Ok, so I'm new here. I've got a fanfiction, but this is my first time on fictionpress. But don't be nice if you leave a review. I want heavy, mean criticisms.

This is a story that I wrote a couple of years ago, and I thought I'd put it up.


A soft bell woke me. At first I wondered where I was. Then I remembered that I was in the manor where Ms. Coral took me after I lost my parents.

When I looked around the room, I saw a yellow dress hanging on the wardrobe.

Just after I pulled it on, a large crash rang out. Dashing into the corridor, I saw Keroshi, the other orphan I lived with, smiling sheepishly down at me. Even if Keroshi is a year older than I am, he acts like he's a year younger.

"What happened?" I demanded.

"Crashed into the wall and broke a picture."

"On purpose?"

"Yep."

"So immature," I sighed.

Pretty soon we heard a click of heels on the floor.

"Ms. Coral!" I whispered.

"Yep." Grinned Keroshi.

A severe woman in an ugly blue dress and even bluer hair stepped from the stairs.

"I heard a crash. Was it any of you?" She demanded menacingly.

"Yep." said Keroshi.

"You did it?"

"Yep."

"Why?"

"I tripped."

My eyes rolled.

"To your room!"

"OK." Keroshi said happily and disappeared.

"Kiva."

"Yes?" I asked.

"Please come with me."

"Alright."

Ms Coral took me into one of the unused rooms. Now though, it was decorated with pictures and bookcases. Desks were spread around the room and a candle was glowing on the biggest desk.

"What's all this for?" I asked.

"Well, a new term will start in one week and I want you to attend my educate class."

"WHAT?!" I yelled.

"Inside voice please." Ms. Coral said irritably.

"Sorry—what do you mean by educate classes?"

"I mean, you are a twelve year old girl and I want you to grow up and become a civilized young lady.

"You will be with other girls your age, and you will all learn manners, educate, and dance. I expect you to be the very best in my class considering that you live with me."

I just stood there, dumbfounded.

"I will need to make you look like a civilized young lady," Ms. Coral continued, "And that means no bare feet, and your hair has to be up in a bun."

"Has to?" I whined.

"Yes." Ms. Coral said sternly.

Over the next few days, girls kept arriving. Ms. Coral put them in guestrooms. Many had taken to following Keroshi around.

One day, a girl arrived in a beautiful carriage pulled by six horses. She stepped out and surveyed the manor imperiously. Red silk lined with golden lace and silver chains hung on her body. A fur cape laced at her neck adorned strong shoulders.

Ms. Coral hurried up to her and exclaimed, "Elana of Trunce! So glad you could make it!"

Elana glanced dismissively at Ms. Coral and said, "It's my pleasure," as if all of this was beneath her.

Ms. Coral smiled and called, "Hans! Take the trunks of this young lady."

Hans, a tall figure with blond hair that hung to below his ears, blue eyes, and clad in many colors of cloth, came forward and took Elana's bags. Several girls giggled and blushed.

Elana walked forward and glared at me. "Who are you to dress in silk? Only people who come from noble families wear silk."

"Lucky for them." I replied coolly.

Elana sniffed and stalked off.

"Kiva, please don't upset Elana." Ms. Coral told me, "She is bad enough as it is without you interfering."

"Yes ma'am."

The next day, Elana came up to me and asked, "Your name is?"

"Why does it matter to you?"

"Tell me!'' She demanded.

"Kiva. Kiva Starling." I told her.

"Elana."

"I know."

"Girls! A word please!" Ms. Coral called, "Into the class room!"

Everyone followed obediently. Elana stalked to the front, pushing younger students out of the way.

In the classroom, everyone took a seat and looked attentively at Ms. Coral.

"As you all know, term starts tomorrow and all of you will be present. Do you understand? Good. The requirements for tomorrow: you must have your hair up in a bun; dresses must be clean and ironed. There will be no talking unless I call on you. Understand? Very well, dismissed."

I started making my way toward my room when Elana caught up with me.

"I want you to know that I am not used to being disrespected."

"Well, here's your chance to get used to it." I replied.

"Oh you make me mad, Starling!"

I shrugged and let my feet take me somewhere. I found myself at the door of Ms. Coral's suite. Voices were coming from inside. I heard Ms. Coral's, and two I didn't know. One was man's voice, beautiful and rich. The other, a woman's. Smooth with a slight accent.

"You really think that the Bearer will come to the academy, Coral?

"I am almost certain of it, Pearl. Hans will, of course be keeping tabs on the girls to see if they show any signs."

"Yes." Came the rich voice and I knew it belonged to Hans.

"I can't believe you would think that one of the little girls here is the bearer of The Magic Emerald."

I gasped. Magic emerald?

"I have seen the signs. The Horvand has said that before the Dark Solstice, one will come." Ms. Coral said.

"I do not believe it. Only one will ever get The Magic Emerald and she will be the right one." Pearl retorted.

"Pearl, I already have someone who I think is the one. Her name is Elana of Trunce. Her mother is the Duchess of Trunce. She seems like the type."

"I don't know, Coral. I would have to meet that girl.

"Well, I must be going, Coral. See you in another month." I heard footsteps walking toward the door. I flung myself back just as the door opened. Then, someone closed the door them and turned to look at me. I gasped, for standing there was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She had long blond hair, and clear, midnight blue eyes that sparkled. Draped around her shoulders, a silk shawl adorned with jewels hung over red robes that fluttered when she moved.

"You are Kiva?" She asked.

I nodded.

"You heard everything?"

Again, I nodded.

"Did you understand anything that we said?"

I shook my head.

"Very well. Take this. Coral says Elana is the one but I'm not so sure. Keep it safe for me."

She handed me an emerald. It was in the shape of a sphere and wrapped elaborately in gold wire.

"Guard it with your life. Oh and, share this with your brother." She told me, and then swished off down the corridor and out of sight.

I was still sitting there when two pairs of feet began walking toward the door. I was standing there in plain sight without any time to move. I knew Ms. Coral and Hans were about to walk out of that room. I clutched the emerald and wished desperately I had the ability turn invisible. To my surprise, neither Ms. Coral nor Hans looked my way or showed any recognition that I was there. Puzzled, I looked down at my feet, but no feet were there. I almost screamed aloud for I had turned invisible.

After Ms. Coral and Hans turned the corner, I wished to be visible again, and looked at my feet. Feet were there. I sighed and walked off to find Keroshi. He was sitting in the library reading a book titled Girls and the things they do.

"That book was obviously written by a man." I commented.

Keroshi blushed and said, "Well, I'm old enough to marry so I thought I would try to find the traits of a good woman."

I smiled and said, "Do you have a moment? I need to discuss something with you."

"Sure." Keroshi marked his page and followed me out.

I took him to a deserted room and said, "At the door of Ms. Coral's room, I listened and heard some very interesting things.

I told Keroshi everything I had heard, ending with, "And the last thing, the woman gave me this. I think it is the Magic Emerald."

I pulled out the stone and showed it to Keroshi.

"Wow." He reached out to touch it but I snatched it away.

"It can make me do this." I wished to be invisible and Keroshi gasped.

"I know. I can make this happen to me just by wishing it." I told him.

"Why are you telling me?" he asked.

"The woman said I could. Besides, I want someone to be just as confused as I am."

"Well thanks." Keroshi said, a bit put off, turned and walked out of the room.

I followed him and came face to face with Elena.

"Starling," she said.

"What?" I replied, a bit irritably.

"I need you to come with me, now."

"As if." I said, and turned away.

"Kiva." Since it was the first time she had actually used my name, I turned.

"The Magic Emerald," she said, "What to you know?"

"Uh," her question had caught me completely off guard and I didn't know how to answer.

"Tell me, do you have it?" she said.

"I don't know what you're talking about." I said, playing dumb.

"Don't give me that, I just want to know about the Emerald, Starling," she reverted to my last name as her brows drew together. Wow, she got mad fast.

"I-I-" I stuttered stupidly before turning and racing toward my room.

The next morning, I peeked out the door. No Elana. I stepped out and glanced around again. Someone's footsteps thudded around the corner. I gasped and dove back in my room.

"Kiva?" Keroshi peeked around the corner.

I let out a sigh.

"It's you!"

"Who did you think it was? Santa?"

"No, it's just-Elana tried to take the Magic Emerald from me, and I don't want to run into her again." I explained.

"Ah. Why'd she try to take it from you?" Keroshi said.

"I honestly don't know. I think Ms. Coral told her about it and she's trying to get it because she thinks it will help her in some way? I dunno."

"Hey, don't you have some class to get to?" Keroshi reminded me.

"Oh right, thanks! I better go get dressed." Keroshi started to follow me. "Alone!" I slammed the door in his face.

Quickly I pulled on my gown and hopped into my shoes. The corridors were deserted because everyone had gone to class already. I sprinted down them while hurriedly trying to put my hair into a respectable bun.

I burst in a few minutes late.

"So, Kiva has decided to join us. A pity." Ms. Coral sneered. I blinked. Why was she treating me like this?

Several girls sniggered.

I threw a dark look at Ms. Coral and flopped into my seat.

Ms. Coral called upon Elana to help her pass out slate and stylus.

When Elana came to me, she slammed the slate down on my desk and wrote something on it before shoving the stylus into my chest. I glared after her, but looked down quickly to see what she had written.

"WE NEED TO TALK" was written in big, sloppy letters across the middle.

I had taught myself to read when I was seven. It was a hot, boring day, so I snuck a book Ms. Coral's library up to my room and learned to read by looking at the pictures and what I knew of the alphabet. Ms. Coral caught me, but I was happy at my accomplishment.

So, because Elana barely knew how to form the letters, I had a hard time deciphering it.

"Listen up!" Ms. Coral's voice cut through the chatter of the other girls.

"Today, we will learn to write. And, in the process of writing, I hope you will learn to read, also.

"So, please pick up your stylus hold it correctly. Like this."

Ms. Coral demonstrated how to do it. The younger girls struggled until Ms. Coral came over and put it in their hands.

"All right. Let us try to write the letters of the alphabet. This is an 'A'"

It went on like this for two hours. Ms. Coral would write a letter on the slate and the other girls would try and copy it.

At around noon, Ms. Coral announced that it was time for us to take a break.

"The grounds are free, and so is the Library on the second floor. You may go to your rooms, but I'd rather that you wouldn't. Dismissed."

We all filed out and headed in different directions. I went in the direction of the Library.

"Hold it!"

I turned around to see who was calling me. It was Elana. I quickly turned on my heel and started to walk away.

"Wait!" She caught up with me, "I'm sorry I tried to be so forceful. I just don't know what came over me. I just needed you to pay attention to me. I have always been the small one who gets in the way. I was never respected in the other world. Always the one who was pushed away to my nannies." She said.

"Hold on a sec, what is this other world?" I asked.

"It's the beautiful place of Ricarya. So many wonderful things. And it's always peaceful because the Guardian protects it. But, fourteen years ago, the Guardian disappeared. So, the noble City of Trunce traveled to the Circle of Stones and settled in this world."

"What?" I was astonished at completely confused at what she said.

"It's true." And she walked away.

I arrived at the Library and headed for Keroshi's favorite section, Science fiction. I found him there reading a book called The Empty Hourglass.

"A James Jaerad book. I haven't heard of him." I said.

"Well you wouldn't, would you? You hate science fiction." He replied.

I made an impatient noise. "Whatever. Anyway, Elana said that her city, Trunce, came from a land known as Ricarya. Do you know what Ricarya is?"

"Nope." He went back to reading.

"Please, Keroshi, this is serious. I need to know what is going on. I have a gut feeling that it has something to do with me, but I couldn't be sure. Please help me try and research it?" I pleaded.

"Fine, Kiva, I'll help you." He sighed and stood up.

"Yes, thank you!"

We found nothing on the subject of Ricarya. Nothing. Not a single book mentioned it. NOTHING!

"Well, we've been going all day, Kiva. I think we should stop and take a break." Keroshi threw another useless book down.

"But there has to be something!" I wasn't about to give up.

"You know, maybe we should ask Ms. Coral. She might know." Keroshi offered.

"I don't think that she would tell us. She is to busy with the 'Little Ladies.' As she calls them."

"Fine. But then who do we ask?"

"How should I know? I don't have magical powers!"

"Yes you do."

"No I- oh. Right."

We grinned at each other.

Fifteen minutes later, we both stood in Keroshi's room. I had the Magic Emerald.

"Do you know what to do?" Keroshi asked me.

"I think so."

He stepped back and looked at me expectantly. I looped the leather strap around my neck, and held the emerald in the palm of my hands.

I concentrated all my energy on it, and the copper wire began to glow.

"It's doing something!" Keroshi whispered excitedly.

"I know!" I whispered back, "Shhh!"

Then, from the depths of my mind, a picture swam before my eyes. I concentrated harder and the picture came into better view. It was of a circle of stones. Each was emerald green and glowing. I saw my figure, Keroshi's, and another's standing in the middle.

What happened next surprised me. From the stones, jets of green light shot out and above us. And then, just like that, we were gone.

"Wow," Keroshi's voice opened my eyes.

"Did you see that to?" I asked.

"Uh-huh."

"Who was the other person?" I asked.

But, instead of answering me, Keroshi said, "I just realized something. Your eyes are the same color of the Emerald. "

"Sure, whatever. Now help me think. Who was the other person?"

"Beats me," Keroshi shrugged.

"I wonder if I could do it again? And maybe see if I can figure out who the other person is." I said.

"Maybe." Keroshi echoed.

"Kiva!" I whipped around. Hans was beckoning toward me.

Frowning, I made my way over to him. "What?! Can't it wait?"

"No." his rich voice stopped me in my tracks as I turned around.

"I came here to give you some advice. Ms. Coral is slowly putting the pieces together. She has had me watching you for some time now. I know what you are, although I haven't told her all of it yet. I wanted to tell you that you had better figure it out soon, or she will have you eliminated in some nasty way. I am forbidden to help you. The only thing I can do is tell you this; hurry up. The answer is right under your noses. All you have to do is listen and watch. I'll be helping you a little, thought you won't notice." And with that he was gone.

"What did he want?" Keroshi asked as I made my way over to him.

"He gave me some advice on what to do about our situation. That's all."

"Oh. Ok. You want to try that again?"

"No, I just need to relax the rest of the day. I have something important to do tonight." I replied.

"OK. Sure." Keroshi looked hurt.

"See you at dinner."

"Whatever."

I walked into the dining hall later than most. Usually Keroshi and I would steal something from the kitchen and eat it in one of our rooms, and I wasn't used to eating with many others.

It was almost chaotic in there. So many girls were laughing and giggling and shouting.

I took a seat near the end by myself. A few temporary servants brought food and drink out. As everyone settled down and started eating, the noise level dropped. I ate slowly, savoring every bite. Nobody talked to me, or even glanced my way. I could tell that the girls next to me were ignoring me purposely. I scowled into my pork chops.

Dinner went by way to slowly. I ate in silence and didn't try to make any conversation. Not that anybody wanted to. Why, I don't know.

About halfway through dinner, Keroshi arrived. He waltzed in looking like an over-confident pigeon.

I motioned for him to sit next to me, so we could talk. He sighed and walked over.

"What! Don't you have stuff to do?"

"Yes, but-"

"Well then, I guess you don't want to know what I found out." He said.

"What did you find out? Tell me!" I demanded.

"Nope. You're to busy to hear about what I have to say."

"Quit it with the smugness you idiot! If it helps us get to Ricarya, I have to know!" I just about yelled at him. Some of the nearest girls stared at us like we were crazy. I smiled cheekily and turned back to Keroshi.

"Alright, fine. I'll tell you.

"When you so rudely told me that you didn't want to try again, I snuck into Ms. Coral's and Elana's room, and found out some very interesting things.

"First, Ms. Coral has a picture of the exact same stones hanging on the wall above her bedroom. You know, the ones we saw in your vision. So, apparently she has something to do with this, Ricarya. And, on one of her tables is an old book titled, The Guardian History. I took a brief flip through it, and saw pictures, writing, and the name, Vilottia Starling. Do you know who she is?"

"No idea." I said.

"Oh. Well, I thought since you have the last name as her…" Keroshi trailed off.

"Nope. Anything else?"

"Yeah! I found a picture of the Emerald in one of her drawers, and on the bottom it said, In the possession of Vilottia Starling. Then I found another picture under that, and it said, In the possession of Sara Starling. Then another picture under that, and it said, In the possession of Sky Starling, and the weird part is, they all have your same last name."

"Really?" I asked sarcastically, "I hadn't noticed."

He glared at me.

"So, what about Elana?"

That seemed to bring him to his senses.

"Right! Well, I saw a book that looked like something a girl would put her deepest darkest secrets in, an-"

"Oh no, you did not read her diary!" I said.

"Yeah, I did."

"You're horrible!"

"Yeah, well, I found out that she likes me!" Keroshi said excitedly.

"No way!"

"Yeah! Her diary said that she had never met anyone quite like me, and if I would like her back, that would be that so cool!"

"Wow. Hey, I just realized something. Elana said that she came from Ricarya, right? She also said that when the Guardian disappeared, her city traveled to The Circle of Stones and came here, right? Maybe she could help us find the Circle of Stones so we can get to Ricarya." I said excitedly.

"Wait, but we don't even know if Ricarya is the right place to go." Keroshi pointed out.

"Hey, I just thought of something. Did you read anything in that book?"

"I don't think so," Keroshi shrugged, "Why?"

"Let's find Elana. I have an idea."

"Are you going to tell me?"

"Nope!"

After the bell had rung and the girls dismissed from lunch, Keroshi and I hurried up to Elana.

"Elana, I—"

"What?" She turned around and snapped at me.

"Hi." Keroshi cut in.

"Oh. Hi." She blushed.

"Yeah, we were just wondering if you could help us. You know, together." Keroshi said smoothly.

I couldn't help but giggle. He sounded so funny trying to flirt with Elana. Especially since he had never done it in his life.

"We have knowledge that you know something about the so called, "Circle of Stones." He put his arm on the wall by her head. "Are you willing to help us?"

Elana turned scarlet and managed to stammer out: "Yeah. Sure. Yes."

"Great. Meet us under the chandelier in the main hallway at ten tonight. See you there." He winked at her and I erupted into another fit of silent giggles.

"What!" he demanded as we walked away.

I managed to collect myself just enough to say; "You. Flirting." Then I began giggling again.

"Come on! I'm trying to let her know that I'm interested." He looked a little hurt, "Was I that bad?"

"No. You did fine. Just because I know you already, it was very weird seeing you try that." I said.

"Oh. Ok," He shrugged, "Anyway, what was your idea?"

"Well," I began, "I was thinking that we could sneak into Ms. Coral's room, take the book, and read it. It might have something that will give us a clue of where I'm supposed to go."

"But how are you going to get to this other world if you've only heard of it once in your life?" Keroshi asked.

"That's where Elana comes in. If Ricarya really is the place, then she will be able to help us get there!" I said excitedly.

"Ok. If you're sure."

"I'm positive."

"I'm here," Elana whispered as she crept up to us.

"Good. We have to get there and out before ten-twenty!" I whispered as we moved toward Ms. Coral's room.

"Why? Elana asked.

"Because I made a promise to Hans that I would meet him at the door to the attic at ten-thirty," I said, "And shh!"

"Why?"

"Why not later?"

"SHH!"

Moments later we found ourselves outside of Ms. Coral's door.

"I'm going to make it so she can't hear us," I said as I pulled out the Emerald, "So wait until I tell you to come in."

"Ok."

"Sure."

I cautiously stepped in and wished for Ms. Coral to hear whatever sounds could get past deaf ears. Her response was to snore heavily and roll over.

I went over and snapped my fingers loudly by her ear, ready to bolt if she awoke. Nothing.

"Come on in, guys." I called to them.

"And you were just telling us to be quiet?" Keroshi whispered, "You could have woken her up!"

"She can't hear anything we say. It's like she's deaf." I explained.

"Oh."

"Come on!" We poked around for a few minutes before I asked, "Where was that book?"

"Right here on the dresser!" Keroshi said, "I don't know where it could have gone!"

"Ok. Just look for it in drawers and stuff. See if you can find it." I suggested.

"Is this it?" Elana asked a few minutes later.

"No, this is the…" I trailed off.

"What?" Keroshi asked.

"The, the, the…" I stammered.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY MISTRISSES ROOM!" A voice bellowed out behind us.

We whipped around and standing there was a seven foot tall, hairy, man with a strange sign on his forehead.


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-the Dragon Queen