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New Fairy This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

My grandmother used to tell me that the stars were great fairies looking down on us and protecting us. I believed her enough to get up late that night and tell my wish to the fairies. I wished to become a fairy. I didn’t expect it to come true, but it did thirteen years later. That was the worst decision I ever made.
Dione shot upward faster than an arrow. Tears sprang to her eyes as the wind lashed against her face. She laughed and let her enormous fairy wings unfurl. Her rise stopped abruptly as the wind caught her wings and pushed her to a halt.
The world was spread out before her. She grinned. The feeling of flight was the best sensation she’d ever had. The cool taste of the wind was delicious, the sight of the clouds around her exhilarating. She felt like she could fly forever without any mortal needs like food or water. In the air, she was immortal; she could do anything.
A roar split the air. Dione smacked her hands over her ears and watched in horror as the puffy white clouds became dark and menacing. She had seen this happen many times before, always near a creature or figure of dark magic. It was a lot scarier now that she was the one to fight off the evil.
Dark clouds surrounded Dione, threatening to choke her. There were a few sparks of electricity here and there, but none large enough to really shock her. Whatever was attacking wanted a fight before crushing her.
Suddenly, there was something tight around her waist. She saw the clouds clear a little to reveal the enormous head of a red dragon. It was Venia, the queen of all dark dragons. She opened her mouth and Dione could see the back of her throat starting to glow with flame.
“Aldiona,” the dragon snapped.
Dione clenched her teeth. “Don’t call me that.”
“Ladies do not use silly nicknames,” the dragon said. “Or slouch, or scatter their books, or doodle, or daydream at all.”
Dione blinked. The dragon was gone. Her gorgeous wings were gone. She was leaning back in her chair with a messy desk in front of her. The teacher, Mrs. Pince, was holding her homework only inches from her face. There was a messy doodle of a fairy dueling a dragon on it.
What do I care about what a lady does? Dione thought. She pasted a fake smile on her face. “Didn’t realize I was daydreaming, Mrs. Pince,” she said.
“Ladies do not use contractions like didn’t,” Mrs. Pince snapped. She glared down her hooked nose at Dione.
Dione nodded quickly. Mrs. Pince raised her eyebrows. “Yes ma’am,” Dione hurriedly said.
Finally satisfied, Mrs. Pince turned around and strutted back to the blackboard. She picked up a piece of chalk and started scrawling on it. The chalk shrieked in protest, making Dione wince.
She looked around at the other girls. All of them were sitting up straight at their desks. Dione’s best friend, Evana, smirked slightly and her eyes darted toward Dione, but her posture remained straight. Dione smiled and attempted to sit up straight like the rest of her perfect classmates.
Mrs. Pince turned from the chalkboard. Behind her, there were stiff cursive letters written so tightly that it looked more like scribbles than writing. Dione stared at the board, trying to decipher Pince’s new language.
There was a slight pull in her stomach, but she did her best to ignore it. Sometimes the gross prettiness of Mrs. Pince’s lessons made her want to throw up. Pince started talking about practicing a lady’s walk. Before long, Dione felt her mind drifting again.
Another jolt erupted in her stomach. She frowned and leaned forward, annoyed she couldn’t daydream with her stomach like this, but yet another jerk flared up inside her.
A searing pain suddenly tore at her back and she let out an involuntary squeak. The entire class froze and looked at her. Mrs. Pince was starting to grow red with anger. “Aldiona,” she scolded. “If you interrupt my class one more time—”
“Can I go to the bathroom?” Dione burst out.
“It’s may. May I go to the bathroom. And no, you may not. You have disrupted the class enough times. I hardly think—”
The pain felt like hot dragon claws raking down her back. Dione stood up and rushed out of the room. Mrs. Pince started screeching after her, but Dione didn’t stop. The sudden queasiness and feeling on her back could only mean one thing: someone was using magic on her. That sort of illness didn’t come naturally to elves like her. She was under attack.
She burst into the bathroom and immediately collapsed. The claws of a dragon were tearing at her. She screamed and curled up on the floor. She could hear someone banging on the door, but they couldn’t get in somehow. Dione feebly pulled on the handle, but it was sealed.
More magic, she thought. Who wants me to feel this much pain? Who is attacking me?
The burning on her back was more pronounced than ever. Dione lay flat on the floor, breathing heavily. What is happening to me? She thought.
There was a loud tearing sound and something popped out of her back. The pain fled suddenly like a flame blown out. Dione released a shuddering gasp and it felt for a moment like she had never breathed before then.
Something wasn’t right. Dione wiped the tears off her face with the hem of the skirt and looked up at the floor-to-ceiling mirror. She gasped.
The banging sounds at the door grew louder and she heard Evana shouting, but Dione’s mind had gone numb. She stared at the reflection that was now hers. “It can’t be true,” she whispered. “It’s not possible.”
A tired, pale face stared back at her. In comparison to all the other girls, her brown hair looked limp and weak. Her nose was long and narrow, her slack mouth thin. Her sad brown eyes had dark circles under them as if she hadn’t slept for a month. Her torn dress barely hung onto her narrow frame. Worst of all was the new pair of shimmering fairy wings.
She sat for a moment, doing nothing but gaping at her reflection and that gorgeous pair of wings. She reached over her shoulder and her fingers met the smooth, velvety surface. She turned her head slightly. The wings were still there. They had a vivid stained glass pattern on them.
She let the wing droop again and stood up. Something seemed off now and it wasn’t just her wings. Her dress was looser than it had ever been before. It dragged onto the ground. She frowned and picked up the hem. Did the magic make her dress larger?
The door suddenly burst open and Evana ran in. She stopped suddenly and her jaw dropped as the door swung shut behind her. “Dione,” she gasped. “What did you do?”
“It wasn’t me,” Dione cried. “If it was, I wouldn’t have done it in the middle of school.”
Evana stepped up to her and Dione had to crane her neck to look up at her. “Have you used a growing potion?” she asked. “You’re taller.”
Evana stopped and looked down at her. “I’m not taller,” she said. “You’re shorter by at least a foot.”
Dione felt herself blush. “You must have used the potion,” she said angrily. “You were mad because I’ve always been taller than you.”
Evana shook her head. “I haven’t grown an inch,” she said. “You seemed to have lost a foot.” She looked Dione up and down. “And at least sixty pounds in weight.”
Dione looked down. She was right. The sinks seemed to be a little higher than they had been before and her dress was way too big for her now. She seemed to have the proportions of a fairy in her human-sized form.
She looked up at Evana. “What do I do?” she cried. “I can’t go back to class like this. I bet my entire back is showing now and the wings will not go unnoticed.”
Evana sighed. “Here, let me help you with the dress.” She muttered a few words and spun her finger in a circle over Dione’s head. Before Dione could ask what she was doing, the dress started to stitch itself together where it was torn. Dione felt it tighten around her waist like it had been before. The sleeves soon gripped her arms and the hem no longer pooled on the ground. The cold breeze on her back was abruptly cut off as threads pulled over it and stitched it back up, leaving two holes for the wings. A pile of leftover threads on the floor curled up into a ball and jumped into Evana’s outstretched hand.
Dione gaped at her best friend. “How did you do that?” she cried.
“My grandmother works as a fairy godmother,” Evana said. “She taught me a few tricks. I can’t use a lot of magic, but I can mend clothes pretty well with it.”
“You never told me this,” Dione cried.
“You didn’t need to know,” Evana said. “Come on. Let’s get you out of here.”
Dione gulped. “Out of here? Once I leave the bathroom, everyone will see my wings.”
“No they won’t,” Evana said. “I set distraction spells around this part of the hallway.”
Dione frowned. “Won’t you get magic sickness from using that much power?”
Evana nodded. “I feel like I could sleep for a year, but that’s not important right now. I need to get you out before Pince gets past her distraction spell and comes looking for us. Plus, you’re a new fairy. Your aura has probably grown to a hundred times its size. You need to get back to fairy kingdom before any monsters pick up on your aura and try to atta—”
A dragon’s roar from outside shook the school. Evana visibly paled and grabbed Dione’s arm. “Come on,” she cried. “Go out to the back doors. I’ll carry your wings until you’re outside.”
Dione started to run. She felt a tickling sensation as Evana picked up the ends of her wings and started to carry them like some bizarre bridal train. Dione raced down the stairs and hurried toward the back door. She stopped as soon as she reached it and looked back at Evana, who dropped her wings and ran to her side.
“What if it attacks me?” Dione cried. “I don’t know how to fight dragons.”
“I’m putting a protection spell over you as soon as you step outside,” Evana shouted. “You have to get as far as you can before it wears out. Don’t stop and look back as I will likely pass out from the magic.”
“But Evana,” Dione cried.
“Don’t worry about me,” Evana snapped. “You are in immediate danger. “Go to the fairy kingdom and ask for my grandmother. She will help you. Now go!”
Dione pushed through the doors and raced outside. She felt a tingling sensation in her heart and looked back just on time to see Evana collapse in the doorway. Choking back tears, she turned back and unfurled her wings. They popped up, nearly filling the entire courtyard on their own.
Dione jumped and tried to flap her wings. She expected to shoot up to the sky like she had in her daydream, but she was too close to the ground. She hovered for a little bit and had to wildly flap her wings before she fully lifted off the ground.
She shot forward into the air and started to head toward the mountains. Behind her, a dragon bellowed again and she looked back just on time to see a spray of fire hit the trees she just passed. She looked forward and focused all of her energy on shooting toward the distant mountains.
Dione flew higher so that she was about halfway to the clouds. Maybe she could hide in there. She moved steadily upward, but she maintained her speed toward the mountains. She could hear the dragon’s enormous, leathery wings behind her, but she kept going, looking back and forth between the clouds and the mountains.
Before long, she was surrounded by fluffy, white clouds. She kept her eyes focused on the mountains as she shot through the cold clouds. The dragon started roaring something and Dione realized too late that it was using dark magic.
The fluffy white clouds started to grow darker and more menacing. Dione gasped and tried to duck below them, but something shot out and grabbed her around the waist. She beat her wings, but she couldn’t move.
The dragon’s red head parted the clouds and Dione gasped. This was the real queen of the dark dragons, Venia the Destroying Angel.
“Hello little fairy,” Venia snarled. “Where did you come from?”
Dione muttered something in gibberish, a spell she’d seen a fairy use before, but it did nothing. The dragon chuckled. “It’s no use trying magic when you’ve never used it before,” she snorted. “Not advanced magic at least. Come on little fairy. I think I need to introduce you to the rest of my supper.”
Dione screwed her eyes shut tight and said the word again with all the conviction she had. She could envision her body shrinking until she was only a few inches tall and resembled a butterfly more than a fairy. She had never met a fairy who couldn’t do that, so why shouldn’t see.
She opened her eyes and gasped. She was slipping out of the dragon’s grasp and starting to fall. She hurriedly spread her wings out, but they were crumpled from the dragon’s grip. She was falling too quickly. Her heartbeat sped up and she started to mutter the magic word again. A treetop seemed to fly past her toward the sky.
Almost immediately, she was her normal size again. She fell past several more trees before she hit the ground. She lay there for a moment, unable to move, unable to even breathe. A little dragonfly flew over her. There was a flash of light and the dragonfly turned into a boy about her age crouching over her.
“Huh,” he muttered. “That’s funny. I didn’t know any fairies lived around here. Are you okay?”
Dione inhaled sharply. The momentary feeling of paralysis fled and she could breathe. She looked past the boy and saw Venia swooping down toward the forest. “D-dragon,” she gasped.
The boy looked up. “On it,” he muttered. He put his hand in his pocket and threw a sparkly sort of dust over her. She sneezed. Then her eyelids started to droop.
“Forgive me for this,” the boy said. “But I can’t have you interfering.”
Dione was unconscious before the boy left the ground.

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