A Dragon's Tale

With a soft sigh, Harry Potter gathered the last of the apples from the tree and began the slow trek back to the castle. Smiling softly, he tilted his head back and delighted in the sunshine that poured down around him. He couldn't express just how delighted he was to be back on common ground, the common ground in question being the Royal Castle. Thankfully, Harry had been left alone for the better part of the day, so he had been able to visit his favorite parts of the Castle, those being the gardens.

Whistling lightly, Harry paused and very delicately placed an apple from his basket on the ground, then turned and walked off, pretending to ignore the shy animal that soon scurried from it's hiding place to accept the offering. The day was going wonderfully, as far as Harry was concerned, that is, until he reached the Castle.

All around him, servants rushed frantically. Orders were being shouted out, things being thrown through the air, and for some reason, a strange amount of children were running wild. Rolling his eyes, Harry easily maneuvered his way through the bustling kitchen and quickly deposited the basket of apples down before making his escape.

Now back in the lions den, as the saying goes, Harry was forced to hurry as he darted up the stairs and towards his room. Just as he thought he was home free, he heard the overly loud laugh and froze instinctively. Only one person could fake a laugh like that, and do it so horribly. There was a boisterous laugh in return, this one genuine, and Harry was unable to hide a wince. Only one person, bless her heart, had a laugh like that. Whatever the laughing matter was, Harry was certain it would not be good for his health, mentally or physically.

"Oh Molly! It's just a delight to have the Weasley's in the Castle again! We have so missed your company!" The tittering voice sang out. Harry's teeth clenched, and very quietly, he began to move up the staircase he had froze on again.

"Of course Petunia, the children simply love visiting. It's always a delight to see how the boys have grown and changed. You never really notice how much your children change until you see them around other's their own age." Harry winced again. They were speaking of their children, which he knew would soon lead to only one thing, the thing he was desperately trying to avoid, as a matter of fact.

"Truer words have never been spoken, my dear friend. Vernon and I were wondering what conclusion you have come to about Ginny?" Unable to help himself, Harry stopped and strained his ears to listen. Strangely enough, it sounded as if his aunt and her guest weren't moving, which was odd considering the Entrance Hall and Sitting Room were both several floors below.

"After much debating, and of course after speaking with my children, I've decided to take you up on your offer. I can only hope my children and I will be allowed to stay to help plan the wedding."

"Oh this is wonderful news! I simply cannot wait to inform Vernon of your decision! Of course, I'm sure dear Harrison will be pleased as well." It was the final straw for Harry. With a sharp intake, he took off at a quick run. He knew this castle better than any living soul, therefore, it was easy to come upon his tower bedroom. After carefully removing his dirtied shoes, he sank down onto his bed, face drawn.

His worst fears were soon to be made true. His Aunt and Uncle had finally done it. They had found the way to get rid of him, while furthering their own riches of course. It wasn't supposed to be like this. Harry could remember a time when he was younger, when he would sit on his father's lap, laughing as the strong man gingerly placed the King's Crown upon his head. He would be handed his father's staff and be allowed to wave it around, ordering around imaginary people. His mother would sit at their side, laughing with delight at some of the crazy things Harry could come up with. When Harry turned ten, they began discussing possible marriage proposals with him. Of course, it was agreed upon that he would have to love the person before the marriage could take place. He was given the final veto where it counted, and he had been grateful for it, even at ten when marriage was merely a child's game. Then the impossible happened, and his parents were both killed during some sort of freak accident. They had gone riding through the forest, a leisurely activity that they both enjoyed, when loud noises had startled the horses. They had run, and somehow both of his parents, who were very experienced riders, fell from their saddles and were killed. People all across the kingdom had been skeptical, but with the new King and Queen stepping forward eagerly, they soon learned to turn their heads. Vernon and Petunia Dursley changed the Castle into a living nightmare for Harry. Their son Dudley hardly helped matters. As soon as Dudley had turned of proper age, they began sending out the marriage proposals. The neighboring kingdoms all either ignored or refused the proposals, and while both Vernon and Petunia were devastated, they figured that it would be best to move on to the next best chance. Harry. He was sold off, and quickly, the Weasley clan, who, while they didn't rule a kingdom, were the family of the Chief Advisor of the king Dumbledore. Arthur Weasley was less gullible than his wife, and it had taken the Dursley's longer to persuade him, but soon he was caught and everybody was on board for the Potter-Weasley marriage. Except Harry.

Moving to lay back on his bed, Harry closed his eyes and began to think. Now that the proposal had finally been excepted, there were only a few details that would need to be dealt with. There was hardly any time to figure out a plan. Harry was rather bad at planning anyway. Soon he decided that he had two choices. He could stay, marry this Ginny girl, maybe be happy or maybe be miserable, or he could run. Staying would entail living in his Castle with a new addition, who he would be forced to entertain. He would be in a loveless marriage, so unlike his parent's own. Or he could run. He could leave behind the title of the Potter Prince, which was his until he turned of age, when he would rightfully become the new Potter King. He could leave his Castle, his only home. The odds were stacked at staying, but Harry couldn't get his parents adoring looks out of his mind. Or the possible looks his new wife would be sending him.

Soon, he was decided. There was no way he was staying. Standing decisively, he began packing a bag. Once all of his most treasured belongings were stowed away, and there weren't many, to tell the truth, he stood in front of his long vanity mirror for the last time.

Harry had never once understood the Dursley's desire to marry him off, or why people responded so eagerly. He was small for his age, and he knew it. At sixteen, he only reached 5'4. It was hardly a respectable height for a soon-to-be King. Much like his mother, he had let his hair grow long, so that it hung down his back in dark waves, nearly reaching his waist. It was rather a bother sometimes, and today had been one of those sometimes, so he had braided it neatly down his back. He thought his best attribute were his eyes. Maybe he was biased though, considering they were the exact same shade as his mother's. Emerald green and shinning brightly. His face was smooth and rounded, almost feminine, which Harry had often mourned for upon seeing his father's stubble ridden, angled features. Even at ten he had known that he would never turn into the real man his father was. His mother had always been quick to assure him that it wasn't the appearance that made the man. He found that now, even after having gone through puberty, he still couldn't believe her.

With an angry sigh, Harry plucked up his single bag and left his room for the last time. As he walked causally down the hallways towards the horse stables, he didn't look back.

Voldemort was not pleased. Voldemort, was, indeed, quite angry. So angry, in fact, that the first thing he did upon returning to his Castle was to smash a hole through one of the main walls. After the anger had simmered out, he was forced to accept the fact that he had a problem with his temper and set out to find someone to fix his home. After locating the necessary people and breathing a few mouthfuls of fire at them to get his point across, the rebuilding of his Castle wall was soon underway.

Stalking off down the tiled corridors, Voldemort quickly exited the Castle and took flight. White, scaled wings caught the air and soon he was air-born. Throwing his head back, the sun reflected off his gleaming white scales and caused them to reflect with a rainbow of colors. A burst of flames were shot into the night sky, briefly lighting up the surrounding darkness.

After flying for maybe minutes, or maybe hours, he finally came to his rock and curled up on it, his large head coming to rest upon the ground thoughtfully. His ruby red eyes drifted close as he began thinking. When the man had first approached him to do business, Voldemort had been pleased. Mainly because it was a man not afraid of his…more scaled nature, and instead, had gotten right to the point. He should have known it was to good to be true. The sneaky liar had soon tangled his hands in a mess so extravagant that it would take him ages to work free of. Gellert Grindelwald was a horrible business partner, as Voldemort had learned. Not only had he lost Voldemort an incredible amount of his riches, he had also completely sullied his name in the process. Now every villager within flying range was more apt to run away screaming than they were to actually stop and conduct business.

With an angry snort, Voldemort shook himself up. It was beginning to rain and it was very bothersome to clean up after himself, and even more so to find someone to do it for him. Shaking his head to clear the water from his glowing red eyes, Voldemort unfolded his wings and took to the air quickly, flying low over the forest to get back to the Castle in the quickest way possible.

Unfortunately for Voldemort, in the forest below there was one Harry Potter whose horse, having been spooked by a thunderclap, had bolted. Harry's ankle had gotten caught in his fall and he had been drug along for several painful moments until he had managed to kick himself free. Soon, however, Harry found himself with a bigger problem on his hands. Namely, he had a broken ankle and several cuts and bruises from his painful drag through the lush underbrush.

Finally decided that there was nothing more he could do, Harry threw back his head and began yelling for help.

The calls for help caught him off guard, and in a moment of unusual hesitation, he paused in his flying, merely hovering in the air. His giant head was tilted downwards as he listened, and soon enough he heard another cry. It was distinctly a male voice, which Voldemort found himself inherently pleased about. Females always started crying whenever he appeared. And while sometimes the males did as well, it was less likely.

Mentally thinking it over, Voldemort decided that it was worth it. It had been too long since he'd eaten his last human in any rate. Decisively tilting his wings downwards, he began to carefully fly his way through the trees until he came upon a beautiful sight.

It was a man, that much was easily seen, but this man looked nothing like any other man Voldemort had ever seen. In the rain, the man's clothes were beginning to stick closely to his body, and what a body it was! Even in his current form, Voldemort found that he could appreciate it. Even though he was hardly up to date on the current fashion trends, he was sure that the waist length long hair, which had once been braided but was beginning to come undone, was slightly unusual. It was lovely though. Nearly as lovely as one of his own milky white scales, and that said a lot, in Voldemort's opinion. The man had fetching green eyes, eyes that were tilted towards in him shock.

"Please, can you help me." The young man, as staring at him for several more minutes deduced that he had yet to reach adulthood, whispered. Voldemort tilted his head to the side curiously. The young man could clearly see what he was, which was not human, yet he still asked for help. Curious. Very curious indeed.

Stepping forward, he very gingerly opened his mouth. The young man let out a quiet sound that could've been a whimper or a plea for help. Ignoring him, Voldemort carefully gripped the edge of the young man's clothing and eased the man into a standing position. A definite whimper was heard and, to Voldemort's shock, a hand was gingerly placed on his head. The young man leaned against him and carefully tried setting his foot down, only to bring it back up abruptly.

"I'm sorry, my ankle is broken, it got caught in my horses saddle. I can't walk." Voldemort let out a snort and shook his head carefully, being unusually careful to not dislodge the young man's hold on his head.

Lowering himself down to the ground, Voldemort allowed himself to wonder, just for one moment, why he was going to such great lengths for this young man. Fruitlessly he tried to convince himself that it was because the boy had hardly any meat on his bones, he would probably taste horrible.

Staring up at the young man, he watched as the boy took in his form in confusion. With a huff of hot air, he jerked his head slightly, motioning the boy to climb onto his back. The boy's eyes widened. Gingerly, he picked his way over the forest floor, working his way closer to Voldemort's back.

Holding himself very still, Voldemort wondered what he had come to, giving a human a ride like a common horse! Huffing slightly, he tried to crouch lower to the ground, attempting to make it easier for the boy to climb onto his back in his injured state. He held back a wince as the boy's foot dug into his side, trying to hoist himself onto his back. After several more moments of shuffling, the boy was settled. He stood up and the boy clutched at his neck tightly. Stretching out his wings carefully, as it would hardly help to hurt himself knocking down a tree, he gently flapped them and lifted them both into the air.

As he took flight, instead of acting scared, the boy seemed to delight in it. He sat up more, and eventually released his hands from the tight grip around Voldemort's neck. Carefully turning his head while continuing to fly, Voldemort caught sight of the boy and nearly stopped flying at the beautiful image.

The boy's head was thrown back, black hair streaming behind him in graceful waves. His skin was shinning, rain drops making him glow. His pain seemed forgotten and his eyes slit open, the green color seemingly on fire with a light that took Voldemort's breath away.

The castle appeared on the horizon and Voldemort gradually slowed, eventually coming to a stop and merely hovering in the air. He felt the boy calm, the high he had seemed to rise into leaving him drained, the pain hitting him suddenly. Much to his shock, he felt the boy fall over in a faint, out cold. Despite how worrisome it was, Voldemort knew that it would make things much more easy. Now, he simply had to get the boy into the castle.

Harry's head hurt. In fact, he couldn't remember pain this intense since his parent's death, when he had locked himself in his room, refusing to eat or sleep for days before he eventually passed out and the Royal Advisors managed to break down the door. That had been before the Dursley's had arrived and fired the Advisors, gradually hiring their own, who all seemed to be cruel people without a conscious. Harry had quickly learned to hold his tongue when the time called for it.

Gingerly raising a hand, he prodded at his head and was stopped cold when a voice broke through the pounding that had been drowning out everything else.

"That would be a bad idea." Slowly cracking one eye open, Harry squinted against the glare of the sunlight. A shadow suddenly loomed over him, blocking out the light and Harry's eyes took a moment to focus on the person above him. When they did, however, he could hardly hold back a gasp.

The man above him was beautiful. He had shoulder length black hair, perfectly straight with not a hair out of place. His face was sharp, harsh lines and sweeping angles that pulled together to make this man. The most shocking thing however, were the man's eyes. Bright red. Blood red. They were disturbingly empty. No thoughts were visible in those eyes, no feelings present. Despite the uneasiness that raced through Harry, he forced a shaky smile.

"Hello. Can you tell me where I am?" Harry asked, trying to sound as polite as possible. If the pain that was gradually making itself known throughout his body was any indication, Harry's life rested in this man's hands and Harry knew that with one wrong word, he could be dead. The thought made him shiver, but he quickly hid it, staring up at the man silently.

"You are in my castle, of course. I could hardly let you die after going through all the trouble to bring you here. Dead bodies begin to pile up rather quickly, I've noticed." The words were delivered coldly, and Harry had to force himself to hide how unsettled he was by the words.

"Of course. Well, then I must thank you for saving my life. Would you, by any chance, know of a white dragon? I have to give him my thanks before I set out on my way." The man's eyes took on a very distinctive amused glint and Harry narrowed his eyes slightly.

"As a matter of fact, I do. You happen to be looking at him." Harry's mouth dropped open before he struggled into a sitting position. His head and body protested heavily, but Harry had had enough. Enough of this man's morbid jokes and his pretending to be a dragon.

"Yes, I definitely believe that." Harry responded sarcastically, slightly out of breath from sitting up. He rather disliked how weak and hurt he felt.

"Believe what you will, however I am the dragon. I was flying overhead when I heard your cries of help and decided, out of the kindness of my heart of course, to stop and help. After climbing onto my back, you rather seemed to enjoy the fly. Upon arriving, you fainted. I changed forms and brought you in here." Harry's eyes had grown progressively wider with each statement and he had to force himself not to faint, again it seemed. The man's story added up with his own memory of what had occurred.

"You're the dragon then." The man snorted, but Harry easily ignored him.

"Thank you for saving my life. Now, however, I should be on my way, so if you'll excuse me." Pushing aside the blankets that had been draped over him, Harry shakily swung his legs around.

"So eager to get out of my presence now?" The question was sneered, but when Harry glanced up, he thought he detected a trace of bitterness in those red eyes. Forcing himself to not collapse back onto the bed, Harry stared straight into the man's eyes.

"Nothing as drastic as that. Simply that I don't wish to wear out my welcome. I also have…places to be." Harry added haltingly. The lie brought back the memory of why he was running in the first place, and that until Harry made it out of the Potter Kingdom, he would be recognized everywhere he went. On foot now, as his horse was a good as gone, he could hardly tell how long it would take until he reached the borders to the neighboring Kingdom. That brought forth another problem, however. He had no where to go. Growing up in the Palace his entire life, never moving and hardly ever leaving, Harry had no clue about the outside world and how the other Kingdom's worked. He also had no friends to go to in his time of leave. The simple truth made his breath catch in his throat and for the next moment, Harry had to blink back tears. He was still staring at the dragon/man, but his gaze was blank. Therefore, he never noticed the concerned look the unshed tears earned him.

"It has been quite some time since a human has graced these walls. I…would not mind the company, if you have no objection to living with a dragon until you must move on." The invitation was given haltingly, the man was obviously hesitant for whatever reason. Harry blinked back tears again.

"Thank you. I will gladly accept your offer, if, of course, you tell me your name?" Harry's voice was thick with gratitude and he wondered if the man had any idea how much easier he had just made Harry's life. Glancing over at him, Harry thought he just might.

The man's face was still impassive, his eyes still carefully blank and trained on a spot over Harry's right shoulder, but Harry felt, for some reason, that the man was embarrassed.

"Voldemort. My name is Voldemort."

Man and dragon settled into a somewhat uneasy routine. Voldemort had yet to return to his dragon form, as he haltingly told Harry one day that it completely depleted his energy and he had to wait until he could change back. Harry felt rather sorry for the man, who obviously expressed himself better while in dragon form, and he tried to act accordingly. It became increasingly obvious, however, why Voldemort had never had any guests. Not only was the man obsessively possessive about his castle, he also fiercely guarded everything in it. Eventually, Harry blew up at the man and instantly felt bad about it.

It happened something like this. Harry, after enduring mind numbing boredom for what felt like years, had finally gained the courage to riffle through a stack of books he found in what was obviously a library. Despite the fact that the room was obviously supposed to hold books, being a library an all, it held only a few books, with various treasures lining the shelves instead. Harry had usually entertained himself looking over the items, but that day he had been at his wits end. Upon picking in the book up, with a spin that suspiciously had no title, he was rather shocked to find the book was filled with various ways to torture a person and the best ways to do so without killing the person too quickly.

Morbid curiosity had made him continue reading, and he had only been stopped by Voldemort walking in. He had spoken in a deadly quiet tone, which had sent chills racing up his spine. After the weeks, Harry had easily forgotten the fear he had first felt at the sight of the great dragon swooping down through the trees. In that moment, however, that fear came back and Harry was stunned. Even more so when Voldemort reached out and snatched the book from his hands, slamming it closed and putting it back on the shelf.

Harry had quietly told him that he had been reading a book, Voldemort had snapped that as Harry was a guest, he had no right to go riffling through Voldemort's things, which turned into a screaming match on Harry's part, accompanied with Voldemort's chilly responses.

Sighing, Harry blew out a puff of air, watching as a cloud formed in front of his mouth. The fight had been bad, mainly because it was the first time Harry could remember ever talking back to Voldemort. He had gotten sick and tired of being run over, of being demanded around. It reminded him uncomfortably of the Dursleys.

With a shiver, Harry turned to stare at the castle. The fight had ended with Voldemort calmly walking away, completely ignoring Harry's shouts for him to come back. Harry had done the first thing he could think of, and stormed outside. The castle was large, with large windows and a very dark air about it. If Harry hadn't personally seen the inside of the building, he never would've wanted to enter it.

Turning, Harry kicked at the snow. Thankfully, it was beginning to melt some, and the incredible mounds that had covered the ground were now beginning to diminish. Taking off around the castle, Harry curiously began taking in his surroundings. Finally, after what felt like forever, he came to the back of the castle. A great water fountain, which was frozen over and caked in moss and other grime, it looked as if it had once been beautiful but age had gotten to it. Ironically, a dragon was the centerpiece, roaring upwards. It's mouth was open and Harry couldn't help but wonder if at one point, water had come from it's mouth.

Spotting a nearby bench, Harry carefully brushed the snow from it and sat, his hand coming up to cradle his chin. He honestly had no idea why things had been so difficult lately. Harry had tired to ignore the man's sour attitude, but he was about fed up with it. He was beginning to wish that Voldemort would just hurry up and change back into a dragon so they could stop this uneasy dance that seemed to exist between them.

What must have been hours later, as the sky had finally darkened, Harry made his way back inside slowly. He was completely numb and he was sure that his lips must've been blue by this time. Entering the castle, Harry began stripping off his wet clothing right there in the entry way.

Just after he had thrown his soggy coat onto the floor, Voldemort appeared. The man threw a disdainful glance at the sopping wet fabric before staring at Harry with a raised eyebrow. Harry was beginning to think that the expression was a specialty of Voldemort's.

"So you decided to return after all. Too coward to leave in the end." Voldemort sneered nastily and Harry had to take several deep breaths and remind himself that he was going to be the mature one if Voldemort couldn't.

"If my presence bother's you this much, I will remove myself from your castle and continue on my way." Harry offered at last, his voice tense. Voldemort stared at him blankly for several long moments before sneering and storming away. Harry let out a soft rush of air, feeling as if he had finally won a battle with the stubborn man.

One week of stony silence later, Harry woke up feeling as if something had changed. He carefully stood, hissing at the cold temperature of the room. Even though spring was right around the corner the castle seemed to be permanently stuck in winter and was still freezing cold.

Standing in front of the closet, Harry ran his hand leisurely down the line of fine, luxurious fabrics. They were all clothing Voldemort had acquired over the years and had hardly ever wore, due to the fact that he lived as a dragon most of the time. Sometimes, Harry almost felt inferior wearing the clothing, and that was coming from a former prince!

After selecting his clothes for the day, Harry brushed through his long hair, a tedious task that almost made him wish he could just chop it all off. Carefully, he braided it before nodding, pleased with his work. He left his room soon after, setting out to search for Voldemort.

It had been while looking over the room the man had given him that Harry had come to his conclusion. Despite the stand off attitude Voldemort presented nearly constantly, he must've wanted Harry to be there, at least subconsciously. Otherwise, he would've given Harry rooms in the dungeons, somewhere that was unpleasant and would encourage him to hurry up and leave. With this realization, Harry had come to the decision that he was going to smooth things over with Voldemort. He would apologize, and hopefully things would return back to normal.

Upon entering the library, where Voldemort had stubbornly seated himself everyday for the past week, as if guarding his treasures, Harry was shocked to find the man missing. A childish voice in his head hissed that now was the time to completely trash the man's treasured collection of items but he firmly vetoed that idea. He was trying to reconcile with the man, not get himself kicked out!

Despite the fact that Voldemort wasn't in the library, Harry calmly began checking the other rooms he knew the man frequently visited. However, by the time he had checked Voldemort's bedroom, as a last resort, only to still not find the man, Harry was beginning to panic.

"Voldemort! Where are you? Listen, I'm sorry about everything, but this isn't funny!" Harry yelled out, running frantically down the hallways. When there was no answer he started off for the large front doors. It took some effort, but they finally swung open and Harry was hit with an icy chill of wind. Standing in the doorway, Harry threw his head back and screamed into the wind.

"Voldemort! Please come back! I'm sorry!"

Leisurely flying through the air, Voldemort executed a quick downward spiral, all of his tension draining away. Being a man for such a long time always made him tense. While he was in his human form, he was unable to express his anger with a burst of fire, or to fly to release his emotions.

Of course, it didn't help that the main source of both his tension and build up of emotions was currently living with him. Voldemort let out a short burst of flame as he remembered the argument. He was letting Harry live in his castle, for heaven's sake! Was it too much to ask for that his things weren't bothered!

Turning sharply, Voldemort forced himself to calm down. Now that he was back in his dragon form, things would be different. First, he would not have to spend all of his time in the man's exasperating presence. Second, he would now have the ability to come and go as he pleased, as being a dragon, the snow blocking the pathways could hardly bother him.

Just as Voldemort was beginning to think of the third plus to being a dragon, he heard the shouted words, carried on the wind.

"Voldemort! Please come back! I'm sorry!" He froze, only remembering to flap his wings occasionally when he rapidly began falling back towards earth. Tilting his head to the side curiously, Voldemort wondered if it had been a figment of his imagination. He thought he could remember reading somewhere that hallucinations were common in frequently stressed out people. Of course, he could just be imagining that as well.

"Please Voldemort!" This time, Voldemort was positive that he wasn't imagining things and he spun sharply and quickly began making his way back towards the castle. When the great building came into view, Voldemort nearly paused again in shock.

There was Harry, standing in the open doorway. He was shivering, but seemed unaware of the cold and his eyes were firmly fixed on the sky, desperately scanning for a glimpse of Voldemort. The thought caused a strange feeling to well up in his stomach and Voldemort snorted, a burst of flame escaping from his nose with the action.

Continuing his flight, Voldemort was so focused on Harry that he immediately noticed the relief that crossed the young man's face upon seeing him. Landing, as gently as possible, in front of Harry, Voldemort just continued to stare at the man's face and gradually, with the ringing silence surrounding them, Harry began to blush. The red color rising in his cheeks was rather fetching, although Voldemort would never say so out loud.

"I was worried about you." Harry finally murmured softly. He reached out, with a hand that only trembled slightly, and placed it gingerly on the dragons smoothly scaled face. Voldemort stood stock still, wondering what on earth was going on.

As those gentle fingers began stroking his large face, however, Voldemort came to a shocking realization. Harry was one of a kind. He knew, in that instant, that there was no one else in the entire world who would be able to stare down a dragon directly while gently stroking it's face. There was no way Voldemort could let such a man leave him.

"…and so although the King and Queen were never seen again, the Kingdom lived happily ever after. Hey, are you even listening to me?" Harry asked indignantly. Voldemort did not respond. Sitting up from where he had been leaning against the large dragon, Harry turned to find that the shinning ruby eyes had closed and a gentle snoring sound could be heard. With a gentle smile on his face, Harry reached for another book, cracked it open and began to read, the spring sun shinning down around them.

Voldemort watched, with barely concealed interest, as Harry's rear end wiggled in the air. Tilting his head to the side, Voldemort decided, rather seriously, that it was the best behind he had ever had the pleasure of viewing.

"Please stop staring at my behind." The words were spoken softly, and the amusement was in no way disguised. With a sharp jerk of his head, Voldemort jerked his eyes elsewhere, caught off guard and hating it. He felt that if he had been human at the time, he would be blushing.

The wind was roaring all around them and Harry threw his head back, laughing loudly into the open sky. Throwing his arms out, Harry allowed himself to flow with the easy turns the dragon was making. As Voldemort began to spiral downwards in lazy turns, Harry brought his arms back down around the dragons neck. He leaned forward until he was resting on his stomach, almost as if he was hugging the dragon.

Pressing his cheek against the cool scales, Harry decided that he couldn't be happier than that moment in time.

Harry was working in the gardens when they arrived. He was rather surprised that he hadn't heard them first, but he figured that after living with a dragon for several months, he had become used to crashing sounds coming through the forest.

However, it wasn't his beloved dragon that emerged, but an entire troop of men, all riding horses and carrying various weapons.

"Prince Potter, we have come to save you from your horrible imprisonment." The man in front announced. He was clearly the leader, wearing a glowing gold instead of the dark red the rest of the knights wore. Harry was hardly surprised. He had wondered how long it would take the Dursley's men to find him, however, he hadn't expected them to be so stupid.

Standing, Harry absently brushed his knees free of dirt, then his hands before turning to face the men, hands on his hips. Harry could only hope that he could distract the group long enough for Voldemort to realize something was wrong and arrive before anything got physical.

"Does it look like I have been imprisoned?" His sharp words had the knights hesitating, clearly unsure of how to answer. Harry patiently waited, mentally yelling for Voldemort to hurry up and arrive.

"No…but it could be a trap! Yes, a trap!" At the eager words, the knights all began to look around quickly, as if searching for a man to be standing behind him nodding, saying 'yes, this was a trap, my smart man. Very clever of you to catch it'. Sometimes, Harry wondered how the Dursley's could believe that they were good rulers when they were forced to interact with the incredibly stupid people they had hired. Then he remembered that the Dursley's were rather stupid themselves.

"I can assure you that this is definitely not a trap. I have not, nor will I be, imprisoned, so you may return to the Dursley's and inform them that I will not be returning." Harry internally winced immediately after he had spoken, knowing that he had gotten too far ahead of himself. The man in charge immediately changed from a worried knight to a rather frightening looking bounty hunter.

"I'm terribly sorry, but we were told to not return until we had you with us, so you will have to come with us after all." As soon as he had finished speaking, Harry was surrounding. Standing carefully still, knowing that any sudden movements would result in Harry getting hurt, he mentally began running through his options. There weren't very many, unfortunately.

Before Harry could being to execute one of his, admittedly, rather stupid and dangerous plans, a loud roar rang through the air. Immediately, everyone's attention was away from Harry and focused on the direction the sound had come from. Inwardly, Harry began doing a little dance. Voldemort was on his way! Everything would be fine now.

A hand around his waist pulling him upward suddenly made Harry scream out in shock, and slightly from pain as well. The sound seemed to ring in the nearly deserted forest area and everyone froze for a moment, Harry dangling in midair.

"We must hurry." The sharp command pushed everything into action and Harry was roughly swung onto a horse in front of a rather badly smelling man. Harry shivered and began to struggle, doing everything he could to jump from the horse. As the procession of knights sped into high gear and began galloping out of the garden area, arms clamped down around Harry harshly, holding him firmly in place.

"Voldemort!" Harry's scream rang out through the air and before Harry could even draw in another breath to yell again, a sweaty palm was secured over his mouth. Harry began struggling harder, wondering if this is how it would all end. Him be forcefully removed from Voldemort.

Voldemort had just finished enjoying a rather refreshing dive in the moat surrounding his castle when a stillness came over the forest. Pausing in stepping from the water, Voldemort cocked his head to the side and faintly, in the distance, he heard a horse neigh. There were not supposed to be horsemen in his forest, and definitely not this close to his castle. Throwing his head back, Voldemort emitted a deafening roar that shook the tears before tearing into action.

He was airborne mere seconds later, flying at an even pace towards the direction the sound had come from. It was hardly very far away, which worried him. Aside from Harry, no one should be this close. Harry. Voldemort's heart seemed to stop in his chest. It was Harry.

"Voldemort!" The shout rang through Voldemort's sensitive ears and the dragon easily picked up the incredible fear expressed in the one word. Now with a mission, he began flying much more quickly, unable to name it as rushing.

However, when he heard the sound of galloping horses, Voldemort didn't care at all, and began rushing. There were no more calls of help from Harry and Voldemort allowed himself a moment to worry that something must have been down to quiet him. Before he could get too far into his panicked rambling, he spotted the quickly fleeing troop of men. They were all decked out in bright gold and red, hardly the best colors to blend in with the surrounding forest. Voldemort made a mental note to ask Harry about why they were wearing red and gold in the first place.

Flying quicker, Voldemort easily got ahead of the group and landed softly in an open clearing, standing directly in the path the foolish men were headed. Just as expected, the first horseman broke through the trees and immediately let out a shout of warning, but it was too late, they had been riding too closely together and the entire troop was soon there, horses prancing around nervously at being in such close proximity to a dangerous beast such as himself.

As Voldemort was unable to speak in his dragon form, although he really wished he could so he could verbally flay that stupid knights, he let out an ear splitting roar instead. It seemed to work even better than words would have, as immediately the men began to quake and shiver in their saddles. Inwardly, Voldemort smirked, but his fury soon reached it's peak when he caught sight of Harry, his Harry, roughly being held in one of the barbarians grasp. A hand was firmly clamped over the young man's mouth and the other hand, as they were no longer riding, had grasped the lovely braid that Voldemort did so admire. Harry's head was yanked back at an awkward angle that looked incredibly uncomfortable.

Ruby eyes narrowing, Voldemort shot out a jet of flame at one side of the group of horsemen. Immediately screaming filled the air as about a third of the man caught on fire. The foolish idiots raced off into the forest, horses making noises of distress and no longer willing to be controlled by the men on their backs. Turning, menacingly to face the rest of the group, Voldemort kept his eyes fixated on Harry.

The knight holding him did not seem to get the message and had yet to release his Harry. The other knights were beginning to look rather nervous now, aside from the one in front, the only one wearing gold, obviously the leader, and the one holding Harry.

So, Voldemort did the only reasonable thing, he turned and took out another third of the troop, smirking in satisfaction as they took off as well. Voldemort merely had to step forward menacingly before the rest of the troop, except for the leader and Harry's captor, disappeared. Voldemort paid them no mind. In fact, it was better that some were left alive, so that word would travel that a vicious dragon was guarding Harry. Hopefully it would stop any other attempts to steal the young man from Voldemort.

Taking another step forward, Voldemort wondered just how far he was going to have to take this before the idiots realized that they weren't leaving this forest alive. The man holding his Harry warily glanced between the leader of the group, who still had a look of stupid confidence on his face, and the dragon before deciding that the leader was obviously the less dangerous of the two. Good decision. However, throwing Harry harshly to the ground was bad. Very bad. Voldemort's keen ears immediately picked up the pained whimper Harry gave out, obviously trying to cover up the sound.

With a harsh growl, Voldemort reached forward, and with a quick snap of his powerful jaw, the man was eaten. The horse, now free of any order, fled into the forest. The leader was, finally, beginning to look rather nervous now, as he was now alone, facing a furious dragon.

Voldemort ignore the man for the moment, turning to Harry. The young man was staring up at him through dazed green eyes. His hand was clamped down around his arm and pain had drawn his features tight. With a gentle nudge from his nose, Voldemort had the young man on his feet. Harry, now familiar with this, quickly approached the dragon, who crouched accordingly. Once Harry was safely positioned on his back, Voldemort turned to face the remaining knight. He eyed the man disdainfully for a few long moments, before he could feel Harry's legs squeeze down around his neck. With a snort, and one last short burst of flame, Voldemort carefully took to the air, all of his attention focused on the fragile, injured cargo holding onto his back. They left the forest to screams ringing through the air.

"Why were they after you?" It was the first words Voldemort had spoken in month's and he cleared his throat, uncomfortably aware of how rough his voice sounded. Unused. Laying on the bed, Harry hissed through his teeth, his good hand clenching as Voldemort tried to set the arm as painlessly as possible.

"There is something I have not yet told you." The words were soft and Voldemort immediately paused after registering them. Very carefully he set down his supplies and sat back on his heels, eyes trained on Harry's face. He knew that the young man could feel his stare, yet Harry's eyes remained stubbornly trained on the ceiling high about them.

"I was formerly known as Prince Harrison Potter. My parents were killed in a 'freak' horse riding incident. My aunt and uncle eagerly stepped forward to take over the throne." As Harry paused to catch his breath, trying to breath through the pain, a look of dawning realization was passing over Voldemort's face. He had heard the gossip, of course. Being a dragon didn't mean that he wasn't politically aware of the on goings of other Kingdoms. He had heard of the tragic deaths, both king and queen dead at once. It was highly suspicious, and many of the whispers he heard were doubtful of the true reason of death. However, once Vernon and Petunia Dursley took over, the whispers were soon silence. Voldemort could remember hearing of all of the stupid changes the power hungry couple had made, and how eager they were to marry off their son. Money hungry, he had heard them called more than once. Slowly, Voldemort was beginning to put together the pieces.

"They would do anything for more riches. Anything, including selling me off. Once they realized that their whale of a son wasn't likely to get married, they turned to me. A marriage was soon arranged between myself and a Weasley girl." Here, Harry paused again and Voldemort had to hide a wince. He knew of the Weasley's, almost everyone did.

They were devoted follower's of King Dumbledore, a man who had gone slightly crazy in his old age. He was always preaching about uniting the Kingdoms and was always eagerly looking for someone to battle. Voldemort had briefly entertained the idea of taking the man out, but had soon decided to live a more quiet life. The Weasley's, however, were very far from being rich, like most families of Advisers. Dumbledore himself had often preached that money held little value, and that love was the key to life. Disturbingly, he had a rather large group of followers, mostly the incredibly poor, who all flocked to his Kingdom. It was rather surprising that the money hungry Dursley's would arrange a marriage with such a poor family, but the family must have offered something extraordinary in response.

"After growing up seeing the love my parents had for one another, a deep love that I have seen no where else, I refused to be subjected to such a marriage. A forced farce of a commitment to a little girl I had never met before. When it came right down to it, I could either live my life unhappy, or I could leave. I decided that leaving was the best option. It wasn't until I saw you that I realized just how bad my situation was. I had grown up in the Potter Kingdom my entire life. I had no friends in any of the neighboring Kingdoms, and while I had studied them all as a child, times have changed and I have no idea how things work anywhere else. I was helpless. I don't want to make it sound like you were my last resort, but you kind of were. And at first, I was nervous about living with a man who could turn into a dragon, but I've grown to like it here." By the end of his story, Harry had a lovely red blush on his cheeks and Voldemort was enraptured.

Without thinking, mind simply focused on that glorious color filling his Harry's face, Voldemort leaned forward and gently trailed a finger down the warm skin. Harry's lips parted in an involuntary gasp and Voldemort smirked slightly to himself. Sitting up on his knees, he leaned over the young man, forcing Harry to maintain eye contact.

"I've grown to like having you here as well." Voldemort whispered, watching as Harry's eyes fluttered at the feel of his warm breath washing over him. Voldemort found himself inching closer to those perfect looking lips. Just one kiss. That's all he wanted. Every reason as to why he shouldn't do this, the first being that he was a dragon most of the time!, flew from his head as their lips connected.

For a first kiss, Harry had to admit that it was rather good. Okay, better than just rather good. Amazing. Wonderful. Breathtaking. The pressure against his own lips was perfect and Harry's mouth parted in another gasp as Voldemort's lips began to gently move against his own.

Oh. Oh! So this was kissing. As Voldemort gently licked at his lip and Harry opened his mouth slightly wider and the wonderfully wet tongue slipped into his own mouth, Harry's mind shut down. Tentatively he began kissing back, unsure of himself, at least until Voldemort let out a soft groan, a hand coming up behind his head to pull him closer to the man. Harry let out a low moan, instinctively bringing his arms up to wrap them around the man's neck. Only to pause and break away with a sudden screech of pain. His arm! He had forgotten about his stupid, broken arm!

Voldemort yanked back at the pained sound, looking adorably confused until he caught sight of the tears in Harry's eyes and the way he clutched at his injured appendage.

"You silly boy." Voldemort murmured fondly, sitting back and picking up his medical supplies to begin fixing Harry up. Absently, he licked his lips, finding that he could still taste Harry there. His eyes dilated and he mentally began calculating how long it would take before his Harry was healed. He could not wait until he could do everything he had been thinking of to that beautiful body.

"Voldemort?" Harry breathed quietly, into the silent room. Hands moving quickly in wrapping his arm, Voldemort hummed questioningly.

"Thank you. For everything." Voldemort paused slightly, before rising up to place an almost chaste, gentle kiss on those sweet lips. Pulling back, he stared into shinning green eyes and knew that his life was finally complete.

"No Harry, thank you." For teaching an old dragon to love.