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The Square Peg [+podfic]

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Rubeus Hagrid lay in eir bed, staring up at the rough wooden beams of the ceiling and listening to Fang wuffle in his sleep on the hearthrug. Olympe, ey thought. Ey had never expected to meet a woman like emself. Ey had never known anyone else who was half-giant before. They had little else in common; she was educated and refined -- a proper lady. But perhaps that would not matter. Perhaps their common heritage would be enough. She would understand. She would know what it was like.

Hagrid had always known that ey was different. It would have been hard not to notice when, at the age of four, ey had overtopped eir father's modest height, and kept right on growing. There was no hiding eir size or eir strength. Eir oddness was plain as day to anyone who looked at em.

Eir father had tried to reassure em. "Bein' big an' strong is good," he would say. "Jus' think o' all the people yeh'll be able ter help." Or, "Bein' big jus' means yeh have an extra big heart, Rubeus."

But the size of eir heart and the usefulness of eir strength did not matter to the other children. They had all been afraid of em, and none had wanted to be eir friend. When a boy threw rocks at em, Hagrid had cried and run away. After that, they stopped being afraid. Instead, they had pointed and laughed whenever they saw em.

Hagrid had thought that things might change once ey was accepted as a student at Hogwarts. Ey would be a proper wizard, and no one could question eir place in the world anymore. But all eir hopes had come to nothing. One boy had seemed friendly for a time, but in the end all he wanted was a brute to pound on the other children, to make them do what he wanted. When Hagrid refused, the boy had hexed em with painful boils. Ey had spent three days in the hospital wing, because none of the matron's potions were strong enough to cure em outright.

Eir size was not the only way in which Hagrid was different. Ey liked pretty things more than boys were supposed to. Ribbons and jewelry. Bright colours and soft silks. Ey liked the shoes eir female classmates wore, and their makeup, and the sparkly clips in their hair. Sometimes Hagrid felt more like a girl than a boy -- Ruby, not Rubeus -- and sometimes Hagrid did not know what ey felt like. It was easier to hide eir feelings about eir gender than it was to hide eir size, so Hagrid hid them. Ey did not want eir peers thinking em any more different than they already did.

When ey could avoid it, Hagrid did not speak to eir fellow students. Ey hid behind the curtains of eir enormous bed, or behind the strictly-enforced hush of the library, and whenever ey could manage it, ey would sneak away to the Forbidden Forest. That was where Hagrid had always felt happiest and most at peace. Ey liked the quiet, and the way it smelled. Most of all, Hagrid liked the animals. Animals made far better friends than humans did. Animals did not care how big one was, or what one's gender was, as long as one was kind and fed them. The forest was eir place. It was there that ey went to cry after eir father died during eir second year.

Hagrid's animal friends had almost been the undoing of em. In eir third year, ey had been expelled due to circumstantial evidence surrounding eir possession of an illegal acromantula hatchling ey had named Aragog. It was only through the intervention of then-Transfiguration master, and head of Gryffindor house, Albus Dumbledore, that Hagrid had been allowed to stay on as apprentice gamekeeper, under the tutelage of Lendisius Ogg. Headmaster Dippet had agreed, saying that Hagrid would be Dumbledore and Ogg's problem, and that he was not to be bothered concerning eir welfare.

During the first year of Hagrid's apprenticeship, people began to look at em differently. Hagrid had noticed the difference before ey understood the nature of it. The students still whispered and giggled about em, but something in their manner had changed. Girls and boys alike regarded em speculatively, as if they suddenly found em fascinating. It was not that they thought ey had truly opened the Chamber of Secrets -- few enough believed em capable of that -- but there was something about em that had captured their imaginations.

One warm September evening, Hagrid had learned what it was. Ey could not recall the name of the sixth year girl now, but ey remembered the way she had taken eir hand, giggling, eyes darting from side to side to make sure no one was watching, and led em into the Forbidden Forest. There, she unfastened eir trousers and touched em, smiling and complimenting what she found there. Hagrid had thought it meant that she liked em, so ey let her do it.

She had lain down and lifted her skirts, saying ey could touch her, too, and ey had done so, even putting a long, thick finger right up between her legs. The girl had made lots of breathy, excited noises, and told em to put eir cock inside her, but she had changed her mind quickly, screaming at em to take it out, you great oaf! You're hurting me! Bewildered, Hagrid had apologised. The girl never spoke to em or looked at em again.

She was only the first. After her, it had begun to happen frequently. A girl -- or sometimes a boy -- would catch Hagrid's eye and smile at em. Every time, Hagrid hoped it meant that they liked em, but every time, it turned out that there was only one part of em they were interested in. They did not even treat em as a person. Hagrid hated it. Ey felt dirty and used afterwards, and even more alone than before, but ey so wanted the other students to like em that ey always went along with whatever they told em to do.

This had gone on for most of a year before Ogg caught Hagrid with a semi-clothed seventh year in eir bed. Hagrid had been terrified, certain that ey would be thrown out of Hogwarts for good. At a tearful meeting in Dumbledore's office, ey had promised the professor that ey would never do anything of the kind again.

"Please calm yourself, Rubeus," Dumbledore had said kindly, passing em a large handkerchief. "I am very glad that Mr. Ogg has brought the situation to my attention. We are not angry with you; we are merely concerned for your wellfare. Now, please tell me in your own words what happened this evening between you and Mr. Sinclair."

Between sobs, Hagrid had done eir best to explain how the boy in eir bed had come to be there. When ey trailed off into sniffles, Dumbledore frowned.

"I see. And is this the first time something of the kind has happened? No? I thought perhaps not." The Transfiguration master looked troubled. "I am very sorry that this has happened to you, Rubeus. Your care and wellbeing are my responsibility, and it seems that I have failed you unforgivably."

"Yeh've always been very good ter me, Sir," Hagrid had sniffed.

Dumbledore sighed. "You're a good lad, Rubeus, and I am a busy and forgetful man, not the attentive guardian a young person such as yourself needs. I have been remiss in your education. There is one very important lesson that every young person should learn. I am late in imparting it to you, and for that, I am truly sorry and humbly beg your forgiveness. The lesson is this: if you do not want to touch another person, or you do not want another person to touch you, you can always, always say no. No matter what the circumstances, you never forfeit that right. Your body belongs to you, and you alone. Do you understand, Rubeus?"

Hagrid had looked down at eir hands, knotted together in eir lap. "I jus' wanted them ter like me."

"My poor dear boy," said Dumbledore sympathetically. "A person who truly likes you will respect you, even when you say no. Saying no when you know the other person wants you to say yes takes courage. If a person cannot respect your no, then they are not worthy of your time or affection."

"What if no one ever likes me that way, Sir?" Hagrid had asked, not looking up.

Dumbledore smiled. "Good people will see your gentleness and kind heart shining like a beacon, and they will love you for it. Be patient, lad. You are young, with a long life ahead of you."

After that, Hagrid had used the forest as a place to practice loudly saying no and I don' want ter. Students still approached em, but now they went away disgruntled. Some hurled abuse at em, calling em names and telling em that ey should be grateful for their attention. Hagrid always cried after these encounters, but ey did not feel used or dirty anymore, and when ey had dried eir eyes, ey would think about Dumbledore and how proud he would be of Hagrid's bravery.

Hagrid had been nineteen when ey met Lias, the young cinnamon roan centaur with dark eyes and curly black hair. For several months, the two of them had done no more than exchange bashful glances. It was only when Lias injured a foreleg near the gamekeeper's hut, and Hagrid helped him splint and wrap it, that they spoke for the first time. Hagrid's palms were sweating as they touched the centaur's injured leg. Both of them hesitated before parting.

"It is forbidden among my kind," said Lias, eyes filled with regret.

"I know." Hagrid hung eir head. "I'm prob'ly not s'posed ter either."

The centaur had reared up on his hind legs. "Once, for luck," he murmured as his lips brushed Hagrid's, and then he turned and galloped away. Hagrid had stood for a long time at the edge of the forest, staring after the vanished creature, heart pounding. No one had ever kissed em before. No one had ever wanted to. No one but Lias.

That was not the only stolen moment they had shared. Hagrid volunteered for more and more tasks that took em into the forest, hoping to catch a glimpse of the young stallion. Ey assured the elderly gamekeeper that ey could manage the work emself, and did not require supervision. Ey did not find Lias every time, but when ey did, and they were alone, their fingers would brush, or their lips meet. Once, Lias had woven a crown of flowers for Hagrid to wear in eir hair. Hagrid nearly wept. No one had ever given em something so beautiful before.

Lias's words sang like poetry in Hagrid's mind, and ey badly wanted to give back to the centaur some of the joy that ey felt, but ey never forgot Dumbledore's words. It was with trembling hands that ey had asked, one bright spring day, if ey might touch Lias's gleaming coat.

"I should like that very much, Rubeus," said Lias sincerely.

Hagrid knelt so that their faces were on a level, and looked into the centaur's dark eyes as ey put eir arms around him and hesitantly stroked his sides. The centaur took half a step nearer.

"May I touch you also?"

Wordless, Hagrid had nodded, and Lias's strong brown arms had twined about eir neck, drawing em close for a much longer kiss than ever before.

That day had marked a turning point in their romance. From then on, neither could bear to let a day pass without seeing the other, and it was not long before their kisses and touches became more fervent, hands and mouths finding new and more pleasurable places to touch.

They had consummated their relationship with nervous excitement one moonlit night when Lias told Hagrid the stars said the time was right. Lias braced his hands against a tree, forelegs splayed to hold himself steady as he swept his long black tail to one side. There was none of the discomfort or shame that had marked Hagrid's previous encounters. This time, everything fit just right, and Hagrid gave emself over to a moment of the purest joy ey had ever experienced.

Afterwards, in the bliss of one another's arms, Hagrid had known that ey would be in love with Lias forever, and that they would spend their lives together in the Forbidden Forest, the happiest lovers the world had ever known.

A few weeks later, the herd found out. Lias was out of breath and bleeding from a shoulder wound when he found Hagrid.

"They will kill me if I stay."

"I'll protect yeh," Hagrid had insisted desperately.

"No, my love." Lias's voice was heavy with sorrow. "They would only kill you, too, and then your Ministry would have the entire herd culled. I must go."

"Can I come with yeh?"

Lias shook his head. "They would hunt us down. We would never be safe. Your place is here, Rubeus. Mine is a fresh start with a new herd."

Hagrid had known he was right, but that did not stop the tears from springing to eir eyes. "I didn' mean ter cause yeh trouble, Lias. I'm sorry."

"I'm not," said Lias, kissing em fiercely. "Every time Diana's light shines upon me, I will remember our time together. You will always be in my heart, Rubeus."

And then he was gone, and Hagrid was left brokenhearted and alone.

For a long time after that, there had been no one. Time passed, and Dumbledore became headmaster of Hogwarts. Relations with the centaur herd were repaired. Ogg retired, and Hagrid took over as head gamekeeper. Gradually, the shy, awkward adolescent grew into an enormous, bearded adult. Ey formed friendships with a few of the school staff, and several people from the village of Hogsmeade, but apart from Dumbledore, whom ey regarded with a fierce and tenacious loyalty, there had been no one to whom ey felt close.

When Rosmerta came to work as a barmaid at the Three Broomsticks, Hagrid had barely recognised the once-cheerful, friendly Hufflepuff girl who had left Hogwarts only a few years before in the sad young woman who refilled eir ale mug. Rosmerta's husband had been killed shortly after they were married. She never spoke about the details, but it was rumoured that Dark magic had been involved. Hagrid empathised with her -- young and alone in the world -- and the two of them struck up an acquaintance.

As the months passed, Rosmerta had begun to emerge from her grief and become something of her old self again, laughing often and teasing Hagrid to make em blush. Ey sometimes stayed after closing to help Rosmerta tidy up, and it was on one such occasion that she had kissed em.

Hagrid had stammered an excuse and left in a hurry. For weeks, ey avoided the village and the pub, feeling miserable. Ey had thought Rosmerta was a friend, but what if she was just like all the others, only wanting em for one thing?

One night, a knock had come at eir door. Reluctantly, ey opened it, glowering down at the cloaked figure who stood there.

"What d'yeh want, Rosmerta?"

"I came to explain," she said. "May I come in?"

Hagrid had not known what else to do, so ey let her in. Standing in the middle of eir hut, looking down at her feet, she apologised in a low voice for scaring em off.

"Yeh should ask before doin' a thing like that," ey said gruffly.

"You're right, I should have. I'm sorry. It's been hard since Richard died. I've been sad and I've been lonely, but there are other things about being married that I've missed, too. That night, I just wanted --"

"To see if the freak's enormous cock would be enough to satisfy yer itch?" Hagrid growled. "Yeh wouldn' be the first. I never figured yeh fer one o' them."

Her eyes had widened in shock. "Oh, Rubeus! I swear to you, I never even thought about that."

Hagrid could see from her face that she was telling the truth. Relenting, ey explained to her about the endless parade of students who had tormented em over the years, wanting what ey had, but never wanting em. By the time ey had finished, her hands were pressed to her mouth in horror.

"That's awful! I'm so sorry. Have you truly never been with anyone who cared for you?"

Ey looked away, chest aching with the memory of Lias. "There was someone once. A long time ago."

"Rubeus --" her voice was soft. "You've been such a good friend to me. I hope I haven't ruined everything. I've missed your face around the pub."

"It's not that I don' like yeh, Rosmerta," ey tried to explain. "It's jus' been so nice havin' a friend. I don' want ter ruin that, either."

Rosmerta bit her lip. "I'm not looking for romance; just a little comfort and fun with someone I trust and care about. A friend. I trust you, Rubeus, and we'll still be friends, no matter what. But if you decide you want to, the offer stands."

Hagrid shook eir head. "Yeh wouldn' like it. It's too -- none o' the girls who tried could -- Trus' me, yeh don' want it," ey finished, red-faced. "Anyway, I'm a lot older than you."

To eir surprise, she had smiled. "I'm a grown woman, not some inexperienced girl. I know a thing or two. You might try trusting me."

"I do trus' yeh. I jus' don' want ter hurt yeh."

"You won't." She stood and took one of eir large hands between both of hers, squeezing it and looking up at em with wide, blue eyes. "Maybe you'll let me show you sometime."

Over the next few days, Hagrid could barely concentrate on eir duties. All ey could think about was Rosmerta's offer. The chance to be with someone who cared about and respected em was tempting, but the memory of all the boys and girls who had changed their minds and turned their backs on em was more raw than ey had realised. If Rosmerta rejected em, ey would have lost one of eir closest friends, as well as never being able to show eir face at the Three Broomsticks again.

It took em more than a week to make up eir mind.

Rosmerta smiled when she saw em come through the door of the pub.

"If yeh still want ter try it, I'm game, but there are one or two things ter get straight first," ey said in a rough whisper when she brought em eir ale.

Her smile widened. "We'll talk after closing."

When the last patrons had left for the night, Rosmerta performed a few cursory cleaning spells, then led Hagrid up the stairs to her room.

Before things could go any further, Hagrid had laid out eir conditions. "I won' do anythin' unless yeh tell me ter do it," ey told her. "I won' hurt yeh, an' either of us can say stop anytime, with no hard feelin's."

"That seems more than fair," she had agreed.

Rosmerta had to charm her bed to make it large enough to take eir bulk. Eir hands shook when she placed them on her body and showed em how to touch her. She was a tall woman with large breasts, broad hips, and a round backside that neatly filled Hagrid's palms. The size of eir cock did not seem to perturb nor overly fascinate her. She handled it with a sure and experienced touch.

"It's big, but I have a couple of ideas we can try."

She showed em two potions on the nightstand. The first was a mild Shrinking Solution. The second was something called lube. "The Shrinking Solution is only temporary," she promised.

Hagrid would not have minded if it were permanent. A slightly smaller cock might have made eir life easier in the long run.

"I trus' yeh."

The potion had made em smaller, but it had not made em small. Ey had begun with something the length and thickness of her forearm, with a head the size of her closed fist. After the application of the potion, ey still had nine inches or so left to work with. The Shrinking Solution had made eir skin tingle. The lube was warm and slippery on her palm, and made em moan. She had urged em onto eir back and climbed on top of em, straddling eir groin, knees cradled in the hollows of eir hipbones.

"Tell me if you want me to stop," she murmured as she lowered herself onto em.

The place between her legs was even slipperier than the lube. Hagrid gasped as ey felt her slowly open to em. The fit was snug, more so than it had been with Lias, but so much easier than with any of the others. None of them had been able to take more than a few inches, but Rosmerta took all of em, a look of rapture on her face as she gasped Merlin, yes. And then she was riding em, cursing, touching herself as she moved, and moaning come on come on comeoncomeon .... It was only moments before ey shuddered with climax, as she squeezed tight around em, crying out her own release.

"Gods, I needed that," she panted, as they lay sticky and sated afterwards.

Hagrid had needed it, too, more than ey realised. Their friendship continued much as before, full of laughter and teasing comments, but every few weeks, ey would stay after closing and follow her up to her rooms. She taught em about the magic of proper lubrication, and showed em how to pleasure her with eir mouth, to make her ready for em.

In time, Hagrid had come to trust Rosmerta so absolutely that ey asked her to call em "Ruby" when they were alone. Sometimes, they would talk all night, and she would plait eir hair and tie ribbons in eir beard and tell em ey was beautiful. Ey knew she had other lovers, but ey did not care; she always made em feel special.

And now another special person had come into Hagrid's life. Ey wondered if Olympe felt the same excitement ey did. Meeting her had set eir imagination reeling, and ey thought perhaps she, too, could feel the spark and tension in their interactions.

She was an uncommon person, but it would take an uncommon person to love someone like em, as long as they were uncommon in the right ways. Tomorrow ey would find out if Olympe Maxime was the right sort of person. Tomorrow, Hagrid would show her the dragons.