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A Dragon's Soul

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OOC: Private RP between myself and Kyo


A Dragon's Soul

Stonegale, as towns go, is quite exceptional. Not just because it's a coastal town that trades with some of the most prosperous cities around the world. Nor because it's countryside is among the most beautiful, framed by valleys, mountains and rivers. No, Stonegale is exceptional for a wholly other reason. It is home to the Stonegale Academy for Witches and Wizards.
At the north end of the town, beach gives way to a large harbour, where ships of all shapes and sizes come to trade and set sail. The harbour is, in turn, shadowed by a tall cliff, upon which sits the enormous Dragane Castle. The home of Stonegale Academy.

"What is a Witch or Wizard?" The teacher asked. She was tall and slim, in her mid-thirties, with fiery red hair and serene eyes which gave her a sort of apathetic expression. The classroom remained silent. She smiled and reached into dark purple robes and pulled out a short black branch. Tapping her desk with the branch, she knocked back her pointed Witch's hat with a finger, before directing the branch at the class before her, a group of thirty or so teenagers.
"Light!" She commanded, and at once, all the candles lighting the large stone room exploded ferociously, startling several students. All were paying attention now. "A Witch or Wizard... is what?" She asked again, eyeing her students now, branch in hand, pointed threateningly towards them. One young boy raised his hand and she nodded.

"A Witch or Wizard is a person capable of using magic?" He ended his statement as though a question, unsure of himself. 
"Yes of course!" The teacher agreed, "But more than that, Mr. Gillian..." She looked around the room once more, scanning the faces of her students. Some looked bored, some were talking amongst themselves, or staring off into space. Then she homed in on her target. A girl sat one row behind the boy holding a conversation with himself. She was short, even for her age, with elf-like features and big grey eyes. Most unusually about her, however, was beneath her pointed hat lay a thick mop of snow white hair.
"Miss Pendragon - Alice!" The teacher called out, addressing the white-haired girl, who reflexively groaned at being selected. "The same question!?!"
"A Witch or Wizard is the centre of their community, Miss Priscilla." Alice replied quietly. The muffled sound of laughter made her whirl around in her seat and scan the back of the class, but she couldn't see who was laughing. Slowly, she sat back in her chair as Miss Priscilla clapped.

"Spot on! A pillar of the community!!" Priscilla looked to one chair in front of Alice, at the boy talking to the window. "Mr. Lindström!" She called out, "Would you like to continue that conversation later? I would like you to introduce yourself to the class, if you please. Mr. Lindström is a new transfer student, and I would like you all to treat him with the same respect and kindness you give one another!" She held her hand up for the boy to stand and introduce himself to the class. 
The boy was abnormally tall and rake thin. A single manic-looking eye peered out from the gap in his inky, black hair that was so straight and smooth that it clung to his face, more like a single, fluid entity rather than individual strands. 
Despite the dark shadows under his eye, it appeared to be wide and alert, if a little glassy. The eye twitched frantically around the classroom, then at the boys feet, then back to Priscilla. "Oh..." he said softly, as if he has only just understood her meaning. "Um... No thank you." He said softly, but confidently. Then he relaxed himself and went back to staring off at nothing in particular.
"Right... well..." Before Priscilla could form a thought, the classroom was disrupted by a loud bell. The students stood and began to leave, "Alright well just remember everyone to study for our next lesson on broom flight! I expect you all to know the three do's and don'ts by tomorrow!!" By the time she'd finished speaking, almost everyone had left. Priscilla picked up her bag and walked out, leaving five students still packing up to leave.

Alice tried to stand up, but felt a hand forcefully sit her back down in her seat. A trio of students surrounded her and the boy in front of her, Felix. A tall, muscular boy sat on Felix's desk, eyeing him up while a girl with a sharp, angular face smiled at her. No, it was more like a sneer. The last student was a girl with short curly brown hair that seemed disinterested with the whole situation. Alice found herself reminded of their teacher. The boy was called Gunther, the curly-haired girl was Helena, and the leader of this little trio was Anastasia. 
"So, what's your story?" Anastasia asked Felix, looking him over with a critical eye.
"Um..." Felix replied as he looked upon each of them in turn, like a startled animal trying to decide if the creatures around him were friend or foe. "... I'm sorry, do you only have one story? Mother told me many..." his tone was not facetious, but rather seemed one of genuine befuddlement about the question.

Anastasia was not pleased with this response. Her face screwed up in a mixture of distaste and confusion, "Where'd you find this kid?" She asked, her eyes rolling over to look at Alice. "Did he crawl out of the same place you came from?" She muttered, staring at Felix. Alice stood from her chair and kicked it out from under her.
"Just leave him alone..." Alice growled, gritting her teeth in anger. Anastasia laughed, looking down at Alice's pearly whites.
"Great white shark!" Gunther chimed in, laughing. Pointing at Alice's shark-like teeth.
"Don't call me that..." Alice pushed her lips together and reached inside her robes. 
"A-Ah!" Anastasia warned her, and Alice noticed then that Anastasia had a fireplace poker directed at her face. "What about you?" Anastasia asked, looking at the boy's clothes, "You should be wearing your robe over those... clothes... and don't you have a hat?" She asked, raising an eyebrow. 

"I like these clothes." Felix replied, as if that's all the explanation that was required. He turned and glanced over the length of the fire poker, before standing up from his chair and leaning closer, staring at it studiously. "What's that for?" he asked curiously.
"Is he special or something?" Helena asked, looking at Alice quizzically.
"It's my Focus, duh!" Anastasia replied, "Every Witch and Wizard needs a Focus to use magic." To punctuate this, she pointed the poker at Alice's hat and said, "Come!" Alice's hat was torn from her head and flew into Anastasia's waiting fingers, "See?" She grinned wickedly, twirling the hat on her right forefinger. 
"Give it back!!" Alice growled, but as she tried to step towards Anastasia, Helena got between them.
"What's your Focus?" Anastasia asked curiously, looking at Felix with a keen eye. 

Felix ignored the question, his eyes darting from the hat in Anastasia's hand, and then back to Alice. "But... Couldn't you have just asked her nicely? If you needed the hat so badly I'm sure she would have given you it..." He tapped his index finger gently against his lip, thinking for a moment. "It seems like a pointless way to use magic... Is it not?"
"Magic shouldn't be used selfishly..." Alice muttered. 
"It wasn't selfish. I was making a point. Have the stupid hat, it's a tattered hand-me-down, anyway." Anastasia shoved the hat back into Alice's hands and walked away, flanked on either side by Helena and Gunther, "That's so sweet, Alice. You've finally found someone as weird as you. Everyone needs a friend, right?" The trio laughed as they left the classroom, leaving Felix and Alice alone together.
"I'm sorry about them... Anastasia is just... mean." Alice dusted off her hat and shoved it back on her head at an angle, "But she was right about one thing, you're not exactly like other Wizards, are you?" She asked, grabbing her satchel and slinging it onto her shoulder.
"Mm... I'm not?" Felix asked, pausing to ponder on it. "Are Wizards all the same? I have yet to meet one human that is quite like the other... it's why I find them confusing."
"Well... no, but... well there you go again, you call people 'human' like you're not." Alice shook her head and flashed a toothy grin. "Wait... you are human, right? I mean i've never met any other creatures before but Miss Priscilla told us there are lots of weird and wonderful beings, and some of them are even human-like." 

"Oh... no, sorry. I am human." Felix replied. "But I know myself so... I don't confuse myself. It's other humans that are confusing. For example, they ask a question, then continue talking, then ask more questions, and they haven't even had the first question answered. I never know what to respond to first, or if I should respond to only the last question, or if I should even respond at all..." Felix trailed off after that, once again staring at a pocket of the room where there seemed to be nothing of particular interest to see.
Alice frowned and followed Felix's line of sight to the corner of the room. She saw nothing. "Alright, well... I should probably be going. My grandpa said I have to find a job in town this year, so..."
"Oh...okay." Felix said, not looking back in Alice's direction. "It was nice to meet you, Alice Pendragon." He said, giving only a faint smile. "Actually... mostly it was confusing and a little distressing. But you seem kind... so I guess it is nice to have met you, don't you think?"
She wasn't really sure how to answer. Alice found herself nodding quietly with a lop-sided grin plastered on her face, before she retreated from the classroom and ran for the front doors of Dragane Castle. However, as she stepped outside, she was immediately drenched. It was raining. She quickly fled back inside and reached back inside her robes. What she pulled out, could hardly be thought of as a tool of the magical. It was an old, wooden feather duster with a thick plumage of black feathers. 

Holding the feather duster with the wooden handle pointing up, she spoke directly to it, "Into a broom, if you please!" The feather duster shuddered in her hands, threatening to fly out of her grasp, but then quickly, the handle shot out until it was taller than she was, and the feathers elongated and became a dishevelled bundle of twigs.
"Right then..." Alice muttered, pulling herself onto the broom, "Behave yourself now... fly!" Alice's squealing scream echoed through the corridors of the Academy as she bolted up into the driving rain of the dark and stormy sky. "Not so fast!" She screeched, and the broom promptly obeyed. By stopping. Her screams reached such a pitch they almost became inaudible as she dropped from the sky as quickly as she'd ascended into it. "Now, really, behave yourself!!" She thumped the side of the broom handle and it levelled out. Alice carefully re-positioned herself on the broom and then took off back down towards the town. She flew over the streets, looking down at the scattered townsfolk fleeing indoors in response to the torrential downpour. 

Over the course of an hour, Alice visited a dozen different places. Pubs, bakeries, pharmacies, grocers and markets. Everywhere she went, she was given the same answer. No, sorry, there were no jobs available. Her clothes were soaking wet, and she was chilled to the bone. She was hungry, tired and she knew she couldn't go back to her grandfather with nothing to show. Then she noticed a small light in the window of one of the shops along the edge of the harbour. Last chance, she thought. She sped towards the shop and noticed a steady stream of customers escaping from the rain. Then she noticed the name, 'Aime's Café'. Perfect, she thought. If there wasn't a job, at least she could get something to eat.

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Aime's cafe was a small, narrow building. The front door was a dark mahogany with frosted glass and gold lettering plated over it. When the door opened a brass bell above it rang to let the staff know when customers entered. Inside the cafe was decorated in the same dark mahogany the door was made of, with a cream coloured ceiling, and a black and white tiled floor that looked like a chess board. Tables and chairs were lined across one wall, separated by wooden dividers, and at the far end there were booths. Near the front of the cafe on the other side, there was a counter next to a glass cabinet which housed a wide variety of sandwiches and fresh pastries. The smell of ground coffee was strong in the air, and the source of the aroma came from the large contraption behind the counter that wheezed and belched, steam whistling out of funnels, and every so often there was a loud grinding noise, as coffee bins disappeared from a large container at the top. 

"Two Cappuccino, one eclair, one brioche." The barista said from behind the counter as he worked the machine with a confident grace that only came from experience. He had prepared each cup and collected the food on plates, and had then placed everything on a tray and left the counter, taking the order to one of the tables, where he neatly placed the drinks and food next to the two elderly women waiting for them. 
"Thank you dear." One of the ladies said, "It all looks lovely."
"I'm glad." The Barista said with a smile and a nod. "Please enjoy." He added with a soft bow of his head, and then he left the women alone.

He moved back to the counter, grabbing a cloth and wiping over the counter, before replacing the cloth in the sink and then turning his attention to the machine. He tapped his foot against a pedal on the floor and the contraption wheezed in response. Then he pulled a small lever and it let out a long, whirring, grinding noise. Satisfied with that the barista removed a drawer and dispensed the contents, a heavy collection of coffee grounds, into a refuse bin at his feet. He replaced the drawer and repeated the process in reverse, the machine hissing and grinding again. When the bell rang once more the Barista tensed for a moment, and then left the counter to go for the entrance, and stopped in front of Alice as she entered. 

"Welcome to Cafe Aime." The Barista said with a short bow. He had tied his inky, black hair up in a ponytail behind him, and aside from the black apron he had not changed his clothes. With his hair away from his face the boy looked less sullen, his dark, sunken eyes still wide and bright, giving him a peculiar, frantic look. "I am Felix your Barista and Waiter. May I take you to a table?" Felix gave Alice a rehearsed smile, and waited for her response. 
"It's you!!" Alice croaked in surprise as she almost fell back out the front door. "What are you doing here?!" She asked, looking around the café. "You can't possibly be working here?!"

"I...I can't?" Felix asked, a confused expression appearing over his face. "But...I do work here. So it has to be possible." Felix smiled a little, satisfied with his solution to that conundrum. Then he frowned, as if remembering something. "Sorry...um, where was I? Oh, yes. I am Felix your Barista and Waiter. May I take you to a table?"
"N-no... I mean..." Alice found herself taken aback, she hadn't been expecting to see Felix again so soon. Furthermore, this didn't seem like the kind of environment he would be suited to. But, she supposed, she'd seen stranger things. "Hang on..." Alice held her broom aloft and said, "Okay, back to normal!" The broom instantly collapsed in on itself and the twigs made a popping sound as they turned back into feathers. Then she pointed the feather duster's handle at herself and said, "Dry!" The moisture from her clothes quickly evaporated, and at last, she felt comfortable. "So, i'm looking for a job."

"Oh..." Felix said. "I...can get you coffee, or tea, or a bun or something like that?" Felix suggested. "But I'm supposed to seat you first."
"Felix!" Another voice barked as a large gentleman stepped up behind the young boy. "What are you doing?"
"Well I was trying to seat the customer but she didn't want coffee, or a bun, she wanted a job.But I can't give her a job, I can only give her drinks and food and service with a smile so I-"
"I think I get the picture." The large man interupted, sighing. "Go back to grinding beans, you're good at that."
"Oh...thank you!" Felix said with a sigh of relief, and he went back behind the counter, leaving Alice alone with the large man. 
"Greetings." He said with a smirk and a nod. "Welcome to Aime's Cafe. I'm Aime!"

"Oh, hello! My name's Alice, i'm a Witch from the Academy," She paused, looking at her robe and hat, "Well... I mean that's obvious, but I need a job, and I was hoping maybe you have a job going?" She glanced past Aime, to Felix, "Is he okay?" She asked. Aime turned his head back towards Felix who was busy working the various levers and pedals of the coffee machine. 
"He's fine. Quite capable, actually. He just get's a little too literal about everything, you know?" Aime said, folding his arms. "Anyway...I suppose we could use an extra hand around here. You seem friendly enough, and maybe with you and Felix together you two might make one decent, fully functioning employee. How does a trial sound?"
"Fantastic!" Alice grabbed Aime's hands and shook them fervently, "Thank you so much, boss! I need a job so bad! Gramps will never forgive me if I fail to get one..." Finally, she let go of Aime's hands, having shaken him to within an inch of his life, "What can I do first?!" She asked excitedly, holding out her feather duster."Well...." Aime said as he raised an eyebrow. "You can put that away and put an apron on. While I admire someone who brings their own tools, we have a cleaning cupboard full of supplies. How about you start by greeting our patrons and taking them to a seat. Take their orders to Felix, and then serve them once he'd made them. Okay?"

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"But..." Alice looked down to her trusty feather duster. It was the tool of her trade. Her most valuable possession. The object through which she channelled her magic, and Aime was telling her she had to put it away and use old-fashioned elbow grease, like normal people. Alice swallowed nervously but shook it off, she had to show her boss she was capable or her next visit to Gramps would likely be her last. "Okay!" She nodded, shoving her feather duster into her robes. Then she took her pointed hat off and tried to smooth out her long, unruly white mop of hair. Failing that, she placed her hat to one side and grabbed her robes and tried pulling them up over her head. Alice stumbled backwards, almost tripping on her robes as she struggled to pull them off. She clattered into a table, forcing a couple of customers to steady their drinks. At last, as she tripped over her own feet, Alice yanked the robe free and fell to the ground. "There..." She muttered, picking herself up. She brushed herself off, and kicked her robes, "Oi! Hang up my clothes!" The robes lifted, suspended by the feather duster inside them, and Alice plopped the hat on top of the floating bundle as it shot through the café, seeking a coat hanger. The bundle of robes whipped into Aime's face as they passed through into the back, Alice sheepishly grinned and quickly made herself scarce.

Beneath her robes, Alice wore a pair of black jeans and a white tank top, over which she pulled her new work apron and tied it behind her back, clapping her hands together in readiness. She grabbed a pad of paper, a pencil and walked back onto the floor, ready for business. She looked around, Felix was busy working the contraption behind the counter, and Aime had wandered off somewhere. Alice found herself stood in the middle of the floor, frozen by indecision. Was she supposed to go up to people and ask them what they want, or stand behind the counter? She'd ask Felix, he'd know. Hopefully.
"Felix...?" Alice asked, sidling up to the young man, "Where do I take the orders?" 
"It's a table service," Felix explained. "When guests arrive you greet them and take them to an available table. Then you take their order, I'll get it ready, then you take the order to the table." Felix paused for a moment, trying to remember if that was right. "Oh... and you need to smile, and talk to them I guess."

"R-right..." Alice nodded, taking in Felix's instructions, one by one. Just then, the doorbell jingled and in walked a couple. "I've got it! I've got them!" Alice said quickly, scattering to get to the end of the counter. A quick leap, and she slid over the counter top and grabbed the male customer's hand, "Come with me!" 
"Hey!!" The man yelped as he was pulled across the room, the woman he was with in hot pursuit.
"Here you go!" Alice said cheerily, pushing the man down into a booth, and as he adjusted himself Alice quickly walked around to the other side and pushed the woman into the opposite side. "Here's our menu, we have lots of lovely things to order!!" The couple looked visibly out of breath as two menus were shoved into their hands, they tried to speak, but were stuttering and just as they tried to place an order, there was another jingle. Alice vanished before them, as she ran to grab the next person. "Hi there!" She greeted the customer and started pulling him to a table in the corner, as she passed her first customers they tried to grab her attention. 
"E-excuse me, Miss, I--" 
"This way, Sir! I've got the table for -- what?!" Alice whirled around to address who had called her and knocked into someone else, who spilled their drink all over a woman sat in a nearby booth. She stood up in shock, knocking her chair into the backs of Alice's knees, and she fell over the side of it, back into the woman's table. It was like watching a stack of dominoes falling, one after another. The table flipped, sending everything on the table - food, drinks, cutlery - in every direction. Aime walked out of the kitchen and ducked as a knife skewered the wall an inch above his head, then a fork, just to his right, and a spoon hit him in the gut before at last a glass flew directly at his face.

The customers who watched all of this unfold flinched as the glass made it's way towards Aime's face. A brief second before the glass collided, however, something flew out of Felix's thick hair and shot across the room like a dart. A small gust followed it's path, napkins and spilling into the air. The tiny creature struck the glass with a kick and knocked it off course, shattering harmlessly against a wall. 
The little creature stopped and dropped down onto the floor. It was only about 5 inches tall and was thin and graceful. It's skin was pale, but most of it's body was covered in a thin mess of green, leaf-like scales. A pair of translucent, insectoid wings protruded from it's back and fluttered gently. The little creature turned to Alice and it opened it's mouth, shouting something with an angry expression. However, instead of words coming out, it's voice was a chorus of jingling bells. 
"That's not a nice thing to say..." Felix said, looking a little nervous. "I don't think she meant it, Windy." The little creature, Windy, turned to Felix and took off speedily, appearing at the tip of his nose. She let out another chorus of obnoxious bells before turning her back on him and folding her arms in a huff. 
"D-don't be like that..." Felix said, sounding a little sad. Windy pointed her chin at him and blew a raspberry, before turning back away.

"Oh what have I done..." Alice groaned, as customers began picking themselves up off the floor, which was still littered with food, drink and all manner of utensils and broken cups and plates. Alice shook her head in disbelief. The other Witches called her a 'Walking Disaster', and she'd done everything she could to get away from that, but here she was proving them right again, as clumsy without magic as she was with it. She was supposed to be living up to a legacy, and instead she was destroying everything she touched. Alice glanced one last time at Felix, he was still debating with the little creature. Alice whistled, and her bundle of clothes came flying towards her from within the kitchen. She quickly shoved her hat onto her head and pulled out her feather duster and rushed outside. It was still raining as heavy as ever. Alice quickly pulled on her robe and told her duster to turn into a broom once more, and as she sat on it, she looked out at the port and kicked off from the ground.
The broom was stopped in it's tracks as Windy flew in front of it. She thrust out her hands and hurled a small gust of air that forced the broom back only slightly. She glared at Alice, her lips tight and her arms trembling. Then she barked out a short little jingle, before huffing and folding her arms. 
"Um, Windy says she's sorry for speaking to you that way..." Felix said from behind Alice. He was standing by the door to the cafe, avoiding looking directly at her, and rubbing his arms.

"It's not her fault!" Alice called back to Felix, smiling weakly at Windy. She turned around and directed the broom back down to the ground and stood in the rain, looking into the café, "I'm better off on my own... I keep messing up, and somebody's going to get hurt next time!"
"I...I don't think it's better to be alone." Felix replied. "I've tried that. It doesn't make anything easier. If you're struggling then you should ask for help, and in turn, if you see someone struggling you should help them." Felix almost smiled, but then his expression became a little melancholy again. "If it weren't for my friends I'd never be at the academy."
Alice considered Felix's words for a long moment, he seemed a lot smarter than he appeared. But then, "Friends?" Alice asked, frowning. She thought back to the Academy, and the complete lack of friends Felix seemed to have. She didn't want to be rude but, what friends? Then again, she wasn't one to talk. She held her broom to one side and stepped under the awning of the café and as she watched the rain splashing off the road, she realised then what he meant. "Oooh..." Alice turned to look at Windy. A vibrant flash of light streaked the sky for an instant, and a second later, there was a deep, billowing growl of thunder.
Windy flinched at the noise, and her boisterous, arrogant persona seemed to melt. She let out a little shiver and zipped off, disappearing inside Felix's hair once more. Felix shifted uncomfortably in the rain. "Windy doesn't really like storms." He said.

"I'm not exactly a fan... of getting wet, anyway." Alice shook her robe and looked back out at the storm. It was getting worse and worse. The ships in the harbour were rocking back and forth, those closely moored together were knocking off one another. The lighthouse's beam flashed out towards the sea, and for an instant, it danced over something. Alice blinked in surprise, her brain unable to process what she'd just seen. If only for an instant. "Hey, did you see that?" Alice asked, pointing out at the storm. The clouds had darkened the sky so that only the lightning, and the beam of the lighthouse illuminated the waves and the skyline.
"See what?" Felix asked, frowning.
"I don't know, I..." Alice squinted through the rain. For a time, there was nothing. Just angry waves, endless sheets of heavy rain, and rumbling clouds full of thunder and lightning. Then suddenly, there it was again. Glistening black scales, reflecting the beam of the lighthouse, and a pair of enormous, serpentine eyes. "Hey!!" Alice pointed at the lighthouse. A figure was inside it. Suddenly the light inside died, and the thing hidden amongst the storm, vanished into the darkness as though it had never been.

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