This the story of an orphan boy called Nathan who doesn't actually know what happened to his parents, he just knows that he was left in a forest one day. Nathan isn't an ordinary orphan though, for one he survived on his own as a baby in the woods. The reason for this is simple though, he is cursed. Of course you may think that him being cursed wouldn't help him, think again. This curse caused him to become a dragon in times of need, sometimes even at will. So when he was a baby and began to starve to death he would turn him into a dragon who could survive and thrive and hunt. This is, of course, how he survived. This dragon that he became also grew along with Nathan, he seemed to think that he was part dragon, which, in a way, was true. But he couldn't control it, he just transformed whenever he really needed to become a dragon, until Nathan found out how to hunt himself and cook himself a decent meal, then the curse seemed to simply up and vanish. It never affected him again as he was never starving anymore. Nathan also learned how to use magic while he was human. He taught himself how to make fireballs and how to set things alight, but he never seemed to be able to do anything other than that.
One day Nathan thought about the dragon he used to become, he could still sense its presence, he used his dragon side to make his magic after all, he began to long for it, he remembered his first hunt (dragons can remember everything from birth) and how excited and relieved he was, how good the meat tasted, it was like tasting life itself. He then thought about what he saw in his reflection once when he had transformed by a lake, he had a big scaly red head, he had red and black patterned scales that covered his body and a long spiked tail, he saw his sharp claws and teeth and his small and thin leathery wings (dragons shouldn't be able to fly until they are 8). He kept thinking about the wings, he was 9 now. He wondered whether they were big enough for flight yet, he longed to fly, to see the tops of the trees and to fly with the birds. He felt a tingling sensation and the ground seemed to be falling beneath him, but he wasn't falling. He walked to the lake but seemed to encounter some difficulty because he now had four legs and hadn't really had much practice with using them. He reached the end of the lake and looked at his reflection. A great red head with a small spiked frill and yellow eyes stared back at him. Nathan was overjoyed and gave a great roar which scared the birds in nearby trees, causing them to fly away in a panic.
Nathan then realised his wings, he stretched them, they were long and leathery, almost translucent and atleast twice the length of his body, he began to flap them and the grass underneath his began to get blown outwards due to the force of his wings. His feet left the ground and he started to gain some height, he saw a village nearby which he sometimes visited just for some company, he would go to the market to admire the products or look through the window of a pub to watch drunk men drinking and joking, he then looked round and saw the the mountains, they were so tall that the peaks were hidden in the clouds. He began to feel hungry and decided to go hunting 'time to try out some new methods' he thought.
One hour later Nathan had caught two deer and a boar, he had never eaten a boar before and wasn't dissapointed after he ate it. Unlike most dragons, Nathan usually cooks his food before eating, since he had fire he thought he might as well use it. After his most successful hunting session ever he decided to change back to human and went to visit the village.
Nathan approached the gate of the village and read the writing on the sign which said "Welcome To Ladeon!" He walked through the gates to see a small market bustling with people and entered the fray, he weaved in and out of people and dodged past accused thieves fleeing the seen. He eventually made it through the market and began to relax. He walked slowly to nowhere in particular and looked through the windows of the various small, wooden buildings as he passed them. He carried on walking until he found the pub, it was starting to get dark out so this meant it was the time for the drunkards. Sure enough, a large group of rowdy men where drinking away inside, laughing and joking like a group of baboons. Nathan went down a small alleyway to see through a better window and he saw a group of boys in a huddling around someone.
Nathan stood for a while, frozen to his spot. He heard a whimper and a cry for help, but did nothing.
"No one can hear you, Alex, and even if they did, they wouldn't be able to" came a boy's voice followed by some laughter. Nathan heard a thud and a cry of pain and an even louder and more desperate "HELP!" this brought Nathan back to the world. Without thinking he yelled "hey! Leave him alone!"
The crowd froze and spun around, sneering at Nathan.
"Well well boys, it's our lucky day!" came the same voice. Nathan looked for the voice but couldn't make out the boy's face due to the darkness. He heard more laughter and the group of boys moved closer to Nathan. Nathan had never really fought before and he hadn't really thought about this part too. He felt his heart beating into his ribcage, threatening to break out. Then it came to him, he summoned a ball of fire and looked into five boy's faces. One was small and had black hair and looked at Nathan in a very frightened way, just like the other tall, short, skinny and chubby boys, they all looked petrified. Nathan enjoyed this and started to play around with the fireball, juggling and feinting a throw at them until one of them started to cry and ran away. This triggered a chain effect and caused all of the other boys to run away, leaving a small boy of his age slumped against the wall and was also staring at Nathan, petrified. Nathan noticed his petrified look and put out the flame, plunging them into darkness. "C'mon then!" he urged and the boy called Alex came back to reality and began to follow Nathan. "Where's your home?" Nathan asked and Alex pointed a shaking finger towards a small house a hundred or so meters away. Nathan nodded and led the way.
"What's your name?" he heard the boy say.
"Nathan." he replied.
"Nathan who?" Alex asked. Nathan found this a strange question, that was his name. "What?"
"Y'know, like me, I'm Alex Young."
"Why do you have two names?" Nathan asked, confused.
Alex looked puzzled, then he asked "What was your dad's name?"
"No idea, never met him."
"Wow, same. And your mum?" Alex sounded much more interested now.
"Never met her either." Nathan replied calmly.
"Wow, are you adopted?" Alex asked.
"Adopted? What's that?"
"When someone who isn't your parents become your guardian." Alex replied "Like me."
Nathan was shocked, he never had had any family before. "Where can I find someone like that?"
"Well if you want you can stay with us, we're literally an adopted family! I'm sure one more couldn't hurt!" and with that Alex ran to his house and went inside and an old man came to greet him. Nathan saw Alex point at him and then the old man nod. Alex then ran back to Nathan. "From now on," he panted "You are called Nathan Young, got it?"
Meeting the Young family
Nathan was excited, he'd never been in a house before and now he was to enter one and call it his own home, and he will have company everyday, someone he can laugh with and someone he can share his problems with. He walked with Alex to the small house and through the door to see an old man beaming down at him. "Nathan eh? I heard you were an orphan and I wouldn't be able to live with myself if you were just left out there in the big dangerous world! So, welcome to your new home! I'm sure you'll fit right in, we're all orphans here and everyone here you know."
Nathan in all honesty was pretty shocked by this news, this house sounded kind of more like a small orphanage than a family home, but Nathan wasn't complaining, he could never pass an oppertunity like this. He looked into the living room and saw three kids, 2 girls and one boy. The boy looked about 6 years old and was obviously the youngest there, the eldest was a girl that looked around 11 years old and she had long, straightened, brown hair. The other girl was around 8 and she had blond hair and freckles on her rosy cheeks and small, innocent blue eyes. They all looked at Nathan with interest until the eldest said "Nathan, is it? Welcome to our family! I'l show you around the house." she stood up and left the room, and Nathan had no choice but to follow. The girl took Nathan upstairs and turned to him and said "I'm Katie, by the way, I'm pretty sure you already know Alex, the other girl down there was Liz and the boy was Lucas."
Nathan nodded to show he understood and Katie resumed her walk around the house, Nathan following her lead. They reached a bedroom with a bunk bed in it, the room was pretty plain but had a window on the far wall. "This will be your room, you're sharing with Alex I'm afraid but as I'm sure you can tell this is a pretty small house, I'll see you in the morning!" and Katie ushered Nathan inside and shut the door behind him, leaving him standing there like someone expecting a group of people yell "surprise!" and "Happy Birthday!" but it didn't happen.
Revealing Nathan's secret
The next morning Nathan woke up to find that he was looking into the ceiling instead of a sky, proving that yesterday's happenings were not a dream. He heard a noise under him and remembered that he was sharing with Alex, though he didn't remeber him coming in.
Nathan got up after five minutes and snuck out of the door, careful not to wake Alex up. He crept out into the hallway and snuck down the stairs. Nathan heard movement in the kitchen and went in to see a wide awake Katie in front of a stove cooking egg and bacon. She turned around with a start as Nathan walked in, everyone must have always slept in. Nathan gave a weak smile and said "Morning," in which Katie relaxed and said "Morning," too. She went back to her cooking. "Do you like eggs and bacon?" she asked. In truth Nathan had never tried eggs but he had tasted bacon and loved it so he replied "Yeah."
"Sleep well?" Katie said while she dished up two helpings of eggs and bacon.
"God yeah! I don't even remember Alex coming in!" Nathan replied while tucking in, he loved both the eggs and the bacon.
"Alex told me you used magic last night," Katie said casually.
"I did." Nathsn replied.
Katie sniggered. "You can't do magic before you are 16, well, not proper magic anyway."
"Well I can." Nathan replied and with that he flicked his fingers and some embers flew out of them.
Katie stared in surprise."Wow, how do you do it?"
"Well I just can, really." Nathan replied, he thought best not to mention his dragon traits.
"But how?" Katie seemed to be questioning herself "I've tried everything! How long have you been able to do it!"
"Since I was 5, I think." Nathan then realised that this was not the right answer in Katie's terms and she fainted. Nathan leapt on his his feet and caught her before she fell to the floor. He poured a cup of water and she came to. "But no human can actually do it!" she said as if she hadn't even fainted, and Nathan helped her to her feet. "Well, I'm not fully human though." Nathan said, forgetting that he was trying to keep the fact that he was part dragon to everyone else. Katie's look of confusion changed to a look of shock and then to a suspicious look "What?"
There was no point trying to hide it from her now "Well, er, I'm part dragon, see, and if i am in great danger or something like that i can change into one, that's how I can actually do magic, really."
Katie's look of suspicion changed back into a shocked one. "So," Nathan said after a long silence, "What usually happens around here?"
That day Katie broke the news to the rest of the family about Nathan being part dragon after a discission saying that it would be too awkward for Nathan to break it, they told everyone about it except Mr Young, Nathan's guardian who, as Nathan was told, hates dragons. After that Nathan took to getting to know the rest of the family, Alex was very interested in fighting in many varieties, with many different weapons ranging from a claymore to dual wielding swords to daggers to bows and arrows, "I'm just trying to find out what weapon I should learn to properly train with before I get to 10, that's when all boys have to choose a specific weapon to train with, it's like magic, really except you actually have a choice in the matter." he always said to Nathan before urging him to try out some too. Lucas was also addicted to weapons but had in fact already chosen a weapon and was always carrying it around with him, it was a short sword but Lucas had always cared for it as if it were his pet. Liz was in fact very smart and wasn't so interested in fighting, she would watch Lucas and Alex fighting eachother while reading books and telling them that they had no fighting tactics or techniques whatsoever which annoyed them and made Liz laugh with glee. Katie, however was always keeping apart from them and was always trying to do a little bit of magic and asking Nathan for any tips, though he had none to give he would always pester him about it whenever near. Mr Young was always nice to Nathan and cared for him like a father, this made Nathan feel relaxed and happy for someone else to care for him instead of caring for himself, he was going to enjoy living here, he just knew it.
it was coming up to 3rd of November, Nathan's birthday, his 16th to be precise. where he would become an official magician and be able to use his magic in public with next to no limits. "I can't believe you're 16 tomorrow!" Katie said excitedly while they were at the market.
"Yeah, I know." Nathan replied for what seemed to be the millionth time. Nathan wasn't really listening to Katie anyway, he was busy taking in the sights and sounds of the market, the smells of the meat, the sounds of the shop owners shouting their offers and the buyers trying to haggle.
"I still remember my 16th, clear as day, it felt like a knot unravelled in my chest, and a a lock was unlocked." Katie went on, thinking that Nathan was listening to it all. She was 18 now, but she still acts like she was 16.
"Mhm," Nathan said half paying attention "Well, I think that's everything, lets get going." and so they set off.
Nathan and Katie got back to the house as the sun was setting, and he saw Alex and Lucas sparring. he stayed there and watched them as Katie went in with the shopping. Nathan saw Alex unleash a flurry of kicks onto Lucas who dodged to the side, and countered with a stab with his beloved short sword which Alex parried with his long katana, he then struck with a horizontal slash which Lucas ducked, moved close and then rose and stopped his sword just under Alex's chin, he then laughed and stood back, sheathed his sword and slumped onto the ground looking up to see Nathan jogging up to them. "Nice move Lucas," Nathan complimented.
"Thanks, though I would've thought that a basic manouvere like that would've been avoided by our brother here," Lucas replied with a smile.
"Hey, I was just too tired 'cause I was beating you the whole time and you wouldn't stop the sparring, besides, you've had loads more practise than me at your weapon, you could say I'm a beginner commpared to you." Alex said.
"Well then if that's the case then why does a 'beginner' like Nathan here always beat a pro like me then eh?" Lucas shot back.
"Beginner's luck?" Alex murmured, then laughed.
"Oi, hotheads, dinners ready!" Liz called from the door.
"Okay!" Nathan called back "Lets go, 'hotheads'."
`Nathan slept reasonably well that night, though it was a dreamless night, making his sleep seem like a blink where its dark one second and bright the next. He jumped out of bed noticing that Alex was already up. he went downstairs and crept silently into the kitchen where he found Katie's back turned. Unexcpecting Katie, with no idea he was there. "Boo!" he yelled while shaking her by the arms.
Katie gave off a high pitched squeal and then spun and kept hitting a laughing Nathan, who was yelling "Never gets old!".
"Happy... bloody... birthday!" Katie said between her hits.
"Thanks," Nathan said and gave her a hug, took a piece of bread and ran out into the lounge before Katie could hit him again.
In the lounge Nathan found the rest of the family who called sang him happy birthday, while Nathan tore his bread into 4 chunks and passed them each to Alex, Lucas and Liz, kepping one for himself. Nathan was also given a present, which was bought using the added up money of the entire family. When Nathan unwrapped his present he found a neckalce with a dragons tooth on it, this made him grimace at first but then he forced a smile, which also seemed to be what Alex, Liz and Lucas seemed to be doing too, since they knew of his secret yet Mr Young hadn't, making Nathan wonder why they even agreed to it. "It brings good luck!" Mr Young had said "You should always wear it!". Nathan did wear it, but only to be nice since Mr Young had taken him in and been very kind to him.
Later that day Katie brought out a huge cake for Nathan and they all had lunch with it, then for the rest of the afternoon Nathan sat watching Alex and Lucas sparring before having dinner and finally going to bed. That night Nathan had nearly forgotten about the dragon tooth necklace and only remembered about it when he took his shirt off to go to bed. 'Good luck eh? Not that lucky for the dragon, I'm sure'.He threw it into his drawer in disgust and ignored Alex's excuses for the present. he went to bed and fell asleep almost instantly, oblivious to the fact that the dragon tooth was glowing in his drawer.