Princess Hanna Teaches Fire
Since Hanna relit the Forever Fire, the rules have changed in Courage Town...
After Princess Hanna relit the Forever Fire, some major changes were made in Courage Town. Hanna's dad, the King, changed the rules so that all dragons could use their fire powers.
It had been one of those rules that was so old and so ingrained that a lot of dragons simply never even questioned it.
With the rule change, clubs started popping up where dragon women could practice their new powers together. And as for the young dragon girls, they were offered a weekly class at school where they could study and practise using their fire. Every single one of them signed up.
Hanna wasn’t immediately thrilled when all the girls at school were suddenly trying out their fire powers, although she was definitely happy that she didn’t have to train in secret anymore. She thought the fire class would be great, but mainly, in the end, it was just frustrating. All of the other girls were, of course, only just starting to learn how to use their powers.
The first test in class was to light a candle. When Hanna launched an enormous fireball to light her candle, as well as the table it was on, she got in trouble for being a show-off. She had to constantly hold herself back as the class focused on things that she had already taught herself years ago. When the teacher asked the class questions there was no point in Hanna putting her hand up. She was never picked. There was no point.
“I know you know all of this,” said her teacher, “but the rest of the class doesn’t.”
There was, however, one big positive that came out of the situation for Hanna. Once or twice a week her dad would take her to the courtyard and work with her on her powers. In those sessions, when he would ask a question, she wouldn’t know the answer. And they weren’t lighting candles, they were launching fierce fireballs at targets thrown in the air. Hanna was being pushed to her limits – beyond her limits.
Those training sessions were the highlight of her week. To her, they were all that mattered. She just wanted to learn and get stronger. It felt like a waste of time to be doing anything else.
One day, as Hanna was leaving school, a small group of girls came up to her. There were four of them, with Claire as their unspoken leader.
“Hanna,” said Claire. “Can we talk to you for a second?”
Hanna stopped. She was cautious. She had never really got on with anyone that well at school except for her best friend, Carrie. She wasn't used to talking with other dragons her own age.
“We were wondering…” said Claire. “Will you help us? Will you teach us? The school class is ok, but it’s only once a week, and you know how Mr Blue is. He’s boring and we’re not allowed to use our powers properly.”
Hanna didn’t know what to say. She was hesitant. Then, suddenly, an answer jumped out of her.
“I can’t do it,” she told them. “I’m sorry, I just can’t.”
She went home that afternoon with a funny feeling. She felt annoyed and frustrated by the idea of training other dragons. She couldn’t help thinking about how she had had to keep her fire powers to herself for all of those years. A bunch of kids had known that she trained in secret, but none of them cared.
As far as Hanna could tell, it was because of her passion for fire that a lot of the dragons at school had treated her in a strange way – that a lot of them had kept her their distance from her. She had even heard rumours that some of the dragons had used to think that she was dangerous to be around. She was looked at as the weirdo who was into doing boy’s stuff. For the longest time, the only dragon in her corner had been Carrie.
At dinner, Hanna’s parents asked if something was wrong, but she said everything was fine. After dinner, she didn’t feel like going to her room. She went to the courtyard instead and did what she always did when she had a lot on her mind – she used fire.
Alone in the dark, Hanna launched fireballs into the air and let out streams of flames.
“Hanna,” called a voice.
She looked over and lit a flash of fire to see who was there.
It was her eldest brother, Oscar, who was a few years older than her.
“What do you want?” snapped Hanna.
“Relax,” said Oscar. “I come in peace.”
He walked over to her.
“Henry said that his little sister, Claire, wanted you to teach her and her friends how to use their fire powers. You said no.”
Hanna felt a hit of shame. She looked away from her brother.
“Why?” said Oscar.
“You don’t get it,” said Hanna. “No one’s ever cared about my fire powers up until now. I didn’t have a teacher. I had to train myself in the woods. Alone. No help from anyone.”
“So it won’t have to be like that for Claire and her friends,” said Oscar. “That’s a good thing.”
“You don’t understand how hard it was,” said Hanna.
Oscar paused and took a breath.
“You know,” he said, “when I was your age I was never allowed out here in the courtyard at night. The second the sun went down, I needed to be in bed. Mum and dad were strict back then. I was their first kid. They couldn’t help it. They worried about me.”
Hanna didn’t realise Oscar had had to follow rules like that. Her parents had always seemed so relaxed.
“For years and years, mum and dad and I would argue and have fights about all of their rules,” said Oscar. “Eventually, I wore them down.”
Oscar rested a claw on Hanna’s shoulder. “Just because things were tough for you doesn’t mean they should be tough for everyone else. You have an opportunity to change things. You have an opportunity to help out. It’s a good thing that they won’t have to go through what you went through.”
Hanna told Claire the next day that she would give them weekly lessons.
Soon enough, there were others asking for help as well. Half the girls at school ended up going to Hanna for extra lessons. Eventually, some of the boys even went along.
One day, when Hanna got home after giving some after-school lessons, her mum said she wanted to talk to her. It turned out that she wanted lessons too.
Just like that, everything had changed. Quickly, Hanna saw her students improving – saw herself improving. She had found a rhythm that made her wake up every morning eager and excited.
And then, one day, something new entered the picture.
On her way home from school one afternoon she spotted a new poster on a wall: “Book your Tickets! The Annual Fire Carnival is coming to Scale City.”
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