A painful lesson

Malfoy discovers what happens when you don’t pay attention in class

Extract from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

by J.K. Rowling

Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle had taken over Buckbeak. He had bowed to Malfoy, who was now patting his beak, looking disdainful.

‘This is very easy,’ Malfoy drawled, loud enough for Harry to hear him. ‘I knew it must have been, if Potter could do it ... I bet you’re not dangerous at all, are you?’ he said to the Hippogriff. ‘Are you, you ugly great brute?’

It happened in a flash of steely talons; Malfoy let out a high pitched scream and next moment, Hagrid was wrestling Buckbeak back into his collar as he strained to get at Malfoy, who lay curled in the grass, blood blossoming over his robes.

‘I’m dying!’ Malfoy yelled, as the class panicked. ‘I’m dying, look at me! It’s killed me!’

‘Yer not dyin’!’ said Hagrid, who had gone very white.

‘Someone help me – gotta get him outta here –’ Hermione ran to open the gate while Hagrid lifted Malfoy easily. As they passed, Harry saw that there was a long, deep gash in Malfoy’s arm; blood splattered the grass and Hagrid ran with him, up the slope towards the castle.

Very shaken, the Care of Magical Creatures class followed at a walk. The Slytherins were all shouting about Hagrid.

‘They should sack him straight away!’ said Pansy Parkinson, who was in tears.

‘It was Malfoy’s fault!’ snapped Dean Thomas. Crabbe and Goyle flexed their muscles threateningly.

They all climbed the stone steps into the deserted Entrance Hall.

‘I’m going to see if he’s OK!’ said Pansy, and they all watched her run up the marble staircase. The Slytherins, still muttering about Hagrid, headed away in the direction of their dungeon common room; Harry, Ron and Hermione proceeded upstairs to Gryffindor Tower.

‘D’you think he’ll be all right?’ said Hermione nervously.

‘Course he will, Madam Pomfrey can mend cuts in about a second,’ said Harry, who had had far worse injuries mended magically by the matron. ‘That was a really bad thing to happen in Hagrid’s first class, though, wasn’t it?’ said Ron, looking worried. ‘Trust Malfoy to mess things up for him ...’

They were among the first to reach the Great Hall at dinnertime, hoping to see Hagrid, but he wasn’t there. ‘They wouldn’t sack him, would they?’ said Hermione anxiously, not touching her steak-and-kidney pudding.

‘They’d better not,’ said Ron, who wasn’t eating either.

Harry was watching the Slytherin table. A large group including Crabbe and Goyle were huddled together, deep in conversation. Harry was sure they were cooking up their own version of how Malfoy had got injured.

‘Well, you can’t say it wasn’t an interesting first day back,’ said Ron gloomily.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

By J.K. Rowling

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