Hello everyone, thank you for coming to read and welcome to my Inheritance/Hobbit Crossover!
This story was originally a challenge issued out by MusicLover500, and I so fell in love with the idea that I simply had to pick up the gauntlet. So this story is dedicated to her. This is now going to be my summer project, and I hope to work on it now that I'm broke up from school until October, though I'm still going to work on this properly and give you guys the best quality I can. I hope you guys enjoy this, and I look forward to hearing what you think.
A quick couple of things before we start: This story is in no way related to my other Hobbit fanfiction. This exists in say, another universe to that. The setting for this story is that Alagasia and Middle-Earth are on the same planet but they are separated by a vast ocean and have never come into contact with each other in recent history. The timing of this is that it starts during the final battle of Inheritance and roughly six months to a year before An Unexpected Journey.
For how Smaug and Saphira look, I will be going off of their movie portrayals, though exaggerating Saphira's size slightly so that she's more to half Smaug's size. That makes it fairer. And I'll be going off of Inheritance Books but Hobbit Movies.
Anyway, I'll stop rambling, and let you read. Please leave a review and tell me what you think! :)
Chapter 1 – Broken –
Saphira stood frozen from where Galbatorix's magic held her in place.
She heard a cry of pain, and felt a flash of agony strike through her own body as she felt Eragon's pain through their bond, her eyes darting over to him as he fought against the mad-traitor-two-legs Galbatorix. The King had bested him, defeated him, the partner of her heart and mind was lying there helpless beneath the King's blade, and she could do nothing to help him! She wanted to go to him, every instinct in her body urging her to help her rider, but she could not move against the bonds of the magic that held her.
And then, Saphira felt Eragon reach for her, and she readily came to him, offering whatever strength and magic she could give him. She felt her partner-of-her-heart-and-mind cast a spell with what she could give him, and their minds were joined with the Eldunari as she felt the magic be directed at the Mad King.
"What have you done?" her keen ears could hear Galbatorix whisper in complete horror, even over the growls and snarls of Shruikan. "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!"
"Made you understand," Eragon grunted with difficulty, and Saphira could feel his pain.
Galbatorix stumbled away from Eragon, muttering to himself, his eyes bulging and she could scent his fear and sorrow as he understood all of his actions that he had caused throughout his life, both good and bad, and the misery he spread, began to be too much for him, and all of a sudden fell to the floor.
Suddenly, Shruikan gave off a deafening roar, and shook his neck so hard that Thorn was sent flying off of his neck. The red dragon fell upon his side half way across the room, the bones in his wing shattering upon impact.
Saphira felt herself be freed from the magic that held her, and realising the bigger threat – quite literally – she sprinted across the room towards Shruikan, the two-legs-pointed-ears Arya alongside her, the dragon-killer weapon held tightly in her hands. As they passed him, Thorn was struggling to his feet from the pain in his side, but he was quickly following them. Saphira afforded herself a moment in order to admire his strength and courage.
With a roar, Saphira leapt high into the air and landed upon Shruikan's snout, bloodying it under her claws, before quickly leaping off and dropping to the floor before he could throw her like he had Thorn. He swung a forepaw at her, but she dodged out of the way, her wings half extended to offer her speed and balance. Thorn was at her side, and they both issued forth a torrent of flames, causing the black dragon to rear his head up as high as the roof of the throne room would allow him. He belted out his own flames in retaliation, though Galbatorix's control over him would not permit him to direct it lower than just above the head of human-height, where he might accidentally injure his master.
Ducking aside from the flames, the brightness temporarily blinded Saphira, though she managed to avoid the heat. However, whilst she was blinded by the flames, she saw too late the claw that came towards her. She tried to dodge out of the way, but was a fraction of a second too slow as the talon tore through her left foreleg, and she roared in pain as a large gash was opened up in her flesh, and her blood seeped onto the floor.
But before Shruikan could follow through with his attack, he suddenly contorted, and spun to find Thorn at his tail on the opposite side of the room, on the other side of the throne that the dragon was lying behind. Thorn savaged at his tail, and Shruikan roared in outrage and lunged towards him. But seizing the opportunity, Saphira leapt into the air, driving down her wings in order to give her more height as she pounced onto Shruikan's neck, just behind the base of his skull, biting down onto his softer scales between his spikes. She heard the male screech in pain and thrash around wildly, trying to buck her off.
Saphira clung to the neck of Shruikan, the black dragon roaring and writhing as he tried to dislodge her. She increased the pressure in her jaws, trying to pierce through his thick scales, clenching her claws into the grooves between each scale in an attempt to hold herself in place. The only thing saving her now was that the gigantic black dragon was too large for the throne room and he could not move freely enough in order to best her. It was a cold comfort to her when she knew that the dragon could kill her with the sheer weight of his head and neck alone, he was that large. His eyes flashed with a dangerous mad intensity that shook her to her core, the only time she had ever been afraid of another dragon in her life; not when she had battled Thorn, nor when she angered Glaedr, but this behemoth terrified her with his madness. She could not help but feel utter pity for him as she felt his consciousness brush hers, and all she could feel from him was an overwhelming hatred and anger, but also a sadness that cut through his soul that he might burst into fits of grief should his anger wane.
But then, Thorn was beside her, leaping up and scrabbling his way onto Shruikan's neck until he was next to Saphira, almost on top of the larger dragon's head as he tried to help her push Shruikan's head towards the ground. They each tried to slash and bite at him, but his scales were so thick that they were hardly making any progress at all. But from the corner of her eye, Saphira saw Arya coming out from around the throne, the Dauthdaert in her hand as she sprinted towards them.
Shruikan saw her, and tried to thrash himself free of Saphira and Thorn's hold, but he could not dislodge them, Saphira hanging on with all the strength she could muster. Her and Thorn's combined weight pulled the massive male's head down to the ground, and in desperation he let loose a jet of flame into the space in front of him. Saphira watched as the elf-female was almost incinerated by the flames, and she feared for her for a split second, before she saw her reappear as she bound onto Shruikan's forepaw and used the momentum to leap up towards his face. Saphira could see what would happen, and instantly tried to hook one of her back feet onto the floor as she used all of her strength to push Shruikan's head into place. The muscles in her chest and forelegs screamed, and she growled as she bared her teeth with the effort, even when Thorn joined her in her attempts. But then, Arya threw the Dauthdaert towards Shruikan, where it plunged into his great, ice-blue eye and embedded itself into his skull and brain.
Shruikan let out one last bellow of rage and grief, his body contorting and writhing like a snake. Saphira and Thorn leapt clear as they felt the dragon beneath them suddenly still and then slowly fall to the floor. As she landed, Saphira turned to see the black monstrosity fall beside her, and she saw as the last light in his remaining eye vanished, a look passing through in his last moment: One of grief, and utter loneliness the likes of which she had never seen, and then a glimpse of relief as he passed into the void.
Hearing a grunt, Saphira snapped her head around, distracting her from how the look in Shruikan's eyes unsettled her. She saw the King pull himself from Eragon's blade that had been embedded in his stomach, his blood flowing freely as he stumbled away. Saphira quickly came to join her partner-of-her-heart-and-mind, standing behind him and offering him her strength as she felt him grow weak from his wounds.
"The voices…" Galbartorix mumbled, his eyes darting about madly as he trembled. "The voices are terrible. I can't bear it…" he closed his eyes, tears flowing down his face in apparent grief. "Pain, so much pain… make it stop, MAKE IT STOP!" he screamed desperately, a hand reaching for the group before him.
"No." Eragon said coldly, turning away from the mad king as the others joined him and Saphira.
Suddenly, Elva shrieked and fainted as Galbatorix fixed Eragon with a look of both misery and hatred. Saphira could feel a great energy of magic begin to swell around the old king, all directed at her rider as he began to speak.
'Eragon!' Saphira shouted in warning, and reacting on instinct, Eragon quickly used a spell to send the group: himself, Saphira, Arya, Murtagh, Thorn, Elva, Nusuada and the two children, to the stone where Nusuada had been chained. And then, Eragon began to cast protective spells that would shield them from whatever would come to pass.
But he was only half way through the spell, when Galbartorix let out an unholy scream as he unleashed the magic within him.
Saphira could feel the onslaught of magic race towards them, even as Galbatorix himself was lost, his form decomposing into molecular pieces. What happened next only took a fraction of a second.
As the magic raced towards Eragon, Saphira let out a scream both physically and mentally as she drove through the link that she and Eragon shared in order to try and protect his mind with hers. However, she only managed to get half way to him, when the magic struck her, and a searing pain exploded across her consciousness, causing her to scream once again as she felt herself being ripped asunder, something inside her soul tearing and breaking and shattering as it fell away like the shards of glass in a mirror.
A light as bright as the sun exploded in the throne room as Galbatorix vanished and became nothing but pure energy as he tried to annihilate them all, even in death.
But Saphira had already felt as if a part of her had died, she teetered for a moment, her mind already growing dark as her vision distorted and her weight lurched as she began to fall towards the ground. In that moment before unconsciousness, she felt an unusual silence inside of herself, one that was so infinite it seemed as if she had been abandoned in a vacuum of space. The last thing she heard was Eragon's screams with her physical ears rather than her mental connection.
And then, her world went dark, and she was lost to unconsciousness.
The darkness parted for her like water, or a thick fog or even the black smoke from her fiery breath, as she came too slowly. Light pierced through her eyelids, making her wince as it struck pain into the recesses of her mind. She growled, trying to move as she attempted to block out the sun, but her body ached in constant pain. There was nowhere in her at all where she didn't feel some sort of agony or hurt. She felt completely exhausted even though she could tell she had slept for a long while. She groaned again, unable to escape an emptiness that she felt but could not explain.
"Saphira?" She heard a voice, and instantly recognised it as her Eragon. "Saphira?! Are you alright?"
She felt his hands upon her face, and she reached out her mind to him across their bond in an attempt to sooth his evident worry… but found nothing.
Alarmed, her eyes snapped open, and she hissed as she was blinded by the brightness of the sun once again. She bared her teeth as the pain faded, and she slowly tried to open her eyes again, only removing her inner-lids that protected her eyes from the glare once she was accustomed to the light. She saw Eragon kneeling in front of her face, worry and fear evident across his face as he stared down at her. Arya and Blodhgarm were behind him, both with a mixture of concern and confusion upon their faces – though the furry elf tried to hide it as best he could. But Saphira ignored them as she focused solely upon Eragon, panic beginning to rise within her as she tried once again to feel along their bond and to sense his thoughts as if they were her own… but once again found nothing. Her slit pupils sharpened to blade edges as her panic continued to grow out of control.
'Eragon?' It distressed her greatly at the fact that she had to physically reach out her mind and brush through his defences in order to talk to him, it was not second nature as it had once been. Her voice was thick with her emotions, her words trembling with her fear. 'What is wrong? I-I can no longer feel you!'
"You can't…" he whispered, his voice choking on whatever he was going to say next, a look of horror and hopelessness overcoming him as he had to sit down properly, his body slumping. Saphira desperately tried to feel for his emotions, she could get a taste of them from where she was physically in his mind, but it was not like before where she could have sensed even the slightest change in him. Arya came up beside Eragon, placing a hand on his shoulder as he looked completely desolated as he stared into nothing, his shoulders quaking, his chest heaving, the only betrayal as to the completely overpowering sorrow he suddenly seemed to possess.
"Eragon…" she murmured, her fingers soft upon his flesh, her tone soothing, and Saphira felt odd that it should be her trying to sooth her rider, not Arya, but she was not and the elf was. "It was not your fault,"
"It didn't think… I never…" he mumbled brokenly to himself, tears gathering in his eyes causing Saphira to fidget, the tip of her tail lashing back and forth with her agitation.
"In all my years," the deep voice of the wolf-elf sounded, though Saphira only spared hi a fleeting glance to where he stood, arms folded across his chest as his face bore a stony expression. "I have never heard of such magic that could do this…"
"We have to fix it," Eragon muttered, and then suddenly turned and latched onto Arya, his fingers like a vice as he gripped her tunic as he looked into her face with a strangled cry. "You have to fix it! Please! FIX US!"
"Eragon…" Arya whispered, her fingers coming to his face, looking deeply into his eyes as she tried to calm him. "I'm sorry, but… no one has ever seen something like this… I-I… I wouldn't know where to begin…"
'What is it?' Saphira snapped, her patience finally at an end as she dug her claws into the ground, lifting her head and arching her neck above the others as she looked between them with a shake of her head, gaze panicked as she desperately tried to understand what was going on. Before, she could have discovered what had happened through Eragon's thoughts and memories, but now she could only do so if she fully invaded his mind and unlocked it all herself. 'What are you talking about?! What happened? Why do you need to fix us? What magic is this? WHAT HAPPENED?!' she practically screeched the last part in all of their minds for them all to hear her.
Eragon couldn't speak, he just looked up at her in misery as tears began to leak from his eyes and wept silently, holding his head in his hands. Arya placed a hand upon his shoulder comfortingly as she stood and looked up at Saphira with pity in her eyes.
"Saphira… Galbatorix used an ancient spell in order to destroy himself and us in the process of that." The elf explained to the dragon in a quiet voice, trying to choose her words carefully, though her caution was only proving to grow on the patience on of the dragoness. "The blast almost obliterated the castle, causing the throne room to cave in on us. If not for Eragon's protective spells, we would have all perished. You were badly injured from your battles, and both you and Eragon were driven unconscious by something none of the rest of us could foresee. We managed to drag you out and Thorn helped to carry you back to the Varden. We treated your wounds the best we could, but… Eragon said that he could no longer feel your mind. At first we thought that it was because you were unconscious or because Eragon had been so strained by his magic he was mentally exhausted. But then… you awoke, and he could no longer feel you, and then you admit that you cannot fell him…" Arya trailed off, evidentially not wanting to say the last part as she looked up imploringly at Saphira. They were friends – of a sort – and whatever it was she had to tell Saphira, it would cause her distress, and she was hesitant about doing that.
But evidentially, Blodhgram suffered no such problem as he stepped forward, hands behind his back, as he spoke in calm and collected manner. Saphira found herself becoming more infuriated by the lack of emotion in the elf to the current situation and the whirlwind of emotions she herself now felt.
"When Galbatorix uttered the words 'Be not' in the Ancient Language, he cast it both onto himself and onto Eragon. I suppose he thought it fitting to have the one who subjected him to his own torments die with him. However, somehow it seems that the spell attacked not Eragon himself… but the bond between you."
'What are you saying?' she whispered, knowing full well what they meant but she was desperate not to believe it. She couldn't believe it! Every fibre of her being protested against the very idea, she wanted to scream, but held her breath as she waited for the denial, the reassurance that it couldn't be what she thought!
Before Blodhgram could answer her, Eragon spoke instead, his voice hoarse and broken, thick with his tears as he looked up at her once again. She met his gaze, but didn't want to believe what she saw there.
"Our bond Saphira…" he whispered, his voice cracking if he spoke anything above that. "Galbatorix severed it… we are no longer… we're not…"
'No…' Saphira whispered, and then suddenly let loose an earth shaking roar, venting out all of her grief and despair and anger as the truth brought her crashing down into the pits of the worst misery she could ever experience. The silence within herself was deafening, she felt alone within an expanse that seemed as unending as the sky itself, there was no heart or mind to join with hers, no thoughts to hear, the silence was consuming, the loneliness eating at her heart. She and Eragon were no longer one, the realisation of it was enough to shatter her as if she were some fragile two-legged; it felt the same as if he had died, the ache in her heart certainly felt that way. In that one moment she felt two options lie before her: a madness that threatened to eat her alive, she would no longer deal with the pain she felt, but would lose herself in the process. On the other hand, she had a great pit of rage and grief, to deal with all of the emotion and to see if she could find a way through this.
She chose the rage.
But she couldn't deal with it here, not with them surrounding her like that. So, ignoring her body's protests of pain and exhaustion, she forced herself to all four feet, and began to leap and bound across the clearing where Eragon and the elves had placed her on the edge of the encampment of the Varden's army outside of Urû'baen. She ran into the fields surrounding the city, not taking to the air as the hard earth hitting her feet in a rhythmic pattern seemed to help vent out the energy created by her emotions that lashed out like a storm inside of her. Once she got far enough away that her legs began to tire and the muscles within protest and her bones ache from the constant beat against the ground, she finally stopped.
She roared to the heavens. Her rage and grief pouring out of her. Why was it so unfair?! Why should she have to suffer this way? She had finally won, they finally had victory, they had destroyed the one enemy that could keep her Rider and her in constant danger, this was what they had been wanting ever since she had hatched. And now, now that they finally had that peace, now that they were all safe, now that she and Eragon could live without fearing an attack every night, or that the next battle to come would be the last, or that they could be forced into servitude, now they had nothing to fear… And when they finally had it all, she couldn't even be with the one she had been fighting for! It was taken from her, they were no longer bonded: what did that mean?!
She roared again, and as the roar died in her throat, she fixed her blazing eyes upon the ground and began to tear at it with her claws, stamping her feet, jumping into the air to slam back to the earth until her bones rattled. She released a jet of fire, the hottest flames she could summon forth, burning the grass and the ground until there was nothing left but charred and black earth beneath her feet like that of a volcano. She smashed her tail into the ground, beat her wings and continued to roar and flame as she attacked invisible enemies, relishing in her battle-rage as she vented all of her feelings into pure, uncontrollable violence. She faintly heard a noise, someone shouting her name, but she blocked it out, unable to listen as she was swallowed by everything inside.
Once, she had sworn to herself, that should Eragon be killed, she would go on a bloodthirsty rampage, and she would not stop until she had killed and burned every single one of those responsible for it. And now, as she had admitted, it was as if Eragon had died, she could no longer feel him, he was no longer hers, it was like they had never been, as if they were strangers. But she couldn't even take her vengeance upon the one who had done this, because he was already dead and gone. She had been denied EVERYTHING: her youth, her species, her future, her happiness, her rider, and now even her revenge!
Finally, her spell of rage seemed to calm, like the thunderstorm that had spilled forth all of its lightning, and now only the clouds themselves remained. She found all of her energy to be suddenly gone, her body sagging and she slumped onto her haunches, head dipping low, her nostrils leaking smoke as she whined with distress. She closed her eyes as she allowed the grief to wash over her. Despite venting everything she could possibly give, the sadness still remained, it would not leave her.
Suddenly, she felt hand press upon her foreleg, and where her head was she could not see them. Instant rage filled her to the point of bursting once again, that even now, when she was at her lowest, she couldn't even grieve alone because she was part of some stupid army! They could not leave her alone, and it made her blind with fury. She whirled around, a roar bursting from her chest as she opened her jaws wide, lashing her claws through the air as she made to attack the one who had disturbed her –
A second before her jaws could swallow the two-legged, he fell to the ground, scooting back away from her, and she saw the familiar golden hair, the pointed ears and blue eyes of Eragon. Instantly snapping her jaws shut, she was just an inch away from his face, and she could painfully see every emotion that passed across his face as she stared at him in dumbfounded horror. Shock, confusion, pain, and… fear.
Saphira felt her insides churn as she beheld the one who she loved more than anything in this world fear her. He tried to wipe it away from himself as fast as he could, but she had seen it, and it was enough to make her wail in distress. What had she done? What had she done?!
She had attacked Eragon… partner-of-her-heart-and-mind Eragon! She had had every intention of killing him, and she had never ever had the purpose of hurting him before, it was alien to ever think of anyone else hurting him, let alone herself… To hurt him was to hurt her in the deepest way, and she had intended to kill him! Disgust and horror utterly filled as she quickly back away from him, trying to put as much distance between herself and him as much as possible. If she had still been bonded, she would never have done such a thing. She would have sensed him there, known who he was, never ever NEVER attacked him…
"Saphira…" Eragon tried to say as he quickly got to his feet, and tried to walk towards her, his face imploring and sad as he reached for her, but she quickly shook her head scooting back away from him, unable to speak. She tried to escape him as fast as she could, and unable to bear his gaze a second longer, she turned away and leapt into the air.
Her wings strained, aching with pain as she attempted fly away, far away, trying to leave the hurt and the pain behind her, thought it dogged her relentlessly with every wing-beat. The elves couldn't fix them, if they could they would have done so already, Eragon would not have been so defeated upon her confirming that she could no longer feel him. They couldn't fix this, and she couldn't stay, not when she might put Eragon in such danger. She never thought she would have to save him from herself, but she now had to do just that. She flew away, as fast as the winds could carry her, even as she heard Eragon screaming on the ground behind her.
"SAPHIRA!" but she only wailed in grief, unable to shed the tears that humanoid creatures could, as her heart broke as she soared in the sky, something that had brought her such pleasure once before… only to now add to her misery.
She flew south for three days, then headed west, avoiding all civilisation she could. She knew not of her destination, only that she needed to put as much distance between herself and others as much as she could. Particularly one other.
She only hunted when she was truly hungry, and ate a lot in an attempt to drown out her thoughts with blood and meat. She ate twelve deer in one sitting, gorging on everything: fur, skin, antlers, hooves, bones and all as she tried not to think about what she was leaving behind. She had never been truly on her own before, and only now, with no other thoughts to await, no feelings coming to her through the bond she once shared… it made her feel small, insignificant and alone. And as her despair grew, the faster she flew. Until eventually, she found herself landing upon a cliff that overlooked the Sea. It was then that she was forced to think over what it was she was going to do. To stay meant that she had to hide for the rest of her days, for she did not want anyone to find her, especially Eragon, if she was a danger to her most beloved one then she couldn't even trust herself anymore. She could remember all too clearly the look in Shruikan's eyes, the madness that had been born there, the sadness and loneliness, it had almost overtaken her, it had been an option for her to choose once she knew the truth. She couldn't bear it if she became like that, a monster of rage and hate and grief that would kill everything and anything she came across.
The only hope she could find within herself was that perhaps there was a way to fix this. If she didn't have any hope at all, she would have succumbed to despair and wallowed until death claimed her by any means. And she was too proud, even now, to consider such an unfitting defeat for one such as herself, to give up, surrender without a fight. No, she HAD to find a way to fix this, she couldn't give up! She would find a way to fix this, to fix herself, even if she had to find the darkest black magic, she would be reunited with Eragon again, she swore it!
Looking out onto the horizon above the infinite ocean before her, she wondered if there were any lands to the south… perhaps, would there be any dragons there? As she well knew, dragons had strange and unpredictable yet very powerful magic. What if she could find more of her own kind in order to help her, perhaps the wild ones would be able to save her, some might even have knowledge from past experience with the riders. If not… then at least she would no longer be alone. She was the closest thing to a wild dragon in Alagasia at the moment, it would be only fitting that she be with others if she was to remain alone all her life.
And so, with a heavy heart, she took a leap of faith, knowing that there could be no land out there, she could be flying into nothing and dooming herself. Then at least death would be a relief. And so she began her journey, to where she did not know, nor as to what she would encounter…