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The Dragon's Clutch.

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archaic:
So this is a fanfic by me, it's here rather than the fanfic section because it's non Avatar related.
I hope you enjoy .....

SpoilerThunder rolled across the sky, rain rattled on roofs and windows, and overflowed drains and gutters alike.
The city streets were awash as puddles met and intermingled, so it was a surprise that someone knocked loudly at the door at such a late hour.
Harry and Ginny exchanged glances.
"Who's that, at this time of at night?"
"In this weather?"
Harry left Ginny's warm embrace and went for the door.
"Hagrid! Do come in!"
"Harry, foul old night tonight."
"Who is it?" Ginny called out.
"It's Hagrid!"
"Hagrid! Do come in!"
The two men exchanged smiles before joining Ginny.
"So what brings you to see us on a night like this?"
Hagrid took the floor cushion by the unlit fire.
"Well, you see, I was just passing, thought I'd pop in and see ..... "
Thunder rolled noisily outside.
" ..... That's not going to wash, is it?"
The thunder clap was even louder this time, setting a couple of car alarms off.
"Right, well, OK then, so ..... " Hagrid hesitated before plunging on " ..... As you probably know, well I'm a bit of a fan of dragons."
"Mmm?"
"Well, most of 'em, anyway."
"And? Err, most of them?"
"Well, yeah, now, you see now, there is this one, that, not beating around the bush, quite frankly, well, it scares me ..... A bit ..... Well, quite a bit, actually, not to put too fine a point on it."
Hagrid looked up from nervously playing with his beard, while both members of his audience were hanging on his every word.
"Well, you see, thing is, they're rare. Practically extinct, as a matter of fact."
"But?"
"Thing is ..... The thing is, well, y' see, one's been seen."
"And you want us to help you find it?"
"Oh no! No way! Not that 'un. I'm more than happy giving it a wide berth. Very wide as it happens, thank you very much. No, I've been round London, checking out your brother Charlie's old haunts ..... You wouldn't happen to know where he was, would you?"
"I don't. Haven't heard from him since new year's."
"Now that was a party. So I need to warn you, and ..... ask a favor."
"Oh?"
"This thing ain't just any old dragon, no. Now, it sure ain't the biggest, a fair bit smaller than a certain Hungarian Horntail, matter of fact. But don't you judge a book by it's cover, size is no guarantee of power. What it lacks in bulk, they more than makes up for in just about everything else. Very little is known about 'em for sure, anybody what ever went out looking for one came back disappointed. Either that, or, never come back at all. No, this is one dragon that's reckoned to kill every ..... single ..... time."
"Isn't the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures handling it?"
"Apparently, whole department's down in Kent, biggest Nargal infestation since nine BC on their hands. I hear, Hampton-on-Sea's been abandoned just now, uninhabitable I'm told."
"What's it called?"
"That bloody dragon, likely as not, but proper name for it, is Bellua Tenebrus, or sometimes Terrato Noctus. 'S got a few other names 'n' all, only I can't remember 'em. Not a dragon I took much notice of."
"On account of it being extinct?"
"Quite."
"Can I ask ..... "
"Why folks are scared of it? Coz they're bloody well right to be! That's why. Me 'n' all. This thing, well it's the fastest dragon there is, 'n' it's reckoned to be the most agile flyer of em' all to boot. Oh, an' it has just about the hottest fire, and most probly the deadliest aim. They say it never misses ..... But most troubling of all is ..... it's believed to be partially immune t' magic."
"Believed to be?"
"Yeah, well, you see, no one ever saw one, up close and personal like. Well, not and lived to tell the tail after, like. Oh, and they're nocturnal. Well, probly nocturnal."
"They're not mentioned in Dragon Breeding for Pleasure and Profit."
"Well, no. They wouldn't be. No pleasure, nor profit to be had with breeding likes of them 'un's! They're not in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, neither. Well, not regular editions."
"There are other editions?"
"Now, I've never clapped eye's on it myself, but, I've heard tell there's an extended edition, full of them species what's extinct. Or believed to be."
"How do we get a copy?"
"You don't, only a couple of copies ever got made, one's maybe in Hogwarts library, restricted area, or maybe in the Headmasters study. Probly one in the Ministry's library 'n' all."
"OK, not a problem, I'm down for a defense against the dark arts class on monday, I'll have a look then."
"Yeah, well, about that. You know that favor I mentioned, well, you see, it's kind relevant there. Coz, you see, that dragon, well, it was last seen, none too far from Ron 'n' Hermione's. Harry, you wouldn't go see 'em for us, would ya?"
"Err, is there a problem? I'm sure Ron and Hermione would love see you, even if it is to warn them of an impending dragon attack."
"And I'd love to see them. Separately. last time I went round, they was having one of their domestics. A right ding-dong if ever there was one. Ruddy near took me beard off!"
"Oh."
"Of course I'll go, Hagrid, I'll give them your regards, and let them know how sorry you are that you weren't able to come too."
"Thanks Harry, you're a good ole' pal t'your old mate 'Agrid."
"Is there anything else I need to know?"
"Lot's I 'spect, but I've told you all that I know. Except, they do say, it can't flame when they're wet. But then 'they' can talk a right load of old cod's wallop sometimes and no mistake, so I'd take it with a pinch of salt."
A particularly loud clap of thunder broke, making everyone jump.
"That were a close 'un. I'd best be getting back to Hogwarts."
Hagrid said, rising to his feet.
"You could use the floo?"
"Save you from getting absolutely soaked?"
"I've got a cargo that doesn't take to kindly to that, nor apperating. 'S'why I got the bike tonight."
"Stay the night, you'll catch your death in this rain."
"Take more than a drop o' water to kill off ol' Rubeus, that's for sure ..... I hope." Hagrid added as lightening lit up the night outside, and thunder rolled noisily on for several seconds after.
"You'd really be most welcome to stay till it stops."
"Well, thank yer kindly for the offer, but I best be off. Before my little package gets washed away in that lot." Hagrid, nodded sideways to the window.
Harry walked Harid to the front door, watched him splash down the steps to the rain soaked street, lift his great leg over the tank and kick it over in a single motion. It fired up on the third kick and Harry waved as Hagrid gave the thumbs up before sailing off into the storm.
Harry watched him go, bolted the door and returned to Ginny.
"So we're going to Ron and Hermione's."
"I'm going to Ron and Hermione's."
Ginny looked at her husband quizzically.
"We."
"There's a dragon their way, it may be there right now."
"Then we can help them fight it. Together."
"Worst possible outcome, all our kids end up orphans, and you don't want that, believe me ...... It's no fun being an orphan."
"The more wands, the better the chance of defeating it."
"I can't take the risk."
"There's too much at stake!"
Harry took Ginnys hands in his, looked deeply into her eyes, perhaps into her very soul.
"Ginny, if I die, I need you to tell James, Albus and Lily that I love them all so very much, and that I loved all four of you to the very very end, and my dying thoughts were of you all."
Ginny was shocked by how serious Harry was, she hadn't seen him like his since the war with Voldermort.
"Wish me luck, and stay safe. If this goes wrong ..... " Harry trailed off.
"Then lets hope it doesn't." Ginny sagged, Harry was right, she'd wait at home "Give them my love."
"I will."
Harry grabbed his raincoat, took a good pinch of floo powder, tossed it into the fire. He stepped in, reciting the name of Ron and Hermione's home.
"Shield Stone Cottage."

archaic:
Spoiler: Part two .....Harry arrived to find neither Ron nor Hermione home. It wasn't an especially large house, three smallish bedrooms, a good sized family bathroom and a small landing was the whole of second floor. The open plan first floor, served as kitchen, dining room and living room. They weren't there either, or in the porch. Harry looked round at the large couch, large dining table with nine almost matching chairs, the hearth, fire laid but not lit, the counter top that served as kitchen. There was nothing on the fridge to give a hint where they might have gone or when they might be back. Harry slipped on his coat, the black leather hem flapping softly at his ankles as he did so.
He went to the garage, the couple's broomsticks were both gone from their usual places, he hoped this was a good sign and wished he had his own. The cottage was a goodly walk from the village along the footpath and Harry took it. He found the pub - the Red Lion - he looked in, no Ron, no Hermione. Harry sank a shot of whiskey, he wasn't a big drinker and no muggle bar or pub sold Butterbeer, but he felt obliged to buy something.
"And a bag of pork scratchin's please." Harry requested, he took them, paid and left for the cottage once more, hoping they'd be back from wherever, by the time he got there.
Harry was in luck, there were lights visible in the windows as he approached, lights and no shouting, Harry hoped this was also a good sign. He knocked at the door and Hermione opened it.  She looked amazing in an elegant evening gown.
"Harry! Whatever brings you out this way, at this time of night?"
"Evening. Dragon. Hagrid tells me one's been seen out this way, and it's not something as nice and friendly as a Hungarian Horntail."
"Less friendly than a Horntail? I didn't know there was anything less friendly than a Horntail!" Ron sounded alarmed, and understandably so.
"Neither did I, and Hagrid - who sends his regards, by the way - didn't know much about them either. Just that its called a Bellua Tenebrus, or sometimes Terrato Noctus, and ..... "
Harry repeated the rest of Hagrid's description. Hermione looked worried, Ron whimpered a little and looked like he might dive behind the couch.
"Well, it rained earlier, but it's dry now."
"It was properly chucking it down in London, when I left."
"Nice."
"So at least Ginny's safe, then?"
"Should be. For now, at least."
"Isn't this a job for Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures?"
"They're down in Kent with a nargal problem of massive proportions. The whole of Hampton-on-Sea's pretty much uninhabitable, so I hear."
"So what's the plan of action?"
"Err, I guess we take it in turns to keep watch till dawn, tomorrow we need to do some digging, find out more about it."
"Assuming we haven't dealt with it before then." Hermione, trying to sound up beat.
"Mmm."
"Or died trying." Ron, mostly to himself.
Another killing look from Hermione aimed in Ron's direction.
"Look, Hagrid's scared of it, and this is only the second thing I can remember Hagrid ever being scared of."
"The first one being 'You Know Who's army." Ron sounded gloomy.
"Voldermort, you can say his name, and besides, he's dead. Remember?" Hermione scolded.
"Wouldn't be the first time he's come back from the dead."
"He had horcruxes then. We destroyed them. Beyond repair. All of them. Remember? All that camping and being on the run, Ron? "
"I remember the arguing and the bickering, oh and the being bloody well freezing, the whole time."
"He's got nothing to come back with."
"As far as we know."
"Ronald Bilius Weasley, you are impossible!" she turned to Harry "See what I have to put up with?"
"Will you two knock it off. Please, play nicely, you do have a guest after all."
Ron and Hermione exchanged killing looks.
"That's better, so who want's first watch?"
"I'll take it, couldn't sleep anyway." Ron said with less than convincing enthusiasm.
"Where as I shall have a power nap, wouldn't refreshed and alert be better than exhausted and sleepy?"
"Then I'll take second watch."
"How long are the watches, just so I know when to set my alarm for?"
"Call it an hour 'n' 'alf? But very important, if you feel sleepy, you must wake up your relief early."
"Sounds sensible, well good night Harry."
"Night Hermione."
"And good night dearest husband." Hermione said with slightly gritted teeth.
"And good night to you, my sweetness and light." Ron said with apparently no affection what so ever.
Hermione went up stairs, Harry and Ron listened as she brushed her teeth and went to bed.
"So ..... "
"She's been worse than ever lately, my life's ..... "
"I can still hear you, Ronald!" came Hermione's slightly muffled voice
"Tell you what, you go start watching, and I'll bring you a cuppa."
"Yeah, sounds good." Ron sounded annoyed, grabbed a pair of binoculars that hung from a hook by the door and stomped out.
Harry lit the stove, filled the kettle and placed it on the heat. He picked up a well read copy of the Daily Prophet, skimmed a couple of articles half heartedly while he waited for the kettle to boil. He took two large mugs, dropped a tea bag into each, two sugars in Ron's and added some milk to both, the kettle still hadn't boiled. His attention wandered, he saw several large boxes by the back door, curiosity got the better of him and he lifted the lid on the top one in the pile that said 'Samples' inside were many packages. New Improved Ever-Bashing Boomerangs, Portable Lake, Monsoon Tea Bags, Instant Quick Sand and Rain Of Newts were just the ones Harry could see without rummaging. He took a look in the top box marked 'Books', inside were Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes catalogs, each around a half inch thick, with landscape pages slightly larger than letter size. He turned it over, the address of the shop, and the usual blurb, along with a dedication to the memory of Fred Weasley. Harry felt as if he'd been punched in the gut, he returned the catalog to the box and wiped away a tear.
"Come on Harry, it's been years since ..... "
But Harry didn't finish that sentence, he was lost in the memories of that battle, was there anything he could have done differently? Anything that could have saved his life? Or the lives of any of the others who died, come to that. The painful truth was there probably wasn't, but that never stopped Harry beating himself up over it before.
It was the sound of kettle boiling that returned him to the moment. He sloshed in the water, splashing the counter top as he did so, squeezed first Ron's tea bag against the side with a teaspoon a few times to hasten the brewing, then did the same with his own, before dropping the two spent bags in the trash.
Harry placed Ron's tea in front of him on the oak garden table, it had been a gift from Harry on their fifth wedding anniversary.
"Ron."
"Nice one."
"Anything?"
"Not a fire breathing sausage."
Harry took a seat opposite Ron, and looked at the sky over and behind his head, they sat in silence. Harry took a sip, he could taste the sugar, from the spoon he'd stirred Ron's tea with, Oh well, he said to himself.
"Mmm, two sugars! She only lets me have one!"
"Can't be all bad if she's concerned about your health."
" 'S nothing to do with me health, just another ruddy excuse to be nasty, like she needs an excuse."
Silence, if there was a single sound, neither heard it.
"So, how's my little sister?"
"She's fine, send's her love."
"Thanks, send her mine. When you see her."
"Will do."
Silence returned, Ron saw a shooting star and made a wish, for the love to return to his marriage. Harry spotted the tear welling in Ron's eye and passed him a monogrammed handkerchief.
"Got something in your eye mate." said Harry, knowing that he hadn't.
"Cheers." Ron wiped his eyes, it was soft and the finest quality.
Ron went to hand it back, but Harry held up his hands.
"Please! Keep it!"
"Oh, I, I couldn't."
"Please keep it, I've got hundreds and hundreds. I ordered a dozen, and they sent me a dozen gross!"
Ron snorted, and smiled for the first time in what seemed like an eternity.
"Where did it all go wrong Harry?"
"Where did all what ..... Oh."
"We were in love, pit of the stomach sensations and everything."
"Sure it wasn't a Bowel Bashing Bonbon?"
Another brief smile tweaked the corners of Ron's mouth.
"No, I know what Fred 'n' George's stuff feels like. I should do, I've had enough practice over the years ..... God I miss the evil bugger, Harry."
Harry sighed meaningfully.
"We all do Ron, too many died. Far too many. And Fred's death hurt the worst. Worse than Dumbledore ..... Worse even than Sirius."
"I don't know why I stay with her. Well I do, but I don't. That probly doesn't make any sense, but, well, it's how it is. How d'you and Ginny do it?"
"We have our moments. I've had a fair bit of ducking and dodging over the years. It's your parents I'm secretly in awe of, do they ever fight?"
"Oh yeah, and how! They're just good at not showing it outside the family."
"Oh."
"You know, and don't tell her, but I secretly bought some love potion, some of the good stuff, not some o' the Weasley and Weasley stuff. Do you know there's a dash of dried Mandrake petal in 'em?"
"I didn't."
"Well, there is, so don't tell no one."
"So what happened?"
"When?"
"When you gave her the love potion?"
"Oh that ..... err, I never did, it's still in the shed, where I hid it."
"I see."
"Look, I know this sounds nuts, but I still love her. I try and do nice things but it never works out. I buy her chocolates, but she's on a diet. I buy her flowers, but they're not compatible with her soap, and the pollen gets into some potion she's brewing, and mucks it up. Burned through the bottom of the pan! Needed a new stove after that. Oh, and Harry, from the bottom of my heart, never buy a woman a dress ..... Not ever ..... Or shoes ..... Or hats, come to that. Marriage, it's a minefield, an absolute ruddy minefield. Why doesn't anyone ever tell you that, before you get married?"
"Dunno."
"No, me neither, another of life's mysteries. That 'n' 'What does go on inside women's heads?' "
"Mmm."
"So what do we do if it turns up?"
"Hmm? Oh, raise the alarm and fight it off as best we can."
"Killing curse at the ready then."
"Definitely!"
More silence, a dog bark in the village was the only sound.
"Is that the slowest shooting star ever?"
Ron pointed to a slow moving point of light, Harry looked.
"Probably an aeroplane."
"Yeah, probly is. Things muggles create, to get round not having magic."
"Mmm. They can be pretty creative. The internet's pretty good, definitely one of their better ones."
"Not really one for libraries me, even real ones."
"There's other stuff on the net, music, movies, internet auctions, forums ...... "
Harry trailed off in the face of Ron's disinterest.
They sat in silence a while. The breeze blew gently, it was a little cloudy, but otherwise a nice night, if a bit cold. The dragon didn't put in an appearance.
"What am I going to do Harry?"
"Do about what?"
"Hermione."
"What do you both enjoy?"
"Not seeing each other, not being in the same room as each other, not speaking to each other."
"Well, I suppose there's always divorce, very popular among muggles these days, I understand." Harry said semi sarcastically.
"Yeah. Maybe not."
"Have you tried talking to her?"
"Yup! Always ends up in a row about something!"
More silence, an owl hooted quietly on the edge of hearing, neither paid it any heed.
"You said it's partially immune to magic?"
"According to Hagrid."
"What if it's immune to the killing curse?"
That gave Harry a nasty shock.
"Hadn't thought of that."
They exchanged unsettled looks.
Ron looked in his mug, now empty.
" 'Nother cup?"
"To be honest, I'd love one."
Ron took the two mugs and disappeared inside for what seemed like several hours, he returned ten minutes later with the tea and half a packet of cookies.
"Case in point."
"What's that Ron?"
Ron handed the cookies over, with the name visible for Harry to see.
"Ginger Nuts."
"Talk about tactless. Hermione tells me they're a muggle delicacy."
"Yeah, I've had 'em before, made for dunking."
" 'S'what she said."
"You could just chuck 'em out."
"Mmm ..... Trouble is ..... I actually quite like 'em."
"So, how are things at the shop?"
"Busy, like seriously busy, been mad there just lately. May have to get a warehouse somewhere, do the mail order from there."
"I heard you converted the cellar onto more shop space."
"It's everything but the attic, as of last month. Having to rent the top floor of ninety one now, as a stock room."
"This time next year, you could be millionaires!"
"Yeah. Err. What?"
"Never mind. I'm just really pleased it's going so well."
It was Ron's turn to sigh meaningfully.
"Yeah, well, it's not all roses. It's putting a strain on our marriage and it don't need any more of those."
"We'd love to have you back at the Auror Department, really miss having you around."
"Mmm, money's not so good."
"You can say that again."
"Not that you need to worry about that so much."
"No, I guess not." Harry said with a heavy heart. "I could see if I could get you a raise ..... but it's never going to compete with a successful businessman's salary."
Harry had not only inherited all of the Potter family fortune, but most of the considerable Black family's wealth too. They sat again in silence, until the alarm on Harry's watch sounded.
"Your stint's over, go 'n' get your head down."
"But ..... "
"Don't argue, we're all going to need all the rest we can get if this dragon shows up."
" ..... But .... "
"Ron! Go!"
"I don't have to do as you say, I'm going to stay right here with you for your turn. You stayed with me. Two pairs of eyes are better than one."
"Ron, you've been yawning your head off for the last ten minutes."
"So have you."
"Yeah! And I blame you!"
"Some mate you are, you won't even let me stay up all night risking life and limb!"
They both smiled, this wasn't by any means a serious argument. Ron yawned again.
"OK, OK, the sofa's calling."
"Sofa?"
"Mmm, best not disturb m'dams beauty sleep."
"Really?"
"Mmm, 's' not like it's the first time I've slept on it. It's not really that bad, it's surprisingly comfy, 's' good quality 'n' all."
"I'm glad you like it."
Harry had given it to them as a house warming gift when they'd moved in, several years previously.
Ron wandered back into the house, washed out his mug, and settled down for the night. Harry soon heard the snoring he knew so well, it took him back to Hogwarts and so many memories. Some good and happy, some not. Ninety minutes slid by. Harry had seen a shooting star too, his wish was for his two best friends to stop fighting and go back to loving each other again. In truth, he didn't hold out much hope.
"Morning Harry."
"Morning Hermione."
"No sign of the dragon then."
"No, none. Sorry to disappoint you."
"Think it'll come?"
"Not sure, I think it's less likely now than three hours ago."
"Mmm."
"Sleep well?"
"Mmm. Not bad ..... Another five or six hours would've been nice though."
"Mmm."
"Ooo, a shooting star."
"What d'you wish for?"
"Lasting peace in the war of Shield Stone Cottage ..... I expect Ron's been giving you his side of it all."
"He may have mentioned a couple of bits."
"I bet he did. Anything good?"
"I wasn't really paying that much attention, what with looking for a particularly dangerous dragon and all."
Silence again, but not for long.
"You should get to bed, you need sleep too."
"I know. I just don't feel all that sleepy, not yet."
"Well, if you're going to stay up all night, want a cuppa?"
"Erm, yeah, go on."
Harry watched and waited, Hermione seemed to be back rather quicker than he expected.
"That was quick."
"Relashio in the kettle."
"Didn't think of that."
A faint smile appeared, if only briefly on Hermione's face.
"Well, we can't all be brilliant."
"I guess not."
"Did he tell you about the soap?"
"Soap?"
"He bought me some soap, smells OK, quite nice actually, but if you use it and then go near cut flowers, they kinda react. You get a red itchy rash, lasts for hours."
"Why d'you use it then?"
"First time, because I didn't know any better, second time was coz we were out of the other soap, I sent him off to buy some, he forgot soap, but came back with lots of stuff we didn't really need. The flowers were a nice thought, I guess. At least they would have been. While he was out I'd found a stray bar in the under stairs cupboard. So, when he got back, I pointed out why he shouldn't have got the flowers, but he just took it personally. I had another shower, and tried to finish a batch of potion while Ron went out again, trying some of new Weasley's products in the garden. I keep dropping hints about taking them away, but they're still by the back door, even now!"
"I saw them. Load of catalogues too."
"Yeah, don't know what the deal is with them. Didn't like to ask, 'coz I know I'll get my head bitten off and told to mind 'my own bleeding business', again."
"What was the potion?"
"Ruined, as it happens, pollen from the flowers got in it some how, I've no idea what it turned into, but it ate through the bottom of the pan, the hob and solidified in the oven. It stank the house out for a days."
"Oh, not good ..... Err, what was it supposed to be?"
Hermione shifted uncomfortably on her seat before bending forwards and answering softly.
"Promise not to tell?"
"Err, it wasn't something illegal, was it?"
"No, of course not! Promise?"
"OK, I promise."
Hermione looked at the table, licked her thumb absent mindedly, and rubbed at an old stain.
"Love potion."
"Who for?"
"The two of us, err, Ron and me, that is."
"Oh."
"It was the second batch that went wrong, so I bought some."
"So, what happened?"
"I hid it, somewhere I knew Ron'd never look."
"Cleaning cupboard?"
"Exactly, it's still there waiting for a right moment to use it. I'm not hopeful."
Harry wished he hadn't promised Ron not to tell her about the love potion he'd bought, for the exact same reason, and was wondering weather to brake it and tell her anyway. Fate intervened.
"What was that?"
"What was what?"
"THAT!!!"
A shadow in the darkness, a fast moving patch of inky black in the night sky. It was the dragon.

archaic:
Spoiler: Part three ..... "RON!!!" Harry and Hermione shouted as loudly as they could.
It swooped in low, shot a ball of fire into the cottage, it exploded, taking out most of the back wall and setting the roof ablaze.
And then it was gone.
Harry and Hermione stood back to back, wands at the ready, both scouring the stars for what had come and gone so fast.
"I'm alright! Thanks for asking!"
Ron said as he stumbled from the front door in a slight daze.
"A-aguamenti-ti ." Ron stammered, fighting the fire with the jet of water form his wand, while looking all around for the dragon.

Ron had managed to put out the roof, cast 'Reparo' to fix the back wall, the damage hadn't been as bad as expected when seen from the far side of the cottage. Silence returned, filling every nook and cranny, filling their hearts and souls.
The first hint of the coming dawn was a subtle blueness seeping into the studded black of the eastern horizon, gradually it grew and strengthened.
Finally the much longed for break of day, as a slim sliver of light crept over the horizon. Passing bands of pinks, oranges and grays in the morning sky. Dawn had happened, the danger was passed. At least until sunset.
Harry felt exhaustion hit him like freight train.
"Well, I'm going to bed, I'm done."
"Did you get any sleep last night?"
"Not a wink."
"We all need sleep, Harry ..... "
"I'll take the sofa, Ron tells me it's surprizingly comfy."
Ron and Hermione glanced at each other. If looks could killed, Harry would have been witness to a reciprocal double homicide.

Harry woke, stretched and yawned.
"Sorry, did I wake you?"
"No, err, what time is it?
"Twelve ten. Breakfast?"
"Mmm! Sounds good. Ron awake?"
"Err, no."
"He's not snoring?"
"I use Muffliato, to kill the noise."
"Oh, right."
Hermione smiled, it was nice to see even if it was a little forced.
"And what would sir like? Bran Flakes? All-Bran? Shreddies? Fruit and Fiber, minus the fruit?"
"Minus the fruit?"
"Yeah, Ron's been known to tip a packet out on tray, and sort through it. Meticulously."
"Oh."
"What's left goes back in the box."
"Nice."
"Oh, and there's Carob Pops, Acesulfame Puffs and Regular K."
"I suppose a Full English's out of the question?"
"Of course not."
Hermione waved her wand at the fridge.
"Ientaculiata frixus."
The fridge door opened a fraction, stuff flew towards the table, the fridge door closed behind the last item.
"Accio plate, Accio knife and fork."
It all came together in a nicely presented plater of fried food.
"Thanks Hermione."
"You're welcome."
"So what you got there?"
Harry gestured with the fork to the pile of books Hermione had spread out in front of her.
"Very little. I'm looking for anything on Bellua Tenebrus, and Terrato Noctus."
"What d'you find?"
"Basically confirmation of what Hagrid said, and not a lot else."
"But something?"
"A third or forth hand reference to an obscure text, refers to a Lochlanach leader who took one with him where ever he went, to impress those he met. It doesn't say if it was live or stuffed, might just have been a skin. He supposedly snatched it from the air as it flew by, but equally he might have found one that died of old age or disease on a hillside somewhere, and the rest cold just simply be 'Embellishment'."
"Got a name for him?"
"Nope. I had a good look, but this is hardly the Hogwarts library."
"Where 'dyou find him?"
Hermione hesitated before answering stiffly.
"In the Kid's Book of Archaic Legends."
"So not necessarily the most reliable source of accurate facts then."
"There's worse."
"Really?"
"The Fun Book of Scary Stories for five to seven year olds. Oh, and anything written by Rita Skitta."
"Oh, her ..... OK, so, research in the library is number one priority tomorrow."
"Need to find out everything there is about this dragon, and anything about this Lochlanach bloke, and, ideally, where Loch Lanach is, or was. It's not in the road book."
Hermione held up a hard cover book that, by the style of it, was probably from the nineteen thirties. Harry gave her a sympathetic look.
"Nice, where did you get it?"
"House warming present, from Arthur Weasley. He's been trying to persuade Ron to buy and do up some old land rover he found."
"And fit the flying gear and stuff?"
"Yeah, I'd rather stick with a broomstick, thank you very much."
"Mmm, don't blame you."
There was a creak of bed springs, a thud on the floor above, a few moments later Ron appeared yawning on the stairs.
"Morning Ron."
"Morning Harry."
"Breakfast Ron?" Hermione said with a subtle sharp tone.
"Yes please."
"All-Bran, Bran Flakes, Shreddies, Regular K, Acesulfame Puffs, Carob Pops or no Fruit and all Fiber."
"Fry up."
"Did I offer you a fry up?"
"He's got one!"
"Harry isn't watching his weight."
"I'm not watching my weight!"
"Do you want to look like Vernon Dursley?"
There was a pause, Ron had put on more than a few pounds since his school days.
"Can I have toast?"
"With low fat spread, yes."
"Don't like low fat spread."
"Well, on this occasion Ron, I'm not going to stop you having butter."
"Great! Finally!"
Ron made toast.
"Where's the butter?"
"We're out."
"But you said I could have butter."
"No, I said I wasn't going to stop you having butter. The fact we're out, is what's going to stop you having butter, on this occasion."
"Hmmph! Should've known it was too good to be true ..... Anyone know what the weather's like for tonight?"
"Intermittent showers, some heavy, currently looks like it'll stay like that till wednesday, then it's clear skies. At least for a while."
'Great. Nights on watch, in the rain. Bloomin' marvelous."
"You could just wear a coat? Husband."
Ron rolled his eyes but said nothing.
"Well, it's a few hour's till night fall, I suggest we get busy."
"Busy with what?"
"Well, there's not a lot in these books that can help us."
"Harry, what books've you got?"
"Plenty, most of the Black's from Grimauld Place, and a good few from here and there. I've had a few aspiring authors give me manuscripts, either in the off chance I could get them published, or just wanting some feedback."

"Harry!" Ginny hugged Harry with relief. "Hey guys."
"Hey sis."
"Hi Ginny, um, sorry to drop in unannounced."
"That's fine! So, we're a safe house now?"
"Just using the library."
"Oh. Seen the dragon?"
"Yup, well, kinda. Fast moving black thing in the night sky, didn't exactly get a good look at it."
"Oh ..... "
"I wasn't killed in the attack, by the way, thanks for your concern." Ron said, conversationally.
"You're welcome, as regular guinea pig for Fred 'n' George, I'm pretty sure if you weren't pretty much impervious to harm, you wouldn't've made it past eleven."
"I suppose it did tuffen you up."
"And explains the hideous deformities and brain damage."
"Thanks sis! Don't I recall a few times you were lab rat?"
"Only so you didn't feel singled out."
Harry and Hermione traded amused looks.
"Books. Ginny, any chance of a cuppa?" Harry, changing the direction of conversation.
"Hmm? Oh, yeah, sure, I'll bring it up. Hermione, how many sugar's does Ron have in his tea?"
"Two!"
"One, he's watching his weight."
"Oh no I'm not!"
"Well, he's got plenty to keep an eye on."
"Bugger off the pair of  you. Come on 'Arry, where's these books?"
"Library."
"Lead the way my friend."

archaic:
Spoiler: Part four ..... The library was large and filled with bookshelves, not all of them were full of books, a selection of ornaments and pictures filled some. Two other rooms lead off, one was Harry's office, the other was Ginny's.
A large table in the center of the library was soon covered in books, and piles on the floor quickly mounted up as the four searched for anything on Bellua Tenebrus, Terrato Noctus, the man who may have had one or this Lochlanach place.
Harry looked at a copy of 'The Map Of Places Not On The Map' by Ockseme Auronne. A thick, large format book filled with places that had been lost, abandoned or where hidden.
Ron looked up from a copy of' 'Rare And Possibly Extinct Flora And Fauna Of The British Isles' by Saul Larphter.
"So, Harry, silly question but, how are they keeping the muggles away from the nargals in, err, Where-Ever-It-Was-On-Sea?"
"Hampton-on-Sea."
"I know the answer to that, I haven't been twiddling my thumbs while you lot've been off fighting dragons."
"Go on."
"They placed a charm on it, so it appears to've been washed away by coastal erosion."
"Oh, right, clever."
"Bingo!" Hermione exclaimed suddenly "Nihtegesa or Nihtréthscipe. Also known as Bellua Tenebrus. This nocturnal black dragon is well camouflaged against the night sky. Last confirmed sighting was when the village of Alhallowes - odd spelling - was attacked in fifteen eighty two. Most assuredly the most powerful and lethal dragon of it's size in all creation. Most records tell of a single specimen causing damage and loss of life far exceeding that which may be expected of such a beast. All arcane advice is to avoid it at all cost by any means or measures, only two people are said to have survived encounters, neither can be positively verified by the author. Said to make a sound somewhere between a whistle and a rumble as it attacks. Norse peoples refered to it as being the most feared, powerful and dangerous of the besléan dragons. Nihtegesa meaning terror by night, Nihtréthscipe, fury of the night."
"Great! Why couldn't we get a cute cuddly dragon?" Ron looked worried, again.
"How d'you spell that place name?"
"A, L, H , A, double L, O, W, E, S."
Harry flicked the pages of his book.
"Alhallowes village in Leicestershire, not to be confused with nearby Allhallows. Abandoned after an attack by the Bellua Tenebrus, on the night of the June Nineteenth, year of our lord fifteen eighty two. More than half the souls who dwelt there died most heinously of the attack - which lasted perhaps as long a quarter hour - or shortly there after. The church and very dwelling, shop, the mill, the bakery, every barn and hovel, was rendered asunder and left uninhabitable to man or beast. The village was abandoned there after. The exact location of Alhallowes is not currently known."
And that was all they found, several hours more searching found no further details. Armed with what they had, and with fresh trepidation, they returned to Shield Stone Cottage. It was a spectacular sunset, reds and oranges, swathed in thick bands of brooding cloud with a thin clear strip of sky just above horizon, they watched as the last sliver dipped from sight.
"Same watches as last night?"
"Why not?"
"Well that's settled."
"I'll bring you some tea."
"Thanks Harry."
Harry made tea, using the Relashio charm on the kettle's contents to speed things up.
"Cheer's Harry." Ron said taking "Mmm, two sugars again, I could get used to this."
Harry smiled as he surveyed the darkening sky.
"Can you remember the forecast?"
"Hmm?"
"Think it'll rain?"
"Accio weather forecast."
As if by magic, a page from the Daily Prophet flew to them.
"Cloudy with intermittent showers, possibly prolonged and heavy in London and the south east. Risk of precipitation, fifty percent." Harry read aloud.
"Well that's flipping helpful."
"Mmm. I'll get coats."
"Cheer's."
Harry fetched their rain coast and lay them on the table.
"So, any plans to use that potion?"
"Potion?"
Harry leaned forward conspiratorially, and spoke softly.
"Love potion."
"Oh, err, no. Why?"
"Oh, err, no reason. You know, just making conversation."
"I think she'd kill me if I did. Pretty sure she knows about a million ways to do it. Slowly, painfully and without putting enough sugar in my tea while she did it."
There was a clap of thunder in the very far distance. Ron and Harry grabbed their coats in near perfect unison. Harry's was tailored top quality black leather from Twilfitt and Tatting's, it had a cunning fold in the back that meant he could envelope his chair in it too. Ron's had been what he could afford.
Thick black clouds promised rain, but none came, a wind blew around them for a while, and then was gone. The clouds receded, without rain or further thunder. Their departure revealed the moon, shining brightly, casting deep and eerie shadows. Harry's watch chimed.
"Bed time Ron. See you in, err, four 'n' alf hours."
Ron didn't move at first, then looked into Harry's eye's trying to read him, wondering how to tell his best friend the whole deal with him and Hermione. It would have been easier if he'd really understood himself.
"Harry ..... " he began purposefully.
"Yeah?"
Ron froze, could he really let go and share the pent up torrent of emotions, confusion and above all despair?
" ..... see you later." he ended.
He couldn't.
"Night."
"Yeah ..... night."
Ron sighed deeply and went inside, the couch accepted him and sleep's embrace was not far behind. Harry sat, watched the skies, diligently and in silence.
The minutes crept by, clouds came and went without a hint of the dragon, Harry hoped this was a good sign.
Harry yawned deeply, rubbed his eyes.
"Well, I came at the right time, mister sleepy head."
"Evening Hermione, sleep well?"
"Yeah, not bad. So what's Ron been telling you behind my back tonight?"
"Actually, not a lot. I could tell he had something he wanted to say, but left it. Has he been bottling things up a lot lately?"
"Mmm, yeah, pressure at work's been hard, we used to talk half the night about anything and nothing. Used to kiss 'n' hold hands too."
"He still loves you."
"Is that what he said?"
"I can see it, it's in the things he tries to do."
Harry looked Hermione in the eye.
"It's in the way he wants to touch you, and doesn't trust himself to not hurt you. It's in the way he wants to hold your hand but doesn't quite reach all the way out for you, in case you reject him. It's in the way he wants to show you how he feels and can't. Us guy's aren't good at that kind of thing, we're socially conditioned to be repressed that way."
"And you and Ginny?"
"Yeah, well, Ginny grew up in a house full of brothers. Six of 'em. She knows how guy's think better than I do, and, well, she's used to living with guy's. She makes allowances. After that kind of childhood, she's not even aware she's doing it."
"Where as I, being an only child ..... "
"No, Hermione, I'm an only child too, and Ron had brothers and a sister, no. Ron's got the worst case of middle child syndrome imaginable, Ginny's the youngest getting all the fuss."
"And there's no shortage of over achieving big brothers, even if Fred and George didn't do well academically."
"Well, quitting school in the middle of exams probably didn't help there. Everyone knew they were brilliant, they didn't need to do well at school. Look at the shop."
"And that's part of his problem, it's not bad money, but he feels he can't live up to Fred's reputation. It's killing him inside, and, well, it's damaging our relationship at the same time. And I can't help him. I've tried, but I can't reach him."
"You know what, I think this is the talk Ron wanted to have, but couldn't face it."
"It's a mess ..... I feel horrible ..... Feel I've lost everything ..... He was pretty much my best friend. Now he's my nemesis."
"You think he feels any different?"
"Not sure he feel anything. Except loathing. He looks at me like I'm a stranger, no love in those eyes of his. As if he's just going through the motions."
Harry wished there was something he could say or do that would fix things, and wished it with soul aching sincerity.
"I don't know what to say, you loved each other passionately."
"Mmm, used to. Used to think I understood him, used to share everything. Doesn't tell me anything now. Unless we're out of loo roll, or the like."
Hermione sat and looked at her finger nails distractedly.
"What's worse is ..... it's not just him. I mean, I don't want to hurt him. Really, I don't, but ..... find myself saying things I instantly regret, do stuff he hates. And this diet is a bone of contention."
"Yeah, I kinda noticed that."
"You must of noticed he's put on a few pounds."
"Yeah."
"He never eats properly at the shop, it's just too busy, so all he does is grab snacks the whole time, comes home to a meal and goes to bed. It's not healthy."
"It can be like that at the office, especially if we're out in the field."
"But not all the time."
"No, true."
"And there's a bit of running around?"
"A bit, some of the time. Mind you, Ron's on his feet most of the day at the store."
"What's ..... no, it's a bat."
Harry yawned.
"Bed time for you young man."
"Yes misses Weasley." Harry said in his best kiddy's voice.
Harry stood up and yawned again, deeply.
"Can I get you anything? Tea?"
"Better husband?"
Harry looked and felt awkward.
"Kidding! Go, Sleep. See you in the morning."
"OK, OK, I'm going, I'm going."
"Sweet dreams."
"Thanks."
Harry went inside, took a cushion fallen from the couch as a pillow, used his rain coat as a comforter, selected the thickest rug as a mattress and stretched out. It wasn't the most comfortable bed he'd ever slept in, but neither was it the least comfortable.
Harry woke abruptly, choking, his nose and throat filled with smoke and dust. Dirt and ruble tumbled to a halt all around him, just for an instant confused he wondered where he was and what was going on. Reality slid into place, an attacking dragon was brutally solid and terrifyingly real.

archaic:
Spoiler: Part five ..... Harry grabbed his wand, ran outside, where the kitchen had been, there was a massive hole, much of the end wall was gone too, as was the roof. Debris was scattered everywhere, bricks, tiles, burning timbers, burning thatch.
Ron and Hermione cast spell after spell at the dragoon, none had the least effect. Harry, said the first spell that came to mind.
"Locomotor Mortis!"
The dragons wings folded, and it fell to the ground thrashing and reeling until at last it rid itself and rose into the air once more, swooping down at him.
"Everte Statum!"
This knocked the dragon back, but not much, it sill had to drive at him again.
"Expecto Patronum!"
Harry's stag was beginning to form, but the creature countered with a blast of fire, each canceling the other out as they met, amid an impressive shower of sparks, pinwheeling in every direction.
"Incendio Decia!"
This sent put an utterly colossal ball of flame, it burned off the grass, took out a sizable chunk of hedge, before sailing across the valley beyond. Who can tell what more damage it may have caused, if the ever alert Hermione hadn't cast a well timed Finite Incantatem. The only thing impervious to it, was the dragon.
"Impedimenta!"
This was met with another vivid blue fire ball, but Harry was already casting his next.
"Glacius Maximus!" and the dragon fell to earth, encased in ice.
"Well he put up a fight."
"Yeah, always the master of understatement Ron!" Harry panted, sinking to his knees, and resting an exhausted hand on the scorched soil for balance.
As Ron and Hermione ran over to congratulate Harry in triumph, Harry spotted the blue glow from within the ice.
"It's not over!"
Harry yelled just as it ruptured, sending blocks of ice flying in every direction. Hermione landed on the singed remnants of a bush, Ron on one of the many scattered samples, immediately unleashing a very localized monsoon. The three grabbed hold of anything solid the could, as wind and rain lashed them violently. The rain lasted less than a minute, ending as suddenly as it had begun.
"Where's it?"
"Where's what?"
"The dragon? Remember? Honestly Ron, I don't know what I ever saw in you! It certainly wasn't your towering intellect!"
Harry alone kept vigilant, searching  the sky and every pool of shadow.
"It may not've gone far." he said.
Three became one, as they stood back to back, three pairs of eyes looking out.
"Repario." Hermione cast on their house.
"Repario." Ron cast on the hedge, with no effect.
"It's a living thing, Ron. Repario doesn't work on living things, dummy!" Hermione scolded.
Ron missed what Harry saw, Hermione biting her lip, wishing she hadn't just said what she had.
"Can someone tell me why we're tryin' to fight this thing? There's people who do this for a living, it's their job, their job!"
"Would you be referring to The Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures, by any chance dear husband?" Hermione's words oozed with deep and palpable sarcasm.
"Yeah, them."
"Three words ..... Kent ..... Nargal ..... Infestation."
"Oh, that. Couldn't we just hand this over to the muggle authorities?"
"Dragon, magical creature, ergo matter for witches and wizard. You know, magical folk?"
"Err ..... "
"Remember school? You know, big place, with pointy bits, various thing trying to kill us?"
"Yeah, too bleedin' often, as I recall."
"And there was me thinking you remembered nothing from Hogwarts."
"I remember it, clear as crystal!"
"Oh really?"
"Yeah!"
"OK, let's see. What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?"
Harry looked at her in surprise.
"Err."
"OK then, where, Mr. Weasley, would you look if I asked you to find me a bezoar?"
"Cupboard under the stairs?" Ron offered for want of any better answer.
"Wrong. What is the difference between Monkshood and Wolfbane?"
Ron looked desperately at Harry for help.
"No conferring!"
"I don't know!" Ron said defensively.
"Harry?"
"For your information, asphodel and wormwood make a sleeping potion so powerful that it's known as the Draught of Living Death. A bezoar is a stone taken from the stomach of a goat which will save you from most poisons. As for monkshood and wolfsbane, they are the same plant, which is also ..... known ..... as," Harry's quoting trailed off.
Hermione looked terrified, dropped her wand, and clapped her hand over her mouth.
"Hermione, what is it?"
She broke off from her outward looking huddle, took two very hesitant steps forward, and then a third before turning to face the two guys.
"Oh. My. God!"
"What?"
"I've had it all wrong! All. These. Years!"
"What?"
"Snape wasn't being mean to you that day, he was giving you a coded message." she said in hushed tones "You're mum was Lilly."
"Yeah?"
"Lilly has a significance, it's traditional flower at funerals, Asphodel's a type of Lilly, and has a very specific meaning. I think it's for a very bitterly regretted death, such as if they died accidentally at some event you organized, or you some how feel responsible for their death even though you didn't actually kill them yourself. And wormwood is for bitter sorrow."
"Snape tried to save Lilly's life, I know that. His turning from being a Death Eater was because of her death. Was that ..... "
"Oh there's more. Bezoar. In alchemy, an 'Animal Bezoar' is the pulverized heart and lungs of a viper. Snape, head of Slytherin, the viper, his heart was crushed. Then there's the Aconite, symbolizes chivalry and misanthropy. That, before you ask, is the dislike of mankind as a whole, Ron."
"This is building to, something. I can tell."
"Yes Ron, well spotted. Put it all together, a bit of educated guesswork and we have ..... "
"Why do I get the feeling she'd really like a drum roll, right about now?"
Hermione flashed the briefest of killing looks in her husbands direction before continuing.
"Snape was telling you that he bitterly regretted the death of Lilly, it lead to him disliking mankind for such an act, which had taken the woman he had loved. Maybe always would love. To his dying breath perhaps? Perhaps that with her gone, his life was like a living death? And that out of love for her, he would guard your life, as you are all there is in this world of her."
"He couldn't save her directly, but by preventing my death, in a way he saved hers by proxy?"
"Pretty much."
"Holly crap! And I always thought he was the bad guy."
"We all did."
"Where would you find a bezoar, the crushed heart of a viper? Beating within his chest!"
"Why'd he say it like that, in riddles?"
"Because he was being watched, Droaco was in the same room, he'd have told Lucious if he'd said anything overtly."
"Could he have said it any less riddly?"
"And if he had, one of the smarter Slytherins there might have worked it out. He couldn't take that chance."
The three stood considering this, still drenched and shivering in the cold night air for some time, it might have been half an hour, it might have been three.
"You need to get dry, and get some sleep, Harry."
"Yes, Hermione, pretty sure we all do."
"I know I bloody well do," Ron was drenched, exhausted and fed up.
"This is silly." Hermione silently cast something.
A warm breeze blew around them, it dried out their sodden cloths and made them feel less like drowned rats.
"Who's dry?" Hermione asked after a few minutes.
"Me."
"I am."
"Good. Finite Incantatem."
The breeze dropped.
"Harry, couch. Me 'n' Ron'll keep watch, it's less than an hour till sun rise now anyway, and you need to be alert. Remember, anything in the library on this dragon, however small and or insignificant."
"Will do."
"Or that guy who bleedin' well owned one."
"Good point."

Harry's alarm watch woke him, he washed, straightened his hair in the bathroom mirror and disapparated, reappearing just outside Hogwarts. As a lecturer that day, he was entitled to a breakfast and for a change, he took it. It still felt weird to be at the teachers table. He was aware of the hushed tones from around the hall as he entered and took the empty chair at the end of the top table. That felt weird too, but he was getting used to it as well. Well, to a point.
Breakfast eaten, he headed for the library, his lesson wasn't till eleven, giving him a couple of hours useful research time beforehand. The crowds parted and respectful students of all ages watched him pass, there was even a couple of curtsies here and there. The book which he insisted was not his autobiography, but merely an account of the war, was required reading these days. Which enhanced his standing and his longing for people to notice how much of it was filled with the selfless bravery, dogged determination come what may and general purpose daring do, that a great many others had given to the fight. There was even a whole chapter on Nevil Longbottom, how the 'Chosen One' prophesy might have been about him, how even after the battle, and with Voldermort slain, it wasn't really possible to be one hundred percent certainty that it hadn't been all along. Most readers felt Harry was just being modest, down playing his own efforts, which only served to reinforce his reputation as a hero. It was one he wasn't all that comfortable with.
Harry entered the library.
"Morning Irma!" he said brightly.
Irma Pince had been librarian since before Harry had attended Hogwarts as a student, he noted that she looked exactly the same as he remembered her. She looked at him carefully over her glasses intently for a moment.
"And good morning to you. Harry." she said, a little icily.
Now that was different, no student would have had such a warm welcome. Well, relatively warm, warm for Irma at any rate.
Harry headed for the restricted section, he could almost feel her gaze on the back of his head as he went.
Research was Hermione's thing, and Harry felt a little lost, not quite all at sea, but certainly a little way from the beach.
The thick new note pad he'd taken began to fill up with odd references from here and there, but nothing stood out particularly. It was said that they could swim, and remain underwater for long periods, had excellent night vision, sense of smell and hearing, apparently and could find their way in utterly dark caves. Harry imagined it using it's fire, as there no details provided. Finally his alarm sounded and he made for his lesson.
"See you later, Irma." he said brightly on his way out.
"I imagine you shall." she replied in her usual frosty tones.
Harry wondered if she'd always been that way, or if some event, or series of events had left her that way. Perhaps he'd never know, but one thing was for sure, his fights with the forces of darkness would have been far easier if Hogwarts had someone more approachable and maybe a just little more helpful. But then she'd been in the thick of the fighting against Voldermort's army. She had shown her true colors that day, and as a sizable mound of vanquished foes had proven, what a formidable, powerful and gifted witch she truly was.
The lesson was to fourth years. All hung on his every syllable, here was a wizard who really had been there, and done that. You could have heard a pin drop, which Harry still found just a little unnerving. He felt especially uncomfortable when remembering his own behavior when in class.
"Good morning class." Harry said clearly and distinctly as he reached his desk.
"Good morning Mister Potter." the whole class chanted back.
The class progressed well, Patronas Spell, some fairly advanced magic for school kids. By the end every one could cast it reliably. And then it was lunch time. Harry went down to the kitchens for some unofficial sandwiches. A whisper went round among the elves, Harry Potter had asked for sandwiches, and nothing was too good for Harry. After a few moments a paper bag appeared, delivered by an Elf wearing a smart set of chef's whites, with the Hogwarts' crest in white embroidery. Clothes, the sign of a free elf, something Harry had been able to 'negotiate' on their behalf, after the defeat of the dark lord. That along with wages, holiday entitlement and and a pension. None of which had endeared him to the school governors greatly, but in the kitchens at least, he could do no wrong. Harry sought out Hagrid's company, and went to his shack. It had gained a proper bedroom since Harry had been a student. He wasn't in, so Harry sat down on the steps and ate there. With no sign of Hagrid, Harry retreated to the library disappointed.
"Afternoon Irma! I'm back" he said brightly.
"You are, Harry." she said, in her unwaveringly stone cold way.
"I'm looking for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ..... "
"Animals section, same place it was when you were a student."
" ..... the extended edition, the one with the extinct species."
"It's in the stacks."
"Could I see it?"
"Only if you watch the library for me while I'm gone." she said very emphatically.
"No problem."
Irma left via a small door behind her desk. She wasn't long, and in the absence of a single student, the library was just as she'd left it.
"You need to sign for it." Irma produced a ledger from her desk draw, and placed it open at the correct page for Harry to sign.
"I, I, err, I wasn't going to take it out, of the library." Harry stuttered nervously.
"I should think not!"
Harry took a deep breath, filed in the details, date and time out, and signed.
Harry took it to a desk, found the entry, read it and copied it into his note book .....

Bellua Tenebrus, dragon, nocturnal, with black scales and wings it blends well against it's preferred night sky. Reputed to be one of the most powerful of all dragons, one of only two species believed to be able to fight against an adult Vagentur Bestia. Most historical accounts describe a sound between a whistle and a rumble preceding attack, "A fast moving demonic black smear in the night sky" and "Bringer of utter desolation" being typical of contemporary descriptions. There are no reliable accounts of close encounter with one having being survived. While no close observations have ever been possible with this species and no example of a dead specimen has ever been found, Scottish oral tradition tells of one being friend and equal of a near [or possibly actually] mythical chieftain who had the secret of their mastery. Some accounts claim that this was the species slain by Georgius of Lydda [St George].
Last confirmed sighting, Leicestershire, England, fifteen eighty two. Universally accepted as extinct.
Also known as Aethisgenginn Rathmorthingi, Coruscum Interitus, Heift Nott, Night Fury, Nihtegesa, Nihtréthscipe, Noxt Ve'co, Ràs Oidhche, Spell Burner and Terrato Noctus.

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