Two||Familiarities

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The school seemed to come out of nowhere. One second we were riding on an open road with trees and mountains jutting on either side of us and the next, we topped over a hill to see a large castle sitting in a clearing between mountains that seemed like protective barriers.

The building had many windows, most were lit with a light coming from the interior of the building. The peaks of the mountains were tipped with snow, and white flakes even fell from the cloudy skies. The sun was just setting peaking over the mountains peaks, rising to start a new day.

Underneath the light layers of snow, the grass was still a crisp green. The snow would soon melt and the sun would beam down with its warmth, spreading life into the lands.

"Come along, Miss Withers, the stables are this way." The man told me before nudging his horse down the smoothly grated hill.

Following behind him, I had my eyes wandering the world around me, scanning it with naked appreciation. That was how I almost missed it, and I would have if it weren't for Angus tensing under me and his head swinging around to stare at the upcoming stables, or more appropriately, what rested in front of it.

With bronze and green scales the dragon was curled up in front of the stables, basking in the warm sun. With its position, we were forced to ride past it, allowing me to get a good look at its sleeping form, which was hard scales, pointed claws, and sharp teeth and horns. While Angus seemed wary of the dragon, he didn't seem all that fearful.

Halting our horses in the middle of the stables, me and the golden-haired man, who I still have not yet learned the name of, slid off our horses and grabbed our bags. Before anything, a big burly man strolled out what I had previously believed to be a tack room. His once brown hair was fading to grey and his tanned skin was littered with bunches of freckles. A bushy beard covered his neck and chin and his large frame was draped in daily work clothes, stained with unrecognizable substances.

Deep chocolate eyes widened at the sight of the man and me before he came rushing over and took the horse's reins in his hands. "So! Where did this new recruit come from, Pete?"

Pete looked at me, a neutral expression on his face while adjusting his cloak on his shoulders. "Acrine. Isn't that where you're from, Henry?"

"Correct you are, how is everyone back home, lad?"

"Everyone is doing just fine," I said as I took off my hood, brown curls coming loose from the bun I had tied my hair in with a leather strap. Henry looked at me in surprise. I would too, seeing as how everyone expected me to be of the male gender. His grip on the horse's reins was a little tighter than what was necessary as he stared at me. He turned to Pete with a questioning look. Pete also shared a wary look with him, as if they knew something I did not. "I know, Henry. But the stone glowed."

I fisted the stone sitting in my pocket as Henry stared on some more. He cleared his throat and got busy with untacking the horses. "This is quite the situation." He finally said, looking up to me before taking the saddle off of Angus. "But not to worry las, things will be sorted out soon enough." He plopped the saddle on a wooden pole and gave a stern look to something behind me.

"Well then come and introduce yourself, Grunt. It's a las, not a Kellso."

Pivoting on my toes, I had a near heart attack when I realized "Grunt" was the huge dragon sleeping outside the stable. It, or he, I should say, had waddled himself in the high arched and widened doorway and plopped himself behind me. His large eyes, green and piercing, stared into my multicoloured blue and amber ones.

The dragon dipped his head towards me, almost in a matter of a respectful bow. I stood gaping at the magnificent creature before me, my eyes locked onto his green ones. After a couple of seconds, I remember myself and realized that I was probably being incredibly rude. I dipped my head as well and gave a wide smile when he grunted in approval.

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