The morning of Harry’s 17th birthday his eyes snapped open. The first thing that he noticed was that he could see; he could even see the smallest dust particles floating in the stream of light over his bed. Gasping, the teen jumped up in search of a mirror, even more grateful now then he had been the day before when his so-called family left for a weeklong vacation without him. Uncle Vernon had bellowed at him to do his chores and not touch anything as a parting message. Harry raced to the bathroom and slammed open the door in his haste. He screeched at the sight in the mirror, the noise coming out of him sounding more like the noises that Norberta made when she had hatched than those of a human.
Startling at the noise caused Harry to notice other changes. Besides the deep cobalt blue leathery wings sprouting out of his back, the boy noted slit pupils in his emerald green eyes and scales on his face. On closer inspection of himself in the mirror he saw that the scales that appeared to be around the edges of his face actually covered his whole face. The scales in the middle of his face were off white, close to his original skin tone. As the scales progressed away from his nose they darkened in color until they were a cobalt blue, matching his wings. The wings themselves were covered in a slimy mucus, as if he had just hatched from an egg. Harry grimaced at the feeling and stepped into the shower to clean off his new wings. He carefully pulled his wings around and rubbed them down with a wash cloth. He had finished the fronts of both of his wings and was struggling with the backs when he heard a loud pop come from downstairs.
Harry tensed up, instantly on alert. Carefully, so as to not make any noise or slip on the floor with his wet feet, he climbed out of the shower and crept to the door. The young wizard could hear whoever had apparated in moving around downstairs. When he was certain that whoever it was was not coming up the stairs right away he raced to his room and dove for his wand which had been laying under the pillow since the Dursleys had left.
Harry then planted himself behind his bedroom door. When the intruder came into the room Harry would see them before they saw him, giving Harry the element of surprise. While he waited he listened as the person crept up the stairs. He heard each door in the hall open as the unknown person searched the house. The intruder finally made it to his room and eased their way in. The shocked teen barely stopped himself from casting a binding spell when he saw a shock of red hair on top of a large body. The surprised noise he made had the man turning around to reveal that it was Charlie Weasley!
“Oh my! Shhhh, little one, shhh! It's ok,” Charlie crooned. The red-head held his hands up showing that he did not have a wand and slowly stepped closer, still speaking softly. “It’s ok, little one. I don’t know why you don’t have family around to help you through this but I am here. I will help you.” This confused Harry. Did Charlie not know who he was talking to? What was he doing here if it was not because he was coming to bring Harry to the Burrow? Harry tried to ask him but all that came out was more chirps and screeches.
“Oh, little one. I know you are scared and confused but I promise I won’t hurt you. You will be able to say whatever you want to me after you change back. So right now I want you to close your eyes and try to picture what you look like normally. It might be hard but I know you can do it. Take your time.” Harry chirped again, trying to say “Ok”. Harry pulled a face at the sound then shut his eyes. Had it been a stranger standing in front of him the teen wizard would have never done as asked for fear of it being a trick; but this was Charlie so he was safe. As soon as Harry closed his eyes and lowered his wand he heard a soft gasp. So he quickly opened his eyes to see why Charlie made the sound.
“Oh no, little one, it’s ok. It just shocked me how you trusted me so quickly. I thought it would take a long time for you to trust me" the dragon-tamer explained. "Please try again and then we can talk. I promise.” Harry chirped again, closing his eyes and concentrating on what he usually looked like. After a few minutes he opened his eyes and walked past Charlie to sit on the bed. He closed his eyes again and tried once more. After a few more minutes he could feel a slight itching all over his body; he guessed his scales were going back into his skin. When the feeling vanished the young dracon opened his eyes to see Charlie collapsed on the floor, mouth hanging open.
“What?” Harry asked, now that he could talk again.
“Harry!?!?” Charlie screeched. “But! No! Oh my!”
Harry scrunched up his face. “Shouldn’t it be me that is freaking out about turning into some sort of dragon hybrid then having you show up to ‘help’ me when you had no idea who I was? What is going on?” Harry queried.
Charlie looked up at him and nodded. “Yes, you are right. You have been through a lot. I should answer your questions first.” He stood up from the floor and sat on the end of the bed. “You are a dracon, Harry; we both are. The reason I am here is because after you woke up and started to freak out about… well everything I am sure, your body sent out a distress signal. The signal went out to the nearest dracon. In most cases, the nearest dracon would be a family member. However, as you have no family here, and honestly I don’t know what your dracon lineage could possibly come from, the call went to me. Chances are I am the only dracon for hundreds of miles; that is why your call reached me all the way at the Burrow. Luckily, the call can only be received by one dracon. We still don’t know how the call is limited to the closest dracon and stops once that person receives the call. Anyways, once I got the call I apparated to the location it was sent from.”
The older dracon took a deep breath. “Now I know that is a lot to take in, especially since I know you have no knowledge as to the existence of dracons. But I have some questions that need to be answered before we can proceed. I noticed the locks on all the cabinets and doors and that no one is here with you. It is important you tell me what is going on. It might be hard for you to share but I NEED to know EVERYTHING. We can take as long as you need.” Harry just stared at Charlie in shock.
“Ummm… no?” He had meant that to be a statement but it ended up sounding like a question. Harry winced.
“Yes. You need to tell me," Charlie replied. "How about this? Your wings are still out and it looks like you were not able to clean the backs of them. So how about I clean your wings and you can start talking? You can pretend that you are talking out loud to yourself. I won’t say a thing until you are done.” When Harry nodded reluctantly Charlie got up and left the room, returning with a washcloth and a bucket of water. He sat down on the bed behind Harry and started to clean the wings slowly. After a few minutes Harry started to quietly speak, telling the other dracon everything. He started with his earliest memories and kept going up to the present. The teen had no idea why he did not feel the need to censor himself. It had just felt right to with Charlie. When he was done talking Harry became aware of his surroundings and realized that the bed was shaking. He turned around to find Charlie sobbing silently. Harry reached out and took the red-head's hand.
“It is ok, I am used to it. And after this summer I will never have to see them again. It is ok. Please stop crying!” Harry implored.
Charlie pulled the young man into his arms. “NO! IT IS NOT OK! Please don’t ever say that again! Why did Dumbledore and Pomfrey never do something about this situation??! I understand why my brothers did not. They were too young when they found out to really do anything but Mom knew and still allowed you to be put back here! It is not ok! You should have been checked on! And your teachers when you were little should have done something! That this went on and NO ONE did ANYTHING is… is… is… ugh! I don’t even have a word that properly fits this situation and how unbelievably horrible it is!” the dragon-tamer said, obviously upset. He took a deep breath in an attempt to calm down. “We will talk more about this later. But for now we need to get your things and get you out of here. This is not the proper place for a boy as amazing and wonderful as you to be living, and I am not talking about your title as the Boy-Who-Lived, but as you, yourself. If that's not reason enough for you, this house is not the right place for you to be living now that you have come into you dracon inheritance. If you a relative with dracon blood living here then you could stay. As an orphan our laws require you be moved to a location with 5 or more dracons who can help teach you all you need to know about your new life. Unfortunately, that means that we will not be taking you to the Burrow as my dad is the only other dracon in my family. So far none of my siblings have come into a dracon inheritance.”
“Ummm… then where will you take me?” Harry asked.
Charlie answered, “To the dragon reserve. All but two of the dragon handlers are dracons and most of their families include other dracons. I will send a letter to the Burrow apologizing for leaving so quickly and explaining that you won’t be going there as planned. You can send your own note if you want but as an alpha dracon and your mentor it is my responsibility to let them know.” With that he stood up and summoned Harrys belongs. Harry gasped when he heard the door under the stairs splinter as his trunk broke through and raced up the stairs.
Once all of Harry's things were packed into the trunk Charlie shrunk it and looked to Harry. "Go let, Hedwig is it?” Harry nodded. “Go let her out and send her to the castle or the Burrow. It is too far for her to fly to Romania.”