Chapter 14 - Reagel



Lady Haggart was a child at heart yet she knew exactly what to say as a response to anything. There was no hurt in the woman’s heart and yet beneath her joy and compassion for others she had a sense of secrecy and something else but she disguised it well and remained cheery and tender. Michael could not stay awake any longer so he curled up in Lilly’s lap where his angel stroked his hair and listened to Lady Haggart’s stories.

They loaded more logs onto the fire to keep up the party and the heat. As the conversation breezed onto magic, Lilly stiffened and felt vulnerable. Lady Haggart spoke of old stories she had heard and drew pictures in the ashes of the dying fire. Her eyes reflected the fire light and gleamed in the darkness. As she drew pictures in the ashes they clouded into dust and formed pillars. As Lilly watched in quiet amazement the grey plumes became tiny ashen figures that danced and played by the fire.

Emma seemed unmoved by the magic and smiled at the dancers while Lilly gawped. As the small enchanted beings danced the maid began to weave a spell around a log. It slowly lifted from the pile and floated over to the fire, but before it reached the flames it fell to the ground and crushed the little dancers. The maid sighed and placed the log on the fire by hand. The flattened figures got up and continued their waltz.

Lilly understood that the two women were Mages also and decided to join to in the use of magic. She summoned the power in her heart and managed to change the state of the fire to silver flames of ice that quivered in their frosted state. Emma and Lady Haggart looked impressed and released the hold of magic on the ash. Lilly struggled to control her magic and left it fade quickly.

The shaking in Lilly’s body caused Michael to stir. He opened hi blue eyes and smiled at his mother then rubbed his little head in his angel’s dress.

“Where’s Noomina?” he asked in a tired voice. A black creature skipped into the room on queue and jumped onto the table.

“Moulina,” corrected Lilly with a laugh. The beautiful creature strutted across the table. Her silver eyes glowed and her black coat shimmered. She proudly paraded towards Lilly and curled up next to Michael who cuddled her in his fat arms where she started to purr under his grip. Lady Haggart crawled across to her and stroked the animal gently. Moulina rubbed her head on Lady Haggart’s hand and smiled at all the attention.

As the maid began to yawn he bade them goodnight. Lady Haggart picked up her son and hugged him gently.

“Come on my little one,” she said as she carried him through to the living room where he was lain down on the soft cushions of the sofa. He stayed sleeping peacefully as Lady Haggart tiptoed over to the heavy wooden doors at the back of the house and crept out into the garden of bushes and trees covered in thick snow. She walked down through her orchard of sleeping trees to a small stream that watered her gardens in the summer. Lilly followed her through the deep drifts.

Lady Haggart had lost her childish nature of fun and carefree behaviour and looked serious. She watched the night and sniffed the winter air. Lilly was afraid of what she was going to do and grew cautious of every movement she made.

“How long have you know of your gift?” she asked without turning to face her. Lilly felt like a pupil receiving a punishment from a teacher.

“About two months, Lady Haggart.” She fiddled with her skirt but stopped immediately and rubbed her fingers instead.

“Please, I told you to call me Ceira.” Lilly found it hard to refer to her in any other way. It was built into her up bringing never to call an authority figure by their first name. “Who is your teacher?” She turned to face Lilly. She was smiling but just enough to put Lilly at ease.

“I’m not entirely sure.” Lady Haggart was confused.

“Who are you parents?”

“Abigail Mare.” Lilly’s vague answers puzzled Lady Haggart.

“I am a witch of many years. I specialise in life magic. I am not of element powers like you. I have a power of all living creatures. I can bring life, heal and animate ashes to look like they’re alive.” She smiled. “I am a maid of the High Councils. We are responsible for all Mages and magical beings in this world. We still have our Monarchs but they do not concern themselves with this world. You have been enlightened to your power but I don’t know how-” Lilly interrupted.

“In all honesty I know little more than you.” Lilly sounded angry and upset. Her eyes burned in the night as the snow cooled the rest of her body.

“Tell me what happened,” Ceira said kindly. Lilly told Lady Haggart about Simon. About the strange event in the street outside the bakery. About Evelyn. About Moulina and about the fever. The snow grew thick around them and Lilly began to glow. When she had finished her tale she felt as though she would cry and wanted to sit down in the snow but did not want to dampen the fine dress. Lady Haggart looked thoughtful then said:

“You have been through a lot these past few months but there is some one who can help you see things better.” Lilly tried to hide her feelings of annoyance that Lady Ceira Haggart knew so much, could control life and have a perfect family, while she could only freeze puddles. “You say Simon gave you, Moulina. This will only be temporary. We all have creatures as companions in magic, they are called Polts, but we must first find each other in the world. You have - for now - a Doltamear. My maid, Emma, has a Magpie. My Polt is some what different.” Lady Haggart smiled to herself. Lilly wondered what creature would choose someone with life magic.

“A Dragon,” was the answer to her thought. Lilly’s mouth dropped. Dragons didn’t exist. They were fairy tales. Myths. Lady Haggart held her hands clasped round her heart and closed her eyes so that she seemed to be in a trance. Soon she returned to her normal state and smiled in her childish attitude that made Lilly relax in the cold winter night.

“He is coming.”

Lilly could not believe that such creatures ever existed let alone in the present day. But Lady Haggart had summoned the ancient creature and as they waited in the snow a distant cry made them turn their heads skyward.

An object of unidentifiable shape dove through the darkness. It was pitch black to blend into the colour of night but the hide reflected some light off the stars making it visible. A void of movable darkness flapped down to the ground gusting snow away from the women’s feet. The only thing visible of the creature that had alighted before them were two Sapphire eyes that glowed like plasma and stood out perfectly against the darkness of its skin. The limited glow from the house shone on the immense creature whose skin flexed with its breathing and heart beat. It was almost the same size as the building. The snout was pointed with wet nostrils that wept in the cold. The slender neck held the thickly boned head high above the ground. Its body was lean but no bones protruded from the thin layer of flesh. The claws were black and curled into the snow while a dark grey membrane stretched tightly over bones and cartilage to form wings over two hundred foot from tip to tip. Two spiralling horns rose up to the heavens as the blue eyes shone with delight and mischief yet also with truth and valour. Its rough skin was scaled in places but a growth of fur like velvet covered some parts of the dragon’s body.

Lilly stood rigid in the shadow of the beast. She was afraid but stood boldly in the snow. Lady Haggart bowed deeply and made a strange gesture with her hand. The dragon lowered his head to the ground and snorted. Snow showered up around the two women and Lady Haggart laughed.

“His name is Reagel.” She spoke proudly and rubbed the snout of the great reptile. Reagel’s eyes flashed at Lilly then turned back his mistress. He looked at Lady Haggart for a long time. They seemed to be communicating through their minds. Lilly had not ever heard of Dragons speaking apart from in their own tongue which was incomprehensible by human ears. Lady Haggart turned to Lilly and held her hand.

“The High Council will wish to speak with you.” Lady Haggart was excited but Lilly didn’t understand why.

“Who are the High Council?”

“They are the highest members of magic in this world. Our Kings and Queens live in another world called Syashka and are more powerful than them. In each country there is a Council and it they whom keep watch on the balance of magic and try to help us with our powers. Will you come, Lilly?”

“Where are they?”

“They meet in different locations. I know how to reach them.”

Lilly was afraid of what was happening to her. She could use magic, Evelyn had been killed, she had been in fever, she had almost drowned and was standing in front a Dragon about to meet the High Council. She held Lady Haggart’s hand and allowed herself to be led towards the midnight Dragon.

Lady Haggart climbed up the snout and over the scaled head where she held onto a dark spiralling horn. Lilly did the same even though she crawled because she was not over keen on balancing between the two shining eyes on either side of her path. Once she had clambered to a horn and hung on tightly Reagel began to flap his wings sending snow flying in all directions. As they jerked into motion and gained height the wind cut throw their hair and bit at their skin to try and prise them off the pair of horns. Reagel did not mind the winter weather as he flew gently through the thin snow clouds. The wings of the Dragon beat powerfully and as the speed increased, so did the wind. Lilly was excited and wild with the thrill of flying on a mythical creature through the snowy night. Although the experience was wonderful, the frosty, night air struck at her skin and dress in an attempt to give her a chill. But the temperature of winter no longer seemed to bother Lilly who felt no cold but was aware that she should feel it.

The sound of Reagel’s wings flapping was like a lullaby and it was making her sleepy. Lady Haggart let go of the horn and held her arms spread out like wings. She had her eyes closed and was flying in her mind. Lilly held one arm out and tried to fly but the air pushed her arms back so that she almost fell off. Reagel reduced speed and began to glide for a while as he was tired and needed a rest. Lady Haggart walked over to Lilly completely unaffected by the gusts of wind.

“Are you all right?”

“Yes I’m fine thank you.” Lady Haggart reached down to the root of the horn and pulled a large tick from the soft flesh around the protruding bone. Lilly cringed at the site of it and was thankful when Lady Haggart threw the parasite into the night sky.

“Reagel found you in the snow with, Moulina crying and reported to me that there was a sleeping witch on the river bank. I sent out some men to find you. That’s how I brought you to Draigor Manor.” She patted the horn and smiled, “Did you ever hear about the real story of Draigor Manor?” Lilly shook her head. “The house was built and owned by a banker but he gave it to a German gentleman as a dowry to the marriage of his daughter. They had loved each other greatly. She taught him to speak English and he taught her to sword fight.” Lady Haggart smiled and shrugged her shoulders. “The odd exchange of talents kept the marriage strong until his wife died in the spring of their thirty third year. They say that he went mad after she died and had nightmares of black giants surrounding the house and of evil demons tormenting him to keep him prisoner in his own home. He died of old age and the house was said to be cursed with the black creature who stalked the grounds.” Lady Haggart patted Reagel again and giggled. “He wasn’t mad but no-one would believe him. The black giant was my Reagel playing with him. He is still young but knows enough to keep out sight. Poor man, suffering from the pastime of a young Dragon.” Reagel gave a hard flap and moaned. Lady Haggart laughed slightly. “I know my sweet you were only playing. He somehow knew that I would go there and was waiting for me. I first saw him when I was up late with Michael. He was teething and wouldn’t sleep. Reagel watched us through the window and all I could see were his blue eyes shining through the night. I screamed at first and woke the rest of the house. But I’m used to him now.”

Lilly smiled and held onto the horn as Reagel jerked backwards to land suddenly. He looped round as he had almost crashed into the side of a hill. He landed heavily and unbalanced on the side of a mountain. Lilly had no idea where she was and looked for guidance in Lady Haggart but she had already let go of Reagel’s horn and was sliding down the scaly neck. Lilly crawled back down the way she had climbed on. Reagel watched her as she crawled over his snout like an ant. His Sapphire eyes glowed but his body was shrouded by a light fleece of low mist.

Trenchtownrock   Trenchtownrock wrote
on 8/3/2009 9:16:15 PM
You have written another piece that really had me involved...your descriptions and how you paint your picture with words is amazing..I enjoyed Lily and how you produced her and made her come alive..your talent is outstanding my friend..I stand in awe once more of your ability...thanks for the constant love.

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Here there be Dragons ;)