Authors Note: Here's the last chapter, hope you enjoy it.

And to those of you now considering reading the Pern books... please do, you won't regret it.

Hermione awoke feeling hot, almost itchy, the unaccustomed inactivity waking her before long dawn. Minerva was lying beside her, skin almost hot to the touch, sleeping fur kicked off of her body and onto the floor. A little fuzzy from the sleeping draught and painkiller Hermione wiped almost a whole days sleep from her eyes and found her clothes, dressing in the dark, careful not to wake the older woman.

Almost without thought her feet brought her to the side of her massive Bronze dragon; her stalwart friend who had been with her throughout the long years, lonely without Minerva. Communicating without words they both acknowledged that soon things between them would change, both would have their long-desired mates and neither knew how that would affect their bond but they both knew that it could only get stronger with time. For this morning, this moment, they stood together watching the Red Star fade into the rising sun of a new dawn, a new day.

Their new beginning.


Hermione glanced up from her companion as she heard someone across the room greet The Weyrwoman by name. She sent a smile at Minerva, one that was returned instantly, green eyes sparkling warmly at her from the other side of the cavern. Hermione's Wingsecond attracted her attention again and both women went back to their official duties, able for the moment to resist the urges and emotions that brought them together.

"If the Weyrlings brought two sacks of firestone with them during fall they would require fewer trips to keep those flaming Thread stocked."

Hermione exhaled, although the idea had merit, it was not without what was in her opinion – unacceptable risk. "The extra time that they will spend in proximity to the fall, to hand over to two different riders, flying between them... will vastly increase the risk of them being injured or killed, at that stage of their training they don't..."

Everyone in The Weyr stopped what they were doing at that moment, hearing the unmistakeable roar of a proddy Gold dragon blooding her kill. Nearest to the exit Minerva dropped what she was holding and raced out to control her dragon, needing huge amounts of control to stop the Queen from gorging herself on the meat of the animals she had just killed. The other Queen riders also race to the exit clutching borrowed riding gear, knowing the risk to their own dragons if they delayed.

The other Bronze and Brown riders were tensed, wanting to move, wanting to urge their dragons to prepare but almost as one, they turned to face Hermione. She stood stock still for a moment, knowing what she should do and what she wanted to do but she had long ago made a promise to Minerva, Brath and Seth. This had to be a fair fight, what V'mort had wanted to do was wrong but what D'dor had done had been equally wrong – this had to be an open mating flight, the way that things had always been and should always be.

I will win my mate

'I know'

Hermione grinned at the assembled men; the expression more of a grimace, the gesture harder than anything that she had ever had to do in her life, "What are you waiting for?"

"But...?"

"This will be an open flight." Without another word quickly but still with dignity Hermione left the room. Her eyes first found the radiant, brightly shining Gold dragon draining the blood from a dead herdbeast, getting energy without adding weight for a longer flight. Her eyes next found her own Bronze, talons gripping into the rock of the Rim – poised to take flight. A dismissive glance compared the other assembling Bronzes to her own Seth. Her eyes then snapped to Minerva. The older woman was flushed with arousal, her eyes bright as she fought to subdue Brath's powerful desire to eat, asserting an iron will over the Queen.

Despite the riders beginning to crowd around them, Hermione only had eyes for her mate, feeling her own arousal rise, buoyed and bolstered by draconic influence. With a final shrill cry Brath launched herself from the feeding ground and into the air.


Powerful wingstrokes propelled Brath high into the sky, moving faster than she had in many years she left the perusing Bronzes far behind her...

Behind her eyes Minerva could see the view from high in the air, feel the fresh blood in her belly, giving her strength, giving her fire. Feel the brightly burning fire in her blood, the age-old urge that coursed through her veins. At the same time she could see with her human eyes, see Hermione, desire smouldering in those brown depths...

At that moment Brath was the strongest, fastest, most beautiful being in the world, alone in the empty sky. Unable even to see her potential mates, she could feel HER MATE flying faster than the others towards, the strongest, fastest male on Pern. Flapping her wings faster, she revelled in the sensations, knowing that she would be caught but wanting to elude him for as long as possible, make him work for victory...

Hermione stepped a little closer to her love, feeling the other riders jostling behind her...

With something like laughter Seth pulled further and further in front of his competition, HIS MATE was ahead, trying to fly faster than him, waiting for him to chase her, wanting him to fly faster. Joyfully he swooped through the air, free to pursue his deepest desire...

Minerva's hand touched Hermione's, the distance between them slowly decreasing, as did that between their two dragons, now many miles distant...

Flying even higher now Brath could feel HER MATE drawing closer...

Seth increased his own altitude, flying higher than HIS MATE, knowing that in seconds she would be close enough to touch...

Green eyes, almost black with desire met darkened brown, facing each other now they stood, not feeling the jostling men who were now even closer. Unbearable, undeniable, unstoppable desire between them, they kissed; hard, passionately...

Brath dipped one wing evading HER MATE at the last possible moment, teasing...

Seth folded his wings, dropping height faster than Brath had done, opening his own wings in time to simply brush against HIS MATE, teasing...

The Gold made one final push, with now tired wings, to pull ahead of HER MATE...

Hermione pulled Minerva almost roughly into her arms. Hands slipping into her hair, pulling her deeper into the kiss. Dragging each other towards the nearest bed, clothing being frantically shed in the process. Desperate kisses and caresses were exchanged as the fell onto the bed together.

Tired of teasing Seth executed a clever move, using his wings to pin HIS MATE, twining his neck with Brath, both now opening their wings wide to slow their plunge to earth, the dragons finally mated.


Minerva practically screamed with the intensity of her orgasm, hearing Hermione's answering howl as within their minds they heard their dragons roar with their own completion. She threw her head back, barely remembering how to breathe. Hermione collapsed back against the bed, panting hard, opening her eyes to see the most beautiful sight that she had ever witnessed.

The older woman was still straddling Hermione's hips, back arched as small whimpers escaped her parted lips, long hair cascading down her back, damp skin shining in the dim light. Hermione felt another surge of desire and began to move the fingers she still had deep within the older woman, Minerva gasped loudly, lustily. Minerva's hips ground into Hermione's, thrusting the younger woman's fingers deeper within her, breathlessly groaning Hermione's name.

The Bronze rider brought her other hand up to Minerva's centre, using her thumb to provide friction where the Weyrwoman needed it most. Smirking as she heard and felt Minerva's passionate response, she sped up the movements of both hands, flicking her thumb faster across the swollen nub, curling her fingers deep within Minerva to reach her sweet spot. She moaned darkly as she felt the older woman's thighs begin to twitch, strong muscles began to clutch at her fingers, contracting violently moments before Minerva began to shriek out her orgasm.

A sated Weyrwoman collapsed insensible onto Hermione's body; the younger brunette wrapped her arms around Minerva, whispering her love into a delicate ear, brushing damp hair from her forehead, kissing her gently. It was several minutes before Minerva came back to her senses, burrowing her face into Hermione's shoulder, brushing her lips across the smooth skin. Before sliding lower and beginning to kiss her way towards Hermione's centre.


Later when the sated dragons landed on the ledge, they could hear small cries from within and began to nuzzle each other, feeling renewed desire through the bonds they had with their riders. Listening to the sounds of The Weyr around them, knowing that their position was secure, they had found their mate and that their riders, The Weyrleaders, were together – as they should have been, long ago.

Fin