Chapter 10: Do Not Breathe Fire in Woodland Houses

Flying over sick forest and sticky webs, Yúla let out a violent roar that shook the remaining orange leaves below. Listening closely, she heard as the reverberations of her vocal frustrations echoed through the trees below.

The clicking and skittering of wretched creatures below could be heard once the roar died down, like a hidden rot crawling beneath the wavy skin of the colorful forest canopy. The magical wisps of a black enchantment tickled her scales as she flew by, carried by the mist evaporated from the unseen water source below.

With the wind whipping by her, she flapped her mighty wings down as she propelled herself onward. Scenting the air, she followed the cleanest scent she could find.

Find where nature is still thriving, and I find the elves.

The forest could not be left like this. This place was beautiful once, a perfect balance of nature. Plants, prey, predators, fungi, soil, plants. The cycle had been broken and must now be fixed, or this forest would never return to the beauty it once had.

Despite her own dark origins as a creature of fire and death, she would do her best to bring peace back to this place.

She thought of all the tomes she read over the years that she was still small enough to do so. She knew who she wanted to talk to, as the details of all the kingdoms were quite thoroughly recorded back in Rivendell. By all accounts, including from the elves that had relatives who would return from journeys to the woodland realm, Thranduil's kingdom was a thriving and peaceful place. Clearly, something was very, very wrong here.

Releasing another roar, she propelled herself onward yet again, a vengeful fire burning in her chest.

She will have her answers.


Yúla's scales crawled at the feeling of sick black magic flowing across her armored hide in the humid, sticky breeze. The sticks of the dead forest clicked and clacked around her as the blackness of night surrounded the area, and yet there was no sound of life to be heard. No tweets of birds or chirps of crickets.

Nothing good lives here anymore.

The dragoness didn't wish to remain still for too long, but it became rather obvious only a few hours into her flight that her elf would not be able to remain awake for too much longer. Their intended time to recover from their journey was supposed to be at Radagast's hut, but her admittedly impulsive decision to confront the woodland elves scattered all those plans into the wind.

So here they were, her elf safely tucked within the confines of her coils, the dragoness placing a wing atop her side in an attempt to keep any of the foul witchcraft from seeping into his mind.

"Is this really necessary?"

Shifting her weight, she lifted her wing and peered underneath her armored chest. Sure enough, Ídhaiamrûn was lying in his little rolled nest. His forest green eyes stood out to her even amongst the blackness surrounding him.

He was sitting up in his bedroll, clearly sweating due to her inner fire despite the crisp autumn air outside of her personal sanctuary. Hearing the chittering of some unknown creature in the distance cut through the silence of the surroundings, she shifted her weight a bit and gave her response.


The two sat there in a silent stalemate, the light from her eyes illuminating the small cavern of her own making in a soft blue light.

Shaking his head, the elf lies back down onto the dirty forest floor.

"Well then... I know better than to argue with a dragon."

Happily satisfied that she would get her way, she pulls her snout back out from its confines as she continues to scan their surroundings. Immediately upon returning her attention to the forest, the soft blue glow of her eyes reflected off of several different sets of eyes.

The spiders were silent, swift, and deadly to most, but she would not give them the satisfaction of a meal.

A deep rumbling growl rose up from deep within her, shaking the air of the surrounding area. Upon hearing the sound, the sticky creatures scurried off into the woods, most likely to scavenge for whatever remaining meals that might have survived their infestation thus far.

"Yúla? What is it?"

Shifting her weight once again, she made sure the nasty creatures were gone before she responded.

"Nothing that needs to worry you. Get your rest."

A few moments of black, tense silence came and went before the small shifting of cloth could be heard.

"I am not the only one who needs rest, I think."

Feeling her eye twitch at the insinuation, Yúla once more poked her snout into her coils to fix him with a disbelieving stare.

"And who else will scare away these horrid creatures? The foul wind?"

The elf, now reaching into his pack, shook his head.

"Why, you will! After all, if these creatures have even a small bit of intelligence, they should know the saying."

Pulling out his harp, the elf lies back down even as he readies himself to play.

"Do not poke a sleeping dragon."

Fixing her with a sly look even from his spot lying on the ground, he did his best to look accusingly toward her.

"I am certain that none but the most foolish of creatures will challenge you, and fools are no challenge for one such as you."

She knew what he was doing, as the constant flattery was often a method he, along with everyone else, used as a way to improve her mood. Typically she would allow it to work despite knowing full well what the intentions were behind the compliments, but not this time.

She knew what dwelt in these woods. While she needed to protect him from the creatures lying in wait for her guard to slip, she was equally worried about what might wish to attack her instead.

She was flying north to confront the woodland elves. Should those same elves catch her unaware, it could spell disaster. She did not wish to fight them, only… only…

It wasn't until now that the absurdity of her thoughts caught up to her.

What exactly am I doing right now?

The devastation of the wilds around her needed to be answered for, but how would she go about getting such answers? Exactly who's fault is this? Why was this happening? What could she do?


Her voice was small, uncertainty showing through as she finally realized that


Sticking a free paw into the fallen leaves around her, she swiped to the side only to see mold and rot covering the dirt below. This sickened her, knowing first hand the beauty that the woods once held has all turned to death and rot.

"How do I fix this?"

Feeling a small hand rest itself on her armored leg, she returned her attention to the inside of her coils.

"I don't know," He says, causing her heart to sink for a moment before he continues. "But you don't need to do it alone. I am here, and I will help however I can."

Smiling, the dragoness felt herself grow a bit less anxious as she settled in. Placing her head on its side against her wrapped tail, she took in a deep breath and tried to relax for the night.

The silence was broken as a soft tune from the harp cut through the ominous and sinister atmosphere around them, returning only a small bit of peace to this devastated clearing. As she drifted to sleep, she could only hope that she could help this place in the same way he could.


The panicked yells and terrified whispers of the ones chosen to defend their homes filtered up through the cracks in the woodland kingdom's defenses. The scent of fear and the sound of well-forged steel scraping against their scabbards and hardened wood clacking against bows could be heard muffled behind the intricately carved stone gate.

Not that Yúla particularly cared at the moment.

After flying around for several hours frantically searching the forest canopy for the woodland realm, she finally was able to locate the elven kingdom.

Almost immediately upon arrival, the familiar but unwelcome sound of war horns rang through the air. Instantly, her mood soured, as the reminder of her youthful escapades being interrupted by elves, apparently trying to kill her with arrows, resurfaced.

Which then led her to her current situation of staring at a closed gate, her sharp eyes picking up the slight movement and sounds behind the walls of a beautiful entrance of an apparently terrified elven nation.

It does not matter. I'm not here to attack them, therefore they have nothing to fear.

"Thranduil, King of the Woodland Realm! I request an audience! Come out so we may speak!"

Shifting a bit, waiting for a response, the dragoness heard nothing resembling an answer for a long few moments as the panicked sounds continued. After a frustrated growl escaped her maw at the clear lack of response, a quiet voice came up from next to her left forepaw.

"Perhaps it might be prudent for us to specify that you mean no harm. One can easily misunderstand your request for an audience as a threat…"

Blinking, she shifted a bit on the soft dirt of the forest floor. Attempting to rethink her approach, she took in a deep breath and added a single word.

"… Please?"

The panicked noises from inside the walled-off kingdom died down for only a moment, but it didn't take long before the sounds returned back to war horns and muffled barked orders.

Feeling a soft hand place itself comfortingly on her forepaw, she glanced down to see Ídhaiamrûn smiling up to her.

"While that was certainly a nice gesture, I meant that you might need me to act as your representative here."

Tilting her head in confusion, she brought her eye down to examine her companion a bit more closely.


Placing his delicate hands behind his back, he turned toward the closed gate in front of them.

"I doubt they will open the gates for you, and that without permission, they won't allow you to enter the kingdom…"

Baring her fangs, she followed his gaze to the stone gate. Even from a quick examination, she was certain she could knock it down with ease.

As if sending her thoughts, Ídhaiamrûn continued on.

"… Peacefully enter the kingdom for talks. Perhaps it is best if I talk to whomever King Thruanduil might send in your stead."

Understanding his meaning, she felt almost offended at the insinuation that she couldn't speak for herself. Carefully going over her options, she quickly realized that his suggestion was her best, and only, option. Since these woodland elves were so clearly terrified of her, she most likely couldn't get anything resembling a proper conversation with them normally.

Fixing her elf with an analyzing gaze for a moment, she decided that she would need to let him go with only a few parting words.

"I trust you."

Smiling, he placed his small gentle hand atop one of her razor sharp claws.

"Thank you."


The sounds of war horns rang through the woodland realm like what the elvish princeling would assume the manic buzz of a wasp nest would sound like from the inside. Left and right, warriors on duty and off were frantically throwing on their armor in preparation to defend their home. The gates were reinforced as best they could be, and ancient weapons not used in untold centuries were brought up from their almost-forgotten resting places to once more to defend their home.

Battle was in the air, everyone knew it. What didn't make sense, was why it hadn't arrived yet.

Chancing a quick glance through one of the gaps in the fortifications of the woodland kingdom's first line of defense, Legolas expected to see the dragon preparing to attack the fortifications, but he only saw the same situation that had been present for almost ten whole minutes now.

There was a dragon out there.

It wasn't like the beast was hiding, far from it. No, it sat there at the end of one of a bridge that led into the city proper, calmly staring down the massive gate that led into the underground kingdom. Its tail swished back and forth in clear agitation, bumping into trees and carelessly scooping up dirt behind it, clearing a wide swath of the forest floor without even a thought on the matter.

The prince idly wondered if the creature was sent by some other dark power to end the threat the woodland realm posed. With the recent destruction of the dwarven city under the lonely mountain by a similar force, it wouldn't be a stretch to think that these are coordinated efforts…

I can only hope we can weather this storm.

Despite his grim thoughts, Legolas was sure he had seen this dragon before, only last time it was much much smaller. The blue eyes that this beast had were the same as the one he chased off from the woods to the south nearly seventy years prior, he was certain of it. He knew that they hadn't killed it when it was small and weak, and now it looks as if his failure to do so has now come back to haunt them all.


Turning, he met the gaze of Tauriel, the captain of the guard.


The red-headed silvan elf lines up next to the princeling, peeking through the same gap in the wall as he did only moments before.

"Has anything changed?"

Shifting a bit in his light armor, the woodland prince shook his head.

"No. Not since the beast demanded an audience."

Watching as she ran a finger along the hilt of a knife, Legolas could clearly see that his friend was nervous. Then again, didn't she have a right to be?

"Good. Our preparations have gone unnoticed."


"My prince!"

The two turned to one of the scouts who was sprinting up a log in all haste. Upon arriving, he gave his message without delay.

"Your father, King Thruanduil, has ordered you to return to his chambers deeper into the kingdom! You are to make your way there at once!"


Legolas was almost offended at the prospect of abandoning those under him in a time they clearly needed him, and yet an order from his father was not one to ignore lightly.

Torn at the prospect of upsetting the prince, the messenger bowed deeply.

"My utmost apologies, but I must agree. It is not your job to stop a rampaging dragon from destroying the kingdom."

"It isn't rampaging."

The two turned back to Tauriel, who was studying the dragon from her spot against the walls.

"It's just standing there… Menacingly."

His red-haired friend whipped her head around and met his eyes again, a strangely unreadable emotion going across it for a moment.

"There's an elf out there!"

The group of three, guard included, all found themselves staring out of the small gap in their defenses. Sure enough, there was a small figure casually sitting atop the razor-sharp claws of the beast without a care for their own safety.

The three of them stood there dumbfounded as the strange elf seemingly made casual conversation with the beast. None of them quite knew what to say, allowing a moment of stunned silence to come and go before Tauriel finally said what they were all thinking.

"Why isn't he dead?"

"Legolas," Turning, Legolas saw his regal father staring at him with an emotionless frown on his face. "To my chambers. Now. You will be nowhere near the ramparts when we begin." His tone offered no rebuttal.

Legolas only hesitated for a moment before he followed his father's demands. Even as he made his way away, he watched as the group all turned to see his kingly father graciously making his way past the prince and up to the opening. Taking a quick glance out of the opening, the silver haired king's frown clearly showed through his emotionless mask.

"Are the archers ready?"

Tauriel responded with a nod and a salute.

Legolas only heard one last sentence before all hell broke loose. "Good. Let us rid my lands of this worm at once."


"Do you think they will answer?"

Feeling the elf shift atop her knuckle, she glanced down to meet his eyes as he looked up.

"I don't know. Patience is our ally here. After all, the longer you sit here waiting, the clearer your peaceful intentions are."

Growling in annoyance, she felt her tail smack the trunk of a tree behind her again. Stewing in her own thoughts, she went over the situation again in her mind. Feeling her anger and frustration resurface, she glanced back to the forest behind her.

In the immediate area around the elven city, it appeared as if the forest was the same as it was so long ago. No spiders, no horrid witchcraft, no darkness and death. The stark difference made her truly wonder if this trip was a waste of time.

Surely the elves' ability to cure the forest has limits? Could the forest even heal from such a plague? All of the animals in the forest are dead, the trees are strangled by webs, and the air itself is poisonous. Perhaps it would be best just to cleanse the forest with fire and let it be reborn from the ashes…

Looking down, she fixed Ídhaiamrûn with a curious look. "Do you think that burning the sick parts of the forest out would help?"

The elf glanced up, his eyebrows furrowed in a look of pure confusion for a moment. As he sat there, what she said seemed to click in his head as he then began to chuckle while shaking his head.

"Only a dragon would consider burning an entire forest to the ground a better alternative to peaceful resolution."

Feeling indignant, she nudged him with her snout, causing him to fall off her paw and onto the ground with a soft thud.

As if his impact with the ground was some unseen signal, the familiar sound of a high pitched horn rang through the air. The same as when she was young.

One, then two, then five…

Looking to the source of the sound, the upper elevation of the woodland realm's walls seemingly came alive as hundreds of elves, all armed with bows, popped up over the wall. The sound of wood scraping against wood in mass unison could be heard.

A heartbeat came and went, Yúla's breath catching at the sight of all the archers now aiming directly at her.

And her elf.


The sound of a hundred arrows flying in her direction could be heard, like a swarm of deadly bees all arching their way toward her. Hurling herself forward, she threw her body in between the arching path of the arrows, feeling them all impact the thickest part of her scales alongside her back.

One by one, two by two, each pelted arrow slamming into the armored scales on her back seemed to awaken the predatory instincts inside her. She no longer wished for peaceful talks. No. Now she wanted to rip and tear and burn and shred!

They dare to try and kill me? I'll show them! I'll…

Glancing down, she saw her elf below her, yelling up to her but she couldn't hear him anymore. Snarling deeply, she wished for nothing more than the endless barrage to end so that she could respond in kind. Sadly, she couldn't move. Ídhaiamrûn was still underneath her. One stray arrow would be all it would take for her to lose him.

Deep down, she knew it was over already and that there was no winning this situation. She was weak now, forced to defend someone that didn't have her scales or claws. It didn't matter if they couldn't strike her down, which she wasn't sure they couldn't do. No, if she lost him, she would lose the only one who cared enough not to leave her like everyone else.

Maybe if I endure this barrage long enough, they will run out of arrows. Maybe then-

Hearing the doors to the kingdom open, she spun one eye around to see several elves charging her location with drawn swords. She knew their arrows couldn't pierce her, but those swords might be able to cut through her soft underbelly.

She was only able to assess the threat for only a moment before her eyes were forced closed as a few arrows impacted her muzzle and eye ridges.

"Yúla! We need to leave! Now!"

"I know!" She yelled back.

Turning back to her elf, she saw as an arrow landed on the ground not too far away from Ídhaiamrûn's foot. Despite her instincts screaming at her to fight, she knew her only option was to flee. She hated the idea, and despised the situation, but it was no longer up to her. Grasping her elf in her talons, she lurched into the skies.

Unwilling to leave without her thoughts on the situation clear, she bellowed a deafening roar, full of sadness and anger as she fled.


Looking down upon the warm-wriggle-trapped-food in its web. The spider happily stung the creature with its stinger, causing the panicked snorting of the creature to succumb to the paralyzing agent. Taking a moment to fully wrap its food, the spider began to drag the food toward the congregation of its kind nearby.

We will feast well tonight! The creature thought in delight, dragging the warm-still-wrapped-food with it toward a tree. After all, the traps were becoming less and less useful as time went on.

Suddenly, the creature turned its gaze skyward toward the treetops, widening in surprise as the web it so carefully spun in the area became slack in some places. It didn't feel like it was cut, but nor did it feel like yet another tree died and gave way.

It almost felt like it… burned?

And that was all the creature would ever think as its world was engulfed within the maw of a dragon.



Taking in another deep breath, she set another large swath of the forest ablaze in her rage, focusing her rage upon the webs and sick magics of the area. It must be cleansed! If the elves won't do it, then she will!

"You do not belong." Saruman's voice echoed in her mind, stoking the already raging fires of her anger.

Finding another spider dragging a deer to some unknown fate, she dove into an open forest clearing, viciously and violently bit the creature in half with one bite before spitting it back out. After all, she wasn't hungry. Just angry.

Oh so very angry.

That damned king! How DARE he attack me when I am only trying to help!

"You will never belong."

"Yúla, please!"

Slamming her tail into a nearby tree, she splintered the ancient trunk, sending the top tumbling onto the ground violently. Black ooze spilled out from within the tree, a corrupted blood-slime where sweet-smelling sap should be.

Look at this place! It's barely even a forest! Another swipe of her claws and another infected tree was felled. But those elves would rather attack me than defend it? How dare they!

"You are a creature, born from the fires of hatred and malice." Saruman said, mocking tone reverberating through her head.

She roared mightily into the skies. Unwilling to let the thought-Saruman win, the dragoness continued her rampage, unwilling to let her anger go. This was her only option now, her only choice to help. She wanted dearly to fix the forest, to bring it back to what it once was, but she knew she couldn't now.

Looking back to the dismembered spider, knowing full well that she couldn't kill them all, but that didn't mean she couldn't try! All she could do now was to cleanse it. Burn it! Clear the filth out!

Perhaps maybe, when the forest regrew, it would become something similar to what it was before. Something beautiful and nice and sweet-smelling and life-giving.

Looking around her, she saw her handiwork. Smoke and fire billowed into the skies, sparking stars from the fires below rising into the cool air above, mixing with the wind as it carried the heat onward.

"You were created for only one purpose, to bring destruction and ruin upon the free people of this world."

Scenting the smell of hairy-sticky-slimy spiders nearby, she snapped her gaze in the direction. They might not have been the cause, she still didn't know why this was happening after all, but she sure could take out her anger on them.

If all I am good for is destruction, then these creatures will feel my wrath!

Fanning out her massive wings, she leapt into the skies, following the scent as best she could.

"Yúla! You need to calm down!" She idly heard from astride her back, not even remembering when Ídhaiamrûn left her paw to end up on her back again… not that she particularly cared at the moment.

"This place used to be beautiful!" Was her response, fury dripping from every word as she took flight once again. "If those elves won't help me cleanse it, then I will do what I was bred to do!"

Finding the spider's nest from above, a tangle of silken threads with hundreds of scurrying giant-arachnids all feasting upon the prey animals of the forest, leaving nothing alive.

Unleashing a torrent of fire, she fanned her own flames with her wings, causing a hurricane of fire to rain upon the nest. The heat was immense, causing the near-dead trees to go from frosted over to ignited in a mere instant, ashes and flames spiraling in her wing-gusts causing nowhere to be safe as the fire devoured all in its path.

The heat from her anger was immense as she watched some of the spiders turn to steam and dust before her eyes. Shutting her maw, she heard the sound of life within this part of the forest die out in an instant, leaving only the pops of fire and the sound of falling trees.

It was only now that she realized what she did.

Looking down from above at the large swath of forest set ablaze, the veil of anger clouding her mind was finally removed. It would take decades… even centuries for this place to recover, if it ever did. The forest here was ancient, older than her… maybe even older than the elves. This forest had seen worse than these spiders…

And I destroyed it.

"The least damaging option is for you to be 'caged' as you put it."

Sadness replaced her anger as she found herself agreeing with the white wizard, finally allowing logic to once more seep into her thoughts.

Even though I just cleared out a nest, what will come and replace them but even more filth? Now that the forest here is gone, the corruption won't allow anything new to thrive here. No, all I did was add to the death this forest has endured.

Looking around, she saw as the forest fire she caused was rapidly spreading. This small moment of anger caused her to destroy the one thing she was trying to protect.

She didn't fix it, she only made it worse.

Everything she was trying to do has come back to bite her now. She set out to find Radagast for answers, and yet she still has none. She went to the woodland elves to help, and yet she was attacked without even a word. She tried to fix the woods herself, and she destroyed it.

Feeling a silent, shifting Ídhaiamrûn on her back, she finally felt her fire cool as she suddenly found it hard to breathe. It took all of her remaining strength to remain aloft above her handiwork, having only one thought now that she uttered quietly above the raging inferno below.

"What have I done?"

-Author's Note-

Hello everyone! Sorry for the delay, but as I stated in my other stories, life has been… immensely hard recently. Sure, it's just a fanfiction, but I know y'all have been waiting for this for a while.

Sorry the chapter was so small. I actually got about 2000 words of deleted scene of Glorfindel showing up, warning Thranduil, and having a peaceful conversation and negotiation… but I honestly hated every moment of it. It seemed bland, boring, too… perfect. Too unproblematic. Basically, a crappy story with no conflict.

So I did this instead.

She's was never going to be well received by the woodland elves, at all, and she can't just be friends with everyone. She needs to have some enemies other than orcs to make her seem like the outcast she is. I thought it out, and this is what I came up with.

Sorry to leave ya on a cliffhanger, but this seemed like a good place to end it for now. Here's hoping I can keep it going and update it again soon.

I was honestly debating on not having Tauriel even show up as a cameo in this chapter since I really disliked her character arc in the hobbit movies, and she's technically not canon…

but then everything changed when the Amazon nation attacked.

Honestly, I've found solace and peace in the old movies, Jackson's hobbit movies included. You never really understand how to appreciate what you have until it becomes a pathetic corporate mockery of what it once was.

Oh well. Hope y'all enjoy the chapter.

Alright, so I feel like I've been asked this too many times not to clarify them all.

1: there won't be any smut. I'm not that kind of writer. Sorry.

2: Yúla is a dragon and will remain that way. Shape changing dragons wasn't a part of the canon lore therefore it isn't a part of this. Slight changes are one thing, but entire reworks of existing lore means I might as well make my own world with its own rules.

3: you guys do realize that love is more than physical attraction right? If you have read the inheritance cycle, how would you describe the bond that Eragon and Saphira have other than the magic that binds them? I personally would consider that a bond of love and companionship, and yet they didn't get down and dirty… cuz ya know…

She's a dragon… and that'd also be dumb. (No offense to any who like that, but we all have opinions.)

4: Ídhaiamrûn's name translates to "one who longs for the skies" if my elvish is right… which it probably isn't.

5: Morrovalûr translates to "black winged fire" (yeah they were just naming off traits because they didn't know anything about her yet) I might go back and fix a chapter to have someone mention it to her, but I wanted to keep it in her perspective, and at the time, she didn't know what it meant either.

As always, read and review, and if you like it, consider giving me a follow and a favorite!