Chapter 2: On The Wings of a Dragon
The whole court was amazed when Sora showed up in the dining hall with the Dragon perched on her shoulder. Link on the other hand had hardly noticed the Dragon. He was still trying to figure out if the girl was truly Sora. After what had happened how could he be sure? And this Sora…
She was dressed in a silver gown, that dipped to her ankles. The skirt and collar was embroidered with roses in gold. Over the gown was a thin, hardly visible netting as was in fashion this season. Her hair was pulled back into a braid and another silver net, this one not quite as thin, covered it. Gold jewels, of the like which Link had never seen, attached the pieces of silver to make the net. She wore gold sandals and a silver bracelet with more of those mysterious gold jewels inlaid in it. The Dragon on her shoulder only complemented the gown.
"You look…like someone else." Link said softly as she approached where he was standing.
"Yeah…I can't believe that they're having a feast in your honor." Sora rolled her eyes. "They could have at least waited. Ugh…I hate dancing."
"Frat and Oliana don't." Link observed.
"I am going to get something to eat." The Dragon said, jumping off of Sora's shoulder. "Really now…I wonder if I can find some raw meat…"
"Her name is Gossamer." Sora told Link.
"She's lucky she doesn't have to dance." Link scowled.
"So, which of the ladies here do you choose, Link?" Sora asked with a slightly teasing smile.
"Hmm…let's see." Link turned to her. "Princess Sorella, it is my Royal Command that you dance with me."
"Cop out." Sora muttered, taking his offered hand.
Link led her onto the floor and put an arm around her waist to lead her through the steps. Sora was not very good at it, but Link had to start learning when he was only 5 years old. He made up for Sora's mistakes, twirling her around the dance for. As they danced they talked about their little winged guest.
"What do you think she's here for?" Link asked.
Sora shrugged. "Beats me. But she was trapped in that pendant. She could be a thousand years old."
"And I thought Nicodemus was old…" Link muttered.
Sora giggled. "Oh he is, I assure you. I bet he's, oh, 5 thousand years old!"
"Sora!" Link surpressed his laughter as best he could.
Sora entwined her fingers with his and pulled him out of the crowd of dancing lords and ladies. She let go of his hand and pushed out the door, letting it swing shut behind her. A moment after she peered back in and beckoned him to follow with the crook of a finger. Link glanced back uneasily at the crowd, knowing that he would be in serious trouble if he got caught. Not even the king was above such things as leaving in the middle of a courtly affair.
But Link found himself unable to resist. He moved quickly to the door and walked out, ignoring the suspicious glares of the guards. Sora was nowhere in sight when he got out into the hall so he headed in the direction of her rooms. About halfway there he ran into Gossamer. The little Dragon was tucked into a wall niche, pigging out on pastries. She looked up at Link and he laughed. Link reached out and wiped a bit of cream off of the Dragon's snout.
"Link!" A voice hissed.
Link spun, startled. Sora stood there, a silver tunic set over her gown and a dagger strapped into a sheath that hung from a loose chain. She reached into the niche and pulled out the dragon, who squawked in protest. Sora set Gossamer on her shoulder, then grabbed Link's hand and pulled him along. She ran to a tapestry on the wall and pushed it aside. Link recognized it as the one leading down to the barn.
"This way!" Gossamer chortled, leaping off of Sora's shoulder.
Sora headed in the direction the Dragon had gone, running to keep up. The Dragon was small but swift, and soon came to an empty stall at the end of the stable. She jumped and scrambled over the side. Link grabbed the door and threw it open. Inside were all his friends: Frat and Oliana tucked into one corner, murmuring to each other, Isannah with her little puppy Luke, Roxanna and Poonta having an argument.
"We're here." Sora announced.
Frat looked up. "It's about time. What took you so long?"
"I hadn't realized you'd left already." Sora shrugged and settled down into the straw. "You never gave me the signal."
"We had to move fast." Oliana explained. "Nicodemus was like, right there, chatting with Cara. I don't know Link…I thought advisors weren't supposed to get in the way?"
"I think in this case he has the right of way." Link grinned and sat down in the straw next to Sora.
They sat in the deep straw for a long time, talking of times ago. Eventually Gossamer curled up in Sora's lap, eating a pastry and listening intently to the conversation. The air of the night was fairly chill, but warmth and laughter filled the stall. They sipped at a jug of hot cider and ate sparingly of the picnic Oliana had packed while they talked. Link sighed deeply, glad to have his friends around him. Suddenly Gossamer looked up, her snout raised to the air.
"Trouble!" Gossamer hissed. "Our land…we must go to them!"
"Caseree?" Sora asked, a frown marring her pretty face. "How can you tell?"
"I am a Dragon. One of the first, mind you, and Elder." Gossamer explained. "And I know when my people are in danger."
"Who?" Link asked, jumping to his feet, one hand moving reflectively to the hilt of his ceremonial sword. "Who dares?"
Flynn yawned and waved a hand at the girl before him who held a pile of books. The girl staggered back and the books fell, pages flying everywhere, or crumbling to dust on the ground. Flynn stood and grabbed the girl by the hair. She yelped and clawed at his hands, trying to get free. But Flynn was much stronger than she was and he flung her violently against the wall. He heard a sharp crack as the girl hit the wall and slumped to the ground.
"Temper, temper!" Faylah scolded.
"No one should treat books like this." Flynn hissed, gently lifting the torn and broken pages. "They are precious as life itself."
Flynn lifted the pages carefully, able to salvage only so much. The rest was only so much dust on the floor. He shoved a broom into the hands of the girl who had caused the mess and turned, placing what was left of the books on the shelf. His mother watched him as he worked to rearrange the mess.
"Flynn, dear, don't you feel you over reacted a bit?" Faylah asked
"Mother…" Flynn sighed and rubbed his temples. "It was the information in such books that brought you and father back to life. How many times must I explain that?"
"You'll get used to her boy."
Flynn looked in the direction of his father's voice. Kyrissam had slung himself lazily over his the old thrown of the Fay, which had been dragged from the clutches of a greedy Satyr. The gold and bronze was badly tarnished and many of the pieces of jade that had been inlaid in it were gone. Flynn shook his head and turned away. His parents were far from how he'd remembered them. Why couldn't they take this seriously?
"Oh come on, Flynny!" Faylah cooed. "You're 18 going on 18,000! Stop being such a stick in the mud!"
"Mother, this is serious!" Flynn snapped. "The dishonor those little brats have caused you…"
"Don't worry about them, son." Kyrissam said. "They will be taken care of. Now, go! You said you know of the new Power Field we need. Take care of it!"
Flynn nodded and wrapped a cloak around his body tightly. He could feel the energy of the Dragon Stone. It was pulsating warmth, cleansing his body of the chill air of the underground city of the Fay. Flynn turned and looked at his parents, then pulled the hood of his cloak down over his face. He reached out and clutched onto the premade magical path…
"How are we supposed to make it to Caseree on such short notice?" Oliana demanded.
"We?" Link turned to her. "This is none of you business Oli. You should stay here."
"No! If Frat's people are in trouble, then I'm going!" Oliana said stubbornly.
Frat smiled at her and Oliana looked to the ground, blushing. He took off his cloak and wrapped it around her shoulders, pulling her close. Link sighed, fingers still playing on the hilt of his sword. He felt a hand come down on his shoulder and spun around. Sora stood behind him, her purple eyes wide. On her shoulder sat the Dragon. It looked at him with such an amount of dignity and maturity that Link wanted to knock it off Sora's shoulder.
"Do you have a plan?" Link demanded of the little creature.
"Aye milord." Poonta laughed. "The little dragon is going to fly us there."
"Precisely." Gossamer hissed. "Only Dragon's can cross the void between Caseree and here. I will carry you all safely to my home."
"Um…not to bring you down from your cloud here but uh…" Frat paused a moment, searching for the right words. "I um…"
"The Lady Wizardess will make me grow." Gossamer said firmly.
"Who?" The small group asked in unison.
"Why, the Princess!" Gossamer said, as if it were so obvious. "Only one with great powers could restore me from my imprisonment."
"All I did was say I child's rhyme." Sora protested.
"Well it worked!" Gossamer snapped. "And I am certain it will work once more. Please child, while the others pack we must sneak into the Archives to find such a verse."
"I think I can scrape something up." Sora agreed. "Well you heard her, we must go. Link, I think you should stay here and attend to your throne. You need not get into any more trouble for us."
"No!" Link argued. "Caseree is as much my home as yours and I refuse to be left behind. If you dare try to leave without me I will follow."
With that Link turned and headed for the castle, already tugging at the laces of his ceremonial tunic. Sora stared after him in surprise, then blinked her eyes and shook her head. Frat scooped up Isannah, who had fallen asleep on a lump of straw and carried her inside, with Roxanna, Poonta and Oliana at his heels. Sora pulled her jerkin tight around her and Gossamer attached herself to her side. Together they headed inside, talking over the plans for the night.
Link finished shoving a few extra tunics, two daggers and a book her was currently reading into his bag. He had already changed to his usual garb in drab, peasant browns. He hooked the sheath of his dagger onto a bit of cord tight around his lower torso and grabbed his bag. He had to move quickly or else the guards would think that he was some peasant, who was trying to steal from the King. He met Poonta outside.
"All is set?" Link asked in a hushed tone.
Poonta grinned. "All is set, for what must be your 3rd or 4th sojourn from the castle, is it so? And again you're sneaking out."
"I will not be kept in by my own servants." Link growled and turned, his light cloak swirling about him.
Poonta followed, her face masked by a veil, such as was worn by her people. Her head was bowed, but her eyes were on her King. She was truly concerned for him. As he grew, he changed, becoming more forceful and intimidating. It was all well and good, that he was able to control his people, but she did not want to see him give over to force and abuse.
They met Frat, Oliana and Roxanna out in front of the castle. Sora still had not arrived with their friend Dragon and dawn was around the corner. Already stars blinked out and the light of the moon was dull. At that moment Sora came running, the Dragon clinging to her hip. Gossamer leapt down from her transport and scampered out into the dying light of the moon. Quickly Sora opened her book to a page and began to chant.
"In a night of much woe and danger,
Grant me power to help a stranger.
Let the Dragon spread her wings and soar,
Let the silver moon wash over her soul's core."
Silver mist began to rise, surrounding the little Dragon. Gossamer squawked so loudly that Sora jumped, her book falling from her fingers and landing on the ground. She scrambled to catch it as the moon began to lower itself behind the hills.
"Moon above doth guild us fair,
For where we roam we'll need allies there.
This Dragon small is one friend we need,
My words, I beg you, O' Good Goddess heed.
The power of you us mortals are forbidden to know,
But let your glorious grace doth show,
Awash thy in thine silver glow,
Let our Dragon friend doth grow."
Sora fell to her knees and doubled over, the book slipping from her fingers. The silver mist rose and a sound like thunder echoed beyond the hills. The moon slipped below the horizon and the mists cleared, revealing a much larger version of their small Dragon friend. Gossamer turned her head toward the group of gaping children. No longer was she a gangly youth, but a wise old Noble, a proud figure of the great Dragon she was.
"Glory!" Link breathed. "A true Dragon."
Sora struggled to her feet. "Well, what were you expecting? A bat?"
"There is no time for fighting now!" Frat interrupted. "The sun has risen! We must flee, and fast!"
"He's right." Sora agreed, tucking her book under her arm and slinging her bag over her shoulder. "We go, and now."
Sora stepped over to the Dragon first, grabbed onto her scaly crest, and hauled herself up. She settled herself into a small spot as near to Gossamer's head as she could get. Frat climbed up behind her and helped Oliana and a trembling Roxanna and to the smooth expanse of the Dragon's back, leaving only a small spot in front of the tail for Link. He climbed up and gripped the fin to the far side.
"Everyone ready?" Gossamer asked.
"As ready as we'll ever be." Sora said. "On to Caseree, good Dragon."
"Dragon!" Came a shriek from the battlements. "Shoot it down!"
"Uh oh!" Sora exclaimed. "Better shake tail, Gossamer."
The Dragon gave a quick nod of her slender head and unfolded her wings. She flapped them once and a great gust of air blew Sora's hair from her neck. Twice and she was off the ground, a few feet off the air. Three times and they were up and soaring, past the arrows flying from the battlements. The screams faded behind them as the fields of Hyrule unraveled beneath them.
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