A/N: Thank ye to all Reviewers and Readers!
Disclaimer in first chapter.
Thanks to HiddenByFaeries for being my Beta and helping me Brainstorm, and also for writing Snape's POV and Viktor's for this chapter.
Ar Sciatháin Sciobtha
~On Swift Wings~
Coimhlint agus Réiteach
~Conflict and Solution~
Viktor stared down at the piece of parchment trying to rearrange his thoughts into proper words, for his father and Vasyl Kostyantyn, the Head of the Ironbelly Drayche clan. The day had been trying, and now he needed to write the letter to his father, but he could not get the image of Harry Potter turning into a full Drayche, not the Halfling he had believed him to be, out of his head. Viktor had seen the new form of Harry Potter, after the Handlers had gotten him on a Conjured stretcher. Green, everything had turned green. No Halfling had that major of a change, so that meant only one thing. Viktor wasn't stupid, his family had been secretly looking for the Lost Prince these past fourteen years.
Harry Potter- no, Prince Fidencio, had been under highly illegal Blood Magic and kidnapped. And Viktor knew that it had been a Maks female disguised as the Hungarian Horntail now, and she would be taking Prince Fidencio back to his parents. Shaking off those thoughts, Viktor turned back to his writing.
I hope this letter is finding you and mother well. I have succeeded in the First Task, tying for first place with one of the Hogwarts Champions, Cedric Diggory. But that is not why I have written this letter, father. As you well know, Beta Queen Tanwen of the Drayches has been having her spies look for her kidnapped Drakeling, Prince Fidencio. Father, I have found him and whoever kidnapped him had their partner use a highly illegal Blood Ritual to make him human, and then had him Blood Adopted.
I only know this because I had thought that the one who is Prince Fidencio was really a Halfling, but that turned out to be not true. Father, Harry Potter is Prince Fidencio. I had heard him growling in the tent while we were waiting for our turns, and it sounded much like a harp. And, when it was his turn, the Hungarian Horntail was, in fact, a Maks in disguise. She caught his scent, and used her Magic to negate the Blood Ritual and Adoption to return Prince Fidencio back to his true form.
Father, you must tell Vasyl Kostyantyn what has happened, I have the feeling that the Royal Family will be in for a surprise in a few days. The British Wizards will lie to Prince Fidencio, and he will be very confused and have his instincts clamoring for his parents or a Drayche. It is the nature of such a young Creature to look for the protection of his elders, after all, as it is the nature of these backwards people to believe that they can control him through lies. It will come back to bite them in the end, however, as we both know.
With love and hope,
He looked over his letter, tweaking a few words, before with a quick drying Charm, Viktor folded and sealed the letter into an envelope. Whistling, he held out an arm for his Eagle Owl, Gita. Murmuring a few spells in Bulgarian, he set her lose to fly to his father. And now, all he could do was wait and watch.
Severus could feel the weight that had been crushing him for over fourteen years lift from his shoulders. Finally, finally someone had made a move. The Life Debt and Oaths he'd been forced to carry were no more, the old bastard could go choke on one of his precious lemon drops, for all Severus cared. He watched from his hidden spot, while Potter- no make that Prince Fidencio, was taken to the Hospital Wing. He followed Dumbledore discreetly; he could feel the panic and anger rolling off the elderly Wizard.
And he watched as Dumbledore spun his lie to the young Drayche, but whereas the old bastard only saw his Pawn, confused and blind to his manipulations; Severus saw the clenched fists and the hidden glare, the quick flash of anger in those acid green eyes. He knew then that the young Prince could see through the lies, Madam Pomfrey had probably told him the truth then, and the Old Coot, blinded by his panic and belief in his utter control over, well, everything, had probably convinced himself that she had followed his instructions to inform him immediately after the Prince had awakened, and no doubt didn't think that the Mediwitch would defy him and tell the boy anything without the Headmasters consent. And, of course, Madam Pomfrey had informed the boy, most likely of everything she knew of the problem at hand.
Good, the woman was living up to her reputation, then.
Severus left, then; he had a letter to write. Swiftly, he made his way down into the dungeons and stopped in front of a painting of two Drayches, from the Halvard clan, hiding in their draconic forms (as if Dumbledore would allow paintings of Drayches in their true forms to be wandering about the school, free of his control and able to leave at a moment's notice to report on his actions… But what the Old Coot didn't know could be vastly entertaining). Murmuring his password (Belladonna) to the painting, it swung back enough for him to slip in. Quickly, Severus put up wards around his rooms. Now, safe within his chambers, behind his spells, with no spying spells or charms in the walls, he sat down at his desk.
He'd known since the beginning that the child was not Lily's son. The two, once very close friends, secretly reestablished their friendship a month after their falling out. So, Severus had been the first to know about her pregnancy, and then the miscarriage. Lily had come rushing to him, tears of joy falling from her jade green eyes. Dumbledore had found a child who she and James could Blood Adopt, and right around the time she would have had her baby. It was a miracle.
He'd smiled and congratulated her, but a sick feeling had risen up when he'd heard from his distant cousin, months later, that the newborn Prince of King Cadwaladr and Beta Queen Tanwen had been kidnapped. And the babe that Lily had Blood Adopted, Severus had been able to smell a tiny hint of mint and Drayche on the boy before the Ritual had been completed, when his dear friend had brought the child to him with her bastard of a husband and the Old Coot trailing behind, so that he could brew the required potions and meet the child at the same time (Potter had looked constipated in his attempt at a dark scowl, and Severus smirked slightly at the memory). And that sick feeling had become complete and utter shock and betrayal. Not at Lily, or even that bastard Potter, but at Dumbledore and his accomplice, whomever that fool was.
Someone, a Drayche, had betrayed their King and Queens and was blatantly breaking the Treaty, something that would mean a horrendous death at the hands of the Ministry of Magic, most likely the Unspeakable Division, to be experimented on and dissected alive. It was a fate very few dared to face, not since the first few had gained the punishment for the treasonous act. But, by then, Severus had been under a Life Debt, and then forced into an Oath; he could do nothing, but wait and watch and play the role of hating "Potter's spawn", even though all he had wanted to do was steal the boy away and take him to his ancestors clan, the Halvards. He only gave a silent prayer of thanks that Dumbledore's attempted Obliviation had failed, having hit him in the back of the head, the only place his scales (the only fragments of his long-diluted heritage he had gained) grew, just as magic-resistant as his ancestors.
But now, now he could make his move. Smirking to himself, Severus could not wait for everything to blow up in that manipulating bastard's face. Getting out parchment, ink, and a quill, he started writing to his distant cousin, Klarusia Halvard, Vassal to Zephira Brandubh.
The silence when Harry stepped through the Portrait Hole was not one that deafened, but one that drowned, that filled the mind and covered the thoughts, until nothing but a thin, wailing panic remained, crying like a terrified child in the back of his head as he stared in frozen, blank uncertainty at the unfriendly, wary stares of his Housemates. He took a slow, shallow breath, swallowed, and stepped farther into the room, chin lifting, and started into the crowd, biting back a flinch when his classmates, his friends, pulled away as if he had a deadly, contagious disease, several sneering, some grimacing, and those farther back watching with indifference and curiosity. Hermione met his eyes tearfully, but glanced away again, biting her lip and clutching a thin, old book close. He caught a glimpse of the title and understood.
Drayches and Their Kin
He pushed aside the hurt that boiled up in his heart, and made his swift way up the staircase and into the boys dorm, noticing that his bed had been shoved far away from the others, his trunk as well, and that his mattress lay on the floor. His curtains, sheets, blankets, and pillows were all missing. 'Suppose I should be glad I got Sirius to put those privacy Wards on my trunk to keep others out,' he thought with bitter tiredness as he moved towards his trunk. He pressed his finger to the lock, feeling the prick of the needle that tested his blood, and then the small wave of foreign Magic that tasted his own, before the trunk unlocked with a deep click. Harry immediately pushed open the lid, and stripped from his Champion clothes, pausing to stare down at his uniformly green body with disbelief and wariness.
Scales swirled decoratively from his back, across his waist, and split to spiral in beautiful designs on either side of his belly-button, above and below. More scales swirled down his thighs, including small, delicate ones dusting along the inside of his legs and the crease between his pelvis and thigh. They coiled around the back of his calves, twisted around to the front of his ankles, and trailed down to the tops of his feet to leave a delicate whirlpool-like swirling pattern.
Altogether, they were rather beautiful.
Suddenly feeling the utter lack of awkwardness about the fact that he was just standing there, naked, and looking at himself, Harry scrambled to pull on the too-large, loose folds of what had once been Dudley's clothes, the dark red pants folded up several times at the ankles and folded a few times at the waist, where it was tied firmly in place with a worn, tough length of rope. The old, dark purple shirt clashed with both his pants and new skin color, but it was loose and surprisingly comfortable, so he didn't mind. Finishing, he hesitated, before resolutely pulling his tattered old Trainers back on his feet, and then pulled his Invisibility Cloak out, folding it until it was as small as it could go, and then he stuffed it into his pocket. He had a feeling he wouldn't be sleeping in the Dorm or Common Room-or even in Gryffindor Tower as a whole-this night.
Looking through his trunk, he nodded, closed it, and pressed the succession of Runes that would make it shrink, and slipped it into the opposite pocket as his Cloak, before he turned and left the Dorm after taking a fortifying breath. 'Time to face the lynch-mob,' he thought, and then wondered if it wouldn't be a witch-burning mob. But then he reconsidered, as he wasn't, technically, a witch (well, Wizard, but you get the point). His scattered, distracted thoughts carried him all the way into the suddenly-silent Common Room, and he lifted his eyes to blink back into focus, just in time to find himself held at wand-point by none other than his already ex-Best Friend Ron Weasley, who had an ugly sneer on his face (which, Harry noted, made the redhead look like a watered-down, less-fat version of his cousin… Well, the boy he'd been led to believe was his cousin, at least…).
"What do you want?" Harry asked with a narrow-eyed look, his melodious voice taking on sharp, angry notes. Half the room stiffened at the sound, and a few of the upper years even hissed. Ron's sneer spread, and Harry noted that his similarity to Dudley deepened with the vaguely-constipated appearance.
"What we all want, is for you to get out of our school, you great bloody lizard freak!" the youngest Weasley son snarled; Harry showed him a true snarl, with the sound of harsh, discordant bass notes clashing together and the rumble of thunder in the background, as something rose up in his chest, roiling in response to that damned, loathed word.
"You've no right to tell me what to do, Weasel," he hissed, the thin sound of a bow barely sliding upward against an instruments highest note string. The fine hairs on everyone's necks rose and many shuddered, shifting back nervously at the inhuman sound. Ron's sneer faltered as he instinctively stepped back, before he pulled on that infamous Gryffindor courage (or stupidity) and renewed his expression.
"Yeah, well, this is a wizard school, and you are nothing but a nasty, poufter of a lizard freak!" Harry saw red for a moment, and the sound the ripped from his throat was high-pitched and painfully strident, the sound of the violin bow scraping the thinnest strings without care, of nails against chalkboards and yowling cats and shattering glass, all mixed into a tear-wrenching, eye-gougingly painful, inhuman sound. Everyone in the Common Room cried out, clamping hands over their ears, and Ron was included, dropping his wand in his pain.
But Harry wasn't finished.
That roiling, building feeling deep in his chest rose up his throat, like bile but not as painful, and spewed out of his mouth in a thin, painfully bright stream of flame that slashed through the air with a rippling wave of heat, to hungrily leap onto the staggering, pained Weasley's clothes and hair, and soon the sound of his high-pitched screams joined the echo of Harry's own cry, and students screams joined as well as the boy threw himself away, towards the floor, where he rolled, clawing at himself, until a terrified Seventh Year finally shouted a water spell and doused the flames.
Harry stood, gasping, a snarl still twisting his lips, that discordant growl still thrumming his chest, until two pairs of identical hands grabbed him and roughly yanked him from the room.
"Percy get Ronnikins to Madam Pomfrey," Fred (or was it George?) ordered from Harry's left, face unusually hard and serious as he glared unflinchingly about him, his Twin wearing a similar expression. The growl in Harry's chest got louder as the Twin's hands tightened to the point just before pain on his arms.
"We'll just be taking little Harry here to see McGonagal, yeah?" The Twin on his right commented, and they frog-marched the newly-realized Drayche from the Common Room quickly, people all but diving from their path to stay out of Harry's line of sight as he continued to snarl and growl. As the Portrait Hole slammed shut behind them, the Twins loosened their holds, and shifted them, until they were gripping Harry's hands, and began to run, their long strides forcing Harry's legs wide, to lope after them in an almost leaping fashion, pain zigzagging up his left leg every time he landed on it, eyes wide in shock, and growls forgotten as his energy turned to keeping up with his taller Housemates, and breathing (which had become difficult as a stitch made itself swiftly known in his right side).
"Come on, Harry!" both of the Twins called in unison as the pulled him to the staircases, and they took them at the same speed. Harry feared, abruptly, for his life, and wondered if Madam Pomfrey would have still let him leave early if she'd known he'd be moving around so much so soon after having his broken leg fixed again… He seriously doubted it, and the pain coursing up the limb, getting steadily worse with their rapid descent, was proof enough that she would be right to scold him for the vigorous activity. The Twins yanked him harshly, and Harry could have sworn he'd gotten whiplash as his feet skid on the floor while they turned onto a corridor. They ran down it, all three of them gasping for breath, and came to a sliding stop before a painting of a bowl of fruit, with Harry slamming into the backs of the two Beaters. The one on his right grinned down at him (though they were only about two inches taller than him since his true heritage had been revealed, he noticed with a spurt of inner glee, and they couldn't look down quite so far), while the left Twin quickly tickled the pear in the painting.
When the hidden door swung open, they yanked him into the kitchens, and slammed it shut behind them, before turning and giving him identical, mischievous grins, despite the fact they were panting harder than he was.
"What the bloody hell?" Harry spluttered, gasping, and groaned as he leaned back against the closed entrance weakly, trying to take his weight off of his injured leg. The Twins bowed to him, and began their usual spiel of finishing the others sentence, starting with the Twin on his left.
"Oh Master of Chaos-"
"We are unworthy worms-"
"Utterly, unbelievably humbled by you sheer-"
"Brilliance in all things that cause-"
"Pandemonium. Please allow us-"
"You're lowly slaves-"
"To aid you in your escape," they finished together; Harry stared at them in stunned silence, eyes wide, round, and owlish.
"Let me get this straight," he began slowly. "You want to help me get away from the school… Because it'll cause trouble?" They grinned and nodded rapidly.
"See, me and Fred here," Left-Twin (now-supposedly-exposed as George), "we hate monotony."
"Real boring, that," Fred agreed. "So, what better way to stir-"
"The muck than to help-"
"The Drayche-Boy-Who-Lived run-"
"Away from the Wizarding World?" They asked, cocking their heads toward each other so that their temples brushed, grinning at him. Harry stared, blinking slowly, a little dazed from the tennis-match that is the Twins speech.
"'Sides," George said. "You really think we'd believe you-"
"Aren't going to try and locate your Drayche family?" Fred finished, and both arched the opposite eyebrow of their twin, and Harry felt a stirring of sympathy for all adults who dealt with the two on a daily basis. If he had a headache after ten minutes, he couldn't begin to imagine the migraine of years of exposure to them. Still, they hadn't abandoned him like everyone else seemed to have, and they were trying to help him…
In their strange, misguided, utterly them sort of way.
"Alright," he finally sighed, slumping in defeat. "What should I do?" The sly grins he received made him very, very nervous...
Harry slipped carefully through the trees of the Forbidden Forest, clutching his Invisibility Cloak around him as the sound of the Twin's Fireworks exploded behind him. They were prototypes, ones they hadn't meant to reveal until Fifth Year, but for Harry's "Most Daring Escape" they would do it. A few fireworks, and a little help from an over-eager Dobby, and Harry was out on the grounds while everyone was inside, running about like headless chickens. He could only hope the rest of the plan worked as he pushed through some bushes and hesitantly entered the clearing that held the Dragons.
A few Handlers were moving about, trying to calm the Dragons as they shifted and growled uneasily at the sounds coming from the direction of the castle. Harry crept carefully pass them all, until he reached the largest of the cages, where he stopped at the open bars and stared into the not-so-dark gloom. His eyesight at night, while not perfect, was much clearer now than it ever had been, and he could easily make out the form of the Hungarian Horntail. Glancing over to the Handlers, he took a deep breath and carefully squeezed through the bars, thankful that, while he'd gained in height, he hadn't gained any muscle or fat, and could make it through the thin space between the thick, magic-enforced bars.
Once inside, he cautiously took off his Cloak, folding it up and slipping it into his pocket again, and, suddenly feeling even more nervous and unsure, shuffled in place for a few minutes, before sliding slowly towards the massive female. He pressed his back against the cage wall and slipped around her shoulder and carefully stepped over the edge of her clawed wing, before he found himself looking at the side of her sleeping face. He just stopped and looked at it for a moment, looking at the differences, tilting his head to the side. His scales were round and smooth, but hers were almost diamond-shaped, and arched out in the centers like small prisms, and, when he peered closer, he saw that the ones on her cheek and across her beak-like snout were decorated in tiny, gold specks, like, well, freckles. And then there was the beak itself, sharp and curving and dark brown/black, with little arching holes for nostrils, and a slight jaggedness to the underside, as if it was serrated...
Glancing slowly over her face, he froze as one large orb of bright, dandelion-yellow watching him examine her.
Immediately, Harry swallowed and took a deep breath, letting it out slowly, trying to keep the panic away as she lifted her large head and tilted it.
"Hullo," he muttered uncertainly; she let out a low, throaty croon, and pushed herself to her feet, making Harry stumble back a few steps in instinctual reaction. When she was up, her wing claws resting on either side of her knees so she was more crouching than standing, she shook her large head sharply, the larger, spiked scales farther back behind her eyes clacking against her horns, and then was drenched in a dim, golden light, much like the wave of gold Harry remembered hitting him during the Tournament. In about thirty seconds, the light shrank, and she disappeared.
In her place was a tall, broad, muscled woman, with brown skin, black hair that was short and spiky like his own, and bright yellow eyes. Her wings, still clawed, fluttered and folded against her back, and her tail, much smaller but no less deadly, scraped against the ground as she curled it close to her ankles. She smiled at him, teeth bright white and straight and sharp, and walked towards him, opening her muscular arms wide, and Harry noticed that she, too, was decorated with scales, the same, diamond-shaped, prism'd scales of her larger form, a darker, richer brown against her skin, and that her nails were long, curved talons, and pure black.
That was all he got to notice before those large armed were wrapped around him, and he was lifted into the air and cradled firmly in a sense of safety and strange familiarity.
"Little Prince, I have found you," the Drayche murmured, voice deep with a slight German accent, and Harry found himself breathing in the scent of leather, smoke, and linens as he laid his head against her shoulder.
He'd ask his questions...
After the hug.
A/N: There, the next chapter is finally finished. Sorry about the long wait, had Camps to go to and such. R&R!
Common Welsh Green: All have different shades of green for skin, hair, scales, and eyes. Voices are melodious and beautiful.
The Fflamddwyn Clan - Royal family. King Cadwaladr, Crown Prince Cynfaen, Prince Fidencio (Harry), Princess Blodwen, Princess Glennette
The Onllwyn Clan: Beta Queen Tanwen, Prince Fidencio (Harry)
Hebridean Black: All have deep, black skin, obsidian scales, and black, jagged hair that is in sharp, hard spikes. Eyes are some shade of either red or purple. Tend to be aggressive.
The Brandubh Clan: Zephira (Mentioned only)
Swedish Short-Snout: All have silvery-blue scales, skin and hair that is either silver or blue or a mixture, and eyes that also shade in those colorings. Two small horns curve up from the center of their foreheads.
The Einar Clan: Omega Queen Valkyrie (Trained Midwife), Princess Blodwen, Princess Glennette
Chinese Fireball: Scarlet scales, wild gold hair that is mane-like, and skin that is usually a rich golden-toned tan. Eyes almost always a bright, baleful yellow, though duller tones are also known.
The He-ping Clan: Alpha Queen Xiao-xing, Crown Prince Cynfaen.
The Yun Clan: None met yet
Peruvian Vipertooth Clan: All members have copper scales, dark golden skin, black hair, two spiraling black horns that come from the temples. Venomous bite.
The Marquez Clan: Guadalupe
Antipodean Opaleye Clan: Alabaster-white skin, pearl-toned scales, platinum blond hair. Pupil-less & sclera-less eyes that are multifaceted rainbow-toned. Most beautiful of all the Drayches.
The Alohanani Clan: None met yet
Hungarian Horntail Clan: All members have rough brown skin, spiky black hair, large wings, and dangerously spiked tail. The only Drayche breed that holds wings and tail in their humanoid form. Vassal to the Common Welsh Green Clans.
The Maks Clan: Bernadette (Personal Vassal of Beta Queen Tanwen, nurse/guard for Prince Fidencio (Harry))
Norwegian Ridgeback Clan: All members have deep black skin, black ridges instead of hair, and a venomous bite (less so then the Peruvian Clan). Mildly aggressive towards other Drayche breeds, especially other Vassals. Vassals to the Hebridean Black Clan.
The Halvard Clan: Klarusia (Snape's Cousin, Vassal to Zephira Brandubh)
Romanian Longhorn Clan: All members have bulky, muscular bodies, dark green skin and hair, and two large, curving gold horns, out of their temples. Vassal to the Swedish Short-Snout Clan.
The Streiter Clan: None Met Yet
Ukrainian Ironbelly Clan: All members have silver-gray skin and scales, and dark red eyes. The largest of the Drayches, towering much higher than any other Clan. Vassals to the Chinese Fireball Clans.
The Kostyantyn Clan: Hryhoriy (Personal Vassal of Alpha Queen Xiao-xing, nurse/guard of Prince Cynfaen), Vasyl (Head of the Clan)
Portuguese Long-Snout Clan: All members have lightly tanned skin, pale green scales, totally black eyes (without pupil or sclera), short, curly black hair (though light brown is occasionally seen), and two short, thick, curving ivory horns that come out of their temples. A mixture of the Royal and Vassal Breeds, who answer to no one, essentially, though their blood ties them to the King's rule.
The Ricardo Clan: None met yet