The boys spoke not a single word since they landed on the island. They were still in shock. They expected resistance, even a fight, but this calm acceptance of their presence blew them away. As soon as Galen touched down on the island, he shape shifted back into his normal self. He didn't consciously change out of his pterodactyl shape, so the island must have done it for him.

"You can sit down with her if you like, Llewellyn. She's fast asleep, she won't wake up for several hours. You might as well get comfortable." Gloria told him kindly.

The dragon carefully seated himself on the grass, as he positioned the baby in his arms so that she slept on her back, her sweet little face sporting a happy smile. She was having a pleasant dream.

Sarah approached Galen, as he watched Sarah Morgan sleep in his friend's arms.

"Now then Galen," She said to get his attention. We have a lot to do before you return to the stronghold at dawn."

"But ... the Van Helsings are tracking us. They'll know we're already on the island, they'll suspect something is wrong. They don't expect us to arrive here for hours." Galen said.

"No they won't. As soon as you came within range, Fancy Anne and James followed above you. They disabled the signals in your heads, and transferred them to a couple of robotic birds that are still flying the route you were supposed to take. If they send a killing spell along the signal, it will only kill the robots."

"I don't think they have any magic of their own. They have to get a wizard to cast spells and stuff."

Sarah nodded. "I know, and the wizard you're talking about only works on his own terms, so he might not be willing to whip up killing spells on demand." Sarah made a 'come to me ' gesture toward someone in the crowd around the fire.

A man and woman who looked distinctly transparent to Galen, approached. He knew that ghosts existed, he just hadn't seen any up close before.

"This is James and Fancy Anne, Galen. They will be escorting you invisibly back to the stronghold. They won't show up in any of its exterior scans, because they' ll float in as a mist. They will be near you at all times. They can become visible and solid to protect the three of you if necessary. They are formidable fighters, because they can't die - they're already dead."

"That's a long trip for a little kid. will she be okay?" Galen worried aloud. He really didn't want to kidnap Sarah Morgan at all.

"She'll be fine. James is her grandfather, and Fancy Anne has been looking after her since she was born, so they won't let anything happen to her."

"I don't understand, ma'am." Galen said, respectfully. "Why are you willing to let us take that sweet little girl away?"

"It's in her destiny. Our best seer saw it coming weeks ago. We believe a friend of ours might be a captive in the stronghold. Fancy Anne and James will be able to go anywhere once they're inside."

"If they can get in so easily, why haven't they gone before now?"

"We couldn't find them, that's why. We don't know if they're on an island like us, or in another dimension like the elven realms. Every effort to locate it has been useless. We can't find a trace of it. The two of you must have some kind of homing device on you somewhere, otherwise you'd never get back there. James and Fancy Anne will be able to find Ash if he's there."

"Ash Van Helsing?" He used to live there, but I heard he ran away some time ago."

"He did, but they've captured him, the seer saw it happen."

"So what do you want us to do, kidnap him? "

"If you can, yes. If you brought him back here, they would follow. There is no love lost between Judas and Ash, but he would feel honour bound to 'rescue' his son. The high powered circles of government he moves in would expect it of him. There is a battle coming, but we aren't sure where. If we can fortify the island and send away all the innocent non combatants, the island itself can help us defeat the Van Helsings."

"What is going to happen to the baby when we take her to the stronghold? Those two are evil incarnate. They wouldn't think twice about killing an infant."

"Don't worry about Sarah Morgan. She'll have Faerie charms, and Elven charms, and two ghosts capable of combat to protect her, as well as you two. The seer can't tell for sure who it is that brings her home, but she saw Sarah Morgan being held by the hand as she walks through the waves to the beach below this cliff. The seer couldn't see the face of the person with her, but she was splashing and playing in the water. She was wearing what she's wearing now."

"What do you want us to do when we get to the stronghold?"

"You'll just have to play it by ear, I guess. I already told Sarah Morgan that she would be going to a scary place, but she would be safe. She understands that grandpa James and auntie Fancy Anne would be with her at all times. She even said she would try to be brave. That's when I had to turn away; I didn't want her to see me cry."

Galen didn't say anything. He felt like crying himself. He felt very protective toward Sarah Morgan, even though he just met her. He suspected someone from the island, or maybe the island itself, put a spell on him to protect the little girl at all costs. He wanted to ask more questions, but he saw Gloria take the baby from Llewellyn, so he guessed they were probably going to leave the beach. Sarah confirmed his guess.

"The two of you should get some sleep. We'll take you up to the castle. It's just after sunset now, and you'll be leaving at dawn. We'll tell you everything you have to know, and everything you have to do before you go."

Galen nodded as Sarah turned away from the cliff, to walk across the meadow toward the forest path leading to the castle.. He followed her, as Ben and Lewellyn came up behind him. Gloria,Thalion and Sarah Morgan brought up the rear. When they got to the castle, the boys were given a good meal, and sent to bed. James woke Galen up an hour before dawn by making his cot bump around the room.

"Wha...?" Galen groaned groggily.

"Get up sleepy head. You have time for a quick shower and breakfast. Fancy Anne is in waking up Llewellyn now. Ben and Sarah are in the kitchen eating breakfast. Gloria and Thalion have a padded leather sling for the dragon to wear. If there was any other way to stop the Van Helsings from wreaking havoc on innocent magicals, they wouldn't let her out of their sight."

Galen got up immediately. He and Llewellyn joined Ben and Sarah in the kitchen shortly after. They had a good breakfast, then went outside on the lawn to fit the baby's sling on Llewellyn. As soon as Galen left the castle, he shape shifted back into a pterodactyl without initiating the change himself.

"What the ...?" Galen gasped as he finished changing.

"The island is doing that. It has the ability to use a magical person's powers either to help or hinder them. It will be very useful on the battlefield when it eventually comes to that." Ben told him.

Galen nodded. There was a lot of talk about a battle since their arrival on the island. He didn't know where he would be when it began, but he knew he would be fighting against the Van Helsings wherever he was. He watched with amusement as Llewellyn, Ben, James and Thalion struggled with the sling. They wanted it to fit right, so Llewellyn would be comfortable in it, and Sarah Morgan would be safe.

It occurred to Galen as he watched this comedy of errors, that he didn't know how they were going to explain the sling to the Van Helsings. They knew Llewellyn wasn't given anything to carry her in. They made intricate plans to grab her, but they made no mention of how to carry her. They left that up to the boys to figure out. Galen was to shape shift into Gloria, sneak into the castle, and walk out with the baby. The Dragon would be waiting on the beach to carry her away. They even gave him a drugged juice box to sedate her, so she wouldn't squirm out of his grasp in flight. Sarah Morgan would be no good as a magical Van Helsing breeder, if she didn't survive the trip. He walked over to Sarah, who was also watching with amusement.

"Um ... ma'am? I have a question. " Galen said as he approached her.

"What can I help you with?" She asked.

"How will we explain the sling when we get there?"

"You won't have to. They won't see it. It was conjured into being by elven magic. It is invisible to non magical humans. That's why the sling is engineered to secure her to Llewellyn's chest, while he holds her on the outside of it. To them, it will look like his talons are the only thing between her and the ocean.

When it was all rigged up, Gloria carefully placed the sleeping child into the sling. Thalion waved his hand over his daughter, and chanted for a few minutes. A pocket of soft material covered her, and held her securely. There was a little hood on her head to protect her from water droplets, etc. while they were flying. When they were all ready to go, Sarah Morgan opened her eyes and smiled at her parents.

"Bye bye Mommy and Daddy, I wuv you."

Gloria burst into tears and reached for her baby, but Ben pulled her back.

"This has to happen Gloria, you know that. She'll be alright."

Gloria leaned into the sling and gave Sarah Morgan a kiss on the forehead.

"Mommy and Daddy love you forever, baby girl. You be good for Galen and Llewellyn."

"I will Mommy." Then she went back to sleep.

They all walked to the cliff's edge. Sarah and Gloria gave them both a big hug before they took flight.

The trip was uneventful. It didn't take any longer to get to the stronghold, than it had taken them to get to the island. As they approached, James and Fancy Anne turned into a gray mist which completely surrounded the boys and Sarah Morgan. She had been awake for ten minutes or so, watching James and Fancy Anne in the half light. When the two ghosts turned into a mist, she clapped her hands happily. They often did things like that to amuse her.

Judas and Elektra stood on the highest battlement of the castle with binoculars, trying to see through a thick mist off the ocean. Llewellyn saw the dastardly couple long before Galen did.

"Mr. and Mrs. Evil are on the battlements waiting for us. I suppose that's as good a place to land as any." He said to Galen, who flew in formation right beside him as a pterodactyl.

As they flew over the wooded area toward the castle, the drael seemed to appear out of nowhere. He headed straight for the boys, while his habitual screech reverberated off  the stone walls of the castle behind him. The creature was left entirely out of the loop. He didn't know the boys left the stronghold, and were returning. It looked to him as though they tried to escape, and the outer rim of  magical barrier had stopped them. He had no clue the dragon was carrying a child. As the drael sped toward them in full voice, Sarah Morgan screamed enough to wake the dead. She was protected from anything scary her whole life. Even the ghosts were just people to her. The drael terrified her.

Judas laughed with evil glee to hear the baby's scream. The dragon and the shape shifter completed their mission successfully, and returned to the stronghold, so he was in a good mood for a change. He thought they might be useful for other missions. He decided he wasn't going to slit their throats in their sleep as he originally planned.

As Sarah Morgan screamed in terror, her link with Morgan was activated, which made her birthstone on the pendant glow and fluctuate erratically.

The End

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