Dragons and Lovers

Chapter I.

The night was waning and there was a slight pinkish tinge on the horizon, indicating that there were only a few more hours until sunrise. Only a few of the nocturnal creatures were left in the forest to finish their hunts and a young lad of about seventeen Turns moved even quieter than the creatures that lived there before him. Raven black hair fell to mid thigh in loose, soft curls and dark, jade, green eyes flicked side to side, taking in his surroundings. He was dressed in a pair of patched, leather leggings and a patched tunic. No boots adorned his feet and his soles were roughened from running of the harsh surfaces of the forest.

He moved with a catlike grace through the trees toward the cave that was his home. His ears perked for any foreign sounds, he almost tumbled at the sound of a pained squeal from high above him. Snapping his gaze upwards, he watched in horror as a large, bronze dragon came hurtling from the darkness. He heard and felt the sickening crunch and accompanying pulsating of the forest floor as the Bronze collided with trees and the ground. He wasted no thought as he raced toward the dragon. Creatures of the forest poured from crevices in the trees and ground, all trying to leave the presence of the Bronze. He stopped near a tree and peaked around it slowly to see the grand, yet frightening bulk of the bronze trying to move from its fallen position. It was favoring its right foreleg and its left wing was draped carelessly over its side.

Now, Harry had been too young to remember ever seeing any dragons and the only time he had seen a dragon had been when his parents had been alive. The memory was hazy, as if it had happened eons ago and he never remembered dragons coming to his Relatives' Hold while he had been allowed to live there. Of course, that had only been for three years and when he had turned four Turns, his Uncle had kicked him out. He had told Harry that he would not have a little bastard child living in his Hold near his family. Harry had walked for days on end until he had come across the forest no more than ten miles away. It was located North of the Hold and inside he had found an enormous cave. Fortunately for him, the cave had only been inhabited by a Watchwher and her nest. She had grown accustomed to him bringing food to her when she refused to leave her eggs. Sadly, only three Turns later the Watchwher met her death at the fangs of wolf that Harry had later killed. It had been his first kill and he had made a large blanket out of the pelt.

The cave also protected him from the menace called Thread and after Threadfall was an ample time to collect the fish that came to the surface of the large lake in the middle of the forest. Harry always made sure to bring enough fish for himself and his three Watchwhers for more than five weeks. The three Watchwhers protected the cave and could hunt for themselves at times, which was a relief for him at times. In all of his thirteen Turns of solitude, though, he had never seen a dragon of any kind fall from the sky.

Harry watched the Bronze try once more to stand before he moved silently from behind the tree. The Bronze's whirling lavender eyes immediately changed to a bright orange and whirled faster at his approach. He held his hands, palms upwards and away from his body and whispered softly to it. The Bronze watched him slightly before its eyes stopped whirling so fast and went back to lavender. Harry stood beside the wedge-shaped muzzle of the Bronze and whispered, "I will help you move to a cave. It would be pertinent that we move now, for Threadfall is supposed to happen soon. The cave is large enough to house you until you are recovered from your injuries."

No! The cry that echoed in Harry's mind made him stumble backwards and scream out. He watched the Bronze try to move himself up into a standing position, but was unable to make his legs comply. Harry watched him sadly before laying a comforting hand on the hide of the great creature.

"You must. You will die out here in this state and I can help you. Please. I mean you no harm and if harm does come to you, you may make me bear your suffering. Please just let me help you and once the Fall is over I will look for someone to help you." Harry waited only for a few moments before the Bronze gave his answer.

You will not harm me in any way? Harry nodded. Then I will come with you, but only until the Fall is over. I must return to my Rider for He is injured, too. A smile blossomed on Harry's face and he helped the bronze retract his wing. What Harry found made him blanche. Gashes, longer than his legs, ran along the Bronze's ribs and there were bite marks all along his neck. Harry worried his bottom lip and led the Bronze along the path to his cave.

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