http://raindropfloss.livejournal.com/ ([identity profile] raindropfloss.livejournal.com) wrote in [community profile] ship_manifesto2011-05-15 03:49 pm

Fire-breathers aside

Fandom: Dragon Riders Of Pern
Pairing: Alemi/Elgion
Spoilers: For mostly insignificant filler stories
Word Count: 271
Warning: Mostly consists of quotes as evidence

I once picked up a book called Dragonsong by Anne Mccaffrey. It is fairly amazing. You can see the summary here.

The main character is called Menolly, a name which I did not like, and then changed to Mellony  while I read. She has horrid parents (Yanus, the father, and Mavi, the mother), and a horrid sister called Sella, and a wonderful brother named Alemi.

Alemi
is pretty much the only family member who has more than good things to say about Mellony, and oh here's a shocker, he actually completely loves her. Which was sort of making me ship them, until today. I don't not-ship them now; I've just found something I ship more. Though, I still suspect that Elgion (the Harper, or teacher through music, who was called in after the former Harper passed away) and Mellony are the author's End Game.

In any case, I reached Chapter Eight, and Alemi/Elgion like woah. In the previous chapter, Elgion had barely met Alemi, and he was the only person he'd ever met who said they'd seen a Fire Lizard before. Which was odd for him, because Alemi, he thought, seemed incredibly intelligent and all things lovely, despite the fact that most believed Fire Lizards a myth. In truth, they do exist, and this is something Elgion discovered in Chapter Seven from a Dragon Rider. Alemi breaks his leg, and as someone who's normally busy 24/7, he grows bored, grabs a crutch, and steers himself right into the path of Elgion.

And now I shall proceed to quote the book at you and inwardly flail over them.

They talked of other things then, until the fishing fleet returned—two men of the same age but different background: one with an inquisitive interest in the world beyond his Sea Hold, and the other quite willing to satisfy it. Elgion was, in fact, delighted to find none of Yanus's grievousness and inflexibility in Alemi, and the Harper began to feel that after all he might be able to follow Master Robinton's ambitious plan of broadening understanding beyond the limits of this Sea Hold.

Alemi was back the following day after the children had been dismissed, with more questions. He stopped mid-sentence finally, apologizing profusely for taking so much of Elgion's time.
"I tell you what, Alemi, I'll teach you what you'd like to know if you'll teach me how to sail."

"Teach you to sail?"

Elgion grinned. "Yes, teach me to sail. The smallest child in my class knows more about that than I do, and my professional standing is in jeopardy. After all, a Harper is supposed to know everything. I may be wrong but I can't imagine that you need both legs to sail one of those little skirls the children use."

Alemi's face lit up, and he pounded the Harper on the back with enthusiasm.

"Of course I can. By the First Shell, man, I'd be glad to do it Glad."

And nothing would satisfy Alemi but to take the Harper down to die Dock Cavern immediately and give him the fundamentals of seamanship. In his own subject, Alemi was as good an instructor as the Harper; and Elgion was able to tack across the Harbor by himself by the end of the first lesson. Of course, as Alemi remarked, the wind was from the right quarter and the sea calm, ideal sailing conditions.

"Which rarely prevail?" asked Elgion; and he was rewarded by Alemi's tolerant chuckle. "Well, practice makes perfect, and I'd better learn the practical."

"And the theory."

So their friendship was cemented by mutual exchanges of knowledge and long visits together.

...

One clear bright morning, Elgion decided to put his solution to the test He dismissed the children early, then sought out Alemi and suggested that today was not only a fine day but the sea was rough enough to test his ability. Alemi laughed, cast a wise eye at the clouds, and said that it would be mild as a bathing pool by afternoon but that the practice now would be useful to Elgion's progress.

...

"The lads say you saw fire lizards there once," Elgion found fee words out of his mouth before he could censor them, Alemi shot him a long amused look.

"Let's say I can't think what else it could've been. They weren't wherries: too fast, too small, and wherries can't maneuver that way. But fire lizards?" He laughed and shrugged his
shoulders, indicating his own skepticism.

"What if I told you that there are such things? That F'nor, Canth's rider, Impressed one in Southern and so did five or six other riders? That the Weyrs are looking for more fire lizard clutches, and I've been asked to search the beaches?"

Alemi stared at the Harper. Then the skiff rocked in the subtle cross currents. "Mind now, pull the tiller hard aport. No, to your left, man!"

They had the looming Dragon Stone comfortably abaft before further conversation.

"You can Impress fire lizards?" If Alemi's voice was incredulous, an eager light sparkled in his eyes, and Elgion knew he'd made an ally; he told as much as he, himself, knew.

"Well, that would explain why you rarely see grown ones, and why they evade capture so cleverly. They hear you coming." Alemi laughed, shaking his head. "When I think of the times ..."

"Me, too." Elgion grinned broadly, remembering his boyhood attempts to rig a successful trap.

...

As they tacked into the Dock Cavern late that afternoon, Alemi had a final word for Elgion. "You understand why you're not to know it was Menolly who did the teaching?"

"The Sea Hold is not disgraced." Elgion felt Alemi's hand tighten on his arm so he nodded. "But I would never betray that confidence."


Okay, so those were the key moments, though the entire chapter is Alemi and Elgion talking and boating together, and being vaguely adorable. Then in Chapter Nine, I practically got the giggles over Elgion's ridiculousness toward Alemi.

Some of the young Harper's worst apprehensions were relieved by Tgellan, the bronze wingleader in charge of that Fall.

"I myself told them you were safe, and a good thing, too. They were all ready to mount a search. Which, for old Yanus, is a remarkable concession."

Elgion grimaced. "I suppose it wouldn't look well to lose two Harpers in a short time."

"Nonsense. Already Yanus prizes you above fish! Or so Alemi said."

"Was he angry?"

"Who? Yanus?"

"No, Alemi."

"Why? I'd say he was better pleased than Yanus to hear you were safe and scoreless at Benden.

...

"They do indeed, sir," Elgion replied warmly. "I have seen, touched and fed a bronze fire lizard; his name is Rill. He's about as big as my forearm ..."

"You did? He is?" Alemi had pushed through the crowd, breathless from excitement and the exercise of hobbling as fast as he could down the holdway.

...

Rider and dragon winked out, drawing a startled exclamation of delight from everyone. Alemi caught Elgion's eye, and the Harper had to suppress his grin: he'd share the full jest with Alemi later.


You can download a typo-ridden version of Dragonsong and its counterparts here, but I'd recommend the physical book.

[identity profile] realpestilence.livejournal.com 2011-05-17 11:30 am (UTC)(link)
I've always liked these two together, and re-reading the book as an adult does open your eyes to subtext that's easy to miss as a young reader who's focussing on Menolly.

I think Alemi and Elgion fit well together, a good mix of different background experiences, senses of humor, open-mindedness and willingness to learn. If nothing else, after Elgion moves on to another post in the future, Alemi will have had his point of view broadened; and Elgion will have first hand knowledge of just how hard many Holders have to work for survival. ~thoughtful

[identity profile] elizabby.livejournal.com 2011-10-05 05:11 am (UTC)(link)
Hmm. It has been a long time since I've read these books - I preferred the later ones with Jaxom (The White Dragon) and F'nor leading the weyrs to get rid of the Red Star. Sounds like I should go back and read more closely!

I agree with you about reading the girl's name as "Mellony" - did this for ages! But no, the End Game isn't with Elgion... but there are lots of lovely opportunities for shipping in the whole story arc! Thanks for sharing, and reminding me of these wonderful books!