“It blinked at him… .. and it said, “Why are you frowning?”
Silence fell at once, and it was only with difficulty that Laurence kept from gaping at the creature. Carver, who must have been thinking himself reprieved by now, was standing behind the dragon, mouth open; his eyes met Laurence’s with a desperate look, but he drew up his courage and stepped forward, ready to address the dragon once more.
Laurence stared at the dragon, at the pale frightened boy, and then took a deep breath and said to the creature, “I beg your pardon, I did not mean to. My name is Will Laurence; and yours?”
No discipline could have prevented the mummer of shock that went about the deck. The dragonet did not seem to notice, but puzzled at the question for several moments, and finally said, with a dissatisfied air, “I do not have a name.”
Laurence had read over Pollitt’s books enough to know how to answer; he asked, formally, “May I give you one?”
It- or rather he, for the voice was definitely masculine- looked him over again, paused to scratch at an apparently flawless spot on his back, then said with unconvincing indifference, “If you please.”
And now Laurence found himself completely blank. He had not given any real thought to the process of harnessing at all, beyond doing his best to see that it occurred, and he had no idea what an appropriate name might be for a dragon. After an awful moment of panic, his mind somehow linked dragon and ship, and he blurted out, “Temeraire,” thinking of the noble dreadnought which he had seen launched, many years before: that same elegant gliding motion.”
- His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik