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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Air of Flames

November came and it was time for the first task to begin.  The stadium was packed with students from all three schools along with all the Hogwarts staff.  Ares had no idea what was in store during the nine tasks of the Triwizard Tournament and hoped that he would be able to survive until he managed to resurrect his father.  He had found a potion that involved him giving a lot of his blood which would allow his father to take on his former appearance.  It was hidden in his chambers with the Elixir of Life that he had made from the Sorcerer’s Stone. 
Inside a large yellow tent stood the four champions and their headmasters.  Ludo Bagman entered with a small sack.  “Gather round champions,” Ludo Bagman called.  “Now inside this bag you will find the dragon you will face.  As you know from earlier during the Weighing of the Wands you can’t use broom sticks during the fight. Your task is to retrieve the Golden Egg among the dragons’ in the quickest time possible.  The Golden Egg will have a clue to your next task.  Now when I pass this bag around reach in and bring out the dragon you will face. We’ll start with you Mr. Krum.”
Victor reached in and pulled out a scarlet dragon with golden spikes around its snub-snouted face.  “The Chinese Fireball. Oooh.”
The bag passed to Fleur.  She reached in and pulled out a green dragon.  “The Common Welsh Green.  Mr. Cedric your turn next,” Ludo said.
Cedric reached in and pulled out a silver blue scaled dragon.  “The Swedish Shortsnout.   And that just leaves…”
Ares reached in and pulled out a black dragon.  “The Hungarian Horntail.”
He looked at each of the four champions.  “You will wait here until your name is called. Then you will go outside and perform your task. Good luck champions,” Ludo said as he and the three headmasters walked out of the tent and to the judge’s stand.  The four champions waited nervously for their names to be called. As the tent emptied Ares paced nervously not sure what he would do.  Think Ares. What are your strengths and abilities? Well flying is one of my strengths but we aren’t allowed a broomstick.  Abilities are Parsletongue and wandless magic but I can’t risk the wandless magic. Are dragons close enough to serpents to understand Parsletongue?
“Harry Potter!” Ludo called out which annoyed Ares but he walked out of the tent anyway.  He listened and heard the dragon’s breathing.  A jet of flame shot out and Ares ducked behind a huge rock to escape being incinerated to death.  He quickly cast a fireproof spell on his clothes and peered over the rock. He could see a huge black dragon standing before him. 
“Accio Firebolt!” Ares shouted.  Sirius had snuck into Gringotts and informed the Goblins that he wasn’t dead and purchased Ares a Firebolt to make up for thirteen years of birthdays.  He ducked back behind the rock and waited for his broom to arrive.  Finally it soared into the air and he jumped on it before taking off as a burst of flames shot after him from the mother dragon.  The dragon tried flapping its wings as it roared after him and managed to break the chain tethering it to the ground.  Deciding to get revenge on Dumbledore for putting him in the tournament Ares flew straight at the judges and then pulled up at the last minute.  Both Karkaroff and Dumbledore got whacked by the dragon’s tail as it flew by, sending them both to the ground. 
Ares smirked to himself as he flew away from the stands and out into the open sky.  He loved flying.  He didn’t like Quidditch as much as some wizards did but flying just for the fun of it? That was something he loved with his heart.  The dragon roared and shot another flame of fire at Ares who dodged it by diving down at breakneck speeds.  His Firebolt moved at the touch of a hand.  It seemed to be able to discern his movements and acted accordingly.  Never before had he had a broom like this.
Ares swerved, climbed and dived but the dragon continued on her pursuit of the one who dared to harm her eggs.  The dragon shot fire at Ares’s broom and he glanced back to see the tail sticks on fire.  “Aguamenti!” Ares shouted and a jet of water splashed on the burning tail sticks which put the small fire out.  However why he was putting the fire out he didn’t see the roof of a tower. The dragon saw her chance and slammed her neck into Ares’s broom which knocked him off and his broom fall to a ledge underneath him where it got stuck.  Ares clung to the roof shingles and saw the dragon land on the tower beside him and begin making her way to where Ares was. 
~Stop!~
~Speaker?~
~You understand me?~
~Parsletongue is snake language and it can be used with dragons though many have evolved too far ahead to remember the language speaker.  You are fortunate that I am not one of them. Why did you try to attack my nest?~
~I am sorry for you being brought here by the wizards’ noble dragoness but they planted a fake egg in your nest.  It’s gold and I have to retrieve it.~
~Very well as long as you do not harm my eggs then you may have this gold egg.~
~Thank you.~
~To make sure you have not spoken to me I will chase you and act ferocious. I’ll lag behind a bit so you can miraculously escape my flame and jaws and retrieve this egg.~
~A smart idea noble one.~
Ares dropped and grabbed his Firebolt, leaping onto it and flying away as the dragon released her claws from the stone and flew after him. They soared back into the stadium and the dragon let out a roar and another burst of flames for good measure.  Ares dove down and reaching out managed to snatch the Golden Egg just as the dragon came behind him and landed carefully at her nest.  The dragon tamers came and kept her away from Ares as he nodded to the beast.
~Wait! Before you go take this egg.  You deserve to have a dragon partner in your quest young speaker.  Take good care of my hatchling.~ The dragon lowered her head to a black egg and carefully nudged it toward Ares.
~You’re giving me one of your eggs?~
~Yes.  My son will serve you well as long as you treat him with kindness. Goodbye young one.~
~Thank you again.  What is your name so that I can tell your son?~
~The humans call me Dusk.~
Ares slowly bent down and carefully grasped the egg in his own.  Well now I have two magical familiars; a basilisk and a dragon, two birds and two normal animals.  I hope I don’t get anymore.  The egg began cracking and Ares watched as the shell fell away to reveal a baby black dragon who whined for food.  Ares gently cradled his dragon and the egg to his chest as he made his way to the infirmary tent where Madam Pomfrey was waiting.  Behind him he heard mutterings from crowd over the fact that he had a dragon and was a Parslemouth.
“Mr. Riddle where are you hurt?”
“I’m not hurt Madam Pomfrey,” Ares said.  “Tulip!”
“What can Tulip do for master?” Tulip asked.
“Can you get my little one some raw steak strips and some milk mixed with chicken blood?” Ares asked.
“Yes Master Riddle. Does master need anything else?”
“Have some food waiting for me in my dorm room.  Anything is fine.”
“Of course Master Riddle.”
“Mr. Potter!” Dumbledore shouted coming into the tent with the other judges.  “It is against the rules to speak a dark language and use dark magic to win this tournament!  And you will hand that beast back to the dragon tamers immmediatley.”
“First off headmaster Parsletongue is not dark magic.  It’s not my fault you aren’t special enough to inherit it.   Secondly I didn’t use dark magic to calm the dragon and where does it say in the tournament rules that Parsletongue can’t be used?  It is one of my abilities and I will not shun it just because some people are ignorant and think all Parslemouths are dark wizards and witches.  Thirdly my hatchling is not a ‘beast’.  It is a gift from the dragon I fought and is one of my familiars.”
“Dragons aren’t allowed in the castle or anywhere on the grounds!  Give it here!” Dumbledore made to take the dragon which lunged and sank its tiny teeth into the headmaster’s hand. 
~Easy little one.~
~Me hungry!~
~Food will be waiting for us when we get back to the Ravenclaw dorms.~
“What did you just say Mr. Potter?”
“Headmaster in case you’re as blind as you are incompetent you will realize that Harry Potter no longer exists.  That name, that person died when he was six years old.  Now I’d appreciate my score if you will so I can get back to my dorms and get some sleep.”
Dumbledore frowned and made to move but Madam Pomfrey intervened.  “That’s enough Albus.  Leave the boy alone and he’s right. If the dragon is Mr. Riddle’s familiar then it is allowed to be in the castle.”
The headmaster turned to the others and conferred. “Very well then Mr. Potter.  Follow us to get your scores.”
Ares wasn’t surprised to see Dumbledore give Ares a 0 for a score.  Bagman gave him a 8, Maxine a 7 and Karkaroff surprisingly a 10.  He probably was trying to protect his own life once his father got ahold of the fool.  “That totals up to 25 points for Mr. Potter. Mr. Krum has 50 points for use of a Confundus spell but the dragon smashed some of its eggs which is why isn’t as high, Miss Delacour has 60 points and Mr. Diggory has 65 points.  So in first place is Mr. Diggory, in second place is Miss Delacour, in third place is Mr. Krum and in fourth place is Mr. Potter.  Now you will have three weeks before the second task.  Have a good evening everyone and get some rest.”
Ares turned and made his way to Ravenclaw Tower. 
He who has it doesn't tell about it. He who takes it doesn't know about it. He who knows what it is doesn't want it. What is it?
“Counterfeit money,” Ares said.
You may enter riddle master.
Ares walked into the common room and made his way up to the fourth year dorms where his other familiars swarmed around him.  “This is my newest familiar, a Hungarian Horntail.  I received him as a present from his mother for being a speaker.  His name is Lightning,” Ares said setting Lightning down on his bed and being swarmed by Iris, Shadow and Hades.  He changed into his pajamas, cast some wards and silencing charms on his bed, pulled the drapes shut and fell asleep with Lightning snuggled next to him on the pillow.

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