“Prenez garde du dragon.”
“Would you slow down?” Hermione asked the man in aggravation. “Harry, what does prenez mean?”
Harry flipped through the small French-English dictionary Hermione had forced him to carry but shrugged. “I can’t find it. How do you think it’s spelled?”
“P-r-e-n-e-z, I’d think,” she said thoughtfully. “I know dragon, of course, but the rest of it isn’t familiar.”
“Enfants idiots!” the man declared rudely before walking away.
“Well, I never!” Hermione glared at his retreating back and impulsively stuck her tongue out at him. “He called his stupid children. Or maybe it was foolish? Regardless, that was just rude and uncalled for. I don’t like France.”
“Is this a good time to remind you that I wanted to stay at home in bed?” Harry shut the dictionary and smiled rather smugly. “But you were all ‘Oh, Harry! We can’t spend our honeymoon in bed like normal people who want to shag. No, we should go tour old crumbling buildings that smell funny and deal with hostile old men that call us stupid.’ and now here we are: lost and in the middle of no bloody where.”
“Don’t curse,” she scolded as she took the dictionary from him. “Harry, what part of the dictionary were you checking?”
“The front,” he said promptly.
“That’s the English side,” she muttered and rolled her eyes before finding the French section. “Prenez. Prenez. Oh, here it is. Beware.”
“Beware dragon?” Harry repeated with a frown. “That doesn’t make any sense.”
Hermione looked up and stared over Harry’s shoulder. “Uh, Harry.”
“Is it the name of that village we saw across the hill? Because, if it is, that’s a really stupid name.”
“What?” He turned to look where she was pointing and quickly stepped back to protect her. “Stay behind me, Hermione.”
“My hero,” she said dryly before she kissed his cheek. “It’s okay, Harry. It’s a Swiss Rivernia, I think. See the gold on it’s belly? I think that’s the new breed Charlie was talking about during the holidays. If so, it won’t hurt us.”
“You said you think,” Harry reminded her. “That means you don’t know for sure. Either way, I think now is a good time to just forget about sightseeing and go back to the hotel.”
“I don’t know.” Hermione looked at the dragon and began to jot down characteristics. “If it’s not a Swiss Rivernia then it must be something new because I don’t recognize it from Care of Magical Creatures when we studied dragons. It’s rather beautiful.”
Harry shook his head. “You’re unbelievable,” he said with a large smile. Before she could object, he pulled her against him and apparated them out of the potential of harm’s way and back to the safety of their room.
“Harry! I was trying to get notes on the---”
Any arguments she had were caught by his lips as he kissed her thoroughly. She wiggled just enough so he’d know she had objections to his behavior before she dropped the parchment and quill and tangled her fingers in his hair.
Originally Published: August 25, 2005
“Prenez garde du dragon.”