Bonded

The riders had slept well and were relieved to have their own rooms.  They were up the next morning in their common room anxiously waiting for Kayla to come so they could learn about their dragons and what it meant to be dragon riders.  Kayla finally arrived and took a seat by the fireplace.  She looked at her riders with happiness and surprise to see them so excited. 

“Welcome Riders of Hogwarts to Dragon House.  If you have any problems with any other students or the staff please come to me and I’ll take care of it.  Before we go down to the Great Hall for breakfast I would like to explain some things and you can ask questions.  But first how was everyone’s night?”

When everyone replied that they had slept well Kayla nodded.  “In the night and when we leave for classes our wing has wards around it to prevent entry by anyone who is not of Dragon House.  Also two stone dragons come to life and guard the entrance to the passage that leads to our wing as well during the night while we sleep.  As I understand from the founders they set this up to protect the newborn dragons and their riders while they remained at Hogwarts for seven years of schooling.  The Hogwarts School of Dragon Riders was part of a treaty set up between the Head Rider Nimid the Wise and the four founders of Hogwarts a long time ago.  This gives Hogwarts some protection and allows the riders to pass easily into Alagaesia which is our true home. 

“Now as for rules of Dragon House: One: You are first and foremost part of the Dragon Riders Order.  You forty students, above all the other students in Hogwarts have been chosen by your dragons to be their riders and join this ancient and noble order.  As such there will be none of this stupid petty rivalry that you may have had in your old houses.  We here in Dragon House are a family and I expect you all to act as such.  Two: Do well in your classes and your training with me.  If you have any issues or problems with other students please come to me as I am not only the Head Dragon Rider but also the head of Dragon House.  Three: Take care of your dragons. They are your companions for life and over time you will experience changes due to your bond. Four: Remember what I said last night about the death of the rider and the death of the dragon.  If a rider dies then the dragon will go into a rampage and destroy everything and everyone who killed their rider before dying.  Sometimes the dragon panics and flees into their Eldunari where they are trapped unable to see, eat or hear anything.  Four: DO NOT TELL ANYONE OF THE ELDUNARI!  Galbatorix stole many eldunari after slaying the dragons and their riders and used the combined power of the eldunari to remain powerful and undefeated until Eragon II, Queen Arya and Murtagh were born and took him down.  Five: What you learn in this house and under my teachings as well as Ember’s will be kept secret from the rest of the school.  I wouldn’t be surprised if you or your dragons are attacked by people you once thought of as friends because you have been chosen to be dragon riders.  That is all the rules for the house. Now does anyone have any questions?”

“Master in my first year at Hogwarts the gamekeeper, Rubeus Hagrid, hatched a dragon egg in his hut.  They bonded a little but the man is half-giant.  I was wondering if it would be possible to complete the bonding process.  He really misses his dragon.”

“Where is the dragon?”

“The dragon is in Romania with a man named Charlie Weasley. He’s the second oldest brother of the Weasley Clan.”

“It has never been done before in my life nor in any other rider’s time that I am aware of in Alagaesia since we are bonded when the egg hatches for us.  I can try to perform the bond if you want.  Contact this person and have him bring the dragon here.  If the bond is accepted then the dragon will remain in the Dragon Hold with Ember and Eclipse.”

“Thank you master.  If this goes through then Hagrid will be pleased.”

“I can make no promises Harry so don’t get your hopes up.”

“Master how do we change over the course of our bond with our dragons?” Amber asked.

Kayla brushed her hair back and they all saw the pointed ears.  “Are you an elf?”

“No.  I am a Halfling.  Half elf and half human.  We also gain incredible speed and live for a very long time, far longer than humans who aren’t bonded with a dragon.  In time you will gain the pointed ears and the incredible speed as well.”

“When can dragons breathe fire?” Blaise asked.

“Five months old.”

“When can they mate?”

“Three years old.”

“How long do they live?”

“It depends on if their dragon is alive. Assuming the rider and their dragon don’t die then they can live for many centuries. My master was two hundred ten years old when he was slain.”

Kayla answered a few more questions and then they left for the Great Hall.  “Master what’s that?” Ash asked pointing to the doors that led out to the grounds. 

“Dragon House points glass,” Kayla said.  On top of the hour glass was a dragon with multi-colored stones that shone like scales.  “I trust that everyone from the former houses knows what that is for.”

“To keep track of house points,” Neville said. 

Dragon House went into the Great Hall and took seats at their table. Kayla snapped her fingers and time tables for all forty of her pupils appeared in front of them.  Everyone else in the Great Hall stared at Kayla in shock.  Good morning Ember.  How are you and Eclipse?

Morning young one.  We are fine though it’s lonely being just the two of us.  It will be better once the hatchlings are able to join us.

There may be another dragon joining you soon.  Harry has asked me to complete the bond between a dragon he met in his first year at Hogwarts and the game keeper who is apparently a half-giant.  According to Harry they are already partly bonded.

That will be interesting to see if the bonding can form between a creature that doesn’t exist back home and a dragon of this world.

The next two weeks passed for the dragon riders with classes and then training with Ember and Kayla.  Harry had received a reply to the letter he had written Charlie who was bringing Norbert a dragon egg in order to become a dragon rider himself if it was possible.  Harry smiled as he knew how much Charlie Weasley liked dragons and Charlie, Bill and the Twins were the only four he liked out of the Weasley clan. 

The third Friday of September after classes was finished, the dragon riders went down to Hagrid’s hut near the Forbidden Forest and waited for Charlie to arrive with Norbert. Harry had informed Kayla of Charlie’s desire to be a dragon rider and she had consented which had made Charlie happy when he read the letter.  A few minutes later they looked up in the sky and saw Charlie on a dragon with something wrapped in a sack cloth sitting in front of him.  The ground shook as the dragon landed and Charlie leaped off.

“Hi!  My name is Charlie Weasley and I work with dragons in Romania,” Charlie said to the group of students gathered around the hut.  Ember and Eclipse were there as well looking at the two strange dragons. 

The dragon trainer could be a rider, Eclipse said to Harry. He certainly has a love of our kind.

As could the half-giant, Ember said in acknowledgement.

“Charlie if that egg hatches for you then you will be required to stay in Dragon House in order to complete your training as a dragon rider.  Hagrid if the bonding between you and your dragon goes well you are welcome to stay in Dragon House or stay in your hut but your dragon will go to the Dragon Hold with Eclipse and Ember.”

Hagrid and Charlie nodded.  There was a loud crack in the hushed silence of Dragon House and a large crack appeared in the egg Charlie was holding.  They watched with bated breath as the egg continued to crack revealing a Welsh Green dragon.  The dragon butted Charlie’s right hand and the gedwey ignasia appeared on his hand.  Harry cheered for Charlie and Charlie collapsed to the ground in bewilderment. He hadn’t thought that he would become a dragon rider but was pleased that he now had a dragon of his own that would be bonded to him for life.

“Dragon would you like to become bonded to Hagrid,” Kayla asked the dragon as it stared at Hagrid with eyes shining of happiness. 

Yes Master Rider.  I’ve been lonely without my bonded.  Do you know why I haven’t bonded fully with him?

“I believe it is because his blood confused you when you were an infant and that is why the bond was never complete.”

“Harry I can’t believe I’m finally going to become a dragon rider,” Hagrid said. “I’ll finally be able to fully connect with her and my wish of having a dragon will come true.”

“Actually Hagrid we call her Noberta now.”

“Noberta?”

“Yes because we found out she’s a female,” Charlie said.

“Now Hagrid if you will stand in front of the dragon and take my hand,” Kayla instructed as Hagrid did as asked. Ember and Noberta touched noses as Kayla began chanting a series of words in the ancient language.  Kayla reached up to touch Ember with her own hand. She grabbed Hagrid’s other hand and placed it on Norberta’s nose. There was a flash of light for a moment. As Hagrid pulled his hand back, the mark of the Dragon rider was upon it. A smile that reached from ear to ear crossed his face. “Oh Harry! I can hear her speaking to me!” He cried out before wrapping his arms around his dragon’s neck.

“Welcome Charlie and Hagrid to the dragon riders and to Hogwarts School of Dragon Riders.  I am your teacher and Head Dragon Rider.  Your dragons will obey myself and Ember along with both of you.  The others can explain the rules to you.  Ember and I are to be called ‘elda’, ‘ebrithil’, or ‘master’.  You will eventually go through changes over the course of your bonding and will experience training in swordsmanship and wandless magic as well as learn about what it means to be a dragon rider.  If the rider dies so does their dragon but a rider can survive if the dragon lives.  Dragons have eldunari stored in their throats.  Eldunari is a dragon’s ‘heart of hearts’.  It’s a shining orb the same color as the dragon’s scales and if the dragon gives their eldunari to a rider then they can connect with that dragon and draw on its strength and wisdom over long distances.  Sometimes when a dragon dies they will panic and go into their eldunari where they are trapped for eternity, unable to eat, see or hear the world around them.  Nobody except your fellow dragon riders is to know of the eldunari.  In fact it is usually dangerous for a dragon to disgorge their eldunari. They will only give it to someone who they trust. If a rider dies the dragon will go on a rampage and destroy everyone and everything in a quest to avenge their rider before passing into the void after their rider. Some riders get over the death of their dragons but others go into insanity and kill themselves rather than live without their dragons.

“Now Hagrid do you want to continue living here in your hut or in Dragon House?”

“I think I’ll stay in my hut.  Can’t get up the stairs in Hogwarts anyway.”

Kayla nodded.  “Alright then.  Charlie you will need to give your resignation to your boss since I can’t train you if you are not here.”

“Yes Elda,” Charlie said. 

They heard hurried footsteps coming towards them and Ron Weasley along with Hermione Granger showed up much to Harry’s displeasure.  “Charlie! What are you doing here?” Ron asked his brother.  “How are…” he stopped as he stared at the dragon in Charlie’s arms.

“Ron can you believe it?! I’m a dragon rider! And Hagrid’s bonded with Noberta is now complete meaning he’s a dragon rider as well!”

“WHAT?! Why are YOU a dragon rider?! Why not me?!” He turned his furious gaze on Harry as though this was Harry’s fault.  “YOU’VE CORRUPTED MY OLDER BROTHER! WHY DO YOU ALWAYS GET EVERYTHING I WANT!”

Charlie stared at Ron. He knew his youngest brother had a temper and was jealous but he wouldn’t have expected that his brother would act like a two year old child.  “Harry hasn’t ‘corrupted’ me Ronald.  My dragon hatched for me on its own. Harry had nothing to do with that. If you and Hermione weren’t chosen as dragon riders then you two obviously weren’t worthy enough to become dragon riders. Is that right Master?” Charlie asked Kayla.

“That is correct Charlie.  My dragon riders were chosen based on their own merits and overall understanding of friendship. You and Hermione who used my first pupil and accepted money from the Head Master from Harry’s own vault along with you Hermione taking books that rightfully belong to the Potter family are not worthy of Harry’s friendship or to be dragon riders.”

Ron and Hermione suddenly went pale. Harry was shocked and Charlie was mortified at his brother’s actions. “Master what do you mean that they were paid to befriend Harry?”

“It’s in both their minds as well as the Head Master’s when he tried to enter my mind when I first came to Hogwarts. Instead I pushed myself into his mind and found out that he has been using Harry as a weapon from the time he set foot in the wizarding world, that he has been taking money out of the Potter vaults, that he lied about Harry’s mother being a muggle when she was really a pureblood witch, purposely put Harry with his relatives in order to break him so he would be easier to mold into the ‘perfect weapon’ without any consideration for Harry’s needs, threw Sirius Black into Azkaban without a trial, and paid Hermione and Ron with money plus giving Hermione a lot of books of the Potters to befriend them.  While he even tricked the hat into putting Harry into Gryffindor when he should have been in Ravenclaw!”

All the dragon riders stared in horror at Ron and Hermione.  “YOU DID WHAT?!” Harry shouted in anger as Eclipse growled at his former friends. He couldn’t believe that they would willingly take money from his own vaults and that Hermione would accept books that belonged to him!  “I want all my gold and books back that you two STOLE from me!” Harry shouted. 

“RONALD BILIUS WEASLEY! YOU WILL GIVE BACK ALL THE GOLD YOU STOLE FROM THE POTTER VAULTS AND YOU HERMIONE JEAN GRANGER WILL GIVE BACK ALL THE GOLD AND BOOKS YOU STOLE FROM THE POTTER VAULTS!” Charlie shouted at his brother and possible sister-in-law.  The other riders all stared at Charlie and then turned back to Ron and Hermione with anger on their faces.  They surrounded the two traitors so they wouldn’t be able to leave and watched the confrontation with glee on their faces as Ron and Hermione got what was coming to them.

“Did anyone else in my family accept money or goods from the Potter vaults?” Charlie asked taking a deep breath before looking at his master.

“It appears only you, Bill and the twins were the only ones not to accept money from Dumbledore.”

“So that’s why I only ever liked Bill, Charlie and the twins then,” Harry said in shock.  He leaned against Eclipse for support but it looked like he would faint or collapse. 

“Harry I’m sorry for my family’s actions. I had no idea that my parents, Ron and Ginny would be taking money from your vaults.  I’m going to talk to Bill and then I’m going to go through the Emancipation Ritual.”

“You can’t! You’re a Weasley!” Ron shouted at his older brother.

“I can’t be part of a family that steals money from an orphan child.  Ron you have always been jealous of anything you don’t have. Do you really think that Harry WANTS to be the Boy-Who-Lived? Do you really think that you would want your life to be used by a manipulative old bastard who only cares about using you as a weapon to defeat his enemy and son?!”

Everyone gasped in horror.  “What do you mean?” Ash asked looking up at Charlie.  “You-Know-Who can’t be the Head Master’s son can he?”

“Yes he is.  Dumbledore had a relationship with Tom’s mother.  Everything was fine until she got pregnant with Tom and then he oblivated his girlfriend’s mind and then planted false memories into Tom’s mother so that she would think she had a relationship with a muggle.  Tom Marvolo Riddle is Voldemort’s real name. Dumbledore allowed his son to go to an orphanage and allowed him to be mistreated both at Hogwarts and at the orphanage.  I only found out about this when I was doing some research in an attempt to help Harry this past summer.”

“I could easily beat the Dark Lord with my eyes closed.”

“Oh please Ronald don’t kid yourself. You’re a horrible duelist and wouldn’t last two seconds in a fight,” Charlie said. 

“Why is the Head Master taking money from Harry?” Daphne asked.

“Because he’s poor.  He used up all the Dumbledore fortune in the last war with Grindelwald and has been stealing Harry’s money ever since Harry’s parents died to keep living the life he had before.”

Harry was seething and in his head Eclipse was snarling and screaming in anger at what her partner-of-soul-and-mind had gone through as a child and the truth behind Harry’s life.  You two WILL give back what you stole to my partner-of-soul or I will incinerate you both right here!  Eclipse shouted at Ron and Hermione.

“Master is there any way I can get my gold and books back from Dumbledore and these two traitors?” Harry asked.  “And did Dumbledore take anything else from my vaults?”

“He took some artifacts that have been in the Potter family for generations,” Kayla said sadly.  “They are hidden in his vault. I saw some images flash through his mind when I dug through that worthless bastard’s head.  The goblins have always had a stone relationship with the Head Dragon Rider.  As a dragon rider yourself and a longtime client of Gringotts I can petition Gringotts to order Dumbledore, Mr. Weasley and Miss Granger to give back everything they stole with interest or face time in Azkaban. Not even the Ministry can dispute the word of a Head Dragon Rider.” 

“They deserve to be chucked into Azkaban.  Can you make that happen?”

“If you want I can have them thrown in there anyway after they give you back everything they stole.”

“Good.  Please do that.”

“Very well.”

The other riders were shouting in anger at Ron and Hermione after the conversation. They couldn’t believe that they had willingly taken money and books from Harry Potter by the Head Master in order to befriend him.  “Let them go,” Kayla commanded and the circle parted allowing Ron and Hermione to flee back to the castle.  Hagrid was outraged that Harry would be used like that by them and the Head Master.  It was with a sullen silence that they all headed to the lake and sat down staring into the water while trying to sort through the shocking truth they had just heard.  Everyone agreed that for their utter betrayal and stealing that Hermione and Ron deserved to end up Azkaban for life and were pleased that they would be going there.

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