Disclaimer: Not mine.
Written for the Hogwarts Online Forum. The prompt was... "She was mine to look after before she was yours." Hope you enjoy…short and fluffy.
Charlie rested on one knee, stroking the Ridgebacks' neck, as always in awe and fascination that he could do this. He looked up into his assistants face, seeing the same concern and confusion he felt.
"She seemed fine yesterday," Maggie said softly, joining him on the ground. "She hasn't been off her feed."
"There is millers weed up on the west slope, has she been up there?"
"Could have been, she was out last night."
He stood, looking angry, running his fingers through his hair and swallowing hard.
"Even if she was up there, it wouldn't get her off her feet so quickly." She moved down and ran her hand over the dragon's soft underside. "She's not bloated."
"But she is down, that's enough." He turned, scanning the horizon wondering what was taking the messenger so long to return.
"We've been over all this." She sighed loudly and stood up, keeping her eyes on the dragon. "She is dying."
"I know," Charlie choked. "She was my first one."
Maggie looked up at him and tried to smile. "She was born in captivity. You know they never make it. You are the one that taught me that."
Charlie nodded and walked away from the distressed and dying animal. Not knowing what to do, at the same time knowing there was nothing to be done. Five years, he thought, she is still a baby.
"We should try to get one of the older females to accept her," he said, turning around to see Maggie shake her head.
"They won't. Charlie, maybe if we had more time, but…she has only been with them such a short time…you know them …" She stopped talking and pointed over the western slope. "I think that's him."
Charlie tipped his head up and squinted into the setting sun, nodding. "Yeah, she…she'll remember him."
"Charlie!" Hagrid called, as his feet hit the ground and he lifted his massive leg over the broom. "I 'eard she be down."
"I thought… it's not good, Hagrid."
The half-giant lumbered over to the fallen dragon, dropping on his knees and laying his forehead on her snout.
"She were mine to look after 'fore she were yours," he breathed out, his voice hitching.
"I know," Charlie laid his hand on the massive back, feeling the sobs through the half-giant's robes. "Look at her."
The dragon snorted, and rolled her eyes in an effort to raise her head to look at the familiar face.
"Ah, she knows I'm 'ere." Hagrid adjusted his position to sit in front of her eyes, smiling, as she laid down her head, content and still.
"You were the first one she saw," Charlie said softly, glancing over the giant to Maggie who stood, her eyes welling with tears. "Let you be the last."