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 Alexandra's Summer Travels

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Alexandra Leoine
Alexandra Leoine

Posts : 7833
Stats : 361
Join date : 2010-07-20
Age : 22
Location : On your six.

PostSubject: Alexandra's Summer Travels   Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:11 pm

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”

Part 1 of 3: Alexandra’s Graduation Summer


The hot air caressed her cheeks as she stood in the center of the most famous of the Gladiator arenas to survive the fall of the Roman Empire. Strands of her now raven-black hair swirled around her head and shoulders as the wind blew about the Coliseum. Faint chattering of visitors in the muggle part of the arena were subdued and did not break the rapture of her gaze as she traced the giant structure with her eyes. It was amazing how the muggle community was confined to only a small part of the huge arena yet could still be so thoroughly awed. Stone that had been laid down for the games millennia ago had been well-tended to throughout the dark ages and up to modern day. The only reason this section was better tended to and admired was not for the buildings however, but for the glorious dueling of the past. Gladiators of a magical background would be trapped in with whatever creatures brought out. Pretty much the same as what happened on the muggle side of the arena, but far bloodier and with thousands more opponents to face.

“Ms. Leoine? It is time to go see Signora Anastasia,” the careful tenor snapped Alexandra out of her daze. Turning away from the splendor of the arena, she smiled faintly at her peer. It was rather amusing how a boy her age regarded her with such caution and respect.
“In that case, I would only be too happy to see her again.” Having visited here before, she had met this branch of the Order before, although it was admittedly several years ago.

Taking one last sweep of the Coliseum with her eyes, she raised the camera around her neck and took a few more pictures. Lowering the camera, she nodded at the boy. It was time to leave.


The Order met in a Catholic Church. Well, not exactly. But they certainly went into the church then into some underground chambers that housed the Headquarters for the Italian Order of the Phoenix. Once she entered, Alexandra noted how the members seemed far more comfortable with each other as well as friendly. Extremely different from the almost cut-throat attitude some members in England held for each other.
Moving through the crowds that congregated around many of the snack bars and office desks set up for paper-work, the girl followed the lead of a sandy-haired boy. They dodged past several people some of whom gave the pair a wave. All of them knew why Alexandra was visiting since she’d made sure that the Head of the Order there had very advanced notice. Finally reaching a space in the bustling foyer, the boy-

‘… Is it Adriano…? No. It’s Lorenzo. Pretty sure that’s it.’ she nodded at her mental question and answer session.

- knocked on the walnut door. There was the faint sound of the shutting of desk-drawers then the scrape of a chair against stone floor. But all of this was barely detectable combined with the noise and bustle of the foyer. She had only heard the sounds because she’d been keenly listening out for them. A few seconds later the door before them swung open and Alexandra was swept into a tight hug surrounded by scents of Lavender.
“You’ve grown so much since I last saw you, Lexi,” the shorter of the two embracing ruffled her hair a bit before letting go. Alexandra planted a kiss on her cheek before taking a good look at the other. “Contrary to how you look of course, you haven’t aged a day, signora,” she chuckled, following Anastasia back into her office. Conjuring an armchair, she sat in the plush leather before the Head of the Order’s desk, quite comfortable in the new environment. The worn, sturdy table was the same one that had been there when she’d last been in Rome. But there was indeed something new.

‘The Phoenix is a large swan-sized scarlet bird with red and gold plumage, along with a golden beak and talons, black eyes, and a tail as long as a peacock. Its scarlet feathers glow faintly in darkness, while its golden tail feathers are hot to the touch.’ her eyes were glued to the bird as the quotation popped into her head.
Seeing the rather obvious staring, Anastasia grinned and spoke to snap Alexandra out of her daze of admiration. “Met her a while ago and for some reason, the gorgeous thing took it to her head that I was a good companion. Her name’s Agnes. I’m not as good as coming up with names as you are…” Despite the almost jolly demeanor the Head of this branch of the Order was showing, there was a reason she was the leader. Beneath the happy slightly mothering persona lay the sharpest of daggers.

Alexandra turned away from the beautiful bird and raised an eyebrow at Anastasia in a rather teasing manner. “Didn’t hit it on the head did you?” The woman burst into laughter at the girl’s cheekiness but took no offense. She’d seen Alexandra when she was in her early to mid-teens and knew her well enough to know it was a joke.
“No… But I may do that to you if you don’t shut it,” she grinned widely. Agnes began humming a tune and flew from her perch to settle on Anastasia’s shoulder. The music relaxed them and they lapsed into a semi-casual conversation. Practically every topic known to them was covered: Alexandra’s graduation, the passing of her parents, business in the British branch of the Order and so on. But soon – several hours later although it was but a short passage of time for them – their chatting drew to a halt. Both of them had other business to attend to: Anastasia and her management of the Order, Alexandra and her touring of Italy for the rest of that week.
Biding each other farewell, Alexandra departed to her inn with a lighter heart.

Last edited by Alexandra Leoine on Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:06 am; edited 3 times in total
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Alexandra Leoine
Alexandra Leoine

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PostSubject: Re: Alexandra's Summer Travels   Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:07 am

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”

Part 2 of 3: Alexandra’s Graduation Summer


Quiet giggles disrupted her picture taking constantly, not by distracting her, no. But because the giggles purposely moved outside the frame of her picture and into the photos she almost took. There was no way she was wasting her film on taking pictures of a bunch of young teenagers simply because they thought her company were good looking. Alexandra in other words, blamed the 3 boys her age who were giving her a guided tour of the pyramids of Egypt since they had all gotten permission from Gringotts on the reason of being some of their most trusted code-breakers. Sighing in despair, she face-palmed then turned to the boys who at the moment, were staring at the teenage girls invading her picture with alarm.
“Deal with them. Please?” she begged then walked a ways off to take a picture of the Great Pyramid of Khufu. They were going to go in there soon – or at least the section with the magic and traps disabled, there were limits to the goblin’s generosity. Nodding stiffly, one of them stepped towards the girls and immediately began to talk. A few words came through the ragged wind…
“… screw… hot… boyfriend… can’t believe… go away… no one…” so on and so forth.
As this all happened, her other friends stood their rather worried for him as if hell may swallow him up within the next few seconds. It didn’t help that one of the more – how should we say – stubborn girls walked up to him at a ridiculously close distance and stuck out her chest as she continued to talk. But soon the worry dissolved as one of the boys among the group of young teens approached them and stood directly in front of Alexandra’s camera as she was about to take a picture. The friends who had yet to be surrounded by admirers bit their lips fervently, trying to hold in their laughter. Alexandra looked at the boy with distaste as she lowered her camera.
“May I help y-”
“Babe, the word of the day is ‘legs’, come back to my place and spread the word,” the boy winked and smirked at Alexandra, waiting for her reply. His legs were stood more than shoulder width apart and the stance he took reeked of adolescent over-confidence. Looking him up and down with overdone exaggeration, she finally looked back into his eyes, “Not in your wildest dreams.” Alexandra replied firmly. It was obviously far too kind as he didn’t seem worried by her rejection in the least.
“Do you have a sunburn or do you always look this hot?” he continued to grin, moving closer to her. She internally swore at the fact he wasn’t a wizard. If he was, all she would have to do is throw him over the farthest ice-berg. Jeesh. Alexandra blatantly faked a smile and gestured to Brian – one of the boys accompanying her who happened to be rather sun-burnt due to his fair skin and red hair.
“Are you talking to Brian? Oi Brian! You’ve got yourself an admirer.” She had to admit this was a failure of an attempt to get him to go away in a witty fashion. But it worked better than the polite dismissal had; a flash of dismay had crossed the boy’s face before disappearing.
“Come on honey; at least tell me what your sign is.” Eugh, that was the most cliché of pick-up lines ever to be used. The only ones she’d ever let say that around her would be astronomy enthusiasts.
“Do not enter.” Alexandra just walked away after that, having given the classic reply to the too often used line. She jogged up another dune and was happy to see that there was a slightly better shot from there, away from the annoying boy and away from all the hustle and cold of England. After taking a few pictures, the girl waited for her friends to catch up with her so that they could finally go into the Pyramid that they’d gotten permission to go to. Only a few minutes later, the three boys emerged from the crowd of tourists and walked up the sand dune she sat on. A couple of jokes later and they were on their way to the smaller and rather more dangerous pyramid then where they had been.


Bits of sand and dust flew into the air with each breath and step they took. Alexandra’s camera was almost full with all the pictures she’d taken in the Pyramid so far with deformed skeletons from people and creatures that had tried and failed to steal from the tombs of the wizarding classes. There was an indrawn breath from one of her friends. He stood there with his eyes wide and mouth hanging open. A quiet hiss echoed in the vast corridors of the tomb followed by slither of scales of stone.
The company exchanged a mixture of cautious and worried glances. They began mouthing words to each other. Alexandra was able to decipher their worries through lip reading.
‘You said that this area was safe!’ was Jonathan, the younger brother of the leader of the expedition; a tan boy in his late teens who had been the one who had to deal with the teenage girls earlier.
‘It’s supposed to be! Everyone thought it was safe!’ frantically tugging at his hair in anxiety was the leader of this tour. It was obvious that whatever was there was deadly in Nathaniel’s opinion.
And finally from Brian who’d been the first to notice the odd noises of what seemed to be a giant snake nearby. He was not a parselmouth but his mother was and Brian had inherited the trait of being able to listen to snakes and understand. The boy just couldn’t speak in turn to the serpents.
Another hiss came through the wall on their left.
Unified in a single movement, they all slipped their wands out of various hiding places and faced the wall. Everything was silent. Then Brian sent a powerful Reductor Curse into the wall the hiss had come from, a split second later Alexandra, Jonathan and Nathaniel followed with a multitude of hexes, jinxes and curses soon after.

There was silence but none of them relaxed their guard, not believing from a second that something that could go through the goblin made defenses could be so easily vanquished.

A great hiss came from behind them and Jonathan was the quickest to react, creating a strong jet of water that rebounded of the creature’s body. As the rest of them turned to face the creature, they got a face-full of water from the spell. Water soaked the floor and Jonathan being the only not rubbing water off his face, locked eyes with the reflection of the creature. And then was petrified. His frozen body fell back onto his brother who whimpered quietly, staring at the expression of terror on Jonathan’s face. The basilisk took but a few seconds to recover and had begun to circle them, wanting to toy with the first meal it’d had in decades before taking a bite.
Not helping very much, Alexandra began to mutter a textbook summary on the creatures while Nathaniel shot a modification of ‘Incarcerous’ in the general direction of the basilisk, barely snagging its tail. The chains wound around the bottom half of the snake, hindering its movement but not stopping the attacking mechanism: its teeth that were coated with venom, nor the coils that often left its prey in a pile of broken and dislocated bones and tissue. Brian in the meantime shuddered and squeezed his eyes tightly as he was forced to listen to exactly what the creature had to say before making a strangled hiss in return. Cocking its head curiously, the basilisk regarded the boy with a degree of interest as it continued to circle the group.
Crying out in triumph, Alexandra fumbled around in her pants pockets then withdrew an object at random: a pair of sunglasses. She slid her wand out of her sleeve and dropped the sunglasses on the floor then blindly hired a few spells around it. After three spells, the girl finally hit her sunglasses which instantly morphed into a rooster.
“Crow damnit, crow…” she muttered, kicking her foot out at it.
“Lexi put the fucking chicken away! It’s not helping.” Brian stage-whispered heatedly as the basilisk neared him. The snake flicked its tongue at his face then hissed angrily as the rooster appeared. It forcefully nudged Brian away then raced for Nathaniel, not wanting to be anywhere near the Tyrannosaurus’ descendant but wanting to at least have a quick meal before it had to leave. It spread it’s jaws as it slithered along the slick stone floor and went for Nathaniel who was still shooting around curses blindly, managing to hit Brian with a bat-boogey hex and Alexandra with a full body bind curse.

Her foot came down for the second time and got the rooster in the wing at which point the curse hit her and she keeled over to the floor next to the chicken. The combination of the annoyance at the girl’s limb flailing in the air before its head and the shock at her fall forced an alarmed squawk from its beak. It halted the Basilisk which hissed at it for a second in irritation before sliding towards its prey again. Finally, instinct came to its aid and the aid of those around it, the rooster crowed loudly, causing echoes in the corridors of the tomb. It crowed and crowed, the main defense mechanism of the rooster becoming apparent.
Hissing in agony, the basilisk quickly withdrew from the room, slithering towards the far away chambers of the pyramid to get away from the cawing.

Several minutes later, after Nathaniel had stopped firing spells randomly and Brian had managed to fight off his boogies, they realized that a certain person had stopped kicking the rooster that was still crowing its heart out. Nathaniel hesitantly opened his eyes while staring at the floor and couldn’t find the Basilisk’s reflection. Slowly, he looked up, not able to see it with his own eyes either.
“Umm... Brian, it’s alright, the Basilisk’s gone.” He croaked, stooping down to examine his still petrified brother with worry. The sunburned youth opened his eyes carefully and swatted away another boogie that flew towards his face at that moment. Brian glanced around and jogged over to Alexandra’s stiff form on the floor next to the happy rooster.
“Shit… I think Lexi’s petrified too.” He leaned over her and saw her eyes move in their sockets. “No, wait.” Brian performed the counter-curses to several freezing and body binding curses before getting the right one. Alexandra blinked and stood up then summoned the rooster to her, holding it as if it were a gift from God/the gods.
“I’ll explain later, first, we need to get out of here and to a healer quickly.” She spoke rapidly, tucking the rooster under one arm. It had begun to quiet down and the silence in the ancient tomb became thicker and thicker again. The two boys nodded and Brian led the way to the fastest exit to the surface while Nathaniel followed behind him, levitating the body of Jonathan in front of him. Alexandra took the rear, looking around before striding after them. Her eyes flitted down to the watch from Luke then rose up to look ahead once more. It was time to leave as fast as they could. ‘Speed was of the essence’ quite literally.

A slither of scale on stone would only have been heard if they had remained in the chamber for another three minutes. The Basilisk hated not being able to take its prey. It would remain in the cool, damp chamber for a while and the next who entered would not be so lucky.
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Alexandra Leoine
Alexandra Leoine

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PostSubject: Re: Alexandra's Summer Travels   Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:46 am

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”

Part 3 of 3: Alexandra’s Graduation Summer


A remote island that generally was found floating around the Mediterranean by the name of Ogygia, it was under the protection of the Italian & Greek Ministry for Magic under several conservation of historical sites, the protection of rare magical creatures, so on and so forth. At the moment, it was floating about half-way between Athens and Crete and so had been easier to get to through Greece then by flying from Athens. But that was not what was important to Alexandra at the moment. The fact that she had been roaming around the gigantic grounds that were Calypso’s were mind-blowing enough. That was the cave in which Calypso and Odysseus did… a lot of things... That was the beach at which Odysseus washed up and was tended to be Calypso only to leave her by boat the same way. But her eyes were locked on the ring of mountains further inland, the nesting sites of some of the greatest Griffins - and possibly the original ones – first came from. Griffins were symbols of strength, agility and courage throughout the medieval age which of course had great influence on how the modern age regarded such creatures.
‘ It has the front legs, wings and head of a giant eagle, and the body and hind legs of a lion. The main diet of the Griffin is raw meat. Griffins are often used by Wizards as guards, and are known as fierce creatures. However, despite this, skilled Wizards have been able to befriend them. Like Sphinxes, Griffins are used by Wizards who need treasure guarding. Over the centuries the Griffin - as with other mythological creatures - has taken many shapes. The griffin has served many purposes, including but not limited to "the vigilant guardian of treasure and of kings." They have been called "The Hounds of Zeus".’ she reminisced from her CoMC books her parents had first introduced to her at the age of ten. The reason why she had asked her parents not to bring her here when she first visited was because she would have completely forgotten the bit that read Skilled wizards’ and would have gone off to find herself a Griffin friend, possibly forgetting her wand in her rush. Ever since she’d first read a passage and seen pictures of Griffins she had fallen in love with them as a species. So she chose not to take a pet to Hogwarts, never to have a cat, owl or toad – though she didn’t quite know why anyone in right mind would have a pet toad. No, she knew that she would eventually go back to Ogygia.

Ripping her eyes from the sheer cliffs and peaks which made up the Griffins’ homes, Alexandra padded along the hiking trail she’d set out on. Safer to stay out of the skies and keep a hold of her wand after all. A couple of screeches echoed around the hills, startling several flocks of swallows from trees of which immediately took to the sky, swirling, a cloud of wings and bright eyes against the mid-day sun. With single-minded intent, falcons and eagles picked off the swallows, bird by bird, enjoying what food they could get. The true rulers of the food chain would not normally prey on mere swallows.
Despite the glare of the light from between the quietly rustling branches, the heat was bearable with the little humidity. Not the mention that the gentle shade offered by the cliffs she finally reached served well as, well, shade. Alexandra adjusted the straps of her small back-pack to keep it closer to herself. Her new hiking shorts had stopped chaffing about a week ago thank god and her worn purple tank-top kept her cool enough. Sucking in a deep breath and slowing the quick hisses of air between her lips, she closed her eyes for a moment and stood still. After a puff of air was released, her eyes flicked open and she slid her wand out of her hair which had been serving as a temporary hair-pin and as a hiding place. The polished wood was grasped firmly in her hand as she cast a quick bedazzling hex on her backpack and herself. Coolness spread over her body from the spot on herself she had tapped but of her backpack she knew nothing... A quick transfiguration of a nearby shrub into a full-length mirror assured her that nothing would be able to see her. Or at least nothing with a human’s eye-sight. From the little known about Griffins, there had been nothing on how good they were at spotting movement. She grimaced at the fact that small details like that could make or break her little expedition.

Swiftly tapping her feet and hands with a modified version of Muffliato, the enchantment Alexandra had experimented with would ensure that everything that was touched by her hands or feet would make no noise until she nullified the spell.
‘Loose rocks and such would not be too much trouble…’ her thought trailed off as she actually looked closely at what she would be climbing. The first few meters or so above the ‘ground’ level she would be crawling up seemed like your typical cliff-wall but not so far up, there was a jutting rock that meant she would either have to defy gravity and climb horizontally off the face of the cliff for several paces before even emerging above the tree tops. Speaking of which, an alternate route would dictate that she would climb some trees next to the cliff wall, over the rock through some branches then start inching up the cliff once she got out of the tree. Alexandra huffed quietly in annoyance, the only way it would work was if she levitated herself either way. But she would have to keep close to the mountains, Griffins in the air were impossible to dodge from what she’d seen of them flying as of yet so flying up, even when invisible was dangerous.
She shook her head and muttered the spell, impatient to reach the top, “Wingardium Leviosa.” Her feet were gently lifted off the ground and she floated up the cliff, over the jutting rock and swaying tree-tops. But she was getting to far out into the air for her liking and sought out the rock of the cliff blindly, not able to see her own hands. Fumbling around a bit more before she got a solid grip on the red-flecked surface of the stone, Alexandra carefully held herself close to the rocks, moving her hands around as she floated up the cliff.
About half-way up the cliff, half an hour later, a snake emerged from a clef in the rock and coiled itself around an olive sapling. Its head cocked curiously as it watched her move up the cliff. Her heat and smell was not masked by the bedazzling hex to her woe.
“Can’t believe I forgot that.” She muttered a few quiet profanities before shutting up seconds later. The snake hissed in warning, moving its head to remain ready to strike her. Slowing her ascent and movements, Alexandra rose out of reach of the snake more slowly than she would have liked since it wound around the olive tree to keep in level with her. After a tense three minutes of this, she eventually just transfigured a nearby rock into a toad. Once the snake was distracted by the toad, she shot up and out of reach immediately only to hit her head on another bit of sticking out of the cliff-side. Shaking her head fervently, the girl moved away from the rocks for a few moments before starting up the cliff again.


An hour or so later, she rose above the top of the cliff-face and was greeted by an oasis among the ragged stone that had occupied her vision for the duration of her ‘climbing’. The plateau was coated in lush grass which dipped to form a meadow surrounded by a mini-forest of towering trees. Giant trees, gorged on sun-shine and the nutrients from the remains of carcasses that were littered once the Griffins had their fill. Tall grass swayed hypnotically in the ever-changing wind that provided constant excitement for the few wizards and witches that would ride brooms on the island. Rare herbs and flowers grew in abundance in the fertile earth, lying un-plucked and unsold. Few people dared venture to the grounds prized so dearly by dangerous creatures. It was about as risky to journey up here at the heart of the Griffins as it was to attempt to seek the deserts of Egypt where Sphinxes ruled.
In the middle of all of this flowed a stream which flowed into a pond where Griffins the size of dogs were chirping as their elders watched on. Ruffling their wing feathers in content as they bathed, the babies rubbed each other’s faces affectionately.

A blissful smile grew on Alexandra’s face as her muscles unclenched, she could stay here forever, unhidden, watching the creatures closest to her heart. But the intention of this traveling was not to remain forever cloaked in enchantments, it was to befriend them. It would do her no good to stay hidden.
Her eyes flicked from left to right as she cautiously stepped behind a few trees, not wanting to alarm the creatures by appearing suddenly out of nowhere. It would do the rouse the anger and pride of the Griffins if they found a stranger in their midst, unaccounted for and capable of harming them. Silently nullifying her spells with some well-placed waves and flicks of her wand, Alexandra nodded in satisfaction and conjured a hair-tie then pulled her hair back and out of her face. Seconds later, she stepped out from behind the trees and hesitantly walked into the meadow. Sharp beaks, gleaming gold eyes, serrated claws and patterned feathers faced her silently. The small Griffins had disappeared from the pond. All was still on the plateau except for the wavering of feathers in the wind and Alexandra as she walked towards them, glancing at the large forms in worry. Both in size and speed, the Griffins out-matched her easily, being over fifteen feet tall on average while they had mastery of the skies.

‘Yes we do indeed,’ a hostile voice rang in her mind which she had left foolishly unguarded. ‘What would a human have business in here?’ it demanded of her.
The largest Griffin of the lot – at least twenty feet high - stalked towards her and had begun to circle Alexandra slowly as the other creatures remained where they were. Its brow was marred by a scar that sliced across the top of its beak and forehead other than that the Griffin was in as fit a shape as any other.
Steeling herself, Alexandra fingered her wand in anxiety but otherwise showed no signs of being uncomfortable. Pressing her thoughts towards the source of the Griffin’s mind she replied evenly, ‘My only business here is on a hope to befriend the Griffins. I meant no offense by trespassing in your homes.’ The feathers on its wings and back bristled at her reply. Alexandra was unsure as to whether this was because her frail excuse was thought to have a hostile connotation or whether merely admitting she knew this was their home and willingly came annoyed - she categorized the creature’s voice into a gender – her.
She wondered idly if the Griffins had a matriarchy before remembering the situation and waiting for the answer of she who seemed to be the leader.

‘We cannot allow you to leave without a challenge. If you win, we shall allow you to leave. One of us may even take a liking to you and follow. But if you lose however, we shall do without hunting tonight.’ a note of black humor tainted the last sentence. The leader stretched her wings languidly. If Alexandra knew how to read tone and tradition, the leader herself would be the challenger.
‘What determines if I have won or l-’ her thought was cut off by a deceptively casual thought from the leader.
‘You shall have won if you give me, Vretiel, a scar. Similar to the one across my beak.’ it was briefly explained how this little fight would begin. The crowd of Griffins relaxed noticeably as Alexandra accepted the terms, they were assured that she would fight by the rules. Admittedly, she accepted the challenge bitterly, having not wanted to spend her time fighting the very creatures she admired so greatly. Surveying the Griffins around them unhurriedly as she got ready, one in particular caught her eye. Since it was watching her as well, their gazes locked and then it slowly lowered its right eye-lid and winked before breaking the staring contest and watching its leader.
Alexandra took up her spot a little way off from the leader away from the cliff near the pond and waited as the Griffin seemed ready. The last thing she wanted was to anger their clan. It was one thing to duel a single Griffin but should all of the members of the clan attack her at once, she would surely die within seconds unless she apparated away. It was only a moment later that Vretiel turned from an exchange with another Griffin and took her place. She bowed in the Griffin style and Alexandra did the same at the same time but in the human form of the greeting.

Immediately afterwards, Vretiel launched herself into the air with her powerful hind-quarters and extended her wings in a single, fluid motion. All Alexandra could do was take out her wand and cast a strong layer of spells against physical attack and set up some Occlumency defenses as well. Simply from the fact that they communicated through thought was enough to tell Alexandra that manipulation in that manner would not be illogical to assume.
Vretiel gave a roar and dove at Alexandra, having no trouble whatsoever dodging the spells that were aimed at her with the tiniest of adjustments to the angles of her body. Were it a different situation, the girl may have teared up a bit at the beautiful aerodynamics but as it was, she was busy enough trying to figure out how to even hit the Griffin.
“Incarcerous, arresto momentum, stupefy…” the spells went on and on yet not a single one of them hit the lazily dodging Griffin. Vretiel was getting a bit bored of waiting for Alexandra to attack and went in for the kill, swooping in and going to grasp the girl with her talons and beak. Fortunately for Alexandra, had just enough time - due to the distance between herself and Vretiel – to gouge a hole in the earth beneath her and create a large space so that she fell into the hole and thus ducked under the Griffin’s talons. She swiftly cast a shield charm against physical attack once the leader of the Griffins had passed and levitated her out of the hole. It slowly filled with water as the pond was only a foot or so away from the hole.
Pressing her mind forward into Vretiel’s in an effort to see whether a beginner like herself could try legimancy, she found that the Griffin had left her thoughts unguarded. But the only thing she could read were the surface of the thoughts and emotions. All else that she’d learnt earlier that summer in Rome with Madame Anastasia had faded a bit. Far in the back of her mind, she urged herself to ask Michelle to help her with Occlumency and Legimancy more once she went back to England if ever. Even so, she found that Vretiel was a bit surprised by the sudden display of ingenuity but that insight soon vanished as her Legimancy was discovered and cut off in the wink of an eye.

A sudden idea came to mind of whether she could use a wide-range of attack or not. To spread out the area of damage would admittedly lessen some of the spells’ intensities but it would give her a better chance of hitting Vretiel which at the moment, was her utmost important goal. Referring back to her training before, Alexandra waved her wand in circular motions in front of her, beginning a wind spell. The difficult air currents would force the Griffin to go on foot if bad enough, even if Vretiel didn’t take to the ground, it would slow her progress through the air. Releasing the spell with a slash of her wand, the wind around the hill-top began to blow in completely random directions without warning. For a second, the magnificent Griffin faltered but soon, she seemed to master the winds again despite the spells. It almost seemed as if the magic affecting the wind had no power over her.
But that second was all Alexandra needed, the end of her wand changed into a whip, dozens of meters long that seemed aware of its mistress’ bidding for it immediately tore at the feathers and flesh of her flank. But even while slowed for a moment, the Griffin still flew, but trickles of blood trailed down its hind-quarter.
‘Nice try, but that won’t scar…’ now despite her Occlumency, Vretiel was having as little trouble as before talking to her. Mildly annoyed and worried, Alexandra cast an even stronger wind spell then combined it with an ‘arresto momentum’ aimed at practically everything in the sky within a hundred yards.
Finally, Alexandra mentally announced her satisfaction and relief to anyone who happened to be in her mind. Oddly enough, there was a low chuckle in the depths of her brain. She cocked her head, it sounded more masculine than Vretiel’s and was on a deeper level of thought than the leader’s usual communication. But she had no time with that for that moment, yet again, she enchanted the lengthy whip and aimed it at exactly a foot away from the shallower cut Alexandra had inflicted. Chewing on her inner cheek and wincing at what she was about to do, the girl flicked the whip and sent enough magic through her wand to tear several inches into the thick skin of the Griffin.

Vretiel howled as the dark whip tore through her leg, not able to dodge due to the slowing spell that had been cast on her. Alexandra watched in horror at what she’d done when the blood flowed down Vretiel’s leg, looking as if it would never stop. She instantly released her spells and then was bombarded by the leader’s thoughts.
‘CURSE YOU CHILD.’ and profanities came from Vretiel from the pain as she circled slowly and lowered herself with care on to the ground. Pain was carried through the temporary link between them and Alexandra hissed then clutched at her thigh when Vretiel landed. Not completely blinded by the pain, the leader had enough courtesy however to break off the connection and not force Alexandra to deal with the pain too. Vretiel limped off to bathe her wound in the pond. But her mind for some reason was not closed completely for she heard the rumblings of the other Griffins gathered.

‘Two strikes are not allowed…’ muttered some while others wondered how long ago the leader had last been defeated as such. But there was a single presence in her mind, the one that had seemed to have chuckled earlier that remained silent. After only half a minute, the mutterings and such faded away but the presence in her mind grew stronger. Alexandra attempted to push it away but it was like trying to push away fresh air with a single hand.

‘Fascinating tactics you have there, youngling. But truly, for what purpose did you come? questioned the presence gently. The voice and feel of whatever was in her mind was that of a male. Not a human man exactly, but perhaps one of the male Griffins there…?
‘Well done. You disguise your intelligence to the others with simpleton answers.’ his focus seemed to shift for a moment then come back to her. ‘I’ve blocked off the others in your mind. As long as Vretiel does not notice, this is as private a conversation as any.’ Alexandra would have raised her eyebrows if that wouldn’t have alerted the other Griffins still watching her that something was going on. This was far less animalistic than she had imagined the Griffins to be in general.
‘You could say I am the odd one out. It is easier to hold back instinct until necessary.’ the voice reasoned. She couldn’t help but be in awe once more. This chance to ‘speak’ with such a creature was greater than she’d imagined.
‘I shall thank you for that flattery later, yet I sense Vretiel wishes to converse with you once more…’ the presence faded slightly though still remained.

The leader’s wound had healed up with ridiculous speed. Not only had the wound clotted up, but it was also starting to knit the skin and flesh back together. Alexandra did nothing to hide her surprise and amazement at such quick recovery.
‘This shall take several days to heal as of yet. It is only the clotting that is speedy, as far as we know, the healing after that is at a similar pace to any other creature’s.’ Vretiel said with civility not normally expected of someone who had only just been attacked minutes ago by the person she was speaking to. The girl relayed as such and was offered no explanation other than, ‘There should be no anger against someone who has obeyed a custom.’ although this reply was rather stiff. She didn’t apologize for the swearing earlier and Alexandra had a feeling that Vretiel felt there was no purpose in that.
‘Even so, we cannot allow you to leave now that you know so many secrets of our kind.’ Vretiel began to move towards her but was blocked by a Griffin who had leapt into her path. The presence in her mind showed caution and some respect aimed at someone else.

‘Vretiel, I shall vouch for the child.’ it was the same male voice but on a more basic level of her mind since this was communicated so all in the plateau could hear. Both her eyebrows shot up at the Griffin’s defense of a stranger like herself. Alexandra could have easily apparated out but that hadn’t seemed to matter much to him…
‘There is enough trouble amongst us without having my second-in-command arguing.’ the leader snapped for all to hear. Vretiel seemed little at ease as far as Alexandra could tell, there was almost an anxious edge to her voice.
‘I shall leave with the human if it shall satisfy you all.’ he returned evenly. A relieved hush came over the area, even as a stranger to how Griffins talked, she felt the tension in the air drop. Almost to the point that she could have thought they were happy he was leaving. Several seconds passed before Vretiel replied with a calm but strangely eager tone.
‘Very well Ouriel, your departure will weigh heavily on our hearts but if you truly wish it, so be it.’ Finally, she had his name. Alexandra gave a short curt bow to the leader of the Griffins and murmured thanks to Ouriel. As she did so, the crowd surrounding them began to move towards the cliff, shepherding Ouriel and herself away.

‘Farewell human, may the wind be swift under your wings.’ yet again, the relieved and happy feel to her good-bye. Ouriel seemed to shrug then strode towards her. His grey and white feathers gleamed brightly in the sun, shifting with each move he made. Along his torso the feathers merged into short grey hair along the lower body which was much like a loin’s. Golden eyes more piercing than any eagle’s while his beak and talons could slice through steel and cement like a hot knife through butter. Staring up at her new friend, she gave a crooked smile. Despite his seventeen foot tall frame, she could still make eye-contact with him easily enough.
‘Enough staring like a love-sick dove. Climb on my back and we shall be away from here.’ she wrinkled her nose at him but levitated herself to sit on his back. Half-marveling at her luck to gain such a wonderful companion, she let the more sensible half give him directions to where she was staying. He acknowledged them and gave his family a parting roar which they half-heartedly returned. Immediately after, Ouriel leapt into the skies and was away with Alexandra. Her giggles were lost in the wind as her child-hood dreams were realized.
Thus ended her summer in the Mediterranean and she accomplished more than she would have ever dreamed.
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