It had been several months since Stella last saw Andrew, yet she found herself thinking about him nearly every day. Stella found herself wondering if she had freaked him out or frightened him, but she also knew that he was away working at the dragon sanctuary in Romania. Stella had never been the type to really fall for anybody. She was a romantic, sure, but her ideas of romance usually didn't involve envisioning another person being there. For all of her happiness and perkiness, even for all of her friends and family, Stella still found herself extremely lonely and incomplete. Or at least, she did when she wasn't around Andrew. Something about him made her feel... whole.
Stella, frustrated with how slow work had been going, told her boss that she was taking the day off and unceremoniously dumped her remaining case files on his desk before leaving the Ministry and Apparating as soon as she could. Where to? Romania... to Andrew. Now the blonde found herself standing outside of the dragon sanctuary, taking in one deep breath after another. She had this. She needed to have this. Stella worked up the courage to walk through the door and look for Andrew.
@stella,He was in the office now, working on grant applications. How drab, how no-maj. Only, mages liked the exotic for thrills. Dragons were revered for exotic, and they were coveted for precious utility of physical parts, some of which purportedly needed to be extracted while the creature still breathed to retain magical properties. But alive or dead, a dragon was a fiercesome being, nearly sentient - and this was a matter overlooked, underappreciated. Uncanny cognizance behind glittering eyes like seeing orbs used for divination. Of those, there were a few breeds whose eyes were prized for such. There was only sightless dragon, deprived of its sight as an infant. But exotics didn't make for priority budget, and like any good dragonologist, he had to put in his time. And it mattered.
It mattered to Andrew because between so much spread of human life, where mage and creature alike lived shadow lives existing in the periphery, tending to dragons was paying homage to something bigger. Andrew tapped the edge of his quill on the side of the wide ream of parchment. Purple looping lines stretched across, faded to violet where he picked up from past days' writing. He was on the back porch of the Lodge, eyeing the smoke curling up from distant ranges in drifting swirls as if he could find meaning in the form.
"Roma, I'm going for a walk. If Demetrius asks where I've gone, tell him I'll be back by dinner." Roma, a keeper was his apprentice now that he was taking on more of the policy work. A lean, mean, magic machine, Roma was a native of the land, and apprentice a formality. "Not telling Demetrius nothing. He can send his patronus or a pidgeon after you for all I care."
Well the grant was two days behind schedule, but then he'd been working with Roma on developmental socialization with the six month old Hungarian Horntails. "Fair, tell him to take it up with me, and don't let him bully you into poop shift.[/b]"
Paint flakes fluttered from the green door as it creaked shut behind him. Never good for a cathartic slam, but it added contradictory character. The air was crisp with the taste of rain on the underbelly, that second-whiff feel on the skin of imagined moisture, and the playfulness of the breeze, ducking and rolling over him and generally mussing his hair. Andrew ran a hand through it, feeling how it slipped through his fingers seconds later than he was used to. Long enough to gather into mini-man-bun, but then this was the Reserve. He was Dragonologist I. Keepers answered to him, and only he answered to Demetrius, and the only woman he'd concern himself with dressing for was half a continent away.
From somewhere behind him there was an unabashed boof! A weight came barreling into the backs of his legs and only practice kept him upright. The hell-hound wannabe pranced around him. "Down. Down boy. Down. Right, fine." The paws thudded against his chest and a snout pressed against his neck, cold and wet. Andrew shoved him off. He was a handful, Draco, and not Andrew's by any formal means, but they had an easy acquaintance after Andrew had rescued him from a self-sprung trap involving the Chinese Bluebells. Since then, Draco had become a regular on Andrew's patrols, waiting mostly patiently when Andrew went into the reserves for field study.
"Alright mate, head on." He set out towards the gate, where a figure caught his eye. Andrew meandered over, before Draco went bounding off toward the person. Andrew grumbled at the protective instinct in the loveable mutt. He was uncannily smart, but sometimes he couldn't pick up context.
"What am I even? Rubbish fluff-mutt. Draco, down." Andrew came even with the person, reaching out to sink his fingers into the mass of fluff and the narrow leather collar hidden within depths. He looked up with his fingers around the collar, and nearly lost his grip on Draco. "Stella"?