Author's Notes: This story takes place after the events of two previous stories, Faith and Two Solitudes which set up Harry and Draco's relationship. I want to say thank you to my beta carnilia for all her help and encouragement.
The fox slunk through the grasses, intent on the rabbit he was hunting. Moonlight illuminated the slopes of the hill, and the fox clung to the small shadows cast by rocks and depressions in the ground. Pausing, he sniffed the air, and his hackles rose. There was something on the wind tonight – like the smell that lingered after a lightning strike. Except there was no lightning, no rain clouds.
Trembling, the fox hurried on his way. Of course, the hill often gave off an odd feeling – a sense that something ancient was lurking in the ground, watching and listening. The fox cast a glance over his shoulder. He was near the flat top of the hill now – the rabbit's scent led straight across the wide open area. The fox hesitated, and then decided to forget the rabbit. He had no desire to venture out where there was no cover. Not on a night like this. He was about to turn away when the man stepped out of the sky.
The fox froze and crouched as low as he could to the ground. The man was naked and carried no weapon the fox could see, but the fox was taking no chances. The air behind the man was – shimmering. No, perhaps that wasn't quite the right word. It looked like the windows of the humans' dwellings which the fox had seen on his occasional jaunt to the village to try and pick up a chicken or two. The fox could see through this window in the air, could see the hills and forests rising in the distance, but they were…wrong in some way. Twisted. The man turned to look through the sky-window, and the fox realised there was a shadowy form on the other side. It looked like the man's shadow, only no longer lying flat on the ground like it should. The man reached out to the shadow, but at that moment the sky-window disappeared. The man gave a low laugh and let his hand fall.
The fox wanted no more to do with this. He turned and crept a few steps into the darkness, then began running. He didn't stop until the man had faded into the night and the hill was but a shadow in the distance.
On the top of Dragon Hill, the man took a deep breath of the night air. The wind ruffled his hair, but he felt no corresponding chill. Not that he should – after all, he wasn't strictly alive, was he? Still, this was one step closer. Looking down, he saw the lights of a town at the foot of the hill. There would be clothes down there and whatever passed for money in this day and age. It might require stealing, perhaps murder, to obtain such things. The thought did not trouble him. They were only Muggles, after all.
The man began walking down the hill. He could feel the power pulsing through the soil and air, but couldn't touch it. Not yet. Looking up, he examined the stars' place in the heavens. Yes, he would have plenty of time. Plenty of time to put his plans in order. And then, he would return.