“There Be Dragons Here” Writing Contest – Entry Two

by darkjade68

“There Be Dragons Here” Writing Contest

Entry Two

by Ameila Browne @ InkAndPapayrusBlog

When I first met Hestia, I did not believe in magic. In English one morning, Mr Reuel interrupted our reading of The Hobbit  to introduce us to Hestia-call-me-Tia Drake, the latest transfer student in the long line of miscreants, rejects and oddities lining up to enter our school with its all-welcome policy. You should hear my mum going on about it after a drink or five. It’s a bloody disgrace! Mr Evans (that’s the head teacher, an ugly piece of work) is singlehandedly ruining the reputation of St George’s! It used to be a good school! Blah, blah, blah. I don’t mind the changes though. School used to be boring but since Mr Evans implemented the all-welcome policy two years ago, there’s guaranteed to be at least two fights a week to get you out of class.

Introductions over, Mr Reuel scanned the room for an empty seat. His eyes settled on the spare desk next to mine. I groaned, sending him psychic messages to deter him with such ferocity that I had a headache for a week after. I might not mind the presence of these weirdos but having to sit next to one? Hardly conducive to studious focus and we were nearing my favourite part; when Bilbo comes face to face with Smaug.

‘Nimue?’

‘Yes, Mr Reuel?’

‘Clear your books. Hestia can sit with you today.’ He turned to the new student, ‘Do you have a copy of The Hobbit?

‘In here.’ She tapped her head.

‘Nimue, share your book with Hestia, please.’

‘Yes, sir.’ I sighed, shoving my folders to one side, ignoring the paper that fell to the floor.

Tia sat down with a smile, ‘Nimue? That’s Welsh, isn’t it?’

I shrugged, ‘Suppose.’ Of course I knew the name’s origin but I wanted to test this new girl, I wanted to see if she was as different as she seemed with her fire red hair and over the top jewellery.

‘Merlin’s apprentice?’

‘So the legend goes.’

‘Girls!’ Mr Reuel cut them off, ‘Focus, please. Nimue, read if you could from the third line of page 261?’

‘Yes, sir.’ I began to read, ‘“There he lay, a vast red-golden dragon, fast asleep; a thrumming came from his jaws and nostrils, and wisps of smoke…”’

The remainder of the class flew by. The second the bell rang, I was already halfway to the door. Not even Tolkien could keep my inside on such a beautiful autumn day. Tia followed without invitation. Not that I minded. It isn’t like there’s a long queue to be my best friend. Or my anything friend, for that matter. ‘So, what did you think of The Hobbit?’

‘It’s not really accurate.’ Tia replied.

‘Accurate?’ my brows shot so far up my forehead they were in danger of becoming one with my hair line.

‘Tolkien paints Smaug as a villain because he didn’t like him.’

‘Smaug is a villain. He eats people.’

‘He’s really not that bad.’ Tia unwrapped her sandwich. The stench of hot salami and chilli made my eyes water. Tia bit into it as if it was the most boring cheese sandwich ever made.

‘Do you know him personally?’

‘Yes. He was an old friend of my father’s.’

‘And your father is?’

‘Draco.’

‘Right.’ I was seriously beginning to think I was sitting beside a madman.

Tia looked at me oddly, ‘I thought you would understand.’

‘Understand what?’

‘Well, I’m a dragon and you’re a sorcerer.’

‘A what? I am not a sorcerer!’

‘Yes. You are.’

‘No. No, no, no. You’re crazy, you know that!’ I stood up and stormed off, eager to escape the stares of my classmates. Rumours spread faster in high school than Morse code messages in the Second World War.

‘Nimue! Wait!’

I spun on my heel, the first part of Tia’s revelation sinking in, ‘Did you say you are a dragon?’

‘Yes.’

‘How?’

‘How what?’

‘How can you possibly be a dragon?’

She laughed, ‘The same way that you are a sorcerer; through blood and the power of names.’

‘So your whole family are dragons?’ the sentence sounded just a ludicrous out in the open as it had in my head.

‘Of course.’

‘And my whole family are sorcerers?’

‘Maybe not.’

‘This makes absolutely no sense!’ I’d come to school, expecting the usual monotonous routine. Instead, some crazy girl had turned my entire, insane world upside down in the first ten minutes of lunch.

‘Your name, Nimue. That’s why you’re a sorcerer; you bear a name of power.’

‘Then where was my letter to Hogwarts?’

Tia looked at me like I’d sprouted wings, a phenomenon she claimed to be familiar with, ‘Hogwarts is just a story. You do know that, right?’

I thought about for a moment and realised I was starting to believe it, ‘No. Tia, this is nonsense. I must be overtired and you, well, no offense but this school takes all sorts.’ I walked away again and again Tia chased me.

‘Meet me after school in the field on the edge of town.’

‘Oh, yeah, sure. I’ll just swan out in the dark to meet with some crazy girl I’ve just met. How do I know you won’t murder me? Or eat me?’

Hurt filled Tia’s eyes and I wished I could call back the words, ‘Just trust me, please. And I’ll eat before I come, just in case, you know, I’m tempted.’

‘To eat me?’

She nodded.

Reassuring. Not.

And yet, for some crazy reason, I found myself standing on the edge of the cornfield where we had agreed to meet. I caught a flash of crimson away in the left hand corner of the field. It moved closer, appearing every few seconds. Soon, an enormous shape appeared in the gloom. I tried to scream but I came out as more of a strangled yelp. Two feet away stood a dragon. Yep, an enormous, fire breathing, children eating DRAGON. There was a flash of light and I flung my arms in front of my face, expecting to be incinerated and realising just how little good throwing my hands in front of my face would do. Nothing happened. I dared to lower my arms and there stood Tia, a bemused expression on her face, yellow eyes still glowing from the transformation.

‘Told you so.’ She said.

I stared at the spot where the dragon had been and fled. I ran home as fast I could, took the stairs to my room two at a time, slammed the door, leapt onto my bed, ripped the cover of my phone and stared at it, willing it to levitate. After tonight, I’d believe in anything, even magic.

~

In a dark field on the edge of town, a dragon smiled.

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