They stood outside the Great Hall of the Citadel awaiting Galadriel. They had recently been to the resting houses where they were bathed and given suitable clothes for a council. Sean rather liked the silver tunic and long royal blue cloak, but Lira had fought over wearing the floor length violet dress Galadriel had given her. Sean had finally managed to make her wear it by bribery and what she called `treachery’. Lira crossed her arms angrily.
“I look ridiculous! How did I let you talk me into this?” she asked.
“Because I threatened to kiss you if you didn’t,” he leaned against the wall proudly.
She rolled her eyes as he continued. “Don’t worry. You look beautiful. It matches your eyes, and I’ll kiss you again nether the less.”
“Just try it, Sean,” she dared, and almost wished she hadn’t when he came nearer.
Before Sean could move closer, the door swung open, and Galadriel exited closing it behind her.
“The Valar have gathered to meet you not all of them. But be wise both of you. They rule this land, and they merely wish to help you. Do not contradict them, and do not attempt argue,” she put her focus mainly on Lira.
Lira sighed. “Can we go in now?”
“Yes, you may.”
The doors swung open though no hands forced them to open. Sean and Lira looked at each other and then into the Great Hall. A great circular marble table formed, and rays of silver light beamed through the windows and lighted their forms as they walked in.
Lira looked amazed at seeing the Valar. They were the Gods and Goddesses who ruled this world. She recognized Varda instantly. The Star Queen was more beautiful than anything she have ever seen. Her hair flowed with a starlit radiance, and she bore silver eyes. Varda was seated beside her husband Manwe who Sean knew could kill anyone with a single touch of his pinky. Ulmo was seated there as well. His hair fell to his shoulders in blue waves, and upon his finger was fixed a ring with a stone, which seemed to flow like the ocean waves themselves. Yavanna was also there, and she was beautiful wearing emerald green robes beautiful flowers in her rich brown hair. Tulkas the wrestler was also there, and his muscles rippled under his dark tunic. Nienna the Weeper was seated. She was beautiful in her own way, and Sean could see beautiful pity within her eyes when she looked upon the American and Lira. Varie the weaver also was seated there, and she held in her hands a beautiful tapestry, which she spread out on the table before her.
“Approach, and be welcomed,” Manwe spoke.
Sean felt it right to bow, and Lira followed his same idea with a curtsy. They were seated at the head of the table so each of the Valar could fix their eyes upon them.
“Well,” Lira sighed. “We came here for some answers. My question is, who are we? What do we have to do with each other? And what are we supposed to do?”
Manwe spoke. “Long ago during the days of Morgoth, he created a powerful race of dragons. Glaurung and Smaug were two of many. He planted them in Middle Earth. But in case he failed, he placed two great dragons within the world beyond. He hid them deep within a cave under the earth. He furthermore placed them in a magic pool, which veiled them from our eyes. But when Vortigern began building there, we turned our attention to it. We knew we had to reach the dragons to separate them from Morgoth because he was still poisoning their minds waiting for the opportune moment for them to attack. Instead, the dragons quarreled among themselves within their minds. We sent a young boy into the world of men to tell Vortigern to look deep within the mountain. The boy longed to free one of the dragons.” Sean stirred as Manwe continued.
“The dragons awoke when he brought his men in. A great battle ensued between them. One was victorious but the other flew away too weak to continue. We called to her to return to us. Her mind was greatly weakened by the other dragon and by Morgoth. She longed to be free from his hold so we released her and comforted her. But we could not erase the memories of the other dragon. They were connected telekinetically, and they would always haunt each other. The boy spent much time with the dragon and longed to help her, so he came to us and offered to give up part of himself for the dragon. We intended simply to create a different form for the dragon and reborn it into human form. But the boy wished for part of his memory to go to her so she could forget the other dragon, which haunted her. So they were linked. Part of the dragon’s mind was exchanged for the boy’s mind. Part of his soul and heart as well. So in essence, you both are linked.”
Lira looked at Sean. “You were the boy.”
“However,” Varda spoke in a voice soft as silk. “we let the souls rest while we began to change the dragon’s form into human. While we did this task, the Enemy confused them. He took their minds, hearts, and souls and caused them to be exactly opposite. You both could still speak to each other, but no longer would you recognize each other or know who you were. In order to protect you, Eru caused the boy to be reborn in America. The girl remained in Middle Earth. But now the boy had half a dragon’s heart, and the girl did as well. Because you share minds, you have seen each other in dreams and visions. And because you share souls, you both have been hunted by the enemy.”
“The dragon,” Lira said softly.
“Yes,” Manwe replied. “He hunts you, and he wants you both Lira most of all.”
“Why?” she asked.
“We bestowed gifts upon both of you. Sean received a stone,” The American set it upon the table. “It opens the door to Middle Earth. Lira received a pearl,” she unfastened the necklace. “It opens the door to Sean’s world. So they could not leave either world unless they were together. The other dragon longs to battle with you, Lira not only in one way but another way as well. Morgoth has ordered him to mate with you so a new breed will fall upon the earth. He will try to separate you from Sean. He wants your gifts as well so he can come to Middle Earth and free his master after he channels your power.”
“What power?” asked Lira.
“The power you both have buried deep within you,” Nienna answered.
“Morgoth has been stirring in the dark,” Mandos said. “He has done something to the other dragon. The other walks within Sean’s world.”
Varda spoke softly. “We are sending you to destroy him, but you must do it together. If you don’t, you will fail.”
“What happens if we fail?” answered Lira.
Manwe did not answer. Silence was too much for Lira. She detested it. Lira stood up and took her necklace leaving the Great Hall angrily. Sean sighed.
“Thank you, my lords,” he bowed and turned to leave.
Before he left, Nienna dropped a single tear and said in a clear but soft pitiful voice, “This will be a difficult road for you both. But take hope, Sean. Deep inside, you know the love you bear for one another.”
“Yes,” Varda answered. “I can tell from the star glass you have given her.”
Sean smiled and left the hall quickly. He saw Lira heading down the stairs and raced after her.
“Lira wait!” This only quickened her pace.
He finally caught up with her in the courtyard and grabbed her arm. “Let go!” she demanded.
“Look,” he took both of her wrists. “I don’t know what your problem is, but you’re going to change it.”
“Don’t you get it?” she yelled in frustration. “I’m a dragon! I always was a dragon!”
“Wrong!” he answered. “You were a dragon, but a weak one. You are only part dragon as I am. You fought to your last. The Valar took you and cared for you. They gave you a new form with my heart. But Morgoth confused us, our minds. It is not a curse. We thought it was, but we were wrong.” She opened her mouth to speak, but he interrupted, “Let me finish! We have to use our powers together to destroy the other dragon. I need you to be calm, Lira.”
Sean brushed a hand across her cheek, but she flinched. “You don’t even remember anything of who you were before. Neither do I,” she said. “How can I trust you?”
“Be patient, Lira. You’ll trust me in time, and I will trust you. First we must leave Valinor. We must become close if we wish to succeed.”
Lira stood on the ship looking out at the moonlight falling upon the still sail. They had crossed the great barrier into the world beyond. She no longer became forced into the dragon form, but she could still take it on if she wished as could Sean. She held the star glass in her hand looking back at the mist, which concealed her home, her world. Sean knew it must be difficult for her to leave everything she had ever known behind. He slowly came up behind her and leaned on the balcony. She did not look at him but kept her eyes fixed upon the stars.
“You look beautiful,” he said noting the flowing silver dress, which fell below her shoulders. Her hair fell long and soft down her back, and a circlet of Mithril rested on her head.
“It was a gift from Galadriel. She bid me wear it.”
Sean took her hand softly in his and looked up at the stars with her. “I remember the night they showered us.”
“What is your power?” she asked changing the subject.
“Unlike other dragons, I have the power to heal myself and others of fatal wounds. I do not have much skill in fighting though.”
“Then I will have to teach you in dragon form and out of it how to fight.”
“And I will teach you of my world, how to dress, how to act, how to look, and how to dance.”
She wrinkled her nose. “I do not dance.”
“I shall teach you.”
“What is wrong with the way I look then?” she asked.
“Absolutely nothing,” he grinned brushing a hand across her cheek.
The touch was so light, but it sent shocks through hr body and shivers up her spine. Before she could open her mouth to speak, he continued.
“But you must disguise yourself if only to delay `Judgment Day’ as it were.”
“The time will come soon enough,” she answered.
He grasped her arm sharply. The firm demanding move caught her off guard, and her instincts told her to fight back. “I will not let him take you from me,” Sean growled.
“You speak as if I am yours, Sean!” she wrenched her arm away.
“You are, and I am yours as well. We are one, Lira in everything but physical form. But our memories are stumbling blocks. We have both been reborn, and we have a mission. That mission is not simply to destroy the other dragon and keep him from Middle Earth. It is to unite our hearts, minds, and souls once again.”
“And if I do not wish to unite with you?” she asked.
“That is what we must overcome.”