Chapter 1: The Beginning
Hermione awoke with a jerk. Which, she reflected, was not a very nice way to describe Harry, but he had really annoyed her the night before, and she wasn't feeling all that charitable. She sat up, looked around, then, thinking she must still be dreaming, she laid back down and closed her eyes.
After counting to ten, she opened her eyes again. The room hadn't changed. It was still a small, round room with a round green door at the end.
As she continued to look around, a small memory fired in the back of her mind. It hung back a little, mocking and taunting her, until she grabbed it by the scruff of its neck and dragged it, kicking and screaming in to the light. But when she had it, part of her wished she had left well enough alone.
"In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit..."
She was in bed, in Bag End. And she was in bed with Harry.
After a moment's thought, she realised she didn't know which one of those disturbed her more.
"Harry - wake up"
"Harry - wake up"
Hermione stared down at the boy next to her, then pulled out her wand.
"Aguamenti" A jet of water shot out of the end of her wand, and soaked her companion.
"What the hell was that for?" He yelled, then stopped "Hermione?"
"Why are you in your pyjamas?" He paused "And why are you in my bedroom?" He paused again "And when did my bedroom become so... round?" He sank back on to the bed "What the hell is going on?"
"I don't know. I woke up a few moments before you did" She looked around "And I could be wrong, but I think we are in Bag End"
"Because that explains it all" He said, throwing his hands up "What's Bag End?" She stared at him.
"Didn't you read Lord Of The Rings or The Hobbit as a child?" She asked in disbelief.
"Do you think The Dursleys are the type to read books about wizards?" He asked softly, and she suddenly understood.
"Oh - I guess not" She looked around "Well - Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit are set in a land called Middle Earth, and are all about good vs evil, light vs dark, coke vs...no wait - that's not right" She looked around again "They are both about quests to defeat bad guys, and are full of battles, magic, heroes, villains and all that stuff" She paused, and smiled "Kind of like our life for the past four years really"
"So - why are we here?" He walked over to the door, and pushed it open "And why is Mrs Weasley pottering around in the kitchen?"
"Really?" Hermione jumped to her feet and raced over to the door "Maybe we should go ask her" She made to leave, then stopped "But maybe we should both get dressed first!"
"Frodo my girl!" Mrs Weasley turned as Hermione and Harry entered the room "And young Samwise" She beamed at them "I made you breakfast" They both stared at her, then at each other.
"Nominal Hero of Lord Of The Rings" Hermione replied "Though I always thought Sam was the true hero" She paused "You know what we need?"
"A copy of the book?" Harry asked hopefully.
"Well - yeah. But I was thinking we need someone who knows everything that is going on to come and explain it to us" She sat down at the table, then jumped up as there was a knock at the door. Mrs Weasley went in to the hall, and opened the door.
"Gandalf! This is a surprise" Mrs Weasley's voice came back, and Hermione smiled.
"Dumbledore will know what to do" She smiled at Harry, then added "Powerful wizard who knows everything, even though he is a little... eccentric sometimes" They both turned, then stared in surprise as the person who followed Mrs Weasley back in to the room.
"Hello Hermione. Hello Harry. I suppose you are wondering why you are here?"
There was a moment of shocked silence, then, as one, Harry and Hermione spoke.
A few minutes later, Hermione, Harry and Luna were secluded in the main study at Bag End.
"So - what's going on?" Harry asked.
"Voldemort is trying to kill you" Luna said.
"Yes - I got that much. But..." He waved his arms around "This?"
"Oh - you should have been more specific" Luna shook her head admonishingly "With the blood protection, and the wards at Hogwarts, he thinks he can't attack you directly. So, he has cast a spell to trap us all in one of Hermione's books"
"Lord of The Rings" Hermione said.
"Yes. He thought about War and Peace, but can't wait that long, and he thought about Piggy Goes Oink, but that was too short, and he thought about The Wizard of Oz, but Bella didn't want a house dropped on her, so he picked this"
"So - how do we get out?"
"You can't" Luna replied. The other two stared at her "Well - you can, but only if you go through to the end of the book"
"Oh, is that all?" Harry asked, then looked at Hermione, who was looking less than happy "Hermione?"
"We have to follow the exact plot?" She asked Luna.
"More or less" Luna said "You are both hobbits, and can't use magic. So you can't just pop over to Mount Doom and dump the ring..." She saw Harry staring at her with a look of utter confusion on his face "... but because you know what's going on, you can manipulate the book to your own ends" She held up her staff and pointed it at Harry "Memoras Transportum Et Omnia" There was a blinding flash of light.
"We have to go through all that?" Harry asked in surprise. Then he stared at Luna "What did you do?"
"Took pity on Hermione" Luna said with a smirk "I thought if she had to spend the next few days explaining every little bit of the book, she might go crazy"
"Damn right" Hermione muttered to herself "So - since you, and Mrs Weasley, are here, I guess Voldemort dragged more people in?" Luna nodded "But we three are the only ones who know?" Luna shook her head "Who else?"
"Take a guess"
"Oh bugger" Hermione sighed "Still - three of us, one of him I suppose" She paused, then continued "Can we call you Luna, or do we have to call you Gandalf?"
"Everyone else will hear what they should, but it's up to you" Luna replied "Plus I don't think I suit Olorin at all" Hermione smirked, then stood up "So - where do we start?"
"With A LONG EXPECTED PARTY" Harry replied, then added "Why are some of my words coming out in capitals?"
Chapter 2: Leaving Home
Harry and Hermione set forth on their fateful journey.
I guess I should have mentioned it before, but since this is a parody of LOTR, there will be VAST ACRES of spoilers for the books and the films. So if you don't want to find out what happens in The Fellowship, The Two Towers and The Return, then you should probably not read this story any more :)
"So... basically hobbits are a bunch of stoners?"
Harry and Hermione had been wandering around Molly's birthday party for about half an hour, and every single one of the guests seemed to be smoking weed.
"Pretty much, yeah" Hermione smiled "And, thinking about it, it does explain why they all eat so much"
"You know - we could abandon this quest thing, and just open a taco stand here. We would make a killing" Harry looked around again, then saw Molly coming towards them.
"Frodo lass - are you ready for my speech?" Molly asked.
"Yes, Aunt Bilbo" Hermione nodded dutifully, then glanced over at Harry "Sam, do you want to come with us?" There was a pause, then Hermione realised Harry wasn't paying any attention "Sam?"
"Yes Her... Frodo?" Harry turned back.
"You weren't listening to me, were you?"
"Yes I was"
"What was the last thing I said?"
"You said Sam" Harry smirked as Hermione rolled her eyes "I just thought I saw someone over there I recognised"
"Oh" Hermione followed his gaze, then shrugged "Okay - you go investigate. I am going to go with my Aunt as she has to make a speech"
"KK" Harry walked away, heading for the back of a tent he thought he had seen two boys sneaking in to. But before he could reach it there was a huge boom, and giant Horntail shot from the tent in a burst of fire, and flew away. Harry stared at it for a moment, then turned back to see a pair of identical red-heads stood in the tent, trying not to look guilty.
"Hey Sam" George Weasley said with a smile.
"Hey Sam" Fred Weasley echoed.
"Of our latest"
"Product?" Harry's head whipped back and forth between the two of them as they spoke, then his brain caught up with the words.
"We were thinking of going in to business together" George smiled "We are going to call it Merry's Mirthful Mischiefs"
"I thought we were going to call it Pippin's Practical Pranks?" Fred replied. They stared at each other for a moment, then both turned back to Harry.
"So - where is our lovely cousin?" They both asked. Harry still stared at them in disbelief, then shook himself.
"She's over with Mistress Bilbo" Harry replied without thinking, then blushed "Not that I am suggesting Bilbo is anyone's mistress of course. I mean she could be, but..." Fred and George stared at him as he went more and more red, then they both laughed.
"Don't worry Sam, we won't tell if you don't"
Hermione and Molly had nearly reached the tree where Molly was to make her farewell speech when they were joined by Luna.
"So, Bilbo, you are still resolved to go ahead with your plan?" Luna asked in a serious voice.
"I am" Molly smiled "I know I don't look it, but I feel... old" She looked around "I will miss everyone, of course, but I want to travel before I die, and if I don't do it now then I feel that I never will"
"And if you don't go, there'll be no story" Hermione added.
"True" Molly looked around "Do you think it's time for my speech? It's ever so good"
Suddenly there was a boom from the far end of the field, and a huge dragon flew up and off in to the distance. Hermione turned back to Luna.
"One of your's?"
"Your cousins" Luna replied "Such a pair of pranksters..." But broke off laughing as Hermione put her head in her hands "Just remember - it's not my fault so don't hurt me too much"
"Yes, Gandalf" Hermione said with the air of one who sees a lot of annoyance in her future. She turned to Molly "Come on Aunty - let's go"
"FRIENDS, HOBBITS, COUNTRYMEN!" Molly's voice rang out across the field "LEND ME YOUR EARS"
"But we did that on your last birthday" George called out "What did you do with them?"
"I stuck them on my chariot" Molly replied with a smile.
"Why?" Fred called back.
"BECAUSE THEY WERE CHARIOTEARS" Everyone chorused the reply, then broke in to laughter. Hermione leaned over to Harry.
"And this is why you shouldn't smoke weed" She whispered.
"But seriously" Molly resumed talking "We are here to celebrate my elevntyfirst birthday, our should I say OUR birthday, because today is also the birthday of my niece and heir Miss Frodo Baggins" She smiled down at Hermione, who blushed "But I also called you here today to make an announcement" A hush fell across the crowd, although Harry heard a small child asking her mother 'What's a nouncement?' After a pause, Molly looked around "Although a hundred and eleven years is far too short a time to spend amongst such excellent hobbits, I am afraid this is good-bye. I am going, and I am leaving. Now" As Molly spoke her final words, Hermione grabbed Harry and pulled him off the stage. A moment later there was a massive flash of light, and when it had faded, Molly was gone. There was a moment of absolute silence, then, from the back of the field, Fred spoke.
"Well - there's something you don't see every day"
"So - I'm off" Molly had returned to Bag End, and was talking to Luna before she left.
"Okay. See you in a bit" Luna replied, then snapped her fingers "Did you leave the keys to the door?"
"Little insignificant ring that in no way could bring about the end of the world and certainly doesn't belong to the most evil being ever to walk the face of the earth?"
"Are you lying to me Bilbo?"
"Yes" Molly held up the chain with the ring on "You really think I should give this to Frodo? She never struck me as the girly-girl type who'd like a ring" She paused "Except maybe from Sam"
"Well - that aside, you really should leave it" Luna smiled "So - stick it in the envelope and put it on the mantle, then get going"
"Okay" Molly held up the ring, then turned to Luna "Are you sure you shouldn't take it?" Luna stared at the ring for a moment, then shook her head.
"Best not" She replied "It wouldn't go with the one I have already" She watched as Molly put the envelope on the fireplace, then walked out the door, singing to herself.
"I'm off to see the wizard..."
Hermione came in half an hour later.
"So - she's gone then?"
"Yes - she's gone" Luna nodded "But I got her to give up the ring before she went, so we can get on with this now"
"We don't have to wait seventeen years?" Hermione asked in surprise.
"Well - you can if you want, but I can't imagine it's going to be that entertaining"
"But - I could use the time to study for my OWLS" Hermione moaned, then, at the amused expression on her friend's face, she sighed "Okay"
"Then - repeat after me - 'And with that, seventeen years passed'"
"And with that, seventeen years passed" They both looked around "Did it work?"
"I think you forgot the italics"
"Oh yeah - sorry" Hermione smirked, then said "And with that, seventeen years passed"
Seventeen years passed
"That was fast" Harry said, coming in to the room a few minutes later "And you really should have seen the sun streaking across the sky. Very cool"
"So - Gandalf - I have to ask. Is there any possibility that this ring used to belong to Sauron, and now he wants it back to he can conquer the world and kill anyone who stands in his way, including all the sweet little hobbits?"
"Why yes Frodo, I think there is"
"And is there any chance we can't use, hide nor destroy it in The Shire?"
"Why yes Frodo, I think there is"
"And is there any chance you could just ask the eagles to fly us straight to Mount Doom so we can cut out all the crap in between?"
"Why yes Frodo, I think there is?"
"No, not really" Luna stared at the looks on their faces, and cackled "Oh this is going to be fun".
"So - me and Sam have to go on a trip?" Hermione looked across at Harry "You up for a bit of an adventure?"
"Why yes Fro..." Before he could finish, he was interrupted by a flying pillow.
"Don't you start" She turned back to Luna "I don't suppose you would like to take the ring? I mean - you still have your magic, and that really big, and impressive staff and all"
"Okay" Luna replied.
"Really?" Hermione stared at her.
"No, not really" Luna shook her head "Seriously - this is going to be a lot of fun" She looked at her watch "Come on - we should get going. I have to go and be captured by this guy in a tower, and you have to go to Bree"
"Don't we need to enlist Tweedle-Dumb and Tweedle-Dumber?" Hermione asked, but Harry raised his hand "Sam?"
"I did that last night" He shrugged "I figured it would save time"
"Well done, young Sam" Luna said in an imperious voice, then giggled "I think I am going to like being Gandalf" She turned, opened the door, then straddled her staff.
"You can't fly on that, can you?" Harry asked.
"Of course not" Luna admonished "But I always wanted a pony when I was a kid" She waved goodbye, then yelled "Hi-ho Silver! Away!!" and galloped out of the house. The two of them watched her go, then Harry turned to Hermione.
"You know - I love her and all, but I am glad she didn't take the ring"
"Can you imagine what Middle Earth might be like if she was in charge?" Hermione stared at him for a moment, then shivered "See what I mean?"
Half an hour later, the four hobbits left the bounds of Hobbiton. A moment later, the twins started singing.
"Hi-ho, hi-ho, It's off to Bree we go. With a hero, a brain and a pair of pains"
"This is going to be a long, long trip"
"Where did Luna get a watch from?"
Chapter 3: Help From Strange Sources
The journey to Weathertop.
This story is mostly based on the book, and the 1981 BBC Radio version, rather than the movies. Partly because I loathed the movies, but mostly because I know the books and the radio play better
Luna galloped out of Bag End and down the path. Then, at the bottom of the hill, she stopped, and untied the pony she had left there earlier.
"Buggered if I am walking all the way to The Gap" She said under her breath.
"So, Gandalf, you have come" Saruman stared down at Luna as she walked up the steps in his entrance hall.
"Yes, Saruman, I have come. For council, and for guidance"
"Guidance?" Saruman snorted "When has Gandalf The Grey ever taken guidance from anyone?"
"Times are changing. The skies grow dark. And the sniklies are singing backwards"
"Look - are you going to help me, or just be sarcastic all night?"
"I will aid you, but first you must do me a favour"
"If this involves shrubberies, I'm out of here"
"No" Saruman started to pace, then turned to glare at her "The Nine are abroad"
"Isn't that good thing?" Luna asked. Saruman stared at her in disbelief, so she continued "Well - if they are abroad, it means they aren't here"
"You smoked a lot of that weed, didn't you?"
"They search for something, and are all over the land. The power of their master is rising, and we should join him while we have the chance"
"Join The Dark Lord?"
"What else can we do? And if we could give him back his ring, I am sure he would reward us greatly" Saruman smiled "He could cross our hands with silver"
"Well - I was going to tell you where The Ring is, but now I perceive your mind, I think I will just be going"
"Tell me, or else!"
"Or else what?"
Five minutes later she was imprisoned on the tallest pinnacle of the tallest turret of Orthanc.
"Well - that went well" She looked around "At least I have a nice view"
Meanwhile, back in The Shire...
"Wow. I think this is the furthest I have ever been from home" Harry said looking around "And it's kind of pretty" He looked around again "So what's next?"
"Well - there's this whole thing with the Barrow Downs and the Wights, but it doesn't do much to the plot if you skip it, and then there is a whole Tom Bombadil thing, but he just sings a bit, so mostly there is running in fear from a Black Rider, then we reach Bree"
One dramatic chase by a Black Rider later
"Well - that was predictable" The four of them were approaching Bree "Who would have guessed the Black Riders would wear white masks and black cloaks"
They strode in to the town, and over to the nearest pub.
"The Happy Hippogriff?" Hermione stared in disbelief at the sign for a moment, then knocked on the door. A moment later it was opened by Tom.
"Hello, little Masters" He smiled down at them "Rooms for four?"
"Some of us were wondering if you would come in to the common room?" Tom asked them after they had eaten "We don't get a lot of news from The Shire, and our last... shipment hasn't come yet, so my customers are a bit restless" Hermione looked at the others, and they all nodded, except for George.
"I thought I'd go out for a walk"
"In the dark?"
"With Black Riders on the loose?"
"When we are escaping in secret and on a mission to save the world?"
"Okay" Hermione turned away "Mental, that one"
"Who is that... strapping man over there?"
"That would be Strider" Tom replied quietly "Strange man. He's one of The Rangers. I wouldn't want to be dealing with him if I were you" He shook his head and wandered off.
"Rangers?" Fred asked.
"They guard the realms of the north" Hermione replied absently "They are loyal and hard working, and devoted to their leader" She gestured over to where the man was lounging in the shadows "Strider"
"Miss Underhill" Tom returned "Some of the others were wondering if you would give us a song - one from The Shire" Hermione looked around.
"You? Sing?" Harry smirked, but Hermione shushed him, then nodded.
"This is a song from where I grew up" She announced, then started to sing.
Ten minutes later
"Okay... that could have gone better" Harry said in a deadpan voice.
George looked around, and realised he had wandered further than he had planned. The darkness had come on faster than he had thought, and he was at the far end of the town. He turned to go back when he heard a noise behind him.
"Imperio" A voice whispered. Suddenly, he felt the urge to go into the shadows where the figure was hiding. He took a step, but then jumped at a noise behind him, and his mind cleared. He turned and saw one of Butterbur's staff running up the street.
"Mr Merry - you shouldn't be out here" Nob took him by the hand and dragged him back to The Hippogriff.
A few moments later he went to the hobbits room, and then stopped dead at the sight in front of him.
Hermione was covered in custard and bits of fruit, and was glaring at the ring laying in her hand. Meanwhile Harry and Fred were clearly trying not to laugh their assess off at the expression on her face, and failing miserably.
"What the hell's going on?" He asked, already getting the giggles.
"Well - it's like this..." Fred started.
"Two hundred bottles of beer on the wall, two hundred bottles of beer. You take one down, hand it around, there'll be one hundred and ninety nine bottles of beer on the wall"
"...so Frodo panicked, and ran out of the common room" Harry finished "But, in her haste, she ran straight in to the pantry" He collapsed in to laughter again as Hermione gave him one of patented "DIE NOW" glares.
"Wow" George looked over at the young girl, who had just about got herself clean "So you could say your song went a trifle wrong?" This caused the other two to start laughing again, while George had to duck as a volley of pillows were thrown his way.
But before the situation could deteriorate any further, there was a knock at the door, and Tom came in.
"Ah - Miss Underhill. I'm glad to see you visible again" He looked around "That Ranger - Strider - wants a word. I told him you were busy but..."
"Send him in"
"Are you sure?" He looked her up and down "You look a trifle distressed" He looked around as the other three occupants of the room started laughing again "Sorry - is five minutes okay?"
"Yes, thank you" Hermione tried to maintain her dignified expression, but in the end she settled for smacking each of the hobbits round the head. And she felt better for it.
"One hundred and twenty seven bottles of beer on the wall, one hundred and twenty seven bottles of beer. You take one down, hand it around, there'll be one hundred and twenty six bottles of beer on the wall"
Five minutes later, the door opened, and Strider came in. He closed the door then turned round, and Harry gasped, and sat down on the floor with a bump.
"What's the matter Sam?" George asked. When Harry didn't reply, George turned back to Strider "He looks like he's seen a ghost!"
"Yes" Cedric said "He does"
"... you take it down, and hand it around, there'll be..."
"Hoot! Hoothoot!" (Hello Gandalf, I have come to save thee)
"Damnit Hedwig - I had nearly finished! Now I have to start all over again"
"Hoot! HoothootHoothoot! HOOT!" (Well excuse me! I just thought you might want some help!)
"Sorry. But it's cold up here"
"HOOT? HOOThootHoot!" (Are you a bloody wizard or not?)
"Oh yeah" Luna blushed "So - have you come to take me to Rohan so I can get me a horse the likes of which no one has seen before"
"Hoot" (Why yes Gandalf, I have come to do that. And may I add that if you sing about bottles of beer while we are flying over the mountains, I will drop you)
"Fair enough. Thank you"
"HoothoothoothoothoothoothoothoothoothoothootHootHoot!" (No worries mate)
"Sorry if I scared you, but I think we need to talk" Cedric looked over at Sam "Is he going to be okay?"
"Yes" Hermione replied "He was just surprised by your somewhat manly entry" She looked around, then turned back to him "You are Strider?"
"I am" He smiled warmly "I am here to help you"
"Why should we trust you?" George asked.
"You could be anyone?" Fred added.
"Hold on" Hermione held up her hand. She stood up, left the room, then came back a few moments later "Read that" The twins took the letter and opened it, then Fred began to read aloud.
"Dear all, I have gone to The Gap to see someone who might be able to help us. But knowing my luck, he will hold me captive for a while, and I will be delayed and not meet you here. You can trust the barman, even if he does forget to give you this. And if you see a guy named Strider on the way, trust him too. He's a nice guy, and his task is bound up with yours. And Pippin - if you are reading this aloud, stop now and read the next part quietly, otherwise I will slap you silly when I get back" He trailed off, still reading, then started again "...Hope you are having fun, lots of Love'n'Kisses, Gandalf" He handed the letter back to Hermione, who turned to Strider.
"So - who are you? Really?"
"My name is Aragorn, son of Arathorn, and if by life or death I can help you, I will" Cedric replied, then added "But on the whole I'd kind of like to live. I have this girl back home. She is the most beautiful and fairest in the land, and has this great pair of..."
"Okay!" Hermione held her hand up "Don't need to know that part" She smiled "So - shall we go now, or wait to be ambushed tonight?"
Luna stood in front of The Lord Of The Mark, his two children and the master of ceremonies.
"My Lord, I need a horse" Luna stared up at the King of Rohan "And to tell you that Saruman betrayed you to Sauron" She paused "And to ask if your MC ever washes his hair" She paused again "But mostly I need a horse"
"You can't have one"
"If you don't give me a horse, I will just keep asking until you do"
"Oh god - just take on and go"
"Thank you" She turned, then stopped "And I really like your hair. I tried dying mine auburn, but it just came out green" Then she left.
King Theoden watched the wizard leave and shook his head "What I want to know is how she did that all in one breath?!"
"Oh - pwetty horsie!!" Luna leaped on to the back of the horse she had found "I shall hug you, and kiss you, and call you George"
"Neigh!!" (Are you sure?)
"No - I suppose that would get confusing. Shadowfax it is"
"Frodo - are you sure you can trust this man?" George asked. The four hobbits were waiting for Cedric to return "I mean - he scared the crap out of Sam"
"He is trustworthy" Hermione replied "And Sam... well he just wasn't expecting to see him, so don't worry about it"
"Okay, but I still don't like him" He was interrupted as the door opened, and Cedric came in.
"We have horses, food, and water" He announced "So lets go"
As she galloped across the land, Luna started singing to herself.
"We're called the Knights Of Rohan, We're have to fight Saruman, Our king and heirs all have red hair, and they like Lyndsey Lohan. It's a busy life in Edoras. We all like wearing Fedoras" She paused "Couldn't they have called it Hogsmeade? That's far easier to rhyme!"
"Are we nearly there yet?"
"No! And if you don't stop asking, I am pulling these horses over right now!"
"Dun-dada-dun-dada-dun-dada-dun Mithrandir! Dun-dada-dun-dada-dun-dada-dun-dada on shiny Shadowfax!"
"Okay - we are going to camp here" Cedric had guided them to the top of Weathertop "It's late, and I think we should wait until morning to travel on"
For a while, they set up camp, then made a small meal around the campfire.
"So - Sam. It's your turn to sing us a song" The twins said.
"Really?" He glanced across at Hermione "Even after Frodo's... effort?"
"Yes" George said "So - come on. Sing!"
"Okay" Harry thought, then shrugged "This is back from where I come from"
In him his parents took great joy
His hair was black, his eyes were green
His beaming smile by all was seen
He had uncles numbered three
Padfoot, Wormtail and Moony
And they loved him, do not doubt that.
'Xcept for Wormtail, he was a tw...
"Language!" Hermione slapped him on the back of the head.
"Sorry Frodo" Harry smirked, then continued.
And where he dwelleth none can say,
For as I will tell in this verse
He was hit with a killing curse...
Harry trailed off, then shook his head.
"Maybe someone else should try" He looked up at Cedric "I am sure you have a story or two to tell"
"Very well" Cedric paused "Let me tell you about Beren and Luthien..."
"Mithrandir, Mithrandir, Riding through the lands! Mithrandir, Mithrandir, her staff in her hands! Feared by the bad! Loved far and near! Mithrandir! Mithrandir!"
"... and they lived happily ever after. Except when they died" Cedric finished.
"Wow" George exclaimed.
"Cool story" Fred added.
"Isn't it?" Cedric smiled, then his smile faded "We should go"
"Well - it's getting darker, colder and we should try to reach Rivendell soon" He replied, then added "Plus there are four Black Riders coming out of the forest back yonder"
"Oh - well that explains it"
Chapter 4: From Rivendell To Eternity
The hobbits travel on, and gain some new friends on the way.
"Well - it could have been worse" Cedric looked at the hobbits on the ground.
"Yeah. Except for the stabbing part, it went pretty well" Harry smirked "So - how long to Rivendell?"
"A few hours, if we don't get waylaid by the other five Nazgul"
"Oh god!" Fred yelled "There are Black Riders and now we have to deal with Nazgul?"
"The Black Riders are the Nazgul" Hermione replied.
"Oh" Fred nodded "That's okay then"
"We should go" Cedric said "The night is drawing in fast, and we should probably get Frodo to a healer as soon as we can"
"Is it serious?" George asked.
"No - I am" A voice said from behind them. They all jumped, and turned to see an elf on horseback.
"Glorfindel!" Cedric cried, and hugged the newcomer "How did you come here?" Sirius stared down at the horse, then back up at Cedric "Okay - stupid question"
"Elrond sent me - he told me that you were alone in the wilderness with no one to guide you" He looked at Cedric "Except for the Chief of The Rangers who knows this land like the back of his hand" He paused "Do you think Elrond just wanted me out the way?"
"Frodo - go" Sirius commanded.
"I don't want to leave my friends behind if they are in danger" Hermione replied.
"They won't be in danger if you go"
"You think that The Black Riders will just let them go once I leave?" She stared at him, and he shook his head.
"Probably not, but go anyway"
"Okay" She smiled "See you in a little while" Then she spurred her horse away, towards the fjords.
"I found the other five Riders" Cedric said.
"Yeah" Sirius looked round "Where are they?"
"Waiting for at the fjords"
"Bugger" Hermione looked at the five horsemen waiting for her "Where's the cute elven princess when you need her?"
"You can not escape, Frodo - come with us. It is your..." Whatever else they were about to say was lost in a torrent of water, as the river burst it's banks and swept them all away.
"Well - there's something you don't..." What ever else she was about to say as she fainted dead away.
Harry and Luna sat watching Hermione sleep. After Elrond had caused the flood, they had found her lying by the river, sleeping fitfully. They had brought her back, and Elrond had healed her, but she had been asleep for three days.
"Can you wake her?" Harry asked. Luna nodded, then walked over to the bed.
"WAKE UP!!" She yelled. Hermione shot bolt upright, yelled a word that Harry wasn't aware she even knew, then turned and glared at Luna.
"Was that really necessary?"
"No" Luna admitted "But it was fun"
"Four days since you fainted. You are all better, more or less, and you have to prepare for THE COUNCIL OF ELROND" She paused "Well - that hasn't happened in a while"
"Hey - what happened to Arwen?" Hermione said "I thought she was supposed to come rescue me"
"Oh come on" Harry smirked "You can't have girls running around doing heroic things..." He wilted under the twin glares being thrown in his direction "I mean - she was probably busy with her hair or something. You know she and Cedric have a thing"
"Plus she isn't really supposed to appear until the whole United Kingdom thing comes to pass" Luna added "Anyway - time to go"
"Where is the council being held?"
"In the main hall" Luna replied, and they started walking.
"So - what can you tell us about Elrond?" Harry asked.
"He is the Master of Rivendell, very well versed in law and such, a pretty good healer, as Hermione can no doubt verify, and one of the wisest beings in Middle Earth. He, along with his father, mother in law, Saruman and I, set up The White Council to watch for Sauron's return, and he told Cedric that he couldn't have Arwen's hand in marriage until he was king" Luna paused "And he is terminally addicted to lemon drops" She pushed the door open "Master Elrond, may I present Frodo and Samwise of The Shire. Frodo, Sam - Master Elrond"
"It is nice to meet you" Dumbledore replied, smiling down at them "Welcome to my home" Hermione stared at him for a moment, then turned to Luna, who was smirking.
"Okay" She turned back to the Headmaster "So - where are the others?"
"They are waiting in the main hall" Dumbledore replied "Shall we go?"
As they walked along, Hermione pulled Luna back.
"So - any other surprises?"
"You're enjoying this, aren't you?"
"I hate you"
"My friends, I am pleased to welcome Frodo, daughter of Drogo, and Samwise, son of Hamfast" Dumbledore lead them in to the main hall, then stood aside. Hermione and Harry came to a dead stop. Stood in front of them was Cedric, George, Fred and Sirius, along with Draco, Percy and Neville. All of them bowed as Hermione entered, then moved to sit round a table.
"Do you have any idea who's who?"
"So - I would like you all to introduce yourselves, so that we all know who is who" Luna announced as they took their seats round the table "My name is Gandalf, and I am an alcohol... no - wait. That was last week's meeting. My name is Gandalf, and I am a wizard. I like riding horses, killing Dark Lords and generally interfering in other people's lives" She paused "I am here because you are probably all going to die without me" She frowned "But also because Saruman has betrayed us, and so The Gap Of Rohan isn't safe any more"
"Saruman?" Harry asked "Betrayed us?"
"He was once one of the inner circle" Luna replied "With Celeborn, Galadriel, Elrond and I, but he was scared by the rise of The Dark Lord, and sold us out" She frowned "The little rat" She saw the expression on Harry's face "I am so sorry"
"Don't worry" Harry smiled "I am sure he will get his in the end" He turned to Hermione "Go ahead"
"My name is Frodo. I am a hobbit, and for some reason I volunteered for this" She glanced at her friend "This is Samwise, and he is my best friend and is coming with me"
"I am Merry" Fred said.
"I thought I was Merry" George replied. They stared at each other, then shrugged.
"We are Merry and Pippin" Fred replied "And we are here because we didn't want to send our cousins off alone" They turned to Percy.
"My name is Boromir, son of Denathor. I am here because my father bid me come" He paused "I had a dream, and it lead me here" He got a faraway look on his face "This guy was singing about broken swords, magic and Handy Doom... and now you are all staring at me as if I am crazy"
"Well - my name is Legolas" Draco looked around "I too was sent here by my father, to tell you that Gollum has escaped" He sighed "I told my father not to let him walk around the grounds, but would he listen? No!" He looked around "Sorry - family issues"
"I am Gimli, son of Gloin, who went with Bilbo to hunt down a dragon" Neville announced "And my father sent me, because we have been visited by Black Riders, and we wanted to know what was going on"
"I am Aragorn, son of Arathorn, heir of Isildur, Heir of Elendil" Cedric said, standing up. He pulled out a package and put it on the desk, and opened it "This is the sword that was broken"
"And the Handy Doom?"
"Frodo - take out the ring" Luna said softly. Frodo nodded, and pulled out the chain round her neck "This is the one ring, lost so many years ago. But now The Dark Lord wants it back"
"How do you know?" Percy asked "I mean - my mother had a gold ring on her wedding day, and you don't see me saying 'Woah! Scary ring! Bad! Evil! Wrong!' do you?" He paused again "I'm just saying"
"Very well" Dumbledore stood up "I had hoped to bypass telling the whole history of Middle Earth, but since you seem to doubt that we are right - here goes"
The history of Middle Earth, as heard by Frodo and Samwise :-
There was this big scary dude, who challenged the gods, and kind of won, then he lost when the gods regrouped and came in mob-handed. They won, but kind of destroyed half the world in the process. But then they banished him, but his best servant escaped, and started his own reign of terror, and also, for some reason, went in to making jewellery. After he sunk an island, he returned to his hiding place, and gave out the rings to his enemies, so they would come under his power.
A few eons afterwards, the elves and men got together and kicked his ass, but then the oldest son took the most powerful ring in the world, because he was a bit of a moron, and then lost it when someone killed him. The ring stayed at the bottom of a river for ever and ever, until it was found by a young hobbit like creature named Smegol, who was the youngest son in a family of six boys and a girl, and became a jealous, greedy little git (though his family didn't really notice the difference), and went in to hiding. But, on the upside, also wrote a lot of good recipes for goblin pie.
Hermione was staring in surprise as Dumbledore finished his story. Then she leaned over to Harry.
"We have a minor problem" He looked at her questioningly "You know the whole end of the quest thing?" Harry paused, then nodded "Well - guess who we are going to be guided by?" Harry stared at her, his eyes widening "Well - we will cross that river when we come to it"
"That still doesn't prove anything" Percy was whining. Luna gazed at him for a moment, then shrugged.
"Well - if you hold the ring in the fire, there are shiny letters that appear" She stared at the young man "Do you want to try it?" Percy looked at the ring, then at the remarkably hot fire, then back at the ring, then back at Luna.
"Okay. I believe you" Percy sat down again.
"So - what do we do?"
"Send it to Mount Doom to destroy it" Elrond said.
"Okay" Draco said "I vote we send the hobbits. They look expendable" He paled at the looks he received, which was quite impressive given how fair he was to start with "I just volunteered to go, didn't I?"
"We are sending nine, since there are nine Black Riders" Dumbledore declared "And since there are nine of you here, I say we have our Fellowship. All in favour say aye"
"What about the twins?" Luna stared at them "Don't they seem a little... immature to go?"
"Possibly" Dumbledore admitted "But if I have to put up with one more PPP prank, I am going to throw them in to Mount Doom myself"
Later that night, Hermione and Sam watched as Cedric went to say good-bye to Arwen.
"Well - that makes sense" Harry said softly.
"Are you okay?" Hermione asked him.
"Yeah - it was just a crush. I think she'd rather be with him anyway" He paused "You look concerned"
"I just never thought I would hear a Scottish accent in Middle Earth" They both continued to watch as Cedric said farewell to his one true love.
(scenes from the long march south)
"Why didn't we get horses?" Draco asked "This wind is hell on my complexion"
"Merry! Pippin! Stop making snow angels and get back on the path!"
"Gandalf - why can't you melt the snow?" Hermione asked.
"I need fuel to burn - I can't burn water!"
"But, can't you just do this..." She took hold of Luna's arms and pointed them at the nearest snow bank "INCENDIO!" A bolt of blue/green fire shot out of Luna's staff and smashed in to the mountain side.
There was a few moments pause.
"Well - there's something you don't see every day" Draco remarked.
"You blew the side of the mountain off?" Neville exclaimed. They all turned and stared at Hermione.
"Ooops?" There was a moments pause, then she added "I wonder where it went?"
(Meanwhile, in Narnia)
Lucy Pevensie peered round the lamp-post at the large slab of rock in front of her.
"Good god, where is this snow coming from?" Fred asked.
"It is the enemy!" Draco exclaimed.
"No - it is the mountain!" Neville yelled back.
"No - it is the enemy!!"
"It is the gourd! The holy gourd!!" Hermione yelled out.
"No - it is the shoe!!" Harry replied.
"What the hell are you two on about?" Percy asked.
"To Lothlorien we must go, must chose - above, around, below" Luna sang as they walked along.
"What?" Fred asked.
"Well - we can go over the mountain, under the mountain or around the mountain. We just have to make up our mind" She looked up at the darkening sky "We can't go over, and we can't go around..."
"We are going to Moria?" Cedric asked. When Luna nodded, Draco, Cedric, Neville and Percy all shivered. George watched them for a moment, then turned to Hermione.
(a few minutes later)
"You want to take us to a place who's name translates as 'The Scary Black Pit Of Doom, Destruction And Death'?" Fred yelled "Are you crazy?"
"Well duh!" Luna replied "But it's that or camp here until the summer comes"
"Very well - we will go" Cedric replied "But heed this last warning. It is not of the ring, nor of these others that I am thinking now, but of you, Gandalf. And I say to you - if you pass the doors of Moria, beware!"
"Oh come on!" Luna smirked "It's not like I am going to have to fight a huge mythical creature that will eventually kill me and send you all fleeing for your lives now, is it?"
Chapter 5: What Did You Do In The War, Pippin?
The long trek through Moria begins.
This is a shorter chapter because.... well because I had an odd number of chapters, and this seemed the best one to go on its own :)
As the eight travellers struggled up the road, Harry suddenly caught sight of someone coming towards them.
"Isn't that Remus?" Hermione stared up the path, then smiled.
"Why yes, I believe it is" She smiled again "Do you think he is coming to help?"
"I do hope" Harry glanced back at the range of mountains behind them "We could do with some more help"
The group came to a stop as Remus approached them.
"My name is Haldir, and I am here to escort you to the Lord and Lady of this realm"
"Cool" Cedric replied. They set off walking again, but Remus kept glancing at Harry.
"What?" Harry stared at him.
"You look familiar to me" Remus looked at him curiously "Do I know your parents?"
"I don't think so" Harry replied.
"May I welcome you to Caras Galadhon, and introduce you to Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel" As he stood aside, Harry's mouth fell open in surprise.
"So - I guess he does know your parents after all then" Hermione stared up at the Lord and Lady of Lorien, or James and Lily Potter as they were also known.
"Now that you are settled, and fed, I have a question" Lily said "I know that when you set off, there were nine of you, but only eight passed the borders of our land" She looked around "Where is Gandalf?" She stared at them for a moment.
Everyone turned, and as one, stared at Fred, who went bright red.
"I still say it wasn't my fault" He declared.
"Is someone going to tell me, or am I going to have to ground you all?" James yelled.
"Well - here's what happened" Hermione said.
"The trip through Moria stared... badly"
"Gandalf, I don't wish to hurry you, but a giant squid is trying to eat Frodo"
"God - it's always something with you people!" Luna glared up at the wall, then smiled "I've got it! I know the answer!!"
"Then let us in already! Sheesh!"
"Peskipiksi Pesternomi!" Luna yelled, then smiled as the doors to Moria opened "So - what are you all waiting for? Oh - and Pippin?"
"Do up your laces before you trip over"
"But then it got better, if you can call walking through the pitch-black night of an ancient dwarvish city better"
"Can you hear the tiny patter of footsteps?"
"Why yes Frodo, I can"
"You know who it is?"
"Stop that, or I'll make you sleep on the floor"
"Sorry" He glanced round "Should we talk to him now?"
"Best not" Hermione looked over at where Draco was marching along "I think our good friend Malfoy is likely to slay him on sight"
"Good point" Harry smiled "Good to know some things never change"
"And then we stopped to camp for the night, and that's when things went a little... wrong"
"Why is that?"
"Because that's when Pippin stepped to the plate"
"We will set up camp here" Luna announced "And, by the way, watch out for the big hole in the middle of the floor" She looked around "Pippin - you get first watch"
"Watch out for the hole" Fred mimicked Luna's voice, then he walked over to it "Wow. That is a pretty impressive hole" He looked around, and picked up a small pebble "I wonder how deep it is?" He looked down the hole, then at the pebble. Then he glanced back at Luna, then shrugged, and dropped the pebble. And waited.
"What was that?" Luna span round.
"Nothing" Fred replied, trying to look innocent.
"What. Did. You. Do?" She stared at him.
"I kind of dropped a stone down the well" He said.
"Oh for bleep's sake. What do you bleeping think this bleeping is? A bleeping bleeps bleeping bleep. Bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep!!" She paused "And what did I tell you about your bleeping laces?"
"Bleep!" Hermione said "I didn't even know you could use bleep as an adverb"
"But, we carried on with our march, but then made a somewhat depressing find"
"Balin, son of Fundin. Lord of Moria. Born in Dale with love and friendship. Died in Moria with an orc's spike up his bum" Neville looked at the tombstone "So - it's true. He's dead"
"Either that, or the dwarves got bored and carved it for fun" Luna replied, then - at the expression on Neville's face, she shook her head "No - he is probably dead"
"Gandalf - we have found a book" Fred and George carried it over, and put it down in front of her. She looked down.
"balinsfolk . livejournal . com" She stared at it "It looks like a record of their time here" She opened it "Day 1 : We arrived, and found lots of mithril. We started digging. Day 2 : More digging. Day 3 : Yet more digging. Day 4 : Dig-diggity-dig-dig-dig" She looked up "Do you mind if I skip ahead?"
"By all means"
"Day 162 : We heard the drumming in the deep. And not a nice, soothing drumming, but a nasty, scary drumming" She flicked on a few more pages "Day 164: Balin, Lord of Moria, is dead. But on the upside, at least now we get to use that tombstone we carved for fun three weeks ago" She turned the page, then, in a solemn voice, read the last entry "Day 165 : So, here it comes - the sound of drums. Here come the drums. Here come, the drums" She looked up and closed the book "I think we are done here, don't you?"
"And then... well then it all went very wrong, very quickly"
"Is everyone here?" Luna asked.
"Good - now get across the bridge. The orcs are trapped by the huge chasm of fire, and they can't get over it"
The company started to cross the bridge, then, when they had reached the other side, they all turned back, and Draco screamed.
"What now?" Hermione asked.
"Aiieee! AIEEE!! A snorkack!! A SNORKACK HAS COME!!!"
"Don't be silly. Snorkacks don't exist" She turned her back on him, then stopped dead.
Crossing the huge chasm of fire was an immense creature, robed in fire and carrying a massive whip of flame. As it came closer, they could see a huge horn sticking out of the top of it's head.
"Well - I'll be buggered" She exclaimed.
"All of you go" Luna said seriously "This is a foe beyond your measure"
"We can't leave you"
"Okay - you fight it then!"
"Of course not! Don't you people get me?" Luna yelled, then turned to face the oncoming beast "YOU CAN NOT PASS! I AM A DAUGHTER OF THE FIFTH HOUSE! KEEPER OF THE SACRED CHALICE OF RIIX!! HEIR TO THE HOLY... no, that's supposed to be a secret... YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!!"
She pulled out her staff, and sent a bolt of lightening at the rocks on which the monster was stood. The rock-face collapsed, and the creature slipped, then fell down in to the abyss.
"See - it wasn't that hard, was it?"
"So - if she survived the fight with the snorkack, where is she?" Lily asked. Hermione turned and glared at Fred.
"Well - when I heard the fight, I rushed back to help" He said "But my lace had come undone, and..."
Fred trips, and falls in to Hermione, who falls on to Harry, who knocks Luna in to the abyss. For a moment, they all stand there, then they hear a voice yelling "Fly you foooooools!" Harry stared down in to to the darkness, then looked up.
"I would have thought she'd be better off flying than us right now"
Chapter 6: Special Edition? What Special Edition?
The Fellowship breaks.
Due to the nature of the second and third parts of Lord Of The Rings, the story is going to get a little darker from here on. It will remain as a "PG" rating, and with the same sense of humour I have been writing with so far, but I just thought I would warn you. But on the upside, I might stop being mean to Fred and George.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Harry and Hermione were walking in the gardens of Lorien.
"I've been... trying to put in to words what I feel about Gandalf" Hermione said softly.
"Really?" Harry turned "You were never much one for poems, Bree not withstanding"
"Well - I miss her, and..." She waved her arms around "This land makes me feel more creative" She smiled "So - do you want to hear it?"
"I suppose so" He smiled. She paused, took a deep breath, then opened her mouth.
"Frodo?" A voice rang out across the garden, and Harry and Hermione turned as Lily and James walked across the garden to them later.
"Maybe later" Hermione said, then turned "My Lord and Lady?"
"Come with us" Lily said "We must speak, 'ere you leave"
"But I was about to sing" Hermione moaned.
"Trust me" James smiled "You will want to hear what we have to say... Hermione"
Lily and James led them through to a secluded garden, and to a stone structure in the middle of it.
"This is the Mirror of Eht Erutuf" James said.
"Not a stupidly ornate bird-bath?"
"No. It is The Mirror of Eht Erutuf" James repeated, glaring at Harry "And you are not too old to take over my knee"
"Sorry, my Lord"
"If you look in to it, even my Lady and I do not know what you will see. It might be the future, it might be the past. It might be something that comes true, or it might not. It might even be a world without shrimp" Harry and Hermione stared at him "Sorry - I guess I spent too much time with Luna"
"After you chose to look in The Mirror" Lily said firmly "So - who's first?"
Hermione glanced at Harry, who nodded, and took a step forward.
"Lean over the surface, but do not touch it" Lily whispered. Harry nodded again, then leaned over.
"I see... trees. Being felled and shoved in to a furnace. And... Hermione? Dead? Or Petrified? I see Hogwarts burning... and... OH MY GOD!"
"What?" James asked. Both he and Lily leaned over Harry to gaze at the mirror.
"Okay - this seems oddly familiar" He smirked "But... I thought I saw... I thought I saw..."
"A puddy-tat?" Hermione asked. Harry smirked, then looked back at the surface of the mirror.
"But no - it's gone" He shrugged "It's probably not important" He turned to Hermione "Your turn" She leaned over.
"I see... more trees" She paused "What is it with the trees? Anyway... I see a great battle, I see a lot of people with red hair. I see a long, dark tunnel and... the image of a snake with a crown... that can't be right" She paused "And... a huge glowing eye. It's... staring at me..." She pulled back "Wow. That was kind of scary"
"I too know what you have seen" Lily said "For it troubles my mind too" She turned to face them "Do not think that merely by singing, or chanting, or having a fully armed company of fierce elven warriors and more ancient magic than you can shake a stick at do we keep this realm safe" She smiled, then held up her hand, revealing a ring with a small jewel set atop "The Ring Of Nenya, The Ring Of Adamant" She giggled "As wedding rings go, it's kinda pretty, don't you think?"
"Very nice" Hermione said "How do you know who we are?"
"The three rings allow us certain... gifts" She smiled "But no doubt you will learn more of that later" She turned "Come - it is time to go"
"It's time you were all moving on" Lily stood in front of the eight "While we like you all, if we have to hear one more complaint about a MMM prank, I think we will break our own laws and string two hobbits up by their toes" Everyone turned and glared at Fred and George, who merely shrugged "And so, I give to all of you gifts, to commemorate your time in Lorien"
"Really?" Hermione asked. Lily turned to her "I thought we could only get these if we waited for the special edition of the story?"
"No - you can have them now. Besides the special edition won't be done for another six months or so, and you will probably need the gifts before that" She turned to the group.
"To you, Merry and Pippin, I give you these cloaks. Not only will the €keep you warm, and make you nearly invisible, but they are charmed so that you can not carry out any pranks against people I like"
"To you, Boromir, son of Denathor, I give you this" She handed a book titled 'Teamwork, Or How Not To Steal Magic Rings From Your Friends"
"To you, Aragorn, I give you this" She handed him a shiny green stone "Arwen said you would know what do to with it"
"To you, Samwise, I give you this" She handed him a small box "If you manage to survive, and not die horribly, you will find this of use"
"To you, Legolas, I give you a bow and quiver, and some Grecian 2000 in case the coming travels make your hair less than perfectly styled"
"To you, Frodo, Ring-Bearer, I give you this" She gave her a small object. Hermione examined it.
"The Mirror of Galadriel (tm)?"
"I thought it might come in handy" Lily smiled "Plus also, this" She handed Hermione a torch "Surprisingly, The Land Of Shadow is quite dark, so you might find this useful"
"And Gimli - given that our two races hate each other with a fiery passion, what would you ask of me?"
"A lock of your hair, so I can put it in crystal and use it as a symbol of peace between our two races"
"Really?" Lily asked, and Neville nodded "I would have thought you would have asked for a weapon, or a flying horse or something, but okay"
She turned to the group again.
"My final gift is this :- when you are no longer eight, the knowledge of yourselves will come to your mind. Take that knowledge, and use it well"
Harry and Hermione stared down at the river.
"You have a long way to go. Do you really want to walk?" James smiled.
"But I can't swim" Harry moaned. Hermione stared at him "What?"
"You swam for an hour to rescue Ron"
"That was with gillyweed" He stared at the river again "Do you have any gillyweed?"
"No, not really" She glanced at Lily, who was smirking.
"Luna really does get inside your head, doesn't she?"
"Yes, she does"
"So - have a nice trip, and send us a postcard and try to bring us back souvenirs" James smiled "And - you know - don't die"
"Are we nearly there yet?" Hermione asked.
"Why?" Cedric asked "Are you getting tired of the view?"
"No" She shook her head "But if I have to hear Merry and Pippin sing 'Row, Row, Row your boat' one more time, I think I will throw them overboard"
"So - we reach the end of the first stage of our journey" Cedric said "Either we stay on this side, and go to Minas Tirith, or we go on the other side and go to Mordor"
"Well - I am going to Minas Tirith" Percy announced "It is my duty, and I can't leave my brother in charge, cause he is a feckless waster"
"We should continue our quest" Draco said "We must help Frodo destroy the ring, otherwise Minas Tirith with fall" He turned to stare at Percy "Whether you help them or not"
"What about you, Ring-Bearer?" Percy turned to glare at Hermione "Surely we should hear from you?"
"I would welcome your help, but I am pretty sure that the eight of us sneaking in to Sauron's realm might be noticed" She looked around "So - if you will give me an hour, I will make my decision" She stood up "I am going for a walk" The other seven watched her go, then Cedric turned to Harry.
"Will she be okay?"
"Yeah. She knows what she has to do, she is just not ready to end the fun part of the trip yet" Harry sighed "Don't worry - it will all turn out for the best" He glanced over at Percy "Or I hope it will"
As Hermione wandered in the woods, she started singing to herself.
"She stood amongst the noise and din, and fire and dark, she both defied. Then Fred tripped up and pushed her in, In Kazad'Dum, her wisdom died"
"Who's Fred?" A voice came from behind her. She turned to see Percy gazing at her.
"Never mind. Why are you here, Boromir?"
"I came to ask you a favour, young hobbit" He started pacing "My father, Lord Denathor, says that Gandalf is...was just scaremongering. Trying to stir up fear and worry, so that he can put his fake-king on the throne"
"And what do you say, Boromir?" She asked carefully.
"That he has a point" He smiled "But if you, and your ring, would be willing to come with us, we could stand up against any force"
"I'm sorry, Boromir, I can't do that" She stared at him.
"What if I force you?" He said, putting his hand on his sword hilt.
"Well, then we'd have a problem"
"What the hell was that?!" Draco leaped to his feet.
"The Horn Of Boromir!" Cedric yelled "He is in great need"
"Where's Frodo?" Fred leaped to his feet, followed by George "Where is she?" They both ran off in to the woods.
"Oh for the love of... Legolas, Gimli - go after them. I will go look for Frodo" He turned "Sam - wait here"
"Okay" Harry waited until they had gone, then wandered over to the boats. He carefully packed some food, water and their cloaks. Then he sat down, and waited.
"Are we hopelessly lost?"
"Bugger" George looked around "At least we aren't in any danger at the moment"
"Think again" A voice said from behind them.
"So - there's no way I convince you to stay behind?" Hermione glared down at Harry, who was holding a paddle in his hand.
"Despite the danger, the torment, the heat, the cold, the rain and the fact I am going to be a bit of a bitch for the near future?"
"Yes" Harry smiled "And hell - I put up with it three days a month for the past year, didn't I... Ow!"
Hermione put down the paddle she had been holding.
"Let that be a lesson to you"
"Sorry" He smiled "So - you ready to go for the adventure of a life time?"
"Yes" She smiled "Let's do it"
"So - Boromir tried to take the ring?" Draco asked.
"Yup" Cedric replied.
"And then he lost the hobbits?"
"Do we know which hobbits he managed to lose?"
"This isn't good, is it?"
"Hey guys" Neville came up behind them "There's a boat missing, and some of our stores, and this letter that says 'Gone to Mordor. Back Soon. Don't forget to buy milk. Love Frodo'n'Sam'" He smiled "So..." He paused, then realised the other two had the same expression on their face as he did "Cedric?"
"Neville?" They both turned "DRACO?"
As the orcs dragged Fred and George through the plains, they turned to stare at each other.
"Well" They said together "That's something new"
"Can't you row any faster?" Hermione asked.
"Yeah - but we don't want to leave Ron behind, do we"
"I guess not"
They both went quiet, and continued to row down the river.
Thus ends the first part of the story of The War Of The Rings. The story will continue in The Two Towers, or, to put it another way, the next chapter.
Chapter 7: Travels In Middle Earth - Saruman's Abroad
Forth the Three Hunters!
Since there was, apparently, some confusion, I thought I would clarify the situation.
Frodo (Hermione) and Sam (Harry) know who they are and what happens throughout the whole of the story. Gandalf (Luna) also knows who she is, and what happens. Or at least she did until she died.
Celeborn (James) and Galadriel (Lily) know who they are, but they only know what Celeborn and Galadriel should know.
At the end of the chapter, Merry (George), Pippin (Fred), Aragorn (Cedric), Legolas (Draco) and Gimli (Neville) found out who they were, but still only know what their characters know. And if Boromir (Percy) hadn't been killed, he probably would have found out as well. But since he died, he didn't
It is entirely unclear whether Elrond (Dumbledore) knows or not.
Everyone else, including Bilbo (Molly), Glorfindel (Sirius) and Haldir (Remus) are still in the dark, and think they are their characters.
Hope that helps.
Previously on "Lost In Middle Earth" :- Hermione and Harry woke up in Bag End to find that Voldemort had trapped them in "Lord Of The Rings" (one of Hermione's favourite books). They find that other people have been brought in to help or hinder them, and are told by Luna (who has replaced Gandalf) that they must work through the book, to the end, in order to break the spell.
When we last left them, The Fellowship had broken, Fred and George had been kidnapped by Orcs, Hermione and Harry were setting off for Mordor, Cedric, Neville and Draco were wondering what they should do next, and Luna and Percy were somewhat dead.
And so now, the story continues...
Cedric, Draco and Neville stared at the body of Percy, laying on the ground.
"So - we should bury him?" Neville asked.
"Why?" Draco asked "I mean - he tried to steal the ring, and nearly got Hermione killed" He saw the expression on his friends' faces, and smirked "I am not her biggest fan, but she is pretty much our only hope of getting out of this"
"But - we can't just leave him here" Cedric said "At the very least, lets stick him in a boat, and send him down the river"
"Okay - that's fair" Draco "I mean - he tried to sell us down the river. The least we can do is return the favour"
Five minutes later, Percy was lying in a boat. Neville had suggested surrounding him with the weapons and helms of his fallen foes, but Draco vetoed that.
"You think I am going to get my hands all messy?"
So they simply laid him in a boat, and moved it down to the river.
"Anyone want to say anything?" Cedric asked. Both Draco and Neville shook their heads, so Cedric pushed the boat out.
They watched it go for a few minutes, then Cedric turned.
"Okay - we have a choice to make" He stared over the river "We can go after Hermione and Harry, and try to help them sneak in to Mordor"
"In the wilderness" Draco said "In the dark. With Nazgul on the far bank and orcs on this one" He smirked "I know you are supposed to be loyal, but this is just taking the piss"
"Then we should go after Fred and George" Neville said "They are alone out there, and they need our help" Draco stared at him in disbelief.
"We only just got rid of them" He laughed "I say good riddance. No more pranks, no more tricks - no more bloody singing!"
"So what do you suggest?" Cedric asked.
"We could go to Minas Tirith, as Weasley suggested" Draco replied "It sounded like they needed our help"
"And they will get it" Cedric said "But if we can't help Harry and Hermione, we have to save Fred and George" He sighed "Even if they bug the life out of us"
"Okay. Fine" Draco sighed "But don't blame me if they prank you the moment we find them"
They returned to the clearing and looked around. Then Cedric turned to Draco.
"So, Master Elf, which way now?"
"Yonder" He pointed to where there were a lot of tracks on the ground "No one but orcs make a mess like that" He looked around "Hold on a moment..." He trailed off "Where are the horses?" Cedric smirked, as did Neville. Draco stared at them, then realised why they were smirking "We have to WALK?" Cedric nodded "But it's... it's..."
"A long way?" Neville asked, still smiling. Draco snarled a rude word.
"When I get hold of those damn hobbits..."
There are several days of running, jumping, sprinting and resting as the three friends chase after the orcs.
"Erm - guys?" Cedric slowed to a halt near the top of a hill "What's that?" They all followed his gaze to where a huge plume of smoke was billowing in to the air, then he turned to Draco "You have the best eyes"
"Why Ced, I didn't know you swung that way... ow! OW!" He turned and glared at Neville "I get why he slapped me, but why did you?"
"It looked like fun" Neville replied, then looked back "So - what is that?"
"Well - it appears to be a large plume of smoke billowing up from the plains" Draco said. The two of them stared at him "Oh - you wanted more?"
"If possible, yes"
"You should have said" Draco smirked, then peered into the distance "It's a bonfire of some type, but I can't tell what" He paused "And there are about fifty men on horses riding back down the orc trail towards us" He turned back "Should we go and say hello?" Neville turned to Cedric, who shrugged.
"I say we do it" Neville said.
"Gryffindors forward?" Draco sighed "I swear you two will be the death of me"
"Ho-there" Cedric yelled out.as the horsemen rode up to them. The leader of the riders turned, and then pulled his horse up.
"Who are you who walk in the land of Rohan without leave of The King?" Cedric stared at him, then turned to Neville.
"Anyone you know?"
"Fred's oldest brother" Neville whispered "If the past is anything to go by, he is probably on our side"
"Thanks" Cedric turned back "I will tell you my name, but first tell me - who's side are you on?"
"We are on our own side, but if you ask who we serve, we serve my father, King Theoden of Rohan. I am Eomer" Cedric paused for a moment, then nodded.
"Then my name is Aragorn, son of Arathorn, the heir of Isildur" He smiled.
"Pull the other one" Bill smirked down at him "If you are going to be a spy in a foreign land, you should at least pick someone who isn't a fairy tale"
"He is" Draco said "Seriously"
"If he was the heir of Isildur, wouldn't he have the famous sword?" Bill asked.
"You mean like this" Cedric drew Anduril and let it shine in the sun.
"Yes - like that" Bill stared for a moment "Well... bugger me"
"So you killed the orcs?"
"And burned the orcs?"
"And then you burned the ashes of the orcs?"
"Wow" Cedric said "You really don't like orcs, do you?"
"Not so much" Bill replied "But we didn't see any kids in there"
"How about annoying, fat little hobbits?" Draco asked.
"Nope" Bill paused "We might have burned them" The three friends stared at him "Hey - there were a lot of corpses"
"Swell" Neville said.
"Or they might have escaped in to Fangorn Forest" Bill shivered.
"What's so bad about that?" Draco asked.
"There are... scary things in there" Bill shivered again "For years it has been forbidden for our people" He looked around "It is also said that Saruman is abroad. That he wanders hither and thither, and that he has taken the disguise of Gandalf"
"So when they say Saruman is abroad they really mean it?" Draco smirked.
"Come on guys" Cedric said "We have to go"
Ten minutes later, the three travellers were on horseback, and preparing to ride up the orc trail to search of their friends.
"I never thought I'd be grateful to a Weasley" Draco muttered quietly, but apparently not quietly enough as Neville slapped him on his arm.
"Draco - be nice" He whispered back.
"Thank you for these horses, Eomer" Cedric said. Bill nodded.
"You are welcome, but I would ask that, if you find your friends, you would come to The Golden Hall and show my father I am not the useless prat he thinks I am"
"Of course we will" He noticed the look of doubt on Bill's face "You don't trust us?"
"Oh - it's not that" Bill shrugged "I just don't think you will come out of the forest alive"
"Well - thank you for that as well" Cedric smirked, then turned to the other two "Lets go"
"So - do either of you know what you are looking for?" Neville asked. They had arrived at the remains of the bonfire, and were now surrounded by lots of orc-briquettes.
"Well - the cloaks of Lorien are fire-resistant" Draco said. They both stared at him "Well - last year, during the Mid-Summer celebrations, Galadriel wanted to try out a new barbecue recipe for oliphant stakes, and... it didn't end well" They were still staring at him "But, as I was saying, if the hobbits had been torched, then the cloaks would still be around"
"True" Neville leaned over and picked up a piece of armour "What's this symbol?"
"The Silver Hand" Cedric replied "It means there were Saruman's orcs, not orcs of Sauron, who uses the sign of the Black Skull" He looked around "So - if they weren't here during the cook-out, then..."
"They went in to the forest"
"Seems so" Draco stared at the dark wood beyond them "Can I just suggest the going to Minas Tirith plan again?"
"No" Cedric smirked "And aren't elves supposed to be tree-huggers?"
"I am all for hugging trees" Neville added.
"Until the trees start hugging back" Draco replied "There are stories..."
"Look - we are going in there, all three of us" Cedric stamped his foot "I know we all would prefer that Fred and George were a long way from us, but we came this far, and I am not going to stop hunting them until I know they are dead" Draco and Neville both burst out laughing "Oh - you know what I mean"
They had been exploring the forest for half an hour when Draco stopped.
"Can you hear that?"
"What?" The other two tried to listen, but couldn't hear anything.
"I am sure I can here singing"
"If you go down to the woods today"
"You are imagining it" Cedric whispered "Who would be singing in these woods?"
"You're sure for a big surprise"
"Maybe it's those hugging trees Draco mentioned" Neville said with a smirk.
"If you go down to the woods today"
"What if... what if it's Saruman?" Draco asked "Bill did say he was wandering around"
"You'll never believe your eyes"
"Look!!" The three turned to follow Cedric's finger, and saw a figure robed in white, stood on a rock a little way away.
"Greetings" The figure said in a calm voice.
"Stay there" Cedric raised his sword, and a moment later both Draco and Neville followed suit.
"Away put your weapons" The figure continued "I mean you no harm"
"And we know that how?" Neville asked "You are in this forest, sneaking around - why should we trust you?"
"You ask me to trust you? The Lion and Badger who consort with the Snake?"
"Well - it's clear why the hat didn't put you three in Ravenclaw at least" The figure took a step towards them, and they took a step back.
"Do you not know who I am yet?" The figure asked in an amused voice.
"Yes! You are Saruman The White"
"Close" The figure flung off the hood covering its face "But no cigar"
"I'm only a model" She smirked, then, at the looks on their faces, she sighed "Does no one watch Monty Python any more?"
Following in Luna's wake, the three friends make their way back to the edge of the forest.
"So - how did you fair with your fight with the snorkack?" Neville asked.
"Name him not" Luna shuddered.
"I can't call him 'He-who-must-not-be-named'" Neville moaned "That will just get confusing"
"Oh - I never thought of that" She paused "Call him Cecil"
"So - how did you fair with your fight with... Cecil?" Neville asked.
"Oh - you know, falling, clutching, hewing, more falling - the usual" She shivered again "In the end I got really tired of it, so I threw him off a cliff"
"Yeah" She smiled "So - what's been happening while I've been gone? Where are Frodo and Sam? And Merry and Pippin? And Boromir?"
"Well..." Cedric trailed off "It's a long story"
"I leave you alone for five minutes and you lose four hobbits and the prince of Gondor?" Luna stared at them in disbelief "Good god" She looked out "Well - there's nothing to be done now. We have to go to Edoras"
"What about Fred and George?" Neville asked.
"They are with a friend of mine" Luna smiled "They'll be okay for a little while"
"And you didn't mention this before because..."
"I wanted to teach you a lesson about what happens when you lose hobbits" Luna said as if it were the most obvious thing in the world "So - come on" She ran out in to the field and jumped on to the back of Shadowfax. The others followed suit, although, since they all wanted to have children later, they didn't jump on to their horses with quite as much speed as Luna had, then they all set off across the plains.
"Who's there?" A soldier in the livery of Rohan approached the four travellers as they rode up to The Golden Hall "Oh - it's you. You are not welcome here, by orders of The King"
Cedric turned to Luna with a questioning look.
"What did you do?" He asked.
"Nothing" She paused "Except I stole a horse" She paused again "And possibly wrote SAURON SUCKS in big letters in the grass" She paused for a third time "And I might have accidentally burned down part of the village" They stared at her "It was a lumos spell that got out of control"
"Is that all?" Cedric asked with a smirk.
"Yes" She paused "I also insulted their MC, who, now I come to think of it, seems to be deciding who comes and goes" She shrugged "But seriously - that's all" They continued to stare at her in disbelief "I promise - aside from theft, vandalism, arson and being excessively rude to the person who controls the comings and goings of the king, and who most people now assume is, in fact, running the kingdom in his master's stead, I did nothing wrong"
Cedric stared at her for a moment, then turned back to Hama.
"So - if we leave her outside, can we come in?"
A few moments later, Draco, Cedric and Neville were stood in front of the king, who was kneeling on the floor, fiddling with something that Cedric didn't recognise. Also present, flanking the king, were a red-headed girl and a man with greasy black hair and an unusually long nose.
"What do you want?" Snape asked "And why do you come here with that lunatic wizard?"
"We came to ask for you help, Theoden King, and to give you a warning" Cedric said, staring at Theoden "The Dark Lord is on the rise, and now all who are free must unite together, lest we be destroyed" He paused, waiting for a response "My Lord?"
"Isn't it fascinating?" The King turned to grin at Cedric "I have no idea what it does, but I am sure these buttons control the spinny thing in the middle"
"My Lord, are you listening to me?"
"Of course" He turned back, and continued to fiddle with the machine. Cedric stared at him for a moment, then glanced at the two others stood next to him "Lady Eowyn - surely you can help us?"
"Yeah right" The girl tossed her long red hair "Like anyone is going to listen to a girl in this day and age" She sighed "My brother gets to go off to war, but not little Eowyn - we can't let her get hurt, can we? They didn't even let Arwen have a sword, for gods' sake"
"So basically we are stuck with Sn... with Grima then?"
"Pretty much" Ginny sighed "Unless you happen to have a crazily powerful wizard who can reverse the enchantment on my father and stop him playing with these blasted contraptions"
"My Lady" Cedric gave a deep bow "This might be your lucky day?"
"Really?" She walked towards him, eyeing him up and down "You know - you are kind of cute, for a wandering vagabond" Cedric's eyes widened, and both Draco and Neville had to stifle laughs.
"Really" Cedric turned, but before he could start towards the door, it opened, and Luna sauntered through, with a big smile on her face "Gandalf? How did you get past Hama?"
"It was a powerful piece of ancient magic that would be beyond your understanding!" She cackled.
"No, not really" She giggled "I just whacked him between the legs with my staff" Everyone except Ginny went pale "Yeah - that was pretty much his reaction as well. So - what's with The King and the giant-automated-hamster-wheel-with-added-washing-abilities?"
"Grima bought it for my father, and since then he hasn't been able to think about anything else" Ginny replied "And, before you ask, Eomer and I are not really his children, but since our parents died in the last war, he has more or less adopted us. And I know he plans to hand the kingdom over to Eomer, or he did before Eomer was banished"
"How did you say all that in one breath?" Draco asked curiously.
"Well - I am not going to be allowed to fight, or ride, or do anything even vaguely unfeminine, I had a lot of time on my hands" She glanced across to Cedric "I also learned to play the piano, if my Lord would like to hear it?"
"Maybe later" Cedric took a step back, and moved behind Neville, who was still trying to fight off the giggles.
"So - Grima" Luna strode towards Snape "What's the trick?"
"Get away from me, wandering wizard" Grima took a step back, but then came to a halt as he backed in to a pillar "You have no authority here"
"That's true" Luna sighed, then she whipped the staff up in a blindingly fast motion. A moment later, Snape was writhing on the ground, his hands between his legs. Luna smirked at him, then turned to King Theoden "Theoden, either you stop messing with that, or I do to you what I just did to snake-face here" Theoden stared up at her for a moment, then nodded "Good choice, my King" She bowed to him as he retook his throne "Now - are you willing to fight?"
"Fight you?" Arthur stared at her "Why would I want to fight you?"
"Not me" She sighed "Sauron is rising, and soon he will kill everyone who stands against him. But that's not our biggest problem"
"Really?" Ginny stared at her "There is something worse than the rise of an all powerful Dark Lord hell-bent on genocide?"
"Well - when you put it that way, no" Luna agreed "But Saruman has betrayed us, and even now he is sending his forces to wipe Rohan off the face of the map"
"She lies lord!" Snape struggled to his feet "Saruman is our friend, and... nurk!"
"Oh - sorry" Luna smiled down at the prone man "My staff slipped" She turned back to Arthur "So - King Theoden - what do you say?"
"I tell you my Lord - the wizard lies. She will lead to war, and then abandon you to death" Snape stood again "Stay here, and... gurh!" Everyone turned and stared at Ginny.
"Sorry - it just looked like fun when Gandalf did it" She said, looking smug.
"Grima" Arthur looked down at his servant "I want you to go. I don't care where, just go. Because the next time I see you, I think I will follow my daughter's lead" To everyone's surprise, Snape went even paler, then he stood up, and very carefully turned and walked out of the hall. Arthur watched him go, then yelled out "See no harm comes to him, and see that he gets some ice for... well you know" He gave a small laugh, then turned back to Luna "So, Gandalf, what would you have us do?"
"Get everyone who isn't fighting to safety. Get everyone who is fighting in to gear, and lead them to Helm's Deep. I will be along short..."
"See!" A voice yelled from outside "I told you she would abandon you! Why didn't you listen to me?"
"Excuse me a moment" Luna said. She turned, walked out of the hall and closed the door behind her. There was a thwap, then a yell of 'Oh God, oh God, why hast thou forsaken me?', then another thwap and then the doors opened again, and Luna walked in serenely "Where was I? Oh yes - I will be along in three days. Look for me when the birds are singing, and the frogs are croaking and the tillyweathers are mumping" They all stared at her "Dawn"
"Oh" Arthur nodded "Okay"
"See you soon" She waved, then turned and walked out the hall. There was a moment of silence, then Arthur turned to Cedric.
"She's really our last, best hope?"
"Yup" Cedric replied "Scary, isn't it?"
"So - how did you end up here?" George asked.
"I am glad you asked" Cedric said. He, Neville and Draco were walking along beside the two hobbits, heading towards a meeting with Luna "After the confrontation in Meduseld..."
"I thought it was Edoras" George interrupted.
"I thought it was Rohan" Fred added.
"Same place" Draco replied "And, before you ask, it's also known as The Golden Hall"
"Oh" George shrugged, then turned back to Cedric "Do go on"
"Well - after the confrontation in Meduseld..."
"Did Luna really hit Snape in the nuts?"
"Four times" Neville grinned "And Ginny got one kick in too" Fred turned to his brother.
"We miss all the best stuff" He noticed Cedric was glaring at him "Sorry"
"Anyway - after the..."
"You said that bit already" George whined. Cedric glared at him, and Draco laughed. Both Cedric and Neville turned to stare at him.
"Do you want me to say 'I told you so' now or later?" He asked.
"DO YOU WANT TO HEAR THIS STORY OR NOT?" Cedric yelled.
"Yes sir" George said meekly.
"Well - it's like this" He glared at everyone, then continued "After we left the hall, King Theoden and Lady Eowyn got in to... an argument"
"Dad and Ginny fighting?" Fred smirked "That must have been fun to watch"
"You have no idea"
"YOU WILL HARKEN UNTO ME DAUGHTER"
"NO I BLOODY WELL WON'T"
"I AM YOUR KING AND LORD"
"It went on like that for a while" Cedric continued.
"What was it about?" George asked.
"Have you noticed the lack of women around here?" Draco asked.
"Have we ever" Fred replied.
"The King ordered Ginny to take his people to Dunharrow, and to hide out there until the war is over" Neville smirked "Ginny didn't take it well"
"Oh gods" Fred giggled "But, since she isn't here and you are, I take it Dad won?"
"Lady Eowyn wasn't happy" Cedric said "She even appealed to me directly..." He stopped as both Draco and Neville burst out laughing.
"Are we missing something?" Fred and George asked together.
"It seems that The White Lady of Rohan has a bit of a thing for the future King of Gondor" Neville said with a smile "So, obviously, Cedric supported the idea that Eowyn should defend her people rather than ride to war?"
"Damn right" Cedric replied with a smile "And in the end, she gave in. So - she led her people off to the mountains, and we rode west"
"Anyone got a riding song?" Draco asked "Cause otherwise this is going to go very slowly" Neville glanced across at him with a sly look.
"Ride, Ride, Ride your horse..."
"On second thoughts, silence is nice" Draco said quickly, glaring at Neville.
"We got to Helm's Deep, and found the battle already in progress" Cedric continued "There was fighting a plenty, as we fought our way through to the citadel"
"And then the orcs blew a hole in the wall, and we did more fighting" Neville said "We drove them back beyond the wall, and it seemed they settled in for the night and laid siege to us"
"Well - we sang a few camp-fire songs, played a few games" Draco smirked "I got Neville drunk to see if he would let me toss him a little..." He saw the expression on the faces of the twins "It's not what you think"
"You want to bowl me down the caves to knock over some sticks?" Neville stared at him as if he was crazy, but Draco merely nodded.
"Old Elf game from Valinor" He said "Part of our heritage. It would be a huge insult to me, to my family and to all of Elven Kind if you refused"
"No, not really" Draco smirked "I just wanted to see if I could get you to do it"
"And then the dawn came"
Cedric stared out from the top of the wall.
"So... that's a lot of orcs then?"
"There were orcs as far as the eye could see" Draco said.
"Which with his eyes is pretty far" Cedric added "So - we exchanged a few pleasantries - they insulted me, I insulted them. Then I went back inside, to plan the attack and when we came back to fight..."
"You ever hear of MacBeth?" Neville asked.
Cedric, Neville, Draco and Arthur stared out from the wall.
"She looks good, doesn't she?" Cedric asked.
"Indeed" Draco replied "But, to be fair, if you dress any girl in white, stick her on the back of the most impressive horse in the world and have her riding out of the east as the sun rises, you would be very hard put too to fail"
"True" Cedric glanced to his right "The trees weren't there last night, were they?"
"No" Neville replied.
"Oh. Good" There was a long pause "So... how did they get here?"
"Ents" George said with a smile "And Huorns"
"So you've heard of them?"
"As a matter of fact - that is how we got here" Fred said with a smile "Would you like to hear the story?"
Cedric, Draco and Neville looked at each other for a moment, then shrugged.
Chapter 8: Travels In Middle Earth - Orthanc Fall Down, Go Boom
Merry and Pippin's Exciting Adventure.
"As a matter of fact - that is how we got here" Fred said with a smile "Would you like to hear the story?"
Cedric, Draco and Neville looked at each other for a moment, then shrugged.
As the orcs dragged Fred and George through the plains, they turned to stare at each other.
"Well" They said together "That's something new"
They stared at each other for a moment longer, then looked around.
"So - we are captured by orcs?" Fred asked.
"And we have no idea where anyone else is?"
"And we have no idea where we are?"
Fred paused for a moment, then an evil gleam came in to his eye.
"George, my boy?"
"Are we going to take this lying down?" A moment later, George smiled back at his brother.
"I fully agree"
"Are we nearly there yet?"
"Are we nearly there yet?"
"Are we nearly there yet?"
"Are we nearly there yet?"
"Oh" Fred paused for a few moments "Mr Orc?"
"Are we nearly there yet?"
"NO!" Ugluk turned to his second in command "Snagna?"
"Can we kill them?"
"Saruman said he needed them alive"
"Are we nearly there yet?"
"Can you hear music?" Fred cocked his head to one side, then his eyes widened.
"Why yes, George - I can" He continued to listen "Why would anyone be playing the William Tell Overture in Middle Earth?" He stared at George, who was paying no attention to him "George?"
"Maybe because Luna already used Bonanza and Robin Hood?" He smirked "And doesn't that guy in the lead kind of look like Bill?"
"What the hell is that?"
"It looks like a group of white-skins on horses, riding across the plains to kill us to the tune of the William Tell Overture"
"Oh good. I thought I was going crazy" Snagna paused "Any chance we can get away?"
"Probably not" Ugluk sighed, then glanced across at Fred and George, who were smirking at each other "On the other hand - it does mean we don't have to drag them to Orthanc any more" He turned to his men "STAND AND FIGHT AND PROTECT THE LITTLE SHIRE-RATS"
"Yay!" Fred and George yelled.
"BUT IF WE LOOK LIKE WE WILL LOSE, KILL THE LITTLE BUGGERS"
"Tell me again why running in to the forest was a good idea?" They had broken their bonds, and, while the orcs were being merrily slaughtered by the knights of Rohan, they had fled in to the Forbidden Forest.
"Because it was better than being merrily slaughtered by Bill and his merry men?" George stared around "Although possibly only marginally better"
"I know" Fred looked up at the ceiling of branches "So - where now?"
"I HAVE A FEW IDEAS" A voice boomed out from behind them.
"So who was it?" Cedric asked.
"Professor Flitwick" Fred replied.
"No - not really"
Fred and George stopped dead, then slowly turned.
"Now - who are you, and why is your hair that colour?"
"Hagrid?" The giant stared down at them, with a curious look.
"Yes... I think that is what the Elves called me" Hagrid replied "But I haven't heard that name in... a very long time" He stared down at them "But you may call me that, if you wish"
"Do you have another name?"
"Yes - in my own language, I am called Arooorooarooogoograooo..."
There was a pause.
"So Hagrid - what are you?"
"I am an Ent" He stared around "Which is basically a walking, talking tree-like creature who patrols the forest and occasionally sings songs about nature"
"That figures" George whispered to Fred, who smiled.
"But that doesn't answer my question" Hagrid stared down at them "What are you? I don't think I have ever seen someone quite like you before"
"We are hobbits"
"That's not even a real word, is it" Hagrid glared at them.
"That'll do" He beamed down at them "So - what are you doing in my forest?"
"Well - it's a long story"
"Longer than my name?"
"Well - when you put it that way" Fred paused, then looked up "It started like this..."
Hermione awoke with a jerk. Which, she reflected, was not a very nice way to describe Harry...
"Well - when you put it that way" Fred paused and then looked up "It started like this..."
Fred finished speaking, and looked up at the Ent.
"Wow" Hagrid smiled down "You have had an exciting time" He frowned "But Gandalf is dead?"
"Yes" George said, casting a glance at Fred, who blushed.
"And Boromir is dead?"
"Yes - but that totally wasn't my fault!" Fred yelled. George stared at him "But, of course, it's still a bad thing"
"And Saruman has betrayed The West?"
"Well - that sucks" Hagrid said "Anyway - come with me. We have things to do" He leaned over and picked them both up, then sat them on his shoulders.
"Don't you want to know our names?" George asked as they rode along.
"Nah - it will only make it worse when you die"
"But what if we don't die?" Fred asked curiously.
"You killed off a wizard and a prince of the realm and you haven't even reached the halfway point of the story" Hagrid gave a huge laugh "You really think you are going to make it to the end?"
"You two midgets - wait here" Hagrid dumped them at the edge of a clearing "I have to go talk to the other trees" The twins watched him walk off.
"So - how are we going to trick him in to fighting Saruman?" George asked.
"I don't know" Fred shrugged "I suppose it will take a lot of planning, and cunning" George stared at him "Yeah - we're screwed"
"What if we..."
"Or what if we..."
"Maybe we could..."
"Well - as long as we have explored all the options" George smirked "Oh - I know... here's what we do..."
"Wow!" Fred yelled "That is the most amazing, intricate and ingenious plan I have ever heard" He bounced up and down on his heels "I can't see how it could possibly fail!"
"Come on doormice - we are going to storm Isengard" The twins stared up at him "What?"
"We had this plan!!" George added.
"It was amazing, intricate and ingenious!!!" Fred yelled.
"We were going to trick you into fighting..."
"Trick me?" Hagrid stared at them "Why would you need to trick me? Saruman is chopping down trees!! You think we would just let this go?"
"Er... yes?" Fred asked. Hagrid stared at him, then slapped him across the back of the head.
"We are going to war" Hagrid yelled "Against a wizard that can throw fire, and has ten gajillion orcs with axes, and is far more powerful than all of us put together..." He trailed off "Well - we are still going to war!"
"We marched on Isengard, and..." Fred shivered.
"What?" Draco asked.
"Hagrid started singing"
"To Isengard we come! With midgets that are dumb!"
"To Isengard we come! To kick Saruman's bum! Until it's totally numb-umb-umb"
"It's a word"
"To Isengard we come! With lots and lots of rum!"
"Lots of rum?"
"You think we'd fight him sober?"
"Now - you two wait here, and we will go deal with the walls" Hagrid set the twins down, then started to walk away.
"We can't help?" Fred asked.
"Can you lift two tonnes of stone with your bare hands?" Hagrid asked.
"Can you kill a dozen orcs with a single flick of your wrist?"
"Okay - we get the idea"
"Hey - gophers?" Hagrid yelled across the field.
"HOBBITS!" The twins yelled back.
"Whatever" Hagrid lumbered up to them "What's with telling me Gandalf's dead?"
"He is!" Fred replied "I pushed him in to the big, endless abyss of doom myself!" He paused "Wait... that came out wrong"
"But if Gandalf is dead, then who is THAT?" He pointed over their shoulders. They turned, then Fred turned back.
"That's your brother"
"Oh yeah" He turned and pointed down the river "Then who is that?"
"That's a tree"
"Really?" Hagrid stared "I guess it is. Then he turned and pointed in to the east "Then who is THAT?"
"Thats..." George squinted in to the rising sun, then blinked "Well - bugger me"
"What?" Fred turned, then smiled as Luna rode up on the back of Shadowfax "Luna - I thought you were dead"
"I got better" She glared down at him "And don't think I have forgotten what you did, Pippin!" Fred paled, then sagged in relief as she turned to Hagrid "I need your huorns"
"Because otherwise the stars of the story will die horribly"
"And that's pretty much it" Fred finished the story, but George turned and glared at him "Well - almost"
"Almost?" Neville smirked "What aren't you telling us?" George opened his mouth, but Fred cut him off.
"Nothing!" He said firmly "Nothing happened, and I absolutely did not accidentally open one of the gates and let ten thousand orcs escape to the east" They all stared down at him "What are you staring at?"
(half an hour later)
Luna rode up to the remains of the gates of the wall, then stared up.
"Why are you hanging from the gates by your underwear, with the words 'I am too stupid to live' written across your forehead?"
"Okay" She looked back at the road, and rode on.
Luna walked to the front of the group and stared at the assembled people.
"First thing's first - I realise that Pippin can be really annoying but you can't keep stringing him up by the nards. We might need him as cannon fodder in the future, and it will be a lot easier if we are nice to him now"
"I'm right here you know" Fred yelled. Luna stared at him, then waved her staff in his direction.
"Obliviate!" She smiled "What were you saying?"
"I can't remember" Fred shrugged.
"Well - it probably wasn't important" Luna smiled "Secondly - we have to go and talk to Saruman..." She paused at the explosion of comments that poured forth from the group "Guys - I know it seems like a waste of time, and it probably will be, but he was one of us once, and we should at least talk to him before we throw him to the sharks"
"What do you think you will gain?" Eomer asked.
"Probably nothing, but you never know" She paused and looked around "I do have to warn you - he is a not a nice guy. He is a wizard, and he can do magic..."
"Magic?" George asked.
"Magic" Luna replied "Magic a rabbit, eight feet high"
"Oh yeah" She smiled fondly "Back in Valinor - the five of us had a business doing parties for Elven children" She got a far-away look in her eyes, then shook her head when she realised everyone was staring at her "Sorry. Just remembering Feanor's eleventh birthday party. We got Pallando The Blue so drunk..." She trailed off "Anyway - as I was saying - Saruman is dangerous"
"Pfght!" Fred snorted "He is trapped on the top floor of a tower. What can he do to us? Cast a spell?" Luna stared at him for a moment, then whipped her staff up at an alarming speed. A moment later, Fred jumped to his feet, clutching at his groin.
"Need I say more?" She asked. Fred shook his head, and Luna smiled "Then I will continue" She turned back "Be wary, and pay attention. He will try every trick he has..."
"Even the eight foot rabbit?" George asked, then shuffled back when Luna glared at him "Just asking"
"Is everyone ready?"
"Yes Miss Gandalf"
"Good. Then lets go"
"SARUMAN" Luna bellowed up at the tower of Orthanc "COME HERE"
"What do you want?" A voice came back, and both Theoden and Eomer went red with anger.
"I know that voice" Arthur said.
"Well duh" Luna replied "Where did you think he was going to run to?" She looked back at the tower "SNIVELLUS!"
"Don't call me that!" Snape's head appeared in a window at the top of the tower, as he yelled down "And what do you want? Haven't you done enough to us already?"
"We didn't come here to talk with you, Snivellus" Luna yelled back "Bring Saruman here now, or I will make you sorry"
"You? How will you make me... nurk!" His head vanished, and Luna brought her staff back down by her side again.
"Are you going to bring him here now? Or shall we go through this again?" She yelled up.
"Give... give me a minute" There was a pause "And let me get an ice-pack"
"Why do you bother me?" Saruman's voice drifted down from the top of the tower "Can't I rest in peace?"
"No" Luna said, and although her voice was soft, it echoed through the vale "You have much to answer for, Saruman"
"I do, do I?" Pettigrew replied "Then give me a minute, and I will come down and hand myself over to you?"
"Really?" Arthur asked.
"No, not really" Pettigrew and Luna replied in unison. The others stared at her for a moment, and she shrugged "We both went to the same school of wizardry"
"Oh" Draco said "Well - that explains it" The others nodded in understanding. Luna smirked, then turned back to the tower.
"Are you going to come down here, or do I have to come up there and get you?"
"Why should I?" Pettigrew's voice was hard "This tower is not without its defences, and I can kill you all with my brain" Suddenly his voice softened "Why should we not work together? I have learned my lesson - Sauron bad, Gandalf good, Mordor bad, Gondor good, Coke bad... no that's not right..." He trailed off, then continued "Will you not come up, so that we can talk peace?"
The group looked at each other, then back up at the tower.
"I know we have had our disagreements, King Of Rohan, but do you not see how we could be a power in these lands? We could defeat Sauron, then make all your people safe, for as long as your lands will last"
The group looked at each other again, then back up at the tower.
"Will you not come up?" Pettigrew's voice echoed through their brains, until each one thought that the others would betray them. Then there was a laugh from the right that shocked them all out of their daze. They all turned to stare at Fred.
"What?" Luna said.
"'Saruman's abroad'" Fred giggled hysterically "Sorry - I just got it" Luna smirked at him, then turned back.
"We are done here" She glared up at the top of the tower "Saruman - either come down now, or pay the price"
"What price is that?"
"THIS PRICE" Luna's yelled at the top of her voice, causing everyone to cover their ears "SARUMAN - I CAST YOU OUT OF THE ORDER. I BREAK YOUR STAFF. I REVOKE YOUR PARKING PRIVILEGES AND I STRIP YOU OF YOUR ORDER OF MANWE FIRST CLASS FOR SERVICES TO ELVES"
"Is that the best you can do?" Pettigrew yelled back defiantly.
"NO" Luna smiled, and everyone watching her shuddered "I ALSO BANISH YOU FROM THE TUFTY CLUB"
"Well - that went well" Cedric said as the group walked away.
"Eh - he was always stubborn" Luna sighed "Even as a child, he always had to be right" She looked around "But, I can't help thinking we have forgotten something" Suddenly, a large, shiny white ball fell out of the sky, and landed on George's head. He fell over, and the ball rolled off to the right "Thank you" She turned "Pippin - go get that, and don't look in to it because it will be very bad"
(ten seconds later)
"Why do I even bother?"
"Saruon corrupted Saruman using that?" Neville asked, staring at the shiny white ball "And you want to keep it?" He glared at Cedric.
"You own an evil, shiny, white, magic telephone ball thing?"
"Yes" Cedric replied.
"Being a King is a lot stranger than I thought"
"True" Cedric turned to Luna "So what did Pippin manage to do this time?"
"Actually - he did good" Luna smirked at the looks of surprise on their faces "I know it's a surprise - but if it helps, he did it by accident"
"And the world makes sense again!" Draco smiled "Thank god for that"
"Thanks to our hapless hobbit, Sauron is now scared that Saruman has betrayed him, and so it will delay his eventual attack on Gondor"
"Which is good?"
"Yes" Luna said "Well - mostly" She shrugged "It does mean that the ring wraiths will be coming here pretty soon, so we have to leave"
"And, when Strider stared in to the big, shiny, white ball of doom, he saw a huge, massive fleet sailing up to Minas Tirith. Which we won't be able to stop in time, and which will over-run the city and kill everyone there"
"And there is a wild moose stampede coming from The Lonely Mountain"
"Really?" Theoden asked, then held his hand up "Don't tell me - no, not really" Luna smirked at him, then turned to the others.
"See - he gets me"
"So - what do we do?" Draco asked "And can it involve getting rid of Pippin?"
"Why yes, Legolas, I think it can" Luna smiled beatifically at him.
"Really?" Draco looked at her cautiously "This isn't some kind of sick joke?"
"Just this once, I am serious" She smiled, then looked around "Pippin is going to come with me, for I am going to Minas Tirith. We might not be able to stop the ship attacking them, but at least we can let them know they are all going to die"
"Because it is the best way to keep you out of trouble, and if you are on a horse with me, you can't accidentally kill us all" She paused, then muttered "Although I wouldn't put it past you"
"Theoden is going to ride back to The Golden Hall taking secret paths, so that the Ring Wraiths..."
"Now there are Ring Wraiths?" George moaned.
"Its another name for Black Riders" Draco whispered.
"...so that the Ring Wraiths won't catch them" Luna turned to George "You are going to go with them"
"Why can't I come with you?"
"Because I say so" She leaned over him with an evil smile "Would you rather come with me?" George stared at up at her, then shrunk back.
"No - I'll go with King Theoden"
"Good" She turned to the last three members of the group "Legolas, Gimli - Aragorn wants you to go with him to Dunharrow as fast as possible, so that you can hopefully find a way to stop the big ship attack"
"Okay" Neville replied.
"Sounds found" Draco added. Luna and Cedric looked at each other, and smirked "What?"
"Oh - nothing" Cedric smiled "It's all good" Draco stared at him for a moment, then shrugged.
"Excellent" Luna rubbed her hands together "Now the whole Fellowship is ready to go" She paused "Why do I get the feeling that I have forgotten someone?"
Chapter 9: Travels In Middle Earth - Nor Bid My Land Farewell
"Frodo and Sam have a fun and frolicsome time on the way to Mordor"
"No, not really"
I plan to do a large set of authors notes at the end, to explain the characters (and to list all of them in one place) and anything else that might have caused confusion
"Excellent" Luna rubbed her hands together "Now the whole Fellowship is ready to go" She paused "Why do I get the feeling that I have forgotten someone?"
From what I remember of the book (it's been a while since I last read it - turns out that doing magic is far more fun than reading about others doing magic) the first half of the journey was mostly long and dull, consisting of Sam and I tramping through the wilderness, sometimes accompanied by Gollum, until we get all the way to The Black Gate, then decide we can't get through that way, and end up walking back the way we came to go south instead. Not to mention the horrible tortures that get inflicted on Sam.
Just kidding. Today is the first day we have been on our own, and we have a month to get to Mount Doom. Which should be pretty easy, given that we are going to take a bit of a short cut.
Damn right we are. How would it look if I, The Smartest Witch Of My Generation...
Modest today, aren't we?
...walked hundreds of miles out of our way to go to a gate we can't get through, just to turn around and come back? I would never live it down.
Couldn't we use Al...
No, we can't use Alohamora. We are hobbits with no magic, remember?
Oh yeah. I forgot about that.
I thought as much.
You woke me up by spraying me with water from your wand.
Yes - you did, so stop trying to look all innocent as if butter wouldn't melt. If you can't do magic, how did you do that?
Luna explained it to me in Rivendell. It seems that while we were outside the narrative, we could do magic, but once the story started with A LONG EXPECTED PARTY (damn it, I wish it would stop doing that) then we were bound in to the book. It was also when she gave me this diary with the transcription quill.
I don't remember her doing that? Where was I?
I don't know. Mooning over Cho?
Oh yeah - now I remember.
If it makes you feel better, the special edition of the story will show a lot of scenes that were missed out, just to sort out any confusion that might occur.
Anyway, I was saying, we are setting off on our own. And although we don't have to put up with Fred and George, I can't help thinking this isn't going to be much fun.
So, on the whole, you'd rather be W.G.Grace?
Not exactly what I was thinking, but it'll do.
There is a lot to be said for fresh air and lots of exercise. It keeps you fit, and as much as I love Hogwarts, there isn't much of a physical fitness program there.
What about Quidditch?
I don't play.
And being chased by dementors, and basilisks, and trolls?
Okay - there isn't much of an ORGANISED fitness program. So this is kind of a nice break.
What makes you think there is a but?
You have a but-face.
That sounded so much better in my head.
I'm sure it did. But you are right, there is a but. Well - another but aside from that one. For all the up side of the walking and lack of pollution in the air, sleeping on the ground, with rocks and stuff poking me is something I could do with out.
Me too. You would have thought Luna could have conjured us a bed or something.
I will make sure to ask her about it when we get back.
I thought she died.
It didn't take.
Anyway - we are well on in our journey, and have yet to encounter Gollum, but I a... JESUS CHRIST!
We found Gollum.
Gollum decided to announce his presence by jumping out of a bush and trying to grab the ring. And since the ring is on a chain round my neck, Harry got the wrong idea about what was going on.
Can you blame me?
No, not really. But did you have to kick him so hard between the legs?
It worked, didn't it?
Well - yes. But I might want to have kids with him some day, and for that to happen, certain parts of his anatomy have to be working properly... why are you staring at me like that?
You? And Ron? Really?
You fight. You bicker. You can't stand him being a lazy, arrogant, jealous pig of a boy.
Well said. So - you were saying about Gollum?
Well - after we got the misunderstanding sorted out, and Ron was able to walk again...
I said I was sorry
... he said he would guide us to a secret path in to Mordor. And since he is so trustworthy and would never betray his best friends (and stop giving me that look, Mr Potter) I said we would follow him. I just hope this will end up better than last time. And if you were really sorry, you wouldn't have been smirking when you apologised.
Bugger. I didn't think you'd noticed that.
While Hermione is sleeping, I have decided to surprise her with some good old fashioned camp-fire cooking. Seems that the Dursleys taught me some useful skills. I mean - aside from how to take a punch, and fall asleep in the smallest spaces, because I am going to cook up a rabbit stew.
Harry! How could you! You know how much I like rabbits!
Well - that's why I started doing it while you were asleep. Because now it's almost done, it would be a bit of a mistake to waste it, wouldn't it?
I suppose... oh my gosh, they do smell good.
That's my girl.
Your girl? When did I become your girl?
Figure of speech.
And, now that I come to think of it, why don't you show the same deference that Sam does in the book?
Are you sure you want me to?
It might be nice, once in a while.
You want me to call you Mistress Frodo?
Well - now that you come to mention it, maybe just Frodo is fine.
Are you sure? Cause the way you tied Ron up...
Stop it. Now.
I hate you.
As much as I hate to admit it, Harry's rabbit stew was really quite nice. I feel a lot better than I have in a while, even if it does mean I am not going to be able to face Plato and Socrates when I get home. I have left him to deal the fire...was that a bird call? As I was saying, I have left him to deal with the fire... oh dear. That's not good.
Harry heard footsteps behind him, and smiled.
"Hermione - you really should learn to tread a little lighter. I could hear you coming a mile away"
"Who's Hermione?" A deep voice said. Harry span round, and came face to face with two swords. A moment later he saw Hermione being escorted back to their little camp by another two men with swords.
"Hey-ho" He smiled at her.
"Are you calling me a ho?" She pretended to glare at him. But before he could reply, one of the soldiers interrupted.
"Who are you? And what are you doing in the realm of Gondor? And why are you so small?"
"We are just travellers" Hermione replied calmly "We just stopped to rest, and would now like to be on our way"
"Where's the other one?"
"What other one?"
"The skulking one with the flaming hair"
"Oh - he's about somewhere. Can we go now?"
"I'm afraid not" The guard gave them an evil smile "Since you are abroad in our realm without the leave of The Steward, you must explain yourself to our Captain"
"Oh joy" Harry muttered under his breath, but Hermione was smiling.
"Very well. Lead on, MacDuff"
"My name is Anborn"
"Never mind" Hermione sighed, then muttered "I might have guessed they wouldn't have heard of it"
Half an hour later, Anborn brought them to a halt.
"Forgive me, but I must blindfold you" He looked down at them.
"No one, not even Theoden's men, may see this part"
"So you are not going to take funny photographs of us?"
"Well - yes. But only as a side venture"
"Our Captain, Faramir of Gondor" The two hobbits blinked as the blindfolds came off, and they stared up at the man in front of them.
"Greetings" Faramir smiled down at them. The two hobbits stared back for a moment, then turned to each other.
"So we are just missing Bill and Ginny?" Harry asked.
"They'll be about somewhere" Hermione replied, then turned back to the second of the Weasley brothers "Would I be right in thinking you are related to Boromir?"
"He was my brother, and our Captain-General" Charlie replied "How did you know him?"
"He was one of our companions when we set out from Rivendell" Hermione replied, then looked up suddenly "What do you mean was?"
"He's dead. His body was found in a boat on the river a few days back, his horn and sword resting on either side of him" He glared down at them "I don't suppose you know how he died?"
"Nope" Harry said "He attacked Frodo. She ran a way, and then we came here" He turned to Hermione, who had a horrified look on her face "Fro?"
"If Boromir died, what hope do we have that the rest of our company survived?" She realised Harry was staring at her in disbelief "What?"
"For someone who claims to be The Smartest Witch, you really need to use logic more often" He smirked.
"Who do you think put him in the boat? With the horn and sword? Can you really see the orcs or the nazgul doing that?" He smirked at her again as she blushed a deep red.
"Oh yeah. Didn't think of that" She looked at up at Faramir again "So - can we go now?"
"Not until you give me a reason why I shouldn't take you back to Minas Tirith and turn you over to my father"
"Because this is a parody of the book, where you are a kind and decent man, and not the film, where you are a bit of a twat" Hermione said with a friendly smile.
"Okay - that's a good enough reason" He looked over at Anborn "Was there anything else?"
"The little toad-thing is in the pond" The soldier said.
"Thank you" Faramir turned back "Your little frog-creature has come to the forbidden pond. Do you want me to let him go?"
"If you could" Harry sighed "He is a nasty, evil, venal, treacherous creature, but we have need of him in the future"
"He is going to save the world" Hermione said, then - at the disbelieving looks on everyone's faces - she added "Seriously"xoxox
The next morning, Faramir met them one last time.
"Aren't you going to tell us we should come back to your court, so as to prove we are not faithless, and you are not an idiot?" Hermione asked.
"You really think you are coming back at all?"
"Good point" She looked to the south, where Gollum was hiding under a rock "What do you know Cirith Regulus?" She watched as Faramir fainted "Well - that answers that question" She leaned over and slapped him.
"Mother?" He looked up "Sorry. What were you saying?"
"She asked you what you knew about Cirith Regulus" Harry said, then smirked when Charlie fainted again. Hermione turned to glare at him.
"Was that strictly necessary?"
"No - but it was kind of fun" He noticed Charlie was stirring "But I think we should go before he wakes"
Ron is leading us onwards, and from what Faramir said, I am pretty sure that I know what is coming in the near future.
You mean other than a giant spider that I have to kill?
No - pretty much just that. Except...
Can you really picture Ron teaming up with a spider?
Now you come to mention it...
Eh - we can burn that bridge when we come to it.
We are approaching the end of this part of our journey. Minas Morgul is just in front of us.
Is it just me, or does it look like Hogwarts?
Yes. Well - assuming Hogwarts had been home to an evil, malevolent entity for a great number of years.
I thought so.
Aren't you in the least bit concerned about the huge, massive army that came out of the gates a few hours ago?
To be honest? No.
Really? Why not?
Because if they are heading west, then they are not looking for us.
And what about Minas Tirith? And Rohan?
They're screwed either way.
Either they get invaded by a big army, or the big army catches and kills us, and then invades them anyway.
Wow. That was almost profound. Who are you and what have you done with Harry?
I thought so.
"You realise that, now we have passed the cross-roads, we have to make a choice" Hermione said, staring up at the cliffs in front of them.
"I know" Harry sat down, and pulled her down next to him "Do you have any preferences?"
"Given the choice, I would rather not end up naked"
"Really?" He looked at her in surprise.
"Why does that surprise you?" She frowned at him.
"Well - so many of the other fanfics make you out to be a naturist, I just thought..." He trailed off.
"I see I am going to have to have words with some of these authors, aren't I?" Her eyes narrowed, and Harry could not restrain a gulp of fear.
"So - the naked thing is out then?" He said hesitantly.
"Yes" She thought for a moment, then suddenly her eyes lit up "I have an idea!"
"Cool" He watched her for a few minutes "Care to share this idea?"
"Okay" She looked all around, then leaned over, and stared whispering in her idea.
Half an hour later, they crept up to the entrance to Cirith Regulus, and, while Hermione held out the Mirror Of Galadriel (tm), Harry turned the torch on.
"I am going to kill him when I get home" Harry said under his breath "At least the last time I did this, I could use my wand"
"Don't worry - it'll be fine" She held out the mirror, and peered round the corner "Okay - I think I see it coming. You go hide over there"
"Yes Mistress" He smirked at the flash of annoyance in her eyes, then ran over to hide behind a rock. A moment later, he watched a huge shape slither out of the passage they had been staring down. For a moment, its head swayed back and forth, then he saw Hermione hold up the Mirror Of Galadriel (tm), and watched in surprise as the basilisk - the most feared and dangerous of serpents - fell over on its side, having petrified itself. He held his breath for a moment, then - when it didn't get up - he stood up, and walked over to where Hermione was staring down at the body of the snake "I really didn't think that would work"
"You doubted me?" She gave him one of her special 'DIE NOW' glares, but the effect of it was muted by the massive smile she had on her face "Okay - I didn't think it would work either, but hey - we caught a break"
"So - you think you can pull the next part off?"
"I'll give it a shot" She lifted up her hand, and started to slip it down the front of her jumper, but noticed he was looking at her with a smirk "Do you mind?"
"No - I am quite happy"
"Turn. Around. Now" She glared at him, and this time he did as he was told. A moment later he heard her voice "Turn back" He turned round, and - as he expected - she wasn't there.
"Well - the ring seems to be working" He smiled.
"Indeed" Hermione's disembodied voice came back "Now - take a step back" She waited until he was out of the way, then she turned to the basilisk "Transmutus regulus ad sum"
For a moment, nothing happened, then suddenly the body of the basilisk transformed in to a carbon copy of Hermione. She pulled off the ring, then beamed at Harry.
"Seems your mother was right" She said "These rings do permit us to work outside the story"
"That would have been helpful a lot earlier you know" Harry frowned.
"I know, but if it makes you feel better, right now I have this urge to conquer the world and kill everyone I come across who won't bow to me" She said in a light tone, then - at the expression on his face - she added "Don't worry. It's not that strong an urge. But I think if I use the ring over and over, it will just get worse, until I won't be able to give in" He stared at her for a moment, then shrugged.
"Okay. No more using the ring for you"
"Damn right" She looked down at the copy of her body "Well - I guess I should..."
"Yeah" He looked at her "Do you want me to turn around again?"
"If you could"
"So - Mithril Coat, sword, robes and general hobbit like stuff. Is that everything?" Harry asked.
"I think so. The orcs should mistake that for me, and then take it up to the tower" She replied with a smile.
"And the spell will fade off..."
"About thirty minutes. Then it will revert to being a basilisk, and stop being petrified" She giggled at the images in her mind "I think the orcs might get a bit of a shock"
"No kidding" He looked up at the sound of voices "We should hide" They both ran over to a group of rocks, and hid behind them. A moment later, two figures shuffled in to view, and both Harry and Hermione let out a gasp of recognition.
"Seems Shelob found another victim" The first said "And quite a tasty one at that"
"Don't start Goyle" The second one smacked him "We have to take her to the tower, then report to The Dark Tower"
"Are you sure we couldn't..."
"No. The Dark Lord will have our head"
"Okay Crabbe - have it your way" They picked up the body of Hermione's duplicate, and shuffled back down the passage. Harry watched them go, then turned back to Hermione who was shivering.
"Just picturing being paralysed in Goyle and Crabbe's clutches" She shuddered again "I think I owe your mother a very big thank you" She collapsed in to his arms.
"It'll be fine" He said softly, stroking her hair "They can't get you now"
"I know" She shivered again "Hey - you never got to sing your song"
"True" He smiled "But in comparison to saving you..."
"Will you sing it for me now?"
"Okay" She at back up, then he took a deep breath, let it out, then turned to face her "Just remember - I didn't have a lot of time to put this together so..." She nodded in understanding, then sat back and listened as he sang...
The mandrakes may grow in spring.
The spiders crawl, the centaurs run,
The merry merefolk sing.
And students gather in the halls
To learn their magic skill
From dawn of day until night falls
As did the Founders will
Though Tom is back and we may fall
As shadows grow 'ere deep
I trust that my friends, one and all
That they the faith shall keep.
For after night, the dawn will come
And darkness can not dwell
I will not say that we are done
Nor bid my school farewell.
And so ends Part Two of "Lost In Middle Earth". Stay tuned for Part Three, which will follow in due course.
Chapter 10: Travels In Middle Earth - In Which Sam Needs Pants
Things start to converge on the doorstep of the shadow land.
"... nor bid my land farewell"
Fred awoke to the sound of Luna singing, and, for a brief moment, wondered how he had stayed on the horse while he was asleep.
"Being a beater for all those years must have helped" He said to himself.
"Plus the baby-harness I whipped up for you" Luna's voice drifted back him "I couldn't have you falling off every five minutes, could I?"
"I guess not" He looked around "Where are we? And what were you singing?"
"About two thirds of the way to Minas Tirith..."
"I thought we were going to Gondor" Fred said, his tone full of confusion.
"It's kind of the same place, but not really" Luna replied "But we are nearly there, and I am sure someone will be happy to sit you down and explain the whole history of Middle Earth after we talk to the Steward"
"Yeah" Fred noticed that Luna's tone was less than enthusiastic.
"You don't like him?"
"Not really, no"
"Well - he is old, and very set in his ways. He doesn't want to accept that war has come, that The Dark Lord is rising again, and that I can actually be of help to him" She paused "And getting his son killed won't make it any better, nor will the fact that someone I obviously and openly support is about to replace him" Fred thought about this for a moment.
"Not this time, no" She smirked "But this will all become clear once we get there"
They continued to ride in silence for a while, then Fred looked up again.
"Where is Ced taking Draco and Neville?"
"Why do you ask?"
"Well - both you and Hufflepuff boy found something very amusing when you were talking - something that neither of you wanted to share with Draco and Neville"
"Yes - that" Fred tried to glare at her, but since she was sat in front of him on the horse, it had very little effect, other than giving him a headache "So - what was it?"
"Well - it's like this" Luna sighed "Aragorn has to get to the coast to stop the ships attacking Minas Tirith"
"But he can't come this way, because it would take too long" She continued "Plus someone might see him"
"So he is going to take a path that is very seldom trodden, that will give him the time he needs"
"That much I understand" Fred said in exasperation "But what is so funny about it?"
"That's the thing" Luna gave a small chuckle "Ask me what the path is called"
"What is the path called?"
"Its called The..."
"...PATHS OF THE DEAD?" Draco span round "ARE YOU BLOODY WELL KIDDING ME?" He looked over at Neville "Did you know anything about this?"
"No" Neville shook his head "But if Aragorn says it is the only way, then I am willing to take him at his word"
"We have to get to the coast before the ships set sail" Cedric said "And, short of us all becoming animagi in the next five minutes, I can't see any other way"
"What about Hedwig?" Draco asked hopefully "She carried Gandalf across the fields of Rohan - couldn't she take us?" There was a sudden disturbance behind him, and he span round to see a very angry owl flapping in his face.
"HootHOOTHootHootHootHoot!" (No I bloody well can't carry the three of you. Who do you think I am? Geoff Capes?)
"Who?" But before he could receive an answer, Hedwig flew off again. Draco contemplated pulling out his bow, but by the time he had decided not to, Hedwig was already out of range. He sighed, and turned back "I don't suppose there are any other helpful owls dotted about the land?"
"It wouldn't matter - they are all part of the postal strike, and won't cross the picket line" Cedric said in a resigned tone "Plus when we get to the coast, we will have to fight" He looked at the two of them "And even with your over-inflated sense of Slytherin abilities, can you really see the ten of us defeating several thousand pirates?"
"Okay - okay" Draco held up his hands in surrender "But even if we go through the paths of the dead, we are still only going to be the ten of us when we come out the other side" He smirked "That is assuming the dead don't eat us on the way" He stared over at Cedric "So whether or not we make it out alive, we are still screwed"
"Ah - well..." Cedric trailed off, already anticipating the reaction his next statement would get.
"I was planning on bringing the dead out with us"
"So we are going to Dunharrow?" George asked Theoden, as they rode through the mountain passes.
"Yes" Arthur looked down at him "It is our old mountain stronghold, and where we sent the people of Rohan when we rode to Helm's Deep"
"And Ce.. Aragorn is riding there as well?" When the King nodded, George looked at him curiously "So why aren't we going with him?"
"Ring-Wraiths" Theoden smiled down at him "Aragorn's company has only ten people - they are hard to spot from the air, and can move quickly" He looked around at the company they were riding with "We aren't"
"So we stick to the backroads" He looked around "So what are we going to do when we get there?"
"Check on my people, then go help Gondor"
"Isn't that what Aragorn is doing?"
"Yeah, but we think he might need some help" Theoden grimaced "There are a lot of orcs in Mordor, and they are all coming our way"
"Fantastic" George sighed "So - tell me about Eowyn. Is she really as argumentative as we are told?"
"My boy - you have no idea"
"So - that's a lot of orcs then?"
Harry and Hermione stared down at the valley they had to cross, which was filled with hundreds of camp-fires and tents.
"Apparently so" Harry glanced at Hermione "And we have to cross that?"
"Yup" She looked around "And don't look now, but we have another problem" She pointed up to a cliff on their left. Even in the twilight that covered Sauron's realm, they could both see the shadow crawling down the wall.
"So - do we let him follow us, and ignore him until we reach the mountain or..." He trailed off as she walked away, then threw up his arms in resignation "Why am I even here? Are you even paying attention?"
"Pardon?" She turned, and waited for him to catch up "What did you say?"
"Never mind" He looked up "So we are going to talk to him?"
"We can't leave him alone - he will follow us, and try to kill us until he gets this" She tapped the necklace she was wearing "At least if we take him with us, we will know where he is, and what he is planning"
"True" He stared over at the shadow, that had resolved itself in to a small, crawling creature with shocking red hair "But it does mean we have to put up with him, doesn't it"
"Well - yeah" She shrugged "Lesser of two evils"
"That's Minas Tirith?" Fred stared up in surprise.
"Pretty, isn't it?" Luna stared up at the white city "The idea is that an enemy can't storm the city in one go, because the doors in the walls aren't in a straight line"
"Can't the Nazgul fly?"
"Yes" Luna stared at him, then up at the city "Yeah - that would kind of screw them up a bit, wouldn't it?"
"Just a little"
They rode up to the gate in silence, then came to a halt.
"Weren't they supposed to open the gate when they see us coming?"
"You know I told you that Denethor isn't my biggest fan?" Fred nodded "I think this is his way of saying I am not welcome"
"But you can do something about it?"
"Am I the smartest witch of my generation?"
"I thought that was Hermione"
"Do you want to come in or not?"
"Sorry. I'll be good"
"Okay" She turned to the door, lifted up her staff, took a deep breath and...
"Seriously - I am joining the other side" Draco was staring at Cedric with utter disbelief on his face.
"I know it sounds bad..."
"BAD?" Draco yelled "Realising you are in love with a Gryffindor is bad. Realising that you might have to marry Pansy is bad. This is..." He threw his hands up in the air "I don't think a word has been invented for what this is"
"Which Gryffindor?" Neville asked with a smile. Draco turned and glared at him, but Neville continued to smile back.
"It was a figure of speech"
"Are you sure? Cause the way I saw you staring at..."
"It was. A figure. Of Speech" Draco narrowed his eyes "Anyway - are you sure there is no other way?"
"Not if we are to save Minas Tirith, Gondor and the realm, no" Cedric sighed "If it makes you feel better, I don't like this any more than you do - the spirits in The Paths are... truly terrifying" Draco stared at him for a few minutes, then nodded.
"Okay. I will come with you, on one condition"
"And what would that be?"
"Do you still hold to your promise?"
"Then come - we have a journey ahead of us"
"And if you even think about stroking my hair again, I will orb them off and make you eat them" Hermione gave a small smile as Gollum audibly demonstrated the reason he was no longer known as Smeagol.
"So, Frodo" Harry walked up behind her "Which way now?"
"You know that is no help at all, don't you?"
"Yup" Hermione smiled at the expression on his face "Oh come on - live a little. What's the worse that could happen?" Harry looked round, then leaned in to whisper.
"Ron could figure out WHY we are walking through Mordor, and I suspect he would take it badly"
"Smeagol knows" A voice came from behind them. They both turned and stared at the crouching figure.
"What does Smeagol know?" Hermione asked imperiously.
"Smeagol won't say" Ron hissed, then suddenly shrieked and dived under a rock.
"Well - that was helpful" Harry sighed "And I know you don't like using the ring over much but..."
"Do you think you could conjure some underpants for him?" Harry shivered "You might enjoy seeing his bits every day, but it is starting to disturb me"
"What?" Luna and Fred were being escorted up to the Steward's Chamber after passing through the main gate of Minas Tirith.
"I was expecting... I don't know. Fire? Lightening? A Power The Likes Of Which God Has Never Seen?" He stared at her "I didn't expect you just to knock"
"Denethor hates me already" Luna replied "What do you think he would do if I blew the bloody door off?"
"I suppose" He was silent for a few moments "So - what do you think will happen?"
"I am not sure" Luna said pensively "But, Fred, if you had a moment in your life to be serious, this would be it" She glanced around "Denethor is not a kindly old man, like Theoden. He is proud, and mean, and, quite honestly, a bit of a twat"
"And you think my unique brand of humour would not be appreciated?" Fred sighed "That's a pity, cause this city would be great for pranks"
"I will behave, I promise" He smiled at her expression "What's the matter? Don't you trust me?"
"My Lord!" Eowyn rode out to greet Aragorn as they rode up to Dunharrow.
"My Lady" He nodded in response "I come for two reasons. The first is to bring you tidings of your father. He is well, and rides back here"
"Cool" Ginny smiled "And your other reason?"
"We wish to tarry here the night, then ride forth in the morning"
"May I ride with you?" She looked up hopefully "I am so bored here, you have no idea. I want to get out, and see the world, make new friends" She smiled at him "Perhaps find me a husband?"
"No my lady - you must remain here, and await the return of your father"
"Why? He can run this place without me, and I am sure you would find me useful on a long journey" She smiled again. He held her gaze for a moment, then turned.
"What's that Legolas? Do you need me for something?" He looked at Draco beseechingly. Draco simply smirked back.
"No, my Lord - we have no need of you" He smirked at the Hufflepuff "You can continue talking to Lady Eowyn" Cedric watched helplessly as the rest of his company rode of towards the halls, leaving him alone with the young princess, who was still grinning at him in a disturbing manner.
"Forgive me, my Lady, but I must go" He turned, and spurred his horse after Draco and Neville. A moment later, he caught up to them "Hate you all" Draco merely grinned at him.
"You think The Sorting Hat made me a Slytherin for my looks?"
Chapter 11: Travels In Middle Earth - When Bunnies Go To War
The various factions gear up for the coming war.
The Frodo/Sam journey is basically prolonged torture, so it might be less amusing than previous parts. I apologise in advance, but there is a limit to how amusing I can make torture (at least without rewriting the plot).
"There!" Hermione took the ring off, and turned to Harry "Are you happy now?"
"Very. Thank you" They both stared at Ron, who was still wearing the loin-cloth he had been since they met him, but now he had a pair of boxer-shorts under it "At least now when he decides to dive under a rock, he won't flash his ass at me"
"For which I am sure you are very grateful"
"You have no idea" He looked down at Ron, who was now crouching on the ground, staring up at Hermione "I don't suppose you could do something about the lack of shirt?"
"Remember the urge to kill everyone and conquer the world?"
"Oh yeah - I forgot"
"Well - I think it gets worse the closer we get to..." She gestured to The Dark Tower that was now dominating the Eastern sky line.
"So you don't want to use it again?"
"Not if I can avoid it"
"Lets hope" He smirked at her "And be honest - you kind of like the look, don't you?"
"Indeed?" He smiled at her, then took a step back as Ron let out a low growl "Smeagol?"
"Don't touch precious" He smiled up at her, which made Hermione shiver despite herself.
"We should go" She glared down at him "Time's a wasting"
Cedric came out of The Halls of Dunharrow, and, after glancing around, walked over to where Draco and Neville were stood.
"Are we ready to leave yet?"
"About ten minutes" Draco said "Why? Anxious to leave?"
"Whatever gives you that idea?" Cedric replied, still glancing around.
"Oh - no reason" Neville said, then looked over Cedric's shoulder "My Lady"
"Eeep!" Cedric span round, then - seeing no one - turned back "Hate you all"
"I know" Neville smirked "But it's fun"
"My Lady!" Draco said, and Cedric span round again "Are all you Hufflepuffs so easy?"
"Kill you all!"
"Strider! Is that really the language a future king should be using?"
"Ask me if I care" He growled at them, then, suddenly, his mouth fell open, and a moment later he started to smile.
"Ced?" Draco stared at him, but Cedric ignored him, and started to run off towards the path leading up to The Halls. Draco and Neville watched him go "Where is he going?"
"No idea" Neville shrugged "Shall we find out?"
"Why not" They started walking towards where he had stopped. A moment later, they saw a group of twenty or so horse-riders come to a halt "Isn't that Hannah?"
"Seems to be" Draco and Neville slowed down, and watched as the horse-riders dismounted, and walked, as a group, over to Cedric "And that's Susan, Zach and Justin" He turned to Neville "Oh god"
"I think we are being joined by an army of Hufflepuffs" Draco sounded so miserable that Neville couldn't help laughing. Draco glared at him, which only made Neville laugh all the harder.
"Sorry - but you have to admit - it is kind of funny" Neville continued to chuckle.
"Oh yeah - hilarious" Draco turned back to the group surrounding Cedric "We are going to war with the bloody lollipop guild"
"So, Pippin, remember what I said?"
"Yes, mom" Fred smiled, but Luna simply glared back at him "I mean - yes. I remember. I will be good"
"Okay" She turned, and pushed open the door to the throne room, and they walked in. A moment later, Fred turned to Luna.
"I guess I should have realised" He turned back as they strode forward.
"My Lord Steward, I have come on a matter of grave importance"
"Don't you always" Cornelius Fudge replied "What is it this time? Lost your house keys? Misplaced your staff?" He turned and stared at Fred "And what the hell is that and why is its hair that colour?"
"How did you get here?" Cedric and the other Hufflepuffs were talking as their horses were being fed and watered.
"You summoned us" Hannah replied "We came from the North when we got your call"
"You all came down here?" He looked at the rest of the group "Weren't you supposed to be protecting The Shire?"
"Yup" Susan replied "But honestly - if you get horribly killed because we aren't here, then they'll be next"
"True" Ced smiled "When did you get my summons?" His eyes widened when all of the other Hufflepuffs groaned "What?"
"There was this psychotic owl" Susan said, rolling her eyes "It flew in about four nights ago and would not shut up until we agreed to go"
"That would be Hedwig" Cedric smiled "She's a good friend of ours"
"Are you the reason she is so sarcastic?" Hannah asked.
"No - that would be cause she is also a good friend of Gandalf" He smiled as they all nodded their heads "So - are you all ready to go?"
"Yes boss" Justin said "As soon as you tell us where we are going... Why are you looking like that?"
(a few moments later)
"Are you bloody well kidding me?"
"No" Cedric smiled "It is the only way"
"We rode for four days straight so we can go in to The Paths Of The Dead?" Susan asked "We need a new union"
"And when I become King Of The Known World, you can get one. Until then, you come with me"
"Sir yes Sir!" She saluted, then gave him a smile "So - when do we leave?"
"Why hasn't Voldemort tried to kill us?"
"I'm just surprised. He has an army of orcs, goblins, winged monkeys and the like. And yet we got here in one piece"
"And you are unhappy about this?"
"Oh no - I am quite happy about it. Just a little surprised" Harry smiled, then glanced back "Why hasn't Ron stopped us, if he knows what we are doing?"
"Why do you think I know?"
"I thought that was Luna"
"Shut up!" She smiled at him "My guess is that he is waiting for the best moment, and then will do us in, so to speak"
"Great" He looked back, then turned back to Hermione "Any ideas how we avoid killing him?"
"I don't want to sound like I am whining, but are we nearly there yet?" George was riding behind Theoden.
"About another day and a half of riding, my boy" Arthur replied "I know it is slow going"
"Is there anything we can do to pass the time?"
"We could talk about the history of pipe weed, or of The Kings of Rohan" He smirked at the expression on the young boy's face "Unless you have another suggestion?" George paused to think for a moment then smiled.
"Have you ever played Going To The Market?"
"So - let me get this straight..." Fudge was glaring down at Fred "My son - the future leader of Gondor - was killed by orcs"
"And you were there"
"And yet you, and your twin, survived"
"Can you explain this?" Fred stared at him for a moment, then shook his head.
"Your son died to save me and my kinsman, sir. I owe him my life, and I would do anything to be able to bring him back, or at least repay it somehow" Luna noticed the gleam in Fudge's eyes at Fred's words, and mentally sighed. But short of casting an imperious curse on the pair of them, she couldn't think of a way to stop Fred from talking, and Fudge from listening.
"Of course, I could always kill them both" She thought "Nah. The amount of paperwork I would have to do would take forever, and Sauron would kick our asses"
"So, young Hobbit, you want to repay your debt?"
"Very well - here's what I want you to do..."
(several hours later)
"Are you finished?"
"Yes, sir" Fred looked around at his handiwork "But I am not sure why I had to write 'I will not kill a prince of the realm again' out ten thousand times"
"It seemed like a good idea at the time" Fudge said dismissively "Are you ready to finish paying your debt to Gondor, young hobbit?"
"Yes sir, and I know how I can do it" Fred knelt in front of him, and pulled out his sword "I lay my sword on your... urk!"
"You do realise it is against the law of Gondor to draw your sword in the presence of the Steward without permission?" Fudge looked down at him "And that the penalty for such a crime is death?"
"Really?" Fred gulped, trying not to think about the two swords now pressed at his neck.
"No, not really" The swords withdrew, and Fudge grinned at him "But you really should see the expression on your face"
"I am sure it was very entertaining" Luna said, walking in "But if you will forgive me, Lord Steward, we do have things to discuss"
"Patience, my wandering wizard" Fudge continued to stare at Fred "Your hobbit was about to swear service to me" He paused "Do you swear loyalty to Gondor, to The Steward and The King, should he return?"
"And I promise to reward you if you do good, and kick the crap out of you if you don't" Fudge gave him another smile "Congratulations, young hobbit - you are now mine"
"This is a very strange game, young hobbit"
"But it's fun, isn't it?" George smirked.
"It certainly passes the time" Arthur paused "May I ask you something?"
"What is a quadratic, quixotic quantum leap?"
"A type of bird, sir"
"No, not really" George sighed, and looked around "Where are we?"
"About a day West of Dunharrow, in The Valley of Erised" Arthur smiled wistfully "It was here that I met my wife - Theodred's mother. It was spring, and she was out for a walk..."
"Here?" George looked around at the barren, bleak rocks "Why would anyone be walking here?"
"Surely you have places you take young ladies to be alone?" Arthur said, and George suddenly realised what King Theoden - his father - was talking about, and decided that it was time to change the conversation.
"So - anyway - we were up to R?"
"You are really going to do this?" Draco asked, as he, and the rest of Army Of Bunnies (as he had dubbed them) rode up towards Harrowdale.
"Yes - we are really going to do this" Cedric replied "So now you - all of you must decide if you are with me, or if you will stay here to wait for Theoden and his merry men"
"We are with you" Hannah said, and the other Hufflepuffs nodded "From now, until death"
"I am with you too" Neville said "If only because I know Merry will be arriving here soon, and I think this is preferable to putting up with him"
"I will be sure to tell him that when we see him again" Cedric replied with a smirk, then he clicked his fingers "Damn it - I knew I forgot something. All of you hold here, and I will be back in a moment" He turned, and spurred his horse back down the valley.
"Where's he going?" Draco asked.
"No idea" Neville said, then smirked "You don't think he is going to declare undying love to Ginny, is he?"
"My Lord!" Ginny bounded to her feet, and ran over to Cedric as he pulled his horse to a halt "You came back! I knew you wouldn't take that dark and dismal road to doom... what's wrong?"
"I just came back to give you a message for your father and brother" He said.
"Oh" Ginny sighed "What's this important message then?"
"That we will meet again, even if all the hosts of Mordor stand between us" She stared up at him, waiting for more.
"Is that it?"
"Pretty much, yeah" He paused "I think that would have been more impressive if I said it when I originally meant to"
"Oh well - I am sure I will get a chance to be dramatic before the end" He smiled, then waved "Later" Ginny watched him until he vanished out of sight.
"If I didn't want him so much, I am pretty sure I would kill him"
"Now - where were we?" Cedric asked as he rejoined the group at the doors to The Paths of The Dead.
"Legolas was about to decide whether to come with us, or to wait for Merry" Neville said, smirking.
"Fine. I'll come" Draco snapped "You happy now?"
"Yup" Cedric beamed at him "Thank you - I won't forget this"
"Good, because I intend to collect" He looked up at the doors "So - are we talking Hogwarts ghosts, or something else?" Cedric pondered this for a moment, then smiled.
"How about you wait until we get there?" He asked hopefully "Make it a bit of a surprise"
"That bad, huh?"
"Yeah" Cedric turned to him "Still sure you want to come?"
"No, but lets go anyway"
"Very well" Cedric turned, and lead the group through the door. Draco watched the rest of the vanish, then sighed to himself.
"Canons to the left, canons to the right..." He spurred his horse forward, and vanished in to the darkness. For a few moments, the vale was completely silent, then a voice echoed out of the darkness "Dementors? Are you frickken kidding me?" There was another pause, then there was one final sound before they vanished beyond the sight of mortal men.
"I hate you Cedric"
Chapter 12: Travels In Middle Earth - What Beats Four Kings?
Aragorn and his merry men pass through The Paths of The Dead.
"Father!" Ginny ran out of Dunharrow as Theoden's company arrived "You have returned"
"Yes, my child" Arthur smiled down at her as he dismounted "You had news of our coming?"
"Aragorn and The Lollipop Guild passed through here two days ago, and then decided to kill themselves"
"The Lollipop Guild?" George asked.
"The elf... Legolas I think his name was, described Aragorn's comrades as such" Ginny stared at him for a moment "Who are you?"
"Oh - sorry. I am Meriadoc Brandybuck, of The Shire" George bowed "A friend of Strider's"
"Lord Aragorn" Arthur said "It's a long story, and one I will gladly tell you later"
"Okay" Ginny smiled, then hugged the King "How long are you here for?"
"As short a time as possible" Arthur replied "We have to muster the troops, and ride to the aide of Gondor"
"Yes father" Ginny bounced off in the direction of the halls. Arthur sighed.
"She's going to want to come with us, isn't she?"
"Probably, sir" George smiled "Is there anything I can do to help?"
"No, my boy - this is something I have learned to deal with" Arthur smiled "Anyway - we should go. We have very little time, and quite a lot to do"
Fudge was talking with Gandalf and Pippin when an aide entered the room.
"My Lord Denethor - your son has returned"
"I thought my son was dead" Fudge turned to stare at his aide.
"Your other son, my Lord"
"Oh yes - Edna"
"Faramir" The aide sighed "He has returned from Osgiliath, and wishes to speak with you"
"Very well - send him in" Fudge smiled as the aide retreated. The people of Gondor loved Faramir, and he could not figure out why, as he considered the boy to be a bit of a waster. So, every so often, he enjoyed poking the people with a stick. A few moments later, Faramir walked in, but came to a sudden halt when he caught sight of Fred.
"A halfling? In the livery of the tower?" He looked over at his father "Are we having a recruitment drive?"
"I am looking for a new heir, since I don't have any decent ones left" Fudge said "And what do you know of halflings?"
"I came across two of them in Ithilien" Charlie looked back to Fred "Although neither of them had hair that colour"
"And what, pray, were two hobbits doing out in the middle of my realm?" Fudge turned to Luna "Would you know anything about this, Mithrandir?"
"Me?" Luna was the picture of innocence "Why would I know anything about this?" She stared at him for a moment, then shrugged "Yeah - okay. I know them" Fudge stared at her, then turned to his son.
"Why were they there?" Charlie glanced across at Luna, who nodded, then he turned back to his father.
"It's like this..."
"Do you think they will tell our story?" Hermione turned and stared at Harry "I mean - if we don't die horribly, and manage to des..." He glanced over at Ron, who was skulking behind them "...desalinate the river - do you think the bards will retell our deeds in word and song?" He realised Hermione was still staring at him "What?"
"In word and song?" She smirked "Who are you and what have you done with my friend?" She smiled when he gave a small chuckle "But, that aside, I don't think they will"
"Why not?" He asked "I mean - the least we can ask for after all this is to get a song out of it"
"The Bards won't want to cross the RIAA"
"The Recording Industry Association of Arnor" Hermione shivered as she said the name.
"After Angband fell, all the creatures that escaped got together to form a new company dedicated to making people's lives miserable"
"You realise I don't know what Angband is, nor why it fell" Harry said. Hermione paused, then smirked.
"Imagine if Voldemort trained all of his Death Eaters as lawyers"
"Exactly" She shivered again "It was rumoured they once slaughtered an entire village because they sang Happy Birthday without getting proper performing rights, so you can imagine that, with all the copyright violations we've been indulging in, The Bards would sooner cut out their own tongues" She looked over at The Dark Tower "Even Sauron doesn't dare cross them" Harry paused for a moment.
"Note to self - no story telling" He said, then looked back at Gollum "Hey - do you think if we trick him in to singing, they will deal with him for us?"
"It's possible" She thought, then pulled a roll of parchment with the title "1001 Ways To Deal With Gollum That Won't Involve Us Pushing Him Over A Cliff" After glancing through it for a moment, she wrote "234 : Get RIAA to carry him off, then get Lord Aragorn to pardon him" She smiled, then put the parchment away.
"Are we going to reach 1001?" Harry asked.
"Probably not, but hey - it passes the time. And it's better than that damn picnic game"
"Mmmmm - picanics" Ron said from behind them.
"... and when I woke up, they were gone" Charlie stared at his father "Did I do right?"
"Cirith Regulas!" Fudge yelled, and smirked as Charlie collapsed in to a dead faint.
"My Lord - was that really necessary?" Luna asked, walking over to where Charlie was lying.
"Of course it was" Fudge frowned at his prone son "If he had done as he was told, we'd have a weapon that no one could rival"
"Indeed?" Luna turned on him "And when you had defeated Sauron, who would be next?"
"No one" Fudge beamed at them, although they both noticed the slightly maniacal look on his face "No one would dare challenge me if I could wipe them out on a whim"
"Of course not, my Lord" Luna bowed "Now, if you will excuse us, Pippin and I have some work to do... elsewhere... at the other end of the city"
"Very well" Fudge dismissed them "Go" He watched as they left, carrying Charlie between them, then when the door closed, he turned, and sat down on the chair at the base of the throne dais.
A moment later, he frowned.
"We are at the centre of the city. How can they be going to the other side of it?"
"Stand forth mortal, and explain why we should not kill you where you stand"
"I am Aragorn, son of Arathorn, the heir of Isildur, to whom you swore an oath"
"I have come to command you to fulfil your oath to fight The Dark Lord, and then you can rest"
"I said no. Are you deaf?"
"You can't refuse me - I am your lawful master"
"Bugger that - we like it here. Why should we go and risk our lives?"
Cedric paused, unable to think of a response. He looked around, then noticed Draco was looking somewhat smug.
"You really are a complete Hufflepuff, aren't you?" Draco said in his most derisive drawl.
"You can do better?"
"Be my guest" He watched as Draco rode forward to face the Leader of The Dementors.
"My Lord" Draco gave a short bow "When was the last time you fed?"
"It seems like an age ago" The Dementor moaned, and Neville was surprised to find he was nearly feeling pity for the foul creature.
"If you come with us, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of souls. If you help us drive them their ships - they are all yours"
"I would not dare lie to The King of The Dead" Draco bowed again.
"Very well" The Dementor turned back to Cedric "We will fulfil our oath, Heir of Isildur"
"And, in token of our support, may I give you a piece of free advice?"
"You should promote this one" The Dementor gestured to Draco "He really knows what he is doing" The King Of The Dead glided away, while Draco turned to Cedric and smirked. Cedric merely sighed, then turned to Susan.
"Unfurl my banner"
"Yes, my Lord" She lifted up Aragorn's standard, and let the flag fly loose. Unfortunately, it was far too dark to see the symbol upon it. Draco glanced at Cedric.
"I'm telling you now - if that's a badger, I quit"
"Daughter, we are ready to leave"
Arthur stopped, then stuck his finger in his ear, and wiggled it about. Then he turned back to Eowyn. She was lying in bed, covered by a small duvet.
"Are you feeling alright?"
"I'm fine" Ginny beamed up at him "You just go to your war, and I will be here with crumpets and tea when you are done" Arthur stared at her, then shook his head.
"As long as I live I will never understand her" He muttered as he walked away. Ginny watched him go, then - once he was out of sight - she threw the duvet off to reveal a set of full body armour, and a sword. She gave one short whistle, followed by another longer one. A few moments later, the door to her private bathroom was opened, and George came out.
"He bought it?" George asked.
"Hook, line and tinker" Ginny beamed, then glared at him for a moment "Do I want to know how you learned to manipulate The King so well?"
"It ain't nothing but a family thing" George replied "But you remember the deal?"
"I will take you with me as well" Ginny nodded "So - come on, lets go"
"My people! Today is a glorious day! We ride to Gondor, to the aide of our kinsmen and allies, to make such a war that it will be told for the rest of time in song and story"
The Riders of Rohan cheered their king as he marshalled his troops.
"But since I am old, and quite likely to pop my clogs, or get my head hacked off by a pissed off orc, I will name my son Eomer as my heir"
There were more cheers, and Arthur wondered whether they were for naming Eomer, or for the fact he might get his head hacked off. He decided to go with the first option.
"And I leave your safety in the hands of my daughter Eowyn, who will guard you here until the outcome is known" There were more cheers, then he looked around "Has anyone seen my daughter?" He looked around "I will take that silence as a 'no', shall I?" He turned back to his aides "Do either of you know where she is?"
"She said she was in bed" One of the aides said hurriedly.
"With what?" The King loomed over him.
"Erm... female troubles?"
"Ewww. Okay" The King turned back to his troops "We ride now! We ride to GLORY!" He spurred his horse off, followed by the rest of the army of Rohan.
Half an hour later, when the last of the horses had departed, the aides both breathed out and relaxed. Then one turned to the other.
"Female problems? Is that the best you could do?"
"I figured he was a father, and didn't want to know about his daughters... issues" The first aide replied with a smirk "Hey - it worked, didn't it?"
On the south coast of Gondor, four pirate kings were talking.
"So, Hector - we sail with the tide?"
"Yes Will. Our Lord is launching his attack as we speak, and we need to arrive to stop any of the Gondorians escaping"
"Gondorians? Is that even a word?"
"Yes, Lizzie, it is. It means one of Gondor. Or, as I like to put it, the cowards we are going to slaughter most gayly" Liz smirked, and Jack turned to her "What?"
"I did wonder about the amount of eye-shadow you wore..." Liz replied, then looked around "This is quite a navy we have here"
"I think our Lord wants to not only win, but ensure that no one dares challenge him in the future" Will smiled "This will be a good day" He noticed that his companion was looking round worriedly "Jack?" There was no reply "JACK?"
"What?" Jack snapped his head round.
"You seem distracted"
"I think we should be going" Jack turned "I have a bad feeling about this"
"We can't leave for another half hour or so - not until the ships are fully stocked and prepared" He saw Jack frown "Oh come on - it's half an hour. What's the worse that could happen?"
(twenty five minutes later)
"My Lord Aragon - we have captured the ships" Susan announced "The army of the dead scared the crap out of everyone, and they all fled, except for two"
"I am not sure my Lord. When we found them, after the battle, one of them was smacking the other one round the head, yelling 'WHAT'S THE WORSE THAT COULD HAPPEN' over and over again" She glanced at Legolas "And one of them kind of looked like you, master Elf"
"Attractive and sexy, was he?"
"Indeed" Cedric shrugged "What did you do with them?"
"Oh - nothing, sir" Cedric looked at her questioningly "When they saw us, they both ran away to the west" She gestured behind us "I didn't think we had time to chase them"
"You're right" He smiled at her "So - can we take all these ships?"
"Yes, my Lord" She beamed.
"Really?" He looked at the assembled fleet, then at his army, which numbered less than 30 "Are you sure?"
"Turns out they have vast acres of slaves locked up, who were only to willing to help us crew the ship, as long as we get them the hell away from the army of the dead"
"Excellent!" He looked around "Shall we go?"
"Yes, my Lord"
Chapter 13: Travels In Middle Earth - Return Of The King Of The World
The Battle of The Pelennor Fields, and other associated fun and frolics.
"Gandalf" Fred stood up as Luna entered the chambers they were sharing "What's going on?"
"Faramir and his company came back"
"He is on the verge of death"
"So not so good then"
"Osgiliath has fallen"
"So really not good then"
"And the enemy is now swarming across the river, and The Pelennor Fields, and will be here within an hour"
"Is there any good news?" Luna paused for a while, then shrugged.
"There is the chance they might get lost on the way?" She said with a smirk.
"My Lord, where are you going?" Luna and Fred strode in to the throne room "The enemy is swarming and you should be running your city"
"Screw the city" Fudge yelled back, walking towards a side door "My son is dying, and I mean to spend the last few minutes of his life making him regret every single mistake he made"
"That's sweet of you, Lord Steward, but you have a duty to the city"
"You do it" He turned and sneered at her "I for one am going to spend my last hours on earth doing something I enjoy"
"Screaming and yelling at your son?"
"It's what I do best" Fudge walked out and Luna watched him go.
"He does have a point" She turned to Fred "Go with him, and make sure he doesn't do anything stupid"
"This is Fudge we are talking about"
"I know, I know - I'm going" Fred walked out to follow Fudge, then turned "Gandalf?"
"He's three times my height and twenty times my weight. How am I going to stop him doing anything stupid?" Luna smirked, and held her staff up. Fred gulped, and nodded. Luna watched him go, then smirked.
"I love my job"
265 : Use the imperius curse to make him think he is a chicken.
266 : Give him a copy of Order Of The Phoenix to read - that will take him forever.
267 : Try to explain the LBW rule to him.
268 : Tell him he needs the other nineteen rings before he can operate the twentieth one properly.
269 : Cause a wild moose stampede and watch him run!
"Yo-ho, yo-ho, a pirate's life for me"
"Stop singing or I will keelhaul you"
(a few moments later)
"Okay - no more singing"
"People really do that?"
"And yet you think Voldemort is evil?"
"You people are weird"
477 : Tell him the Rohan Quidditch team is looking for a keeper.
478 : Tell him that Aragorn is hitting on his sister, and watch him go.
479 : Let Hermione have her wicked way with... Sorry. Ignore that.
480 : Throw the ring at him - he catches worse Draco.
481 : Give him a portable DVD player - if he's anything like his dad, he won't do anything else for days.
"My Lord Steward..." The aide trailed off "Where is Lord Denethor?"
"He is taunting his son" Luna said "He left me in charge"
"Yes, really. What's going on?"
"The enemy have started their attack. We think it is being led by a guy named Ron"
"But Ron is in Mordor"
"Never mind. Let's go"
A few minutes later, Luna was staring down at the advancing army.
"Wow. Tall, topped with red-steel and incredibly thick... it really could be Ron"
"Never mind. Sound general quarters, and get a lot of guards down to the gate"
"Sir, yes sir"
972 : See if you can blow his mind by telling him Elrond is gay.
973 : Tell him the Cracks Of Doom is a known hang out for Acromantulas.
974 : Ask him about the whole history of The Chudley Cannons...
"That won't work" Hermione said, glancing at the skulking figure behind them.
"He doesn't... that's it!" Hermione jumped to her feet "I know how to do it!"
"How?" He turned to her, but she shook her head.
"I will tell you when we get there"
"I hate you"
"So - these gates - they secure?" Luna asked one of the gatewardens.
"Securist in the realm"
"No one has ever got through them?"
"What - never?"
As the gate collapsed, Luna turned to stare at the gatewarden. He shrugged.
"Well - hardly ever" The gatewarden looked up, then turned and fled. Luna watched him go, then turned back to see what had scared him, and her mouth fell open in surprise.
In rode the Lord of the Nazgul - a great back shape against the fires beyond. He loomed up, grown to a vast menace of despair.
In rode the Lord of The Nazgul, under the arch that no enemy...
"Oh give it a rest already " Luna yelled "Why is it you narrators always feel the need to state the bloody obvious? We can see that he is riding in and that he is a very scary figure!" She threw her arms up in disgust, then turned back to face The Lord of The Nazgul and spoke calmly "You look well. Haven't seen you in a while"
"Do I know you?" The figure asked, then suddenly nodded "You must be Eric's daughter. My son tells me you are crazy" Luna stared at him in surprise.
"Lord Voldemort told you? About where you are?" She asked.
"He thought it best. Now - are we going to do this the easy way or the hard way?"
"What's the easy way?"
"You stand aside, I bring my forces in to the city, kill everyone who opposes us and then rule the land for the rest of time"
"And the hard way?" Luna asked.
"Same thing, but I kill you first" He smiled "So - which way do we go?"
"I would answer you, but it doesn't matter" Luna smirked "Can you hear that?" They both fell silent for a moment, then Lucius' face fell "That's right, Lucy - the cavalry are here" Lucius span round to see The Rohirrim riding down towards the battlefield.
"Well - this isn't good" He glared at Luna, then turned, and spurred his horse away. Luna watched him go, then smiled.
"I love it when a plan comes to...what the the hell you want?" She turned to Fred, who was tugging on her cloak "You better have a good reason for interrupting me when I was monologuing"
"Denethor's gone nuts"
"He's taken Faramir to the... burying houses, locked himself and his son in, and is now threatening to kill them" Luna stared at him.
"Okay. That's nuts" She looked out on to the battlefield "This is going to end badly, isn't it?"
"It was a rhetorical question, Pippin"
As the Rohirrim rode down on to the battlefield, Theoden turned to his nephew.
"Where is the chief Captain of the Enemy?"
"I am in charge - we have to fight each other"
"Because its tradition"
"Just tell me, okay!" Arthur turned to his son "What's the problem?"
"The Lord Of The Nazgul has come forth, and apparently invaded Minas Tirith single-handedly" Eomer replied "And you are not at your best..." He saw the look on The King's face "Never mind. But will you at least take someone with you?"
"Yes, nephew of mine, I will take someone with me" He looked around, then waved over another rider "Would you like to accompany your king to war, my man?"
"Yes, my Lord" The rider replied, then muttered something under his breath.
"What was that?"
"Oh - nothing" Ginny shook her head, then muttered "God-damn unflattering armor. My man indeed!"
"Open the door" Luna yelled. He and Fred were stood outside the tomb that Denethor had locked himself, and his son, in.
"Fine" Luna raised her staff, and blasted the door in to smithereens. She and Fred walked through the door to see Charlie lying on top of a bonfire, and Fudge staring in to...
"A shiny white telephone?" Fred turned to Luna "Did you know about this?" Luna stared down at him "I guess not"
"Denethor - put your hands up and step away from the shiny white ball"
"You're not the boss of me" Fudge turned to growl at him "Go out and play with your puppets, wandering wizard"
"I can't do that, my Lord" Luna turned and gestured to Fred.
"Your son is not dead, my Lord" Fred said "We have to take him to the houses of healing"
"I AM THE LORD STEWARD, AND YOU ARE MY SERVANT" Fudge rounded on the hobbit "YOU DO NOT TELL ME WHAT TO DO!"
"Wingardium Leviosa" Luna levitated Charlie off the pyre, and out of the door. Fudge stared at her in surprise, then turned back to Fred "What did you do?"
"My duty, my Lord" Fred said "Now - you should come with us" Fudge stared at him, then laughed maniacally. Then he threw up his hands, tossed a torch on to the pyre, and then walked deeper in to the tomb. A moment later Fred felt himself flying backwards out of the room, until he fell on the floor in front of Luna "You know I can see up your robes from this angle?"
"Do you want me to smack you?" Fred paused for a moment, considering it. A moment later, about the same time as Luna raised her staff, he rolled over and sat up.
"So - what are we going to do now?" He looked back at the tomb, where smoke was billowing from the remains of the doors.
"Nothing much we can do" Luna sighed "Except heal Faramir, and hope the battle goes well while we deal with this" He turned to the aides, who were now bearing Charlie away "Hey guys?"
"If, by any chance, a young lady with red-hair, who might possibly be the princess of Rohan, I want you to do something for me"
"Don't let her talk to Lord Faramir. It won't end well"
"You think you can challenge me?" Lucius confronted Theoden and his escorts "You are old and weak, dotard, and I will feast from your blood and use your skull as an ashtray"
"That's nice of you" Arthur replied "But, if we are done with the random banter part of the fight, don't you think we should get started?"
"Well - I had a few more comments about the state of Edoras, but if you want to get to dying - lets do it" He drew his sword "You should know that, according to prophecy, I can be killed by no man"
"I guess he never read Shakespeare" Ginny muttered to herself, then looked at The King.
"Bring. It. On" There was a sudden flash, and when it cleared, Arthur found himself in a field, facing Lucius on a winged steed, and flanked by two of his riders, both on horseback. A moment later, the letters "BOSS BATTLE" appeared in the sky, and Theoden saw his health, attack and defence powers appear on a shield next to him. He looked around, and he could see three more shields, one next to each of the others. A few moments later, he felt the urge to attack.
Theoden : Attack (35 damage)
Nazgul Lord : Counterattack (250 damage)
Nazgul Lord : Attack!Critical Hit (700 damage)
Snowmane : defeated
Theoden : defeated
Eowyn : Attack (50 damage)
Nazgul steed : defeated
Nazgul Lord : Counterattack (25 damage)
Merry : Attack!Critical Hit (200 damage)
Eowyn : Attack!Critical Hit (200 damage)
Nazgul Lord : defeated.
"Well - that was odd" George said, then fell over.
"This is nearly it" Hermione turned to Harry "We are nearly ready to start the final leg of the trip"
"And you still won't tell me your plan?"
"Not yet" She glanced back at Ron "Are you with us Smeagol?"
"Yes Mistress" He crawled over to them, then reached out his hand "Does Mistress need help to carry the precious...yarhg!" He pulled his hand away when she slapped it.
"No, Mistress does not" She glared "Now - come on. Time's a wasting"
"I'm not king"
"See that my father's body is carried from the field, and that my sister and the hobbit are taken to the house of healing"
"Yes, King Eomer"
"We are totally screwed, aren't we?"
"Yes, King Eomer"
"You should learn to think positively"
"I am positive we are totally screwed, King Eomer"
"King Eomer - there is a large fleet coming up the Anduin"
"Yes" Aragorn smiled "You may do it now"
"You have got to be kidding me" Eomer's lieutenant finished off hacking at an orc, then looked up and caught sight of the banner the pirates were now flying "Since when do The Pirates use a Phoenix Banner?"
"They don't" Eomer laughed out loud "But you remember Eowyn's last message?"
"That we would meet again, even if..." The lieutenant turned and stared at him "Wow"
"I know" Bill beamed "I am hoping on getting his help with the Arnor Lottery next week"
"14, 16, 35, 36, 47 and 49" Cedric walked over to where Eomer was waiting, accompanied by Draco and Neville "But I want half"
"Very well, my Lord. Are you willing to enter in to the city as king?"
"Until we know whether we will live longer, or just make it seem longer, I do not want to declare myself to the people"
"But you raised your banner" Bill said.
"And you stood on the front of the ship yelling 'I'm the king of the world' as your ship docked" Draco continued.
"And you yelled 'Who's the king now, bitch' at the top of your voice" Neville added.
"I know" Cedric turned and glared at him "But I am NOT going to enter the city. Are we clear on that? There is nothing that will get me to enter the city" He turned as an errand rider skidded to a halt and jumped off his horse.
"My Lord - Gandalf does demand your urgent presence in the city" Cedric sighed, then turned to face Bill, Draco and Neville, who were all smirking.
"I hate you all"
Chapter 14: Travels In Middle Earth - Luna Shows Her MCPs
The War Of The Ring comes to its dramatic, if surprising, conclusion.
"Eowyn - come back from where ever you are" Cedric leaned over Ginny, and whispered in her ear "Your job is not yet done, and besides - if I don't bring you back I think that Eomer will beat the living crap out of me"
"Damn right" Eomer glared at him "First you seduce her, then you cause her to come all the way out here cause she wants to get in to your pants..."
"Well, that would explain the clothes she's wearing now" Luna muttered "But a cross-dressing princess of the realm won't go down well back home" She realised everyone was staring at her "Sorry"
"So - make her well, otherwise, when we are done, you and I will be taking this outside" Cedric stared at him for a moment, then gulped.
"Okay - I will see what I can do" He leaned over to Luna "Do you think if I found her another boyfriend, she might be willing to come back?"
"It's possible, but I can't think of anyone available" Luna glanced around, then smirked "Although, now I come to think about it" Cedric followed her gaze, and saw Draco and Neville talking in the corner.
"It's a match made in Valinor. She wants someone rich and famous, and he wants someone who isn't as pretty as he is" Luna smirked "I say we go for it" Cedric nodded, then turned back to the prone figure.
"My Lady - come back to me. I have found you someone to love, who is better than me"
"Really?" Ginny sat bolt upright, grinning "Who? When can I meet him? Is he cute?"
"My work here is done" Cedric gave her a short bow, then turned and followed Luna to the next room, where Charlie was lying.
"Lord Faramir - return from whence you are to rejoin us" Cedric stared down "Or, you know - just lie there" He turned to Luna "Any ideas?"
"Nope. He has no duty, since you are going to take over the throne. There are no real prospects for marriage, unless you are willing to give up Arwen" She caught sight of the look on his face "That's pretty much what I thought" She looked down at the prince "So - I really don't know"
"Hold on" Cedric smirked "If I am going to be ultimate ruler of everything, can't I break a few rules?"
"Well - no" Luna shook her head, then smiled "But only because your word is law, so you can't break it"
"Cool" He paused for a moment "I think I am going to enjoy this being King thing. Anyway" He looked down at Faramir "Hey - Gondor boy. I can't give you the city, cause it's mine, but I can give you the princedom of Ithilien. I think I remember someone telling me you really like it out there" He watched, then smiled as Faramir opened his eyes.
"Throw in a few kegs, and you have a deal"
"You need only ask" Cedric gave him another smile, then walked in to the third room. When Luna followed a moment later, he turned "Do I really have to fix this one?"
"Yes" Luna said sternly.
"But he's a total arse. And one of the most annoying people I ever met. And if we make him better, won't he just start bugging us again and again until we just want to drop-kick him in to Mount Doom?"
"Probably, yes" Luna nodded.
"So - why?"
"Because if you don't, then Pippin will have to take over his duties" She laughed out loud at the expression of horror on his face "I see you get my point"
"Okay. So - we heal him" He glanced down at the hobbit "And I think I know how..." He leaned down and whispered in to George's ear. A moment later, George's eyes snapped open, and he leaped off the bed, staring at Cedric.
"You serious? You are really going to do that?"
"You did Rohan a great service today, as well as my city. It is the least I can do" Cedric gave a deep bow "There is one condition, of course"
"It depends on whether we win the war?" George asked.
"Two conditions then" Cedric looked around "You promise to never, ever use any of your merchandise from the shop I am funding within the Minas Tirith City Limits"
"By your command, my King" George grinned from ear to ear, then looked around "I don't suppose you have any food? Or weed? I think I must have lost my pack somewhere..." He trailed off as he saw the sight of storms appear in Cedric's eyes "You know what - I think I can find it myself"
"Good choice" Luna remarked "But now - well now we should go. We are due to have a meeting in a few hours, and if we are to convince Slytherin boy of our plan, we will need all the rest we can get"
"We really have to climb that hill?" Harry stood and pointed to the mountain that was about five miles away.
"Unless you want to try throwing the ring over the top of MOUNT DOOM..." Hermione stopped in surprise "I guess we really must be near the end of our trip?"
"Why? Because MOUNT DOOM is coming out in capitals?"
"Yeah - it means that, before the end of the chapter, we should get rid of the ring, once and for all" Hermione glanced at Ron "One way or another"
"And you are still not going to tell me how you plan to do it?"
"If you think about it, you already know"
"Oh" He looked up "But we really have to climb this hill?"
"Unless you want to try to throw the ring over the top of MO... of the top of the mountain?" She smirked "I could see Katie doing it, but she isn't here"
"Sister makes good thrower" Ron hissed. They turned and stared at him "Just saying"
"But she isn't here either, is she?" Harry asked, and Ron shook his head.
"So - we climb" Hermione replied, then turned and started walking towards the hill. Harry and Ron watched her go, then Harry turned to Ron.
"If you touch her, it will go badly for you" He said quietly, then walked up after Hermione, leaving Ron to stare at him.
"So - we come to our last choice" Luna said, looking at the assembled group. Cedric, Bill, Draco and Neville were sitting in her tent, along with a few other commanders "We can either fortify our forces here, or we can go out, and take the fight to Sauron" She looked in to each of the faces of her friends "If we sit here and wait, then we will almost certainly be destroyed. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow. But soon, and for the rest of our lives"
"And if we go out to fight?" Draco asked.
"Then we will get our asses utterly kicked" Cedric said "I'd like to think that we could win, but Sauron has the whole of Mordor to empty on us, and we have - what? Us five and a hapless hobbit?"
"So we will get ourselves killed?" Draco looked around "What am I missing?"
"Frodo and Sam" Luna said "They were headed South the last time anyone saw them, and if they passed in to Mordor through Cirith Regulas" She paused, but no one fainted "Then I believe we should force Sauron to look anywhere but there"
"So, and I just want to be perfectly clear about this" Draco said slowly "You are asking all of us to march bravely to our deaths, on the off chance that two hobbits have managed to get all the way to this Serpent Pass, not get killed by whatever lurks there, and managed to make it all the way through Mordor without being detected, despite the fact neither of them look like orcs" He paused "Well - Potter maybe..."
"Yeah. That's pretty much it" She looked away, then stared at the others "I want you to be clear on this. We are almost certainly going to die. The only reason we would fight is not to win the battle - we can't do that - but to keep Sauron distracted until the hobbits complete their quest" She paused "This is a dangerous, suicide mission, and I will not make you do it unless we are all in agreement" There was a long pause then, one by one, they all turned to stare at Draco.
"Why are you all staring at me?" He asked.
"Oh - no reason" Neville smirked "But, out of curiousness, what do you think of this plan?"
"I think it's an excellent plan" Draco said "I am proud to be associated with this plan" He looked around "Erm - guys? Could you shut your mouths? Drool is starting to become an issue here"
"So - assuming we get up the mountain, what comes next?"
"In a general sense, or a more specific one?"
"In a general sense" Harry asked "I mean - I know this is pretty much the end of the book, but it's not exactly the end of the book"
"Well - we hopefully get rescued, then we get praised, then we crown Ced, he marries Cho, then we go home, kick out the bad guys and I get to go to heaven while you marry a local tavern wench"
"Really?" Harry's smiled brightened "What's her name?"
"Lily" Hermione burst out laughing when his face fell "Just kidding - it's Rosie"
"Cool" Harry smiled for a moment, then sighed "But how much of that do you think will happen?"
"No clue" Hermione shrugged "But I am really hoping they don't skip the bad guy kicking part"
"Because it is the most symbolic part of the book? That no matter how far away wars are fought, in the end they always effect the people back home? And that without it, the entire story loses a lot of its potency, especially in a time where wars are being launched in far away places all the time?" Harry asked.
"No" Hermione shook her head "I don't want them to skip it, because it means we can kick the crap out of Wormtail and Snape" She looked up at him "Can you think of a more worthy reason than that?"
"Truer words were never spoken"
"I think it's an excellent plan" Draco said "I am proud to be associated with this plan" He looked around "Erm - guys? Could you shut your mouths? Drool is starting to become an issue here"
"Sorry" Neville shook himself out of his trance "It's just..."
"Think about it for a moment" Draco smirked "You are using the King to distract your opponent, while two pawns sneak round the back to wipe him out. I think that Velakofski couldn't have done it any better" He paused "Nor could Salazar, for that matter"
"That's strange, cause I was thinking Helga would be proud of this plan" Cedric said "Loyalty and team work beyond everything, even your life" Draco stared at him for a moment, then gave a chuckle.
"You know - when you say things like that, it just makes me want to change my position"
"I know" Cedric beamed "Why do you think I did it?"
"So" Luna coughed "We are all agreed? We march out in what - four hours?"
"Good" She smiled "By this time tomorrow, we will be there, and it will all be over, one way or another"
"There's a path" Harry stared at the ground, and then turned to Hermione "Seriously - a path. Right there"
"You sound surprised" Hermione replied.
"Shouldn't I be?"
"Does Sauron seem the type to scramble up mountains to you?"
"I guess not" Harry smirked "Though I would have thought that someone who is such a diabolical genius would build an underground passage, with a mono-rail or a hovercraft, and a lift at either end" Hermione stared at him for a few moments.
"Anyway - that's why there is a path here. So - are you going to take advantage of it, or do we have to find a harder way up?"
"It's 138 miles from Minas Tirith to The Black Gate"
"Really? I would have guessed around 180"
"Ah - you see people assume that, but because you can cross the Anduin almost directly east of the city, and then go north by north east" Eomer smiled "Without the short-cut across the river, you have to travel the extra 40 or so miles"
"Oh" Luna smiled "I guess that's useful knowledge" She paused "You had a question?"
"Did I?" Bill paused, then snapped his fingers "Oh yeah - that was it. The Black Gate is 138 miles from Minas Tirith"
"Really? I would have guessed it was around 180" She smirked at the glare he gave her "Do you have no sense of humour?"
"We are sat in front of the teeth of Mordor, and are quite likely about to die. What part of this do you think is funny?"
"Never mind" She smiled again "So - what was your question?"
"Are you really going to let me answer it this time?"
"It's possible" She turned to face him "Do you feel lucky?"
"It's 138 miles..."
"I get that. What's your question?"
"How did we get here so fast?" Eomer stared at her "It's less than a day since we set of from Minas Tirith, and now we are here?"
"Major Character Power" She beamed "I can bend time and space, see the future - that sort of thing"
"That sound's useful"
"You have no idea" She smirked.
"What..." He started, but she held up her hand.
"Someone's coming" The commanders turned, and watched as The Black Gate swung open, and a solitary figure on horseback emerged. It rode over to them, then drew to a halt and cast back the hood of it's cloak.
"Rita Skeeter, Mouth Of Sauron" She looked around "You should all make peace with your gods, cause you have five minutes to live"
"So, Miss Granger, we are here" Harry looked across at his friend "You ready for the final showdown? The big battle? The end of all things?"
"Are you always this melodramatic? No - scratch that. I don't think I want to know" She looked round "Gollum - you coming?"
"Greetings, Miss Skeeter" Luna said "Did you come out here with a specific reason in mind, or just to annoy us in your usual manner?"
"How dare you speak to me like that!" Rita screeched "I am an emissary of Sauron and you will be polite to me"
"Oh shove it up your bum, Mouth of Sauron" Luna yelled back "Now - are we going to talk politely, or am I going to have to teach you some manners first?" There was a long period of silence, then Rita smiled.
"Very well - we will talk like the civilized people I know I am" She looked around "Besides - I brought presents for all of you" She beamed at them, then turned, and gestured to someone behind her. Another figure on horseback rode forward, and handed her a bundle. Rita nodded, then turned back "Would you like to take a guess at what we found?"
"A signed copy of Sauron's autobiography?" Luna asked.
"A big picture of Morgoth having his ass kicked by my friends?"
"Your barbie doll from when you were a child?"
"Then I have no idea" Luna sighed "I was never any good at these games as a child"
"What I have are these" She unwrapped the bundle, and threw it on the ground between her and Luna "Any witty comments now, my good and dear Wizard?" As Luna stared down at Frodo's belongings, and her smiled faded "I thought not. Do you have anything at all to say?"
"What would you like me to say?"
"That you have seen these before. That you know how to they got in to my Lord's land. That you will admit you sent a spy in to Mordor, That you are going to hand over all your lands to my Lord, and swear to be his servants for the rest of time"
"Well - Two out of three ain't bad"
"I know all of these items. And I can tell you where they were made, their histories, their owners' histories and how much they are worth"
"Which would be helpful if I wanted to sell them on e-bay, but since I want your surrender and capitulation, not so much"
"Can you produce the spy you claim you got these off?"
"What am I? Missing persons?" Rita reached for the items she had thrown on the floor, but Luna beat her to it.
"Accio stuff" The items flew off the ground, and in to a bag she was suddenly holding "Looks like it's mine now, Rita"
"And my terms?"
"Do you need me to spell it out for you?" Luna smirked, then she held up her staff "LIBRUM INCENDERE DEFIENCIUM" A moment later, the sky lit up with the words "BITE ME, YOU LYING WENCH!" lit up the sky. Rita stared at them for a moment, then gave a loud laugh, turned and spurred her horse away.
"What about Frodo?" Fred asked. Luna turned and stared down at him.
"If there was one overriding characteristic you would use to define Rita Skeeter, would it be that she always tells the truth?" Fred paused for a moment, then nodded.
"Good point" Luna looked back at The Gate.
"They are going to attack now, aren't they?" Luna turned to her with a slight smile.
"What makes you think that?"
The trio arrived at the cracks of doom, and looked down.
"That's quite a long way down" Harry said quietly "Hate to fall down there" He looked over at Hermione "So, Frodo Baggins. What's the plan?" Hermione took a deep breath, then turned to Ron.
"I have a present for you" She pulled the chain from around her neck, unlinked the end of it and slipped the ring off.
"Yes, my friend" She smiled "Precious" She held it out...
"Frodo? Are you sure about this?"
... and he took it. A moment later, he slipped it on and vanished.
"Who's idea was this again?" Draco said, shooting orcs left, right and centre. Neville turned to stare at him "Oh yeah. Would it help if I said sorry?"
Hermione took a step back, and then took Harry's hand. He leaned over and whispered in her ear.
"Do you know what you are doing?"
"I hope so"
"Moine?" A voice came from the void "What's going... what's going on?"
"Ron - we are being held hostage by Voldemort. The only way to escape is to destroy the ring you are wearing" There was a long pause "Ron?"
"I don't think I can" The voice came back "It's pull... it's very strong"
"You can do this Ron" Harry said "You are a Gryffindor through and through - you can beat this"
"I know" There was a sigh "But not like you think" There was another long pause "Mione?"
"Take care of him for me"
"Take care of her"
"Yes Ron" There was another long pause, then he chuckled "What's so funny?" Ron pulled the ring off, but kept hold of it.
"I get to be the hero" He gave them one more smile, then turned, started running. A few moments later, he jumped.
There was a brief moment where he was silhouetted against the fire, then he fell, and vanished from sight.
Chapter 15: Travels In Middle Earth - Really Most Sincerely Dead
And they all lived happily ever after. Relatively speaking.
The Host Of The West was not having a good day. As Luna had predicted, the Army Of Evil had vastly superior numbers, and they were winning.
Luna looked around, then then fell of her horse as the ground started shaking.
"Gandalf!" Fred pelted up to her side "Are you okay?" He took her hand, and then realised that, for some reason he could not explain, she was smiling like a lunatic.
"Why yes, Fred, I am perfectly fine" She bounded to her feet, then cast a blasting curse at a dozen orcs "In fact, I don't think I have ever been better" She jumped back on to her horse, then turned to face the enemy, only to find that they had all run away. She turned her horse round to face the others.
"Would it be out of line to ask what the bleeping-bleep is going on?"
"No, Eomer" Luna was still smiling "The Ring Bearer has fulfilled her quest. The realm of Sauron is at an end. Isn't that cool?"
"Yayness!" Bill yelled, then, when everyone turned to stare at him, he blushed "Sorry. I guess I have been hanging out with my sister for too long"
"Don't worry - you'll get over it" Luna beamed again, then suddenly, she started to frown.
"I am sure I have forgotten something" She continued to frown, then everyone jumped as a massive crash filled the air. They all turned, and saw that The Black Gate was now a smoking heap of rubble "Awwww crap on a stick"
"The mountain" She looked around, then, not seeing what she wanted, she looked up in to the sky "Gwaihir!"
"Hoot?" (Yes Gandalf?)
"I need your help one last time"
"Hoot" (You don't say)
"I need you to take me to Mount Doom, that apparently doesn't deserve capital letters because it is becoming a quarry pit in the near future, and bring back two of my friends"
"Hoot" (And how do you suggest we bring them back. I am not a bloody phoenix you know)
"Don't you have any friends who could help rescue two heroes?"
"HoothoothootHootHooooot" (Why yes Gandalf, I do)
There was a pause, then a flash of light. When it faded, Luna stared at the two creatures that had appeared.
"What just happened?"
"The Smartest Witch Of Her Generation made a mistake"
"Oh?" She turned to face him.
"I thought he would be able to get rid of the ring without hurting us, and that, once it was gone, he could come escape with us" Harry stared at her, then at the last place they had seen Ron, then turned back to her.
"So - you were wrong. I am sure you have been wrong before"
"What, never?" Hermione turned and frowned at him, although her mouth was curling up at the edges a little.
"Are you trying to cheer me up, Mr Potter?" She asked.
"Of course not, Miss Granger. Wouldn't dream of it" He gave her a tentative smile, and she smirked back.
"Glad to hear it" She looked around "Because I think" She jumped to the left as a piece of rock fell from the roof "We should be" She took a step to the right as another piece of rock fell "Leaving"
"Damn right" He grabbed her arm, and pulled her towards the way they had come in. In their haste to leave, neither of them noticed a small sign that said "This way to the Top Secret Turbolift and Monorail" But, as it only ran to Barad'dur, it wouldn't have helped them anyway.
"Hoot" (That's me)
Luna turned back to Hedwig.
"Are you kidding?" She asked.
"HootHoHoHoHootHooooot" (Of course I am kidding. Do I look like I would trust these two to carry Harry and Hermione back from the cracks of doom? I wouldn't even trust them to carry my coffee to my trailer!)
"Well - that's okay then... wait" She stopped suddenly "You get a trailer?"
"HootHootHootHoHoot" (Of course I do. All the major stars get a trailer in this story)
"Do they now?" Luna frowned "I see I will have to have words with my agent after we are done"
"So - who else do you have in your line up?" There was another flash, and two winged monkeys appeared "We can't use them"
"Hoot?" (Why not?)
"The RIAA! They would crucify us!"
"HOOOOOOOOOOOOT" (Bugger. I forgot about that)
There was another flash, and the monkeys vanished.
"Not to rush you, but apparently, according to most recent surveys, when evil mountains collapse, they do it pretty fast"
"Hootootoot" (Okay - I think I've got it this time) There was a flash of light "Hoo-oo-oot" (How's that?)
"That will do nicely" Luna beamed, then turned to glance at the other two owls "What are you going to do with these two?"
"HootootHoHoOot" (Send them to Minas Tirith with the good news)
"No, not really. But if it gets them away from me, I am all for it"
"Hootyhoot" (Sorry - I meant snigger)
"Yes Lady Eowyn?"
"Is there news?"
"No, not yet"
"So - where do we go now?" Harry and Hermione were stood at the entrance to the cracks of doom, looking at what was left of Mordor.
"I say we go west" Harry looked in the direction she was pointing, then frowned.
"You don't think the rivers of fire might make that hard?"
"Look on the bright side"
"There are no orcs"
"That's cause they have all been eaten by the rivers of fire"
"You aren't letting go of these rivers any time soon, are you?"
"Wasn't planning on it" He paused "Do you know what would be really useful now?"
"A bird? A plane? A guy who could fly?" Hermione asked.
"I was thinking more of a golden ring that could let us do magic" Hermione smirked, then pulled the necklace out of her cloak.
"You mean like this one?"
"Can't you go any faster?"
"HONK!" (Would you like to get out and push?)
"No - that's okay"
"Honk!" (Didn't think so)
"Oh come on - that was pretty funny" Hermione smirked.
"No it wasn't" Harry yelled back.
"Not even a little bit?"
"You have no sense of humour" For a moment there was no reply "Harry?"
"No - I'm Hermione. You can tell because I don't have wings, and I am pretty sure I have never gone HONK!"
"Yes - I know that" He reached over, and tilted her head back "Plus he" He pointed up "Doesn't have..." He glanced at her chest, and tried to think of a tactful way of finishing the sentence "Protuberances"
"Buckbeak?" Hermione cried in surprise.
"Norbert?" Harry echoed.
"AND ME OH MY!" Luna yelled, dangling from under Hedwig. A moment later, the three animals swooped down, and came to a halt next to the two hobbits. Luna beamed at them "Hey guys. How's it going?"
"What are you doing here?" Hermione asked, bouncing up and down.
"I was heading for Albuquerque, and I think I forgot to turn right" She looked around "Wow - you two make Fred and George look like amateurs"
"We do our best" Harry said, then looked around "You think we could get out of here now?"
"Well - I was going to let you pose for pictures, but I guess we can settle for this" She waved her staff over them "So - who wants the horsey-bird, and who wants the dragon?"
(a few moments later)
"Oh - I forgot to ask" Luna turned to Hermione "Did you get rid of the ring?"
"You mean this ring?" Hermione said, pulling out her necklace. A moment later, Luna fainted. Hermione stared down at the passed out figure on the floor, then turned to stare at Harry.
"Okay" He conceded "That was funny"
"Still no news"
"Who are you again?"
"Oh - no one" The aide shrugged "I just got caught up in the moment"
"Why are you here?"
"Oh - The King has summoned you" The aide bowed "He said he would like the two hobbits with the sensible hair to come out to his tent" He looked at Hermione's fuzzy hair, then at Harry's bird's nest hair, then across at Fred and George "Maybe I should have asked him to be more specific..."
"Frodo, Sam" Cedric stood up as they approached, then - to their surprise, he went down on one knee.
"Cedric?" Hermione stared at him.
"Yes, my Lady?"
"You are not about to propose to me, are you?"
"No, my Lady" There was a pause.
"Yes, my Lord?"
"You are not about to..."
"Oh god no" Cedric smirked, then stood up "But if you two would come over here, I have a surprise for you" He lead them over to his throne "Have a seat"
"Are you kidding me?"
"No" Cedric said firmly, and they both sat down, then said "And Gandalf mentioned you should remove your cloaks" He smiled, then - as they started to take their cloaks off, he turned to the crowd "Praise them - with great praise"
The crowd started to cheer, but then, when Hermione and Harry finished with their cloaks, there was a loud burst of laughter from the assembled people. Cedric frowned, then turned to face the two hobbits. A moment later, he stared laughing as well.
"What?" Hermione asked. She saw Luna smirking at them, and had a sudden suspicion. She turned back to Cedric, who was now holding up a mirror. She looked at their reflections and groaned. They were both wearing white tops with the logo "MY FRIEND WENT TO THE CRACKS OF DOOM AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY T-SHIRT"
"My Lord Steward!"
"Look, Lady Eowyn - there is no news. Don't you think I would have told you?"
"It's not that" She pointed out over the battlements "There is a large army coming towards us"
"Bugger" He turned and walked in to the throne room "Call out the guard. Sound the alarm. We are under attack!!"
"Yes, Lord Aragorn?"
"Why are the gates closed? And why are there two dozen archers ready to fire on us?" Luna stared at the approaching city, then turned and glared at Hedwig.
"You had to send those two with the news, didn't you?"
"Hoototototootot" (It seemed like a good idea at the time)
"So did reality tv and look what happened with that"
"Hoot" (Too true)
"I guess I will have to fix this" Luna turned back, then raised her staff.
"My Lord Steward"
"Lady Eowyn - shouldn't you be in a bunker somewhere?"
"There is another message" She pointed out to the sky. Charlie peered out of the window.
"WE ARE NOT BAD GUYS. STOP. SAURON IS DEAD. STOP. OPEN THE RUDDY DOORS BEFORE I BLOW THEM UP. STOP. AND FARAMIR - IF YOU ARE TRYING TO ROMANCE EOWYN THEN PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. STOP"
"Do you think it's real?" Ginny asked.
"YES IT'S BLOODY WELL REAL. NOW OPEN THE DOORS"
"Guess that answers that question"
Cedric stood outside the city, facing Charlie.
"My Lord Steward"
"May I come in?" Charlie stared at him, then turned to the people of Minas Tirith.
"People of Gondor hear now the Steward of this Realm! Behold! One has come to claim the Kingship again at last. Here is Aragorn son of Arathorn, chieftain of the Dunedain of Arnor, Captain of the Host of the West, bearer of the Star of the North, wielder of the Sword Reforged, victorious in battle, whose hands bring healing, the Elfstone, Elessar of the line of Valandil, Isildur's son, Elendil's son of Numenor. Shall he be king and enter into the City and dwell there?"
And, in one voice, the people answered "No, he may not"
"Really?" Faramir asked.
"No, not really" The people replied "Don't you get us at all?"
"By the labour and valour of many I have some to my inheritance. In token of this I would have Ring-bearer bring the crown to me, and let Mithrandir set it upon my head if she will for she has been the mover of all things that have been acomplished, and this is her victory"
"What about us?" Draco asked "We helped"
"And us" George added.
"And what about the ents?" Fred continued.
"Oh" Cedric paused "Very well"
From Middle Earth : A History (written by Frodo Baggins)
Historical records show that King Aragorn's coronation was the longest on record, taking nearly five hours to complete. The decision to have twenty two people carry the crown to him was, in retrospect, not all that smart (especially when one hobbit nearly set fire to the throne by accident, and an ent nearly crushed the King in the process), but this was nothing compared to having a five foot eight wizard and a three foot six hobbit trying to put the crown on King Aragorn's head at the same time. However, history records that, after all the cuts and scrapes were healed, and King Aragorn's ear was sown back on, he reined for several years after that without any problem.
Hermione was sat by the fountain when Harry found her.
"Don't worry about me" She sniffed "I always cry at weddings" He leaned over and hugged her.
"I am kind of surprised it went off so easy" He remarked.
"Well - I thought he might end up marrying Eowyn"
"Oh come on" Hermione smirked "It's not like Elrond would try to banish his daughter to the undying realms, only for her to disobey him, come riding all the way here, and eventually force her father to accept that she is marrying a mortal" She laughed "Who would ever dream up a plot like that?"
"Some soap-opera wannabe writer?" Harry gave a small laugh, then he leaned back "So - we nearly done?"
"Yup. We just have to say good bye to a lot of people as we make our way home" She spoke haltingly, causing Harry to turn to stare at her.
"Are you okay?"
"Yes" She sighed "I was just trying to avoid saying MANY PARTINGS... oh buggerit"
Chapter 16: The Hobbits Head Home
How the third age went by.
On the day before they were to depart, King Aragorn and Queen Arwen summoned Frodo. She met them by the fountain in the court.
"Your Majesties" Hermione bowed low "How may I be of service to you today?" Cedric smiled back, then turned to his wife.
"As you know, I have chosen the path of mortality" Cho said softly "Soon, my father, my grandparents and many other elves will be leaving this realm, to travel to the undying lands" She took Cedric's hand "I will not be doing with them, and so there will be a space on the boat"
"My Lady" Hermione bowed again "I know what you are going to offer me, but I am fine. I wasn't bitten by the basilisk, nor did the ring have that much of an affect on me"
"I know" Cho smiled.
"I also happen to know that a certain wizard will be departing on the same boat" The Queen gave a sly grin "So, if you could think of anyone you would like to go with her?" Hermione looked at her blankly "Say, one of your cousins?" Suddenly Hermione's expression became a lot less blank.
"My Lady, I think I underestimated you" She gave a broad smile "If you will excuse me now, I think I have a meeting with young Pippin"
"Of course" The Queen gave a short bow, then, after Hermione had vanished, she turned to her husband "Gandalf's going to kill us, isn't she?"
"Farewell, Theoden" George stood in front of Theoden's burial mount "As a father to me you were, if only for a short time"
"Well duh" Fred said "Do you have any more obvious statements to make, or can we prepare for Eowyn's wedding to Legolas?" He held up a big box, marked 'HHH'
"Where did you get that?"
"Hermione gave it to me" Fred replied "I don't know why, but she said something about me going on a cruise, and that I should find this useful"
"Cool" George smirked "So what... urk!"
"George?" He turned to find his twin laying flat out on the ground "What's wrong with... urk!" He collapsed. For a few moments, nothing moved, then Bill stepped out of a bush, holding a small sling-shot.
"Oh boys" He smirked "Do you never learn?" He turned to where Eowyn was emerging from the same bush "Okay - you can have your wedding now"
"Coolness!" Ginny turned to leave, then stopped "What about the cruise?"
"Don't worry about it" Bill shrugged "I'm sure it's not important"
(Eowyn's wedding has been cut for time. But if you use your imagination, you can probably figure it out. However you should stop using your imagination before we get to the wedding night, because this is rated PG and you wouldn't want to violate that rating, would you?)
"So - we are nearly home" The four hobbits and Gandalf brought their horses to a halt on the road leading up to Hobbiton. Hermione looked round "That went pretty quickly, didn't it?"
"Maybe" Luna said shiftily.
"Well - did you really want to say goodbye ten dozen times? And I know - you wanted to do your ring-trick for your Aunt, but I really think it might have killed her, so I decided you should skip it and come straight here"
"You're probably right" Hermione sighed, then looked back to her home town "You really aren't coming to help?"
"You don't need me" Luna replied "You - all of you - are capable of dealing with whatever you find here" She smirked "And, be honest - if I beat the crap out of Pettigrew and Snape for you, won't you find it a bit of an anti-climax?"
"I suppose" Hermione smirked.
"I will see you at the boat?" Luna asked.
"Of course" Hermione nodded, resisting the urge to glance at Fred. They all watched as Luna rode out of sight, then turned back "So - you ready for the most depressing time of your life?"
"Worse than double potions?" Harry asked in surprise.
"Imagine an entire town being run by Snape" Hermione replied, then smirked when the other three all shivered "Now you are getting it" She prepared to gee-up her horse, but then turned "Oh - there is something else I forgot" She reached in to her bag, and pulled out four wands "Luna said that, since the spell is fading, we have our magic back" She handed each one of them their wand, then took hold of hers.
"You know what?" Fred said.
"What's that?" George asked.
"Suddenly, a town full of Wormtail's friends doesn't seem such a bad thing" Fred replied.
"You got that right" Hermione gave them a big smile "Shall we go?"
"WHO GOES THERE?"
"Frodo Baggins and Friends. Let us in"
"REDUCTO!" All four hobbits yelled. When the dust cleared, a hobbit stood there, looking somewhat surprised.
"What the hell did you do to my door?"
"The same thing we will do to you, if you don't get the hell out of our way"
"Okay. You can come in. Have a nice day"
"Thank you" Hermione turned to the other three "See how nice I can be when everyone does what I say?"
"Hey - looks like we've been found out" Harry indicated to the approaching posse "What do you think we should do?"
"Can I take this group?" George asked. Hermione nodded, and they continued riding.
"STOP WHERE YOU ARE!" The lead hobbit yelled out. A moment later, a blast of red light blew his hat off.
"Maybe you would like to rephrase that?" George asked politely. The lead hobbit took one look at him, and the other three, then fainted.
"Wow. Wormtail really knows how to pick 'em, doesn't he?"
"The rest of you" Harry called "You can either stay here, or escort us to your boss" There was a frantic five minutes of discussion, then the second in command turned back to the group.
"If it's all the same to you, we'll stay here"
"I thought you might decide that" Fred smirked "But remember this - we'll be back, so don't go messing us around"
"Sir, no sir!"
Half an hour later, the group arrived at Bag End.
"Our reputation proceeds us" Hermione said when they realised the garden was empty "And who the hell put a bear-pit in front of my front door?"
"Shall we go in?"
"Yup, but be careful" Harry looked at the other three "It could be a trap" He saw the looks they gave him "That was kind of obvious, wasn't it?"
"Just a little"
They all dismounted, and walked in to Bag End.
"So - where is everyone?"
"Look behind you, Potter" A voice came from a side door. They turned to see Snape and Peter stood, side by side.
"Hello, Peter" Hermione said, and saw the flicker of recognition in his eyes "So - the spell is fading for you two too?"
"Well done, Granger" Snape sneered "Would you like to further display your dazzling intellect, or shall we proceed to the part where we kill you all?"
"You are not going to hurt us" Fred said, standing in front of Hermione. A moment later, George moved to protect Harry.
"That's sweet, guys, but it will be okay" Hermione walked round from behind the twins, and turned to face the two intruders "You can both leave, now. We won't harm you, and none of the other hobbits will" She glanced at Harry, who nodded "We have seen enough death in this story already"
"And why shouldn't we kill you now?" Peter asked, glancing at Harry, then back to Hermione.
"You would never reach them in time" Fred replied, again moving to get between Snape and Hermione.
"Are you sure about that?" Snape drew his wand "Tell me - have you ever heard of the killing curse?"
"No" Harry said "My parents died peacefully in their sleep"
"No they didn't" Peter said. Harry turned and stared at him "But I guess you knew that already" Harry continued to stare at him "I'll just shut up now"
"Good plan" He turned back to Snape "Yes, I have heard of the killing curse"
"But you won't get time to use it" Hermione said softly "Go, now, before you regret it"
"Very well" Snape took a step forward, then whipped his wand up "AVADA KE... urgh!" He fell over sideways, unconscious. Hermione, Fred and George stared at him, then at the small box next to his body, then at Harry, who was looking smug.
"What the hell was that?"
"Well - you remember the gifts Galadriel gave us?"
"Well - she said if I didn't die horribly, I might find that small box pretty useful" Harry smirked "Seems she was right" They all stared at him for a few moments longer, then they turned back to Wormtail.
"Leave. Take him with you"
"Yes, Hermione" Peter leaned over, and started dragging Snape out of the hall. They watched him until he vanished out of the front door.
"Well - thats' the end of..." Fred was cut off by two screams from outside. For a moment, the four hobbits were silent, then George turned to Hermione.
"I guess they forgot about the bear pit they built then?"
"There is an owl here with a message"
"Thank you" Cedric took the note from the aide, then read it, and started laughing.
"Husband?" Cho turned to stare at him "What's the matter?"
"Apparently we have just defeated Sauron, and Lord Aragorn is returning in triumph to the city" Cho stared at him in surprise for a few moments "Well - better late than never, I suppose"
"Don't worry about it"
"Okay" A pause "Hermione?"
"Shouldn't you be setting off for The Grey Havens now?"
"I decided against it" She smirked "Oh - and Harry?"
"If a blonde, Ravenclaw wizard comes knocking?"
"Yes, Hermione" He paused for a moment, then a frown crossed his face "Hey - what did you mean by 'Hermione awoke with a jerk?'"
"Oh - nothing"
(somewhere on the Sundering Seas)
"I'm going to kill her"
Chapter 17: Epilogue and Credits
And now - the truth....
The old wizard leaned back, and smiled. It seemed that, not only had his test had gone as planned, but that all of the subjects were a lot more ready for war than he thought.
When he had found out that Voldemort had returned, he was more than a little concerned. The older generation - The Ministry and The Order - were not ready for this battle. When it came down to it, it would be the kids that would have to fight the coming war.
After the events of the tournament, he was a little worried about Ron turning on Harry, but, having seen what he had just seen, he no longer entertained those worries.
When the time came for war Harry, Hermione and Ron - The Golden Trio as they were apparently now being called - would be ready to fight. And, he reflected, ready to die if they needed to. Ron had shown no hesitation in his decision to die for his friends, and both Harry and Hermione, after their initial shock, did not seem too upset by Ron's choice.
The rest of the participants were also to be applauded - at least those who had fought on the side of good. The others - well they would need to be watched a bit more carefully.
All in all - they had passed his test. Or, to be more accurate, his first test.
There was a flash of light, and when it faded, Hermione found herself on the porch of a large white mansion. She looked around, and caught sight of two people coming towards. her. A pair of twins, both with bright, red hair.
This time, the memory bounded in to her mind completely unbidden.
"Scarlett 'O Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realised it"
For a few minutes, she considered her options. And in the end it all came down to one, single exclamation.
"Oh f-" Said Hermione.
GEMINI PRODUCTIONS in partnership with
HOME OF THE ANGEL STUDIOS proudly present
A SammyWrae Story
The Weasley Family
Lily Potter and The Marauders
Luna Lovegood as "Gandalf"
based on the original story by
and the characters created by
Frodo Baggins : Hermione Granger
Samwise Gamgee : Harry Potter
Gandalf : Luna Lovegood
Aragorn : Cedric Diggory
Boromir : Percy Weasley
Legolas : Draco Malfoy
Gimli : Neville Longbottom
Merry Brandybuck : George Weasley
Pippin Took : Fred Weasley
Gollum : Ron Weasley
The White Council
Saruman The White : Peter Pettigrew
Celeborn : James Potter
Galadriel : Lily Potter
Elrond, Half-Elven : Albus Dumbledore
King Theoden : Arthur Weasley
Grima : Severus Snape
Eowyn : Ginny Weasley
Eomer : Bill Weasley
Shadowfax : Himself
Faramir : Charlie Weasley
Denethor : Cornelius Fudge
Lord of The Nazgul : Lucius Malfoy
Nazgul (Weathertop) : Avery, McNair, Yaxley
Nazgul (River) : Dolohov, LeStrange, LeStrange, LeStrange, Jugson
The Mouth Of Sauron : Rita Skeeter
Orc 1 : Vincent Crabbe
Orc 2 : Gregory Goyle
Gwaihir : Hedwig The Owl
Gwaihir's Family : Errol, Pig, Buckbeak, Norbert
The Rangers Of The North : Assoicated Members of House Hufflepuff
The Army of The Dead : The Dementors Of Azkaban
The Pirate Kings : Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, Hector Barbosa and Jack Sparrow
Balrog : Cecil, The Snorkack
Shelob : Eloise, The Basilisk
Arwen : Cho Chang
Glorfindel : Sirius Black
Haldir : Remus Lupin
Treebeard : Rubeus Hagrid
Treebeard's brother : Grawp
Bilbo Baggins : Molly Weasley
Barleyman Butterbur : Tom The Inkeeper
The Plantation Of Tara
Scarlett O'Hara : Hermione Granger
Brent Tarleton : Fred Weasley
Stuart Tarleton : George Weasley
Chapter 18: The Director's Commentary
For those of you who want to know, and those of you who didn't know they wanted to know.
The characters and situations all belong to other people. Harry, Hermione and co belong to JK Rowling (and possibly others?), The Pirate Kings belong to whoever owns the rights on POTC (I, II and III), Lucy and (the somewhat squashed corpse of) Mr Tumnus belong to whoever owns Narnia now, and Scarlett, Brent and Stuart belong to whoever owns the rights to Gone With The Wind. Also, if I have missed anyone out, they belong to their original owners as well. This especially applies to any time I have quoted directly from a book, or show (the only instances that spring to mind are Luna's "Daughter of The Fifth House" speech, and Aragorn's coronation, but there might be more).
All lyrics (that are not original) remain the property of their original creators, as do the tunes they were put to.
And the reason that a full disclaimer was not put up front was to avoid spoiling the story.
This is all being done for fun and frolics, and not for profit. You can reproduce this story, as long as the author credit (that would be me), you don't change it, and the two disclaimers are left in tact (that is the first chapter, and this chapter), because we wouldn't want anyone thinking I was trying to pull a fast one, would we?
PLEASE NOTE : This is a virtual "director's commentary" for the story. So you are free not to read it, as it will not make any difference to the story itself.
PLEASE ALSO NOTE : This will contain spoilers for all of "Lost In Middle Earth", so if you haven't read the story, then don't read this.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
I pretty much made this story up as I went along. After the first line ("Hermione awoke with a jerk"), the rest of it was pretty much improvisation, and I would change my mind about things from one chapter to the next.
Very little of this was planned, and quite a lot changed as I was writing it (which is one reason that I normally complete a story before posting it, so that I can go back and alter things in the past if I have to). Most were little changes (who gets what line, what events happen in what order and so on), but there were some major ones.
Eowyn/Faramir : They were never going to end up together. I could not bring myself to make Charlie marry Ginny, especially when so many of the other cast (Luna, Hermione, Harry, Cedric, Fred, George, Draco and Neville) all knew what was going on. However the idea of getting Draco and Ginny together pretty much popped up as I was writing the "Aragorn heals Eowyn" scene, because it seemed funny.
Ron's Death : This was not my original plan. My original plan varied between a) having Ron try to catch the ring, miss and then trip and fall, b) Ron stealing the ring, then gloating about it so much that Hermione just loses it and pushes him in or c) Ron stealing the ring, then going to kick the crap out of Sauron. It wasn't until I was writing the "1001 Ways" list that I hit upon the idea of Ron taking the ring, but siding with the good guys after he found out what was going on.
The events in Cirith Regulas : Up until I wrote this, I had no idea how to get Hermione out of being captured. Indeed - until one of the reviewers (merlyn2) mentioned it, I had totally forgotten that Frodo gets all nekkid (but even if I had remembered, I still would have cast Hermione as Frodo. I just would have planned it better!). There were several ideas, including having Sam get captured, but in the end, the idea of setting loose a sixty foot snake in a room full of orcs was just too funny to pass up. However, as mentioned in the story, it did mean Sam didn't get to sing his song, and since I had already written it, I decided to include it anyway (As one of the only "serious" pieces of music in the whole story)
The Pirate Kings : This was kind of made up on the spot, because I wanted to show The Dementor Attack from the point of view of the pirates, rather than The Grey Company. It didn't occur to me until writing it that Will Turner and Legolas were played (in the film at least) by the same actor, so it necessitated re-assigning the lines, so that Will and Jack ended up being the two at the end (originally it was Jack and Lizzie).
Hermione's Diary : I had no idea how to do the first part of Frodo and Sam's journey to Mordor. None what so ever. I had all sorts of ideas, but in the end, they all fizzled out. And even the diary idea went through a couple of generations. Originally it was going to be just Hermione writing, then Hermione writing one diary, while Harry writes another. But, halfway through that version, the idea of twin diaries and a transcription quill bounded in to my mind like a puppy, and that was that.
Scarlett O'Hara : I went through several different endings, knowing that I would never have to write the story for any of them. They included The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (with Hermione having to stop the mountain falling on Tumnus), Tron, Annie, The Wizards Of Oz (I kind of warmed to the idea of dropping a house on Bella), Star Wars (with Luke and Leia's roles being reversed) and a few others, but eventually, with the help of Fred and George, I decided to turn Hermione in to a Southern Heroine. And if anyone wants to continue this story - feel free (the only characters I have are Hermione, Fred and George, so you can do what you want with it!)
However, in all of this, there were three things I knew for absolute certain that I would do.
The first was the ending :- As I said, I didn't know it would be GWTW, but I knew it would be something.
The second was Dumbledore being behind it :- Rather than make it all a dream, or try to explain why Voldemort was playing by the rules (instead of committing mass murder in every chapter), this was all a training mission from Dumbledore, to see if Harry's friends (and potential friends - Dumbledore always held out hope for Draco, remember?) were up to the job of helping him fight the war.
The third thing was making Luna play Gandalf, because, more than anything, I wanted to include the line "So when they say Saruman is abroad they really mean it?"
Film vs Books vs Play
As I mentioned, this story was mostly based on the 1981 Radio version of LOTR, staring Ian Holm, Bill Nighy and Michael Hordern. This is because it is the version I am most familiar with, and the version that was easiest to adapt. And of course, the fact I don't like the films one little bit.
Not because they miss bits out, or because they give Arwen a sword, but because the writers took it upon themselves to mess around with the basic traits of the characters, and make them different people. The Ents were always going to attack Isengard - they didn't need to be tricked. Faramir was not a complete twat, he was a nice guy. And, although I understand why they wanted more women to take active roles, Arwen's entire plot was just such a travesty it annoyed the crap out of me.he
Also, they skipped out on Frodo's return home to The Shire. Which is pretty much unforgivable. And don't give me "It's in the special edition", because something that important shouldn't be missed out of the film in the first place!
And since (as one review put it) "You are god in this universe" (Ellisguy), I decided to try to set the record straight, and get Hagrid and Charlie back where they belong (being nice guys), and make Cho what she should be (the woman who appears only three times in the book).
Of course, that's not to say I didn't take little bits from the flims. The book contains no descriptions of the battle with the pirates (from what I remember of it, anyway), and there was also no description of Saruman's confrontation with Gandalf (although this does appear in the Radio Play). And, of course, all the parts where I mock them (of which there were quite a few, since there was just so much to mock!).
The reason for the three different story telling methods (Fellowship was one long story, albeit with some flashbacks, Two Towers was four distinct stories told in order, and Return was all of the stories told at once) was because of Frodo and Sam's journey.
The Fellowship was easy - the group is altogether, and so it is a single story.
The Two Towers was less easy, but still fairly straight forward - the four factions are all working on their own, so it was four stories. As I said, this gave me problems with the Frodo/Sam part, but I eventually got round them.
However, the latter part of Frodo and Sam's journey - after the events in Cirith Ungol (Cirith Regulas) - gave me even more problems. I didn't want to go on with the diary format, because I thought I had used it all up (plus it really didn't feature Ron a lot), but if I told their story all in one go, I thought it would get very boring and dull. So I hoped that mixing it in with the action/adventure plot lines might make it less so.
And the final part - after the ring is destroyed - goes back to the single story line, because the eight of them are back together as a group.
Frodo/Sam (Hermione/Harry) : This, along with Gandalf (Luna) was the foundation of the story. And although it would seem that Harry would be better as Frodo, I think that Sam is the one with the hardest job (even given "The Burden"), and most definitely the hero of the story. Plus, of course, Hermione knows the book a lot better than Harry does, so making her the lead makes various parts of it easier. Finally, despite what the film shows, Sam would NEVER abandon Frodo, and between Hermione and Ron, only one of those has been completely faithful through all seven books ;)
Gandalf (Luna) : I realise this was possibly one of the most surprising (along with Gollum!Ron), but to me it always seemed obvious, for three reasons.
First - if Voldemort wanted to win, he would not make Dumbledore the most powerful wizard in Middle Earth. Instead, he would pick someone who appears to be an insane, but harmless, nutcase.
Secondly - if Dumbledore was truly testing his students, he wouldn't put himself in such a powerful position to help them.
Thirdly - Luna totally rocks. Making her the most powerful character in the story just opened up so many avenues of entertainment and fun that it was too hard to resist. Avenues which would not be there if Dumbledore was in charge (and now that you have read through the story, can you imagine Dumbledore doing as well as Luna?)
Bilbo (Molly) : This was a last minute thing. I wanted to try to get all nine Weasleys in, and since we had a female Frodo, I thought a female Bilbo wouldn't be that hard to accept, and I couldn't find anywhere else to put her (DH not withstanding, she is not the Eowyn type, Galadriel was already taken by Lily, and Cedric and Molly? Can you say ewwwww?)
Merry/Pippn (George/Fred) : This was the easiest one to cast, once I decided to start doing this properly. And it turned out to be by far and away the most annoying, as I kept getting the twins mixed up. I had written four whole scenes of Gandalf, Pippin and Denethor before I noticed that I had written "George" instead of "Fred".
Aragorn/Arwen (Cedric/Cho) : There were originally three choices for Aragorn - Cedric, Ron and Sirius. I ended up going with Cedric because I knew he had a ready-made army of rangers, in the form of the rest of The Hufflepuffs. And, after Aragorn was cast, Arwen quickly followed (who else would it be but Cho?)
Ring Wraiths (Death Eaters) : Why not dementors? Two reasons. First was that they were nine mortals under the command of Sauron, and we already have characters who fit that description. Second was that the dementors were already busy as The Army of The Dead.
Elrond (Dumbledore) : Next to Gandalf, Elrond is the person with the most control and power in the story, so I figured DD could fit there.
Legolas/Gimli (Draco/Neville) : Elves and Dwarves do not get on. Draco and Neville do not get on. Plus Legolas is tall and fair, and Gimli... isn't. There were a few other choices for this (including Ginny playing Gimli, still with Draco as Legolas), but this one seemed the best.
Theoden (Arthur) : I mostly did this because I knew I could distract him with muggle stuff (a washing machine, if anyone hadn't realised yet). Plus with Bill and Ginny already taking the parts of his children (nephew/neice), he seemed the best choice.
Saruman/Grima (Peter/Snape) : This was one of the hardest choices to make. It was blindingly obvious that Peter would be the best choice for Grima, because they were both traitors, both slimy, and both more than a tad creepy. But then I put James and Lily in, and realised that with Elrond, Galadriel and Celeborn forming the start of The White Council, and with Saruman betraying them, Peter would be better put to that role. So the role of Grima fell to someone else who is creepy, slimy and generally not nice - Snape. The fact that Luna, Ginny and Hermione got to kick him int he balls several times was just an unexpected bonus.
Eomer/Eowyn (Bill/Ginny) : Once I had decided that Ginny wasn't going to be Gimli, Arwen or Gollum (long story), there was only really one place she could go. So, she took the role of Eowyn away from Lavender and Cho (who was in the running until Cedric was cast). Bill followed because I was running out of Weasley kids, and Charlie was a much better choice for Faramir (being a bit of a free spirit, and not bound to his father Fudge).
Celeborn/Galadriel (James/Lily) : These two were cast just because I wanted to have the shot of them leaning over Harry, looking in to the Mirror.
Glorfindel/Haldir (Sirius/Remus) : Two bit parts (in this story, if not the books) that needed filling, and two characters to fill them.
Denethor/Boromir (Fudge/Percy) : These two kind of got cast together. Boromir was originally down to Cedric, Percy, Charlie and Bill, and Denethor was down to Fudge or Arthur. In the end, the total suck-up nature of the Denethor/Boromir relationship lent itself more to Fudge/Percy than to any of the others.
Faramir (Charlie) : Despite the fact it meant Eowyn wasn't going to get hitched, this was another fairly obvious choice. Frodo and Sam needed someone they felt they could trust, and I needed someone who was pretty much the antithesis of Percy (and Fred and George were already taken).
Lord Of The Nazgul (Lucius) : Another fairly obvious choice.
Mouth of Sauron (Rita) : This was a toss-up between Rita and Bella, but in the end it came down to Rita being slightly less of a crazy lunatic.
Gwaihir/Friends (Hedwig/Norbert/Buckbeak/Errol/Pig) : Making Hedwig play Gwaihir was a fairly easy choice - she is pretty much the only owl we know by name, and easily the most famous of the owls. And due to the lack of other flying creatures, Norbert and Buckbeak were obvious choices for the other two "rescue" eagles. The appearance of Errol and Pig was, obviously, just done for comedy value.
The reason for not including Fawkes was that it would be too easy. They travel too fast, and can carry several people at once. If Fawkes had been playing Gwaihir, the entire story would be different, and the rescue of Frodo and Sam wouldn't have been so interesting :)
Treebeard (Hagrid) : I really, really, really had the urge to cast Flitwick as the giant tree-like character, but I thought that might be taking it just a tad too far. Plus the odds of Flitwick being able to carry Fred and George on his shoulders was pretty small.
Shelob (Basilisk) : Originally it was going to be Aragog. But that was when Ginny, Neville, Peter, Draco, Dudley and "Dark Harry" were in the running for Gollum. Once I settled on Ron, Aragog was sent home without a second thought. And the only other monster in the series was, of course, the basilisk.was the obvious choice (and it did, for a moment, lead me back to Ginny as Gollum, since she already had experience of controlling the basilisk).
Balrog (Cecil The Snorkack) : Mostly this was done for a joke at Hermione's expense. Plus having someone yell "A SNORKACK HAS COME" at the top of their voice makes any story better!
Orcs in Cirith Regulas (Goyle/Crabbe) : Done whilst writing the chapter, just because they needed names. Plus if you look at Crabbe and Goyle, can you really tell me that you don't think "Orc"?
Gollum (Ron) : Quite possibly the single hardest casting choice of the lot. As indicated previously, I went through several different versions, with Ginny and Draco being the two lead choices for a long time. Ginny because she would be jealous of Hermione (getting to spend time with Harry) and Draco because he REALLY doesn't like Harry or Hermione, and would not have to work hard to fake the dislike Gollum has for them. But, of course, they were both put to other uses (Eowyn and Legolas). And in the end, I picked Ron. Not because he was the only one left, but because of the Dumbledore sub-plot.
If Dumbledore was truly testing Harry and his friends, then he had to ensure that The Golden Trio would spend a lot of time together. And Gollum and Frodo are the two people that Sam spends the most time with. In addition, Dumbledore wanted to know whether Harry's friends were willing to give the war their all, so seeing if Hermione and Harry were willing to sacrifice Ron to complete the quest was a good way of testing this.
And, of course, Ron has shown himself to be jealous and a tad greedy, so he does fit Gollum's character quite well :)
As you might have noticed, there were a lot of references to other shows, books, films and the like. Some were fairly obvious ("We're called the Knights of Rohan"), and some might have been less so (only one person got the "The Five Doctors" reference).
But, to save you wondering, this is a (hopefully) complete list :-
Xena, The Muppets, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Alice In Wonderland, The Lone Ranger, Snow White, Bugs Bunny, Monty Python, Bonanza, Robin Hood, Star Trek Voyager, The Chronicles Of Narnia, Dr Who : "The Five Doctors", The West Wing, Blackadder, "Voodoo Child" by Rogue Traders, Star Trek The Next Generation, Buffy, Frasier, Star Wars Saga, Undead And Unwed, Whizbit, Once More With Hobbits, W.C.Fields, Shakespeare, a reference to the Postal Strike in the UK, The Italian Job, a reference to the Recording Industry Association of America, Pirates of The Caribbean, HMS Pinafore, Blue Dragon, Titanic, 8 Simple Rules, Firefly and Potter Puppet Pals.
If I have missed any out, feel free to tell me!
Time Taken : 70 Days (August 15th to October 23rd)
Favourite Characters : Draco, Hedwig and (of course) Luna
Favourite Part (to write) : The trip through Moria.
Favourite Moment : Cirith Regulas (it came out exactly as I wanted it)
Least Favourite Part (to write) : The first part of Frodo and Sam's trip to Mordor. It took me forever to get it right (nearly 8 days for one chapter)
Thank you to everyone who has left reviews, especially those who have reviewed nearly every chapter. I have enjoyed reading them (even the less than flattering ones - constructive criticism is always good), as much as you have hopefully enjoyed reading the story, and it has made writing "LIME" (which is, apparently, my longest story to date) a lot more fun! So - thank you.
Despite various references, there is not going to be "Lost In Middle Earth : The Special Edition", nor will there be a "Gone With The Hobbits" story (I am not even thinking about it, because otherwise I will start to plot it, and before you know, the Death Eaters are setting fire to Atlanta)
And that, as they say, is that.