Survival of the Species


by
Romaine



3 The Perfect Storm

They reached the foot of the mountain by late morning, though time had begun to lose its meaning. The sun rose early in the morning and set late at night. They both recognised, in just the few days that they had been there, that the darkness had increased by over a half-hour. Harry couldn’t fathom being there for the two to three months when the sun never rose. They stopped and had a small meal of berries and warmed-up left over soup. They each removed a layer of clothing; they could each still see their breath, but they seemed to be acclimatising to the persistent cold. A small breeze from the west blew upon them and was an actual relief from the stillness of the air.

The meal was followed by mugs of tea. Harry would have preferred coffee, but discovered, to his horror, that coffee was the one item he forgot to pack. Draco stared up at the mountain; in some places, it would be called a hill, but here, where the watery horizon went on forever, it was a mountain. A glacier blanketed the west face and half of the south. Draco told Harry that his previous expeditions into mountainous terrain revealed small camps as one climbed up. If they found them, they would likely be in caves or under overhangs.

Harry stood up as the breeze turned more forceful, its direction now coming from the north. He continued drinking his tea and began to feel uneasy. He was sensing something, a hint of something he hadn’t felt for days: magic.

Draco rose to his feet and suggested that they begin to climb. However, for the first time on the trip, Harry suggested they walk around to see the other side. Draco looked at Harry questioningly, recognising that their usual pattern of Harry just following Draco’s directions had been broken. The corners of Harry’s mouth turned up. “What is it?” Draco said, trying not to sound too hopeful.

“Magic, Draco, I feel magic. It’s not coming from the top, but somewhere from the east,” Harry said. He stood still and closed his eyes, trying to understand where the few thin tendrils captured by the gusts were coming from. “North-east,” Harry whispered, and then opened his eyes.

Draco’s eyes widened. The magical campfire was immediately put out, and the lunch remainders were packed away. They slipped on their protective gloves and made haste for the east side of the mountain.

They struggled against the gusts of wind as they began their afternoon trek over the frozen earth, and had only walked for a mile when Draco stopped mid-stride. Harry once again ran into him as his face and eyes were cast downwards trying to evade the wind. “Look, Harry!” Draco said excitedly. “There’s a path.” His gloved finger pointed to a foothill of the mountain, where Harry could now see a deep crevice. He would have never noticed the path, as it looked like the rocky terrain they were currently walking on, but then he saw it was crushed rock, and every ten meters or so, large granite boulders stood on either side.

Despite the wind and the increase of the grade, their strides quickened. Harry smiled to himself, knowing that if he weren’t there, Draco probably would have been running. As they neared the crevice, the wind subsided, being blocked by the mountainous rocks. The large gap was wide enough for one to walk through comfortably. Once they were near enough, it looked to be a narrow canyon caused by a split in the hill. The layers of compressed rock overwhelmed both of them. Unlike the path in the glacier, which was whites and blues, this was deep brown with strips of green, black, and rust. Veins of bluish-green and pink sparkling crystals ran like branches of trees throughout. The path was smooth, but the height increased. Curves stopped them from viewing any scene ahead, but both jerked their heads up when a shadow passed overhead and the sun was briefly obscured.

“Can you feel it?” Harry asked. He was sure they were at the heart of the small mountain, as the walls of rock were at their highest. “It’s fucking pure, Draco, I’ve never felt anything close to it. Not even at Hogwarts.”

Draco gave warning that he was stopping by raising his hand up. He turned around, and his smile was brilliant. “Yes, I’ve never been able to feel it like this before. I always had to cast spells.”

The tip of Harry’s tongue ran over his dry lips. “Hell, you can almost taste it. Let’s go.”

Draco spun back around and they walked even faster. “Stop!” Draco yelled. He stepped forward two steps and then moved to the side. The gap had ended.

“Merlin, Malfoy, what the hell is it?” Harry asked as they gazed down the open path leading to an almost completely sheltered pebbled beach. To the left of the shore was a small hillside covered in mounds of rocks.

“Burial site,” Draco whispered in awe.

They scampered down the path, barely taking notice of the vegetation that covered the hillside. They both jumped from large rock to large rock near the bottom until their feet finally landed on the small smooth stones. What had looked to be a small cove from above suddenly seemed expansive. The rock shoreline went deep into the overhang of the mountainous cliff.

“Careful,” Draco said and pointed down at their feet. There were pieces of matted straw strewn about. “Woven baskets,” he added, as he stepped around the pieces.

Harry didn’t have to ask where they were going; he knew the burial site was foremost in Draco’s mind. The bones, Harry knew from the books Draco had lent him, would reveal the history of who these people, these Dragon Riders, were. His legs being longer, Draco easily made it up the first rock on the left edge of the cove. He then helped pull Harry up, both being careful not to step into the lapping water. From there, they hopped from rock to rock until they reached the slanted hillside covered in oval mounds of rocks.

Draco was panting; they were both out of breath. “As much as I want to get started, I need to take some pictures and then we need to review the procedures.” Draco withdrew a camera and began clicking away as he recited the procedures. “Levitate one rock at a time and mark it as you set it aside. We need to return every stone to its original position,” Draco said between breaths.

Harry was bent over holding onto his knees, still trying to gain his breath. “Got it, and then we stop at the first sight of bone. But why are they above ground?”

“Come on, Potter, put your Auror brain to work,” Draco said snidely as he set down the camera and removed the flask of water from his rucksack.

Harry looked up and stuck his tongue out at him. “Give me a minute,” he said. He wanted to hex Draco as he heard him counting to sixty. “Okay, the ground is frozen, but they could have used magic…unless, they couldn’t control how big the hole was.”

“So far, so good, keep going,” Draco encouraged.

Harry closed his eyes for a moment, trying to think why wizards couldn’t control the amounts of magic. “Wands!” he burst out. “They didn’t have wands.”

“Good enough,” Draco said. “The Shaman and the leader of the group might have, but they were a rare commodity centuries ago, and I doubt there was a wand-maker around,” Draco added, between sips of water. He handed the flask to Harry.

“Okay, I’m going to start with the top one. You start with the one closest to it. I’ve counted three dozen. I’d like to uncover at least six today.”

Harry nodded and put the lid back on the flask. They walked to the top mound of rocks on the hillside. They set their rucksacks down nearby and each slowly removed the first rocks from their respective piles. Harry watched the expertise of Draco in action; he was methodical, and his wand movements precise. He was significantly faster than Harry was, but Harry knew that Draco wasn’t interested in speed, but in the results.

It had only been ten minutes when Harry heard Draco mumble and then grumble, “Male, late twenties, oh shite, shite, shite!”

“What is it?” Harry asked as he carefully set down the rock he had been levitating.

Draco stepped over to the grave Harry was working on. “Do you mind? I need to know now,” he asked, as he began removing the rocks. Soon Harry saw the first bone appear. Draco didn’t stop, but continued until the full skeleton was in view. Even Harry could see the man died from a broken neck. “Fucking hell!” Draco yelled.

“What?” Harry yelled back.

Draco shook and looked over to Harry. “Sorry, not directed at you. These are Veela-wizards, Potter. Just like the ones in the Pyrenees.”

“How can you tell?” Harry asked, looking at what appeared to be a normal male skeleton. He thought he knew it was male from Draco’s discussions with him on bone length and density, but he really wouldn’t stake his life on it.

“Look at the shoulder blades, they are elongated and there is an extra large vertebrae right here. In a female, you would see more definition of the actual wings. The males don’t transform.”

Harry stood there looking in amazement at what Draco was pointing out to him. “What’s he holding?” Harry asked as he saw a something in the wizard’s grasp.

Draco removed more of the rocks. It was a small knife, much like some of the ones Draco had in his collection at home. “This is different,” Draco said slowly. “Ah, it’s to shuck shellfish with.”

“Not to remove babies?” Harry joked.

Draco growled at him. “No, the one I found was next to where a Shaman was buried. He wouldn’t have been buried with the rest. Somewhere around here is another burial site for the Shamans and any tribal leaders that perished.”

“So do want to uncover the rest of these?”

Draco reached across and batted Harry on the head. “Of course, you git; with my luck there will be a female and shoot my theory all to hell.”

Harry sighed. “Draco, now might be a good time for you to let me know what your theory is.”

Draco picked up his rucksack and withdrew a fur blanket. He laid it down and sat upon it. “Have a sit, Potter, this will take a few and I don’t want to talk while working. It’s too easy to make a mistake.”

Harry sat down and pulled his knees close to his chest. The gusts of wind seemed to have found them once again. He watched as Draco searched through his bag and pulled out a pipe. Harry coughed.

“Will it bother you?”

Harry laughed. “No, I just wasn’t aware that you had one.”

“Ah, well I only smoke once in a while and then only outside. Mother and Chantal don’t approve of the smell,” Draco said as he opened a small pouch and retrieved a large pinch of tobacco. He packed it in tightly and then lit it with his wand as he drew on the stem.

“Part of my research that no one but my father is aware of, is tracing the genealogy of Veela who have mated with a wizard. True Veela are females, but their offspring can be male or female. After a few generations, a female Veela-witch loses her ability to transform. She must be at least one-eighth and you can visibly see the differences in their bones. It is the males that are the most curious, as they pass the traits we see before us down directly. They don’t diminish. You can tell from the bones, whether any male has Veela blood in his ancestry.”

Draco stopped and released a few rings of smoke. The wind quickly dispersed them.

“But, Draco, I know Fleur has males in her family and they don’t seem to be getting pregnant,” Harry asked, bewildered.

Draco nodded. “That’s the mystery, isn’t it?”

Harry chuckled. “Yeah, that and what gives them that capability when it does, or rather did, happen?”

Draco rested his pipe on his knee, a wry grin passed over his face. “They inherit it from the pure Veela in their lineage. A pure Veela is more bird than human. She can transform into a human, but given the choice, she will behave more like a bird. She lays eggs and they hatch. She has asexual reproduction. When mated with a wizard in her human form, though, she will produce a baby like any other witch.”

Harry shook his head. “I don’t get it. Why would the male have this trait?”

“Survival of the species, Potter. Remember, you were the one who said that life struggles to survive and will adapt. I believe that is what happened. This ability to produce was passed onto the males as well as the females. The question is what triggers it and why don’t we see it happening now?”

“Do you have any theories?”

Draco brought the pipe to his lips, looked down upon the cove, and then up to the cliff above them. “I had an inkling before, and now I think I’m right. Isolation. The site in the Pyrenees was extremely remote, though maybe not as remote as this.” Draco laughed. “Somehow, the Veela blood recognises that survival is at stake. I think it must take more than a wizard going on a trip or the like, but a true knowledge that one is isolated and might never make it out alive could trigger it. I’m guessing here, but that is my hypothesis.”

Harry’s gloved finger traced lines through the fur. His Auror mind, as Draco put it, was engaged. “Why would a pure Veela mate with a wizard?”

“Excellent question, Potter. I’m impressed,” Draco said and somehow did not sound condescending. “Again, survival of the species. The Veela have been around longer than most magical species, and that is because they learned to reproduce a variety of ways. With the Veela type of asexual reproduction, the offspring are all clones of the mother. This is okay if the line is strong, but if an unfavourable mutation occurs, the whole line is in jeopardy. If she is capable of passing her genes down by another method, sexual reproduction, her line survives. There are plants and some animals that do this. In fact, most of the plants we see on this island reproduce asexually, as the conditions are not favourable for germination or cross-pollination. However, many of them still do produce seeds and once in awhile, the wind will carry pollen to another of its kind, and germination will occur if there is any soil where the seed falls.”

“Neville,” Harry spoke the name aloud. “That is why you’ve been talking with Neville.”

“Yes, Professor Longbottom,” Draco drawled. “Slayer of the snake and Herbology geek.”

Harry laughed, despite not wanting too. There was still one question that needed to be answered, but he waited until Draco finished with his latest set of smoke rings.

“Draco, what got you interested in Veela?”

Draco’s eyes focused on Harry. To Harry, they once again appeared to be coloured silver. An almost bashful expression Harry had never seen on Draco’s face emerged.

“One line of the Malfoy men has this trait.”

Memories of the remarks Draco used to spout in his youth sprung forward. “Do you have this trait?” Harry asked cautiously.

Draco nodded. “Yes, and if you saw the Malfoy family tree displayed, you could trace the line.”

“The third limb,” Harry stated.

“The third limb,” Draco repeated. “That and quite a few marriages across all three lines.”

Harry quickly brought his hand to cover his mouth and turned away. He couldn’t control his shoulders from shaking as he tried to stifle the laughter. The irony of Lucius and Draco Malfoy not being pure-bloods was too much for him.

“Think it’s funny, Potter?” Draco asked sarcastically. Harry cringed at the tone; it reminded him of the Slytherin boy he knew at Hogwarts.

Harry shook his head. He counted to twenty to calm himself down. “No, Draco, I don’t think it’s funny, but I do think we’d best get off this island soon.”

Draco coughed. “Why, Harry? Do you plan on having sex with me?”

Harry choked on the little saliva he had in his mouth. “No! Fuck no! It just seemed funny that we are as remote as one can get, and you are part Veela, which, you have just enlightened me, means you can get pregnant.”

Draco extinguished his pipe and put it away. He stood up and Harry did the same.

“Look, Harry, even if we were stranded here, it would still take you fucking me to make that happen, and I don’t see that in our future. Do you?”

Harry sighed, knowing he had either upset Draco and/or insulted him.

“No, Draco, I don’t.”

Draco folded the fur skin and put it back in his bag. “Then I don’t think we have anything to worry about.”


~*~*~*~*~


Harry lay in bed, thinking over what had transpired during the day. It seemed so long ago since they had awakened by the stream and packed up. They should have been celebrating tonight; instead, hardly speaking a word, Draco had worked on his drawings and notes, and then gone to bed. He was tired too, but still he felt the excitement of the discovery. They had ended up uncovering twelve of the Veela-wizards and minor artefacts that were buried with them. Some had spears for fishing, others knives for cleaning animals and skinning them. Overall, it revealed a tough life for the previous occupants. They all seemed to have died young, even by Muggle standards. The toughest grave was the last one. It was of a young boy Draco guessed wasn’t more than twelve. They stopped for the day on that discovery, both thinking of their own sons, and set up their camp for the next few days. They placed the tent far back from the shore, under the overhang from the cliff where the feel of magic was at its strongest.

Harry blew the candle out, turned on his side facing Draco, and fell asleep. He had barely closed his eyes when the images appeared fast and furious. The sky seemed to be blazing with lights of green, blue and pink. Harry had seen the Northern Lights before, but nothing compared to what he was envisioning now.

“You both did well today, Harry,” came the voice of Lusi.

Harry looked around. He wasn’t on a cloud this time, but on the shore right outside the tent door, yet he couldn’t see her.

“Your bird is sad,” she stated.

“Yes, I know, and I also know why you call him a bird,” Harry replied.

“It is your responsibility to care for him, Harry. He will never ask you to. I sense great pride in him.”

Harry laughed. “Yes, he does have that.”

He heard the dragon snort and felt a great warmth around him. “Do not belittle his situation. He is of a noble race; he comes from the original Dragon Riders. They were very brave and honourable wizards.”

“But why are you speaking with me and not him?” Harry asked curiously.

“Because you have the magical gift to understand me, just as you once understood what the snakes had to say.”

Harry’s heart darkened, he thought he had rid himself of Voldemort’s influence on his body. He gazed back up at the sky, with its wispy dancing lights; he wanted to touch its beauty and diminish the feeling starting to course through him.

“No, it did not come from him; you inherited it naturally. It is not related to being a Veela-wizard. There were only a few that could talk with the dragons and they were usually the tribal leaders and Shamans. They could, of course, share the gift, but most never did.”

“Why not?”

Harry felt another burst of warmth blow past him. “Power, it’s always about power, isn’t it?” she asked rhetorically.

“I would share it with Draco,” Harry declared.

“Good, then why don’t you bring him out here to meet me? He, after all, has shared so much of his life with you, and I must say I am disappointed that you did not reassure him when he needed it most.”

It was Harry’s turn to snort. “I’m sorry, Lusi, I don’t understand.”

“Males,” she groaned. “The wizard admitted that he was capable of becoming pregnant, and you seemed to think it was funny.”

Harry took a deep breath, it was the first time he noticed he couldn’t see it in the air. “I didn’t…I don’t…hell. I don’t think any less of him for it. It’s different, but….”

“But what, Harry? You don’t think of him as a freak?”

Harry felt the low blow in his gut. He knew exactly how Draco must be feeling. “Fuck, I blew it.”

“Yes, and I would prefer you watch your language while speaking with me, Dragon Rider.”

A single memory came to the forefront, one of Albus Dumbledore reprimanding the Dursleys for their poor manners. Is that what he was doing? He was well-mannered at Hogwarts, and at work, but this wasn’t work, this was…this was Draco’s work…Harry sighed, he knew better. “My apologies, Lusi. I will go get Draco now.”

Harry didn’t know if this was a vision or a dream, but as he looked upon a sleeping Draco after he lit the candle, he knew it didn’t matter. He wanted to share whatever this was with him. “Draco, Draco, wake up,” Harry said softly as he touched his bare shoulder.

“Potter? What is it?” Draco mumbled, blinking his eyes open.

“Come outside with me, I want to you to speak with Lusi. I can’t see her, but she’s out there,” Harry whispered.

Draco’s eyes opened further. “Harry, are you okay?”

“I’m fine, come on, the Northern Lights are out tonight too,” Harry replied and grabbed Draco’s hand in his, pulling him out of bed.

“Wait, we’re starkers,” Draco said as Harry dragged him through the tent entrance.

Harry laughed. “Draco, this is a dream. You are in my dream.”

“And you have me naked? Oh, Morgana….” Draco mumbled as the Glacier Dragon stood on the shore, towering above them.

“No, my sweet bird, Lusi is my name.”

Harry tried releasing Draco’s hand, but the fingers squeezed his tighter.

“I am truly honoured, Lusi,” Draco said and bowed before her.

She snorted and blasts of warm steam enveloped them. “As am I, Draco Malfoy. It has been centuries since the island has been blessed with a Dragon Rider and a Cock.”

“A what?” Harry asked, trying not to giggle. He knew he had already offended Draco earlier.

“A cock, Harry, you know, a male bird,” Draco whispered, squeezing his hand tighter. Harry sensed that Draco was both in awe and a bit scared.

“Oh.”

They both stood on the pebbled beach with their heads strained, looking up at the spectacular dragon before them. She waved her long neck as if stretching, and her white iridescent wings expanded before she folded them and lay down before them. “You have questions, Draco, of which I will answer a few, but first you must understand something about your partner next to you. I watched you sulk this evening, and my heart broke for you. As Harry must learn to completely trust you, you must learn to trust him. His heart is large and he holds no malice or thought of you being any less of a wizard because of your Veela background. Isn’t that right, Harry?”

Harry glanced over to Draco. “She’s like a mum, but she is right, Draco. I don’t think of you as a freak. In fact, I think it is incredible that you have such a noble background.”

“Really?” Draco asked sceptically.

Harry nodded. “Really.”

“Draco, you may ask two questions each night I visit, so plan them carefully.”

Draco finally released Harry’s hand and stepped forward a few steps. “Where are the Shamans and tribal leaders buried?”

“Behind you, but you cannot enter tonight.”

Harry and Draco both turned around, and for the first time noticed a large opening above the overhang. It was a cave.

“You will know when you are allowed to enter my lair. One more question, now.”

“What happened to the Dragon Riders? Why did they go dormant?”

“Ah, those are actually two questions, but I will allow it. There are two ways for the dormancy to occur. The first is if too many are in a colony. If this occurs, the Rightful Heir is given a few members to start another colony, far away from the first. The second way is if they encounter females. A witch is the preferable way to reproduce, as there are many dangers for a Cock in bearing children.

“As to the Dragon Riders who lived here, they died from a Muggle disease. It was brought from the large island. The Shaman himself was the cause. He went to gather ingredients for his potions and was exposed to the infected. Only the leader survived and he died soon afterwards. The dragons flew to the east and that is where I believe you found another colony. It was unfortunate that colony was already decimated as there was no one to care for the dragon eggs.”

Harry and Draco both looked at each other questioningly and then back to Lusi. She lumbered up to her standing position and then lowered her head next to theirs. “That would be another question,” she said and then with a massive flutter of her wings she flew up into her cave. “Good night, Harry and Draco,” she said as the opening to the cave disappeared.


They both rushed back into the tent as they started to feel an immediate chill after she left. Draco crawled back in bed, shivering. Harry did the same.

“Unbelievable, fucking unbelievable” Draco whispered, sounding like a boy who got everything he wanted for Christmas.

Harry grinned to himself and blew out the candle, but not before casting a Warming Charm on both of their beds.


~*~*~*~*~


The morning of the seventh day, they woke up early and began to pack away their belongings and the few artefacts they would take home with them. It was going to be a long walk back to the centre of the island, where they expected the crevice in the glacier to appear. Harry could tell Draco was disappointed. Lusi had returned and answered his questions for two nights in a row. She told him how she and the other Glacier Dragons had survived. Without Dragon Riders to care for their eggs and keep them warm, their mothers and grandmothers laid them in nests of other dragons, because a Glacier Dragon died after laying her eggs. Very few survived after being hatched, as the surrogate mother was not likely to care for them. Those that did survive were born with the memories and instincts of their biological mother. Once they were strong enough to fly great distances, they would migrate to their native lands, seek out a mate, and then wait for a Dragon Rider to appear. It had been centuries, and now only four of their kind survived. The other female was in the Himalayas, and Lusi was obviously not fond of her.

Harry watched as Draco would glance up at the steep mountainside, hoping to see the cave entrance appear. Harry admitted he hoped it would too, but even if it didn’t, he had to admit he’d an incredible time on the island. It was an adventure, but also he had learned so much from Draco and Lusi about magical history. Moreover, he would never forget the short flight Lusi took them on during the early sunrise. That alone was worth the whole trip.

Harry had climbed on first and Draco had followed, holding onto Harry for dear life. It reminded Harry of the one broom ride they took together, but then they were fleeing death and now they were embracing life. High over the island they soared, and for the first time, they discovered where they were. Upernavik Island was to the south-east of Cock Island. Harry recognised Qaarsorsuaq Mountain from high up. Lusi spoke to them of her flights, and explained that at seven years a dragon could take a wizard upon her back and at ten could take two. During wars in ancient times, it was common for two to ride at once, one guiding and defending, while the other cast hexes if wanded or threw spelled spears, hitting their intended marks.

The tent was finally placed back into Draco’s bag. Draco walked the cove making sure there was no sign of their ever having been there. The Pyrenees site, which was much larger and contained a plethora of artefacts, was still being excavated by students like he once was, trying to learn all they could about their magical heritage. No one would be coming back here but him, and maybe Harry or possibly Scorpius in the future.

Harry sat on a rock, after first warming it a bit. He nibbled on the last of the blueberries of the season. He could already tell the temperatures would be dropping steadily soon. Right now, though, he loved the autumn crispness. He thought of home and how a few warm days or weeks were still possible. He daydreamed of sitting on the porch, watching the leaves fall as he drank his large mug of coffee. He was sucked out of his thoughts as a jolt of unease coursed through his system, and he felt the ground below him shift and then begin to shake. He tried to stand, but his legs were useless as the earth below him rumbled. He could hear Draco yelling in the distance, his voice seemed so far away, “To the east! Look to the east!”

Harry’s head jerked to his right, and over the cove’s protection wall the skyline of morning grey was shot with blasts of red, green, and gold. He stumbled over to where Draco was on the shore and together they watched in horror. This wasn’t nature’s doing, it wasn’t Muggles, it was magic. Even from miles away, Harry knew that Stunning spells and Killing Curses were being cast. The sky filled with the lightning bolts of colours, and the air was disturbed with sounds that carried like thunder.

Behind them, small rocks began to tumble down the cliff. They both spun around and watched in awe as granite stairs formed to an open cave. A voice screamed in his brain, “Harry, I’m coming home!”

Harry grabbed Draco’s hand and they climbed the heavy hewn stairs. “She’s coming, Draco, she’s coming,” Harry panted. Draco’s longer legs were faster and he coerced Harry to climb quicker than he thought he could manage.

They reached the entrance gasping for breath. Before they could see inside, their attention was hijacked by the screeching in the air. They could see her trying to fly, her wings were torn, and her claws held something in their grasp. As she neared, they saw the blood pouring from open wounds, and she released what she held and it fell onto the shore. It was a man. Harry knew it was Vilhelm, and he knew by the landing that he was dead. Lusi tumbled past them and into the cave.

“Hurry,” she cried, “Hurry.”

Both were startled to hear her speak, but still they raced into the cave. It was massive and covered in ice. They didn’t have time to look around as their focus was on attending to the dragon, trying to be brave as she tended her wounds. She lay in a bed of native cotton grass. “Harry, not much time. There were poachers, dozens of them. Vilhelm fought bravely, but they killed him. You must take care of my egg; it is the only way out. Oh, Dragon Rider, I’m so sorry.”

Harry’s legs carried him over to her face; he knew she was past any care he could give to her wounds. The blood stained her white and blue scales. “Lusi, we will. We will care for your egg. We promise. I’m so sorry, my beautiful friend,” he wept as he petted her scaled head.

She snorted. “No time for sentimentality, my friends. You need to survive on this island. In the back of my cave, you will find a cavern; that is where the diaries of those past lie. You will find your answers there.” Her coal black eyes rolled around until she spotted Draco. “Cock, get to work, gather my blood. It is precious and you will need it when your time comes. Collect it now before I die.”

Draco immediately went to work; he Summoned empty vials, and filled them as he stroked her bloodied, charred side. The belly wounds were deep, her flesh and bones were exposed. She turned on her stomach, wrapped her tattered wings around her, and groaned. Harry and Draco looked at each other as they watched her eyes lose their light of life, she gave one last snort, and steam filled the cave. Before they could catch their breath, her body dissipated into fine crystals of ice.

Harry was still on his knees; he looked at his open palm and four dragon whiskers lay across them. His gaze slowly moved to where Draco stood. He was covered in blood and Harry was sure there were tears mixed in with the red liquid on his face. Their eyes met as the reality of what had just happened set in, and they both looked down at the large blue-marbled dragon’s egg. Fuck.




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