Little Dragon

Authors Note: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you, my lovely readers! I want to take a quick moment to express my utmost love and gratitude to you all! I know that it is frustrating to have to wait so long between updates and, while I may make myself feel terrible about it, none of you have!

For the last few years I have been struggling with my health, especially these past few months. I have been suffering from intense and chronic vertigo (on top of my migraines) which makes it difficult for me to function most days. For a few weeks, I was unable to read or even watch TV as it was giving me terrible motion sickness. I am still suffering from all of this, but I am starting to get better! Yay! I have been piecing this chapter together between boughs for months now, constantly scrapping and restarting it, trying to make it perfect for you all. Today I am pushing through and I hope to get it finished to publish today as a gift to you all!

Huge props to our beloved Muse Master Pika! If not for you I would probably not have stayed as determined as I have through all of this! I love and appreciate having you in my life so much!

For those of you who have worried that I have abandoned my stories, fear not! I am far too hard-headed for that! With my recent health problems (and ongoing mental health) it is just taking me longer than anyone would like. But they will be done! My stories are my babies and I would never abandon them! Pinky promise!

A quick note on this chapter, one of the scenes is a bit of a jump back in time due to me trying to push the last chapter out I accidentally skipped part of the scene. I have fixed that here. Hopefully, it doesn't get confusing! I hope that all of you have enjoyed this chapter! Next up we move onto year two which should go by rather quickly!

Disclaimer: I do not own the world of Harry Potter, merely the weird ideas that run through my mind, the order of these words, and my own exhaustion. Enjoy my darlings!

Previously On: "At the Burrow, Harry starts his first happy summer with the Marauders and his found family. Staying at Hogwarts, Minerva McGonagall, recently appointed Headmistress and Protector of Hogwarts, calls upon the residential ghosts Myrtle Warren and Helena Ravenclaw to fix Dumbledore's mess. Far away, Dobby reads about Harry Potter on the Prophet that angered his master Dumbledore. Would Harry's happiness stay, What will Minerva discover, Will Dobby be free?" - T1meartst

Chapter 46: Summers End

Charlie sat up in a cold sweat, heart pounding a thunderous tempo behind his ribcage as he looked around for whatever it was that had woken him up. The sky outside was dark and dull as mist curled itself along the panes of the window in thick tendrils, the moonlight hardly bright enough to lend its light to allow him to see. The Burrow lay unnaturally still and silent in the darkness setting an uneasy feeling along Charlie's spine as he cast his eyes to Bill's bed as his hand reached out for where his sweet Harry would typically be cuddled into him.

As his hand grasped nothing but ice-cold sheets and his eyes landed on his brothers' empty bed his heart stopped beating and his blood ran cold. A scream in the distance forced his body to move as he threw open the door and raced out of the room. That scream was familiar, far too familiar. That was a scream that he had prayed desperately to never hear again.

Charlie ran, feet pounding loudly in his ears as he pushed himself ever faster. He couldn't slow down, not for anything, he had to get there in time dammit!

Another piercing scream rent the air, burrowing into his eardrums and piercing his heart as he finally reached the bottom of the stairwell and threw the door open, heading towards the small crop of corn that his parents grew along the edge of their property.

Blood-red eyes peered at him through the thick mist, the darkness surrounding him thick and oppressive.

What was going on? Why were those eyes there!? Where was he? This wasn't their yard, this wasn't the Burrow.

Must and flames warred for dominance in his nostrils as his footsteps echoed on the worn cobblestone below.


He skidded to a stop as Harry screamed again, this time accompanied by a sinister cackle that seemed to reverberate around him, growing louder and louder until he feared his eardrums may pop.

"What do you want from me!?" He screamed as he curled in on himself, hands futilely covering his ears in an attempt to muffle the deafening roar of malicious laughter.

"Charlie wake up!" Harry said desperately as he shook at his mates shoulder.

The night had been relatively calm up until Charlie had begun to whine and toss, his breath coming in short gasps and his body shaking horribly.

"Charlie!" Harry cried out, one hand coming up to clutch at his bracelet as it seemed to ice over with his mates' fear.

Suddenly Charlie sat bolt upright in the bed, surprising Harry and causing him to fall back onto the bed, having to grapple at the bedding to stay from falling off.

"H-Harry?" Charlie's voice was frail and childlike, fear lacing his words. Moving forward Harry wrapped himself around Charlie's shaking body, whispering and humming soothingly to try to calm him and feeling both of their hearts calm and slow together.

One month. A mere thirty days that felt like so much more. Minerva would be glad when all of this was done and over with. Curse Albus to hell and back for leaving things like this. Not only had the man gutted the classes and staff but he had been embezzling countless funds from the school and various households alike.

Merlin only knows how the man had managed to confound everyone so thoroughly! In fact, she would need to make a note to tell the house elves to put all of the foodstuffs into the rubbish bin as well as to magically cleanse and disenchant all dishware. Who knows if Albus had simply been spiking everyone with a low and constant dosage of potions...

As the clock on the wall chimed the hour Minerva rose, moving swiftly from one set of rooms into another before pulling the time turner from beneath her cloak and beginning to turn it. Precision was key in this routine and Minerva had not missed a single step yet.

As time reasserted itself Minerva looked towards another clock moments before it chimed as well and could not resist the satisfied smirk that took over her face. This was the point in the rotation plan in which she could socialize and begin to unwind Albus' convoluted chain of corruption.

"Ah, Madame Headmistress," The sorting hat spoke from its place on one of the higher shelves across from the desk. "Punctual as always. How was your today?"

A small smile forced its way upon her lips as she lowered herself down into the heads chair. Almost daily the hat had asked the same question, taking utter delight in the fact that she was living twice at the same time. Minerva was under the impression that he was taking inspiration from her for his next musical debut this coming school year.

"Tedious as always," she replied around a yawn as she deftly snatched a biscuit from Sappy, the house elf that was assigned to her today.

"Yes, yes, I have no doubt about that," He grumbled as he seemed to shift around and get more comfortable, his brim curling upward as his bulk squashed down in folds giving the rather distinct impression of something curling up for a long rest. "As you know, we have been scanning over the gaps in the wards and any areas of the castle that are in need of repair. Unfortunately, we have found something else that has been hidden from us."

Minerva paused at this, her cup of tea paused halfway between the saucer and her mouth as she waited to find out just what it was that the hat needed her to know.

"It seems that incompetence was not limited to the old fool alone, one of the previous headmasters who had refused the bond had manipulated the wards and cut off a large part of the castle. They wrapped the wards around the main foundation leaving the lower reaches secluded. There have been several cave-ins and one of the castles... More obscure residents have been left without aid for over a century. There is also another matter as well, as we have detected an item who, while it belongs here, the magics clinging to it does not."

"Oh dear," Quickly moving to grab a quill and parchment Minerva's mind raced with how she could possibly solve this. Extending the wards again would be simple enough, especially if the goblins were able to assist with the cave-ins but who was the resident? Surely it couldn't be someone that she knew if they had not had any access to help for so long. "All right, tell me what I need to know."

"The simplest way to do so would be to summon two others. Lady Helena and Miss Myrtle."

Minerva froze as her heart beginning to hammer within her chest, images coming to her mind unbidden of Albus prowling around dark corners with murderous intent.

"Myrtle? As in Myrtle Warren? The Ravenclaw girl who haunts the lavatory on the second floor? Don't tell me that it was Albus who killed her!" Minerva finally manages to choke out, her voice reaching a higher pitch than she had heard in many a year. Her question causing the hat to spring up in alarm, its creases and folds momentarily straightening in shock.

"No! No my dear, he was not the one who killed Miss Myrtle, though he also did not see justice done for her either, I'm afraid." The hat murmured sadly as he settled back down into his slouched position, his words bringing a small amount of relief as she was able to banish the image of her previous mentor from her mind.

She had been a first year when Myrtle Warren was found dead, she remembers the confusion and dread that had settled upon the castle as a third-year Gryffindor had been arrested and rumors of a monster being set loose on the grounds began. In all honesty, she didn't remember much from that year, just that a fifth-year Slytherin Prefect had been the one to catch the killer.

Minerva was never one to listen to the rumors, however, especially as the third year in question then became a groundskeeper in training. Surely if he had murdered someone he would never have been permitted back within the school? Minerva was proud to say that she considered Hagrid to be a dear friend of hers at this point in time, how had she never thought to question the facts related to Hagrid's unique situation?

"What is it that I need to do?" Minerva asked as she straightened her spine, her biscuit long since forgotten.

Around her the presence of Hogwarts thickened, the presence within the back of her mind thrumming with a silent demand. Just ask... Ask and they shall bid you as they bid me. Ask...

With a deep and steadying breath, Minerva reigned in the anger at Dumbledore and his actions that she seemed to wear as a second skin and focused on the instructions that she had been given.

"I, Minerva McGonagall, Protector and Headmistress of Hogwarts, call upon Myrtle Warren and Helena Ravenclaw. Present yourself before me."

As the two spectral forms began to rise through the floor before her flashes of new information were presented to her through the connection she shared with the other protectors. Images of a jeweled crown, sacred, a thief in the night, a lovesick fool, a terrible mistake, loneliness and anger, flattery and deception, the sacred treasure tainted and ravaged. A lonely girl, bullied and ignored, crying, a long lost friend continued to be lost, to be controlled, large yellow eyes, death, and deception.

"I believe," Minerva began slowly as she processed the flood of information she had been granted, eying the two ghosts with newfound understanding and compassion. "That we should bring the goblins in on these matters."

Charlie sighed as he looked out of his bedroom window at the garden below. His brothers and sister were currently playing a game of pick-up Quidditch, with Ginny and Ron playing as keepers while Fred and George both acted as Chasers. Harry had been sitting and reading with Percy, though it looked as if he had been stolen away from his brother by their blonde neighbor Luna. The two were both crouched down at the edge of the garden looking to be deep in discussion about something, Percy occasionally piping in with a tidbit of his own.

With another sigh Charlie shook himself slightly, turning back to the parchment before him. Paperwork and research were Charlie's least preferred aspects of working with dragons, though in this case, it made sense that he would be the best option to write up this specific paper.

Sef had determined that since he was Harry's mate it would be in everyone's best interest that he were to write the paper on the usage of Parseltongue in relation to working with dragons as well as all of the new information that they had learned about dragons thanks to Harry and Strom. Sef was hopeful that they could use this research to springboard themselves into a series of seminars and additional funding.

With Charlie's luck, should that happen he would be the one chosen to travel and present their findings. Luckily this would only occur during the school year when he wouldn't be able to see his little mate anyway.

Bill moved methodically through the towering heaps of items within the room, wand waving and detection spells flowing in a constant stream as his mind reeled in shock. After weeks of searching for the Dark Lord Horcuxes with no leads or new information, they had finally caught a break in the case from an extremely unlikely source. The Dark Lord Voldemort really did seem to come from nowhere. Appearing suddenly, causing mayhem and chaos, and then disappearing just as quickly.

Trying to find where he came from led them nowhere. Just a cold trail and a dead end leading to some random forest in the middle of Romania, and yet the Romanian ministry had no record of any of their citizens suddenly going missing at the same time, let alone becoming one of the worst Dark Lords in history.

No, it was no research into Romania, sudden disappearances, or even the backgrounds of known supporters that led them to finally identify just who Voldemort was. No. It was Bill's own family.

Or, more specifically, their finances.

Tracing the lost wealth of the Weasley family to its origin, bypassing the convolution of the theft trading hands, the Goblins were let to one Corvinus Gaunt, one of the key members of the Gaunt family which had been thought to have died out when Morfin Gaunt passed away in Azkaban prison a mere three months after being condemned there. Looking closer into the Gaunt family, and visiting their home which was still in the Goblins' care due to the inheritance laws, led them to the first big break within the Horcrux case. The Gaunt family ring, hidden within the walls of the family home, complete with live curses, some of which were alert wards which were still in operation showing that the one who cast them was indeed still alive. This ring was a Horcrux, a much larger one than the one that was found in Harry.

This caused them to look more closely at the Gaunt family, eventually discovering the existence of one Tom Marvolo Riddle, a proven heir of the house of Slytherin, though one that was not chosen by magic to be the Heir of the family. Tom Riddle, whom the Ministry had presumed to be deceased years ago after going missing, was presumed to have been one of Lord Voldemort's first victims.

Looking further into Riddles past they discovered quite a few things. For instance, death seemed to follow him. First with other children who also lived in the same orphanage that Riddle did, then a schoolmate in Riddles fifth year, multiple patrons of the place of his employment, Borgin and Burkes.

After investigating these deaths closer they found some interesting aspects surrounding the death of one Hepzibah Smith, one of the last direct descendants of Hufflepuff. Discovering that Lady Smith had seemingly been murdered by her House Elf, which was summarily executed for its crime, was shocking, discovering that the vaunted artifacts that she had possessed, known only to herself and Gringotts with which she had tied them to her vaults as an extra safety measure from thievery, were missing was far worse.

A full audit of her accounts was completed, leading to the origins behind yet another Goblin Lines demise. The fact that these artifacts could not be recovered through the use of Goblin magicks was even more telling. The Cup of Hufflepuff and Locket of Slytherin were quickly added to the list of possible items that they would need to find and investigate as potential Horcruxes.

This, of course, had led them to a dead end until they could find a new lead on these items.

Enter Sirius Black.

When Sirius had employed the Gringotts curse breakers to go through his family's home they had stumbled across a rather peculiar locket that had faint traces of a Horcrux, yet was not one itself. This locket turned out to be a duplicate of the Locket of Slytherin and was a key piece of evidence in exonerating one Regulus Black posthumously. Through the Black Family House Elf, Kreacher, they were able to find not only another Horcrux but also close to two hundred unsolved murders, including Regulus Black.

These individuals were finally put to rest through a fire cleansing, the cave itself being sealed forever due to the amount of dark magic that had leached into the very stones themselves.

And now they are at Hogwarts where not only is there a possible Horcrux attached to Ravenclaw diadem which was then hidden within the magically secreted Room of Requirement, but there was also a possibly feral Basilisk!

A Basilisk which they seemed inclined to let his tiniest brother, his brothers' mate face!?

He didn't care how many protections and how safe the Goblins, Sorting Hat, and Castle seemed to think they would be able to provide. Bill did not like this. Not one bit!

Who cares that they can't get to the blasted thing without his help? If Hogwarts itself couldn't will one of her passages open then his baby brother certainly shouldn't be forced to do it!

Authors Note: Okay you guys, I played with the timeline a little bit. Canonically (from the sites I checked for dates at least) Tom Riddle opened the Chamber of secrets in the 42-43 school year when Tom was 16 and Myrtle was 14, and Hagrid was 13. At the time McGonagall was only 8 and Dumbledore wouldn't become Headmaster for another 22 years? Doesn't sound right to me so I switched it.

For this story the Chamber was opened in 42-43 school year, specifically the end in 1943, when Prefect Tom was 15, Minerva was 12 and in 1st year, Myrtle was in 3rd year and was 14 along with Hagrid. Albus becomes Headmaster 4 years later, a year after Tom graduated and Minerva was in 5th year. By the time he became Headmaster Dumbledore had already begun to change the educational structure of Hogwarts including the termination of many teachers, classes, and extracurriculars through manipulating either Armando Dippet or the Board of Governors. This timeline still allows for Tom coming back to ask Dippet for a job only to be denied due to a lack of experience and to come back to Dumbledore being the Headmaster and turning him away again.

Also, I KNOW that I included a scene about Sirius wanting to clean out Grimmauld Place, I even mention it in Mama Dragon, but I can't find the exact scene to double-check for continuity, so for now, I have to rely on my memory, haha. Hopefully, I got it right, if not, please feel free to let me know, where in the other 45 chapters that scene is! Thank you!

I am going to try my hardest to have another chapter out by my birthday on January 8th, fingers crossed!

Remember: You guys have a chance to give your own summary of the story's last chapter! Just leave it in a review on whichever site you would like and I will choose one and include it at the beginning of the next chapter! :)

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