Dragon's Orphan

A Harry Potter Fanfiction

By Otherkate

A strange rasping sound and darkness was all that Harry woke to. That and the great bellows he was laying on. The hard but warm roof forming the cover of the small area he was currently curled into lifted slightly to let in a small sliver of light. Harry squinted trying to see out, but couldn't quite find the strength needed to left his head. Quietly he closed his eyes to rest for a moment and slept.

The second time he woke in his strange nook, a great rumbling could be heard coming from the bellows beneath him. Still no light came from the cover, and Harry tried to move his head experimentally. Muscles screamed from disuse and the after effects of the cruciatis, and Harry froze. Consciously, he made himself relax.

The bellows beneath him moved. The cover lifted and flexed. A hard bony rib ran down one side, tipped in the middle and the end with a hard pointed spine.

Something gently nudged his head, and warm breath disturbed his hair, and Harry, still frozen, moved his eyes to look at the thing looming over him.

A large green cat slitted eye the size of a dinner plate stared at him from a foot away. Slowly the head moved back and if Harry had had the energy he would have gasped.

A dragon.

The head came down to nudge him again, and then the creature softly chirped at him before settling it's wing over him again.

The darkness covered him and a soft crooning rumble came from the Dragon's belly as well as from above him lulling him into sleep.

The third time he woke, the dragon seemed to be cleaning the scales of its wings. The huge mouth and tongue moved over its wingtip and seemed to probe at the joints. The wing was a dark blood red with the bony sections being a dark burgundy. The head echoed the coloring, with the profusion of horn like spines being almost black. The two largest of the spines graced the back of the thing's head, while several other smaller ones framed the face and one thick one proudly stood on the nose of the thing.

It stopped preening and glanced down at him. When it noticed he was awake, it crooned softly and folded its wing to its side and simply stared at him. A quick chirp, and the head came down to nuzzle him again.

Harry flinched, and tried to move. His body felt awkward, but no plain seemed to come from movement so he lifted his head and looked around. He was nestled in a small area between the Dragon's belly and back legs. The large creature was curled around him, and he could make out the rocky mountains around them just over the curve of the animal's clawed foot and leg.

The giant leg moved and he suddenly had a clear view of the area in front of him. A small lake stood not twenty feet way.

He tried to stand and promptly fell down. A soft chirp above him, and he felt the back of his shirt pulled taut. Suddenly, he was lifted and placed on his feet. Looking over his shoulder allowed him to see the dragon softly nudge him toward the water with the side of its nose.

Harry took a few unsteady steps and sat down. Rolling over onto his stomach, he crawled the last few inches to the shore where he could sip the cool water.

The dragon roared, and Harry immediately rolled over, to see it standing on all four legs, tail thrashing in anger. Another loud bellow, and it stepped over to Harry until it stood directly over him.

The red ribbed soft underside expanded and contracted in the thing's rage and he tentatively touched it. The heat seeped into his cold hands and he sighed before looking back to what the dragon seemed angry with.

A harsh gutteral chittering came from above him, and Harry was instantly reminded of Mrs. Weasley in one of her tears.

Harry climbed to his knees slowly. The ache of disuse left after a moment and he stood up until the belly of the beast brushed his head. Slightly hunched over, he looked around.

"Harry. Harry. This is Charlie Weasley. Can you hear me? If so, just speak normally. This device is designed to pick up human voices, so we'll hear you." The voice came from nowhere, but seemed to be everywhere. He looked around again.

"I can hear you." Harry said softly.

The dragon stopped making sounds but was now shifting from foot to foot.

"Good. Right now, the dragon thinks of you as her dragonet. We're going to have to get you away from her without endangering anyone."

"Why does it think that?"

"Long explanation later, Harry. Be thankful she does, or you'd be dead. You see the copse of trees to your left framed by the two boulders?"

Harry looked around, after locating them he said, "Yes. The boulders look identical. Right?"

"Yes. That's a portal to a safe house for dragon tamers. These mountains are riddled with them. Anytime you see them, enter it and you're no longer in the Dragon Preserve. We need you to get away from her. We can't perform magic on her since she's one of the more immune varieties. Can you do that?"

"Yes." Harry answered.

"Harry. This is important. No matter what, don't get in the lake."

"Okay." Harry frowned.

"It's part of the long explanation. Trust me. Don't change your scent."

"Oh. Alright." Harry cautiously stepped forward until he was between the dragon's front legs.

The head swung down studied him and crooned softly for a moment before lifting out of sight again. He heard one large in drawn breath and then the dragon bellowed flame. Harry crouched down and noticed the Dragon's head sweeping along the area where he was supposed to go. When the head lifted, everything on the one side of the portal closest to him was burning.

The dragon grunted and stepped a little closer to the portal area. Harry followed, staying under the dragon, but still trying to keep himself on the side closest to the portal and away from the now rather intense heat.

He was still a good fifty feet away when the dragon stopped moving. Harry stopped as well. Just a suddenly, the dragon stepped back and sat down. Harry found a giant wing in front of him and it swept him gently closer to her body. When he was flush with her side, the dragon curled around him and began to gently nuzzle him with her nose.

Wrinkling his nose from the acrid sulfur smell, Harry quietly curled into a ball. The dragon crooned again and covered him with her wing until he couldn't see a thing.

"Don't worry Harry. She obviously wants you to sleep. She'll protect you until you wake again. When that happens, she'll urge you to walk around. Do so...but don't take a direct path to the portal. Investigate a couple of things. Dragons are curious animals, she'll think it weird you're not interested in your surroundings. Not to mention, baby dragons don't walk in long straight lines. It's a developmental thing. Okay?"

Harry didn't know how to answer from inside his warm cocoon.

"We'll be here when you wake."

Harry nodded and closed his eyes from exhaustion. Within a few minutes, he was asleep.

Sometime later, a soft nudge and a loud chirp woke him. The dragon, still curled around him, was looking at him steadily. Harry looked around and slowly got to his feet. Another chirp, this one a little louder, and the dragon sat up. Another nudge from the huge head, and he took a few tentative steps away from her before remembering Charlie's instructions. He stopped and looked around.

The dragon was studying him intently, but then swung her head around to study the small clearing. A few seconds later, she was looking at him again. A huge huff, and she nudged him forward with her head again.

Harry took a few steps sideways and when she chirped at him again, he moved forward. He paused and then walked to the side again before pausing. A low steady rumble came from the dragon, and Harry realized it was purring. A quick glance up, and Harry smiled. She was clearly studying the surrounding area while keeping an eye on him.

Harry was now roughly thirty feet from the portal. He took some more tentative steps towards it before turning slightly to the right. He took several more steps before stopping and scuffing his shoes in the loose rocks and dirt. He looked up again.

The dragon was cleaning her claws. Flexing them until all five Harry sized claws were out of their sheaths, she looked at them before retracting four and biting and pulling on the first one. She studied it for a moment and then repeated the process.

Harry moved a little farther away from her and closer to the portal.

The dragon stopped cleaning and looked at him. She chirped once in a low tone and then went back to her claws.

"That means stop going any further." Came Charlie's voice.

"I guessed that."

"Wait for a few moments and then move again. She'll come to you and then settle down again. Mother dragons tend to let their dragonets move where they want-within reason."

Harry stood there for a few minutes before he took a few more steps. This time he moved to the left, but still away from the hovering dragon.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the dragon get up and move over to him. The thing's movement was incredibly silent for something so huge. The only sound came from where the tail brushed the ground before it was lifted completely out of the dirt. Almost daintily, she laid down next to him and folded her massive claws in front of her. She crooned softly to him and nudged him with her head.

Harry began walking toward the portal again in an exaggerated zig zag patten. Every few steps he paused and looked up at the dragon. Twice, he moved toward her before moving away again. Each time, he was rewarded with the dragon's chirped or crooned encouragement.

"Harry, just walk through when you get there. It's keyed to accept any human. No password or spell is needed. Okay?"

Harry nodded.

"Good, you're almost there. A few more steps...NOW!"

Harry stepped through the portal into a dimly lit corridor and was promptly enclosed into a woman's ample chest and arms.

A very distant roaring could be heard.

"Oh, Harry!" The woman said, proving to be Mrs. Weasley.

Peeking out from her arms, Harry looked straight into Headmaster Dumbledore's eyes.

"Nice to see you, Harry." The man said.

Behind the headmaster was Charlie Weasley, grinning like a loon.

Mrs. Weasley let him go slowly, and Harry blushed when she ran her hands over his arms and visually scanned his body. "Everything in one piece?" She asked.

"Yes, ma'am." Harry said.

"Good. I was so worried about you."

Harry glanced to where the portal was. It looked like a solid wall. It looked just like the rest of the sold gray walls of the rest of the room. When he looked back at the Headmaster, another distant roar could be heard.

"That's the dragon that had you." Charlie said. "She'd bloody angry to be able to hear her a couple of kilometers away."

"Indeed." Dumbledore said, "This way, please. We need to be getting you to see Madam Pomfrey." He graciously motioned toward an open door.

Mrs. Weasley released him and smoothed down his hair before nodding to the headmaster and leaving the room. Charlie left with her.

Dumbledore smiled kindly at Harry, "All will be explained from our end, Harry. We just need to know how you got here."

"Yes, Sir." Harry left the room and followed the Weasleys who were now a short way down the corridor. Charlie glanced back at him and smiled, but then turned to answer something from his mother.

When Harry caught up with them, they had stopped at another open door.

"The floo is in this room." Charlie said and motioned for Harry to enter.

Within moments Harry was tumbling out of the floo into the Hogwart's Infirmary. Madam Pomfrey immediately steered Harry to a bed and had him lie down. She huffed over him for a moment and then waved her wand in a broad general sweep. A few second later she tutted, and began to concentrate her wand movements over more specific parts of his body.

Dumbledore waited patiently by the side.

"Sir?" Harry asked trying to ignore the mediwitch.

"Yes, Harry?"

"What happened?"

"You disappeared from the Forbidden Forrest. It seems someone put a sleepwalking potion in your Pumpkin Juice and waited for you outside of the Griffindor common room. From there they just steered you to the forrest and someone portkeyed you away. The miscreant is currently in Azkaban per the Minister's orders. How you came to be in the Dragon Preserve, is something you're going to have to tell us."

"I woke up twice. The first time, I woke up already hurting. I think they beat me while I was unconscious. I think they used Crucio as well. I remember feeling the tremors. Then nothing until the second time when Voldemort's chanting a spell over me woke me. I don't remember it all that clearly. Some of the Deatheaters laughed just as the spell finished. After that I remember waking up with the dragon." Harry answered.

The mediwitch handed Harry a hospital gown, "Put the gown on Mr. Potter. You're spending the night." She marched away into one of the store rooms, and pulled the curtain to give Harry some privacy while he changed.

Dumbledore said, "Well, one of the handlers for the dragons said he heard a loud pop from the preserve. He was taking readings from a clutch of eggs; quite frankly, if he hadn't been out there we wouldn't have had any idea where you were for several more days. Female dragons are usually left alone once the dragonets hatch. It's just too dangerous to be around them."

Dumbledore smiled, "As it was, the dragon also heard the apparation pop and woke up. She took one look at the handler and...well, she wasn't very happy. The man barely got away from her. He did see his supervisor and they immediately used one of the recorderalls they have for emergencies. It seems you were apparated to the space about fifteen feet over the dragon's nest full of eggs."

"Why?" Harry asked, pulling open the curtain. He self-consciously held the back closed and shivered slightly from the draft.

"Possibly so that the Dragon would eat you. Unfortunately for Voldemort, this particular dragon varieties first clutch is small, usually two or three eggs, and rarely are they viable. At most a first clutch has one dragonet survive. No one is quite sure why. Anyway, you fell and broke them."

Dumbledore looked at Harry over his glassed, "You might want to see if Poppy will let you bathe first. You smell quite pleasant to Dragons, but..."

"I'm getting to that." Madam Pomfrey said as she entered the room. She hustled around to the side of the bed and handed Harry a small cup of potion. "Drink it. When you're finished, you will be taking a nice hot bath."

Harry drank the potion and grimaced but said nothing.

Madam Pomfrey took the cup, handed him some clean pajamas, and motioned him toward the bath. "Leave the gown in the bathroom Mr. Potter. Emniotic fluid from a dragon is rather smelly. Trust me, you are covered in the residue."

"That's why she thought I was hers?" Harry asked. He held the back of the gown closed while he sidled toward the bathroom.

"Yes, Harry."

"That's why Charlie didn't want me to get in the lake. It would wash off some of the fluid."

"Again, correct Harry. Had it washed off, you would have no longer smelled like a dragon. There's no telling what she would have done."

"Oh." He backed away a few steps and stopped. "Thank you for finding me."

"You're welcome Harry." Headmaster Dumbledore smiled and turned to leave the room, "You should go take your bath now Harry."

Harry grinned, "That bad?"

"A smell only a mother can love, my boy." Dumbledore's laughter continued out the door.

Fin