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Sunday at Hogwarts had come and gone in the blink of an eye for Harry Potter. Most of the day was spent with Ginny, Ron and Hermione in Hogsmeade. After all of the parents had left they had taken another day to enjoy themselves with a lunch at Madam Puddifoot’s and then another fun filled afternoon passing the quaffle back and forth on the quidditch pitch, except for Hermione who watched aptly from the sidelines.

The pitch itself had been charmed to repair itself once the match was over. The boulders and smashes to the ground had all but vanished. To the passerby it wouldn’t even look like a ferocious dragon had burned and scorched half of the pitch.

William spent most of his Sunday in the hospital wing undergoing more medical charms and spells to ensure that his wounds had not come back or worsened. When all of that was finished he made the long walk up to Gryffindor Tower. Now that he was an official member and student, there were no objections to him being there.

As the sun had begin to set on Hogwarts, Harry and the others decided it was time to go in and get ready for dinner. As they came into the castle, a great commotion had swept over the other students. The general conversation was about William and what he had done and most of the students were holding a copy of the Daily Prophet that had a bold headline entitled; ‘BLACK GIVES DRAGON A MAGICAL WHIPPING

Harry had gotten somewhat used to this in the past 24 hours seeing as how it was all everyone was talking about. The one thing that disturbed him was how much Ginny had talked about him and how extraordinary she thought he was. Ron had made similar mention of this and how much Hermione had talked about him.

They of course did not speak of this in front of their girlfriends knowing that it had not gone any further than casual conversation. Harry and Ron agreed that action should only be taken if and only if William made a move on either Hermione or Ginny. William had done nothing of the sort so far so they quickly dismissed this notion.

By the time they made it to the Gryffindor common room most of the commotion had settled down. When they entered through the portrait hole, the students who were already in there, mostly girls, were crowded around a figure that neither Harry nor his friends could see. As they advanced closer they realized it was William who had been bombarded with questions and hands when he had entered just ten minutes before.

Ginny and Hermione each had a similar idea and acted as if on cue. The two girls immediately rushed through the crowd and pulled William out with them. The crowd of girls did not just back off but just kept rushing toward him regardless of Ginny and Hermione’s intervention. Harry and Ron, who noticed this as well, then pulled and ran the three of them up into the boy’s dormitory locking the door behind them.

“Thanks guys. You saved my hide.” said William as he sat down on one of the beds. Harry and the others each took a seat to catch their breath after coming to William’s rescue. “They just rushed me once I came into the common room. I thought those girls were going to tear me apart. Must be my animal magnetism!” said William as he laughed. Ginny and Hermione also laughed with him. This further disturbed Harry and Ron.

Once the laughing had subsided, William noticed that all of his trunks had been brought up to the dormitory. At the end of the bed on top of one of them was an envelope addressed to him. He then smiled after tearing it open. “I got my class schedule. These courses should be fun. I wonder if any of you are in my classes.” exclaimed William as he handed the letter to Harry.

Ginny, Hermione and Ron looked over Harry’s shoulder as they were just as curious to see what classes they shared with William.

“I guess I’ll see you in History of Magic.” said Ron as he found the same class listing on the letter.

“You’re with me in Muggle Studies!” cheered Hermione, all too much in Ron’s opinion.

“You’ll be with me and Harry in Potions too!” chimed in Ginny. Harry was glad he would be with her at least once during the day. In previous years, he had not seen her much of the time due to the difference in grade years and level classes.

“You’ll be with all of us in Care of Magical Creatures with Hagrid tomorrow and then Transfiguration on Tuesday.” Harry added as he had not found any other classes he had shared with William.

William knew that it was no coincidence that each one of them shared a class with him. He silently figured that it was McGonagall’s way of keeping other sets of eyes on him. Harry and the rest were each thinking the same thing but decided against addressing it.

“So what do we do now?” asked Ron as the room grew awkwardly quiet.

“Well we can’t go back out there now with all of those harpies crowding the common room.” chimed in Hermione surveying the situation.

“Why don’t we wait until everyone goes to dinner and the just sneak William out under the cloak?” suggested Ginny.

“That might work.” added Harry who knew exactly that it would work. “Are you up for it William?”

“Sounds like a plan. In the meantime I have some unpacking to do. Does anyone want to help me?”

Over the next twenty minutes the four Gryffindors helped William get situated into the dorm. The clothes were easy to put away but other trunks had to be taken with delicate care as William indicated.

The books he had taken with him were left in the trunk and put under his bed. Hermione had done so after looking inside and saw many books she had not even heard of, most of which were either Muggle books or ones that had not been written yet. The imagination could only tell her what could be done with such untapped knowledge. There was even a Muggle Bible.

Ron had the job of putting away a trunk with William’s quidditch supplies. Most of the items were either professional team t-shirts or playing robes. To his surprise he found no brooms in the trunk. He did however find a box with four gold balls inside which he immediately recognized as snitches.

“You played Seeker?” asked Ron holding up the box.

William looked up from putting away his clothes and smiled at the fond memories in the box. “Yeah, I did." He then took the box from Ron's hand and traced his fingers over the tiny golden spheres. "I kept each snitch I caught as a souvenir. I was pretty good.”

“How come there are only four here?” asked Ron quizzically. “I figured you’d be one to have a lot more.”

“After my brother joined the team, I let him take over Seeker position and I moved onto Chaser.” William now took the box and put it back in the trunk. “He deserved a shot at Seeker too.”

This was the first time they had ever heard William talk about having siblings. They were eager to know more, but he quickly changed the subject. After dealing with William on personal issues before they thought it better to let him tell them when he was ready as opposed to prying.

“Harry would you mind passing me the blue glass bottle in that trunk?” asked William as he pointed to a grey trunk at his feet. Harry opened the trunk and quickly found the bottle after sifting through some pajamas and toiletries. William then took the bottle and placed it inside the nightstand beside his bed.

“What’s in this trunk?” asked Harry as he looked down on its black exterior. On its top was an emblem of a crossed wand and sword inside of a white circle. Below it were the initials ‘FMP.’

William, who looked over to what Harry was talking about, immediately ran over and placed the trunk under his bed. “Don’t worry about what’s in there! It’s nothing you need to see.” snapped William in a rather defensive tone.

Harry and the others were slightly taken back by William’s sudden burst at them. William knew he had been too harsh as the room went silent.

“Sorry. I just don’t like others going in that trunk. It has some of my more personal effects.” said William trying to apologize.

Harry and the others could understand wanting privacy. Living with the Dursleys for ten years could make anyone want privacy. Ron and Ginny had learned to be secretive too after growing up with Fred and George for brothers.

“Don’t worry about it William. I think we understand.” said Hermione who was now at William’s side.

Ron, deciding that he wanted to have Hermione back at his side, interjected his thoughts. “Why don’t we head down to dinner?”

“Sounds good Red!” exclaimed William who was now starting to grow an appetite.

The invisibility cloak was a great idea but only got them so far. After they pulled the cloak off and entered the Great Hall, a similar group of girls bombarded William. After saying that he needed to eat, they gradually left him.

Throughout the meal, Harry and the others could still see and hear girls giggling and talking about him. The boys in the Great Hall with girlfriends started to get antsy after making a similar observation. Anyone else was only talking about the challenge or what it would be like with William in one of their classes. It was as if a wave had swept over the school and everyone was caught in the craze.

The following morning after a large breakfast Harry, Ron, Ginny, Hermione and William were making their usual trip down to Hagrid’s hut for Care of Magical Creatures.

“I tell you what, that was one of the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a long time!” exclaimed Ron who was feeling thoroughly awake.

“That makes one of us.” Harry retorted as he did not get much sleep. “I barely feel asleep with the way you snore!” laughed Harry. “How about you William? Did Ron keep you up last night?”

“Not in the least. I snore as well so I figured it put up a silencing ward to keep noise from going in or out.” replied William. Harry questioned himself after thinking why he hadn’t done something similar. “I could teach you the spell if you want?”

“That would be terrific!” said Harry who appreciated the help.

“Hey I don’t snore that bad!”

“You could wake the dead with your snoring Ronald.” added Hermione with a great laugh. Her laughing was then cut short as someone had bumped into her.

“Watch where you’re going Granger!” said Malfoy as he passed by with a group of Slytherins.

Ron who was about to say something in defense of his girlfriend was cut off as William began to speak.

“Malfoy, do the smart thing for once in your life and just keep walking.” said William with a great deal of anger in his voice.

Malfoy could only keep walking seeing as how William had his wand drawn. To be on the receiving end of one of his spells was not something he wanted at the moment.

“What was that about?” exclaimed Ron.

“What?” replied William who was confused at having his actions questioned.

“She’s my girlfriend and I can defend her!” said Ron defensively.

“Sorry, I don’t like the way he talks to any of you.”

Harry and Ginny could each see what Ron was talking about. It wasn’t William’s place to intervene.

William decided against speaking as the group progressed further toward Hagrid’s hut. When they came to the outside, about thirty students were there waiting.

At about half past nine, the burly half-giant made his way out of the hut to address his students. “It’s nice to see everyone on this fine morning. I have a special treat for all of you today!” exclaimed Hagrid.

In the past, Hagrid was not one to disappoint when it came to surprises. Everyone could tell this right away after he introduced them to a Hippogriff on the first day some four years ago. Whatever he had in mind would surely be something to see.

“Right this way!” yelled Hagrid as he led his class into the forest. The crowd of students quickly shuffled behind him into the trees as he went deeper and deeper into the thicket.

“What kind of treat are we going to see today Hagrid?” asked Harry who had joined him at the front of the line. Most of the Gryffindors had followed him as well and were very anxious to find out what they were going to see.

“Good question Harry!” said Hagrid as he turned and addressed the class. “Now as you all remember, this week is our study of Magical Aquatic Creatures. But due to a recent acquisition of another magnificent creature, we are going to take a little detour from the main curriculum.”

As they kept walking, the trees from the east quickly parted and out stepped Grawp. The students who had been with Hagrid longest knew of Grawp’s child like innocence and quickly rushed over to give his massive legs a hug and to greet him. The simple giant’s face lit up at the affection given to him.

For some odd reason, Grawp had two of his fingers in his mouth and had tears welling up in his eyes.

“What happened Grawp?” asked Hagrid who could tell that something was wrong.

And as if the dam had burst, Grawp’s tears began to flow. “It burned me!” sobbed the giant as he took his fingers out of his mouth and presented them to his brother.

“Let me take care of those!” added Hermione who was standing at Hagrid’s side. Ron and Harry knew she had a soft spot for him after he picked her up by her waist in their fifth year. The young witch then conjured bandages and gauss around the giant’s red swollen fingers. “Better Grawp?”

The giant then picked her up and gave her a warm embrace. “I’d take that as a ‘yes.’” laughed Ron who was watching from the ground. Hermione was then placed back on the ground next to Ron after Grawp had given her a proper thank you.

“This is just how dangerous our lesson is today.” announced Hagrid to his students as he pointed to Grawp’s hands. “If this creature can hurt a giant, then just imagine what it can do to you.”

Just what exactly were they going to see today wondered the students. Never in all of the crazy lessons Hagrid had given did he present them with such a potentially lethal creature. What exactly could it be?

Hagrid would not answer that particular question just yet. Instead he just kept walking with the students deeper into the forest. As they went farther in, a steady rumbling could be heard. The strange thing that everyone seemed to think was that something was snoring.

When the group came to a clearing, it was fairly obvious that something was snoring because in the middle of it was the sleeping form of the Hebridean dragon William had faced just two days before.

The expected ‘ohhs’ and ‘ahhs’ made there way through the crowd as they observed the sleeping beast. By the looks of it, the dragon had made itself quite comfortable as most of the debris from the forest bed had been cleared and was piled into a nest of twigs and sticks.

“Now as you can see we have a female Hebridean dragon with us today.” whispered Hagrid as to not wake her up. “Most of you would recognize her as the dragon William beat this Saturday.”

More giggles and side conversations scurried through the crowd at the mention of this. Ginny and Hermione whispered in each others ears much to Ron and Harry’s dismay and anger. William just stayed up toward the front hoping to see more of the dragon.

“Isn’t she magnificent?” said Hagrid talking to himself.

“Wretched is more of the word I would use.” yelled Malfoy from the back of the crowd.

The crowd immediately looked back toward the dragon after Malfoy had made his outburst. Each person had the same fear in their mind that the dragon would wake up. The appearance of the dragon’s deep red pupils confirmed those fears.

At the sudden noise, the dragon woke from its slumber and eyed the intruding group. She then took in a deep breath and shot a burst a flames at them

The crowd then ran back at least fifty feet after the dragon let out its deadly breath. All ran except William and Hagrid. After turning back to see what happened to them, they realized that the flames had not even reached remotely close to them.

Hagrid then tapped his fingers on a blue barrier that appeared with the contact from his skin. He had clearly placed a shield charm and had forgotten to mention it.

Hagrid, who let out a mighty laugh turned back to his students and said, “I made sure to take the proper precautions this time in case someone decided to interject their own feelings!”

Everyone could tell that he was talking about Malfoy and made it known by giving him the evil eye as they walked back to where Hagrid was standing.

“Now as I was saying, this dragon we have before us has been left in my care after discovering that she is pregnant.” continued the half-giant. “Who here can tell me what the signs are of pregnancy in most dragon breeds?”

“The most notable change is a lump growing on the underbelly, which indicates the forming of an egg.” answered Hermione.

“Correct Miss Granger! Anyone else?”

“Their eyes change colors?” said Zacharias Smith who was not sure of his answer.

“Correct Mr. Smith.” answered Hagrid. “Now as you can see, her eyes have gone from a deep purple to a nice crimson red.”

All of the students looked on and noticed this as soon as the beast turned its head toward them. From the way she looked at them, it seemed like she was picking some of them out to eat.

“Does anyone else have an answer?”

“This particular breed starts to develop a taste for human flesh as opposed to the usual deer meat.” added William. “I can personally attest to that.” laughed the boy. Most of the students joined the laughter after remembering the beating he took from her.

“That reminds William,” began Hagrid, “would you like to go in and see her?”

“Excuse me?” asked William. Walking back into the circle with her was one of the last things he wanted to do.

“You beat her once before and I thought you might like a closer look at her. Besides, if you have any trouble just use those whips of yours.”

“Those aren’t toys!” replied William. “I only use those when I have to.”

“Sounds more like you’re a chicken.” said Malfoy from the back of the crowd.

“Come up here and say that asshole!” yelled Ginny who was standing at William’s side.

Harry could only look at her in wonder as she said this. What was she doing defending William?

“Settle down!” said Hagrid taking back control of his students. “You don’t have to do it if you don’t want to William.”

Seeing no way in avoiding the challenge William began to take off his cloak and then unbuttoned his shirt. “It’s okay. Blondie wants a show so I’ll give him a show.”

After discarding his shirt he was down to his sleeveless undershirt which proudly displayed his tattoos except this time he had only one whip. The girls in the group, including Hermione and Ginny, began to whisper amongst themselves regarding his physique.

“You might want to back up.” said William to the crowd as he pointed his wand toward the tattoo on his right arm. “Panosolvo!

Just like the day before, the tattoo came right off and uncoiled to its bright glowing long length. William then slowly entered the nest area letting the dragon remember just who he was.

For some reason the dragon was not doing anything. It simply stayed in its nest and watched as the boy moved closer and closer.

William could not believe what was happening as he was now five feet from the dragon. He hadn’t even cracked the whip and she was still calm. Deciding to push the envelope, he extended his hand toward the mighty creature.

The dragon then moved it head closer to the boy’s hand. She then sniffed at it like a dog would a stranger’s. The next motion surprised everyone. William put his hand directly on the dragon’s face.

He then moved in closer and began to pet her snout. She then closed her eyes at that warm embrace William gave her. To anyone who did not know of the dragon, they would simply think that she was his pet by the way she let him touch her.

“We I’ll be!” exclaimed Hagrid as he looked on in awe. Harry and his friends could say the same but were too speechless to produce any words.

Malfoy just stood in the back lost in his own self loathing after being publicly proven wrong again.

Some would guess that because William had beaten her in combat, that she found him to be a worthy adversary. Others would guess that it was out of respect from one animal to another. And then others would say that maybe the dragon just liked him.

Harry on the other hand, thought maybe the dragon just needed a friend.

“She’s a good dragon isn’t she William?” asked Harry who was watching aptly from beyond the barrier.

“Ruby!” yelled back William.

“What?” asked Ron.

“Her name is Ruby.” replied William. The common guess that where he got this name was from the deep crimson color of the dragon’s eyes. Either way, it was a perfect fit.

“Okay students, time to get back to the heart of the lesson.” announced Hagrid pulling everyone out of their daze. “Now because Ruby is expecting an egg, she needs the proper nutrients and foods to ensure its health. The most nutritious food available for her at Hogwarts is Grindylow meat.”

All of the students now understood how the dragon tied into his lesson on Aquatic Creatures.

“This Friday all of us will be going into the Great Lake to gather fresh food for her. I advise everyone to bring a bathing suit and your wands. Gathering Grindylows is easier said than done. That’s all for today.”

After William put his shirt back on and reattached the whip, the class made its way back to the castle. The general conversation was about the whip trick and how he handled the dragon. Others talked about going into the lake and rounding up food for Ruby.

Ginny and Hermione walked ahead of the three boys and talked amongst themselves. Harry, anxious to hear what they were talking about, moved in closer for a better chance to hear.

“If he can tame a dragon, I wonder what else he can do!” exclaimed Hermione.

“He really is something isn’t he?” replied Ginny.

Harry could not believe his ears after hearing this. Once William was out of ear shot, he pulled Ron aside and gave him the news about what they were talking about. He couldn’t believe it either.

“Over the next few days let’s keep an eye on him. I’m not gonna lose Ginny to some dragon tamer! I don’t want him taming anything else if you know what I mean.” exclaimed Harry.

He did not like the way Ginny looked at William, nor how she came to his rescue at the nest. It also bothered him how he interjected into fights that were not his own.

Ron couldn’t agree more. The way Hermione looked at him did not put his feeling at ease. He had spent 6 years battling with himself to tell her how he felt and he would not lose her now to someone she barely knew.

Sooner or later they were going to have to confront William about this. They couldn’t allow it to pass any longer even if he didn’t know it was happening.

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