502 502. Blood of the Dragon

[A/N: Put "Johnny Cash - Hurt" on repeat while reading this.]

The South China Sea, US 7th Fleet,

"General, there seems to be something wrong with the system,"

"There is nothing wrong, captain. Give me the key, these are direct orders from the president,"

...

Tibet,

"Commander, ready for your order,"

"Launch it, major."

...

Pakistan,

"General, all commanders are on standby,"

After taking a second at glancing at his watch, he noted, "Do it,"

...

France,

"We have the orders, press the button."

...

The United States,

"S-SIR! Multiple nations have launched their nukes, multiple are headed for us! The NORAD automatic response has been activated. Permission to allow the launch,"

"You have the permission. Send all of them out."

...

India, Israel, North Korea and a few more black-market nukes holders launched the missiles in one go. In an instant, one after another, more than 8 thousand nukes were launched. All aimed at random.

Back at Buckingham Palace, Magnus was alerted that multiple nukes were headed to London. Though no British nuke was launched since Magnus had an iron grip over everything, wizards were everywhere and Grindelwald didn't take any risk here.

Immediately, Magnus gathered his whole family to send them to Camelot. Clementia, Maximus and Athena were already in Camelot as they didn't work outside. Aurelia and his parents, along with his friends, were called.

"Quick, we don't have enough time. I will try to stop them but I don't want to take any chances. Grandma Martha, put the island on lockdown." He ordered.

"How did this happen?" Adam asked him, even his face looking frightened. After all, this could be the end of the world.

"Grindelwald, a mad wizard who had been working for four decades in secret," Magnus blurted.

Dumbledore, standing nearby, fell down, "H-He... that mad man, where is he?"

"Sweetie, get Ragnar to return. He's still out." Grace quickly requested.

Magnus' face fell in an instant. The unwavering will that he forced to come out vanished. How could he tell her about him, but he must, "H-He... mum... Ragnar. I talked to him and." He felt his mouth drying up, "Grindelwald was trying to lure me and hold me while he destroyed the world. Ragnar fought that wizard and killed him... but he didn't make it."

"No... no! This is not real." Grace stumbled back. Adam quickly caught her. Everyone's eyes teared up. This was too sudden.

Emma caressed Magnus' back, knowing he must be in much anguish, just not showing it for the sake of others. "What now? I want the truth."

Magnus gloomily glanced at her. His face made it clear nothing was right. In a soft voice, he whispered, "I don't think I will survive this, Emma. My dragon blood is mutating with the more magic I use. Half of my body has been mutated already. If I do this, I will completely turn into something I don't even know... I might just die,"

She didn't overreact or scream. Just a few drops of tears silently slid down her eyes, "Is there no other way?"

Magnus shook his head and looked at the sky. His staff appeared in his hand and he thumped it on the ground. Immediately, hundreds of iron spears from protector statues of Camelot shot towards a few clusters of Nukes in the sky far away. These clusters were easier to destroy as even one lucky hit would destroy the whole cluster.

"I don't want to die, Emma. I'm just 61. I'm still in my prime. But it's not my weakness and the nukes that are harmful to me, it's my own magic. Merlin told me before that there is always a price. If you laugh today and are getting lucky, someday you will cry and be unlucky." He answered while silently continuing to use his magic to do things without anybody knowing.

"I don't want you to leave," she sounded helpless. Even her armoured suit can't stop these bombs. Even if she detonated them in the sky, the heat will still raise the ground to ashes. "And you have not fulfilled your dream yet,"

He softly caressed her face and wiped away the tears, saying, "I have done 90% of the work. Getting rid of the nukes will be the remaining 5% and the rest will be a secret that none shall know. I have created a foundation for our world to move forward, for a few decades, my plans will still move without me. I have left behind thousands of litres of rejuvenation potions and elixirs. You, mum, dad, Athena, the triplets, Severus, his children and Bobby, you all can be immortal. You all are my insurance policies. I can go in peace knowing you are here."

He felt a slight tingle on his neck. The mutation had started. "I don't have much time, Emma. Just know this, I love you. Thank you for making my life amazing. Tell Athena, I am sorry for not understanding her, but I love her as much as you.

"Ragnar died to keep his vow to protect the family. I can't let his death go to waste now. I honestly consider being able to have such amazing family and friends my true blessing. This inheritance, this power, this blood of the dragon, it's actually a curse."

He silently placed the last kiss on her lips. She looked at his face from close and noticed blood coming out of his nose, skin pores and the veins in his eyes going red. Uncontrolled tears fell, she asked, "How long have you been in pain?"

"Since the day we became Animagus in our fifth year. That was the start, pushing my physical body to morph into a dragon was my biggest mistake. People always call me lucky, blessed and whatnot. A man, a character in this world with whom nothing goes wrong. I say to them, what worse can happen than my death sentence being written at the age of 15. And knowing it when I had started to dream about living forever with my family.

"Ugh... I need to go, Emma. Take care. Mum is going to be devastated. Please take care of her. I have left behind a specially created memory strand for each of you, used the pensieve. I love you, goodbye," His body started to flow away slowly, going up and up. Emma tried to hold onto him, reaching her hand out, but he shook his head.

"M-Magnus... I love you too. I hope there is a heaven or hell, wherever you are, let's meet again." She voiced, a bit louder.

This caught others' attention. Magnus shook his head slightly towards his father. Adam understood all there was to. His body felt weak at that moment, as if he aged in an instant. For parents to see their child die before them was a curse no one wished on even their enemies. "I am proud to be you father, son. I love you,"

"W-What do you mean? Magnus? Where are you going?" Grace looked up finally. For any mother, to lose two sons in a day would be heartbreaking.

"Someone has to stop them, mum. Don't cry, I've been fighting ever since I got magic anyway. Going off while doing the same is better than old age to me. I love you, thanks for being an awesome mum." He flew away quicker now. He knew he couldn't see Grace calling his name anymore.

He gave a silent nod to Severus and Bobby, talking them in his head, "I'll leave things up to you now. Athena will be taking the throne. She is powerful and has no flaws like me. Support her where you can, correct her when she's wrong. Take care of yourself, brothers,"

He next glanced at Ted, Adrian, Edgar and Tom. He told them mentally too, "You four are the four horsemen of my chariot. I was only giving the direction for you to work. It's time for you four to take the command. I have laid down the framework for the future, just work on it."

~Ugh... it's damn painful,~ he cursed silently.

Once he reached a thousand feet in the dark cloudy sky. He opened his arms wide, the staff still in his hand. He let all his magic out and pulled each Nuke missile from around the world to himself. Blood started to flow out of his pores even more. His hair started to fall, the right side of his face became numb.

He looked at the city. World War II-era raid sirens were screaming all around. People were rushing to take shelter. He knew that if any of the nukes detonated here, no shelter would be enough.

~So strange is my destiny, I grew this planet like a beloved tree, and I can't be here to taste the fruit now that it's grown up.~

He took the last glance at the ground, he could see his family looking up in horror. Multiple rockets were headed for him. Soon, Magnus felt his right eye's vision changing, everything started to turn more colourful, sharper and he could see much further.

"So this is how Duck sees things. Poor boy, he'd be so sad when he finds out." Magnus realised that half of his face had mutated already. And it was about time he faced the fire.

"Goodbye,"

*BOOM*

The first nuke collided with an invisible shield, its own blast made all other nukes surrounding it explode. Each of the eight thousand nukes that came first or later, all started to blast on his back one after another.

It created a spectacular show of light and fire in the sky, a giant ball of fire was visible to all, as if the sun had fallen on Earth. As far as one could see, there was fire in the sky, going well beyond the city of London.

Some people prayed, some cried. Women held their babies in their arms, covering them from the light, hoping for the fire to not take the little one's life. It was wishful thinking, if the nukes touched them, not just them but the ground under would also melt. That was for a single one, let alone eight thousand.

In the sky, no one knew that their king was fighting, giving away his dear life. Holding the last line that protected the people of the world. Magnus stood strong, no matter what.

The pain was unbearable, but even that became a second thought, the first one was to not die before he saves his loved ones. His body mutated at an increased pace, each second another inch of his skin would turn scaly as if a golden dragon's.

His humanly screams slowly turned into a monstrous roar. "RAAAAA!" The dragon boomed in the sky, louder than the nuke's fiery cry. The blood of the dragon against the muggle fire. Which was stronger, which could hold on for longer.

Magnus started to lose consciousness. His mind slowly surrendered to his monstrous instincts to flee the danger. But he pushed, now it was also a fight of mind.

The instincts to protect won over, even the dragon's scales couldn't hold any longer. His body started to get burned, erased and rot into ash. His regenerative abilities kicked in, none to last too long.

~Don't... lose... FOCUS!~ he told himself again and again. Words of Ragnar circulating in his mind. His dragon body getting injured beyond repair. Chunks of him going missing, to never reappear.

Big visible holes in his body, in his chest and waist. His left arm missing, the dragon's body didn't even look dragon's anymore. He was... a monster.

Slowly, the explosions started to get weaker and eventually stopped. The mushroom cloud of dust took its time to clear off. Magnus used his magic to suck up all the radiation and remove the toxic cloud. Leaving behind just a white cloud of vapours.

"WRAAAAAA!" A blood curdling, painful roar left his mouth. His eyes going on the brink of closure. He had no idea how much of his body was leftover. As his beastly instincts kicked in, half-consciously, his body flew to an island west of Scotland. The instincts told him to go home, his dragon throne.

Slowly, stumbling, in pain, he flew into Camelot. The entire castle's lights lit up as if reacting to the pain of its ruler. But no one was here at the moment, all hidden in the bunker.

Magnus dragged himself to the throne room, where the giant stone throne remained, besides the round table. His giant dragon form entered and rested down on it, breathing heavily, taking his last breaths on the throne of the king.

An arm missing, a leg missing. Wings tattered like paper sheets. A chunk of neck missing, one eye closed permanently. The blood oozed out faster than the rain outside.

He roared one last time, "WRAAAAA!"

The voice resounded around the entire island. The colony of all dragons got alerted. No matter which species, they all flew straight towards the Camelot castle and started to fly over it in circles. Their wings made wind so strong it made a hole in the clouds, letting the sun shine its warm rays on the castle as if it were a portal to the next frontier.

Duck heard it too, he rushed to the castle. But as Duck arrived inside the Throne room, he found his sister, Athena, also there, crying, caressing the bloodied face of the dragon, smaller than him, on the throne.

Duck was alarmed, but then the hurt dragon spoke, at that moment, Duck's heart broke. "DAD!"

Magnus pushed himself to use the last of his life and lift his remaining right arm. He first patted Duck's head and then gently tapped Athena's hair. "D-Duck... ugh... my son. T-Take car-re of family. Athena... *cough*" blood came out of his jaws. He still continued in his whistling breathing voice, "I c-couldn't be a good father... forgive m-me. It's o-okay if you hate me. Know t... this... I love y-you."

"Dad, no please... don't leave me. I don't hate you... I was just angry back then. I never hated you. PLEASE!" Athena cried, feeling the worst of her fear close by.

His arm became too heavy to keep up. Magnus felt all the energy in his body leaving him. He knew, his next words would be the last he utters, and they should be the ones that most matter. "I-I love... you... two..."

"..."

"..."

"D-Dad... wake up, dad!" Duck tried to nudge Magnus' body with his head, but no response came.

*ROAR* X2000

The thousands of dragons, flying in circles in the sky roared in anguish. In the throne room, only the cries resounded. It became evident then.

Extinguished was the decades-long raging fire in the Blood of the Dragon.

[A/N: This is it, folks. The story ends tomorrow with the coming Epilogue. Magnus's fate will be shown. What did Ragnar talk with God will be made clear. Also, the first chapter of GOT: The Flawed Dragon will be posted right in the last chapter.]

[See Magnus on Discord - https://discord.gg/DgHkrAn OR see them on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/mister_immortal_novel]

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Special thanks to *DougErNuts* *Oluwatimileyin Olayemi* *BirdRant* *Franklin Walley* *Brennan Tubbs*

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