The thing about being a dragon tamer, is that they are usually anywhere between ten to a hundred times your size, you can’t actually physically control them.
See, that’s why Charlie liked being a dragon pediatrician -because there’s no other word for a dragon tamer who specializes in baby dragons- is that babies are so small. He knows fully well how to put one in time out without them holding a grudge, and he quite liked the way they were so tactile with people they liked. Not only that, but they’re small, and easy to handle if they throw a tantrum and get dangerous.
See, with the big ones, they rarely get pissy. Their hormones are balanced out, and they’re usually pretty chill about things, but occasionally, you get one that acts like an asshole for some reason or another.
Charlie hadn’t been a doctor right away when he’d come to the sanctuary. He’d been working in the main part of the sanctuary, taking classes with the other doctors so he could eventually work to help the little ones, but he’d started off his actual job the same way that the other tamers had; being a blunt force of padding between angry adult dragons and the rest of the world.
There were safeguards in place of course. A dragon showing malicious intent -because that does show up as an active part of your brain, so whoever says that science isn’t important to magic, is an idiot and doesn’t realize how many times science has saved them from magic- cannot leave the bounds of the sanctuary, and the few times some had slipped past, they were quickly followed and subdued.
That had been Charlie’s job when he’d first gotten here. He was one of the last lines of defense against an angry dragon who’s determined to send a town to rubble, and the innocent civilians that lived there. Of course, dragons weren’t inherently evil, but just like humans, they could go evil, or they could lose their mind.
Charlie has been burnt, bitten, nearly had limbs ripped off, and much more, and much worse in this line of duty. He now has the highest pain tolerance out of every one of his family members.
He wouldn’t trade this job for anything. He loves it more than anything he’s ever done before it, and he wouldn’t trade any of the horrible experiences he’s had with it just so he could spare himself the pain of the bad ones, because that’s how much he loved it. He loves his work with the littuns more, but he found a fondness in remembering what it was like to work with something so big it could breath hard and send you on your ass with the wind of it.
So, of course, when he heard over the radio -well, it wasn’t really a radio, since it needed to be able to project over the area of an entire small country- that there was an angry dragon attempting to leave the boundaries less than half a mile away, Charlie decided now was a good time to test his latest theory about them.
“He doesn’t look so happy, Charlie.”
Charlie let out a painful gust of air, having been jerked about a foot ahead from the rope attached to the storming earth dragon, and nearly upended when the ground underneath him shifted painfully, nearly twisting his left ankle. “Harry, that’s not helping.”
The ropes were magically enforced, and there were very few dragons who were known to be able to actually break the charms on them, and Charlie was damn near rooted into the ground by the charms in his boots and clothes, but he could feel his arms straining against the thick rope he tried to hold down. Earth dragons were not very big as a general rule, but they were strong, and controlled the very ground beneath you. If one were angry enough, they could break a hole into the ground below you, and close it back up to trap you.
Their fire was hot enough to melt metal and reshape rock.
“Try and talk to him!”
Harry nodded, stepping out of the shadows of the trees with a grimace on his face. He wasn’t afraid of the dragon itself, but he did get rather nervous around angry creatures. Anger was a dangerous thing.
He hissed up at the dragon, soothing words… that had absolutely no effect that was helpful in this situation. In fact, they made things worse.
The dragon’s head snapped in their direction, eyes narrowing on Harry’s form, standing there with wary eyes and a defenceless form that would be so easy to crush. Charlie watched in dawning horror as the beast roared upwards, taking in a lungfull of air, underbelly heating up through it’s scales like hot coals. “Harry, run, now!”
Harry did as he was told, because the idea of being burnt to a crisp was not one that appealed to him in the slightest, but feeling a deep dread in his chest at leaving Charlie behind. Charlie had magically infused clothes, he was almost entirely fire resistant at this point. It wouldn’t kill him at least.
Harry hoped that whatever happened, Charlie would walk out of this with a pulse and a chance of it staying.
They were in the main medical center for humans in the sanctuary. It was bigger than the medical sanctuary for the rest of the country, but that was to be expected, since they saw more patients than that one did anyways. They did have the countries -and possibly, all of Europe’s- best burn ward though, and that was open to both countrywide patients, and any patient that happened to stumble in from somewhere else.
That’s where they were now.
Harry sat down on the edge of Charlie’s bed, eyes pulled together. “I guess, that didn’t work out like you planned it to, did it?”
Charlie let out a snort. “No, I’ll admit it didn’t, but that’s a big part of dragon taming and understanding. Figuring out what works, and dealing with the burns when it doesn’t.”
Harry cringed. Charlie’s right side was pretty banged up right now, the entire arm covered in slowly healing burn marks and bandages. The doctor had said this didn’t even rank on the top hundred list of bad burns she’d seen, so Harry was suddenly really glad he wasn’t a doctor, because when they first brought Charlie in, it had been really gross. It looked fine now though, just a massive amount of scarring and inability to move the arm without pain right now.
“Don’t be.” Charlie cut him off. “It wasn’t your gamble, it was mine. I knew the risks, and I took it anyways. Not the first time this has happened to me, I doubt it’ll be the last. I’m glad you’re safe.”
Harry sighed, nodding. “Yeah, I’m still sad you got hurt at all though.”
“But it wasn’t your fault.”
Harry nodded, “Still sad though.”
Charlie hummed a little, leaning his head back against the pillows on the bed. He was free to leave, but he really didn’t want to get up right now, this bed was way too soft, and it was a double size bed, so he lifted up his left arm, motioning for Harry to come in for snuggles. Harry did, plastering himself to Charlie’s good side with a quiet sigh.
“They said it’ll take a week at least to heal. Why’s that?”
Charlie hummed again, a noise he made a lot when he was tired. He was beyond tired with the painkillers they’d given him, and he wanted to go to sleep. The sanctuary was amazing in terms of medical insurance, he didn’t pay anything for this visit, he could stay till morning. Not like he’ll be awake anyways. “Dragon magic is painful, and dangerous. It won’t hurt me, but it’s gotta work it’s way out of my system before I’ll fully heal.”
Harry nodded against him, shifting so he was in a comfortable position to sleep in. “Oh.”
Charlie drifted off before Harry could say anything else. Harry was quick to follow after that, his own painkillers from a recently healed ankle bone kicking in and making him exhausted.
When Harry next opened his eyes, he found that he was staring at a pair of big brown k9 eyes. He startled a little, sitting up slowly in the bed. Behind Padfoot, was Bill, sitting on a chair there with a magazine open on his lap. He had a hand buried in Padfoot’s fur and slowly looked up from the article he’d been reading. “You’re awake.”
Harry squinted at the blurry lines in the room without his contacts on. He spent most of his days off wearing his glasses, but glasses were rather dangerous in the field. He had taken off the contacts the night before and everything was a blur now, making him squint.
“What are you guys doing here?”
Bill’s eyebrows went up. “I’ve pretty much always been listed as Charlie’s medical proxy, I get called whenever he gets admitted. It’s our way of keeping Mum from worrying when one of us gets a scrape on the knee.”
Harry’s own eyebrows went up. “Half your body burned is a scrape on the knee?”
Padfoot let out an upset whine, and Bill gently soothed him with a hand scratching behind his ears. “Well, I’ll admit, that’s pretty bad, but we’ve both seen worse.”
Harry nodded, getting off the bed and onto unsteady feet. His ankle was throbbing something bad, and he was going to ask a nurse for something to dull the pain after a stop to the bathroom, blurry vision be damned, and then get right back into bed with Charlie to sleep for longer.
When he got back, Remus and Fleur were there as well, and a small grey blur flew out of Remus’ hands and right at Harry’s head, making a medley of concerned cooing and chirping noises while she barreled into Harry’s chest, making the human wince while getting back into bed.
“She was freaking out when we came through the floo. Wouldn’t let us leave the house without her.”
Harry nodded tiredly at Remus, pushing back under the covers into the bed next to Charlie, who still had not woken up, letting Sweetheart cautiously stepped off of her littlest master’s hand so she could carefully inspect the bandages on Charlie’s right side before coming back to Harry’s arms with a concerned chirp. “He’s fine, Sweets. Just needs to heal.”
She let out a little dragon sigh curling up against his chest for a nap. She hasn’t slept much recently.
Harry and Charlie were left alone after the third day, when Charlie had mostly regained use of his right side, but it’d still be a week before he was cleared to go back to his work. Harry was taking most of the time off with him.
“What’s wrong, pet?”
Harry frowned, setting the tray of food on Charlie’s bedside table. The painkillers were making him tired, so he’d only been awake for a little bit now. “Nothing.”
Charlie raised an eyebrow, “Did I stutter? I asked you a question, and ‘nothing’ is not the answer I’m looking for.”
Harry sighed a little, “It’s stupid. I just… I miss you being… up and around, I guess.”
Charlie hummed a little, setting the book he’d been reading aside. “You know what I think? I think you miss playing, since we haven’t done any of that lately with being out so much, and me getting hurt. I think you miss being my little dragon, don’t you?”
Harry felt his cheeks heat up, and moved onto the bed so he could snuggle into Charlie’s side. “Little bit.”
Charlie kissed him on the head, pulling him closer into his side. “Well, I don’t see any reason why you can’t be my good little pet right now. You wanna come play?”
Harry made a sweet, cubish noise, burrowing further into his side. He liked playing, but he needed snuggles right now. “Snuggles right now.”
Charlie nodded, “You know, little one, nestlings get cuddles too, and they get pets and treats.”
Charlie knew that it would be best for Harry to get into headspace right now, since he was a nervous little thing at the moment.
Harry got off the bed, going into his own room through the adjoining door so he could grab some stuff. When he came back, he was wearing something that more closely resembled what he usually wore when he was playing with Charlie, which was barely anything, and made Charlie feel more than interested, before yanking his head back out of the gutter, because playtime was not grown up touching time. Which was rare… and it had been far too long since they’d done that either.
He held out his arms for the boy, and found Harry almost immediately burrowing into his chest, making little cubish noises again. Charlie cooed down at him, rubbing his back while Harry got comfortable.
They’d be fine.
Even with a mostly lowered strength, Charlie still knew how to keep his boy in line.
“But I want it.”
“You cannot have it.”
Harry let out a whining noise, and Charlie sighed, locking the gold trinket into his top desk drawer before turning back around to see the whining man pouting at him from the couch. He reached down and caught Harry’s chin, forcing him to look up at him. “Look at me, good boy, when I say ‘no’, that means…?”
Harry pouted, “Means no.”
“Good boy. Besides, I have something much prettier for you right now.” He came around and sat next to the boy, who flopped over Charlie like he was the best seat around, with a little growly noise in the back of his throat. Charlie didn’t reprimand him, knowing that Harry liked pouting sometimes.
He reached into a bag on the coffee table and pulled out a black velvet box, which Harry immediately started at. It was way too big for a ring though, and Charlie waited till he had the sub’s full attention before opening it up. There was a short, gold collar sitting there, with a big D ring in the same metal at the front.
“I know, we’ve talked about this a little before, but I think that I would love it, if you could wear my collar, pet.”
Harry sat up, giving Charlie a funny look, a hand on either of Charlie’s shoulders so he could look him in the eye. Finally, he smiled, nodding, too emotional to actually say anything, and let the redhead clip it on him before making sure it wasn’t too tight. “Thank you.”
Charlie pulled him in, pressing a short dry kiss to Harry’s lips before pulling back with a smile, “Any time, little one.”