Chapter Twelve: To Love a Dragon

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Disclaimer: I don't own a thing... 'sept Riley

Chapter Twelve; To Love a Dragon

Riley had always wanted a dragon. When she was little she used to beg her parents for hours on end to let her get one. She always had an argument ready for the next time she would ask too.

It started with the fact that they were gorgeous creatures. Then it was that they could keep her warm in the winter, because of their natural heating system. Then when she got a little bit older, she even used the excuse that they could keep all the boys away so she wouldn't get cooties. (That one made Ted and Remus laugh until they cried.)

Unfortunately though, she never got one. But now, her dream would finally come true, sort of. Because Hagrid had a dragon egg.

The smooth black surface of the egg, made it look like a giant onyx stone. In her eyes— and in Hagrid's too— it was beautiful.

Riley squealed in a very un-Riley like way and got up to kneel by the fire.

“Oh, Hagrid. The egg is beautiful! Do you know what type it is? How did you even get one? Oh, this is amazing! I've always wanted a dragon. Can I help you take care of it when it hatches?” Riley babbled on, confusing Hagrid after about the second question because she was talking so fast.

The trio watched her in shock, having never seen her quite this excited before.

“Won it,” Hagrid said attempting to answer her questions. “Las' night. I was down in the village havin' a few drinks an' got into a game o' cards with a stranger. Think he was quite glad ter get rid of it, ter be honest.”

Riley couldn't even fathom why someone would want to get rid of such an epic creature.

“But what are you going to do with it when it's hatched?” Hermione asked worriedly.

“Well, I've been doin' some readin'.” Hagrid said, pulling a large book from under his pillow. “Got this outta the library— Dragon Breeding for Pleasure and Profit— it's a bit outta date, o' course, but it's all in here. Keep the egg in the fire, 'cause their mothers breathe on 'em, see, an' when it hatches, feed it on a bucket o' brandy mixed with chicken blood every half hour. An' see here— how ter recognize diff'rent eggs— what I got there's a Norwegian Ridgeback. They're rare, them.”

Hagrid looked very pleased with himself. Hermione on the other hand, looked torn between worry and disapproval. Worry seemed to win though, as she pointed out that Hagrid was living in a wooden house.

Riley immediately waved the statement away. “But that can be fixed with a charm. All he has to do is ask Dumbledore to fire proof his house.”

Harry leaned towards Riley to whisper. “You’re not helping.”

Riley gave him a scandalized look. “Of course I am!”

Harry shook his head (he seemed to do that a lot around her).  They had lost her to the dragon.

~{@}~

The next couple of days Riley spent at Hagrid's, learning about how to take care of a dragon and planning what they could do to avoid the obvious issues— like the fact that the dragon was illegal.

Then one morning Batman landed in Riley's pumpkin juice with a letter from Hagrid. Eagerly she opened it and read: It's hatching.

Riley was so excited she skipped Herbology and ran down to his hut immediately. She got there just as Hagrid was pulling the rattling egg out of the fireplace and putting it gently on the table. Hagrid was so infatuated with the egg he didn't even notice that Riley should have been in class.

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