Shadeslaying

By: Eleniel

Rating: PG

Warnings: Just a mention of blood - it does take place during a battle.

Summary: Saphira's take on Eragon's battle with Durza.

Spoilers: none that I know of

Disclaimer: I do not own anything, I'm merely playing with someone else's toys. I promise I'll put them back in the same shape I found them in.
Feedback: or the review button usuallyworks well too.

A/N: This was written as a Creative Writing assignment; it is unbeta'd and not up to my usual standards, but it's the most I'm capable of in my current state (which isn't all that good).

Struggling to breathe, I fought to get away from Farthen-dur. My wings strained with each beat, and my great heart raced. Eragon grimly encouraged me as I took advantage of the heat from the burning pitch, gliding on thermals as often as I could. Finally, after several tense minutes, I reached the dragonhold, and gratefully dropped onto the Isidar Mithrim.

I see no sign of the Twins, I told Eragon as he leapt off my back, anxiously examining the damage to my chestplates. He glanced around the room, his brow furrowed. "Stay well," he said, placing a hand on my side, and sprinted for the archway. I turned back to Arya.

I need to get out of this armor. It is making me lightheaded and I cannot bend, I told her, and she began pulling at the chestplates. I craned my neck and snapped the straps holding the armor to my legs, and it clanked to the floor.

As Arya progressed from freeing my chest, unbuckling other plates and allowing me to shake or tear them, off, I felt a sharp sting through my mind. Eragon's voice, measured and slightly fearful, entered my head, and my heart nearly stopped.

Saphira, it's the Shade! He's here! Warn them! he shouted, and I relayed the information to Arya. Her efforts to loose me doubled, and within moments I had torn the last plate from my body. I stood uncertainly for a moment, searching for a way to get to Eragon.

I have no intention of leaving him. He is my Rider and my friend. I WILL reach him, I growled, and Arya leapt upon my back.

"Take flight, Saphira!" she shouted, and as I did so, lifting with my powerful wings, I felt a barrage upon my conscious – Durza was attacking Eragon's mind! I roared mightily, the hills ringing with my cry, and the Urgals in Farthen-dur trembled. While I lent what strength I could to Eragon (though I doubt he realized it; he was focused on blocking both the physical and mental attacks), Arya's eyes closed. Her face was concentrated and her body tense. I strained for altitude, tendons popping and muscles twisting, desperation filling me. ­I can't let Durza hurt him, I thought. Suddenly, a green light shot from Arya's palm, and the sound of shattering glass filled the air. The star sapphire splintered into a million pieces, and I could feel Arya straining to control their paths. Staring deep into the darkness, I saw Eragon, blood freely flowing from a terrible wound on his back. Durza stood over him, preparing for the deathblow. Both looked up at the sound of the great gem shattering, Eragon woozily. Durza's eyes widened as he screamed in fury, and in response I opened my jaws, baring my teeth. Heat grew in my belly, feeding on the urge to protect my Rider and the wrath I felt at seeing him injured, and a lick of flame spread up my throat. Snarling, I widened my jaws once more and unleashed a torrent of flame as I hurtled downward, frantic to reach my little one. I felt Arya sway upon my back, the magic taking its toll on her, and adjusted my course accordingly, my flame burning out after a few seconds. Air whipped past my ears, and I flared my wings slightly, trying to slow myself before I hit the ground.

As I approached rapidly, I saw Eragon revive and felt resolve and strength fill him. His fingers coiled around Zar'roc, and the blood-red blade glowed with flames. He thrust it into the Shade's chest, and the creature stared in shock, releasing an unearthly howl. Durza's skin turned transparent, showing the spirits swirling within him, and his skin was split from head-to-toe as they left his body. He collapsed just as I landed, and Eragon collapsed. Arya clung to my back, barely coherent, and aboveground I heard the Urgals shouting as Durza's occupying spirits haunted them. Unknown to me at the time, they were turning upon each other; nothing better could have happened.

Gingerly I nudged Eragon with my nose. I snatched a torn swatch of cloth off of the floor, placed it on his back, and tried to stem the bleeding, wailing with anguish all the while.

Within minutes the door flew open; behind it was a woman, with Solembum the Werecat behind her, in the form of a small child. Arya was near-unconscious upon my back, but still I growled, warning the woman to do no harm as she lifted Eragon gently and briskly instructed I follow her.

We moved quickly through the city of Tronjheim, onto a floor that was not much inhabited. The woman – her name was Angela, Solembum told me – carried Eragon into a room much too small for me to fit into. I let loose a rumbling growl as Solembum rushed off to find whatever Angela didn't have. Upon my saddle, Arya roused somewhat, sliding off and stumbling into the room. She collapsed upon an unoccupied bed and slept deeply, exhausted from the effort of protecting Eragon and I from the Star Sapphire's shards. Restless and anxious, I settled down in the hallway, preparing for a long wait until Eragon awoke. I refused to admit that he may not…