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Task One Challenge- Stranded by Remus
Chapter 1 : The Snow Storm
 
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A/N: This story features the following prompts from the challege: Features your House's Champion, mentions a Blast-Ended Skrewt, features a dragon, includes mention of at least 5 of the 12 uses for dragon's blood and features a theme of flourishing in the face of adversity.

A/N 2: Svealand is ancient Sweden. With the lack of time, I wasn't able to really get into the whole research part but once the HC is done, I'll go ahead and edit it.

 












 

The Snow Storm



“I’m going to die!” Salazar’s young, red haired friend exclaimed as he huddled himself tighter under his robes to preserve the heath. Both youths were shivering nonstop; the fire that his friend had conjured the night before was apparently not strong enough to keep the both of them warm. And the food they had brought had not been enough to sustain them, so for the last few days they had to look for their own food as common muggles. Salazar groaned internally as he took note of their current situation. They were indeed trapped in a cave during a snowstorm, lost, and without food meaning. All of that together meant only one thing to him: they had very low chances of survival. “I have no idea why I let you talk me into this, Salazar! I must be completely mad to have followed you.”

“You followed me because you’re a loyal person, my friend. And I’ve always known that it would be your downfall,”  responded Salazar, his teeth chattering with every word he spoke. “You were curious just as well as I was about this new dragon that old Marmaduke spoke of. However, you’re right, Godric, I made a grave mistake coming all the way to the Svealand just to study it and for bringing you along with me.”

Godric gave Salazar a cold stare without bothering to agree or disagree  to what he had just stated. Sighing, Salazar stared at the feeble fire in silence; his and Godric’s shadows were dancing against the stone walls almost as if they were mocking them as they died from starvation. If it weren’t for his looming death, Salazar would’ve seen the cave as a true wonder and a gift from the goddess and not as his future grave he now detested. He might have even investigated further into the darkness to see if he could find an undiscovered magical plant or root but his frozen body begged him to not go wasting his energy on silly things except for survival. He raked his fingers through his long, black, curly hair, or at least attempt to, as his hair was actually hair frozen on some parts.

“Putting aside the fact that dragon’s blood can clean ovens easily,” Godric said after minutes of silence, “you did have a compelling argument when you pointed out the other significant uses for blood we could have.” Godric paused to blow warm breath on his hands as an attempt to keep at least his wand hand warm. His wild, red hair was becoming loose from his pony tail making him to look like the lion from the Gryffindor family crest. Salazar would have laughed at his best friend, but that took too much energy from him. “I mean, when one bathes in blood from a dragon, it can grant you temporary invulnerability. Or when we dab it on a deadly wound, it can heal it and make it look as if nothing had happened.”

“Don’t forget that when you drink the blood from a dragon’s heart, it can grant you wisdom and prophecy.”

Godric made a disgusted sound, “Ugh...’tis as bad as when you drink the blood from the tongue, it can grant you the ability to talk to reptiles such as snakes.” Godric gave Salazar a grim smile. “But I suppose you don’t need that, right?”

“Suppose not,” said Salazar as a strong draft of icy, cold air blew into their cave making their already weak fire go completely out. While Godric cursed loudly at the Svealand’s nasty weather, Salazar fetched for his unyielding yew wand with a dragon heartstring for a core and twelve and a half inches in length. He pointed his wand at the dead wood, but his hand was shaking so much from the cold that he had to use both hands to stabilize himself before daring to speak the spell.

The last time he had misspoken a spell, he had lost both his eyebrows and part of his hair. He did not want to repeat that for a second time. “Incendio,” his voice sounded weak and weakness was something Salazar hated. Then again, he knew that he hadn’t eaten in over two days and was chilled to the bone so it came to no surprise as nothing happen. He cursed under his breath before trying again. “Incendio!” A stream of fire came out of his wand but either it wasn’t a powerful enough blaze or the wood they had could not sustain a fire anymore.

He was about to try for a third time but Godric stopped him, “shush, Salazar, I hear something.” Both youths grew quiet in the darkness and listened closely. Not far from their cave, Salazar could hear a loud roar that sounded as desperate as they felt right now. He wanted to dismiss it as just the strong wind, but something inside him told him that their despair was coming to an end. As if an invisible power were pulling him, Salazar slowly got up from his spot, his frozen joints begged him to sit back down, and walked to the mouth of the cave. It was the middle of the day but the gray clouds were covering the entire sky. Again, the sight was truly beautiful except for the current circumstances that dampen Salazar’s view.

Not far from their spot, Salazar was spotted a small dragon struggling to keep flying. It flapped its wings several times but apparently it not enough to stay in the sky. “I was truly hoping that this one was the size of a Blast-Ended Skrewt...” Godric sighed from behind Salazar as he too spotted the dragon. “Is it just me...or is it acting a bit odd...almost as if it were injured.”

“Seems like it,” Salazar agreed. The dragon was swaying from side to side as it flew, its roar sounded powerful and dangerous but it had a hint of fear as it started to come down at a rapid speed. Salazar had to shield his eyes from the snowflakes as he witnessed the large dragon crash at the bottom of a mountain with a bang. “Should we get closer?”

“Might as well.” Godric shrugged, “it’s either a frozen death or a charred one.” They made their way down their small mountain towards the dragon, their wands drawn ready to attack or flee just in case it became aggressive towards them. Excitement was filling Salazar’s heart, the adrenaline of finding the dragon flooded his veins, and warming his body and giving him hope to live past the wretched coldness. As they walked, he kept Godric behind him to keep him safe just in case the dragon reacted to their approach. He owed at least that much to his young friend for dragging him to his death.

When they got close enough, Salazar was able to truly take in the magnificent creature before him. The dragon had silvery blue scales and its wingspan seemed to stretch for meters. The tail was much longer than what he expected due to how relatively small the dragon was and on its snout, Salazar noted, a small horn seemed to be growing. “It is beautiful,” he exclaimed. If it weren’t for the cold that seemed to have frozen him mouth, he would’ve had a big smile across his face.

“It’s wounded,” Godric pointed with his wand to a large gash on the dragon’s belly. “Quick, give me the pouch.” Salazar preceded to hand Godric the pouch with the vials before he started to sketch the dragon for his journal. His ink kept drying on him but he didn’t care how many times he had to re-ink his quill as long as he drew the beautiful beast before him.

“I can’t believe it...” Godric laughed gleefully as he corked the last vial. The snow storm was beginning to get worse, and Salazar knew that they needed to head back to the cave for safety but they were in the presence of a new species of dragons and he did not want to leave just yet. “We got the blood! I cannot believe it, that after all this time…we got it.”

“Aye, we did, my friend!” Salazar agreed as he put the finishing touches on his sketch. He sighed, not really wishing to head back but he knew better. “We should go back to the cave...the dragon may be close to his death but it is still breathing. The last thing we need to deal with right now is an injured and scared dragon.”

“True, let’s go.” Helping his friend to his feet, Salazar led Godric back to the cave. The wind was blowing hard against them making their journey back a bit more impossible with every step they took. After minutes of walking, Salazar thought he had heard a voice. At first he thought that the lack of food and was beginning to take its toll on him, but when no hallucinations joined the voice, he decided that it was only the wind was playing cruel tricks on him. They continued to move forward when Salazar heard it again. It was the same angry sound he had heard earlier but this time it Salazar could’ve sworn that it closer.

“Do you hear someone or is it just me...?” he asked Godric whose face was purple from the weather. He felt bad for dragging his young friend along, so Salazar swore that when he got to the cave safe and sound, he was going to start a fire, even if it meant burning his own cloak if necessary.

“Oh magnificent, I thought it was just me who heard someone call out...thought the hunger was finally getting to me.” The two teens stayed put as they spotted a hunched figure approaching them. It wasn’t the smartest idea considering that moving was the best way to avoid death but Salazar was truly afraid that the person coming to their rescue would lose them if they moved an inch.

The idea of being rescued made Salazar almost cry.  To have his mother’s warm food in his stomach, to sit by the hearth, his old warm and soft bed…all those little things brought tears to his eyes.

“Hey you two! Are you alright?” An older man with a long gray beard and small, beady eyes asked. He was wearing more than two layers of warm clothe, gloves and dragon skin boots. He was dressed, contrary to what he and Godric were wearing, with a plan: to survive the cruel weather.  

“Marmaduke?” Godric asked as he squinted his eyes to see past the snowflakes. “Is that you?”

“Aye ‘tis me!” Marmaduke shouted as the wind carried his words. “Rowena told me of your rather stupid idea so I came to look for you. I’ve been searching for you lot for a week. Found a trace not long ago but I lost it ‘bout two days ago when the storm started.” He looked at Godric with a menacing glare. “Your dear old mother has been worried sick about you, boy!”

“I’m so-” Before Godric could finish what he was going to say, Marmaduke used his staff to knock him off his feet.

“That’s what you get for following him, Godric! Learn to become your own man and stop shadowing others. And you!” He directed his glare at Salazar before hitting his head with his wooden staff making his sight blorry.“Your mother wanted me to give you that for scaring her. You two should be ashamed of yourselves. What in bloody hell were you two thinking?”

“I suppose we weren’t, really...” Salazar admitted as he rubbed his head. “But do we have some tales to tell you!”

“No doubt,” Marmaduke growled with displeasure. “Let us go, that dragon over there is a baby, so its mother is bound to be nearby and trust me, you don’t want to meet the likes of her.” Marmaduke paused for a moment and stared at his students with dislike. "I should leave you here, though. The two of you need to learn a lesson about chasing dragons.” Without waiting to see if they were following, Marmaduke began to make his way back to where he came from.

Salazar helped Godric to his feet before asking “are the vials alright?”

“Aye, they are. Let’s get going before he decides to hex us for not following him.” His friend paused. “Or is this a trick? He said I need to stop following people and become my own man…”

“I think he meant you to do that after we get back to Britannia…not now, Godric.” Salazar clasped a hand on Godric’s shoulder. “Let’s go befo-”

“Are you two coming or are you staying to meet mother dragon?” Marmaduke shouted.

“Coming, sir!” Godric answered.

Salazar smiled. They were going home, with tales to tell both Helga and Rowena and the precious dragon's blood they had risked their lives for. With no shadow of a doubt, this was the beginning of the eternal glory he had been seeking for years and it seemed that not even Svealand's deadly weather was going to stop him.



 




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