I want to thank everyone who voted on the poll for this story, you've been a real help. Without further ado, here's chapter 2.
In the aftermath of Harry's incredible victory over Hufflepuff, all thoughts of Flamel and the Philosophers Stone were driven from Ron and Hermione's minds. Snape was his usual cruel self and Quirrell still stuttered his way through the classes. The days wore on and exams crept ever closer. Hermione started having a break down as she began color-coding her schedule and Harry spent half an hour talking her down.
Days turned to weeks and Apollo continued to grow. He was now as long as Harry was tall and was having trouble moving through the castle. Another thing bothering Harry was the secrets he was keeping from his friends. He'd broached the subject with the Eldunarí but they'd specifically forbidden him from telling anyone unless he could protect their minds. Harry's only problem now was how to approach his friends.
In Harry's lessons with the Eldunarí, he had begun performing the Rimgar. An Elvin tradition called the Dance of Snake and Crane. It was a series of poses that were designed to increase one's flexibility, endurance, and strength.
Harry had also begun expanding his circle of friends. It had actually started as a sort of study group. With Harry's new academic prowess, he'd started doing his homework in the library with Hermione. They'd dragged a grumbling Ron along and invited Neville as well.
Due to Harry's friendship with the shy boy, he'd started breaking out of his shell and began growing into the wizard he was meant to be. One day, Neville had asked if his Herbology partner, Hannah, could join their group to which Harry's agreed easily. Hannah then dragged her best friend Susan Bones along and it snowballed from their. Soon enough, two Ravenclaws, Terry Boot and Mandy Brocklehurst, asked to join them.
One day when Harry was perusing the DADA section he'd run into Daphne Greengrass and her friend Tracy Davis. They'd struck up a conversation about the homework Quirrell had assigned and Harry soon invited them to join the study group. When he led them over most of his friends greeted them, Ron however had blown a gasket and refused to sit near the slimy snakes. When Harry had defended them, he'd called Harry a traitor and stormed off.
Weeks soon turned to months, and Apollo was starting to have trouble slithering through the portrait hole. It was quickly becoming so that he didn't even have enough room to sleep in the Dormitory anymore. During one training session, Harry brought up this problem with the Eldunarí.
The time has come, they said, as you know, in the old day's a Rider's dragon will never stop growing throughout their whole life. Eventually this became a problem, as the oldest dragons were able to rival the sizes of mountains. In fact, some of the smaller Volcano's are dragon's that melded into the earth through a burst of magic.
This was changed several thousand years ago, after the elves left this mortal realm and only humans were left to become riders. Through rewriting of the law's of magic by the oldest current rider a dragon will only grow so long as it takes for it's bonded to fully transform after the bond takes place.
"You said that takes anywhere from five to fifteen years," Harry said, "that would mean that some dragon's will be much larger than other's."
That would be true, but the bond between dragon and rider had evolved over the years. As such, the dragon's growth is directly linked with the changes of the rider. So in the end, all dragons will be at approximately at the same size once they reach full growth.
Apollo has reached the stage in his growth where you must find a new home for him.
"Where?" Harry asked, "I can't think of any big enough doors in the castle…"
Not in the castle, they interrupted, in the forest.
"The Forbidden Forest?" Harry asked incredulously.
Yes, the founder's created the forest in honor of Du Weldenvarden. Deep within the forest is a city, named Ellesméra after the capital of the Elven nation.
Harry sucked in his breath, he of course knew of the City of the elves from the old tales of Alagaësia, as well as the Guarding Forest.
Tonight, you shall enter the forest and seek out the city.
"But what about the creatures that live in the forest?" Harry asked, "The teacher's don't forbid student's from entering without reason."
None within the forest will attack you, for all within were given sanctuary there by the first rider's and they will honor any rider's that enter. However, you would do well to avoid the Acromantula Colony until you dragons are larger.
"Yes Ebrithil," Harry intoned.
That night, once everyone had gone to sleep, Harry snuck out of the common room with Apollo.
Covered by the invisibility cloak, and with an open mind, they made it out of the castle without any problems. As they approached the forest, Harry tucked the cloak back into his pocket.
"Skulblakas ven," Harry whispered. Instantly, his vision shifted so that he could see as well as his dragon and his eyes changed from their normal emerald green into a vivid gold with slit pupils, identical to Apollo's.
Together, they plunged into the forest, following a faint game trail through the dark trees.
An hour into the hike, Harry noticed something on the ground. Crouching down to examine it, he discovered it was a pool of thick silver liquid.
What's this? He silently wondered. Apollo came up and sniffed it. Bristling, he said Unicorn blood, it's been injured badly.
Harry paled, Can you find it? he asked.
Apollo's only response was to plunge into the brush. Harry rushed off in his wake. Practicing the Rimgar had truly built up Harry's strength and he was barely able to keep up with his scaly companion.
Finally, they came across a sight that made them both stop short. In the middle of a clearing was a Unicorn. It was lying on its side, bleeding heavily, its breathing was sporadic. A tall, cloaked figure bent down over the beautiful creature and started licking the blood from its flank.
Harry's reaction was completely instinctive. Raising his hand to reveal the Gedwëy Ignasia, he spoke one of the words of death in the Ancient Language. With a crack, the figures neck snapped in half and he collapsed dead in an instant.
An echoing scream was heard, as a black wraith rose from the dead body. It looked around for a moment, trying to find what had killed its host before zeroing on Harry
"Potter!" it screamed before flying away into the night.
Harry stared after if for a moment before hurrying over to the Unicorn. Apollo viciously grabbed the cadaver's leg and dragged it away from the creature's body.
Harry knelt down and started examining its wounds. It was bleeding profusely and it's breathing was getting shallower.
"Be at peace, I will heal you," Harry said to it in the Ancient Language. The Unicorn looked at him, but its eyes seemed to be getting misty. Harry held his hand over the wound. "Waíse heill!" he chanted.
A surge of golden energy erupted from the Gedwëy Ignasia on his palm and bathed the injury in healing magic. Slowly but surely, the blood retreated back into the creature and its flesh began to knit back together.
All too soon however, Harry was running out of energy. Apollo lent his magic, but it still wasn't enough. As he began faltering in exhaustion, something was pressed into his back. He tensed, wary of an attack but a voice cut him off.
"I mean you no harm Rider," a deep voice said in the Ancient Language, "Use what energy you must from this stone."
It was then that Harry realized that whatever was touching his back was a huge reservoir of energy. Not wasting any time, he immediately tapped into it and started channeling the energy right through his body to the healing spell on the unicorn.
It took fifteen minutes for the wound to finally close. It slept peacefully, recovering from its ordeal, while the rider collapsed from the exertion.
He looked up to see a Centaur standing over him. There was a sword in his hand, but he was holding it backwards, presenting the diamond-studded hilt to Harry.
"Thank you," Harry said to the Centaur once he stopped panting, "I don't think he would have survived if you hadn't lent us your sword."
"It is I who should be thanking you, Shur'tugal," the Centaur said, "You have done the Denizen's of this forest a great service, destroying the dark one and saving the Unicorn. My name is Firenze."
"I am Harry Potter, and this is my Dragon Apollo," Harry introduced.
"I am most honored to meet you," the Centaur said, "Apollo is a strong name for a Dragon, you do your kind great honor."
Apollo merely nodded, still too tired to speak.
"Do you know what that creature was?" Harry asked. He moved over to where Apollo had drug the body and pushed it over so he could see its face. It was Professor Quirrel. His eyes gazed blankly back at him, dropps of Unicorn blood trailing from the corner of his mouth.
"This man was long dead before you killed his body," the Centaur said.
"What do you mean?" Harry asked.
"His body has been possessed by one thought dead for 10 years," he explained, "He was already dying, you merely made it painless for him."
"Who do you mean? What was possessing him?" Harry asked.
"Can you think of nobody who has waited many years to return to power, who has clung to life, awaiting their chance? Who would dare to slay a unicorn to survive, merely to restore his full strength using the very thing being guarded in this castle?"
"Voldemort," Harry said, his eyes wide with the implications.
There was a sudden heavy galloping, and two more centaurs came charging into the clearing. They took one look at the human before rounding on Firenze.
"Firenze, what are you doing with this human," one hissed, "these creatures are not welcome on our forest, they must be banished immediately."
Apollo started growling deep in his throat, he never took insults to his rider well. It was difficult to keep him from attacking Malfoy whenever he was near.
Firenze bristled, "Silence," he snarled causing Bane to step back in shock. Apparently, Firenze had never spoken to him in such a way. "You have no right to insult nor banish the first Rider in this forest since the Founder's themselves."
The Centaur's eyes widened and darted in Harry direction. The child was glaring at them, his palm turned so the Gedwëy Ignasia was clearly visible. Then they noticed the Dragon.
The Notice-Me-Not collars were designed to work flawlessly on humans, only a wizard with twice the power of Albus Dumbledore could see through the powerful charm. However, any other magical creatures whom looked beyond a fleeting glance would be able to see them clearly.
Instantly, the Centaurs knelt down with their front legs and bowed their heads. "Forgive me for my disrespect Rider, I did not realize what you were," the one who'd shouted at Firenze said in the Ancient Language.
Clearly Apollo said, he was obviously annoyed.
"It's obvious that you hold no love for humans," Harry stated, "But this forest is not yours, it belongs to Hogwarts which has graciously allowed you to live here. You have no authority to banish anything from these trees. That authority relies solely with Hogwarts itself, if you have any trouble's, seek us out and we will tell you the castle's decision."
"Yes my Lord," the Centaur said humbly. He rose back to his full height and said, "My name is Bane, and again I apologize for any disrespect."
Harry merely nodded.
"My name is Ronan," the other Centaur said, "If I may ask, why are you in this forest? It is my understanding that the teacher's at the school forbid students from entering here without escort."
"We are searching for the city that the Founder's grew within the forest," Harry said, causing the Centaur's eyes to widen. "Apollo is getting too big to live in the castle with me so we need a new home for him."
"I have no knowledge of any city within this forest," Bane said, "Are you sure you're not mistaken?"
"Our teacher's said it was here," Harry said, "they could not make a mistake if it's on the grounds."
"Perhaps the forbidden zone," Ronan stated.
"We cannot go there," Bane hissed.
"We cannot," Firenze said, "But there is nothing stopping the rider."
"What is this forbidden zone?" Harry asked.
"It is a magical barrier, encircling a large area in the middle of the forest," Ronan explained. "All of the denizens of the forest are forbidden from going near, because it is deadly to any who attempt to pass through it."
"It has been there for as long as the clan has lived in the forest," Firenze said, "Perhaps, it was erected by the founders to protect this city."
Harry shared a glance with Apollo. Do you think this is it?
It would make the most sense, he said.
"Take us there," Harry said.
"Very well," Firenze said, "Perhaps it would be quicker if you rode on one of our backs."
Bane visible bristled, but stayed silent knowing he could not argue it if the Rider agreed. Ronan flinched slightly, but was more amenable to the plan.
"Thank you for the offer," Harry said, "but it would be a disservice to Apollo if he was not my first true ride." Bane visibly relaxed.
"However, I am still faster than an average human," Harry continued, "You will not have to go as slow as you think."
"Very well," Ronan said, "Bane and I shall lead you to the forbidden zone and Firenze shall stay behind you to ensure we stay together."
Firenze nodded in agreement. The two Centaurs wheeled around and charged into the forest. Apollo and Harry bounded after them with Firenze bringing up the rear.
It was a long run through the forest, perhaps two hours through the foliage. Harry did indeed have the speed and strength to keep up with the centaurs, but not the stamina. Several times Firenze would touch the hilt of his sword to his back, allowing him draw energy and replenish his and Apollo's bodies.
Eventually on the third hour, the centaur's stopped and turned. Their flanks were covered in sweat and both were panting heavily. Harry virtually collapsed against Apollo's side with exhaustion while the dragon lay on the ground to catch his breath.
Once all had recovered their wind, Ronan explained, "The forbidden zone is thirty meters ahead. We dare not go any further."
"I understand, thank you," Harry said with a bow. The Centaurs nodded and left without another word.
After sitting for another fifteen minutes, Harry finally stood and started making his way forward.
Were about to do one of those idiotically stupid Gryffindor bravery things aren't we? Apollo asked from behind him.
"Yep," Harry replied.
"It's a good thing it the weekend," Harry said, "There's no chance we'd make it back to the school until an hour before dawn at least."
They came across the barrier and stopped. With his dragon sight spell still active, they were both able to easily see the magic of the barrier, but also see beyond it.
"Are you seeing what I'm seeing?" Harry asked.
Yes, Apollo said.
Beyond the barrier was a vast city grown right out of the trees.
"This has to be it," Harry said.
He gently stepped forward, pressing his palm to the barrier. The magical energy flared as it sensed the presence of a new rider before settling and allowing them entrance.
Ah, good you made it.
The voices of the founder's dragons suddenly filled their heads. Harry started in surprise.
Ebrithil, how are you able to communicate with us? Harry asked.
A good question that shall be answered shortly, they replied, but first, choose a home for yourselves. Once you make this choice it shall be yours forever.
After walking around for a few minues Harry chose a house that was sung out of an old oak tree. It looked quite sturdy and seemed sure to live for at least another thousand years or more. Even without magic.
Harry climbed the stairs to explore the house while Apollo took a great leap and slithered his way into the teardrop shaped opening into the bedroom.
Within the vestibule of his house were four doors. One led to the bedroom, one to a bathroom with a magical shower, one to a fancy dining room, the fourth door however refused to budge. Within the bedroom was a second staircase that led to an upstairs study.
Now that you have chosen your home, the magic has bonded to your core. This will forever be your home until the day you die. You can alter them in any way you wish and are welcome to live here forever. Now go to the sealed door in the entrance hall.
Harry did as told.
Place your hand with the Gedwëy Ignasia on the handle and channel a small amount of magic into the door. Say the words "Eldunarí Chamber" and open the door.
Harry pushed the door open and stepped through. He found himself back at Hogwarts, standing in the Eldunarí Chamber and facing the four glowing stones. Harry spun around to find himself staring at the passageway to the tapestry.
Harry! Apollo shouted across the bond.
I'm fine, I'm back at the castle somehow, Harry quickly said, reassuring his soul partner.
"How do we get back?" Harry asked.
Quite easily, simply place your hand on any doorknob in the castle and push your magic into it while saying 'Home.' The link between the castle and New Ellesméra will open a portal to the house that you're magic considers yours.
Harry smiled, "May I try it now?" he asked.
Of course, they replied.
Harry hurried out of the chamber and to the nearest classroom door. Placing his Gedwëy Ignasia on the door handle, he pushed his magic into it and said, "Home."
Instantly, the lock clicked and the door swung open. Harry stepped through into his own tree house. With a huge grin, Harry hurried into the bedroom and gave Apollo a huge hug. "This is great," he said enthusiastically.
The portal door will take you to any room within the castle and back, the Eldunarí explained, and any door in the castle can take you back to your own home. You may sleep here whenever you wish, but ensure that you are seen occasionally in your dorm room so as not to arise suspicion.
"Thank you Ebrithil," Harry said happily.
You're welcome, they replied, now it is quite late. Go to sleep, there shall be no training tomorrow considering the run you took to get here.
"Yes Ebrithil," Harry said. "However, something happened in the forest that I need to inform you of."
They listened quietly as Harry described his encounter with the shade of Voldemort. Once he was finished, he waited silently as they absorbed the information.
This is troublesome news, the finally said, but it does prove that he is not dead. Do to your status as the boy-who-lived, he is sure to single you out. Continue training so that you will be ready for him once that confrontation happens.
"Yes Ebrithil," Harry said.
He took his robes off and tossed them in the closet before curling up against Apollo in his large bed. The dragon hummed in contentment as he draped a wing over Harry and together they were lost in the land of dreams.
More time passed in Hogwarts, and Harry had pracitally moved in with Apollo.
The Monday after Harry's confrontation with Quirrelmort, Professor Dumbledore stood and made an announcement about Professor Quirrel's disapearence. He asked if anyone had information before stating that the rest of the Professor's would take turns teaching DADA until Quirrel was found.
Harry sent a mental smirk to Apollo and recieved laughter in return.
Maybe now we'll learn something useful in class, Harry said as he finished his breakfast.
As long as the bat's not teaching, Apollo agreed.
Harry laughed, drawing a couple of odd looks from his friends.
The new DADA classes were now taught even better than before. By the time exams came around, the entire school agreed they had learned more than the previous term with Professor Quirrel.
Since nothing else supremely dangerous had happened, Ron and Hermione lost focus on the Philosophers stone. Ron went back to moaning about exams and playing chess, but Hermione seemed to have gained a new interest in Harry.
Harry would often catch her giving him speculative looks, and it was getting harder to distract her from asking questions about where he disapeared to.
She'd going to figure it out soon, Harry said one day as he got ready for bed.
Relax, we'll just deal with it as it happens, Apollo said.
Exams came and went, and Harry landed a close second to Hermione. The day after exams was the final quidditch match against Hufflepuff. With Harry flying, Gryffindor completely creamed them, with the final score of 370-60. Wood looked like he wanted to cry as McGonagall handed him the Quidditch Cup.
As the last day of term approached, Harry went to the Eldunari to ask a favor
During the end of term feast, Dumbledore stood to make an announcement. "Before I hand out the House Cup, it is my solemn duty to inform you that Professor Quirrell had finaly been found. His body was discovered in the forbidden forest earlier this morning. I will not ruin your dessert with the details, but I feel we should take a moment of silence in his honor."
He fell silent and closed his eyes. Harry tried very hard not to roll his eyes. The kind of full possesion that Voldemort had on his body required that the host be completely willing to accept the spirit. Quirrell deserved as much respect as Voldemort.
"Now then," Dumbledore said a minute later, "it is time to hand out the House Cup."
Now Harry grinned, between him and Hermione, they'd racked up quite a number of points for Gryffindor during class. Add the last minute points Gryffindor gained by winning the Quidditch cup they had a good chance at winning this year.
"It was a very close competition this year between Slytherin and Gryffindor," Dumbldore was saying, "with only a final difference of one point between them. It is my privalege to announce the winner of the House Cup is...Gryffindor!"
The Lions stood and cheered at the tops of their voices. McGonagall kept shooting superiour looks at Snape as she was handed the House Cup. Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff joined the cheers since Slytherin had lost for the first time in seven years.
As Dumbledore sat down, Harry, Neville, and the Twins' end of year prank went into affect. There was a bang and a flash of light at the head table, and suddenly each teacher had been transformed into an animal.
Dumbledore was now a goat, McGonagall had become an owl, Snape was an oversized bat, Hagrid was a St. Bernhard, Flitwick was a parrot, Sprout had become a badger. All of the students burst out into laughter as they animals started making noise and flailing around and trying to figure out how to change back.
Harry and Neville high fived the twins for a successful prank.
Later that night however, Harry went to the Eldunari with troubled thoughts.
What is troubling you young one? They asked. Harry didn't even bother asking how they knew he was troubled. He told them all about his time at the Dursleys and how magi-phobic they were.
"What I'm saying is, can I simply stay in Ellesméra for the summer?" he finished.
They remained silent, but Harry could feel them probing his mind. He lowered his barriers and let them see his memories of growing up with the Dursley's.
Finally, You may stay, you have no reason to return to those pathetic excuses for human beings. Ellesméra will always be open to you. In order to avoid any confusion however, send them a letter stating that you have an alternative home and won't be returning again. I doubt they will have any objections.
Also, take your ring with you on the train and use it to portal back here to avoid questions. Simply place it on the barrier and the portal will activate, taking you back to Ellesméra.
Harry blinked, then gave a huge smile, "Thank you Ebrithil." He turned and sprinted back to his home. Going straight to his desk, Harry penned a note to his relatives then portaled straight into the Owlery.
The moment he walked it, Hedwig flew straight down to him and landed on his outstretched arm.
"Hello Hedwig," he greeted, running his finger down her back. She leaned into his touch and hooted lightly. "Would you bring this to the Dursley's?" he asked, presenting the letter to her, "and make sure you wait for a response." She grabbed the letter in her beak and flew off.
Harry smiled at his owl as she flew away before going back to his room and climbing into bed next to Apollo.
He received a reply the next day, asking if he would stay for the rest of the summers as well. Harry smirked slightly as he read the letter at breakfast that day.
And suddenly, their wardrobes were empty, their trunks were packed, Neville's toad was found lurking in a corner of the toilets; notes were handed out to all students, warning them not to use magic over the holidays ("I always hope they'll forget to give us these," said Fred Weasley sadly); Hagrid was there to take them down to the fleet of boats that sailed across the lake; they were boarding the Hogwarts Express; talking and laughing as the countryside became greener and tidier; eating Bettie Bott's Every Flavor Beans as they sped past Muggle towns; pulling off their wizard robes and putting on jackets and coats.
About an hour away from the station, Hermione just couldn't seem to hold it in anymore.
"What's going on Harry?" she asked.
"What?" he asked, nonplussed.
"You've changed," she said, "You're more confident, study more, you're eyesight seems to have fixed itself."
"Is there something wrong with that?" Harry asked.
"No, but I've looked in the library and there is no magical cure for eyesight known in the Wizarding world. That you seem to have done it by accident is odd. But you've also gotten more distant, you keep disappearing at random times, you don't even sleep in your bed anymore." Harry looked at her in shock.
"Something's happened to you Harry, and it started at Christmas," Hermione said, "Ron said you took your cloak and went to the restricted section. Have you been using dark magic? Did you read something that horrible?"
"What? No, how dare you even suggest that," Harry said in outrage.
"Then what's happening?" Hermione demanded.
Ron and Neville were both looking at Harry curiously. They'd noticed the slow changes happening to their friend and were curious.
Harry let out a sigh and pinched the bridge of his nose. "You're right, something happened that night that changed my life. However, I can't tell you about it."
He held up a hand to forestall Hermione's impeding explosion, "There is a magic known as Legilimency. It allows a wizard to sift through the memories of his targets and take information against the victims will. Master's of the art don't even need a wand and can be so subtle that you'd never even know they are there. Both Snape and Dumbledore are master Legilimense."
All three of his friend's faces were white.
"It is imperative that that my secret never be revealed until the right time, and with people like Snape and Dumbledore sifting through everyone's memories whenever they get the chance telling you would be too dangerous."
"But, isn't there a way to protect our minds?" Hermione asked.
Harry nodded, "The opposite of Legilimency is called Occlumency. There are two ways for this art to be learned, one is to learn to clear your mind so that a Legilimense can't find any memory to latch onto, the other way is to erect a barrier around your memories that will prevent any intruder from accessing your mind."
"Can you teach us?" Hermione asked.
Harry looked at each of his friends closely, "In order to teach you, I need to attempt to penetrate your minds and get past your barriers."
"Will we be able to tell that you're in our minds?" Neville asked.
Right now, not unless I let you know I'm already here, Harry said, speaking right in their heads. They all jumped and looked at Harry in awe.
"There isn't enough time to really teach you anything now, but I'll start teaching you as soon as school starts," Harry said.
They all nodded. Hermione looked incredibly excited, "I'll try and go to Diagon Alley and get books on the subject."
"I can look in the Longbottom Library," Neville added.
Harry smiled; he wondered why he didn't offer to teach them this earlier.
It took quite a while for them all to get off the platform. A wizened old guard was up by the ticket barrier, letting them go through the gate in twos and threes so they didn't attract attention by all bursting out of a solid wall at once and alarming the Muggles.
Harry quietly slipped away and made his way to the barrier quickly. He pressed his ring to the magic wall and stepped through back into his home in Ellesméra.
The summer months were long and boring. Harry managed to keep himself entertained as he spent long hours practicing the Rimgar, and moving on to swordsmanship.
The Eldunarí told Harry about a special room on the seventh floor called the Room of Requirement. Several times a week, Harry would sneak to this room under his invisibility cloak and ask it to provide him with a training dummy.
What it provided was a magic powered automaton that was a master swordsman. Everyday Harry went, the automaton would batter him senseless as he tried to block the blunt swords blows. The only reason he kept going back was because he was able to block one more strike each time.
The rest of the time, Harry practiced his magic. He quickly finished his summer homework and then moved onto reading about more interesting subjects. Above the Eldunarí chamber was a massive tower, known as the dragon tower. It was filled with a scroll library that could rival the Library at Alexandria. Every scroll had been written by previous Dragon Riders and was in the ancient language.
In the very top of the Library was a small scroll with a single word on it. Every time Harry looked at the word, a chill coursed through his spine as the power the word contained coursed through him. Then, when he would look away he instantly forgot the word.
That word is the name of the Ancient Language, the Eldunarí explained when Harry questioned them about it, speaking that word gives you ultimate power over the Ancient Language. You can cancel any oath taken, destroy any enchantment, completely rewrite the laws of magic with that single word.
Because it is so powerful, a spell was placed on the word so that only someone who already knows the word can reveal it to another. Most of the time, it was only the Head Dragon Rider who knew the Name of Names. As the first Dragon Rider of this new order, you will be the Head Rider and we will allow you to learn the word when we feel you are ready.
Harry studied Wizarding magic just as much as the Ancient Language. Every so often he would raid the Hogwarts Library under the Invisibility Cloak and borrow multiple books about different subjects. Because the Library was the only place Harry could escape from Dudley, he had become somewhat of a bookworm but had let that attitude relax so he didn't scare Ron off. Now he let it bloom.
Apollo wasn't idle either. Often he would be off Hunting or practicing the aerial maneuvers that the Eldunarí would show him through memories. Harry and Apollo stayed in constant contact with each other, staving off the loneliness both felt.
Harry was in a conundrum. He'd sent off several letters to his friends with Hedwig, but he'd yet to receive any replies from any of them. At first he'd hoped that the wards around Ellesméra were simply preventing him from getting mail, but that was crushed when the Eldunarí told him that they didn't do that.
On Harry's birthday, he and Apollo decided to take their first flight together. The house elves made a saddle for the dragon and taught Harry how to put it on himself. Climbing on, Harry strapped his legs into the harness and took a deep breath.
Apollo flexed his mighty leg muscles and leapt high into the air and started flapping his wings. They quickly gained altitude and soon broke free of the forest canopy.
It was truly the most exhilarating experience Harry had ever felt. Sitting there on Apollo's back as the air rushed passed Harry's face. He let his mind sink into the bond he shared with Apollo.
Two bodies slowly became one, Harry's wing beat against the air, while Apollo's legs clung to the saddle. The sky was their domain and they ruled it.
At the top of their climb, they folded their wings against their body and went into a freefall. The ground rushed up at them at terrifying speeds and just before it hit, the dragon's wings snapped out and they coasted along the treetops.
The pair spent the entire day in the sky, only coming back to land as the sky darkened. It was a very content Harry that went to sleep that night, longing to be back amongst the clouds. This birthday was even better than the one where he learned he was a wizard.
Harry was getting ready for bed after a hard days training. As he walked out of his closet, he was greeted by a House Elf standing on his never used bed.
"Yes, can I help you?" Harry asked the elf as he sat down on Apollo's massive pillow bed. Apollo had been out hunting all day so but was on his way back as they spoke.
"Harry Potter!" it squeaked, "So long has Dobby wanted to meet you, sir . . . Such an honor it is. . . ."
Harry blinked in confusion.
Harry, why is there an elf worshiping you in our bedroom? Apollo asked, his voice filled with mirth.
Harry sent his dragon a mental glare as Dobby continued.
"Dobby has come to tell you, sir . . . it is difficult, sir . . . Dobby wonders where to begin. . . ."
"How about the beginning," Harry suggested, a hint of sarcasm in his voice.
"Harry Potter must not go back to Hogwarts!" the elf said bluntly.
"What! Why?" Harry asked hotly.
"There is a plot, Harry Potter. A plot to make most terrible things happen at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry this year," whispered Dobby, suddenly trembling all over. "Dobby has known it for months, sir. Harry Potter must not put himself in peril. He is too important, sir!"
"What do you claim is going to happen?" Harry asked, mentally telling Apollo not to fly in yet as the dragon came close. He had the feeling that Dobby wouldn't react too well since he obviously wasn't a Hogwarts elf.
"Dobby can not say, Dobby can not say," the elf said sadly. He quickly went to the nearest wall and started bashing his head against the wood. "Bad Dobby! Bad Dobby!"
"Stop that now!" Harry snapped, "There is no self punishment in my house!"
Dobby instantly stopped as the magic washed over him. He instantly burst into tears, "Dobby has heard of your greatness, sir, but of your goodness, Dobby never knew. . . ."
Harry sighed, trying to ignore Apollo as the dragon laughed uproariously. Not wanting to deal with the elf anymore, he cast his mind out and quietly slipped into the Elf's head.
Images flashed through his mind's eye. Dobby belonged to the Malfoy family. Malfoy senior was hatching a plan to slip a dark, enchanted Diary into a child's cauldron and into Hogwarts to reopen the Chamber of Secrets. Images of Dobby's life also flashed by Harry. He was heavily abused by the Malfoy's, always being forced to punish himself for the simplest things.
Then he saw something that made him angry, Dobby had been stealing his mail all summer long. He'd been sent dozens of letters from his friends but Dobby had intercepted them all in the hopes that Harry wouldn't want to go back to Hogwarts.
The young Rider shook his head as he pulled out of the Elf's mind. Dobby was rattling on about how great he was and how he mustn't go to Hogwarts this year.
"I swear that I am going back to Hogwarts this year," Harry said in the Ancient Language.
Dobby froze as he heard the oath in the language all magical creatures understood.
"Harry Potter knows the Ancient Language?" he asked in shock.
Harry nodded, "I thank you for the warning Dobby, but I must return to Hogwarts. It is my solemn duty as a Dragon Rider to help this in need. Just like I am going to do now."
At that point, Apollo came flying into the room and landed on his bed. Dobby, trembling, looked from the Dragon back to Harry who was now showing his Gedwëy Ignasia. It was all too much for the elf and he fainted.
Harry chuckled as he walked over to the elf. He placed his hand on Dobby's head and closed his eyes, whispering words in the Ancient Language. There was a glow that enveloped the elf's body for a moment before it faded.
Harry called one of the Hogwarts elves.
"Yes Master Shur'tugal?" the elf asked, after popping in.
"Take Dobby here to recover," Harry instructed, "I've just freed him from a severely abusive family. Once he wakes, offer him a job as a Hogwarts elf or send him on his way."
"Yes master," the elf said. He grabbed Dobby and popped away.
Well that was entertaining, Apollo said as he settled down on his bed. Harry gave a sigh as he crawled over to lay with his bonded. Why did he always have to deal with this crap?