Chapter 1 – In Which Shiara Makes a Discovery

"Are we there yet?" A bored voice asked. The speaker had bright orange hair and was currently sitting on the back of a dragon, soaring through the air.

The dragon she was riding, was Kazul, king of Dragons responded, "Yes, Shiara, nearly there. Are all Fire Witches so impatient or it that just you?" She asked.

"All of us I believe, it's just one of our talents I guess." She said in a voice of forced politeness. Why oh why did that stupid sword have to curse me? Shiara thought, thinking of how she had to be polite for her magic to work.

Kazul laughed. "No need to be impatient any longer, we're here." She said as she swiftly landed in front of a line of trees, which was actually the border of the enchanted forest. Shiara dismounted and thanked Kazul.

"Are you sure you wouldn't rather wait until I can take you to the castle?" Kazul asked. "It is a rather long way by foot, at least half a day, if it hasn't moved that is."

"Yes, I'll be fine." Shiara said firmly. "Believe me; I want to get rid of this curse as soon as possible." Her hair brightened as if about to turn to fire. Just thinking about having to be polite made her mad. Thankfully, Cimorene, the Queen of the Enchanted Forest called her on a mirror yesterday to tell her they thought they had found a spell to fix it so her magic would always work, polite of not.

Unfortunately, Kazul had a meeting with the dragon clan today, but Shiara had managed to convince her to drop her off on the way.

"All right then, I must be off." Kazul said, stretching her wings to prepare for taking off once more into the air.

"Goodbye Kazul, I'll miss you." Shiara said. Kazul said goodbye and started to fly away.

"See you in a half a week!" She called after the dragon, who was probably too far to hear her now. Kazul's meeting lasted half a week and Shiara didn't mind staying a little while to visit her friends.

She sighed. Kazul had just left and she already missed her. The thought of going into the forest alone did not seem so appealing any more. Strange things happened in there if you sat on an enchanted rock, or drank from the wrong stream. The list continued.

Shiara looked into the forest and saw nothing but trees. It looked safe enough. She stepped into the forest and began walking through the trees.

Shiara walked until midday, then stopped to have lunch by a pond in a clearing, though she did not drink any of the water nor eat any of the berries that looked like regular blackberries, but one could never tell if they were actually normal or not.

A rock that overlooked the pond looked like a good place to sit and as she watched a rabbit hopped out of the forest, across the rock and into the blackberry brambles. That proved that the rock was safe, Shiara guessed. She sat and enjoyed a sandwich while watching some curious squirrels that had come to see who she was.

When she finished, she spied a flat rock that she could easily skip in the pond. She threw it and it started to skip, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, she counted. Seven skips! It was a good stone, so she waded into the water to get it.

As soon as she had both feet in the water, the air began to shimmer, she hurriedly stepped backwards but it didn't stop. Shiara looked down at her feet. She could no longer feel or see anything beneath her feet.

Then, suddenly as the shimmering had started, it stopped. She felt ground beneath her feet, though she knew she was not where she was before. The pond had transported her somewhere in the Enchanted Forest, but where. At least I hope it's in the enchanted forest. She thought.

Night Witch, her cat, popped her head out of her backpack where she'd been sleeping throughout the trip.

"Meow!" She said.

Shiara looked up cautiously, afraid what she might see.

A tall grey castle stood a half a mile away and it certainly wasn't the Enchanted Forest's castle.

"NightWitch, I don't think we're in the Enchanted Forest anymore." She said, her voice shaking slightly.

NightWitch meowed her agreement.

"What now?" Shiara asked her cat.

"Why go see who lives there of course." Said NightWitch as if stating the obvious.

Shiara's jaw dropped. "NightWitch! You spoke!" Shiara exclaimed.

"Of course I can talk to you. All witches can speak to their cats. I never had anything to say before."

Shiara nodded, taking this in. She started walking to the castle and NightWitch jumped down to walk.

She got to the big oak door and knocked threes times hard. "Ow!" Shiara said, scowling at the oak door. Wish it was "polite" just to burn the stupid thing. She thought bitterly.

The door creaked open, opened by lady who looked at them with amazment. The lady had never seen girls dressed in pants before.

"Where if this?" Shiara asked gesturing at the land.

The lady gave her an odd look, as if not able to belive someone didn't know where this was. "Of course, don't you know?" She asked. "This is Bamarre castle."