Pairing: Islanzadi / Eragon, don't like don't read.
Authors Note: I don't own the Inheritance Cycle, Christopher Paolini does. And I think due to first use, the pairing belongs to Elf Knight, hope you don't mind me using it.
I have to apologize for any mistakes I made by retelling the story of Eragons time in Ellesmera. I read Eldest five years ago, so I don't remember everything anymore.
Furthermore I apologize for the long introduction and bad poetry.
Oh, and I'm not a native speaker, so forgive me any mistakes in grammar and spelling I did.
The first time Eragon met Islanzadi, he thought her to be the most royal being he had ever seen. She was beautiful and had a special air of glory around her. For a moment he was completely caught by it. But that soon changed when she spoke to him for the first time, telling him how he wasn't able to live up to all the hope the Varden, elves and dwarfs put into him, how he was just a crippled shadow of a Rider. And even though he knew that then she had been right, all he could see when he looked at her was a woman, whose coldheartedness was equal to her beauty. And from then on he tried to spent as little time as possible with her, only meeting her if he couldn't avoid it.
He wasn't too surprised to learn about Aryas cold childhood in the forest of her mother. Picturing the queen to be a caring mother seemed to be impossible. But still the fact that Arya had suffered emotional pain because of her coldhearted mother, made him dislike Islanzadi even more. It was like the queen was made of ice and being around her made his soul feel cold.
Islanzadis first reaction to meeting Eragon wasn't so different to his, but with one significant difference: it was the other way around. Her first glance at the young Rider told her that he was a human, meaning he was weaker, slower and didn't know as much as most of the elves who had tried to get chosen by Saphira. Furthermore he was young, too young to live up to all the hopes people put into the new rider. And it didn't help either that she knew about the condition of his health. Being injured and limited by it's aftermath made him an even less appealing choice for a Rider. She hadn't been able to help herself, she was disappointed by him. But being an elf, being the queen of the elves, she was too controlled to show it.
But during the celebration that had followed the official meeting she had watched him. He wasn't as noble as an elf and he had seemed insecure, being around so many elves, but on the other hand he seemed to share a very deep bond with Saphira and he tried to behave as gentle as possible. It made her rethink her first opinion of him. Maybe he wasn't an all that bad choice after all. If he hadn't been injured by Durza he even might have become a sufficient Rider.
Eragons time in Ellesmera was a very special one, it was a constant change of ups and downs for the boy. He met Oromis and Gleadr, which filled him with hope and cured a bit of the loneliness he had felt after Brom had passed away, but at the same time his love for Arya caused him more pain than ever. Also he was tormented by the scar on his back. The unbearable pain that attacked him in all the wrong moments did not only hurt his physical health but also his mental one. Slowly his hopes of ever having the slightest chance of killing Galbatorix were trashed, with each wave of pain a bit more. It didn't help that he could see it in the elves faces that they were loosing hope too. Oromis tried his best, but Eragon knew that his training was of little use, if the curse wouldn't be broken. The only thing that could distract him from those thoughts was the time he could spent with Arya and the incredible things he learned from Oromis.
Agaeti Blödhren changed everything. At least it did for Eragon. The spirit of dragons broke the curse that had tormented him for months. The pure joy and happiness that had possessed him that evening had washed all his worries and bad feelings away, leaving him in a state of dreamlike ecstasy. It didn't last long, though.
When Eragon went to meet Arya, he confessed his love for her to the princess, but she rejected him, leaving Eragon heartbroken. For the Rider it was one of the worst feelings ever, just comparable to loosing Garrow and Brom. For days he didn't know what to do. He felt empty, like there was a big hole inside of him, which kept expanding when ever he thought about Arya. It hurt, more than he would have thought. But he continued his training with Oromis nevertheless. First there was duty, everything else had to stand back in it's presence.
When he returned to his tree-house in the evening, though Eragon would curl up on his bed and cry himself to sleep, or he would stand at the big opening in the wall and watch the sun set, over the great forest of Du Weldenvarden. The pain in his heart stayed the same though. Eragon honestly didn't know how his life should go on, if the pain didn't fade.
Late one evening Eragon was woken by the sound of flapping wings. He had fallen asleep, sitting right next to Saphira, leaning on her front paw. He had been rethinking his actions during the Blood-Oath Celebration and felt greatly embarrassed by it. What had possessed him to be so forthright? The thought that he might have ruined their friendship by it, tormented him.
The sound made him look up and he saw Blagden sitting on his bedpost. Eragon blinked surprised. „Blagden Elda.", he greeted the bird. Blagden looked at him with unmoving black eyes, but remained silent. After several minutes had passed, Eragon was getting annoyed.
„What are you doing here, Blagden Elda?", he asked. The bird kept starring at him like he was just an ordinary raven eying some interesting bunch of food.
Finally the bird cried: „Wyrda!", before spreading his wings and flying out through the hole in the wall, that was supposed to be Saphiras entrance. Eragon looked after him and wondered what had just happened.
What was that?, he asked Saphira.
I don't know., she answered. But Blagden has always been one to speak in riddles, why should he not behave in them as well?
Yes, but normally he says something, even if it's just a riddle. This was purely strange, even for Blagden.
The next morning Islanzadi was walking through the Tialdari Hall admiring the beauty that it held. After all the years she had lived in it, the beauty of the flowers and other plants still managed to lift her spirit. Still she couldn't leave all of the thoughts that kept bothering her behind. Especially the change that had happened to Eragon was constantly worrying her. Now that the curse was broken and the spirit of dragons had given him strength and speed that matched the elvish, everything had changed. Maybe he could really be useful in the battle against Galbatorix. Maybe, just maybe, he could live up to the hopes the elves had put into the new rider.
But those new circumstances also held problems, for now all the elvish families would try to pull him into their maze of politics. And that was something she couldn't allow to happen. The Rider had to keep his mind on the task and not on the political games of the elvish people. Also Eragon wasn't experienced enough to understand their ways, he could easily get caught in something he wouldn't be able to get out of anymore.
Islanzadi was distracted from her thoughts by Blagden, who landed on a branch next to her. She acknowledged him with a nod, but said nothing. The bird didn't speak either. So they stood in silence, watching the beautiful garden. After a while Blagden croaked and turned his head to look at Islanzadi.
„Neither flames or sword,
heal a broken heart
it needs more to be restored
some nice words might be a start.", he said. Islanzadi looked up, surprised.
„What is that supposed to mean?", she asked, annoyed by the birds riddle. But Blagden just blinked and remained silent. Finally he spread his wings and set off into the depths of the Tialdari Hall, leaving Islanzadi behind.
That evening, Eragon was sitting on his bed, talking to Saphira, who had curled up on her own sleeping-place. The dragon tried to talk him into talking to Arya, excusing himself for his unwanted confession, but he couldn't stand seeing the elf right now. So he told Saphira that he needed a bit more time, to let the pain fade, before he faced Arya again.
Saphira was about to say something, but was interrupted by a knock on the door to the tree-house. Eragon looked up, slightly startled. It was already late and he wasn't expecting anyone. Nevertheless he stood up and walked through the corridor to the main-door of his quarters. He didn't care to ask who it was, he just opened the door.
Surprised he stepped back as he recognized the newcomer. In the doorway, right in front of him, stood Islanzadi, queen of the elves.
Oh, no!, Eragon said to Saphira. What is she doing here? She's the last person I want to see right now.
He didn't show his displeasure, though. The Rider carefully trained his features to be blank and his body-language to be neutral.
„Islanzadi Dröttning.", he said, still not quiet sure what to make of the situation. Just in time he remembered to be polite and use the formal elvish greeting. „Atra Esterni ono thelduin."
Islanzadi smiled thinly, but returned the greeting.
„Un du Evarinya ono varda.", she answered.
„Mor'ranr lifa unin Hjarta onr.", Eragon finished.
„May I come in?", the queen asked.
„Of course, your majesty.", Eragon said hastily and stepped aside to let her in. With his mind he could sense the queen greeting Saphira, who lifted her head to look at the elf and returned the greeting.
„What brings you here, Islanzadi Dröttning?", Eragon asked, after Saphira had finished. Islanzadi turned to him again and looked at him, like she was searching something in his face.
„Word has reached me that you are not doing well.", the queen finally said. Eragon couldn't help it, he felt a stunned expression form on his face. He had tried to hide it so much, that it slightly angered him, that someone had found out. Maybe Arya had told her mother? No, she wouldn't. She and the queen weren't that close. But someone must have told her. So who could know about his sadness?
„I'm perfectly healthy.", Eragon answered. He was talking in the common language, but he still preferred not to lie to Islanzadi openly. After all she was the queen of the elves, it certainly wouldn't be wise to anger her.
„I did not refer to your state of physical health.", Islanzadi simply replied.
A solid, awkward silence followed, during which Eragon had no clue what he was supposed to say next. He couldn't tell the queen the truth, but neither could he keep lying to her.
Eragon cast a helpless glance at Saphira, but the dragon shrugged and said nothing.
Saphira, what am I to do?, he asked.
Oh, little one. Tell her the truth., she answered, sending him a wave of positive feelings.
What? You want me to tell her that I'm heartbroken because her daughter rejected me? She's most likely going to kill me if I tell her that!
No, I didn't mean, that you should be that honest. I think it would be sufficient if you tell her, that you are experiencing an emotional low, but will get past it.
Without giving her a reason for it?, Eragon inquired unsure.
She is the queen, her main concern is the well being of her people. She most likely doesn't even want to hear your reasons. I guess she came here to check whether your mind is still on the task.
Eragon gave the mental equivalent of a nod, before he focused on Islanzadi again. Only then he noticed that the queen had been watching him the whole time, while he had been busy talking to Saphira. Although by now she stood near one of the windows, even though Eragon hadn't noticed her moving.
„I... currently find myself in a state of... emotional unease... but there is no reason to worry, I still know my duties and I won't fulfill them any less, than I have done before.", Eragon said as diplomatic as possible for him. The words didn't seem to have the effect they were supposed to have, though. Islanzadi merely raised an eyebrow.
„I'm sure of that, Eragon. Still you won't be of much use, however hard you try, if something is pulling you down. I guess you haven't spoken to anyone about it?"
„No, I haven't.", Eragon answered slowly. The last thing he had expected when she had turned up at his his doorstep, was the gentleness she used right now. Of course it could all be an act, but that thought felt wrong to him.
„You should. At least to Oromis, or to Orik if you feel closer to him. After all the things you have been through, that would be the best.", she said and Eragon was stunned by the softness of her voice as she did so. Nevertheless he didn't want to show that much weakness, he didn't want everyone to believe him a lovesick child.
„I thank you for your advice and for coming here, even though there certainly are more important matters waiting for you, but I think I can manage on my own.", he said, as gently as he could. Still it managed to make the gentleness disappear from Islanzadis face.
„It would bring great shame upon my people and me if you get harmed in any way, while we are supposed to take care of you.", she took a step towards him. „You are a hero, you have proved that.", another step in his direction. „But you are still young. Not long ago you were just an ordinary boy.", one step more. „Don't expect too much of yourself, that would be of no use for anyone, the least for you."
By now she was standing right in front of him, only a few inches dividing them. Eragon had listened to her little speech and saw her approaching, but was too fascinated by this new side of the queen to do anything but watch. He could feel her warm breath ghosting over his skin, and could smell the light scent she owned, like wild flowers and the forest itself. Being so close to the queen, he felt awkward and nervous.
The queen looked him right in the eyes and for him it felt like Islanzadi could read every single one of his thoughts, without even trying to touch his mind.
Then suddenly he felt something touch the outer side of his hand and nearly flinched. It took a lot of self-control to battle the instinct to do so down, but Eragon wanted to know what would happen next and feared that it'd break the moment if he moved. So instead of looking down he asked Saphira.
She has touched your hand with hers., was the answer.
Why would she... ?, he was cut off.
For the tiniest of moments he could see Islanzadi move, but it was far too fast for him to react. The next thing he noticed was a pair of foreign lips covering his own and surprise momentarily blanking his mind. It felt surprisingly good, but that couldn't stop the realization from hitting him: Islanzadi, Aryas mother, queen of the elves, was kissing him! ...
Please review if you like, I'd like to know what you think.
I'd like to make this a multichaptered story, but that depends on the feedback I get. There is no use in writing a story if no one reads it, eh? ^^