Drakon in the moonlit glade

The glade where Drakon waited was bathed in moonlight, strange silvery light that hid more than it revealed, created strange shadows that lurked and crept and shimmered in the corners of the young mage's vision. Alone but for his prisoner, he tried to suppress the trembling that threatened his limbs; trembling from the cold of the night, and the pain of his arm and his ribs, and from fear. He avoided the orange gaze of the man squatting on the treestump; it was uncomfortably piercing and held an amusement that he did not like. Instead he paced, over and over, ten steps each way, and focused on holding the binding-spell tight in his mind. He did not quite understand what Madame de Silva had done to him; but he felt stronger, somehow, as though he could do things that he couldn't before.

But for all of that, he was still afraid.

This was painfully obvious to Donovan. The shapeshifter found it almost amusing. Of course, the boy was still party to that hideous abomination-how dare that woman, how dare she?-but still he was just a little boy, lost and alone in the darkness. A low chuckle escaped him, and he smirked; the silence-spell had worn off.

"Hey. Boy."

Drakon, startled, looked over then away again, shaking his head.

"Don't talk, prisoner."

Another low chuckle from Donovan. He was all but twice this child's age, yet he believed he could order him around?

"I'll talk if I wish to, boy. Tell me; who is this beargirl you talk about?"

"None of your business," spat Drakon, dredging up confidence that he did not feel. This man unnerved him; the eyes most of all. They were not human in their shade, and they were fixed on him.

"Come now. What harm can I do? As you say, I am your prisoner. There can be no harm in telling me."

Drakon swallowed, uncertainty gnawing at him. It was safest to keep his silence, surely?

"I can't tell you. Be quiet."

"You're afraid."

It was a flat statement, and also the truth. Gritting his teeth, Drakon gave an experimental tug on the reins of binding power and was rewarded with a pained wheeze from his prisoner.

"I told you to be quiet!"

Donovan pressed a hand to his ribs, gave a wolfish grin.

"So you are afraid," he said softly, and tutted. Drakon scowled, which only elicited further chuckles.

"Come on. Tell me about the beargirl.  Or are you afraid of what that lovely young mage-woman will do to you when she gets back?"

"Don't talk about Madame de Silva like that!" Drakon grated, blushing. "The beargirl's a girl I turned into a bear by accident, okay? Now will you be quiet!"

Donovan half-closed his eyes, an amused smile flickering over his lips.

"As you wish," he murmured. His sharp hearing had picked up the distant sound of approaching people; with luck, it would be his sister and the soldiers and he would be freed.

The End

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