AN: Here is your update! I meant to have it up yesterday but hey I didn't take too long did I? Thanks to Miryam Lea for reviewing. I hope the dragon sections are what you were wanting. Forgot to add earlier.
I in NO way own or have any claim to Harry Potter or Ready For Love. I only own the plot and any OCs.
Without further ado:
The next morning Dominique was up bright and early. After a quick shower and getting dressed she took off through the house. She knew there were hidden camera's in the house and that she would probably be questioned on where she went later on but right now she was running late. As soon as she was in a alley way and hidden she activated the portkey and was off to the reserve. Landing with a thump outside the gates, she looked around before pulling her wand out of her boot and opening the gate. It was only 5am so most of the dragon handlers were still curled up in their beds, the only people around were the night guards.
Stepping into the warded area that her dragons were kept she smiled as she looked at the sleeping bodies. The only two awake were Vampire and Iggy who had lifted their heads the moment the wards allowed her past. She knew that if it had been somebody else they would have raised the alarm to the others but since it was her they just stretched their necks towards her.
"Morning babies." She said as she stepped up to Iggy and rubbed his nose while allowing Vampire to sniff her. Vampire was her oldest dragon, and had some vision problems so relied on scent more than sight. She would never admit it but Iggy was her favorite of her dragons with Vampire a close second. Not to say she didn't love Jacko, Belle, and now Dante, Iggy and Vamp just had a special place in her heart.
"Alrighty Vampy, wake up the others and i'll go get the food." After working at the reserve for three years, talking to the dragons had became a habit, though Vampire had been taught to find and wake up the other dragons by his previous handler. Though she sometimes treated them like overgrown dogs, she was fully aware of the fact that at any moment they could get angry and go after her, or not be paying attention and hurt her by accident. She had the scars to remind her if she ever forgot. It was a risk working with the animals, but it was what she loved to do and that made the risk worth it.
Walking out of the wards, she headed straight for her sheep pen. Each handler had their own pen and sheep that they were in charge of for their dragons. Further into the reserve there was a working ranch ran by the reserves owner. He allowed some of the animals to go to the dragons food, while most were sold into the muggle world for meat. The owner also kept muggle horses, and even a couple magical horses. Most of the dragons were fed the sheep, though the larger ones would get a cow as a treat and smaller dragons would get smaller animals. Grabbing two sheep, she led them towards the dragons area and tied them to a tree just outside the wards. Today Vampire would be getting a cow and she needed to go collect it from the other side of the reserve.
Whistling under her breath, Dominique walked across the reserve smiling at the sight of the other handlers dragons all beginning to wake up. Luckily it wasn't a short walk and she was able to quickly get a cow before starting the walk back. Once she arrived where she left the sheep, she took their leads and lead all three animals into the wards.
"I'm sorry." Dominique said quietly to the sheep and cow before taking off their leads and letting them loose. She shook her head sadly and turned around to feed Dante.
"Hey little guy." She said with a grin as the baby dragon ran up and started chewing on her boot. "Taste good do they?" Dom laughed as she pulled her boot loose and walked to the container of meat. "Here you go baby." She said setting the meat in the dirt before locking the container with her wand. After making sure all of her dragons had water and checking that Vampire had got the cow alright she walked out of her wards and started towards the gates to get back to the show's house. Since she only had a hour in the mornings for her dragons, before she would be needed at the house, all she did was feed. Later she would come back and spend some time with them before going to bed.
Soon she was back at the house sitting on the couch as the other girls started to wake up. Dom grinned slightly at some of the outfits that the other girls were wearing. Most of them had a ton of makeup on as well. She really didn't see the point of make up, no one in her family ever used it unless going to a event and then it was only because her mother would make every female member of the family come over and get ready at their house. Her mum would have make up on all the cousins before they could even complain. Thinking of her family, she sighed, while she loved her job and being with Uncle Charlie all the time, she did miss her family.
Looking up as someone sat down next to her, she smiled slightly at Claudia the girl from last night. "Hey, I'm Dominique." She introduced herself with a smile.
"Claudia, nice to meet you." Claudia replied before turning her focus onto watching the other girls getting ready. Dom was wearing black skinny jeans, a white tank top, and her leather jacket that had been a gift from her Uncle Charlie when she came to the reserve. The jacket had been given to him as a gift when he was 17 by his brother when he left home to become a dragon handler. When she came to him looking for a place to stay and a job, he had offered to find her a job working with the dragons since he had known she had been fascinated with them since she was 9. When she got the job, he gave her the jacket saying that he got it when he started with the dragons and it was only right that he gave it to her when she started. Of course it was much to large for her but with a few simple alteration charms she had it the right size in no time. On her feet were her well worn dragon hide boots.
Claudia was dressed similarly in a pair of jeans, a shirt, and some tennis shoes. There was one other girl dressed semi-normally, but the rest were all running around in beaded, sequenced, flashy, and other stuff that looked expensive. Dom's mother might be a half-veela and love shopping, but Dom was similar to her dad in that department. If it was comfortable she would buy it, if not it went right back on the rack. Her older sister Victorie was similar, but she also liked the fancier clothes like their mother. Her younger brother Louis was the oddball out, and only wore clothes that fit his 'style' basically anything bright and obnoxious. In her opinion, he spent way to much time with their Uncle George, his kids Fred and Roxanne, and their cousins James and Lily. All were major pranksters that felt their only duty was to make others laugh.
Half a hour later all nine girls were ready and sitting down talking. Dom and Claudia had spent the time talking and getting to know each other. The door soon opened making everyone turn their heads in time to see Erik walk in dressed in jeans and a t-shirt.
"Morning ladies." Erik said waiting for the replies to quiet before speaking again, "Today we will be going to a nearby ranch to help out. The first half of the morning we will be working on building a new pen for the owners, then the second half of the morning those that don't know how to ride will get a crash course in it while the rest do something else. After lunch we will be helping move part of their herd from the pasture up into the mountain pasture. It should take about seven hours to move them up and then another to ride back, giving me plenty of time to get to know everyone." He smiled, "Lets go." He turned and walked out of the house towards a van that was waiting for them. The girls followed him, with Dom and Claudia at the rear.
"This is going to be so much fun!" Dom said grinning at Claudia.
"Have you ever done anything like this?" Claudia asked slightly worried about the riding part.
"Sure, I work on a animal reserve so I'm always fixing fences and pens." She replied which was true, while the dragons were kept in by wards the other animals had normal fences and pens.
"Have you ever ridden?" Claudia questioned, she looked nervous at the thought.
"Yeah, the owner of the reserve lives at the back of the property on a small ranch, when were not working with the reserve animals we help out. I'm friends with the owner's son and he taught me how to ride. We go out on rides when I'm free." She smiled, the owner's son Kyle was a couple years younger, only 15 but he was a sweet guy. They had met and became friends not long after she got to the reserve.
Further conversation was cut off as they climbed into the van. Since they were at the back of the group, the people at the front had already got in the back of the van. Dom climbed up and sat on the bench like seat next to one of the other girls while Claudia climbed in next to her and shut the door. Erik was sitting in the passenger seat with his head turned around talking to the girl next to Dom. The other girls were quiet listening to the conversation.
Within half a hour they arrived at the ranch and quickly filed out of the van where the ranch foreman was waiting.
"Hello everyone, I am Marco the foreman. First we have a pen that needs built and a fence that needs mended." He said with a smirk. "The pen should be easier to put together, split yourselves up." He walked off.
Dominique smiled slightly and grabbed Claudia's arm heading over to the fence that needed mending. She couldn't help but laugh slightly at the other girls arguing over where they should go. Eventually three other girls joined the pair looking at the tools confused.
"I can show you guys how to fix them." She offered grabbing the tools, she showed the other four girls how to tighten the barb wire and fix it section by section. As soon as the others were started she got to work. The group was spread out down the fence so they mostly worked in silence. Soon Erik walked over and started talking to some of the other girls. Eventually he made his way to Dom and crouched down next to her as she worked.
"Dominique right?" He asked with a grin.
"Yep, you have a ranch too right?" Dom responded smiling.
"Yeah, it's been in my family for 6 generations. My father is in charge until I find a wife, then it becomes mine. What do you do for a living?" He asked. The matchmakers had told him to try and make conversation with all the girls.
"I work at a endangered animal reserve. Most of the animals we work with are not known to most people." She told him, it's not like she could tell him that she worked with Dragons for a living.
"Is that why you knew how to fix the fence?" Erik asked, he had been talking to the girls working on the pen but had seen the other girls standing around in confusion until she showed them what to do.
"My boss lives on a ranch at the back of the reserve, and we help out there anytime we're not busy with the reserve animals. I'm also good friends with his son Kyle and Kyle's girlfriend Mila. They often invite me over to go riding with them." Dom told him, her boss wouldn't let Mila and Kyle go out on riding together unless someone else went with them and since she was their friend and lived on the property she was often asked along.
"So you know your way around a ranch?" He asked trying to get to know the strawberry blonde in front of him.
"For the most part, I don't know everything there is to know, but I really don't need to. I know enough to get by." She explained before letting out a hiss of pain when her finger slipped onto the barb as she looked over at him.
"Are you ok?" Erik asked reaching for her hand to inspect the wound.
"Course, doesn't even hurt that bad. Nothing compared to what some of the animals I work with have given me." Dom replied looking at the blood before pulling a tissue out of her pocket and wrapping it around her finger while she waited for the bleeding to stop. As soon as she tied it around her finger she picked up the tool she dropped and got back to work.
"You sure? We can go to the house and get it cleaned out and bandaged if you like?" He offered surprised. Most of the girls he knew would have shrieked or freaked out. The wound was bleeding pretty heavily.
"It's fine besides I haven't finished my section of the fence yet." She said though she only had a couple strands left to finish. Dom finished a couple minutes later, easily ignoring Erik who had stopped talking since her last words. "Done." She sat back and grinned before noticing him still looking at her worriedly. "No worries, I have much worse scars. Maybe I'll show them to you sometime." A teasing laugh accompanied her words as she stood up and brushed the dirt off her jeans.
"Those that don't know how to ride come here, those that do go with Erik to the barn." Marco called leading all but Dom and one other girl off towards the paddock.
Dominique and the other girl followed Erik to the barn where four horses stood in the aisle. "First you need to muck out the stall, then you can groom the horse. Each of you have two to do since there are only two of you." Erik explained as he entered the stall across from the four that were for them and started mucking it out.
Dom shrugged and grabbed a shovel and wheel barrel before starting on the first stall. In the next stall the other girl, a blonde with green eyes and wearing a beaded blouse started to muck her own stall.
"Im Dominique." Dom introduced herself to the blonde with a smile as she put the manure in the wheel barrel.
"Ashley" The blonde replied before going back to her shoveling.
'Friendly' Dominique thought to herself before she quickly finished her stall and moved onto the next. A little while later she had finished that stall as well and started on grooming the first horse.
Running her hand down the buckskins neck she looked over at Erik who was grooming a black gelding across from her. Rolling her eyes at her own thoughts she ran her hand down the buckskins leg so she could clean his hoof out. Ten minutes later she was finished with him and moving onto the grey mare that belonged in her other stall. Once she finished she looked over at Ashley who was still working on grooming her first horse.
"Would you like me to start on your other horse?" Dom asked with a smile.
"I got it." Ashley said annoyed.
Shrugging Dom lead the buckskin into his stall before repeating the process with the mare. She then grabbed a bucket from the ground and flipped it upside down and sat down on it. Erik was talking to Ashley so she pulled out her phone and noticed a missed call from her Uncle Charlie.
"Excuse me, I need to make a call." She interrupted walking down the aisle slightly and calling her uncle back.
"Hey Uncle C, what's wrong?" Dom asked listening to her Uncle explain what was happening. As he spoke she could feel her face go pale, "Yeah I understand. Thanks for telling me Uncle C. I gotta go." She said hanging up the phone and slipping it back into her pocket before going back to her bucket and sitting down. Dropping her head into her hands she sighed and wrapped her fingers through her hair angrily.
"Anything wrong?" Erik's voice made her lift her head to see he had brought a bucket up in front of her and sat down.
"Nothing really, it was my Uncle. He just wanted to tell me that my cousin was getting married." She explained narrowing her eyes slightly in anger.
"You don't seem happy about that." He observed watching her face as she thought before speaking.
"I'm not really. I haven't spoken to any of my cousins in three years. Heck, I haven't spoken to anyone in my family except for one of my Uncles." A bitter laugh escaped her before she shook her head. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't be loading all my problems out on you." She said with a apologetic smile.
Before he could reply Marco's voice sounded calling for lunch, she immediately stood up and started for the barn entrance.
"Dominique? You sure your ok?" He walked after her and gently grabbed her elbow.
"I'm fine. You should probably go talk to the girls that were learning to ride." She said smiling before walking over to where Claudia was sitting.
They didn't speak through lunch and soon they were lead back to the barn and were given a horse after Marco asked her and Ashley how experienced they were. Dom was given the buckskin gelding she had groomed. He had been tacked up while they ate and after checking the tack she swung onto his back and allowed him to follow the others who had gotten ahead of her since she stopped to check the tack.
Hours later after much complaining from some of the other girls, they arrived back at the barn and dismounted. After leading the horses into the stalls, the girls were shuffled back onto the van and sent back to the house. Dom was slightly annoyed that she wasn't allowed to stay and groom the buckskin after riding. She was taught that you needed to respect any horse you rode and groom them afterwards.
Shrugging the thoughts out of her head she listened to the conversation Claudia was having with Erik. When they arrived at the house, the filed out and headed inside. Erik was staying for dinner. Today it was Claudia and Dom's turn to cook so they headed into the kitchen.
"Please tell me you know how to cook!" Dom pleaded with Claudia as she looked at the shelves in front of her. Though she lived alone, she usually went to muggle restraunts, the mess mall, or used magic to cook it for her.
Claudia laughed, "Luckily for us, I do. My mother was a chef." She replied as she started pulling ingredients out of the shelves. They decided to make tacos since they were simple and easy to make. Less than half a hour later they had finished and set everything on the table and everyone sat down to eat. After eating Erik excused himself and called the matchmakers.
Once he came back he asked one of the girls from Tracy's team to go with him on a one on one date. After they came back he did the same with Ashley who was on Matt's team. He then asked Dominique herself to go with him. Following him outside, they sat on a bench under a oak tree. Dom stretched her legs out in front of her and smiled.
"Tell me more about yourself?" She asked as she spun the ring on her left pointer finger around.
"Like I said earlier, my family has lived on the ranch for six generations. I have a younger sister named Kelly. We grew up on the ranch but she ran away when she was sixteen. My father is sick and wants to retire from running the ranch but the family rule says that whoever takes over must have a woman by his side to help out. They have to either be engaged or married to take over. Since I had been looking for someone to share my life with, learning that my father wanted to retire just made me more determined to find the one." Erik explained smiling at Dominique. "What about yours?"
"Your going to wish you hadn't asked." She teased. "My Weasley grandparents Molly and Arthur had 7 children, my father Bill is oldest, then Uncle Charlie, Uncle Percy, Uncle George and his twin Fred, Uncle Ron, and Aunt Ginny. Uncle Fred was killed when the twins were 20, my dad married my mother Fleur, Uncle Charlie married Aunt Audrey, Uncle George married Aunt Angelina, Uncle Ron married Aunt Hermionie, and Aunt Ginny married Uncle Harry. My dad had my sister Victorie, Me, and my younger brother Louis, Percy had Molly the second and Lucy, George had twins Fred the second and Roxanne, Ron had Rose and Hugo, Ginny had twins Lily and James and Albus. Uncle Charlie works at the same reserve I do and has a girlfriend named Heather." She took a deep breath as she finished before laughing at his dumbstruck face.
"Wow, some family. Family reunions must be fun." Erik laughed thinking of all the people in one house.
"We had weekly dinners where everyone was required to come except for Uncle Charlie since he lived so far away. I didn't even mention the surrogate Aunts, Uncles and Cousins." She laughed. "On my Delacur side, my grandparents they only had my mother Fleur and my Aunt Gabrielle. She has three kids, Holly, Apolline the second, and Dean." The names never did make sense to her, but Aunt Gabby's husband was american and had chosen Dean and Holly's names.
They continued talking for about half a hour before heading back inside where they parted ways with a hug. Erik leaving the house and Dom heading to her room to grab her bag before she followed him out and took off to where she portkeyed back to the reserve.
With a thud she hit the dirt but lost her footing and fell twisting her ankle. Using her wand she ran a quick scan over her ankle and frowned when it read sprained. Muttering a spell under her breath she quickly had it wrapped and numbed before she walked into the reserve. Heading into her area she smiled when all four dragons lifted their heads and watched her. She could see Dante asleep in the baby area so she walked towards Belle and Jacko who were standing near each other.
With a quiet whistle the pair of dragons dropped their heads down to her height and allowed her to rub their scales. Vampire and Iggy wandered over while she was loving on Jacko and Belle. "Hey guys." She said turning to rub their heads. Lifting her wand she sent a spell at Vampire to allow him through the first layer of wards before climbing onto his back and telling him to fly. Most of the handlers just let their dragons fly but with Vampire, Belle and Iggy she trusted them enough to climb onto their backs and ride them while they got their exercise. Ten minutes later he dropped back to the earth where she climbed down and redid the spell on him. Taking the spell off Iggy she repeated what she had done before landing and doing the same with Belle. With Jacko she simply released the spell and summoned her broom. Due to a slightly torn wing, she didn't want to risk getting on Jacko's back even though she trusted him.
Once they were in the air she laughed and dove around the Welsh Green. When she got close to his face, he would playfully snap at the air behind her broom or shoot a small jet of fire over her head. She trusted that he would never grab the back of her broom or shoot the fire too low. Ten minutes later they landed and she sent her broom back. "Good babies." She said rubbing each of their noses before going to check on Dante again. Seeing him still asleep she left to head back to the house.
Landing heavily outside the house she groaned in pain as her numbing spell began to wear off. Running a hand through her hair she walked up to the house and into her room. She could tell that Haley and Claudia were asleep so she quickly changed, brushed her teeth and got into bed. Tomorrow they would find out who was going home first.
AN: 4,222 words!(Not including ANs) I have no idea how it ended up this long! I really hope that I can continue to make the chapters this long. I really hope you guys like it. If you can please leave a review. They make the world go round! I know a couple of people are reading it, because one person has reviewed and a couple have added this story to their alerts. Usually the more reviews I get the quicker it motivates me to update faster. (Just saying lol) Anyways till next time~
Also in case anyone is wondering, I did change a couple of the cousins ages and made James and Lily twins. It will hopefully make sense when Dom goes back to the family. To make it clear, it is not set in stone that Erik will be the one that Dom ends up with. There are single guys that work the cameras, guys in the muggle town, even a couple on the reserve, just remember that! Oh, and I will eventually be changing some things about the show. My story might not match the real show, and I may change it completely. Who knows, I sure don't lol