Epilogue

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I woke to the sound of people arguing, their voices muffled behind thick walls. Everything comes back to me slowly. At first, I think that the meteor shower and my hands spewing ice were nothing but a bad dream. But quickly, I realize that it wasn't. It was just a horrible, horrible day.

My eyes flutter open, hands moving sluggishly to my eyes and rubbing them with my palms. Rima immediately senses me stirring awake and waits patiently for me to collect my bearings before speaking. The last thing she wants is another family feud mixed with ice spreading around me.

"Good, you're awake." Hollands voice is surprisingly soft, carrying through the air like a gentle wave. "I was beginning to worry, I hit you too hard."

I don't smile at the rare attempt at a joke, though I want to. My hands drop to my lap, scratching at my fingers like there's still ice on them. "I'm sorry." I murmur, looking to my instructor sitting with an ankle over his knee beside me. His arms are folded over his chest, leaning back into the wooden chair pressed back against the wall a foot away from me.

He shakes his head. "It's alright, Crimson. It's not every day a dragon rider finds out she's also a mage. You were scared." Blue eyes study me carefully, squinting slightly. "I'm assuming you had no idea you had these powers, because if you knew, you would have come to me, right?"

My head bobs in agreement, teeth clenching against the pounding in my head. It's hard to tell if the pains from my head colliding with a dragons chest or from Holland punching me. But if I had known about my abilities, he would have been the first person I would have told besides Rima.

Flashes of ice shooting from my hands suddenly makes sense. These types of things don't happen randomly, there are signs beforehand. I should have known since Clarika had undergone the same exact thing as I had.

I remember the way the temperature suddenly dropped around me becoming frost cold even in the dead of summer. The way frost covered the mirror when I argued with Easton, or the time before the tournaments where ice covered my hands and I brushed it away, thinking it was just the cold temperatures in the sky.

"She's our daughter, we will take her back home where she belongs," Father demands. My eyes glance past the rows of white blanketed beds of the infirmary, to the heavy oak doors.

"She doesn't want to go back." Easton grinds through clenched teeth. It sounds like it's taking everything he can to not punch Father square in the jaw.

Behind me, Rima hisses. I turn towards her, eyes lingering a moment longer at the oak doors. She's laying on the balcony, sticking half her body through the open glass doors while Galeur sits behind her like an intimidating boulder. Her slitted eyes move from the door and then to me, softening. The anger bubbling in her heart, simmers and the corners of her lip pull into a gentle smile. Or at least a dragons version of a smile.

"You guys kicked her out of her home!" Lydia defends, her voice higher than usual and angry. Something I haven't heard from her before. "She has a home here, we can help her."

"She has mage abilities, she deserves to be among people of her own kind. Not you ruffians." Mother says, her voice low and dangerous.

Holland sighs heavily, shaking his head and bringing my focus back to him. "Your parents have been arguing with your team since before we brought you back here."

The idea of mages on the Dragon Islands is almost laughable. But then again, I'm here, being treated by the Head Nurse most likely. She's probably grown sick of my presence, seeing me almost every other week. But as I look around, the tall woman isn't anywhere to be seen.

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