“Out of the way, you little dork!”
WHUMP! With an intentional elbow into the chest, Hector Hisserin was sent tumbling down to the ground, with only the long, spiny fin upon his elongated neck to break his fall.
The pain of his spines being bent the wrong way was unimaginable, but Hector refused to open his mouth and cry out in the anguish he truly felt. Like a deadly potion corked up inside of a beaker, Hector always kept his anger bottled up inside, no matter how many times his mother and father advised him against such an act.
They really thought they knew what was best for him, and perhaps, they did…but that didn’t matter to Hector.
“Just try being nicer to the other kids at your school. I’m sure that once you come into your own, all of the other dragons will really like and respect you!”
“Feh. That’s such a typical mom answer,” Hector would reply, having gone through the same speech on the way to school almost every day for the better part of his adolescence.
The dragons of old, decrepit myth were massive, winged beasts that ruled the skies, and even the most powerful wizards of legend feared their presence. Their scales were thick and nigh impervious to even the strongest of magic, and within the pit of their bellies, a mixture of devilish fluids produced flames, which they bellowed from open muzzles, burning anything that they considered a target.
Like many great stories, however, the sources were muddled throughout the ages, and those great dragons of yore dwindled down into something a little less impressive.
Hector was forced to go to school with such creatures, although they were a much better representation of the olden dragons. Tall, thick brutes that were riddled with muscles, the dragons of the modern age still terrorized others with their superior strength and short tempers, but poor Hector never quite developed into the body that he was promised. He was short, thin and downright scrawny, leaving him to be not only the punching bag for other dragons, but the butt of the joke for all other species, as well.
Outside of school, things were even worse for poor Hector. He spent most of his time in the library, collecting books on the magic arts, convinced that there was a way to change his lot in life. Spells concerning time and reality were always dangerous, and his mother, in her overbearing ways, tried to convince him to take a calm, realistic path in life.
“You’re such a brilliant young man, Hector,” she praised him, as he came home from the library one afternoon. She never even looked to the door to see the way that his scales were roughed up with dirt, or the fact that one of his eyes, normally carrying a pit of dark amber within, was almost swollen shut. “You’d make a wonderful teacher, if you just dedicated yourself to it!”
“They cannot be taught, mother,” he replied, speaking in a manner that was above his age, at the time. “And they do not deserve to be.”
As was often the case, Melinda Hisserin turned to see her son beaten to a pulp and holding a small stack of books and potions; it was simply the cost of his efforts, as the world still feared dragons, but for the most part, they couldn’t do anything about the larger ones, who still dominated every other species physically.
Poor Hector was paying for the sins of his own brethren, past and present. The warm, paternal embrace of his mother’s arms was the only thing that kept him going through the week, and as weeks went by, even a mother’s love wasn’t enough to keep Hector from straying down a path of darkness.
Even once he was fully grown, Hector stood shorter than her, and much shorter than his beastly father, who rejected his son for his utter weakness. Dragons were born to be supremely powerful, and in that regard, Hector was a complete failure. His mother always believed that he had a special talent hiding within the weak, scrawny form of his scales, but without the proper catalyst, she worried that he would never find it, and end up wasting away, killed by his own hatred for the world.
Through perhaps the darkest of miracles, Hector avoided such a fate.
In their physical superiority, dragons lacked one skill: They were completely inept at magic. Even the most talented dragons could do little more than light a candle or make an object levitate, and their ability to breathe fire and fly made both such spells seem entirely pointless. Even from his youth, however, Hector fancied at the wizards of old and worshiped them, drawing further ire from his own kind, and isolating him as he came into his own, as an adult.
With no job prospects, and a regrettable life of pain and misery, Hector eventually set out on his own, and found that the world had little use for him. He took his books, scrolls and potions with him, and ended up living in a shack, scarcely little than the closet at his parents old home.
Desperate, beaten down by life and bordering on insanity, Hector tried every combination of chemicals that he could imagine. When he made his way through the recipes that existed in the books he found, he began trying his own combinations, much to his own peril.
Some nights, his windows sat open as smoke poured out of them from a faulty mixture, and others, he spent the evening wandering out in the wilderness, put into a drunken haze by accidentally making a fermentation spell. He’d been every shape and size, save for the large, powerful dragon he dreamed himself to be, and as he came to the last of his monetary resources, he sat in a shack riddled with holes and damage, wondering if this was to be the end of his days.
His cold, black heart was perhaps to blame for his wicked ways, but Hector still pointed his claws at every other source in his life, believing that his soul was tarnished in darkness by those who provided it, rather than his own actions. As he began mixing a potent set of chemicals, he kept a tight grip on that hatred, and chanted a spell under what he thought to be his dying breaths.
“From darkness great and untold peril, to every creature wise and feral, I chant this banished incantation, my enemy’s fate…INCINERATION!”
The power of dragon’s fire couldn’t be understated. From their open maws, a river of flame could pour and devour a target in seconds, leaving little more than ashes behind.
Their powers paled in comparison to what came next.
Anyone would have called Hector a fool for drinking the mixture he made. In his haste, he wasn’t quite sure what he’d put into it, but he’d never forget what came out of it.
Bright, glowing energy swirled around his claws, and his scales began to glow as heat coursed through his body. He felt as though he was boiling from the inside, and as he cried out in agonizing pain, he was ready to accept his death.
Instead, the energy leapt from the ends of his claws and completely disintegrated the far wall of his humble home, and cast onward, burning a path right through the forest. The heat was so intense that it cooked through the oxygen in the atmosphere, leaving behind such blackened smolders that the fire never even had a chance to spread.
Hector was beside himself with a mixture of shock and elation. He looked down at his palm and saw that the energy was gone, but the charge that he felt from it never left his body. He didn’t know it at the time, but it was the feeling of magic filling his very being, and granting him a power greater than size or physical strength.
He was the first dragon with the power to use magic, and as he walked through the charred remains of the forest he once lived in, a wicked grin spread across his face.
“This power…should only be shared with those truly worthy,” he thought aloud, as he approached the old village that he lived in. The magical spell carved a path of destruction through it, and as people gathered to see what had happened, Hector stared down his nose at all of them. “And none among you are worthy…”
Even the proud, muscle-bound dragons who tormented Hector to such an end refused to stand in his way, as he followed his own path of destruction out into the countryside. Other dragons of meek and meager stature began legends anew, not of the proud and massive dragons who bullied their way through the skies, but of Hector Hisserin, the small, fragile dragon who discovered a power within that was greater than any physical strength.
He continued his research with potions, though unfortunately, to dark ends. Hatred and vengeance fueled his efforts to such an extreme that the legends of a dragon who could use magic spread across the land like wildfire, and those who came to seek him would be recruited into his house at Dogwarts, if he deemed them worthy.
Only those with the shadow of a troubled life could follow in the footsteps of the first dragon capable of magic, but in his teachings, he kept that shadow over them, believing that it would make them powerful…and, much to the chagrin of the other houses, it seemed that he was right.