Chapter 99: Marauder’s Map
“Think about it, Hermione. It is the duty of the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures to deal with and to punish them.” Evan continued, “We can’t prove that Buckbeak is innocent, it did attack Malfoy, even if it had justifiable reasons. But what we can prove, is that Hippogriffs are not dangerous.”
“You mean…” Hermione was immersed into thinking.
“According to the classification of dangerous creatures in the book “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, Hippogriffs are not that risky. They can be tamed by Wizards. Such docile animals should not be within the scope of the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures.” Evan opened the book and turned to the page of the author’s introduction.” Moreover, we can go around this problem from the perspective of protecting rare species. Mr. Scamander may give us some help.”
Hermione took the book. She frowned as she saw the author’s introduction:
The author of the book, Mr. Newt Scamander, is currently the most prestigious Magizoologist in the Magic World. He graduated from the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1915, and served as an office clerk of the Ministry of Magic, a researcher at the Ministry’s Dragon Research and Restraint Bureau and in the Office for House-Elf Relocation, the Director and inceptor of the Werewolf Registry, and the Director of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures.
Mr. Newt Scamander spent 30 years traveling around the world and recorded the forms and habits of the 75 magical creatures currently known in the Magic World. This is his best-selling work world-wide, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, the book has been revised to print fifty-two times.
Under his leadership, the Ministry of Magic established the Werewolf Registry in 1947; in 1965 it amended the “Ban on Experimental Breeding” Act, which effectively suppressed the prevalence of new untamable animals in British territory.
Thanks to his contributions to magical animal research and Magizoology, Newt Scamander was awarded the Order of Merlin, Second Class in 1979. Later on that year, he founded an organization for the conservation of magical species and was engaged in the protection of magical creatures.
“As the former Director of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, Mr. Scamander’s influence on the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures is very large, and is definitely much larger than that of Lucius Malfoy.” Evan explained, “And he is The President of the Magical Creatures Protection Association, we just need to write him a letter to tell him about Buckbeak, and I believe he would help us.”
Evan’s idea sounded great. He and Hermione sent a letter to Mr. Newt Scamander on the same evening and received a reply the following morning.
“Evan, see what’s written.” said Hermione excitedly. “Mr. Scamander said in his reply that he was very supportive of our ideas. He was willing to save Buckbeak. He said his mother was once a hippogriffs’ breeder, so he was often exposed to these animals when he was a child.”
Evan took the letter and saw that Newt Scamander wrote that he had been worried about the sharp decrease in the number of hippogriffs over the last hundred years due to excessive hunting. Therefore, he promised to modify and perfect the article written by Evan to protect the hippogriff. In addition to that, he also promised to contact the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures to get them to handle the case as carefully as possible.
After that, things started to look brighter.
Thanks to the ties of Mr. Newt Scamander, the Daily Prophet finally published the articles on the introduction and protection of Hippogriffs that were written by Evan and Hermione.
They provided detailed description of the habits of hippogriffs, their current living conditions, and the people’s comprehension of this animal, etc.
They also told the whole story about Buckbeak’s attack on Malfoy.
In the following days, many readers wrote to them and Hagrid and expressed willingness to support them. They even launched a “Save Buckbeak” campaign, officially making a petition to the Ministry of Magic on this incident, asking them to pardon the hippogriff. Many people participated.
Public opinion continued to develop, making great pressure on the Ministry of Magic.
The governors and the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures wrote three letters to Hagrid. They stated that they were cautious. Before the hearing was held, the incident of attacking students by Buckbeak will be re-investigated.
The way things were developing, there was a high probability that Buckbeak would be spared.
With so much attention, Lucius Malfoy was looking like the bad guy, and for that he felt concerned.
Hagrid gradually recovered, he appeared more and more in the castle, feeling more cheerful every day.
Evan and Hermione felt more at ease. With the continuous efforts of Harry, the tension between them and Ron was also a bit relieved.
At the very least, Ron went back to sitting down with them, rather than just wondering around the castle with Scabbers.
Two weeks before the semester’s end, the sky cleared up suddenly, showing a dazzling opalescence. The muddy grounds were covered by a thin beautiful layer frost.
As Christmas approached, the festive atmosphere in the castle was getting stronger.
The Charms Master, Professor Flitwick, decorated his classroom with glimmering light sources. Those light sources were actually real fairies constantly fluttering their wings.
The students were happily discussing their vacation plans. Most of them were getting ready to go home for Christmas because of the presence Sirius Black.
In fact, with the exception of Evan, Harry, Ron, and Hermione, all other Gryffindor students were about ready to go home.
Evan was preparing to implement his plan. Ron said that he could not stand spending two weeks with Percy. Hermione wanted to spent more time in the library.
Although all three of them had their own reasons, it really made Harry feel moved. He thought that they wanted to stay at Hogwarts for Christmas to be with him.
In the last week of the semester, students from the third years and above could go to Hogsmeade again.
Everyone was happy. The whole chat around the breakfast table revolved about buying Christmas gifts.
“Ron, where is Harry? Why hasn’t he come to breakfast yet?” asked Hermione.
“He’s still in his bedroom. You know, he can’t go to Hogsmeade.” Ron said to her, his voice was a bit dull. “He borrowed a “Cleansweep Broom” from Wood and he’s spending all his time on it.”
“That’s a shame!” Evan remembered Harry’s disappointment in the Common room before going to bed last night. He wasn’t sure. “Maybe I could take Harry to Hogsmeade through the secret passage. I have went through it many times last year, and there should be no problem.”
“It won’t work, Evan!” Hermione put jam on her bread, and said firmly, “This year is not the same as last year. There are so many Dementors at the entrance. Besides, what if Sirius Black knew the secret passage?”
“Relax, Ron and I will buy you Christmas gifts. Which kind of sweets did you like last time?” Hermione said with a smile, “My dad and mom loved Toothflossing Stringmints from Honeydukes!”
“If it’s possible, you can bring me some Orange…”
Evan had not finished his words yet, when he saw Harry hurrying into the Common room with his schoolbag. He ignored Malfoy in the doorway as he fell from his broomstick and didn’t laugh at him. He walked straight toward them looking very happy.
“Guys, look at this, Fred and George have just given it to me…”
Harry cautiously pulled out a large, square-looking, old parchment from under the cloak with nothing written on it.
“Harry, what is this?” asked Hermione oddly.
Before Harry could answer, he heard Ron whispering, “Marauder’s Map!”
Evan wasn’t sure, but despite his dull and monotonous voice, Ron seemed to be pleasantly surprised.