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Crookshanks finagled his way into the hall at least once a week. How? Hermione couldn’t say, since the only way out was through the front door. Impossible to miss with his orange fur and emphatic hiss, everyone seemed content to let Crookshanks roam about the halls until he found his way back. One Thursday in May, Hermione opened the door and watched Crookshanks walk inside carrying an apple slice between his teeth. 

She shrugged it off.

Crookshanks disappeared the following Thursday and returned with a green apple slice. She knelt down to scratch behind his ears and mumbled,

“I didn’t know you could eat apples.”

He purred approvingly, then walked over to his spot by her armchair where he curled up and nibbled at his prize. This continued every Thursday through May and June, until the first Thursday in July when Crookshanks returned later than usual. He was grumpy, hissing at Hermione who held her hands up and stayed away until she recognized the problem: no apple.

Crookshanks disappeared the following Thursday like clockwork. Later Hermione expected to hear his familiar purr outside the door, but heard a knock instead. She opened the door to reveal a man with iron eyes and white-blond hair biting into a green apple. He wiped away some juice that escaped out the corner of his mouth and said,

“I think I have your cat.”

Hermione looked down to see Crookshanks clinging to the hem of his trousers. 

She grinned and said, “Mystery solved.”

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