On a Friday afternoon at Norwich High School for Girls, England, ten girls aged fifteen were in a classroom for their A Levels for Chemistry. The girls sat at their desks with exam packets in front of them and pencils in their hands. The students were wearing their uniforms of small black skirts, black tights, a shirt that was covered by a black sweater, and sneakers. They looked straight at their teacher, Mrs. Hill, and were silent. Mrs. Hill, their Chemistry teacher, stood in front of the class with a stopwatch in her hand. On the blackboard was written 'A LEVELS FOR CHEMISTRY ROOM 123'.
“Your time begins now,” said Mrs. Hill as she pressed the start button on the stopwatch. The students lowered their heads.
In the center of the classroom was Belinda, who was writing quickly, took three to four minutes per page in her packet. She was the smartest student in her class and had long brown hair. Students around her tried to peek over her shoulder for answers, but they could not see any words on her packet because she had her hand and arm on it.
After an hour passed, Belinda finished the last page of her packet and scanned through her packet to make sure she did not miss any questions. She placed her pencil on her desk, picked up her packet, and walked towards Mrs. Hill, who was sitting in a rocking chair. Mrs. Hill looked up from her copy of National Geographic and smiled at Belinda.
“Hello, Belinda. Let's see how you did,” said Mrs. Hill as she took the packet from Belinda, scanned through the packet, and looked pleased. Mrs. Hill pulled out a folder from under the rocking chair and put the packet in the folder.
“Well done. You are free to go. Have a nice weekend,” Mrs. Hill said.
“Thank you,” Belinda replied. Belinda walked to the front of the classroom to pick up her backpack and walked out without looking at anyone.
After about of a quarter of a mile, she arrived at a park that was close to her house. She found a tree in the center of the park, sat on the fresh cut grass while leaning her back towards the tree, and stared at the clouds. She started to daydream of a brown dragon and a dragon rider flying through those clouds. Then she saw through that dragon rider's eyes. She closed her eyes, spread her arms out to feel the light breeze pass through her, and smiled.
A rain drop fell on her right cheek and she opened her eyes towards the sky, which was filled with grey clouds. She picked up her backpack and ran through the park as a shortcut to her house.
Belinda arrived at her house that was big enough for a family of two. She noticed that her mother was still at work because the lights were off and the house was quiet. Belinda's mother worked as a nurse at the Norwich Hospital. After Belinda's father died in a car accident when she was three months old, her mother did not remarry nor had any other children. Belinda and her mother had been living in that house since her parents were newly-weds. Belinda walked up the stairs to her room and she listened to Dragonforce on her computer. She had been working on a dragon novel since she was thirteen years old.
The following morning, Belinda was waiting at a bus stop that was across the street from her house. At the far end of the road, Belinda saw the town bus coming. She took out her wallet, which slipped out of her hands and into the sewer.
“Oh perfect, just what I need first thing in the morning,” she said.
Belinda looked up and around to make sure there were no any oncoming vehicles. She lowered her hand in the sewer, felt her wallet, and started to pull it out. She turned her head when she heard a horn from an oncoming blue BMW. Belinda thought that she might die. The car hit her and she passed out.
Belinda woke up in the same position as she landed in the car hit her. However, she woke up in a small village in England of what appeared to be in the medieval ages. The village was under attack and there were people screaming and fighting around her. Belinda ran through the crowds, trying to get away from the village while not being caught by knights, who were attacking the villagers. She ran through what appeared to be alleys, getting out of the way when villagers were coming towards her. Belinda felt fear running through her but she knew that she had to get away from the village.
At the edge of one of the alleys, she saw a cave and ran towards it. Once she reached the entrance of the cave, she quickly got in to hide. She hid behind one of the rocks in the cave to watch the battle and made sure nobody was coming in her direction. She lowered her head deeper in the cave behind some more rocks to be more cautious. When she heard the village people quiet down, she put her hand on her mouth and breathed on her hand to catch her breath.
The village quieted down because Duke of Northumberland, who was wearing a long purple cape, dark-forest green boots, black pants and top, bright orange hair, light skin, tall, and appeared on his golden-brown horse. The knights stood in a horseshoe shape around the villagers and the Duke. The knights wore their armor and coats of arms that had a red background, an indented line on top of the shield, and a dragon in the middle of the shield. The villagers were silent when Duke of Northumberland spoke.
“By order of the king himself,” the Duke of Northumberland lied as he paused, “you must give us the remaining dragon eggs or your taxes will be raised higher. Whoever gives me the remaining eggs will be rewarded with great gratitude and taxes will lowered more than half of your current rate. Any man, woman, or child willing to speak up?” The villagers remained silent and had blank faces.
“Very well then,” the Duke of Northumberland said.
The Duke of Northumberland looked at a group of fourteen to sixteen year old girls, who were at the outer right side of the village crowd, smirked at the girls, and whispered to one of the knights. The knight walked to the girls and pulled on of one the girls. But the knight forced her to get on one of the knights' horses and rode to the Duke’s castle. The girl screamed and her hand reached towards the village, until she was no longer in sight. In the meantime, the villagers protested to get the girl back. However, the knights grabbed hold of some the protesters who were close to the Duke of Northumberland. The captive protesters were forced to kneel in front of the Duke of Northumberland and face towards the crowd while being held with knives to their necks. The villagers were silent again when the Duke of Northumberland spoke.
“Such a pathetic village,” the Duke of Northumberland lied again, “Since you fail to disobey the king’s orders, the girl will not leave my castle until she has a child. My men have earned themselves a little treat tonight. And on top of that, your taxes shall be raised. Now release the protesters.”
The knights released the protesters, who rejoined the crowd. In the meantime, the knights put away their knives and stood back in their places around the Duke of Northumberland.
“I shall return to this village at the next full moon. Better start preparing for your taxes or hand over the remaining dragon eggs,” the Duke of Northumberland said.
The Duke of Northumberland turned his horse a straight angle, the knights made way for him, he rode through the knights, and then the knights followed him by foot or horse. The knights were out of sight when the villagers walked in different ways to their homes.
Some of the village people were crying silently as they walked away. However, the girl’s parents were crying out loud. The husband was holding his wife’s head close to his chest as he frowned and cried. The wife hit her husband every now and then and cried why he didn’t do something to save their daughter. He slowly walked her to their home.
This was not the first time a teenage girl has been stolen from the village. Already the Duke of Northumberland had stolen twenty teenage girls and ten elderly people. They had not returned to the village since the day they were stolen.
Belinda hid deeper in the caves until the caves were completely dark. Because the inner cave was dark and she was scared to return to the village, she pulled out a lighter from her pocket, and held the lighter in front of her. She looked up to the right side of the cave, saw a torch near her head, and lit the torch. She walked further into the cave while holding the torch just above her head. Spider webs hung from the rocks and once in a while she saw spiders on the webs or crawling around. She slowly continued walking while looking both at her feet and looking straight forward.
It felt like twenty minutes to her when she found herself at a seemingly bottomless pit with a bridge covered with broken wood and spider webs. She turned around then turned back to the bridge.
“You have got to be kidding me,” she looked down in surprise.
Belinda lowered herself to her knees while holding the torch in one hand and balanced her weight on her other hand and legs. Her body started to shake, but she controlled it by taking deep breaths. She slowly crawled across the bridge, looking both at the torch and where she put her hands and legs. She managed to stay on the bridge the whole time. When she reached the end, she crawled off and onto the cave rocks. Then she slowly stood and continued walking through the cave.
After a few hours of walking through the tunnels of the cave, she saw a light peeking though the rocks of the cave. She followed the light between the cracks until she reached the end of the cave. At the entrance of the cave, she hung the torch between two rocks and headed towards a spring that was in front of the caves.
Belinda sat six inches away from the spring and glanced at the water. She looked up and noticed that she was near the village and then turned back to the water. However this time when she looked into the water, she saw her reflection first and then saw a dragon’s reflection. Belinda turned her head, calm but scared at the same time, to the dragon. The dragon was brown, huge, and stared at Belinda for a few seconds. Then it spread its long golden brown wings, each wing stretching eight feet, and he roared loudly. It flapped its wings, lifted itself from the ground, and flew away. The wind from the dragon’s wings forced Belinda to the ground. She landed on her backside and hands, watching the dragon till it was out of sight.
“Bloody hell, they are real!” Belinda cried.
Belinda walked into the village, trying to find a place to stay, and saw a teenage boy walking in her direction.
“Excuse me, is there a lodge here?” Belinda asked.
“Yes, just down this lane, last on your left,” he replied and held his hand out to Belinda, “I’m Draco by the way.”
“Belinda, and nice to meet you,” Belinda shook of Draco’s hand.
“You too. If you don’t mind me asking, why are you dressed like that?”
“It’s...fashion…from my village. Not really a wealthy village though,”
“Umm…Norwich…far away from here,”
“Oh, I see. What is your reason for travelling here?”
“Just…just to travel. To see other places in England,”
“Why? Were you not happy back at home?”
“It is not that. I just want to know what is happening in other places. Just something I wanted to do since I was a child,”
“Brilliant. Sorry to cut short but I got to get back to work. Anyways, see you sometime later?”
“Sure, see you later!” Belinda said.
“Right…ummm…bye,” Draco walked past Belinda and Belinda walked straight to the lodge. Draco quickly glanced over his shoulder to see if Belinda was looking back him, but she was not, and then he turned his head back and continued walking. However a few seconds later, Belinda glanced back at Draco but Draco was not looking back.
By the time Belinda arrived at the lodge, she took a moment to observe it. The lodge had small windows, a thatched roof, rocks and mud had been mixed strongly together to be made into mortar. Belinda opened the wooden door of the lodge and walked in. Near the door, there was a bar and a bartender, who was middle-aged, had silver hair, very tall and skinny, and was the owner of the lodge. He lifted his head from resting on his hand when Belinda stopped in front of him.
“Greetings, what can I do for you?” the bartender asked.
“Hello. Do you have any rooms available?” Belinda asked.
“Would you like a room and board?”
“Half or full board?”
“What’s the difference?”
“Would you like three meals or two per day?”
“Two meals please,”
“Half board it is. Are you alone?”
“How long are you staying here?”
“I don’t know. Could I just pay when I check out?”
“May I pay on the day that I leave?”
“Of course you may. May I have your name please?”
“Belinda Stevens,” Belinda replied. The bartender filled out on a slate quickly. The bartender turned around, grabbed a set of keys from the wall. He then looked up and handed Belinda the keys.
“Here you are, Mistress Stevens. It is room seventeen, down the hall on your right. Dinner is from six to eight, and breakfast is from seven to nine daily. The fee is a half shilling per night. Enjoy your stay,” said the bartender.
“Thank you,” Belinda replied. Belinda walked straight to her room. She thought it was odd that the bar did not have any people. Then again, she did not really care about what was going on. She put the key in the lock, unlocked the door, quickly got through the door, and locked her room.
Belinda sat at the bar counter eating roast beef and drinking small ale. The bar was full of people in the bar, drinking beer while loose women wandered from table to table. There were men sitting two stools away from both sides of Belinda, but they did not talk to her. Belinda ignored the noises from the people around her and the men. The bartender was working behind the counter at the time. Draco walked from the kitchen door to behind the bar counter, gave the bartender a nod, and the bartender went into the kitchen while Draco picked up a pitcher of ale and stayed behind the counter. Draco noticed Belinda, who had her head down and slowly ate her food at the counter. He lowered his head to try to meet Belinda’s eyes but she was still not paying attention.
“More ale?” Draco asked.
“No thanks,” Belinda kept her head down. Draco did not move and still looked at Belinda. Belinda raised her head for a second, lowered it, and then lifted her head in surprise.
“Draco! Hi…what are you doing here?”
“I work and live here. The bartender is my father,”
“Wow. Small world, eh?”
“It’s a phrase…ummm...never mind,”
“Ok then. Are you alone?”
“Family or orphan?”
“My family is back home and I am an only child. What about you?” Belinda asked. Before Draco could reply, a drunken middle-age man with his clothing stained from beer came up to the bar counter.
“Excuse me for a moment,” Draco said to Belinda. Belinda did not say a word and kept her eyes on Draco.
“What can I do for you sir?” Draco asked the drunken man.
“‘Nother ale, mate!” cried the drunken man.
“Coming right up, sir,” Draco got an ale mug from the counter, and filled it with ale. In the meantime, the drunken man checked out Belinda but she ignored him. Draco gave the mug to the drunken man.
“‘hanks ‘ate!” cried the drunken man.
“You're welcome, sir,” Draco replied. The drunken man turned around and walked away from the bar counter.
“Sorry about that. Where were we?” Draco asked Belinda.
“No problem. And we were talking about you,” Belinda replied.
“Right. I’m an only child. Mum died giving birth to me,” Draco lied as he scratched his chin and looked down and then raised his eyes back up, “I was raised by my father. I started working here, doing dishes since I was seven and I had behind the bar since I was fourteen.”
“Wow. How old are you?” Belinda asked.
“Sixteen. How about you?”
“Why aren’t you married?”
“Well, where I come from our parents do not choose whom we are going to marry. For me, I have not found the right one. Actually, I do not have any friends, so that makes sense,”
“Why don't you have friends?” Draco asked.
“To be honest I do not know. Guess because I’m different,”
“Everyone is different,”
“It is not that. What I meant was I do not fit in at all. Does that make any sense at all?”
“Yeah it does. I do not have any friends either. I did before I started working behind the counter. But now, I do not have time to socialise. In fact, they went to war last year and I have not heard a word from them,”
“So you are a loner like me,”
“You can say that. Are you finished with your meal?” Belinda looked down at her plate, which was half-full and cold. Then she looked back at Draco.
“Yes. Thank you,”
“My pleasure,” Draco took her plate into the kitchen. A few seconds later, Draco came back and noticed Belinda was staring at him.
“Is something wrong?” Draco asked.
“Huh...no, just a bit tired,” Belinda replied. Before Draco could say anything, one of the men near Belinda raised his hand. Draco walked to him and poured ale into his mug. The man nodded to Draco in gratitude. Draco walked back to Belinda and put the pitcher on the counter.
“Why is there a dragon nearby?” Belinda asked.
“Which one?” Draco asked.
“Which? The big brown one…” Belinda was surprisingly.
“Have you not seen a dragon before?” Draco asked. Belinda's jaw dropped and she could not say a word.
“Well, I have not been completely honest with you. I’m the only dragon trainer in this village. During the day, I go to the caves to look after them and train them. Right now, there are two brown dragons; a boy and a girl. Are you in any hurry to get to anywhere?” Draco whispered.
“No. I don’t even know when I’m leaving,” Belinda replied.
“Ok, good. I can’t tell you more because we are in public. Would you like to come with me and meet them tomorrow?”
“I would love to,”
“Brilliant. May I walk you to your room?”
“Will you get into trouble?”
“No, I’m on break now,” Draco replied. Then Draco and Belinda walked out of the bar to Belinda’s room without saying a word.
“I appreciate you walking me,” Belinda said to Draco when they were standing outside her door.
“No problem at all. Besides, I don’t trust those people who are drunk and you walking alone,”
“Thank you. So, see you tomorrow then,”
“Just meet me outside the lodge after you have breakfast,”
“Will do. Well, goodnight,” Belinda said. Belinda turned around to put her key through the keyhole while Draco sneaked a light peck on her cheek. Belinda looked back at him.
“What was that for?” Belinda was confused.
“That is how we say goodnight here,” Draco replied. Belinda gave Draco an awkward look.
“Right…umm…goodnight,” Belinda walked into her room and closed the door without looking back. Draco walked down the hall and back to the bar.
The following morning, Belinda waited patiently and looked for Draco, in front of the lodge entrance. Draco arrived at the lodge carrying a sack over his shoulder and a rope in his other hand.
“Ready?” Draco asked.
“Yeah,” Belinda replied.
“Alright. Oh, best not to talk about them till we get there.” Belinda and Draco walked from the lodge towards the caves without saying a word.
Draco and Belinda stood outside the cave entrance by the spring. Draco put his sack and rope on the ground and then looked at Belinda.
“Wait here. You might want to stay clear of the entrance,” Draco said.
“Ok,” Belinda replied.
Draco walked in the cave while Belinda walked to the side of the cave entrance. Belinda stood there quietly, looking at the scenery of the village and making sure nobody was coming towards the cave. Belinda heard Draco speaking small words and whistles to the two dragons in the cave.
When Belinda turned her head into the cave to try to see what Draco was doing, she suddenly ducked and covered her head with her hands, as a dragon flew out. She looked up and saw the other dragon fly out of the cave and over her. She kept her eyes on them as they were flying around the cave while Draco ran out, his clothes covered with dirt.
“Are you alright?” Draco asked.
Belinda turned her head to Draco. “Yeah, fine. What was all that about in there?”
“That was dragon talk. The whistles mean to fly and small words are used for communication,”
“I see. So why are there dragons here? And what’s with the Duke?”
“About five years before I was born, the village was not even close to how you see it today,” Draco explained, “Back then, mother and father made a good living, taxes were affordable, King Richard and the Duke of Northumberland were decent people, everyone was happy. One day King Richard came here to see the cave. We did not know about the dragons then. However, King Richard found two dragon eggs, wanted to stay to watch them grow, and demanded to stay at my father’s lodge. King Richard stayed for two full moons and was pleased about the dragons. When King Richard had to return to his palace, he kept them in this cave. The dragons came out for a few hours a day for fresh air. When the king had to go to war, the Duke of Northumberland took over this land behind King Richard’s back and ruined everything as soon as he heard about the dragons. The first stop he made in this village was father’s lodge. He ordered father to give him information about the dragons but father did not know about the dragons. Mother gave birth to me but she was taken that day. Since then, mother has not come back home.”
“I’m sorry,” Draco sat down on the grass and Belinda followed.
“Then the Duke of Northumberland made an announcement to the village that he would raise taxes if nobody told him where the dragons are. Nobody said a word because they did not know about the dragons either. Then suddenly, the Duke ordered his knights to rape five teenage girls in front of the village and claimed that was a warning. When I was a boy, I went to the caves out of curiosity, found the dragons, and they did not harm me at all. I got along with them, flew on them, and trained them to become good. The first time when I flew on them, the village saw me, and they knew the dragons were not here to harm us.”
“And just how did they know that?” Belinda asked.
“The village has not been burned down, the village has not been attacked by them, and they only harm anyone who is involved with the Duke of Northumberland, like the knights,”
“How do you know when the dragons are speaking to you?”
“Look at them in the eyes and listen to the voice that is speaking in your head,”
“Why does the Duke of Northumberland want the dragon eggs in the first place?”
“Jealousy of the king,” Draco shrugged his shoulders, “Nobody knows except for the Duke himself,” Draco looked up at the dragons then back at Belinda. He got up, put the sack over his shoulder, and walked to Belinda to offer her the rope while.
“Want to ride?”
“Why not!” Belinda cried with a smile as she took the rope from Draco. Draco looked up to the dragons, put two fingers in his mouth, and whistled hard. The dragons flew and landed in front of Draco and Belinda. Draco looked at both dragons in the eyes.
“We ride,” Draco said to the dragons. The dragons lay on their stomachs. Draco took the rope from Belinda to help her get on the female dragon, gave Belinda one end of the rope, ducked under the female dragon’s neck, and gave the other end of the rope to Belinda. Draco lifted himself on the male dragon, tied the strap of the sack around his waist, looked at Belinda, then looked forward.
“RIDE!” Draco shouted. The dragons suddenly lifted up from the ground. Belinda lowered herself on the back of the dragon’s neck.
“Whoa! I was not ready for that!” Belinda shouted at Draco.
“You will get used to it!” Draco shouted back at Belinda. The dragons flew around the cave a few times then headed towards the nearby hills. The dragons flew around the hills for an hour or two and then flew back to the spring.
Later that night, Belinda and Draco were sitting at the bar counter, and ate roast pork and drunk small ale. The bar was full of people, drinking beer while loose women wandered from table to table. Draco and Belinda ignored the background noises surrounding them.
“Judging by my calculations and assuming the castle is made from rock and mortar, I think we should fight,” Belinda said.
Draco had his beer mug close to his lips but did not drink his ale. He slowly put the mug back down on the table and glared at her. “And how are we going to do that? We do not have any weapons, or armor,” Draco said.
“First of all, we do have weapons. Spears, knifes, clubs…”
“Against swords, crossbows, spears,” Draco interrupted.
“But they do not have the dragons, now do they? This village has taken more than enough punishment for something it did not do. How well can those dragons breathe fire?”
“Three to five seconds at a time. Why?”
“Where does the Duke of Northumberland go when he is not at the village?”
“He is at the castle. Wait, are you saying that we need to burn down the castle? But our families are in there…” Draco fearfully asked.
“That is why I need the village to be involved with this. Some of the village men will find the way to get the families out while the rest of the village will distract the knights. When the families are out, the castle will be burned down and so will the Duke of Northumberland,”
“And what about the surviving knights?”
“Let them run. They cannot do anything without a leader,”
“What if the Duke survives?”
“He cannot take your taxes. Where is he going to put the money? He would not be living fancy and rich. Plus he is not going to know how to live on nature. And good luck explaining to King Richard about why he is covered with mud, smells like poop, and still calls himself a Duke,”
Draco laughed, “There is one problem though. The knights outnumber this village,”
“You cannot outnumber a dragon. Besides, fire spreads until you put it out,”
“How is it you are so smart?”
Belinda short laughed and smiled at Draco, “Welcome to my world,”
Later the following morning, the village people crowded around Belinda and Draco in a semi-circle, talking among themselves and quieted down when Belinda started speaking.
“Good day everyone,” Belinda said, “Thank you for coming to this meeting. What I’m going to say will sound crazy but it is what is right. The Duke of Northumberland keeps requesting the dragons. Raise your hands if you do not know anything about the dragons.” None of the villagers raised their hands.
“Ok, good,” Belinda said, “We are on the same track. As I can tell, this village is nothing but a joke to the Duke of Northumberland. He comes here asking for the dragons and takes something that belongs to you. This has been happening since before I was born. Why hasn’t anyone has not stood up and said this isn’t right? Are you afraid of dying? Are you afraid to stand up and fight for a better future? I have not been in this village long, but I know how to help. Back in my village, I went to school. I have an idea how to defeat an evil heart to make it poor. Why are you being punished for something that is good? I say we need to fight and take revenge. You may not be knights but you have the weapons, the courage, and the strength to fight. Not to mention we have strong fire from those dragons. As soon as we can, preferably at nightfall, my plan is to take down that castle along with the Duke of Northumberland.”
“What about our families who are there?” asked a village man with ragged clothing and dirt on his face.
“We will get them out before the castle burns down,” Draco replied, “The plan is to have a few men who are familiar with the castle to find them and give us the signal to burn. In the meantime, the rest of the village will fight the knights. Once it is safe to burn, the dragons will fly over the castle and burn every inch of it.”
“What if the Duke of Northumberland survives?” asked a village woman with long silver hair, holding an infant in her arms.
“What’s the worse that could happen when he does survive?” Belinda replied, “He cannot have your money or women. We can survive on nature and he cannot. I bet you that he has never taken off his fancy clothing and camped out for one night. And he is going to learn the hard way. Once King Richard sees the Duke of Northumberland’ appearance, King Richard will know how badly this village has been treated and punish the Duke of Northumberland’s himself.” The crowd cheered and then quieted down when Draco spoke.
“All we have to do now is gather up our weapons and meet here an hour before dawn. See you then,” Draco said. The crowd scattered in different directions to their homes and spoke among themselves. Belinda and Draco remained standing where they were and looked at each other.
“How are we going to handle the dragons?” Belinda asked.
“What do you mean?”
“Will they have enough fire to burn the castle?”
“Belinda, you said yourself that fire spreads. Normally dragons would not let you ride on them. But they let you ride on them. They trust you. And if they trust, then I trust you. If we fail, we fail together. We are not cowards because of you. You are telling us to fight. If I die with you, I would die happily. You are smart and this village will give you gratitude for taking a stand. And one last thought…” Draco quickly put his lips on Belinda’s and kissed her slowly. He looked at her for a few seconds then turned away and walked to the lodge while Belinda stood there shocked.
That evening, Draco had a knife and axe attacked to his belt, a bow around his shoulder, and arrows in a bag on his back. Belinda had a rope wrapped around her waist, and they were waiting for the villagers to gather around as earlier that day. One by one, the villagers, age fifteen and older, had every weapon that they found in their household.
“I want you to lead the dragons,” Draco spoke in a low voice to Belinda.
“Why me?” Belinda asked.
“Don’t ask at this point. I’m one of the few people in this village who knows how to get to the castle. I will lead the people. I will tell them where to go. Stay close to the castle and keep low. I will whistle to signal the dragons when to come. Now go, run,” Draco ordered.
“But…” Belinda protested.
“Go!” Draco interrupted. Belinda hugged Draco as if it might be the last time they would see each other. Belinda turned around and ran straight to the cave. Draco watched her until she was out of sight and then turned his head to face the crowd.
When Belinda arrived at the caves and the dragons were already outside, drinking from the spring. Belinda stood between them and the dragons looked at her.
“Village attack castle tonight. Ride and near castle but stay low. Draco…” Belinda said. Then she put two fingers in her mouth and whistled.
“And you,” Belinda said and pointed her fingers at both dragons, “burn castle.” There was a cheerful noise from the village. Belinda turned her head to the village and then back to the dragons. The female dragon lay on her stomach for Belinda. Belinda got on her. Then the female dragon got on her feet and waited for Belinda’s command.
“RIDE LOW!” Belinda shouted. Both dragons lifted up and flew a couple of feet above the trees. A few minutes later, Belinda saw a hill with very few trees on top about a quarter of a mile ahead near the castle.
“BARE HILL, FORWARD!” Belinda shouted.
The dragons landed on the hill and lay on their stomachs to keep low. Belinda got off the female dragon, walked to the edge of the hill, knelt and hid behind the rocks, looked down, and saw the village people heading towards the castle. In the meantime, the village pressed their bodies against the castle wall to avoid being caught.
“Where are the men who had been here before?” Draco asked the villagers. Three of the village men, all in mid-forties, light bearded, and standing a few feet away from Draco, raised their hands. Draco walked up to them.
“You know where the families are being held, correct?” Draco asked.
“Yes,” all three men replied at the same time.
“Ok. Wait for my signal for you to make a distraction. Once the families are out, scream my name. From there you will hear me whistle and then you must run, because that is when the dragons will take care of the rest. Go!” Draco said. The three men ran around the castle wall because they knew where a hidden tunnel was. Draco turned to the rest of the village people and led to them back of the castle.
There were two knights guarding the back of the castle. Once they were twenty feet from the knights, Draco raised his hand to quiet and stop the village people behind him. Draco pulled out his bow and two arrows and shot the two knights. Draco signaled the village people with his hand to move forward.
At the main entrance of the castle, a knight was guarding one of the towers. The knight saw the villagers, lit a torch to warn the rest of the castle, and yelled “intruders” repeatedly. Then all four torches around the castle were lighting up. Knights quickly manned both between the towers and inner court of the castle.
The villagers stampeded into the castle before knights could close the gate. However, the knights also poured hot oil on the villagers from the downspouts of the towers. Some of the villagers got hit by the oil and screamed as their skin burned.
When the villagers were attacking the knights in the inner court of the castle, both men and women were fighting with fists, knifes, and clubs. Draco was using his axe to fight against the knights and he was very good at his aiming.
In the meantime, the Duke of Northumberland was looking down from his window to see what was going on and was upset. He turned around to grab his sword near his bed. Suddenly, he got punched in the face by one of the three village man, who was waiting outside his door. Then the village man continued searching for the families.
The three men found the prison cells that were located in the lower part of the castle. They picked up their axes, opened the prison doors, and freed everyone. The prisoners were mostly young women. The rest of the prisoners were elders, who were from another village nearby. Each time when a prison door was open, the men would yell ‘GO, RUN’.
“Alright, let’s move. Get the hell out of here,” cried one of the three men, who was in his mid-twenties with short fire-red hair. One of the prisoners were too weak to walk due to starvation punishment, so the three village men had the prisoners lean on their shoulders as they quickly walked out of the prison.
Once the prisoners and two older men made their way through the back of the castle, the young man ran to the inner court of the castle to find Draco.
“DRA…” the young man shouted when he saw Draco. Draco turned his head to the young man, who was stabbed in the back by the Duke of Northumberland with his sword. The young man fell to his knees with his eyes and mouth opened wide. Draco looked shocked when he saw the young man fall and angry as he looked up to the Duke of Northumberland. Draco put two fingers in his mouth and whistled hard.
The two dragons heard Draco’s whistle. They roared and Belinda quickly got on the male dragon as he rose up. Both dragons lifted up and head towards the castle.
“WAIT TO FIRE!” Belinda shouted.
Draco saw the dragons flying towards the castle. Then saw Duke of Northumberland attacking the villagers while coming towards Draco.
“RETREAT! RETREAT!” Draco shouted as he kept his eyes on Duke of Northumberland.
The villagers backed up against the castle gate as they continued fighting to escape. However, they noticed the gate was closed. A few men found the gate pulley and turned the wheel to open the gate. When the men were the only ones left in the inner court of the castle, other than the knights, Draco, and Duke of Northumberland, the men hurried through the gate to get outside the castle before the gate closed.
Draco still had the axe in his hands and waited for the Duke of Northumberland to make his move as they were facing each other. The Duke of Northumberland struck first with the sword but Draco blocked with his axe and swung it but Duke of Northumberland blocked with the sword. The Duke of Northumberland cut Draco’s cheek with sword. Draco screamed but remained standing. Draco swung his axe and missed the Duke of Northumberland again. The Duke of Northumberland cut Draco’s stomach. Draco fell to his knees, put his free hand on his stomach, and screamed.
The dragons began to circle around the castle. “FIRE!” Belinda screamed. Both dragons opened their mouths to exhale fire, and circled the castle walls at a 180 degree angle. One dragon went one way and the other dragon went the opposite way. However, Belinda looked down in the inner court of the castle and saw Draco on his knees.
“Oh my God. DRACO! DOWN, INNER COURT!” Belinda shouted. Both dragons headed towards the inner court as quickly as they could.
The Duke of Northumberland raised his sword as Draco looked into his eyes. Draco was too weak to stand up. He dropped the heavy axe, reached for his knife, quickly raised his hand, and stabs the Duke of Northumberland through his armor and cut across his stomach before he was able to strike. The Duke of Northumberland screamed as he dropped his sword, fell to his knees. He looked at Draco for a moment.
“Draco, I’m William, your half brother,” the Duke said and handed Draco a medallion with a dragon’s face on it. “This is why the dragons are still alive. They don’t belong with our world. Get rid of them whenever you’re ready.” William dropped on his side, dead. Both dragons landed in the inner court of the castle. Belinda jumped off the male dragon, ran to Draco and held him to her.
“Draco…Draco,” Belinda said until their eyes met.
“Belinda…” Draco said painfully.
“Do not speak,” Belinda got on her feet and helped Draco up. Then Draco leaned on Belinda’s shoulder and they walked towards the dragons.
The male dragon lay on the ground as low as he could while Belinda helped Draco get on. Belinda got on the male dragon and sat behind Draco. She then took the rope off her waist and wrapped the rope around the dragon’s neck.
“RIDE!” Belinda shouted. Both dragons lifted up, and flew away from the castle towards the village. Belinda held on to Draco with one hand and balanced herself with the other hand by hanging on tightly to the rope.
Later on that night, the villagers were dancing around a bonfire in the centre of the village; drums and songs were heard from each corner of the celebration. There people were serving drinks for free and feasting. In the meantime, Draco was bare chested had a long piece of cloth wrapped around his waist as a bandage. Belinda was sitting next to a campfire with Draco, which was a couple of feet from the spring. Draco was staring at Belinda, who was smiling back at him.
“I want to show you something,” Draco said.
“What is it?” Belinda asked.
“It is a surprise,” Draco looked up, put two fingers in his mouth, and whistled. dragons heard and landed in front of them. Draco got on the male dragon and Belinda got on the female dragon.
“SKY!” Draco shouted. Both dragons lifted up, flew around the cave a few times, and then headed straight to the hills. Then the dragons slowed down enough to stay up in the air. In the background the harvest moon appeared huge. Belinda was staring surprised at the moon while Draco was looking at her.
“Bet you never seen the moon like this before,” Draco said.
“I have not. It is…” Belinda said.
“Surprise!” Draco interrupted. Belinda turned her head to Draco and looked speechless.
“…amazing,” Belinda said.
An hour later, both dragons landed near the spring. Belinda was sleeping and was leaning forward on the back of the female dragon’s neck. Draco quietly got off then gently carried Belinda from the dragon to near the spring, next to the fire.
“Thank you,” Draco whispered to Belinda as he put his hand gently on her cheek.
Belinda was unconscious for three days at the Norwich Hospital. Her bottom lip was cut, her right cheek and forehead were bruised, her left arm was in a cast, her ribs was bruised but strong enough for her to breathe, and her back was bruised. Her mother was in her nurse's uniform and held Belinda’s hand as she slept. Her mother looked similar to Belinda, only she had a few wrinkles. When Belinda woke up, she looked around and noticed she was in modern time. Then she looked down at her mom and gently shook her mother’s hand.
“Mom…mom,” Belinda said in a low and gentle tone. Belinda’s mother woke up and saw that Belinda was awake.
“Belinda,” Belinda’s mother cried with joy and hugged Belinda “I’m so glad you’re alive.”
Two days later when Belinda was released from the hospital, she walked by a model store that was near her house and she stopped to look at two different models that were next to another. One of the models was a castle being attacked by two brown dragons, and the other castle was burned and had another two brown dragons around it. Belinda looked up and saw Draco standing behind the models. Belinda looked shocked as Draco smiled. However, Draco was wearing a black leather jacket and jeans. Draco raised his hand, wiggled his fingers to signal Belinda to come in. Belinda laughed, walked into the store, and hugged Draco.