A Nice Cup of Tea and a Lie Down

by Bernice

With thanks to dphearson, potterwitch (for accent checking), and ntamara and someone else from the snapesupport chat room, possibly millefiore but I could be wrong.

"I don't know how to trust anymore, Hagrid," Harry said, staring morosely at the bucket-sized mug of tea Hagrid had placed in front of him. He'd had to come to Hagrid for a bit of tea and sympathy this morning, he felt like his whole world had shifted on its axis.

"Yeh, it can be right tricky, knowin' who's on yer side, and who's on His."

"But Remus, Hagrid. Why Remus of all people? I thought he was on our side. I thought he was my friend. I thought he... I can't believe he turned out to be a spy for Voldemort." Harry couldn't keep his voice from wavering.

"Yeh, I reckon that were a hard one ter find out. He's a nice man, Professor Lupin."

"Nice? He's not nice! He's one of them!"

"Well, jus' cause he's working for He Who Must Not Be Named don't mean he's not nice. Yeh don't necessarily know the whole story there, Harry. Yeh don't know why he turned."

"Why, do you?" Harry said petulantly, morosely dunking one of Hagrid's rock hard biscuits in his tea.

"I reckon it's all a matter o' rights, Harry. Yeh have ter understand. The Ministry, they hate werewolves. They wouldn't let him work. If yeh can't earn a livin' then yeh can't eat. Can't get shelter, or clothin'. The Ministry took away all his dignity as a man, an' all his rights as a person."

"But Dumbledore let him have a job!"

"Only when he couldn't get anyone else ter do the job. He hired that daft Lockhart chap over Professor Lupin. That had ter hurt."

"But we would have changed things!"


"Me. And Dumbledore. When we won the war!"

"Against the Ministry, yeh mean, Harry? We aren't fighting the Ministry."

"No, against Voldemort!"

"He Who Must Not Be Named is promisin' rights ter werewolves, though, Harry. That's the problem. Dumbledore can't promise that, not unless he overthrows the entire government, and even he can't do that. He Who Must Not Be Named is already givin' 'em paying jobs. Houses. Protection. Hunger an' cold'll make a man do a lot o' things, shameful things, even against those he loves."

"I still can't believe he turned on us."

"I don't think he thought he had a choice, Harry." Hagrid's face was crumbled; he looked older than his years. Sad and defeated. "He wants a life, a chance at a bit o' happiness, an' only Voldemort was promising ter give him that."

"I suppose..." Harry could understand what Hagrid was telling him, but it didn't make the awful pain inside him any better. "I wish he'd been killed instead, Hagrid. I wish he'd died, like Sirius, so I wouldn't have to stop loving him."

"That's a terrible thing ter say, Harry, yeh don't mean that!" Hagrid looked at him, stricken.

"No... but it means I might have to... to kill him," Harry finished off at a whisper. "One day." Harry drank his tea, letting the hot brew warm him from the inside, as he was warmed by Hagrid's company.

"It won't come ter that, Harry. You'll see. It won't come ter that."

"Of all people, though." Harry couldn't leave it alone. "I always thought Snape-"

"Oh there yeh go again, blaming Professor Snape." Hagrid grinned at him, and Harry picked up on the deliberate attempt to lighten the mood.

"Can you blame me, Hagrid?" Harry returned his grin with a watery one of his own. "I mean, of all people, Snape's the closest to Voldemort, isn't he. He's the most likely to be playing both sides."

"Praps. But yeh shouldn't be so quick ter condemn Professor Snape. Him an' Dumbledore, they're the only ones yeh can really trust. Oh, and the Weasleys."

"And you."

Hagrid didn't reply, he just drank his own tea, his face pale and strained.

"Hagrid? And you?"

"Well, there's the thing, Harry. Yeh see, the Dark Lord... he's promised land rights fer giants."

"What?" Harry felt his blood turn to ice.

"The Ministry, they want ter kill me! They want ter kill all my kind," Hagrid blurted, looking like he was about to burst into tears. "They want ter kill all my family and they've put me in Azkaban twice, just fer bein'! Yeh don't know what it's like, Harry, ter have 'em always lookin' for ways ter get rid o' yeh, jus' fer what yeh are."

"Hagrid?" Harry whispered.

"I'm so sorry, Harry. I love yeh, I do, yer a nice lad, but there's nothin' yeh can do fer me. Even if Dumbledore wins this war, he can't give me a place o'me own. Only this horrible little shack, an' living on his charity. I'll always be lookin' over me shoulder, waitin' for them ter come ter get me again. I can't live like that anymore."

"What have you done, Hagrid."

"I've poisoned yer tea."

"You've what?" Harry looked down at the huge mug of tea he had in his hands, nearly empty, strong, over sugared.

"I've poisoned yer tea, Harry. I'm so sorry, but I had ter. The Dark Lord has promised me civil rights. All giants an' half giants. Me and Olympe, an' our little ones. We'll be able ter have our own land, an' live in peace."

"And you believe him?"

"I don't have a choice, Harry? The Ministry, they'd kill me soon as spit on me."

"So you've... you've killed me?" Harry couldn't raise a sense of fear. His legs wouldn't lift him when he tried to stand up, and his arms were weak when he made to go for his wand.

"It won't hurt yeh, Harry. I made sure o' that. Yeh'll jus' lie down an' go ter sleep. It's painless, I'd never hurt you."

"You'd just kill me," Harry repeated.

"Jus' a couple o' drops of this green stuff in yer tea," Hagrid pulled a small vial out of one of his many pockets and brushed the crumbs off it, "And yeh'll go quietly ter sleep. It'll be real easy, Harry."

Harry looked at Hagrid, still unable to believe what he was hearing. Hagrid had been his first friend, someone he trusted above all others, even more than he'd trusted Dumbledore. Huge tears rolled down Hagrid's face, disappearing into his matted beard. He blew his nose noisily on his huge spotted hanky.

"Course," Hagrid continued, "if Professor Snape finds out, he'll prob'ly kill me, so I'll have ter find a way ter make it look like an accident. Or maybe I'll jus' feed yeh to some o' me lovelies."

Harry's tongue was getting numb. It was hard to talk. "You're going to feed me to your pets?"

"Well, waste not, want not. Besides, it won't be like yer dead then, will it? I'll feed yeh to the hippogriffs. Yeh always liked them, didn't yeh?" Hagrid suddenly beamed, as if he was doing Harry a favour. "It'll be like yer not gone, then."

"I'll be still around as hippogriff shit, you mean."

"Yeh make it sound awful when yeh say it like that, Harry." Hagrid's smile faded. "I'll feed yeh ter somethin' nice, honest. Yeh won't go ter waste."

"Oh... thas juss great," Harry slurred. He was going to die, killed by the one person he trusted the most, or at least didn't think had the wherewithal to kill him, then get chopped up as monster food.

"I really am very sorry, Harry. I'll name one o'me kids after yeh, if that'll help?" Hagrid's voice came from a great distance, and Harry thought, as he rested his head on the table, at least he hadn't been lying, there was no pain and it really was quite peaceful. Just like going to sleep.

As he drifted away, he could hear Hagrid's voice fading away, "Now, where's that green stuff. Got tea with the Headmaster this afternoon. Great man, Dumbledore, loves his tea."

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