A/N: Only certain types of dragons can breathe fire, and none of the dragons in my story have that ability. The idea of dragons of the blood and some their traditions mentioned in this story were created by Alan F. Troop's book The Dragon DelaSangre. The Malfoys were neutral in the war in this story. The main characters are 18 years old.
This story is completely written out. It is nine chapters long. I will warn you, I am not very good at writing cliff hangers, so none of my chapters will leave you on the edge of your seat. I wrote each chapter like an episode; I tried to give them a beginning, middle, and end. If any part of it feels incomplete, that's due to my poor writing style. If there are any major mistakes, let me know.
Edit: Thanks, Littleluck, I have made the appropriate changes. Hopefully, it makes more sense now.
Edit 2: The dragons look like the average western dragon. The best picture is the first image that comes up when you search "western dragon" in Google Images. Front and hind paws are exactly like in the picture.
Harry sat on his bed in Grimmauld Place, reading the book he'd just purchased. He was determined not to waste a single day left of his summer, as there was only one month left.
Harry took a deep breath. The Marauders had been able to do it; Harry could do it too. He could become an Animagus.
The book had stressed in the first chapter that the key to any magic is learning where it comes from and having a true desire for it to do what you tell it to do. The magic comes from the core of the body and flows to the extremities in much the same way as blood. The strength of the magic works much the same way as muscles—some of it is genetic, the rest of it is force of will and how hard you work.
The first step to transforming into animgus form for beginners was meditation. Harry sat comfortably on his bed, back resting against the wall. Closing his eyes, he focused on his breathing, taking even breaths. When he got into a rhythm, Harry focused on the flow of his magic, feeling it, manipulating it.
The hardest part about animagus transformation for the first time was the fact that the witch or wizard did not know what form would be achieved. It was harder to become something when you didn't know what you were going to become.
The second step was willing his magic into place. Harry pressed out with his magic, letting it saturate the bone, the muscle, the skin, and even clothing. He imagined it as a glowing force soaking its way through the layers. This was as far as Harry was allowed to practice without using his magic.
Still breathing in practiced rhythm, Harry moved onto the next step. This step was force of will for the magic to change the body. Harry tried to send this desire to his magic with his thoughts. Change. I want to become an Animagus. Transform. He imagined the magic turning his bones into something pliable, able to stretch, compress, or contort them into a new form.
His concentration was focused. The magic was buzzing throughout his body. The only thing he could do now was keep his will focused, keep his magic saturated throughout his body, and wait. It was getting rather exhausting to keep so much magic in place. Finally, frustration and exhaustion won out and the magic dispersed, leaving only a faint flow from the core.
Harry opened his eyes. Checking himself over, he noted with disappointment that nothing had happened.
Draco was taught at a very, very young age that he and his family were People of the Blood, creatures that preyed on humans. The People of the Blood were strong, but not invincible. If humans ever found them, they'd be slaughtered, so they hid amongst the humans, using their shape shifting abilities to look like the humans.
People of the Blood are able to shape shift from the day they are born, but they aren't able to control the shape shifting until around age four. Until then, the parents help the children by mentally nudging their magic in the right direction.
His first time adventuring out from Malfoy Manor, Draco had been strictly told not to change shape in front of the humans and not to bite. The first time he walked into an area crowded with people, his mouth had started watering and it had taken all of his concentration not to change into his natural form.
He could remember the first time he'd gotten "the talk" from his father at age eleven. He imagined it was very different from the talk his human friends received from their parents.
"When you turn eighteen," Lucius told Draco, "you will be old enough to take a mate."
"You mean 'get married'?" eleven-year-old Draco asked. He'd grown up learning mostly human traditions.
"In a sense, but you will not have as much freedom of choice as humans have. The women of the Blood are very few. When you come of age, you will be able to smell when they are in estrus. The scent of a woman's first estrus will call you to her, but you will not be the only one who is attracted to her. Others will come and they will fight for her, and the strongest will win her as his mate. If you want to win, you must prepare physically and magically."
"What do they smell like?"
"You will know when you smell it."
"Is that how you married Mum? You fought and won?"
"Will you teach me how to fight?"
Lucius let a little irritation show in his countenance; he had taught Draco better. "Maybe…if you ask—"
Immediately recognizing his mistake, Draco interrupted Lucius to ask again. "Will you teach me how to fight, please?"
Lucius smiled his approval. "All right, since you asked nicely. Your training will start in the evening. Every evening we will fly. Every morning we will duel. Staying in shape while at school is entirely at your discretion." Lucius was proud his son was so eager to learn. "Maybe we'll go hunting tonight."
Draco's face lit up in anticipation.
From that day on, Draco was determined to become strong. He and his father practiced flying maneuvers at night and practiced fighting every morning before breakfast. When he went to school, he gave himself a rigorous workout routine and he worked diligently in his studies. Being in shape had allowed him to easily make the Quidditch team in second year.
Voldemort had tried to recruit the Malfoys by threatening them, but threats to People of the Blood meant next to nothing. To harm them, you would have to know what it meant to be 'of the Blood'. Of course, Voldemort, and practically the entire world, did not know and the Malfoys remained neutral in the war.
Still eager to reach top fighting condition, Draco made his way outside to a relatively clear area of the lawn for a duel. It was very early and breakfast wouldn't be served for another hour and a half. Lucius was already waiting for him.
"Good morning, Father," Draco greeted.
"Good morning, Draco. Ready?"
They both shed their clothes and started changing in the dim early morning light. The change didn't really hurt. Draco's felt his bones stretch and the muscles with them. He felt his skin grow thicker into scales. His back swelled and then wings emerged. A tail extended out behind him. His nails became claws.
Where Lucius stood, there was now a dragon over twice the size of his human form with white scales and grey eyes. Draco knew he looked almost identical to his father. The Malfoys' true forms were dragons.
Change. I want to become an Animagus. Transform. My body is like liquid because it will change, it will transform. The magic was buzzing through Harry's body.
After a week of trying he had finally managed a result—patches of his skin had turned to black scales.
Pushing his magic toward his skin, he concentrated on that first. He imagined the scales. If he could change his skin to scales again, maybe he could change farther this time. The skin to scales transformation was slow. He could actually feel it as his skin changed. The scales slowly spread and covered him entirely.
It was getting hard to hold the magic in place. Harry strained to hold the magic and keep the transformation going, but magic was a lot like physical exercise where you come to a point where you just cannot do any more. The magic dissipated, but the scales stayed.
It was much easier and used less magic to change back, though, so Harry unworriedly examined the scales on his arm. They were much tougher than any animal scales he could think of, so it didn't help him gain an image of his animagus form. If he looked close enough, there was a dark grey pattern of scales amongst the black.
While Draco was at school, he'd had to go hunting less often and alone. He was used to hunting alone now, but whenever he came home for the summer, he enjoyed hunting with his parents.
"Father, can we go hunting tonight? Please?" Draco was eighteen and knew the power of asking his father nicely.
"That sounds like a perfect idea." Lucius turned to his wife. "Narcissa, what do you think?"
She smiled. "It sounds lovely."
It was evening just as the three of them were sitting down for dinner. Narcissa called the house elf that was to bring their dinner out and ordered him to only bring out half portions of what they usually ate. They didn't want to be too full to eat their kills.
An hour after dark, Draco met with his parents in the yard and they all changed. With one quick bound, Draco took to the air. Soon he was soaring just under the wispy layer of clouds.
There was a forest close by that was traveled often by hikers and tourists. If one of them was alone, it would make for easy prey. The moon was bright enough that Draco's night vision allowed him to see every movement on the ground below.
Movement to his left caught Draco's eye. It looked like a camper had wandered away from the campsite alone. Draco carefully landed in the forest, keeping to the shadows, and silently made his way toward the wanderer. The man hadn't noticed him. Draco jumped from a tree and, before the guy could make a sound, cut through the back of the guy's neck with one bite. Taking the body in his hind claws, Draco took to the sky again. He licked at the warm blood dripping from his snout.
Once his mother and father found their prey, they could land in a secluded area and feed together in their natural forms.
Harry had an idea. If he wasn't wearing clothes, then he didn't need to waste the energy trying to transform them with his body. He undressed and positioned himself as usual on his bed. It had been a week and a half. He'd managed to change every inch of skin to scales and even managed to change nails to claws and some of his bones had stretched before he became magically exhausted. He hoped to get farther today.
Placement of magic…
Force of will…
Harry had done it so often that he didn't have to spend much time with the first two steps. It was getting the magic to do what he wanted that was the tricky, strenuous part.
He felt his skin ripple and change much quicker than it had before. Most likely because he knew what it looked like already so it was much easier to visualize. His nails grew thicker and longer into sharp talons. The bones of his arms and legs lengthened and the muscles thickened. A stretching feeling at the base of his spinal column alerted him to a tail that was trying to grow. Harry quickly scrambled from his position so it wouldn't get stuck between the bed and the wall.
Harry twisted to see behind him. A tail! It had surprised him so much it had broken his concentration and the transformation had stopped.
He walked over to a mirror and examined himself. A pattern of dark grey scales marked his forehead in a lightning bolt shape, but luckily the dark grey was very hard to make out amongst the black scales. The tail was smooth and covered in black scales like the rest of him. His bone structure still resembled that of a human, so obviously the transformation was not complete.
Harry's first impression was that his animagus form could be that of a lizard, but if that were the case, then his bones would be shrinking and not growing. Then another thought came to him. A large lizard—a dragon! What if he was a dragon?
"Draco," Lucius mindspoke to his son, "let's go flying tonight." People of the Blood can mindspeak with each other. It worked much like a radio where everyone is tuned into the same station within a certain radius can hear, but if the thoughts are masked it becomes a private station between two people.
"Where are we going?" Draco asked.
"Nowhere in particular. It will give us time to talk."
"All right. I'm ready when you are."
The windows in Draco's room were big and opened wide enough to let him come and go easily in his dragon form. He opened them, changed, and leapt off the balcony, wings spreading. Each beat of his wings taking him higher.
A few seconds later Lucius joined him.
"You're eighteen now; you're of age," said Lucius. "Do you remember what that means?"
"It means I can take a mate."
"Fall into winter is mating season for our kind. When a female of the Blood goes into estrus, it will be during this season. Do not be discouraged, Draco, if there are no females having their first estrus this year. It may take several years."
"How long did it take you to find Mum?"
"I was lucky. She had her first estrus within the year I came of age, and, like you, I was prepared to fight."
It was just a couple days before Harry had planned to head to Diagon Alley and collect the things he'd need for the upcoming school year and then catch the Hogwarts Express the day after that.
Yesterday, he'd almost reached a complete transformation. He had guessed right—he was definitely a dragon.
It was now or never, he needed to be able to completely transform before he went back to Hogwarts.
Instead of sitting on the bed, Harry stood in the middle of his bedroom. He closed his eyes and focused. His skin rippled, changing into scales. His body stretched and thickened as bones and muscles grew. The tail extended out behind him. His face elongated, and teeth and nails lengthened and sharpened. Spikes erupted though the scales down his spine and tail. His back swelled. This was as far as he'd gotten last time, but only because he'd been awed by the fact that he'd have wings and the distraction cost him his hold on his magic.
This time Harry imagined black wings spreading around him. That did the trick. His back split and the wings burst out. Harry could still feel the magic. Instead of dissipating, it returned to the flow within him. He'd done it! This was full transformation. This was his animagus form. He was a dragon.