Chapter 36; The Last Chapter

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Return of the King; Disc 2

Chapter 36; The Last Chapter

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Aaron relaxed outside the door of a room holding the practical savor of Middle-earth. It seemed wrong that there were no more battles to be won. Sure there would still be some Orcs to hunt down and get rid of, not all forces of evil died with Sauron and Saruman; the world is still corrupt, and it will never be different. She wondered if the world would really ever know true peace and freedom.

She laid outside the door of Frodo Baggins because Sam Gamgee wouldn't leave him. So Gandalf had posted Aaron at the door as a guard so Sam wouldn't enter and would perhaps eat something and get some sleep.

No such luck, she thought as her tired eyes roamed to where Sam sat staring at the door like it might blow up. She yawned and stretched out her soar muscles. She should probably shift and got to sleep herself in a bed. But no one was sleeping these days. She'd also been placed outside the door to keep everyone else from entering. It seemed she was the only one who thought itt wise for Frodo to be sleeping, she and Gandalf at least.

Her eyes moved to the pillar where Aragorn smoked his pipe and read a book. Gimli was stuffing food into his mouth and Legolas was frowning at him. Merry and Pippin were on either side of Sam. They too were staring at the door.

Her ears perked at the sound of deep rolling laughter of Gandalf coming from the room, mixed with the jolly laugh of Frodo. She stood up and whirled around, glaring at the door. Merry and Pippin shoved past her and into the room. She growled lightly, but perked up as Aragorn's hand found the soft spot between her ears. She nearly purred with delight and didn't do anything when Gimli walked past. Legolas went next and then Aragorn left her to enter.

Aaron huffed and followed. She padded to the bed, not really listening to Merry and Pippin tell whatever story they were telling, and fell asleep just as Sam entered.

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Aaron smiled at the little girl standing before her. Red locks and bright blue eyes glowed back at her in the looking glass as Sara beamed up at Aaron.

After riding to Rohan and into Edoras, finding Glen, being told Sara was most likely dead and losing her temper, Aaron had had a strange knowing that had led her to the graveyard where she found her mother's grave and a sleeping, alive Sara. Glen obviously didn't want the little girl, so Aaron had no problem getting her to come along.

"Shouldn't you be wearing a dress?" Sara asked. She twirled in her own satin dress, her eyes brighter than ever.

Aaron about answered with the normal argument of no dresses when a familiar smell hit her nose and the door opened with a bang. A squeal of joy sounded and then Aaron was tackled from behind and nearly brought to the ground as a super-happy Lily smiled down at Aaron. Aaron couldn't say anything. Even when two fur-balls rubbed against her legs, her words caught in her throat. Her Lily. Her Elven, best friend, Lily was here, along with Shadow and Silver her two cats from Rivendell. Life just became perfect.

Lily was saying something, but it fell to deaf ears as tears of joy clouded Aaron's vision. Twisting around, Lily dropped from her back and Aaron squeezed the life from her in a vise grip, her tears still flowing. When had she last cried? Had she cried for Boromir, or Gandalf? She couldn't remember, but it didn't matter. She cried now. She cried, because a promise was fulfilled, and Lily was hugging her back.

"Took you a long time to shoot that arrow, Aaron." Lily said, her voice just a whisper in her hair. Aaron laughed.

"The dragon lived too far away." The clearing of a little throat, brought Aaron to the present and she broke away from the Elf and toward the frowning Sara. "Sara, this is my best friend; Lily. Lily, this is my sister; Sara."

Lily immediately hugged Sara, then glanced at Aaron mouthing: "You have a sister?"

Aaron nodded and mouthed back: "I'll explain later."

Lily gave her a 'you better' look and pulled away from the confused Sara. "Sorry, I like hugs."

Sara just smiled and said; "You're ears are like Leggy's."

Both older girls stuttered and choked on laughs. "Excuse me? You mean Prince Legolas?"

Sara nodded, her eyes rounding. "He's a prince?"

Aaron laughed, holding her stomach as the ache of it created cramps. She doubled over, her laughter flowing through the halls, and soon Lily was laughing with her.

"Don't ever call him that in person." Aaron commanded, still laughing to hard to get the sentence out in one breath.

"Why not?" Sara asked innocently, frowning deeply at the laughing girls.

"Because he's a prince, and while he might not know emotions, he can still hate things."

"Okay, but that still doesn't make sense." Aaron sobered up and dried her tears before steering Sara back toward the mirror.

"No it is quite a confusing business, just heed out words and don't call him that anywhere but with us. Got it?"

Sara nodded.

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Aaron didn't feel out of place at all. No matter how underdressed she was compared to everyone else there, she felt like herself and didn't want to change. Of course, she did feel a bit ridiculous being in wolf form and wearing a crown. She'd shifted before Lily could get her into a dress, she just didn't expect the small flowery tiara to be placed on her head by Gandalf. And it seemed he cursed it, 'cause it wouldn't come off no matter how much she shook and sratchted her head.

She caught Gandalf's eye from the her place below the steps and he smiled. Aaron glared.

The Wizard took the King's crown from the pillow Gimli offered and held it above Aragorn's had as he knelt on the top steps of the citadel. "Now come the days of the king." Gandalf announced as he placed the crown on Aragorn, naming him king. "May they be blessed."

Aragorn stood and took a breath before turning to face the crowd gathered. "This day does not belong to one man," Aragorn said. "but to all. Let us together rebuild this world that we may share in the days of peace." The clapping started again and Aaron stood, making a dash for the side door and disappearing inside.

A moment later, Gandalf walked in to find her shifted and trying to pull the crown from her head. She threw a harsh glare his way, and continued to jerk at the obstinate thing. "If you asked, it might come off." He gestured to the crown, and her last jerk pulled it off.

She observed the tiara, then placed in on the nearby seat and sat as far away from it as possible. "This is the end, isn't it?"

"What do you mean?" The old Wizard sat beside her.

"The Fellowship will disband and the journey will be over."

"No journey can go on forever. Even life ends. You won't get anywhere if you don't finish the chapter and close the book. The end may not be here yet, a chapter just opened, no need for the book to end."

"Your riddles are confusing." Aaron rubbed her temples as Gandalf stood with a chuckle.

"Yes, but everything is a riddle, some are just figured out faster than others. I will leave you to figure that one out." And he walked away. Aaron frowned/glared after him a headache forming.

With a huff she stood and walked away from the crowd, crown, and everyone else. Then she was running. And as she ran, her body merged into that of a wolf's.

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It's OVER!!!

Okay, there is one more chapter and then I'll be writing a prologue sometime soon. Probably not tonight, though and I'll be gone tomorrow, so we'll see when. :)

Catch ya'll later!!!

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