Wordcount: 370 words
Summary: Please note, this is currently a very rough draft. There will be spelling and grammatical errors afoot as well as flat out bad writing, info dumps, plot holes, flat out contradictions, and uneven characterization and pacing. (Content is also subject to constant change as I take an editing chainsaw to the story.)
It’s spring again and this time she’d graduating with something that feels harder won than her secondary education. They’re standing out on a field with the other hatchlings from that year, all of them excited, but keeping as calm and collected as they can.
Everyone has turned out to see them, the city of Oak Grove treats the graduations as a yearly celebration and there’s something half festival and half carnival going on around them. Aaron is in the crowd, as are all of the foxhawks. She catches sight of Minder watching from the wings with the fledglings and hatchlings. They aren’t allowed to wave, but she grins and he bobs his head.
Her parents are waiting in the crowd along with her brother and her uncle, and her uncle’s new apprentice Anthony. Cybil is there as well, with her new fiancé Gordon and she looks as happy as May feels.
Baron is standing beside her, trying very very hard not to fidget but he’s so full of energy he’s making her want to fidget. They’ve spent a long time in classes working and studying to get all of this done in a year. There’s a war coming and black foxhawks are going to be needed in spades.
There’s a speech, there’s always a speech, first from the duke of the city and then from the head of the academy and then from the leader of their fledgling class. Thankfully each speech is shorter than the one before and the leader of their class keeps it short and simple. More verbose that ‘I’m proud of you’ but less winded than the others.
They come up, pair by pair to be presented the brass tokens that mean they’ve made it through. May slips her on her belt and Baron waits as she clips his on his harness. More decoration than anything else for the foxhawks, but they both feel oddly proud.
The foxhawks in attendance are still inclined to snub Baron, but the attitude has waned somewhat. They’ve proven themselves dedicated and trustworthy and slowly things have changed. Maybe by the time the war is over they will have pushed past the death sentence that Baron has hung over their heads.