AN INTRODUCTION

I have lived with Draco for as long as I can remember. At first there was a nanny to take care of me and tend to all of my "bodily functions" as Draco puts it. But she died not long after I turned three, and so it has been just Draco and me for a long time. Well there were of course various mentors who came along in the process of my development to teach me various skills. The most fascinating of all was Illien, the weapons instructor. He came by accident, because he was wounded, and came to Draco for healing. It didn't take much pestering to convince both him and Draco to instruct me in all the weapons.

Illien ended up staying several years much to the dismay of, Adele, my sewing mentor. She is a most proper willow tree who learned the art of sewing and weaving from the birds. She takes her patterns from what she has seen of nature, and since she has lived more than a hundred years you can imagine what a lot she has seen.

Illien though is definitely my favorite. He is so much fun, a real woods man who always has something new to share. Illien is a centaur who has lived for more years than he can count. He is very shaggy, he says his ancestors were all mountain folk, which is where he gets his scruffy looks. Adele says it is from not washing or carefully pruning unruly branches. I used to wonder what Adele meant by that last remark, as Illien didn't have any branches that I could see. But then Draco explained that it just meant cleaning oneself up on a regular basis. Illien is a bit scruffy but he is much too fascinating to shun all together. He has taught me how to use all the weapons that he knows how to use. And he has taught me how to fight hand to hand with and without knives and various smaller hand weapons. By far my favorite weapons are; the bow –I have a fine horn bow-, next the sword-Ishceth, a friend of Draco's and a blacksmith forged me one- and finally the dagger. I am too light to truly enjoy the quarter staff, or the war spear, but I do like the hunting spear.

Adele, has been with us for many years though not as many as Illien. She is tall and…well willowy. Sometimes I think she is just going to break down weeping, but that is deceptive, Adele is the strongest person I know. Even beyond Illien, who is brave but not as strong of resolve as Adele is. I am her despair, my inability to learn any kind of stitch work is a consternation to her. Adele never yells at me, though I know I try her patience often. She always speaks softly and is never cross with me.

There are always mentors coming in and out, the music one-a satyr- the language one –a unicorn-, the one to teach me dancing –a fairy-. The etiquette mentor –a stately birch tree gentlemen, I made the mistake of comparing him to Adele and nearly go my head bitten off by both, I learned each type of tree is uniquely different-, and many others. They are all only supposed to stay for as long as it takes me to master their particular art to the best of my ability. Neither Adele, nor Illien have ever left. Illien I can understand, he is a good friend of Draco's. But Adele is a different story, she and Draco rarely get along. I asked her once why she stuck around, and she answered, 'for your protection, my dear'. Which I didn't understand since that is Draco's job. But then, most of my life is confusing.

I have never seen another human in my life, though there have been many mentors for me not one of them has been human. Draco says that is because humans just wouldn't understand. Understand what I wonder. The castle has an astounding library, from it I have learned many things. Such as what other humans look like much of my world's history and other diverse subjects. When I asked Draco why I lived with him rather than with other humans, as the characters of the books seemed to do. He gave me my history.

Which goes something like this; I was born to the royal family who had no other children. The country being embroiled in a war at that time the king feared for the safety of his only heir so he brought me to the peace loving Draco and asked him to take care of me and educate me. Draco consented and took me into his care. Drawing upon the talents of his friends and allies Draco had various mentors come and educate me over the years. So the day of my nurse's death was the last time I saw a real human face.

Now that I have given you a glimpse of my life I will begin on the relevant part of my story. Oh I guess I should mention my name is Lisa.

How it all got started.

The relevant part of my story begins with a cold wet morning in March, it was just beginning to be intolerable to stay cooped up in the castle much longer.