Dragons weren't easy to take care of.
They were imposing, traces of ancient gods written in between their scales. Their rumbling chests were always a warning, a reminder to never let one's guard down. Fire was instantaneous. Tammuz still wasn't sure how he'd be able to take care of them so soon, one year left at Hogwarts before the pens would be his to manage and no longer just his mother's. For the first time ever he wouldn't be celebrating Christmas with his sisters, a not so friendly wakeup call that the path of a heir was one to be walked alone. His mother had insisted her son wouldn't just spend Summers in Iraq anymore; it was time to get used to the dragons more than just over the course of a few months. Two months out of twelve just simply wouldn't be enough to build a future on. Yet Tammuz would always glace up at the mythical beast, and back to his coal stained hands....and wonder how all that power would even fit in his palm.
His hands were made for smaller opportunities, if only he decided to let go of his art and just reach out. His father often spoke of missed moments, of a future so bright Tammy couldn't quite see through the blinding light what exactly was waiting for him. Instead his copper eyes preferred to look down, stay with his feet grounded on earth. It was where he saw the world in the now, not the weird and wobbly future of uncertainty. There were N.E.W.T.S. to conquer first, like a dance he hadn't learned all the steps to yet but still had to join in with. The now didn't quite feature scary educational expectations just yet, nor those of either of his parents. The now had Ninlil, to whom he could sneak art supplies during dinner. It had Ina and the six pages in his sketchbook full of tattoo designs for her to choose from. More importantly, it had Shion, who hadn't shown up at the Ravenclaw table at noon.
Tammuz hadn't been aware how unconsciously he had been looking for his friend during lunch until the other was nowhere to be found. The spot next to the seventh year remained vacant, his eyes darting towards the big oak door ever so often in between bites of his sandwich and Ina talking about boys. Not that Shion's absence was a mystery, far from it. Tammuz was aware the other Ravenclaw had a habit of huddling in uncrowded corners where the pit in his stomach would just drag him further into the shadows. It wasn't a -let's get you to the hospital wing- kind of fix, and by now Tammuz had learned to handle it the same way he handled every unknown batch of personality that came with new dragon nests. Cautious steps, and hands that never betrayed a sense of fear.
So maybe he'd rushed through his meal faster than usual, the contents of his plate heavy on his stomach as his hands gathered up every bit of drawing utensils and stored them back into the leather satchel. Together with a ham sandwich, if he had to be perfectly honest. Kisses and the goodbye hug with his twin had been swift, more than he would've liked to admit, with fleeting touches rather than a grounded feeling against his skin. Then again, so were his hurried steps through the halls. His feet knew where they were supposed to go by now, and there were no endless amounts of stairs holding him back from his destination. There was only the cold breeze through the castle as Tammuz ran, hand securely protecting his bag.
Upon opening the door to the theatre, the place sounded deserted. Nobody seemed to be playing any music as only the creaking echo of the opened door bounced back into Tammy's face. By now, however, the boy had learned to look around until he would find his friend crouched against one wall or another.
Once again, his instincts hadn't been wrong.
Shion looked more like a shadow of a person, like his charcoal drawings where most of the parchment's colours were pushed towards the background. Tammuz sighed, in relief as well as compassion, shoulders dropping visibly. With a few careful strides and his steps echoing against the theatre walls, the Ravenclaw made his way over to his friend and cautiously dropped himself next to him. The bangles on his wrists sounded too loud, a crisp and clear noise for a situation that didn't exactly called for such a mood. Nevertheless, Tammuz ignored it like a background tune to his own life, and took out his sketchbook. The piece of charcoal was already in his grip with a familiar weight as he nudged Shion's shoulder with his own in greeting. "Did you know it's snowing already?" He mused out loud, angling for the food in his bag with the other hand before handing it to Shion.
"You should at least eat some."
The sandwich was left in between their two figures, an option rather than an obligation.
At least friends were easier to take care of, sorta.