Yes, here I am again. Sorry about the long wait, and boring last chapter. I really need to work on updating regularly. Grimaces Oh, there's a rumor going around that you're not aloud to answer reviews? To be on the safe side, I'll stop until I know for sure.

"Celia? Celia! Wait!"

Walking up the hill between the stables and the castle was only made bearable by the pull of lunch and a soothing bath. Most people chose to run, but I merely strolled, relaxing for the first –and probably last- time that day. Typically, I was interrupted. Turning, I saw, to my bewilderment, that the voice belonged to Owen.

"Celia of… Dunlath, right?" Not waiting for my answer, he went on. "I saw what happened last night, how you climbed out that window, and how you ran off-" I stiffened. "-what happened?" seeing I meant to ignore him, he frowned. "Do you ever talk?"

I couldn't help it. I smiled. "Only when I can't help it." Slyly, I added, "Funny, you always seem to be around when I slip."

To my surprise, he blushed deeply. The bell rang, and Owen waved, and ran off. I just stood there, to shocked to move.

He likes me, I too, felt my face burn. He barely knows me, and I've been bitchy every time he talks to me. Even though it seems as if everyone here hates me, he likes me. For once in my life, I forgot about the big picture, and let myself be enveloped in the niceties of a normal life. Just don't expect it to last.

I stepped into my next class, mildly pleased for the last few. I didn't feel behind at all, and the work I had been assigned was a nuisance, but nothing I didn't know. As soon as I stepped through the doorway, however, I found myself on my knees. Owen, having seen me fall, ran over, followed by a few others.

"Are you okay?"

I did not recognize who was talking, but it didn't really matter. I could give them no answer but a grimace. I could tell one, if not both, kneecaps were out of place. Gainel, but what a mesh of presences! I could feel at least one basilisk, which made sense, since I heard the teacher of this class, Tkaa, was one, but I also sensed a few dead Spidrins, a Stormwing relic, and something that felt like a basilisk, but younger, and much, much stronger. I had heard of how some palace mage had come to take care of a baby dragon, but I thought it was all smoke. Now, however…

I seemed to pass out, because suddenly, I was wide-awake, and the pain in my kneecaps was down to a faint tinge. My headache, however, had intensified a thousand-fold.

I felt a shadow above me, and looked upward to find a friendly face staring down at me, as if from a great height. I blinked, and the man's features blurred, then sharpened. I could now identify the face of the castle's head healer, Duke Baird of Queenscove.

"How you feeling? My son tells me you caused quite a stir."

"Your- son?" I managed to force the question, though it was more air than anything else.

"Neal and his friends brought you in, saying you had collapsed in one of the classes. I don't suppose you know why you fainted?"

"The heat?" This time, I managed to complete the sentence before collapsing back on my pillows. Mithros, what a headache!

He grinned down at me again. "No, but nice try. Have any more guesses?"

I shook my head quickly, no. Then I immediately regretted it, because my world started to spin, and there was black at the edge of my vision again.

"Neither do I. It's a mystery." He was also shaking his head. " I think you could solve it, if you wanted to. But I won't give in to wishful thinking."

He turned away, but not before I saw the grin spread widely across his face.

What a strange man! And I passed out.

I know the 'long' chapter doesn't make up for the wait, but I'll try to get another chapter up real soon, and I promise they'll get more interesting. More Owen/Celia too, if I have anything to say about it. Also, in a few chapters time, you'll find out what was in the package, and who sent it...