Maggie was listening to music, again. Somehow she had managed to sneak her headphones with her. She really did look rather funny, with her blue hair and her piercings, wobbling back and forth to the music slightly, in her minty green hoopskirt southern belle sort of dress, and her high heels that Elizabeth's mother would have screamed at. 

Now as you will recall, Maggie was highly intelligent, but nobody really knew, not even, really Elizabeth. But Maggie was feeling happy at the moment. She was listening to her angsty teenage heavy metal, she was feeling fabulous in her outfit, and she was presumably going to meet a dragon and go on an adventure. She wasn't too worried about the contract, if they sent away the daemons to some other place, than there'd be heroes there too. She liked the thought of herself as a hero, though admittedly it was hard to picture. Also Elizabeth could tend to be a bit of social justice warrior, she thought. It was all very well and good to think about that sort of thing, but there were more fascinating and exciting things to do than worry  about justice for every single person.  

Maggie, as you can tell, was feeling a bit annoyed with Elizabeth, who was kind of spoiling their adventure. Wasn't Elizabeth the one who wanted magic in the first place? And now here she was muttering about moral responsibilites and duties and it was supposed to be an adventure

Really, though, Maggie felt a little uncomfortable with the whole idea, so she was trying not to think about it. She liked it here. It felt like home. She hoped she could stay for a while. 

Then Maggie, being a genius, began to go over hundreds of fairy tales in her mind's eye and try to figure out what percentage of the heroes were alive at the end and went back to their fairyland or whatever. She was trying to decide whether to include other factors, such as whether the fairies were evil or not, but that was a difficult question because she wasn't quite sure whether the Elementia were evil or not. They didn't seem evil, but they didn't seem particularly nice, either. I mean Tierra was good company, but she was still part of this whole scheme, wasn't she? And then Maggie started thinking about the scheme again, although she had been trying to avoid it.

But all anyone saw was a silly-looking girl in a green dress bobbing backing and forth to music.

Elizabeth was thinking back again to Bariso's lecture. She thought she hadn't been paying attention, but she remembered more than she thought she could, such as that the druids and the dragons both had constitutional monarchies.

Elizabeth always felt vaguely disapproving of monarchies. Make that very disapproving, actually. It seemed very unfair that a certain chosen group of people, based on their birth, not their qualities, simply got more privileges and control than everyone else. She thought then that she really wasn't a good hero. Heroes were supposed to be noble and brave and serve kings and queens,  not disapproving fourteen year-olds who considered monarchy an old-fashioned relic from the middle ages that hurt modern society in grievous ways.

Of course, dragons might be a little different.

The End

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