Playing With Fire

Chapter 9

Disclaimer: Not mine.

"Tils." Tilly looked up at Charlie who was gazing at her sympathetically, standing in the doorway of her room. "Still working?"

Tilly looked back down to the paper sprawled in front of her. Letters of explanation, paperwork, contracts for the Champions . . . but the most prominent piece of paper in front of her was the article stating that Harry Potter was now the Fourth Champion for the Triwizard Tournament. "Looking for a loophole, but . . . there is absolutely nothing I can do about Harry. He's too young for this Charlie. Molly will kill me if anything happens to him. Where are you going?" she asked when she realized her friend had his jacket on.

Charlie smiled softly at her, holding out his hand. "You mean, where we are going. Come on, get your coat."

"Where in the world are we going?" Tilly asked as Charlie pulled her through the forest.

He grinned back at her, still moving forward. "It's a surprise."

Tilly suddenly heard the commotion and slammed to a halt, her hand slipping out of Charlie's. "No way, Charlie Weasley."

Charlie approached her. "Tilly you spend your whole day in an office. Live a little! Merlin, I swear the first thing I'm going to do when I get back to Romania is bring you out there for the holidays."

"I think not. Charlie you know how I feel about . . . dragons."

"They're harmless. Come on." Charlie grabbed her by her shoulders and started urging her forwards, though she visibly resisted. "Tilly, would I ever let anything happen to you?"

"No I –"

"So trust me, okay?" He stepped back, holding out his hand to her again, all playfulness gone. Tilly stared into his eyes for a moment before slipping her hand into his. His fingers curled around hers and he grinned again before pulling her forward towards the creatures he so adored.

They were massive, really. To Tilly, particularly horrifying. Fire shot ferociously into the night sky as the Dragons reared up. She tried to stay at the edge of the clearing where they stood but Charlie brought her forward.

"Oy, Charlie!" a burly man called out, tugging on the chain that was connected to the Chinese Fireball. "Where in the blazes have you been? Frisk was going wild with out you!"

"I had important business to handle," Charlie said, his eyes shifting to Tilly.

"Is that Tilly?" someone else asked.

"Well it's about time," cried another.

"Whotcher Tilly!"

"We thought we'd never meet you."

"Charlie goes on an on about you, really," the burly man told her in a stage whisper. He winked at her. "I'd say you're on his mind quite a lot, lass."

Charlie cleared his throat. His face was bright red and he couldn't meet Tilly's eyes, even as he took her hand again. "I didn't bring her here so that you lot could give me a hard time. Whoa!"

Charlie let go of Tilly to jump forward and grasp the chain of the Swedish Short-Snout, or Frisk, as they called her. Tilly backed away as the dragons seemed to become more and more alert to their surroundings, meaning they were becoming more and more ferocious.

"Tilly!" Tilly turned, surprised to see Hagrid and Madame Maxine approaching her. Hagrid looked completely enraptured by the beasts even as the black one roared, eyes wide as it started to scream.

"Keep back there, Hagrid!" Charlie yelled. "They can shoot a fire at a range of twenty feet you know! I've see this Horntail do forty!"

"Is'n' it beautiful?" Hagrid said softly.

Tilly didn't respond because that was certainly not the word she would have used to describe this moment.

"It's no good!" yelled another wizard. "Stunning Spells, on the count of three!"

Each dragon keeper pulled out his wand. "Stupefy!"

One by one each dragon began to teeter, falling and crashing onto the ground. The dragon keepers moved to tighten the chains and fasten them to the ground. Hagrid and Madam Maxine moved forward. Tilly knew she should reprimand the woman for being out here, knowing darn well that Maxine would go and tell Fleur what the challenge was but she couldn't find herself to come closer to the dragons.

From the look on his face at the sight of Maxine, Charlie was telling Hagrid pretty much the same thing.

As Charlie did a pretty good impression of his mother when concerning Harry, Tilly could have sworn she felt something brush past her. She spun on the spot but saw no one there.

Well, this as the Forbidden Forest after all.

"Tils." Tilly turned back around to see Charlie grinning at her. He held out his hand again and she gingerly gave him hers, letting him pull her forward.

Hagrid smirked. "Yer one to talk about dates."

Tilly looked up at Charlie, whose ears had gone red. "Yea, yea, come on Tilly."

Putting all her trust in her best friend, Tilly let Charlie lead her forward towards the the dragon they called Frisk. The beast was sleeping now, thankfully, but still here it lay larger than life in front of them. A fang poked out of her mouth and a small spark of fire escaped from her mouth as she snorted, smoke from her nostrils.

Charlie pulled Tilly closer, placing her hand on Frisk's snout. Surprisingly, the scales were soft beneath her palm.

"See?" Charlie said, grinning. "Harmless."

Tilly couldn't help but smile even as she said, "Well now she is."

Charlie wrapped his free arm around Tilly's waist, causing her to look over her shoulder at him. He smiled softly down at her and she blushed, asking, "What is it?"

"Just thinking . . ." Charlie started, his ears red. "Would you maybe like to come spend some time in Romania with me next year? We could have a holiday together. . . ."

"I'd like that," Tilly responded, smiling up at him.

Frisk snorted, blowing smoke into the couple's faces. Charlie pulled Tilly away, both of them coughing and laughing. Charlie grinned. "Some date, huh?"

Tilly smiled, taking his hand. "The best.

A/N: So it's been forever I know and it's a short chapter. I am soooo sorry! I hope you guys liked this chapter though! I'll see you next time!

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