Chapter 28 Lemon Drop Pajamas

Corin slowly became aware of the sound of music around him. He felt as if he was floating in mid air and a strong wind was whipping around him. It smelled like the forest outside Kalayaana; ancient trees, damp soil, berries and wildflowers. But when he opened his eyes he immediately had to shut them again because he was surrounded by a blinding white light. Trying again, he just cracked his eyes open and slowly let his eyes adjust before opening them further. Finally, when he could see somewhat well, he looked around him curiously. As he'd first seen, he was surrounded by white light but there were silver and creamy white patterns and figures swirling slowly around him as well. Whenever he tried to focus on one thing, it would fade out and something else would swirl into its place.

It was a beautiful, if confusing spectacle, but he felt something was missing.

"Rea…" he whispered. His fingers closed frantically round the ring on the chain around his neck. Panic began to fill him and he turned around to see more white patterns. "Laurea!" he yelled into the white.

"Fear not, you will see her again." A voice said, which seemed to come from everywhere around him.

"Who are you? What do you want with me?"

"You have been wondering about your recent powers." The voice continued, not answering his questions.

"Yes, but…"

"The archery, the incident on the train, the glaive fighting skills; all are gifts from me."

"Who are you?"

"But these do not make you invincible. They are only tools." The voice continued talking without answering him. "You are the only one who can kill him. An elf, yet a wizard. Able to use both kinds of magic. You have been chosen for this task. Will you accept it?"

He didn't hesitate. "Yes, I will. But I will need help learning how to control these powers. The magic I used on the train is a vague memory. I don't even remember the words I spoke, much less how to repeat magic of that skill level."

"You will know what to do when you need it."

"Er, thanks."

"Now, I send you back."

"Wait, who are…" The light disappeared. "you." He sighed, then gradually became aware of a feeling of pain along his right side. He breathed in sharply and winced as fire seemed to run along his ribs. He tried to groan but only managed a high pitched whisper when his voice didn't work. His eyelids felt incredibly heavy when he tried to lift them, but he managed to crack them open.

It took time to focus his eyes, but it didn't take him long to recognize the hospital wing at Hogwarts. Several beds were full, but he paid no attention to them the moment his eyes fixed on Laurea. The beautiful elf was slouched in a chair on his left side sleeping, a slack hand holding his own unbandaged one. Her sleep looked peaceful, but every once in awhile she would frown and shift slightly as if to try to get more comfortable.

He squeezed her hand, trying to get her to wake up. "Rea." He whispered. She twitched at the movement, and then slowly opened her eyes. Blinking a couple of times, she looked around blearily to see what woke her. He gripped her hand again and she froze mid-motion, then swiftly spun to face him.

"Corin." She whispered, as if desperate to believe that what she was seeing was real.

"Rea." He gave a half smile, then winced as he jarred a cut on his face he'd somehow gotten.

"Corin, oh Corintur you're awake, love." Her eyes were glazed with tears.

"Shhh. It's alright. I'm here, I'm not going anywhere."

She let out a small sob, then buried her head in his uninjured shoulder and cried. All he could do was stroke her hair with his good hand and whisper softly trying to calm her. Wiping her eyes, she sniffed and spoke again, this time in English. "As soon as you're well again, I'm going to kill you Corintur Raumoraa, for scaring me like that!"

His eyes danced with suppressed mirth as he brought her hand to his lips and kissed it. "Well then, I'll be sure to hurry the healing process so we can get on with that."

She giggled in spite of the fact that she was supposed to be mad at him, and her eyes softened as she looked at his bandaged form.

"I love you." She told him softly.

"I love you too. Sorry I took such a big risk."He replied, his fingers reaching up and touching her face softly.

"I know why you did. Oron told me. On a side note, your second plan was much better than your first, despite the outcome."

He grinned, "But the pictures would have been so good! I could have bought a peacock quill with blue and gold ink and signed autographs! I could have been a Lockhart wannabe! Except that I actually did it myself and without the memory problems." By this point, Laurea was trying to muffle her laughter so as not to disturb the other patients.

"I did kill it, right? I didn't do my whole death-defying leap and miss its brain did I?"

She smiled, "No, you got it. Then Fawkes caught you and flashed with you up to the hospital wing where Madam Pomfrey was properly mortified at the state you were in."

"Speaking of, what day is it and how healed am I?"

Laurea got serious look on her face. "It's been six days since it happened and the whole time you've been in a coma. Dad had the best elven healers in Kalayaana come, but nothing they tried would do much. The wounds you received are very resistant to magic, so we haven't been able to heal you much. The most they've done is scabbed over so try not to move much or you'll be bleeding again."

He nodded and looked up at the ceiling thinking silently. "Were any of the students hurt or anyone killed?"

"No to your first question, the sixth year Gryffindors as well as Remus did a thorough job in getting all students safely up to the castle before the excitement started. But a few town residents were killed when the dragon hit a couple buildings with its fire. Particularly the Hog's Head and one of the inns in town called Ingrid's. Seven Hogsmeade residents from those two buildings combined were killed."

He nodded soberly, "But everyone who fought the Morgoth dragon survived?" She nodded, then shot him a questioning look.

"Morgoth dragon?"

"Shadow and flame, plus I thought Voldemort would be properly revolted at the thought of his monster being named after something from a popular muggle novel."

Laurea grinned. "I'll be sure to tell Dumbledore. I'm sure he will be relieved that his search for something to call that thing will be ended."

"Glad to help."

They smiled at each other for a moment before Laurea suddenly frowned and poked him in the shoulder. "I've got another bone to pick with you, mister! You got hurt only a little more than a week before the Halloween Costume Ball! Now we're down to only four days, and I don't see you getting well enough to go dancing with me by then." She finished with her lower lip stuck out in a pout.

He gave her a look of regret, "Sorry 'Rea, I'd heal myself in an instant if I could." As he said that, his mind flashed back to the events from his second year in the Chamber of Secrets, and his expression turned thoughtful. "Love, has anyone asked Fawkes to heal me yet?"

She just blinked and looked at him, dumfounded. "Um, no. I don't think so."

Corin grinned, "Well, go ask him." Laurea started to grin as well, then she jumped up and ran from the room almost mowing over Remus who jumped out of the way just in time. The werewolf just shook his head and continued walking in, but froze when he saw Corin watching him.

"You're awake." He said, stating the obvious.

"Only for the past fifteen minutes."

Remus nodded and walked the rest of the way into the room to stand by Corin's bed as he tried to think of something else to say. "How are you feeling?" He asked awkwardly.

"I'm in quite a lot of pain along my right side, but as long as I don't move I'm okay." Corin said with a small smile.

Remus tentatively smiled back. "That's an amazing animagus form you have. I'm sure I'll be the first of many to thank you for killing that thing, but thank you. A lot more people would have died if you hadn't stopped it when you did."

Corin nodded in acknowledgment, "I couldn't have done it without Fawkes though. His song was actually painful for it to hear, and kept it distracted long enough for me to kill it."

Remus nodded, "Perhaps because the dragon was made of pure evil and phoenixes are so purely good…" he trailed off in thought. "So you're a grey phoenix? I was quite far away and didn't get a very good look."

"Black and dark silver, actually."

"I don't think we ever told you, but," He lowered his voice just in case anyone might overhear, "your mother's animagus form was a light grey Pegasus. She was the first witch in about a hundred and fifty years to have a magical animagus form."

"Probably her elven blood." Corin whispered thoughtfully.

Remus' eyebrows rose in surprise. "So that's how…" he trailed off and inclined his head towards Corin's elven form.

Corin nodded, "Yes, there was a bit more to it than just having elven blood, but that's one secret I must keep just among my kind." The elf could tell Remus was still incredibly curious about his elven transformation, but was willing to let it rest.

At the moment, Fawkes flashed into the room with Laurea and Dumbledore holding onto his tail. As soon as they let go, the red and gold bird soared over and landed on Corin's left leg. He started picking and tugging on the elf's bandages but stopped when Corin winced. Turning his head towards Dumbledore, Fawkes gave an impatient trill.

"Yes yes, I'm hurrying you silly bird. Not all of us are quite as spry as you in our old age. You get reborn every other month. I, on the other hand, have no such luxury and continue to grow older." Fawkes just sniffed indignantly and trilled again. The headmaster just rolled his eyes and flicked his wand while mumbling about 'no respect' and 'flaming chickens'. Corin's bandages disappeared and everyone winced as they took in the barely healed claw marks. Fawkes paid them no mind as he set to work healing the wounds. The tears hissed as they touched the scabs as if even from the grave, the dragon tried to make their work as difficult as possible. But slowly the skin began to knit together as Fawkes made his way up Corin's body. From his right knee, up the thigh, across his stomach and ribs, over his shoulder and finally to the cut that ran down from the right cheekbone to his neck. Finally he was completely healed except for the pinkish-white scars that would not disappear. Fawkes looked at them regretfully, but Corin shook his head.

"It's fine Fawkes, you did your best. Some mark of that creature was bound to remain."

"Besides, they're marks of honor. Reminders of the evil you defeated." Laurea said with a reassuring smile. "I kinda like them." She added with a wink.

He grinned and sat up slowly, as his muscles were still a bit sore. Fawkes watched him closely, looking for any sign of pain. "I'm fine Fawkes, thanks to you. The muscles around my scars are still a bit sore, but that's nothing that rest and a long bath won't cure." Corin said, while running his hand through Fawkes' feathers. Fawkes gave a small thrill and rubbed his head under Corin's chin, then flew back to perch on Dumbledore's shoulder.

Corin was about to get up, but stopped just in time when he realized how little clothing he had on. "Ah Albus, could you…" He kind of gestured towards his bare chest.

"Of course Mr. Raumoraa, of course." Dumbledore smiled and twinkled as he waved his wand. A pair of lime green pajamas with lemon drops all over them appeared on Corin. "Well, I'm sure I'll see you at dinner. Feel free to keep those as a gift from me." Dumbledore hummed to himself as he headed towards the door, ignoring Corin's horrified looks and calls of 'I can't wear these things through the halls'.

Corin tried repeatedly to change the pajamas to something else, but only managed to make the lemon drops twinkle brightly. Finally resigned to having to wear the garish pajamas he turned to face Laurea and Remus only to find them stifling their laughter.

"Not funny."

Laurea only grinned and said. "Up you get!" Her expression became a cross between amused and resigned, "Besides, you have a very depressed knealin that needs to see you."

He gave her a look. "I'm not walking through the halls dressed like this."

She rolled her eyes, and whipped his invisibility cloak out from… somewhere. "Will this be better, your highness?"

"Much." He said with a satisfied smile.

After saying goodbye to Remus, they made their way through the halls to Corin's rooms. As they opened the door Corin got his first glimpse of Artue. The young knealin was lying in front of the fire staring morosely at the flames. Every once in awhile he would let out a pitiful whine and chew half-heartedly on one of Corin's socks.

"Well, this is a pitiful sight. I'll bet you haven't even jumped off the couch once today!" Artue's head shot up and he stared incredulously at the elf that resembled his bonded… except for the rather bright pajamas he was wearing. The knealin shot in the air so fast that before anyone realized it Artue had flown like a bullet across the room and collided with Corin's chest.

"Artue! You flew!" Artue who had been squeaking and purring nonstop suddenly paused in shock. He looked from the rug by the fire, to Corin, and back again before both elves could see the realization dawn on the winged leopard's face. Artue pumped his wings furiously and Corin could feel the knealin lifting from his arms. Suddenly Artue was back in the air squealing excitedly. Miri and Hedwig joined him and the three flew around and around the room as Corin and Laurea watched, smiling.

Wooo hooooo! He's awake! happiness! anyways. Morgoth dragon. Lord of the Rings reference (obviously). I don't know quite as much about LotR as I do Harry Potter, but Morgoth is some evil dude from the Samirilion...Silmerilion...whatever. never read the book. only have fanfictions and a random reference that Legolas makes in the Fellowship of the Ring movie right before they enter Lothlorien in the extended edition. Sooo, Artue's flying now. what can I say, he was working so hard at it and I kindof got impatient. I'm going on a motorcycle trip this weekend, so I'll bring my story notebook and try to get some work done for the next chapter. The Halloween ball will be within the next few chapters. I've been having fun planning costumes for everyone. oooo... heeheehee... just got an idea. can't tell you though. must go write down... bye now. please review.