Chapter 54 - Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane?

1 0 0

∞ 54 ∞


Draco and his friends were playing Talons & Fangs. Adrian Pucey's cobra had already accidentally been eaten by Kohaku Kurosato's absolutely massive and frankly terrifying American harpy eagle. Equuleus Urquhart and Terence Higgs's vipers had also lost to their opponents, although Sagitta Vaisey's adder had conquered Perido Shah's falcon immediately with a precise strike.

Lucius had come out to watch and seemed rather irked from the outset, but whatever displeased him, he held his tongue. It was Draco's turn and he fancied the chances of his black mamba against Fornax Wildsmith's very weird looking 'secretarybird'. Compared to the noble eagles, hawks and falcons present, the bird was so unworthy looking as far as birds of prey went, with its abnormally long, stilt-like legs and strange 'hairdo' that even the rest of the Talons side were teasing Fornax. Fornax, who had an artistic flare, was unperturbed by the taunts and seemed unusually confident in the bird's abilities. He let the bird go with a coy smile; it ran forward like an athlete and lifted into the air lightly.

Lucius watched the bird intently: she went up quite high and stayed in position like a glider, hardly flapping her long, elegant straight-across wings. Draco put his mamba in position and concentrated, joining his mind with the snake's; he could see what the snake could see. The secretarybird returned, walked over to the mamba with purpose, easily keeping out of striking distance and proceeded to kick Draco's snake senseless. The snake was unconscious. Draco hadn't even been able to attempt a strike. If Fornax weren't controlling the bird, this would be the point through natural instinct where the bird broke the snake's neck, finished it off with her beak and ate it. His bird was supposed to simply fly over and deposit the snake into a basket for extra points, instead she picked up the unconscious snake and soared into the sky. She flew out a few hundred yards with the snake still in her beak, before circling back... Perhaps Fornax was enjoying the sensation of flying and his triumph a little too much.

Lucius was mesmerised with the bird. He reached out to it with both arms, not realising what he was doing. (Draco's friends pretended not to notice.) Suddenly Draco's mamba regained consciousness from the fresh air and its lenient treatment. Draco hadn't been paying attention as he should have been and didn't have control of the serpent. The snake looped around and bit the secretarybird in the throat.

"NO!" Lucius shouted, lurching forward a few steps with outstretched arms as if he were in a trance. The bird immediately started to fall. "No! NO!!" Lucius shouted again. There was a wild desperate look in his eyes he ran toward the plummeting bird followed by Fornax... On the ground, the secretarybird's breathing was laboured and she struggled for a few seconds. Lucius had come out of his trance and stared down looking startled, as Fornax crouched around the bird and said a few spells, trying to stop the spread of the venom, but the magic apparently wasn't having much effect. Kohaku then tried to draw the venom out with his wand, while pushing air into the bird's lungs. Draco was shuffling through his things to find the antivenom he had. Knowing the bird would die if he didn't intervene, Lucius finally pushed the young Wizards aside and bent down to see if he could help, but it was too late – the bird was dead.

Lucius looked like he could spit venom himself. "Absolute bloody waste! Haven't any of you ever heard of phantom charms?!" he shouted, staring disappointed at Draco.

Draco wanted to say they were respecting tradition in playing the old way and that it was the fashion, but decided against it.

"It's alright father, I am sure Fornax can afford a hundred more birds at least," said Draco trying to flatter Fornax –who although a Superial, was from the family with the least amount of riches there– hoping Fornax would come to his aid.

ANGELCAKERead this story for FREE!