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Task One Challenge: Dragon’s Blood


It was a roar that I trusted implicitly and I couldn’t ignore. I dropped to the hard-packed earth and rolled to my left, just making it in time under the rock face before the dragon’s fiery breath rushed past me with heat so intense, the air was sucked right out of my lungs. I lay gasping in my temporary shelter, fingers clutched fast around my wand, a wand that I’d inherited from my grandmother.

(“Fig, unicorn tail hair, 10", well-balanced. Good for Charms.”)

I blinked back sudden tears as my grandmother’s voice filled my mind. Her lilting Scottish accent, voice gone raspy with age, was a melody I hadn’t heard in months. I tried not to picture her as I’d last seen her, lying deathly still on her narrow bed – an image at total odds with how I’d always seen her, a tiny yet fiercely strong and determined woman, Cho Bramson neé Chang.

She’d been the one to raise me since I was four years old, after my parents had died in an airplane crash. Despite the fact that she was alone (my grandfather having passed some years before), she took on the task of raising her only grandchild. It had been hard though she’d never spoke to me about it nor had I really felt lacking in growing up. I’d learned, later when I was old enough to attend Hogwarts, that she’d been disowned by her parents after marrying a Muggle and so had had no real means of actually providing for an extra mouth after Grandfather had passed. But she never gave up on family.

(“Family is important, Eun Sun. Never forget that.”)

“Sun! Eun Sun! Get out of there!”

Orion’s cry startled me out of my ill-timed trip down memory lane. I could hear the dragon’s claws trying to break away the rock that had served as my later refuge. Ignoring the pain from the burns I already suffered down my right leg, I forced myself to move out to the opposite side of where the beast was trying to get at me. Sticking my head out cautiously, I blanched as I watched the heavily spiked tail of the Hebridean Black swish back and forth across its lair’s dirt.

Would the Killing Curse work on a dragon? Neither Orion or I had tried it or any of the Unforgivable Curses. I guess we’d rather die noble and with honor than sink to the level of a Death Eater.

(“He’s a Malfoy, dear. I don’t know why you keep spending time with him,” Grandmother clucks as she nudges Leroy, my Blast-Ended Skrewt, off the kitchen counter.

“Grandmother! You’re still acting as if it’s forty years ago!” I can’t help but throw my hands in the air. “There’s no ‘bad blood’ between the Malfoys and the rest of the Wizarding world anymore. Orion and his dad have done so much to wipe away that taint!”

Her dark eyes slide to mine, their mirror image, and she holds my gaze for a long moment. Finally she sniffs and turns back to the dinner preparations. The only thing she says after that for a long while is, “Dinner will be ready in half an hour.”

I watch her movements for a few minutes before sighing and heading out of the room, giving a token stroke to the Liondragon statue that lies just beside the swinging door that divides the kitchen from the living room. A sister figurine to the others that lay scattered around the house—from the Ukrainian Ironbelly to Antipodean Opaleye, my grandmother ensured no dragon was left unacknowledged. She’d even gone so far as to map out possible locations of dragon lairs and nests, in case she ever made enough money and got enough time to go on an expedition.

It was one of the rare quirks that my otherwise benign and loving grandmother displayed. If I ever asked her about it, she’d say something about the very practical uses of dragons, especially their blood – “Oven cleaner, spot remover, red ink, potion strengthener, why even a very powerful healing serum!”

I make my way back to my room and flop onto my bed, staring at the blank ceiling, wishing that I could feel that way: blank. Instead, I have to deal with the roiling emotions of frustration, anger, love, understanding and an underwhelming feeling of hopelessness. Why can’t she just accept that I’m in love with Orion Malfoy?)

A movement out of the corner of my eye caught my attention. I tilted my head slightly so I could see what it was without taking my gaze off of the Black’s tail. Orion had gotten himself wedged into a narrow crack, something not easily seen unless looking for it. His leg was at an awkward angle, his blond hair stuck to his forehead with sweat, blood and dirt, his hazel eyes shadowed with pain. Guilt tripped through me. He wouldn’t be hurt if it wasn’t for me. He made a fierce gesture with his hands, knowing that I was castigating myself and telling me to stop all at once. I gave him a crooked smile and his face relaxed a fraction before he made the arm motions that had caught my attention in the first place.

He was indicating something far beyond the dragon’s tail. I made out our black canvas bag that had fallen to the wayside as we’d scrambled for cover after the dragon’s awakening. We’d been able to make a powerful enough Sleeping Draught to induce sleep for a few minutes with the Black, but hadn’t taken into account the fact that it would wake upon feeling blood being drawn from its soft underbelly. It’d been a task I hadn’t wanted to taken on but hadn’t been able to refuse in the face of what would happen if I just sat by.

(“Grandmother!? Grandmother! Wake up!” I keep shouting though it hasn’t had any effect over the past few minutes. One minute she’d been standing in the middle of the living room, dusting off her Sneakoscope when suddenly she’d given this horrific sound, between a gasp and a sob, and had collapsed to the floor, limbs seizing up. She’d been that way for a few minutes before she’d gone still. I’d feared she’d died until I’d detected the faint rise and fall of her chest.

Trying to think but being unable to, I’d called the only other person I could call – Orion.

While I wait for him to come, I try and make her comfortable on the floor, without leaving her side. I can’t leave her like this. The fireplace turns green and Orion tumbles out, followed closely by a lime-clothed Healer. My eyes fill up in tears of gratitude and overwhelming relief that there’s someone here who could do something about it.

That feeling lasts and then lags after a day at St. Mungo’s. We’d rushed my grandmother to the hospital and she’d been worked over by the Healers in the ER when I start to hear mumbles of “indeterminable causes” and “wait and see”. I feel my blood start to burn and I’m glad there’s no Foe-Glass in the room because I am not feeling like a friend to these incompetent and uncaring Healers right now. Orion senses the change in me and turns to me with a concerned look in his eye.

“I’m not letting her die and we’re certainly not going to ‘wait and see’,” my voice is the most menacing its ever been. His pale eyebrows disappear into the hair falling across his forehead. I give voice to the solution that I’ve been pondering: “We’re going dragon hunting.”)

I have a tendency to act before I think, a tendency that had gotten me into my fair share of trouble over the years, but never in a pickle like this one. I swore off impulsive actions if I could get out of this alive, God willing. My eyes moved beyond the bag and to a fairly sizable rock next to it and an idea popped into my head. I’d sworn off impulsiveness so let myself think about it for a moment before jumping into action. If it’d worked for Cedric Diggory, maybe it would work for me.

Canine Forma!

Nothing happens for a microsecond and then suddenly the rock has turned into a large Labrador which started barking with a loud insistency. Grandmother was right, this wand is good for charms.

The Black’s tail went still before suddenly it turned its attention to getting the dog which had run to the far end of the cavern. I scrambled out from under the rock and make a break for Orion who has wriggled his way out of the crack and stumbled forward to meet me. I braced myself against his right side as he can’t walk on the injured leg and we hobble forward to the bag and the exit of the lair.

My heart was pounding in my ears, almost drowning out the yaps of the dog and the harsh breath of the dragon. My hand closed around the top of the bag and I drag both it and Orion to the narrow corridor leading up to the surface. The pain in my leg becomes too much in one instant and I stumbled. Orion cursed under his breath. I caught myself and tried to shift myself further under his arm to help hold himself up.

My attention was so focused that I didn’t notice the sounds of the dragon and dog fight until it was too late. Orion’s sudden stiffening alerted me and I turned just in time to see the lab leading the dragon our way. Acting on instinct, I flicked the wand up and down and around, a silent charm reversing the Transfiguration spell and a simultaneous Summoning charm that flings the now reformed boulder into the dragon’s face. It gave a roar of pain, long neck bucking this way and that, as if to shake off the impact.

It was enough time to slip away.

Making it out into the open air, I don’t let us rest for a moment. We won’t be safe near the dragon’s lair. I Apparate us to Diagon Alley, just outside the wizard entrance of St. Mungo’s. We’re a sight to behold, two young people, covered in dirt, sweat and various bruises and cuts, barely able to stand. The normally bored Welcoming Witch is out of her chair and calling other Healers out to meet us before we collapse.

I shoved away the wands pointed my way, thrusting my bag into whichever Healer’s hands are the closest. “Dragon’s blood, Grandmother Cho,” I managed to get out before I felt myself spinning into blackness.

The last thing I hear before unconsciousness swept over me was, “It’ll do her good, Sun.”

And I smiled.

Author’s Note:

This was a completely random story idea based off of all these prompts (thank you staff for giving it!):

- Features your House’s Champion (Cho Chang)
- mentions at least 4 specific breeds of dragon (Hebridean Black,the Liondragon, Ukrainian Ironbelly, Antipodean Opaleye )
- mentions at least 1 Unforgivable Curse (the Killing Curse)
- mentions a Blast-Ended Skrewt (done)
- features a dragon (done)
- mentions a Sleeping Draught (done)
- mentions 2 of the following types of magic: a transfiguration spell, a sleeping spell, the conjunctivitis curse, the summoning charm (accio) (Transfiguration – rock to dog & Summoning Charm)
- includes mention of at least 5 of the 12 uses for dragon's blood (canon or made up by the author) (Oven cleaner, spot remover, red ink, potion strengthener, why even a very powerful healing serum)
- mentions at least 2 of the following types of Dark Detectors: Foe-Glass, Sneakoscope, Secrecy Sensor, or Probity-Probe (Foe-Glass, Sneakoscope)
- features a theme of flourishing in the face of adversity (done)
- mentions the details of your Champion’s Wand, as provided by your Head of House (done)

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