Notes: *waves* Hallo there. I be new in this section.

Right. So I'm not entirely sure where this is going. So far, it's a Daystar/Shiara drabble which got completely messed up once I tried to add in the fluff. It might expand into a (hopefully not too long) chaptered story (because I really want some fluff right about now) if I get around to fleshing out my plot and actually writing it. It depends.

Hope you like it. :)

In which several Princesses Visit

(alternatively titled Everything Goes Up in Smoke)

"Now what?"

I looked up from my book and sighed. There was smoke everywhere again.

"I can't believe you managed to burn that," I told her, "The recipe doesn't even call for cooking."

One strand if Shiara's hair caught fire. It would have been cause for concern if it didn't happen about half a dozen times everyday.

"You're going to set the pans on fire again," I warned. "Kazul will get grumpy."

"You're supposed to help me!"

"I was," I pointed out, "But then you said that you were perfectly capable of cooking things on your own and that I didn't have to hover over your shoulder all the time." So I had gone to Kazul's library and got myself a book. I'd learned early on that arguing with Shiara was tiring and should be only attempted if things like the future of the kingdom were in jeopardy.

She huffed and glared at me. I sighed again, because that was the glare she got right before she was about to burst into tears. Of fire, naturally.

"Kazul did say she was starting to like her food crispy," I said.

Shiara stomped over and sat herself opposite to me, head in hands. She looked more sad than angry now, and that was scary.

"She's just saying that because I went into hysterics last week and set fire to half the dining room," she mumbled into her fists, "Kazul likes her food normal, like any sensible person. I wish Cimorene had given me some lessons. Her cherries jubilee is practically a legend among the dragons."

"Mother is a very good cook," I agreed. "But she's busy right now. Paperwork piles up after seventeen years, and she's determined to organize it all."

"How long do you think it will take?" Shiara asked hopefully.

"Well, Father says she's halfway there. Or maybe a little less. Reports from the edge of the forest take a while to get here."

"More than one year and only halfway there," Shiara sighed, "Oh well, at least I do a very good job of cleaning Kazul's scales."

I was about to applaud her on looking at the bright side when somebody knocked on the door. Shiara glared at it and the handle burst into flames.

I sighed again and picked up my book, "You really have to learn to control that."

"It's not like the whole mess is my fault," she told me pointedly, "Who do you think it is?"

"How would I know? I don't live here."

"It's probably another knight," Shiara said, making a face. "Or maybe a Prince. They're even more obnoxious than the knights, and this is not one of my lucky days."


"All princes, Daystar. I hope you heard that."

"Oh?" I looked up, blinking, when I heard my name. "What was that?"

She looked at my book in a way which made me wonder if it would spontaneously burst into flames, but settled for just huffing and making her way towards the door. As it turned out, the visitor was not another Knight or even an obnoxious Prince. It was much, much worse.

Now, my Mother always taught me to be polite. Always. It was one of those things all sensible parents teach their children if they're living on the edge of the Enchanted Forest. You never know when a random traveler was a demon, wizard, with or something else in disguise, and most of the plants and animals in the forest didn't react well to rude people.

So, I grew up polite. Because when my Mother tells you to do something, you do it. And it's come in very handy lots of times too. Of course, it's been a nuisance at other times, as Shiara keeps reminding me, but it's normally a very good thing which I was naturally good at. Also, when I wander around, I usually wander around with Shiara. One person inclined to set things on fire at the slightest provocation is enough in any group.

When Shiara opened the door, she grimaced. Then she stood aside and let in four beautiful princesses, all around the age of Seventeen or so.

Sixteen years of conditioning flew out of the window and on pure instinct, I tried to banish myself away from there. But since this was not the Enchanted Forest, and since I did not have the Sword, all that happened was me getting tingly feet for a few moments, while the Princesses stared at me.

"I wasn't expecting you," Shiara told them politely. "Please, have a seat." She gave me a Look at the last part, and I scrambled up so that there were four chairs at the table. It took some willpower to not follow it up with desperate fleeing.

The lead Princess gave me a calculating look before giving me the requisite shy smile.

"My thanks, Sir Knight."

Shiara rolled her eyes.

"Uh," I said, edging away a little, "I'm not a Knight."

"No?" Another Princess peered at me from behind the first. "So then you're a hero? I haven't ever met a hero before."

"Uh, no," I edged away a little more, "I don't think I'm one of those either. Really. Uh, I'll leave Your Highnesses to your tea now-"

"Oh no," The lead Princess looked shocked, "Please, that would be so dreadfully impolite. Almost as bad as not going through with cursory introductions."

All the Princesses turned to Shiara pointedly. She didn't roll her eyes, but it was a close thing.

"Fine," she huffed, "That is Pri-"

I shot her a desperate, pleading look. This time, she did roll her eyes.

"-us. His name is Prius. And he's the... uh…"

"Scullery boy," I provided helpfully.

"The scullery boy," Shiara agreed. "And he's helping me out today because Kazul has guests and there's lots of work to be done. So you wouldn't mind if I cannot entertain you for too long."

"Scullery boy," The first Princess looked at me again, "Are you- well, I suppose he is dressed like one."

She then proceeded to ignore me entirely, much to my relief.

"Are you sure you aren't a hero?" The second Princess asked wistfully. "I'd so love a hero, you know. And scullery boys can be one-"

"I'm sure I'm not a hero," I told her. She looked crestfallen, and I winced. "Uh, is there anything else I can-"

Shiara interrupted me by dropping a convenient plate. Which was probably a good thing. The first Princess gave her a disdainful sniff.

I excused myself from the kitchen as soon as I could. Shiara wasn't quite so lucky.

Despite the story of the dragon's banquet, the Princesses stayed for a while. After the first half hour, random objects in the Castle began to catch fire, and I decided that I owed it to Shiara to stay for a while. There was no end to the amount of torture she'd saved me by inventing Prius the scullery boy.

When the Princesses finally left, it was in a huff because something in the kitchen blew itself up into ashes, and when I walked back in, everything was covered in soot, including Shiara.

She saw me, an all her hair exploded into flame. I stepped away.

"What?" she demanded. "This always happens when they come around. You'd think they'd have learned by now-"

"Would it kill you to be polite?" I think I sounded a little plaintive.

"Shut up, Prius," Shiara huffed, "Do you have any idea how hard it is to not burn them to crisps when they're making all these snide remarks about how I'm not a real Princess? And I'm thinking I'd rather not be one," she added, rolling up her sleeves and dragging out the buckets, "There are entirely too many rules, and I don't know any of them. I'd much rather be a fire-witch, because then I can do anything I like."

"You are a fire-witch," I pointed out. "You were born one. And you only need to look around this kitchen for more proof."

"Get the extra mop from behind the door," she snapped. "The least you can do now is help me clean this mess up."

I returned Kazul's book before getting the mop. From the look of the kitchen, it didn't seem like there was going to be any time left over for reading afterwards. Shiara's hair was still shimmering orange when I got back.

"You really have to control that," I told her again.

Her hair flared up a bit more in response. I sighed.

"If you sigh any more," she told me caustically, "People are going to think you're a-a- a whistle! And a jug eared one at that!"

"Temper," I protested.

"I'm a fire-witch!" Her hair flamed up again.

I mopped the floor in silence. Like I said, it was pointless to argue with Shiara in her moods.

ENd Notes: Unfinished, I think. I'll get back to this once I figure out who my villan is going to be.