I finally have time to tell you about what happened when coach pulled me into her office. I had just made an announcement over the microphone at Quidditch practice about Hairy Pawter and Chase taking midnight joyrides on the Hippogriff. Madam Pooch revealed their little secret while demonstrating a water bowl reading for me during detention. Honey and I felt betrayed, so I couldn’t wait to get back at Chase and Hairy. I guess I should have checked my facts and made sure I had all my bones in a row first.
After my rather public announcement during practice, Coach led me across the field. I followed, tail between my legs. To my surprise, instead of entering her hut, she continued prancing toward Dogwart’s castle, through a maze of stone hallways, and into a huge room with a ceiling so high it seemed the windows arched to the sky. The chamber was completely empty, save for five dog beds at the center, laid out in a circular formation.
Coach motioned for me to take a seat, so I sniffed a bed, dug a little bit, and circled three times before making myself comfortable. She sat directly across from me, looking more worried than angry. During this entire time, she hadn’t barked a word. I thought about making small talk, but just as I was deciding whether that was a good idea, a loud echo spread through the room as a door opened somewhere behind me, followed by the sound of three sets of paws coming toward us. To my surprise, Hairy Pawter and Chase each seated themselves on a bed, followed by a black dog with white facial markings that spread up her nose, then arched like a fountain over her eyebrows.
“Harper, this is the Auror, Isis,” Coach barked matter of factly. My ears pricked up. If Coach didn’t have my attention before, she certainly did now. To tell you the truth, even though I know it’s rude, it was hard not to stare at Isis. The Auror licked her lips and began. “Hairy Pawter and Chase haven’t been taking Hippogriff joyrides, Harper, they were asked to help me monitor, well, a certain unpleasant situation that has arisen here at Dogwart’s.”
I looked over at Hairy Pawter and Chase, giving them each a tentative wag. Maybe they hadn’t left Honey and I out on purpose after all.
“We were trying to keep it all under wraps, but with Madam Pooch’s partially correct water bowl revelation, you have unfortunately become involved.”
Isis was looking at me intently. She walked slowly over to my dog bed, circled the perimeter, all the time sniffing slowly and vigorously. I felt as if she could smell my thoughts.
“But I like to be involved,” I tried to bark helpfully.
Isis let out a low growl, and Coach harrumphed.
“She does have the sight,” Isis said.
“But she’s just a poodle,” was Coach’s response. Well, that took me down a notch. “And she only weighs nine pounds. She’s a toy.”
Coach and the Auror continued debating back and forth.
“She’s got chutzpah.”
“She’s foolish and doesn’t think before she barks.”
“She can be trained. And no one would suspect her of working with us.”
Finally, Coach had no response. I puffed up a little.
Then they all turned to me, deadly serious expressions on their faces. “Harper, watch the center of the circle.” Isis cast a spell with her tail, and a holographic image of the most terrifying dog I’ve ever seen appeared before us. It had the eyes of a serpent, and it looked right at me. I couldn’t help it, I started to shake.
“What is it?” I managed.
“That, Harper, is a Dementor-Dog.”
“Oh, my God, I said…It’s a poodle.” And then, I’m embarrassed to say, I fainted on the spot.