This is just something that cropped up in my head one night. Think of the reasons behind the story yourself, but this is mostly between Gretel and Snape.
For those who don't know the Fire series well:
Gretel is a little dragon about the size of an apple and an orange stacked
Her 'potions' are commonly in the form of altered flowers that require the user to inhale their scent to take effect
Other names mentioned here that begin with G are dragons like Gretel (except Guinevere and Gwilanna) and the dragons possess unique abilities (I'll explained briefly)
Dragons speak in dragontongue, described as 'hurring/hrr/'
Only 'special auma' people can see these dragons, otherwise they just look like little clay statues
Guinevere is a recurring motif in the Fire series-she is the ancestor of red haired, green eyed 'dragon princesses' who can interact with dragons like Gretel and possess other special powers (Lucy Pennykettle is one of them)
Gwilanna is a recurring antagonist (that's all you need to know)
Zanna is a protagonist, a sibyl who can see dragons and David's girlfriend
David/The David is the main character protagonist of the series and dead at the moment (sorry if that spoiled anything)
'Auma' is an exclusive word to the Fire series to describe people's "soul energy" or something. Dragons, small and big, know a lot about reading and controlling auma. Also, if a dragon cries too hard, it could cry out its firetear- all its auma- and die instantly. (Yeah, it's messed up)
Premise: Lucy Pennykettle is somehow in Hogwarts, and she's brought a whole load of mini dragons with her. Gretel, a very moody and independent potions dragon is sent to the dungeons to steal healing ingredients and has an interesting encounter with another Potions Master.
Sorry for all that confusion, but I hope you enjoy this at least :)
Gretel hid herself in a shelf of containers, full of supposed potion ingredients. Surely a master in her own ability, the only potions dragon in existence, would know what some of these weird objects staring and shrivelling at her in their jars were. No, she didn't know a jar of dead lizards was a potions ingredient. She gagged at a lump of dried organic something in a glass case and stayed still. The human, Professor Snape (or the Greasy Git slash Bat to Lucy and her friends), was prowling. Hopefully he was unaware of her presence for now, but she needed to pray that he'd leave or turn his back so she could leave safely and quickly.
Stupid Lucy Pennykettle! she cursed in her head, watching a blurry, dark shape through the glassware. If only Gollygosh had come along, they need a healing dragon right now! Thoughtless, lame-brained, lead-headed… The list of curses went on easily. If only that Harry Potter hadn't insisted on going into the forest and had everyone sustain injuries (not seriously). They couldn't go into the Hospital Wing or their little 'excursion' would've been ratted out.
Gretel began to list what she needed in her head: a soother, first of all. A mild pain reliever. Tissue menders. A cleanser or two, just in case. She cursed the Gryffindor children once more for their carelessness.
How on Earth was she to know what to take? Nothing in her quiver of ingredients matched the requirements, and she was unable to find her normal components anywhere on the school grounds.
Gretel's nostrils twitched. Despite her discomfort, she could scent the paraphernalia about her (ugh, sniffing a dead lizard). She wasn't called a potions expert for nothing: a quick whiff of anything and she could determine its strength and utility in a variety of concoctions. Of course, trial and error for new additions was still required but Gretel could count the number of times she'd botched a potion on one paw.
With a small wince, she leant over an open beaker full of little round things in green liquid. She took a quick breath in through her nostrils and drew back. Yuk. At least they weren't what she needed.
She moved to a different jar and carefully removed the lid and sniffed.
Gretel took another whiff of the stuff, dried leaves of some plant (definitely in her field now). It wasn't awful, and smelt a bit like a tissue replenisher. Shrugging her shoulders, Gretel dipped a paw in and shoved it into her ingredient bag.
Trying a few more, she found complimenting material for the healing potion and a couple of things that'd make a great relaxing smell when burnt.
As she worked, removing a long strip of knobbly bark that'd be a painkiller, Gretel forgot that she'd left a cork off a certain vial. As she stepped back to continue her search for items, she stumbled quite accidentally on this cork and squeaked in shock. The said cork rolled silently off the shelf and freefell five feet onto the stone floor of the potions classroom, landing with a pok.
All of a sudden, the jars and things surrounding Gretel parted themselves and an invisible hand dragged her out of hiding. She flew through the air, with her hand in her pouch and a stupid expression of shock on her face. With a thump, she was unceremoniously dropped on her backside on the desk in the room.
"Well well, Pennykettle's sent her little minion to steal from my potions stores?" Snape tutted, wand pointed at the little dragon on his desk. "Just because the other dunderheads can't see you move, it doesn't mean I can't."
Gretel growled, shooting him a sharp violet glare. She was tempted to set him on fire, but found herself unable to move even a claw. Probably a spell, coming from that 'magic stick' he's holding, the little dragon said to herself.
Snape was far from bothered by the feisty dragon's glare and even smirked a little back at her. "You've a Gryffindor temperament too, rather ironically," he mused in his smooth-voiced way. "What did you take?"
Gretel growled from the back of her throat, steam rising from her nostrils and eye ridges knitting together. If you're mistaking me for that idiotic computer dragon Gwendolen, I'll bite your big nose off! she hurred, not really caring that he couldn't understand her. It was pretty clear to anyone she was having a dragontongue hissy-fit. Gwendolen's a mite compared to me, and don't you forget it!
Then Snape raised one eyebrow, a quirk of his when he was amused and/or surprised. He looked at the items that were poking out or had spilled from Gretel's quiver. "Healing ingredients- Those insufferable brats!" Suddenly, his dark eyes were livid. "Why can't a Gryffindor just behave for once, those fools! If your Lucy Pennykettle hadn't befriended that Potter and his little friends she'd be saving herself from a lot of trouble and hurt! Damn them! Putting themselves in danger all the time!" The little dragon before him could smell the anger rolling off him in waves.
In Snape's temporary distraction, Gretel found herself able to move again, as she felt her tail curl beneath her. She had the chance; she could make a dash for it and fly out the door with the loot. But would the Potions Master dare follow and catch her again? Probably, because she was stealing his property. Even for a dragon as saucy as she, Gretel still felt it was a bit wrong.
Instead, she shoved her paw into her satchel and began to make her most notorious potion flower; a tranquiliser (with a touch of memory suppression). She knew it by heart and needed not even glance in the few seconds it took her.
However, Snape was as sharp as ever and spotted Gretel had broken free of his binding charm when she drew the flower out. He pointed his wand threateningly at her as she whipped her 'weapon' out.
"A flower? How quaint," Snape smirked dryly, as Gretel lowered her head and growled at him.
If she could somehow get the flower under his nose then the potion could assimilate... Gretel bent her ears forward and her eyes flashed ultra-violet; she meant war. They stood, staring each other down and daring the other to move first and face the consequences.
Gretel hurred. Move a muscle and I assure you you'll never even remember this week!
Snape obviously couldn't understand the savage dragontongue being directed at him, but he had a pretty good idea it wasn't friendly. "I'd be careful, little friend. I might decide to smash you into pieces."
If I were you I'd be careful, Gretel bit back in hurrs. Maybe I might sic a near-permanent paralysis flower on you for good measure! She bore her teeth and her talons came full out into claws as she gripped her flower tight.
They stood there, almost in a duelling manner, but neither moved. It seemed to be a battle of their equally strong wills and stubbornness alone. The dwellers of Hogwarts and the Pennykettle House of Wayward Crescent alike would both have agreed that they never thought their respective resident potion experts would be so alike in the way they glared upon one another.
It was Gretel who finally lost her patience. She, in one fast motion, snapped back her paw holding the flower and flicked her wings open. She planned to simply deliver a sharp uppercut with her drugged flower and be done with it.
Snape, with his superior reflexes from mastering the art of duelling, moved his free left hand, probably to grab her on the spot. Gretel lashed out at his hand with her free paw, claws out to do harm if he dared to touch her.
They made contact, bare paw-pad to open palm, and Time stood still.
Gretel felt it with every scale of her tiny body- to Snape it wouldn't have been more than a little chill down his spine lasting less than a second. But Gretel knew. Their auma had jumped through their contact and touched. I think this is what G'reth meant by 'commingling', Gretel thought suddenly. The wish-granting dragon was right; it was a sensation that made everything of your person shift.
Commingling was a fancy word for 'mix'; Gretel knew that for a brief moment, their auma- their life forces- had mixed, contemplated the other, and separated. It was a strange feeling indeed.
Furthermore, it was only the potions dragon who understood the way their lives had crossed, literally.
It was funny that their first and most obvious likenesses were in their professions in potions and strange new concoctions. Gretel and this dark clothed wizard were alike in many other ways, like their feisty attitudes and bad tempers.
But there was darkness on his auma- not just spots of shade from periods of sadness or grief- a shadow across his heart. She picked out in herself the points where their auma streams had found parallel: Once, they both had served bad. Once, they had both realised they could do better and found their places now, in the light. They also both shared the trait of ugly tempers and coming across with hot-headed attitudes at times, Gretel noted quietly.
They were alike in the fact they were different; different from the rest. No matter that Gretel stood on the side of her fellow Pennykettles now, no matter if Severus Snape now served whatever 'good side' there was in his world, their loyalties were questioned and they were different.
Their difference was slight. An absence of Love had made the two: For Gretel, Love wasn't something she was too used to. At the time when she served Gwilanna, the old sibyl obviously thought her no more than a twee pet and sometimes assistant. Her current mistress, Zanna, hadn't really warmed up to her quite yet. The best she got of an affectionate gesture was the David quickly kissing her on the head for saving his life. To Gretel, Love was something sweet that seemed to be given like one would reward a dog a treat for doing something right. Gretel never thought much about rewards for her work and certainly didn't like being compared to a domestic thing that ran on this 'Love'.
Snape, on the other hand, only knew Love as something bitter. His auma had noticeably shied from hers a bit- shivering from her memories of Zanna stroking her spiny back kindly, the David kissing her on the head like that. He didn't register Love as a sweetness. Love was dark; it was the great shadow on his heart.
At this time, her analysis had taken barely two seconds since contact. In the meantime they were still touching a staring at one another, violet to black eyes. The dragon drew her stout forepaw away and hurred, flushing deep green in the scales about her cheeks.
It felt like she knew him, this pale skinned, dark-everything-else human. Unlike any human she'd even seen, Gretel found herself sad for him- sad for his sadness and the fact he hid it in a façade of cold sneers and indifference towards others. She'd never known that any being, let alone a human could be like that.
Snape was still staring with his wand pointed at the little dragon on his desk. It gazed at him with wide eyes that swirled mysteriously from violet to blue. Why was she suddenly looking at him like that, the ferocity gone from her eyes? By now (from the unprecedented exchange he wasn't conscious of) Snape just knew this wasn't Lucy Pennykettle's familiar looking at him. A far feistier animal that was now regarding him… sadly?
Gretel moved: She dropped her altered flower on the desk in a sign of surrender and hurred a low, incomprehensible-to-Snape apology.
She tipped her quiver of herbal ingredients for potions, next. Out tumbled her stolen loot, which she began to lay out carefully on the desk without fear of Snape's wand still aimed at her. She was vulnerable to attack, but what did she care? When she was done, she nudged the returned pile with her foot as if to say 'Take it. It's yours.'
Snape looked in silent confusion at her gesture, and his wand hand relaxed. He didn't let his guard down, but he relaxed as he used his free hand to gingerly inspect what Gretel had discarded. (He'd forgotten about his outstretched hand before and felt a little stupid to have stood there with his hand stretched open at nothing whilst Gretel pulled away)
Gretel, picking up her nearly empty satchel again, watched him once more with her swirling violet eyes. Her ears and wings drooped a little at the sight of the man, and she made one last move. She crept up to Snape's hand on the desk, the same one she'd touched, and put her paw on it once more with a soft hurr.
For all her saucy nature, those who knew Gretel would never have dreamed of seeing her make contact with another being other than her master. But Gretel crossed the line twice this time. She gently overturned Snape's hand and taking his fingers, exposed his palm to rub the potions-weathered skin on the side of her warm, scaly cheek.
The nuzzle had definitely taken the Potions Master off-guard. He pulled back and looked at his hand like it was a totally new creature of some kind. What was that about, he asked himself mentally?
When he looked up again, the classroom was empty and the door he'd left so carelessly ajar earlier creaked. Gretel's scaly tail was last seen slipping through the thin gap as she hurriedly vacated the dungeons.
As unlikely as it seemed, Gretel was back in the dungeons the next night.
This time she had her own agenda.
To Gretel, humans were strange things. They ran on Love and Trust of others and these made their lives, not the other way round. They were a young and curious race; too foolish as well. They could place their Love and Trust in the wrong places and it made all the worse. It was humans who were the down fall of dragons, Gretel added mentally with a shiver.
Severus Snape was only human. He was a dour man whose life was as dark as his eyes and hair, and he was prone to short temper and judgements. He wasn't a man that people usually liked if they glanced him on the surface.
But Gretel knew. That last, affectionate nuzzle she'd given him was in fact another glimpse into his auma; by catching him unawares a second time. She knew.
He was lonely and very confused before, never knowing where his Love and Trust was to go. He felt pain as opposed to joy, disregard as opposed to support. Life was a hurricane he simply got swept into, thrown about and battered until he was dropped in a place he knew not of, dizzy and hurt.
Snape had had one saving grace, though. His mind was as hidden as his past, but Gretel had no problem drawing an image from another source- his heart. Snape cherished it; he dared not hide it, in the case he lost it in the dark corners of his mind. Gretel had sat a long time on Lucy's windowsill the night before this (the night of the encounter), simply thinking of the image she'd drawn out from him.
A red haired, green eyed maiden now no more.
Severus Snape had given his Love and Trust to a daughter of the dragons. And like the story of Lucy's mother Elizabeth Pennykettle and her human lover Arthur Merrimen, a heart was broken.
Gretel had blown an absent-minded smoke ring through her nostrils, momentarily making Lucy and her dragon Gwendolen splutter in their sleep. It seemed like a curse to her; that love between humans and the children of Guinevere and the last dragon Gawain could never be.
Then again, Liz and Arthur had come to some kind of 'happy ending'- Arthur was now back with Liz after eleven years of separation; though he was now blinded. Gretel, on the windowsill, had contemplated and a strange idea came to her head, involving the wish-granting dragon G'reth and Severus Snape… She'd promptly dismissed it as herself going mad and soft without sleep.
Now, she sat on the bedside table in a bedroom deep in the dungeons of Hogwarts. Gretel waggled her tail, holding her intended gift for the occupant of the chambers. He wasn't present at the moment and it was easy to get in and out undetected. She set her present down and flew up onto the canopy over the four poster bed to wait and watch.
He came in not long after, ready to sleep- if he could at all anyway. Snape rubbed his stinging eyes and throbbing head before easing himself into bed. He'd had a hard day. It was then he noticed something new sitting quite innocently on his bedside table.
A single, pure white lily flower.
Gretel watched from the awning, completely still as she saw Snape slowly reach for the flower and stare at it. Normally, a sign of something out of place would've sent the Potions Master flying to search for the intruder.
But a lily…
With fanned ears and baited breath, Gretel watched the man half-twirl the flower in his hand without a clear expression. Eventually, he gingerly brought it nearer his face.
Gretel had semi-sworn that she'd not drug Snape, after their encounter and her new understanding of him. She wasn't exactly drugging him, even though the potion in the flower's sweet fumes did induce slumber. As well as that, she'd laced the lily with something special that had taken her all day to prepare: a sweet-dreams potion.
She flitted down on silent wings, carefully taking the flower from his fingers to place it back on the bedside table. The potions dragon hovered over his head a moment, waving a paw as if to check he was sound asleep.
Content with her work, Gretel flew from the room singing sweetest, softest dragon lullaby she knew, wishing him goodnight.
That night, Severus dreamt of his lost love and friend, Lily Evans.
Grief. Another human thing that Gretel was unable to put a claw on an exact definition of. Gretel's idea of grief was originally something like this: The David was now dead, and she was one of the last dragons to see him alive. The last thing he'd done to her was quickly kiss her on the head, in thanks for her helping him. Sometimes, Gretel rubbed the top of her head where he'd kissed her, wishing just for a moment that if he were alive, he'd do it again.
Now, she knew so much more.
The grave was beautiful and serene, a plain white slab amongst many, yet not just a plain white slab. On it was his name and a small inscription engraved on the face: Severus Tobias Snape, Died in the Second Wizarding War. His valiant efforts will never be forgotten. Gretel winced at the dates underneath that. He was only thirty something when he died just yesterday.
Harry had made sure he'd had a funeral attended by many. The little dragon chortled to herself. The Boy Who Lived Again had spread the story of Severus Snape and his life spent acting as a spy for the good of the wizarding world. Gretel didn't understand much of it, but she understood one thing- Severus Snape died a hero.
If humans had firetears, Gretel thought with a hint of amusement, then everyone who's heard Severus Snape's story would be dead by now.
Shaking off those silly thoughts and straightening up, Gretel pottered over the patch of worn earth where many had stood or knelt to pay their respects the man's grave. She knew the practice of grieving for a dead person- her mistress Zanna had done it often on the day of the David's death which was ironically Valentine's Day. The David hadn't a grave, so Zanna substituted a posy of hand-picked flowers and the tree in the Scrubbley Library Gardens that the squirrels he loved inhabited.
Flowers had been left, but not very many. Gretel was ready to fix that.
Tipping open her quiver, she produced a bouquet of lilies that she'd modified to glow in an array of soft, pastel colours. They were soft pink at the moment, and fade white when she set them down in an appropriately placed empty vase.
There. It looked so much better already.
She sat there for a while, violet eyes casting faint lights on the smooth stone. The lilies turned a lilac hue, almost in response to the probes that hovered over them.
Gretel wasn't sure when it was that another shadow came up beside hers and cast a dark patch over the gravestone.
"You look sad," Harry Potter said softly, standing just a foot away from the miniature dragon. It was all he could say to her slouched posture and bent ears.
Gretel hurred moodily as he crouched to run his fingers down her spiny back. She wasn't angry at Harry, but she felt he could've turned up at a more appropriate time than now.
"Lucy's worried you'll shed your firetear over him," Harry continued gently. "Even with your mistress back in Scrubbley."
Gretel wriggled her snout, only glancing back at him for a second.
Harry sat, knees bent up so that Gretel nearly rested between his feet. He leant to tickle her behind the ears. "I'll miss him, even if I didn't know him too well either. I wish I could've. You two are pretty alike, Lucy says." She scratched the back of his neck. "She put that in a letter home once. It was quite funny at the time."
The potions dragon snorted softly and poked his hand with her isoscele (the 'arrowhead' spike on the end of her tail), deciding she'd had enough of his stroking and tickling. She wasn't a house pet. But she blew a smoke ring and hurred, nodding her head. Yes, we were alike.
Harry then noticed the new addition to the grave, and he smiled, eyebrows raising a little. "They're beautiful, Gretel. I'm sure he'd love them."
The flowers changed into a soft sky blue, their delicate petals shivering. Harry nodded, still smiling at them. "That was her name. Lily. Lily Evans. He loved her."
Gretel's ears twitched. Hrr? she asked. Do you know?
The Boy Who Lived inclined his head and sighed a little. "Lucy told me everything about the legends. Guinevere, Gwendolen, Gwilanna and Gawain. Lily was one of Guinivere's descendents, and a little of Gwendolen since she was a witch. Her line was diluted, though, because they never practiced quickening of kindling. She was much more human than dragon princess. But she had the hair and the eyes that her ancestors had." He pointed to his own emerald irises, which were vibrant and shining with held back tears. "See. She was my mother. Lily Evans Potter."
The dragon by his feet hurred in surprise, ears rising a fraction. She gave a small nod of her head.
"I have a trace of Gawain and Guinevere in me," Harry remarked idly. "I'm male and I have dark hair, but I picked up dragontongue quickly and I can see you move. Severus could see you too, though."
Gretel lowered her head and hurred a low response. He was touched by the power of dragons; it was in the love your mother gave him. It was a gift he knew nothing of.
It took Harry sometime to interpret her dialect of throaty hurrs and growls, but when he understood, he nodded back. "We were alike, Severus and I. We were just too stubborn to admit it." He suddenly snivelled, shifting his position and rubbing a hand under his eyes and nose. "I wish he could've lived, just a little bit longer so I could say sorry and thank him. So many people have died in this war, but he's by far the most important one I know. He gave up a happy and safe life to help us all. The Order, Dumbledore, Mum. And ultimately, me."
Gretel turned back to him, with her swirling blue-violet stare in her eyes. Reaching out a stout paw, she gently patted his knee and hurred reassuringly.
Whatever he did, wherever he is now, the dragon hurred softly, I hope he's in peace and always will be.
Harry sniffed and a tear graced his cheek. "Yeah. So do I."