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Chapter 1 : Newt Scamander
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His mind shifted to a memory two weeks ago in which he sat in front a large mahogany desk across from his manager, Jack Nichols. “This is a particularly tough creature to catch, Newt,” Nichols had said, rubbing his meaty palms together. “But it’ll bring us a lot of publicity and like I always say-”
“Publicity means more funding for my outrageous expeditions,” Newt droned, finishing a sentence he had heard countless times before. “I know that, but how on earth do you expect me to find the Dragons of Dawn? They are practically fairytale material!”
It was true. The Dragons of Dawn were characters from a famous Wizarding legend, sighted by a poor Japanese farmer a very long time ago.These dragons were responsible for the rising and setting of the sun everyday and they were never sighted at any other time but dawn. Apparently they travelled with the sun around the earth. However, Newt was rather skeptical of that theory. Even the muggles knew that it was the earth that travelled around the sun and not the other way around. Anyhow, the Dragons of Dawn were considered terrifying beasts with their extraordinary fire breathing ability. They were considered far worse than even the Norwegian Ridgebacks and that was certainly saying something. No one in their right minds would want to see one, never mind seek one.
Then again, Newt Scamander was never in the rightest of minds. He was currently trekking Mount Fuji in Japan, the land of the rising sun. It was five o’ clock in the morning and he was slowly starting to lose hope. The hand clutching his wooden stick was trembling and the biting wind had nothing to do with it. He had been walking for four hours and the soles of his feet were beginning to throb. A familiar growl emanated from his stomach, a not-so-friendly reminder that his body was starving. He hadn’t eaten anything since dinner last night. He thrust a hand into his tattered knapsack and pulled out a packet of lemon drops. He’d taken a penchant for lemon drops during one of his journeys and they soon became his staple food during any expedition. He marched up the hills, letting the sour taste sting his tongue. They may be useless in all other aspects but muggles sure knew how to make candy, Newt thought.
He pulled out a well creased parchment out of his pocket. The Dragon Trainers in Bulgaria had kindly drawn a rough sketch of a Dragon of Dawn based on the legends they had heard. The result was a golden scaled beast with talons of ruby, eyes of smoldering steel and tail as long as a fully grown man. This picture made Newt’s apprehension about the mission return.
Newt could hear his mother’s condescending tone in his mind. You are wasting your time with all of this nonsense, dear! Why don’t you accept the job offer at the International Office of Magical Law? Your sister works there and she’s extremely happy. Don’t you start about the black circles under her eyes. She says that she likes the extra work. If you would only sit down for a moment and think about where your life is going...
Newt tried not to think. It interfered with him being nuts. He shoved all background thoughts out of his mind and focused on the problem at hand. He was supposed to find a dragon that no one had seen in a million years. This was going to be a piece of pumpkin pasty. Not. He couldn’t exactly yell Accio Dragon! and find it zooming towards him, could he?
He tried to weigh his options. He could either keep walking until his legs fell off or he could apparate back home and have his mother say ‘I told you so’. Newt decided to keep walking. He stuck his hand into the packet of lemon drops and found, much to his dismay, that it was empty. That was strange, he was sure that the packet was half full just a minute ago. Turning the packet around, he found a gaping hole. Drat, he mentally grumbled, all the them must have fallen out. He whipped around expecting to find a trail of yellow sweets only to find something much more surprising. His dark eyebrows shot up.
Standing in the snow was a lizard like figure, gleaming gold in the first rays of sunlight. Eyes of onyx, talons of ruby and barely reached Newt’s knee. Was it possible? Had he actually found a Dragon of Dawn. Newts shut his eyes for the briefest of moments and when he reopened them, the dragon was still there. Clearly the hours of walking hadn’t driven him to insanity. The dragon was really there!
The dragon was only a baby. Its glittering wings hadn’t even opened fully yet. Its jaw moved rapidly and Newt noticed that it was eating something. Lemon drops. His lemon drops.
“So you like the candy, eh?” he whispered.
The dragon stopped chewing and stared at him with its impossibly dark eyes. It swallowed the candy and for a split second nothing happened. Then the dragon gave an enormous burp and before Newt could react, it had spewed a ball of light zooming in his direction. The last thing that registered in Newt’s mind was to never feed a dragon candy before the light hit him straight in the chest. Then he blacked out.
When Newt finally came to his senses, two hours had passed. It was seven in the morning and the sun had fully risen in the sky. The baby dragon was nowhere to be seen. According to the legends, the Dragons of Dawn disappeared once dawn was over. Newt mentally cursed that he would have to wait a whole day to see the dragon again. Never mind, he thought, it gave him time to think of a plan to catch it.
Early next morning, Newt Scamander walked to the same location where he saw the dragon, carrying two large packets of lemon drops. He empty the packets into the snow, hid under a shelf of ice and waited.
Five minutes passed. Then fifteen. Half an hour passed. Still no sign of the dragon. Newt was beginning to get worried. What if the dragon wasn’t going to show up? All his plans would be ruined. He could picture Jack Nichols’ fuming expression like a bull behind a red rag. Newt joined his palms, closed his eyes and muttered a silent prayer to the heavens that the baby dragon would have a craving for lemon drops that morning.
A rustle in the snow caused Newt’s grey eyes to spring open. The baby dragon had arrived! It looked left and right as if expecting Newt to be walking around nearby. When it decided that the place uninhabited, it settle down for a large feast, gobbling the sweets at a rate Newt had never witnessed before. This is the craziest plan I have ever created, Newt silently laughed . At least so far, he added as an afterthought.
The dragon had finished the sweets and its eyelids had started to droop. The plan was coming into action. Unbeknownst to the dragon, Newt had soaked those sweets in Sleeping Potion all night. The dragon would be knocked out for half an hour or so. Newt needed to act quickly if he was to take the dragon back home with him. He scrambled towards the sleeping dragon, clutching a tiny fireproof cage that he had managed to stuff into his knapsack. Thank the heavens for undetectable extension charms.
Scooping the baby dragon in his arms, Newt was about to shove it into the cage when something stopped him. He stared at the dragon for awhile as it snored peacefully, oblivious to what fate had in store for it. This dragon was going to be miserable in England and Newt hated creatures being mistreated in anyway. Then why exactly was he doing this?
The baby dragon turned over in its sleep, radiating a golden glow. It must have a mother nearby, Newt thought. What would the mother do when it realizes that it’s baby was gone? Wouldn’t it be devastated?
Newt invariably thought of his own mother who was widowed ten years ago. With Newt’s sister off in France with her taxing job, Newt was his mother’s only form of family left. As much as she chastised his wanderings, Newt knew his mother would want him to do anything to make him happy even if it meant leaving her all alone. She wanted him to make good decisions, do good things and if she saw what he was doing at the moment, she would be so upset. Not because he was trekking Mount Fuji in search of a wild creature but because he was taking the innocent little thing away from its friends, family and creating for it a new life it neither wanted nor needed.
Hot shame welled up in the pit of Newt’s stomach. He gently placed the baby dragon into the snow and stuffed the cage back into his knapsack. He stared at the baby dragon one last time, admired it’s innocent beauty and began to walk away. The voice of Jack Nichols screamed in his mind, What about the publicity! What are you doing letting this creature slip through your fingers?
Publicity could wait. Somethings were better off left alone, in peace. Newt grinned at how light his heart felt and hummed a small melody. He was in the mood to make good decisions that his mother approved of. The minute he stepped into England, he was going to fire his manager.
A.N- Anything that you recognize does not belong to me. This is a little story written for the two awesome challenges I entered whose names are in the story summary. If the creators of the challenges are reading this, thank you guys for giving me the opportunity to write this. I had a great time working on the story! I also wrote this story for my mother who, although I hate to admit it, is always right and always knows what's best for me. Love you mum!
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