“I don’t understand why Death Eaters find the need to hide in Romania.”
Neville resisted the urge to snort at Ron’s grumpiness.
Since completing their Auror training, neither Neville, Harry, nor Ron had been on an actual mission as fully-qualified Aurors till now.
And Ron did not take well to the idea that their first mission coincided with Hermione’s birthday.
“Because there’s dragons and dragons are badly misunderstood creatures who like to shoot balls of fire at random people,” Harry muttered, collapsing onto a nearby rock.
He closed his eyes momentarily and Ron fell to the ground next to him tiredly.
The three of them, along with current Head of Auror office Gawain Robards and several other Aurors, were trekking through what Ron called ‘Romania’s camping land’.
There had been a strong tip off from several dragon keepers, one of whom was Ron’s older brother, Charlie Weasley, that several of the remaining Death Eaters had hid out in Romania to avoid capture.
The Auror team had split up, in order to ‘cover more ground’.
Harry and Ron thought that was the worst idea ever, and Neville completely agreed, though he dared not say anything to Gawain Robards, as Harry and Ron did.
Outspoken he may have become, but he didn’t fancy losing his first job right out of Hogwarts.
Neville felt slightly nervous and very wary as he took a seat on the slightly rocky and mud covered grass.
“I still can’t believe there are dragons loose here,” Harry finally said, his eyes popping open and eyeing both Neville and Ron carefully.
Ron shrugged and said, “Harry, mate, you got past a dragon before. And there’s the three of us and we’re not fourteen.”
“But that was one, Ron,” Harry protested, his jaw tightening out of frustration. “And I can’t just use Accio and summon my Firebolt here from Britain!”
“You don’t need the summoning charm this time because you have me and Neville, mate. And the dragon you defeated was a Hungarian Horntail,” Ron pressed on, giving his best mate a firm look that clearly told him Harry was being silly.
The bigger threat was Death Eaters, not dragons, Ron obviously thought.
Neville had never been told specifically what happened in his final year at Hogwarts while Harry, Ron, and Hermione were off trying to destroy Voldemort’s horcruxes.
He did know, however, was that Harry and Ron’s friendship was stronger than imaginable.
Neville supposed he should have felt slightly left out at the significant look that the two friends shared, but all that he could think about was the various spells he could use against dragons.
Stunning spells, as Gawain and Harry both said, would not work, as it required a force of perhaps twenty or more witches and wizards to take down a dragon, not to mention a multiple amount of dragons.
He supposed there was the Conjunctivis curse to make the dragon unable to see, or blind in other words.
The problem with that was the possibility of the dragon spewing fire all over the place or stomping over them, as Neville had witnessed during the Triwizard Tournament when Viktor Krum shot the curse towards the Chinese Fireball.
Neville tried desperately to remember whether Cedric Diggory or Fleur Delacour (now Weasley) had done anything memorable against the Swedish Short-Snout and the Welsh Green respectively that he could possibly use but nothing stood out.
Of course, if worst comes to worst, Neville could attempt an Unforgivable curse. The Cruciatus curse was off limits but perhaps the Imperius curse would do…
Before Neville could ramble on in his mind any further, there was a roar of pain in the far distance.
Immediately, Neville’s head snapped up and towards the sound, as had Harry and Ron.
“That was a dragon,” Neville breathed heavily, standing up at once.
His body was tense and his right hand was tightly gripping his mahogany, 13”, phoenix feathered, and inflexible wand.
Neville’s wand had been with him throughout the entire War, from the very beginning up until the very end, at the Battle of Hogwarts. With it, Neville felt empowered and safe. His wand had proved to be excellent at Defensive spells.
All in all, Neville had great faith in his wand.
“It’s in pain,” Ron added with a frown as he too, stood up, his body ready for an attack. “He’s being tortured, like the Ukrainian Ironbelly from Gringotts.”
Harry said authoritatively, “Let’s go then. It must be Death Eaters.”
“What if it’s Gawain and the others?” Neville asked as the three of them tore through the trees in the direction of the pained dragon.
“Then we help them. They might be in trouble,” Harry grimaced before he abruptly stopped, sending both Neville and Ron crashing into his back.
Neville’s eyes snapped towards Harry’s line of vision and his jaw dropped in shock.
There, in a relatively big-sized clearing, were two Death Eaters, torturing a twenty feet long dragon with light green scales.
Blood was spewing out of the dragon in a huge gash on the right side of its belly. The dragon was also chained up, looking entirely helpless.
Although Neville didn’t know all 12 uses of dragon blood, he did know that they were excellent for injury healing, painkiller, oven cleaner, spot remover, and is incredibly useful in increasing one’s knowledge.
It was also expensive to bottle and can be sold for a large amount of gold.
Neville didn’t recognize the dragon but heard Ron say, shocked, “That’s a Portuguese Long-Snout. They’re near extinct now because of the dragon hunting.”
Harry, however, seemed more interested in the Death Eaters.
“There’s Dolohov and Rookwood.” Harry said tightly, his voice low and dangerous.
Neville had never heard Harry as angry as he had been that moment, but he understood why.
Antonin Dolohov had killed Remus Lupin, and Augustus Rookwood had killed Fred Weasley.
Ron’s jaw had tensed too, increasingly as he too, recognized the three Death Eaters.
“I call for Rookwood,” Ron said darkly. The expression on his face told Neville that Ron was prepared to kill Rookwood, if needs be.
“Dolohov,” Harry called.
Neville knew no details but he knew that Remus Lupin had not only been incredibly close to Harry, but also was one of his parents’ best friends.
It was no doubt to Neville that the two of them were ready to take revenge.
Usually, Neville would have felt overshadowed, upset that he was left with the silent duty of the dragon, yet Neville felt no such feelings.
Inadequacy was not something to describe Neville’s feelings because he knew what Harry and Ron felt, and he did not care.
Dolohov and Rookwood, the two men who killed two men who were not only important to Neville, but also the two men who meant the world to Harry and Ron.
Neville didn’t mind at all, as he would have done the same for Bellatrix Lestrange.
A small smirk, one that was slightly uncharacteristic for Neville, appeared on his face.
He turned to Harry and Ron and a silent understand passed between the three of them.
None of them would die, none of them would be fatally injured.
They would get out of this thing together, with Dolohov and Rookwood ready to be sent to Azkaban, and the Portuguese Long-Snout ready to be sent to the Romanian Dragon Sanctuary.
A/N This was written for the 2012 House Cup, Task One (GO LIONS!)
It was originally longer, but it exceeded the 2500 words limit so I cut it down.
The prompts included are as follows:
-feature's your House champion (Neville)
-mentions at leaset 4 specific breeds of dragons
-mentions 1 Unforgivable Curse
-features a Dragon
-mentions two types of the following magic: the conjunctivis curse and the summoning charm
-includes mention of at least 5 out of 12 uses of dragon blood (canon and made up by the author)
-mentions the details of your Champions' Wand -(potentially) features a theme of flourshing in adversity
I hope you all enjoyed it!
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