Title: Padfoot and the Hogwarts Howler


Author: Christi


Rating: G


Fandom: Is it Harry Potter? Is it Scooby Doo? Who knows? Who cares? It’s crack. Pointless, silly, unabashed crack.


Author’s Notes: Okay, so I won’t even go into how this fic in all of its insanity came to be, but I shall instead ramble a bit about why I decided to finish it at all, considering its true level of just well, badness. You see, I comment spammed kate98 with the beginning of this ages and ages ago as a joke, and she really liked it. I promptly forgot about it, until it occurred to me the other day that in fact, kate98 does not celebrate birthdays. Which is completely cool and I totally respect that. (I, err, actually did some quick research to make sure that even doing this much would not be offensive to you in any way.) However, it made me sad, because a person’s birthday is generally when everyone else gets a chance to say “We are happy that you are alive!” and show this appreciation with very silly gift type things, like fic.


Without a birthday, I had absolutely no excuse to write kate98 silly fic illustrating my general joy that she was put on this earth. But then I decided: to hell with it. I don’t need an excuse. So, Kate, I finished this for you, because I am extremely glad that you are alive and that you are my friend. I tend to think the art of Scooby Doo loses something in translation to the written word, but I hope it makes you laugh anyway.


Also, caroly_214 and control_freak80 are totally my partners in crime, for they beta’d this.




“Jeepers Harry, it sure is raining hard!” exclaimed Hermione, pushing up her black horn-rimmed glasses on her nose. “Maybe we should try and find some shelter for the night.”


“I, for one, am against that, ‘Mione,” chimed in Ron from the back. “Seems to me that whenever we stop, whether because we have a flat tire or run out of gas or it’s raining too hard, we always end up in a creepy place. And man, I don’t know if I can take any more creepy places!”


Ruh-uh!” agreed an emphatic Padfoot from the seat next to him, where the giant black dog had previously been lounging happily.


“Well, we can’t keep going in this, now can we?” pointed out Ginny, tossing a lock of red hair behind her shoulder. “Look, there’s a driveway. Why don’t we go in there and ask if they could let us stay until the storm clears up?”


“Sounds good to me, Ginny!” said Harry Potter, the ever-enthusiastic leader of their little band, as he turned the Ford Angelia (fondly called the Magic Machine) into the driveway.


It was long and had several twists and turns, but finally, the building at the end of the road came into view. It was huge and gloomy-looking, a castle right out of the dark ages. As they parked the car and sat staring in awe, there was a flash of lightening and a crack of thunder, making Ron and Padfoot jump.


“Aw, man, it always thunders before something bad happens! You don’t really expect us to go in there, do you?” complained Ron loudly, teeth chattering. Next to him, Padfoot’s teeth chattered in unison.


Hermione turned around to look at them, rolling her eyes. “Will you do it for a Chocolate Frog?” she asked the two of them.


They appeared to consider the offer for a moment, but their answer was already a given. “Uh-huh!” they both nodded emphatically. If you listened closely you might be able to hear a faint rattling noise as their heads shook up and down.


Hermione smiled and fished out a Chocolate Frog from her bag for both of them before they all headed towards the front doors. After a moment of standing in the rain, the doors creaked open and a very old man stood there, shining a lantern in their eyes and glaring.


“What’s this now?” he asked, giving them all the evil eye.


“We’re sorry to bother you,” Harry said politely. “But the storm is getting awfully bad, and we were wondering if we could stay here until it dies down a bit.”


Before the man could answer, a red-eyed cat appeared, entwining itself around its owner’s legs. Predictably, Padfoot growled. This seem to further enrage the stranger, and it was certain that he would have slammed the door in their faces had a new voice not interceded.


“Mr. Filch,” the voice said warningly. “Let them in.”


Reluctantly, Mr. Filch allowed them inside the grand hallway, where the group of friends caught sight of an old, distinguished gentleman. “I am Dumbledore,” the man said. “Welcome to Hogwarts.”




Once inside, hasty introductions were made while Hermione used her wand and considerable magic skills to dry off the sodden group of friends. When they were finished, Dumbledore offered them some dinner to warm them further. Predictably, Ron and Padfoot made a beeline for the kitchens in pursuit of the promised meal.


After being more properly directed to a large hall, the five friends sat down with their hosts—Dumbledore, the headmaster, two professors named McGonagall and Lupin, and the creepy caretaker Filch.


The food was fantastic and it was sometime before anyone thought of conversation beyond “Pass the potatoes.” Eventually, Harry broke the ice by exclaiming, “It sure is swell of you to let us stay here like this.”


“It’s nothing, Mr. Potter,” said Professor McGonagall as she passed the gravy to Hermione. “We have more than enough room now that so many of our students have been chased away.”


There was an audible gulp from the side of the table Padfoot and Ron had taken over and the dog and the young man looked at each other in stark terror. “Chased away?” Ron squeaked. “B...b...b...by what?”


“I’m afraid that we have a Howler,” Dumbledore replied in his grave and gravelly voice.


“Howler?” Ron repeated, his voice even higher than before.


“Yes, Mr. Weasley, I’m afraid so,” replied McGonagall and she daintily bit into an apple. “And it has caused all of the parents to pull their children out of school. I’m afraid if things do not improve, Hogwarts will be closed.”


“Well, that’s a gosh darn shame!” exclaimed Ginny earnestly.


“Hey guys, I think I smell a mystery on our hands!” exclaimed Hermione, pushing up her glasses again.


“Golly, you’re right, Hermione!” agreed Harry as he smacked the table with his open hand. “Headmaster Dumbledore, someone must be trying to shut down your school!”


“Why do you say that, Mr. Potter?” queried the Headmaster.


“Well, because everybody knows that there’s no such thing as a Howler,” Ginny said as though it was obvious.


“I’m afraid that I have seen him myself, Miss Weasley,” correctly Dumbledore.


“It’s a bad omen,” Mr. Filch warned as he stood to leave the room. “A Howler means nothing but trouble for those who go sticking their noses where they don’t belong. I remember a tale of a girl who tried to do away with a Howler and got dismembered for her trouble….”


By this point, Ron and Padfoot were nearly passed out, half from terror and half from over-eating. “Aw man Pad, I don’t know what we’re doing here!” exclaimed Ron.


Ruh-uh!” agreed Padfoot.


“Be quiet guys,” Harry said. “We have to help these people or their school will be shut down!”


“Well, who ever liked school anyway?” Ron muttered, still shivering and holding on to Padfoot tightly.


Across the table, Professor Lupin cleared his throat. “Our school is a beloved home to hundreds of students, some of whom begged to stay when we shut down classes.”


“Oh. Well, I guess they don’t mind it,” Ron said weakly.


“No,” Professor Lupin allowed kindly. “In fact, I too have spent most of my life here. If the school closes, I will lose the only real home I’ve ever known.” The older man stood up, gathering several scrolls of parchment and books. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some things to pack in my quarters.”


Criminey, that’s awful!” exclaimed Hermione as the Professor exited the Hall. “Harry, we’ve got to help them!”


Harry nodded, looking decisive. “I know, and we will. We need to split up and search for clues!”




Searching for clues was certainly nothing new to Magic, Inc. – it was one of the best ways they knew to track down a bad guy.


Unfortunately, Ron and Padfoot were having…qualms about the plan. They had been sorted into a team with Hermione and Dumbledore, but as per usual, were having trouble getting motivated.


“No way, man,” Ron said as his knees knocked together. “Pad and I are waaaay too smart to go wandering around a dusty, dark old castle where there is known to be a Howler. Right, Pad?”


“Uh-huh, uh-huh,” Pad agreed with an emphatic nod.


Hermione, quite put out by their ridiculous behavior, rolled her eyes. “Fine then, scaredy cats, you two can stay here while we go to look for the Howler.” She turned and started to lead the group away.


“A…a…a…ALONE?!” gulped Ron. He looked at Padfoot, Padfoot looked at him, and they both scrambled to catch up. “Wait for us!”




In the other group, Harry looked around at the architecture appreciatively. “This castle sure is amazing, Professor McGonagall.”


“Thank you, Mister Potter,” she replied. “It’s a very unique building.”


“What do you mean, Professor?” asked Ginny, tossing a red lock of hair behind her shoulder.


“Well, besides being a historical landmark, Hogwarts is known for its secret rooms and passageways,” explained the Professor. “There are so many that it’s hard to keep track of them sometimes.” She hesitated, looking around. “In fact, I’m almost certain that there was one around here somewhere.”


Just then, the large statue of a Pegasus slid to one side and revealed a giant, hairy, growling beast!


“It’s the Howler!” exclaimed Harry. “Run!”




Across the castle, Headmaster Dumbledore, Hermione, Ron, and Padfoot were making their own rounds. “I don’t like the looks of this, Pad,” Ron said nervously. “This is one dark and spooky castle. Not to mention the full moon,” he added, looking out the window. “Freaky things always happen when the moon is full.”


Ruh-huh!” agreed Padfoot, his doggy knees knocking.


“Don’t be ridiculous,” Hermione said dismissively. “There’s no logical reason weirder things should happen during the full moon than any other time.”


“Logical or not, it’s true!” Ron insisted in the face of her somewhat know-it-all demeanor. “Like, I’m always way hungrier during the full moon.”


“Now that is freaky,” Hermione agreed.


“Yeah,” Ron nodded before frowning. “Wait a minute. Hey! You just….”


Luckily, at this point Dumbledore interceded. “I believe we have searched the entirety of this floor.”


“I think so too, Headmaster. Let’s head downstairs,” Hermione agreed.


Ron and Padfoot were only too happy to go along with this, because downstairs was where the food was. Unfortunately, before they could reach the leftovers that were beckoning to them, their path was intercepted by something large and scary.


Jinkies, it’s the Howler!” Hermione yelped.


There was no reason for her to worry about anyone else — Ron and Padfoot were already tearing down the hall. Dumbledore took Hermione by the arm and followed suit—but not before Hermione noticed a strange looking piece of paper clinging to one of the Howler’s claws.




After what seemed like hours and several repetitive passes down hallways, everyone ended up back in the Great Hall. And while they were a bit shaken, there didn’t seem to be any major injuries.


“Can we leave now?” Ron asked, Padfoot cradled in his arms. “Please?”


“Not a chance!” exclaimed Harry. “I have a plan!”


It seemed like Harry always had a plan. “Jeepers, Harry, that’s great!” exclaimed Ginny.


Ginny, in turn, was always enthusiastic about Harry’s plans.


“I don’t know. Unless the plan is getting out of here, I don’t think Pads and I are going to like it very much,” Ron said dubiously.


“Don’t be silly, Ron. It’s really very simple. We’re just going to lure the Howler in here. Hermione is going to use her wand to cast a thin sheet of ice on the floor, which will cause the Howler to lose its footing. It will then slide into this table, and I can push the table back, pinning it against the far wall. Ginny, who will be flying overhead on her broomstick, will then drop a net over it, just to be sure it’s trapped.”


Ron looked at Padfoot. Padfoot looked at Ron. “Right. Simple. Why didn’t we think of that?” Ron finally said. Then, after a moment’s thought, he asked, “Wait. How are we going to lure the Howler in here?”


At this, Harry hesitated. “Well…that’s where you and Padfoot come in.”


“You mean that you want us to be the bait?! No! No way, not happening, absolutely positively not.”


Ru-uh!” Padfoot agreed.


Hermione sighed, walking up to them and reaching into her pocket. “Would you do it for a Chocolate Frog?”


They hesitated, but in the end their cowardice outweighed their stomachs. “No!”


This seemed to cause a moment’s hesitation before Hermione reached into her pocket once more. “Would you do it for two Chocolate Frogs?”


Honestly, Ron didn’t believe it was possible to say no to two Chocolate Frogs. Their agreeable response could barely be heard over the gulping.




“Man, Pads, I just don’t know how we get ourselves into this,” Ron said as they prowled the halls nervously.


Though silent, Padfoot appeared to agree with his bewilderment.


“It’s those Chocolate Frogs, man. We’ve got to start looking out for that trick.”




They proceeded down the hall side by side. “So…do you see any Howlers about?”


“Rope,” Padfoot confirmed. Roo?”


“No, nothing,” Ron confirmed before brushing away what he assumed was Padfoot tapping his shoulder. “Pads, stop that.”




As if in slow motion, Ron turned around—only to see the Howler hunched behind him, waving a hello. Zoinks!”


The two friends ran. The Howler, according to plan, followed them. Down the stairs, across the hall, and straight into the Great Hall Ron and Padfoot led the monster straight into Harry’s trap. “Incoming!” shouted Ron as he barreled into the room.


On cue, Hermione crouched down to cast her ice spell. What she neglected to take into account, however, was the fact that Ron and Padfoot were still running away from the Howler. As a result, when the ice spread under their feet, it wasn’t only the Howler who went spinning out of control, but Ron and Padfoot as well.


The three slipped and slid, finally colliding into one another in a mass of arms and legs that promptly zoomed into the table Harry was standing behind. Somehow, the force of this collision actually managed to propel Harry into the air. With a yell, Harry made a mad grab for the broom Ginny was flying nearby on, managing to catch the handle—but not before he jostled Ginny enough to make her lose balance.


She squealed and they both tipped over, ending up completely tangled in their own net. Ron and Padfoot were just starting to stir against the far wall, and Hermione’s ice was beginning to melt.


Still, the Howler was successfully unconscious, its limbs somehow captured in a chair.


This prompted a triumphant holler from Harry. “It worked!”


Finally, Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, and Mr. Filch arrived on the scene. “Good heavens,” Professor McGonagall said. “What have you children been up to?”




It took awhile to untangle everyone and properly revive Ron and Padfoot. By the time everything was set to rights, the Howler was starting to stir. Luckily, he was securely caught by the chair.


Harry, once he had helped Ginny straighten her outfit, marched up to their pursuer. “Now it’s time to unmask you!” he exclaimed before reaching out to pull on its furry head.


“Harry, don’t!” Hermione warned.


When all Harry’s pulling did was cause a growl to arise from the Howler’s throat, Harry backed away. “Say Hermione…is that a real Howler?”


She sighed, rolling up her sleeves. “I was trying to tell you. It isn’t fake. He really is a Howler — or a werewolf, if you prefer. I don’t think he meant to scare anyone, though.”


“Well, who is it?” Ginny asked, still smoothing out the last few wrinkles.


“The only person not in this room with us — Professor Lupin. Look, you can see a bit of parchment stuck in his claws from the scrolls he was carrying earlier.”


“But why would Professor Lupin try to shut down the school?” Professor McGonagall asked.


“He wasn’t. When he figured out that he was the Howler, I think he was locking himself in his room on nights with a full moon, hoping that would do the trick. After all, better to tear apart a few scrolls than a student, right?” Hermione reasoned. “No, the problems started when someone figured out what was going on and began letting him out of his room.”


“Who?” asked Dumbledore.


Honestly, Hermione felt that by this point, it should have been kind of obvious. Still, she humored him. “The only person with a master key, of course — the caretaker, Mr. Filch!”


Everyone’s eyes swung towards Mr. Filch, who was glowering at them all. “I was so close! The school is so nice and quiet without all those brats running around! It was the perfect plan, and it would have worked, too — if it wasn’t for you darn kids!”




The next morning, Professor Lupin was back to his normal self, Mr. Filch had been dismissed of his duties, and the students were beginning to trickle back into school.


Outside, Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, and Professor Lupin came to say goodbye.


“We can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve done!” insisted Dumbledore. “Please, come back any time.”


“Not very likely,” Ron muttered under his breath.


Harry put a hand on his shoulder to silence him. “We were just happy to help.”


“And help you did, Mr. Potter. Students are returning faster than we can get their rooms ready. Now that Professor Lupin has agreed to be locked in a secret room during the full moon, no one is worried about an attack!”


“Glad to hear it,” Ginny said sincerely as they made their way to the car.


“Sure,” Ron agreed. “Thrilled. Now, can we get out of here before classes actually start?”