Asyat slung the last pack over her shoulder as she left her room.  Her other three packs were already downstairs, being loaded, hopefully. 
  Asyat felt a feeling of nostalgia overwhelm her as she said goodbye to her safe haven of the last seventeen turns.  The room was open now, lighted from the huge window that faced out over the courtyard.  If she went to the window, she'd see a dragon there, but she didn't dare. 
  A breeze was blowing in through the opened shutters, blowing her feather light drapes about softly, and making the room look that much more romantic. 
However will I do this? Asyat asked herself.  What will the Harpers think of me?  I hardly think they'll all share Holmaren's view of women. Asyat gulped worridly.  Hopefully not.
  At that moment Laer came fluttering over her head and settled himself on her shoulders.  Quickly turning, before some other memory could keep her standing still a  minute longer, Asyat left her room.
  Looking up at the large brown dragon that was to convey her to the Hall, Asyat couldn't help but feel slightly frightened. 
  Her father was meeting with it's, his, rider now, making sure it was no trouble to take Asyat where she needed to go.  Asyat's packs were laying up against the stoen wall next to the dragon, and every youngster that lived here was peeking around a corner or over a wall to catch a glimpe of the dragon.
I wonder what Laer will think of the dragon? Asyat thought.  Laer, to her knowledge, had never seen a dragon before.  Hopefully the bronze wouldn't mind too much that she was riding one..
Why should he? Asyat laughed at herself.  He's not another dragon, to be upset whenever I get on the back of one other than himself.  He may be protective, but he's not stupid! Asyat smiled and seated herself on the nearest bench to watch the brown.
  He was an amazingly beautiful creature, elegant and efficient at the same time.  He wwas laying on the stone and dirt, sunning himself.  Asyat thought he looked very relaxed for a creature whose life revolved around fighting Thread. 
You think he'd be tense. 
Why? A voice, disembodied and pleasantly male, came floating through Asyat's mind.  She looked around sharply, and settled her eyes on the dragon.
What? She silently asked it in shock.  Did that dragon really just talk to her?  She felt laughter coming from the brown's direction, and he turned his head to look right at her.
You heard me. The creature said, and scooted slightly closer to her. 
  "Oh."  Asyat said, hoping that none of the other kids out here would hear that, and think she was going "as crazy as Holmaren".  That phrase had become an overnight hit with the children of the Hold, and when no adults were around to scold them, they used it constantly.
  The dragon snorted at her, and Asyat was amazed at the sheer size of his eyes.  They were still now, beautifully blue as well.  Without thinking about it, she stood up to go touch the dragon.  His rider was gone, it couldn't hurt.  The brown himself seemed to know her plans, and lowered his head to make it easier for her to reaach.
  "Asyat!"  Her father's voice startled her, and Asyat turned guiltily around to see her father and the dragonrider standing in the doorway.  Her father looked annoyed, and almost hesitant, but the dragonrider looked quite cheerful.  Asyat nodded her head respectfully to the rider, who smiled warmly at her. 
  "Lady Asyat I presume?"  The brownrider asked, and bowed his head to her with good humour.  Asyat didn't know how to respond, so she just shifted her weight from one foot to the other, smiling nervously. 
  She watched as her father and the rider fastened her packs up on the brown's neck, and watched as the rider talked to his dragon before calling to her.
It's so beautiful. Asyat thought.  The way they talk to one another.  If only Laer could talk that way to me....
  But the brown moved upwards into a sitting position, huffing with annoyance as he did.  Asyat could almost hear him begging to sit out in the sun just a little bit longer.  But as he turned his great head, once more towards her, Asyat heard the rider exclaim loudly,
  "Her?!"  The man shook his head, and look back at his dragon.  She heard them mumbling for several moments, and tried to figure out what they were talking about.  It was several more minutes, before the rider came over to where Asyat stood and indicated she could mount the dragon.
  "Um.."  He began as they slowly walked across the courtyard.  Sighing, he rolled his eyes, and introduced himself.  "I'm M'ron, and that big lug there is Mrinalth."
  "He's lovely."  Asyat complimented, eager to be near the dragon once more.  After her father had startled her, she'd retired to the otehr end of the courtyard to stay out of the way.
  "He says thank you."  M'ron told her, and then seeming to decide on something, he pulled her aside and looked right into her eyes.  "Your father's told me you wish to go to Harper Hall, the help people."  Asyat nodded and M'ron continued.  "Well, if you wish to help people that much Asyat, Mrinalth says you may make a fine Candidate for the clutch on Tripaldi's sands right now.  What do you say?  Would you rather be a dragonrider?" 
  Asyat didn't know what to say, she thought she would cry, laugh, pull her hair out and scream all at the same time.
She says yes, rider. Mrinalth said, to both Asyat and M'ron.  Asyat shrugged helplessly and then grinned. 
  "I suppose I do, although if Mrinalth thinks he can decide for me, he should think again.  I won't have anyone, dragon or no, male or female, making up my mind for me." 
  M'ron seemed very pleased by this.  It did owrry him slightly, although he couldn't figure out why.  He helped Asyat mount the dragon, and was glad to see the look in her eyes as she touched the soft hide for the first time.  It was almost too private for him to watch as she stroked Mrinalth's neck ridges. 
  But he had too many other things to do then let this girl have a moment.  She'd have plenty more at the Weyr, and triply so if she Impressed.  M'ron mounted his dragon easily, and gave him orders to go home to Tripaldi.

  It was as Mrinalth's wings took them easily into the air, and Asyat was looking down that she thought she hadn't told her father of her change of plans.
No matter, I'll send Laer to him once I arrive. And excitement bubbled up within her. 
I told you you'd see rainbows tomorrow. Mrinalth said quietly in her mind, and abruptly they were surrounded by the nothingness of between