Night fell fast upon Caras Galadhon. Sean changed for the dinner meal after unhitching Jex and ensuring the horse had fresh water and hay. He faced himself in the mirror and combed back his golden hair and remarking on the fit of the white tunic and black breeches he wore. Perhaps elven garments was not such an inconvenience to wear after all.
Sean made his way through the courtyards and to the meeting tents where many elves were gathered around the table. Sean took his place next to Rumil and then noticed Lira’s chair was vacant. Of course, he began making inquiries, but none of the maids had seen her in her room. The elven ladies declared they had not spoken to her since the morning, and the guardians of the entrance informed Sean that she had not returned.
“Perhaps she decided to spend a night within the forest, Sean. You know how independent that girl is,” Rumil suggested.
“No, I don’t believe she would do that. She knew I would be seeing her shortly otherwise she would not have said so. I’m going out to look for her.”
“Let us go with you, my friend,” Orophin stepped up. “Sometimes the woods of Lorien are not as safe as they used to be in the night.”
“Well, if you insist. I would appreciate the company. Thank you.”
Sean mumbled under his breath, “What I wouldn’t kill for a cell phone right now.”
Suddenly, a scream pierced the night, and Sean’s entire body tensed. Several more shrieks followed, and a great wind seemed to blow through the trees. A mighty sound was heard, and Sean knew exactly what it was even before the calls were heard.
“It’s a dragon!”
“By Eru, a dragon!”
Several archers stepped into the courtyard running at their light foot speed. Sean looked up toward the sky, and then he saw it. The dragon circled overhead moving at a quick pace. It swooped down low towards the trees, silver eyes flickering within the night. The dragon’s entire body was a shining amethyst, but it did not seem intent upon doing any harm. Yet, the elven archers arrows were tipped with fire, and they were excellent marksmen. However, every arrow that came near the dragon was instantly extinguished with a single gust of air released from her mouth.
“This is most strange,” Rumil said to his brother.
“It just seems to be circling the city. What is it trying to tell us?” Orophin looked up at the dragon his eyes searching for some kind of answer but not entirely trusting the beast. And then he called out to his men, “Lower your arrows! Do it NOW!”
The archers obeyed, and as the creature circled again once more, it released a loud roar striking fear into each elf’s heart. The dragon lowered its head, and Sean knew it was not in an attack position. It merely floated. Sean met those deep silver eyes for a moment and with a deep clarity, he knew exactly who it was.
Without a sound, the creature turned flying above the trees and disappearing into the night. Sean instantly ran making way for the stables. Rumil and Orophin followed close behind.
“I’m sorry, my friends,” Sean said as he hitched up Jex. “This is one trip I must make alone.”
“If you are seeking that creature, you are mad,” Rumil pointed out to Sean.
“I know where to look.”
Orophin replied, “Then you should let us come with you. Dragons are not to be trusted. And what of the lady Lira?”
“If she comes back, tell her I will return in the morning. I will explain what I can to you later. Do not fear. I will return with no bones broken,” Sean pulled himself up into his saddle. “Thank you for all your help, my friends.”
He nodded, and with one kick of his heels, Jex instantly galloped out of the stable and into the woods. The two elves watched their friend disappear from view and could only pray he would return safe and sound.
Sean entered the dark cave sensing her presence instantly. He could not see her yet, but she was here. He stopped noticing the faint glow of the cavern. Sean grinned as she appeared her amethyst scales shiny but translucent for she was still wary. He noticed a beautiful black pearl in the shape of a diamond resting at the point where her powerful neck met her shoulders, and he wondered where she received it. A teardrop marking almost like a tattoo was upon her forehead, and smoke blew from her nostrils as if she had been fire testing. Her wings were folded in toward her body resting comfortably. She was an amazing creature powerful and wondrous to behold. Sean stared into her violet eyes noticing the ring of silver containing them and the other ring housing the narrow pupil. He would know those eyes anywhere. She stretched languidly in a bored manner, and her sharp claws protruded from her paws. She shook, and the translucent scales tumbled down her body.
“You found my secret,” she spoke in her mind, for he did not need words.
“So then why have you come? To gloat over my curse?”
“Is it such a curse?” he asked.
“No,” she replied. “Dragons are beautiful creatures and powerful.”
“So I have seen in Lorien.”
She frowned. “They offended me with those miniscule arrows. As if they could defeat me with those!”
“How did you extinguish the fire.”
She turned locking eyes with him. “Frost breather, Sean. A frost breather.”
“You didn’t come to dinner,” he lowered himself to the floor grinning crookedly in a joking manner.
“Well, I don’t think they would have enjoyed my appetite, which still hasn’t been filled,” she glared.
“Well, then I’ll make sure and watch out for myself, Lira.”
“I know how to lift your curse.”
The dragon let out a rumbling laugh. “You are even more arrogant than the elves. I should teach you a lesson.”
“But you wont,” he added. “For you know who I am and who we are together.”
“It is not so difficult to discover is it? The mark upon our palms, the silver within violet of your eyes. Or the fact that you are a dragon,” he smiled.
“Why do you find this so amusing?”
“I find you always amusing.”
Lira circled Sean’s back with her wing and drew him close to her body. It was more of a move of want and protection rather than anger. Sean lifted his hand to the mark upon her forearm which would be here palm in human form.
“When the moon disappears, you shall return to your self, Lira. But tonight is yours. Let us leave this place. You can begin to discover your powers of a dragon…astral us.”
“It is lengthening and tiring.”
`We have all night.”
“As you wish, Caspian.”
Sean grinned and took her scales in his hand climbing onto her back. Her amethyst eyes flickered for him, and she spread her wings exiting the cave and looked above at the starry sky. Once the moonlight fell upon her, Lira’s entire dragon form was revealed as a beautiful amethyst form soaring into the sky far above the floating white clouds. Lira moved further into the sky where the stars shined in the heavens. The sight was like a field of sparkling diamonds in a black blanket of night. Sean noticed Heluin approaching the blueness of Varda’s star shining within the night.
“Astral us, now! Bathe us in the stars!”
Lira’s amethyst eyes flickered as they approached the blue star. Suddenly time seemed to stop as her wings touched the blue dust. A great beam of light issued from her eyes and orbed out to cover the entire sky. Great rays of light burst out before Sean like shooting stars, and he raised his hands up longing to catch one of the sparkles within his hand. And finally he did. Sean encaged the glowing burst of starlight within his hand, and it began to glow with a silver light. A smile came to Lira’s face as she observed him from the corner of her eye. She was growing weary, however, and ended the astral. The sky returned to constant stars, but Sean still held the moving one within his hand.
“Return us to the earth,” he ordered Lira.
Lira left the comfort of the stars soaring down below the clouds so the starlight was hidden. She was too weary to return to the cave and stopped upon a small island within the Sea. Sean climbed off the dragon’s back and placed the moving star within a small crystal bottle attached to the chain of mithril which was fixed with small beadlike amethysts. Sean slipped the chain around Lira’s neck.
“A gift of the stars.”
The dragon nodded and made a low mumble and dropped to the earth exhausted from the astral. Her wing found Sean’s body, and she wrapped it around him, and he drew close to Lira. She fell asleep instantly, but Sean lay awake for a short while and looked into the star glass.
Sean softly kissed her brow and moved for her lips, but Lira’s violet eyes fluttered open, and she withdrew her arms from his neck. He grinned and ran his fingers through her hair.
“You slept beautifully, like an angel.”
“Like a dragon,” she answered and let out a yawn.
“Do you remember our night within the stars?”
“Vaguely,” she tried to think back and found a picture of Sean raising his arms to catch a great bursting star. She touched the star glass.
“It is yours. I shall need it back someday, but you can keep it now. I studied your race and found out a few things.”
She began walking, stretching her arms above her head as the grains of sand squeezed in between her feet. She released her long dark hair from its bun, and it pooled to her waist as she listened.
“There are many different types of dragons. You are an amethyst the most powerful of the group of neutral dragons. There are many others copper, brass, white, black, red…but I discovered an interesting story of the race.” She was silent so he continued. “Vortigern was trying to build his fort on this dome shaped hill during the 5th century, but his fort kept collapsing. They were going to commit human sacrifice so the fort could be built, but the boy who was going to be sacrificed told them to dig far down within the earth. They found a pool there where two dragons slept. But the dragons awoke when disturbed and fought together. One finally flew away while the other was victorious. Tales do not say what happened after, and I do not know if it is pertinent to our situation.”
“What do you mean?”
“Our marks. Two dragons battling while circling a pearl. We know what the pearl is and who one of the dragons is, but the other?”
“It cannot be you,” she said noticing his form.
“Perhaps if we returned to my own world, it would be clearer. You did not become like this until your eighteenth. I did not become who I am until I turned eighteen like you.”
“What are you talking about become who you are?” she stopped facing him.
“I became such as you during the night, but I was pure golden.”
“But if I came with you to your world, would I change?” she asked.
“I don’t know. But we cannot leave this world without the Valar’s approval.”
“Then we shall fly tonight for Valinor.”
“No,” he answered with a grin taking her hand. “We shall sail today for Valinor.”