Me: Sorry it's been so long, everyone. I have school, you know, and my English teacher just assigned us a 10 - 12 page research paper on an author's life! Come on, no author's life is THAT interesting, to be 10 pages typed!

Vurso: Also, don't forget the MST you did.

Me: Yeah. It took me a week to do it, and ended up being over 10,000 words!

Firethroat: *Snickers* And us muses have had problems of our own... like Vurso, for instance...

Female voice from out of the room: OH VURSO!!!

Vurso: EEP! *Runs*

Eric: *Laughing* That was Inverse, the Charizard muse of another author. In case you haven't noticed, she likes Vurso. A lot.

Firethroat: *Glares at Eric* And we found out that Eric has been hiding something from us...

Eric: It's none of your business if I'm bi.

Firethroat: Yes is it, CAUSE I'M A GUY!!!

Me: *Sighs as my muses keep bickering* And Firethroat has problems, too. A Charizard-anthro has her eye on him, too.

Firethroat: *Looks over his shoulder* I'll just get this over with. We don't own Harry Potter. *Goes back to arguing with Eric*

Vurso: *Pokes his head in* On with the fic.

Inverse (still out of the room): VURSO!

Vurso: Uh-oh, gotta go!

*********************

The first thing Harry noticed when he woke up was that it was cold. He tried to open his eyes, and couldn't. He then tried twitching his tail, and couldn't. This prompted a surge of strength from the young dragon, and he strained, until he heard a huge cracking sound. Suddenly, he was free, and once he had pawed at his face with a forefoot for a bit, he saw the problem. He had been covered in a good layer of ice during the night. Only the fact that he had really hot breath kept his nose from being frozen, and him from suffocating.

After cleaning his scales off, and crunching some of the ice for water, he raised his head on his long neck, and looked around. Forest in all directions.

Harry sighed. This was not going to be fun. Even if he was a distance flyer, which he couldn't do, from lack of practice, he couldn't take off with all the trees around him. He would have to walk.

Another problem was his lack of direction. Dumbledor had tried to teach the students how to sense magical auras, but he had never really gotten the hang of it. Hermione was much better at it.

This provoked a pained feeling in his heart. Here he was, who knows where in the Forbidden Forest, stuck as a dragon, and he didn't even have the Gryphon's blood. He could only hope that she would be okay until he got back... if he got back.

Harry took a few deep, calming breaths, and closed his eyes. Like Dumbledor had instructed, he cleared his mind of all thought, and gently gathered his aura and consciousness together in one large ball. Then, with a mighty mental heave, he tossed it up in the air, and let it spread out as it fell, like a giant magical invisible rain.

His mind cast revealed a lot of things to him. One, no Deatheaters were anywhere nearby, which was good. Two, Hogwarts was a coupla hundred miles away, which was bad. He was also able to check on Hermione's aura, which hadn't faded any. Good ol' Hermione. She was still hanging in there.

He slowly drew his aura and consciousness back into him, which kinda resembled reeling in a fishing line, only from all directions. He breathed a deep sigh of relief once everything was back in place. There was so much that could go wrong with Aura-casting, that Dumbledor had told them to only use it as a last resort. It also left him feeling even more drained, and his stomach protested the fact that it was very, very empty.

Food first. School later. A part of his brain told him. Huh? Was his sentiment.

I'm the dragon part of you, idiot. Now, listen to me, and I'll get something to fill our belly.

Sounds good. What did you have in mind?

He felt his nose twitch, and an unfamiliar scent filled his snout. A grin curved the edges of his mouth. Deer sounds good.

Uh... I don't have to kill it myself, do I?

No one is gonna do it for you. Darnit... well, at least tell me I don't have to eat it raw...

Fine... you can cook it if you want.

Uh... how do I do that?

Harry felt a light mental bonk. Idiot. We're a fire-breathing dragon.

But I don't know HOW to breathe fire!

Harry felt the equivalent of a mental sigh. This may take a while. Might as well explain it all right off, so I don't have to later. Dragons have a special small second stomach, right next to our main one. When we eat sulfur, it goes there. Special acids, liquids, and enzymes are mixed with the sulfur, and the resulting mixture is stored in a small sac nestled between our lungs. When we breathe fire, we translate a lot of heat to our chest, which heats the liquid. It only takes a couple of special breathes to stoke up our fires, as the expression goes. Then, for the next hour, we're ready to breathe fire. To breathe fire, we just release a small amount of the hot liquid into an exhaled breath, and once it touches the oxygen outside our bodies, it erupts into flame. Simple as that.

Oh... so how do I breathe fire again?

Harry felt the mental equivalent of a face-fault, and then a lot of painful mental bonks. Just do what I say!

After a long and exhausting hunting lesson, Harry caught breakfast, roasted it (it came out nicely burned), and chowed down. Resisting the urge to curl up and take a nap, the tired dragon continued on his weary way.

*********************

Me: *Laughing* Poor Harry... now he's starting to hear voices in his head. And he's STILL not any closer to Hogwarts.

Firethroat and Eric: *Still at it.*

Me: Right... Oh well, please review. And another chapter might not be up for a while... like I said, research report.

Vurso: *Runs past with a Charizard hot on his heels*

Me: *Sweatdrops* Vurso... YOU CAN FLY!!!

Vurso: Oh yeah! *Takes off and outflys her*

Inverse: Dangit..