Book 2: chapter 15

177 4 0

I cover my nose as the stench of burning flesh reaches me. Before us lies a heap of still smoldering corpses. Somewhere in there could be the mangles bodies of our dear friends. I try not to think about it as Gimli and myself poke through the mount, looking for anything not Orcish.

Gimli gasps suddenly, grabbing my attention. "It's one of their wee belts." he whispers, holding up the charred belt of Elvish make.

My eyes widen at the sight of it and I feel the sky coming down on me. "Please no." I gasp, choking up and collapsing to my knees.

"Hiro îth... ab 'wanath..." (May they find peace in death) Legolas murmurs, sorrow lacing his words.

Aragorn lets out an angered holler, kicking at a helmet lying nearby before falling to his knees as well, defeated.

"We failed them." Gimli mutters, wiping at his eyes.

"A hobbit lay here, and the other. They crawled." Aragorn says to himself softly, reading their tracks. I bite my lip to keep from sobbing so I can hear what he says. "Their hands were bound." he continues, following the tracks. He stops before gathering a piece of rope. "Their bonds were cut." he observes before stepping forward, his eyes on the soil. "They ran over here. They were followed." Blinking curiously, I stand and start to follow him, a glimmer of hope working its way into my heart.

"The tracks lead away from the battle...into Fangorn." Aragorn realizes with shock.

"Fangorn. What madness drove them in there?" Gimli questions, amazed. And before I myself realized it, I darted straight into the dense woods.

"Therith!" worried voices call out from behind before footsteps follow. Silently, we fall in line, slowly and warily making our way deeper into the stuffy forest. I do not remember ever coming here before.

Gimli reaches out towards a wet streak across a leaf, tasting it before spitting it out in a hurry. "Orc blood." he observes.

"These are strange tracks." Aragorn says, looking down at a large spot of flattened soil. We follow them.

"The air is so close in here." Gimli states after a minute, looking on edge.

"This forest is old, very old. Full of memory... and anger." Legolas says, his eyes darting around.

I stiffen in freight as the forest starts to groan and creak as if something upset the trees. "The trees are speaking to each other." Legolas states.

Glancing around I see the presumable cause. "Gimli, your axe. Put it away." I urge him, making him lower it hastily.

Walking forward, I softly brush past a tree, making it creak a little. I blink, believing that my eyes deceive me, as the branches seem to stretch out towards me. I skittishly shuffle backward, walking right into Legolas who catches me by the shoulder. "It liked your touch." he whispers. "Though be careful. These trees are not all friendly."

A shiver runs up my spine at his words and I shake my head to rid myself of the fear that plunged into my heart, quickly walking away to catch up to Aragorn, Legolas at my heels.

"Aragorn, nad nâ ennas!" (Something is out there) Legolas suddenly calls, narrowing his eyes as they seem to focus away from something he had laid his eyes on.

"Man cenich?" (What do you see?)

I feel a knot grow in my stomach at his next words. "The White Wizard approaches."

"Do not let him speak. He will put a spell on us." Aragorn warns as we all reach for our weapons. "We must be quick."

At his signal, we all turn around, wielding our weapons, me firing an arrow, alongside Legolas. To our shock, they are obliterated. Gimli's axe is knocked away and Aragorn drops his sword, as it seems to suddenly hurt him. A blinding light keeps us from doing anything else.

"You are tracking the footsteps of two young hobbits." a voice states, sounding much like Saruman's.

"Where are they?" Aragorn demands, shielding his eyes.

"They passed this way the day before yesterday. They met someone they did not expect. Does that comfort you?" the voice answers vaguely.

"Who are you? Show yourself!" Aragorn demands. Seeming to head the ranger's words, the light starts to dim until I finally find myself able to see again, though what I see surprises me. My breath gets caught in my throat as I stumble forward.

"It cannot be. You fell." Aragorn states in disbelief.

The figure nods. "Through fire and water. From the lowest dungeon to the highest peak, I fought with the Balrog of Morgoth." they explain. "Until at last, I threw down my enemy and smote his ruin upon the mountainside."

"Darkness took me. And I strayed out of thought and time. Stars wheeled overhead and everyday was as long as a life-age of the earth. But it was not the end. I felt life in me again. I've been sent back until my task is done." they continue to explain with a faraway look in their eyes.

"Oh Gandalf!" I exclaim, rushing forward and throwing my arms around the waist of the tall wizard.

"Gandalf? Yes... That's what they used to call me. Gandalf the Grey. That was my name." he says, patting my back gently. "I am Gandalf the White. And I come back to you now at the turn of the tide."

I look up at him, releasing him. "We missed you." I state, knowing I speak for all of them.

He smiles. "And I you." he says before turning around. "Come now. We have much to do. No need to concern yourself over hobbits for now. Merry and Pippin will be fine." he urges.

On our way out of the forest, Aragorn explains to Gandalf what has happened during his absence. I look at my comrades to see them looking at peace for now. Gandalf's return has lightened the darkness within our hearts.

"One stage of your journey is over, another begins. War has come to Rohan. We must ride to Edoras with all speed." Gandalf says as the trees make way for the bright sunlight. Next he releases a sharp whistle, making us look around curiously at his call.

My eyes widen as a pure white steed rushes towards us, crossing the fields at great speed. Our horses are following him in his wake. "That is one of the Mearas, unless my eyes are cheated by some spell." Legolas says dazed.

"Shadowfax. He's the lord of all horses and he's been my friend through many dangers." Gandalf reveals.

Mounting our respective horses, we ride out, setting our course to Edoras and its King.

Though I'm eager to see Merry and Pippin again, I understand there are more pressing matters at hand. I can't help but wonder what awaits us next.

Lady of Sky (Legolas/OC)Read this story for FREE!