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The 44 Dragons
by Margo Fallis
Part Three - The Dragon's Hope - Chapter 36

“Gordinth, I’m glad Quirin saved the eggs,” Crispin said, watching the dragons fly around the cave.

            “Don’t forget Sindri and Claring and Gretel’s parents, Astrid and Reyka. They were just as much a part of it as the others.” The wizard laughed, watching Venec and Cardew with Jago and Rosenwyn. “I’m glad we brought those two back this morning after Gretel left. Now we are complete, except for little Jago and Rosenwyn.”

            “You said you’d teach me some magic. Will you teach me now?” Crispin didn’t want to wait.

            “Very well, my boy. Patience is something every wizard needs. From this moment on, you must learn patience. You must learn that there is a time for everything. First of all, we need to get you a wand,” Gordinth reached into his cloak and pulled out a long stick. “You can use this one. I’ve got another.”

            “It looks like a stick from an old tree. How many wands do wizards get to have?”

            “Only two. I was given the one you’re holding when I was about ten years old, just about your age, I imagine. This wand,” he said, pulling another out of his cloak, “is much more powerful. My father presented this wand to me. It was the proudest day of my life. Never think it’s just an old stick. Your wand is made from a branch of a julina tree. There is only one tree of its kind in the entire world. It has stood since time began. A wand made from a julina branch is a wand that is powerful. Never forget that, boy.”

            Crispin looked at the wand in his hand. He started waving it around. “I won’t forget it. What are some magic words? I want to do magic.”

            “You need to work on that patience, lad, but I know you’re excited. Let’s start with a simple levitation spell. Hold your wand up like this,” Gordinth showed him how. “Now, look around and tell me what you’d like to make move.”     

            Crispin looked around the cave. Nothing caught his eye until he saw Lamorna. She lay asleep while the others played. “I want to levitate Lamorna.”

            “Very well. Wave your wand and as you do, say these words with me. Antioca Contini Parloosi.” Crispin echoed his words.

Lamorna lifted into the air, floating about three feet off the ground.

 “There you go, boy. Good job. The trick is to remember those words. The more you do it, the better you’ll be at controlling it. Soon you’ll be able to make Lamorna move across the cave. You can use this spell on an object, but anytime you want to levitate a living thing, you must wait until it is sleeping. Spells like this won’t work on people, wizards, or animals that are awake.”

            “Okay. I’ll remember.” Crispin lowered Lamorna down to the ground again by lowering his wand. “That was fun.” He spent the next hour levitating rocks, fallen tree trunks and eggs from bird’s nests.

            Gordinth sat and watched. His mind thought back to the day his father, Sqirinth, presented him with the wand. He and Amtith stood side by side, as brothers and as wizards. He’d never had a son of his own. “Crispin, would you like to fly? Jago, how about taking us for a ride?”

            “Wow! I’d love that,” Crispin said, putting his wand into his pants pocket.

            Jago understood, stood and walked over to the wizard. The babies flew around in excitement, knowing something was going to happen. Gordinth, it would be my honor to fly with you as my passenger and the boy too. Climb on my back.  The huge dragon sat down and laid its neck on the ground so Gordinth and Crispin could climb onto his back.

Crispin grabbed onto Jago’s neck and pulled himself up. He walked down the neck until he was in the middle of the dragon’s back. “Be careful, Gordinth. There are a lot of spikes up here,” Crispin called to the wizard.

“I’m too old for this,” Gordinth said and whisked his cape around him. He disappeared and then re-appeared on Jago’s back. “Let’s sit right here, at the base of Jago’s neck. Hold on to me and don’t let go, no matter what happens. Do you understand?” Gordinth wanted to make sure they would be safe. Let’s be off, Jago. Take us for a ride.”

Jago stood.

 “Whoa!” Crispin shouted as the dragon moved around, struggling to stand. Jago took a few steps forward and then unfolded his wings. “Wow! Look at the size of your wings, Jago.” The spread filled the entire length of the cave’s opening. Crispin could see through the leathery wings. He laughed, watching the little dragons on the ground, running around underneath.

Jago flapped each wing up and down. A powerful whirlwind blew some of the babies back into the cave. The leaves on the trees wave up and down in the wind.

Crispin felt the dragon lift off the ground. “Wow! We’re flying. I’m flying on the back of a dragon!”

No sooner had Jago taken off when Rosenwyn followed. The little dragons flapped their wings and took off, not wanting to be left out.

“They’re all flying now, Crispin. Look down,” Gordinth said, pointing at the ground.

Crispin leaned over and saw Rosenwyn below them and the babies below her. “Yahoo! We’re all flying.” Jago flew them down to the sea, darting over the tops of the waves. Crispin thought of the huge waves that nearly drowned him and grabbed onto Gordinth with a tighter hold. He saw whales spouting spray high into the air. They looked much smaller from above than he’d expected. They headed back to land, swooping above the treetops, up the side of the mountains and across meadows and river-laden valleys. “The babies look like a moving rainbow.”

Gordinth looked down at them and nodded. Take us to the top of Mt. Suriban. Let’s show Crispin and the little ones our island. Gordinth patted the back of Jago’s neck. The dragon obeyed, flying to the height of the mountaintop. He landed near the edge of a high cliff. Gordinth climbed down carefully, standing on Jago’s leg and then his clawed foot.

Crispin simply slid off, plopping on his bottom in the dirt.

Rosenwyn and the babies landed shortly after.

“Look at the island, my little ones. Have you ever seen such a sight?” Gordinth grinned with joy.

“It looks big.” Crispin walked over to the edge and sat down, dangling his legs over.

The baby dragons jumped off the edge. Delighted when they caught the updraft from the valley below, they soared with the winds. Each of them flew in front of Crispin and Gordinth, screeching with joy.

 “Look at them. They’re having so much fun. They’re soaring like eagles,” Crispin said.

“Would you like to learn another spell while they fly around?” Gordinth knew the boy would agree.

“Yes. What spell is it this time?” Crispin pulled out his wand and jumped to his feet.

“This spell is to make things invisible. Let’s make that boulder disappear.” Gordinth pulled out his wand. “Bicto Zomani Xeler!”

Crispin repeated the spell. To his delight, the boulder disappeared. “Wow! It vanished.”

“Actually, the rock is still there. We just can’t see it. You have a turn. Make Rosenwyn invisible.”

Crispin waved his wand around. “Bicto Zomani Xeler!” Rosenwyn disappeared. “Wow. She’s gone too. Oh, that’s right, she’s still there, just invisible.” Crispin ran over to where Rosenwyn lay. He felt her body. “She is still here. That’s a great spell.”

“Now turn her back.”

“How do I do that?”

“Perhaps you should have asked me that first. Remember, you must think about things before you do them. To make Rosenwyn appear, simply say, ‘Yabu Vindeli Topu’.” Crispin shouted the spell and the dragon re-appeared. After he repeated the spell, the boulder did too. “I’m going to go over there,” the boy pointed, “and practice making things invisible. I’ll be back later.”

“Don’t be long. The babies have a long flight home,” Gordinth said. He sat watching the babies gliding on the wind. A dark spot, off to the right side of the island caught his attention. “That’ll be where Darmantha is. He’s spoiling our beautiful island. Come, Crispin; it’s time to get back to Luba.”

Crispin ran back. “I made all sorts of things invisible. I almost forgot the spell to make them un-invisible, but then I remembered.”

“Later I’ll teach you how to make yourself invisible and transport yourself to another location.”

“That would be great, Gordinth!”

“Would you like to fly Jago or Rosenwyn home all by yourself?”

“Yes, I sure would. I think I can do that now.” The boy giggled with excitement and delight. “I want to fly Rosenwyn home to Luba.”

Very well. Climb aboard. Rosenwyn allowed the boy to climb on her neck and sit on her back.

 “I’ll fly Jago. Come on, little ones. Let’s go home.”

Jago jumped off the edge of the cliff and joined the babies. He soared around them and then headed for home.

            Rosenwyn stood on the edge and jumped off.

             “Arghhhhh!” Crispin held onto one of her spikes as they flew straight down. “This isn’t funny, Rosenwyn,” he cried. The wind blew in his face so hard, he couldn’t breathe.

            She straightened up and flew toward Jago and the others.

            Crispin sighed with relief. “That’s better. Thank you.”

            When they landed back at the cave, Gordinth and Crispin left the dragons with the babies and headed back to the village. “You’ve had quite a day, my young apprentice. Let’s eat and then I’ll teach you a few more tricks.”

            “That was the most fun thing I’ve ever done. Thank you, Gordinth.” Crispin hugged the wizard as they entered Luba.

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