“Hello Hagrid. What
are are you doing here?” asked Hermione.
“Ah nothin. Just lookin for somethin for one of the professors. Youns aren't still lookin for Nicolas Flamel are ye?” asked Hagrid.
“Nah. We found him ages ago. All about him. Though we won't say what his accomplishments are. The walls have ears.” said Harry as he leaned in closer to Hagrid so that he could whisper and Hagrid could still hear him. “We were just studying. End of the year exams are coming up rather fast you know.
“Ah yah. Course. Studyin's important. Good for you lot. Well I best be goin. Things to do. People to see.” said Hagrid quickly.
The trio then said their goodbyes as Hagrid walked off rather quickly. Naturally this roused Hermione's curiosity and she went to see what section he was in. She came back moment later with several books.
“Dragons!” exclaimed Hermione. “He was looking up stuff on dragons. I wonder why? They are supposed to be illegal to own and breed aren't they?” she asked turning to Neville with curiosity brimming her eyes.
“Yes, Hermione. They are illegal. Supposed to be quite vicious too. Why is he looking stuff up about them?” Neville asked the same question Hermione had moments before.
It was clear to Harry that it truly did not cross their minds that Hagrid might actually have a dragon. They had only known him for about eight months after all, even if they had found out about Fluffy. Harry, however, knew better.
“Why don't we go down to see him later? Then we can ask him why he was looking up things on dragons.” suggested Harry.
The other two quickly agreed.
An hour later, they arrived outside of Hagrid's door. They were surprised to see all the windows covered up and all the doors closed. On a lovely day such as that, you would think that Hagrid would be airing out his house, but he wasn't. It was confusing.
They knocked on the door, and heard Hagrid calling out, “Who is it?”.
“Harry, Hermione, and Neville. We came for a visit.” called out Harry.
Soon Hagrid was quickly opening the door and rushing them inside. He looked back and forth as if he was checking to make sure that they weren't followed, which is probably exactly what he was doing, thought Harry.
It was just as hot as Harry remembered, maybe even more so. Neville asked why that was, but Hagrid didn't answer. He made them tea and sandwiches, which they refused. They then proceeded to ask him questions, well Hermione did.
“Hagrid will you please tell us more about what is guarding the stone.”
“Youns know too much all ready. How you learned about Fluffy I really don' know. No. Its important that I tell no one what the defenses are, not that I know them meself anyway.”
“What! Dumbledore didn't tell you, one of his most trusted associates, what the defenses are? That is unbelievable.” Harry cried out all of a sudden.
Hagrid beamed with pride and said. “Nah, I don't know. I jus did me part.”
“Well, you must at least know who is else is as trusted as you as to be helping to guard the stone. Surely, it would do no harm to tell us that.” said Hermione, picking up on what Harry was doing.
“Well, I know and I 'pose it wouldn't hurt to tell youns. Let's see, he borrowed Fluffy from me, and some of the other teachers did enchantments, I don't know wha exactly. Professor Sprout- Professor Flitwick- Professor Quirrel- Professor Dumbledore did somethin of course- and Professor Snape.”
They looked at each other with a bit of despair when they heard Quirrel's name mentioned. Harry knew that the other two were thinking about how Quirrel could probably pretty easily find out what the other teachers protections were just by asking. They probably wouldn't suspect him of much of anything, given his stutter.
“You haven't told anyone besides us how to get past Fluffy right? Except Dumbledore?” asked Hermione.
“Course not. No one knows 'cept me an' Dumbledore.”
“Hagrid. Who were you looking up things about dragons for, and why don't you open a window? It is really hot in here.” asked Neville.
“Can't Neville, sorry.” said rather Hagrid strongly.
“Hagrid, what is that?!” exclaimed Hermione as she pointed towards the fireplace where they all now saw a large oval shaped thing resting in the fire, underneath the kettle. Harry had of course noticed as soon as they walked in, but had decided not to point it out to the other two.
“Where did you get it Hagrid?” asked Neville nervously.
“I won it. Down in the pub las' night. I was havin' some drinks an' a stranger came up to me and we got into a game o' cards. I won it from 'im. He seemed glad to be rid of it actually.” said Hagrid whilst pondering.
“But are you going to do with it when its hatched, Hagrid?” asked Hermione.
“I bin' doin' some readin' about it. Got some books from the library, showing them Dragon Breeding for Pleasure and Profit, it's a bit outta date, of course, but its all here. Keep um in the fire, and when it hatches feed it brandy mixed with chicken blood every half hour. And see here are the different eggs. This here is a Norwegian Ridgeback. They're rare.”
Hagrid looked just as pleased as he had the first time, but everyone else did not. They tried to convince him to get rid of him, however they figured it was about hopeless. Just as they were about to give and leave, Harry brought his plan.
“Hagrid, I know you don't want to get rid of the dragon, but I think I have thought of a solution that will suit everyone.” said Harry.
Hagrid looked curious despite himself. “I heard Ron Weasley has an older brother who works on a dragon reserve. How about as soon as the dragon is ready, he comes and picks up the dragon and takes it to the reserve?” Harry suggested.
“Ah yes good old Charlie.” said Hagrid and yet still he looked reluctant.
“Hagrid, the dragon would be happier with its own kind.” Harry said.
“And you live in a wooden house, Hagrid. What happens when it starts breathing fire?” Hermione pointed out.
They spent another hour trying to convince Hagrid. Eventually they did. They then left and went back to their respective common rooms. That night Harry wrote a letter to Charlie Weasley:
Dear Mr. Weasley, My name is Harry Potter. I am a first year here at Hogwarts. I heard from your little brother Ron that you work on a dragon reserve in Romania, is that true? I am rather hoping it is.
You see, my friends and I are in a bit of a delicate situation with Hagrid, the gamekeeper, you might remember him? Anyway, he has recently got his hands on a Norwegian Ridgeback egg.
My friends and I know it is illegal to own and breed dragons and we were wondering if you would like to add this dragon to your reserve.
Please don't tell anyone outside of your friends at the reserve. We don't want Hagrid to get into trouble you see. Please get back to me.
My greatest thanks, Harry Potter
Harry just hoped that Charlie would come or send someone even though he wasn't good friends with Ron.
Harry got his answer the day that the egg was due to hatch.
Dear Mr. Potter, You were quite right to contact me. First off, call me Charlie. Mr. Weasley makes me think of my father. Secondly, don't worry, I remember how Hagrid is. I only told my friends here at the reserve of your predicament.
They agreed to come by and pick up the dragon at the first opportunity which happens to be the ninth of May. They will meet you on top of the Astronomy tower at midnight. I hope this is agreeable.
Sincerely, Charlie Weasley.
Harry quickly wrote back saying that is was, and thanked him for helping them. And sure enough after he sent that note out, a note from Hagrid saying that the egg was hatching landed before them.
As they walked to Herbology, they discussed it. Harry thought he saw movement not far away, but when he glanced to where it was, he didn't see anyone. He brushed it off and kept walking.
Just as before, they walked down to Hagrid's hut during morning break. The dragon was almost out. There was cracks all throughout its shell. They all drew up chairs to watch. There was a scraping noise and the egg split open, with the baby coming out end over end to land in front of Hagrid.
She looked just as ugly to Harry as she had when he had first laid eyes on her.
“Isn't he beautiful?” He then tried to pet the dragon, but it tried to bite his fingers. Hagrid cooed at it.
“Bless him, he knows 'is mommy!” Hagrid exclaimed.
“Are you sure it's a he, Hagrid?” asked Harry.
“You're right, Harry. I don't know. I will have to look it up.” said Hagrid.
“Hagrid, how fast do these dragons grow exactly?” Hermione asked.
Hagrid was going to answer when the color drained from his face. He leapt to his feet and ran to the window.
“What's the matter?'
“Someone was lookin' through the gap in the curtains, it's a kid, she's running back up to the school.”
Harry ran to the door and just barely recognized Pansy Parkinson running up to the castle. Harry realized that it must have been she who had heard them discussing the dragon earlier, and had moved in the corner of his vision. Oh well. There wasn't much he could do about it now.
The next couple weeks could not go by quick enough for the friends. It seemed that Pansy had decided not to say anything at least not yet. She did give them some devious smirks and bumped into Harry one day knocking his stuff in his bag all throughout the hall.
She smirked and laughed and acted like she would help pick stuff up then threw the book she was holding back towards Harry. They just glared at her and helped Harry pick up his things. Luckily it was soon the ninth of May.
That night they snuck down to Hagrid's house under the invisibility cloak. Fang was sitting outside the door with his tail bandaged. The three friends felt sorry for Hagrid. When they got there he was sobbing. He would truly miss the dragon he had named Norberta, when he found out that it was female.
He already had her packed in a crate along with her teddy bear that they could hear her tearing apart, and some brandy. They all said their goodbyes. They then left. They could hear Hagrid sobbing even through the closed door.
With the three of them, it was easier to carry her than it had been when it had just been Harry and Hermione, but it was still extremely heavy. When they were going around a corner, they stopped in their tracks and realized that it was a very good thing that they were invisible, for there was McGonagall holding Pansy Parkinson by the ear.
“Detention!” Yelled Professor McGonagall. “And Twenty points from Slytherin! Wandering around in the middle of the night, how dare you!”
“You don't understand, Professor. Harry Potter is coming with a dragon!” Pansy protested.
“What rubbish! How dare you lie! Come, I shall tell Professor Snape about your lies Miss Parkinson.”
And with that they walked off towards the dungeons with McGonagall still dragging Pansy by the ear. As soon as they were out of hearing range, the three friends starting laughing. After they calmed down, Hermione asked a valid question.
“How did Pansy know that we were getting rid of the dragon tonight?” They thought for a few moments until Harry came up with the answer.
“Oh course! She saw the note.” Harry exclaimed.
“You showed her the note, Harry?” asked Neville
“No, Neville. Do you two remember that day when she knocked my stuff all over the floor?”
They both nodded still looking confused.
“Well, the note was in my bag and I haven't seen it since.”
Realization dawned on the other two's faces. There was nothing left to do but finish their trek up to the tower which they accomplished a few minutes later. About ten minutes after that Charlie's friends showed up and hooked up Norberta to a harness. Before they knew it, they were flying off.
Harry made sure to cover them all with the invisibility cloak, and they were soon safely ensconced in their dorms.
The next few weeks went by much the same, except Pansy's glares were even harsher than they had been previously. They also spent all their free time studying, though Harry did slip away on occasion to visit Viride.
Also they heard Quirrel one day sobbing, “No- No- not again, please-”
Harry knew it was Voldemort threatening him, but the other two thought it was Snape and he allowed them to think that.
“All right- all right-” Quirrel sobbed again.
They were quite happy to think that Snape had a victory over Quirrel though the other two were still confused as to exactly why Quirrel would go after the stone. They continued to study.
The day after Pansy's detention in the forbidden forest they heard her complaining to Malfoy about going after injured unicorns and how unfair it was. Malfoy didn't seem to care and that angered her even more.
Soon it was exam time. They were much the same as Harry remembered, though he was sure he did much better this time than he had done previously. As always with Hermione, they went over how they think they did afterward. Even Neville felt confident that he did alright. Harry was glad to see that Neville was growing more in confidence everyday. Before Harry realized that the days had passed so quickly, it was the day that Voldemort would go after the stone.