Dragons speak Parseltongue too, you know

Harry befriends the dragon in the first task, and this makes all the difference. Watch as Harry rebels against the ministry, forms a bond with a dragon the likes of which hasn't been seen in centuries, and goes up against Voldemort! And he might just fall in love along the way... some Dumbles bashing, temporarily bad Ron, and Harry/Hermione/Luna for the pairing!



2. Thestrals and Luna

"God damn it!" Harry finally gave in to his frustration. No matter what he did, the egg just screeched at him. In the past two days after the First Task, he had opened it, hit it, tapped it with different sequences, hit it with a Finite, and filled it with various potion ingredients. He had even used Hermione's suggestion and put it in the fire to see if it would 'hatch', or in this case, do something other than destroy his eardrums.

Okay, he just needed to calm down and think about it rationally. Bagman had said that they needed to figure out the clue. That implied that it was some sort of code or language that could be figured out. If it were some sort of code or language, then it would probably be a magical one, so there had to be some sort of translation method or charm for it. Now he needed was book on magical languages and/or codes.

Harry hurried to the library, but stopped when he saw the notice on the door. It was only about 2:40 P.M., and on a Sunday too, but Madam Pince had closed the library early because two 'squabbling ruffians who didn't respect her books' had decided that the library was a great place for a fight. Brilliant, just brilliant. Now what was he going to do?

"Hello, Harry Potter." A sing song voice said from behind him.

Harry spun around to see a blond Ravenclaw who looked to be in the year below him. "Hello." He said cautiously. "I'm sorry, but I don't seem to recall your name…"

"You've never spoken to me before, but I'm Luna Lovegood." She said in that same voice.

It was at that moment that Harry realized that Luna wasn't wearing shoes. "Um… Where are your-"

"Shoes?" She finished for him. "The nargles took them. I was just going to see the thestrals, would you care to join me?"

Harry filed away the nargles thing as something to look into later, something just didn't feel right about that. Then he thought about her question. "What are thestrals?"

Luna smiled sadly. For a brief moment, Harry saw something other than complacency in her eyes. He saw determination and… sorrow? "You can only see them if you've seen someone die. They're magical creatures, they look a bit like horses made up of bones with bat wings."

Harry's breath hitched. Every year, when he came to school, he always saw giant skeleton horse things pulling the carriages. No one else seemed to notice them, and when he asked an older student what made the carriages go forward, he had been given an odd look and told that it was just magic. But wait, he hadn't seen anyone die, had he? I did see my parents' deaths, I just didn't remember them until last year… With a start he realized that the girl standing in front of him, this Luna, must have seen someone die. "I'm so sorry-" He started.

"You have nothing to be sorry for." Luna said firmly, that little spark of determination coming back into her eyes, then leaving as quickly as it came. No, he was wrong. It wasn't determination. It was courage. "Shall we?" She asked, her carefree smile firmly back in place.

Harry smiled. He liked this girl. "We shall." He said warmly, offering her his arm. She took it, and they were off.

Harry watched as Luna calmly pet the Thestrals. They were a bit skittish around him, so he had opted to sit down and watch from a distance. The Thestrals obviously loved Luna, and it looked like she had spent a lot of time with them. He frowned, her shoes were missing and her best friends were magical creatures. There was definitely something going on that he didn't know about. He would have to look into it.

"Harry?" Luna called softly.

"Yes Luna?" He called back, just as softly.

"You should go visit her." Harry tried to think of who she was talking about when Luna continued. "Your dragon friend from the first task. They aren't going to stay here for much longer, and the dragon keepers will probably want a word with you too." She said with a small smile.

"Will you be okay out here by yourself?" He asked, concern evident in his tone.

"Oh, yes. I come out here all the time by myself."

"That may be true, but I try not to make it a habit to abandon my friends in the forest."

"Friends? We're friends?" Luna asked, obviously surprised.

"Oh, sorry, was I being too forward?"

"Oh, no, not at all. I-I've never had a friend before."

Harry pushed down his rising rage and stood up, enveloping Luna in a hug. "Luna, I will always be your friend." She stood there for a minute without responding, obviously in shock. He knew that it was a bold statement to make, having only just met her, but he could tell that someone, or several someones, had been bullying her. He couldn't stand bullies, and she was just so kind that he couldn't not to be her friend. After another moment's hesitation, she returned his hug.

"Harry," She said playfully, stepping away. "I thought I told you to visit your dragon." He grinned and saluted her as he started walking away. "Harry…" She called once more as he walked off. He turned back to look at her. "Thank you."

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