Chapter 26; Hope is Kindled

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Return of the King; Disc 1 and my Imagination

Chapter 26; Hope is Kindled

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"Peregrin Took, my lad, there is a task now to be done." Gandalf told the Hobbit as they walked briskley through lower layers of the White City. Aaron trailed behind, her hood up and everything about her black. She had wanted to shift, but Gandalf had said that, "You would be too noticable, and people would wonder why the Wolf of Darkness was in Minas Tirith."

Aaron didn't agree.

But nonetheless, she obeyed.

Gandalf continued walked, quite oblivious of what Aaron was thinking.

"Another opportunity for on of the Shire-folk to prove their great worth." The Wizard continued. They all stopped and Pippin glanced up at the watch tower. High above, perched on a rock ledge was the beacon of Gondor.

Gandalf knelt down to Pippin's level and placed a hand on his shoulder.

"You must not fail me." He commaned. The Hobbit gulped down his fear and ran off to start the high climb. Aaron walked to beside Gandalf.

"You should let me do it." She hissed, a little anger and concern coming out. Gandalf continued to stare after the Hobbit's shadow.

"He must do this. It is a task for him, and him alone." Aaron slouched her back against a wall and crossed her arms. She had to say she wasn't enjoying this first trip to Minas Tirith.

It was a while before the fire finally burned the beacon. While waiting, Gandalf had tried to stand out of the way, not look to strange, and make sure that he wasn't looking up when soldiers walked by. Meanwhile, Aaron had just leaned against the cold stone, looking dangerous and deadly. To many it looked like she had a force field around her, from everyone shying away from her.

She was use to this. Her brother was a Ranger after all, and they are always branded strange folk.

From her position she could see the Hobbit climbing up and never looking down. She smiled when he finally got the top and the fire was set a blaze.

Gandalf smiled too, but quickly left his post and walked to the nearest balcony facing the next beacon. Having nothing else to do, Aaron followed.

"Amon Din." The Wizard whispered as he looked earnestly toward the next beacon. It lit. A soldier beside them turned to his fellow comrades.

"The beacon." He called. "The beacon of Amon Din is lit." More soldiers came out and looked.

"Hope is kindled." The Wizard said.

Aaron frowned, her eyes were set out on the plan rather than the mountains. It appeared that Osgilath was having trouble, she could faintly hear clangs of swords, but she could fully hear the scream of the Nazgul. They were flying low over the city.

"Gandalf." She grabbed his arm and pointed at the city. He looked, but didn't say anything. He quickly walked away, running into Pippin along the way. The Hobbit followed him and they both disappeared.

Aaron metled into the shadows, unsure what she was to do. She found that her whole life was bulit up of commands. Do this. Go there. Stay here. She didn't know what to do without a command. Or maybe it was just that Strider wasn't there. Of course it could be a number of things, but she allowed her mind to set on it was Strider who was missing.

"It's Mithrandir." She heard a soldier say. She glanced at him. He was staring out over the plans at the opposite city. Or rather what was coming out of the city. Aaron could see a black mass moving fast towards Minas Tirith, Nazgul flew above with their horrid screams.

"The White Rider!" Another called. Aaron pushed herself off the wall and walked to the rail. Immediately everyone around her shied a little, but she completely ignored them and stared at the white horse and rider charging toward the mass.

The moving crowd was made of horses, riders, and men. All running to the gates, but the odds of all of them making it were slim as the Nazgul started to pick them off.

Aaron gripped the short stone wall before her. What was she to do? She wasn't told to stay. She wasn't told to go. Would it be better to be safe than sorry, or to ask be forgiven than for permission.

She decided to stay once she saw Gandalf had it all in hand. The end of his staff lit up and the bright white light shone through the dark clouds, pushing the Wraiths back.

She turned to the closet guard.

"Open the gates." She commanded. He gulped for a second, probably realizing she was a girl. She narrowed her eyes at him, although it was hidden. "Open them." She quickly walked away not waiting for anymore stares.

The gates were opened and the men came in. Many wounded, some strong and well. They all came into the square. Women and child quickly went to work finding their husbands and sons, and moarning when finding that their's had been slain.

Aaron ignored the cries, the wails, the grief. It brought her own, if she were to listen too long. The cloak and hood still hid her from the world, and she looked strong, but take that away and you'd find a girl whose life was being drained by questions and no answers.

She stood on the lower ledge of a statue of a man on his horse. She guessed it to be Elendil, but she really couldn't tell.

Her eyes jumped from one man to another, trying to disern what had happened and where the Wizard was. He wasn't hard to find being the only one dressed in white and riding upon a white(grey) horse. She went to walk to him, but was stopped as another face came into view.

She knew that face but from where?

Her mind jumped from place to place, from memory to memory, all the while she had no idea she was walking toward him and Gandalf.

"Mithrandir." The man called. Gandalf looked at him, his raised arm hidding Pippin from view, just by being there. Aaron stood beside Shadowfax.

"They broke through our defenses." The man continued. "They've taken the bridge and the west bank. Battalions of Orcs are crossing the river." He now stood beside Gandalf, his horse grinding at the bit.

"It is as the Lord Denethor predicted." An advisor to the Steward called. "Long has hee foreseen this doom."

"Foreseen and done nothing." Gandalf said sternly. He turn Shadowfax about until he was facing the man, who had Aaron's mind in a frenzy trying to recall where she'd seen his face before.

"Faramir?" Gandalf said. Aaron gave herself a mental slap as she realized who he was. Faramir was staring at Pippin. "This is not the first Halfling to have crossed your path."

Faramir shock his head. "No." Pippin's face lit up.

"You've seen Frodo and Sam?" Pippin asked, excitidly. Faramir nodded.

"Where?" Gandalf asked. "When?"

"In Ithilien." Faramir answered. "Not two days ago." The Hobbit and Wizard exchanged glances. "Gandalf, they're taking the road to the Morgul Vale." Gandalf didn't look too happy after that.

"And then the pass of Cirith Ungol." Shivers ran down Aaron's spine. Faramir nodded again.

"What does that mean?" Pippin asked. Aaron looked away from them. "What's wrong?" Gandalf didn't answer him, but inquired of Faramir instead.

"Faramir, tell me everything. Tell me all you know."

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