Harry Potter and the Dragon's Nest Keywords: Harry, Ron, Hermione
***Disclaimer: The regular
Harry Potter characters, places and concepts do not belong to me, they
belong to J.K. Rowling. I am just borrowing and will put them back neatly
where I found them between Book 4 and 5. Kelsey Florence belongs to me,
however, but I'll lend her to anyone who asks nicely!!! S.L.***
***Dedication: I would
like to dedicate this to my excellent beta-reader Elanor, for paying me
some of the nicest compliments I've ever had about my writing! Thanks
a million, Elanor, and thanks to everyone at Sugar Quill for letting me
get my work out into the Muggle world!***
Chapter One: Dudleys
The blinds were closed over the windows
of number four, Privet Drive. A strange thudding noise came from one of
the upper rooms, a noise that had long since set all the dogs along the
street howling. Occasionally the thudding would stop, only to start monotonously
up again, usually to the accompaniment of a voice raised in a scolding
Dudley Dursley was practising his drums.
Harry Potter, hunched in his bedroom immediately
next door, clutched his quill tighter while attempting to cover both ears
with his free hand. A large splatter of ink dripped spitefully onto the
parchment and, swallowing a groan which would surely bring Aunt
Petunia down on his head if it were heard Harry tried to blot the
ink away. Naturally, the blotting paper refused to work. Harry sighed.
If only he were allowed to use magic outside of school...
A soft hooting at the window provided a
welcome distraction from the boring History of Magic essay, and Harry
hurried to open the window for Hedwig. The snowy owl swooped in, did a
couple of graceful laps around the room, then came to rest on her perch.
Harry reached eagerly to untie the letter from her leg and unrolled it.
I hope youre coping with the Dursleys
hopefully it wont be too long before you can come and live
with me instead! Im just writing to say happy fifteenth birthday
and I hope to see you sometime when you return to Hogwarts."
It was signed "Snuffles".
Harry grinned, then laughed. This earned
him a thump on the wall from Aunt Petunia next door, but he didnt
care. At least Sirius Black, his godfather, had remembered his birthday.
It was just a pity the wizard himself hadnt been able to visit Harry
for his birthday but as he had escaped from Azkaban, the wizard
prison, two years ago, public appearances were understandably impossible.
Besides, the Dursleys probably wouldnt like an escaped convict turning
up on their doorstep.
Naturally the Dursleys themselves had forgotten
his birthday. Or, which was more probable, had remembered it and simply
not bought him anything. The sudden purchase of the drums for Dudley,
which had only happened today, was probably not a coincidence.
Harry scratched the top of Hedwigs
head, then gave her a few Owl Treats. She nibbled the end of his finger
affectionately before settling down to her reward. Harry went back to
his desk feeling happy for once, especially when a loud crash and Aunt
Petunias loud, hectoring shriek announced the demise of the drums.
The next three weeks passed in standard
Dursley fashion in a word, horrible. Dudley taunted Harry over
his lack of birthday celebration when he, Dudley, had been given the drums
and then had them replaced with a violin when he had poked a hole in the
drum skin with the drumstick. The violin sounded like a cat being slowly
tortured, and Harry was glad when Dudley found that boring as well and
threw it out of the window.
Uncle Vernon had given himself a raise.
Being the director of the drill firm Grunnings he couldnt be promoted,
but he could certainly increase his salary at the expense of his workers.
The money mostly went towards more toys for Dudley, as usual. Harry certainly
didnt see any of it.
He was grateful when the day finally came
that he could go up to London and Diagon Alley to shop for his school
supplies. Uncle Vernon reluctantly gave him the money for a train ticket
there. His Hogwarts ticket for the train which left from platform
nine and three-quarters at Kings Cross Station had been delivered
by owl two nights ago, the owl waking up the entire household. Harry had
been existing on bread and cheese since, and was glad to be going somewhere
where hed be able to get a decent meal.
Waving at Tom, the bartender in the Leaky
Cauldron, Harry went through the back door and found the right brick in
the wall, tapping it three times with his wand. The archway opened, and
he found himself facing Diagon Alley.
The bustling road was filled with people.
Witches and wizards of all shape, size and description bustled about,
many of them people Harry knew, other students like himself buying school
supplies. He would have to go to the wizard bank Gringotts first to get
the money he needed. As he walked up the steps he saw Hermione Granger
waving at him from just within the foyer.
"Harry! Did you get my owl?"
Harry had. A large tawny owl had delivered
Hermiones present three weeks earlier, along with the letter announcing
that this was the day she would be in London. The gift had been, naturally,
a book The History of Quidditch in England. Harry was surprised
that it hadnt been a schoolbook, but chose not to say anything apart
from "Yes, thanks."
"Ron says hell see us on the
train. He wasnt coming here this year his Mums going
to do all the shopping herself. She says its finally become too
much for her, trying to make the twins behave and keep an eye on Ginny
and Ron and not lose anyone," Hermione said.
"Oh, right," said Harry. "Wed
better get started, the Dursleysll love it if Im late home,
they can lock me out." He touched his pocket to make sure his wand
was safe, then he and Hermione headed for one of the goblins at the counter.
This routine was becoming almost normal to Harry, but the ride down to
his vault was still a stomach-twisting, dizzying blur for the duration
of which his and Hermiones main objective was to hang on as tightly
to the sides of the cart as possible.
After loading up his bag with gold Galleons,
silver Sickles and bronze Knuts, they continued to Hermiones smaller
vault, where she had a small amount of wizarding money safely stored.
To their shock, when the vault door was unlocked, a small pixie flew out,
gibbering angrily at Griphook, the goblin steering their cart. Calmly,
the goblin reached up and plucked it from the air, holding it firmly as
Hermione collected this years money.
"Pesky little thieves... Corpus
Gelare!" Griphook added, tapping the pixie on the head with his
wand. The pixie stopped struggling and seemed to freeze in the goblins
hand. Griphook put it neatly down on the floor of the cart.
"Try not to step on him, if
you can possibly help it," he said with a grin. "Lets
go then?" he added, seeing Hermione had her money.
"Whos the pixie?" Harry
shouted over the roar as the cart made its speedy way back out of the
bowels of the bank.
"Brybek," Griphook replied. "We
catch him about once a month, getting into peoples vaults. He doesnt
really steal anything," the goblin added, seeing the outraged look
on Hermiones face. "Just seems to get some kind of thrill from
it... here we are." He helped the shaken pair out of the cart, scooped
up the frozen pixie, and strode towards the door back into the bank. Despite
being a full two heads shorter than Harry, the goblins presence
was still commanding.
Harry and Hermione said goodbye to Griphook
at the door back into the bank, then made their way through the queues
and back into the fresh air of Diagon Alley. Somewhere further along the
cobblestoned street they heard the rattle-bang as someone let off a string
of Filibuster Fireworks, and green sparks shot out of a nearby shop doorway
to the accompaniment of a loud yelp of pain. They both laughed, then wandered
down the street towards Flourish and Blotts, the bookstore.
"What can I help you with?" asked
one of the shop assistants, a thin young man with a pinched face, looking
rather harassed. Evidently they were not the only ones shopping today.
"Er we both need The Standard
Books of Spells, Grade Five... Magical Theory II... and The
Dark Arts: Your Safety Guide, by Olivia N. Shadow," Harry said.
"And I need..." Hermione checked
her list, "...Twenty Simple Arithmancy Formulae, by Matthew
The assistant darted around, finding the
books and stacking them high in the pairs arms. Soon they had all
they needed and could pay and leave, staggering a little under the weight
Harry had remembered he needed a new book for Divination, but not
what it was called, and Hermione had snorted quite rudely when he mentioned
it. She disliked Divination, enough to have walked out of it and not returned
when Professor Trelawney finally made one too many disparaging remarks.
"How about an ice-cream?" Harry
suggested, so they had mint-choc-chip and banana ice-creams, the odd combination
of green and yellow trickling down the sides of the crispy cones. Hermione
licked her fingers, then stopped.
"Oh, its four oclock already!"
she said. "Ive got to go and meet my parents, they cant
get in here of course, not without me anyway. Im surprised we didnt
see Hagrid here," she added. Rubeus Hagrid was the massive groundkeeper
at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and was often to be seen
in Diagon Alley hunting for something obscure usually an animal.
Norbert the dragon and Buckbeak the Hippogriff numbered among Hagrids
favourite "pets", and the animals he classified as "cute"
were generally what anyone else would call "terrifying".
"And Id better be getting back
to the Dursleys'," Harry said glumly, the pleasure in the day beginning
to seep away as he contemplated the prospect of the remainder of his time
with the horrible family.
"Why dont you go and stay with
Ron until school starts again?" said Hermione as they bid farewell
to Diagon Alley and walked back through the back door of the Leaky Cauldron.
"He hasnt invited me. I got
his birthday present another Chudley Cannons book and a talisman
sort of thing to tie onto my broom for good luck. He hasnt made
any more "fellytone" calls," Harry added with a grin, and
both of them felt a pang of regret that Ron couldnt be here with
"Oh well, well see him on the
train," said Hermione briskly as they exited the Leaky Cauldron and
she waved to her parents. "And Ill see you there then,"
she added, giving Harry an awkward one-armed hug, her other arm being
loaded down with books. She dashed off, Harry watching her go, her bushy
brown hair flying behind her.
The remaining time until he had to catch
the train to Hogwarts passed painfully slowly. Dudley seemed intent on
playing or failing to play every known instrument he could
persuade his doting parents to buy for him. He went through, besides the
drums and violin, at least four other instruments in the time Harry spent
there, including a trombone which made a rather spectacular exit through
Dudleys window and into the greenhouse. Had Harry done the same,
he wouldve been forced to pay for the damage and locked in his room
for the rest of the time until he left for Hogwarts Dudley was
simply fussed over, Aunt Petunia anxiously inspecting his hands for glass
cuts and Uncle Vernon trying to blame it all on Harry.
But finally the time came. Harry was driven
to Kings Cross Station by Uncle Vernon, who barely saw him out of
the car before he slammed the door and took off in a squeal of tyres.
Harry wasnt worried he was as glad to be rid of Uncle Vernon
as Uncle Vernon was to be rid of him.
The Weasleys were on platform nine, Mrs
Weasley already sending Fred and George through the barrier to platform
nine and three-quarters. Ginny was wrestling with a cage almost as large
as herself which contained an owl Harry hadnt seen before, a tawny
bird which was clearly not impressed to be awake and surrounded by so
many people; it kept hooting loudly and earned Ginny many odd looks from
the Muggle passengers on the platform.
Ron was standing to one side with Hermione,
Hermiones parents nowhere in sight. Pigwidgeon, Rons owl,
was in his (considerably smaller) cage, while the cage which presumable
held Hermiones cat Crookshanks was at her feet. Ron spotted Harry
first and waved, and Harry ran over, lumping his trunk along. The three
friends shared a "welcome back" hug, then stood grinning at
each other until Mrs Weasley bustled over and began sorting them through
Once on the train, rocketing along towards
Hogwarts, the trio settled back into their old routines of talking over
one another and laughing at new jokes. Ginny kept very quiet in her corner
of the compartment and watched Harry most of the way.
Hermione kept yawning, and after the fifth
or so view of her recently mended teeth, Ron asked her if she was tired.
"No," said Hermione, "Ive
been sleeping quite well. I just seem to have less energy lately."
"Probably all the homework you were
doing on the holidays," said Ron with a snicker.
Seeing the look on Hermiones face,
Harry hastily interrupted with, "Ron, why wouldnt your mother
let you come to Diagon Alley this year?"
Ron sighed. "Its Fred and George,
of course, they keep inventing new practical jokes and tricks. Mum didnt
want them there because theyve been trying all summer to find a
place thatll sell their stuff."
"Wont they just go into Hogsmeade
and try at Zonkos?" asked Hermione.
"Oh, I suppose they might, but I rather
think Mums got that sorted out," Ron said. "I think she
sent an owl there to warn them about the twins, so thats probably
not going to work either."
There was a rattle in the corridor outside,
and then a knock at the door the witch pushing the tea trolley
"Anything off the trolley, dears?"
"Oh, definitely!" said Harry,
making a dive for first his money and then the trolley the Dursleys
had kept him more or less on his bread-and-cheese diet even after hed
returned from Diagon Alley, and he intended to stuff himself with Cauldron
Cakes, Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans, and whatever else he could
think of. He bought food for the others too (though he refused to buy
a Cockroach Cluster for Ron to give to Ginny), and soon they were all
"Ooh, look, I got Abigail Williams,
she was a big part of the Salem Witch Trials!"
"She wasnt a witch, was she?"
"Nah, she was a witch-finder, it says.
Shes a bit young, isnt she?"
Hermione spat out her next flavoured jellybean.
"Yuck Lima beans," she said.
"Youre out of luck today, arent
you?" said Harry. "Here, have a Chocolate Frog." He handed
her one and she opened it.
"Ooh, Ron, you wanted Ptolemy, didnt
"You got Ptolemy?" Ron asked.
"Ive been after him for years..."
"Here," said Hermione instantly,
handing the card over. "I dont need it, Im not collecting
Ron watched the card for a few minutes
as the Greek astronomer brandished a telescope furiously, then tucked
it away in his pocket. "Thanks, Hermione, I owe you one," he
Hermione snorted. "Dont worry,
Ron, it was just a bit of luck. Ill bet you start finding him all
over the place now," she said.
Harry opened another Chocolate Frog only
to find that the card inside was blank. He stared at it, turning it over
and over, even holding it up to the light, but there was nothing on it.
"Here, look at this, theres
no picture on it," he said.
Hermione squinted at the card, then pulled
out her wand and tapped it. "Aparecium!" she said, but
there was no result. She tried rubbing it with her Revealer, but that
didnt work either. Finally they gave up and Harry put the card away
in his pocket just as the train came to a halt. Then they had to stuff
their sweets into their pockets and get off the train.
"Firs years! Firs years
over here!" boomed a loud voice. Hagrid waved to them over the heads
of the milling crowd and they waved back, then the first years began to
move off in a nervous clump and they were left to board the horseless
coaches which would take them to the school. Ginny, half-asleep, almost
fell asleep again on the way to the school, and Hermione started yawning
again. Harry and Ron talked excitedly about this new year.
"Fifth year... dyou think itll
be as exciting as last year... or the year before.. or..." Rons
voice trailed off when Harry started laughing.
"Hopefully not," yawned Hermione.
"I could do with a nice, relaxing year but weve got
to start working really hard this year to prepare for our OWLs, you know."
"Oh, Hermione, go back to sleep,"
"Hermione? Hermione! Pay attention,
theyre bringing the first years in!"
Hermione yawned, pushing a strand of brown
hair out of her eyes and lifting her head from the table. She yawned again
and covered her mouth with her hand guiltily she was still feeling
sluggish, almost unable to move.
"Honestly, Hermione, anyone would
think you hadnt slept for a week." Harry gave his friend an
exasperated look and nodded towards the front of the hall where Hagrid
was leading the small group of nervous-looking first-years in. Hagrids
eyes searched the tables until he spotted them, and waved. Harry waved
back. So did Ron, who was sitting on Hermiones other side. Hermione
barely had the strength to lift her hand.
The tattered Sorting Hat was brought out
and placed on a stool by the diminutive Professor Flitwick. The rip at
its brim opened wide like a mouth and it began to sing:
"Some might say that Im old
But Im no crying shame
For those who I Sort into their place
May find fortune and fame.
The knowledge was put into me
To help you find your future
Though I may look shabby
As a guide youll find none better.
I know where to look inside your mind
To find the place you will belong
And I know how to Sort your abilities
To make your powers strong.
Hufflepuffs children are kind
Ready to help their friends
And if ever something might go wrong
Theyre quick to make amends.
Ravenclaws people are wise
Intelligence is here the key
Their wit and wisdom makes them strong
Theirs is a learning place to be.
Slytherins sort are a tricky kind
Their powers those of cunning
Rest assured, if you cross this type
They will soon send you running.
Gryffindors type are mostly brave
Courage and soul are just their style
In Gryffindor you might just fit
And thus go that extra mile.
The Hogwarts Houses each are fine
And each have their own talents
Each bring glory, pride and hope
To each of their inhabitants.
So when you put me on Ill tell
Just where you ought to be
And you will find that Im always right
Just try me out and see!"
A round of applause echoed around the Hall
as the hat "bowed" to each table, then settled back, waiting
for the first of the new students to come and try it on. Professor McGonagall
had moved forward to call out the names of the new students.
An arrogant-looking girl swaggered out
of line, black hair swaying, and slipped the hat on.
Emma raced for the Slytherin table, taking
her place next to Millicent Bulstrode, who gave her a hug and grinned
nastily across at the Gryffindors. The familial resemblance was evident,
despite the difference in surname: Harry guessed (correctly, as it happened)
that Emma was Millicents cousin.
The Sorting went on in this way until the
last student ("Singer, Casey!") had been Sorted into Hufflepuff.
There were six new Gryffindor students, who huddled at the end of the
table. Hermione opened her mouth, about to make some comment about how
it had been for them five years ago, when Ron looked puzzled.
Another student, looking no older than
the rest of the first years, was standing next to Professor McGonagall,
who was waiting impatiently for everyones attention. She had fine
light blonde hair, blue eyes which were flickering interestedly over everyone
in the Great Hall, and was blushing brightly as everyones eyes fastened
on her. She seemed to shrug the blush off, though, and stood with her
back straight and her eyes facing front as Professor McGonagall introduced
"This is Kelsey Florence, who is from
Lofoten Island in Norway. Sadly, Kelsey is mute, but nonetheless has joined
us here at Hogwarts. Despite only being of first-year age, she will be
working with the fifth-years in whichever House she is Sorted into. I
ask you all to be considerate of Kelsey, and for those of you who know
sign language, this will be most helpful in understanding her." She
nodded Kelsey forward to the Sorting Hat.
The Ravenclaw table burst into loud applause;
Harry saw Cho Chang standing up to wave Kelsey over and went nearly as
red as Kelsey had gone when she spotted him and added an extra wave to
him. He hastily turned back to his plate, rather wishing he could disappear
"Shes pretty, that girl,"
commented Hermione. "But a first year working with us... gosh,
she must be intelligent!"
"How on Earth are you supposed to
do spells if youre mute? And if shes such a wonderful witch,
why hasnt someone made her un-mute?" asked Ron, who was looking
up at Dumbledore. The Headmaster was making his usual opening speech to
the school, which generally consisted of a "Hello and welcome to
Hogwarts" before encouraging them all to tuck in. Massive arrays
of food appeared on the serving platters, along with large pitchers of
iced pumpkin juice and various other drinks. The Hall filled with the
sound of many voices as everyone began to chatter, discussing holidays
and the coming school year.
"Shes not mute from any normal
cause," said Neville Longbottom from across the table. "She
got cursed when she was younger and they havent found any way to
lift it yet."
"How do you know that?" asked
Ron, getting stuck into his black pudding.
"It was in the Daily Prophet,
when they found out she was coming here. The "Local News" section,
written by the new reporter they got in to replace Rita Skeeter, wherever
she went," said Neville.
Harry, Ron and Hermione exchanged grins
they knew full well where the obnoxious reporter was. An Animagus,
capable of turning into a beetle, Rita had been captured by Hermione near
the end of the previous year. Hermione had released her, but the objectionable
woman had not yet returned to her job.
"Shell turn up," said Hermione.
"Bad pennies always do."
After dinner they headed for the Gryffindor
Tower, pausing for a quick chat with the Fat Lady portrait before giving
the new password ("willow wand") and going inside to sit around
the fire. Harry, Ron, Neville, Seamus Finnigan and Dean Thomas gathered
at the fire to talk over their holidays, but Hermione excused herself
and went up to bed, yawning all the way.
"I wonder whats wrong with her?"
"Why, has she been like that all day?"
"Yeah. She was nearly asleep on the
train and at dinner. Hope shes not sick, its not like her,"
"Yeah. You ready for Quidditch practice?
Katie said shes going to get everyone together tomorrow morning,"
Dean said. Dean didnt participate in the Quidditch matches, but
was always well up on what was going on. Katie Bell was the new Captain
of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, since Oliver Wood had left, and was
a Chaser on the team, along with Angelina Johnson and Alicia Spinnet.
Fred and George Weasley were the Beaters, Harry was the Seeker, and nobody
knew who this years Keeper was going to be.
Harry groaned. "Oh, of course. Seems
determined to be as tough as Wood, doesnt she?" he asked. "Never
mind, the practice is important. Were going to win again this year!"
"I bet you do," said Seamus.
"Weve got the best team after all, not to mention the faster
Harry went red. "Seamus..."
Seamus just grinned, refusing to say any
more on the subject. The talk turned back to what people had been doing
over their holidays, not that Harry had much to say on that subject of
course, and one by one the boys excused themselves and headed up to bed.
Harry was left alone, staring into the
fire and thinking about Cho Chang. This line of thought brought him round
to that new girl... Kelsey Florence. Shed seemed so young, and being
mute mustve made life even harder for her. He felt a wave of admiration
go through him that this girl had nonetheless worked at her magic and
become as good as she had.
Kelsey was a mystery. If she wasnt
able to talk, then how was she able to do spells? Nearly everything he
could think of involved some words or a chant. Maybe she was able to sign
to her wand, but would that work? Harry left his place at the fire and
went slowly up the stairs to bed, still thinking about the elusive Kelsey
as he got into his pyjamas and snuggled down into his four-poster bed.
Soon he was asleep, the sounds and sights of the day running through his
head in a confusing but pleasant dream.
v v v
Chapter One of "Harry Potter and the
Dragon's Nest" written by Seagull Laridae.
Please e-mail me with comments, suggestions or just general chit chat
about Harry Potter!
Yes, there is more of this story coming if you, the lovely readers, want
it, I am presently up to Chapter Four, but let's just see how well this
first instalment is received!
Seagull Laridae is available for comment
at firstname.lastname@example.org, and will respond to all comments if possible.