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Mrs. Norris

by Ahmed Sherief 2 years ago in fan fiction
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A Harry Potter fanfiction story.

Mrs. Norris and Argus Filch - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

"My name is Mrs. Norris, it is an honor to meet you, Mr. Filch," said the thirty years old woman as she raised her gentle hand in a conservative handshake.

"The honor is all mine, my lady", replied Argus Filch, as he took her hand into his, bent slightly, and planted a quick kiss on the tips of her fingers.

Both Argus Filch and Briana Norris were part of the guest list at a small party thrown by their neighbor, Mrs. Pigolo to celebrate the return of Mrs. Norris from the United States to live in her ancestral village west of England.

Mrs. Norris had lived in the village with her parents before leaving to the states to marry an American businessman whom she fell in love with.

"We are really thrilled to have you back, my dear," said Mrs. Pigolo in a shrill voice, “It was devastating to hear about the untimely death of your husband."

Briana turned towards Mrs. Pigolo and dabbed her eyes while nodding slightly, accepting the welcoming words from the old woman, " I am happy to be back as well my kind lady. The village hasn't changed much since I left, although I see a few new faces," she said, smiling courteously.

There was only one new face in the village; that was the bony face of Argus Filch with his slightly bulging eyes and uneven teeth. He took the hint, tried to give the most charming smile he could manage but failed, so it seemed more like a twitch than a smile

"Aye. I moved into the village only three years ago, my lady, I didn’t get the chance to meet your lovely mother, though. We lost her merely a week after I arrived."

He immediately regretted bringing up the subject of her mother as her eyes went sullen and sad at the mention, "Yes, I was told she was never found," she said with a hushed voice.

"That's damn right," said the harsh voice of Mr. Brandon, the village's barber as he put down his cup with a slight bang on the wooden table.

"She slept in her bed one Saturday night, next day when people missed her at the church they called on her but found no one in the house. Only her cat was found curled up in the corner of the bedroom."

Briana looked at him, sadness filling her eyes, "And not even the police could find her?"

The barber's voice was full of mystery as he said, " They could find nothing at all, not even a footprint. It was like... Well, I'll be damned, it was like magic."

"Yes, just like magic. Such a tragic thing to happen. And just a few months after my father's death," said Briana while looking dreamily out of the window.

"It was a pretty weird cat your mother kept as a pet, darling, I have to tell you," said Mrs. Pigolo while putting cookies in plates and distributing them to her guests.

"She kept showing at people's doorsteps for a month after dear Nancy disappeared, then one day she was nowhere to be found either."

"And... And no one presumed to take her in, Mrs. Pigolo?" asked Briana softly, with a hint of hope in her voice.

"Oh, dear God, no. It had the weirdest look in her eyes that cat, no one liked it," answered the old woman.

"Well, it's all in the past now," said Briana as she stood up and tried to put on a fresh, happy face, "Where is the Brandy, Mrs. Pigolo?"

The party went on without any further mention of Mrs. Norris's husband or mother.

Out of all the people attending the party, it was clear that Briana Norris had a special interest in the not-so-handsome Mr. Filch. Despite the fact that both Dr. Bernard Smith, the village's physician, with his quick wits and smart jokes, and the devilishly handsome and muscly Magnus Anderson, the woodcutter's son were both trying to attract her attention.

***

The MacArthur family, Briana's family name before her marriage, were one of the wealthiest families in the village. Her father, Archibald was a merchant of antiquities and artifacts. He used to travel the world collecting such items and then selling them for great profit at his store in the nearby city. He always kept his home in the village though, returning to it each night after he closed the store.

One day, Mr. MacArthur returned from his travels not with an artifact, but with a wife. Nancy MacArthur kept to her house most of the time and only went out on Sundays to the church, or to buy some food for her family.

Archibald never told anyone where he met his wife despite the continuous curiosity of the village folks. In the end, they gave up and stopped asking. She was nice and spoke perfect English, so they decided to assume she was from some other English town or city and accepted her as one of them.

Nancy soon gave birth to a daughter. They called her Briana, and she seemed as pretty and fragile as her mother. She grew up attending the local schools, and when she was seventeen, she started assisting her father in the store. It was there, three years later, that she met her husband, Mr. Norris, while he was shopping for some Ancient Egyptian artifacts.

Mr. Norris came back to the store several times with several excuses, but his real motive was to see Briana. They both fell in love, and a few months later, Briana was on the boat traveling to the new world as Mrs. Norris.

Ten years later her husband passed away in an accident, and she went back to live in the village of her childhood.

***

Knock, knock, knock...

Mr. Filch's bony fingers were tapping on the glass of Mrs. Norris's door. He stood in front of her house, holding a bunch of flowers in his right hand and trying to look as smart as he could.

The door opened slightly, then the pale, long face of Briana Norris appeared behind it. She gave a gentle smile and opened the door, giving way for him to come in, "Please do come in, Mr. Filch."

"Please, call me Argus. We are friends, no?", Said Filch as he handed her the flowers and took off his coat.

The inside of the house was spacious with everything made of different shades of brown. From the ceiling dangled a chandelier that contained at least a thousand finely cut crystals.

"My father made it himself," said Briana as she glimpsed him eyeing the chandelier, "He brought the crystals from a country in the east, then the assembled the whole thing by himself, he was very proud of it," she continued, smiling, as she took his coat and hanged it on the coat rack.

"It is a piece of art," he said, "He must have lived a thrilling life, traveling the world."

"He did," she said while guiding him to a smaller, cozier room that had two armchairs sitting in front of a fireplace where fire crackled from several burning logs. Warmth spread from the fireplace, and shadows danced on the walls.

They both sat down on the chairs, as Briana's hand reached to a bottle and two glasses on a nearby side table, "Wine?" she asked, as she started pouring the red liquid into the glasses, not waiting for an answer, "I took you for a wine person, Argus, I hope I was not mistaken."

"Not at all, Mrs. Norris. Not at all," he said as he reached his hand and accepted the glass that she was offering to him.

"Please, call me Briana. We are friends, no?"

"Of course. It is my honor to be your friend Mrs. Nor - I mean, Briana," Argus stammered.

They both laughed heartily, then Briana put her glass down on the side table and looked intently into Filch's eyes, and said with a serious tone, "Argus, you’re a wizard, aren't you?"

He almost choked on his wine, before swallowing what he had in his mouth and asking frantically, "A what? A wizard? My lady, I do not understand what you are talking about."

"I can feel the traces of magic in you, Argus. I have magic inside of me as well", she said matter-of-factly, "Now, please answer me, are you a wizard?"

He stared at her quietly for a few moments before answering," No. I am not."

"Then why do I sense magic in you? I never mistook a muggle for a wizard before."

"I am not a wizard. My father was. He was a capable wizard. But I am not," he shifted into his seat uncomfortably and added," I am a squib."

"Oh, I see", she said with obvious disappointment in her voice, looking directly into the dancing fire.

His ears were red and hot and he could feel his temper rising, but he controlled his anger and asked in a neutral tone while looking down to the floor, "I know many great wizards, though. Maybe one of them can help you?"

"There is only one wizard who studied my affliction and can probably help me," she looked at Filch with empty eyes, "His name is Albus Dumbledore, do you know him?"

"As a matter of fact, I do."

Her look changed suddenly from despair to hope, "Can you take me to him? Please."

"I will have to ask him first. I will send him an owl and I will come back to you as soon as I have a reply," he said standing up and getting ready to leave.

"Argus. This conversation cannot leave the walls of this house. Do I have your promise?"

He smiled wearily, "Believe me, Briana, this conversation is as dangerous for me as it is for you."

She walked with him to the door, handed him his coat, and opened the door, "I don't have a lot of time, Argus," she said with a shuddering voice, "I am counting on you."

He held her gentle hands with his bony ones, looked deep into her brown eyes, and asked in a worried voice, "Briana, what is it? What is it that frightens you so much?"

She looked at her feet, hesitating for a moment, then she looked back at him," I will tell you the next time I see you. When you come back with an answer, I will tell you everything. I promise."

He let go of her hands, nodded silently, and started walking briskly towards the small house in which he lived. Once he reached the house he went straight to his desk, pulled out a small yellowish parchment, picked up the quill, dipped it in ink, and started writing.

"Dear Professor Dumbledore,

My neighbor, Mrs. Norris, asked me to send this letter to you. She is in dire need of your help, sir. She wouldn't tell me what it's about, but she is very afraid. I will be waiting for your reply as soon as possible.

Yours truly,

Argus Filch"

***

Dumbledore's answer arrived swiftly the next morning, clutched between the claws of a hawk owl,

"Dear Argus,

I am always available to help those who are in need. Please bring Mrs. Norris to the Three Broomsticks at the earliest opportunity and let me know once you have arrived.

Sincerely,

Albus Dumbledore"

Filch covered the few hundred yards that separated his house from that of Mrs. Norris in a couple of minutes. He reached the house and started banging on the door without restraint. But no one answered. The house was completely silent and there wasn't the slightest gesture of movement inside.

"Mrs. Norris. Briana?" shouted filch from the top of his lungs, "I have a reply from Dumbledore."

"What's the commotion about?" yelled Mrs. Pigolo as she stuck her head from the second-floor window of her house, looking indignantly at Filch.

Filch hesitated. For a split-second, he thought of asking her for help, to gather the men of the village and burst into the house to see why Briana was not answering the door, but he thought otherwise in the end. After all, it was a magical problem that Briana was facing, and he did not want to risk exposing the magical world to the people of the village.

"Oh, I am sorry, my lady, I will keep it down," he said with a hint of a smile.

Mrs. Pigolo retracted her head inside her house muttering about love and how it makes people stupid.

Filch decided to look for another entrance. He moved around the house looking for a window or a door through which he could slip inside. He finally found the kitchen door open at the back of the house. He entered without thinking.

"Mrs. Norris. Briana. Where are you?" he called, but there was no answer.

He looked all over the main floor but there was no trace of her anywhere. He decided to head upstairs and look in the second floor.

He climbed the stairs, "Briana, can you hear me?"

There were two bedrooms upstairs, one door was locked with a key, the second one was partially open with light flickering on the walls inside.

"Mrs. Norris?"

He walked until he was standing directly in front of the door. He dared not open it, what if she was inside, indecent? The scandal was going to follow him in the village forever. Peeping Argus went into Mrs. Norris's bedroom uninvited. The shame would kill him. But a few heartbeats later he overcame his worries. What if she was hurt and needed him? He pushed the door open.

There was nothing inside. Some clothes were scattered on the floor, a gas lamp was perched on the bedside table, and in the corner, a notebook was open on a small disk.

He felt desperate. She was nowhere to be found. His heart was pounding heavily, and his adrenalin-laden blood was rushing through his veins, turning his body into a bundle of agitated nerves. He turned around and took two steps towards the room's door when he heard a faint sound coming from inside the room.

" Meow."

He stopped in his tracks and listened intently.

"Meow."

There it was again, he was not imagining it, there is a cat here.

"Meow."

He moved towards the bed, went on his knees, and looked underneath it. There he found a pair of glinting eyes looking back at him.

"Meow,"

And then it hit him, and his eyes widened in horror as he remembered...

***

"I didn’t get the chance to meet your lovely mother, though."

"She was never found."

"…only her cat was found curled up in the corner of the bedroom."

"…it was like... Well, I'll be damned, it was like magic."

"It was a pretty weird cat your mother kept as a pet, darling."

"It had the weirdest look in her eyes, that cat."

***

"Mrs. Norris?" said Argus with trembling lips.

"Meow."

"Oh my God!"

"Meow," she walked from underneath the bed and moved towards him, where he was now sitting on the floor, cross-legged, and staring helplessly at her scrawny, dust-colored body. She curled up in his lap and looked intently in his eyes with her brown ones.

"Meow."

"Yes, my dear. I know. I was too late, wasn’t I?"

"Meow"

"It's ok. Come here. Listen. Dumbledore replied. He is ready to help. Whatever it is that happened to you he will..."

She slipped from his lap and with two leaps was on top of the small disk in the corner, with her paw on the notebook.

"Do you want me to read this?"

"Meow."

Filch approached the disk and picked up the notebook. It contained Briana's diary. He started reading the open page.

"I asked Argus for help. He was very surprised when I asked him if he was a wizard. The poor thing almost choked and died. I will admit it here to these pages. I love him. Yes, I do, very much. There is something in those dear bulging eyes of his betraying how kind and honest he is inside, despite his harsh, rugged appearance."

Argus's heart sank and his eyes filled with tears. He looked at the cat with eyes full of tears, and he reached out and patted her on the head.

"I love you too, Briana. I didn't know how to tell you. I never thought an angel face like yours can ever be in a picture with my ugly mug, let alone having feelings for me."

"Meow."

"I didn't tell him yet why I need Dumbledore's help,” the diary went on, “I will tell him everything when he returns with an answer. Let it be a yes or a no from Dumbledore, I will tell Argus about the curse. I will tell him why I swore never to have kids. I will tell him I am a Maledictus, and let him decide what to do with this information. If he loved me, maybe he would consider staying? Who knows?"

Argus couldn't keep it in anymore. Tears poured from his eyes and he started sobbing, gasping for air as he covered his face with both hands and fell to the chair beside the disk.

Mrs. Norris got closer to his face and started licking his fingers and nibbling on them affectionately. And as he raised his face to her, covered with tears, she started licking his face and mewing softly as if to comfort him. He hugged her tightly and cried into her gray fur for a few minutes.

As he calmed down, Filch put himself together, looked into the cat's brown eyes, and said, "Let's go. We are going to see the professor tomorrow. He will definitely find you a cure even if your transformation was permanent. He is a genius."

***

The next morning the train was carrying Filch and Mrs. Norris northwards into Scotland. They left the train at the station closest to Hogsmeade. The muggle train never stopped at the village's station, nor did any muggle know of its existence. They had to walk the rest of the way up to the village through a thick, entangled forest.

As they arrived at the Three Broomsticks, Argus sent an owl to Dumbledore letting him know of their arrival. And within an hour, the tall, thin figure of Albus Dumbledore was entering through the inn’s door with his half-moon spectacles, crooked nose. His brown hair and beard were lined with silver. He beamed at the sight of Filch sitting at a corner table.

Dumbledore walked to the table, pulled a chair, and sat down," Happy to see you again, Argus," he said.

Filch tried to smile, but couldn't, "Happy to see you as well, Professor."

"You don't look happy, Argus. Where is your friend? Where is Mrs. Norris?"

"She is right here, sir," said Filch, pointing to the cat standing to the side of his chair. Mrs. Norris stood there silently, with her eyes focusing intently on Dumbledore’s face.

Dumbledore looked uncertain, "A cat, Argus?" he asked raising his eyebrows slightly.

"A Maledictus, sir," answered Filch with tears gathering in his eyes as he handed Dumbledore the diary.

Dumbledore raised his eyebrows even higher, took a quick scan of the diary, and said in a calm voice, trying to sound as sympathetic as possible but failing to hide the glint in his eyes and the tone of eagerness in his voice as he said, "I am truly sorry for your friend, Argus. Or...", he paused as he read through the last page of the diary, "... should I say, lover?"

"We never had a chance to express our feelings, professor," said Filch as tears started dropping from his eyes.

"Is it... is it permanent at this point?" asked Dumbledore as he looked at the cat.

"It seems so, professor. But you will be able to help, yes?" asked Argus before giving a nervous laugh while he dabbed at his tears with a handkerchief, "You are a true genius."

Dumbledore closed the diary and placed it on the table in front of him, "I am afraid there is no known cure for the Maledictus curse, Argus. But...", he continued, seeing the alarmed look in Filch's eyes, "I promise you that I will do everything I can to help her"

"Thank you, professor. Thank you", said Filch with more tears running on his bony cheeks.

Dumbledore moved his eyes again towards Mrs. Norris and said, "Yes. I will definitely do everything in my power to find a cure for your friend here," then he looked at Filch again and continued, "As a matter of fact, I was already working on a cure for another Maledictus that I was hosting in the castle, but she, umm, disappeared a few years ago. I am sure she will resurface though, soon enough".

"Another...?" said Argus.

"Yes. She used to turn into a snake though, not a cat," said Dumbledore serenely.

He then spoke firmly and clearly, as if he came out of a trance, "Listen, Argus, I think it is about time you took me up on my offer for the caretaker job in Hogwarts. You both will be in the castle full time. I will work on a cure for Mrs. Norris, while you help me keep the castle from crumbling under the vigorous child play of the students. Dear Apollyon Pringle passed away and his position is still available."

"Yes, professor. I accept."

"Perfect," said Dumbledore as he sprung to his feet, "Let's not waste time then," and he started walking towards the inn's door.

"Shall we, Mrs. Norris?" asked Filch softly.

"Meow," answered the cat, and she started walking beside Dumbledore and Filch towards her new home. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

***

fan fiction

About the author

Ahmed Sherief

Welcome to my profile.

Here, I write a bit of fiction, psychology, and other things that interest me. If you like what you read, please tip. It helps to keep me going as a writer.

P.S. Some content is just here for Vocal challenges.

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