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Chapter 8


Important Events
  • Seraphina and Lady Corongi argue about Glisselda's perspective on dragons
  • Seraphina induces a vision to learn more about Miss Fusspots and sees that she has a scaly tail—and thus must be half-dragon
  • Miss Fusspots, in reality Okra Carmine, tracks Seraphina down, confronting her and learning that there are other half-dragons
  • Seraphina realizes that all the grotesques in her garden are probably also half-dragons

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Seraphina apologizes for running into Lady Corongi, who responds disdainfully. Realizing who Seraphina is, Lady Corongi criticizes her for arrogance and for changing Princess Glisselda's opinion on dragons. Seraphina defends herself and says that Glisselda is unprepared to deal with dragons, and she must learn to if she is to be queen someday. With an ominous declaration that by the time Glisselda is queen this human-dragon conflict will be concluded like it should have been, Lady Corongi stalks off.

Seraphina returns to her rooms and practices on her instruments for a while before going to bed. She goes to tend to her garden and regards Miss Fusspots, remembering seeing her at the Blue Salon earlier. Unable to contain her curiosity, Seraphina takes Miss Fusspots's hand to induce a vision.

Seraphina finds herself in an ill-lit room. Miss Fusspots, in the process of undressing, freezes and looks around, demanding to know who's there. Seraphina sees that Miss Fusspots has a stubby, scaly tail.

Her shock throws her out of the vision. Miss Fusspots is a half-dragon, just as Seraphina is—does that mean that all the grotesques in her garden are also half-dragons? Seraphina ponders this an hour, lying awake in her bed. She suddenly hears Miss Fusspots pounding at her door and shouting; Seraphina gets up and opens the door, only to be smacked in the face by a book.

Miss Fusspots demands discretion concerning her tail and also an explanation for how Seraphina could spy on her. Seraphina struggles but manages to force herself to show Miss Fusspots her scales, shocking the old woman. After a brief silence, Miss Fusspots responds with rage, infuriated that Seraphina only has to deal with a couple scales and not an entire tail.

Seraphina explains about her visions to Miss Fusspots and Miss Fusspots tells her that her stomach has very short-range prescient abilities, which was what enabled her to find Seraphina. Miss Fusspots makes Seraphina promise not to spy on her again and also tells Seraphina her name, Okra Carmine, a Ninysh ambassador at the Goreddi court.

Seraphina returns to bed, her mind whirling.

There are other half-dragons.