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Dragon Whisperer by rogue_bludger
Chapter 1 : Chapter 1
 
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Disclaimer: Charlie Weasley, the Chinese Fireball, Nimbus 2000's, and anything else you recognize, are property of the amazing JK Rowling. Dominique and Alex are merely products of my overactive imagination.

A/N: I merged the original chapter 1 and 2 into the chapter you see below, for continuity sake. Sorry if that confuses anyone!

~1994~

Dominique Waldorf was a natural on a broom. She looked good anywhere though, if one asked Charlie Weasley. He spent an inordinate amount of time with her, so he was just as knowledgeable as anyone, when it came to Nikki, as she preferred to be called by those close to her. The daughter of a German quidditch player and a French healer, she served her time at Beauxbatons as per the request of her mother. The day after graduation however, she found herself, backpack on one shoulder, broom in hand, and a defiant look on her face, in the middle of a grassy field outside Bucharest, facing the Romanian Dragon Sanctuary. It was there that she met Charlie Weasley—short, stocky, red haired with callused palms, and at the time, with a large burn on his forearm.

“Lost are you, little Miss?” He asked her, his British accent still holding strong after three years in Romania.

“I’m looking for Alex. He said I was to start working today.” She replied with a hint of defiance in her tone.

Charlie did a double take. This girl looked no older than his sister Ginny. “N-n-name?”

“Dominique Waldorf.”

Realization dawned on Charlie’s face, mingled with traces of confusion. “You’re the bloke he mentioned earlier. Only he said you’d be a bloke. From what I remember, he said the name Nick.”

“The people I like call me Nikki. But to everyone else, I’m Dominique. Now would you care to tell me where Alexandru is, or am I going to have to use a summoning charm to get him here?” There was an edge of impatience in her voice.

She had more of a Weasley temper than most of the Weasley’s did, Charlie thought wryly. He ushered her over to Alex, who ran the Reserve, and then decided to take the rest of his afternoon off. There would be no free time once the Chinese Fireball delivery came in from the East Asian Dragon Reserve in Nagasaki.

Back in his cabin, Charlie sifted through his box of quiddich gear, until he found a practice snitch, which had a smaller radius than a real snitch. Between the snitch and his broom, Charlie was in his element, as he dove, feinted, and dodged imaginary bludgers above the commune, lost in memories of his seeker days. Out of nowhere, a hand reached out in front of him and grabbed the snitch. Dominique, smirked at him from her Nimbus 2000.

“You play?” Charlie asked, rather surprised.

Dominique nodded. “And apparently better than you.”

Charlie felt his face turn red. “Wow. You’re friendly.” His forthrightness suddenly kicked in.

She at least had the decency to look remorseful. “Sorry, I probably should be nicer, shouldn’t I?”

Charlie nodded. “C’mon kid, lets race.” He ruffled her strawberry blonde hair and sped past her, knowing it was a sure-shot way to lighten the mood She sped after him, and the two spent the rest of their afternoon horsing around on their brooms, the ice finally broken.

That night, a soft knock on the door brought Charlie out of his letter-writing daze. He opened the door to find Dominique wrapped in a blanket, clutching a mug of some sort of beverage, with an apprehensive look on her face. “Can I come in?”

Charlie ushered her in and shut the door behind them. “Everything alright?” He asked, feeling the same air of protectiveness for her that he felt about Ginny.

“Just didn’t want to be alone.” She seemed embarrassed.

Charlie put an arm around her understandingly, and she leaned in, resting her head on his tanned chest. The two sat on the bed in silence for what could have been hours, just enjoying the quiet and the company of a fellow dragon keeper.

Her breathing gradually got heavier though, and when Charlie and his thoughts came back to reality, he noticed that she had fallen asleep on his chest. He slowly moved her off of himself and on to the bed, careful not to wake her. Then he grabbed the quilt that was folded on the foot of his bed, and went outside to sit on the grassy knoll and think some more.

~

Charlie woke up outside on his quilt to a frantic Alex shaking him. “Weasley, she’s gone.”

“Huh? Wazzaaa?” He mumbled sleepily, with no idea what his boss was talking about.

“Dominique’s gone.”

Charlie’s eyes opened at that. “What do you mean?” Sleep and confusion overwhelmed him, but he tried to keep a level head.

“She’s not in her cabin.  I don’t know where else she could be.” Alex swore in Romanian.

“Check my bed” Charlie said sleepily. Then he turned over and went back to sleep. 

“What would she be do-“ He scowled as he noticed that Charlie had gone back to sleep. Damn Brit.” Alex then opened the door to Charlie’s cabin, to find a petite blonde curled up on the bed, in a light blue blanket bearing the Beauxbaton’s crest. He breathed a sigh of relief. That was enough to startle her. He had forgotten how light of a sleeper she was.

“Alex? The hell is going on?” She asked softly, as she rubbed her eyes.

“Nothing, Nikki. Go back to sleep. “Alex realized he sounded more impatient than he meant to. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. I came by your cabin and didn’t know where you were and panicked.”

“S’ok. What time is it?” It was dark outside, and she couldn’t understand why Alex was in Charlie’s cabin. Where was Charlie anyways? She was too sleepy to voice any of the thoughts running through her head.

“A little past midnight. Sorry I woke you up. “

She sat up and rubbed her eyes. “What happened? Why were you looking for me?” Her slight accent crept into her voice, a testimony to her years of schooling in the south of France.

“I missed you, love.” He said rather tenderly.

She stared at him with large green eyes, surprised. “We can’t do this, Alex. We promised it’d be different this time.” There was a pleading note in her voice.

He stared at the rug. “I know. But that doesn’t make this any easier.”

“You’re my best friend, Alex. We’ve grown up together. When Ave and Vik decided to pursue quidditch, we chose to chase dragons and our dreams instead.” She said softly.

“Those were good days though, Nikki. Traveling with our parents, meeting up at matches. Sneaking around together, hiding from your brothers. Those were good times. Being a quidditch brat was so much easier than all of this.” He reminisced softly, more to himself than to her.

“Yes, but it got tiring after a while. You know it just as well as I do. The match-fixing, the drama, the sordid affairs with clingy fans, the tears, the alcoholism. There’s a reason they sent us all off to schools away from it all.” She ignored the part about the two of them, and he knew it. She knew he was trying to see the bright side to their past, but that didn’t make it any better. The life of an international quidditch player was difficult, and it was even harder on their families. The two of them had spent a considerable amount of time together during quidditch seasons, as Alex’s mother and Dominique’s father played against one another, only to decide it wasn't the life for them.

A/N: love it? hate it? please let me know what you think!


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