This is my first ever fanfic in this fandom— scratch that. This is my first fanfic post for the public period. My test runs don't count. So, please take pity on this amateur writer who is using this tale to hone my skills as a writer and story-teller.
Seriously, if you have any critics to improve my writing skills lay on me buddies, but make it sweet cause my heart is fragile. Like literally, there is a please handle with care fragile sign pasted on my back.
Now onwards to our story.
The sun was shining brightly during the Summer Season. From the outskirts of Magnolia and the cityscapes was a building near the lake. The place bustled and the barmaids entertained their guests. The large wooden doors burst open, revealing two boys. A father and son. One with strange coral hair and the other the bright red, similar to the flames they famed to wield.
Plenty cheered their greetings, raising a glass to the man and the boy, who wandered off. Natsu spotted his friends at the corner, gathering around Cana's spot, a table near barrels. Barrels full of cheap booze.
Cana clicked her tongue, gazing at the cards in front of her. The youngest Strauss across. And the rest gathered around in a circle, notably Laxus dozing off near the table. Cana's brows furrowed.
"Are you sure you're reading it right?" Gray broke the ice. Shirtless, as he peered beside Cana. His brow wrinkled at the sight on the table.
"There's no way in hell my sister would ever go through shi—!" the eldest of the Strauss snarled at Cana. Her hands slapped on the table, inducing a loud bang.
"Language!" the armored teenager, with hair tied in a braid, scolded her rival.
"Speak for yourself," the platinum blonde scoffed. Mirajane stared intently at the card laid across the table. If it wasn't for Cana picking up her cards, guarding it with intent. She would have burned that fuxking liar.
"Am I going to die, Cana?" the youngest questioned with a furrowed brows, almost petrified. Lisanna held on her brother's arm, both pale on the face.
Mira swiftly answered her sister, "Hell no—!"
Cana clapped her hands, interrupting Mira's words. She took a swig of her beer. "Look. Having The Death in your fortune doesn't mean you're gonna die." She pointed at the skeleton with a black armor riding a horse among the dying. She pointed to the card next to it. A child, a man, and a woman pointing to one direction, then she placed a finger on the dancing woman with silken robes and wand on each hand. "…are The Judgement and The World. It means you are going to experience an end or will sacrifice something that will lead you to a reawakening which will lead you to fulfillment."
"Hell, will my sister—"
"I said, LANGUAGE!" Erza Scarlet glared at the eldest Strauss, the she-devil Mirajane.
"STOP INTERRUPTING EVERYTHING I SAY!" It wasn't long before a demonic arm formed around Mira's hand and Erza reequipped with her training sword.
"Natsu!" Trying to end the argument between the two girls. Lisanna called out to the approaching fire mage. Which also incited the young ice mage, bored watching the whole fiasco.
"Hey flame for brains, you finally showed up." Gray Fullbuster stood to his feet, his shirt and pants already thrown to the floor.
"Why don't you wear some pair of clothes for once, perverted stripper?" Already face to face, glowering at his rival.
"Well. I ain't the one who burned half of the town last time," he bit back.
"I messed up, didn't I?" Lisanna couldn't help but swear dropped. Especially when the two boys were still throwing each other insults. Their stance shifted. Especially with the way their hands grew smoke and mist.
"You did, kid." The teenage blonde replied, with a lightning scar near his eye. Only a table away from them as he leaned on the bench, casually. Holding one earpiece away from his ear. Though, it seemed like he wasn't paying much attention. It was obvious he was listening.
Cana took another drink of her alcohol, throwing a glass over her shoulder as she grabbed another one. "Happens all the time, ya should be used to it by now."
After one bullseye insult and patience about to snap. Natsu annoyed, lit his fists aflame ready to punch that popsicle to the next—
The sudden voice of his father rang through his head. A deadly warning, a reminder of awaiting doom, if he dared to disobey. Inches away from Gray, he relaxes his stance. The flames flickered until it disappeared. He slouched, pouting as he slumped to the floor. Gray toppled on his foot, hitting face-first on the floor. The magic piling disappeared.
They both groaned.
"Give up already?" Gray said with a raised brow, picking up from his fall. Thanking the youngest of the group for keeping his clothes.
"Like hell, I would!" Natsu propped himself up, snarling at the provocation.
"LANGUAGE!" the red hair's words both made them flinched. Already finished the battle with Mira. Erza grabbed both boys by the head and made knocked them over. The only terror that could make them behave even for a split second.
They yelped, quietly muttering a shaky agreement. Nursing the wound in their forehead.
"Can't fight," Natsu pouted. "Dad told me to behave if I want to join him to Hargeon."
"Why would you be going to Hargeon?" Lisanna asked the question that made the children all curious. Even the brooding Laxus, opened an eye, showing his interest.
The coral haired boy shrugged, "We are going to meet someone there. Dunno why, though."
Cana shuffled her Major Arcana. Her lips tilted in a way that showed interest, "When are you leaving?"
"When dad's done talking with Gramps."
She spread her cards with her hands. Her eyes glinted in a cryptic way. "How about I read your fortune during your visit to Hargeon? Since you're in a hurry, pick three."
"Knowing pyro, he will just burn down a house instead," Gray scoffed, shoving his hands to his pocket, only to realize he lacks it.
Natsu snarled, "Watcha say, you perverted bastard?!"
"Are you deaf, ashbrains?!"
With the insults and the mock encouragement. Natsu snatched three cards and gave them Cana. Cana gently placed her cards back to her pile and laid them down.
She revealed the first one, a lucky or unlucky it depicts completely on fate. It was a wheel, the only one with vague symbols that can take an entire month to explain. "The Wheel of Fortune…" Cana smirked. Agitating the person and audience who quietly watch the spectacle.
She revealed the other card, flipping it over to show a woman pouring water on the lake and land. A six-pointed star shone brightly, together with several, on top of her. Cana tilted her head on this one like the card held a double meaning she couldn't comprehend.
The ever impatient Natsu asked, "What's that supposed to mean?"
Cana stared blankly at the cards. She felt vague when she saw the two cards, yet a pull she couldn't understand. "You are destined to an inevitable fate." She tapped on the card, The Star. "A fated meeting that rejuvenates you or gives you hope."
"Natsu!" a loud boisterous voice that could only rival his son's own boomed across the guild. A man, red messy hair and eyes the colors of his flames. He grinned, razor-sharp teeth peeking out of his lips. "Hey, kids! What are you playing?" he peered over the boy, his elbow on his youngest head. Natsu called out his name while the other kids greeted gleefully.
"Reading his fortune, Mr. Dragneel," Erza said in a respectful manner. Opted to ignore the scoff of her rival teenager.
"Come on, Erza, no need to be polite. Just call me Igneel." The man shook his head. He tackled the boy, who barely escaped his grasp. Fingers held on the precious scarf around the boy's neck. Making sure the lad didn't escape to who knows where. "I'll be borrowing the kid. You can read his fortune after we return from Hargeon."
"But Cana was about to read the last card!" the boy complained.
"The train—" both grew green at the mention. "Is about to leave in five. We. Have. To. Go." He emphasized his sentence. This time dragging the boy with him. Gray said a biting remark which earned a rude gesture in return. They bid their goodbyes, stating their own wishes. When the large doors shut close and the fire dragons out of sight did all the kids turned to the drunk fortune-teller.
The shy Elfman who watched the spectacle, but didn't speak. Asked in a soft voice, "What was in his last card?"
They all peered at the drunk. She raised her brow, her eyes trained to the now neatly arranged set, her stack of cards at the center where the three cards used to lay... They finally noticed the clean state of the tab. Did they dare show their disappointments
"Did you seriously clean it up without even peeking?" Laxus said with a frown. He too, though would refuse to anyone who asked, was curious about the last one.
Cana nonchalantly took another chug of her alcohol. She shrugged, "When Igneel called out to him. It was game over."
They didn't understand a word she just said. Instead, they voiced their frustrations, opted to leave to do their own things.
"Man, what let down."
Cana drank another. A smirk was visible behind the bottle.
The card was already on her hand and the picture already imprinted on her mind. A pair, man and woman, naked to the world with an angel hovering over them. Divine protection over their union.
A card she didn't know that kid could ever possess.
She chuckled. Stirring her mug as her mind wandered to the betting money which will be all hers. "I am so going to win…"
Layla tugged on the shawl she has around her shoulders. She coughed, and her preteen daughter immediately focused her attention. "Mother, you should rest more."
She chuckled over her daughter's worried face. She smiled, her frail hand holding on her treasure's own. "Your father couldn't even persuade me to stay in the mansion. Lucy dear, just because I'm unwell that doesn't mean I'm incapable to move."
"You feel much better if you rest," Lucy tried to convince once more, knowing full well it's fruitless. Her mother can be stubborn.
Layla mused, "It's not every day you get a chance to go outside. Shouldn't you be exploring? Kids your age should be going around leaving their parents."
"Those kids—" she emphasized her next words. "don't have sick parents."
She brushed away her worries, "Stellar, I'll be sitting here meeting a friend. I won't be moving much."
"Can't they just visit us in the mansion?"
"He's bringing his son along. I heard that boy is the exact definition of a flaming spitfire," Layla chuckled at her words. The memory of the dragon animatedly described his son still made her amuse. That man was as old as the city itself and yet he could act like any child still experiencing the world. "Besides," she tucked a blond hair over her child's ear. Chocolate brown eyes, the only features of her father stared at her own. "Your father and sister were the only ones who went to Hargeon last time because you got sick. This is a perfect chance to explore."
Lucy, the name she chose, when seeing their company's Love n Lucky sign missing its 'k'. Coincidentally, that very name meant light. Lucy truly was the definition of both and upheld the name without knowing the origins. Her daughter opened her mouth then closed with a pout.
Her daughter was very stubborn.
Layla giggled at her childishness. But her eyes caught sight of the fiery color on the crowd. She raised a hand high enough for anyone to see. Her voice soft in a light whisper, "Over here."
Like a boom, the dragon snapped his head to the call.
Igneel zeroed on the two identical women… errr... girl. The elder one, whose hair is dipped with gold, and a lovely heart-shaped face with bright features. Her eyes were a dark color, in the light made it turned to gold. The younger of the two. Was a replica of her mother, except he noticed, hers were a darker shade of brown similar to her father.
He gave his own grin. Unaware of his features soften as he met the two.
The older one beckoned him over.
"It's good to see you again, Igneel."
Her eyes wandered, "Where's your boy?"
Igneel smiled. A memory flashed through his mind. He barely escaped the clutches of the train, but, his son was unfortunate. Before he could get his bearings, he was left dangling on the window, the train moved to its next destination. Igneel bade him a tearful farewell.
Igneel craned his neck to the crowd, searching before he shrugged, "Somewhere. You know..." the man gagged. "Trains."
Layla giggled. Used to the dragon's way of avoiding any sort of moving vehicle. It isn't surprising if their kids also inherit the trait. "There's so much I wish to tell you but," she grabbed her twin by the shoulders. The girl made a noise. "Can you go, my Stellar? You need to liven up a little, explore Hargeon... or whatever kids your age often do."
The old man laughed, "Has Jude's stuck up, high and mighty attitude?"
"Excuse me—" the young girl squeaked.
"Glad I'm not the only one who thought so," her mother giggled in mischief. "Though no, worried you see. She has been itching to get up and leave, but couldn't bear to leave her poor mother alone."
Igneel snorted, "Figures."
"Hey, I'm right here—!"
"Don't worry, kid, your mother is in safe hands. So do enjoy yourself out there."
Somehow, a dumbfound Lucy found herself outside the door. Questioning everything including her existence.
Lucy glanced at the see-through door where her mother was laughing with that man.
"Who is he?" She was questioning her mother's mysterious friend. Especially, when she could barely put a name to his face. He reminded her so much of a fire lit up during the winter nights.
Turns out, standing on the doorway of a busy café, is not the best way to do so. The angry snarls and frustration over the people yelling, made her scatter to the nearest empty spot. Lucy huffed, then clicked her tongue.
Her eyes traced the odd landscapes famously known as Hargeon. The structures weren't as high as the capital, Crocus. Nor was it large and grand like Alcapha. It gave a homely feeling, plus the soft scent of sea salt gave the vibe of it being an actual port. Especially the towering boats, floating near the stony waters. It was lively and in a sense, spirited.
Amidst her observations landed on a boy, probably near her age or older. Someone you could easily pinpoint in a crowd due to his messy pink locks and an odd scaly scarf wrapped around his neck. In the middle of summer.
'Who wears a scarf during summer?!' answering her own question. 'That guy apparently does.'
His gaze landed on her. He has onyx colored eyes. The color was dark, almost borderline brown. It reminded her of her favorite gem, the same name, tucked away in a jewelry box.
Golden tan, she noticed. Eyes sharp but carefree. He might have good fashion sense since the scarf matched the black sleeveless shirt with golden accents. A pair of white loose pants and slippers.
Lucy narrated this all in her head, tucking her gaze away before he thought she might be a creep. Unaware of the glimmer of amusement in the eyes she found so fascinating.
Taking the sights of the city. A girl bumped into her.
Lucy yelped, "Ah, hey!"
"I can't believe he's here!"
Lucy watched as a couple of girls ran in the same direction. Nearing to a quiet place, where a crowd gathered. "A celebrity?" Puzzled. She never heard of this 'Salamander'. That image is synonymous with that word was a lizard. She shivered at that thought. Curiosity, her only reason why she bothered to take a peek.
A man surrounded by girls, yelling his name. He signed several of their papers. They sighed, screamed, and cheered. One fainted when he gave a kiss on her hand. Lucy would admit the guy was a looker. She tilted her head in confusion when he refused to take pictures with them. His finger on his mouth, like he wanted them to keep a secret that he was there.
He has all the looks and personality of an actual celebrity.
It was enough for Lucy to be sold that he was some sort of celebrity she didn't know about. When his gaze landed on her and a toothy smile, she felt like a pair of arms tried to tug on her heart. She shrugged off the feeling, opted to leave to explore more of the city.
A faint feeling of discomfort tugged on her chest. Her head throbbed, vision blackened. She quickly turned around, hoping to ask for help, only to see several girls on her feet. Passed out.
A gasp left her mouth, only to see the very same celebrity give a menacing smirk.
"Hel...p." she cried.
The lights went out.