Jason Langlois

"Father! Father!"

No father in the world could resist the cry of a child, his child, in the night. Especially one as tentative and quavering as this. He stepped into the little one's bed chamber, knowing with fatherly instinct that she was curled up and trembling. Softly he stroked her back until he felt her relax.

"What is it?" He didn't dare try to remember her name at this late hour, so addled was he with sleep, but he did manage to keep from sounding as terse as his words seemed to him. The child relaxed, and he felt better. "Now, tell me what's wrong."

She shuddered, then sighed. "I dreamt about... about... them again." He did need to ask who or what "them" were. She had her brother's fear, and from the way she curled against him, it was even worse than it ever was in him. He sighed and moved over, giving her more room to feel him, hopefully to relax her. "It was horrid."

"You know, they're really nothing to fear." He could feel her shudder, but pressed on. "A lot of them are nearly as smart as we are, and those that aren't never venture where we can see them. There are too many protections between us and them."

"I've seen them, Father, I have!" She shuddered again. "There were a load of little ones and one great big one, bigger than you, and he was the scariest!" He could tell she was near sobbing, and strokes her back to soothe her again. Inwardly, he cursed Hagrid for ever exposing any of his children to those creatures. Why he insisted that monsters weren't as bad as they are he would never know.

"What is it that frightens you about them, then?" He knew his daughter. Rather than quail from explaining, having to seek her thoughts for an explanation would actually take her mind from her fear.

"It's... their legs. And how they walk. It's just... unnatural looking!" Her voice took on an indignant tone that made him chuckle. "And they're just ugly!"

Aragog leaned down and clicked his mandibles at his daughter. "There, there now. Most of them are as afraid of you as you are of them. You needn't fear the humans, little one." With a final stroke he rose and made his way toward the surface. "Sleep well, Gomag."

"Thank you, Poppa," clicked the sleepy response.