Author: Tinderblast.
Rating: PG.
Feedback: thestralbird@netscape.net
Disclaimer: Harry + Potter = Property x Rowling + Affiliates.
Archive: Why you'd want to I don't know, but contact, please.
Summary: Drabble/shortfic - Character sketch of a once-mentioned character in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

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Little wizard man, they mock you. Slit-tongue, they call you. Slimefingers. Your back is skinny and stooped and your face is too sharp for a blade and oh, little wizard man, young snake-talker, they call you foul.

//Water drips and glistens in the dank little cave, and the toad reflects little wavering blurs of candlelight as it breathes. In and out. In and out. In and out.

The egg underneath is warm, yet still.//

Foul, they call you, and without words you agree. You are too ugly for words, little wizard man, if not truly in body then in soul. There's a fester, a fester dripping with pus-hate-power inside you that only a snake's silvery voice will ease, but every time a little tongue goes flick-flick-flick - the fester grows.

//The egg is larger now, the toad balanced like a top on a sideways table, duller now in warty toad skin and tiny toad brain.

Still, the egg does not move.//

You remember that sweet little girl, snake-talker? That pretty little girl you wished to court one day, one day in the sunlight yellow and the morning sky blue? There's a scar on your back from a rock her brother threw. It pinches, but only when you walk. So now you stay inside, and little wizard man, no one misses you.

//The toad shivers one day. It is not sick - the egg underneath is moving, wobbling, swaying, already sinuous.

There are a few cracks in the shell, hairline.//

Little wizard man, there will never be any respite from the mockery, the sniggers-behind-hands and hexes-past-walls, and you know this. You know this and revel.

//When it breaks free it is wet, ugly, and the loveliest thing in this world. It is meant to kill; the magic in its veins knows this to be so. It is scrawny and scaly and it is a monster.//

Because there is one other thing you know, little wizard man - you have not yet earned the name foul.

//Its eyelids open and its crest unfurls. The toad dies without moving. You call the unspeakable creature to your hand, eyes shaded, and it comes willingly - in your foulness it sees a kindred spirit.//

But you are young yet, snake-talker.

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The first recorded Basilisk was bred by Herpo the Foul, a Greek Dark wizard and Parselmouth, who discovered after much experimentation that a chicken egg hatched beneath a toad would produce a gigantic serpent possessed of extraordinarily dangerous powers.
- "Basilisk", Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them