1. shy bab who thinks dragons are cuddly cuddlers who deserves all the cuddles
Aerion Zhou? Well, he's—
A bit of sunshine,
Aerion grew up mostly under the sun, so you can guess that maybe the sun seeped a bit deeper into his veins. With that, he's a soft spring sun. At first, he's shy. Just little peaks of rays through soft, rolling clouds. With a little, but not too much, prodding and poking, Aerion can grow warmer, his smile can grow brighter and his voice can be a little louder. It's a slow process getting him to start to open up but once he's gotten started, the pace will grow steadier until you have your own personal sun.
A strong pillar,
He's got a steadfast loyalty to those he cares about. Aerion doesn't mind being considered a pillar. He's been one for his mother, his stepmother and even his sister. A pillar is what he's been molded to the moment he first saw his mother cry in private. If he can't solve their problems for them, then he might as well offer what he can: an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, a pillar to lean on. Aerion knows that can go a long way, so he tries to be those for everyone he cares about.
Perhaps a soft, warm blanket,
Aerion's a protector. With Rhaenys' birth came the development of his natural big brother instict. He subconsciously coddles and protects those who seem younger or more vulnerable than he is. He loves to dote on them and maybe spoil them rotten. This trait of his may become overbearing to others at times so he has to be reminded to tone it down and to not poke nor prod too much.
He's a bit of an unsteady storm too—
Despite his outer glow, Aerion is truthfully very emotionally guarded. He may like to be everyone's support, but he firmly believes that his own emotional turmoils are only his to deal with. Often he brushes them aside, keeping them locked tight in a small box in the depths of his heart. He hates it when people see him vulnerable because it makes him seem weak. Others are okay to be vulnerable, he just doesn't like it when he himself is. He's also pretty stubborn about this and it would take time for him to let others in on what he really feels.
But he's Aerion and that's what makes him, well, him.
A blossoming Wu jade. Beloved by all. Protected. Coddled.
A lowly Wu servant. Invisible. Disposable. Beloved by none.
Except for one—
One born to wealth and privilege, another born to poverty and servitude. In their world, they were treated less like a human and more like an object. Each had their own brand of loneliness and they tried their best to cope. Then they found each other and for a while, everything was alright.
Alright didn't mean much in the world of the Wus. Alright didn't guarantee safety. Alright didn't guarantee stability. Alright didn't guarantee anything. But alright was what they were given. Alright were smidgens of happiness, crumbs of peace, hints of comfort, and in a world like theirs, alright was already a blessing.
Then cousin Zedong did the unthinkable. Whispers in the halls spoke of a girl, a cursed Liang, who had bewitched a weak-willed Zedong into betraying the Wu family and eloping. Whispers spoke of a child born out of wedlock, a sin as grave as turning one's back on the Wu name. Whispers spoke of their disappearance, never to be seen nor heard from ever again.
Many believe he's dead, hunted down by the family's best and given the punishment he deserves. Others believe he and the Liang girl were taken to the depths of the Wu family compound, never to see the light of day ever again. No one believes he's still alive.
Until Yifei received a pinwheel of five curls. A childhood signal between the cousins that whispered I'm fine.
That was it, the push the couple needed to pack whatever they can and run. Run as fast and as far away as they can. This was their only chance at freedom and they were taking it. They were going to be free or die trying.
Freedom tasted like Romanian air.
After 9 months of running, hiding and evading, they were free.
Wu Yifei and Zhou Tianyu were taken in by a kind Romanian couple, Viorica and Marius Ionescu, living in their own dragon sanctuary. There they built their new lives, chasing away the shadows of the past and welcoming the sunshine rays of their future togetehr. Viorica and Marius taught them the ways of the sanctuary which helped them repay the couple's kindness by helping around.
This time, it wasn't just alright. It was perfect, and it was more than they ever dreamed of.
Two years later, Yifei and Tianyu were gifted with a beautiful baby boy, Aerion Jiaheng Zhou. For them, Aerion was the last piece of the puzzle of their new lives and they cherished him the way they wished they were cherished back in their childhood. From the moment Aerion opened his eyes to the world, Yifei and Tianyu promised themselves that their son would want little for he would have everything he would ever need.
Their lives have settled. There was no lingering active fear. There was only happiness and contentment.
Until the Chinese Fireball arrived.
It was supposed to be a regular rundown every time a new dragon arrives in the sanctuary. But they didn't expect the Fireball to be more... traumatized than what they were told. All it took was one misstep for Tianyu to be a casualty and for their lives to be ground to ashes.
Aerion was too young to understand what had happened, he was barely 6 months old. Yifei couldn't take care of him on her own, she needed her husband. The older Ionescu couple tried their best to lessen her burden but Yifei was broken and they don't know if she'll ever recover. Tianyu was there her entire life. Now that he's gone, it's like half of her was ripped away and she was left out to bleed.
Viorica and Marius soon hire a new help around the sanctuary a year later. Na Hae-Soo was a disowned and unemployed Durmstrang dropout who needed the money and maybe just what Yifei needed.
Haesoo was a breath of fresh air for the sanctuary. She helped Yifei on her path to healing. She became her pillar, her new strength and hope. Haesoo could never replace the hole that Tianyu had left in his wife's heart, but she made a place for herself in there.
It was as if Haesoo's arrival was a miracle. Yifei started to look and feel alive. She went back to caring for her baby again and maybe, just maybe, she could find love in Haesoo once more.
They took each other as wives months later, when Yifei's smile felt genuine once more and she made peace with the fact that her Tianyu was gone.
Aerion grew up never knowing much about the world outside of the sanctuary. His mother was still wary of any Wu presence, so they limited outside contact as much as healthily possible. This didn't bother their little boy much. He had all the company he needed in his mothers, adoptive grandparents, and their dragons. On occassion, Aerion would be allowed to go with the adults whenever they make the trip to the nearby town which is his only exposure of the outside world.
When he was 2, he gained a little sister. Rhaenys Ha-Ra Na. The moment Aerion saw Rhaenys, he made a promise to himself: he'll protect his baby sister with his entire life.
When Aerion was 5, he had his first sign of magic—he accidentally broke some windows of the room when he got started by his own sister. It was fine though, she just bumped into him while enjoying the fun that came with running.
There were times when Yifei would be revisited by the pain of Tianyu's loss, and sometimes it could be really bad to the point where she would refuse to come out of bed. That's when Haesoo and their kids would drop everything to take care of her and make her feel like herself again. Sadly, it's also when Rhaenys and Aerion learned to box up their emotions, tantrums, and their own sadness. After all, their mother was topmost priority, and their own grievances can wait.
Then, when Aerion turned 8 and Rhaenys was 6, Viorica and Marius announced that they were going to Britain for a long-term collaboration with close friends of theirs who also own a smaller dragon sanctuary. They didn't plan on it but Yifei and Haesoo ended up in love with Britain and requested to instead work under Viorica and Marius' close friends. The older couple readily agreed, but under the condition that the family visit them once in a while.
With their move to Britain, Aerion received his Hogwarts letter at the age of 11. Rhaenys followed 2 years later. Now Aerion's in sixth year and Rhaenys in fourth. They're still a little guarded and a little broken, but they're managing.
speaking languages foreign to each other