A/N – luckily inspiration struck with this chapter so I hope this compensates once again for the long wait :L as always enjoy and review :)

Chapter 7 – attack and aftermath

Sinmara could only look on in shock as the scene unfolded before her. Surt thrust into the air above what had erupted from the soil. She had never seen anything like it before. The yellowed teeth in its gaping maw, the large bulbous nose upon its face, the large wooden club it wielded and the garments it donned woven of spines from the tree's. She would be lying if she didn't admit she was fearful of this creature. As it towered a good few heads above her, Sinmara was motionless. Due to its nose there were no distinct features such as a mouth or ears, even its eyes were reduced to points.

Sinmara watched on, it was as if everything was in slow motion. Surt slowly falling back to the ground and the creature with its club rose, surrounded by the falling spines of the nearby trees. Then as quick as the moment came it was lost. All the sound came back to her at once the roar of the creature booming through the forest, the thud of Surt as he landed on the ground.

"What the hell is that?!" Sinmara heard Surt shout as he unsheathed Surtalogi.

But she couldn't muster an answer her eye's transfixed on the club in its hands. But the creature was much faster than its size professed as it brought the club round in a sweeping blow. Sinmara's reflexes took over as she jumped backwards to avoid the weapon but Surt was not. With a sickening crunch the club sent him flying through the air into a nearby tree trunk where he landed unconscious. The creature roared as if in delight as it raised the club again and sent Surt into another tree. Sinmara just watched in anguish, powerless to stop its dreadful game. She began to panic as she searched for a solution.

'No no no no I can't let this happen I won't let this happen'

Sinmara found Surtalogi among some fallen spines. Although glad she found it she had no idea how to actually wield the weapon. She saw in the corner of her eye Surt being struck again and again. With each blow Surtalogi flared and died out getting dimmer and dimmer each time.

'If I don't do something soon he'll die. But there's nothing here that can help'

She slumped onto her knees on the ground, clutching the sword close as if it would give her an answer. She felt the sword flare again weakly. She stared hopelessly at the ground and noticed where the spines had touched the blade of the sword they were slightly blackened. The picture of the gnarled black things they encountered before entering Myrkwood flowed through her mind and she realised with a start.

'They were trees! They can't withstand the fire or the heat of muspelhiem that's why they were black, that's why the terrain is different'

She stood and turned to the creature as it beat Surt around the surrounding forest like a ragdoll. Sinmara's eyes narrowed in malice and scorn.

'I wonder if the same applies to the woods inhabitants'

But there wasn't much time Surtalogi had almost lost all heat. In horror she could see the creature starting to raise the club upward, ready to strike the final blow. Immediately she broke into a run, dropping the sword. Her heart skipped a beat as the creature's arm rose higher and higher.

'No just a little closer. JUST A BIT CLOSER'

In one heart stopping moment the creature started to lower the club and Sinmara leapt into the air. She pressed her palm to its back.

"VILLIELDR!"

Almost instantly flames flowed from her palm and snaked its way across the back of its victim. Sinmara was thrown back by its hands as the creature shrieked in pain and dropped the club to try to pat the fire out. But the flames only intensified, eating away at its flesh. Frenzied, the creature ran out through the forest.

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The needles against her skin, the breeze on her face slowly lulled her awake. But she didn't want to wake up. She didn't want to see the scene that would be laid out cruelly before her.

'I wanted to protect him. I failed.'

'I brought him here to mask him from them. A monster has now beaten him to death. I wanted to protect him and all I could do was save what was left'

The memories flashed behind her eyelids. Surt knocked into the air. She saved herself and left him in the path of the club, Surtalogi slowly dying out blow by blow. They tormented her over and over until she was forced to open her eyes to wipe them away from her mind. Sinmara lay back watching the spines fall from the trees dancing in the breeze. She preferred it here. Time seemed to lull rather than rush. The forest was softer than the cold rocks of her origin.

'Despite the inhabitants'

Sinmara winced as the memories danced at the edges of her conscience again.

Sinmara continued to lie on the forest floor remaining still. For all she knew there could be more of those things running about and since they can hide under your very feet it was better just not to move.

She didn't know how long she lay there for watching the needles fall, neither did she care. Sinmara couldn't bear to see her failure.

'And yet they would have seen it as a success. Of all the fire giants I've had to bring back he was different. I tried to protect him instead.'

Sinmara turned to her side and closed her eyes once more.

'And worse I don't know why'

It was the feeling of dread at seeing Surt in his condition, the panic when he was in danger, the guilt she felt when she hurt him. And that nothing would seem the same again for it.

Despite this she had to muster the courage to face this. She can't just waste away in pity.

'If I want to protect him, then I have to fix the damage I've done'

Sinmara slowly eased herself into a sitting position. She then stood brushing the needles from her dress. All she saw were the same conical trees of Myrkwood.

'It seems I was thrown farther backwards than I thought'

There was no evidence of the attack at first but as Sinmara walked forward the destruction got worse. There were clear dents in the trees where the club had struck them and large foot prints in the needles strewn on the ground. As Sinmara walked on she felt something moving with her foot.

'Surtalogi, I'm getting close now'

She picked up the sword and examined it. The sword was now a dull gray practically nothing more than an odd shaped piece of rock. Sinmara hugged the sword to her.

'I'm sorry'

Sinmara tentatively continued forward. The state of the sword didn't bode well for Surt's condition.

Not far from where she picked up the sword Sinmara found Surt by a tree. He was on his side almost coiled round the trunk, from the force of the blow that put him there. Sinmara laid Surt out on his back and began to examine the damage.

'Most of the blows he suffered were to his stomach and chest. His arms and legs seem intact and the head unharmed. The clothes however are badly torn but they will do'

She placed Surtalogi on his chest, point down, and placed Surt's hands on the hilt. She could see the brownish hue of his skin had dulled to gray like the sword and his scarlet veins laced across his body were a soft red.

'Curious, this is the second time I've seen you asleep'

Tears welled behind her eyes

'It's unfortunate you won't wake up as fast'

She couldn't bear to see him like this. Sinmara placed her hand over his.

"I… I….."

Sinmara couldn't hold her emotion any longer. Her despair, anguish, guilt, fear, sadness and hopelessness all rushed from her heart like water and rarely the gates were open to let them free.

"I want you back. I want you to open your eyes"

The waters of her heart flowed stronger and stronger until she did something she had only seen someone else do once before.

Sinmara wept.

The tears poured onto her hand and rolled off onto Surt's.

She buried her forehead onto her hand and closed her eyes.

"I just want you back"

The tears continued to stream from her eyes. She heard the wind blow but it was stronger than before. As Sinmara listened she could make out words on the wind.

'Lifa endr lifa endr lifa endr lifa endr'

Before she could think of what the words meant she felt the wetness on her hand begin to warm and behind her eyelids she could see a faint orange glow. She lifted her head and opened her eyes and couldn't believe what she saw. The tears on her hands shone like the sparks in the sky of muspelhiem.

"What magic is this?"

As Sinmara lifted her hand the sparked tears rolled from her hand onto Surtalogi. As they landed on the cold stone they sank in and their orange glow began to spread across its surface. As Sinmara marvelled at the sword a golden light flared to life and the wind intensified. As quickly as they had come the words and the glow died away. Instantly Sinmara could see the sword had returned to its usual steady glow and as that glow shone upon Surt the brownish hue of his skin began to return. The glow filled his veins with their scarlet colour tracing their lines across his body.

Sinmara looked upon Surt full of life once again. She couldn't fathom the joy she felt nor her gratitude to the wind.

'What was that magic? That wind came from the right. What was its source?'

"Whoever you are, Thank you"

Sinmara stood and, using Magic, began to weave the needles under Surt into a make-shift hammock.

"If I'm going to be dragging you I may as well make it easier"

Sinmara completed the hammock and satisfied with her work picked up one end and began walking towards the winds source.

"I can't believe I still end up carrying you" But Sinmara couldn't help but smile.