Dragon's LibraryDragon School
by Anya

Good morning sir.

Yes sir, my name is John. Begging your pardon, it's not J'haun, it's 'John'. Yes, John. Sir? Oh, my sire gave it to me. He thought it would have been a change from the normal range of draconic names. So far all it's accomplished is that teachers either keep mispronouncing my name and hence don't call it at all, or they remember it for life...

Yes sir, I did threaten to recite 'Humpty Dumpty' to Ryhss.

Yes, I do know what the cantrip does. That's why I chose it, sir.

I agree that disintegration is in all probability painful, indragon and a mess to clean up, but in Ryhss' case, if you don't mind me saying, it would be justifiable fungicide.

Strong words? No, I wouldn't have found them strong if you knew what he has been doing to me since we both came to Ai'rotc'iv college, sir.

No, I understand that this is a Responsible Thinking session and you aren't going to let me tell you why I did it, but to make me tell you what I did, so that I would in some way not do it again even if the mitigating circumstances are greater than before.

I wouldn't dream of mocking you, sir.

Or the system. Sir.

How did I know lines of the cantrip? Well, you know my father? Yes, I thought so. Everyone seems to know him; it's almost embarrassing. Why should I be proud of him? How he got to be High Magus is his own achievement, not mine. I do not understand this principle of being proud of accomplishments that are not one's own... sorry for 'rambling' sir.

He left one of his spellbooks open in the Study when he told me to go in and fetch something, sir. It's surprisingly easy to remember for such a destructive spell.

No, I did not look at the others.

Well, so I did see the first bits of 'Baa Baa Black Sssheep'...but not enough to initiate that one. And it's a pretty stupid cantrip anyway. Even if the polymorph effect is funny. Turning something into a useless bag of wool lacks...finesse.

Okay, I recognize that you can make stuff out of wool, so it is in a sense recycling material – if you don't mind wearing a wooly sweater that was last seen as your arch enemy. I wouldn't even touch wool that used to be Ryhss with a ten-tail length pole.

No, of course I didn't try to turn Ryhss into wool, even if I was sorely tempted. Besides, it would be an insult to all wool.

No, I didn't look at any other spells.

I am not crossing my claws, sir. (under breath) That's too obvious, and the Divinity made flexible tails for a reason.

It has? I didn't think anything could severely traumatize that block of dragon-shaped wood. What did he do, run red-scaled to his dam? Poor baby, shouldn't mess with nasty Arcane students in the future.

Of course I'm repentant, sir. What do I look like I am feeling?

No, I am not smug, nor is that a smirk on my muzzle. It is a horrified rictus of despair that Ryhss actually had sensibilities that could be offended.

Sorry.

How much of the cantrip did I recite to him? Just this:

"Humpty Dumpty sssat on a wall,

Humpty Dumpty had a"

And he ran off squealing like a kicked satyr. Thank you sir. Everyone says I have a near perfect pronunciation of that language.

I wasn't even going to finish the cantrip. No, not because I was enough of a pacifist to not turn a pest into a neat pile of quantum pieces, but for the inarguable reason that I didn't know the entire cantrip. My sire encrypted the rest of it.

Oh, he was too lazy to encrypt the entire spell. That's my sire for you. No disrespect intended, sir, it's the truth...

Yes sir, I recognize that those particular cantrips are on the forbidden list, but I thought that bringing humans to college was also not allowed.

Ryhss put one in my bag, sir. Can you imagine the temerity? Those creatures are filthy and I'm sure they have lots of diseases, and you really have to frown on a race that spends more time thinking about how to hurt or kill one another than on how to heal one another. Besides their amusingly idiotic tendency to dress up as little tin cans holding exaggerated needles and try to kill dragons, sitting on animals that naturally are already afraid of us.

Sir, he put a knight in my bag. The horse made a... deposit on my notebook, too.

Yes, it did say something.

Something like 'Camelot, King Arthur, The Round Table' and charged when I tipped it and the horse out of my bag. Needless to say the girls screamed. For some reason even though the creature is about twenty to thirty times smaller than the smallest of us and can only tickle us with those ridiculous bits of metal and wood before being barbecued in its own heat conducting armor, they're still mortally afraid of it. That's girls for you.

Well okay, not all of them reacted that way. M'liss and Qilu'ss said that it was cute. I ask you.

What happened to it? Master Hlassr removed it from the scene just as I was going to push it into the serpent pond with my ruler. I was curious to see if it could swim in full body armor.

No sir, I was not afraid of it. My father keeps some of them for observation. He likes all these sort of things – we even have a unicorn and a tame elf.

No, I have no idea where Ryhss got the creature from, but that would be an interesting form of inquiry...

Yes, I appreciate that threatening to use that cantrip on him was extreme. My apologies, sir.

What, go and apologize to that son of a leviathan? I'd rather talk to a Harpy...sir, make him apologize for putting a knight in my bag first. Did you know what he did last week sir? He was going around the school with his gang singing that Arcane students were 'wusses' and that Alchemy students 'rule'. Even if they do only have air between their eye horns they must have known that it was an extremely tasteless thing to do.

Yes, I did extend to give him the benefit of doubt that it was done all in the nature of fun, and that even with his limited volcabulary he failed to assign the correct adjectives to the correct faculty. No Arcane student made violent objections anyway – Alchemy outnumbers us at least three to one.

Yes, I noticed that most of his gang are on Medical Leave.

Of course I had nothing to do with it. Getting hit by a freak ice storm outside the college is something that could have happened to anybody.

No sir, I have nothing else to say.

Thank you sir. Yes, I promise never to break the rules on cantrips or area effect spells, even if I hold that the storm was a... very good, sir.

Thank you sir.

(quietly prepares the invocation 'Simon Says', in this case apparently geared to rhyme with 'serpent pool')

Sir? Oh, I was just leaving. No, I was only repeating the rules on cantrips to myself so that I'd remember it.

It's the weather, sir. In cold weather my tail automatically crosses itself.

[An empty pause sidles into and settles in the chamber after the door closes. The sound of clawsteps and the dry slithering of a scaly tail on rough slate tiles fades away to the skittering of a roc's quill pen on parchment and the nearly unnoticeable, sibilant sound of a dragon's fin-like sail on sail as the Councilor shakes his head in disbelief. Then, slightly muffled but still depressingly clear, from outside a splash, a choking scream, and distant laughter.]

***

Author's Note: This (very) short story was written for my CCA - Writer's Circle, because I had to bring 'something you've written' and I didn't want to print any of my dark elf stories. :) It's mostly poking fun at my old school and my college... the Responsible Thinking system exists in my old school, and until today I've never understood its principles. As to College... 'tis Victoria college. Airotciv. Two main faculties - Arts and Sciences, Sciences outnumber us poor Arts students 3 to 1. Hope you enjoyed reading it.

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