Book 2: chapter 7

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As we press on, up the steep slopes of the Misty Mountains, the temperature plummets and the snow thickens with each step, not to mention the biting wind. All in all, it's not a very pleasant environment to be in. For some of us, it takes more effort to continue than others. Where as Legolas practically dances across the snow, the hobbits barely are able to move forward, only keeping up by following the tracks of Aragorn and Boromir.

"Give me your hand." Legolas calls over the wind as I find myself stuck in the snow. Gripping his hand, he pulls me free but with so much force that I stumble right into him.

I shiver as his hands grip my shoulders. "I would much prefer to curl up within my wings and wait out the storm in some crevasse." I call out, sputtering as snow blows into my mouth and in my trachea.

"If I had wings like yours, I'd take flight and head South to the warmest place I can find." he says, patting my back to help me cease my coughing.

"Get caught in the wind and smack into the nearest rocky surface is more like it." I say between heaves as he flinches at the thought.

Over the howling wind, we can hear a grunt as someone falls over. Looking back, I can see it's Frodo. Aragorn is quick to help him up, but something seems to bother the hobbit as he searches his body.

I let out a quiet gasp as Boromir stops, lifting up a thin chain and dangling from it, catching the light, is the One Ring. At this point, everyone has caught sight of it and the strange look in Boromir's eyes as he stares at it like caught in a trance.

"Boromir?" calls Aragorn carefully.

"It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing...such a little thing." Boromir mutters so lowly that I can only just catch his words. Unconsciously, my hand inches for my sword, ready to act if needed.

Aragorn does the same as he reaches out his other hand. "Boromir....give the ring back to Frodo." he coaxes.

It seems to take forever, but in reality it must be mere seconds before Boromir snaps out of his state, quickly handing back the ring to Frodo who puts it out of sight immediately. "As you wish, I care not." he says before ruffling the hobbit's hair as if he were just a child. With that, he turns around and ploughs on through the snow.

I let out a breath I did not know I was holding and exchange quick glances with Legolas before we too return to the path ahead.

As time passes, the blizzard only seems to worsen to an extend to which I did not know was possible. I look to my shaky hands that are slowly turning blue. I'm used to a bit of cold, but it seems this is proving a bit too much for me. Grimacing, I tuck them under my armpits, hoping they will remain attached.

For the last hours, many have tried to persuade Gandalf to turn back and seek a different road, but to no avail. Gandalf is adamant to cross the pass, but at what cost?

Suddenly, Legolas seems to freeze ahead of me. He seems to listen carefully. Wondering what caught his attention, I try to focus on the sounds around us, but my mind is so muffled that I cannot seem to do so.

"There is a fell voice in the air!" Legolas calls back to us after a moment. I don't have to wonder for long on the meaning as Gandalf gives the answer; "It's Saruman!"

The moment he finishes speaking is the moment when a loud rumble fills the air. Looking up, I see through the snowfall, large boulders tumbling down the mountainside towards us.

My instinct rescues me as I throw myself towards the mountainside and out of the way of the falling boulders. Looking around, everyone seems unharmed, but for how long?

"He's trying to bring down the mountain. Gandalf! We must turn back!" Aragorn urges with despair coating his words.

"No!" Gandalf shouts, not wanting to give in. Stepping forward, he raises his staff and starts to chant in an attempt to fight the curse that is on the dreaded place.

Saruman must have chanting louder, for I too can hear him now. His voice mingles with Gandalf's and the howling wind when lighting cracks, hitting the mountain. As a result, a massive amount of snow comes tumbling down.

I try to press myself to the mountain, but it is to no avail and soon all goes dark as snow piles on top of me, burying me deep.

It takes me a moment to figure out which way is up, but before long, I'm clawing my way though the thick layer of snow. I gasp for breath the moment I reach open air and dig myself out fully before swiveling this way and that in search of my companions who seems to pop out of the snow as well.

I nearly scream as a hand grips me from underneath the snow, but getting my wits back I quickly start to dig to find Gimli down beside me. He sputters for air as I free him enough so he can move on his own. "Much obliged." he shivers out.

"We must get off the mountain! Make for the gap of Rohan and take the West road to my city." Boromir urges the now hesitant Gandalf.

"The Gap of Rohan takes us too close to Isengard." Aragorn counters.

"We cannot pass over the mountain. Let us go under it. Let us go through the mines of Moria." Gimli suggests eagerly.

Gandalf seems to debate with himself before looking towards the hunched and shivering Frodo. "Let the ringbearer decide." he finally says.

Frodo looks towards each face hesitantly, no doubt feeling the burden of this decision thrust upon him. "Frodo?" Gandalf urges after a moment.

Frodo nods, having reached a decision: "We go through the mines."

A shadow crosses Gandalf's face before slowly nodding and urging everyone back down. Hesitantly I too follow. I'm weary of the Mines, heck, I'm weary of any mine, but I will just have to bare it I suppose. With that thought in mind I follow after the company and back down the mountain that beat us.

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