A/N: This chapter is purely to tie up loose ends. If there are any questions about things previously skipped over during the story, just let me know and I'll add an explanation to this chapter.
"Alright mister, spill it," Rhapsody was saying as she sat down across from her son at the table.
"Spill what?" Meridion asked innocently.
"You know what. Where did you get that diamond?"
Meridion shared a smile with Gwyndion before saying, "It was a gift."
Rhapsody eyed her adopted grandson and then turned her attention back to her own son. Obviously Meridion had at least filled Gwyndion in on his secret, but she wasn't going to give up that easily.
"A gift from whom?" she prodded.
"My great great grandmother," he replied.
"Elynsynos gave you that diamond?" Rhapsody asked, rather shocked.
"Funny how those two questions are always so closely linked, wouldn't you say nephew Gwyndion?"
"Yes, it is funny," Gwyndion answered with a sly smile as he took a sip of wine.
"Alright, out with it," Rhapsody demanded. She had just about enough of this little game.
"Well," Meridion said as leaned forward, rather pleased with himself at getting is mother's ire yet again. "The question of why is very closely tied to when. Elynsynos gave me the diamond the summer that I turned six and you sent me to her cave to spend a few weeks, do you remember?"
"Of course I do," Rhapsody said. "But you have had that diamond for that long? And you never told anyone?" she exclaimed.
"Yes, and No, I didn't. Elynsynos gave it to me telling me to keep it with me at all times but never reveal to anyone that I had it. When I asked her why, she told me that I would find out one day and that as soon as I did, I should let her know too."
"Wait," Rhapsody said, "What is that supposed to mean?"
Meridion and Gwyndion exchanged another smile. Gwyndion had been very impressed with the story and now, since he knew where Meridion was going, he felt almost a part of it.
Achmed gave an exaggerated sigh from where he was sitting, watching the interplay. "Would you hurry up and tell your mother about your, genius, plan. You are really getting rather old to be playing these games anymore Meridion."
"You have just forgotten how to have a little fun," Meridion countered.
"If 'ee ever knew," Grunthor muttered from his end of the table. Achmed cocked an eyebrow at the giant, but left it at that.
"I'm waiting," Rhapsody reminded her son in a very motherly tone.
"Simply put, I realized when I looked in to Ylork from Nyeath several days ago, that that was where I would need the diamond. There was a F'dor here, and Achmed was in not going to be able to help. And then I remembered what Elynsynos had said about telling her when I figured it out. The reason that she had given the diamond to me in the first place, was because I had asked her to."
"At six years old, you asked your great great grandmother dragon to give you a piece of her treasure?" Rhapsody said skeptically.
"No, I asked her a few days ago to give it to me," Meridion answered, grinning ear to ear.
Rhapsody stared at her son, not comprehending a word he was saying.
Achmed rolled his eyes, "He went back in time and told Elynsynos that he would need the diamond and asked her to give it to his six year old self," he explained to the confused mother.
"You what?" Rhapsody exclaimed, her jaw dropping.
Meridion basked in the awed attention she was giving him.
"Careful Rhapsody, I can see his head getting bigger each passing moment," Achmed chided.
Immediately Rhapsody snapped her mouth shut, but still was rather awed and very proud of her son. But then suddenly she wasn't as sure how any of that really made sense after all.
"If there is one thing that you should have learned about your son by now Rhapsody, it is to not try and rationalize time. It is obviously not as fixed as you seemed to want to make it and your son is capable of manipulating it," Achmed said. "So do yourself a favor and just take it at face value and don't try and analyze it."
Shaking her head, Rhapsody realized that Achmed was right. There was no way that she would ever be able to comprehend time like Meridion could. After all, it was she who named him Child of Time; she should be used to it by now.
"One thing I still would like to know?" Gwyndion said. "Why did you call Oelyndra's name when you put the diamond around Rial's neck?"
"Oelyndra?" Rhapsody asked. "It was that star?"
"Wait, star?" Gwyndion said. "I thought Oelyndra was a person."
"She was," Rhapsody said, "which you very well know. But you should also know, as the Cymrian historian, that the Lirin warrior Oelyndra was named after a star."
"That's right," Meridion said. "Diamonds," he explained, "are pieces of stars that have fallen to the Earth. Much like the pieces that form my mother's crown, live diamonds still hold a piece of ether inside them."
"Because ether is the only element that supercedes fire, which is what the F'dor are, it is the only thing that holds true power of them," Rhapsody picked up.
"Ok, that much I get. But why Oelyndra?" Gwyndion asked again.
"Oelyndra was the star that that particular diamond came from." Meridion answered. "In order for the diamond to be called into action, it had to be Named."
"So you're a Namer now too?" Gwyndion asked.
"No," Meridion grinned. "I just picked up a few tricks from my mother. I knew the true Name of the star and the right way to say it, but that was mostly from all the times that my mother has mentioned Oelyndra the person. Any other diamond and I might not have been so accurate with the name."
Rhapsody grinned. Apparently her son really did listen to her when she talked. It was a mother's dream come true.
They all sat in comfortable silence for a while before Gwyndion suddenly asked, "I almost forgot, how is Rial doing?" he asked Rhapsody. After all the hustle and bustle after the vault, he had lost track of the poor regent.
Rhapsody sighed. "He's returned to Tyrain for now, though I think he is going to sail for the Isle of the Sea Mages soon. He is old and this has taken what spirit he had and broke it. It is going to take a long time for him to recover from his ordeal, and there are some scars that will probably never truly heal."
Gwyndion nodded, "I can't imagine what it must be like to go on after being a host to a demon."
There was a long uncomfortable silence around the table at is words. No one had told Gwyndion why it was that Achmed had become ill and needed to go to the veil and none of them felt any need to fill him in.
Finally Meridion broke the silence, "I'm sure it is worse than being a Thrall and that was the worst moment in my life. I think I can understand how recovering from being an actual host could be very traumatic and will take the support of all those around him," he said, glancing to Achmed as he finished.
"Yes, it will take some time. But I think that that is finally something which we have some of now," Rhapsody said as she rose from the table. "I think that it is time that we all went to bed now, you two have an early morning ride and I know I am still tired after all of this excitement."
Meridion and Gwyndion agreed and swiftly rose and left for their rooms. Grunthor followed soon behind.
After they had all left the room, Rhapsody cross the room to where Achmed still sat, face in steepled hands and feet propped on the table.
"You know that I am here for you if you want to talk?" Rhapsody said gently as she moved behind Achmed and began to rub his shoulders.
He continued to brood for a moment before speaking. "Yes, I know. But I think it will take some time before I am ready to talk."
Rhapsody stopped and leaned over to whisper in his ear, "just know, I will always be right behind you if you need me."