It's the ground that will kill him, he realises, as he slips through the air. There's something strangely magical about his fall, something that keeps him able to breath, stabilises his organs and prevents his bones from cracking under the pressure. It's probably one of the features of being a wizard, he muses, remembering all the times his body has held itself together against extreme odds. His own magic must be preventing his body from failing him, from being torn asunder by the winds he feels whipping past.
He doubts it can stand up to his approaching collision with earth though. Perhaps it can keep him in one piece under a building, sustaining pressure, but the sudden smash of force will likely be too quick for it to do much about it.
What a way for the boy who lived to die, he snickers, watching the world race towards him.
It's not like he could have done anything, could have prevented it in any way. His friends had died long before, slaughtered in the war by monsters and men who might as well have been monsters. He'd watched most of them die, seen Hermione's hair slowly losing its curls as the blood soaked it and weighed it down, watched as Ron had fought desperately and valiantly, some part of him screaming to follow Hermione even as the green spell silently took him. Neville had surprised them all, showing sudden unyielding strength as he lead the hunting death eaters away from the rest of them, sacrificed his own life to lead them into the forest and into the patch of murderous plants he'd cultivated there. Ginny was vicious with her spells, mixing dark and light together and ruthlessly tearing apart any death eaters who dared attack her until Voldemort himself had been forced to face her. He'd been so much stronger already though, so much more lethal in everything he did. There was no mocking laughter, no torture beforehand. He simply opened the ground at her feet and let the earth swallow her. Then walked straight on without even a moment's consideration. Draco had dug at the soil for hours, using magic at first and then clawing it away with his hands until his fingers bled and his nails were left in the ground. He'd simply curled up there in the hole, and drifted away.
No one who had touched Harry's life in a friendly way had survived Voldemort's casual culling. He'd not even gone out of his way to kill them, just waited for them all to come to him and then dispatched them simply and almost instantly.
He'd decided to be a little more flamboyant with Harry's death though. Decided to make a statement out of it, even. Harry could imagine all the metaphors people would use; "his long fall from grace" perhaps? He chuckled soundlessly in the rush of air and sighed softly.
Being dropped from the far reaches of the sky into the middle of London was a rather dramatic announcement of victory he supposed. There was a part of him that even found a dark amusement in it, remembering how much he loved to fly. He hadn't had much of a chance once the war had begun in earnest and people had started dying all around him. The first time he had gotten to fly in years and it would most definitely be the last as well.
He was glad it was a rather amazing flight. Although he used that term loosely, considering it was much more of a very long drop after all. He didn't exactly have much control over it.
It was wonderful to feel the wind against his skin again though. If he closed his eyes he could almost imagine he was diving, like some bird of prey, or even a dragon, wing wrapped close, coiling his strength together until the precise moment where he should snap his wings wide and slow his descent before the ground loomed too close. He sighed deeply, holding the idea in his mind, imagining every aspect of it; perhaps a long tail streaming banner-like behind him, spikes adoring his skull and spine, long talons ending in wicked points that glistened as they shot out towards his prey.
He was still imagining it when he hit the ground.
And kept on falling.
He'd felt it; the sharp impact of something solid that started on his skull and shivered up his body. Startled, he opened his eyes and blinked around him, not quite sure what to make of what he was seeing.
He was still falling, still slipping down towards the earth, but now the ground below him was coated with trees and he was again incredibly high above it all. There were mountains in the distance, clouds wrapped around its tip and a small scattering of houses clinging to its side in an odd trail, leading to a massive walled area, with great towers and buildings surrounding it but never entering within the walls.
It wasn't hard to see why when you could see the masses of dragons curled around each other in the grassy area between the walls. He gasped and flung his arms out in shock.
There was a brief moment before he realised his wings had swung out as well.
The air caught in them instantly, wrenching him out of the fall in a painful twist that sent him flailing in all directions. The great spines between them quivered with the strain and with an agonising crack one of them snapped under the pressure, causing the wing to flutter uselessly behind him as he free-falled towards the earth again. He didn't understand it, couldn't possibly wrap his mind around the fact that something was utterly and irrevocably different in that brief moment, but some instinct kept his other wing flapping desperately in the air, slowing him only slightly and sending him spinning round in massive circles through the sky. He barely registered the shape swiftly winging its way towards him as he screamed for help and heard a terrified roar instead of his own voice.
The black shape seemed to understand him, or perhaps it had already been on its way to aid him as it snapped its wings more furiously, lashing towards him and folding its wings slightly to stoop towards him. It started to attempt to match his fall, trying to swing into the circles he was weaving, but unable to twist its body in the way necessary to meet him. It took a split second for Harry to realise that the circles would prevent the other dragon from saving him, and only a second more to convince his wing to furl into his body, limp and tired from the desperate struggles.
He fell more swiftly now, but more in a direct line, easily matched by the black dragon above him that was somehow falling so much faster. It was larger than him, and somehow more aerodynamic in shape, with his wings lying so much flatter against his body as he determinedly raced towards Harry.
It was only a couple of seconds before he reached him, but the ground was racing swiftly towards them and Harry despaired at the other dragon being able to slow him in time. Even as it came down on top of him, curling his forelegs around Harry's shoulders, hind legs around his back quarters and wrapping his tail sinuously around Harry's one and bellowed in his ear to hold on and not panic, he didn't believe for a second they would both make it through.
Until the dragons wings snapped open.
They were so much stronger than Harry's, he could tell almost instantly. The spines and stretched webbing between them built for the pressures of gales and tornadoes in a way Harry's obviously weren't. The moment they unfurled Harry could feel the sudden slowing in descent, the way the dragon above him angled them for a more sloped descent that bought them much-needed seconds of time. Air was torn from his lungs as they whipped back in the air, jerked by the sudden pressure in a way that should have broken both their ribs, he thought. Even as they slowed dramatically, the great black dragon above keening and straining with the effort of halting both their descents, Harry knew they were still going to hit the ground, but at a speed that would only hurt them, not maim or kill them.
He clenched his eyes together as the ground approached at a still alarming speed, and braced himself for the impact, hoping that at least he could take the brunt of it away from the other dragon.
It still hurt that almost nothing he'd felt before when he smacked into the hard earth. The dragon above him had disengaged in the last second so as not to crush Harry below him, and instead hit the ground just ahead of him, tucking his wings in just in time to save them as he rolled with the force of his fall. Harry panted with the sharp pains sweeping over most of his body as he tried to push them back enough to check if the other dragon was okay.
The groan of another voice and the flap of shaky wings he heard was highly reassuring. It would have been terrible to be saved by this dragon and to have killed him in the process. He let out a long groan of his own, shocking himself with how deep and growling it was.
He was pretty sure he'd be shocked at the fact he was a dragon, when he managed to recover from the shock of the fall itself.
A rustle and slow crunching footsteps warned him that the other dragon was making its painful way towards him. It snorted once above him, then pushed its nose against his cheek, worry and anxiety filling its voice.
"Are you injured? Oh, do say you are not too badly injured! I shouldn't like to have you die just as soon as we have met!"
Harry wasn't quite sure what to make of it, as he slowly opened his eyes and looked up at the peering eyes above him. They glowed with fear, his chest still heaving with the sheer effort of what he'd just done even as he worried about Harry instead of himself.
"I," Harry choked, startled at the low tone of his own voice, and feeling his lungs protest at using air for anything but breathing at the moment. "I…"
"Pray, do not say a word! I should not have asked you to in the first place. Rest here for a moment, I will fetch aid for you!"
And with a few experimental flaps of his wings he launched slowly into the air, before carefully winging his way past the treetops and towards the direction Harry thought the town he had seen lay in.
It was with a great sigh and a deep feeling of relief that Harry finally passed out, still not quite aware that he was suddenly a dragon.
Well, wasn't exactly expecting to write this today! I was inspired by a couple of very good Harry Potter/Temeraire cross-over fics that are on this site by the author esama, and apparently in the midst of writing a "Harry falls to his death"-fic Temeraire decided to change things up a little... X3 I'm not even sure whether I'll continue this or just leave it as it is. I know it's written to have a continuation, but it was such an abrupt plotbunny that hit me out of nowhere that I'm not sure if it'll decide to stick around. We'll see! Apologies for lots of bad writing and poor grammar, but if anyone reads this I hope you enjoy it!