Update: The story’s been revamped totally. This story was
originally written for simple posting on Fanfiction.net almost three years ago;
I have since then grown as a writer and moved my fics
over here, where the quality of the work is substantially better. So
everything—with the exception of the outcome of the Quidditch match—is now
totally canonical: the proper teammates are on the team, Americanisms have
become British, and all sorts of odds and sods have been tweaked. I appreciate
everything y’all have pointed out to me, and I still give thanks to Yolanda, my
stud of a Beta Reader. Gratzie!
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Of
Chapter One: Signs
Charlie Weasley sighed and
knocked the sky-high pile of brochures off of his bed and onto the floor, where
they scattered like Snitches across the wooden floorboards. That made six new
brochures in a single day—six different owls landed right in front of him while
he was eating breakfast in the Great Hall, all carrying identical messages from
various Quidditch teams. A record. Yesterday he’d
gotten some from Luxembourg, the Grodzisk
Goblins, and Quiberion Quafflepunchers.
They’d all heard of the
unbelievable Seeker from Hogwarts—nearly a Quidditch prodigy, really—a Hogwarts
seventh year, whose promise as a Quidditch player was almost dauntingly
Charlie plopped down on his
bed and stared up at the ceiling. With every new brochure, he felt his love for
Quidditch slipping away. No—that wasn’t it. Not slipping away. He still loved
Quidditch. He loved everything about Quidditch. Nothing brought him more
joy than the thrill of soaring seventy feet above the ground, chasing after a
miniscule, winged Snitch—the excitement every time a Chaser scored a goal; the
thrill of dodging dangerous Bludgers—and the fans,
the adoring, excited fans, whose spirit was contagious…
A smile involuntarily spread
over Charlie’s handsome face as he closed his eyes. The thrill
of it all. No, he had been wrong. There was nothing he didn’t love about
Quidditch—not a thing.
But every time he considered
his graduation from Hogwarts in just a few weeks’ time, his stomach lurched
unpleasantly—not unlike the feeling he got from looking at the Slytherin team’s captain and Beater, Baird Bulstrode.
All of his friends knew where
they were headed off to—his best male mate and Chaser Beau Brewer was planning
on entering the Ministry of Magic as a Treasure Hunter; another one of his
Chasers, Sabine Sinatra, was pulling a Bill Weasley and becoming a
Curse-Breaker for Gringotts; and his best friend Nymphadora Tonks was off to
become an Auror, of all things! The idea made him
laugh a bit—Tonks (as she refused to be called by her
first name, Nymphadora) was exceedingly clumsy and
was constantly landing herself into mischief.
But he was the only one who
didn’t know what the hell he was doing.
None of them understood, of
course. They all assumed Charlie would pick (maybe even at random) a Quidditch
team and would build a life of fame and fortune as a fantastic Seeker.
And that idea had no effect
on Charlie at all.
Wealth meant little to
him—having grown up with few Galleons to spare, Charlie had learned the value
of a Knut and a Sickle and wasn’t much for materialistic
things—unless, of course, it was a broomstick. No, he didn’t need much. He
didn’t need money; and Merlin knows, he didn’t need fame, either—no, he wasn’t much suited for the spotlight. His status as a
Seeker at Hogwarts had escalated into infamy, even—and that was one thing
Charlie was relieved to leave behind. It was awkward, dealing with random
teenage girls giggling and blushing whenever you walked by.
called a voice from outside of the dorm. A fist banged sharply against the
heavy wooden door, but Charlie made no attempt to open it for the boisterous
“Why are you even bothering
knocking?” Charlie called from his bed. “It’s your dorm too, you prat.”
The door flung open and one
of Charlie’s best mates, Beau Brewer, stood in the doorway, grinning like an
idiot. His curly brown hair stood on end and his eyes shone brighter than a
unicorn’s snowy coat.
Charlie snorted in amusement
at the sight of his friend. “What happened, mate? You finally had a snog?” Charlie pulled himself up and leaned against his
pillows and the headboard of his four-poster bed.
Normally, witty Beau would
have hit Charlie with quite a comeback, but he simply chose to ignore his team
captain’s comment. In that instance, Charlie knew Beau was the bearer of great
“What is it, mate?” Charlie
asked, catching Beau’s vibes of excitement.
Beau cried, ecstatic. “We’re not playing Slytherin
next—we’re up against Ravenclaw—”
“You're kidding me!” Charlie
cried, leaping up off of his bed. “That’s excellent! We won’t have to worry
about that slimy excuse of a team until the championship, then!” As an
afterthought Charlie added, “If we win.”
“Well, of course we’re
gonna win!” Beau said, jumping up and down. “We
haven’t lost a game in two years, mate—and we’ve had a winning season for five
years—and we haven’t lost the Cup in three!”
Charlie grinned despite
himself, and stared stupidly at Beau until he followed Beau’s gaze, which fell
onto the scattered brochures that lay on the floor.
“You got one from England, Charlie!” Beau shouted, bending down
and picking up the brochure. “England! Even England’s scouting you!”
Charlie let out a weak “hah”,
his feelings of happiness ebbing away.
“What a sign, mate!” Beau
said, grinning. “Look—the schedule’s been moved around; we’re playing Ravenclaw, and they’re a pushover—we’re off to the
championship and we’re gonna win again—scouts have
been coming and going—you’ve got brochures up the arse—England,
Charlie! England! Wait till I tell Wood; he’s gonna
wet his pants, he looks up to you so much!” Without even catching his breath,
Beau flew out of the room, the England brochure falling from his hands and
floating gently down onto the floor.
Charlie stood rooted to the
spot for a minute before he glanced downward and bent over to pick up the
“Yeah…all the signs point to Quidditch, all right,” Charlie
muttered to himself. He glanced at his wristwatch—half past two. Five minutes
until his Care of Magical Creatures class started. With a great sigh, Charlie
balled up the pamphlet and tossed it behind him, leaving his dorm.
Outside around the paddock,
Charlie, Beau, and Tonks stood together, waiting for
Professor Kettleburn to begin his lesson. Beau was
recapping the good news for Tonks, who, although did
not play on the team, was the biggest supporter in the entire Gryffindor house;
Tonks was bouncing up and down with such ecstasy that
Charlie was sure she was going to snap her ankle—or wet herself, whichever came
Charlie, on the other hand,
wasn’t even paying attention to Beau and Tonks’ loud
discussion of Quidditch. He was peering at the paddock, trying to decide what
today’s lesson was going to be about. There was nothing inside the paddock,
although Charlie saw that a Magical Field was set around the corral. Must be
something dangerous, Charlie thought to himself, a small smile on his lips.
The whole Care of Magical
Creatures class—a random and small mix Gryffindor and Hufflepuff
seventh-years—turned around and saw Kettleburn
walking towards them, Hagrid at his side, and
levitating a very large cage in front of him.
doin’ here?” Tonks asked,
standing on tiptoes, trying to glimpse what Kettleburn
Charlie said, looking curiously at the large cage. Students began to murmur amongst
themselves about what today’s lesson was going to be about when Kettleburn and Hagrid finally
arrived at the group.
“Settle down, now, settle down!” said the aging man sharply. He ignored the
students’ questions and pushed past them, the covered cage breathing in a raspy
Charlie said, mimicking for the giant of a man to come over. Hagrid obliged and Charlie saw that he was grinning hugely;
his whole body was trembling with excitement. “Hagrid,
what’s going on?”
tell yeh nothin’,” Hagrid
said, his voice positively quaking with exhilaration. “Nope!
Ain’t getting’ nuthin’ outta me! Jus—lemme tell yeh this, Charlie boy—yeh’ll be enjoyin’ this lesson! Merlin knows I’m stickin’
‘round to see this!” Hagrid wiped a tear that was
forming in his eyes. “Waited me entire life to see one o’ ‘em…”
it’s an animal,” Beau said disbelievingly, a look of incredulity
plastered on his face.
“A beauty she is,
too!” Hagrid wailed, and Kettleburn
sent him a sharp look.
shouted about the murmur; instantly, the students quieted down. “I have a
special lesson prepared for us today. Now, listen carefully, because I’m not
going to repeat myself again—and it’d be best for your own safety, as well.” He
sent a sharp look through the students. “You’re a group of intelligent and
mature young students—so I like to believe—and I’ve sprung a little—surprise—on
you lot today.” He kicked open the gate to the paddock and walked inside; the
magic field trembled slightly. With a flick of his wand, the cage lowered
itself onto the ground.
“Now, no one is to come into
the paddock unless they have my permission,” Kettleburn
said fiercely. “We’re dealing with strong magic today. Everyone is to pay
attention to whatever I tell you to do, and you will follow my directions
to a key, else you’ll be out of this class and into detention faster than you
can say dragon.” Unwittingly, a toothy grin escaped from his lips.
Instantly the students began
to talk vividly.
Charlie quivered on his toes
before he spun around to Hagrid, Tonks,
“A dragon!” Tonks
cried, grabbing Hagrid’s thick arm with excitement. “A real dragon!” She grinned. “How awesome is this?”
“There supposed to be real
hard to catch!” Beau said dreamily, eyeing the paddock with increased interest.
“And—well, difficult to
request permission to keep for a time, too,” Charlie added. “I’m surprised he
managed to get a hold of a dragon—it’s a task; he must have connections.”
Hagrid’s eyes twinkled with what Charlie took
for as apprehension but then realized that they were tears of happiness.
“A beauty! A real beauty!”
Hagrid said gleefully. “Can’t wait fer you all ter see this girl!”
was busying himself in the paddock; he had placed dragonhide
gloves on his hands and had his wand at the ready.
cried, and the cage (along with the sheet covering it) vanished, revealing a
very young dragon.
The students gasped with
“That’s a Swedish
Short-Snout, that is!” Charlie said excitedly to his friends. “Look—she really
And it was true. You could
tell the Short-Snout was young, for it was just over five feet long;
silvery-blue scales covered its body and its eyes glistened silver. The dragon
sneezed and a brilliant blue flame erupted from its nostrils.
“Everyone—” Kettleburn called out, “I would like to introduce you to Selda, this gorgeous little Swedish Short-Snout—six months
old, she is, just a newborn, really. Can anyone tell me where she’s from?”
answered, sniggering. Kettleburn eyed the Metamorphmagus with annoyance before replying, “Can anyone
tell me where in Sweden?”
Beau scratched his head and
Charlie opened his mouth to answer, but was interrupted by a Hufflepuff student.
Short-Snouts are found in the Swedish Mountains that are, for the most part,
uninhabited by Muggles.”
Charlie closed his mouth,
disappointed. He saw Hagrid make a move as to pat him
on the back, but the giant of a man declined to do so.
“Excellent. Take a point to Hufflepuff,” Kettleburn answered,
casting another glance at Tonks, who had snorted and
muttered to Beau and Charlie, “Suck up.” She winked at Charlie, who
rolled his eyes and smiled.
“I’d pay attention, Tonks. Who knows what might happen?” Charlie muttered,
“Yeah, Tonks!” Beau chimed in. “Your robes’d catch
fire and then you’d have to explain to Mad-Eye Moody why you suffered
third-degree burns from a dragon—the answer’s either because you weren’t paying
attention or because you’re a klutz, and neither of those are gonna look good in his magic eye.”
Tonks walloped him over the back and stared
straight ahead, as if determined not to suffer an accident.
The class wasn’t allowed to
enter the paddock today, where they gathered around to watch the brilliant
reptile walk around, breathing sapphire fire and chasing after random things
that Kettleburn conjured up and tossed in for Selda to enjoy; instead, Kettleburn
lectured them on the nature of dragons (“Though unable to tame, dragons can
take kindly to those who they recognize and sense comfort from—however, such a
bond takes years to develop, and thus it is highly unlikely that anyone
will be playing with Selda during her stay.”), their
diet, the ten different species, and the uses of their blood. After an hour of
interesting information, Kettleburn stepped outside
of the paddock and sealed the gate.
“This paddock’s sealed with a
magic field—Selda won’t be able to get out unless I
left the field, and no one will be able to lift the lock on the gate,” Kettleburn concluded. “And if I find anyone meddling around
here trying to break into it, I doubt I will punish you, because I’m
sure Selda will provide a more…lasting harm.”
“Oh, yeah right, as if we’d
be stupid enough to try to enter a corral housing a dragon,” Tonks muttered.
Before he went out to the
pitch to train with his team, Charlie went upstairs to get his broom. As he dug
into his trunk, he paused, and pulled out another pamphlet. But this one was
different—this one was what made Charlie feel less stressed; this one was a
brochure that he enjoyed looking at.
They hadn’t scouted him out;
contrary, he had secretly written to them, requesting information.
The Romanian Institute of Dragon Study
The Romanian Institute of Dragon Study is a world-renowned academy
dedicated to the study of dragons. Recognized by one hundred different
Ministries of Magic, the Romanian Institute of Dragon Study is the adventurer’s
dream occupation—highly exciting and intensively difficult, members of the
Romanian Institute of Dragon Study lead fulfilling lives of adventure,
challenge, and nature.
The Romanian Institute of Dragon Study requires any person to be
at least eighteen years of age before submitting an application. New members
must spend two years in training before being assigned a position with the
Institute—perhaps you want to devote your life to the research of dragons from
a magic lab; perhaps you want to tag dragons for watching in a field job; the
possibilities are endless.
Admissions into the Romanian Institute of Dragon Study are difficult, though not impossible.
The study of dragons is a particularly dangerous one; the Institute will not
accept those who are unable to withstand perilous adventures or exhausting
labs. Below is a list of requirements for those wishing to apply to the
Institute immediately following graduation from a School of Magic. All other applicants must request a
N.E.W.T. requirements for any submission include:
1. N.E.W.T. Level (O-E) in Charms
2. N.E.W.T. Level (O) in Care of Magical Creatures
3. N.E.W.T. Level (O-E) in Defense Against
the Dark Arts
4. N.E.W.T. Level (O-E) in Herbology
Secondary requirements include:
1. Physical Skill
2. Healing and Potions scores
3. Transfiguration scores
4. Foreign Language abilities
Charlie finished reading the
brochure and flipped it over to the cover. He glanced at his wristwatch; he was
five minutes late.
But hey, what could they do?
He was their captain, after all.
Charlie stared longingly at
the cover of the brochure; a large Norwegian Ridgeback flew gracefully across
the cover, flapping its magnificent wings with ease.
His thoughts drifted back to
the caged Selda.
“Yeah…” Charlie said to himself quietly, putting the brochure back
into his trunk. “What a sign.”