Dan & Dave
He thought there was someone watching him and opened his eyes and there, next to his bed, were two kids. One was kind of short and the other was tall. Kind of a 'Mutt and Jeff' pair. The short one spoke first. "This place is weird. All these beds and only two of you here."
Sam sat up, "Well, John and I are here a year early. Next year all the beds will be full."
The tall thin boy said, "We shall have no problem then. Who is this John?"
Sam pointed to the bed on the other side of his. "I'm Sam. Who are you guys?"
"Did not my great great grandfather inform you I would be arriving?" the short boy asked.
"King Damjut? But he didn't tell me your name or that you would have a friend along."
"I am Prince Danagal."
"Hi. And who are you?" Sam asked, looking at the other boy.
"I am Davire, Prince of the Elves of Windy Valley."
"Well, it's good to meet you." Sam wondered how he was supposed to act around two princes, since he was in bed in his pjs.
Danagal said, "Great great grandfather sent us on this mission with instructions that we were to keep our rank hidden and that we were to protect you and follow your orders."
"Really? Well, I guess we need less official sounding names for the two of you." Sam remarked.
John who had been awakened when the others had started talking, said, "Dan and Dave. Now let's get some sleep."
So the two princes chose beds on either side of Sam and John.
* * *
In the morning Dan and Dave found uniforms in their cupboards. Dan's had a burgundy D where Dave's had an E.
"Where did these come from?" Dan asked.
John giggled, "Duh. This is a magic school."
Dave laughed hysterically at Dan's red face.
Sam dressed and started for the door. "C'mon. Breakfast should be ready. We don't want the bullies stealing our food."
Dan growled as he pulled on his boots. "Not if they value their Jewels." That got the other three giggling as they left their barracks headed for their breakfast. Sure enough, when they arrived, two of the three bullies were starting to pick up a platter of food each.
Dan let loose with a Dwarven battle cry, produced a double edged battle ax, and leaped onto the table. "Just what are you laddies doin' with m'food?" He had his foot on one bully's hand, pinning it to the table and the blade of his ax to the other's throat.
The platters were dropped back on the table, but before anything else happened, Mr. Joshua approached. "I'd have thought you would have learned you lesson about messing with these Zero Years. Seems that report I received this morning was accurate. Welcome to you two. What are your names?"
Sam decided that the whole school didn't need to know they were princes so he introduced them quickly. "Mr Joshua, this is Dan and Dave. They joined us last night."
"Well I hope things go better for you the rest of the day. Dan, if you would release these two so they can go to my office, I'd appreciate it." Mr. Joshua said with a menacing look at the two upper class offenders.
"Well, I s'pose. But you know I haven't beheaded a troll in a week at least. I was hopin' fer a bit of practice." Dan winked at the headmaster as he lowered his ax.
Mr. Joshua replied, "Well, perhaps next time. Now you two better move before Dan changes his mind."
The four boys sat at the table and enjoyed their breakfast.
For some reason, John was really looking forward to casting class. Mr. Draper was obviously put out to have two new students that he was not informed about. He wasn't changing his lesson just to accommodate two new creatures. They weren't even Human!
He wanted them to cast a glass and then fill it with water. This was actually an advanced third year level task. He explained, it and the boys shrugged.
John carefully followed the directions and his glass was somewhat misshapen but it did hold the water he conjured.
Dan and Dave both reached out and retrieved a water-skin and took a drink. Sam smiled and a tall glass of water with ice cubes appeared in his hand.
John was the first to notice his shirt now had an orange W. He pointed to Dan and Dave's sleeves and their bright red D and E. Sam's M was now a dark green. Mr. Draper noticed the changes and furiously dismissed the boys.
Sam asked, "Dan, Dave, where did you get those?"
Dave tried to explain a bit of Elven magic, unsuccessfully, though.
The rest of the day went uneventfully.
* * *
The next morning in casting class, Mr. Draper was droning on about casting a spell to make a bolt of energy. Sam was trying to stay tuned into what he was saying. Dan and Dave were not paying any attention to the man at all. John was the only one who was really paying attention. Finally Mr. Draper asked who wanted to try. John tried and on his third attempt he managed to shoot a spark across the room.
"Good. Now which of you three think you can do better?" Mr. Draper asked in a scornful tone.
Without really looking Dan and Dave both launched a bolt across the room causing two desks to shatter into kindling. Sam sighed and sent a bolt of healing energy across the room and reassembled the two desks. The period was over and the boys left Mr. Draper, once again open mouthed in shock, and headed to their next class.
Mrs. Wilson was covering some of the ancient myths. However Dan and Dave had differing versions from their race's point of view. There was lively discussion and all five of them learned from the new views this taught them.
On the way to lunch Dan commented, "I think I might have to increase my 'space' to hold notes on these ideas from Mrs. Wilson."
Dave said, "I already have. I made a whole new room for things I've gotten here."
Sam thought for a minute then asked, "Could you guys teach us how to do that?"
Dwarf and Elf stopped in their tracks. "You don't have a dimensional shift space?" Dan asked incredulously.
"A what?" John asked.
"We have some work to do. Let's go get food." Dave said.
Dan shook his head. "I think Elves could out-eat a dwarf."
Sam grinned, "And they stay thin. It's disgusting."
"We have a high metabolism. And disgusting is a fat elf."
After filling their trays, the four boys went to their usual table. Dave did a wave of his hand before sitting down. John asked, "What did you do?"
"I put up a sticky shield. Since trouble seems to find us here, I decided a little prevention might be in order. Any thing coming into contact with the shield that has an unpleasant intent will stick to it.� No sooner had Dave explained his shield, then there was a 'splat', and a serving of chocolate pudding was suspended above them.
Sam sighed. "Shame, that was the best thing on today's menu."
"Not to worry." Dave said and the pudding flew back across the room and splatted onto their favorite bully's chest. "Return to sender spell. Very handy, and fun." All four boys broke out in hysterical laughter.
As they were leaving the cafeteria, a teacher told them the headmaster wanted to see them. So they turned left instead of right and were soon facing the headmaster.
"You boys know that Mr. Draper is not pleased with you."
"Well, Jeez, he is so boring. And I don't use a wand and Dave and Dan don't either. John needs one but I bet we could teach him more in less time," Sam said.
Dave and Dan nodded in agreement. The headmaster wondered if maybe Sam was right. He noted that the three boys had progressed to bright yellow letters and John's was dark orange, well above where they should be. "I wonder if you're not right. I'm going to give Mr. Draper a week off from you. Here are the spells he wants you to be able to cast. Monday of the next week, see me, and we will decide if you need to return to his class or not."
The boys grinned.
"Now, about the chocolate pudding."
"Sir, I merely returned it after it was thrown at us." Dave explained quickly.
Trying, unsuccessfully, to not smile, the headmaster said, "I don't suppose returning lost property could be considered a fight. I just wanted to be sure. Now get out of here before I change my mind."
The boys made a quick exit, but could hear the headmaster laughing as they went to their next class.
* * *
That night Dan and Dave worked with Sam and John, and after only an hour both boys had created their own spaces. Sam's was more like a house with many different rooms while John had just managed a single room. Dan was very impressed with the work Sam did and remarked that it was every bit as good as the space King Damjut had.
The next morning Sam woke up in a different place. It was a bedroom with a very comfortable bed. It was a place that seemed familiar but he knew he had never been there before. He got out of bed and suddenly his clothes appeared on his body. That made him realize that he was in a magical place. He must be inside his own side dimension. He thought of being back in the dormitory, and he shifted to that location.
Dan mumbled something then asked, "Where were you? We woke up and your bed was empty."
"I was in my new bedroom. You know in the space I made last night," Sam answered.
"You were inside your space and came back out, on your own?" Dave asked.
"Ah, yeah. What's the big deal?" Sam said.
Dan sat on his bed. "Sam, only the very strongest in magic can actually go inside their space and stay there for more than a moment. Most who try to stay never return."
"Well, I woke up there and just thought of returning here, and I did. Why can't you do that?" Sam asked.
"Because I don't want to get stuck inside." Dan answered.
"Okay try this. I'll pop into your space and then if anything goes wrong I'll pop you out." Sam said.
Before Dan could reply Sam disappeared. "Pegasus Poop! He doesn't know you can't go into someone else's space." Dan disappeared and two seconds later reappeared.
Then Sam reappeared. "See, no problem."
Dan shook his head. "Sam you changed my space. I don't know what you did, but it's different. I felt the difference, it was as if it was, I don't know, friendly. It was like now the space itself wanted to help me, and it did."
Dave spoke up, "Do mine."
Sam disappeared, then Dave did. Dave appeared again followed by Sam. "Wow, Sam, that's amazing. I felt the difference too. I'm hungry, let's go get breakfast."
"Hey what about me?" John whined.
Dave grinned, "You can get breakfast, too."
Sam laughed, "Come on John." Then he disappeared.
John joined him in his room. Sam looked around and the walls changed and doorways appeared. "There, that should be better."
"Wow. You made it bigger," John said.
"Yeah, it's more like mine now. You can explore it later. We better get back before they get worried."
"I hope you all weren't worried. I made some changes in John's space,� Sam said when he reappeared.
"Ah, Sam, you weren't gone any different that with us," Dave said.
"Weird, it seemed longer to me. Oh, well, let's eat." Sam led the way out of their dorm to the cafeteria. Breakfast was uneventful, with the bullies watching them closely. As more people came in, several pointed at Sam and whispered to their friends. "Do I have something spilled on me?" Sam asked.
John stopped with a sausage link halfway to his mouth and looked Sam over. He dropped the sausage when he noticed Sam's sleeve. The M was silver. "Sam, I don't even know what rank a silver letter is."
"Huh?" Sam looked at his sleeve. "I guess this means another trip to the headmaster."
* * *
"Well Bronze, Silver, and Gold are theoretical, or were, theoretical rankings above the gemstone colors. What have you been doing?" the headmaster asked.
"Just making and modifying side dimensional spaces." Sam looked bewildered that something like that was worth the Silver rank, higher than anyone, ever.
"I don't even know what you are talking about," the Headmaster said.
Dan explained, "It is Dwarven and Elven magic and he has taken it and changed it and made it a very powerful tool. I'm anxious to tell the King and see if he has ever heard of this before."
The headmaster asked, "Can either of you do what he has done."
Both Elf and Dwarf shook their heads.
* * *
That night, Sam went into his side space and relaxed. He wondered if his parents were doing all right. So he thought to appear in his old bedroom. At first, he thought he had done something wrong, but then heard his father's voice. His room had been cleaned out and was now an office. He thought it was a good thing he had created his side dimension house, because, he no longer had a place in his parents' home. He wondered why he wasn't surprised or hurt by this development. He went over to the desk and wrote a note to his parents:
Dear Mom and Father,
Just dropped by to see how things were here.
After signing the note he conjured a few gold doubloons from an old shipwreck, and left them there by the note. That should make Father happy.
* * *