Prologue:

Maeve

He sat a little ways away from the front garden, making absolutely sure his aunt wouldn't berate him for ruining her precious flowers. Emerald greens irises glanced beneath the bright petals to the shaded underbrush and pursed his lips.

There was something there.

He looked around the yard to make sure the neighbor's weren't paying attention to him before he placed small hands on knees covered by ragged blue jeans and pushed himself up. His glasses slipped a bit from the momentum and he wriggled his nose before finally relenting and pushing his glasses up his nose. Making his way over, he pushed a few unruly strands of raven hair out of his verdant eyes and squatted near the plants.

He observed the way the plants moved slightly in the wind and placed his hand within the cluster right beneath the window and pushed them aside. Grey scales met his gaze and he tilted his head, bangs sliding over his forehead, and admired the way the sun glinted off them in silence.

There was a hiss and he let go of the flowers, scooting back a little as a small head peaked out from beneath the foliage. A forked tongue flicked followed swiftly by the rest of the snake, and he blinked. The snake blinked as well before it hissed.

'Stupid human, I should bite him for disturbing my nap…'

His lips parted and he could feel his eyebrows raise to his hairline.

"I can understand you."

The snake sat up, fangs bared within a blackened mouth.

'You speak! A Snake Speaker… are you?'

The child thought for a moment, watching as the snake glided the short distance towards him.

"I suppose I am." He nodded before adding, "Have you ever spoken to my kind before?"

The feather light touching of a forked tongue tasted his exposed knee before the snake answered.

'No, they are thickheaded things that are annoying and smelly.'

A small grin graced the boy's soft features.

"They are aren't they? Am I smelly?"

The snake tilted it's head, never ceasing in it's tasting, reptilian eyes locked onto emerald greens.

'No, you are pleasant. I will not kill you.'

His smile grew wider, eyes sparkling behind his spectacles.

"That's good to hear, I suppose." He paused studying the young snake as intensely as it studied he himself. "My name is Harry, what do you call yourself?"

The snake sat back, it's upper body swaying slightly, it's tongue flickering.

'I am not called anything. Is that odd?'

Harry thought to himself a moment before shaking his head in a negative fashion, "No, but it will be weird calling you snake."

The little snake bared it's fangs in annoyance, it's swaying growing more pronounced.

'Weird? Then I desire a name. I am female by the way.'

He thought a moment more before he smiled, placing a careful hand along the back of the snake's head.

"Maeve."