Title: Glimmer of Hope

Author: Laureselde

Rating: PG13 for mild child abuse in the early chapters and also future slash.

Warning: This fiction will contain slash. That means male x male relationships. If you do not like that or it offends you, please feel free to press the back button.

Flames will be used to barbecue sausages and burgers.

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A tiny blond figure lay crumpled on the ground, shaking with tears, and muttering things incoherently. Looming over the child was a large being, definitely male, fists clenched out of frustration and sadness.

The child was around the age of seven, named Karin Malcoms. The man looming over him was his father, John. Ever since his mother had died, Karin had blamed himself, and was in a capitulated state of mind. He would stay shut in his room, fearing his father's disappointment, and only come out when requested. Of course, it was not Karin's fault.

There really was nothing he could have done to stop the attackers. They had pinned him to the wall and made him watch as they raped and murdered his mother. 'Why did this have to happen?' often wondered Karin, 'Why did mummy have to go? It is all my fault, I could have stopped them. All my fault. My fault.'

He did not realise that he had said the last bit out loud, nor that his father, John, was standing behind him, worry written clearly on his face. John was also frustrated because he had tried many a time to get through to his son during his moments of despair, but to no avail.

John had a close friend who was a healer. His name was Eleran Peredil. As a last resort, John decided to send Karin to Peredil, and he was trying to tell Karin the news.

Karin slowly became aware of another person's presence, and whipped around, staring at his father. He tried to hide his tears, not knowing how long his father had actually been there.

"Karin, it really was not your fault."

"Yes it was! I could have stopped them! I could have..could have."

"See? There is nothing you could have done. You are too young to defend yourself against those men."

"But I could have tried! I could have tried harder! It is all my fault!"

Seeing that Karin simply would not believe a word he said, John finally fully decided to send Karin to Peredil.

"Son, I am concerned about your welfare. Do you remember Mr. Peredil?"

Seeing Karin shake his head 'no', John continued, "You met him once when you were very young. I think it would be best if you went with him."

A horrified expression crossed Karin's face. "W-With someone e-else? S- someone I d-don't know?! Do you n-not what want m-me here?"

"Karin, it is not that I do not want you here, it is simply that I feel we would both benefit if we spent some time apart, so I would not have to see you fall apart, nor you me. Mr. Peredil is a healer; I think he may be able to treat your wounds - both mental and physical - better than I can. Also, your time away will give me a chance to sort everything out and get as back- to-normal as I can, so when you return you have a safe and happy place to live with me? Alright?" Finished John, proceeding to gasp in air after that one long speech.

Karin, tears forming subtly in his eyes, nodded, and left the room after John gave him a re-assuring hug.