It was a warm, autumn evening. White wisps of cloud slowly rolled through the sky and a faint smell of honeysuckle and oak trees hung in the air. Michael McGonagall sat in a huge, leather chair in the transfiguration room, flicking through a yellowing parchment of last terms of examination grades by achieved by his pupils, sighing as he sipped a strong Gillywater mixed with gin. It had been a long summer, and he was looking forward to the buzz and the company of the pupils arrival tomorrow evening. He was however, not only seriously worried about Rowen Weasley's straight D examination marks, but also of the happenings that had occurred over the summer holidays. At a recent world cup Quiddich game, many parents and pupils had been brutally murdered and seriously injured by several loose Ukrainian Ironbelly dragons that had been running rampage. The beasts had not been able to be captured, their eyes burning blood red as they burnt and tore apart the surroundings. Michael leaned back, running his hands through his grey hair, tossing his reading glasses aside. The school was meant to be a safe place, and he had been up all night and morning casting protection spells, but something still felt deeply wrong in his heart. There hadn't been dragon attacks for years, let alone at a public Quiddich match especially not at the responsibility of the Iron Belly, the most dangerous, bloodthirsty of all. They hadn't been sighted in the wild since 1799, and the only one that Michael was aware of residing in England was the one safely held at Gringotts. The mystery puzzled deeply and had sent a shockwave through the whole Wizarding community, especially to those who had lost loved ones.
The silence and peaceful air was suddenly abruptly shattered, as Ragnar Hooch, broom flying instructor burst into the room, robes filthy, torn and darkened with patches of dark red blood. Michael shot up immediately, papers escaping from his desk, flying violently across the room in all directions. Ragnar was breathless, and grabbed hold of the table to stop himself falling backwards.
"Ragnar, what on earth has happened?!" Michael hurried towards the man, who was cradling his right arm.
"Quintaped running.....lose....across the .....school.. grounds... from the ...forest" Ragnar managed after several long breaths.
"Tried to ....blind it......it seemed to.....work.....but its still....out there".
Michaels blood turned ice cold and his pulse quickened sharply. Quintapeds were a violent and dangerous beast that seemed like it had already induced havoc on now the school. Michael had certainly not ever seen one outside of a school textbook.
"Good grief. This is impossible. How on earth did it get here of all places?" Michael said as he grabbed his scarf and started wrapping it round his neck.
"I have no idea, but its angry and needs to be killed before anybody else arrives. But I'm afraid I won't be of much use, the bloody thing tore at my wrist and I think the bone is shattered." Ragnar cursed. "Ruined some of my best quaffels whilst it was at it too."
"Don't worry. Rena Lupin is here up in one of the towers. Stay here and I'll find her immediately. I think we will be able to fight it off having an advantage in numbers."
Ragnar's golden eyes shone wide, reflecting the pale sunlight that had just started to dip away into night.
"Be careful, Michael. The thing is hostile and Im pretty sure its somewhere deep in the Hufflepuff Quiddich stands by now, if not further away down by the forest." Ragnar said.
"Im always careful, Ragnar." He grabbed his wand from his cloak pocket and thrust the glass of Gillyweed gin into the mans hands. "Get this down you, and notify Dumbledore and the Ministry as soon as you can."
A thick, dark twist of fear began to wind through Michaels insides, knotting and pulling at the strings of his heart. It throbbed with a furious energy; it had a tendency to do this in the situations which most abashed him.
He nodded at Rangar, painted on a stone brave face and grabbed his wand from the inside of his cloak.
And, with that, he lept up the staircase and down the many corridors to the Tower, heart beating, wand firmly held, racking his brain trying to think of any method powerful enough to destroy a unknown five legged beast in the quickest way possible.