Disclaimer: Characters from the Harry Potter series are the property of J.K. Rowling, and various publishers: including but not limited to Bloomsbury, Scholastic and Warner Brothers. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended by the writing of this story.

A/N: Well, it's been a while, hasn't it? I would apologize for taking so long to update, but really, I'm not really that sorry. Life has this way about it, you know? It makes everything difficult from time to time and you just have to do your best to come out on top.

As it is, it will take some time for me to get into the rhythm of writing once again, but hey, it's not all that difficult once you get started, so hopefully you will all find yourselves blessed by more regular updates than before, seeing as things seem to have settled down enough for me to start writing frequently again and I don't think that anything will come up to distract me for a few good months, at the very least.

But that's just talk and empty promises as far as you lot know, so just go ahead and read what's actually here and leave your thoughts behind in a review, eh? Cheers!

Chapter Thirteen
Shattered Prison

The stale air had such a sour taste of age to it as to be almost unbearable. It was like acid permeated every inch of the cave; bitter and sharp. The lingering magic was oppressive and vile; the remnant of its taint feeling as if it was crawling all over his skin, burning it. Smoke and fire filled almost every inch of space there was. His ears were ringing still and his wand felt warm in his hand as spell after spell left its tip, trying with all his might to finish destroying the foul statues that swarmed the place.

Charlie Weasley could have never imagined finding himself in such a situation.

Still, as Harry disappeared into the depths of the cave; a living torch that burned everything in his path, he saw the vampire, Emmanuel, follow the teen closely at his heals, watching and protecting his back and destroying any of the tainted sentry's that were still left standing after Harry's passing.

He was amazed by the two of them as he fallowed them deep into the twisting tunnels, picking any remaining statues and blasting any clusters of the fetid things still standing. Banishing them into the walls, tripping them so that they would fall and break against each other, severing their heads and cutting them down as fast as he could manage it. A bubblehead charm was already firmly in place and both Harry and Emmanuel were just out of sight, even if the trail of destruction left in their wake could not be easily overlooked.

It was a test, as well, to see how many blasting and banishing charms he could do in quick succession, not to mention his reflexes and ability to dodge their clumsy weapons.

But even as he became tired from the constant fight and the almost innumerable statues in their path, seeing what Harry was capable of, even if he was still learning and his new abilities were as of yet unpolished, astonished him. Even with all the explanations, and even after seeing trees bend out of Harry's way; even after following the running young wizard for hours, barely able to keep up on his broom, it was nothing compared to seeing him bend fire to his will. Fire after all, was always too unpredictable, too fierce to completely control. Witches and Wizards had tried, but could only enchant small flames and simulate the effect of real fire with a number of spells.

The manipulation of any of the elements had always eluded them, after all.

True, they could conjure them without a problem; they could light a fire and fill out a glass of water. They could enchant small flames and freeze a blaze, maybe even levitate some water out of a lake or such. But wizards have never and could never freely manipulate the elements. So seeing Harry surrounded by streams of white, blue and red-orange flames in the shape of a sphere was more then impressive. It was unbelievable.

A word that seem to describe Harry Potter quite well, in fact.

And as spells kept streaming out of the tip of his wand and they made their way in, he couldn't help but wonder where exactly Harry was getting his energy from. The boy had been exhausted not so long ago, when he uncovered the entrance of the cave. He didn't think that the couple of hours that the teen has rested would allow him to do what he was doing at the moment. Even if the young wizard was moving by sheer force of will, however much determination you possessed, everyone had their limits. He just hoped that Harry didn't cross his too much or his mother would cook him for dinner and use his freckled hide for Christmas presents, maybe even as lining for their families traditional jumpers.

Breathing hard, he dodged out of the way of a spear when one of the statues came too close to him. He had to kick that one out of the way before he could carry on, and he noticed with a start that they had reached the end of the tunnel. He could clearly see a bigger cave up ahead; even as Harry disappeared within it and Emmanuel followed close at his heals. He knew without a doubt that whatever had a powerful enough heartbeat to make the very walls of the cave shudder and quake some time ago was just beyond that entrance. They just needed to get rid of these damn statues to get to it.

Then again, that was easier said then done. If he was tired already, he couldn't imagine how Harry was feeling, and these damn statues didn't stop coming; it was as if the things were stepping out of the cave walls.

If the air had been unbearable at the start of the tunnels, here at the end it was almost excruciating. His skin felt on fire and he idly wondered if the foul magic of this cave was burning off his freckles even as he banished a sword wilding statue into a stalagmite. He didn't think that he could take much more of this, and he hoped that both Emmanuel and Harry were doing better then him.

His thoughts were a jumble of questions and wonderings that mixed with his instincts and everything he had learned throughout his life. A part of him questioned if this was part of the 'life flashing through your eyes before you die' thing. But that thought was firmly squashed when he tripped over the severed hand of one of the statues, and narrowly avoiding impaling himself into something sharp and pointy.

Shaking his head and picking himself up, Charlie could only keep going and he didn't even seem to notice the variety of hexes that came out of his wand. With a hand against the wall, he crept and sidestepped through the left side of the entrance of the inner cavern, locating his other two companions with his eyes even as he chanted a flame freezing charm on a pile of burning rock that was blocking his way. Emmanuel looked as ragged as he felt, even if he seemed as strong as always. Dirt and grime stuck to the vampire in clumps and he was momentarily distracted as he saw the beads of sweat that clung to the heir's face.

He didn't know that vampires could sweat. Interesting.

Rolling out of the way of a mace-swinging figure he severed the arms of the thing when it was on the upswing, making the mace slip from his severed hands and smash into a statue that was behind it. A concussion hex finished the two of them off.

It was then that he noticed that there were only a few dozen of the things left and that Harry was kneeling if front of a huge chunk of rock in the middle of the cave, yelling at them to get rid of the other statues remaining while he pressed his hands desperately across the rock. The teen looked like death warmed over and he was already dreading telling his mother about this, though he hoped that was never the case. If they came out of this in one piece, he'd have to make Harry promise not to tell too much, since it would earn him a whooping the size of a Hungarian Horntail.

He didn't think of that too much, though, and just set to using the most destructive curses he could, seeing just how many of the statues he could take with every shot. He found that the steal whip spell worked well in chopping the things to ribbons, especially now that he had the space to use it. Their numbers were dwindling rapidly and it was then that he noticed the chunks and pieces that peeled off of the huge rock that Harry was kneeling in front of every time a statue was destroyed.

So that's were whatever they were searching for was imprisoned, he realized with a jolt, maybe a bit late at that. Just what kind of being or creature could survive for so long within a prison of stone? Who would be twisted enough to even do such a thing? He shook his head to clear it and banished a smoldering pile of rocks toward a group of the remaining statues. Even with the bubblehead charm in place, the foul feel from within the cave was overwhelming.

Still, seeing that Harry was mostly out of commission, he redoubled his efforts to finish what remained of the putrid things. He dared not think what kind of magic could make and maintain these living statues for more than a thousand years, though he had a suspicion that the things were leeching magic from the stone-encased creature. And were the blasted things getting stronger?

It took more and more time to destroy the statues and he was getting extremely tired. From what he could see of Emmanuel out of the corner of his eye, the Vampire was not looking any better, but as he finished blasting the statue in front of him apart he noticed something that he hadn't before. The elder vampire was not fighting any regular statues, at the moment; they seemed to move more fluidly, more easily than the stone ones.

Trying to get a closer look, he ducked into some natural cover, even as he tried to regain his breath, and noticed that there were seven statues attacking the vampire at once, and each of them had a definite metallic sheen to them, noticeable only because of the hits that Emmanuel had scored against them, peeling some of the filth that covered them. Swearing under his breath when one of these new statues managed to grace the vampire's thigh with a sword, Charlie pushed himself from the wall and tried to sneak around, sniping at whatever stone statues were left.

When he was close enough, he took careful aim and concentrated before jabbing his wand forcibly forward, hoping that he had enough energy left to do this. Immediately, thick steal chains shot from the end of his wand and careened toward the metal statues, passing them and shooting a ways away from them. Then, with an almighty jerk of his wand, Charlie pulled and the chains curved and swerved in different directions, before, in a huge arc, they doubled back and around the metallic things, bounding them and rolling them into a neat pile.

It took all of his remaining strength to round the statues up, even as one managed to get away. Quickly, he finished the motions for the complimentary enchantment that allowed the chains to become unbreakable for five to ten minutes, usually enough time for a team of Dragon Handlers to regroup and subdue one of the beasts.

Still, even as his bubblehead charm popped, he saw Emmanuel somehow destroy the remaining metallic statue, before nodding his way and turning to finish off the last straggling stone beings still around, noting that the six other metallic ones couldn't get out from the thick chains that surrounded them.

Too exhausted to do anything else, Charlie leaned against the wall, pulling his shirt collar up to cover his mouth, as he didn't think that he had the coordination to cast another bubblehead charm at the moment. Looking around, he noticed that Harry was still kneeling in front of the big boulder, only that a crack had appeared across the surface of the stone encasement. Going on a hunch, he aimed his shaking wand toward the group of struggling statues and aimed carefully before decapitating one of them with a charm that was usually used to cut up dragon scales.

His suspicions were confirmed when another crack appeared across the stone prison; Emmanuel, who seemed to have noticed as well, even as he finished the last few remaining stone statues, quickly decapitated two more of the metallic ones.

Still, what happened next would forever be imprinted in his mind, as fissures quickly formed, like spider webs, across the surface of the center stone and the most magnificent dragon he had ever seen emerged from within, as if hatching from its shell.

It was not until it spoke that Charlie Weasley lost all of his wits. Too tired to move and too shocked to think, he simply stared at the massive being in disbelief.

- o -

He didn't move, well aware that doing anything sudden might get Harry killed. He couldn't allow his disbelief to cloud his judgment, especially when in front of him stood a creature that was supposed to be extinct. And truly, he didn't want to go back to France to tell Eadald that the Emissary had been eaten.

Emmanuel didn't know if the ancient creature was acting instinctively or not; he didn't know if what Harry was doing would work at all, and his head was whirling with all his available options should the dragon make any sudden movements to chop off the Emissary's bowing head. Slowly, deliberately, he clutched his blood crystal tighter and looked toward the other wizard, who looked to be going into shock, not that he blamed him as he was trying very hard not to do exactly that himself.

Shaking his head minutely, he tensed as the dragon approached Harry cautiously, her breath ruffling the young ones cloak. She looked completely feral, menacing; her scales were dull and dirty, her bones were outlined against her taught and stretched skin, her eyes were bloodshot and sunken into place. She was starved and weak, probably forced into hibernation by her situation.

The question was; was she reasonable?

Slowly, not making a sound, he had started to make his way toward Harry's friend when the dragon was fully free, only pausing to check and see the metal statues that he was fighting break down as the beast freed itself. He moved, knowing that he had to snap the wizard out of his stupor. For now, the only thing that he could do was wait and be prepared to react if everything went sour.

That is, until he finally got into a position to see Harry's face when he tried to maintain eye contact while bowing. The boy was completely exhausted; his eyes partially glazed. It was a wonder that he had woken up two hours following his collapse after revealing the entrance of the cave. He had to admit that he should have forced the boy to rest a bit more, but the young wizard was too determined to continue onwards. Now, as he saw the tarnished fangs that were bared rather close to the Emissary's head, he knew that he should have been more insistent.

Hindsight was a troublesome thing, was it not?

However, all his thoughts fled and his movements stopped halfway to his destination when Harry's eyes started to flutter closed, exhaustion being a very credible cause, even if entirely inappropriate at the moment. The boy's body probably didn't have the energy to produce the adrenaline necessary to keep him awake. His eyes flashed quickly toward the dragon and he knew that he had to act quickly when he saw the tensing of muscles under tarnished scales.

It seemed that he was the only one capable of doing anything, even if he was fighting his own exhaustion and blood loss.

Fisting his crystal tighter, he gathered himself and called out to the dragon, making its head snap in his direction, "It would be the height of stupidity to kill the one who freed you." Indeed, so maybe the insult wasn't needed, but at least the beast was now looking towards him instead of Harry, who seemed to have collapsed.

He locked his blue-green eyes with the narrowed grey ones of the beast, noticing that it had still not moved from its position, "And why would that be, human?" she asked in a reverberating growl, "Why shouldn't I just eat him for such disrespect?"

Raising his unoccupied hand to his mouth, he quickly bit into it with his fangs and allowed the blood to pool there, concentrating fiercely as he narrowed his eyes, stretching the silence with a staring match, even as the grey eyes widened at his actions.

After a few moments, Emmanuel just shook his head, finally having enough blood in his cupped hand to cast either or both of the useful spells he could perform in his condition and situation, should this conversation go sour. Slowly, gracefully, he walked closer towards the menacing being, "Your intelligence must have failed you, Ancient One, if you think that I am a human. As to why you shouldn't eat him, I have already explained; he is the one responsible for your current freedom, he is the one who found you and he is the one who called you. He is the Legatus, and you would to well to remember that."

Startled, the Dragon stepped back slightly, her wings finally coming to rest against her back as she leaned toward Harry's prone form, making Emmanuel tense as the blood in his palm began to swirl menacingly. At the sound, she paused, eying him as she took in a deep, ragged breath. The next moment her eyes closed and a deep rumble was heard as she almost purred, "He smells of nature and fire, of wind and the sky. And you," she said as she opened her eyes and looked at him, completely relaxed, "You are a Blood Keeper."

It was a statement; nothing more, nothing less.

However, it had been centuries since a Vampire was referred to by that title, and he was startled to realize just how being called as such moved him; it made him unconsciously straighten in pride. Slowly, the blood in his palm calmed and became placid until only slight ripples went across its surface; had she become violent, he would have been able to use the blood on his hand, a combination of his and Harry's blood and a difficult thing to produce, to summon Harry instantaneously to his side at the spot in which he tossed some of the blood in, and later to shield them from the Dragon until they could escape.

Shifting in weariness, he watched as she looked at Harry again, this time with in analytical gaze, before turning toward him once more, her great head arching her neck as she did so, "Are you certain that his human is a Legatus? He seems to be too young to be recognized as such."

Again, a statement.

"He is, though he has only been recognized for a few short weeks," he told her as he walked toward them. Slowly, he knelt down beside Harry and placed the boy into a better position before feeding him the blood in his palm; it was already charged with magic and it would help the young wizard recuperate faster. "Now," he started, looking toward the curious Dragon, "we should leave this place, and quickly, if only to get away from this foul smell, not to mention the horrible magic."

He swiftly picked Harry up and used magic to levitate Charlie before making his way carefully out of the cave. He knew that he would need to feed after all of this, but he also knew that morning was approaching; he wouldn't be able to stay in the open for long, so he needed to prepare for that eventuality.

When they reached the outside, he noticed that the Ancient Dragon had fallowed them out on shaky legs and was watching the night sky with riveted eyes, taking deep breaths of the crisp cool air. He was startled however, when the creature simply lay down on its side and closed its eyes.

He could do nothing but watch the Dragons even breaths in disbelief. It took him awhile to come to grips with the situation; what with the Emissary collapsed, the Dragon Handler in shock and the Dragon itself asleep.

Emmanuel could only hope not to find himself in such situations too often, but still made sure that they were all comfortable and sleeping before leaving to prepare.

He had three hours before the sun rose, after all.

- o -

He was tired, though he supposed that the word couldn't really cover the degree of exhaustion that plagued him. He felt both drawn-out and hollow, his eyes unwilling to cooperate with him. He stretched; his muscles protesting that very action, and felt his stomach clench in hunger and yet he did not feel hungry enough to eat. In short, his body was a mass of contradictions and he didn't know why.

Still, Harry Potter was nothing if not stubborn, and he had things to do.

Opening his eyes with difficulty, he could tell that it was well into the day, about eleven o'clock in the morning, meaning that he had slept at least eight hours; not enough to completely recover, but enough to stabilize him, he was sure. If anything, he knew that some food would help his recovery greatly, even if he didn't feel hungry at the moment, so with this in mind, he stood up with some difficulty and made his way out of his room, knowing that he wouldn't be able to call on the elements for at least a few more hours, so he would leave his bath and change of clothes for when he was able to do so.

Besides, he didn't think that he had the strength necessary to go to the bathroom and come back on the conscious side of the spectrum; he didn't want Charlie or Emmanuel to find him passed out on the sink or something more embarrassing.

He had already noticed that the pajamas that he was wearing were not of his own creation and wondered just where they had come from, but pushed the thought out of his mind a moment later. He needed all of his concentration to avoid stumbling; his body was uninjured, but it still felt weak.

Emmanuel was the only that could bring them to this cabin safely, so at least the vampire was alright, and seeing as he hadn't been awakened earlier or left a note explaining dire circumstanced, he knew that Charlie was safe as well. What he was wondering more than anything else, however, was what had happened to the majestic dragon from the cavern; just by finding himself in this cabin, he knew that they had made it out safely, but had she made it out as well?

It was a question that he needed to answer as soon as possible.

Reaching the small table and sitting down with a heartfelt sigh, he was glad that someone had left food on the table for him, and if they hadn't and this was someone else's meal, well, though luck. He needed it more, anyways. The Sprites were probably exhausted as well, seeing how many of them had helped him in his search; Emmanuel was probably sleeping, so he knew that he wouldn't see the Vampire Heir until nightfall. Charlie was probably awake already, though he didn't know the redhead's whereabouts; hopefully he would be able to get him some potions, pepper-up being the most needed at the moment.

Giving a sigh of contentment as he started on one of the sandwiches, immediately feeling his stomach wake up and clamor for more, he leaned back on his chair and with all the dignity that he could gather and all the poise at his disposal he just slumped down on the chair, his head lolling to the side as he chewed.

Right, now, what next? He asked himself as he grabbed another bite.

The Hogwarts Express had left without him, though he wasn't certain about how long ago since he wasn't sure if there was a time difference between England and Transylvania. He wouldn't be able to even make it to the school today, seeing as wouldn't be fully recovered until the next day at the least; too many Sprites would be needed to transport him from such a long distance, otherwise and he knew that there weren't any of the little beings to spare; Emmanuel would still be too tired to make the trip to the blood-circle in London, from which they would have to do an independent jump toward Hogwarts. Something that was best accomplished when one had their wits about them at the least, which he doubted was the case at the moment.

And he wasn't forgetting the Ancient Dragon that they had freed last night. He would have to deal with her before he even planned on going back. She had been imprisoned more than a thousand years ago and he doubted that she would be able to come with the world as it was now.

Still, he was lucky that September 1st fell on a Friday this year. If he played his cards right, he might be able to arrive at the School on Sunday morning; however, it would mean that he would need a very good explanation, and the possibility that he would be too late to establish a separate teaching identity for his Magical Theory class. It was a risk, to be sure, but dealing with the current situation was more important at the moment.

Polishing his fourth sandwich off and washing it down with some lemonade, Harry stood a bit more steadily this time, feeling slightly better now that he didn't feel as if a hole had been carved out of his stomach.

Heading toward the front entrance and thinking that he might as well meditate and see if he could get himself in order, he really didn't expect the sight that greeted him upon opening the door. After all, it's not everyday that you find an ancient dragon splayed lazily on your front lawn while being washed thoroughly by an overenthusiastic Weasley.

Sitting down rather abruptly in the front step of the little cottage, Harry simply stared, dazed at what he was seeing; She was bigger than he remembered, certainly bigger than the Hungarian Horntail he had fought against in the Tri-wizard Tournament. Her scales were completely silver-gray, darkening on top and lightening around her belly. All of the small spikes along her spine, head and tail, along with the long, elegantly sweeping horns in her head were made of pure silver, without a doubt.

She wasn't bulky in the least, and even if she needed some time to regain her health, he didn't think that she would ever be anything but sleek; if he had to venture a guess, he would say that she was probably pretty fast on land, as well as having great maneuverability in the air.

Well, he finally concluded, at least that's something I don't have to worry about.

"Harry!" came the joyous call, snapping him out of his daze, "Isn't she magnificent?" Charlie asked as he used his wand to conjure some more water before directing it toward a soapy patch of scales at high pressure. His manner almost gushed admiration and awe.

And well, he had never expected to meet the fan-girl within this Weasley brother, having already met Ron's when the subject inevitable changed toward the Chudley Cannons; Though he had to admit that at least Charlie was going fan-girlie on a very masculine subject.

Nothing but awesomely dangerous beasts to rile out this Weasley, indeed.

"She is more than magnificent, Charlie," he answered from his place, knowing that he should be moving around too much, but more than willing to indulge his redheaded friend. It was then, however, as he went back to observe the enigmatic creature, that he found a grey eye with its elongated pupil focused completely on him. Looking back at her with extreme curiosity, he kept his conversation going with the older wizard, since Charlie probably thought that she was still asleep, and he wanted to know her intentions before he addressed her directly, "She is an impossibility; her species is thought of as myth, extinct. How she survived for so long is a complete mystery."

"Exactly! This will knock the magical world on its ears! When they find out that she was found, alive at that, they will have to re-write the books! Experts from all over the world will want to see her!"

The grey eye narrowed at that and Harry sent her a reassuring smile as he answered the joyous redhead, "You do know that she is not an attraction in a zoo, eh, Charlie? Remember what type of Dragon you are talking about here. Not only is she highly intelligent, but she can communicate that intelligence as well, do you think she will allow herself to be poked and prodded by researchers? That she will let wizards gawk at her? That she will allow a government or institution that think they own her?"

"Of course not! I know that the situation will have to be handled with caution, but you should realize that they won't leave her alone that easily. As is, we will need to find someway to protect her and care for her while we deal with the wizarding world's reaction, right? I mean, she's in no shape to be fending for herself at the moment, and she'll be perused by poachers or worse if precautions aren't taken. And that's not even taking the Dark Lord into account, can you imagine what he'd do if he captured her?"

Nodding, Harry closed his eyes, not having considered all of the possible complications. The reminder of Voldemort was a hard one, seeing as he had pushed him out of his mind every time he thought of him in the recent weeks. But now, with his impending return to Hogwarts, he wouldn't be able to disregard those thoughts so easily. Blinking his eyes open, he looked over towards Charlie, needing his input, "Where would she be the safest, then?"

He couldn't risk anything happening to her. She was, after all, the last of her kind.

Pausing in his work, with an enormous silver claw draped across his lap as he cleaned it, Charlie seemed to think about the question before silently continuing with his task. It was five or ten minutes later that he spoke, having taken care of three more of the dragons claws, "Truthfully, I doubt that she would be left alone in one of the Dragon Preserves; even the more secure ones. Personally, I think that she would be best protected in some private lands that can be secured from intruders, but I cant think of anyone that has vast enough or secluded enough terrain for that," he paused, as if double checking his options before nodding, "Hogwarts, its grounds and the surrounding mountains are probably the safest place where she could be, though some severe preparations for the winter months would need to be made."

Nodding to himself and he considered that option, he knew that that was probably their best bet as well, especially since he would be able to be close at hand as well, "That would probably work. The Sprites live in a small island as well, so if there is any trouble and she needs some temporary shelter we could transport her there with enough preparations. I would need to talk to the vampires to see if they know of any other options that they might have access to. Thanks Charlie, I don't know what I'd do without you at the moment."

"No sweat, mate," came his answer as the other wizard moved to another set of claws, "You know, she will take between three or four months to fully recover; she will need someone to look after her and such…" he trailed off hesitantly, as if figuring something out before continuing determinedly, "I could probably take time off from work to do that, especially if I explained the situation to my boss. Do you think that she'll allow me to take care of her, Harry?"

With a wink at the ancient dragon and a slight nod from him, though he didn't understand why she would ask for his approval, she opened her other eye as well and twisted her head slightly, "Of course, young one, it would be my honor if you would be willing to care for me while my health is thus compromised."

Startled by the sudden comment, Charlie could only stare at the smirking dragon in shock, even as his mouth worked furiously to try and say something. Harry, almost laughing at the sight, simply heaved himself into a standing position and addressed the smirking reptile, "Well, now that that's settled, we just need to find a way for Charlie to get over this habit of becoming speechless in your presence, Ancient One,"

Slowly, tiredly, Harry walked toward the other being, stumbling only slightly as he bowed to her, "I am Harry James Potter, this World's Legatus; Emissary to the Sprites and Ambassador to the Vampires."

She, in kind, stood carefully up before giving him a slight bow in return, "I am known by many names, but my favored one is Marraine; I am the sole survivor of my kind, The Guardians of Life. I am the Matriarch of all Dragons."

"Then it is an honor to meet you, Marraine," he finished with a nod before turning to Charlie, who was watching Marraine with shock still written on his face, "Now, Charlie, I'm sure that our guest is pretty hungry, would it be possible to find her something to eat?"

"Sure, Harry," he answered, still daze, before he popped away without another word. A few strands of red hair drifted down from where then once stood on the older wizards head.

Puzzled as the other wizards sudden departure, he cursed his luck when he remembered his need of a Pepper-up potion, not to mention that he needed to inform the Headmaster to see if he might be able to bring Marraine to Hogwarts as well.

Shaking his head, Harry followed the ancients lead and sat down once more, wondering were this conversation will lead, "He will get used to you soon enough, I am sure," he told her, "though sooner would be the better option, before he splinches off more than a few hairs."

"Certainly, young one. Given the circumstances and what I've gleaned of the current times from your conversation and what the young wizard said while cleaning my hide, it is not really an unexpected reaction," her voice was still deep, but it did not hold the same gravelly quality that it had inside the cave, "Now, tell me about yourself, Emissary, and the world that I have awakened in. It has been long since I have tasted freedom and I do not wish to meet this new time unprepared."

Smiling at her as she settled her great head comfortably and re-folded her wings more comfortable, he started to speak, though slightly puzzled at her complete change of behavior. Though he could probably guess that a after so many centuries of imprisonment, anyone would be grumpy enough to chop the heads of the first people one saw. But he would leave those thoughts for later considerations as he started to speak about the current condition of the Magical Community.

Hopefully, he would be able to learn as much about her as she did about him.

To be continued…