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I tie the ribbon in a foolish way. I always have. The way I've done it since childhood was ridiculously simple: a knot followed by two "bunny ears" that were knotted. Ghaleon always tried to teach me the proper way to make a bow so that it would hold but that never seemed to matter since I was never a particularly active child.

I find myself missing those times. I also find it difficult to reconcile Ghaleon's history. He has gone through a full circle in his actions that has included a rest of 1000 years. I can barely fathom it and he, too, has trouble seeing me as I am now and not the sixteen year old girl on the cusp of womanhood I was almost eight years ago. In his mind, it was not as long ago that he savored "the delicious fragility of this travesty," as he might put it, that was Alex fulfilling the role of Dragonmaster that, perhaps, always belonged to Dyne in Ghaleon's mind.

And though I, too, found it incredible on the opposite end of the spectrum, I think it's hard for me to imagine a Dragonmaster coming after Alex. It's hard to imagine needing one. But perhaps these are my words as a mother.

I hold my infant son in my arms, amazed by the fact that I was carrying him at this time last year, and the idea of him becoming a Dragonmaster is a lance in my heart. I find myself wondering if Ghaleon had felt that way about us deep down. I remember well how he would read to me, the superb acting. There was no mistake; he played the villain to the hilt. But his true desire was a better world for us. His means were most foul and he knew others would try to stop him, the reason why he incapacitated Master Mel and my mother. Perhaps he didn't expect the "fragile" children who opposed him.

Even after his defeat, I have been considered a fragile thing. Now that I have a child, one who truly IS fragile, I understand that much more. I'm not sure I will ever be able to think of him as anything other than my baby. The very idea that he might one day oppose me (as all teenagers must, though hopefully not to the extreme as my own adolescent perils) is heartrending.

And that is what Ghaleon was faced with in his last months of his first, true life.

I don't regret stopping him but I regret causing that sort of pain in the process. I am surprised that he doesn't hold it against me, just as he is surprised that I can still remember that he is not a monster but a man.

Perhaps one day I will be able to silence my mind in his presence. Remember things only as they were before as we both so hope. I will never forget what he did nor should I forget. But with the battle won and peace left in its wake, maybe there will come a time for the three of us. A time and place for lighter hearts, where we still laugh and wish.

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lean, curious
gorgonfondness
Mia Malfoy-Ausa

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