Chapter 1A: A New Adventure
Lee was hiking through the jungle, trying to find where her dragon had run off to. Peat had developed a habit of scuttling away when he saw something he wanted to hunt. Her instincts kicked in the moment she heard a yelp. Lee ran towards the noise, holding her wand tight. She let out a sigh of relief when she saw that Peat had just gotten too close to his quarry and got nipped.
"That's what you get for running off," Lee scolded. "Let's get back to camp. You nearly gave me a heart attack."
"I still don't see why you put up with these things," Cora stated.
"Don't you dare start," Lee grumbled, pulling a small mirror from her pocket. "You've been quiet enough to not give me a headache all summer. Don't start now."
"Rude much?" Cora replied, appearing in the mirror, along with Alban.
"Maybe she wouldn't be rude if you would be quiet." Alban suggested sharply.
"That statement goes double for you, you know," Lee pointed out, picking up a stick to use as a walking stick.
A small clearing came into view. There was a large open tent pitched in the clearing. Next to the tent, a huge dragon was sleeping in the sun.
"Aero Shield, I got Peat." Lee called, causing the dragon to perk up. "Can you watch him while I start lunch?"
As Lee entered her tent, she beamed upon seeing a letter in her hammock. She picked it up and opened it eagerly. It was the letter for her second year at Hogwarts.
"Gang, we're leaving for Diagon Alley tomorrow!" Lee called. "Make sure you set an example for our newest member when we get there!"
Harmony jumped in excitement when she saw the letter from Hogwarts. An elated shriek escaped her lips as she tore open the envelope. She didn't do well in classes, but it was fun to go there with her friends.
"Harmony, I know you're excited to be going to Hogwarts again, but please don't shriek like that," her father pleaded with the twelve-year-old.
"Sorry Dad," Harmony replied, "I'm just excited to see everyone again. Lee even said that she had a surprise to show us."
"You seem close with these friends." her mother stated skeptically. "Hogwarts won't lead to you breaking out rules, will it?"
"No," Harmony replied sharply. "I just happened to have found some friends that I feel close with."
Harmony ran to her room and grabbed the Hogwarts letter. It provided the list of spell books she'd need. It seemed odd that there were so many books by a wizard named Gilderoy Lockhart. Harmony was pulled from the letter when her tablet buzzed. She opened it to find Lee on the screen.
"Hiya Harm," she said cheerfully. "I found this nifty video setting on my pet identifier."
"I can see." Harmony replied. "Did you get your letter?"
"Yup. I found it in my tent this morning. I'm leaving the jungle tomorrow to fly back to London."
"Neat. So, what's the surprise you wrote to us about?" Harmony inquired.
"You'll find out when we meet on the Hogwarts Express," Lee answered. "Hang on, there's a trouble maker I need to deal with."
Lee vanished from the screen. Harmony could hear her yelling at Peat and the constant rustling of leaves.
"Peat, don't you dare go chasing that pygmy squirrel!"
She came back onto the screen holding the wriggling Bog Worm. Harmony could tell by the irritated look on her friend's face that this happened frequently on the trip.
"I'm guessing he has a habit of chasing small rodents," Harmony stated bluntly.
"Yes," Lee sighed, "It's the predator in him, but it's almost as annoying as Pansy."
"C'mon, there's no way sweet, little Peat could almost be as annoying as your nemesis," Harmony debated.
"He's not little," Lee deadpanned. "He's almost six feet long."
They sat there talking for hours. Lee described her expeditions in the jungle and the different critters she'd encountered. Harmony told her about the boring piles of paperwork she'd been doing all summer. When the sun began to set on Lee's end, she had to hang up to eat dinner and make preparations for the flight to London.
The next day, Lee was sitting in her saddle while Jewel flew over the jungle. It had been an amazing summer, and she was ready to see all her friends at school again, not to mention the money she'd earned for her research. Lee laid flat on Jewel's back and looked at the clouds passing by. To her, there was nothing more soothing than a vast, open sky. The day brushed by quietly and Lee made it to London. She checked into a room at the Leaky Cauldron and collapsed on the bed. She was surprised to wake up in the morning with four letters on her forehead. The first three were from Sarah, Kaede and Harmony. The fourth was from Harry and Ron. She read them all through happily. They were all coming to Diagon Alley in a few days. Lee decided to get her shopping out of the way that day and meet them all when they came.
Harmony was ready to go when it was time for her to go to Diagon Alley. Lee had written back saying that she was looking forward to meeting in London. Her parents were letting her go on her own with the floo powder. Harmony grabbed a bag and went over to the fireplace.
"Do you have everything?" Her mother asked.
"Yup," Harmony answered. "I didn't forget a single thing."
"All right, be careful and don't break any rules."
"I'll be fine, Mom," Harmony reassured her.
She stepped into the fireplace and traveled to Diagon Alley. Harmony stepped out into the busy streets and found Lee waiting at the steps of Gringotts. Lee ran forward and embraced her friend.
"Nice to see you again Harm," Lee said happily.
"Nice to see you too," Harmony replied. "How was Africa?"
"Fun," Lee answered. "The gang and I loved it."
"So, what was the surprise you were going to show us?"
"You'll see on the train," Lee replied, evading the question. "Now come on, everyone will be waiting at Flourish and Blotts."
Harmony got her money from the bank and they ran through the busy streets, into the crowded bookshop.
"Why are there so many women here?" Harmony inquired.
"Some heartthrob author is signing books," Lee answered. "There's the Weasleys and Harry."
Lee nearly tackled Harry, Ron and Hermione in a hug. Harmony came over and gave the three of them a wave instead.
"Hi guys," Lee said. "How was your summer?"
"Great, though, I can't wait to get the books," Hermione answered.
"It was great. Did you get our letter about rescuing Harry from his aunt and uncle?" Ron replied.
"Yes, I did," Lee confirmed. "Why would you not invite me to get Harry with a flying car?!"
"They got in trouble for it later, so it wouldn't have been all that great," Harry interjected.
While they talked, Sarah entered the bookshop and joined them. The three friends were about to start conversation when the book shop began erupting into applause as a man with gold hair and a smug face entered the shop. He took a seat at the front and Lee, Harmony, and Sarah watched the witches swoon.
"That's Gilderoy Lockhart," Ron whispered. "Mum fancies him."
"Cute," Lee replied sarcastically.
The man at the front quickly noticed Harry in the crowd and a reporter tossed him to the front for pictures. Lee rolled her eyes as Lockhart flashed a glassy smile. She could tell she didn't like this character.
"I would also like to announce that I'm assuming the post of defense against the dark arts teacher at Hogwarts this term," Lockhart said jovially, causing Lee to groan.
"Please tell me that idiot is not going to be our teacher," Lee whispered.
"I think that idiot is going to be our teacher," Harmony replied.
"At least we know that the class will be...interesting," Sarah stated.
They walked out with their friends only to be cornered at the door by none other than Draco Malfoy.
"Bet you loved that, didn't you Potter?" Draco spat. "Famous Harry Potter, can't even go to a bookshop without making the front page."
"Leave him alone," Ginny retorted.
"Oh, look Potter, you've got yourself a girlfriend," he taunted.
He was interrupted by a cane, pulling him away from the group.
"Now, now Draco, play nicely," Mr. Malfoy scolded.
The three girls looked from him to Draco. There was no mistaking that he was his father. Sarah glared daggers at Mr. Malfoy, who had taken an interest in Harry's scar.
"Your scar is legend, as is the wizard who gave it to you," he stated, in a way that unnerved Lee.
"Voldemort killed my parents," Harry retorted, pulling away from Lucius. "He was nothing more than a murderer."
"You are very brave to speak his name," Lucius replied. "Or very foolish."
"Fear of the name only increases fear of the thing itself," Hermione interjected.
"Ah, you must be...Ms. Granger," Lucius said, eyeing Hermione's scowl. "Yes, Draco's told me all about you, and your parents. Muggles, aren't they?"
Lee and Sarah glanced at each other. Clearly, Draco's apple didn't fall far from the tree. His father appeared to loathe muggleborns. They didn't need to think hard to know that was where Draco inherited his prejudices.
"Let me see, red hair, vacant expression," Lucius stated, turning to Ron and taking Ginny's book. "Tacky, second hand book. You must be the Weasleys."
Sarah felt her blood boil as Lucius describe the Weasleys in his own, twisted way. Before she could think about what she was going to do, she spoke.
"Why don't you shut up," Sarah snapped at Lucius.
"And who might you be?" He inquired, trying to mask his offense.
"The name's Sarah," she replied firmly, "and I don't appreciate how you're talking about my friends."
"Ah, Sarah. Draco's told me about you before," Lucius retorted. "You seemed to take some joy in making him look foolish. I think you should watch yourself this year."
"And why would she need to do that?" Lee inquired.
"Allow me to guess which person you are...Lee, isn't it?" Lucius asked. "Draco speaks highly of you. I'm curious about the kind of dragons you have in your collection."
"You should really hope I never show you," Lee growled, "and it's not a collection."
Harmony steered Lee outside the shop to keep her from getting into a confrontation. Sarah followed them, pausing for a moment to glare daggers at Lucius Malfoy.
"Maybe you should work on that temper of yours," Harmony suggested. "You basically threatened to burn him."
"It's only a threat if he takes it as a threat," Lee retorted. "Besides, I wanted him to shut up."
"So you threatened him," Sarah stated.
"Okay, fine, I threatened him," Lee relented. "What did you expect me to do? He threatened you first, I was just returning the favor."
Sarah and Harmony rolled their eyes at Lee. As they were leaving, a fight erupted in Flourish and Blotts. They turned back toward the door and saw Mr. Weasley fighting with Mr. Malfoy. Fred and George were cheering their father on as Hagrid came and pulled them apart.
The three friends walked around the alley and picked up Sarah and Harmony's school supplies. As they bought the final materials the two of them required for school, Lee took them into the Trainer's Supply Store. They were greeted by the owner cheerfully.
"What can I get you, Lee?" she asked.
"I need some special equipment," Lee answered. "What've you got in terms of harvesting dragon scales?"
"Planning to take advantage of your companions, are you?" She chuckled.
"The molted and shed scales are useful," Lee replied. "Besides, Jewel's been having growth spurts all summer."
The owner disappeared to a back room and came back with a small case and placed it on the table for Lee to look at. There was a pestle, a mortar, several vials and flasks, and something that looked like a scraper. The end was forked and it curved up almost like a shovel. Lee smiled at the kit and closed the case.
"This should work well," she stated. "How much is it?"
"It's ten galleons," the owner answered. "Use it with the proper grooming materials and you'll have some of the rarest potion ingredients."
Lee handed her the gold coins and placed the kit in her backpack. Harmony gave her friend a quizzical look and followed her back to the Leaky Cauldron.
"Why do you want to harvest their scales?" Harmony asked.
"Old dragon scales are useful in specific potions," Lee explained. "Those potions are very useful when I'm out traveling."
Harmony shrugged her shoulders and sat at a table in the inn with Lee and Sarah. Tom brought them some soup over for dinner. The three friends talked about the upcoming school year. All were excited to see Kaede again. Now that they were second years, Sarah was looking forward to playing quidditch, as Oliver Wood had appointed her to play on the team for their second year.
"Why would you want to play quidditch? It's so active," Harmony groaned.
"Because flying is fun; from a dragon or a broom," Lee replied in Sarah's defense.
"And because it's fun having something competitive to do," Sarah added. "I look forward to kicking the Slytherin team's butt!"
"Why would you say that in front of your two best friends that are Slytherins?" Lee chuckled.
"Do you like being in Slytherin?" Sarah asked, getting Lee to shake her head. "Then you aren't a Slytherin."
"But Harm's still a Slytherin."
"Mostly because I was too lazy to tell the hat where to put me," Harmony shrugged.
"See, Lee?" Sarah replied with a smirk. "The both of you don't really belong in Slytherin, you just got put there for some stupid reason or another."
"All right, fine," she relented. "Just make sure to kick their sorry behinds."
"I will never understand the two of you," Harmony sighed.
"Well, it's a mutual feeling," Sarah chuckled.
"Definitely. I've never met a twelve-year-old as lazy as you," Lee added.
"I'm not lazy, I'm just selective of what work I do," Harmony stated.
"Which is none of it," Sarah deadpanned.
"That's not true!" Harmony said defensively. "It's just very little of it."
The three girls continued to poke fun at each other. They had met only a year ago, but had formed a deep friendship in that year. As the sun began to set, Harmony and Sarah bid a farewell to Lee and used the floo powder to travel back home. They were already excited to see each other on the train again in a few weeks. When Lee entered her room to catch some sleep for the night, she was tackled in a blur of colors.
"How'd you get out of your carrier?!" Lee laughed as it started licking her. "Stop it! That tickles!"
The weeks flew by and in no time it was September first. Lee and Sarah woke up promptly in their rooms. Sarah gathered her trunk and her backpack before running down to the living room of her house. Her aunt stopped her before letting her use the floo network to travel back to London.
"Sarah, you need to promise to be good this year," her aunt said firmly, "I don't want more letters telling me you've been pranking other students."
"I promise I'll be good," Sarah replied innocently, crossing her fingers behind her leg. "Now, I gotta go. I can't miss the train."
"Say 'hi' to those friends of yours for me."
Lee lugged her trunk down the stairs of the inn with her rucksack slung over her shoulder. She double checked her rucksack to make sure she had her PAC Ball and her hand mirror. She didn't want those crazy voices giving her headaches.
"Heading off to King's Cross?" Tom asked from the bar.
"Yup. I'll probably see you next summer too," Lee answered, dragging her trunk out of the Leaky Cauldron.
In Italy, Harmony was being shaken awake by her father. Harmony groaned and shrugged him off, grumbling about 'stupid marshmallows'. Her father let out an exasperated sigh and smacked his daughter with a pillow.
"What was that for?!" Harmony groaned.
"Get up Harmony," he ordered gently. "It's September first and we need to get you to King's Cross."
"Wait, it's September first?!" Harmony exclaimed, bolting out of bed. "Dad, don't just stand there! We need to get to the train station!"
Harmony's father shook his head as his daughter rushed around the room, hastily packing the things she'd forgot to put in her trunk. Harmony quickly checked her trunk before slamming it shut. She pulled it to the living room and waited for her parents.
Lee and Sarah met each other outside King's Cross. They both pushed their trolleys through the busy station towards the barrier to the Hogwarts express. They made it to the train without any problems and dragged their trunks to a compartment in the back of the train.
"So, what's the surprise?" Sarah asked, sitting on the bench. "You said you'd show us on the train."
"Wait until the others get here, then I'll show you," Lee replied.
"C'mon," Sarah groaned. "I promise I won't spoil it for the other two!"
"No," Lee said firmly.
Sarah 'humphed' and began to pout, causing Lee to burst into laughs.
"You are acting like such a little kid," she giggled.
"I am not!" Sarah whined.
"Sure, you're not."
They sat in the compartment and looked out onto the platform. The two girls waved and shouted out the window when they saw Harmony and Kaede come through the barrier. Harmony quickly covered her face when Sarah and Lee called to her from the train.
"I think we embarrassed Harmony," Lee chuckled.
"Isn't that what best friends are supposed to do?" Sarah replied.
There was a knock on the door and Harmony entered the compartment. Kaede came five minutes later. They quickly exchanged tales of their summer before the train began to move.
"So, what's the surprise you wrote to us about?" Kaede asked as the train pulled out of the station.
"Well, this year's gonna be interesting, dragon wise," Lee answered, pulling out her PAC ball.
A small from came from the small ball. Its entire body was a rainbow of colors. As soon as it was out of the PAC Ball, it began jumping around the compartment and climbing on the girls.
"Meet Lil' Nine," Lee announced as the dragon climbed onto her shoulders. "He's a Pup Dragon."
"Why did you name him Lil' Nine?" Kaede asked.
"So, a Pup Dragon is supposed to have four claws on each foot, but he has an extra claw on his front right foot," Lee explained. "That makes nine claws on the front, and he's little, so I called him Lil' Nine."
"He's so cute," Sarah commented. "So, do these dragons live in Africa?"
"Apparently," Lee stated. "Usually, they're only found in domestic settings, so imagine how surprised I was to come back from a hike and find him sleeping in my tent."
"Sounds like you had fun," Kaede stated. "I really didn't do much this summer. What about you two?"
"I helped my dad with paperwork," Harmony said with a shrug.
"I went climbing in the mountains back home," Sarah answered. "I may have also pulled some pranks."
"On who?" Lee inquired.
"Some kids from town," Sarah replied.
Sarah recounted the pranks she pulled on the kids. She had done some classic pranks, like putting a bucket of water over a doorway. Sarah had also pulled more elaborate pranks, some including Bigfoot. Her three friends erupted into laughs when she imitated the girly scream of one of her victims.
"That sounds like a very successful summer," Lee commented, getting a hold of her giggles.
"It was, until I got grounded," Sarah responded.
The girls were interrupted when someone knocked on the door to their compartment. Kaede looked through the blinds and grimaced.
"It's Malfoy," she grumbled.
"I'll handle it," Lee said, standing up from her seat.
Lee opened the door and stood in the doorway.
"Something we can help you with?" Lee asked tonelessly.
"I was wondering if you'd want to come down to our compartment and hang out," Draco replied with a smirk.
"Yeah, no thanks," she stated coldly. "I'm staying here with my friends."
"Harmony could come too, I suppose," Draco suggested quickly.
"N-O," Lee said firmly. "Thanks for the offer, but I don't like hanging out with prejudiced pigs, unless I was giving them an up close and personal look at a dragon's teeth."
Lee shut the door and returned to her seat. Lil' Nine was now sitting by the door, attempting to growl.
"That was cold," Kaede stated. "Did you have to be that mean?"
"Yes. He wouldn't go away unless I was," Lee answered.
"Maybe you fit into Slytherin more than you think," Harmony commented.
"Nah, that's just some of Cora's influence," Lee replied.
The trolley witch came passing by their compartment after a few minutes and they all bought some sweets. Lil' Nine looked at all of them expectantly, only to be whistled at by Lee.
"Your treat's right here you goof," she teased, holding up a pumpkin pasty.
The dragon opened his mouth and Lee threw it for him to catch. He jumped up quickly and chomped down on the pasty. Lil' Nine sat back down again, waiting for another treat.
Lee chuckled, "Sorry buddy, only one per train ride."
"Maybe you could give him a chocolate frog to chase," Sarah suggested.
"Not unless you want this compartment torn to shreds," Lee replied.
As the train neared their destination, the four of them quickly changed into their robes. Lil' Nine began chirruping furiously as Lee tried to put him back in the PAC Ball. He ran around the compartment and underneath the legs of everyone. Sarah, Kaede and Harmony suppressed some small chuckles as Lee let out a frustrated humph.
Lee glared at the three of them, "It's not funny."
"It kind of is," Sarah argued with a smirk.
"Why can't you just let him ride up to the castle with us?" Harmony asked. "He seems adamant about staying out of the PAC Ball."
"He'd rip the carrier to pieces," Lee replied.
The Pup Dragon stuck his head between Sarah's legs and seemed to be taunting his trainer. Lee seized her opportunity and pulled out her wand, firing a jinx at the dragon. He stood, frozen in his position while Lee gave a triumphant smile.
"That should teach you to listen when I say it's time to get in the PAC Ball," Lee stated, placing Lil' Nine in the small ball.
"You should feel lucky that you didn't miss," Sarah commented. "Otherwise I would've murdered you."
"I never miss," Lee said with a cocky smile.
As the train pulled into the station, the four of them got ready to go to the castle. None of them knew how they were getting up to the castle and followed a crowd of older students to find horseless carriages waiting for them. They clambered into one and it began moving up towards the castle.
"What do you think's pulling the carriages?" Kaede asked.
Lee pondered a moment before answering, "I'm not sure. It's either a charm or an invisible creature."
"I think an invisible creature seems cooler," Sarah commented. "Besides, I've never heard of any charms that make carriages pull themselves."
Their carriage followed the others until it arrived at the front steps of the castle. The four jumped out quickly and proceeded to the Great Hall. Sarah and Kaede were quickly called over to their house tables by other friends while Lee and Harmony returned to the seats they'd had last year at the end of Slytherin table. All of the second year and older students filed in and took their seats, waiting for the sorting to begin. The first years entered promptly with Professor McGonagall. Lee barely payed attention to the old hat, clapping unenthusiastically when a first year was added to Slytherin. They heard Sarah let out a gleeful 'whoop' as the hat sorted Ginny Weasley into Gryffindor. At the end of the sorting everyone began to dig into the feast.
"Hey look, the dragon mudblood's back!" Pansy snickered.
"She does realise that the word 'dragon' is plastered in that sentence, right?" Lee asked Harmony.
"Who knows?" Harmony shrugged. "Pansy strikes me as that kind of idiot."
The two continued to talk. Across the hall, Sarah was enjoying the feast with Hermione, Fred, George, and their little sister Ginny. She soon noticed that two people were missing from this picture.
"Has anyone seen Harry and Ron?" Sarah asked. "I haven't seen them anywhere."
Sir Nicholas popped his head through the table, startling a few first years, "They're eating in the dungeons. It seems that they missed the train and flew to school in a car."
"They what?!" The three girls shrieked.
Fred and George pouted, "No fair. Why didn't they invite us?"
"Really?" Hermione replied. "They broke the decree for underage sorcery, and they could've been expelled! They weren't expelled, were they?"
"No, but Professor McGonagall did give them detentions and a stern talking to," Nicholas answered.
Sarah rolled her eyes as Hermione began arguing with the twins. She was hoping that word of this didn't spread. Otherwise people would have a similar reaction to Fred and George and that would make Hermione even more mad. The students were rising from their seats and heading to their common rooms. Sarah glanced over at her friends, who all waved a quick farewell. This was the start of a new year. If Harry and Ron's transportation to the school was any indication, it was also the start of a new adventure.