wasn't a prank. He was about to be eaten by a weird creature that he couldn't even name! It didn't even occur to him that he could have yelled for help. Until someone arrived, he would be gobbled up and digested anyway. Which was not really like he had imagined his time at this school to end.
All of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, someone else appeared. Apparated in? Wasn't that forbidden on school grounds? Arthur almost laughed at the thought. If this someone could help him against the creature, who would he be to tell anyone that they had been out after hours and practiced magic they shouldn't be practicing on their own?
The boy didn't even yell the spells Arthur usually heard around school. He clung to his wand, which he had pointed towards the creature, but his eyes flashed golden and it seemed that he just repeated the spell in his mind.
Despite being threatened by this creature, who snapped at him once in a while, Arthur couldn't help but being impressed. That was sophisticated magic this student was displaying here, beyond everything Arthur had seen so far.
With a lound bang, the creature disappeared and the student next to him faltered, then slumped and braced his hands against his knees, breathing hard as if he had just run a marathon.
Only then Arthur realized that the boy next to him was the student that had caught his eye lately, the lanky Ravenclaw, Merlin.
While he tried to come up with something to say, Merlin straightened up again.
"That was quite dangerous, Sir. This thing only shows up every couple of years."
"How did you know it would?"
There it was again, that endearing blush on Merlin's face.
"I...I just read something on creatures that show up around Halloween and I had a feeling...and when you walked down that dark corridor..." Merlin shut up and stared at him.
Arthur still tried to make sense of what he'd just seen and heard. Did that mean that Merlin had been following him? Thinking this creature would materialize and...protecting him?
"Well...you know I should give you a lecture about being out of your dorm after hours, but if you weren't, I would probably not be able to lecture anyone ever again, so...thank you."
"You won't tell anyone?" Merlin looked at him with fearful eyes.
"I will have to report the sighting of this...what did you call it? But I might find a good explanation for it vanishing." Even though his legs were still a bit shaky, Arthur tried to smile.
"Thank you." Merlin breathed out a sigh a relief.
Without even noticing, Arthur had started walking towards his own rooms and Merlin had followed. Now they reached the door.
"No, as I said, thank you. It was very brave to face this creature on your own. I've never seen anyone do magic like this here before."
Merlin shrugged and seemed to be a bit embarrassed. "Just...I was born with it...like anyone else around here."
Arthur chuckled. "Not everyone. Thanks again. Will you find your way back to your dorm?"
"Yes, Sir." Merlin stood about a bit awkwardly, then leaned in and pressed a kiss on Arthur's lips. "I'm glad I could help you with this."
Before Arthur could react, Merlin was already running down the corridor.