Title: "One Time at Band Camp"
Rating: T Wow. I don't even know. I think it's after Lady Knight, but it's considerably AU so don't read too much into that.
Warning: If you don't like random, and unnecessary character death, chances are you will not like this fic. I usually prefer to write in a style that is much more detailed than this one, with far less dialogue. However, in the nature of making this fic "spontaneous", that's how it is. If you dislike that particular style, I suggest you find something else to read. However, if you are tired, high off of sugar (or drugs) or lacking an IQ over 5, you may find this enjoyable.
Disclaimer: Nope. I don't own Tortall or anything like that. I don't own a band camp. I do own a flute, and an illegal photocopy of the music to Back to the Future, but I don't own any of the characters. Not even the ones that make a brief cameo from other fandoms. Th-th-th-th-that's all, folks!
Chapter One: "Changes in the House of Corus"
As twilight began to melt the bright colors of the setting sun into a dull indigo, Veralidaine Sarrasri sat unconcerned on the limb of a young oak tree. Pressed to her lips was a simply made wooden flute from which a stirring melody flowed, carried loosely on the soft wind that had begun to pick up with evening's approach. Seated around the wild mage, on various branches and twigs was collected a small group of animals. Squirrels mostly, there were a few assorted birds, and of course Zekoi, Daine's monkey-friend. Below, leaning against the trunk rested Kitten, too ungainly to climb up. All had fallen into an unnatural silence, listening intently to hear their friend play.
Daine was first alerted to another's presence by her dragon's sudden chirp, bristling. She pulled the flute from her mouth, sparing a glance downward. Kitten had cocked her head to the side, and chirped again – before trotting over to the approaching man.
The tall, lanky mage was sheltered from the cool of the air by a long cloak draped across broad shoulders, his dark hair pulled into a horse tail. "Hello up there," he smiled.
The wild mage pocketed her flute, and let down a hand, grinning. "Need some help up?"
From where he stood, Numair was practically at eye level with his student's dangling legs. Shaking his head he continued to look upwards at her, "I don't think there's any room." He yawned, stretching slightly, before leaning against the tree's trunk. "Well Magelet, I'm glad to see my midwinter gift has gone to some sort of use."
Daine beamed, "It's beautiful. Thank you for giving it to me."
Numair shrugged, shoving his large hands into the pockets of his comfortable breeches. "When I saw what Jon had thought to give me, I knew I'd have no use for it." He chuckled, recalling the short conversation in which he'd related to the king that his gift had been re-gifted. "It seems you have quite the audience."
"I know, they like it when I play." She paused, listening to something one of the squirrels had said, while Numair watched the exchange in amusement. Laughing at the animal's comment, her balance shifted and she pitched forward from her perch on the limb.
It was the mage's magic which saved her from tumbling, and somewhat wide-eyed, she grabbed onto a branch, swinging downwards to the ground. "I suppose this isn't the best place for a conversation."
A little shocked himself at her near fall, Numair silently praised his quick reflexes. "I suppose you're right."
With a non-verbal goodbye to her friends, Daine fell into step with her teacher, who made a point of dusting several twigs and leaves out of her dark curls, before taking her arm. As the pair made their way towards the palace, Numair cringed at the raucous shouting from the mess. "It's a pity we don't have that much music here. We could use some cheery sounds."
"Actually, that's not such a terrible idea." A scowl written across his face indicating that he had heard the commotion, Lord Wyldon appeared in the doorway to his rooms. Dressed in a comfortable jerkin, he nodded at the mages. "I have a friend who knows this bard – he runs a band school." He paused in thought for a moment, before adding, "They call it a camp. It's nothing like our page camps though."
Numair nodded, "It sounds like it could be an interesting experience."
"I'll have to ask Jon about it, maybe this camp could be a reality." He shrugged, then nodded again, taking his leave as he strode across the hall towards the still chaotic mess hall.
Keladry of Mindelan rubbed at a large bruise on her cheek, gently shouldering her friends out of her way. Her tolerance for her fellow knights was dwindling, particularly after the brawl that had started in the knights' mess hall a week ago – the effects of which she was still suffering from. "Neal, if you would move your big –"
"Yeah, Neal you're getting in Kel's way." Cleon was grinning like a Cheshire cat as he none-too-kindly pushed his friend to the side. "She wants to see the sign."
"What is it?" Owen had been forced to the back of the crowd that was gathering, being still just a squire. He bounced lightly on he balls of his feet, trying to see over the heads of his friends, all of whom were far taller.
Kel, now directly in front of the new posting on the notice board, read through the note thoughtfully. "It's an advertisement," her eyes scanned farther down the page, "For some sort of music camp."
"Read it out loud!"
"Spend a week at Band Camp!" Keladry began, reading tonelessly, "All residents of Corus are welcome to attend – no fee required. Be at the front gates by the third bell. Bring any necessities. Signed," Here she paused, rereading the name several times in order to be sure it was the correct one, "- Lord Wyldon."
"Lord Wyldon!?" Merric was skeptical, pushing into view of the notice, "But I thought the Stump hates that sort of thing. Why would he – "
Cleon shrugged, "Who knows? But it sounds like it could be fun, right?" He thrust his hands into his pockets and looked around at his friends, "Page camp was pretty fun, wasn't it?"
He was met with the blank stares of those who remembered what exactly had happened during their first year page camp.
"All right, well this is different. It's band camp. What could go wrong?"
Ooooh, band camp. What types of horrors await?
Personally, I've never been to band camp. But I've been in band, so I know that much at least. I'm a flautist, by the way. XD My band director hated me. Maybe this is my inner subconscious crying out – who knows?!