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Title Page, courtesy of Kittyluvver.

Showing Our True Colors is a fanfiction written by Starlight365, about a synesthetic RainWing named Lily. Please don't steal my idea. Thank you.

Prologue

It was just a normal day in the RainWing kingdom. The rain poured down just as unrelentlessly as ever, like strands of crystal beads shaken down onto the rainforest floor. Within the hatchery, however, something was happening.

After a year of development, a certain egg was ready to hatch. A crack marred the surface of the smooth, white egg. There was a flash of gold, as the egg's crack widened. It spread across the surface like a lightning bolt, the shell finally bursting open. A golden dragonet, criscrossed with blooming vine patterns on her scales, flopped down on the hatchery floor.

A guard nearby noticed this, and crossed over to her. He picked her up, waiting expectantly for her to change color to the green of his own scales. After all, that is what most normal RainWing dragonets do. They change their scale color to match the dragon that they first see. However, that wasn't the case. Her scales stayed golden and green.

He frowned, his scales changing to a confused color. A couple other dragons flew over to him, wondering why he was so confused. When they saw the dragonet, they too were confused. Her scales were stuck as a golden color, with those strange vine patterns wrapped around her body. Those flowers, too... What is wrong with this dragonet?  They wondered.

"Come on," The first guard said. "Let's go."

As they took flight, the dragonet noticed colorful spirals float in front of her for a moment. They kept floating there, until the flapping sounds of their wings stopped. She closed her green eyes, seeing blue dots in front of the darkness of her closed eyelids because of the previously inaudible rain. Colors... All these colors...

"What is this?" A voice asked. The dragonet's eyes opened again, and she looked up into the even gaze of Queen Glory.

"A dysfunctional dragonet," The guard that had picked the dragonet up reported. "Her scales don't work. What should we do with her?"

"Hmm..." Glory inspected the dragonet. As the Queen reached out to touch her, she shrank back against the wall. The flowers scattered along the vines began to fade. Glory's eyes widened in surprise.

"The flowers are beginning to fade!" Glory said to them. "She's not completely dysfunctional. I say we treat her as if she is a normal dragonet. It's not like she is any different, other than her scales."

"As you wish, Queen Glory," The guard said. "What will her name be?"

Glory looked at the flowers, which were beginning to reform. They were patterned like the rare Stargazer Lily, which were pink, edged with white, with darker spots all over and a darker pink color in the middle of the petal. It was like little paintings upon the scales of gold and green. "Lily," She told them. "Her name is Lily."

Chapter 1

Colors. They have painted my world, ever since I hatched, six years ago. They've floated in and out of my life. Cerulean... Crimson... Golden-Yellow... Bronze... Pink, just like the strange flowers dotting the vine patterns wrapping around my scales. Unchangeable. Though I try and change them, as focused as possible, none of my attempts work. I try. Oh, how I try. But I might as well have been trying to move the moons, for all it did.

Do you have any idea what having unchanging scales does for me? It's terrible. I can't participate in practice camouflage competitions, sun-time is useless for me, and, worst of all, I'm singled out. I'm different. Sure, in the beginning, I tried to pretend that I was keeping my scales this way on purpose. That I was that way because I wanted to be. Was I? Of course not. Soon, my classmates found out. They realized that my scales couldn't change at all. That led to persecution.

I was bullied by some of the other dragonets. The worst of them was the Trio of Terror, as I liked to call them. The leader of them was named Violet. The nickname a lot of dragonets called her was 'Violent', due to her bellicose nature. She was very much a troublemaker, who bullied the other dragonets and ran to the teachers crying, saying that the victim hurt her. Everyone believes the lovely, perfect little Violet. 'No, Lily! Bad! Don't hurt Violet! No sun-time for you today,' they would tell me. As if it mattered. No matter how much sunlight I absorbed, my scales can't change.

The two lackeys who always followed Violet's orders were named Glitz and Rainstorm. Rainstorm is Violet's sister, and hates everyone but Glitz and her sister. She enjoys making my life miserable. Glitz had an obsession with being pretty; she wore all the jewelry her rich father could get her. She was an arrogant fool, just like Violet. Of course, she wasn't as smart as Violet, and not as strong. That's why Violet rules over them.

I thought that my life was terrible enough as it was. I was sure that it couldn't possibly get worse.

Of course, I was wrong.

One day, as I rolled out of the small hammock that was hanging in the treehouse I lived in, I knew something was different. Jasper poked her head in my room. "Lily," She said in a strange tone, "I'd like to speak with you for a moment."

Frowning, I got out and went into the main room, Mingora following me. Jasper passed me a small mound of fruit, which I devoured hungrily. My guardian launched immediately into what she wanted to talk to me about.

"You've reached the age," She said quietly. "The age where you have to go."

I stopped chewing. "Thm whmm?" I asked.

"To the new RainWing school," Jasper told me. "To the RainWing School for the Gifted."

"I'm not gifted," I told her, swallowing my papaya.

"You're a great artist," She told me. "Gifted with the brush."

"But that doesn't count for much-" She cut me off.

"And you are talented at treetop gliding," She told me, a spark of pride glittering in her gaze. She was the Treetop Champion when she was young, and she taught me everything she knew. I proved very talented at it, zipping by even Violet in races.

"That's true, but-" She cut me off again.

"You're truly talented, Lily!" Jasper told me fiercely. "If you deny it, I'll list a thousand more reasons, and a thousand more than that!"

"But what if-" My voice flopped over and died. A horrible thought just descended upon me, wiping away every shred of hope. Violet.

A memory rushed back into my mind, of Violet pinning me against the wall. She had snarled in my face, "Tell anyone- anyone at all- about what's really been going on... Let's just say that the class will permanently be short one RainWing."

I gulped, and said, "Never mind."

Jasper narrowed her eyes. "What are you not telling me, Lily?"

Geez. "Nothing," I said quickly.

"That's a lie, and you know it," Jasper growled.

"Violet!" I said abruptly, before I could stop myself. "What if Violet is coming too?"

"She is going, along with her friends," Jasper said, frowning. "You're afraid of them?"

"Um, no," I said, but cowered under my guardian's intimidating gaze. "Fine. I am, since they're the worst bullies in the entire training regimen."

"What?" Jasper looked taken aback.

I felt immediately like all the stress was starting to lift itself from me. The story flowed out, and I admitted the entire thing. Violet's bullying... Everything but my colors. I knew she would think I was crazy if I told her that.

She stared at me silently for a few moments, a somber expression on her face. I felt like an idiot. Afraid of the Terror Trio... The ones that everyone other than me and the other dragonets in the training regimen knew as sweet, kind RainWing dragonets. Even Glory herself was fooled by the shallow illusion, as if a hood had been slipped over her eyes. The only reason that they were so powerful is their duplicity. They appeared as good dragonets to adults, but showed their true colors to us unlucky dragons.

Sometimes, I think that I was born in the wrong time period. If I was born back in the Origin of the Tribes, that would be awesome! I would meet Rain, the first RainWing queen and the namesake of the tribe, see the war against scavengers and even help a little bit, and I wouldn't be criticized for my strangeness. There wasn't a set description for dragons back then, even though they look the same as the dragons that exist today. Maybe there were other dragons with my condition...

I looked down at Mingora, whose intense amber gaze was on me. She seemed to be saying, What do you have to worry about? Kick their butts! They're just dragonets like you.

"I believe you," Jasper said finally.

I was shocked. She believed me? "You mean... You think that I'm right?"

"Of course," Jasper told me. "You never lie, unless you have to."

Violet's angry face appeared in front of my eyes, and I remembered how mad she would be if she found out I told on her. "Don't tell anyone I said this," I said hurriedly to her. "Violet will murder me if you do!"

"She can't MURDER you," Jasper said, rolling her eyes.

"She says she knows someone that has a knack at mixing poisons," I reminded her. "I don't know if that's a bluff, but still, we should be careful."

"There's that NightWing that lives on an island off the coast of the Rain Kingdom," Jasper said, deep in thought. "I think her name's Nightshade, or something. Rumors say that she killed fourteen different dragons with poison."

"Fourteen?" I asked, surprised.

"Yep. Fourteen." Jasper sighed. "All NightWings. I wouldn't be surprised that Violet knows her, then."

I frowned. It made sense, considering what Violet does as a hobby: Beat up defenseless dragonets. I looked outside, at the richly colored landscape, with dark-colored trunks pointing up at the sky like fingers. The sun shone brightly above, making the dewdrops on the leaves and petals of all the rainforest plants sparkle. I grinned, in spite of myself. Today was a perfect day for a race!

Jasper smiled, the same thought occurring to her. She turned to me, silently asking me a question: Do you want to race me?

I nodded enthusiastically. She opened her wings and flew out of our treehouse. I followed a minute later, Mingora on my back. She leaped off of my back, landing neatly on the ending post when I took her to it. She would record who won this match.

A fat dewdrop dripped onto my snout as I flew back to the starting line. Jasper and a few other RainWings had made the course, for practice. It was much like the Arboretum, it being built like a track. It was actually on the ground, with trees on either side. Crash into a tree, or touch your opponent, and you were disqualified.

Sunlight stretched across the forest floor, making dappled patterns of gold and black. My shadow blotted out some of the gold, some of the sunlight now on my own scales. The lilies on my scales bloomed brighter, and I frowned at them. That was a weird mystery: Why did the flowers on my scales change, but not my other scales? 

I shook it off, crouching down, ready to launch myself in the air. Jasper was in a similar position beside me. "3... 2... 1... GO!" She shouted, and we streaked up into the air.

She passed me quickly, swinging through and around the trees easily. I tucked my wings close to my body and sped up, dodging branches that tried to get in my way. I did a barrel roll to slide through a gap in a thicket of bushes, and was soon catching up to Jasper.

Jasper's tail was longer than mine, giving her an advantage. She had a wider range, and was able to swing farther than I could. Concentrating, I angled my wings and shot forward as fast as I could. A momentary energy filled me, burning with the desire to win, just once.

Jasper grinned at me, as I was flying just next to her. "Good job, Lily!" She exclaimed. I grinned back, but looked forward again, intent on finishing the lap. 

I banked around a thick tree trunk, dodging a snaring loop of hibiscus-coated vines, and brushed the finishing post a second time. I could hear Jasper's wings pumping behind me, sending silver spears across my vision. I blinked, swerving through the trees. One more circuit, and I would win the race.

I ricocheted off of another tree, dipping through a large, gaping hole in its branches. I veered around the curve, Jasper right behind me, and scraped my claws across the finishing post. I landed on the platform, pride and exhaustion coursing through me.

Jasper landed a second later, and dipped her head to me.

"You've learned well," She told me. "Good job!"

I grinned, nodding again. If I actually had color-changing scales, waves of blue-purple would be washing across them right about then. Jasper's were, but because of the fact that I won, and that she didn't.

Jasper and I trained at home, rather than at the small school I went to. Best to train without the Terror Trio breathing down my neck, as Jasper says. I had a blind taste test, and got 8 out of 10. I always seem to get the mango and the papaya mixed up for some reason. I suppose it's because their colors are similar.

When I eat something, like a mango, a colored geometrical shape fills my vision. As I eat, it fades away. When I eat a mango, not only do I taste it, but a greenish-red circle floats in front of my eyes. When I eat a papaya, the same greenish-red circle floats there, but with a hint of yellow. I got them mixed up, as usual.

Jasper had me read a story, and then answer some questions about it afterwards. The colored letters were a bit confusing, but I got almost all of them right.

Renewed confidence flowed through me as I took flight to land in my hammock again. The last thought in my head was, Maybe that new school won't be too bad after all...

Chapter 2

That night, I awoke to a soft cracking sound, like a twig cracking in half. I had always been a light sleeper, and for that I was glad. I poked my head out of my window, and noticed three lithe dragons slipping through the undergrowth under me. My eyes widened in shock. It was Violet and her gang!

"Keep absolutely quiet," Lily overheard Violet growl to Glitz, who was lagging behind.

"Why couldn't we fly?" Glitz complained. "I'm a RainWing! I wasn't meant to walk on cold forest floors!"

I rolled my eyes. Typical Glitz. But what were they doing here, of all places? Under my house?

"She said that she would meet us near here," Violet muttered.

"Why do we have to do this again?" Glitz asked her.

I was practically dying to know what they were talking about. Do what?? I wanted to yell to them. I kept my tongue, though.

"Queen Glory would kill us if she found out!" Rainstorm muttered to her sister.

"So what?" Violet asked. "They believe that we're kind, nice dragonets! After all, we could blame it on Lily."

I felt a hot rush of anger fill me and make my face heat up. How dare they! Blaming me for whatever betrayal they committed! That made me more curious as to what they were doing.

"Blame it on Lily?" Glitz asked.

Violet shrugged. "That's all that freak's here for. Besides, she's too wimpy to even stand a chance against us. We can just pound her flat if she doesn't agree to pretend she did it."

I was scandalized at that point. Freak? Wimpy? I beat the claws off her in every treetop race we've ever been in. I can paint better than she could ever do if her freaking life depended on it! Just because I wasn't around (to them), it was okay to talk trash about me? I think not.

Besides, I would never go against the Queen. She was descended from Rain, after all. Not only that, but going against the queen meant that I was going against Jasper, since Jasper was the great-great-granddaughter of Grandeur (Queen Glory had everyone do a venom test with either her or Grandeur, to record the dragons related to the Queen. Jasper tested positive, along with a couple other dragons). I would never go against Jasper. Not if my life depended on it!

I silently took flight, landing in the tree nearby them. They were too busy looking for this mystery dragon they had to meet to detect me. I had to huddle in the shadows, trying to disguise myself. Of course, my scales didn't work, but the darkness was so deep, it hid me well. I swung through the branches, following them as they padded forward.

"She should be here soon..." Violet mumbled. Her normally-violet scales were mixed with pale green, darker purple (almost black) and orange. Fear, a slight sliver of guilt, and nervousness. Moments later, she squelched out the other colors and kept her scales as purple.

Suddenly, there was a voice. "So, you've come." Violet, Glitz, and Rainstorm snapped to attention as the voice continued. "What has been going on in the kingdom?"

A large RainWing stalked into the clearing, in front of us. My eyes widened in horror, and my jaw dropped. I had seen drawings of this dragon in scrolls I read. Her name was always a brilliant green, tinged with red, when I read it in the scrolls. It couldn't be! I thought at first. But it was...

It was Magnificent.


In my mind, I went over her history. My best subject had always been history, after all.

Magnificent used to be one of the Queens, until Glory came and took over. She was a cheating dragon, who hated to lose. After she lost, she began to go mad. It was strange... She wanted to rule. She didn't want Glory to be in the Rain Kingdom. Glory had disgraced her, usurping her throne, even though she shared it with the other queens. Magnificent had tried to kill Glory after the war ended, but failed with Glory's mate Deathbringer stepping in. Thus, Magnificent had been banished from the RainWing kingdom. No one knew what happened to her, until now.

I shivered, staring down at them. I thought hard, Whatever you do, please don't look at me. Look at Glitz, with her beautiful jewelry draped along her neck. Look at Violet or something. Look at the nearby copse of trees opposite of me. Look at the ground and watch your own talons. If you look at me, I will surely wither up and die as if I was bitten by a dragonbite viper and ohmymoonsshe'slookingatmewhatdoIdonow! ohgoodsheisn't-lookingatmeanymoreitwasjustaglanceshewon'tmurdermeyetbreathebreathebreathebreatheBREATHE.

I took a deep breath, calming down somewhat. Then, my mind turned to suspicion. What were they doing here with Magnificent? Magnificent was an enemy of the queen. Didn't they realize that?!?!

Then, I remembered what they said about their betrayal. They were working for Magnificent??

"Glory has no idea," Violet said. "She's just as duped as everyone else."

Magnificent nodded with approval. "Good. Very good. Did the other queens accept my invitation?"

"They did," Glitz reported. "They're becoming part of our group."

"Good," Magnificent repeated. "Rainstorm, have you finished recruiting the other dragonets?"

"I have," Rainstorm told her. "I threatened them that if they didn't join us against the Queen, Mother, we would kill them all."

My mind was reeling. The other queens? Magnificent as Rainstorm and Violet's mother? What is this madness??

"And you didn't ask Grandeur, did you?" Magnificent asked Glitz.

"I didn't," Glitz told Magnificent. "We all know how weak Grandeur is. She gave in to that Glory dragon!"

"Don't say her name," Magnificent hissed. She turned her head and looked into the trees. I shivered, shrinking back into the shadows. "I lost my power, my pride, everything to that worthless dragonet... I was banished, even. I won't stop until I get my revenge, my pride, and my throne back from her. I used to be carefree... Maybe even a tad forgetful... But no longer. I must have my throne back..."

My heart was pounding. If Magnificent was really planning that... Then... Queen Glory and Jasper could be in danger!

I took flight again, which was my mistake. Magnificent's head jerked up. "We have a spy!" She exclaimed.

She must have seen the flash of my gold scales as I took off flying. "Could it really be that insufferable SandWing?" She grumbled. "Sunny, or something?"

"That's not Sunny," Glitz said. "That's-"

"Lily," Violet snarled. She took off, her scales reddening with rage.

Terrified, I streaked as fast as I could through the trees. I completed the evasive maneuvers that Jasper taught me: Zig-zag through the trees, around the track, through the thickets, into the darkness of the shadows, and back to the house. I landed safely in the house, and curled up in the hammock, as if I had never moved.

Violet had lost me. It was so close, though... What if I had been caught by Violet? I shuddered, just thinking about it. No way would I let that happen.

I stared up at the branch framework of the ceiling. Large leaves were weaved into place, sticking even through the harshest of storms. Was I like those leaves? I stick through things, no matter how much they wish to imbalance me. I shut my eyes tightly, welcoming the cool darkness. And tomorrow I go to that new Academy... As the world of dreams reclaimed me, swamping me like a tidal wave, I thought, I don't care. Violent can hurt me all she wants... But she can't kill me in front of the other students. I don't care how much Violet hates me anyway.

Chapter 3

Shivering, I stared at the cold, hard floor. Red talons were clicking across the floor, moving swiftly back and forth. Dark orange eyes were fixated on me, anger burning in their depths. "Why did you do it?" Her voice, sharp and as serrated as IceWing claws, slashed into my mind. I shut my eyes tight, seeing red streaks slicing across my vision like daggers or knives at the sound of the voice.

You see, I had gone to this new Academy, just as Jasper had told me to. I was right: Violet and the Terror Trio were going to the school as well. When Violet saw me (before school started), she did a double take. The first take she just glanced over me through a hooded gaze, a disgusting smirk on her violet snout. The second take was a look of shock and surprise. The third, unmentioned take was a dark glare, burning with rage. She raised her claws, which were red in her rage, and twisted them, as if she was twisting my neck. I gave her an even stare in reply, sticking out my tongue to taunt her. As if, My expression seemed to say.

That was the final straw. She stalked towards me, her cronies following her. Gulping, I backed up against the wall. I was just trying to show her that I wasn't afraid of her. As the bells rang, and the other dragonets filed into the classrooms, Violet exacted her revenge against me.

She pinned me against the wall. I could feel her talons squeezing my throat, cutting off my air supply. Futilely, I tried to kick her away, but Rainstorm silently grabbed my hind legs and tied them together with a section of rope she was holding. She used the rest to tie up my snout (covering my nostrils too), so I couldn't spit venom at them. I realized, as my air supply dwindled, that I had no choice but to use my claws.

Lashing out, my claws scored across Violet's snout. Blood, crimson liquid, spilled out of the wound, as if it were weeping cerise tears. She gasped, stepping back, releasing her hold on my neck. I rubbed it, still feeling the pressure of Violet's claws on my neck. Unexpectedly, she began to cry.

They were fake tears, of course. Violet hadn't cried in years, if at all. This was pretty obviously fake, but as the Warden (a NightWing who was assigned a role in being a guard) stormed over, I knew he believed it.

I looked down at my talons in surprise, realizing within seconds that I was doomed. Violet's blood was on MY talons- There was no denying it. All claws pointed at me as the one who started the attack.

"WHAT DID YOU DO, RAINWING??" The Warden demanded. My eyes widened in terror as he bore down upon me. At the sound of his voice, blood-red prints flitted across my vision, fading away in seconds.

Thus, despite my protests, I was dragged to the principal's office. The principal is a SkyWing. Her name is actually Wildstorm. She was the dragon that was pacing in front of me at the moment this began.

I looked up at her. She didn't understand. No one understood that this all was an illusion. That Violet was just pulling the strings, waiting for the RainWings' guards to fall, waiting for the perfect chance to have Magnificent take over the throne. No one. Not even Jasper knew about this. The thought made my face heat up. I looked down, my eyes shut tight, listening to my loud heartbeat pound away.

Why was I the different one? Why was I the one that was a freak that saw colors? I sighed, hanging my head low. Out of all the millions of RainWings that have lived and died in the Rain Kingdom, it was ME that had the colors.

"Again," I heard the Principal say. "Why did you do it?"

"It's not my fault!" I snapped, breaking. "It was Violet that started it all! Why do you not see it?"

I reached down to grab a fruit from my backpack. The Warden jumped up, a claw positioned to slash at me if I tried to attack the Principal. "I'm just getting a guava," I said caustically, and he backed up.

I tossed it back and forth as the Principal kept pacing. I felt faintly sick. I wanted to just jump up into the sky, angle my wings, and freefall. I wanted to fly away, leave this torturous world for a while. Instead, I was stuck with an angry principal, Violet and her gang out for blood, a Warden with his fire trained straight on me, and the worst luck in the RainWing kingdom.

The Principal stopped in front of me again and showed me a picture. A 'teary' Violet, her snout bleeding from a long slash. I knew that I had caused that. There was no state of denial for me.

"You did this, did you not?" She asked me.

"Well, yes, but-" She cut me off.

"So you admit to slashing Violet across the snout?" The Principal asked.

"Yes, but-"

"And at the beginning of the first school day too!" The Principal snapped. "I thought you were better than that!"

"But-" She wouldn't let me finish a single sentence. I noted that my replies became shorter every time.

"Your guardian didn't report you having anger issues," The Principal noted.

"THAT'S BECAUSE I DON'T!" I snapped. They were shoving me to the edge. Then, I realized that every time I shouted, it made it sound more like I did. "I mean, I don't really have anger issues."

My hasty correction was ignored. "And you yell at me, too!" The Principal exclaimed. "Detention, at the very least."

My heart sank. Jasper wouldn't be happy.

"Get out," Was all the Principal said a moment later. "Just leave my office."

I did, my head hung low. The other dragonets had just finished their first period; Violet flashed me a smug smirk as she padded by, the dried blood crusting around the wound.

Sighing, I ignored her, my tail trailing behind me as I dragged myself to my first (second for everyone else) class.


The teacher didn't look twice at me as I took my seat. I looked around, observing the other students. One RainWing was reading her scroll cheerfully. I noted that her scales were a happy lavender, and my face fell. I stared at the floor sadly, feeling like the world was falling down upon my shoulders. Never would I be able to participate in camouflage contests, or hide for a surprise party. Never.

My eye ridges furrowed, glaring at the floor as if it had done me a personal wrong. The lilies on my scales had shriveled up and were completely gone at this point. So what if I had colors in my vision? As if it would do me any good. 

Camouflage was one of the most important parts of being a RainWing. You couldn't serve in the Army without it, after all. I could do nothing in the army, then. Would I always be this way, shunned by society? Stunted? Not even a RainWing at all? I blinked back tears, laying my head against the desk. I felt the cool surface beneath my scales, and heard a small snicker.

I looked up, seeing a pair of SkyWings snickering at me. "Is that really a RainWing?" One hissed to another. "She looks like a hybrid or something."

The RainWing from before frowned at them and whacked one of them upside the head. "Keep in mind that she has ears," She snapped. "She can hear what you're saying."

"Rarity, just 'cause you're standing up for her," The one that was hit said, rubbing the back of his neck, "Doesn't mean that we should stop. Your opinion doesn't count for much."

"Just shut up, okay?" Rarity told them. She went back to reading her scroll. I went back to staring at the desk.

Slowly, the teacher stood up and walked to the front of the class. Her cold, dark gaze seemed to say 'You shall not pass, so in your face!'. "I am Puresight," She said quietly, writing her name on the blackboard with chalk. I winced at the sound, which sent silver ripples across my vision.

"I am your History teacher for this year," She said, in the same quiet tone. I perked up a bit; History was one of my best classes, since I always remembered the colors of important dates and could easily translate them back into numbers. "I will allow you to see the pure, unaffected side of history. Nothing shall be hidden. Understand?"

We all nodded. "I was not named Puresight on a whim," She said coolly, putting down the chalk. "This class will be responsible for teaching you miserable lot about what happened before your grandparents were even born. Keep this in mind... I am not an easy teacher."

Her wings opened up, showing all the glittering stars underneath them. "After all, this is now. Now is the time to learn. Not to goof off," She snapped at the pair of SkyWings, who were imitating me staring at the desk and snickering at each other. "Keep this in mind as well. I am not afraid to call parents."

The SkyWing pair shut up immediately, staring straight at her with their undivided attention. She nodded at them. "Hazard and Danger, right? Your mother told me about you two."

The two SkyWings (I realized that they were twins at that point) nodded sheepishly. "Real troublemakers," She added. "That's what she said."

Hazard and Danger frowned. Danger, the female of the pair, raised an eye ridge. "Did she really?" She asked.

"Oh, yes, she did." Puresight nodded. "And she said that you were quite judgmental of dragons by their looks. Is this true?" She paused. "I think so, since you chose to bully a dragonet in this class who looks different than normal dragons." She paused again. "There is no such thing as normal. There is only things that are COMMON. Normal does not happen to everyone. Bullying will not be tolerated in my class, unless you wish to get knocked to the principal's office faster than you can say 'I didn't do it!'."

She gave me a small smile. Looking at the horrified expressions of Hazard and Danger, I decided that I liked this teacher.

I looked forward again at Puresight. She went to the board and wrote 'Dragonets of Destiny' on it. I winced again. Most of the time, I'm used to chalk sounds. It takes a while to get used to it, but it happens. This was the first time I had heard chalk in a long time. Mostly, it was markers and whiteboards. The sound with those was a lot smoother and less jagged.

"You," She said to a SeaWing sitting near me. "Give me your name, and tell me: What is the name of the SeaWing dragonet of Destiny? Both true and false."

"My name is Undertow," He said. "The real dragonet is Tsunami, and the fake one is Squid."

"Nice," She said to him, writing those names on the board. "Now, you there." She pointed at a blue-and-white NightWing dragonet. "Tell me your name and the two NightWing dragonets of destiny."

"My name is Knightkiller," He said. "The two NightWing dragonets (who so happen to be in a relationship currently) are Fatespeaker and Starflight."

Puresight nodded in approval. "Good. You there," She nodded to me, "Tell me your name and what happened to the SkyWing dragonet. Also tell why the RainWing dragonet was substituted, what her name was, and what happened to her."

I paused for a moment, envisioning the colors. "Okay," I said. "My name is Lily. The SkyWing dragonet's egg was smashed by Burn. Kestrel, the SkyWing minder, found the body of the egg's carrier, an IceWing named..." I paused, envisioning the dragon's name's colors. I determined it to be Hvitur. "Hvitur, and the shattered eggshell. There is a theory that the SkyWing dragonet still lives, since the body of the dragonet wasn't found. However, the SkyWing was still substituted for a RainWing dragonet named Glory. She became the youngest RainWing queen in decades, if ever. She still is Queen today." I paused. "Though you didn't ask me this, the false SkyWing is named Flame. He was scratched across the face by Viper, the false SandWing. Thus, he has a scar."

Puresight looked at me carefully. "You have been studying your history, haven't you?" She asked me. I grinned, pleased that she had noticed.

"History is one of my best subjects," I told her. "Along with Art."

She said nothing, just writing the names 'Glory' and 'Flame' on the board. She continued to ask a SandWing (Lizardstripe) who the real SandWing dragonet of destiny was. She correctly answered it to be Sunny. Then, a MudWing named Sod was asked about the two MudWing dragonets, which he correctly answered to be Clay and Ochre. I knew all of that. I had read the tales of the Dragonets of Destiny hundreds of times. I wondered what it would be like if I had been sent instead, if I had grown up with the dragonets instead. Perhaps I wouldn't have been made fun of... I would be a hero!

No one would make fun of my scales. No one would say, 'Oh, look at Lily and her weird scales!'. I would be respected, just as I should be. Sunny herself had become a very important advisor to her mother, Queen Thorn, even though she was weird-looking. Why couldn't I have become an important figure? I probably would have, if I had been born a bit earlier...

But then again, Magnificent (I shuddered slightly at the name in my head) would be leading us still if Glory hadn't come. After all, I'm not of royal blood.

Right?

Chapter 4

The next few classes were extremely boring. The four other awesome classes (PE, English, Drama, and Art) were at the end of the day, sadly. Puresight taught English, which was great, since I like her. She's a great (albeit stern) teacher.

I was a great speller, since I could simply envision the colors and translate them. Sadly, I was terrible at math. When I say terrible, I mean 'if Pyrrhia depended on me in the ways of math, Pyrrhia would be screwed' horrible. Especially Algebra. Oh, don't get me started on Algebra! I was literally mind-blown (I was surprised that my head didn't explode) from the thought of assigning a value of a number to some letter. I mean, most of the time the colors don't even match! Jasper thinks I don't try hard enough... But there's a lot she doesn't know.

What I learned about the Terror Trio. Sure, she knows about how dark and hateful they are. But... She doesn't know that they have been plotting against our tribe. No one does, other than me.

The truth about my colors. She believes I had lied before about the colors, to get attention. I said I was, but I never meant it. I saw the colors, and the colors seemed to come to me, even when I didn't want them.

What really goes on when I flunk math tests. All the numbers, just like letters, have colors. To me, the number two is cobalt blue. 1 is dark black. 3 is yellow like the light dappling the leaves during sun time; 4 is reddish-green, like falling leaves in autumn; 5 is silver, like the fur of the sloths; 6 is a fiery orangish-red, like Mingora's fur; 7 is darker yellow, almost a gold, like my scales; 8 is the iridescent green of the small fringes of the peacock feather; 9 is bright teal blue, like the sky; and 10 is a greyish color, the white of the zero and the black of the 1 combining to make grey. Assigning some random letter, like the reddish gold Y, to take the place of a number like 2, which is cobalt blue? No. Just... No. All of my perfectionist side (which is unsurprisingly small) screams at me whenever I see something like that, No! NO! Just NO!.

There are so many things my guardian does not understand. I wish it didn't have to be this way... But there would be no way that she would understand my problems. Especially not my colors.

When I was thinking of this, I was standing in the line in the cafeteria. I moved with the crowd, not really thinking. Someone nudged me with their wing. I looked to see it was Rarity. She was holding two platters, one in each talon. "Daydreaming?" She asked as we moved forward.

I said nothing, slightly annoyed that my reverie had been broken. I was a tiny bit grateful that she had broken me out, since if I was the only one just shuffling forward like a dead dragon through the line, not holding a platter and receiving food, I would look like even more of an idiot. I hastily grabbed one of the platters and received my food. For non-vegetarians, there was 'Mystery Meat'. For vegetarians, there was 'Meatless Mystery'. I don't even know if the cafeteria dragons (a gruff-looking troop of MudWing siblings) tell the truth... At least they don't pick favorites.

Then, I was led to Rarity's table. There was another RainWing already sitting there. She looked up, moving her backpack from the seat next to her, so that Rarity could sit down. After a second, I sat down beside Rarity, nervously reading a history scroll. I had never done well around other dragons, other than Jasper. But hey, Jasper's one in about a billion. Or maybe a trillion. Or maybe a quadrillion, or some gigantic number that I don't know. Whatever she is, she's awesome.

"So," The mysterious RainWing said. "Who's this?"

"Oh, this is Lily," Rarity said, looking over at me. "Lily, this is my friend Glade. We're from the Northern Kingdom, which is why you don't know us." I shook Glade's talon, brightening slightly. Most dragons I met pretended mainly like I was out of the room when they introduced themselves to me or to someone else. I'm strange, so they pretend I'm an animal or something. 'Glade,' Other dragons would say, 'This is Lily. Since we're from the Southern Kingdom, we've never seen her before. She's from the Southern Kingdoms, where Glory rules.'

The cruelty of some dragons shocks me.

I was still silent, examining the colored letters on the scroll's surface. I didn't touch the Meatless Mystery I got... Only the chocolate milk was even touched, and that was gone within seconds. Glade and Rarity were looking awkwardly at me, and I simply ignored them. Then, there was another voice.

"Can... Can I sit by you?" It was soft, quiet, and nervous. I looked up to see someone who looked like Violet.

I jumped back, shocked. Then, I realized that this dragon was smaller than Violet, with a darker shade of purple (almost midnight purple) color as her scales, teal blue eyes, and a nervous, fearful look. I recognized the dragonet to be the one that Violet had forced into being a member of the Terror Trio, before Glitz came along. She was Paradise Hue, Violet's harmless little sister. I knew that Violet had hurt her to force her to join the Terror Trio, since she had impressions on her wrists, as though ropes had been bound around them. Only Violet could do something like that.

"Sure," I said, tapping my tail on the edge of the seat next to me. Rarity looked surprised, and slightly suspicious of the dragonet. Glade looked pleased that I was at least a little compassionate.

"What's your name?" Glade asked.

"Paradise," Paradise said as she slid into the seat, holding her Meatless Mystery. "Paradise Hue."

Rarity shot me a look. She obviously had heard of Violet before she actually came to the school. She knew about her cruelty. I'll ask her later about that, I decided. I lifted my shoulders in a shrug.

"I'm Glade," Glade told her. "That's Rarity, and that's Lily."

"I know Lily," Paradise said. She pulled out a scroll and set it on the table. It was last year's Year-Scroll for my old school. She unrolled it and showed them her picture, which was nearby mine. Violet's was on her left, and Rainstorm's was on her right. Rarity shot me another look. It was obvious now that she knew Violet.

"Nice to see you again," I told Paradise politely.

Paradise smiled shyly at me, and put away the Year-Scroll. I noticed that her claws were scratched up and bleeding slightly. I raised an eye ridge at her, and she shook her head quickly, changing her scale color to a bright red to hide it. Rarity was giving me this look. I glared at her again.

"I sometimes try to mimic other tribes," Paradise said quietly to me and Glade. "It helps me..."

I knew what she was going to finish: It helps me hide from Violet and the others. Not only did the blood blend in, but Violet would never suspect her sister to be the color of a SkyWing or a SeaWing.

Paradise tucked her ruffs behind her horns and changed her underscales to a bright gold. I had a feeling she did it on purpose, as if trying to show that she was like me in a lot of ways. Both of our lives had been scarred because of the Terror Trio.

There is no limit to what Violet would do to gain power, I realized. That was what Violet was doing: Exerting her power over us all. She enjoyed the feeling of knowing that she was feared by the other dragons. She enjoyed knowing that her name struck terror into their hearts, that she could easily make other dragons cry simply by using her own pressure over them. She wanted power. The bystanders, like me and Paradise, are simply victims.

Yet another reason why we have to stop Magnificent and her plans.

I looked around at everyone. Rarity was watching Paradise carefully, as if she was the parole officer watching the criminal (Paradise). I gave her a look, and shook my head. She's not like Violet.

Rarity relaxed slightly, but still looked a little wary. I looked at the clock. Lunch was nearly over already.

I threw away the rest of my untouched meal and sat back down. I felt slightly nauseated. All these problems seemed to be cropping up everywhere, and there was no escape. It was hard work, going through one thing after another...

The bell rang, sending golden ripples across my vision. I got up and grabbed my bag, taking out my schedule and scanning it. "Physical Education," I read, a grin spreading across my face in spite of myself. "Yesss!"

Rarity looked down at her schedule, and then back up at me. "You're happy about PE?" She asked, staring at me incredulously. "How could you possibly enjoy such a thing?"

I frowned at her. "How could you not?"

"I'd rather not be doing random things that take up valuable amounts of energy," She said calmly.

I shrugged. "Have it your way. Do you have it next?"

She sighed and nodded. "Oh, the horror."

Glade grinned. "I have PE next too!"

"What about you, Paradise?" I asked the RainWing, whose head was bent down, reading her schedule. She looked up in surprise.

"Um... Physical Education," She said, looking back down at the schedule in her talons. "See you all later."

"Oh, get back here," Rarity said, her tone slightly sharper than normal. She grabbed the shoulder of Paradise and dragged her backwards to stand in front of us. "We have it next too."

Paradise brightened slightly. "Oh, good. I like you guys. You're a lot better than Rainstorm and Violet." She lowered her head, her eyes glowing dark with pain. She rubbed her wrists self-consciously, which reminded me of the pain inflicted on her by those abominations.

"Abominations!" I hissed, glaring at Violet and Rainstorm, who were sitting nearby, snarling in the faces of a few other RainWings. I knew that they were 'persuading' the others to fight against Glory. Not on my watch.

Then, I heard the warning bell. Two minutes until class starts! I didn't want to be late. Neither did Rarity or Glade, or even Paradise. I jumped up and ran out of the cafeteria, taking flight. I passed a blue SeaWing with navy patterns on her back. She vaguely reminded me of Whirlpool, with her swirly stripes.

Glade and the others were behind me, also flying to PE. We landed in front of the locker room, and, taking a deep breath, entered the room.

Chapter 5

There was a long line of dragonets, with four missing spots. I jumped into the one that I knew was supposed to be me. Nearby, the others got into their parts of the line. Paradise was the closest to me.

There was a slender SkyWing standing at the front of the class. She nodded to me. I bowed my head to her as well.

"So," She said. "I am Wilderness, and I will be your PE teacher until the end of the year. This is a class of RainWings, correct?"

All the students nodded.

"Good," She replied. "Now, change your scale color to blue and silver. Yes, blue and silver."

I gulped as the others changed their scales to blue and silver. Paradise, nearby, had her eyes closed and was concentrating. She kept most of her scales midnight purple, but swirls and nebulae of blue and silver, all mixed together, were splashed across them. She actually looked very nice.

I stood out, being the only dragon that was still their own color. She went up to me and stared down at me with those yellow eyes. "Are you disobeying me?" She asked.

"I can't change my scales," I admitted, my face burning. A couple of the RainWings smothered snickers. Rarity whacked one of them upside the head like she did to Hazard, and they shut up.

She looked down at me for a moment. "What's your name?" She asked.

I gulped. Was she going to give me detention for this? Two detentions in one day? Jasper would flip if that happened. "Lily," I managed to say.

She nodded slightly. "Hm. Glory warned me that there would be a RainWing that couldn't change her scales named Lily. I didn't expect you to be so brightly colored. Most dragons that can't change their scales are gray or something. Spectro was."

I sighed with relief. She understood. At last, someone understood. "Will I get detention?" I asked tentatively.

She gave me a strange look. "Why in Pyrrhia would I give you detention? That's why I did silver. Silver is close to gray, which was what I was expecting you to be."

She backed up a few feet. "Everyone, please change your scales to gold."

They obeyed. I noticed that Paradise had changed her scales to have spirals of gold on them. There was a golden hourglass symbol on her left flank. She has a good sense of style, I thought. Now, I didn't look so unusual.

"This is the color we will be every day," Wilderness told everyone. "Every day, please come in with gold. It will be the color that distinguishes us from other classes."

Other classes? There are other classes? I wondered, confused.

"All the RainWings in the school have PE now," She said. "They just have different teachers. So you don't get mixed up with other dragons in other classes, we have decided to keep you all with one color. One class is purple, one class is red, one class is orange, one class is teal, and one class is gold, which is what we are now."

She turned and spread her wings. Her wingspan was immense, her crimson and orange scales glowing like fire as they spread across the room. "Outside, class!" She exclaimed, taking flight. She was gone within seconds.

We all rushed out after her, out into the field, where the other classes were waiting.


I immediately knew that Wilderness was right in giving us a specific color. There was a large group of RainWings, both Northern (like Rarity and Glade) and Southern (like me, and Paradise). In front of the group were four teachers. One was a SkyWing, just like Wilderness. Another was a RainWing. There was a MudWing as well, and a NightWing.

They all looked over at Wilderness as she landed next to them. "Why were you late?" The NightWing asked mildly.

"I had to speak to a specific student," Wilderness replied. "No, they did not do anything bad. I misunderstood them."

The NightWing nodded, staring forward again. His dull green eyes were on me. I had a bad feeling about him somehow, like he was trying to bore into my soul and steal my secrets. His claws shifted slightly, and he looked away at Paradise. Paradise gulped, shrinking back. She had always been nervous around other dragons.

"I am Darkwings, for those of you that do not know me," He said. "My class is the purple class."

"I am Wilderness," Wilderness said. "My class is the gold class."

"I'm Stormheart," The other SkyWing told us. "My class is orange."

"I'm Mire," The MudWing growled. "I have the red class."

"And I am the teal class teacher," The RainWing said. "The name's Intarsia."

"Take a lap!" Mire suddenly snapped. "All of you!"

I jumped up. Taking flight, I decided to pretend that it was a race. The other RainWings followed, slightly more sluggishly. "NO!" Mire snapped. "By foot! All of you!"

I frowned, slowly landing again. By foot?

"Jog the entire thing," He growled.

Grimacing, I lowered myself to the ground and started jogging. Flying's much better than jogging, I decided. I kept stubbing my claws. I was used to either walking, running, or flying, not jogging. Maybe Rarity's right. Maybe this will be torture.

Most of the others were dragging their feet, bemoaning this forced torture. Paradise was dragging herself forward, her head hung low. Glade was trying, like me, but was failing as well. Rarity had given up entirely, walking forward instead of jogging.

Fortunately, Wilderness saved the day. "To the air!" She shouted to us, jabbing her claw up to the sky. Happily, I took flight, streaking to the finish. I surpassed even Violet, who was glaring daggers at me. She was in Darkwings's class. Fitting, for two reasons: Darkwings's color was purple, and he was the darkest of all of them.

I was the first to land. If my scales could change, they would be a bright, happy yellow at that point. The thumping sounds of the other dragons landing sent silver shivers through my mind.

"I told them to jog, not to fly, you-" Mire stopped at the expression on Wilderness's face. "Erm, never mind."

I wondered why he had stopped. I looked carefully at Wilderness's face. The snout shape and the eyes looked familiar... The sound of talons clicking in my mind jolted my memory.

She was the sister of the principal! Wilderness could easily just ask Wildstorm to fire him if he caused trouble. No wonder he was treading carefully around the SkyWing. He could quite literally lose his job in minutes.

We all went to the middle of the track again, where Wilderness assigned us to different stations. There was a station for Advanced Napping, a station for Dodgeball, a station for Tree Gliding, and a station for Venom Targeting. We rotated every 15 minutes.

The first one I had was Dodgeball. Violet, who was on the other team, practically pummelled me with dodgeballs until Wilderness called a cease fire. She even hit me in the throat, which hurt a lot! I couldn't breate for a moment, my esophagus crushed from the impact. Fortunately, I recovered fast, ducking and flinging a dodgeball back at her. She, obviously, caught it, and did not get out.

Next was Tree Gliding. I naturally excelled at it, showing my talent at it out on the field. Jasper had taught me everything she knew, so I was quite prepared. I ignored the dark glare boring into my back as I watched the other RainWings finish. Glade, the athletic one, finished second. Violet finished third. Paradise finished last, but I had a feeling that she did it on purpose, to stay behind Violet as much as possible.

After that was Venom Targeting. Rarity was the strongest in that field, followed closely by Violet. My venom teeth are smaller than normal, so I'm not as good as the others. Paradise hates using it altogether. Rarity's venom landed straight in the middle, scattering dark droplets across the surface of the wooden board. The quantity of Violet's venom was larger, but she didn't aim that well, just spitting at the board. It covered a higher amount of the board, but not where they were supposed to be aiming. Rarity's accuracy was extraordinary for her age; she only messed up once.

Advanced Napping was last. We had to lie there and shut our eyes, breathing deeply. I was close to falling asleep, but a stray dodgeball bounced off my head. I looked up and glared at the thrower, who turned red, taking the dodgeball back and flinging it at the opposing team again.

The bell rang at last, and we all rushed off the field, stampeding to the exit. Someone stepped on my tail hard. I had a feeling that I knew who it was. Their scales were quite rough, and, I imagined, violet.

Chapter 6

Entering the Drama classroom, I looked around. The walls were beige-colored, a few windows opening up to let air in from outside. There was a miniature stage in the front of the classroom, in front of a large space for the students to sit. Unlike PE, there were dragons of other tribes. SkyWings, MudWings, other RainWings... There was a couple SeaWings. They stood out immediately, since one of them had rainbowy stripes. The other one had light-colored scales, like Anemone, but had red photophores instead of the normal white or silver.

The red-striped one looked over at me. "Hi!" She said cheerfully. "I'm Kittiwake. This is my friend Cuttlefish. Who are you guys?"

Glade grinned. "I'm Glade. This is Lily."

Kittiwake gasped. "Violet!" She exclaimed, staring in horror at Paradise. Paradise turned red, shuffling her feet. I grimaced. Kittiwake was foolish to think Paradise was Violet, and actually saying it out loud.

"That's not Violet!" Glade said quickly. "That's Paradise Hue. She's harmless."

"Oh," Kittiwake said, her stripes flashing a red light. She was probably saying 'Sorry' in Aquatic, but neither of us understood it, so I don't know for sure. "I'm Anemone's daughter, by the way. You could probably tell that, because of my scale color. As you can see, it's very light teal, fading to dark blue. My mother has a pink tinge in her scales, but never mind that."

"I'm a Sea/RainWing hybrid," Cuttlefish told us. "You can probably tell from the stripes." She grinned, flashing her green and her yellow photophores cheerfully. "I can change their colors whenever I want."

"Nice necklace," Kittiwake said, pointing at the amber pendant hanging from Glade's neck. There was a scarab trapped inside of it. I had never noticed it before.

"Thanks," Glade said, rubbing it absently with her claws. "It's my lucky charm."

Suddenly, an IceWing dragoness raced into the room. Her scales were dappled and striped with black, her main scales were silver, and her ears were mostly black on top, with a circle of silver in the middle. "There's a fire!" She shouted, fear glittering in the depths of her dark blue eyes, ringed with faint silver that blended easily into the dark blue color, deep in the irises.

The other dragonets screamed, jumping back. I whipped around, searching for a single tendril of smoke that would signal a nearby fire, or the telltale crackling of the burning of material.

"Kidding!" She exclaimed, and we all sighed in relief. "False alarm, everyone. Just gettin' your blood pumpin'..." She grinned as she went up onto the main stage. "The name's Leopard. Yeah, not a normal IceWing name. My full name is Snow Leopard, actually. Everyone calls me Leopard, though. I'm your new Drama teacher."

I smiled; I liked this teacher. She seemed nice... But slightly crazy.

She smiled at us all. "So! Are any of you familiar with what improv is?"

I frowned. Improv... Unfamiliar to me.

Kittiwake raised her talon. When Leopard saw her, she picked her. "Red-Striped SeaWing!"

"It's Kittiwake," Kittiwake said, blushing as red as her photophores. "Improv is where you improvise, and make up as you go. Wing it, as some SkyWings would say."

Leopard nodded approvingly. "Good job, Kittiwake! You are exactly right."

Kittiwake smiled. Leopard went on.

"Today, we will be trying alphabetical improv. I'm sure you haven't heard of it, have you?" The other dragonets nodded. "Thought so. It's where each line starts with one letter of the alphabet, going in alphabetic order."

I nodded, understanding. The other dragonets were nodding and smiling at each other.

"Now..." Leopard's silver-and-blue gaze moved across the dragonets, stopping on me. "Okay! You'll be the captain. Choose the other competitiors. Yes, this is a competition. If you say a word with the wrong letter of the alphabet beginning it, you will be disqualified. Whoever stays in the longest, wins."

I stood up and went onto the stage, looking out over the crowd. "Glade," I said, pointing at the teal RainWing. She shrugged, standing up and going onto the stage. "Kittiwake... Cuttlefish... And..." I paused. Suddenly, an idea occurred to me. What if I bested Violet here? She would be humiliated. I smirked. "...Violet."

Violet frowned. "Yes, you," I said, pointing at her. She shrugged, standing up. I saw a smirk hidden in her yellow gaze as she strolled up onto stage, a swagger in her step.

I knew I couldn't choose Paradise, my other choice, for she would freak, being around Violet. She was seriously a Violet-phobe. I paused, looking over through the audience. A bright, perky SkyWing caught my eye. She would work. "You, too," I said to the SkyWing.

She brightened. "I can? Awesome! I was hoping I could! I love acting, which is why I chose Drama. My parents wanted me in another group, like the Archery Group, but I didn't want to. I like acting much more. I'm Hyperbole, by the way, who are you all?" She asked, her voice so fast, I could barely register what she said. She looked hyperactive. I wondered whether she was a good choice. I saw Violet curled her lip at her, and felt better about my choice. If she annoyed Violet, she was fine.

Paradise, who had tensely been gripping the edges of her seat, relaxed. She was okay.

Violet smirked at me, her yellow eyes smoldering. She wanted to win. She wanted the prestige of saying that she bested everyone else in the first day of Drama. This was going to be interesting...

Chapter 7

"Begin!" Leopard exclaimed. "With the letter A, if you please."

"Absolutely, and I shall do my best to win." I said, finishing my turn.

"But you're forgetting what I'm here for," Violet countered.

"Cut it out," Glade ordered. "You happen to be forgetting that there's more in the universe than you."

"Do take a shower," Kittiwake added.

"Easily is how I can beat you all," Cuttlefish tried, turning slightly red.

"Flee you shall, when I use my strength to throw you off the side of the stage," Violet told us.

"Gee, I didn't know you were smart enough to speak in a different style," I countered.

"Oh, she got you!" Hyperbole said, grinning.

"Out!" Leopard shouted, pointing at Hyperbole. "Your letter was H, Hyperbole."

"Hungry, fuzzy pineapples!" She said quickly, trying to make up for it.

Leopard shook her head. "Too late, Hyperbole. Sit back down."

She pouted. "Aww, my life's the worst!" She wailed, looking close to crying. I shook my head. What a crazy dragon!

"Here's a piece of chocolate," Leopard said, holding a chocolate piece up for her to see.

Hyperbole grinned. "Yay!" She exclaimed as she jumped off the stage quite willingly, racing up to Leopard and taking the chocolate. "I love chocolate!"

"H, Glade," Leopard told the RainWing.

"Fine," Glade told her. She turned to the rest of us. "How about we stop fighting?"

"Impossible," Violet told her. "I'll win anyway, so you'll all just fight to be second place."

"Just wait..." Cuttlefish told her.

"Kangaroos could do better than you," Kittiwake said.

"Lousy animals, kangaroos," Violet said, pacing around her. "They're awkward and dirty."

I grinned, a perfect comeback coming to mind. "Maybe they learned it from you," I told her.

She blushed at that, the entire class laughing at her. "Shut it, you moons-forsaken, backstabbing chimaera," She snarled at me.

Cussing me out wouldn't do much. She did that a lot when I was younger, so I wasn't affected by it. "Oh, now, now, now, child," I said, waggling my talon at her as if she was a small dragonet that had done something naughty. "No cussing in class. And by the way..." I paused and added, "It takes one to know one."

She flushed red again, the other classmates snickering. "Please shut up and jump off that cliff over there," She said, pointing at an imaginary cliff.

"She should NOT!" Kittiwake said, but realizing her mistake, said, "Question: Why should she?"

"Too late," Leopard said to Kittiwake. "Please sit down."

Kittiwake sat down in her seat off the stage.  Cuttlefish took up the next line. "Question for you, Violet: Why should Lily jump off a cliff?"

"Really?" Violet asked sarcastically. "Isn't it obvious? She's annoying."

"So?" She replied. "Even if she's annoying, why should you have her basically commit suicide?"

"This is foolish," Glade said. She suddenly gasped. "Ow! Something bit my talon!"

Cuttlefish paused. "Um... U must be in pain." I knew that she meant U as in the letter, but Leopard caught the mistake.

"Out!" She said, jerking her head sideways. "'You' starts with a Y, not a U. This is not Abbreviation. This is normal English. Please do not use a single letter, unless it is 'I', and you are speaking first-person. Please sit down, Cuttlefish. You have been disqualified for using Abbreviation in acting. A very bad habit, just to let you know."

I took up V, since Cuttlefish technically finished U by using 'Um'. "Viper! That non-poisonous viper just bit your talon!" I pointed at the ground next to her talon.

"What do I do?" Glade asked me.

"Xenophobic dragons can heal it, but they'll be too afraid of strangers like you to do it," Violet said.

"You idiot," Glade said to her. "Do me a favor and SHUT UP for a moment."

"Zap!" I exclaimed, pointing my talon at her 'bitten' one. "I just healed your talon with my magic powers."

"Thanks," Glade said, nodding to me. She realized her mistake.

"Out!" Leopard said. "Your letter was A, not T. Sit down!" She said it so fast, it sounded like 'siddown', rather than 'sit down'.

"Aww..." Glade grumbled as she sat down. "And right when I got my talon fixed, too!"

Only Violet was left, other than me. The others were all out.

"A good idea for you would be to shut up," She told me. "Only animus dragons have magical powers."

"But what if I am one?" I asked simply.

She growled at me, twisting the air as if imagining it to be my neck. "Can't take it?" I asked.

"Don't push me!" She snapped at me.

"Eat your wings!" I told her.

"You eat your wings!" She shouted. Realizing her mistake, she screeched, "WAIT!"

"Too late," Leopard told her. "Sit down, Violet! Your letter was-"

"F, I KNOW!" She yelled. Giving me a look of pure hatred, she stormed off the stage. I smiled and waved at her, from where I stood on stage. She glared daggers at me.

Suddenly, I heard a clapping sound. I turned to see Paradise, who was slowly clapping her talons together. Glade joined in, as well as Cuttlefish, Kittiwake, and Hyperbole. Seconds later, the entire class was clapping. Leopard paused, and then began clapping as well. Other than Violet, who was still staring moodily at the floor, the entire class was supporting me. I grinned, cherishing the symbols appearing before me at the sound of the supportive clapping. Slowly, I walked off the stage. Man, I love this class.

Chapter 8

Here we go... I reentered Puresight's classroom, sitting in my assigned seat. Puresight looked over at me and nodded to me, turning her attention back to the scroll in front of her.

Slowly, more students filed into the classroom. They were the same students from History earlier that day. Hazard and Danger sat down, watching Rarity carefully. She could hit hard when she wanted to!

Looking around, I pulled out my special drawing. I had been working on it for months, adding a little bit to it each day. It was a picture of Jasper, with me standing next to her. She was laughing, and I had a grin on my face big enough to show my teeth for once.

She was beautiful, much more beautiful than I could ever be if I tried. Jasper was amazing. I wished I was really her daughter... She was the perfect dragon, royal blood running through her veins from her mother. She was the older sister of Queen Glory, for moons' sake!

I pulled out some colored ink and a few brushes. I began painting, carefully keeping to the inside of the lines. Little did I know that Violet was standing behind me.

"What's that?" She asked, pointing at it.

"Nothing," I snapped back, my grip on the brush tightening. "Buzz off."

"How touching," She sneered, picking up the drawing and staring at it for a moment. She opened her mouth and spat venom onto it. It started to melt away, the organic paper dissolving, along with all the effort I had put into it for the past three months.

Tears burned in my eyes, making the world around me blurry. I felt helpless, like a falling tree was about to crush me, and I was chained there, unable to move. My flowers had shriveled up, and I shut my eyes, feeling as if oceans were pressing against them.

I was making that for Jasper's birthday... It was just a few weeks away...

But now her birthday surprise is ruined...

"What did you do that for, jerk?" To my shock, Danger, Rarity, and Hazard had all stood up, asking the same question in unison.

Violet looked slightly surprised. "Danger? Hazard? Why are you giving me that look? You dislike Lily, do you not?"

"We don't want to be mean to someone that obviously has SkyWing blood in them," Danger said. "Only a small group of SkyWings have that style of claws."

My blood ran cold. SkyWing blood? In me? I had considered the possibilities, but never that tribe... I looked down at my curved, strangely retractable claws. They were a polished silver color, as if white and black had mixed. I hoped they were wrong...

"I was sure that she was just a mutant," Hazard said. "Until I saw her claws. I would recognize those anywhere. The descendants of the ancient SkyWing general Blastburn the Great had those claws. We learned about it in school. It was an old genetic mutation that Blastburn himself had."

Am I a RainWing? Or a SkyWing? Or... Both?

No, it couldn't be... What kind of RainWing would fall for a SkyWing? It must be a coincidence, that's all... My talons were shaking slightly as I reassured myself.

However, my mind kept flicking to Sunny, Thorn, and Stonemover. Hybridization was possible, as that stupid scientific part of me kept saying. Maybe your dad was a SkyWing.

But no SkyWings entered the Rain Kingdom, as far as I knew. How could any of my parents have been SkyWings? No, they must be wrong.

Suddenly there was a lot more to worry about than a melted picture. I looked over at the picture sadly. It was almost entirely gone, coated in black goop. A corner of Jasper's face was visible, sending a rush of sadness through me. I've been a bad daughter, haven't I?

I've been hiding everything from her, my colors, Magnificent's plan...

I refused to tell her anything when she asked...

I've burdened her with all of my problems... And I never stopped to listen to any of hers...

She's been juggling all of my needs, as well as mine, all this time, and I didn't even thank her. She's endured it silently all this time, not wanting to hurt me, and why? Because she loves me, that's why.

And I'm practically stabbing her in the back for it.

What a great child I've been...

I turned and raced out of the class. I heard faintly, as if in some other dimension, Rarity call after me, but I didn't stop. I couldn't. I could not stop. Stopping was impossible.

Against my wishes, I felt tears build up in my eyes. No. I would not cry. Not now.

I was so busy thinking, I crashed at full-speed into someone, bowling them over. It was Glade, and she was holding a dead cow, which landed on the ground with a thump when I crashed into her. The sound of the cow landing on the ground sent a small shockwave of orange across my vision, which did not help.

"Wha- Who- How- Lily?" She frowned at me. "Why are you crying?"

I said nothing, standing up. Before I could run further, Glade grabbed my tail. "No. You aren't running off. TELL ME WHY YOU ARE CRYING OR I WILL THUMP YOU OVER THE HEAD WITH THIS COW."

"You won't understand," I said in a surprisingly even voice.

"Or will I?" She asked, her grip tightening. It was starting to hurt. "I recognize pain and guilt when I see them, and you have both. What on Pyrrhia is bugging you?"

Rarity and Puresight raced over to us, stopping behind us. "Okay, what happened?" Rarity asked. She paused. "First Hazard, Danger, and I agreed on something (a shock within itself), and now you've flat-out sprinted out of the classroom. It burst into chaos seconds after you left! What is going on with you?"

"No one would understand," I growled, hardly aware of myself. I could feel my pulse going into overdrive, prepared to run at full speed if necessary.

"What do you MEAN?" Glade demanded. "What would we not understand??? We won't know if we understand it or not if you keep hiding it from us!"

I pulled my tail out of her grip and tried to run. Kittiwake and Cuttlefish came down the hall and stopped in front of me. "What's going on here?" Cuttlefish asked. "We were sent to get Glade. Pastlearner's cow has to be reheated, remember, Glade?"

Glade said nothing, her gaze fixed on me. I looked around. Surrounded on all sides. I tried to bolt up the stairs, but Glade jumped in my way. Rarity took Glade's place behind me. I backed up, looking around again. I really was surrounded on all sides this time.

Puresight had said nothing at first, but then she spoke. "Calm down," She told the others. She turned to me. "We want to help you. We can't help you if you don't tell us what's wrong. At least let us try. Please, Lily. We want to help."

I calmed down slightly, her words sinking in. Breathe... Breathe...

I suddenly could hear Puresight's voice in my mind. Calm down. You don't have to tell me. It's okay. I'll leave soon, and you can resolve it with your friends. Okay?

I paused. Okay.

She turned and left, going back to the classroom. She obviously had talked to the others (especially Glade) as well as me, so they were simply watching me. "Tell," Was all Rarity said.

And I spilled it.

I told them about my lying about Magnificent, about Violet's plans (Glade made a hissing noise in the back of her throat when I talked about them meeting Magnificent), about everything but my colors. I was too afraid to talk about my colors around them. They could think I was insane.

"... And now Violet, Rainstorm, Glitz, and Magnificent are plotting to take over the Rain and Night Kingdom, I'm the only one that knows it, no one would believe me, and I'm under extreme STRESS," I finished.

They nodded in understanding. "I understand why you wouldn't tell us," Cuttlefish said. "I wouldn't either, if a dragon would kill me if I did."

"We have to do something," Glade growled. "We can't let Magnificent win!"

"W-What can we do against her?" Paradise stammered. "You haven't seen what Violet can do."

"What can she do?" Rarity asked. I jerked my head sideways, glaring at the other RainWing. Could she be even a bit more tactless? Couldn't she tell that Paradise didn't want to talk about it?

I said flatly, "She is willing to hurt her sister to bend her to her will."

Rarity understood the tone in my voice, dropping the subject. I looked over at everyone, and we all huddled together. I began to speak. "Okay, this is the plan..."

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