Alexstrasza is awoken from her nap by her phone buzzing loudly.
Her eyes reluctantly slide open and she sits up, only taking a moment to stretch before unlocking her phone and checking the text. Unfortunately, some ‘helpful person’ (and it really could be anyone) went into her phone and changed all of her contact names and notifications yesterday, so she has no idea who anyone except Ysera is.
The text reads ‘alexa help im gonna die,’ so she narrows her eyes and wracks her brain for clues. The ‘Alexa’ bit narrows it down- no one but her siblings would call her that- and the drama of supposedly being near death makes her think instantly of Nozdormu or perhaps Neltharion. The improper grammar and capitalization immediately discards both Nozdormu and Malygos as suspects, and since she already has Ysera’s contact fixed, it must be Neltharion.
Alexstrasza: What did you get yourself into this time?
???: i dont know how this keeps happening, i promise i don’t
Alexstrasza sighs. Definitely Neltharion. She takes a moment while he’s typing to fix his contact and rename him to something more recognizable than his phone number or some question marks. Honestly, she doesn’t know why she even bothers responding anymore when he gets himself into trouble- of all of her siblings, he’s the most accident-prone and draws trouble everywhere he goes.
Of course, he’s not really her sibling. None of them are, except Ysera. It’s just that they’re such a tight-knit group working together to survive and remain hidden that there’s bound to be bonds formed, and when they’ve been together as long as they have, well…
Neltharion: look i promise its not my fault, i got startled
Neltharion: my claws MAY have popped out when some guy grabbed my shoulder and i think i ripped his arm off
Alexstrasza holds her face in her hands before her phone buzzes again, and this time it’s from a different number.
???: If Neltharion is telling you he ripped a man’s arm off, don’t believe him. He only scratched the man before bolting.
That’s probably Malygos. He’s always there to make sure that Neltharion doesn’t get himself into too much trouble. She fixes his contact before responding.
Alexstrasza: Do you think he’ll report it?
Malygos: Doubtful. I didn’t get a good look before we took off, but I think it could be passed off as Neltharion just having really sharp nails. Fortunately, he’s not exactly recognizable.
Malygos: Then again, I am. Let’s hope he doesn’t recall that we were standing together.
He’s right about that. Neltharion has a knack for blending into crowds until he does something stupid and gets himself into trouble. Malygos tends to stand out more, as does Nozdormu. Ysera and Alexstrasza herself are not exactly unobtrusive either, but they’re invisible next to Nozdormu when he starts being dramatic.
Sometimes she wonders why she puts up with these idiots. She decides to just let Neltharion and Malygos figure this out themselves and gets up, shoving her phone in her pocket and leaving the room to find Ysera making food in the kitchen.
“What time is it?”
Ysera turns, an eyebrow raised. She’s tall, just like they all are, with bright blue eyes framed by her (supposedly) dyed green hair. She has matching green tattoos on her face, which do nothing to help her blend in. Currently, she’s in her pajamas, green with little sleeping blue lizards on them that are dreaming of cartoon crickets.
It’s cute, if not particularly subtle.
“It’s about seven in the evening. You slept for three hours.”
Alexstrasza cringes. “I should have set an alarm.”
“I expected you to sleep until two in the morning,” Ysera admits, stirring the boiling pot she’s standing next to. “Any idea when the others will be home?”
“Late,” Alexstrasza replies, sitting down on the couch in the connected living room. “Neltharion got himself into trouble again and Malygos is probably getting him back home. He texted me for help but, really, he doesn’t need it.”
“He’ll probably be back around midnight or whenever his theater group lets out. You know how they like to stay late.”
“Hmm. Well, in any case, that’s more for us.”
“Did you really start making an entire box of pasta when you were only sure that you would be here and awake?”
“There’s always leftovers.”
Alexstrasza nods, slowly accepting that, before the front door swings open to reveal Malygos with Neltharion not far behind.
Malygos is a direct reverse of Ysera, with green eyes that are either mirthful or annoyed with no inbetween. His hair is (also supposedly) dyed blue and is just as long as Ysera’s if not longer. He’s currently in his jeans and a long-sleeved blue shirt, which, while not surprising, looks a bit monotonous with his hair.
Neltharion, meanwhile, is almost normal in appearance. He has short black hair and light brown eyes that only betray their orange tinge when you look at them closely. He’s the tallest of them and looks the strongest, but he’s a pushover when it comes to his siblings. He’s in a t-shirt and black jeans, and Alexstrasza could almost believe him human.
“What a surprise,” she says wryly as they come in and close the door. “You’re not dead.”
“He saw my claws,” Neltharion mutters. “I could get reported.”
“You’re nondescript. What’s he going to say? ‘A guy with black hair nearly ripped my arm off’? The only chance of you getting found out is if he noticed Malygos.”
“I don’t think he did.” Malygos sits down in his chair on the other side of the coffee table, immediately reclining and leaning back. “I was behind him and humans aren’t known to be terribly perceptive.”
“You have blue hair,” Neltharion protests.
“I doubt you’ll have much trouble. In better news, the macaroni and cheese is almost done.” Ysera taps the lip of the pot with a spoon. “How can you worry when we have mac and cheese?”
“How indeed.” Malygos shuts his eyes. Alexstrasza is surprised that he doesn’t have his backpack with him- he must have come home and dropped it off before heading out to find Neltharion. As a college student, Malygos’ bag isn’t exactly unobtrusive, usually filled with papers, books, and far too many notes and pens. He’s meticulous about his notes and makers help you if you take one of his pens by mistake.
“We may want to take magic suppressors just to be safe,” Alexstrasza mutters. “If the police find us, I don’t want them figuring out who we are.”
Her siblings all groan and Malygos covers his face with his hands.
“It’s unpleasant enough for you, think about me.”
“It’s better than being shot or whatever happens to supernaturals that are found out.”
And that was the crux of the matter.
Anyone found to be magical or inhuman was immediately arrested and then, presumably, killed. For five dragons, discovery was death. Magic suppressor pills would prevent their magic readings from being detected by most tests as long as they were careful and focused, but they weren’t foolproof, and made them feel weak and stopped their powers nearly completely when taken.
Neltharion sighs and sits down on the couch next to Alexstrasza. “I’m sorry,” he mumbles. “He grabbed my arm and I panicked.”
Alexstrasza pats his shoulder reassuringly. “It happens, although it seems to happen to you the most.”
“It’s like you’re afraid of something happening,” Malygos comments. “Almost like you think someone is going to take control of you.”
Neltharion shivers. “Stop that. You’re going to make me paranoid.”
“Please don’t,” Ysera calls. “It’ll spread to Nozdormu and then he’ll insist we have to leave the country.”
Malygos snorts in amusement. “Can you imagine trying to change countries? We’d have to take magic suppressors for weeks. I’d rather take my chances here.”
Alexstrasza almost jumps out of her skin as the door slams open. She’s about ready to run or set fire to the intruder when she realizes its Nozdormu. She almost sets him on fire anyway.
Nozdormu has brilliant blue eyes and long brown hair that shimmers faintly bronze in the light. He’s the second most unobtrusive at a glance, but the way he acts and how loudly he speaks tends to draw attention. He’s soft-spoken when serious but loud and dramatic when he’s not and it can be fairly frustrating. He’s in long tan pants and a brown t-shirt emblazoned with some symbol that Alexstrasza doesn’t recognize,.
He shuts the door before saying, far too loudly, “We need to leave the country.”
Ysera shoots Malygos a poisonous look. Alexstrasza sighs. “What did you do?”
“I’ve embarrassed myself in front of my coworkers and we have to leave so that I don’t have to face them ever again.”
Neltharion shoots Alexstrasza a disbelieving glance, which is ridiculous considering how long they’ve all known each other by now.
“I ripped into a man’s arm with my claws today and you’re the reason we need to leave the country?”
“Yes.” Nozdormu flops down on Neltharion’s other side. “How can I ever live with-”
“Food’s ready,” Ysera announces, draining the water from the pot.
Nozdormu immediately jumps to his feet. “Food?”
“Food,” Malygos agrees, getting up. “I feel like this will solve most of our problems.”
“One can hope.” Alexstrasza stands as well and waits for Ysera to finish mixing in the cheese before getting a bowl and sitting down at the table, watching the others quarrel over serving amounts.
She can’t help but smile slightly.
No matter how frustrating they can be, they’re still her siblings, blood related or not.
And she loves them to pieces