Chapter Twenty Eight

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"Alright, well we can obviously arrive in Hogsmeade and collect the dragon...Norbert.." Anora chuckled to herself at the name. "Ah, you gotta love Hagrid. "

"I want to know how he got a dragon.. especially a Norwegian Ridgeback, you know how rare it is to find one? Let alone an egg?"

"Black market." Anora told him nonchalantly." You can get all sorts of stuff on there."

Charlie turned to her. "You speak as though you have experience." he raised a brow as she didn't respond.

"Have you been dabbling in the black market?" he questioned her.

"What? No...I do happen to check to see what people are dealing."

"How-"

"Don't you worry about that." Anora smiled at him as she passed, ruffling his hair and walking outside to meet up with Greg and Nicola.

Charlie wasn't about to let the subject drop as he followed her out. "Whoa, wait a second! How do you find the time to check out the black market?!"

Anora shrugged as she skipped down the steps.

"Anora, don't ignore my questions."

She turned to him with a grin. "I don't have the time Charlie, do you want me to go collect the dragon or not?"

"I do but..." he sighed, his shoulders slouching. "Can't Greg and Nicola handle it?"

"What so Nicola can feed the poor thing muffins the entire way while Greg talks it to death?"

Charlie smirked. "Nicola only feeds me muffins."

"Yeah I've noticed." Anora said to herself. She looked back to where Charlie was standing on the steps of the shack. "Look, we're apparating most of the way, so I'll be back before you even notice I'm gone. Don't miss me too much."

" I'll miss you but I'm sure I'll be fine." Charlie said.

Anora looked at him. "I know you will be. I was talking to Iggy.'

Charlie peered down to see Iggy sitting at his side.

"Oh.." he rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly.

"I'll miss you too." she winked at him.

Charlie's face turned red as she walked off. "Hey!" he called after her.

"Yes?" Anora turned around and continued walking backwards.

"Um...remember Astronomy Tower-"

"At midnight!" she yelled back. "Got it! Are you sure you don't want to go?"

"Nah, unless you want to take the trains."

"Yeah, let's just bring a juvenile dragon onto the trains. I'm sure the muggles will love to see our overgrown lizard."


Once Anora departed the sanctuary with Greg and Nicola to retrieve the dragon from Hogwarts, Charlie was left in charge of the sanctuary. But as the day progressed on, he found it quite hard to concentrate on the tasks at hand. The other workers seemed to noticed that he was in some sort of a haze as he barely responded to any of their questions.

He was in the field with the elder Swedish Short-Snout which Anora had affectionately began to call her Nan. The dragon was lying there, her breathing slow, her good eye open but just staring out to nothing.

Roscoe approached her first before Charlie was to feed her. The young dragon walked over and short a stream of steam at Nan's side, irritating the elder. Nan whipped her hand around before smacking Roscoe with her tail.

Roscoe was knocked down, but he seemed to take it in a playful manner as he was back upright quickly.

"Hey Nan." Charlie called out to her as he neared the dragons. "It's just me."

Nan lowered her enormous head to the ground and let out a strong puff of air as her eyes closed.

"How are you doing today? You seem pretty tired." Charlie finally made it to Nan's side and cautiously extended his hand to the dragon's belly. Nan revealed her teeth but made no attempt to attack.

Charlie could feel her lethargic breathing.

He frowned. Her scales seemed quite warm unusual to her usual coldness. "What's the matter, girl?"

He walked over to her face, standing beside her head. Nan opened her good eye and attempted to lift her head again, but seemed to struggle holding up the weight.

Since his arrival to the sanctuary, Charlie had only witnessed one of the elders pass away and Nan seemed to be on her way to a permanent sleep.

"Oh Nan.." Charlie sat down beside her. "Come on, girl, I bet you're hungry." he tried to get her attention with the smell of the bloody animal carcasses he planned on feeding her. Nan slid her head to the side, ignoring the meal.

Things weren't looking good for the dragon. Charlie hoped that Nan could at least hold on until Anora got back because the woman would be heartbroken if the elder passed away without her being there. No matter how many times Nan had hurt Anora, the two had some sort of unspoken bond, either that or Anora just stubbornly loved the dragon too much.

Charlie placed his hand on the dragon's head, Nan didn't protest to the touch as she remained still, the only sign of life was her stomach rising and falling with her slow breathing.

"It's going to be alright, Nan."

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