We Duggles had a big surprise at Dogwart’s this week. Headmistress Hermione enrolled her dog, Hairy Pawter. Of course, he’s named after the Headmistress’ best friend, Harry Potter. He even looks a bit like him.
It all started when Professor Hagrid left his hut and crossed the grounds to the Magical Creatures meadow, where we were waiting for class to begin. Beside him was a small terrier mix wearing a rather large pair of spectacles. “I’d like to introduce you Duggles to your new classmate, Hairy Pawter. He will be joining the Gryffindog House.” We all wagged and nodded. Hairy Pawter sat next to Hagrid, looking a bit shy.
Just then, an older woman with wild grey hair ran out from behind a tree, wielding what looked like a large fountain pen. Her heavily lipsticked mouth took the shape of a dash punctuating a pair of wildly blinking eyes. Standing next to her was a small, round man with a large, old-fashioned camera slung about his neck. “Well, well…What have we here?” sneered the woman.
Hagrid, seeming to be caught off balance, turned and stuttered. “Rita Skeeter! What business have you here at Dogwart’s?….Er, can’t you see I’m busy with the Duggles?…You must leave this minute.” But the way Hagrid talked, he didn’t sound so sure of himself. We Duggles knew there’d be trouble. It looked like Rita Skeeter was Hagrid’s alpha dog.
As Hagrid spoke, Rita Skeeter’s pen scribbled madly over a piece of yellowed parchment which was unrolling itself mid air. “I’m just here to get a story about that Unqualified Muggle Headmistress’ dog.” Rita Skeeter’s dash-like mouth turned slightly upward at each end to form a poison smile. “Duggles, let me introduce myself. I am Rita Skeeter, journalist extraordinaire, from The Daily Prophet.” She didn’t smell right, so a few of us gave off some low growls. “Yes, well then,” she continued, “I just want to get a few pictures…Hairy Pawter, please sit still,” demanded Rita Skeeter.
“If you have his picture, will you leave straight away?” asked Professor Hagrid.
“Of course,” Rita waved a quick hand at Hagrid, as she turned to Hairy. “Get his photo,” she commanded the photographer. “And try to make him look mean.” The photographer went to work, the flash bulb going off in a series of pops. It was hard not to bark.
I tried to photo bomb, but Rita Skeeter became exasperated. “Will all non-important dogs…meaning everyone who is NOT Hairy Pawter, please clear the photography area?” She looked at me sternly, and her pen stopped midair and turned its point right at me. It was kind of scary, so I hopped down, and took a seat behind Hagrid’s huge boot.
When that was over, Rita Skeeter and her photographer disappeared in a puff of putrid green smoke. “Unbelievable!” Hagrid stomped his foot, shaking all of us Duggles while the earth below us unsettled and resettled itself. “At it again, she is. Can’t leave the Potters or Weasleys alone…even their dog. I suppose a poison pen story is on its way.”
“I’m sorry Duggles. Class is cancelled. I have to discuss this with the Headmistress.”
This was the second emergency class cancellation at Dogwart’s this week. But the good thing is we got extra recess time and Hairy Pawter came running along with us! I love his shiny black nose. Don’t tell anyone, but I think I might have a crush on him. Or maybe I’m just star struck. One never knows.