The Boy Who Would Not Smile

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Hagrid knew he should have kept Harry in doors.

But no. As usual, he had let things get out of hand.

"I expect you to look after Mr Potter for me today, Hagrid," he had said, leaving the half-giant in charge of the inquisitive five year old.
What could possibly go wrong?

A lot, it seemed, because now, Hagrid simply could not put a smile on the child's face.

It had all started after lunch, when Hagrid had been persuaded to allow Harry to go outside and play with Fang. He wasn't exactly sure what had happened, and one thing had led to another, which meant Harry somehow managing to trip over one of the smaller pumpkins in front of Hagrid's hut, ending up face-down in the mud, thus giving himself a nosebleed and bending his glasses in the process.

So Hagrid had taken the child back inside, made him a nice drink of warm milk, cleaned him up, fixed his glasses and then moved on to the more difficult task of cheering the wounded soldier up.

When tales of his Uncle Magog- a giant from his mother's side of the family- did not have the desired effect, Hagrid resorted to showing Harry his secret dragon egg (not so secret anymore), and the child watched silently as the man warmed it on the stove, and encouraged the little dragon to hatch. But even when the miniature beast breathe a little fire and set Hagrid's beard alight, Harry James Potter would not smile.

At a loss, Hagrid called in reinforcements.

First, Professor Sprout and some of her herbology jokes. But even after some of her best gags (including- but not limited to- 'why did the mandrake cross the road?'), Harry James Potter would not smile.

Next came Professor Flitwick, but despite the revelation that the little boy was now the same height as the Professor (and growing every day!), Harry James Potter would not smile.

Professor McGonagall was next to try.

In cat form, she swallowed her pride, and rolled on her back for a belly rub. She even went so far as to chase her own tail. Yet still, Harry James Potter would not smile.

Professor Dumbledore himself even came to have a go. But alas, all the sherbet lemons and chocolate frogs in the world were not enough, and Harry James Potter still would not smile.

And so the afternoon dragged on, with many other visitors dropping by, including Professor Trelawney, Nearly Headless Nick, Madam Hooch, Madam Pomfrey, Remus Lupin, and some of Harry's favourite Gryffindor prefects. Rumour had it that even Peeves had gone along.

As if the challenge were something akin to 'the sword in the stone', each contender entered Hagrid's hut, quite certain that he (or she) would be the one to prevail.

But still Harry remained most distraught, arms folded and bottom lip protruding, a small furrow in his brow. And Harry James Potter would not smile.

But just when it appeared that all hope was lost, the wooden door of Hagrid's home flew open one final time, to reveal a man clad from head to toe in black, his long robes billowing ominously behind him. To his left, Fang appeared, his tail going ten to the dozen.

"Your insufferable mutt has, once again, failed to contain its excitement," said the man, in his deep, silky voice.

Raising his head, he realised that there were at least twenty people in the room.

"What is this?"" he demanded, with one of his famous sneers. "A teddy bear's picnic?"

In that moment, however, he realised that his audience were no longer looking at him. They were, in fact, preoccupied with Harry.

"DADDY!" the small boy cried, jumping from his seat and latching himself onto the man as if they had been apart for several hundred decades.

There was a collective sigh of relief from the room, as all realised that finally, after hours and hours of trying, Harry James Potter had a huge smile plastered across his face.

"Ah, Severus, my boy," Dumbledore said, his eyes twinkling as always. "Not a moment too soon."


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