((A/n: This crossover idea has been gnawing at me for a while now. I'm not sure when, but it WILL be continued...))

Disclaimer: Tamora Pierce owns Daine, Numair, Cloud, Spots, and Kitten; I own the plot; everything else is J. K. Rowling's.

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It was said that, around Hogwarts, the only thing that flew faster than owls were rumors. Thus, when the students assembled in the Great Hall for the first time that September, only the first years had not yet heard of the strange couple that had Apparated just outside of Hogsmead around a month ago. Truly, as it takes a great deal of effort to be considered 'strange' in either the school or the village, news of the pair spread like wildfire.

The people themselves, while striking, were not remarkable - the first was a tall, black-haired wizard, and his companion was a younger witch, who barely seemed above the age to attend Hogwarts herself. They had, it was said, showed up just outside the wards, then rode up to the castle. But they did not ride broomsticks, no, far from it. Each made their way through the village on horseback - he on a piebald gelding, she on a gray mare. (Several Muggle-born students, hearing this, made the comment that they had never thought riding a broomstick would be considered more 'normal' than riding a horse.) Even that, however, would have usually failed to generate such a flurry of gossip. Odd modes of transport were well-known to the Wizarding world. The Knight Bus was, of course, infamous, a certain flying motorbike tended to pop up every few years, and an old, battered, light blue car was known to trundle down the streets of Hogsmeade by itself, at times.

No, what had truly turned heads was that they were accompanied by a living, breathing, baby DRAGON. No one was too sure as to its type, though Antipodean Opaleye and Swedish Short-Snout were the current favorites, and it was behaving most oddly. Not so much as a spurt of flame had been spotted, and it perched quite docilely behind the witch's saddle. Beyond those basic facts, however, the tales grew steadily more outlandish. The two were illegal dragon traders, and had either been apprehended by the Ministry or were still at large, planning who-knew-what. Some had heard that they were Death Eaters, and others that they were working for Dumbledore. They were setting up residence in Hogsmead, or they were simply passing through. The dragon was a witch trapped in that form, or the dragon was evil and had the humans under its control.

Thus, reactions were mixed when the pair - minus the horses - were found to be sitting at the High Table as the students filed in. The Sorting was barely noticed, and the meal was quickly gulped down. When the remaining scraps has vanished, every eye was at the front of the room. Into a complete silence, Albus Dumbledore rose from his chair.