Before he could get his balance, the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry alumnus Richard Goodfellow fell face first onto a pile of moss that seemed to be covered with spider webs. He heard loud painful sounds nearby and decided to stay on the ground to examine the finer details of the spongy area.
"Chaucer be back soon," he heard his house-elf announce, and then he heard him scamper off.
Yeah, go check, see where we're at. Soon is, what? Ten minutes? Two hours? Tomorrow? I'm fine; probably bleeding to death, he thought sourly, as he wriggled his toes and his fingers to make sure that they were all there. No pain, no aches, just the indignity of being face-flat on the ground.
He lifted his head to look around, heard the roaring of what sounded like a dragon and put his face back down. Smells nice, he thought. It's a very green smell. Sort of like broccoli.
He could feel his wand in its sleeve pocket and decided to get it ready but before he could move, a shadow fell on him.
"Hello, what are you?" someone asked.
Richard was a bit miffed that he hadn't heard whomever it was step next to him. The voice sounded from above, but Richard kept himself flat on the forest floor, his wand still in his sleeve.
"Ruchhard 'oodfulllow," he said into the moss.
"Sit up, now. I won't hurt you--not at the moment anyway," the voice said.
Richard rolled over, looked up and wished he hadn't as a green and orange dragon was looking down at him. The wizard felt powerless.
"So what are you?" the dragon asked again, a slight frown on its face.
Talking dragons. I'm in a world where dragons talk. Now what, and where's Chaucer? he wondered.
"I'm a wizard," Richard replied.
The dragon frowned a bit more. "Please don't mind my asking, but where is your staff?"
"Uh." He wasn't sure if he meant 'staff' as in a walking cane, or 'staff' as in secretary and footman. He hoped that the answer wouldn't get him eaten. He didn't know if talking dragons knew the universe cross-over rules. "What do you mean, 'staff'?"
"Your big walking stick. The instrument of collecting your magic. So did you lose it? Or are you just back from getting melted?" The dragon looked around as if it were stuck in a tree or lying about on the ground.
"No, I don't have a walking stick." He didn't feel right about pointing out that he had a wand, as he casually dropped the end of the wand into his palm and hoped that the dragon wouldn't notice.
"My apologizes; I don't wish to offend, but you're dressed very oddly. Are you sure you're a wizard?" The dragon looked at him with a very doubtful expression.
"What do I look like?" Richard asked, hoping that his tone was not offensive. He heard a lot of yelling and crashing sounds, and he looked around, thinking that Chaucer was nearby. Instead, he saw people running around in the forest, some in long robes, some in tunics and trousers, another dragon off in the distance, some odd creatures that looked a small bit like Chaucer. They were all avoiding the glade that he and the dragon were in. And everywhere, there were thin spider strands between the plants, moss and rock that surrounded him.
"Maybe like a magician, or a fire witch. Or maybe a prince trying to pass as a poor widow's son. But the clothes for any of those are all wrong - it's not what you're wearing. And I have no idea what it is that you're wearing. Everybody has some sort of uniform that they fit into. And most wizards have a beard, or so I'm told. I don't know if female wizards have beards or not, as I've never met one. Are you a female wizard?"
A man wearing a beard and a long red and black robe ran into the glade.
"Augh!" he yelled when he saw the dragon, and ran back out again.
"Now there's a wizard," the dragon announced happily. And then he looked again at Richard. "I suppose I shall have to take you prisoner," he said, somewhat dolefully. "Unless you really are something other than a wizard."
The yelling continued.
"I'd rather wait right here, thank you," he told the dragon. "I'm with someone, and he'd be rather upset if he came back here to find me missing." He gave the dragon a polite smile.
"I don't think you're a wizard," the dragon said. "You don't smell like a wizard, you don't dress like a wizard, you don't talk like a wizard, so if you don't mind, I'll go find a real wizard. No offense taken?" the dragon asked apologetically.
"None taken," Richard replied, staying seated on the ground. "Nice to have met you," he added, hoping that the dragon would leave. He felt that his shirt, jacket and trousers needed straightening.
"And nice to have met you," the dragon replied. "I expect I shall see you again soon?"
"I wouldn't know," Richard said.