Tag Archive | character: jin

Time to Move – a story of Dragons Next Door for Patreon

This is set early in the life of Aud and Sage. 👪

So there we were, living in a tiny studio apartment between the artsy district and the tracks, holding our first child, Jin, just an hour after birth.  The midwife had come and gone and we were staring and the faint glow coming off of our first child with a bit of consternation.

“You,” I said, feeling far too calm (it had to be the tea I’d brewed for childbirth), “are not a wizard.”

Sage raised those eyebrows at me.  “You are not a witch.”

We’d both known it for a long time, of course, or at least suspected strongly.  You don’t go into a relationship with someone while they are still in school at a prestigious institution for wizards or witches and not notice a thing or, and if that hadn’t done it,the forms we’d each chosen for the wedding vows might have, or the family members that did and didn’t attend the wedding. Continue reading

Love Meme: Jin and Junie

The meme is here: Give me the names of two characters and I will tell you why character A loves character B.

Here is [personal profile] sauergeek‘s first prompt.

Jin had been just old enough to be annoyed by this whole little-sibling thing when his mother had put Junie in his arms.

He hadn’t instantly fallen in love with her. She was small and fragile and loud. He, at that point, had very little interest in things small and fragile and loud.

It was weeks later, when he found out that he could make very minor illusions and had to show them off to someone, that’s when things changed.

His mother was brewing a tisane and couldn’t be disturbed; his father was reading a large tome in the library and looked like disturbing him would not go well. He could wait for dinner – but Jin did not want to wait for dinner. (Patience was a hard- and late-earned skill for him.)

So he decided to show the new baby the illusion.

And she cooed. She reached out for it with her chubby little hands. She was thrilled. Jin felt amazing. This tiny little thing, this thing that cried all the time and nothing at all seemed to soothe her – she liked his illusions.

That cemented it. From that day on, Junie was Jin’s first audience for every illusion, every spell (that was safe to her, of course; he kept the others to a room behind the garage where no-one else came), every cantrip.

And, eventually, Junie found out Jin’s secrets, too.

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Dragons Next Door: Released, a story continuation for “Finish It” Bingo.

After Hostage Situation, Ketchup, and Salt, for the Finish It! Bingo

There were too many things to do, and Sage and I were still frozen for a moment in indecision. Our child had passed out. Our child had just performed focus-less magic at a distance, using a TV as his scrying bowl. He had taken a hostage-taker hostage. He had sent an unregistered magic signature into the heart of a tense police stand-off.

He had saved the day.

Sage and I shared a look. He picked up the phone and dialed, as quickly as the old rotary phone would let him. I got Jin comfortable on the couch, pillow behind his head, half-sitting up.
While Sage got the chief of police to acknowledge him, I brewed tea. I dug into the canisters I kept locked away, the ones I did not want my children getting in, whether by accident or by purpose. Jin would need something a little stronger than the norm after that feat, and Sage and I… we would need something strong to deal with the aftermath.

When I went back into the den, Sage was drawing circles on the floor and scattering bones. I pulled up the throw rug to give him more room, sparing my oldest child another glance. Jin was still out. I imagined he would be out for some time.

“I’m trying to figure out how he did it,” Sage admitted. “He has power, that we already knew.”

“Of course.” We tried not to say too much about that anywhere the children could hear — and in this case, the children included Jin. “The question is, where has he been getting it trained? I know the Tower wanted him, but…”

Sage shook his head. “I’d have known if they’d have touched him. No, this isn’t their style.” He looked at the circles and the bones thoughtfully.

I sipped my tea and did the same. The patterns spoke of intent — that, we’d already known. The ritual was different from anything I’d ever seen before, and from Sage’s expression, neither had my husband seen such things. The results… the phone rang again, and Sage hurried off to answer it.

We were going to have to have quite a few conversations in the next week.


Four days later, we had spoken to the Chief of Police twice, the Fire Marshall once, and the head of the bank three times. Jin had been present for half of these meetings, remaining quiet, saying little more than “my parents speak for me.”

That was just about as much as he’d said to us. I’d gotten an “it’s nothing,” three “it’s no big deals,” and one loud “I don’t want to talk about it, okay?” Sage had, from all his reports, gotten about the same.

There were, of course, no charges being pressed against Jin — he had done nothing against the law except a little bit of directed magic that could, with the wrong lawyer and the wrong judge, possibly be considered against a couple statutes. But the police chief and several others were very interested in his quick action, and a whole line of people after them wanted to talk to the hero of the day.

Jin wanted to hide in his room with the curtains closed.

In desperation, I turned to that which had never failed me before — cookies. I baked up a huge batch of Jin’s favorite snickerdoodles and brewed him a cup of his favorite milked tea, an affectation hw must have picked up from his father.

The cookies and tea got me in the door to his room, but, gauging from the expression on his face, the rest was up to me.

I considered and discarded several lines, which either sounded too uselessly motherly or too ridiculously chummy. Finally, I decided on the truth. “We’re still trying to figure out how you did it.”

He looked up, took a cookie, and ate it, as if considering that. I waited, wishing I’d brought tea for myself. Something calming.

“‘We,’ the city, ‘we’, the police, or ‘we…’”

“We, your father and I,” I confirmed. “Whatever the results, they’re a family matter.”

He stared at a second cookie. I stared at the cookie, too. Perhaps it held answers.

“I don’t want to go to the Tower, and I can’t go to the Pumpkin.” He lifted his chin and stared at me as defiantly as Junie ever did. “If I can do magic, proper spells, I’ll have to go somewhere, right? And Dad went to the Tower…”

Things began to fall into place. “You don’t have to go to the Tower if you don’t want.” I hesitated. He’d mentioned the Pumpkin, which was, of course, a girls’ school… but it also dealt in a different style of magic than the Tower. “You’ve been getting instruction.”

It wasn’t a question, of course. I tried hard to not make it an accusation, either.

“Yeah. I, uh.” He looked out the window, although his curtains were closed tightly. I wondered if he was hiding from Jimmy and the other Smiths. “Once it started coming in, a guy from the Tower stopped by. I… Iwas a bit rude.”

Someone from the Tower had spoken to my son without asking me? I swallowed my immediate rage. “Which realm of rude are we talking about?” In our family — in our neighborhood — rudeness could come in many forms.

“Words.” Jin wrinkled his nose. “I wasn’t good enough to target a curse at that point, and I know better than to wield anything I can’t aim.”

“Good! Well, if they were trying to talk to you without discussing the matter with your parents, they deserved every rude word you gave them. So…?” I fished shamelessly. “You went looking for tutelage?”

“Well, I knew I didn’t want to deal with those Tower people, at least not for a while. And I knew I needed help. So, uh.” He still wasn’t looking at me. I tried not to to take it personally. “Mr. Brown, he’s been haunting this neighborhood for a long time. And I went to talk to him.”

Learning lessons from an angry lost soul could be effective… and it could be amazingly dangerous. I thought about my answers for a moment.

Too long. “I knew you’d be mad.”

“Jin, you saved an entire bank of hostages. I am not angry with you.”

“The police are.” He finally looked at me. “They want to find some reason to blame me.”

“They want to find some reason to blame magic.” I leaned against the foot of his bed and studied him. “Remember how we felt, when we realized that the bad guy this time was human? Normal, everyday human… the police realized he wasn’t even a spell-user, he just had a magical item. That’s how they feel. They want magic to be at fault. They want something strange to be at fault.”

“..People suck sometimes,” Jin muttered.

I didn’t call him on his language. It wasn’t the time for that. “Sometimes people really suck,” I agreed, and endured his shocked look.

“So…” He shook his head, as if to clear the sound of his mother using a bad word. “You’re not mad at me?”

“No, I’m not. I would like to meet Mr. Brown, if he’s willing, but I’m not angry that you took the responsible step of finding a teacher.”

“And I don’t have to go to the Tower?”

“No.” I felt my jaw set. “I’ll speak to Sage, and we’ll talk to the Tower people about this breach of etiquette. I do want you to go to a proper school… but it doesn’t have to be the Tower.”

He relaxed and, for the first time in weeks, I saw my oldest child smile. “I might enjoy the Pumpkin.”

“I’m quite sure you would.” I let myself smile in return. “But maybe we’ll see if there are some other options, too.”

He allowed me to hug him, and I let myself release a little tension. “Thanks, Mom,” he muttered into my shoulder.

“Thank you, Jin,” I replied. Today, there were many things to thank him for.

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Friends Do, a story of Dragons Next Door for OrigFic Bingo

To kelkyag‘s prompt to my January card for [community profile] origfic_bingo.

This fills the “friendship” square.

It comes after Hands-on Knowledge.

Jin leaned against the bleachers in gym class, and listened to his human friends fail to understand.

“You introduced her to your folks, right? You did the whole prom thing, you’ve gone on dates… you’ve got all the hard stuff out of the way.” Toby had been with his girlfriend, Vanessa, for over a year; he at least thought he knew what he was talking about.

“Until Valentine’s Day.” Geordi had gone through seven girlfriends in six months. “Or her birthday. Or, god forbid, Christmas. But it’s April. You’re golden, unless her birthday’s in May.”

“Seriously.” Toby caught a ball tossed their way – they were supposed to be playing dodge-ball – and shook his head at Jin. “Unless this is oogy boogy stuff?”

“Oogy boogy!” Geordi wriggled his fingers in what he clearly thought was a classic “magic happens” gesture.

“Yes.” Jin sighed. “It’s oogy boogy stuff.”

“Is she…” Toby mimicked Geordi’s gesture.

“Well, yeah. I mean, I wouldn’t have brought her home so soon otherwise.”

“Racist parents, hunh? I know how that can be.” Toby shrugged. “So she’s a… damnit.” It was as if, having played the ‘racism’ card, he felt like he had to be correct himself. “She’s a dweomer, then? So it’s not like you have to keep the magic stuff hidden from her. Can you do that, in your house? I mean, we’ve been there, man…”

“Exactly. You’ve been there. Which means, you know who my neighbors are.”

“What, the pixies?”

“No, they’re not quite neighbors…“ Jin shrugged. “Besides, she’s already met them.”

His friends – even his human friends – weren’t stupid. “Woah. You mean the dragons. You haven’t introduced her to Jimmy yet?”

“No.” He hunched his shoulders forward. “I haven’t. When a dragon doesn’t like someone…”

“He’s your best friend, man. I mean… we’re your friends. He’s your literal wingman.” Geordi patted Jin’s back. “She makes you happy, right?”

“Yeah?” Yeah. More than anything.

“Then Jimmy will be fine. But you gotta tell him.”

Jin swallowed. It wasn’t nearly that simple, but… “Right. Right, okay. If you see charred remains…”

“We’ll make sure all the girls cry at your funeral, yep. But it won’t be like that.” Toby punched his arm. “Go. Talk to him. That’s what friends do.”

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Hands-on-Knowledge, a Drabble of Dragons Next Door for the December Bingo Card

This is to [personal profile] anke‘s prompt (on twitter) to my December OrigFic Bingo Card. This fills (for the second time) the “Knowledge” square.

Jin, Bianna, and the narrator (Aud) belong to the Dragons Next Door setting.

“There’s theoretical classes, of course.” Jin was talking fast. I tried not to smile; he liked to talk fast when he didn’t think his father was going to give him something. It worked on Sage, half because Sage didn’t notice it was happening, and then the other half because he noticed and was amused by it.

I was not Sage, but it amused me as well. I let him go on.

“There’s classes in everything, and Bianna’s already taking classes in the local college. And, being here, being so close to Smokey Knoll, you know that the college here is good in those things. But there’s all of those classes, and they only cover a small amount, and it’s all theory, you know, none of it is solid practice, and even the ones that do field work won’t let someone Bianna’s age – or mine – go on a field mission.”

“And you think I ought to know better than college professors?” I found it interesting that Bianna was simply listening. Her back was straight and she was watching me, not Jin. This was a girl to watch out for – or one to welcome into the family. Sage and I had been arguing that since we met her.

“I know you know better than the professors. The question is whether or not you’ll trust Bianna, not whether or not you’ll take a teenager on a field mission. After all, you’ve taken me and even Junie on trips.” He held up his hands. “I know it’s different. We’re your kids. You’ve been training us since we were born. but Bianna doesn’t have that. Her parents are human… as far as we can tell. She’d never even met a pixie until she came along with me on my birthday, much less a dragon. And the field is larger than you can handle on your own for a city, Mom, you’ve said it yourself, large and growing. You’ll need more than just me and Junie – if she wants to – and there’s going to be my time with the Tower.”

My boy knew how to talk. I nodded to Jin. Watch carefully, or welcome into the family. Possibly both. “And what does Bianna want?”

Bianna cleared her throat. “I want to learn, ma’am. I mean, I was considering social work for a career, but then Jin told me that the other races have almost no representation at all, and it occurred to me… maybe I could combine them. But I don’t know anything except what I’ve read in books.”

I knew everything the paperwork of a bureaucratic city could provide on Bianna, but that was not, by far, everything one could learn. “Perhaps we both could benefit from some hands-on learning.”

And if my son shot me a warning glance, well, that was his right. He was welcome to whatever relationships and loves he wanted, but when he introduced her to the family business… then it was time for some hands-on learning indeed.

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Then and Now – Audrey and Sage, Dragons Next Door

To [personal profile] kelkyag‘s prompt to my orig-fic card. This fills the “Then and Now” slot.

Audrey, Sage, and Jin are part of my Dragons Next Door setting; its landing page is here.


“The centaur next door is foaling.” Sage came home late at night, his sleeves rolled up to his shoulders. “And the pixies in the mailbox could use some help… oh. Oh, Audrey, blessings from the bottom of the world, what…”

That had not been the reaction I’d been expecting, but I would take it. “It appears…” My voice was a little more shaky than I’d thought. I coughed, sipped my soothing infusion one-handed, and tried again. “It appears it’s going around. Kidding season, perhaps?”

“Kidding…” I had never, never in our years, heard Sage’s voice do that, that thing where it squeaked at the end. Never seen his composure shaken. “Audrey, did you do this on your own?”

I lifted up the tiny baby so he could see own firstborn. “Nonsense, Sage, you had something to do with it.” He was so distraught, I had to throw him a bone. “Mistress Gnomen served as midwife.”

“I was going to…”

“Plans change, my love. It’s all right.” Everything was all right. We had each other, and we had our son.


“Plans change, my love. It’s all right.” I lit the candle in the warmer and tried not to glance out the window.

“It’s his birthday.” Sage was pacing. My beloved was not very often distressed, but when he was, it was a sight to be seen. I was, truth be told, a little surprised that there weren’t sparks coming from his fingers. “He’s late.”

“He’s our son, Sage. Something probably came up.”

Sage’s cheeks darkened. No, that was not what I’d wanted. “Like his last birthday?”

“Sage, darling.” What to say to that? Yes, like his last birthday. Like the day Jin was born and many of the birth-days in between. But that would not help matters, when Sage was waiting impatiently to gift his firstborn with his adulthood, and that firstborn had, in the time while we were busy, gone and taken it on his own.

Sage sighed. “I know. But it’s his eighteenth birthday. And you made his favorite meal.”

“Sorry I’m late.” The door slammed. When you had teenaged boys, the door often slammed. “We got stuck in the middle of a pixie debate, and you know how those are. Oh, Mom, Dad… this is Bianna.”

A sip of a soothing infusion calmed me; by the time Jin and Bianna made it into the dining room, I was smiling and ready. Our son was home; everything was all right.

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Magic Mondays: Dragons Next Door and Jin

[personal profile] kelkyag asked: How does Jin do magic?

The oldest child of Audrey and Sage, Jin is quite an interesting specimen. It’s no wonder the Tower wants to get their hands on him.

Many denizens of the Tower are the result of a dweomer-human union. As such, their magic is buried beneath the surface and must be coaxed out.

The Tower sorcerers use complex rotes and rituals, diagrams and dialogues, scripts and spells, to complete their magic; each line in each spell is designed to pull the sorcerer closer to the magic and thus manipulate it.

The Tower is only half of Jin’s legacy, however, and the magic of the Pumpkin is much more organic. Although still relatively untrained, Jin uses a combination of his mother’s witchery and his father’s sorcery in a manner that is both innovative and dangerous.

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Salt – Dragons Next Door – for the Giraffe Call

For Ankewehner‘s prompt.

Dragons Next Door Verse. DND has a landing page – here (or on LJ)

This comes after Hostage Situation (LJ Link)and Ketchup (LJ Link) and is far darker than the normal DND stories.

Commenters: 5

We sat watching the TV, staring at it, really, transfixed and horrified and growing more and more restless. The grainy film of the outside of the bank rolled on, the police moving back and forth, muttering to themselves, but not doing anything, not moving forward, not stopping what we could imagine was going on inside.

“Why aren’t they scrying?” Jin asked impatiently, leaning forward in his seat as if willing the people to move in. “If he’s a human, he can’t have blocked their senses.”

“Salt,” Sage answered tiredly. “A ring of salt will do it; oldest trick in the book, and a lot of banks already have salt built into their vaults for just that reason.”

“Salt?” Jin glared at the TV. “Then a firehose would do it, wouldn’t it?”

Before Sage or I could say something to this relatively-wise advice, the chief of police looked up as if slapped. “Firehose.” Even with the volume down, his meaning was clear. “Someone get that truck over here!”

I could see Sage, on the other side of our oldest, turning to look at him, mirroring me, but Jin was paying us no attention. He was hunched forward, focused on the screen, every bit of his attention aimed towards the front door of the bank while the firemen dragged the hose over and aimed it at the door.

This could go so horribly badly. This could end in blood and tears, and some of both could be Jin’s. If the monster inside were not a garden-variety human, if there were someone else that could follow Jin’s signature back to him, an accomplice or just opportunistic… I glanced at my husband, and relaxed as he began moving his hands in a pattern I knew well. I sank into a half-trance. If this went badly for purely mundane reasons, if the monster killed all the hostages, well, we’d have to deal with Jin’s guilt in a mundane manner. But until then, we had his back magically.

The hose washed through the front doors of the bank, sweeping into the building. Almost immediately, the picture-in-picture flickered and focused on the scene inside, the hostage-taker sitting on the blood-covered slab, holding his long, messy knife and waving it at the captives. In his left hand was a kill-switch, an old-fashioned dead-man detonator.

Jin leaned forward so far he was nearly off the couch, his left hand twitching in a series of movements that looked more like spasms than magic. “Gotcha,” he crowed happily, as every single wire in the building wrapped itself around the monster. “There!” With an exultant cry, my oldest child passed out.

Next: Released

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