1994-09-07: The Case Of The Exploding Salamander


Hagrid_icon.gif Sorrel_icon.gif Rene_icon.gif Oswald_icon.gif Melissa_icon.gif Ginny_icon.gif Elladora_icon.gif Derek_icon.gif Rupert_icon.gif

Scene Title The Case of the Exploding Salamander
Synopsis Hagrid holds an 'introduction' scene to give the first and second year students a look at what they can expect during CoMC if they take it in their third year. However, not all goes according to plan.
Date Sep 7, 1994
Watch For The cute little salamanders, the EXPLODING salamanders, Hagrid's gender mistake, and Rupert's brave effort
Chronology CoMC Intro complete with exploding salamanders
Logger Hagrid


The rear courtyard spills out into a large meadow. The area isn't entirely flat, sometimes the ground drops off sharply down the hills. In the spring and summer, the grass is spongy and emerald green, in the winter; snow blankets the area, inviting everyone of all ages out into the open for harmless winter sport. (With a wizard's flair of course.) The meadow is boarded abruptly by the forest that is off limits to students. Situated at the edge of the forest is a circular shaped, wooden hut. This is the home of Rubeus Hagrid, the Keeper of the Keys and Groundskeeper of Hogwarts. Smaller areas of the meadow contain grassy knolls, flagstone paths, stone fountains and statues.

Sitting by itself, away from the forest edge is a recent addition, the Whomping Willow. It was planted in 1972, and no one really seems to know why. It's a rather, uhm, violent tree and hits anyone that comes near it! Some students occasionally try to poke at the knots on the tree on dares.

The end of the meadow near Hagrid's hut has been magically transformed into a rather large squarish area with a stone wall. There is a break in the wall, which is only about 2 feet high, to allow students to enter the area. In scattered spots are large boulders resting in front of a pit that contains a fire. The fires are various colors. Blue. Green. Red. Yellow. And all of them flicker merrily. In the middle of the square, Hagrid stands, with a grin on his face. "Don't be shy. Come on in." he says, motioning at the students who have started to gather.

Oswald walks into the meadow, silent as usual. His gaze looking about at the different fires around. Nodding to Hagrid, as he enters the the stone walled in area.

Elladora having arrived as early as possible for the class she's standing by the edge of the walled area clutching a far to large tome to her chest. At Hagrid's invitation she moves forward leaving the book on the wall, eagerly watching the flickering fires.

Ginny arrives slightly flushed and out of breath - very nearly late. She casts a smile towards her fellow classmates, lifting a hand to sweep her red hair from her face. Following a few other students, she makes her way into the walled area, brown eyes curiously eyeing the coloured flames.

Melissa waves at everyone as she enters the walled area, leaving her things to the side. "Oh, hi Ginny!" she says with a big smile to the friend she'd met near her uncle's house. "This looks like it's going to be fun!"

If there are some things at Hogwarts that could excite Rene despite his hesitance- one of those would be the prospect of 'Care of Magical Creatures', which, much to his dismay, he cannot take for another two years. He is one of the first little group to get there, unusually ignorant of dirt on his shoes and the robes around him slipping down over his little shoulders. The first thing he does is stare at the Professor- who Rene had believed until now to only be the groundskeeper. When you barely come to your teacher's waist area, that means Behave.

Sorrel slips in through the break in the wall, looking about curiously at the set up he has going here. She pauses just long enough to get in someone's way, but then at Hagrid's bidding, she moves further into the square, clearing the entry. "Do the colours mean anything?" she starts right off, though her voice is quite easy to lose in the pre-class shuffle.

"Come on. Closer." Hagrid says, grinning broadly. It's only his second year teaching, but he's loving it. "Today…" he starts, moving closer to the bluish fire pit, "…I thought I'd give you first and second years a look at what you can look forward to when you get to your third year. For the third years, you get to help with the younger students and ah….make sure they don't hurt themself." he finishes, reaching a gloved hand down into the blue flames. Up onto his hand skitters a little blue animal. "Can anyone tell me what this is?"

Melissa raises her hand eagerly with a wide grin, pushing up her glasses with her other hand, waiting to be recognized.

Oswald arches a eyebrow, clearly he can guess but then again after the tongue lashing he got from Snape for speaking out of turn. Decides it best to keep quiet for now. Sighing slightly to himself.

Elladora beams, the clear look of a girl who has an answer, but her hands stay rather firmly planted at her side and she remains quiet. Moving still closer to the large teacher and the fires she clasps her hands behind her back and carefully pays attention.

Rupert is having trouble seeing, the combination of his own vertical challenges and the presence of second and third years making things tricky. Standing on tiptoe, he cranes his head for a few moments before deciding to attempt to slide his way between some of the older students near the front. It is only then that he sees the blue critter. "It's blue!," he blurts to no one in particular before realizing he's spoken out of turn and clapping a hand over his mouth.

Hagrid glances over the crowd and notices Melissa's hand raised. A first year? "Yes, Ms. Burch?" he asks, expecting that he might have to correct her answer. As he waits, his hand tilts and rolls to keep the animal on the glove at all times.

Rene peers quietly over at Melissa, mouth having opened from where he stands beside her, but he shuts it once her hand lifts up. Right. Maybe not. He simply waits to see if she got it or not, glancing over momentarily at the animal in Hagrid's glove.

Ginny looks down as someone rather smaller than her tries to slide in between her side and the person next to her. She smiles at the boy, her smile turning into a grin as she hears his exclamation. "It's okay," she murmurs. "Hagrid doesn't mind if you talk." Then she lifts her hand into the air, in case Hagrid needed a second student to call on.

Melissa smiles. "I think that would be a salamander, sir… The magical kind, I mean. I could tell because it lives in the fire…"

Rupert shoots a grateful look at Ginny, his little hand slowly falling away to reveal a shy smile underneath. 'Blue!' he mouths silently at her, as if sharing his incredulity and the joy of such an amazing dicovery. Almost instantly, his eyes are back on the creature his feet shuffling him closer to the third year who he's adopted as his protectress.

Sorrel leans over to peer at the little thing, her eyebrows going up. "Are they all different colours? Is that why the fires are?" She cranes her neck to look around at the other pits of flame, as if to see if she can tell for herself, if she can spot the little animals in there as well, but her attention returns front again rather promptly. Clearly she doesn't always remember that bit about raising her hand before starting in with the questions.

Oswald takes another look at the gloves of hagrid. His attention is getting the better of him then says silently. "Well its a lizard of somesort." Quirking his head to the side to get a better look.

There's just one thing that comes to mind when Melissa does answer correctly, and though he is small, Rene is certainly still able to speak up(after sidling his way to the front of some of the other students. "Excuse- why is zere a green fire?" Fire does not come naturally like that, right? "Do not salamanders live in natural flames?"

Elladora near silent in her intense gaze on the teacher and subject bites her bottom lip and nods along with the other students questions. Producing a small quill and parchment to take notes, she settles in to making sure she misses nothing.

Derek is in the pen too but he's far in the back keeping to himself as he watchs the class and shakes his head at the olf of a teacher.

Hagrid's voice booms, a bit loud as he's impressed. "I see someone's done their homework. Two points for Ravenclaw." he says, glancing down as the salamander starts to turn a lighter shade of blue. "Oop..best feed him a bit." He produces a little shaker and sprinkles something on the animal that makes the brightness return. "Salamanders are wonderful creatures. Born in fire. They only live as long as the fire continues to burn." Rupert and Oswald's answers earn them a smile. "Right! They are a type of lizard. But different then the muggle variety some of you might know." Glancing over at Ginny and the rest of the third years, he gives them a nod. "Ms. Weasley, perhaps you and the other third years could each grab one from the fires to show the other students?" As some of the third years move towards the pits, his attention turns to Rene. "Indeed they do, Ms. D'Allemagne. But they are born in natural fires, but often they are born in magical fires as well. When that happens, they take on the color of the fire they were born in."

Ginny grins at Rupert, mouthing 'blue!' back at him, her brown eyes twinkling. She moves to ruffle his hair gently, before nodding to Hagrid. "Sure, Professor Hagrid," she smiles at the huge man, taking the fireproof gloves out of her bag. Ginny slides them on, then manuevers her way to the fires, bending down to extract a green salamander from its matching flames. Once the critter rests comfortably in her palm, she mingles among the first- and second-years, so they can see it.

"What's that you sprinkle on them?" Sorrel goes on almost without pause. "Do they make the fires change colour or-" She cuts off as that question gets an answer before she can even finish it. Handy! "So if you kept the fire going forever, would they just keep living?" She takes a step closer, angling between another couple of students to get a better look at the one Ginny is showing again.

Okay, so that answers his question, but there was one thing missing. Rene's lips tighten just enough to make him seem a bit flustered. The first year coughs, clearing his throat in a rather pointed, yet polite manner. "Ahem. Hm. Mister, Professor Hagrid." Though he makes sure the teacher hears it, the boy moves his mind onto the new direction- and eyes in the direction of the nearest third year with one of the salamanders.

Melissa peers at the salamander when she gets the chance. "It's kind of cute actually… don't you think?"

Oswald eyes widen as the creature is shown. "Interesting, so they would need a source of something burnable like sulphurous crag or something like that to feed off of? Im guessing the minerals around it is what gives its color?"

"It makes me sad to think of them dying when the fire burns out," Rupert says, adding his pipe-like voice to the general chatter. Face still red with a blush from the hair ruffling he's received, he scoots closer to the green salamander Ginny holds, peering at it intently.

Elladora crowds with the others around the older students holding the salamanders, no surprise that everyone is interested. She seems absorbed in carefully sketching a picture of the small lizard for future study.

Derek glances at the salamander that Ginny shows him but just cross his arms and grunt. "still looks like a plan Lizard to me, bigger then the ones in my mother garden though.

Hagrid holds the shaker up for everyone to see. "It's pepper. Garden variety. Like you'd find in a muggle grocery store." he says, smiling at all the activity. "Salamanders can live up to six hours outside their fire if fed pepper. And no, they cannot make the fire change color. Only they can change color with the color of the fire." Hearing the clearing noises, he glances at Rene. "Yes, Ms. D'Allemagne?" he says, glancing to answer the other question real quick. "As long as the fire burns, they stay alive. And they're far more different than your ordinary lizard, Mr. Rimmer."

Oswald looks up with one eye closed at the shaker. "Interesting, wonder what my folks would say if I took Care of Mystical Creatures when I get around to electives." Clearly getting interested in the subject as he peers into the red fire from a distance.

Inside the red fire, the salamander runs around in circles until it jumps out of the fire and onto the surface of the rock right next to it's flame. As it does, the rock makes a sizzling noise and the salamanders tracks can be seen burned into the rock as it climbs up to the top to peer at the students.

"Are they ever kept as pets?" Ginny asks, turning slightly to face Hagrid even as the younger students gather around to see the salamander. She makes sure that everyone gets a good look, smiling as she notices one student starting to sketch. Ginny laughs with delight as the red salamander makes a bid for freedom. "Look!" She points with her free hand.

For the moment, Rene examines the lizards(duly jumping when one leaps) and listens to Hagrid talk about the Salamanders. In another glance up(and up) to the half-giant, he coughs a little again. Twice in a row? But at least now he has Hagrid's attention. The boy parts the front of his robes subconsciously (trousers, note. Trousers). "Please do not call me 'miss'." Still treading on politeness, and keeping a civil tone while Hagrid pauses between lizard-facts. "I am a 'mister'." Important thing to remember, you see.

Melissa laughs as she watches it. "It must be really hot… That's what the gloves are for I suppose." She looks around at the other fires, seeing if there's any activity there.

"I love pepper," Rupert informs Ginny with the deep sincerity of one friend passing along critical information to another. The though alone makes his stomach rumble loudly enough to be heard. Any thoughts of food, however, are immediately forgotten when the red salamander leaves its fire. Then, his hand shoots up. "Are aalamanders born in all fires? Or do things have to be 'just so' in a fire for a Salamander to be…become…a salamander?" He seems to have confused himself momentarily.

Sorrel looks over as Ginny points out the red salamander, her eyebrows going up as an amused grin appears on her face. "Woah, are they really hot enough to burn rock? How hot would you need to be?" Without even pausing in the questions, she takes a moment to waggle her fingers at the red salamander, since it did come all this way just to peer at them. Her attention slides back over to Rene as he points out the mistaken title, and then her gaze flickers to Hagrid.

Derek grins and reachs into his backpack and takes out firework he took from his brother, he waits for Hagrid to turn his back to him and offers the firework to one of the lizard to see what would happen.

Oh joy, Hagrid starts to get flustered now. He knows he should be better at this. "Right, I'm sorry." he apologizes, his face turning a shade of red almost the same color as the salamander. "Err….some…well…..yeah, some wizards and witches do keep them as pets, Ms. Weasley. They do have a calm temperment." He's suitably distracted enough that he misses the firework being passed to one of the salamanders. "Yes…yes, they are born in the fire. No one knows how, it just happens quite often. And they are very hot, Ms. Hazard, which is why we have the dragonhide gloves. Especially if you're going to…." his explanation is interrupted as…

The salamander sniffs the firework and then opening it's jaw bites it and swallows it whole. It only takes a second before there's a loud BANG, and an explosion of salamander bits. "NORBERT!!" Hagrid yells, as he notices which one of the salamanders has fallen victim at the noise. The blue salamander is dropped back into it's fire and he marches over to the rock where the red one used to be. For a moment, he looks like he's going to cry, but then turns to glance over the class. "Alright! Who did it? Who's responsible for this….this…..outrage?!"

Rupert leaps almost a foot in the air as the explosion happens, his second instinct being to dive behind Ginnny for protection. In the eerie silence that follows the bang, he sniffs at the air. "Um…" his voice is meek and he is completely hidden behind the Gryffindor Third Year. "…those bits aren't still…/hot/ are they," he asks, scanning the meadow where the salamander was blown to smithereens.

Oswald jumps when he hears the explosion. "My word…" Turning around to look at what is going on. Then takes a look at where the red one was at. Then frowns at the dead salamander, clearly upset at what has happened.

Elladora eeeks loudly at the explosion, her attention so caught on the salamander she had been sketching the sound nearly scares the wits out of the girl. A large jagged mark marrs the sketch and theres a small hole in the parchment where her quill drove through. Looking over to see the cause of her fright her bottom lip edges out slowly her brows knitting in concern.

Melissa cringes at the explosion, then looks around for any possible culprit. Her first impulse is to look for the Gryffindors, but none of them seemed guilty enough…

"It is fine." Rene responds, though only half-trying to make sure the groundskeeper hears it. It will probably register in the background noise, at least. Barely a few moments pass after this until -BANG! Up goes the salamander in the side of Rene's vision. He turns to watch as Hagrid confronts the incident head on- and oh goodness, it had a name. Rene's face knits in irritation, and he seems to be looking for any guilty faces in the bunch. Or retroactively- anyone that looks too innocent.

Ginny jumps, startled, as there's a mighty explosion. She just barely misses dropping the salamander in her hands, and ducks out of the way of red salamander bits. "Oh, no.." she murmurs under her breath, stroking the green salamander gently with a gloved fingertip. She blinks, glancing over her shoulder as she notices Rupert dive for cover behind her. Her brown eyes scan the group for a guilty-looking student.

Derek watchs as the salamander gobbles up the firecracker but as soon as it blows up, coving poor derek in goops he looks shocked and steps back and shakes his head, he din't know it would blow up like that, he though it would just give it gas or something, he looks at the peeved teacher and wonder if he should fess up, but that's not Slytherin like so he keeps quiet and hope nobody finds out.

Sorrel gives a little jump, and a slightly girlish squeal, as her intense listening to the answer to her question is interrupted so rudely. She whirls about to see what's happened, and while she frowns a little as she figures it out, she also seems a little taken aback by Hagrid's … show of emotion. No doubt she'll get used to this stuff in time. She slouches down slightly, even though she had nothing to do with it, and then peers around at her classmates, trying to figure out whodunnit herself.

Yes! It had a name. And judging from Hagrid's reaction, it was his favorite. As his dark eyes scan over the crowd, looking for someone to step up and take responsibility, he doesn't find one. "No, Mr. Rumple, they aren't still hot. When a salamander dies, it cools immeidately." he explains, hoping to reassure the other students. "Third years, I'm sorry. We'll continue the lesson next time. Hopefully without…." again he glances around warily, "…interruption. For now, if you would, return the other salamanders to their fires. Class is dismissed." His large head turns to glance at the rock, and is that…sniffling?

Oswald sighs as he looks around for who done it, then walks up to Hagrid. "Im sorry Hagrid, about Norbert. If there is anything I can do to help out let me know??" Grabbing his book he moves outside the walls towards the castle after making sure, the half giant is alright.

Rupert's head slowly peeks around from behind Ginny's robes to look at Hagrid, eyes wide. He stares at the giant man for some time before looking at several of the other students drifting away from class and the scene of the crime. As he watches them depart, he bits on his lip, then slowly starts scanning the group around him. After a moment, he seems to find what he's been looking for…a salamander bit. Revulsion is clear on his face, but, with a swallow, he bends to retrieve it from the grass and starts looking for more, holding a bit of leg in his open palm.

Elladora eyes those closest to the once live salamander, her brows pulled together in upset over the shortened lesson. "Selfish.." muttered softly under her breath before she turns back to the teacher. Carefully putting her notes and ruined picture safely away she retreives the large book she left on the wall and glares back at the rock. "And I was so looking forward to this class.."

Derek looks around and sees he's off the hood and wipes chucks of lizard off him. Derek looks at Hagrid and grins and walks out of the pen. "Server the Big dolt right for naming the animal, getting to attached to them." he wanders back to the school to get a quick shower before the next class.

Melissa looks toward Hagrid, feeling sorry for him. Somewhat impulsively she runs up to give him a hug (her arms not reaching too far around his body, admittedly). "…Thanks, sir…" she says, not being able to really think of anything to say that would make him feel better. "This looks like a fun class…"

Ginny manuevers around the various fires, crouching to gently place the green salamander back in its fire. As soon as she does, its colours brighten considerably, a blend of lime and emerald and viridian. Walking over to Hagrid, she pats one of his huge hands with one of her smaller ones. "See you next time, Professor Hagrid."

Sorrel gives a frown as she continues eyeing the other students, but as the class is dismissed, she gives up this little mystery. Hagrid's emotional response still seems to puzzle her more than anything, though she isn't unsympathetic about it. "He always like that?" she might be heard to remark in a lowered voice to any passing third year.

As he's hugged, Hagrid turns to look at Melissa. His big hand wipes a tear from his eyes. "Thank you, Ms. Burch. When you get to your third year, you're welcome to take it." He glances at Rupert, who seems to be gathering bits, but takes a moment to nod at Ginny before approaching the boy. "I'll take those, Mr. Rumple. You don't have to clean them up. Though I appreciate the help, especially from a first year. Ten points to Hufflepuff for your willingness to help."

One of the third years passing Sorrel nods. "I've heard he's quite the animal fanatic." she says, as she continues towards the castle.

The venomous look in Rene's eyes is best suited for the mystery person guilty of feeding the salamander the firecracker. He watches as Melissa scampers up to give the giant man a quick embrace born of empathy, and not turning away until he is able to say a word to Hagrid. "Je suis desole, 'Agrid'- I am sorry about your salamander…I'ope you find who did it." And with that, he is following the rest of the students back to the castle.

Melissa nods and heads off after the rest of the students.

He's a good little hunter/gatherer, is young Rupert…years of searching for bugs and digging in the dirt teach a boy some of the finer points of observation. Before much time has elapsed, he has a respectable little pile of red bits in his open hand. When Hagrid comes for them, he seems to take no note of the offering of points, merely extending his palm with great solemnity. A gentle nod if offered as the parts are trasfered and then he shuffles off after the rest.

Sorrel gives a little nod as she gets an answer from the third year. She casts another look back over her shoulder, frowning again as she watches the other students comfort Hagrid. But then she just starts back towards the castle - or perhaps to try and chase that helpful third year down to pester her with questions.

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