They came to an agreement later that same morning, upon awakening: Hermione would continue to help Draco try to undo the curse placed upon him, so long as he would never again disparage her and behave himself whether in public or private (in other words, no more licking her, or cutting through her clothing, or bullying her). He countered, by requesting that she not sleep with Charlie until she'd given him equal opportunity to court her (once he'd regained his true form).
Apparating home to quickly shower, eat, feed Crooks, call her mum, gather up the materials she'd need for the day, pack up a lunch, and change into fresh clothes (not necessarily in that order), she returned to Draco's side two hours later. They spent the remainder of the day together first making the power-binding braid and casting the Spell of Nine Knots upon it, and then after, lounging about (she laid back against his neck, while he read over her shoulder or napped; dragons apparently liked to sleep quite a lot, like cats).
That evening, she returned home… only to find her little, comfy flat incredibly cold and unwelcoming. Even cuddling with Crooks wasn't enough to defer the deafening solitude as she shut her eyes in bed.
I feel your pain. You're as lonely as I am.
She sighed. "I guess I got used to being with you again."
So come back. Spend the night. Bring your blankets and make a nest next to me. I'd like it, too.
She snickered. "I can't do that. I live here."
Shall I come to you, then?
She flipped onto her back and laughed. "You wouldn't fit in my flat, even without walls in the way. You're too fat."
She could almost see him swinging that long neck around to check out his body.
I beg to differ, Granger. I am the svelte equivalent of a dragon Adonis.
"Adonis? Hardly," she snuffed.
There was a pregnant pause.
Shall I remind you?
The vision of the human Malfoy in the bathroom once more, wrapped in only a towel, was projected into her mind. He went through the exact same procedure as the other night, and to her utter astonishment, she felt her whole body tingle with sexual anticipation just before his towel left his hips. Her breasts suddenly felt tender and very sensitive. Brushing a hand quickly over her right side, she felt the nipple under her cotton top stiffen in reaction, and a ripple of pleasure shot through her core.
I feel your desire.
An automatic, prudish response jumped to her lips, but was quickly squashed by the feeling of him stroking her magical aura across the distance.
Let go and enjoy yourself, princess. Take pleasure from me.
Seeing little harm in indulging in a long-distance fantasy, she gave into the devil whispering in her ear and did as Draco instructed, pinching her nipples when he requested, licking her fingers and rubbing them across the sensitive buds when encouraged, and pretending all the while that it was him doing these things to her.
Have you ever touched yourself?
Hermione swallowed, embarrassed, feeling her cheeks burn hotter. "Yes."
Then do it for me now. Slip all of your clothes off. I want to see you.
She gasped and quickly grasped the edges of her top, pulling them together. "You can see?"
A dark, sinful chuckle echoed in her ears and reverberated through her core.
Too scared, princess?
It was a direct challenge to her lioness' bravado, but Hermione was no fool to this serpent's deceitful ways. She tossed her head on the pillow with scorn. "Scared? Ha! Not likely! I just don't want to show you everything yet," she thrust her hands into her pajama bottoms and cupped her mound.
I knew you would be a tease, Granger.
He seemed to take an odd delight at her defiance, as if he got off on her brazen insolence, instead of finding it irritating.
Grabbing a hold of her courage, Hermione licked her lips and costumed herself in the façade of the confident seductress, wanting to prove to Malfoy and herself that she wasn't scared of exploring her sexuality, as both he and Charlie had accused. "Maybe I'll make you wonder what I look like and where I like to be stroked best as I get myself off, hmm?"
Then go on, princess – if you dare. You've got my undivided attention.
The projected mental image of Draco, naked and wet, faded out and all she could see was a pair of rainbow-kaleidoscope eyes watching her as she raised her knees up and began by stroking lightly over her labia a few times. Moistening one finger with her own fluids, trailing it up the center of her now-parted lips, she stopped over her small clit and began rubbing in soft circles right over the spot that made electricity arc up and down her spine. Tossing her head back, arching her back and gasping at the exquisite sensation, she bent her knees closer to her chest in an effort to hold the feelings inside.
"Draco," she panted, "Are you watching me?"
Hermione, my dragon's heart is pounding so hard right now. Show me more. Show me everything. Let me see what you look like.
Nervously, she bit the inside of her cheek. She'd let Charlie see her like this, so why was she so scared to let himsee her? "You won't tell anyone that we're doing this?"
No. This is for you and me alone.
She paused another moment. "I'm placing my trust in you."
I promise it'll be our secret - just yours and mine.
He was solemn in his understanding, and she felt through their odd connection the sincerity of his words and intentions. It was that which convinced her to slide off her bottoms and to fully make herself vulnerable. Instantly, she could feel his scorching, phantom gaze sliding over every inch of her revealed flesh with a heated intensity that left her insides melting and quivering together. Her legs uncontrollably trembled.
You're so beautiful. Please touch yourself for me, princess. Show me what you like.
Starting at the beginning, Hermione worked her fingers over herself as she ritually preferred, and when it was time, she slid one finger down to pierce herself just a bit – only up to the knuckle, not wanting to break her own hymen.
A stroke across her magical aura came at just that moment, heightening her pleasure. Inside her channel, she felt the sensation of something pulsing within her, shuttling back and forth in time to her own thrusts. It worked itself all the way to the back of her canal, stroking nerves she never even knew she had. From her panting mouth was drawn a deep moan, and a delicious shivering started deep in her womb, working outward, exciting every inch of her skin.
This is how it will be when I make love to you, Hermione.
"Oh, Godric!" she gasped, thoroughly seduced by this magic Draco used upon her.
How had she never known how thoroughly sexy Malfoy was, or how much he would make her feel, or how emotionally compatible they were? It seemed impossible not to know these things. In such a short time, he'd become her air, her color, her dream, and she yearned for him with a craving that defied the bounds of logic.
"I need you," she whispered to him. "I need your kiss."
Ghostly lips hungrily stroked across hers as another rhythmic throb coursed through her, and all of the muscles in her lower abdomen and backside and thighs tensed up as her orgasm crested, threatening to tip her over the cliff any second now. Her toes curled as she desperately reached for that reckless experience.
Come for me, my princess.
With a cry of her dragon's name, Hermione found her release in an explosion of light and brilliance that nearly blinded her. Blood pounding through her veins, she continued to shudder for heartbeat upon heartbeat, feeling her body release unto the exquisite "petite death," only to be reborn seconds later. At last, the pressure eased her into exhausted, glowing feelings of somnolent contentment.
Lying back, panting and slightly sweaty from the experience, she thought her brain might fuzz out on her permanently. That wicked chuckle teased her ear again, and the feeling of being kissed on the lips very sweetly made her reach for her dragon's spectral, magical force, only to find her hands grasping empty air.
Sleep, love. I'll see you in a few hours.
He slipped from her mind just as she pulled the covers over her naked body and gave herself over to pleasant dreams once more.
Two days passed in the blink of an eye as they prepared for the ritual, and as Hermione returned to her office to reacquire the case of 'The Malfoy Dragon,' setting her immediate bosses (and both Division offices) into a tizzy of activity as the gossip and speculation started to fly. Fortunately, the Minister was once more quickly and craftily reassured that his coffers would shine once the dust settled, and Penelope could have cared less one way or the other (in fact, she seemed happy to be relieved of the assignment). She was 'home free,' as it were, on the job front.
On the day of the big event, Hermione awoke extra early – just after dawn – and after feeding herself and Crooks properly, began her list of last-minute preparations.
Because the blood for the spell had to be directly taken from a virgin's veins and be somewhat fresh, Hermione had acquired a syringe and a rubber tube band yesterday and, after reading up on the procedure to draw blood properly, she now stuck herself with the needle and withdrew enough of the life-bonding, sanguineous fluid from the bend in her elbow to fill the proper size vial. This part was awful (she hatedneedles), but she did what was necessary and didn't think twice about it after carefully covering up the small hole in her arm (which bled for only a few minutes). Stoppering the full vial and putting it aside, she made a note to correctly dispose of her biohazard waste at a local hospital drop-off point after wrapping it carefully in a paper bag and leaving it on her kitchen counter.
The virgin's tears were another issue entirely, however. Who knew it would be so difficult to blubber enough to fill a one-ounce vial? In the end, it took her sitting through entirety of "Titanic"on DVD that morning in front of her telly, and reminding herself to reach for the small glass tube, and not the tissues when the proper time came. Thankfully, it didn't take much more than seeing Leonardo's character sink below the water's icy depths before her own waterworks sprang a leak all down her cheeks. Then it became a matter of stopping once she'd started – which was a whole other trial unto itself.
After showering, dressing, and going out for a burger for lunch (to make up for the iron deficiency), she headed over to the Manor House with her satchel full of the required items, her mind excitedly hoping that tonight, Draco would finally be free of his curse.
A sobering thought pervaded, however, and slightly soured her good mood: would Malfoy still want her as a human, or was it all fun and games until their connection was severed by the counter-spell? Had he meant any of what he'd said, or was she just someone to talk and play with to help whittle away the hours? Gods, she prayed it wasn't a case of the latter. She thought that if it were, she would most likely be very heartbroken.
By mid-afternoon, she stood in the soft grass of the Manor House's expansive lawn to begin the making of the Greater Magick Circle for the ritual. Draco was outside in the sun with her (she needed him to sit still so she could mark the boundaries to correctly account for his size), and the way the light glimmered off of his opalescent scales was nearly blinding. He truly was an amazing specimen in this form, she had to admit.
Charlie, unfortunately, agreed. He stood nearby, setting up a wizard's camera, adjusting it to dim the 'sparkle problem.' Draco was behaving, as promised, but was having none of the wizard at his feet, refusing to look at him and she guessed intentionally turning his body in such a way to reflect the light directly into the red-headed wizard's eyes. "Bloody sun!" her consulting co-worker cursed, moving the camera tripod yet again. "Those scales of yours are just too reflective!"
I'll give you anything you want, Granger, if you'll just let me sit on him. Once ought to do the trick.
Hermione nearly dropped her stake-marker and burst out into laughter. "You know very well that isn't going to happen."
Charlie looked up from under the old-fashioned camera cloth. "What's not going to happen?" he blinked, concerned. "Is this asking too much of him?"
"No," she answered, ignoring Malfoy entirely. He was acting like a petulant child, but it was simply too endearing to fiercely scold. She rather liked this playful side of him, honestly. Had he always been this way, even back in school? "He's just getting a little warm in the sun is all. I'm concerned about heat stroke."
Charlie blinked. Draco huffed.
"Heat stroke? He's a dragon!" her ginger-haired friend stated the obvious. "Reptiles love the sun."
Hermione's brow lowered. "He's a man, Charlie," she growled. "A man in his heart."
Two sets of eyes narrowed on her, but she only felt heat from one of them.
That same curious expression crossed Charlie's face. He let the camera go and stepped over to her. From her peripheral vision, Hermione caught the tensing of Draco's muscles and she prayed her red-headed wizard would not cause an unintentional scene. "'Mione, what's going on with you? You're different lately. You weren't so… hostile… towards me in Egypt."
A heavy chuff of expelled breath and the thumping of the tip of Draco's tail had her immediately on-edge for she felt the dragon's irritation literally writhe across her aura at the mention of the trip where she and Charlie had gotten together for the first time. She tried to keep her voice, face and body language as casual as possible, not wanting to alarm the Dragon-Tamer of the dragon's annoyance. "We shouldn't talk about such things while working," she countered, moving away, picking up her discarded picket from the spring grass. "It's very unprofessional. We can discuss it later."
What's there to discuss? He wants you. I smell his lust rising again.
Charlie followed her, oblivious to Malfoy's increasing, silent agitation. For a man attuned to dragons for so many years, he seemed completely unmindful that there was one weighing half the amount of an eighteen-wheeler truck sitting less than twenty-feet away, and that it was aggravated enough to make pâtéout of him. "I think you'll just run again, and this is something we need to clear up before it's irreparable, 'Mione," he insisted, reaching her side and bending to his knees to be at eye-level with her. For her part, Hermione continued hammering her stake into the ground without looking up, consciously aware of how close Charlie was… and of a beast's warning growl in her head. "Have dinner with me tonight - before the moon rises, so we don't interfere with the spell. We need to talk about this," he requested, a sad catch to his voice.
Don't! Don't be alone with him, princess. He'll try to kiss you. He'll try to take you to bed. I can smell his intentions.
Heart slamming in her ribs, Hermione felt guilt wash over her, flushing her cheeks. She had been ignoring Charlie since their fight days ago, and that wasn't fair to him. But the truth was that he just wasn't the wizard for her, and it was difficult to tell him this truth. Her heart had found its home with Draco, and although that future was uncertain, and she was taking an awful risk of giving her feelings up to Malfoy when there existed the very real possibility of them not being reciprocated after tonight's spell was completed, she prayed for the best and would accept the consequences of her decision. It was for this reason that she needed to say goodbye to this good man properly so there wouldn't be hard feelings later. It wasn't right to leave him hanging like this, hoping for something that couldn't be.
Nodding, she sighed. "Just dinner, Charlie. Do you understand? We'll talk. There are things we need to clear up."
Draco sat up on all fours, his tail lashing around angrily.
Granger, no. Don't do this.
Her friend agreed with an easy nod. "Great. Six o'clock, then?"
If you give him this chance, h-he'll take you away from me!
Her dragon's voice trembled with a combination of panicked worry and nettling wrath.
He'll seduce you! You'll give him your body and you'll fall in love with him!
Guilt swamped her, for she could feel she was hurting Draco, and that was the last thing she wanted. She just wanted to make things right between her and Charlie, for they'd been friends long before this, and she didn't want to alienate him or the Weasleys, if she could help it. Yet, she also knew she was hurting her dragon by agreeing to a date with the greatest rival for his affections, and for some inexplicable reason, that suddenly meant more to her than anything else – even hurting Charlie's feelings.
Just as she was opening her mouth to retract her acceptance for the dinner date, Charlie made the one mistake she'd feared all afternoon he would: he reached out quickly, turned her head and kissed her on the lips.
Draco stood fully up on his back legs and screeched in fury. She and Charlie spun as one; staring up, up, up in awe at the creature that stood as tall as a four-story building. Parti-colored, polychromatic eyes looked upon the pair of them with rage.
You let him touch you! You wanted him to touch you, didn't you?
"No, Draco, wait!" she tried, reaching out, wanting to explain.
He shrieked again and cut her off, and the sound was of screaming eagles falling from the heavens, loud enough to shake free the leaves from the nearby trees.
Go ahead and fuck each other then! I didn't want you anyway!
A large paw gripped the area over his dragon's heart, his claws rasping against the softer skin as he scraped hard enough to break through the hide and pierce his own flesh with razor-sharp talons. Draco hardly seemed to notice as fiery crimson blood immediately welled to the surface and dripped down his shimmering pearlized belly. It was both a beautiful and horrible sight to behold.
I don't want th-this feeling anymore! I don't want it!
He staggered once to the side, bracing himself on his left front leg as he came down heavily, his right paw still tearing at his chest.
It hurts too much to love! Too much…
Flapping those wide wings, and with a powerful launch of his back legs, he flew away as fast as he could, the trail of his pain lingering behind as a palpable stabbing in her heart. Hermione was taken off-guard by the almost unbearable backlash of anguish and fell forward, crying out as she grasped at her own chest.
Charlie caught her up in his burly arms. "Hermione, what's wrong? What's happened?"
"Draco," she whispered with a sob, closing her eyes, praying he could hear her. "I'm so sorry. It was only to say goodbye to him. I didn't mean it to be anything else. I want to be with you. Please don't leave me!"
Her friend's hiss of breath was loud. "Oh, holy hell - not good." He shook her, forced her to open her eyes and look at him. "Hermione, you said you were a virgin, right? You've never had sex with a man?"
It took her a minute to focus on his words, but she shook her head in answer. "No, I haven't."
Charlie swore then a rather foul curse. "He knows that, doesn't he? He sniffed it out on you at some point."
Shakily, she nodded.
"And he can touch you with his aura, can't he?" he knowingly appraised her.
With a trembling sob, she ran her hand over her cheeks. "Yes. What's happened? I don't understand any of it. We've been able to talk to each other across distances, and I feel him, as you said. It pains me when we're not together. Why does this hurt so much?"
Charlie sat back heavily and threw his face to the sky, closing his eyes tightly. "Oh, fuck me! You've mate-bonded. It all makes sense now."
Blinking in confusion, Hermione bit her bottom lip against the throbbing ache under her breast. "Mate-bonded? How could that happen? Malfoy's not really a dragon. He's human, just cursed."
Cupping her cheeks, her almost-lover put his forehead on hers and sighed, his frown deeply lining his weathered face. "Hermione, I know you usually get your facts as straight as a T-Square, but in this particular case, I think you're wrong. I really don't think that's Draco Malfoy at all. I think our Opaleye is a real dragon."
Her world spun to a decisive halt.
"What? What did you say?" She blinked, scoffing, pulling herself away from her friend's sudden bout of madness, as if it could be catching. "Of course he's Draco! Don't be ridiculous!"
Charlie sat back on his haunches and ran hands over his face for a moment, shaking his head in counter. "A man trapped in the body of a dragon might have the beast's strength and physical abilities, but I've been in contact with members of my Order and they all agree that a man caught in a spell to mimic the dragon's form cannot mimic a dragon's magic. It just isn't possible. Many wizards and witches over the millennia have tried in a variety of ways, and every time, they fail. We humans can't wrap our auras around a dragon's magical resonance - it's on a completely different level, like a phoenix's or unicorn's. We can harness their magical essence through wand cores using pieces of them, but not through ourselves directly. Their magic is simply too potent. And no one trapped in the form of a dragon could accomplish a mate bond without such innate magic at his disposal. It just isn't possible."
On shaky legs, she rose to her feet and stared down at him. "What Order? What the bloody hell are you talking about? You're making no sense!"
Standing to his full height – which was only a few inches taller than she – Charlie sighed and pulled off his dark blue tee-shirt, turning about for her, showing off his dragon tattoo (she'd glimpsed it the few times they'd fooled around, but this was the first time she'd actually looked at it). It was a beautiful tribal outline of a curled dragon, crimson and black in color, and it rested across the back shoulder blade on his left side. "This isn't just a regular tattoo for fun, 'Mione. It's my mark of the Order of the Dragon. All Tamers are required to take a Blood Oath to protect the secrets of the dragons when we pass our apprenticeship stage and become a full-fledged member. But in this case, you need to know what you're facing, so I'm willing to accept the punishment from the Grand Master for divulging confidential information of the Order."
Turning about, he dropped his shirt to the ground and gripped her by the upper arms. "Listen very carefully to what I'm about to tell you: everyone knows that dragons are the raptors of the reptile world – they're monogamous and mate for life. But people forget that they're magical creatures, not stupid beasts. They each have different abilities, depending upon the species. Some, like the Opaleye, we don't know much about because they are so naturally shy… but what we do know, those of us in the Order don't speak of to outsiders, because we know it would terrify them, and they'd hunt the dragons to extinction out of fear for what they can do."
He rubbed up and down her arms soothingly. "'Mione, what the Order knows, but the world at large doesn't, is that the Opaleye is a shape-shifter. It can take the form of anything it wants. Its evolved magic is defensive in nature, because the species are timid in general and don't like to be found or studied – which is why we have problems tracking them down. What is recorded about them is sporadic, but there have been a few dozen documented cases over the centuries of an Opaleye taking on human form and bonding to and mating a human woman. A virgin in every case. They can interbreed with us."
Her brows lowered in confusion. "So? Why is that such a big deal? No one has a problem with Veela doing the same thing," she contended.
Charlie shook his head. "You're wrong about that. Fleur doesn't like to talk about it, but I've seen myself some of the prejudice that comes with being a descendant of a Veela – and she's only a quarter that." He sighed. "Hermione, cross-species propagation is frowned upon by a lot of wizards and witches, even the more tolerant ones. You remember how accepting Dumbledore was? Even he felt it was too dangerous to allow dragons to take human mates and have children. That's why he tasked the Order when he was the Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards to seek out any family lines attached to the dragons and to watch them carefully - not only for the protection of such individuals from potentially rabid blood purists, but because their progeny had the potential to be incredibly powerful. He was worried what would happen should a child born of a human and a dragon mating decide to give themselves over to the darker side of magic. There hasn't been such a union in over a century, and so far, there haven't been any recorded special abilities gained by the two offspring from that mating, nor any from any past matings before that, either, so thankfully no one has had to face that issue. But, still, in such cases, we in the Order have a standing order to destroy any half-breed dragons that threaten the wizarding world." He stared her hard in the eye. "'Mione, understand that Dumbledore had the complete support of the whole Confederation in the matter. Everyone in the know is afraid of such a union, because no one knows the limits of power that a half-breed dragon child could reach. Just because none in the past have been documented as having lost control and gone over to evil doesn't mean it couldn't happen."
Hermione's heart fell into winter. Had everything she'd ever believed about this world she'd been thrust into unwittingly been a lie? Or were such precautions warranted? What would happen if a dragon half-breed took up Voldemort's mantle? She shivered at the thought. Perhaps it was a good thing that the Order was the world's secret dragon policing unit after all.
"Why virgins in particular?" she asked, going back over in her mind what he'd said thus far. "You said every mating was with a virgin. That's a human moral value. It shouldn't matter to non-humans."
Her beau sighed. "It has nothing to do with morals. As you know, dragons have a weakness for ownership of the unique. Some of them hoard shiny objects, while others are fiercely protective of a hunting range or a specific cave or river. Opaleyes appear to have a weakness for purity. They're the dragons talked about in myth whenever a virgin – princess or otherwise - is the subject of a kidnapping."
Well, now the dragon's reaction when he'd found out she was a virgin made perfect sense.
Charlie spread his arm out, moving from left to right in a grand gesture. "The breed used to live all over the world at one time, but because of their timidity and dislike of conflict, they began dying out or migrating to other lands as they were pushed out of areas by human encroachment and more aggressive dragon species. Now, Opaleyes are only found in the wilds of Australia and New Zealand, the last lands to be colonized by settlers. It's their final bastion, and even that is becoming overcrowded for them. I think soon they may go the way of the dinosaur if we can't find a way to help them."
A sinking, slippery sensation at the bottom of her guts threatened to make Hermione sick-up her burger from earlier as she puzzled together what Charlie was implying. "So, let me just get this straight: basically, you're telling me that I've been tricked. That a wild dragon - one that belongs on the other side of the world from here, and that's just happened to crash-land smack in the middle of Malfoy Manor and taken up residence while its owners are away somewhere unknown - has been purposefully lying to me all along. He's been pretending to be Draco Malfoy for the sole purpose of forcing me to bond with him, so he can get eventually have my… my…"
She couldn't say it. She just couldn't.
Charlie's blue gaze filled with pity and sorrow. "Cherry? No, I don't think he's that deceitful. I've run across a lot of dragons in my time, and this one - he's smart, but not evil. You can sense it on his magical aura. I've had to do my share of killing evil dragons lately, and I can tell the difference." He shook his head. "Honestly, my instincts tell me that your dragon thinks he truly isDraco Malfoy. I think, though, that he's a real Opaleye who was force-conscripted by Voldemort to serve as a shape-shifting spy during the war, hence the Dark Mark. But his species doesn't like conflict, so it's more than likely that he somehow escaped Voldemort's hold over him and he's been hiding out ever since, probably knowing what his chances were if he were caught with such a brand on his arm. We've found more than a few other species of dragons running about the U.K. over the last two years who had belonged to Voldemort's army. The Order has been tasked all this time by the Ministry to either take them back to their home ranges, or to destroy them if they had killed willingly during the war. That's why I've been called in as a 'consultant' any time a dragon case comes up – I'm their judge, jury and executioner."
She sniffed, floored by this news. "I had no idea. I just thought you offered to help because you liked dragons."
Her friend tightly pursed his lips. "I think your dragon has taken on Malfoy's persona to relate to you, and in doing so, he's learned everything about our customs, our manner of speech, and so has convinced himself that he isDraco Malfoy. And somewhere in the middle or maybe even from the start when he first met you, he bonded with you – a virgin - by accident."
She shook her head again firmly, refusing to believe it. "No, this all has to be a mistake!" Because if it wasn't… If it wasn't, then she'll have given her heart away to a beast.
Charlie shook her once. "This isn't a game, 'Mione. If this is true, it's a big deal. You need to consider the possibility, no matter how far-fetched. If that isn't Malfoy, but a real dragon, and he's bonded to you, there are serious consequences involved, as I've already explained."
"You're just hypothesizing," she reasoned. "You have no proof."
He tsk'd in frustration. "Remember the first day we saw him? You told me that he'd entered your mind, picked through your memories like a skilled Legilimens. You thought he was trying to remember who he really was, but I think he was looking for someone in your memories whom you might be able to relate to. He must have gotten the impression that Malfoy was somewhat important to you, and maybe he even recognized Draco from his time in Voldemort's recruit and latched onto that commonality. Who knows? In any case, in reaching out to make a connection with you, he'd unwittingly overridden himself in favor of the persona he'd adopted – and at the same time, begun the bonding process accidentally. Over time, he just became the man you wanted."
"But why?" she whispered, tears flooding her eyes as small things began to click together in her head - his inability to discuss a Hogwarts shared past with her, his odd nesting behavior with her, how animal instincts took over regarding touching and licking her, their weird connection across distance that had drug her back to his side in the middle of the night and despite her best efforts to ignore him then. And come to think on it, he'd never actually stated that he was Draco Malfoy when she'd come to the Manor House all those weeks ago, had he? It had been her who'd jumped to that conclusion from the few facts presented. Once she'd established his identity, it would have been easy to rifle from the memories he'd gathered from her head what he'd need to become the man she'd already thought him to be. Perhaps even the vision of what he looked like was nothing more than a fantasy he'd conjured up using images of Draco from her recollections and extrapolating. "Why did he try to talk to me to begin with, though?"
"Because he was trying to tell us that Voldemort forced him and he didn't want to be destroyed," Harry spoke quietly from behind her. "And he knew by reading your mind that you would take pity on him, and fight with everything you had to save him. It's in your nature to save lost causes."
She whirled about to face her best friend, surprised by his presence. How long he'd been standing there listening? She hadn't even heard him arrive. He looked haggard.
Her gaze shifted as a shadow stepped around Harry's side, and her heart clenched at the familiar sight of silver-blond hair, steely grey eyes, and patrician features that were so beautiful as an adult man that you wanted to weep just looking at him.
He was the same from the vision after all. But how was that possible?
"He's a dragon, Granger," the real Draco Malfoy spoke then, his voice weary, one elegant hand moving up to brush the long bangs from his eyes. "Weasley's right. He isn't human."
Her knees unexpectedly buckled and she slid to the ground, her shock overwhelming, and her tears suddenly unstoppable. "No. NO! " She wept brokenly. "Oh, gods! Oh, gods! "
Harry knelt at her side, wrapping his arms about her, holding her through the storm, for the first time being here for her, instead of the other way around. He waited until she quieted a bit to explain his findings. "Malfoy – the real one here – he said that Nott Sr. had orders from Voldemort to find your parents and bring them back to England to try to lure you out. That was during that year we were tracking Horcruxes. Nott was clever enough to follow you mum and dad's trail to Australia, figuring you'd use Muggle means to hide them, since you were Muggle-born. He couldn't find them once he got there, though, because you'd done a bang-up job of Obliviating their memories. He didfind an Opaleye, however, and he captured it instead. Voldemort was putting together an army of dragons, and Nott knew that if he came home empty-handed in the search for your parents, Tom Riddle would have made mincemeat pie out of him without something else of equal value to appease his anger."
"'When you've eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth,'" she stammered, clasping onto Harry's arms, resting her cheek against his chest. "It's just like Theo Junior said. I went to Azkaban and talked to him. He said his father always had a back-up plan. His wasDra- the dragon."
Harry nodded in understanding. "Voldemort… 'Mione, he marked your dragon and used him, just like Charlie had guessed." He looked down at her. "Malfoy and I Apparated here right when the dragon was taking off, and heard everything. Sorry for eavesdropping." He cleared his throat in clear embarrassment. "Anyway, your Opaleye refused to fight for the Dark Lord, and escaped by shape-shifting, hiding for months in the Malfoy dungeon by changing from one form to another to hide his presence. After the war was over, he was still down there, not knowing that Voldemort had been killed. Draco found him a few months later."
Over Harry's shoulder, she hesitantly looked up into an achingly handsome face, and felt her chest squeeze in response. And yet she knew, just by looking into these particular mercurial eyes that this wasn't herDraco, as there was no warmth in the wintry depths that stared back at her. "You saved him?" she asked, feeling eternally grateful to this boy-turned-man who had never done a nice thing in his life, really.
Malfoy snorted and crossed his arms, and his patented sneer graced his features. "He had his uses. He helped us clean up the place and was a good cook - once our house-elf showed him what to do and he stopped burning down the kitchen. And he liked clipping the roses." He smirked bitterly. "I fucking hated trimming the verge."
She stared up at her former rival and had a moment's realization. "You became friends with him."
A coy shrug. "He was a better conversationalist than the wall or the elf."
The vision of Malfoy standing before the mirror that her dragon had shown her now made sense. Somehow, he'd seen the real Draco after he'd taken a shower here at the Manor House, had observed the wizard shaving, and probably was studying his friend to learn all about human ways. She wondered how far that 'learning' really went. How much voyeurism did her dragon engage in back then, and did it stop at just looking?
"The two of you are alike, but… not," she noted sadly. "Why?"
Charlie sighed, reaching out to stroke her hair with a suntanned, freckled hand. "Because the slow bonding between you and the dragon made him change. He started out as this Malfoy, yes, but ultimately he became the man inside that you would want as a mate. I guess, in a way, you could say that he grew up to please you."
Feeling the heat glide up her cheeks, she chanced a gander at the real Malfoy. He met her gaze for a few, short seconds – enough time for her to glean that he was regretful that they didn't live in another time and place and could try for something themselves – but then he looked away. "Whatever. Just call him back so we can get this over with already."
"It's not that simple," Charlie countered sharply. Her once-potential boyfriend unhappily sighed. "He's bonded to her now, and he'll try to mate her as soon as he remembers who he really is." He looked down at Hermione with all sincere concern. "If he takes the blood of your virginity, you'll be mated for life. Opaleyes are no exception to the species' monogamy rule. 'Til death do you part."
Her eyes widened. "You mean here? Now?"
No one said anything, and it was clear what the answer was.
Hermione began shaking uncontrollably. "But-"
"Oh, for fuck's sake, do you love him, Granger?" Malfoy crudely asked, throwing his hands up. "If so, just shag him and get it over with. He's a nice guy, just a little screwed up right now."
"He's not a guy," Harry reminded them all. "He's a dragon."
Draco did that little shrug again. "He seemed perfectly human to me, and I lived with him for almost a year and a half."
Charlie drew her attention again. "Also, you need to accept that you and any children you might have with him will be watched all your lives by the Order. If any of your kin threaten the community..." He left it unspoken, but the threat was clear. "You understand?
Hermione sighed. A lifetime of being closely scrutinized, or worse invasions of privacy. Could she handle it?
One little, niggling fact still bothered her about this whole scenario, though, and she deflected in an attempt to not have to think about sex and the future that lay before her just yet. "How come it hurt him to use Legilimency on him?"
Harry looked to Charlie, who looked to Malfoy. "What did you do to him?"
Slytherin's former Prince looked decidedly uncomfortable all of the sudden. "I gave him a book from my father's library on mind spells. He obviously found one he liked and cast it on himself."
Harry gave him a disdainful eye roll, Charlie tsk'd, and Hermione just wanted to hear the rest of the story, so kept her opinion to herself – for now.
"Hey, don't blame me," Malfoy defended himself. "The wanker said he didn't want to have anyone figure him out if they decided to go poking around in his head with Legilimency. He wanted to stay as a human because he liked our world better and didn't want to go back to being a dragon in Australia. Something about being lonely over there and it being too crowded for his tastes. I just gave him what he asked for." He absently waved a hand towards his house in the background. "Of course, that was a day or two before all hell broke loose here. If it wasn't for Nott figuring out how to get through the wards and chasing us clear to France, dragon-boy would have been fine. That Death Eater prick got him roaring angry when-" He stopped, swallowed, seemed to struggle to keep himself together. He looked out at the horizon, refusing to meet anyone's eyes and was silent for a dozen heartbeats. "When he killed my mother," he finished, his voice tight with obvious pain. "Your beast blew his fucking marbles then and changed back into his real body." He looked down at Hermione, grinning like a shark, shunting off his own hurt by twisting it into cruel enjoyment at another's expense, per typical modus operandi. "He ate Nott, you know." He lifted his hands and mimicked chewing on a piece of corn. "Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. It was fucking beautiful. The bastard screamed the whole time."
"Yeah, right, what happened then?" Harry interrupted, annoyed, clearly having reached his end with Malfoy's antics.
Draco shrugged, losing his momentary sick enjoyment from the re-telling of Nott's demise. "He buggered off screaming, blood all over the place. Flew towards the setting sun. That was the last I saw of him."
Hermione put it together. "He came back here to the place he'd loved best. To the place he'd decided to call home - his nest."
"In his enraged state, combined with the bloodlust from rending Nott limb from limb, he must have lost the human aspect of himself and reclaimed the beast," Charlie guessed. "And when he came into contact with us - with you," he tugged on Hermione's hair. "He was drawn to your pure aura, and regained his higher rationality."
"He must have realized he'd be in trouble for killing Nott, then," Harry conjectured. "That's probably why he reached out and asked you to save him, 'Mione."
She considered all she knew, thinking back to that first day. "He'd read my mind, so he knew I worked on the dragon cases with the Division. He knew I was fighting for the safeguarding and keeping of dragons that were to be captured by the Ministry. I was a good fit, all around, to giving him what he needed."
"And he bonded to you unconsciously as you worked towards that aim together. He may be a dragon outside, but he fell for you as a man inside would, sweetums," Charlie tied it all up neatly. He knelt at her side, brushing the hair off her cheek fondly. "Now it's only a question of deciding what you want. What are you going to do? Call him back, or let him go?"
"I thought you said it was too dangerous for a human to mate with a dragon," she tested his veracity.
Charlie shrugged. "I never said that I held to such beliefs," he stated amiably. "I said othersdid. If you can live with such prejudice, then all the power to you both, I say. It sucks for me, but I just want you to be happy, 'Mione. That's all I've ever wanted."
She hesitantly looked up at Harry, seeking his opinion. He simply shrugged. "Dumbledore might have been worried about cross-species stuff, 'Mione, but if there was one thing he stood for, it was the belief that love overcomes allboundaries. I tend to agree, so if you want it, I say you should go for it."
Almost afraid to glance over at the last person on the planet she should be considering asking for advice, but knowing him to be the least prejudiced by any affection for her (meaning, he would give an objective opinion), she turned her eyes up to her one-time adversary and raised a brow in questioning.
Malfoy's grin was slow and evil. "Two virgins fucking on my front lawn? This should be stunning."
She blinked in surprise at his revelation.
"Oh, I offered him one of my witches in those long, lonelymonths he hung out here," the Slytherin git drawled in amusement, "but he said he was waiting for the right girl to give it up to."
Wow. That was probably the nicest thing the real Draco Malfoy had ever said – wouldever say – to her, Hermione realized. She gave him a beatific smile in appreciation. "Thank you."
His white teeth glimmered in the sunlight as a sinful, shite-eating grin sprung from ear-to-ear. "So, I can watch, right?"
Before disentangling from Harry to stand up, Hermione gave him the two-fingered salute and was answered with a wicked snicker.
Stepping away from the others, she paced for a bit, working up her nerve. He was going to mate her – today - in a few minutes, in fact (if he agreed to come back at all). They were going to have sex. How did she feel about that?
Her heart was calling for her dragon, magically induced or not. She ached for him.
Right, she wanted to do this!
Turning in the direction he'd flown off, she closed her eyes and held out her arms, searching for their special connection and feeling it still in place in her heart and mind. He hadn't abandoned her, despite his claim to the contrary. "Come back to me," she entreated, following the magical path of their bond, exciting it, tugging on it in a reversal to compel him this time. "Come home. I accept you."
There was no answer for the average length of time a person can reasonably hold their breath before passing out (which Hermione actually did as she waited and waited for a response). She did, however, feel a gentle probing through her thoughts, as her memories of the last few minutes were sifted through by an unseen magical force. She allowed it to happen, relaxing and letting her dragon glide through her mind as necessary, and she held onto hope.
I'm not human.
She smiled, expelling her breath in a rush and letting her lungs resume their natural pattern of life. "I know. It's all right with me. But at least now we know why every spell we tried on you failed - because you didn't need to be changed back. You were already in your correct form. "
I remember who I am and what's happened by sharing your thoughts. Your friends were clever to have figured it out.
She waited in silence as he seemed to struggle to find the right words.
I never intended to trick you. Please believe that.
"I do," she reassured him."I know it was all an accident. Your unconscious mind chose Malfoy because you recognized him - your good friend - of all the people I'd known in my life when you went through my memories. And by becoming him – a person I was attracted to physically - it would assure we made a connection; we'd have a commonality from where you could begin to plead your case and not have to keep running." She smiled good-humoredly. "But, I also think you chose him because you wanted to be like him. You wanted to experience being human. Who better to impersonate than an attractive wizard with magical abilities, money, influence and a harem of girls hanging about?"
It wasn't a harem, actually. He'd only ever had one or two women over the whole time I lived with him. He exaggerates his prowess.
At least he was playing with her. That was a good sign.
But, yes, it would seem that you know me better than I know myself, my princess. I wanted to be human more than anything. Your world is exciting. I lived more in the year and a half I nested with my friend and his mother than I had in all the years since my hatching. I would give anything to stay here now - to stay with you.
"Then come back to me," she offered, stretching her arms out, her eyes still tightly closed. "You can stay with me for always."
He paused, clearly nervous.
I'm not a human, Hermione. I'm a dragon. No matter how much I may wish to live with your kind, I still have my… instincts… which I cannot overcome. I'm still the dragon in my heart, no matter the face I wear. Do you understand?
Nodding, she reached for him with her mind. "I understand."
Are you sure? Can you live with me - a beast walking as a man?
"I rather like the animal side of you. And besides, this way, you can fit into my flat," she teased, beaming. Her smile slid from her lips as she spoke to him seriously then, from her very soul. "I'm not afraid of you or what you are. I know there will be difficulties. We'll face a world against us. But, I really believe we can work it all out. Like Harry said, I believe love can overcome anything. Will you trust in that with me?"
She opened her eyes and waited, knowing he was returning to her side. A soft breeze blew her hair about her, and she watched with a calm sort of acceptance as a slow speck in the distance became larger. He landed minutes later, expanded his wings and then folded them under and sat on his haunches, staring at her with those mesmerizing eyes. The wound on his chest appeared to have been magically healed and his scales cleaned.
Do you accept our bond?
Her heart went still, and for the first time, she felt no hesitation to give everything to this dragon – her dragon. "Yes, I accept the bond. Do you?"
There was an odd shimmering, and the opalescent light shrunk smaller and smaller, until it flashed away – to reveal her dragon in human form, dressed in human clothing – dark charcoal dress slacks, white dress shirt, no shoes or socks. He was a clone of the real Draco Malfoy in every physical way, but the eyes… there would never be eyes as wonderful as his.
He stared at his fingers, clenched and unclenched them, kicked his knee out slightly, pressed down on the balls of his feet, remembering how to move as a human. The breeze stirred his long, platinum bangs into his eyes and he brushed them aside, the movement so human and innocent it made her ache.
"Hey, couldn't you find another face to copy?" the 'real' Draco growled across the distance at his doppelganger. "The last one you wore was perfectly fine."
Her dragon's smirk and voice was perfectly Malfoy-ish in their smarmy reply. "She likes this face." His gaze turned to her and the smile became hot, predatory. "And this body."
He moved so swiftly then that the ground between them was eaten up in a second, and then he was inches from her face. "Hello, my princess," he seductively greeted her, reaching out with a trembling hand to touch her cheek and closing his eyes, shuddering when their skin contacted. "It feels so good to finally touch you without worrying about breaking you." His lids opened to half-mast and burned with lust. "Human touch is so different - so much better." His fingers ran across her jaw to smooth into her hair and he tightly gripped the curls in a fist, pulling her body intimately into his. "Softer than silk." He brought the tresses up to his nose and deeply inhaled, sighing in pleasure, hungrily staring at her. "I'm going to mate you, Hermione."
Her stomach clenched, and her body moistened. "I know." She reached up to stroke her fingers over his cheek and he leaned into the touch, letting out a sound that suspiciously resembled a purr from the center of his chest.
"Slytherin's bollocks!" Malfoy snarled. "It was a joke! I don't really care to see your naked arses fucking on my front lawn!" He waved a hand towards the manor. "Go inside or something. Just don't screw in my room. Take your old one, you wanker."
The man-dragon looked over at his mirror twin. "Thank you," he smiled with true happiness. "Your kindness shall be repaid a hundred-fold later."
The original Malfoy snorted. "Whatever. Just fix the bloody hole in my roof I hear you made and we're even. And find another name to use if you're going to insist on looking like my sibling. 'Draco Malfoy' is taken."
Her dragon chuckled, and it was that erotic sound that whipped through Hermione's spine like finely caressing satin. "As you wish." Wrapping his arms about her waist, he turned all of that delicious attention upon her. "Hold on, love."
She wrapped her arms about his neck and they magically moved in an Apparation that was soundless and as comfortable as stepping out from one room into another.
Their first real kiss was enough to melt her insides, to make Hermione pliable to his every whim - which was just as her dragon wanted. He effortlessly lifted her around the waist and moved them towards the bed, walking with her as if she were no more a burden than a quill feather.
A sudden thought popped into her head. "Your name," she gasped in between his frantic shucking of their clothing. "What do I call you?"
With casual nonchalance, he shrugged those broad, muscled shoulders of his. "I'm your dragon," he answered as his mouth hungrily ate at hers. "Call me anything you want, but this is all I know how to be." He ripped her shirt down the middle when he didn't want to disconnect their mouths long enough to pull it over her head. "Do you mind the face?"
Her hands shook as she reached for his shirt, unbuttoning it. "Don't care," she breathlessly replied. "You'd look good no matter what to me. How about Adon?"
Their matching grins were a sight to behold.
"Adon Malfoy it is, then," he easily agreed, lapping at the side of her neck. "But I want you to scream out 'Adonis' when you orgasm for me," he wickedly chuckled.
Hermione thrust her tongue into his mouth and wantonly licked. "Adon…" she whispered, burning up. Every inch of her skin was fired with nerves, all begging for her dragon's touch and fulfillment. "Is this part of the mating? This need that's… oh, gods, it's killing me! I just want to press into you and rub. I want your scent all over me."
He nodded, tearing her bra with the same efficiency as he had her shirt, tossing the shredded garment onto the floor with their growing pile of clothes. "I need to lick you, suck you, lay my scent upon you, and fuck you hard, Hermione," he snarled, his mouth lapping at every inch of her skin that he could with desperation. She tilted her head this way and that to accommodate his desires. "I need to claim you as mine. I don't think I can be gentle. I'm sorry." He slammed down on her mouth again, taking and giving with equal ferocity.
She gasped as his mouth traveled low once more, clamping over her nipple and drawing it into the cavern of his moist, hot mouth, sucking hard. "Don't be. I want that, too," she gasped as her hands tore at the button on her Muggle jeans, and with shaking fingers, unzipped herself. Squirming out of her pants, though was harder than she thought with Adon's head bent to her other breast, attacking it with the same brutal efficiency as the other, leaving love bruises behind on both areolas. His fingers skimmed all over her hips and back, gliding over her lightly perspiring flesh, and when he got on his knees before her, and ripped her jeans down to her ankles, tearing her knickers into pieces and tossing them away, she thought she would cream all over herself.
The first swipe of his tongue through her soaked slit sent Hermione into the sky, and she orgasmed, grabbing a hold of that soft, white-gold hair and shoving her quim into his face. "Oh, oh, OH! " she wailed as he lapped at her with instinctual need.
He didn't give her much time to come down from that small, pleasant surprise before turning her and simultaneously dumping her onto the bed, his mouth still buried between her legs, licking and sucking her labia, teasing her clit, following the same path she'd taken when she'd touched herself that night in her bed with him mystically watching from afar. Apparently, he'd meticulously studied her moves, for he mimicked them now with perfect precision.
He pulled her shoes, socks and what remained of her dangling jeans off her body all the while, maneuvering his own clothes off at the same time.
Lost in a haze of sultry need, desperate and sticky and so bloody ready for feeling him come inside her, she reached for her lover, pulling on his hair with gentle insistence. "Adon, please! Now!"
Fully naked for the first time before her, her dragon leaned over the bed and urged her to scoot into the center, straddling her with his much bigger, well-defined body. He was shaking as much as she was with the need and nervous anticipation, and she hardly had time to note his face covered with her juices before he leaned down to capture her lips in a hungry kiss.
There were no words, as he parted her thighs wider with an insistent nudge of his knees, and grabbed her hips. His thick, dripping cock slid between her drenched lower lips and nudged her entrance. He nuzzled her throat, and bit down with pressure over her pulse, right as he slid into her tight, clenching vagina. Her flesh was pierced twice, and blood was freely given from both points as sharpened canines sank into her, indelibly marking her neck at the same time as her virginity tore and parted for him. She screamed with the pleasure-pain, and wrapped her arms about him, feeling the mating magic thunder between them, permanently binding their auras up together.
He immediately came inside her, unable to wait, his groan of pleasure muffled against her, his body shuddering and shooting its seed deep inside her in a flash bringing.
There were only a few more moments of respite for her to adjust to being breached, and for him to relax a bit from his first orgasm, before their combined eagerness to continue coupling vibrated along the tether that held their hearts captive to each other, and as one, they eventually began moving. He was still so hard, and she could feel through their connection that the fire within him had not been quenched, and that he needed to fill her again and again tonight before the mating would let them go.
That sounded like a perfect plan as far as she was concerned.
Lifting his mouth from her bloodied shoulder, sealing the wound with magic, Adon's lips found hers and feasted once more as he glided between her legs with powerful, complete strokes. With an equal ardor, her hips rose to meet each of his thrusts. They gasped loud and unrestrained against each other, their lips and hands everywhere, her heels pressing into his backside for deeper penetration.
"I love you," he asserted in between kisses, casting aside any possible doubt as to his feelings. "I love you with all my soul, Hermione."
Tears poured from her eyes, saturating her hair, wetting their cheeks as they pressed together. "I love you, too, my dragon." She gasped and thrust upwards as his pounding sped up, the strength of it increasing. "I love you with every part of me. You are my heart."
His corded arms held him up from crushing her as he began slamming into her with power. "Yes, princess, fuck me - love only me," he coaxed between gritted teeth, as all of his muscles tensed up along with hers as they crested the wave of boundless fulfillment. Sweat dripped off of their straining, reckless bodies, slicking their skins, and the bed loudly creaked, its cries mingling with hers as she shouted to the ceiling her mounting pleasure.
"That's it, Granger. Call for me," he coerced. "Give me everything."
"Yes, yes, yes, harder…" she begged, teetering on the edge, every muscle tight and ready to explode. "Ooh, Adon… my dragon! " she screamed, grabbing her lover's hips and digging her nails in, scoring his flesh, climaxing so hard that she swore her heart burst in her chest, and that her world turned upside down, and that Nirvana called her home.
Adon groaned through the velvet, warm rush of her release, and roughly pumped in and out of the seizing muscles of her cunt several more times before tumbling over the abyss with her and calling out to her to save him once more. "Hermione!" He came in wave after wave of hot, spurting ejaculate that filled her, drenched her core, and seeped out between them to bathe them both in a combination of their perfumed, wet sex.
They remained locked together, just like that – him arched high, pushed up taut on his palms, his pelvis sealed to hers, and her with her hands pressed to his solidly-defined chest, her legs locked around his waist, her back slightly arched to take him all in – and they stared at each other in silence, both trying to calm their breathing, regain control of their roaring blood, poignantly aware that they were now and always would be spiritually joined.
Hermione moved first, her spine relaxing, her hand moving up her beloved's body to feather his cheek. He leaned into the caress, rubbing against her palm.
"I truly love you," she whispered, the tears leaking from her eyes. "Will you stay with me? Now that I'm no longer pure, do you still want me?"
Lazy, multi-colored eyes shined in the dimness of the curtained room, the slowly sinking afternoon sun peaking through the slits to provide a modicum of light by which to see each other. "You're my mate, Hermione. I'll live and die with you."
She understood what he was giving up by accepting this bonding with her – Antipodean Opaleye dragons could easily live several hundred years, maybe quite a bit more, yet he was choosing a mortal life for her sake. Guilt merged with selfish gratefulness. "Why?" she whispered.
Gripping her hand and bringing it to his lips, he kissed her fingertips, and looked into her soul with those strange, compelling eyes of his. "Because you are my most cherished friend, who makes me laugh and comforts me, and because you are so beautiful to look at that I ache for you all the time, and because you fulfilled your promise to save me and now I can stop running in fear, and start living again with hope." Placing her hand over his strongly beating heart, he smiled. "With you, I will never be lonely. With you, my princess, I have found my dragon's greatest treasure: a future filled with peace and joy. You own my loyalty and my love forever. I am yours."
They exchanged softly spoken vows of devotion then, in between sweet kisses, and they made love again and again throughout the night, their cries echoing down the halls of the Manor House without concern as they reveled in their eternal binding. It was a beautiful mating, filled with promise for a long and wondrous future, and Hermione realized as she crested the wave of another beautiful bringing that her once-lonely heart had been saved, too - by her Opaleye dragon's love.
PLEASE REVIEW! I'd love to hear your thoughts on the twist this tale took there at the end.
The legal maximum weight of an eighteen-wheeler truck can be no more than forty-tons (80,000 lbs.).
Four stories tall = 40 feet (4 x 10 feet for every story on average).
'When you've eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.' – from Sherlock Holmes: The Sign Of The Four bySir Arthur Conan Doyle.
I threw in some covert hommages in this fic to the following movies: "Ghostbusters" and "Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring." See if you can find those references!
Adon = said "Ae-donn" (like 'Aiden,' only with an 'o' sound, instead of an 'e')