Chapter Thirty

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"How is she holding up?" Greg asked Charlie as he spotted the red head coming back from the field.

"I can't get her to really leave Nan's side right now. I think she is going to be mourning for awhile." Charlie sighed.

"It's to be expected, Anora really liked Nan, didn't she?"

"Yeah, no matter how vicious that dragon was, Anora seemed to love that part of her the most."

"Losing the first dragon you've loved is the hardest. I remember when I first started working here, there was an elder called Barron. Beautiful Hebridean Black, with a foul temper especially towards humans. He was ready to burn your arse as soon as you turned your back to him. But for some reason, I just thought he was the most incredible dragon. How the other elders respected him so, it was amazing. When he passed, I blubbered like baby." Greg admitted. "Not even Nicola's cooking could get me to eat. It's like losing a piece of ya."

Charlie frowned hoping that Anora wouldn't that sad for much longer.

"Well, I should get back to her, I told her I would bring her some lunch."

"Good luck."

"Thanks."


Anora hugged her legs to her chest staring at the lifeless body of Nan. Her body would be removed from the sanctuary that afternoon, but Anora still hadn't come to terms with the dragon's death. She hadn't spent as much time with the elder as she did with Roscoe, but Nan had been a dragon that Anora adored just being in her presence.

Roscoe was nearby, his eyes locked on her, waiting for her to move or even address his existence. He let out a stream of steam to grab her attention, but Anora paid him no mind. Rising to his feet, Roscoe disappeared into the brush while Anora remained in her spot.

A few minutes later, Roscoe returned setting down a bloody carcass of some animal that hadn't lasted long against the juvenile dragon.

"See? Even Roscoe is trying to get you to eat."

Anora lifted her head to see Charlie walking over to her with a bag of food in hand. "You need to eat Anora."

"I'm not very hungry."

"I know but you gotta force yourself to eat something, Anora. You're worrying me."

She exhaled before turning to him to see what he had brought in the bag.

She selected an apple holding it up to Charlie for him to witness that she was in fact eating.

Charlie gave her a small smile before his eyes trailed over to Nan's body.

"I don't understand how she can be here one day and gone the next. She had so much fire in her before I left...no pun intended."

"She was probably having a good day, Anora. But she knew it was her time. You could see it."

"I know..I'm glad I made it back in time, at least to say goodbye to her. Although, Nan was probably thinking to herself, 'this girl again?"

Charlie chuckled. "I bet she was really happy that you were there. I think she was holding on until you got back. Speaking of which, you haven't told me anything about the trip. Did everything run smoothly?"

"As smooth as it could run considering we were transferring a young and very aggressive dragon on broomstick. Ugh and Nicola and Greg argued the entire way back."

"Over what?"

"I dunno I was doing my best to drown them out and avoid being bitten by Norbert.."

"Yeah he is quite a bugger..but you know why he might be so angry."

"Because he had to listen to Nicola and Greg argue?"

Charlie snorted. "No, because Norbert is actually a Norberta."

Anora's eyes widened as she faced him with the first smile he had since she returned.

"No way."

"Oh yes...found out this morning."

"And you're just telling me this now."

"I wasn't sure when to bring it up in the midst of all this." he said.

"Oh..right. I'm sorry." her head drooped." I know I'm probably being terribly over dramatic over the whole matter but I-"

She felt the warmth of Charlie's hand touch under her chin, the roughness of his fingertips from all the calluses and work causing her skin to erupt in goosebumps.

"You're not being over dramatic, Anora. I understand. You really liked Nan, and it's okay to be upset. I'm not pressuring you to conceal how you feel. But I am going to pressure you into eating."

"You sound like your mum." Anora laughed.

"Yeah well, she has her moments and right now you better finish that apple. Nothing but skin and bones." he said in his best impression of his mother.

Anora and Roscoe stared at him for a minute.

"What? That was a pretty good imitation...right?"

"No..that was frightening. If your mother sounded anything like that.." she shuddered.

Charlie jaw dropped before looking to Roscoe. "Oh like you could do better!" he told the dragon.

"Don't dragon him into this." Anora snorted at her joke.

"Just eat your apple."

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