A/N : In this story, I use the words "monastery," "sect," and other such words usually used to refer to religious institutions…as that these words are the closest I can come to the true meaning of the "school" Xaria attends, I will use them, though the paths of magic in this world are not directly associated with any religious institutes…

Chapter #2 – The Drakoon Draltev

Near the peak of Mount Atkomaryn a few days later, Xaria, a drakoon and apprenticed draltev, sat in the main courtyard of her order's monastery. Her ashen green robes fell neatly around her, the bell sleeves and bottom hem rippling slightly in the cold, early spring breeze that seemed to continually blow on the mountain. She was playing with the tassels on one of the ends of the red cord that hung over her shoulders distractedly while in the other hand sat a letter. She had a smile on her face. It was from her little brother, Ginfe, letting her know that their mother had just given birth to a healthy baby boy named Argenfon.

"Your smile signals good news," said a familiar voice behind her.

Standing quickly, Xaria began to assume the standard pose that was expected when the head of her order was present, but he stopped her with a wave of his hand. They were, after all, quite good friends and when they spoke of personal things, the formalities were not generally observed.

Norestes Rhon, his dark brown hair still as messy looking with its little spikes sticking up, was dressed in the standard colors of a initiated member of the sect, charcoal gray robes. Around his neck hung the symbol of his being an elder (at least fifty years of being initiated) of the order – a gold and silver pendant shaped like a dragon, its wings slightly spread and looking as though it were about to land, its tail hanging down. He also wore a narrow, dark green shawl around his neck that fell to his knees, which signified his position as a Master of the Draltevine Order. He only looked to be in his thirties, but he was over two centuries old. He wore a smile on his face too, glad to see her this happy, the happiest she had been since she had arrived there.

"Yes, it is good news." Her smile broadened. "My mother's given birth to her second son. They've named him Argenfon."

Something in Norestes' expression seemed to twitch. "Argenfon?"

"Yes." She looked at him curiously, her smile fading. "Is there something wrong with my parents naming him that?"

"No, not really. It is just a prophecy that I remember hearing when I was little. The name reminds me of it for some reason."

"A prophecy? And it was about someone named…"

"Well, that is just it, I could be mistaken. My childhood was a long time ago, after all. It could just be a similar sounding name, right?"

"That's true." Her smile returned. She looked down at the letter. "He also says he wants me to come home as soon as possible to see him. They all miss me…"

"And you miss them, I know, but you have eleven months before your apprenticeship has ended, no matter how well you learn the spells. You will not be able to go home until then."

Xaria looked down, frowning some. "Yes, I know."

"But when you have been initiated into the order, when you have finished your preliminary learning and passed all your trials, you are more than welcome to go see your family."

The smile returned once more to her face, this time lighting it up completely. "I'm glad you'll let me."

"It is not any of my letting you. Once you are initiated, you are welcome to go where you wish, though you must always observe the code of the order in you travels…"

"And remember all my oaths, yes, I know," she said with a sly grin, remembering all the times when he told her when they first met of the oaths he had of honesty and secrecy.

"Yes, exactly, though you need to remember not to cut off the elders when they are speaking," he said with a smirk.

The young drakoon chuckled softly. "I always remember it when I'm around the other elders, but I tend to be lax about it when speaking with you. I try to remember my formalities with you, but…"

As she trailed off, chuckling again, Norestes nodded. "We are friends, and it is difficult to be formal with friends all of the time, even when they are your elders."

"I would ask you to forgive me, but you would tell me it was nothing, like usual."

"Of course." He began to turn, but kept his eyes on her. "You need to return to you lessons. Master Taekian is awaiting your return."

"Oh, dear, I hope he wasn't waiting too…"

"No, he would have come get you if you were too late in returning." Norestes smiled. "Now come along, young apprentice."

Xaria and Norestes began to walk back to the monastery's main entrance when a particularly strong gust of cold wind whipped past them. As she grasped the sleeve of Norestes' robes to steady herself in the rush of icy air. The letter from her brother was swept from her hand, as she had not been holding it that tightly. She gasped and tried to grab it back, but it had flown up, and her long white hair obscured her view of it as it blew about wildly in the wind, so she could not retrieve it with a spell either.

"No…"

"It was just a letter, Lady Xaria. And I am sure you read it many times."

When the wind died down, and once she had her hair out of her eyes, she looked in the direction she thought the letter had gone in. There, with the parchment clutched in its mouth, was an aveitisn, a small, very bird-like dragon. She felt a shiver go down her spine when she saw it. She did not like this for some reason, watching a dragon carrying off a letter. It felt a bit…planned.

"A spy…"

"Huh?"

"It may be as I feared." Norestes was speaking more to himself than to the apprentice by him. "I will have to start writing letters. This needs to be resolved."

With the head of her order walking off, talking to himself, Xaria turned back to the direction the little dragon had flown. Was this about the prophecy he had just mentioned in passing? She had a feeling it was. But she knew that Norestes would certainly find an answer, and hopefully let her know. Then she could discuss it with her parents either in a letter, or when she finally got to return home to see them the next year.

To my reviewers –

catz – did this chapter answer your question about Xaria at school? You won't see much of her there, but there will be tidbits…yes, you will find out what the prophecy says in the next chapter…and I'm hoping it won't give too much away…though the ending would still surprise people even if they did figure it out for the most part…

moonsilk – oh…Argenfon will get some romance…I can promise you that…but I'm not saying anything else about that…

Darkmoon Demon – I'm glad you think the start's great…hope I can keep that up…

AmethystTrish – curious, eh? Well, as I told catz, you'll find out in the next chapter and I'm hoping that it doesn't give too much away…

Hey all…please review me…I know there are lots of you reading…I see you coming in with my enhanced stats…I want to know what you think! PLEASE?