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How to Train Your Dragon/Snow Queen
PM/Discord, Pacific NW
Truth be told, I’d never met a dragon before. Nor had I any particular desire, or dream of meeting one. People always say it would be amazing, if terrifying. I’ve always thought the ladder to be the truth, but here I was, out in the middle of an icy lake, waiting for one to show up. I wasn’t sure if my message had gotten through, mostly because I wasn’t entirely sure that dragons could read. However, as I tiptoed out on the ice, I felt a sudden gust of wind behind me, and whipped around just in time to see the massive winged beast coming in for a landing.
Why the icy lake, you ask? Why invite a two ton animal onto a frozen body of water with the chilly depths potentially a few inches beneath my feet? Because I have a death wish, and because it was the only place within the boarders of habitable Ga’leah that was also habitable for a normal human like myself, easy for a dragon to land in, and not swarming with other humans and fae. It was the only place that met both of our criteria, but as I watched the beast drop slowly to the ground, I was regretting my decision. What if he fell through the ice? Well, it would certainly be one of the shortest interviews I’ve ever had.
Yet the dragon did not fall, landing quite gracefully some fifty yards away and approaching me with caution. He was quite large to my eyes, though I’d heard rumors that dragons could grow three times that. With a broad, slightly flat head, short neck, and proportioned a bit on the slight side, this was a dragon built for speed more than strength. However, it reeked of power, finned tail swishing back and fourth, yellow green eyes trained on me like lanterns. It moved like a cat, its feet not unlike paws, though the claws did not look retractable, more like talons. The wings were immense, and did not fold all the way down to its sides, though I realized after a moment that he was keeping them slightly aloft; was it to intimidate me? If so, it was most certainly working. As it approached, I cleared my throat, looking for my courage.
The beast narrowed his eyes, baring his teeth at me and despite myself, I took a step back. I raised my hands.
“I’m just here to talk. I only need your trust for a little while. I just have a few questions.” The beast wrinkled his nose in response, and snorted, evidently dissatisfied. I hadn’t really expected it to trust me, but I could be patient; they all caved in the end. I waited, looking over the dragon’s sleek black body, it’s scales shimmering in the reflection off the ice. As large and heavy as it must have been, I did not hear the ice so much as creak under its weight as it walked slowly towards me.
“Can you perhaps take another form? Something, er, humanoid, perhaps?”
This got me another stare. Then, the change began. I heard it before I saw it, a strange crackling sound, a bit like a fire but it was a bit more muffled. I realized that it was the sound of the creature’s muscles and bones shifting and changing, and while it made me feel slightly nauseous for a moment, almost as soon as it had began it was over, and standing in front of me was a man who couldn’t have been more than twenty five years of age. His clothes were ill suited to the weather, but simple, and more importantly he didn’t seem to notice or care that it was cold enough to freeze ice. His bronzed complexion reminded me of somebody from Solhara more than somebody who enjoyed the frozen wasteland, but going off of my knowledge that he was a dragon of fire, I figured he must not need it. If not for the scowl on his face, I would have assumed he were a sweet tempered boy; his eyes were round and gave him the general appearance of being intrigued by something, the lines on his face soft and a mouth that looked like it could smile readily. Needless to say, the scowl did not suit him, but it was intimidating none the less.
“Does that work for you?” His voice, as I expected, was also quiet, almost like I was listening to somebody through a wall, though I had no trouble understanding him. He glanced around warily, those nearly glowing eyes catlike but for the round pupils.
“Yes, that will do nicely,” I said, giving him a thin smile that he did not return. “I assure you, our location has not been shared, you needn’t fear about being disturbed.”
“Why would I be afraid?” He snapped. I chose not to answer.
“Anyways, my first question, and forgive me if this seems rude but doesn’t your name mean…’Toothless’?”
“Er, do you not have teeth?”
He pulled back his lips to reveal two rows of shiny whites. Then, snapped them close again back into a frown. I chuckled nervously, and decided it was information I could live without. I had a feeling there was a lot of information I would be doing without.
“You were resurrected by Maleficent, weren’t you? What sort of creature were you in your old life?”
He pursed his lips. “I don’t remember very much. But there weren’t many other dragons quite like me. Even for a fire dragon I was strange.”
“Any other details?”
He shrugged. “I was a scavenger, I think. Not much in the way of friends. Mostly worked alone.”
“No. I am a spy for Darkfyrr now. I hunt down information, supplies, occasionally her enemies.” There was a hint of pride in his voice at this. He stood up just a little taller, and I noted he was probably about my height, maybe half an inch taller when he stood up straight. Though he looked a little wiry, which bore a slight resemblance to the creature I’d just seen a few minutes before.
“Have you been in the Wastes at all?”
He raised his eyebrows. “And, what?”
“Have you encountered any ghosts?”
I hated it when they did this.
“Tandlos, the ghosts have driven people mad! What do you think? How do you feel, give me details!”
“I am a ghost myself. Why would I be bothered by them?”
“Uh, care to elaborate?”
“Do you think I had this body when I was alive thousands of years ago?” He asked, his voice growing softer. “No. This was once the body of a half fae, a young man that was killed by the abomination Viktor when my soul was placed within. I am possessing a body that was not my own, therefore, I am a ghost. The spirits I encounter in the wastes are simply crying for their own body again. Just as I am.”
“Is there any chance you will get it back?”
“No, I don’t think so. But I stay in my true form as much as possible as a result. This one does not belong to me, and I do not feel like it is mine.”
“But it is a body that would otherwise go to waste,” I pointed out. He narrowed his eyes at me, and I could see he was processing this.
“You’ve only been back with us six months, I’ll give you some time to think about that. You witnessed the end of the Blight, yes?”
“A bit. I was so new, I was one of the last dragons to be brought back by Maleficent. I remember very little because I was still adjusting. But I have now, and if you don’t mind I have work to do.”
He rolled his eyes at me, and before I could say anything else, he was transforming back into the dragon again. I cringed as the popping met my ears again, and for a moment, the dragon looked down at me. There was a great deal of resemblance between the two forms, more than I had initially thought.
“No, we’re not done yet! Don’t leave! I still don’t understand why you’re called ‘Toothless’! How do you feel about the human kingdoms? What about these rumblings of an anti-magic cult?!”
“I don’t care, as long as they don’t shoot me out of the sky,” The dragon rumbled, still bearing some resemblance to the humanoid voice. “Magic is my blood. If somebody doesn’t like that, I’ll roast them alive!” He began to turn away but paused, looking back at me. Then, he bared his teeth; far more impressive with sharp looking canines at the front. I took a step back. However, in the blink of an eye, they vanished, and all I could see was strangely pink gums. Then, the teeth dropped back down again, the dragon closed his mouth, crouched low and took off into the sky. As he shrank into the distance, I could only think of one thing:
Retractable teeth had to be the most useless feature I’d ever seen on a living creature.
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