CHAPTER 58 – Am I Harry Potter?
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After the welcome feast, they had a nice start to the term, and while the rest of the classes were, as usual, there was one coming that Logan was quite excited about.

“Come closer, kids!” Kettleburn said as he guided the third-year students towards the border of the forest. Today was their first day of Care of Magical Creatures classes, and all of them were excited, except for a few that couldn’t stop looking at their professor, who had more prosthetic parts than body parts. “I know today is going to be the first day of most of you being in front of a magical creature, that’s why we’re going to start with something really exciting!” Kettleburn said with an excited smile as he led them through the border of the forest. That was reason enough to calm some of the students that were scared of actually going inside the forest; except, of course, for the Twins, who were disappointed about not going inside.

{...I might have some experience with magical creatures…} Logan thought as he chuckled inwardly.

[More like experience killing magical creatures.] The system quickly rebuked him, to which Logan decided not to answer.

“What do you think he’s going to show us?” Lyra asked in a quiet voice as she walked beside Logan.

“No idea…” Logan shook his head. “But it can be anything… I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a dragon from what the seniors told me…”

“A… what…?” Lyra asked, dumbfounded. “You know that’s not possible, right? No teacher would allow a dragon here.”

“Well, yeah, but they told me how professor Kettleburn liked magical creatures so much; the more dangerous they are, the more he loves them.” Logan said with an awkward smile as he nodded toward the professor. “That’s mainly the reason why his body is so maimed.”

“And he’s still teaching this class…?” Lyra muttered dumbfounded.

“Well, yeah? I told you. He loves magical creatures and his profession. To the point of being proud of those scars. Or so Andrew told me.” Logan shrugged.

The whole class kept walking until they reached a fence that covered a meadow just outside of the forest, it was really spacious, but it was empty.

“Now, kids, what you’re about to see will surprise you for certain!” Kettleburn said with his usual excitement. “Get close to the fence.” He said as he beckoned them to get closer, while also looking towards the meadow. “We’ll just have to wait for a moment or two.”

“What are we waiting for, sir?” Alicia Spinnet asked as she raised her hand.

“For Hagrid, he was supposed to bring the creatures here.” Kettleburn said.

“What do you think he’s going to show us?” Fred, who had come close to Logan with George, asked in a low voice.

“Not sure. But this place sure is big.” Logan said as he looked at the fenced meadow where Kettleburn was looking. “...Will it really be a dragon?” He muttered.

“Don’t even mention it.” Lyra trembled, still scared of the idea of a dragon popping out of nowhere.

As they joked and talked about what it could be, the sound of galloping horses started to make itself present, getting all their attention.

“He’s finally here!” Kettleburn said with an excited smile. “Are you seeing them?” He turned to look at the students, at the same time he pointed toward a group of galloping creatures.

{Holy shit… hippogriffs? That’s so cool!} Logan thought as he looked at the creatures that were a mix of a horse and an eagle. {Now that I think about it, are there griffins in this world? There has to be, right?} He thought as he made a mental note to look at more information regarding the topic later on.

On the meadow, a dozen of hippogriffs were galloping towards the end of the fence. They could see Hagrid running behind them as he held chains that were connected to a thick leather collar. Each Hippogriff had one of these collars on its neck.

“Professor Kettleburn, ‘here they are, sir.” Hagrid said as he tied the creatures to the fence.

“Excellent Hagrid, thank you for your help.” Kettleburn said, to which Hagrid just nodded and walked slightly back.

“Um… Are these hippogriffs?” A student from Hufflepuff asked as he raised his hand.

“Yes! Yes, they are!” Kettleburn said as he nodded. “These are indeed hippogriffs.” Kettleburn said as he widely pointed at the creatures now tied to the fence. “In Hogwarts, we have a flock of these magnificent creatures, which of course, are being taken care of with the help of me and Hagrid. But we are not here to talk about that. Now, I’m sure that most of you would love to know more about hippogriffs, but take into account that these are not creatures that you can get close to as you wish, they are really proudful and territorial creatures, very easy to enrage, so they might attack those that carelessly approach them.”

“Um… Wouldn’t it be dangerous for us to be here then?” Carla Moncado asked as she raised her hand.

“Not at all! We’re here after all.” Kettleburn said with a laugh as he pointed at Hagrid and himself. “Now, let’s start with our lesson, open up your books and look for the section about hippogriffs. Look up for the H letter.“

As the lesson advanced, Kettleburn made some clarifications as he used some of the hippogriffs as an example with the help of Hagrid, though keeping everyone at bay so no one recklessly tried to get close to the creature. Not that anyone, if we don’t count Logan, tried. Hagrid had to ask him to step back a couple of times, as he unconsciously got close to them. Something that actually irritated Lyra, who once took him from the arm and pulled him away from the hippogriffs, making everyone, including Hagrid, laugh.

“Okay kids, you can all close your books.” Kettleburn said as he grinned widely, his only functioning eye exploring the group of students. “The best part of the lesson will start now! And for that, would you do the honors, Mr. Taylor?” Kettleburn asked with his wide smile as he looked towards Logan.

“Huh? Me? What honors?” Logan, who had been staring at the hippogriff without paying attention to the class, was woken up, tilting his head at the professor.

“Well, I’ve noticed that you’ve been… quite interested in our friends here, isn’t that right?” Kettleburn asked with a knowing grin, which caused most of the class, and Hagrid, to laugh.

“Um… well… yeah…” Logan scratched the back of his head while smiling awkwardly. “What do I have to do?”

“Well, it’s pretty simple, really!” Kettleburn smiled. “I’m going to teach the class etiquette when treating one of these creatures, and to do so, I need someone to represent the example. Don’t worry, I’ll guide you through every step and Hagrid here will make sure that you don’t get hurt. Listen well to me, and no harm will fall on you, kid.” Kettleburn said as he beckoned Logan to come closer with a wide smile.

“Um… professor?” Lyra raised her hand. “Isn’t that too dangerous for a student?”

“Nonsense, as I said, Hagrid and I are here, nothing will happen.” Kettleburn said as he waved his hand. “Now, come on Mr. Taylor.”

Logan's eyes shined at the implications, after all, it was one of the scenes that he liked the most in the movies. And so, without wasting any time, he walked forwards, towards the professor Kettleburn, while Hagrid pulled a hippogriff from the dozen that were tied to the fence.

All the hippogriffs had different colors, their feathers and hair could be seen in colors brown, pink roan, dark grey, bronze, and inky black. These colors seemed to shine on their body, which made them really beautiful creatures once the initial scare had passed.

The one that Hagrid was pulling towards them had inky black feathers, which degraded into a dark grey colored hair on the hippogriff’s back. Its eyes were of brilliant orange color, while its beak had an iron color.

“Ok, kid. This is what you have to do. Pay close attention to what I’ll instruct you.” Kettleburn said as he motioned Logan to stop somewhere close to the creature, Hagrid standing beside the creature with the collar on his hands, leaving the hippogriff free. Even then, Hagrid was close enough to stop it, while also being far enough to leave some space so Logan could move and follow Kettleburn’s instructions. “His name is Swiftcolt. Now, you have to stare at his eyes, don’t blink. Though, it seems that’s not really a problem for you, kid.” Kettleburn chuckled, after all, Logan had been seeing the hippogriffs without blinking for a while.

Logan nodded as he stared at Swiftcolt, unblinking. The hippogriff turned his big head towards Logan and rested his sharp orange eyes on him. Logan could see himself reflecting on those shiny orange eyes sharply looking at him.

“You’re doing great, kid. Now, calmly bow your head.” Kettleburn said without raising his voice, trying not to alter the creature. Logan slowly did so, and with his head bowed, he slightly turned to look at the hippogriff. Swiftcolt, in return, also did a deep reverence, folding his front legs that had claws of at least 15 centimeters in length. “Excellent! You did it, kid. Now you can get close to him and caress his beak. Give him a few pats.”

Without wasting time, Logan went and softly caressed the beak of Swiftcolt. The hippogriff closed its eyes and pushed towards Logan’s hand, moving his big head comfortably.

“Look at that!” Kettleburn said as he laughed. “He really likes you kid.”

“Neve’ seen Swiftcold so tame, righ’ professor?” Hagrid asked.

“That’s true, Hagrid.” Kettleburn nodded. “Now, what do you say kid? Interested in flying on it?”

“Can I?” Logan, who was still focused on caressing Swiftcolt, quickly turned his head to look at the professor.

“Yes, of course!” Kettleburn continued. “Normally it wouldn’t happen, but it’s not usual for a hippogriff to be so tamed in front of a student, from the looks of it, Swiftcolt will let you ride on it. Now, sit on his back, right behind the birth of the wings.”

Logan quickly used the wing of the hippogriff to jump on his back. Without a saddle, he had to accept that it was quite difficult for him to hold to the creature. Not impossible, just difficult. {Thankfully, I rode animals before.} He thought.

[None of those were flying creatures.] Retorted the system.

“Hol’ on tigh’.” Hagrid said. “An’ try no’ to pluc’ his feathers, he won’ like it.”

“Ready, kid?” Kettleburn asked with a smile. For him, sharing the excitement of the magical creatures was always a joyous moment. “Off you go!” And with a slap to Swiftcolt’s buttcheek, Logan turned into a dot in the distance. A quick run and a strong flap of his wings were all it took for Swiftcolt to elevate itself dozens of meters in the air.

“Professor, was it a good idea?” Hagrid asked Kettleburn, as he looked at the disappearing back of Logan.

“Mm…” Kettleburn rubbed his chin. “Swiftcolt has always been quite fast. I guess we should have used another hippogriff. But who would know that the prideful Swiftcolt would allow the kid to jump on his back.”

“Righ’…” Hagrid nodded. “Hope he doesn’ fal’.”

While Lyra was hearing the professor and Hagrid dumbfounded, the rest of the students were excited and cheering, while also exchanging what-ifs about them riding a hippogriff. At the same time, hundreds of meters above ground, Logan was amazed at the speed of the creature.

“This is amazing…” He muttered as he closed his eyes, feeling the wind on his face. Swiftcolt was fast. Faster than the broom he used before during flying classes. Even faster than him using his levitation and haste spells in combination. While holding the body of Swiftcolt, he leaned to his right, and the hippogriff, as if following him, turned to the right. He wasn’t sure what he was allowed to do, but in the movies, Harry had flown through the Black Lake, so there won’t be a problem if he did so, or so he thought, not really aware that in the books, Harry had just made a quick fly around the meadow before landing.

“Can you go faster?” He asked the creature as he leaned over his back to try and convey his words. Swiftcolt turned his head around, and after giving a loud screech before flapping his wings with more strength “WOOHOOOOO!” Logan shouted as he and Swiftcolt zoomed towards the Black Lake at high speed.

After a quick trip around the lake and Hogwarts schools, it was finally time to go back, and as such, Logan guided the hippogriff to fly back. Soon, they were already descending to the meadows, where the rest of the students and hippogriffs were waiting. Between cheerings and loud shouts, Logan finally landed and after a slow throttle, Swiftcolt stopped close to the group, allowing Logan to jump down.

“Amazing kid! That was truly amazing!” Kettleburn said as he clapped, or well, tried to clap with one of his hands being replaced by a prosthetic. “10 points for Ravenclaw!”

“Aigh’, it was amazin’, kid. Neve’ saw Swiftcol’ so permissiv’ to le’ someon’ ride ‘im an’ guide ‘im.” Hagrid also clapped as he patted Logan’s back with his giant hand.

“Well… that was a really nice flight. Any chance I can do that again anytime soon?” Logan asked Kettleburn, at the same time that Swiftcolt moved and softly rested his head on logan’s shoulder.

“Well, I’m not sure our rules allow that, kid. Trust me, as much as I want to find out how our less-than-friendly Swiftcolt got so attached to you, McGonagall won’t let me hear the end of it if I allowed.” Kettleburn said as he shook his head. “But!” He suddenly raised a finger. “I can maybe try to talk to Dumbledore and ask him for your help in taking care of the flock.”

“That sounds amazing, sir.” Logan said with a nod as he caressed Swiftcolt.

“When it’s going to be our turn?” Fred suddenly interrupted.

“Yes, can’t we try and pet them too?” George also said.

“Right, I almost forgot about the class haha!” Kettleburn laughed as he opened the door of the fence. “Now, kids, let’s get to the practice. It’s time for you all to go through the reverence. But beware! It’s not at all common for a hippogriff to let you ride on them. So, don’t try it unless explicitly told so!” Kettleburn said as he guided the children to the flock of hippogriffs. “Now, Mr. Taylor, you have experience, so please help your peers if you can.”

“Surely, professor.” Logan nodded and started to walk through the groups, helping anyone that was too scared to proceed alone. Hagrid and Kettleburn did the same. Making it one of the most interesting classes they’ve ever had.

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