Chapter Nine-Drink Up
Basing her outfit on comfort today, Azkedelia was wearing her favorite worn-out jeans and a gold-orange one shoulder top.
Merlin smiled when he saw her. "You look lovely today." He grabbed her hand and intertwined his fingers with hers.
Azkedelia laughed. "You're a liar."
Merlin smiled. "But at least I'm good at it."
"Are you trying to say something?" she asked as she turned and raised an eyebrow.
Merlin pulled Azkedelia towards the door. "Of course not."
Azkedelia leaned against him as she locked the door. "Of course you're not."
Merlin smiled and pulled her down the hallway. Azkedelia's stomach growled.
Merlin laughed. "Hungry?"
Azkedelia smiled. "I haven't eaten anything yet today."
Merlin looked at the floating clock hanging in the main hall. "We've got enough time. Let's go see what they have in the dining hall."
Azkedelia laughed. "And if we didn't have time I wouldn't eat?"
"No, we'd both be late."
Azkedelia smiled. When they reached the dining hall, the doors were still open. Merlin led the way through the tables of tired students with later classes. Azkedelia sat down as Merlin got the attention of a light purple nymph.
"Can we have whatever's left for breakfast?"
The nymph nodded and seemed to float away to the kitchen.
Azkedelia looked around the dining hall. "Everyone sure is quiet this morning."
Merlin nodded as he whispered an incantation. The elemental compass that made up the centerpiece started shaking. It went still as the dial inside spun round and round.
Azkedelia laughed. "Why's it doing that?"
"Because it can't find just one element in you. You've got them all and the compass can't take it."
Azkedelia nodded. "So then make it stop before the compass breaks."
Merlin smiled and stopped the incantation. The compass stopped spinning and resumed its normal place on the heavy oak table. The nymph reappeared, laden with trays of food. She quickly set them all down and disappeared.
Merlin uncovered the trays with a wave of his hand. "So what looks good?"
Azkedelia opened her eyes and jerked her head off the table. "Just surprise me. I'm too tired."
Merlin laughed. "Okay. But only if you eat what the nurse tells you to."
"So now you're a nurse?" Azkedelia asked with a smile.
Merlin smiled and grabbed her goblet. "No, it's the nurse's orders that she passed to me and now I'm giving to you."
Azkedelia yawned. "Whatever you say, Nurse Merlin."
Merlin smiled and set a sapphire goblet in front of her. "Drink."
Azkedelia looked into the goblet at the thick green mixture. "Merlin, what is this?"
Merlin laughed. "The nurse's orders."
"That doesn’t answer my question. What is it?"
Merlin stretched and leaned back. "It's dragon fruit, mango, phoenix berries, seaweed, and a little bit of phoenix ale."
Azkedelia swirled the grey-green liquid in the cup. "Merlin, this looks more like poison than something edible, let alone medicine."
Merlin smiled and pushed the goblet closer to her. "You said you'd follow the nurse's orders. Drink."
"Merlin, if I die when I'm drinking this, my ghost will come back to haunt you."
Merlin laughed. "I'll take that chance."
Azkedelia picked up the goblet and sniffed it. She gagged and Merlin laughed.
"I promise it tastes better than it smells."
Azkedelia gave him a sideways glance. "It better."
Merlin smiled. "It does. Now be a big girl and drink up."
Azkedelia closed her eyes and brought the goblet to her lips. The warm liquid tasted of magic, both phoenix and warlock. Azkedelia set it back down.
Merlin brushed a lock of hair from her forehead. "Now did you need to make that big of a fuss?"
Azkedelia leaned against Merlin's shoulder sleepily. "I didn't make a fuss."
Merlin smiled. "Finish that and then I'll walk you to class."
Reluctantly, Azkedelia sat up and finished the goblet.
Azkedelia nodded. "I'd feel even better if I could go back to bed."
Merlin laughed and got up. "But then you'd miss your first day as a student here."
Azkedelia slowly got to her feet and yawned. "I think I'd survive."
Merlin smiled and grabbed her hand. "Come on, I don't want you to be late."
"Oh, so now you’re trying to get rid of me "
Merlin pulled Azkedelia towards the giant stone doors. “Of course not. I'd rather we go back to the glen, but we can't."
Azkedelia smiled. "Maybe later today."