|Dragonriders, Part 1
Author: MrsChurch PM
Future fic, totally Gen. A potion, ruined, but not destroyed, by a fool throwing a book into it. An empathic Albus Potter. And 32 newly minted dragon eggs. The wizarding world will never be the same. Chapter 5 is up!Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Adventure - Albus S. P. - Chapters: 5 - Words: 11,979 - Reviews: 83 - Favs: 93 - Follows: 138 - Updated: 09-01-12 - Published: 12-05-09 - id: 5559703
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Dragonriders, Part 1
Chapter 4: Assault
Notes: Thanks to Weyrwoman for that song. I was concentrating on Dragonsdawn, and forgot. And thanks to everyone else for your reviews!
Albus said, "I wanted to know why you turned down my offer to become a dragonrider."
Moria McCanaly raised an eyebrow. "You were serious about that?"
Albus just looked at her for a moment, then chuckled. "You thought it was a prank?" She nodded. "Well I assure you, I was being serious. I was brewing a certain potion, and someone threw a book into the potion. The dragons in the book were conceived by the potion, and the eggs are now hardening on the miniature Hatching Ground I've built at Hogwarts to accommodate them."
A thought seemed to cross Moria's mind. She reached for a book that was on the shelf beside her. Albus recognized it; Dragonquest. "The dragons of Pern?"
He smiled. "Yes. First generation size, I'm sure. It was Dragonsdawn that got thrown in. I don't know if they will only be the top three colors, though. For some reason, I think all five are there." He frowned, thinking about why he thought that. "It's my empathy. I'm so in tune with the eggs—well, that's neither here nor there. I asked you to be a Candidate because you've shown what mediwizards call a magically enhanced psychic tendency. In your case, that's your abilities as a scryer. But anyone with MEPT who's between fifteen and twenty-one is on my list, so long as they're not a criminal or something."
Moria sat back, staring at the cover of her book, thinking. After a few moments, she looked up at him. "I—I thought it was a dream. It couldn't have been real because these dragons don't exist. But it had all the force of a Seer's vision. I was sitting in a saddle on the back of a small queen dragon. I looked over my shoulder to the right and saw three people on brooms. They were firing spells at us. We took a dive that would have made any Quidditch player envious, then flattened out over the surface of the water, the ocean, I think. They caught up, but I started firing spells of my own. I struck one with Incarcerous, and he fell off his broom and into the water. The other two veered off, flanking us. We went between, and then I woke up." She sighed. "It happened here at work, thankfully while I was getting ready to go home for the day and didn't have a client in here. I wrote myself a note, as I have always done when a prophecy gets hold of me." She pulled a small slip of paper off the cork-board where she kept all her phone messages and handed it to Albus. It read, Beware the coming storm, but do not avoid it. You will be needed.
Albus felt a shiver run up his spine. "Sounds like the dragonriders will have trouble down the road." He sighed. "I don't know if I will be one of them. I hope so, but I don't know. You have the advantage over me in this. You know that if you stand as a Candidate, you will Impress. You also know that there will be danger down that path in the future. Above everyone else, you know what you'd be risking." And the thought of that risk chilled him to the marrow. If you lost your dragon, you lost half of yourself. You would try to suicide. If you lived, you would never be whole. If your dragon lost you, they went between, and never returned.
Moria was a fan, and she knew that. But a light had come into her eyes, the light of realization and determination. Albus had been banking on this. No real fan would pass up the opportunity to Impress a Pernese dragon. The rewards would far outweigh the risk. "All right. I'll come."
"I'm still mad at you."
Albus sighed and put his forehead on the desk. "Lily, we've been through this. Not only is it a bad idea, but Mum and Dad would kill me if I let you be a Candidate. You're fourteen, and if you Impressed now, your dragon would fly to mate when you were seventeen. You'll just have to wait for the next Hatching. You'll still be young enough then to Impress, and I won't have to worry that Mum'll knock my head in with her rolling pin."
"James isn't going to be one, either."
"James didn't want to." Their elder brother hadn't wanted the responsibility of caring for a dragon, and Albus hadn't pushed him. It was best if everyone who got involved was fully committed.
They had plenty of people to stand in his place, though. There were Candidates from all over the globe, and they had all come to Hogwarts to await the Hatching. Scorpius and Amelio were on the list, and so was Joshua Caine, a seventh year Ravenclaw. There were people from the other two European schools, from the Middle East, the Far East and the Orient. There were also people from several different countries in Africa, North America and South America. One bloke, Jack Conway, was from Texas and had brought his horse with him, and he refused to walk anywhere he could ride.
"Why are you so worried about that," Lily asked, bringing Albus's mind back to the conversation at hand. "It's not like I'd be getting married or anything."
Albus groaned, and begged fate that their mother had already had the sex talk with her. "Lils, don't you remember what happens to the riders when dragons mate?"
She blushed, but remained stubborn. "So?"
"So that's why Mum, Dad and everyone else in our family would hang me up by my toes and take pot-shots at me if I let you on the grounds at this age. Seventeen is too young to be carrying on like that, especially when it's compelled." Albus stood and put a hand on Lily's shoulder. "When it's your dragon, her needs are all that will matter, and you'll be glad to do what needs to be done, but when it's over she'll be able to forget. You won't." He sighed. "Please, Lily. You're my baby sister."
Lily pouted for a moment or two, but finally caved and sat down. "All right. I'll wait. But I'd better be on your list for next time!"
Relieved, Albus grinned. "You bet."
As time stretched on from eight weeks to ten and on into twelve, Albus worried more and more. But Ruth Giuseppe from Italy reminded him of a Teaching Song from Dragonflight, a song he was chagrined to say that he had forgotten.
"Rise in glory, Bronze and Gold
Dive entwined, enhance the Hold
Count three months and more, and five heated weeks
A day of glory, in a month who seeks?
A flash of silver in the sky
With heat, all quickens, and all times fly."
Three months and five weeks pointed to mid-June, and was about twice the time he had expected, but it let him relax a bit about getting the Candidates in place and the preparations complete.
By July 25th, the guest quarters were full and Albus had moved into the Hatching Ground's office because he couldn't stand to be away from the eggs. Scorpius commented that he wouldn't have been any more broody if they had been his own unborn children, and there was some truth to that. "I do feel responsible for them."
Scorpius shook his head. "Well, according to you, once they've Hatched and Impressed, they won't be your trouble any longer."
"Maybe." But Albus doubted he'd stop worrying about the dragonettes, not until he was sure they'd be safe. He felt restless, nervous.
The two of them were sitting in chairs on the surrounding walk of the Hatching Ground, and with no one else there the small hot building echoed emptily. That made it easy to hear when Hagrid came in behind twelve men, yelling at them. "Ye can't go in there! Yer no' allowed!"
One of the men said, "We're Ministry officials, oaf! We'll do as we please.!"
Albus and Scorpius were both on their feet by the time the men rounded the corner, wands at the ready. Albus dropped his shields and quickly assessed the men's minds. They were here to destroy the eggs and arrest Albus for dragon breeding. Apparently they believed that he had Confunded Tier Verderben, and they had come prepared against a recurrence. But Albus was not so easily defeated, nor was Scorpius.
With his shields down, Albus might have been more vulnerable to other people's emotions, but he was much more able to communicate with other sensitives, such as the people he had been recruiting as Candidates for Impression. The Hatching Ground is under attack! The message sent, he slammed his shields back down and gave his full attention to the men from the Ministry. His voice was a pleasant baritone, but it deepened dangerously as he addressed the officials, his wand aimed at the leader. "That's far enough."
"I am Oedipus Fowl, Head of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, and you, Albus Potter, are under arrest for violating the Warlock's Convention of 1709, which outlawed dragon breeding. By my order, these eggs are to be destroyed, and these men are here to complete that task."
"These are sentient beings, sir, not magical creatures, and though magic caused their existence, they are not, in themselves, magical. It was my potion that went wrong, and I have, therefore, taken responsibility for their care, but their creation was accidental. They are not dangerous, and they deserve a chance to be born, to Impress, to live. I won't let you take me, and I won't let you harm them."
Fowl sneered and aimed his wand at the nearest egg, one of the queens, but Albus was quicker. The man flew back at his powerful "Expelliarmus!" Simultaneously, twenty other voices echoed the disarming spell and the other Ministry thugs were disarmed. The Candidates who had hard Albus's mental shout had all come running and had arrived in just enough time to defend the young dragons.
Moria was at the head of the mob of Candidates. "Gentlemen, what the hell are you doing?"
"We are exercising our rights and responsibilities as Ministry officials, Miss. You are attacking representatives of your government!"
"No, we are disarming unknown individuals executing an attack on sentient creatures of magical birth. You must first prove that you are ministry officials, and you must then prove that the creatures you are executing are dangerous and non-sentient. As they are eggs, I doubt you can prove that they are dangerous. I know the law, Mr. Fowl. You wouldn't want to be sentenced to Azkaban for murder, would you?" At their silence, she said, "Stand down. Your wands will be returned to you as you leave the Hatching Ground, but you will be watched until you reach the Apparation Barrier to make certain that you leave."
The thick silence endured while Fowl stood there, fuming. But his team were only twelve men. There were at least twenty people standing there, and more could be seen gathering outside the building, and they currently had no wands. "You'll regret this, Potter." He turned and stalked out of the Hatching Ground, quickly followed by his men.
With him out of sight, Albus relaxed a little. Amelio grinned at him. "What is it with your family and the Ministry?"
Albus would have given him an appropriately scathing answer, but in the space between one moment and the next, a distinct crack could be heard, and all eyes turned toward the eggs, one of which had split clean down the middle.