AN: Thank you guys for all the encouragement and kind words.
It came as a surprise when Laurent, Herme's captain stopped by Harry's clearing before they headed off to practice for the day.
"The admiralty has finished inspecting Harry's venom and has reviewed his instruction in his flame and arrived at a decision." Laurent started right in, "It seems that his flames are due to a mixing of the acid that he spits and he isn't truely a fire breather."
Dubois deflated and sighed "That's what I was starting to think"
Harry merely shrugged he'd already assumed as much after watching Mortiferus in a few of his practices. It didn't matter either way to him as far as he was concerned fire spitting was just as useful to him.
"It's no matter." Laurent told them, "Instead of sending your formation to the strait to hold off the British navy they're going to take your formation and with Lumiere at the head they'll head out for the straight by weeks end."
Harry nodded but Dubois looked like he'd taken a blow to the gut. Harry felt a bit bad for the young man who had been looking forward to them heading into battle soon.
"Instead you are being assigned to Mortiferus's formation. You'll start practice with them tomorrow and hopefully we'll have you guys ready to head out on patrols."
Dubois grew red in the face but nodded in a jerky manner, "Yes sir."
"Take the day to see how the Mortiferus's formation works."
Harry's captain saluted politely as the senior captain left them to there own devices.
"I suppose this suits you well." Dubois snapped at Harry
The young dragon stared at the man bewildered, "I suppose either way would suit."
Dubois shot him a withering look, "You may not welcome my presence in the evenings but that does not mean I do not come by to check on you. I have seen how friendly you are with the British dragon and more importantly I have seen how you watch Leroy."
Harry hissed his surprise and stared at his captain.
"I don't care what you do but you are my dragon." Dubois snarled, "You chose me and not that British speaking wanker."
Harry snarled and dropped his head so he could glare all the better at the young man.
"You are only my captain at my sufferance." The dark dragon hissed, "If I wished to take Leroy as my captain I would do so. As it is I have not and you are my captain."
Dubois drew back and stared at Harry his face red and breathing unsteady in fury, "I do not understand you. You are the sorriest excuse for a dragon."
Harry huffed and shrugged, "I'm aware I'm different with out your help, yet I do not see myself conforming to what a dragon 'should' be in the future. You would do well to settle in and accept the hand you've been delt or ask for reassignment."
Dubois shook his head, "They would never let me try for a proper dragon, they will blame me for your behavior."
"So we are in agreement then?" Harry raised a heavy brow in question, "You will remain my 'captain' and we shall do our job?"
Dubois nodded sharply unsettling some of his dark curls in the process.
Harry watched as the man whirled and left his clearing off to watch Mortiferus in action no doubt. The young dragon stayed back gathering his thoughts and trying to cool off. He'd not been that angry since coming to this world and it left his hide feeling tight. He felt stretched thin like he could barely contain himself.
Deciding the best thing was to fly off his aggression he took to the sky with a great leap. There was a good breeze so he was able to hoover a second when he first opened his wings. In doing so he glanced back down at his clearing and faltered in the air.
Down below right where he'd taken off from was what looked like a perfect ring of dead grass and moss.
Spilling air from under his wings he landed back in his clearing beside the strange dead grass. The grass was dried and brittle where it was dead and in the circle was the marks were he'd gripped the earth with his claws while he berated Dubois.
Harry stared in wonder at the grass and with a jolt he realized that the tight constricting feeling he was experiencing wasn't unfamiliar He'd experienced the sensation before in his old world... every time he'd done accidental magic.
Stunned he sat beside the grass for quiet a bit consumed in thought. It looked like he finally had proof that there was magic in this world too. Did this mean that there was a way back home? Did this mean that he could do magic in his new body? How was he going to ever hold a wand with his claws?
He was shaken from his deep thoughts by the arrival of Mortiferus sometime later.
"What ever did you do?" The older dragon chuckled as he landed, "You really shouldn't practice fire spitting here, there's too much that's flammable."
Harry stared at the Longwing a moment before he realized that Mortiferus had assumed the dead grass was due to some fire spitting experiment of Harry's.
Sheepish he ducked his head before responding, "I got a bit annoyed."
Mortiferus snorted, "I used to have the same problem when I was younger. You'll outgrow it."
Harry took notice now of Leroy disconnecting from Mortiferus's rigging and descending to the ground. The Longwing didn't stoop to make the job easier for the young man, but he never did. It was little things like this that was the older dragons way of showing his displeasure with his current lot in life.
"I suppose you were told about your new assignment then?" Leroy asked
Harry nodded and drug his eyes away from the young man to stare off into the woods surrounding his clearing. He was afraid if he looked too long at Weis he'd give away how he really felt about the man.
"I'm sorry," Leroy told him drawing Harry's eyes back to him, "I'm sure having your own formation and flaming boats on the strait would be preferable to being stuck with us as a back up."
Harry's prickly demeanor couldn't help thaw in the face of Leroy being so caring. Realizing that he'd fairly swooned under his would be captains attention he huffed and pointedly looked away.
"It matters not, I will do my duty." Harry grumbled
"All the same I apologize." Weis smiled, "I'm off to find a late lunch Mortiferus, I'll come back later and you can dictate a letter to Carolina that I'm sure Harry will be happy to deliver for you next he visits her."
Practice the next day was a sorry event. Harry's crew were all a bit grumbly to be joining a new formation instead of heading out to face the British. The young dragon was surprised how blood thirsty these men all seemed to be.
He'd seen war at the battle for Hogwarts and he knew it wasn't pretty but he suspected that many of the young men among his crew had not. They all looked to be younger then 18 years old and way to boyish in their enthusiasm for battle.
Harry didn't have even half the crew of Mortiferus. The much larger dragon had a crew of 20 men plus his 'captain' Leroy. Harry only had 11 men in his own crew but then again he only weighed in at 15 tons.
Dubois was starting to loose hope that Harry would grow much more and Harry was glad the man wasn't asking him daily if he'd eaten. The young wizard turned dragon wasn't sure himself how much bigger he'd get. He figured he had some filling out to do but as far as he could tell he'd attained the height and length he'd remain.
Joining Mortiferus's formation was interesting at first but quickly grew boring. Formation maneuvers were wearisome Where before as the leader of his old formation they had been fairly interesting. Responding to another's orders though weren't half as fun and Harry felt he was being held back.
Mortiferus was the head of the formation with Harry and Maia on either side. The two middleweight dragons hovered just above and to the sides to protect him from enemy attacks. Behind them where three smaller Pascals Blue anchored on the ends by two heavyweight dragons a Defendeur-Brave and Chanson-de-Guerre.
Harry and Maia were the youngest in the formation. They were probably only put in the valuable formation because Harry could speak English and Maia was the only dragon he'd worked with outside his own formation.
The Defendeur-Brave named Domitius was a veteran of many battles and had the scars to prove it. He was dark green with gold markings on his wings. His most prominent feature in Harry's eyes was his hooked tail. The younger dragon shuddered at the idea what the battle scared dragon did with it to other dragons. Despite that he was relatively young at only 10 years old. His captain was young too in Harry's opinion but nice enough to Harry despite Dubois' stiff regard.
Jovita was the Chanson-de-Guerre. She was older at 27 years of age but hadn't seen as many battles as Domitius. She was a very common breed and more often used as scout or on boarder patrol. Her light hide was marbled orange, yellow, and brown on ivory and didn't have much in the way of horns or spines that most dragons supported.
The three Pascals Blues were hard for Harry to keep set apart in mind. They had been together in several formations before and were all close in age.
Plinius was the eldest by a year then Tacita was 7 years old and at 5 years old Aurelia was the youngest.
Plinius was a timid male prone to being harried but the two female Pascals Blues who were like noisy hens always chattering. Maia got along great with the two female lightweights.
Jovita held herself aloof from the chatter that was the younger females, preferring the company of her pleasant captain.
Harry had thought being around other dragons and working hard to learn formation maneuvers would draw his attention away from Wies. He was wrong. Watching the other dragons with their own captains only made him envious.
The task wouldn't have been so damn hard if Wies wasn't just so nice. The man always tried to include Harry in conversation when he spent the evening with Mortiferus in their clearing. Harry merely remained quiet observing and trying to keep from glaring too much.
He wasn't wholly successful, Mortiferus informed him later. The Longwing told him that Wies was baffled that Harry disliked him so much. Harry merely huffed and ignored the whole conversation.
The situation was slowly getting worse and mostly driven that way by Dubois who was jealous of Harry's attention. His captain was possessive and would have had Harry move to a different clearing if there was only another English speaking dragon was available to watch Mortiferus.
They'd only just begun to improve as a formation when Mortiferus developed a cold. The older dragon had been fighting a cough and finally succumbed to it. Most of the captains groaned that now surely all the youngest would get it too. Seemed every young dragon got a minor cold at some time or another.
Sure enough as Mortiferus's cough grew flemmy in sound Maia came down with the cough as well followed by surprisingly Domitius. Harry who still slept tucked under the Longwing's giant wing and was surprised he too hadn't come down with the flu.
In the middle of practice they were interrupted one day by the arrival of a small company of large dragons. Harry hovered in the air staring at the dragons as they landed in the covert.
He'd never seen such large dragons before. Sure he'd heard of the Grand Chevalier that was France's largest dragon but he'd yet to have seen one and now he was faced with two. Between the two large dragons was a slightly smaller but no less imposing dragon. The dragon was not one he'd seen or heard of before. Her hide was white as fresh fallen snow with ruby red markings. Harry was enthralled with her. He hoped he got a chance to meet her before what ever duty brought her here was complete.
Hermes called an end to practice shortly after the arrival of the larger dragons. Everyone was dismissed except Mortiferus. The British dragon was bid to follow Hermes away leaving Harry unsure to what he'd do with out the older male to guide around the covert.
The fire spitter stood patiently as his crew disembarked and chattered happily amongst themselves He watched them curiously and couldn't help comparing them to the other crews of the formation. Where his crew mostly ignored him and never really included him in conversation he noticed it was not the same for the others.
Jovita seemed to only converse with her captain but most of her crew gave her affectionate pats and kind parting words. Domitius seemed to really like his crew as a whole and chatted with many of them often as well as his captain. Maia of course loved all her crew and was very nosey about knowing everything about each person.
The Pascals seemed more interested in each other then in their crews. Only their captains had their love and attention. Despite that their crews were very attentive of them. Often asking if they needed anything or if the harness was comfortable.
Harry frowned at his own retreating crew. They never asked if he was okay or comfortable. In fact as a whole they'd probably addressed him only a hand full of times. Dubois for that matter didn't seem to demand much of them in the way of Harry's care.
The more he thought it over the more he realized they were only emulating his captain who in his frustration with Harry was being very distant.
Annoyed Harry huffed and made to take off for his own clearing.
"Oh Harry you really should join us!" Maia pranced over excitedly, neatly stepping over and around various leaving crew members. The humans laughed at her childish excitement or exclaimed for her to be more cautious.
Harry raised a amused eyebrow at the young female, "Join you in what?"
"Oh you weren't listening?" She frowned at him, "No matter. We are heading over to the lake for a quick bath. It's lovely out this spring and we really should take advantage."
Harry grimaced and was about to decline. What if Mortiferus returned to their clearing and he was still gone.
"Come on you are in dreadful need of a bath and we're hoping the water will help soothe Domitius's cold." Maia pleaded
Harry drew up and glared at her then looked back at his hide. She was right. His harness was dull and dirty. Where the others had efficient harness men who kept there equipment looking pristine his own crew did not.
"Actually you seem to be right." Harry sighed gustily, "I think I will join you at the lake."
Maia whooped her excitement and bounded over to Domitius who was talking to his captain who was the last of the humans to leave them.
The three Pascals took off in a flurry of blue and grey all of them quick and light in their movements. Harry smirked and leapt aloft as well.
His own flying skills far out stripped the three light weights not something a littler dragon was used to a mid weight doing. He was, as far as he'd heard, the finest flier in his weight class. Something he was pretty proud of.
The Pascals squeaked in indignation as Harry swept by them with ease. Looking back he watched as Maia tried in vain to catch even the Pascals. The two heavy weights were only just getting a loft. Domitius lumbered into the air with very little to no grace but Jovita sprang into the air with relative ease.
It might be that the younger heavy weight was under the weather but he didn't seem to have as much power in his hind quarters with which to spring aloft. Jovita though used all of her considerable back leg muscles to propel herself aloft. She was very efficient flier and Harry took time to admire how well the quiet old female flew.
He attention on the older female slowed him allowing the Pascals and Maia to catch up to him in a burst of happy chatter. The mix breed dragon didn't even try to keep up with their excited French as they drew level with him and started to flit about each other easily trading places and seemingly dancing around each other in the air.
Maia for her part stayed close to him not flitting about like the three Pascals.
As Harry watched them with curiosity he noticed that Plinius the eldest and only male of the Pascals seemed to prefer to be highest in flight to the girls and Aurelia seemed to be the shyest abut her maneuvering Where Tacita was obviously flirting with the older male.
Snorting in amusement Harry folded his wings and let the air spill out from under him with alarming suddenness The Pascals scattered with startled squawks but chased after him gamely. Maia hollered at him but he ignored her in favor of leading the Pascals on a merry chase.
Despite their head start the heavy weights beat them to the lake. The larger dragons were mature and hadn't joined them in their mid-air frolicking, but instead only climbing to a hight to make the short flight to the water.
Harry flared his wings as his blazed passed the two larger dragons bringing himself level as he skimmed the surface of the lake. Cupping his wings around the warm air rising off of the water he skimmed the surface with the speed from his dive. Gently he banked and came back around to wear the two heavy weights were settling into the water.
The two female Pascals dove into the water with excited gusto followed by a slower Maia. Plinius hovered over the water a moment to pick a spot well away from the two splashing heavy weight
The wizard turned dragon settled into the water with ease letting the water check his forward motion bringing him to a stop close to Maia. The dark colored dragon was soaking in the warm water much in the same manner as a crocodile would.
Harry ducked his head under the water splashing it over his back and using his wings to pull even more up over his back while remaining a float.
He was the youngest dragon there and generally antisocial having spent most of his time with Mortiferus then in the company of other French dragons. Where Maia had just turned a year was a social butterfly. He hadn't yet turned a year and wouldn't for another two months.
He listened with half an ear to the conversations around him while grooming himself. He worked at getting the grime from his harness and hide. He wouldn't have others saying he was a shabby dragon after all.
Maia was talking with the female Pascals about the pretty white dragon that had flown in. Apparently she was a rather rare breed and singular in her color. They'd never met the white dragon but there had been a lot of rumors about her ferried in by the courier dragons.
Plinius had climbed up to settle on Jovita's spine as she basked lazily in the shallows next to Domitus. Well shallow water for them but Harry couldn't even come close to touching bottom yet.
Plinius was telling the older female about his captains new pocket watch and how shiny the gold trinket was. She seemed to appreciate and even envy the gold his captain had. She commented that her own captain only had a silver pocket watch. It seemed they hadn't earned as much capital in patrolling the French boarders.
"Does your captain have a pocket watch, Harry?" Plinius asked trying politely to draw Harry into conversation seeing as the youngest dragon was floating in the water so close to them.
Harry hesitated. He didn't know if Dubois even had a pocket watch much less what kind it would be. He didn't seem to have the same love for shiny objects that the others had. That and he didn't ask much of his 'captain'.
"I don't know." Harry frowned a little, "I've never seen him use one."
"Your captain isn't very attentive." Domitius grumbled, "Your harness in the shape it is, is a disgrace to his care of you."
Harry blinked at the large dragon who was lazily peering at the young dragons harness in disdain.
"Oh it's not Dubois's fault." Maia chimed in, "Harry is so unfriendly he has fair destroyed his captains care of him."
Harry frowned at the female and snarled, "He only orders me about."
"Well what else he supposed to do when you spend all your time mooning about Mortiferus and Leroy." Maia exclaimed, "He told my captain that you only ever want to talk English with them."
Harry snarled angrily now, "Well that is nice. Talking about me when I am not even around."
Maia laughed, "Oh Harry dear, everyone talks. You just happen to be an interesting topic."
"Maia that is rather unkind." Jovita frowned at the smaller dragon, "It's no matter Harry, not everyone has a close relationship with their captain. At least you can take care of yourself. I've seen dragons with captains like yours who just let themselves waste away waiting on their captain's attention."
"But Eloi would love to spend time with Harry if only Harry would allow his presence." Maia exclaimed
"Hush." Domitius snapped, "No other has any right to judge anothers relationship with their captain. I merely mean that Harry's harness needs better care otherwise it could fail in battle and he'd have to drop out of the formation."
Harry glared angrily at Maia from where he paddled in the the water. The tight feeling was back and he realized with a snap his magic was bubbling just under the surface ready to spill out of him with the littlest urging.
Realizing he was a danger to the other dragons he powered his wings heaving his body up out of the water. He felt the magic slipping out aiding him in attaining lift. Curious about the effect but more afraid of hurting the other dragons he concentrated on flying away from them.
He made in out by the floating platforms he'd been using for target practice when he'd been learning with Lumiere and Accendare. Once there he unleashed his magic on the floating barges. Opening his mouth he released a spray of acid turned flame on the targets. He flared and beat his wings sending the greedy flames even more oxygen. Where in the past he'd been seared on his delicate wings trying this, now his magic shielded his wings from the inferno.
The fire danced greedily over first one barge and then quickly spread to consume the second and third. The fire was burning hotter and faster then any Harry had produced before but this flame was aided by the fury of his magic.
He had to stop to draw breath and when he did he swept over the flames on to the next cluster of barges that had been too far for his flames to reach. He didn't even get the chance to attack these ones though. The flames from the previous cluster had clung to him and the air he current he'd created when he swept by. They leapt hungrily on one of the barges and started to consume this cluster as well.
Harry jerked to a hover over this cluster and stared. Fire wasn't supposed to behave like this. Least of fire created by his acid which till now had behaved much like a grease fire would. This fire reminded him of fiendfyre.
He watched in shock and horror as the living flames consumed all the barges that were set a float for Harry's practices. Once out of fuel the flames danced on the surface slowly going out as the last bit sunk below the surface.
"That was very impressive."
Harry lost some of his altitude as he whirled in surprise to stare at the dragon who had snuck up on him while he was watching his flames.
The magnificent white dragon which had arrived earlier during the day was now hovering in the air staring down at Harry.
AN: I know the ending is abrupt but this file was huge and this was the best place I could find to cut it up. There's enough still on the data disk for another chapter. And guess what!? I even started writing more of it lol. Helps that I found my story plan for it.
While editing this I was a little annoyed with the first two chapters I posted. I might have to go back and fix somethings and flesh out bits. There are some bits that confuse even me!
Anyways hope you all enjoy. Let me know what you think!