Chapter 1: The Meeting Of Others
The Meeting Of Others
You were used to traveling alone, as you also had trust issues. You were currently sitting down, with your feet in the cool water of the river, trying to relax, well you try to as you heard footsteps coming. Without any warning, you get up, spun around and held your sword at this newcomer.
"Is that any way to treat an old man?"
You looked at this person and raised your eyebrows at him. He was completely in grey garb. Even his hat was grey. He was leaning on a walking stick which you quickly realised was his staff. His white hair billowed out when the wind blew in his direction.
It was his eyes that struck you though. He had the kindest eyes you had ever seen and you knew then that you could trust him. Lowering your sword, you glance at your bare feet, now feeling a little self conscious.
"Cat got your tongue?" He enquired and you looked up with a frown.
The truth was, you hadn't spoken to anyone for over a year. You found it hard to open up around other people, especially when they realise who you are.
"Hmm. Interesting," remarked the old man, he then graced you with a smile "I'm Gandalf, Gandalf the Grey. I will not hurt you, child."
He then extended his arm and you watch with slight amusement to this new situation. You hesitantly did the same too and shock his warm hand, before letting go.
"It seems you are all alone," observed Gandalf surveying the area "are you hungry?"
You were a little hungry but you shook your head.
"They is plenty of food where my companions are," Gandalf carried on watching you intently "I don't think they will mind sharing food with you, hmm."
Again you shook your head. You were used to being on your own and that was how you liked it. Though it seemed Gandalf had other ideas.
"Well that's a shame."
You watched him with suspicion and you knew he was up to something.
"The last time I checked, there was rabbit stew in the pot."
Rabbit stew. You hadn't eaten that for such a long time, but yet again you shook your head.
"With potatoes, onions and there definitely was carrots the last I checked."
You swallowed hard and saw the twinkle in his blue eyes. You knew he had gotten to you and you hated feeling like this.
"Right, why don't you put your boots on and we will make our way towards the camp."
You glared at him which only earned you a chuckle. Sighing, you sat on the ground and grabbed your beige boots, taking the socks out of them before placing them on your feet. You glanced at Gandalf who was now looking ahead of him and you wondered who he really was. Putting your boots on, you tied them up then stood up, dusting yourself off. You then walked towards a boulder and grabbed your bag.
"My, your certainly well prepared," You heard Gandalf say and you turn around as you place your swords in their rightful places "are you ready er...Forgive me but I do not even know your name."
Rolling your blue eyes, you crouch down on the dirt and with your finger, you spelt out your name to him.
"Rila. That's a nice name," grinned Gandalf when you stood back up "but it is bothersome that you will not talk. Oh well, perhaps your just shy."
Holding onto your bag, you follow Gandalf to wherever. You would have some of this rabbit stew, then go your own way once more. You were happy being by yourself and didn't need any help from any other person.
"Hmm, very strange," You heard Gandalf say and you looked at him, wondering what the matter was "it appears they are not here. Which is most odd. Unless-,"
You stay where you are as Gandalf walked towards the crumbling building that used to be a house to someone.
"I think there might be some trouble," You heard him mutter to himself "we better search for them. Though let's be careful shall we?"
You had no idea what was going on but decided to humour him and follow him. He went in the direction of the woods and when you both walked a little further up, you could faintly hear talking coming from somewhere.
While Gandalf ran towards the trees, you placed your bag near a tree before you started climbing up the tree and see what was going on. You nimbly climb from branch from branch and with your excellent eyesight, you could see what was going on.
Your eyes widen when you saw dwarves in sacks and right next to three trolls was a spit with even more dwarves on there. Climbing down, you knew that something had to be done about this. You spotted Gandalf behind a boulder and went up to him.
"I need a distraction," He looked at you "think you can handle three trolls while I start confusing them?"
You arch your eyebrows at him, wondering what he had meant. You raised your arms and pulled out your swords and was about to walk into the danger zone when Gandalf's hand went on your shoulder.
"Be careful Rila. Trolls may be stupid, but they make up for it with their strength."
You just nod your head taking on board to what he had just said. Taking a deep breath, you stepped in, ready to help Gandalf's friends.
"Oi, there is another one, there must be a nest of them somewhere round here." sneered one of trolls.
You look at the three trolls trying to swarm around you. One tried to grab you but you easily outmanoeuvred him and plunged your sword in his leg. The troll then held up his foot. hoping around like an idiot. You glanced at the dwarves held in sacks and saw a young looking child, which you instantly recognised that he was a hobbit. You were wondering what was taking Gandalf so long in helping out.
"Watch out!" someone shouted.
You instantly spun around and saw another troll trying to grab you. You dodge out of his way, then attack him using your sword, deflecting a knife that was in his right hand. The other troll looked at you angrily.
"We will get you, then pull you limb from limb!" He sneered.
You just smirk at his empty words. You noticed the third troll trying to go behind you, but you knew what he was thinking and dodged his movement by quickly stepping out of the way. This caused the troll behind you to collide with the one in front of you. They really were something, that was for sure. The trolls then started bickering amongst themselves and you took this chance by running towards the held captives.
Taking no notice of the many curious gazes you were receiving, you start undoing the knot that held them in place. From time to time, you glanced up at the three trolls who were still arguing amongst themselves. When one of the dwarves were free, you quickly went to the next one.
"You take that back." You heard one of the trolls as you untied another knot.
"Thank you lass." the voice said.
You glanced up and saw a blonde haired dwarf smiling back at you.
"There's something funny going on here." said one troll, causing you to glance at the three trolls.
"Yeah, we don't normally fight until after dinner." said another, causing you to roll your eyes.
"The dawn will take you all!" came a voice you have heard before.
You watch in fascination as Gandalf stood standing atop of a boulder and used his staff to split the very same boulder in half like it was an easy thing to do. The three idiotic trolls howl out in pain and then turn into stone. Running to the next dwarf, you quickly untie the knot of the sack. You keep doing this until everyone was free. You take no notice of all the glances you kept receiving. You were more concerned in moving on. You got up and dust the dirt of your clothes, before placing your swords back in there rightful place. You noticed Gandalf walk up to the spit and help those that were tied to it.
"You saved our lives." said a dark haired beardless dwarf, grinning at you.
You just grace him with a smile, not believing you had really saved them. You had a feeling Gandalf played a bigger part than what you did.
"You came from nowhere." enquired a dark curly haired hobbit.
You had travelled a lot and knew there were many wonderful towns and villages around. You had even spotted a few hobbits on your travels, though you had kept to yourself then as well.
"Where did you come from?" He asked you with a massive grin on his face.
"She came with me." came a voice behind you.
You turn around and saw Gandalf smiling at you. Besides him, was a noble looking dwarf watching you with mild interest.
"Thank you for your help Rila. It was much appreciated."
You nod your head catching the dwarf besides Gandalf once more. He had long black hair with wisps of grey in it. Two braids in besides his ears, trimmed beard and ice blue eyes that were currently watching you back.
"You know each other?" queried the noble dwarf.
"We bumped into each other when I needed to clear my thoughts," replied Gandalf, giving the noble dwarf a stern look "though she appears to be very shy. She has yet to speak."
You glare at Gandalf when he said that causing a few chuckles around you. You saw the way he caught the attention of the dwarf next to him and was a little surprised when the dwarf nodded his head. You had no idea what was going on, but you didn't want to know. It was time to move on.
You turn around and began walking away but a hand went on your shoulder stopping you. You turn a little and saw Gandalf look down at you with worry etched on his face. You frown, not liking this new situation.
"I think it would be wise," began Gandalf "if you join us for a little while Rila. I did promise you some food, did I not?"
You really wanted to leave. You did not like being around a lot of people.
"Right, that's decided then. You shall travel with us," carried on Gandalf who was now glancing at the trolls "safety in numbers."
You were completely miffed with these new turn of events. You haven't travelled with anyone for a very long time, so why start now? You knew you couldn't make a scene so instead, you walked to where you climbed the tree and you had a feeling you were being followed.
Turning your head slightly, you saw most of the dwarves watching you with interest. You return your attention back to your bag, picking it up, making sure everything was held in place. When you turned around once more, you were a little surprised to see everyone watch you. The blonde haired dwarf came toward you with a warm smile.
"I'm Fili at your service."
He then held out his hand and you shake his hand gracing him with a smile, before dropping your arm back to your side.
"I'm Bofur at your service."
You looked in his direction noticing he was the only one (other than Gandalf that is) to wear a hat. You acknowledge him with a smile and a nod.
"Balin at your service lass." smiled a white haired dwarf.
Slowly you were introduced to nearly everyone. One of them who told you his name was Kili, even winked at you causing you to blush a little. That was how you met the company of Thorin and his kin. You had no idea at that time that your life would be changed forever.
You heard Thorin say there could be a troll cave nearby and you sigh, knowing you would be venturing in there. You started walking when you saw everyone move forward. Gandalf and Thorin were in the lead and you were actually relieved that you were in the back as it meant you could be left in peace, or so you thought.
"Why won't you talk?" asked Kili, causing you to roll your eyes at him "Were you born like that?"
Despite yourself, you smirk at his question, earning a smile from him. You shook your head.
"So you wasn't born mute?" Again you shook your head "How do you communicate then?"
"Kee, leave her alone."
You turn your head to the new voice and saw Fili watching you intently.
"I'm apologise for my brother's lack of tact. You see when he was a baby, he was dropped on his head," Your blue eyes went wide with this information "and ever since that tragic day, Kili has to ask stupid random questions."
"Hey! I wasn't dropped on my head." snapped Kili.
"You were a baby, you would not have remembered that!" Fili stated "That bump on your head is the proof that you were dropped."
You watch them both with a small smile on your face. You could tell these two were the pranksters in this group.
"There is no bump on my head."
"If you say so Kee, if you say so."
You watch in amusement as Kili placed his hand on the back of his head feeling for any bumps.
"I was right," grinned Kili "no bumps."
"Who said if it was at the back of your head?" smirked Fili as Kili walked of in a huff.
You thought you would be left alone once more but Fili walked in step with you, though never said a word to you. This was how it would be for a while.
While some of the company were in the extremely stinky cave, you stayed outside sharping your sword. You had no idea on how long they would be so you just tried to relax for a while. Of course when you did relax, both Fili and Kili came out of the cave holding onto weapons that looked out of place.
'How did those trolls get all these weapons?' You thought to yourself 'Those weapons look important.'
You returned your attention to your sword at hand only you heard several footsteps approach you, causing you to glance up once more. Both Fili and Kili had smiles on their faces now and you wondered what set that off.
"There are a lot of swords if you need a new one Rila." grinned Kili.
You shook your head. You were comfortable with what you had. The two swords you had were a gift from your father before the trouble started. You would never replace them as they both had meaning to you.
"There are even bow and arrows, axes, spears and chain mail. You should have a look in there," again you shook your head, hearing Kili sigh "can't blame me for trying."
By now most of the company were out of the cave, which meant they were about to leave again. Standing up, you placed your trusted sword in its rightful place and was about to pick up your bag, when you heard a strange noise.
You notice that the others hadn't heard this weird sound but you could tell there was something coming really fast. You quickly picked up your bag and went in search for Gandalf who was speaking to Bilbo.
The sound was getting nearer but you didn't want to intrude on the private conversation between Gandalf and Bilbo, especially as he was now looking at a little sword in his hand. The noise was gaining speed and you were about to walk up to Gandalf when someone shouted,
"Something is coming."
You were actually relieved at someone else in the group had finally heard that. Gandalf ran past you and you decided to follow his lead and run towards the trees. You noticed everyone get their weapons out but you didn't. You had a strange feeling that whatever was causing all that noise, was not a foe.
"Thieves! Fire! Murder!" You heard someone shout.
You were about to enter the trees when you spotted a sleigh being pulled by massive rabbits. The man in the sleigh stopped and looked around him, before he glanced at Gandalf with a small smile.
"Radagast! Radagast the Brown. Ah. What on earth are you doing here?" asked Gandalf stepping forward.
It turned out Radagast was another wizard though he seemed a little odd. He even had white bird poop on his face which you thought was odd. At one point, Gandalf had to place his fingers in Radagast's mouth and retrieve a living insect out of there. You found that disgusting and turned your attention elsewhere.
You then heard footsteps and saw the retreating foams of Gandalf and his friend Radagast. This day was becoming a strange one for you, you realised. You sighed and momentarily closed your eyes while everyone waited for Gandalf.
You had a strange feeling that you were being watched. You opened your eyes, acting like nothing was wrong and noticed the leader Thorin, pace around. You wondered what was his problem and you turn your head to your left and caught Fili watching you with a smile on his face.
You gave him a quizzical look but he just continued smiling back at you. You just smiled back before looking elsewhere. Something was wrong, the air suddenly changed around you. You listen for any little sound, but so far, nothing.
Then why did the air smell funny? You could see Thorin pacing about, Bilbo was looking at Gandalf from time to time. While the other dwarves were talking amongst themselves. Couldn't they sense danger? Just as you were beginning to relax, you heard a noise coming from behind a massive boulder. Taking a little knife that you always kept in your hair, you instantly spun around just in time, when the growl was nearer.
You threw your knife at the Warg that was now standing on the boulder, before you instinctively took out your sword and ran toward the fallen foe. You knew the Warg was still alive, so you quickly plunged your sword in its neck, knowing that will kill it.
When you were certain that the Warg was dead, you quickly bent down and retrieved your little knife, wiping the blood away on the grass in front of you. By now everyone was on full alert, especially when another Warg came and again you were about to kill the next Warg, but both Thorin and Dwalin beat you too it.
"Who did you tell about your quest, beyond your kin?" asked Gandalf, walking towards Thorin.
"No one." came Thorin's reply.
'What quest?' You thought to yourself, watching Gandalf glare at Thorin.
"Who did you tell?" Gandalf demanded to know.
"No one, I swear. What in Durin's name is going on?" asked Thorin, clearly troubled as to what has recently happened.
"You are being hunted." explained Gandalf with a somber look on his face.
You raised your eyebrows as everyone except you and Bilbo start talking about moving on and that they haven't got their ponies anymore. Another growl, caused you to hold on to your sword for any more advancing Wargs that were sure to appear any second now.
It was time to leave. You followed Gandalf and quickly ran away from the sounds that were behind you. You knew that the others were close behind. Turning your head slightly, you saw a Warg that had an Orc sitting on its back that was about to leap on an unsuspecting Ori.
Without any warning, you threw your sword towards the Warg hearing its cry as the sword tore into his chest. Running back towards your sword, you pull your weapon out of the Warg and plunged your sword in the Orcs back, before it had a chance to fight back. You glanced at Ori who looked a little scared.
"T-thank you." He whispered.
You grace him with a smile and a nod before gesturing him to follow you. He didn't have to be told twice as you all banded together. There were many Wargs now and you glanced around, wondering where Gandalf had disappeared too.
"Where is Gandalf?" You heard Kili say and truth of the matter was, you had wondered that yourself.
"He has abandoned us!" spat out Dwalin.
You had a feeling, that was not the case at all. True you had not known him that long, but Gandalf didn't seem the sort to leave without helping out. No, he was still around, you were sure of it.
"Hold your ground!" shouted Thorin, tightly holding onto his sword while looking around.
The Wargs and Orcs were slowly heading towards you all and you knew there was no way you could fight them all. You knew you were good with using your sword, but you knew it would be foolish in going in after these foes.
"This way, you fools!"
You turned around in the nick of time, seeing Gandalf between a crack in the mountain side. It was here that you realised where you were and it seemed Gandalf knew as well.
You slowly shook your head, not liking this new turn of events. It had been a very long time since you had ventured in Imladris. Though you were always welcome here, you still had trust issues. You knew Lord Elrond would be relieved to see you, but the truth of the matter was, you were a little scared to head back to the solitude of Rivendell.
You begrudgingly follow everyone as you quickly plunged your sword to a Warg that was running towards you. You then sigh as you saw the crack in the mountain, knowing Gandalf wanted everyone in.
You knew you had no choice, so you slipped in after Balin and slide down to the bottom of the mountain. While everyone was getting there bearings, you placed your sword back in its sleath, knowing that no danger would come to you or your new travelling companions. You glanced up at the crack when you heard a sound and moved out of the way when a dead Orc fell down from the crack above. You watch Thorin bend down and pick up an arrow, his blue eyes narrowed and you had no idea what his problem was.
"Elves." He snapped, dropping the arrow back on the ground.
You just watched him, trying to understand why this arrow should be a problem for him.
"I can not see where the pathway leads. Do we follow it or no?" You heard someone say behind you.
"Follow it, of course!" remarked Bofur, already walking on ahead.
"I think that would be wise." informed Gandalf.
While the company start walking ahead, you hesitated. You knew Lord Elrond would want answers as to why you suddenly left all those years ago.
You glance at the person who called you, noticing Fili walk towards you.
"Are you alright? Your not hurt are you?"
You grace him a smile and shook your head.
"Then why are you stalling?" He asked you gently "Come on."
With great reluctance, you began walking. You knew there was going to be questions about your whereabouts. You shouldn't be here. You glared at Gandalf. It was his fault you were here. If only you had just walked away. You took no notice of the concerned look Fili was giving you. You were not looking forward to the scene that was about to happen.
"Rila, I wish you would speak, so I could help what's bothering you." You heard Fili say.
You glance at Fili, finally noticing his worried expression. You grace him with a smile, though it never quite reached your eyes. before returning your attention to what was in front of you.
You all walked through a narrow passageway and you took no notice of the mumblings of the others. As you walk, you noticed that many of the company were stopping now and you swallowed hard, knowing your past was about to reveal itself to everyone now.
You deliberately stayed at the back when you spotted Lindir walking down the stairs. Without thinking, you placed your hood over your head, trying to shield your face. You knew it was childish but you were not ready to face Lindir. At least not yet.
Thankfully the company were just as annoyed by these turn of events, though you did catch Gandalf look back at you were a raised eyebrow. He then went towards Lindir and they welcomed each other.
Sudden sound from ahead of you caused you to look and you saw advancing elves heading towards you all. You knew Lord Elrond was there and you felt a little sick, knowing he will spot you.
The company around you, shielded you however by pulling you among them, shielding you from the elves. You glance at the leader, Thorin and saw the way he was watching Lord Elrond as he got of his horse. He was glaring at him and again, you wondered why this should be a problem.
You didn't want this company to turn on you, like so many had before. It was not your fault, you were different from most. Though you were angry that you were back in Imladris, even though you knew deep down Lord Elrond would be relieved to see you once again, you were scared at what the outcome would be. Which was partly why you had kept quiet about everything about you.
Staying silent was your way of dealing with things. Now as you quietly watch Lord Elrond speak of food, you realise that you had to face facts, that you were back here for a reason. What that reason was however, you had no idea.
You deliberately stall at the back, as the company relaxed a little when food was mentioned and began walking. Both Kili and Fili were by your side and you could feel Fili's eyes on you as you kept glancing at Lord Elrond, who was now speaking to Lindir about something.
"You know that elf don't you Rila?" asked Fili after a while.
You look at Fili, a little surprised he had said anything. Fili sighed as you return your attention to Lindir and Lord Elrond. Your eyes widened when Lindir looked your way and you quickly averted your gaze as you follow the company.
You hoped he had not recognised you as you walked past him, though you were thankful for Kili an Fili, they both shielded you from Lindir and Lord Elrond.
"I have no idea what is going on with you and that elf," You heard Fili say "but we shall protect you. Right Kee?"
"Aye," replied Kili "you saved us from those trolls, plus those Wargs. Now it is our turn to help you out."
You were clearly touched by these two brothers. You haven't known each other long but you had a feeling, they were going to be good friends. Even though you were used to being on your own, maybe friendship is what you needed after all. Little did you know however, that one of the brothers was smitten with you.
Chapter 2: Conceal, Don't Feel
You were feeling very uneasy being back here, though you were thankful for the two brothers on either side of you. They lead you to a vacant chair and Fili, pulled the chair out for you to sit on. You glance at him with a smile before sitting down.
While everyone was looking around the table, which had many different salads and fruits on there, you were waiting for Lord Elrond to make his appearance. You reluctantly lowered your hood, praying no elves would look at you as you cautiously watched the dwarves look at the spread of food across the table.
You could see that they were not happy with this food, but food was food and if you were hungry, you would eat anything that was given to you. You were past being hungry now, in truth, you were waiting for the questions to start.
Footsteps could be heard, though you refused to look. No, you deliberately kept your blue eyes on the empty plate that was in front of you. It was only when you heard a gasp opposite you, you glanced up. Standing behind Bofur was Lord Elrond's two son's, Elladan and Elrohir. Both of them were watching you intently.
"Rila." Elrohir said, who now had a small smile on his face.
You swallowed hard as both brothers walked around the table, heading straight for you. Before you had time to think things through, Elladan, pulled you up and embraced you, holding you tightly.
"Where have you been?" He whispered in your ear.
You just revel in his embrace. You had indeed missed the two brothers. Just as Elladan pulled away from you, Elrohir took his place and held you just as tightly as his brother did.
"Our little sister has come home." exclaimed Elrohir.
"Sister?" You heard the leader, Thorin say "You mean to inform me, that we have been travelling with an elf?"
You caught the look of Thorin's eyes, they were narrowed now and he looked like he was about to attack at any moment. Why didn't he like elves? You wondered. You knew you should have declined Gandalf's offer now, trouble always seemed to find you.
Elrohir pulled away from you but kept his arm around your back, as he glanced at Thorin with narrowed eyes. You look from Elladan to Elrohir, wondering what was going through their minds.
"You should lower your voice Master dwarf and show some respect!"
Elrohir turned and faced you, his features softened when he saw the worry in your eyes.
"Come sister, let us take you away from the hostility from around here."
He extended his hand out for you to take which you slowly did. As you walked between the two brothers, you turned your head, looking back at the dwarves. Some of them were now glaring at Thorin, though the blonde dwarf, Fili was watching you as you carried on walking.
"She should never have come with us," spat Thorin "all elves only think for themselves!"
"How dare you speak to Rila like that!" You heard Elladan say, causing you to stop walking "You know nothing."
"Just what is going on here?"
You closed your eyes knowing whose voice that belonged to.
"Ada, these guests of yours, have been rather rude to our sister here!" remarked Elladan, glancing back at you "Are you alright Rila?"
You opened your eyes and looked at Elladan. He had a look of worry etched on his face and you hated seeing that.
You slowly turned around knowing it would be very rude not to acknowledge Lord Elrond. You hesitated before you looked up. You were expecting to see him looking at you with a stern face but in reality, you could tell he was relieved to see you.
"Rila," He said again, before doing something you wasn't expecting, he pulled you to him and embraced you "where have you been?"
Still you refused to speak as you held him. It had been a long time since you had seen one another. You just relax in his warm embrace, placing your own arms around his waist.
"Where did you find her?" Lord Elrond asked Gandalf who was standing besides him.
"It's a long story," admitted Gandalf, watching you carefully "though she has never uttered a word, which is most puzzling."
"What did you do to her?" demanded Elrohir.
"We have not done anything to her!" hissed Dwalin as you finally let go of Lord Elrond, though he refuses to let go of you "She helped us out to which I am thankful for, unlike someone around here."
You turned your head a little, looking right at Dwalin. You did not know him that well, but you could tell he could also hold his own. He was currently glaring at Thorin who acted like he wasn't bothered with these turn of events.
You felt Lord Elrond's arm tighten around you as he gently chuckles. You glance up at him, wondering what was so funny and was greeted with a warm smile from him.
"What did you do this time, little star?" He whispered.
You just gave him a small smile at the endearment he had given you. He has always called you that, after all, you met him when the stars were at their brightest. That was a night to remember, though most of that night was to painful to dwell on it.
"Why don't you go to your old room? I'm sure you are tired." He said as he let go of you.
You slowly nod your head. Perhaps a rest would revive you a little. You would never admit it, but you did feel safe in Imladris. You knew Lord Elrond would want answers to your sudden disappearance but for now, you were glad of the respite.
Just as you were about to walk away from the company, you turned and faced them, looking directly at the leader, Thorin Oakenshield. You were a little startled to see him watch you back, though his eyes were narrowed.
"Just for the record Master dwarf," You finally say to him, breaking your vow of silence "I am not an elf, though I have no idea what I am any more."
Thorin's eyes widened, but he never said a word as he continued to watch you.
"Ah, so you do speak?"
Your eyes went on a smiling Gandalf. You could feel your cheeks burn, though you graced him with a small smile.
"Of course she can speak," informed Lord Elrond "there are times when she has had very heated debates with Glorfindel. He will be pleased to see you are well, little star."
Glorfindel. He was the one that had found your unconscious form all those years ago. He never left your side as you were recovering from your wounds. Which is partly the reason why you and he have had a strong bond. That is, until you had left. He properly hated you now.
"Get some rest Rila," You heard Lord Elrond say "you look extremely tired."
"We will take her to her quarters." said Elladan leading you away from everyone.
Sighing, you followed the two brothers unaware that Fili was watching your retreating form with a bemused look in his eyes.
As everyone was watching Rila and the brothers leave the balcony, Gandalf walked towards the empty seat that was opposite Thorin's and sat down. He could hear distant chatter of their fair companion Rila and despite himself, a small smile came from nowhere, as he was grateful that he had found her.
It was Lord Elrond himself that had asked Gandalf to keep an eye out for a tall, slender lady with dark red hair with blue eyes. He never explained why Gandalf should seek her out, though Gandalf could tell that she meant a great deal to him.
It has taken Gandalf six months searching for her and he was begining to think something had happened to her. When he saw a lady sitting quietly by the lake, minding her own business, he knew in his heart that this was who Lord Elrond was searching for.
Remembering their first encounter, Gandalf could see that Rila had trust issues. Which is understandable in this day and age, but the way she never uttered a word had baffled him. Just why wouldn't she say anything?
Gandalf was relieved however, when she did say something to Thorin. He can understand why Thorin is hostile towards elves, but everyone in Imladris are very helpful. Seeing him act nasty towards Rila is not what he should have done.
'I will be having words with him later.' Gandalf thought to himself.
While he helped himself to the food that was spread out on the table, Gandalf listened quietly as Lord Elrond looks at Thorin's sword. Gandalf knew he would want answers as to how they received these weapons in the first place. He just hoped Thorin would keep his temper under control.
Though your eyes were still closed, you knew there was someone else in the room. You slowly opened one eye and noticed the room was just the same to what it was when you were last here.
You closed your eye once more, feeling safer than you had in a long time. Gentle fingers touched your hair out of your face causing you to re-open your eyes and look at your friend, Glorfindel.
"Rila," He whispered, stroking your hair "do you know how worried I've been?"
When you didn't answer him, Glorfindel continued,
"When you just disappeared like that, I thought-,"
"I'm sorry," You interrupted, feeling tears come out of your eyes "I thought it was best for everyone that I just leave."
"Without telling me?"
You winched at his tone and shifted a little on the bed, trying not to look at him. You felt his hand touch your shoulder, moving you, so that you would have to look at him.
"Rila, you should never have left," He resumed stroking your hair, comforting you "you mean a lot to me and I am just thankful Mithrandir brought you back."
You both watch one another before you finally said,
"I can take care of myself. Have done nearly all my life."
"I'm well aware of that, little star," smiled Glorfindel "though it would not have hurt to leave correspondence in your wake to leave these premises would it?....Now tell me Rila, why did you really leave?"
You knew it would be pointless in not explaining your actions. He has always had a way of knowing what was really on your mind. Sighing, you sat up in bed looking down at your hands, wondering where to start.
"Why don't we go for a walk," suggested Glorfindel "a change of scenery will do you good."
You knew this was his way of reassuring you that nothing would happen to you while you were here though you sighed, knowing that he would still want answers as to why you had left Imladris.
"Alright," You replied, noticing the dress at the end of the bed "though I am not wearing that!"
"Oh yes you are," He smiled "your travelling clothes are at this second being washed. You have nothing else to wear."
Glorfindel got up from the bed and walked towards the door.
"I shall wait outside for you, little star."
With that, he opened the door and left, leaving you to change into...a dress! Sighing, you gingerly got out of the bed and grabbed hold of the pale yellow dress that was waiting for you.
You had never been one to wear dresses, you were used to wearing trousers. They were much more comfortable, though you knew you had no choice in wearing this dress. With another sigh, you placed the dress over your head and put it on, noticing the feel of the satin against your skin.
The dress was beautifully made as you tied the yellow ribbon behind you, you noticed little flowers around the edge of the sleeves, middle and bottom. You realised they were little forget me not flowers and you found yourself smiling.
When you had first arrived here, there were many flowers around your room as you were recovering. You knew Lord Elrond, his sons and even Glorfindel had always placed flowers in your room, while you were recovering.
However your eyes had always strayed to the blue flowers that were near you. You had no idea on who sent you these beautiful flowers but to this day, these flowers had calmed you down when you spot one.
Whoever made this dress had really taken the time in making this. Though the dress was yellow, the little flowers were blue in colour with a green stem for its body. For the first time, your mind began to clear and you felt calm once again.
Looking at the floor, you saw your boots at the end of the bed. Even though you were now wearing a dress, you would still wear your boots. You didn't care on what others would think. You would wear your boots as they were comfortable.
When you laced up your boots, you sighed before opening the door. You saw Glorfindel leaning over the rail appearing to be in deep thought. You quietly walked up to him, placing your hands on the rail.
"I could never get bored here." You finally say, looking ahead of you.
Glorfindel turned his head and watched you.
"You look beautiful in that dress."
"No, I much prefer my usual clothes." You admitted to him, scrunching your nose.
Glorfindel chuckled, but never said a word. He held out his arm which you took, then walked in comfortable silence. Yes you had indeed missed being in Imladris, though you knew why you had, had to leave in the first place. It would only be a matter of time before the dreams came back.
Before arriving in Middle-earth, you only had one dream that was always replaying in your dream patterns, but that changed when you finally confronted it. You should not have been here in Middle-earth, in truth, you should have died.
Yet here you were, surrounded by Glorfindel, Lord Elrond and many other elves, as you remember lying on your side as you came too. You were still baffled being here, though since being here, you were much quieter then where you originally came from.
"Why did you really leave, Rila?" asked Glorfindel after a while.
"It was time to leave." came your reply.
"Nonsense! Imladris is your home now, you did not have to leave at all," He remarked, as you both started climbing up some steps "when I realised you had gone, I was most concerned for your well being."
"I'm sorry," You whispered, turning your head and looking at your friend "I thought it was for the best."
"The best?" questioned Glorfindel, turning to face you "No, it was not for the best. You left without saying anything. I thought something had happened to you."
"I had to leave."
You tried to carry on walking, by taking your hand away from Glorfindel's arm, but he seemed to expect that. He quickly took hold of your hand and held it tight, stopping you from leaving.
"Why?" He repeated, though a little softer than before.
You sighed, knowing he would not drop this discussion. Facing Glorfindel once more, you swallowed hard, before whispering.
"The dreams have come back."
This caused Glorfindel to wrap his arm around you to which you were thankful for. Those dreams were horrible.
"I thought they went."
"They did. These dreams are different to the ones I used to have," You look at your friend, seeing the worry in his blue eyes "these dreams are showing me a dragon."
You nodded, shivering at what else you had seen. You could still see a land full of darkness with just one glowing light. In your dream you remembered glancing up and seeing a tower with a strange fiery top.
The more you had looked at it, the more you realised that this orange flame tower, really reminded you of an eye and that scared you, more so than the dragon. Glorfindel, wrapped his other arm around you, as if to shield you from harm.
"What if that dragon came when you and everyone else found me all those years ago?" You whispered, feeling your limbs tense at the thought of that.
"What do you mean?"
"I killed that dragon," You carried on more to yourself, nodding your head slowly "even though it wasn't really a dragon."
"Shhh, you are safe Rila. Your past from your old life is over now. I do believe the dragon you are referring to, is Smaug."
You raise your eyebrows at Glorfindel, though kept quiet.
"That would explain why there are many dwarves here. They are going to tackle that dragon it would seem."
"Smaug?" Glorfindel nodded his head "So there was already a dragon here, long before I arrived here then?"
"That is correct. A long time ago Smaug destroyed the city of Dale before heading towards Erebor, stealing the mountain and home of every dwarf living there."
You just listened as Glorfindel gently pulled you down on the steps to sit on as he continued.
"Smaug now resides in that very mountain, though there hasn't been any sightings of him for a long while now."
"Even though my dreams say otherwise," You began, now looking at your hands "could it be possible the dragon is already dead?"
"What does your heart tell you?"
You faced Glorfindel who was watching you carefully. You sighed, knowing the answer already.
"That he is still alive." You admitted.
"When you dream of this dragon, what is he doing?"
You turned away from Glorfindel and instinctively closed your eyes, trying to remember. You remember seeing many gems and gold all over the place. The gold itself was high, so high in fact, it was touching the celling. You could also see buried treasure chests being engulfed by the gold coins.
As you remembered the dream, your eyes went on a moving spot. You had wondered at the time on what it was. As you watched the movement, you had realised that it was breathing.
In your dream state, you had cautiously stepped towards it and saw at once a massive dragon head. It appeared to be sleeping to which you were glad about. It was here that you had wondered if you had accidently brought this dragon back with you.
This was the real reason why you had left. If you had indeed brought this...this dragon or whatever it was back with you, you knew there would be a lot of angry faces looking back at you.
You slowly opened your eyes, taking no notice of Glorfindel's concerned face. Yes, the dragon was still alive and you wasn't certain if that was a good thing or not. Finally, you turned and faced your friend, whispering,
"The dragon is still alive. Though he appears to be fast asleep."
"Hmm, he won't be for long if those dwarves have anything to do it."
"It is there home, is it not?" You asked him, watching him.
"That is true, though how they can think on defeating Smaug, is a mystery."
"There is always a way to kill a dragon Glorfindel. Believe me, I should know." You replied, remembering the way you plunged your sword in that other dragon's neck.
You felt yourself draft off again, as you recount the time when you finally had the upper hand with that dragon. You had managed to climb a top of that massive beast and finally ended the dragon's life and of course yourself as well.
You found yourself shivering at that memory and was brought back to the present when you felt Glorfindel's arms tighten around you and he started rocking you back and forth reassuring you with elfish words.
"I'm just relieved that you are here Rila." He said after a while, now stroking your hair.
"As am I," You whispered, meaning that too "as am I."
A knock at the door woke you up. You groggily sat up, wondering if you had dreamt that knock, when it happened again. Sighing, you got out of bed and made your way towards the door. As soon as the door was open, Gandalf walked inside.
"Don't mind me." You muttered under your breath, as you shut the door once more.
"Rila, I need your help."
You just looked at him with raised eyebrows.
"Earlier I sent Thorin and his men away to carry out their quest but I feel something is heading their way."
While you were listening, you walked over towards your bed and sat down. Gandalf then explained Thorin's plight. That he wanted his home Erebor back and to do that, they would have to deal with a dragon.
You guessed that part was correct, remembering your discussion with Glorfindel earlier. Though you were miffed as to why Gandalf was informing you about this quest to you. It made no sense.
"Lord Elrond told me that you are not originally from here."
You watched Gandalf and frowned. You hated being talked about behind your back. Lord Elrond had no right in discussing your personal business to others.
"Did he indeed?"
Yes your reply did sound snappy, but you were not amused by any of this.
"Yes, he did. He informed me that you came from nowhere."
"Nowhere?" I hissed, noticing Gandalf flinch a little "I did come from somewhere wizard. That somewhere was my real home!"
"I am sorry, I did not mean to offend you my lady," Gandalf stepped closer to you "it's just Lord Elrond said you had dealt with a dragon before."
"Yes, that is true and look where that got me!"
You got up and began pacing around your room, trying to shake of your lost friends that you knew you would never see again.
"Killing that dragon should have killed me too."
"I don't think I follow you child."
"What is going on here?" came a voice behind you, though your eyes stayed on Gandalf's face.
"As I used my sword on that dragon, a bright light went around me and that beast. I knew that was where I was supposed to die."
An arm went around you but you carried on. Your eyes held on to the wizard in front of you.
"Imagine my surprise when I fell into nothing, before vague voices brought me out of my crazy thoughts."
"Rila, you do not have to explain yourself," You turned your head, seeing Elladan there "that part of you is over now."
"Is it over? Those dreams are back. I knew I should have hidden myself better."
"You don't mean that," You heard Elladan say, stroking your back "you are among friends that care about you."
You didn't say anything. You just returned your attention to Gandalf who was clearly shocked with your outburst.
"Where did you originally come from?" the wizard finally asked you.
You sighed, knowing he would not drop this.
"I come from Ferelden," You replied, now looking at the floor "though I am still baffled on why I am here instead of being with Andraste and my parents."
"Andraste, who is that?"
"She was the spiritual wife to the Maker," You whispered "I looked up to her. I still do."
You refused to say anymore, maybe sometime you would say more on the subject of what you believed in.
"I believe I owe you an apology," You looked at Gandalf as he continued "I can tell you have seen and done many things good and bad and I should not have bothered you."
"Why did you?" You asked him as he made his way towards the bedroom door.
"I thought you could help defeat the dragon in the mountain. I wouldn't like to upset you further."
"You mean Smaug?" You asked him, noticing him turn and face you once more.
"Though the dragon I faced was not really a dragon but an archdemon, I will help you. If that is why you came to me."
"An archdemon?" You heard Gandalf say more to himself, though you did hear him "Very interesting."
"Rila, you can not be serious!" shouted Elladan, causing you to sigh.
You turned slightly as Elladan held on tighter to your middle. As if he thought you were about to walk away from him.
"This is connected to the dream I keep having."
"Dream?" asked Elladan, watching you intently.
Again you sighed.
"I will explain everything while I look for my traveling clothes and weapons," You reasoned with him, not noticing the small smile on Gandalf's face "which could take a while."
"You do not have to come with an old wizard like me child," smiled Gandalf "though I do welcome it."
"What about the leader?" You asked him, moving Elladan's arm around your waist "Thorin. He thinks I am an elf, for some strange reason."
"Do not worry about him, He is rather out spoken but in time, I'm sure he will welcome you into the company. Much like the rest of them."
You didn't say anything as you went on your hands and knees and looked under the bed for any signs of your weapons. They were not there. You frowned, just where were they?
"I'll meet you by the wooden bridge," carried on Gandalf "try not to take to long."
With that, the wizard left, leaving you with a very angry looking Elladan. When you glanced up at him, he had his arms crossed around his chest watching your every movement.
"You are not going."
"Elladan! I need to-,"
"You are not going without my brother and myself." He interrupted.
You blinked several times as you processed what he had just said.
"We lost you once Rila. That mistake will not happen again."
Getting up from the floor, you walked towards your friend. You were clearly touched by his gesture though you did feel guilty about it. If he came with you, then Lord Elrond would not be a happy with these turn of events.
"Elladan, are you completely sure?" You finally asked him "Your father will not like this, will he?"
"How do you know my father hasn't already known about this situation?" smirked Elladan "Why do you think I am here in the first place?"
You raised an eyebrow at him.
"You and your father knew I would leave again?"
Before Elladan could answer, a knock on the door made you jump. You were about to open it but Elrohir walked in carrying your weapons and bag.
"Did you think, we would leave without you?" Elrohir grinned "your clothes are in your bag. We will wait outside while you change."
Taking hold of your bag and weapons, you watched the two brothers leave you to change. You were not sure on how this would pan out. Since being here, you had been by yourself. It was how you liked it.
Now though, you had more or less agreed to go with Gandalf with your two trusted friends to Maker knows where. This dragon was another matter as well. Would confronting this beast have the same tactics like that archdemon? Or would this turn out to be something completely different.
Taking a deep breath, you opened up your bag and rummaged through it. Grabbing hold of your trousers and shirt, you quickly took of this offending nightshirt and put on your familiar looking clothes. You then glanced back at your bag as you went in there and you felt something in there.
As your fingers trailed against what you had found, you slowly raised your hand out of the bag and looked at what was in your palm. It was one gold earring and you found yourself sighing, knowing what this gesture had meant.
Without giving it much thought, you put this earring in your ear, doing it up. Even though you knew your past was just that, the past. You would never forget your old life and him included.
Sighing again, you then bent down and put on your boots, tying them up. You grabbed hold of your weapons and placed them in their original places, before straightening yourself up and opening the door in front of you.
"You really are leaving again?" came a voice in the dark.
As you quietly shut the door and faced the voice that had spoken to you, seeing the worry on your friend once more.
"Glorfindel. it seems I am needed elsewhere."
"On a suicide mission!" snapped Glorfindel, causing the two brothers to step back a little, while you yourself, just watched him.
"You know I can't-," You began, but Glorfindel carried on.
"What am I going to do with you?" He turned and looked at Elladan and Elrohir "You will look after her, won't you?"
"You know we will," replied Elrohir "she is like a sister to us. We will never leave her side."
"That she is." agreed Elladan, watching you intently.
"Um, unless I want to pee or have a wash," You chimed in, trying to make a joke of this strange mood that you currently were in "I do draw the line there, you know."
Even though Elladan and Elrohir snorted at your remark, you could see that Glorfindel was not happy with these turn of events.
"It is not funny Rila," said Glorfindel, grabbing hold of your hands "you are about to face a dragon once more. Are you completely certain this is wise?"
"I am not a child Glorfindel. I've been fighting for most of my life. I've dealt with far worse than a dragon." You replied, again thinking about your old life.
"I am not happy with this Rila. Though I know I can not stop you. Just be careful."
Without any warning, you hugged him causing him to lose his balance a little. Glorfindel soon recovered and placed his own arms around you holding you tight.
"Promise me you will return?" He whispered.
Looking up at him, you could again see the worry on his handsome face. You didn't like seeing this and it clearly showed when he tried gracing you with a smile. It didn't really work however but you found yourself nodding your head.
"I promise I will return," You replied "I will never run away again. You have my word on that."
"We will take good care of her Glorfindel," You heard Elrohir say "I know she means a great deal to you too."
"You have no idea." whispered Glorfindel more to himself, but you clearly heard him.
"We best make a move. Gandalf will no be amused if we stay any longer." remarked Elladan.
Pulling yourself away from your friend, you graced him with a smile before following the two brothers to where Gandalf was. You wave goodbye to Glorfindel as you started climbing down some steps. It was going to be a strange adventure, you were sure of it.
The four of you had been walking for a long while now. Even though it was now night time, Gandalf had refused to rest. Glancing at the wizard, you remembered what he had asked you earlier and decided to ask him about it.
"Gandalf, may I ask you a question?"
"You may indeed, my dear child." came his reply.
"What did you mean, when you said that something is heading towards Thorin's and his men's way?"
Gandalf turned his head and looked back at you. For a split second, you saw worry etched in his blue eyes and that caused you to suck in your breath. Just as suddenly, the worry on his face vanished, though you were not reassured about that.
"It has nothing to do with that dragon, does it?" You asked him, watching his reaction carefully.
"No, there is someone out here that wants Thorin's head." replied Gandalf after a while.
"Charming," You muttered "Who is after him?"
"Azog the Defiler."
"I've never heard of him." You admitted to the wizard.
"We have, haven't we Elladan?" You turned your attention to Elrohir "Ada informed us about this war between dwarf and Orc."
Elladan then carried on speaking, explaining what really happened in that mountain Moria. You were horrified when Elladan mentioned a decapitation of Thorin's grandfather.
You remembered your own parents as they waited for their own fate. You had no choice but to leave with Duncan that night, knowing your father was already close to death, but leaving behind your mother was heartbreaking. You still feel so guilty for leaving them behind.
"Though the way Ada was describing this, I had thought that Azog had died from his own wounds." carried on Elladan, bringing you back to the present.
"No, he still lives," replied Gandalf "though Thorin thinks he is dead, Balin is the only one other than myself, to know he is still around."
You frowned at that. Surely Thorin should be told about this.
"You don't approve?" came Gandalf's voice, watching you intently.
"Not really no," You admitted to him "though I don't know much about Thorin and his kin, he should be informed of this matter."
"He would only want to avenge his grandfather's murder." reasoned Gandalf.
"And why shouldn't he?" You retorted, noticing the shocked faces from your companions.
You took a moment by taking a deep breath, before continuing.
"Take it from someone who knows what it is like to lose loved ones. Thankfully with me, I already knew who murdered my parents and did what I had to do. There should be no secrets. Not about this anyway. Thorin should have been told from the start."
Without saying anything more, you brushed past the wizard and walked ahead of him. True you had your own secrets to contend with, but you knew in your heart that you had meant what you had said. Gandalf was in the wrong here and that actually angered you.
You feared that when Thorin realised that this Azog was indeed alive, there were going to be fireworks between Gandalf and Thorin and you did not want anything to do with that, that was for sure.
The thunder in the sky was the least of your problems when you all started climbing up the mountain. You were currently watching a strange thing happening from up above. It appeared that the mountain itself was having a fight with itself. It was only when Gandalf explained that these were stone giants throwing large chunks of rock at one another that you realised that you had not seen anything like this before.
The further you all climbed up, the louder the thunder became, plus the debris of the rocks being thrown from above, were making it quite hard to focus on where the path was.
"We will have to go inside this cave." You heard Gandalf shout out, when more thunder suddenly made hearing anything impossible.
You didn't say anything, you just followed the wizard and your two friends inside this dark cave. Further in, Gandalf stopped and smelled the air. You found this a little strange but kept your thoughts to yourself.
Gandalf then placed his left hand over his staff and closed his eyes. You had to shield your eyes when light from his staff was now shining bright. Looking ahead of you, were three entrances and you had a funny feeling that something or someone, lived down here.
"That's better," smiled Gandalf "a little light to show the way. Now, let's see...which way do we go."
"The least smelliest." You muttered, which caused Elladan to snort out a laugh.
"Normally, I would agree with you Rila," You looked back at Gandalf who was still looking ahead "but I do believe our companions are in danger now."
"Azog?" You asked him.
"That is partly true," replied Gandalf "there is something else in this cave."
"I sensed it too." agreed Elrohir "we should walk with caution."
You all followed Gandalf's lead as you walked towards the three entrances. You had this feeling in your gut that the smelliest entrance was the way forward. You rolled your eyes when this proved correct.
The more you all ventured inside, the more you knew that trouble was about to come and face you all once again. You had no idea what was down here but judging by the smell, you knew it wasn't going to be pleasant.
No words were spoken as you followed Gandalf, who was now climbing up a steep looking path. Just as you were about to say something, a loud booming voice made you all stop in your tracks.
"Bones will be shattered, necks will be rung! You'll be beaten and battered, from racks you'll be hung. You will lie down here and never be found, down in the deep of Goblin Town."
"What in the Maker's name was that?" You asked Gandalf, who you noticed looked troubled now.
"A nuisance." was the wizard's reply.
There was now a lot of ruckus and as you finally reached Gandalf, you could now see what was happening. Below you, were strange looking creatures that you had never encountered before.
"Those are goblins." remarked Elladan, grabbing hold of his weapons.
Your eyes roam around your surroundings and it was here that you spotted the dwarves from before. You had no idea on how they had gotten here, but you did know that you had to help them.
You raised your arm up and placed your fingers around your trusted sword. With your other hand, you pulled out a dagger that had been concealed inside your boot. Just as you were about to head towards Thorin and his men, Gandalf stopped you.
"Wait," You gave Gandalf a dirty look "for a few moments."
"I know that sword! It is the Goblin-Cleaver, the Biter, the blade that sliced a thousand necks." You heard someone sneer, as you continued to watch Gandalf.
Your eyes followed his arms. One was holding on to his staff while the other hand was holding onto a sword that you knew you had not noticed before.
"Slash them! Beat them! Kill them! Kill them all! Cut off his head!" You heard the one who was in charge say.
Without any warning, a massive bright light came from nowhere, as well as an explosion. You closed your eyes and shielded yourself as much as you could because the cave was now shaking quite violently.
Slowly the light dimmed and you quickly resumed holding onto your weapons. All the while, you watch Gandalf as he slowly walks towards these goblins, but he was now watching the company.
"Take up arms. Fight. Fight!" demanded Gandalf.
They did not have to be told twice as the company quickly began fighting the goblins that were in front of them. Several of these goblins had came up to you and tried attacking, but you easily dealt with these strange creatures and killed them.
By now everyone was fighting and it was when you reached the ground level that you realised there was a fat goblin lying on the ground watching Gandalf with narrowed eyes. He really reminded you of the broodmother and that was saying something.
"He wields the Foe-Hammer, the Beater, bright as daylight!" He sneered.
You slowly made your way towards the rest of the company who were at this second retrieving their weapons that were on the ground. You watched with a bemused look on your face, as swords and axes and what not, were thrown high in the air to be caught by these remarkable dwarves.
Sudden movement caused you to turn around. The fat goblin was now standing and was about to strike out to whoever was in the way. Without any warning, you darted in his way and deflected his own weapon with your own, seeing the goblin stumble backwards and fall off the edge of his platform, falling to the depths below.
"Pick on someone taller, you nasty piece of shit!" You hissed at it, taking no notice of the startled look from the leader Thorin himself "Let that be a lesson to you!"
"Follow me. Quick! Run!" You heard Gandalf cry out.
You turn and caught the look Thorin was giving you, though at this present time, you wasn't in the mood for another remark from him. Instead, you took on board to what Gandalf had said and began running towards the wizard.
Of course, nothing was that easy. Many more of these goblins were swarming around everyone and you all had to fight your way through as you tried to stay on the path that you were on.
Slowly, this pathway was taking you and everyone else away from this strange throne room, to which you were thankful for. As you all run through many suspended passageways, you turned your head noticing the goblins were still in hot pursuit.
"There is too many of these critters." You shouted to anyone who was listening.
"Glad you came along?" came Elrohir's voice.
You instantly turned your head and caught his smirk.
"I wouldn't miss this for the world." was your reply, gracing him with your own smile.
"Quickly!" shouted Gandalf.
You were most surprised when most of the dwarves cut a guard rail from the path and then hold it out in front of them, waiting to do damage with it.
"Charge!" shouted Dwalin.
You watched in stunned silence as Dwalin and many more of your new companions, quickly ran towards the advancing goblins, each holding onto the new weapon of choice. The goblins had no change of escape as they were caught off guard by this massive spear.
It didn't stop the goblins fighting back however and for a while, everyone was fighting these critters off. Some of these goblins were now swinging om ropes which gave you an idea.
You ran up towards a rope and started cutting it with your sword. Again this caught Thorin's attention as he watched you cut away the ropes.
"Cut the ropes!!" Thorin shouted.
These ropes you realised, were holding a raised platform in place and when the others joined in, this very platform fell outward. The goblins that were on the ropes, were now entangled.
"Quickly, move forward!" shouted Gandalf once more.
You were now at the back, running after the rest of the companions, keeping an eye on those advancing goblins. You all ran down another area of a path, when goblins fall into the darkness.
You had no idea there was now a ladder nearby but there was no time for questions. You just followed the others, using the ladder as some sort of bridge. You spotted Dwalin waiting nearby and when you had reached the others, he took hold of his axe and broke the ladder in two, thus preventing those goblins from following you all.
Without further ado, everyone ran forward. The cave had so many pathways it was hard to determine on where to go. You followed everyone's lead by climbing onto a swinging rope and you saw what the others were now doing. They sliced some ropes and the pathway revealed itself.
You swung yourself to this new pathway knowing everyone else was doing the exact same thing. You only hoped this path would lead you all out of this awful mountain. You knew it would only be a matter of time before more goblins came forward and sure enough there they were, climbing on the ropes that you had recently vacated.
You, Dwalin and several other dwarves started cutting the rope which again, caused the swinging path and the goblins on it to fall. Turning around, you ran after Gandalf killing any goblin that dared get your way.
Gandalf suddenly strikes a rock above you all with his staff, which caused rocks to fall down and began rolling in front of the company, killing any goblin that were in the way. Again you picked up your speed and saw a bridge in front of you.
Just as you were all about to cross this bridge however, the fat goblin from before showed up. He came from underneath the bridge and was now pulling himself up right in front of you all. The goblins were slowly swarming all over the place, making the escape all that harder.
"You thought you could escape me?" hissed the ugly goblin.
"Makers breath." You muttered to yourself, holding the handle of your sword a little to hard.
You watch this bigger goblin start swinging his weapon around Gandalf of all people and this made your blood boil, especially when the wizard himself very nearly fell over.
"What are you going to do now, wizard?" sneered the goblin, watching Gandalf intently.
"He's going to escape," You chimed in, causally walking up to him "like all the rest of us."
"Is that so?"
"Hmm Mmmm,, Well, except you of course," You nodded your head, raising your sword "it's time for you to go now."
Without giving it much thought, you actually jumped onto the goblin and plunged your sword in its neck. Of course by now, this fat thing was trying to jog you, but you were adamant on staying put. At least until this was over. Using your dagger, you again plunged your other weapon in its eye socket.
"Ow, ow, ow!"
Pulling your sword out of this goblin's neck, you were about to repeat your actions but you spotted Gandalf stab this adversary in the stomach. This was your cue to jump as by now, this goblin was making strange noises. You managed to retrieve your dagger when you jumped back on the ground, bumping right into someone.
"I am so sorry." You say, turning around and facing...Fili.
He was now grinning back at you which was a little distracting. Why was he doing that?
"It's quite alright, my lady," Fili's grin broaden "you can bump into me any time you want."
You just watch Fili, when the big goblin fell down dead. That was the good news. The bad news was when his body had hit the bridge, it started shaking.
"That can't be good." You observed, watching the bridge suddenly break away.
The bridge you all were standing on was now sliding really fast on the walls of the cavern. It was demolishing everything in its way. You held on hoping this would end soon.
Finally the bridge does slow down and landed at end of the cavern, breaking apart and making a good job at burying everyone with timber and wood. You slowly manage to pull yourself up noticing, Elladan, Elrohir and Gandalf looking at the rest of the dwarves. They were still caught up in the wreckage.
"Well, that could have been worse." You heard Bofur say.
Just as soon as Bofur had said that, the body of the big goblin came crashing down, landing on the wreckage. The body had also trapped your companions.
"You've got to be joking!" You heard Dwalin say.
With careful manoeuvring, you helped get the rest of the dwarves from their predicament, making sure everyone was alright in the process. The sooner you were all out of this mountain, the better you would be.
"Gandalf!" Kili cried out and you followed his concerned look.
Right ahead of you all, were many, many goblins heading towards you all.
"There's too many! We can't fight them." said Dwalin and you knew he did have a point.
"Only one thing will save us, daylight! Come on! Here, on your feet!" replied Gandalf.
The last of the dwarves got up and you all ran forward, following Gandalf. For a while, all you did was run but when you saw light come from somewhere, you were relieved. Gandalf lead you all out of this blasted mountain and as soon as cool fresh air hit your face, you got on your knees, taking in huge gulps of air.
You had no idea where you were but at this present time, you did not care. You were just thankful that you all had made your escape. While Gandalf was busy counting on who was here, you realised you were being watched. Turning your head, you saw Kili and even Bofur watch you with smiles on their faces.
"It is good to see you again...Rila wasn't it?" grinned Bofur.
You just nodded.
"And the girl can talk as well," smiled Kili "that was pretty impressive back there. Jumping onto the king goblin was one way to deal with the matter at hand."
"Just a spar of the moment thing." You replied, watching Kili carefully.
"Was it indeed? Then you jumped on my brother."
"I-I um, what?"
"Kili, leave her be," You heard Fili say "it was an accident."
"Yeah, of course it was." smirked Kili walking away.
"Five, six, seven, eight...Bifur, Bofur...that's ten...Fili, Kili...that's twelve...and Bombur, Rila, Elladan and Elrohir that makes sixteen. Where's Bilbo? Where is our Hobbit? WHERE IS OUR HOBBIT?" shouted Gandalf, causing you to look at him with puzzlement.
"Curse that halfling! Now he's lost?!" snapped Dwalin.
You realised he was talking about that kind hobbit you had met earlier, In truth, you did not notice his presence and for that, you suddenly felt very guilty.
"I thought he was with Dori!" remarked Gloin.
"Don't blame me!" defended Dori.
"But where did you last see him?" asked Gandalf, watching everyone now.
"I think I saw him slip away, when they first collared us." explained Nori.
"What happened exactly? Tell me!"
Gandalf's anger was beginning to show itself and you found yourself getting up, hoping nothing had happened to this hobbit.
"I will tell you what happened...Master Baggins saw his chance and he took it! He's thought of nothing but his soft bed and his warm hearth since first he stepped out of his door! We will not be seeing our Hobbit again. He is long gone."
That was it, you had, had enough of this leader.
"You have a very low opinion on others don't you, Master dwarf?"
You found yourself walking up to this so called leader, noticing he was watching your every move.
"First off you assumed that I was an elf," You turn and face your two friends "for which there is nothing wrong with that. I adore elves."
Both Elladan and Elrohir graced you with a smile, before you return your attention to Thorin.
"Now it seems you are judging a hobbit," You crossed your arms over your chest before you continued "could it have crossed your mind that he could be injured in that mountain?"
"I-," began Thorin but you cut him off.
"After all, those goblins just would not stop attacking us, what's to say the same fate went to Master Baggins?"
"No, he isn't." came a voice from behind you.
Turning slightly, you saw the hobbit himself step out from behind a tree. You had to wonder, how long had he been there in the first place. You could tell everyone was shocked to see him though, including Thorin when you looked back at him.
"Bilbo Baggins! I've never been so glad to see anyone in my life!" smiled Gandalf.
Bilbo walked up to everyone, even patting Balin's shoulder as he walked on.
"Bilbo...we'd given you up!" said Kili, causing you to roll your eyes.
"How on earth did you get past the Goblins?!" asked Fili.
"How, indeed." agreed Dwalin.
You watched Bilbo carefully. You could tell he too had some kind of trauma. He had few scratches on his face. His waist jacket were missing some buttons and from time to time, you kept noticing his hand delve inside his pocket, making you feel suddenly uncomfortable.
"Well, what does it matter? He's back!" grinned Gandalf.
"It matters! I want to know...Why did you come back?" demanded Thorin.
"Leave him alone," You counter "I can tell he has been through a lot as well. So drop it."
You were surprised when Thorin actually growled at you.
"Look, I know you doubt me," began Bilbo "I know you always have. And you're right, I often think of Bag End. I miss my books. And my armchair. And my garden. See, that's where I belong. That's home. And that's why I came back, cause you don't have one. A home. It was taken from you, but I will help you take it back if I can."
You were clearly moved with Bilbo's little speech as was everyone else, so it would seem. You placed your arm on Bilbo's shoulder telling him in your own way that what he said had hit home.
You yourself would never see your home again. Since being here, you had lived in Imladris before running off that is. Though Imladris was classed as your home now, in truth, you missed your old haunts in Ferelden and the people in it. A loud noise broke your thoughts apart and you groaned. You knew more trouble was heading this way.
"Out of the frying pan..." You heard Thorin say.
"And into the fire! Run! RUN!" finished Gandalf.
Taking a deep breath, you quickly followed everyone away from what was heading towards you all. You just hoped it was not more goblins heading this way. You had seen enough of those critters, that was for sure.
Chapter 3: A Hole In The Sky
The noise behind you, meant that more trouble was heading towards everyone. Without saying anything, you all ran down the mountain. You could tell the pursuers were right on your heels. When Gandalf motioned you all to climb up the tress, you thought this would not help matters.
Bofur, Dwalin and yourself were climbing up the tree while from time to time, you kept glancing downwards, noticing several Orcs nearby. Pulling yourself up, you sat on a branch and found yourself looking up at the sky.
You frowned. The colour of the sky should be normal looking. What you saw made you feel very uneasy with yourself. The sky looked...green to you and that worried you. What was going on here?
The swaying of the trees brought you back to the present and you glanced back at the Orcs, noticing they now had Wargs with them, who were at this second using all their weight in knocking the trees over.
Gandalf threw something at you and you caught it, realising it was a pinecone which was slowly burning from the fire that was set on it. You knew what to do and threw it down, seeing the Wargs and Orcs retreat a little from this new development.
Together, everyone kept throwing this fiery pinecone at these pests until the tress decided to catch on fire that is. You inwardly groan knowing this would not end well. Again, everyone moved to another tree and it was here that Ori nearly fell to his death.
He had misplaced his footing and was now falling towards the enemy. With quick reflexes, you watch Elrohir climb down the branches with ease and manage to grab onto Ori, pulling him back up.
You sighed in relief and again looked at the sky. Was it your imagination or did you just see electricity come from nowhere? More to the point, where did that hole come from?
"Thorin, stay where you are!" You heard Gandalf shout, making you look at the leader in question.
You watch Thorin climb down the tree with a determined look on his face. You wondered why that was, until you saw him that is. Sitting on top of a white Warg was another enemy. At a guess, you surmised that this in actual fact the leader of the weaker Orcs.
Your blue eyes went wide as you watch Thorin try and fail to fight this new adversary. The leader wasn't even doing anything, his Warg was doing all the work for him. Above you, the sky was now going haywire, thunder could now be heard and it was here that you had, had enough.
Sighing, you decided to climb down and confront this moron attacking the now unconscious Thorin. Of course you heard your name being called out, telling you to stay where you were, but you continue onwards.
"Why don't you fight without your little mutt here?" You sneered at this ugly leader.
You instinctively grabbed hold of your two swords, drawing them out, ready to attack, taking no notice of the thunder and the strange noises that followed. Your eyes never left this ugly looking leader.
You had no idea who he was but seeing Thorin lying motionless angered you. Of course the leader was actually a coward. He tried using his white Warg on you, but you were ready. You plunged your sword in the animals leg, hearing it yelp out in pain.
This caused the leader to fall of earning a few chuckles from around the trees. The leader soon got up though and was now glaring at you. He held onto his weapon and started attacking you.
You blocked his attacks and watched for any weakness that he might have. Meanwhile everyone else had now joined you on the ground, attacking the other Orcs nearby. You noticed that this leader had a stump where his left hand should be and wondered how that had happened.
The leader was now speaking in a language that you had no idea he was saying, then looked back at Thorin. You put two and two together and realised the Warg was about to kill Thorin.
Just as you were about to stop that however, a strange thing happened. Three people came from nowhere and had instinctively joined in the fighting. The Warg was now attacking Bilbo.
Before you could help him, the leader again tried to hurt you. This had to end now. For a while, you and your new enemy were fighting. You didn't take no notice of the eagles that were now flying overhead, you didn't take no notice at anyone else for that matter. Your concern was killing off this very annoying pest.
Sword and axe continued to meet each other before you took this little dance to the next level. You swiftly turned a little, so that his back was to you. This was your change and you took it.
Without any warning, you jumped up and plunged your sword in his back. This caused him to roar out in pain, but you continued. Taking out your sword, you again stabbed him in the same spot, before using your other sword on his shoulder blade. You were trying to tire him out by killing him slowly. The leader back handed you causing you to stumble backwards.
"Rila!" someone shouted but your eyes stayed focused on your enemy.
Your cheek hurt but that was the least of your problems. This leader was now smirking back at you, which made your blood boil over. Holding your swords in your hands, you deflected another attack from him and without any warning, you managed to stab his neck.
Again you and everyone else, heard his roar as you pressed your sword in deeper in his throat, holding the handle for leverage to what you did next. Using your other trusty sword, you then managed to decapitate him, using all of your body weight against him.
Blood went everywhere and was now becoming slippery. The leader's body fell to the ground, taking you with him. For a few moments, everything was quiet and still as you tried to get your bearings back.
That voice was what motivated you to push with all your might to get this dead leader of you.
"Allow me to help you my dear." came a voice you had never heard before.
Before you could kick this corpse of you, you watch in stunned silence as the dead body was now floating high in the air. Snapping back to reality, you quickly got up and picked up one of your swords. The other sword was still in the leader's back.
As you watch the body slowly go back on the ground, you finally noticed the eagles. They were now picking up some of the company to take them to wherever. Walking over to the lifeless leader, you pulled out your sword, wiping the contents on the grass.
"I need a good wash!" You mumble to yourself, taking no notice to the rest of the company that were watching you.
Before you could move however, an eagle swooped you up causing you to curse out loud to it. For a few blissful moments though, you felt at peace, until your eyes went back to the sky. The sky still had a green hue around it and there was now a strange shape in the middle of it.
The eagle gently placed you on the ground and you whispered thank you before walking towards Gandalf. He was in the process of helping Thorin out. You hoped he would pull through. When you heard Thorin's voice however, anger surged through you. Though for the time being, you bit your lip to what was really going on inside your mind.
"It's true uncle," You heard Kili say "Rila killed him."
You turned around, knowing that everyone was now staring at you.
"We need to get of this carrock," You finally say, breaking this strange mood "we may be safe for now, but I would not be surprised if an Orc shows itself here."
"Rila is right," came Gandalf's voice "though if Thorin is-,"
"I'm fine." remarked Thorin, causing you to shake your head in disdain.
"As soon as we are on safer ground," carried on Gandalf "I would like to know who these men are."
"I will glady explain everything to you," came that voice from before, though you don't turn around.
You simply edge near the carrock and began climbing down, knowing everyone else will soon follow suit.
It took a while getting down but everyone was happy to be back on solid ground. Bombur was in the process of cooking a meal. Thorin, Fili and Kili were having a private chat among themselves, Elladan and Elrohir kept glancing back at you when they thought you didn't notice and Bilbo seemed to be fascinated with the newcomers. The others were each doing their own thing, it seemed.
You knew where you were now and had explained to Gandalf that you needed to wash this blood and gore of you before it stunk out the rest of the camp. Gandalf seemed concerned, until you told him that you had been here before and also went on that you were good friends with a skin changer named Beorn. He had lived here for a very long time. When you had first met him, you and he were wary of each other but in time, Beorn and you became good friends.
"Who are you all?" asked Bilbo, speaking to the newest arrivals.
Just as you were about to leave, a hand went on your wrist, causing you to jump out in surprise.
"Where are you going?" asked Thorin.
At first you don't say anything, to stunned that Thorin's hand was still around your wrist.
"Allow me to introduce myself." You heard someone say but Thorin repeated,
"Where are you going?"
"I'm about to wash all this blood of me. That's where I am going."
"You have no idea where we are." reasoned Thorin.
"On the contrary, Master Oakenshield," You snapped, pulling your hand away from him "I know exactly where we are."
"You sound angry."
You snorted out a laugh, which earned the rest of the company to look at you and Thorin.
"Angry!" You knew you had finally snapped "Try livid!"
"Why he asks?" You repeat, walking away from Thorin, bumping into one of the newcomers "Because of your stupidity, that's why!"
"Rila, not now!" scorned Gandalf.
"No wizard!" You hissed, glaring at Gandalf before returning your attention to the dwarf himself "Thorin wants to know why I'm livid. Well, here it comes...What possessed you to climb down that tree and walk towards your enemy?"
"I-," began Thorin but you butted in.
"You are going to be a future king, but how can that happen if you are dead? Hmmm!"
"Rila!" Gandalf warned again.
"I thought I could deal with the problem myself." defended Thorin clearly startled when he realised tears were rolling down your cheeks.
"Right, look what happened there?"
"I didn't think of-," began Thorin but again, you cut him off.
"No, you didn't think did you? Instead you had to try and be the hero! Only that didn't go according to plan, did it? That blasted white Warg played with you, like you were a rag doll...Like you were nothing!"
You were startled when you felt and saw Thorin raise his right hand and gently brush away a stray tear from your cheek with his thumb.
"When I saw you lying there," You carried on, trying not to take any notice of the way Thorin was now watching you "I thought it was too late...Echos from my own past come to play here and I hate you for that."
Before you did something you would later regret, you pushed him out of the way and made your way to the lake. You needed to be alone, clear your head from what had recently transpired.
You quickly strip out of your clothes taking them with you as you went in the lake, washing away the dried blood and the memories of seeing your father lying in a pool of blood from years gone by.
Though no matter how much you washed the blood off your skin and clothes, the memory of what that bastard Rendon Howe did to you and your family, refused to leave your mind.
It was seeing Thorin lying there motionless that triggered it off and you dunked your head under the water trying to snap out of this strange mood you were currently in, completely oblivious that Elrohir was silently watching you from a distance.
When Thorin was told that Rila had killed Azog, at first he had refused to believe it. However, when he slowly turned around and saw her covered in blood, he knew his nephews had spoke the truth.
After that little outburst earlier, Thorin sat well away from the others, thinking. Thinking of her. Seeing her tears fall from her eyes unnerved him. He was still in shock by his actions a little while ago. Why did he brush away her tears?
"Right, seeing as everything is settled," began Gandalf "could we now have some introductions."
Thorin looked at these three men, two were tall, one was not. Another dwarf perhaps? He had never seen him before. Thorin's eyes narrowed however when one of the men was another elf.
'Three elves now!' Thorin thought bitterly 'Not happy with that.'
"I'm Dorian Pavus." replied the dark haired man.
He wore a strange robe and it was completely obvious that he was just like Gandalf. He could use magic, partly because Thorin noticed the staff behind his back. This Dorian had a moustache and a little bit of fluff under his botton lip, which could have been a beard trying to grow itself out. Dorian than turned and spoke,
"This is Solas and Varric."
Looking at Solas, Thorin sighed in disgust. Elves and him just did not get on. Still, this elf seemed different to the others he had seen. For one thing, this elf in particular was completely bald.
Solas seemed to sense that Thorin was looking at him and graced him with a small smile. Thorin did not return it however, as Rila decided to come back with that other blasted elf from Rivendell.
"How are you feeling?" asked Bilbo, a little shyly Thorin noted.
"Much better now that all that shit is off me. Thank you Bilbo." replied Rila, ruffling Bilbo's hair in the process.
"Are you hungry?"
"Not really Bilbo. I'm more tired than anything. I think I'll turn in for the night."
Thorin watched her as she got out her bedroll, before returning his attention to Solas. In all his years, he had never seen a bald headed elf before. Seeing this newcomers was making Thorin very uncomfortable. Something strange was going on here, though he had no idea what that was.
Even though you had brought a blanket, you were still shivering. Pulling up your knees to try and cocoon yourself, you try and get some sleep. Just as you were about to get of to sleep, you felt something go around you and you instantly felt warmer. Without opening your eyes you whispered to whoever,
"Your welcome, Defender." came Fili's voice.
You were too tired to question what he had said, as you felt yourself slippng into limbo land.
You woke with a start, sniffing the air. You could smell cooked sausage. Sitting up, you looked around the camp noticing everyone was wide awake and eating. You still was not hungry, instead you got up and stretched your limbs, taking no notice of the many eyes that were now watching you.
"Rila, I saved some food for you." smiled Bilbo walking over to you with a bowl of sausage and tomato.
"Bilbo, I am not at all hungry."
"But you never ate your dinner either," came Bilbo's concern "you have got to eat Rila."
"Bilbo, leave her be," You looked to the source of the voice seeing Gandalf lean on his staff "she will eat when she is ready...hmmm. Though please reframe from eating the contents of that bowl for yourself Bilbo...We all know you love your food."
There were several chuckles around the camp but you didn't even raise a smile. The truth was, you felt bad for being so rude to Thorin last night. You could feel his eyes on you but the shame of your outburst made you cringe. Just as you were rolling up your bedroll, your ears pricked up when you heard a town you hadn't heard in a long time.
"You say you are from Ferelden?" came Elladan's voice "Well isn't the the most curious thing."
"Actually," came the other voice "I'm from Tevinter. I only came to Ferelden when trouble decided to show itself."
Your bedroll fell back on the ground as you turned and looked to who Elladan was speaking too. You saw a tall man with dark brown hair. He had a trimmed moustache with a little bit of trimmed facial hair under his bottom lip. It suited him and this man was currently holding onto his staff.
It was impossible though, how could this man know the town of Ferelden? Elladan seemed to have sensed your eavesdropping and beckoned you over. Rolling your eyes at being caught out, you made your way towards your friend and this newcomer.
"Rila, this is Dorian Pavus," smiled Elladan as you looked back at this newcomer "his other friends are nearby but it seems you and he have something in common."
"Oh?" was your reply.
"Does Ferelden mean anything to you?" smiled Elladan, which went when you frowned at him.
"What about it?" You asked, not wanting to remember your past life.
"These three men come from there," began Elladan, now glancing back at Dorian "isn't that where your originally came from?"
You don't say a word, knowing for a fact Elladan knew the story as to who you used to be. Dorian however, turned his eyes from your friend and looked back at you. You could feel his eyes watch you, though you on the other hand, wanted to walk away as if nothing had been said.
"You're from Ferelden?" asked Dorian after a while "You do look very familiar."
"That's because this young lady here, is the Hero of Ferelden." came another voice.
You turned around and saw another elf walk towards you. He was different to Elladan and Elrohir for one thing, he had no hair on his head and he wasn't wearing any armour.
He was wearing a green coat and you could see that under that coat was a cream coloured tunic. His trousers were also green in colour. As for his footwear, he was wearing a pair of open toed boots to which you had not seem in a very long time.
"Don't be absurd Solas," smirked Dorian "the Hero of Ferelden died to save us from the Blight."
"Really?" replied Solas.
The elf named Solas edged closer to you, looking at you with a small smile on his face.
"I would never lie about this Dorian. This lady is the Hero of Ferelden."
You kept your mouth closed as you refused to look at either of these two newcomers. You had no idea why they called you by that title. All you did was slay the Archdemon, sacrificing yourself in order for others to live a peaceful life.
"Can someone please explain on what is going on here?"
You kept your eyes on the ground knowing it was Thorin that had spoken.
"What is a Hero of Ferelden."
"It is a name given to anyone that slays the Archdemon," explained Solas, you could still feel his eyes on you as he went on "this lady here, slayed the last Archdemon and died saving other lives."
"Died?" You heard Gloin say "But she's standing right here!"
"Yes and that in itself is a mystery."
You could feel your eyes well up with tears and before they trickled down your cheeks, you brushed past Elladan and Dorian and walked to where the lake was. You just wanted to be alone for a while.
"Rila!" You heard your name being called out but you just continued walking.
'The Hero of Ferelden!' You thought bitterly to yourself, wiping your tears away 'Some hero.'
You thought back on the last time you had seen the man who had stolen your heart...Zevran. Before the big battle had taken place, you had finally admitted to him that you loved him. You found yourself smirking back at his response when he had replied,
"Yes, yes, I know that."
You touched the gold earring that he had given to you that was now in your ear, a reminder on how things used to be and sighed. Maker, you missed that elf. A twig being trodden on brought you out of your thoughts and you turned your head noticing Thorin and Fili walk towards you. You return your attention to the ripples of the water.
"I came to see if you are alright." said Thorin after a while of silence.
"I should be asking you that," You replied turning to face them both "after all, I was rather rude to you, was I not?"
"You had reason to be rude," smiled Thorin which went just as suddenly as he continued speaking "I could see the pain in your eyes when you lectured me, which I can still see."
"Ahh," You swallowed hard averting your gaze to the ground "those men told you who I really was then?"
"Only about this Hero of Ferelden business, which you already know about," replied Thorin watching you intently "who are you really?"
When that bald elf mentioned 'the Hero of Ferelden' Thorin looked at these newcomers, wondering what that title truly meant. As the elf explained about an Archdemon, Thorin's blue eyes went on Rila.
It was clear to see that she was trying to hold back tears before she walked away from everyone. He wanted some answers and the only way Thorin knew how to get them, was ask Rila herself. Just as he was about to follow her lead, a hand went on Thorin's arm causing him to stop.
"Maybe she needs to be left alone," said Fili gently to his uncle "since her outburst last night, I can sense she is troubled."
Thorin sighed but started walking once more.
"Fine, but I'm going with you! Please do not shout at Rila, uncle."
"I will not shout at her, I just want some answers."
Walking in silence, Thorin and Fili headed towards the lake, knowing that was the place Rila was sure to be. When they came to a clearing, they both saw Rila looking out at the lake that was in front of her. She seemed to be holding on to her ear, Thorin hoped that she was not injured in any way. She spun around when a twig had alerted their presence. Rila quickly turned around once more as both Thorin and Fili walked towards her.
"I came to see if you are alright." said Thorin, he did not like this silence at all.
"I should be asking you that," came Rila's reply facing both dwarves "after all, I was rather rude to you, was I not?"
"You had reason to be rude."
Thorin graced her with a smile which went just as suddenly when he saw the sadness in her blue eyes.
"I could see the pain in your eyes when you lectured me, which I can still see."
Rila shifted a little and looked downwards, trying to conceal what was hurting her. It failed, Thorin could see right through her facade and it pained him to see her like this.
"Those men told you who I really was then?"
"Only about this Hero of Ferelden business, which you already know about," said Thorin watching her closely "who are you really?"
Closing your eyes, you took a moment to gather your thoughts together. When you reopened your eyes, you looked at Fili and Thorin and sighed.
"I suppose I should start at the beginning." You finally say to them both.
"It would help." replied Thorin, gracing you with a smile.
"It began when my home was attacked by Rendon Howe's soldiers, killing anything that got in their way," You began frowning at the memory you were seeing once more "they killed my nephew and my brother's wife and I knew then, that Rendon wanted to kill us all."
"Who is Rendon Howe?" asked Thorin, crossing his arms over his chest.
"He was a friend of my father's," You laughed bitterly at the irony about that "they both fought together at the battle of White River, which is where their friendship developed. Some friendship! What he did to my family, the way he and his soldiers killed my fathers soldiers, children, townspeople. I never said goodbye to Ser Gilmore either!"
You sighed, remembering your childhood friend staying behind in the main hall, while you and your mother escaped. Trying to reach father. You shook your head, still smelling the blood as you plunged your sword in Howe's nasty soldiers. You and your mother tried to save other people from this treacherous night.
"Rila don't-," began Fili bringing you out of your memories.
"My mother and I fought those lowlife's off as best we could, as we slowly made our way towards the kitchen. When we finally got there, having killed off more of Howe's soldier's, we walked through the pantry door, noticing at once my father was gravely injured."
"You don't have to explain that part," said Thorin, clearly seeing your pained expression "I can see that explaining this to us is hard for you."
Again you sighed.
"I have to," You replied to him "in order for me to tell you on who I am, I have to explain everything to you. The good and the bad."
"But it is clearly upseting you Rila," said Fili looking at you with concern "just tell us about this Hero of Ferelden story."
"I was getting there," You admitted looking at both Thorin and Fili, before continuing "I knew my father was dying from the wound he had been inflicted upon. He managed to tell me that it was indeed Rendon Howe that had masterminded this entire massacre. I told him that I would have vengeance for him and father agreed to that.
A man named Duncan came into the room and I knew deep down, that he could not help my father. Instead, he asked that I leave with him to become a Grey Warden in the battle against the Blight. My father allowed this, knowing it would be the only way to keep me safe."
You stopped for a moment, remembering the blood seeping out of your father's stab wound and swallowed hard.
"As my father was slowly dying, my mother had made the choice in not leaving with me, she decided to stay by my father's side. I still feel incredibly guilty for leaving her to her fate but by that time, the soldiers had reached the kitchen. It was time to leave."
Slowly, you explained how you and Duncan arrived at Ostagar where you met Ser Jowy and Daveth and Alistair who would later become a dear friend. You deliberately left out the part as too what was in the joining ritual. You didn't want any strange questions as to how you survived drinking the darkspawn taint.
No, that would always stay a secret for Duncan and every Warden thereafter. You did explain that you were the only one that had survived the ritual seeing that dragon for the very first time.
"Dragon?" asked Thorin, interruping you.
"You could say that. It looked like a dragon but it was really an Archdemon."
The blank expressions on both Thorin and Fili's faces, nearly brought out a smile but you quickly went on.
"The Archdemon are really an old god who manifest into massive dragons. No one knows why the chose that form but it has always been that way, apparently."
"Apparently?" asked Fili sounding confused "What do you mean?"
"I've only seen one Archdemon in my time. The others came long before I was even born and was defeated by other Wardens."
"How did you kill this dragon type thing?" asked Thorin.
You looked at the ground shifting your feet a little, remembering the battle. Everyone was there, dwarves, the people of Redcliffe, Dalish elves and the mages. All helping out in there own way, while Morrigan, Shale, Zevran and yourself made your way inside the fortress that the Archdemon was holed up in.
Once again, you explained that you and your party fought off darkspawn as you all slowly edged nearer towards the main trouble maker. The battle that followed was long.
The Archdemon had a lot of willpower but none of you stopped attacking this massive dragon. As you tell Thorin and Fili how you saw the Archdemon finally slow his/her pace, you explained that it was time to end it now.
Somehow, you had managed to climb up onto the dragon's back and slowly edge closer to its head. You remembered, raising your sword high in the air and then plunging your weapon in its head.
"The last thing I remember before I fell, was that there was a blinding white light as I killed the Archdemon," You carried on, now looking back at the lake "I thought I would finally get to see my father and mother and finally meet Andraste herself, but-,"
"But what?" asked Fili, you could tell he had been interested in your story as was Thorin come to think of it.
"I was supposed to have died when I killed of that Archdemon," You began, turning your attention back on the two dwarves who were listening to your past "on the eve of the battle, another Grey Warden by the name Riordan informed Alistair and myself that in order for the Archdemon to die, there would have to be a sacrifice. Whoever killed the dragon would also die."
"And that was supposed to happen to you?" asked Thorin, tilting his head in wonder.
"It did happen!" You insisted, as if you could not believe he had just said that "Only instead of dying I..." You look around the place "was found in a marsh, dead at night. It was Glorfindel that found me...here, in Middle-earth!
During my stay in Rivendell, Glorfindel never left my side while I slowly regained my health, neither did the two brothers Elladan and Elrohir. In fact, everyone welcomed me there, even though at the time, they had no idea on how I came to be in this world. To be honest with you, it still is a mystery."
You watched Thorin and Fili as you conclude on how you came here in the first place. You left out the visions of that dragon for now, you didn't want to confuse them. The truth was, just who were those three newcomers?
That man Dorian claimed he came from Ferelden. You were beginning to think there was more to these men than you first thought. Though you had no idea if these men were friend or foe.
"Is that why you didn't speak when we first met?" asked Thorin, breaking you out of your thoughts.
"No, I didn't speak, plainly because up until Gandalf found me, I had been traveling on my own for a long time."
"I thought you stayed in Rivendell?" questioned Fili, frowning a little now.
Again you shift your feet on the ground trying to think on how to evade his answer.
"Ahh, There you all are!" came a voice from behind you.
You turned your head and saw Elrohir walking towards you all, though his eyes stayed on you.
"Rila, you have to try and eat something. Bombur is looking at your breakfast like a lovestruck puppy."
You graced him with a smile and decided to try and eat something, even though food was the last thing you wanted. As you walked back towards the camp, you looked up at the sky once more and frowned. The sky still had a tint of green next to the clouds and this made you nervous, though you had no idea why that was.
As you forced another mouthful of sausage in your mouth, you could feel eyes on you. Without looking you smiled a little knowing who was watching. Ever since returning to the camp, Elrohir has barely left your side.
"Rila, are you really alright?" He finally asked you, stepping in your line of vision.
"What do you mean?"
You finally looked at him, with a confused expression on your face.
"You know full well," Elrohir sat down besides you and sighed "those newcomers are somehow connected to your past life."
"Oh really?" You smirked, placing your spoon back in the bowl "How did you work that out?"
"Other than the fact that they all fell from the sky," your friend began softly, so that others will not be able to hear this conversation "they all come from Ferelden."
You frowned at him.
"What do you mean, they fell from the sky?"
"Exactly what I say. One minute there was thunder, then out come three people from that strange looking sky. You were in the process of your own problems though, defeating Azog the Defiler."
You furrow your brows even further.
Elrohir sighed, before placing his arm around your middle.
"Azog the Defiler was the one that was tracking this company," He explained, while your eyes go on each dwarf in turn "a long time ago, there was a battle in Moria. Many died, including Thorin's grandfather...You defeated Thorin's nemesis."
As he said that, your eyes went on Thorin. You were startled to realise that he was watching you back, though you had no idea why that was. He graced you with a nod and a smile before turning his attention elsewhere.
"How do you know all of this?" You asked Elrohir, forcing yourself to look back at him.
"Books my dear friend," laughed Elrohir, squeezing your waist "and Ada who has the gift of foresight."
You had no idea that you had killed Thorin's foe. It now made complete sense on why he went up to him back then. You shook your head, remembering your words to Thorin eariler. You had been so rude to him and surprisingly, Thorin took it.
You knew you had to apologise to him, though now was not the time, especially when the man named Dorian was now heading towards you. He smiled at you as you placed the bowl on the ground.
"I do apologise for my manners a little while ago. I wasn't expecting to see another fellow Ferelden in this strange place."
"I thought you said you were from Tevinter?" You questioned him, with a frown.
"Indeed I am," replied Dorian "but what with the Breach and the mages and templers and-,"
Your frown increased.
"What are you talking about?"
"Dorian," You heard another voice "you skipped a few chapters."
You watch as another dwarf that you know you had never seen before walk up to Dorian, though his amber eyes stayed on yours.
"Varric Tethras." He smiled at you, as he said that.
He was wearing a red tunic, with gold embroidery on it. The tunic showed off some of his chest. He was wearing beige trousers, with brown boots. He had several earrings in both his ears, all gold that matched his necklace around his neck.
"You're not going to say, 'at your service,' are you?" smirked Elrohir, causing you to playfully clip the back of his head at that remark.
"Hey, what was that for?"
"The dwarves in this world have always said that greeting," You pointed out, taking no notice of Elrohir as he pretended to rub his head "as well you know that fact, Elrohir."
You return your attention to the two men in front of you. Both of them had a smile on their lips.
"Rila Cousland," You say to them both "but I believe you already knew that already, didn't you?"
Your blue eyes dart over to Elladan who was talking to Gandalf about something, knowing it was him that told these newcomer's a little about yourself.
"Only your name," replied Dorian, making you look back at these two men once more "your friend was rather defensive when I questioned him about you."
"Of course he would," said Elrohir "my brother and I protect those we love."
"Ahh, I see. So you three are in a relationship." remarked Dorian with a hint of a smile on his face.
"Maker's breath," You said, shaking your head in disdain "Elladan, Elrohir and I are just friends. Like brother and sister."
You heard laughing come from behind you, causing you to turn your head around a little, noticing Kili, holding onto his sides.
"Sorry, but even I thought you three were-," He stopped talking when you glared at him "so that means you are single then, does it Rila?"
Kili's grin returned as your eyes followed him, as he walked to where Dorian was.
"This should be interesting."
You didn't like where this was going and quickly changed the conversation.
"So, how did you three men, end up here anyway?"
"Oh not this again!" said Kili, plonking himself down next to you "This story is too far fetched."
"We skipped through time. Perhaps you should ask Solas on how we got here in the first place. It is partly his fault we are here." came Dorian's response, completely ignoring Kili.
"I beg your pardon?" You reply, clearly not understanding on what he had just said "Skipped through time?"
"Very well, I will tell you a little about what happened thus far. You see we are, er," Dorian sighed before continuing "I should say, were fighting an enemy who wanted to be a god."
"Go on." You urged him.
"Only just when we nearly had the upper hand, he simply vanished, along with his very own Archdemon."
Time seemed to have slowed down then. You could feel your heart beating faster and you suddenly felt a little sick, as you watched Dorian with wide eyes.
'Did he just say an Archdemon?' You wondered to yourself.
"An Archdemon?" You asked him, knowing you would not like the answer.
"Yes." came Dorian's reply.
"See I told you," jumped in Kili "this story doesn't even make any sense."
"There shoud never have been another Archdemon," You say to Dorian, ignoring Kili's little outburst "I should know, I killed the last fucking one!"
You stood up, suddenly feeling very uneasy. You knew full well you had killed that Archdemon. Was it possible that this Archdemon was the same one you had fought? That was not possible though, your last memory was the blinding light going around you, before the darkness crept in.
"Rila," You heard your name but don't say anything "are you alright?"
"What's going on?" came another voice, heading towards you all.
"Before this young dwarf here interrupts me again," began Dorian, glaring at Kili "can I just explain that this Archdemon is not the same to the one you slayed ten years ago."
"Ten years?" You questioned him, finally noticing Thorin standing besides Varric watching you "Well that is impossible. I've been here for over forty years."
You could see the surprise in Dorian's grey eyes as he took on board to what you had just revealed to him.
"If you don't mind me asking, but how did you arrive here anywhere?" asked Dorian.
You rubbed your temple and sighed, then repeated everything you had told Thorin and Fili earlier on. You were surprised that Kili never once interrupted you and when you glanced at him, you could see the shock on his face as he watched you with wide brown eyes.
"So everything that this man says, is true then?" asked Kili.
You nod your head.
"Well, my story is true. I have no knowledge about what happened next, seeing as I am supposed to be dead!" You remarked, looking at Kili.
"But clearly you are not!" responded Dorian "Which is another mystery in itself."
"Wow! That's a lot to take in." said Kili, shaking his head in wonder.
"The elves healed and helped you then?" asked Varric.
Again you nodded.
"Yes, without their help, I would have given up ages ago." You admitted.
"Rila, never say that," said Elrohir, standing up and placing his arms around your middle "we were meant to find you. Ada knew something was going to happen that night, so he, Glorfindel and a few guards combed the area outside Imladris."
"Imladris?" asked Dorian "What's that?"
"It is the real name for where my kin live," explained Elrohir "the common word for Imladris, is Rivendell...Anyway, it was night time and there were a few Orcs roaming around which were easily dealt with."
"What does Ada mean?" asked Varric, looking at Elrohir and yourself.
"It is the elvish word for father." explained Elrohir.
Elrohir turned and looked down at you as he continued.
"It was Glorfindel that found your unconscious form. It was just as Ada described it. There you were, injured. Your right hand was lightly holding onto a bloodied sword, your armour was also covered in blood, in fact no one knew what had happened. Both Ada and Glorfindel went to your aid, seeing what the damage was.
You had at the time strange red markings on your hands and on the right side of your face. No one knew what they were, but thankfully they disappeared a few weeks later."
"I believe those markings may have been caused by the blinding light when I finally killed the Archdemon," You admitted, swallowing hard "Darkspawn blood and that light could have somehow infused together, causing those marks to appear on my skin."
You felt Elrohir gently squeeze your middle, as he took over once more.
"Ada explained to Elladan and myself that Glorfindel gently picked Rila up while the guards picked up her sword that had slipped out of her grasp when the Balrog slayer held her. He placed Rila on his horse before getting on himself, making sure she was alright, then galloped off back to Imladris."
Elrohir then graced you with a warm smile as you watched him. You never said a word, knowing that Glorfindel was indeed a very special elf to you.
"You could say, that was how Glorfindel nursed you back to health and became a close friend to you."
"As are you and Elladan." You replied, not noticing the look of disgust on Thorin's face as he watched Elrohir.
"Could I borrow this story?" asked Varric, watching you intently "I can see a bestseller here."
"You're an author, I take it?" You asked, relieved that your past was momentraily forgotten.
"I've been known to dabble in stories of my own. Some have even been bestsellers." grinned Varric.
Despite yourself, you smiled back at him. You had this feeling, that you would get on with Varric and Dorian. The other elf Solas, well, you would just have to wait and see on that front.
"So, who exactly is this wannabe god then?" You asked them both, only it was not Varric or Dorian that answered your question.
"He goes by the name Corypheus," replied Solas walking towards you all, as was Gandalf "and it appears that he is somewhere in this land now."
"Along with his Archdemon." remarked Varric."
A sudden thought hit you then. That vision you had was of a dragon, what if this dragon wasn't Smaug you had seen but the Archdemon itself? Excusing yourself, you walked away from the others.
All these thoughts floated through your mind. If there was indeed another Archdemon around, that meant there were now two dragons in this very world. One that was very real and the other...
"Rila, could you walk with me please?" came a voice behind you.
You automatically turned around, seeing Gandalf looking ahead of you. You knew it was him that had spoken. He had a very distinguished voice for a start. One that you could listen to for hours, without getting bored of it.
You watched him as he then began to walk away from you, meaning for you to follow him. Rolling your eyes, you did just that, gracing Fili with a smile as you brushed past him.
"It seems trouble is heading your way Rila." said Gandalf when you were both well away from the others.
Gandalf had stopped walking and was now leaning on his staff, looking at what was in front of him...Many trees.
"That elf Solas explained something interesting to me," carried on Gandalf "he told me the reason Dorian, Varric and himself are here, is because of an artifact that he had touched."
"An artifact?" You asked, turning away from the wizard, watching the men who Gandalf were talking about "What kind of artifact?"
"An Elven one. Apparently, Solas has always sensed one when he is near them. While they were fighting, um, er...Do forgive me," said Gandalf with a hint of a blush on his face "I've seen to have forgotten the name to who these men were fighting at."
You smirked at his honesty.
"I believe the god they are talking about is Corypheus." You replied.
"Ah, yes, that's the name. Well this Corypheus had his own artifact on him and used it on another artifact. It caused something to happen, which is how our new conpanions ended up here."
You just listened in stunned silence. When you were fighting against the Blight, you had never heard of any elven artifact. The only thing that had power was the urn that had Andraste's ashes inside it.
This very urn, had cured Arl Eamon, who until then, had been poisoned by that blood mage, Jowan. This artifact sounded dangerous to you. If it could transport people to other places, what was this Corypheus intending on doing here? With another Archdemon roaming around Middle-earth. This was not good news.
"Did Solas say where this Corypheus now resides?" You asked Gandalf, turning to face him once again.
"No child, since they have just arrived, they have no idea where their enemy is."
"Our enemy," You surmised "I have a feeling that vision I've been having, is about the Archdemon, not Smaug. These newcomers need all the help they can get and I intend to lend them my support."
"You are leaving with these men?" came a voice behind you.
You spun around, noticing Fili watch you with worry in his blue eyes.
"I'm sorry I eavesdropped, I was just curious to where you were going." carried on Fili, though he still had a concerned look on his face.
"Hmmm, were you indeed?" smirked Gandalf with a knowing smile.
"Are you leaving us Rila?" asked Fili, taking no notice of Gandalf as he continued to watch you.
You shook your head.
"Not to my acknowledgement. Though you know what I've been through," You began, seeing Fili nod his head "Dorian says there is another Archdemon flying around this world. That has to be destroyed!"
"But you said when you slayed the other dragon thingy, you died. What if that happens again?"
You didn't say anything as you watched Gandalf swiftly walk away.
"If anything should happen to you Rila, I'll never forgive myself."
Your eyes returned to Fili's and again you could see the worry in his eyes. You had no idea why he was acting this way. You sighed.
"Nothing will happen to me."
"You don't know that." remarked Fili.
"Oh believe me Fili, I do." You replied, brushing past him once more.
Though you had told Thorin, Fili, Kili and some of those newcomers your past. There was still a secret that you will not tell, unless of course you had no control over. Only a select few knew this secret which included Lord's Elrond's two son. No, this secret will stay buried and hidden, where it should always stay that way.
Thorin was still thinking to what Rila had explained to him. That she had killed this dragon like creature, she died or so she thinks, then came here on Middle-earth. This really made no sense to him.
Glancing at the three men, he knew there was more to them than meets the eye. He found that he just didn't trust them. Even though they haven't been here long, it was the elf that unnerved him.
There was something about this particular elf that made Thorin uneasy. He could tell at once that Solas was always watching everything, which was understandable, seeing as they had come from another place entirely. It was just a feeling Thorin had.
'I just don't trust him,' He thought to himself, shaking his head 'and its not because he is an elf either.'
Thorin's azure eyes strayed onto Rila as she returned to her bedroll that she was now in the process of picking up. He felt ashamed as to how he had treated her when they had first met.
True, she never said a word at the beginning but when she did explain that she was not an elf, Thorin couldn't stop thinking about her. In truth, she intrigued him. Especially as they both had, had many hardships knocked onto them both.
'She is a Defender,' thought Thorin with a small smile, remembering the blood all over her from her victory over Azog 'Sticks up for herself as well.'
He looked at the strange sky. Thorin had first noticed the green coloured sky while in the tree and had at first thought Gandalf did something to it. Now that these new companions had arrived, he knew it was connected to them now. Even though Azog was now dead, it did not ease his mind. Trouble was coming, he was sure of it.
Feeling his touch as he kisses every inch of you, you hear his voice against your ear.
"Tsk. You look so tired, my dear. It is all this constant walking and fighting. I think I know what you need."
You smile as you slowly open your eyes to a pair of amber eyes watching you back with his own amusement. Much to your amazement, you shyly lifted up your hand and placed it on his cheek.
Unshed tears came from nowhere as you gently caress his cheekbone. He leaned into your touch before leaning down capturing your lips with his. You savour his lips, remembering the way he kisses you. He suddenly stops and you frown as you reopened your eyes watching him.
"I am yours."
As soon as he said that, everything changed. You were now right in front of the archdemon, getting ready to attack it. You saw other members of your party gearing themselves up for the fight ahead. You glanced around, searching for Zevran, but you could not find him.
The archdemon roared causing you to turn your attention back to the battle at hand. Your eyes went wide as you finally spotted Zevran right in front of the massive dragon. You screamed out his name, but he either refused to listen or couldn't hear you.
The archdemon then raised its legs and used its wings, knocking everyone that was near away. Just as things couldn't get any worse, the dragon opened its mouth then started using its fire breath on everything that was in his way.
Just as you ran up to the dragon, you saw Zevran, using both of his blades at the dragon, attacking its rear right leg. Just as the archdemon decided to fly of to another area, you again saw Zevran lying on the ground.
"Zevran!" You shouted, taking no notice to what was happening around you.
It felt like an age as you ran up to him. Every time you thought you had reached him, you realised he was even further away than before.
The archdemon was now in the air but you had to see if Zevran was alright.
"Zev," You shouted again, now feeling the fatigue course through you, as you finally reached him "Zev, please be alright."
You fell as you ran up to him, your hands gently touch him. He opened his eyes, his breathing ragged, before he finally looked at you. Zevran graced you with a smile and you watched his left hand reach up to touch your cheek.
"M-My dear Warden, it is alright to let go."
He suddenly started shaking you. You tried stopping him but he was very persistent.
"Rila," You heard him say, the shaking increasing "Rila....Rila....Rila..."
Your eyes snapped open though you take no notice to what was happening around you.
You heard your name again and you momentarily closed your eyes thinking about Zevran, though you realised that you were still being shaken.
"Rila, are you alright?"
Taking a deep breath, you reopened your eyes trying to focus on what was going on. You arch your eyebrows when you realised Bilbo was the one shaking you, concern etched on his face.
"Are you alright?" repeated Bilbo, who finally stopped shaking you "You were calling out in your sleep."
"Maker's breath." You murmured to yourself, feeling the heat course through your cheeks.
Licking your lips, you slowly sat up, noticing Bilbo move a little, though his grey eyes stayed on you. You could sense the rest of the company looking at you, but you deliberately refused to look at them.
"I'm fine Bilbo," You said, as you got up "just a bad dream."
"I'm not convinced," admitted Bilbo "you look terribly pale Rila."
"I said I'm fine," You fumed, walking away from the startled looking hobbit "there is nothing to worry about."
You quickly retrieved your bag, before heading towards the lake once more.
"I'm er, just going to freshen up." You added, keeping your eyes to the ground.
You swiftly walked away from the company feeling embarrassed. On the outside you appeared calm though on the inside, you were worried. Since arriving in Middle-earth, you have never had a dream about Zevran.
You had dreamt of the archdemon several times with you about to plunge your sword in its neck, but you had never had a dream with any of your companions. Sighing, you sat on a broken log, looking at the lake. You knew that dream was just that, a dream, though you couldn't help feeling their was more to it than that.
'A warning,' You pondered to yourself 'of what is about to occur.'
A snap of a twig brought you back to the present and you instantly got up, about to retrieve one of your little blades you carry on you.
"I find a nice cup of tea helps ones little problems." came a voice behind you.
Turning around, you saw Balin, holding two bowls that was billowing heat from them.
"Normally, I would use a cup but we seem to be lacking that kind, considering they need cleaning," carried on Balin, walking up to you "here you go lass, drink it while its still hot."
He held out his right hand as he offered the tea in a bowl. You gratefully took it, though you just looked at the bowl going back in thought. Balin however, was having none of that, as he brushed past you leting out a long sigh in the process.
"Tis a pretty area. I can see why you come here."
"To get clean." You replied, taking a sip from the bowl.
"Aye, there is that as well," chuckled Balin, now turning his attention to you "what's on your mind lass?"
"As I explained to Bilbo, I am fine." You replied, frowning now.
Balin stepped closer to you, his brown eyes never leaving yours.
"You are the female version of Thorin," Your frown increased "so stubborn."
"I'm not stubborn," You retort "I just like my own privacy."
"Hmm, Which is not very healthy now, is it?"
You glared back at Balin while he innocently sipped his own tea from the bowl. He was now looking at the lake, though he did have a small smile on his face, which confused you.
"Do you want to talk about it?" He asked, out of the blue.
You raise your eyebrows at him. Didn't he understand that you didn't want to talk. Again Balin made a sigh, causing you to roll your eyes at him.
"I've always been a good listener for Thorin. You know, it was him that came to me when he wanted my guidance about how to reclaim Erebor."
Your eyes went wide then. You had thought Thorin did things his way. A smile came from nowhere, realising that even a grumpy leader sometimes needed help in understanding on where to go next.
"I thought that would get your attention," chuckled Balin "now tell me lass, what is troubling you?"
It was your turn to sigh, as you sat back down on the log, taking another sip of tea. You knew Balin was here for a reason, so you decided to explain the dream you just had. You had to explain what an archdemon was before you could go on but when you got to Zevran, you stalled a little.
"Were you and this Zevran close?" asked Balin with a gentle voice.
You nodded, while you looked at the lake and the tress.
"Yes, though when my companions and I first met him, it was another matter entirely."
"Zevran was paid to kill us, you see he was an Antivan crow."
You could see the confusion in Balin's eyes and despite yourself, you smiled at him, explaining that Zevran was really an assassin. You told him that instead of killing Zevran, you had decided to spare his life if he decided to join you in the oncoming war towards the blight.
You remembered Alistair not being pleased with these turn of events, though you had explained to him that an assassin could have the advantage. How right that was as you remembered speaking to the Antivan assassin, getting to know him as you all travelled to your next destination.
"I did not mean to upset you child." came Balin's voice, breaking you out of your thoughts.
"You haven't." You whispered, more to yourself, though you knew he had heard you.
"So you and Zevran, grew close?" You nodded "That explains why you kept shouting out his name."
Again you felt your cheeks burn. That was something you did not want to think about. Everyone hearing your lover's name from your own lips as you slept. Very embarrassing indeed.
"It was the dream I had," You murmured "he was fighting the archdemon and the next second he was on the ground, near death."
You shake your head, trying to clear these images from your mind, but it was fruitless, you could still see Zevran lying on the floor, his breathing ragged.
"I know this never happened in real life," You continued "but seeing him like that, after everything we have been through. It kills me to see that scene."
"It was just a dream Rila, nothing more," replied Balin, sitting down next to you and placing his arm around your shoulder to console you "dreams are our way of working out what is happening in the real world. I'm sure your friend Zevran is fine."
"I know you are right," You sighed "but to be honest with you Master Balin, this dream felt more like a premonition....I'm not saying Zevran will come to me, though I wish that part was true. No,"You shook your head, now looking at the sky "the archdemon in this dream was different to the one I fought before."
"Hmm, How so?"
"The archdemon I faced before was big, this one however was slightly smaller...That and the fact it was completely red in colour."
"Does that mean anything to you?" asked Balin.
"I'm not sure. I do have a feeling it is connected to those newcomers and seeing as I'm the only one that can defeat this archdemon, it appears I will have to travel with them."
"Well, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it, lass," remarked Balin, causing you to look at him weirdly "but at this present time, it would be wise to stay with the rest of us, hmm?"
You never answered him as he got up drinking the last of his tea.
"You know, you should never bottle up your emotions lass, it will only eat away your resolve."
Before you could respond to that, Balin walked back to the camp, leaving you more confused than ever.
As you came back from the lake, you heard Gandalf explain that he would be leaving in a short while for his own reasons. You watched on in bemusement as most of the dwarves tried in vain in making Gandalf reconsider.
You knew that either way, Gandalf was leaving and that was the end of it. You did wonder where he was heading but you knew he would keep that information to himself. You had a feeling it was a dangerous place he was about to venture in, though you knew Gandalf could take care of himself.
"Are you alright?" came a voice to your right.
You turned in that direction, noticing Varric watching you with concern in his amber eyes.
"I only ask because I er, once met the name you shouted out earlier on." carried on Varric, looking a little uncomfortable.
"You did?" You asked, feeling your heart to increase.
"Yes, it was a few years mind," He replied "though he seemed to be alright."
You walked towards Varric eager to hear what he had to say.
"Hawke, Fenris and I were ordered to bring Zevran back to the Antivan Crows," Your eyes narrowed, but you said nothing "we asked the other elves where he was and one lady told us he was residing in a cave not far from here."
"I'll give you all the gems you want." You heard Nori say to Gandalf, though your eyes stayed on Varric's, waiting for him to continue.
"When we reached the cave he was hiding in, we saw many traps in there."
Despite yourself, you started grinning, knowing Zevran had always been good at making traps for any enemy.
"I did find it strange," went on Varric "that for someone that should be keeping a low profile, he was more or less telling the townspeople that he was staying inside a cave. Anyway, as we went deeper in the cave, we fought of spiders and such before we met with the man himself."
A low chuckle could be heard, but you refused to acknowledge anyone else at this precise moment in time.
"Hawke refused to hand Zevran over to the Antivan Crows realising that she had been misinformed regarding your friend's past events. In turn, we ended up killing Nuncio and his men with Zevran's help of course."
To hear that your assassin had evaded death once more brought a smile to your lips. True it was a few years since Varric had seen him, though to hear that Zev was still the same elf you had grown to love, gave you comfort.
"Thank you Varric. Even though you yourself just said it was a while back, it brings me comfort that Zevran is still being himself."
"Anytime stardust," grinned Varric now walking away "anytime."
You just watch his retreating form in confusion.
'Stardust?' You thought 'Where did that come from?'
Turning your head, you saw Bilbo looking forlorn and you found yourself feeling very guilty at the way you had treated him earlier. As you made your way towards the hobbit, you spotted Fili also headed towards Bilbo handing him a bowl of food. This did not deter you however, you knew you should make peace with Bilbo as soon as possible.
"Bilbo," You began, noticing Fili now look at you "I wish to apologise for being so rude to you."
"N-N-No its fine Rila," stuttered Bilbo, going red in the face "you had every reason to raise your voice."
You shook your head not agreeing to that at all.
"I was rude to you Bilbo, therefore, I am offering an olive branch."
The hobbit looked at you with a baffled expression on his face as he held onto the spoon tightly in his right hand.
"A what branch?" He asked, clearly sounding confused.
"An olive branch. It's a figure of speech, it means an offer of reconciliation. You know let bygones be bygones. That sort of thing."
You try and take no notice of the now grinning Fili while you watched Bilbo. You could feel your cheeks go red. Maybe you should have waited to apologise to Bilbo later.
"Oh I see," said Bilbo, gracing you with a smile "well, everything is settled yes?"
Bilbo watched you closely.
"You do appear more relaxed than earlier which is good to see." He points out, now with his own grin on his face.
"Thank Balin and Varric for that." You find yourself saying, glancing at Balin, who was having a conversation with Dwalin.
"Oh I'm so glad my plan worked."
You looked back at Bilbo with an arched eyebrow.
"What are you talking about?" You asked him, catching Fili's smile in the process.
"I just sort of asked Balin to check up on you," You were not amused by this "sometimes it is good to speak to a person you barely know."
"I mean, y-you are aware of Balin but I've never seen the two of you speak to one another, as far as I'm aware anyway...I'll just-,"
Bilbo watched you then looked at the bowl of food he was holding, then walked off, sighing in the process.
"That was peculiar." You admitted, as you watched his retreating form.
"Naw, he was just being himself," remarked Fili "he's not as shy as to when we first met him."
You turned your attention to Fili, who was studying you.
"When we first met up with him at his home, he was standoffish. Didn't like us touching his cutlery, his food, anything," Fili then grinned at you "which is where the song came to play."
"Song?" You asked, knowing you would regret this.
Fili then explained that before the song, he and the rest of the dwarves were throwing Bilbo's plates to one another, slowly cleaning up after them. Of course Bilbo hated the fact that this was happening to his belongings and demanded that they stop at once.
"I remember Bilbo saying 'Can you not do that, you blunt them' who was referring to the knifes and forks that were currently being banged on the table. Thanks to Bofur and the rest of the company," continued Fili, his grin broadened "that is where the song came to play."
"Well, if it relieves the boredom," You deadpanned "so be it."
Fili had a thoughtful expression on his face as he watched you.
"To think when we first met you Rila, you never uttered a word, what changed?"
You sighed, not knowing how to answer that. You wasn't about to explain why you had kept quiet upon meeting this company. Until recently, you had been used to being on your own and it was still strange being with so many people.
"Life, the universe and everything." You finally replied shrugging your shoulders as you saw Fili frown.
"You have mentioned some of your past that I know could not have been easy for you," whispered Fili "but I can still see the pain in your eyes."
"Well darkspawn does that to you," You replied "it takes away anything good in the world and replaces it with chaos and discord."
"Darkspawn isn't here though." points out Fili.
You turned your head and watched Dorian, who seemed to be in his own world at this present time.
"According to our newcomers," You returned your attention back on Fili "there is an archdemon somewhere in this world."
You furrow your brows and shook your head.
"If there is indeed an archdemon in Middle-earth, you can bet on anything you own, that darkspawn are closely behind it....Dealing with Smaug will be the least of your problems."
Even though Rila did make a fair point about this new threat, Fili was at this time more concerned about the lady herself. He like the rest of the company had heard her shout out a name that no one had ever heard before.
'Just who is Zevran?' He thought to himself as Rila excused herself, then went back to her bedroll and belongings.
She turned and looked back at Fili, causing him to swallow hard. Her long dark red hair was gleaming from the sunlight, making her appear like a vision from the higher plain. He watched her as she crossed her arms over chest, waiting for Fili to say what he had to say.
"I, er," Fili stammers, "if you ever want to talk, I'll always listen."
Rila graced him with a smile and then nodded her head, before turning her back on him once more, walking towards her bedroll.
"If you ever want to talk," Fili heard Kili mimic him "I'll always listen."
Fili closed his eyes and groaned. Now was not the time for his brother to start winding him up.
"Fee, I do believe you are losing you're touch," chuckled Kili "normally you are-,"
"Not now Kili," Fili interrupted him "I am not in the mood for your strange mind today."
Kili surprised his brother by slapping him on the back. He had a big grin on his face making Fili roll his eyes. When he had that glint in his eye, he knew Kili was up to something.
"You should just tell our fair companion that you like her."
"It's not like that!" snapped Fili "We are friends nothing more."
"Is that so?" Kili then placed his arm over Fili's shoulder, holding him in place "Keep telling yourself that Fee, I know differently...You like her more than a-,"
"That is not true," hissed Fili, managing to break free from his brothers grasp "I see her as a friend, nothing more. Besides, it seems Rila already has someone special in her life."
"Oh, the name she shouted out earlier on?"
Fili nodded, catching the amused look of Dorian, who was clearly listening in to their conversation.
"Zevpant!" carried on Kili, unaware that Dorian was there.
"That is not the name I heard," points out Fili, "it was.....Zevran."
"That's the name," grinned Kili "well, this Zevran isn't here now, so now's your change."
Laughter made both brothers look at Dorian, who was now in the process of walking up to them.
"Two brothers that are clearly close to one another," smiled Dorian "you are indeed lucky."
"What do you mean?" asked Kili, frowning at this newcomer.
"I am an only child. Though I was happy, well for a time at least, I often wondered what it would be like to have a sibling. That is why you are both lucky. You have one another and long may that continue."
Fili watched Dorian closely and came to the realisation that he wasn't that bad. True they barely knew each other, but looking at this tall man made Fili realise that not all men are bad. He had yet to speak to the other newcomers, Solas and Varric but at this present time, Fili wasn't really bothered about that.
"So," began Dorian, smiling at Fili with glee on his face "you like the Hero of Ferelden do you?"
While Fili groaned again, Kili grinned.
"Yep, my dear brother can't keep his eyes of her."
"Kee!" warned Fili "Don't."
"Do you want my advice?" asked Dorian, looking directly at Fili who just nodded "Get to know her better, than decide if you have genuine feelings for her or just want to be friends."
Dorian then turned his head and looked at the lady herself and sighed.
"I haven't been here long, but I can clearly see how troubled Rila is. Friendship can develop into something more. Though for now, I believe friendship is for the best."
Fili turned his attention to Rila, who was at this second sharpening up her weapons with a stone of some sort. He knew Dorian spoke the truth, Rila did indeed seem troubled and wanted to ease her mind in some way.
'I can start with friendship.' thought Fili, watching her, before making himself look away once more, trying to ignore the smile on Kili's face.
The next few days past by quite fast but you knew it would only be a matter of time before you all moved on. Last night, Gandalf had informed the company that they would all be meeting a skin changer. The topic of your old friend was brought up again by Bilbo this morning.
You smiled, knowing that your friend always kept to himself, but was a most trust worthy sort of man, well to you anyway. You had met Beorn accidently while walking through the lands during the night. The first time you had met him, was while he was a massive black bear and you remembered that as you were about to defend yourself, you looked straight into the bear's eyes and faltered.
In all your life, you had always known that bears had brown eyes. Now though, staring back at this massive bear, you realised this bear had grey eyes. You closed your eyes while Gandalf went on about Beorn to Bilbo, while your own thoughts went back to your old friend once more.
You and the bear seemed to be having a stare contest. Neither one of you moved. You remembered that you were strangely calm and that should have alarmed you, but it never did. You were brought out of your thoughts when you heard Bilbo asking what kind of skin changer Beorn was, when you spoke up.
"Beorn is a black bear. Though I would advise you all not to meet him while in that form. Been there, done that, thank you very much."
"A b-bear?" stammers Bilbo, suddenly looking a little off colour "Oh dear."
"Relax," You continued, getting up from your bedroll "you all will be friends with him in no time....eventually." You added, noticing Gandalf's small smile as you walked up to Bilbo.
"What do you mean eventually?" asked Thorin, crossing his arms over his chest.
You noticed that he always did that when he wanted answers.
"Well, Beorn has issues with other people. It will take a while for you to gain his trust because-,"
"Because I'm a dwarf!" cut in Thorin.
All you could do was nod but you did add,
"It's not just you, it's everyone. He prefers his animals to any outsiders and that is only part of the story here."
Again you caught Gandalf watching you. He now had a bemused look on his face and it was at this instant, he knew you spoke the truth.
"Why spoil the surprise," You replied, turning your attention back to Thorin "I don't think you would believe me anyway...No, see for yourself, then come back and question me."
It had taken you a while to get used to Beorn's animals. These animals in particular were very unusual and if you had tried explaining that there were dogs that stood on its hind heels helping their host out, you knew there would only be laughter. No, you decided, seeing is believing.
Leaving the conversation, you walked back to your bedroll and started rolling it up. You then made sure everything in your bag was there before doing that up as well. As you turned around, you jumped as both Elladan and Elrohir were behind you.
"You and your elf ways," You remarked, holding onto your bag a little tighter than you should have.
Though your heart was beating at an alarming rate, you did manage to smile at them.
"You could have coughed or something, let me know you were right behind me."
"And where would the fun be in that?" replied Elladan, smiling at you, though it never quite reached his eyes.
You frowned as you noticed both brothers had a sad look in their grey eyes.
"What is the matter?" You finally asked them "If its about Beorn, you do not have to-,"
"Could we speak to you in private?" asked Elrohir, now looking over at the camp.
All you could do was nod your head and began to follow the brothers a little further to where the rest of the company were residing. While you were walking, neither Elladan or Elrohir spoke and that really freaked you out. Normally they would speak non stop about anything of interest. Today though, nothing.
"Come you two, you are beginning to scare me," You said as you looked at both of them as they turned and faced you once more "this is not like you at all."
"We did not mean for that to happen," began Elladan, glancing at his brother "there is something we wish to give you."
You watched both brothers, wondering what they were about to give you. It was Elrohir that held out his hand. He was holding a dark blue pouch bag, waiting for you to take it. With a sigh, you did just that.
The pouch bag felt very soft as your fingers brushed against it. Before you opened the bag, you looked at each of the brothers who urged you to open up the pouch. You hesitated then pulled the strings apart before placing your fingers inside the pouch.
As your hand went inside the bag, you felt a cold item touch your fingers. You slowly pulled this item out of the pouch and looked down. In your palm was a necklace. You furrow your brows as you continued looking at this gift.
"I-I can not accept this." You finally managed to say, though your blue eyes stayed on the necklace.
In your palm was the Elvenstar. The white gem gleamed in your hand as you look at it in wonder. The whole necklace was a beauty and you swallowed hard, before handing it back to Elrohir.
He shook his head, so you then tried handing this very important necklace to Elladan who copied his brother by shaking his head. Though he did place his hand over yours, pressing your fingers down on this unique necklace.
"Though I appreciate the gesture, I can not accept this," You argued, trying to let go of Elladan's hand "this does not belong to me."
"Yes it does," replied Elladan, a little to harshly than attended "Ada insisted that we hand this over to you."
Your eyes went wide. You were not expecting that. Still you knew this necklace was very valuable, you were not the one to wear this beautiful stone. Elrohir was having none of it though.
"Rila, you are a sister to us, therefore we, as a whole that is, offer this pendent as a token of our friendship and family."
Elrohir sighed and you failed to notice the glance he was giving to his brother. Your own eyes were looking down at the Elvenstar once more.
"Since Arwen went with *Emel to Valinor," carried on Elrohir "you have filled up a void in our hearts. It is not only Ada that wishes you to have this, it is all of us."
Though you were still looking at this beautiful keepsake, you shook your head. This was too much for you. You did not deserve this at all.
"I can not accept this. I am unworthy of such a gift." You replied, again trying to return the Elvenstar to either brother.
Elladan took a deep breath and finally granted your wish. You placed the necklace in Elladan's hand and whispered,
With a heavy heart, you turned around thinking the matter was solved. Elladan however, had other ideas. In one swift movement, he moved your long hair to the right side of your shoulder, then placed the Elvenstar around your neck, doing it up in the process. By now you were fuming and managed to swing right around intending to have your say on this matter.
"I told you, I am unworthy of this beautiful gem. This belongs to your people, not me!"
You raised your hands behind your neck and was about take this necklace off when Elladan stopped you by taking both your hands in his.
"You really think so lowly of yourself, don't you?"
You averted your eyes by looking at the ground. The truth was, you did feel like that. You were just a Gray Warden, who should have died and yet you lived in a new world called Middle-earth.
"Rila, you are worthy of this gift," carried on Elladan, gently squeezing your hands "and I will be very offended if you take the Elvenstar off."
"I agree," said Elrohir "the only time you can take this off, is if you hand this over to a person you wholeheartedly love as a token of affection."
You frowned once more. There would never be another person in your life. Even though Zevran could never be with you anymore, he would always have a place in your heart.
"That will never happen." You finally say to your two friends.
Elladan and Elrohir grinned back at you and you resisted the urge to roll your eyes at them both.
"I still think you should have this ba-,"
"No," interrupted Elrohir "the Elvenstar belongs to you now. Please, look after this, my dear *gwathel. You mean everything to us."
Knowing that they had won this battle, you sighed in defeat and nodded your head. First Elladan then Elrohir gave you a massive hug to which you welcomed it.
"Though I'm not happy at the way you did this," You began, freeing yourself from Elrohir "I promise I will look after this for you, until you want this back."
Both brothers only nodded but said nothing. You took on board to what just happened, feeling a little lightheaded. You graced them with a small smile before returning to the rest of the company.
You lifted your right hand around your neck and touched the Elvenstar. You had no idea why you were now wearing this but you had a feeling, there was more too this story than meets the eye.
As they watched their dear friend and adopted sister walk away, Elrohir sighed.
"That was harder than I thought it was going to be."
"You should know by now, Rila has always been a headstrong girl." replied Elladan, smiling back at Elrohir.
"Not a girl," reasoned Elrohir "a noble lady that has such a heavy heart."
Elladan glanced at his brother and saw the worry on his face.
"You should have told her."
Elrohir sighed and shook his head.
"It will never be. She only sees me as a brother, while I see her as my equal. My heart will always belong to her."
Elladan gently squeezed his brother's shoulder before Elrohir continued speaking,
"I just wish Ada told us what he had seen. The look on his face when he handed over the Elvenstar. That troubles me."
"I agree. I just hope nothing happens," Elladan shook his head "Rila means everything to me. She is family."
Elrohir never said a word as he continued to watch the lady he has grown to love. Both brothers had a somber expression on their faces, hoping that everything would be fine. Though knowing from experience, their father had never been wrong before. Something was coming and both brothers were getting worried.
It was decided that two people at a time were to enter Beorn's house. You were paired up with Dorian but you were not really paying any attention anymore. You quickly fastened your hair in place in a braided bun while Gandalf went on that he and Bilbo would go first then a little later, the next two people would follow suit.
"I don't see the point in this," You heard Gloin say from behind you "why can't we just walk up to him as a group?"
"Because Master Gloin, Beorn could feel threatened if we all arrive together," points out Gandalf "this is the best solution."
"Pfft!" was Gloin's reply, causing you to smirk a little.
Gandalf's idea worked though. When you and Dorian entered, Beorn stood up from where he was sitting while Gandalf explained our story to him and walked over to you. Without any warning, Beorn wrapped his strong arms around you. Even in human form, he was still very strong.
"Finally a face I do remember," said Beorn breaking away from the hug "it is good to see you Rila."
"Likewise my old friend." You replied, smiling up at him.
"Not so much of the old," He fumed, though you knew he was only jesting "later, we shall talk."
You graced him with a smile and nodded your head.
"I will look forward to that."
Little did you know, that would never happen.
It had been a few hours later since arriving at Beorn's home. Most of the company had gotten used to the dogs and sheep that helped Beorn out. Even though there was a lot of food spread out on the table, you still were not hungry.
In truth, there was a feeling coursing through you. Something felt wrong. You had no idea if it was because of the three newcomers or something else. Thorin was sitting opposite you as was Fili and Kili, though your eyes were surveying the hall. Most of the company were helping themselves to the food, talking quietly to themselves.
Many dogs and sheep were walking to and fro when your blue eyes finally went on Solas. He was looking at Beorn then turned his head, looking at the door, before glancing back at Beorn once more.
Your own eyes went on your host, who was at this point in time, speaking to Gandalf to pay any heed to what Solas was doing. Your eyes went back on Solas noticing him slip away. You did not like this, that feeling you were having was growing.
Grabbing your bag, you got up, taking no notice of the six pair of eyes that were watching you. You knew Solas was up to something and you wanted answers now. Just as you were about to walk away, Thorin stopped you in your tracks.
"What is it?"
Without glancing in his direction, you replied,
"I'm not sure, " You admitted "just a feeling I have. Please excuse me."
You failed to notice the line of Durin get up and follow you from a distance. Just as you were about to reach the door, Elladan and Elrohir came up to you.
"Where are you going?" Elladan asked, sounding a little worried, you realised.
You knew lying to him would never work. Sighing you explained how Solas had been watching Beorn, then at the door and so forth.
"After what Gandalf said about him and this Elven artifact, I can't help feeling uneasy around Solas."
"He's not that bad stardust," replied Varric, heading towards you and the brothers as did, Dorian, Thorin, Fili and Kili you realised "he just acts aloof around others. Don't let his somber expression fool you. He does smile sometimes."
You knew Varric was only trying to reassure you but you were not fooled. For some strange reason, you just could not trust him.
"Either way," You began "it would ease my mind as to where he has wandered off too. Soon it will be nightfall," You looked back at Beorn "meaning that our host will soon change form."
"I see your point," agreed Dorian "might I suggest we tag along?"
You frowned as you returned your attention to the little group in front of you.
"I am quite capable of-,"
"Yes, I am aware of that," interrupted Dorian "but Solas is-,"
"An elf!" spat out Thorin.
Before an argument developed between Thorin and Elladan who at this second was glaring back at the dwarf in question, you sighed in defeat saying,
"Fine, you can come."
Elladan moved aside as you opened the door only to be stopped by Elrohir. He shocked you by embracing you, holding you tightly.
"Please be safe," He whispered in your ear, pulling apart from you a little "you-,"
He swallowed hard as you watch one another. Elrohir surprised you even more by cupping your left cheek.
"You mean a lot to me....to us I mean. Please don't do anything rash."
Placing your own hand over his, you smiled at him.
"I only want to see what Solas is up too. I'll be back before you know it."
You could see the worry in Elrohir's blue eyes and that stunned you. Never have you seen him act this way towards you or anyone else for that matter. Leaning closer to him, you gave him a kiss on the cheek, feeling him tighten his hold on you.
"I'll be fine." You whispered back.
You could tell that it was hard when Elrohir did release you. His thumb brushed against your jawline as he said,
"Please be careful."
With that, he moved aside leaving you confused, though you forced yourself to look for Solas. The smell of honey filled your senses as you re-entered the garden. Glancing around, you could not see Solas anywhere and that was troubling you.
"What sort of person is Solas?" You asked both Dorian and Varric, while looking at the many beehives around the garden.
"He is an elf, what more do you want?"
You spun around with wide eyes. Standing behind you were Thorin, Fili and Kili.
"What in the Makers name are you doing here?" You demanded to know, now glaring at them.
No one said a word.
"Go back inside," You argued "it does not take the six of us to see what is happening."
"I do not trust any elf, therefore I am coming with you," replied Thorin "subject closed."
"Let's just look for Solas," butted in Varric "then you can have your words with your friend," Varric looked at Thorin and graced him with a smile "another time."
Clenching your bag, you turned around once more shaking your head in disdain. This was really getting ridiculous. At least you had a reason why you wanted to know what Solas was up too. Thorin however, clearly hated every single elf in Middle-earth and you had no idea why that was.
Walking in silence in the garden, you look around for any sign of this elusive elf when you shivered. That feeling you had, was growing stronger by the second. Beorn's garden was massive, though you felt really uneasy all of a sudden.
"There he is," said Dorian, breaking this strange atmosphere "Solas, what are you up too this time?"
Standing a little further to you stood the elf in question. He glanced up from what he was looking at and frowned.
"You should know me by now Dorian, I sensed another Elven artifact and I was right."
Walking up to him, you saw a strange looking green orb lying on the grass. It was completely round and on close inspection was very muddy. Never in your entire life, have you seen this sort of thing before.
It appeared that at one time, this orb had been connected to something. There was a piece of broken metal around one side of the orb. One things was certain, this artifact certainly gave you the creeps.
"Turning this on should help our cause," remarked Solas, now bending down "I can sense its power and it will strengthen the veil."
You frowned, not understanding what he was talking about. Just as you were about to ask him, you watched him as he touched the orb and a green hue came from nowhere, enveloping you and everyone near. Sudden lighting came from nowhere from the sky and you knew danger was around the corner.
"Well, that's not good." said Varric before the green hue consumed you all.
You took in deep breaths when you could smell bacon and sausage in the air. Somehow, you were lying on the earth when you knew only a moment ago, you were standing, in fact everyone was standing.
"Is everyone alright?" came a voice to your right.
Though you did hear someone reply, you slowly sat up and instinctively looked at the sky. Not only was it now night time, you sensed something was amiss.
"Where are we?" asked Fili.
Getting up, you quickly checked to make sure your swords and other weapons were still on your person, before turning to face the rest of the company.
"I do not think we are in Beorn's garden anymore." You say, looking around.
"Put it out you fools!" You heard someone shout out "Put it out!"
"What was that?" asked Dorian.
This made you more alert. The smell of meat was all wrong. In all the time you have known Beorn, he has never eaten meat of any kind.
"No, definitely not in Beorn's garden." You muttered to yourself.
Something felt very wrong here, that was for sure.
"Where in Durin's name are we?...Why is it dark here?" asked a very irate Thorin.
You were very relieved to see that everyone was fine and you were about to reply to Thorin, when you all heard a horrible wailing noise.
"What was that?" asked Dorian, grabbing hold of his staff.
Turning to the source of the noise, you replied,
You spotted fire that went out just as fast. Someone else was around here and whoever that was, was in danger. Drawing out your sword, you quickly headed in the direction where you knew you saw the fire.
"Where are you going?" asked Thorin, though you were already running on ahead to answer him.
This was not right at all. You now recognised the area. Instead of being in Beorn's garden, you were now staring up at the watch tower of Amon. Placing your bag around your shoulders, you would worry about why you were here later, especially when another cry could be heard coming from up the tower. You quickened your pace, not noticing the others were right behind you.
As you reached the top of the tower, your eyes widened. There were four hobbits huddled together while the Nazgl that you had read about, were heading straight towards them. What was going on here? These Ringwraiths should not be here, yet here they were, about to attack these hobbits.
The Nazgl near the hobbits drew his own sword out and held it before his face. Glancing around, you could see more of these Nazgl getting ready to fight. Meanwhile, the hobbits were holding onto their own weapons, looking absolutely frightened.
"Back off you devils!" shouted one of the hobbits.
This was your cue. Just as the Nazgl was about to strike, you instantly deflected his attack on the hobbit that had just spoken with your sword and you knew they were here for a reason.
You blocked and parried around the advancing Ringwraiths, pushing two of the hobbits away from this fight. Fighting these beings was hard, but you never faltered. You could see from the corner of your eye, that Fili and Kili were also fighting them. You just wanted to protect these hobbits.
A cry in the dark made you turn around and see a man holding a burning torch who was waving it around the Nazgls, who you realised was scared of this action. They soon retreated, leaving. A groan made you look back when you saw a hobbit come from nowhere wincing in pain.
While the man continued chasing after the Nazgls, you ran up to the hobbit that had been injured in this strange fight, noticing the other hobbits running up to him. The hobbit that was injured spotted his friend and whispered,
Placing your sword back in its sheath, you bent down, taking no notice of the startled looks you were now receiving. You could see that he had been stabbed and this was not good news.
"He has been poisoned." You lamented, frowning at the stab wound on his shoulder.
"Strider!" shouted the same hobbit from before "Help him Strider!"
The man in question ran up to the hobbit and frowned. You all watched as he picked up a sword from the ground, inspecting it.
"He's been stabbed by a Morgul blade," the man admitted, confirming your fears "this is beyond my skill to heal. He needs elvish medicine."
Being stabbed by a Ringwraith was indeed bad news, without immediate treatment, you knew this brave hobbit would become like them, a Nazgl. You now felt eyes on you when you took your bag from your shoulders and started rummaging through your items.
"Who are you?" asked the man, sounding very suspicious, you noted.
"Well, clearly not you're enemy," came your reply, finally finding the little bottle you were searching for "um, could you prop your friend up please?"
You looked at the sandy haired hobbit who looked back at you with suspicion in his eyes.
"W-Why?" He stammers, looking at you then at the hobbit named Frodo "What will you do to him?"
"I'm trying to save your friend." came your reply.
"Stardust, what are you about to do?" asked Varric, looking over your shoulder.
"Aye," You heard Thorin say "What is the meaning of this?"
"Thorin, not now!" You replied, though your eyes stayed on the injured hobbit "though I know this won't completely heal your friend," You finally add to the hobbit watching you "this potion should relieve his discomfort for a while...Now, could you prop him up?"
You watch the hobbit turn his attention to the man named Strider next to you, before he gently moved his friends head a little. You took out the cork from the bottle and leaned forward, opening the hobbits mouth. You poured the contents down which made the hobbit cough a little.
"Yes, sorry about that, this health potion does have a kick to it," You admitted, before turning your head towards the man who seemed to be studying you "it will only slow the poison down, he still needs treatment, fast!"
Without saying a word, this man picked the injured hobbit up, while you quickly pulled the strings on your bag. Getting up, you spotted Solas watch the hobbits and your eyes narrowed.
You knew you be having words with this elf later, but right now, your concern was on this hobbit. Though you did wonder, why you were at the watch tower Amon. It really made no sense to you.
A/N:*Emel means mother. That is according to the internet search, please forgive me if I am wrong.
*Gwathel means sister.
Chapter 5: Storm In A Teacup
You could sense the mistrust with this man named Strider. From time to time you caught him glancing back at you and your own companions as you all quickened your pace in the wood. The screeching sounds of the Nazgal was all you needed to know, they were near, you were certain of that.
"Hurry!" shouted Strider.
"It's six days from Rivendell! He'll never make it!" the sandy haired hobbit remarked.
"Rivendell!" You heard Thorin say "That can not be right."
You agreed with Thorin on that front, something strange was going on here and it had something to do with that artifact.
You all had been travelling nonstop for a couple of days. There was barely any talking among you all, the only sound was from the hobbit, Frodo. he needed help fast. Strider, placed the hobbit near a statue when Thorin finally broke this strange atmosphere.
"It can not be!"
Looking up you saw three statues of trolls. It was the same ones you had seen before, when Thorin's company had been captured.
"Just what is going on here?" You asked yourself, looking at the trolls with disdain.
"Look Frodo. It's Mr Bilbo's trolls."
Your eyes went back on the hobbit that had spoken.
"There is something strange going on here." You remarked, more to yourself but you did notice Strider raise his eyebrow at you.
Frodo gasps for breath and you went by his side. He was shivering so without saying a word you took of your coat. Then wrapped it around him, hoping that would help him get warm.
"He's going cold!" said the hobbit that was refusing to leave his friends side.
You looked at Frodo and frowned, he was now really pale and his eyes looked distant.
"Is he going to die?" asked another hobbit.
"He's passing into the Shadow world. He'll soon become a wraith like them." said Strider standing between the stone trolls.
"Not on my watch." You found yourself saying out loud.
Getting up, you walked right over towards this strange man, catching sight of Solas. Once again, he was looking at the hobbits with interest and that unnerved you.
"There should be some Athelas around here," You began, never taking your eyes of Solas "well, at least there was. Maybe we should search around."
"How do you know of this?" asked Strider, causing you to look at him.
"Because, until recently," You then glanced over at Fili, Kili and Thorin "I traveled on my own. Though I did have a good teacher who taught me on how different herbs work against wounds, poison and such."
Another wailing sound came and you knew the Ringwraiths were not that far away.
"Sam! Do you know the Athelas plant?" asked Strider, though his grey eyes bore into yours
"Athelas?" asked the sandy haired hobbit.
"Kingsfoil, aye, its a weed!" replied Sam, looking at you then at Strider.
"It may help to slow the poison. Hurry!"
You watch on with raised eyebrows as both Sam and Strider ran back towards the wood. You shake your head and kneeled down once more, watching Frodo. You hoped there was some Athelas around. You did not want to see another innocent person get corrupted by evil.
"Keep fighting, Frodo." You whispered, tenderly stroking his wet hair.
Footsteps made you glance up. You were slightly shocked when Thorin went to your level looking down at the injured hobbit.
"What can I do to help?" He asked gently.
You found yourself smiling at this gesture and he surprised you more, by taking of his cloak and placing it under Frodo's head. You were beginning to see another side to Thorin, he was not really short fused at all. You could tell he did care for others, though you had to peel the layers to see that.
"Thank you." You say to him, your smile broadening a little, startled a little when Thorin returned the smile.
"What are those things anyway?" asked Dorian, watching Frodo with concern on his face.
"They are the Nazgul," You began, your eyes going back on Frodo "they were the servants of the dark lord Sauron," You glanced up looking at the three hobbits who were watching you wearily "why were they after you four? It really makes no sense....They should only be mentioned in a book. What is going on here?"
"Who is Sauron?" asked Solas, though you refused to speak to him.
In truth you were angry at him and if you replied, you knew you would soon be having a heated debate to what he had done. Your eyes went back on the hobbits, who remained quiet as you looked at each of them. There was something wrong. It really reminded you of the Blight. Everyone being nervous around others. Looking at each of the hobbits, you could see they were scared of something.
"H-He will be alright, won't he, miss?" asked Sam finally.
You looked at him and sighed, catching the somber expression from Fili. Even Kili was unusually quiet. You knew lying would get you nowhere.
"Your friend, needs healing fast," You began, returning your attention to the three hobbits "the Athelas herb would really help though."
You sighed and looked down at Frodo. He really did look like he was in tremendous pain and you wished you could help out more. You felt eyes on you once more but you kept your attention on Frodo, that is, until you heard his voice.
You glanced up, clearly confused. There standing next to Strider was a dear friend of yours.
"Glorfindel." You whispered, eyes wide.
You were surprised to see him here. You turned your attention to Frodo once more, noticing he was getting worse.
"He's not going to last without proper treatment." You admitted.
Glorfindel went to your level and looked at Frodo.
"Frodo I'm Glorfindel. Telin le thaed. Lasto beth nin. Tolo dan na galad (I am Glorfindel. I have come to help you. Hear my voice. Come back to the light)."
Frodo gasps for breath and you quickly grab hold of Frodo's clammy hand trying to calm him down in your own way.
"Who is he?" asked one of the hobbits.
"He's an elf." replied Sam with awe in his voice.
With silent movement, Glorfindel wipes Frodo's brow and frowns, while you caught the eye of Strider who was chewing something. Without saying anything, Glorfindel undo's Frodo's shirt, looking at the stab wound. The wound itself looks angry. You knew the poison was spreading.
"He's fading." confessed Glorfindel.
"Fight it, Frodo." You whispered
You watch Strider when he spits out what he was chewing, realising what it was and brought the substance on Frodo's wound. This made Frodo groan out in pain and you try and console him while Strider continued placing the Athelas on the stab wound.
"He's not going to last. We must get him to Lord Elrond." exclaimed Glorfindel.
You heard a tut coming from Thorin's direction, though for now, you chose to ignore it. You quickly move out of the way when Strider picked Frodo up while Glorfindel continues to speak,
"I've been searching for you for two days."
You follow Strider and Glorfindel as they both head towards Glorfindel's horse.
"There are five wraiths behind you, where the other four are, I do not know."
Strider placed Frodo on the horse then said in elvish.
"Dartho guin perian. Rych le ad tolthathon. (Stay with the hobbits. I will send horses back for you.)"
"Hon mabathon. Rochon ellint im. (I'm the faster rider. I'll take him.)" remarked Glorfindel, catching your concerned eyes.
"Andelu i ven. (The road is too dangerous)" argued Strider.
"Not to be blunt or anything," You began, noticing Strider turn and look at you "Glorfindel is quite capable of defending himself."
"Little star," your friend went up to you, tucking a strand of dark red hair that had escaped your braided bun "there is no need to defend me, though I would like to know where you have been!"
You frowned, not understanding.
"Travelling with Thorin and his kin, as well you know of this ma-,"
Glorfindel stopped you and beckoned you to follow him while Strider made Frodo comfortable on the horse. What your friend had to say, shocked you to the very core.
While placing Frodo on Asfaloth, Strider watched these newcomers. Apart from the lady currently speaking quietly to Glorfindel, the other five strangers had yet to speak to him.
Strider's grey eyes went back on the lady in question and sighed. True he had been very suspicious when they arrived from nowhere, but when the Balrog slayer uttered those two words, all suspicions he had of her, went away.
He had been told of a lady of legend that had come from nowhere, made friends with the inhabitants of Imladris, before venturing on an adventure with Gandalf the Grey. Lord Elronds son's also went with her. Then she just disappeared altogether along with several others, causing concern and bewilderment to many. A gasp from Frodo brought Glorfindel back to his horse looking at Frodo himself. The lady followed suit and Strider noticed she now had a troubled look on her face.
"Frodo fîr. Ae athradon i hir, tur gwaith nin beriatha hon. (Frodo's dying. If I can get across the river, the power of my people will protect him.)" said Glorfindel getting on Asfaloth.
"Be iest lîn. (As you wish.)" replied Strider "Ride hard. Don't look back."
Glorfindel nodded and then quickly said,
"Rila, we have much to discuss, until then, be safe."
Strider watched her grace Glorfindel with a smile then nodded her head.
"Noro lim, Asfaloth, noro lim! (Ride fast, Asfaloth, ride fast!)" remarked Glorfindel who then gallops off through the woods, leaving in wake three angry looking hobbits.
"What are you doing? Those wraiths are still out there!" yelled Sam.
Rila, as Glorfindel had called her, went up to Sam and gently said,
"Calm down my dear friend, Frodo is in good hands."
"Have some hope," carried on Rila, "Glorfindel knows what he is doing."
Rila then gently squeezed Sam's shoulder before heading towards her bag catching the worried glance from Strider. Her blue eyes then went on the dwarf who was now pacing back and forth with anger etched on his face.
"You are too trusting with elves." He said, causing Rila to sigh.
"Am I indeed Thorin?"
"Aye, you are, but I'll let it slide for now. We should return to my kin, they'll grow concerned."
Strider who had been listening in, caught the worried glance Rila gave her friend. This did not go unnoticed by her other companions.
"Rila, what is it?" asked Fili, walking over to her.
"We leave now." said Strider, trying to break the strange mood.
Strider watched Rila carefully. She never uttered a word, though she did look at the bald elf from time to time, before walking off shaking her head. The ranger sensed trouble and he wasn't sure if he wanted to know about this.
Though you all did stop walking when it was too dark to see, you had barely said anything to anyone. Your thoughts went back to what Glorfindel told you, in truth, you were most concerned and you had no idea on how to explain this too anyone, least of all Thorin. He had a right to know, though you knew he could start a fight with Solas. After all, it was his fault this had happened in the first place but it wasn't going to be Thorin having words with this particular elf, it would be you.
For several days, you followed Strider and his hobbit friends, heading towards Imladris once more. Your silence was getting to Thorin, you could tell as he kept glancing at you from time to time with worry etched on his face.
It was now the fifth day of travelling and you were currently helping Sam with the meal, when Thorin walked over to you. He had a somber look on his face and you knew he had finally snapped.. You knew the time of not saying anything had ended.
"Rila, you have barely uttered one word, what is bothering you?"
"I agree," chimed in Kili, "you are acting the way we first met, very quiet."
You frowned, though remained quiet.
"Not now." You finally say, placing some carrots in the stew Sam was making.
"Yes now!" replied Thorin "This has something to do with what that elf said to you."
"Not now!" You repeated, now feeling many eyes go on you.
Thorin however, was not deterred. He simply took the little knife from your right hand which he then handed over to Sam, before pulling you away from the others. You were mortified by this and managed to yank your arm away from his grasp.
"Never do that again!" You hissed at him, well aware that Strider was now close by.
"Then answer my question, what is bothering you?"
Looking at the grass, you stayed quiet, wondering how you could explain all this.
"This has something to do with that round orb thing we all found the other day, doesn't it?"
You slowly glanced back at Thorin and knew lying was not going to work.
"I am still trying to process to what has happened," You confessed "though it appears nothing has changed, it clearly has."
You could tell Thorin didn't understand, the truth was, neither did you. You were still trying to get your head around this. Your blue eyes went on Strider as he headed towards Thorin and yourself.
"Perhaps you should leave the lady alone."
"This has nothing to do with you, human!" sneered Thorin, now glaring back at Strider "Stay out of it."
You found yourself watching this man and it all slotted into place. The way he had been watching you. It all made sense.
"You know don't you?" You ask Strider, his own grey eyes returning to you.
He gave you a curt nod.
"I knew when Glorfindel called you by your nickname. You have been greatly missed by many."
"It was Lord Elrond himself that started calling me that," You admitted, a small smile came from nowhere "the stars were at their brightest apparently when he, Glorfindel and several others elves found me."
"Found you?" came a voice, causing you to turn and look at one of the hobbits"What do you mean?"
"It is a long story."
"I love long stories."
The hobbit then grinned at you, making you do the same. You had a feeling this hobbit was a prankster. He had that look about him.
"I'm sure you do Mister-,"
"Oh, where are my manners, I'm Peregrin Took, though everyone calls me Pippin or Pip," He's smile broadened as he bowed his head at you, then looked to hs left "and over there, is my cousin Meriadoc Brandybuck, Merry for short."
"I'm Rila Cousland," You replied looking over at Merry who seemed to be having a discussion about something with Fili "though I do apologise for not pointing that little fact out, a little earlier."
"Don't worry about it," grinned Pippin as you return your attention to him "I could sense you were not ready to talk."
"Something she is really good at." remarked Kili, causing you to roll your eyes.
"That orb thing." began Thorin.
"Thorin, now is not the time."
"Yes it is....I want to know why we are back near Rivendell?"
You sighed, absently rubbing your temple. You knew Thorin would not drop this.
"Thorin," You look at Pippin with a frown "it is not fair on our new companions."
"You have a had a troubled expression for a while now," began Pippin, his smile fading "perhaps if you unburdened yourself, it will ease you."
"Rila, the halfling does makes a fair point," began Thorin "my kin will be worried and rightly so. You know something and I demand answers know!"
You glanced at Solas, surprised he was watching you back. You could feel the anger surge through you though you gritted your teeth, not knowing how to begin this strange discusion.
"I am waiting." interrupted Thorin, crossing his arms around his chest.
You took in a deep breath before beginning.
"The Elven artifact is the course of why we are here and not in Beorn's garden. You see, this idiot here," You now point your finger at Solas "thought it will be fun in touching the orb."
"I assure you My Lady, I am no idiot."
Your eyes went back on Solas as he walked up to you.
"Aren't you?" You remarked, then shook your head when he narrowed his eyes at you.
A chuckle from Thorin caused you to glare back at him.
"And you can stop that at once," You reprimanded him "this is no laughing matter...After all, we are sixty years into the future!"
Your eyes never left Thorin's as you watched him, the smile he had, vanished. You hated seeing the disdain on his face, it really did not suit him in the slightest.
"I know, it is a lot to take in Thorin and I am trying to process this as well. Though it is the truth."
"There is a tale where seven people mysteriously disappeared in a garden," You heard Strider say, though you continued watching Thorin "no one knew what had happened. There was no signs of battle, no signs of a struggle."
"It can not be." murmured Thorin walking away.
You glanced back at Solas with narrowed eyes before you followed Thorin. He was now pacing back and forth, his hands behind his back. Looking at him, you could see the anguish on his face and that broke your heart.
"Thorin," You began, stopping his pacing by holding onto his arm "I wish I knew what to say."
"My kin would have been worried sick. Not knowing what had happened to us."
Thorin met your eyes and you could plainly see he was pained by this revelation.
"What of Dis? What has happened to my sister?" He frowned "What became of Erebor?"
You had no answer for those questions, though you had a feeling another did. Your hand trailed down his arm to his hand and you held it, startling him.
"I have no answers for these important questions," You began, hearing footsteps behind you "though I believe Lord Elrond will have some of these answers for you."
"He is an elf, that only think for themselves!" spat Thorin, trying to get his hand back.
You were having none of it though, you firmly held on to his right hand and carried on speaking.
"He is an elf, that is true, but he knows many things," You point out, remembering Elladan explain to you that his father has visions "Lord Elrond would know your answers, I'm sure of it. You have to trust me on this."
You watched one another, again seeing the hurt in his piecing blue eyes.
"I know we have not known each other long, but I really want to fix this. I feel responsible."
"It is not your fault Rila," replied Thorin, now stroking your fingers "though I would welcome your help."
"Aye," You heard Kili say from behind you "we should stick together."
You turned your head noticing Dorian, Varric, Fili and Kili right behind you.
"Well, most of us." concluded Kili, narrowing his brown eyes at Solas, who was standing besides Strider.
"I simply activated the Elven artifact to strengthen the veil," explained Solas "I clearly do not understand what has happened."
Something snapped inside of you as you felt the anger surge through you. Letting go of Thorin's hand, you walked over to Solas and slapped him hard across the face.
"You only think for yourself, I realise that now," Your voice was surprisingly calm you realised "this is how it happened before, isn't it? You touch those creepy looking green orb things and boom! You and your friends get whisked away to here."
"It was the veil. I could sense the power." replied, Solas, rubbing the left side of his cheek where you slapped him
"What are you talking about? What veil?"
You were well aware that everyone was now watching you and Solas, which made you cringe. You have always hated being the centre of attention. Your blue eyes refused to leave Solas however, especially as he remained quiet.
"Perhaps we should-," began Dorian, but Solas fnally spoke up.
"The veil is part of the fade," He explained, watching you intently "surely you know of this?"
Of course you had heard of the fade. You had even been in there while being trapped helping the mages from the blood mage, Uldred. You knew however, things were very different here.
"There is no veil or fade here. We are not in Ferelden now. This is Middle-earth!"
"I can sense the veil, therefore it is here as well as Ferelden!"
You watched Solas with disdain. For the first time ever, you could understand why Thorin hated elves. This elf in particular was pushing your buttons the wrong way. The way he was watching you, made you feel very uncomfortable. Your thoughts cried out one word to you while you watched Solas.
Yor eyes went a little wide hearing that, somewhere buried inside your head, you had heard that name somewhere before.
"Stardust, you will not get a straight answer from Chuckles," You heard Varric say "believe me, I too have tried."
You stepped back finally looking away from Solas. You needed to clear your head a little and began walking away.
"Excuse me." was all you said as you walked away from everyone.
You just could not get that name out of your head. The more you tried probing it however, the harder it was to concentrate on it. The name was a massive clue, you knew that, but what did 'Dread wolf' really mean?
There was just something wrong with this elf and that worried you even more. You stopped walking when you had a feeling you were being followed. Drawing out your sword, you were gearing yourself to fight anything that dared come near you.
Sensing the presence was close by, you spun around and your sword and another weapon clashed. Your eyes went wide, when you realised you were fighting Dorian and you instantly lowered your weapon.
"I am terribly sorry. What must you think of me?"
You were a little surprised to see Dorian smile back at you.
"A lady that has a lot on her mind," He replied, his smile fading "your friend is right, it is not your fault that this has come to pass."
"Isn't it?" You shook your head "I had a feeling back at Beorn's home that something was wrong. I always follow my intuition, though I was not expecting this."
"Rila," You turn your head, surprised to see Thorin walk towards you and Dorian "whatever has happened, it is not your fault. Do not let that elf think that either!"
You said nothing, your eyes stayed on Thorin's. You still had no idea why he hated every elf in Middle-earth and yet for the first time ever, you were beginning to realise that not all elves were kind.
"Rila, may I call you that?"
You turned your attention to Dorian and graced him with a smile, then a nod.
"Rila, Solas has always been fascinated with Elven artifacts, though until recently, they never teleported people to a different place entirely."
You watch one another as you process what he has said to you.
"How well do you know of him?" You asked Dorian, noticing Thorin walk by your side.
"I barely spoke to Solas while working with the inquisition, Solas likes being away from others."
"The inquisition?" You queried "Have I missed something?"
"Went ahead of myself there," replied Dorian, smiling at you "when we are completely safe, I will answer any question you may have."
You nodded, but said,
"For an elf, it is the first time ever, that I find that I do not trust him. There is something off about Solas. I suggest you and Varric be on your guard as well."
"You don't need to tell me that." points out Thorin.
"He seems alright to me."
You shook your head at Dorian.
"Right! Yet here you are, in Middle-earth! Don't you find it odd that Solas touched that orb in the garden, knowing what had happened before?"
Dorian never said a word as you paused for the words to sink in.
"You all came from Ferelden via that artifact, correct?"
"Yes, that is true."
"And yet as soon as Solas spots another orb, he has to activate it. Any normal person would be very cautious by this and not tamper with things that should not be touched!"
"Rila does make a fair point." replied Thorin.
Dorian then frowned causing you to sigh. Maybe you should have kept your opinion to yourself.
"Look, maybe I should have-," You began but Dorian cut in,
"It does look suspicious, I grant you that. Though there is no proof of this."
"Well, as soon as we reach Imladris."
You saw the confusion in his eyes.
"Rivendell," You corrected "I will be seeking out Lord Elrond. Surely he would know how we can get back to our original timeline."
"You mean Varric, Solas and I return to Ferelden, while you and your dwarven friends return in that strange man's garden."
"Beorn," You smiled which went as you carried on "and that is precisely what I mean. Being here in this timeline, something seems off. Those Ringwraiths prove it."
"Again, I do not know anything about those Ringwraiths, but judging from what I saw earlier, they are not to be trifled with!"
Dorian frowned and sighed.
"I will take on board to what you have said Rila. The truth always has to come out sooner or later."
Even though you barely knew Dorian, you had a feeling you would get on well with him. You wish you could say the same to Solas however, there was just something strange about him. Your new friend then walked back to where the others were residing.
"May I ask you a question Thorin?"
Your blue eyes stayed on the retreating form of Dorian while you waited for Thorin to reply. It didn't take long.
"Why don't you get on with elves?"
You heard Thorin suck in his breath and you realised you had opened an old wound.
"I'm sorry, it is none of my-,"
"After Smaug stole my home," began Thorin "we had to leave. Many of my kin died and when I spotted the Elven king, Thranduil. I asked him to help us...He never did, all he did was stare back at me while riding on his Elk, acting like he had better things to do."
You just listen in stunned silence. You have heard of King Thranduil, though you had never seen in him in person. There had to be a plausible reason why the Elven king refused to help Thorin and his kin. Trouble is, if you reveal that to Thorin, you had a feeling he would on turn you.
"Not all elves are like that Thorin," You finally say to him "there are many who will stop at nothing in helping others. I am sorry that king Thranduil did not come to your aid."
You turn and look at Thorin.
"I would have done. Especially as there is a dragon involved."
"Smaug is not an archdemon Rila, he is a real dragon."
"So to speak, the archdemon really looks like one, acts like one, therefore it-,"
"Supper's ready." shouted Pippin, causing you to roll your eyes.
"When we return to our timeline, I vow to help you defeat Smaug."
"Rila, I'm not expecting you to-,"
"I said, supper's ready!"
You knew speaking with Thorin was over for the time being, though when you began walking towards the camp you said,
"I know you have no right in trusting me Thorin, but I do feel responsible."
You were taken aback when Thorin grabbed your arm and stopped you from walking, turning you around.
"That is the third time you have said that and for the third and final time, you are not responsible. It is that blasted elf's fault!"
Thorin let go of your arm when he saw the way you were watching him. You were bemused.
"And for the record," He carried on "I have trusted you since you killed my nemesis. That will never change."
You could feel your cheeks go warm and you shifted from foot to foot looking at the ground while you replied,
"Well to be honest with you, until I was told on who I killed, I had no idea Azog was connected to you. I just knew he was a bloody nuisance that needed to get out of my way."
Your head shot up when you heard Thorin roar with laughter. It was so out of character. You had heard the odd snicker from time to time, but never laughter. Watching him, it made his face less serious and you realised, he really should laugh more.
"A wise person once told me that laughter is the best medicine."
"Who told you that? One of your elf friends, perhaps?" asked Thorin.
You shook your head as you began heading back towards the camp.
"No, it was my brother Fergus."
Just bringing up your brother's name, brought it all back again, You had a feeling he had lived. The last time you had seen Fergus, was the eve before Rendon Howe changed everything. You often wondered how your brother was fairing. You and Fergus had always been close and it still hurt, knowing you would never see him again.
"Are you alright?"
You automatically nodded your head, closing your eyes as you saw the image of your brother in your thoughts.
"I will be," You reply reopening your eyes "come, let us get something to eat, before Pippin loses his voice."
If you had turned and looked back at Thorin, you would have seen the sadness in his eyes, while he watched you walk towards the camp.
It was a little later, the stew Sam had made was long gone and you were in the process of sharpening up your swords. You were sitting besides Strider, hearing the others talk amongst themselves.
You had purposely avoided Solas since your return. You knew he would only say something that could cause you to snap back at him and that was not what you wanted. Something did feel wrong though. There was something in the air. Every once in a while, your eyes darted around the camp. Even though things did appear to be safe, you were not entirely convinced yourself.
"If you keep sharpening your sword like that, you will only be left with the hilt. What is troubling you?"
You were a little surprised when Strider spoke to you. In fairness, he had barely uttered a word since Glorfindel left with Frodo. You had a feeling he preferred staying silent, observing everything in his own way. Though you did stop sharpening your sword, you wondered on how to answer him. You had a feeling he would know if you lied to him, so you simply said,
"Other than the fact, myself and my companions have teleported sixty years in the future, nothing's troubling me."
"I'm not convinced. For a while, you have been watching your surroundings like you are expecting something."
"That's the Grey Warden in me coming out. I always keep a look out," You turned your head and face Strider, gracing him with a small smile "it's sort of a habit you see. I can not break out of."
'Especially when that feeling of unease is really settling in.' You thought to yourself.
"Elrohir mentioned you being a Grey Warden, though he was very vague about it."
Your eyes lit up when you heard your dear friends name.
"How are they?" You asked Strider, not sure if you would like the answer or not.
"Both Elladan and Elrohir are fine. They will be relieved to see you."
Even though for you it had been days since you had last seen your two friends, you could not imagine what went through the brothers heads when you and your companions had vanished. Sixty years is a long time.
"They spoke of you a lot," carried on Strider "especially Elrohir. He has taken your disappeance the hardest."
Your eyes went wide when Strider mentioned that. Even though none of this was your fault, you still felt weird knowing that things have changed around you in a blink in the eye moment. You were about to reply, when you instinctively got up, knowing something was amiss. Your blue eyes narrowed knowing you could indeed sense them.
"What is the matter?" You heard Strider say.
"Something I thought I would never see again," You began, now looking ahead of you "darkspawn!"
As soon as you had said that, a dozen darkspawn ran towards the camp. You were thankful when you spotted Varric and Dorian grab hold of their weapons, though you were worried for the hobbits safety. These foes were as dangerous as any other. Though theses darkspawn only had one thing on their minds, kill.
You realised these beings were in fact hurlocks and as you held onto your swords, you wondered what they were doing here. You'd worry about that later, what was important was dealing with them first.
As you plunged your sword in a hurlock, you remembered what it was like in Ferelden. The countless battles, the struggles every person had to make while the Blight took hold. A hurlock was running towards Merry ready to attack him, but Fili quickly went to Merry's defense and deflected the hurlock attack.
You saw a slightly bigger darkspawn slowly approaching you and your companions. You swallowed hard knowing you had seen this type of foe before. It was a general. These darkspawn in your old life were connected to the archdemon, which made you realise something, the red dragon must be in this timline now.
Running towards the general, you began attacking it, taking no notice of anything else. Out of all of these darkspawn, these were even more dangerous than others, partly because of the way they carried themselves.
Your sword clashed with his, while you waited for an opening, which didn't take too long. Holding onto your other sword in your right hand, you managed to stab him in the side, just as Solas cast a spell of some sort on to the general.
The general seemed to be immobile him and taking this as a sign, you held on to your sword as you plunged it inside his torso. You were about to finish him off when a stray arrow landed in the centre of the general's forehead, killing him on the spot. You turned around and saw Kili. He winked at you as he lowered his bow and you found yourself smiling back. Looking around the camp, all of the darkspawn had been dealt with, for now at least.
You took in a deep breath before wiping your swords on the grass. Though the feeling of unease had gone, you knew there had to be more darkspawn. That general had been sent for a reason. As you wiped the blood of your swords, you looked over at the hobbits and realised that everything was somehow connected. The orb, the new archdemon, Corypheus, now the darkspawn. These darkspawn had been looking for something, but what?
"What were those things?" asked Merry, looking at the dead hurlocks.
"Darkspawn!" You spat out, glancing down at the dead general "I thought my days of dealing with these low lifes had ended, clearly this is not the case."
"Nothing like orcs then?"
You turned and looked at Fili and you shrug your shoulders.
"They are about the same, though seeing this general here," Your blue eyes went back on the one you were speaking about "means trouble is not over yet."
"What do you mean?" asked Thorin, stepping in front of you.
"It is hard to explain except everything is connected. The ringwraiths, that orb, us being here"
You caught Solas's somber expression as if he was expecting you to have another dig at him. There was still something strange about this elf that you just could not point out, though you would keep your thoughts to yourself for now.
"There is evil in the air and if my hunch is correct," You turn and look at each of the hobbits, realising something "it is connected to your friend Frodo...Just what is going on here?"
"Aye, I would like to know that myself." remarked Thorin.
The hobbits remained silent and you admired them. You knew they were protecting Frodo from whatever this secret was.
"When we reach Rivendell, everything will be explained to you Rila." said Strider and you found yourself watching him, taking on board to what he had said.
"Why not tell us now?" demanded Thorin.
"It is not safe to speak about these things while out in the open," You realised, your eyes stayed on Strider as he nodded "things have a way of listening in the wind."
"Great, another Gandalf!" moaned Kili, causing you to smirk a little.
"Not quite. I don't mumble under my breath."
"No," agreed Kili "you just stay quiet for days at a time."
You were surprised when Fili wacked Kili round the back of his head.
"What was that for?" hissed Kili, now rubbing his head.
"Kee, that was uncalled for," replied Fili, narrowing his eyes at his brother "it is quite clear that Rila is a thinker."
You snorted out a laugh, but said nothing, until your eyes went back on the bodies of the darkspawn.
"We need to leave. This area is not safe anymore."
"Where will we go?" asked Sam, looking worried "It is still night time."
As you resheathed your swords, you heard Strider say,
"We will not travel far. Come, get your things together."
You walked back to where your bag was and sighed. Something was definitely wrong here and you did not like it one bit.
You woke with a start. You could have sworn you had heard horses galloping nearby. Just as you thought you had dreamt that, you were about to close your eyes when someone shook you.
"Stardust! We are not alone."
This made you alert once more and you sat up, looking up at Varric clearly confused. You watched him as he stepped back revealing three people speaking quietly to Strider.
'Not people,' You realised to yourself 'friends.'
Standing around Strider was Glorfindel, Elladan and Elrohir. Getting up from where you had slept, you graced Varric with a smile before heading towards your friends. It was like they sensed you approching them, as both brothers made their excuses eith Strider and Glorfindel and walked to where you were.
You met them half way and for the first time ever, you felt very unsure of yourself. After all, it had only been a few days of seeing them. To Elladan and Elrohir however, it was a very long time since seeing you. You stopped walking and took on board to both brothers. Both were wearing gold armour which you hadn't seen before, but other than that, they looked exactly the same. Dark brown hair, with two braids against the ears, which were joined together at the back of the head. Both were extremly handsome elves.
You were about to move towards them, when Elladan pulled you into his arms hugging you tightly. You did notice the surprise on Strider's face however and you could understand that. Other than Zevran, no elf were known to hug others, with the exception of course of your two friends.
"When Glorfindel revealed that you were back, I could scarcely believe it. Yet, here you are," whispered Elladan, finally pulling away from you a little "you haven't changed at all."
"To me," you swallow hard "it has only been a few days since I last saw you both."
You look at both of the brothers suddenly feeling a little tearful. You swallow again, biting your lower lip, willing the tears to stay at bay. Elladan stepped back, though his eyes never left yours.
"I can not imagine what has been going through your minds...I-I'm so sorry."
Just as soon as you had said that, Elrohir was the next to pull you towards him. He wrapped his arms around you and you found yourself relaxing in his embrace just like you had with Elladan. You placed your own arms around his torso, thinking back to what happened. That was when you felt your tears leak from your eyes.
You don't normally show your emotions to anyone, but seeing your two friends brought it back to what they must have gone through. If only you had stopped Solas from touching that orb, then this would never have happen.
"I'm sorry." You whispered against his chest.
"Shh," Elrohir soothed you by stroking your hair "You are safe, that is all that matters."
When Glorfindel had returned with the hobbit, Elrohir was relieved. It was when Glorfindel approached himself and Elladan with the words,
"Little star has returned."
He knew he had to leave and search for her. Of course Glorfindel had insisted he accompany the two brothers, just as soon as they made sure the hobbit Frodo was taken care of first. That had been three days ago and seeing Rila after all this time, brought his feelings to the core. Elrohir had never doubted that he would see her again. It was the way Ada had spoken to him about her, that proved that there was a change she could return. How right Ada was, for here she was in his arms, trying to console her.
"I should have stopped him." Elrohir heard Rila murmur.
"Shh," He whispered "It is alright Rila. It is not your fault."
While holding Rila protectively, Elrohir looked at the rest of the companions he had known from the quest for Erebor.
"I take it you are all well?" He asked Thorin, who was watching Rila with worry in his blue eyes.
"Aye, we are alright," replied Thorin, his eyes never leaving Rila "though I do want to know what has happened."
"All in good time, my friend," said Glorfindel "when we reach Imladris, everything will be revealed to you."
"Is Rila alright?" asked a curious hobbit.
"She'll be fine," Elrohir smiled at the hobbit in question, "I believe she is just relieved to see us."
Elrohir felt Rila move a little but he could not find himself letting her go.
"Rila, would you like one of these green apples? Me and Merry stole them from farmer Maggot before we met up with Frodo and Sam."
Rila moved her head and watched the hobbit while he held out the apple in his right palm. Using her left hand, she held it out as the hobbit handed the green apple over to her.
"Thank you Pippin, I'll enjoy eating this later." She said, before replacing her arm around Elrohir, holding onto the apple.
"We will be leaving in a minute," said Glorfindel "we brought a few ponies and two horses. Some of you will have to share, hope that is not a problem?"
There was a few grumbles coming from Thorin but other than that, no one seemed to mind. Though you were glad to see everyone, you did wonder why they had travelled towards you and your companions. Looking up, you were a little taken aback when you caught Elrohir watching you.
"Not that I'm not grateful to see you," You began, now noticing a smile appear on his face "but why are you here?"
"Because of Glorfindel informing of your return, I grew restless as you and Estel didn't come sooner." Elrohir replied softly.
You just look at Elrohir with a puzzled look on your face.
'Estel?' You thought 'Who is that?'
You were even more baffled when Elrohir chuckled, but remained quiet, though he did let go of you.
"I'll just get my bag and bedroll, then I'll be ready."
Turning around, you walked up to your belongings. You were relieved to see your two friends, though you did cringe inwardly at the way you had acted. You barely showed your emotions, why did you then?
"I meant what I said Rila."
You spun around when you heard your name. Fili was in the process of placing one of his weapons in his inside pocket, while he walked up to you.
"If you ever want to talk, I will listen."
You graced him with a smile.
"Thank you. That means a lot."
"You are blaming yourself for what happened," went on Fili "when we all know it is not your fault. So stop mulling things over. When we reach Rivendell, we will soon know what has happened in the last sixty years and how we can return."
You watched Fili, stunned by his words, though you found yourself saying,
"What if we can not go back?"
This was what was really worrying you and it obviously showed as Fili stepped closer to you.
"Then we will cross that bridge if we come to it."
"Will we?" You admitted "I'm not so sure."
Holding your bag and bedroll rather tightly in your hand, you walked away from Fili, even more anxious to what the next few days will bring you.
"I didn't mean to upset you Rila." Fili said.
"You haven't Fili," You replied, "you haven't."
Again you caught Solas watching the hobbits and when he realised you were watching him, you gave him a dirty look, though said nothing. Instead, you walked up to where Glorfindel and Strider were residing, waiting to travel to your home Imladris.
"What is it little star?"
You looked at Glorfindel and graced him with a small smile.
You turned and faced him fully, catching the expression on Glorfindel's face. He was looking back at you with concern.
"It is not nothing. I can sense your apprehension. Normally you are cheerful and full of mischief."
You raised your eyebrows at that last remark, causing Strider to smirk.
"What are you talking about?" You asked Glorfindel.
Your friend simply smiled back at you, then said,
"I seem to recall you climbing down trees when you should have been resting. That and the fact you marched into the training grounds and started hitting out on our wooden statues."
By now, you could feel your cheeks going red. You indeed did remember doing that. It was four weeks after you had been found and you were resting in your room. You were beginning to get restless, so when no one was looking, you snuck out your room, wearing just a long nightgown.
Feeling adventurous, you grabbed hold of your gown and walked towards a tree before slowly climbing down it, completely unaware at the time that you were being watched. When you reached the next level, you began walking until you found a place that you knew well, a training ground.
"I was bored," You defended yourself "I'm used to doing," You caught Strider's smile broaden "things. Laying in bed all day is not my thing."
"Not your thing? Rila you were gravely ill." remarked Glorfindel.
"Pfft, Well I turned out alright for someone who died killing the original archdemon!"
"Archdemon?" enquired Strider "What's that?"
You were surprised. You had thought Elladan or Elrohir had explained everything about you to Strider. Taking a deep breath, you replied,
"I thought you said that Elrohir explained about me being a Grey Warden?"
"He mentioned it in passing. What does a Grey Warden do?"
"We protect others from darkspawn, especially when they surface on the outside. The archdemon sings to the darkspawn and to all Grey Wardens. That is how we know when a Blight has started."
"And you say you died killing this archdemon?" asked Strider, crossing his arms over his chest.
"Yes, that is correct. Except I ended up here instead of where my family reside with the Maker."
You could see the confusion in Strider's eyes and was about to explain further when a voice behind you beat you to it.
"Sorry to interrupt, but it appears you have lost an earring Rila."
You turned your head and looked at Merry and instantly raised your hand up and touched Zevran's earring and smiled at the hobbit in question.
"No I haven't Merry."
"Yes you have, you are only wearing one earring! Would you like me to search for it for you?"
"That's going to be difficult. The other earring belongs in Ferelden where the person who gave this to me, resides there. Unless of course he is back in Antiva."
"Oh I see, a token of affection." grinned Merry, though your smile faltered.
"Rila, are you ready?"
You glanced over to where Elrohir was and realised what he meant. He was waiting by his dark brown horse watching you intently. You nodded, thankful for the quick get away. You graced Glorfindel, Strider and Merry with a smile, before walking towards Elrohir.
"Are you alright?" asked Elrohir.
You knew lying would have no affect on your friend so you just shook your head.
"I will be though, when we return."
You could see the concern in Elrohir's eyes and you felt even worse than before. Sixty years was a long time and you knew that things in this world had changed. You had a feeling it was going to get worse before the light in the darkness shone through once more.
"Did I say something wrong?" asked Merry, clearly confused "I genuinely thought Rila had lost an earring."
"No, you have done nothing wrong, my friend. The earring she wears is a reminder to the person who gave that to her," began Glorfindel watching Rila approach Elrohir "Zevran was his name. She told me they grew close while dealing with the Blight. Her love for him, has never waned even though Rila knows she will never see him again."
Strider just listened though his grey eyes stayed on the lady herself. He had sensed a sadness about her and at first he thought it had something to do with their reappearance, now he wasn't so sure. He just hoped that Lord Elrond would have the answers to her questions.
Chapter 6: Same Place, Different Times
While you were waiting for the others to gather their things, you found yourself looking up. The green hue was still around the blue sky, which made the whole sky look peculiar. Though the hole was not that big anymore, it was still noticeable.
'Was this because of Solas, or something else entirely?' You wondered to yourself, frowning now.
"Rila, are you ready?"
You were brought back to the present when you heard Elrohir speak to you. You forced your eyes to look at him and graced him with a smile and a nod.
"As ready as I'll ever be." You replied, watching him get on his horse.
Without any warning, Elrohir, pulled you up with ease, causing you to gasp out in surprise. You were now in front of him and you felt his arm wrap around your middle, while holding onto the reins with his other hand.
"You could have warned me!"
"You never complained before!" He points out.
"True, though with what has happened I..."
"Shh, you are here now," whispered Elrohir "that's all that matters."
You momentarily stiffened to which you knew he had noticed, but you couldn't help it. You felt weird. Everything had changed you knew that and for the first time, you had no idea on what direction you were now facing.
"Sixty years is a long time Elrohir," You whispered as you heard your friend 'tut' to his horse to move "I feel-,"
"Hey," He interrupted "I can sense your troubles Rila. None of this is your fault. You must believe me on that."
For a few moments, neither of you spoke. Both in thought.
"Not a day went by, that I didn't think of you," Elrohir said after a while "truth is, you have always been in my thoughts."
You felt his left arm slightly tighten around your waist while he continued speaking.
"I never gave up you know? Ada said you would return one day and I held onto that hope. It has taken sixty years yet you are back. At this present time, that is all that matters."
"But-," You began but once again Elrohir spoke,
"Ada will explain everything until then, just relax."
How could you relax? Sixty years was a long time. You knew things had changed, seeing those Nazgûl proved that, though your thoughts then went on that injured hobbit. He had been stabbed by a Morgul blade.
You doubted that the healing potion you had given him, would have cured him. You had a feeling that he would suffer from that wound for the rest of his life, though you couldn't be certain of that fact. Nothing more was said between Elrohir and yourself, though you did hear the chatter from the others while you all galloped off towards Imladris.
You heard another horse neigh and you instantly looked at the source. A dark brown horse with a white patch on its left leg was now alongside Elrohir and yourself. The rider in question, was Strider.
Turning your attention to what was in front of you, you went back to your own thoughts, while Strider and Elrohir had a conversation with one another. You were anxious to know what has happened since.
You had barely spoken since, you just quietly look at the surroundings of the area. You were all near Imladris now and finally, you would get your answers. Well, you hoped there were answers. The truth was, there was going to be more questions and that was troubling you.
"We are here." You heard Elrohir say, gaining speed on the horse you both were on.
You realised you must have zoned out for a while as you now look around. You were all heading towards the marble stairway seeing a lone elf descend the stairs. Your eyes went wide when it was Lord Elrond heading towards you all.
"Welcome to Rivendell. I am Lord Elrond." He said, gracing everyone with a smile.
Turning your head, you spotted Merry, Pippin and Sam look at the base of Rivendell with awe, causing you to smile a little. It was good to be back here, though you could tell things had changed since being here last. For one thing, Lord Elrond looked troubled, though he was trying to mask that. You weren't convinced however.
"Wow." whispered Merry, looking around.
Elrohir let go of your waist as you gracefully slide off the horse. Your eyes found Lord Elrond who was watching you with a gentle smile.
"How is the injured hobbit?" You asked him, noticing the surprise in his grey eyes.
"He is recovering though still unconscious." He replied.
"I-I-I want to see him." said Sam.
"I will show you the way," You heard Lord Elrond say "I'm sure you are all tired. Lindar will show you to your room. Well," again you caught his eyes, now full of mirth "some of you know where to go already."
You heard a sigh which made you look to the source. You saw the sombre expression on Thorin's face and your heart went out to him. You could see he was not happy being here. You walked up to him, placing your hand on his shoulder.
"I'll be with you, every step of the way."
"Rila-," He began but you stopped him.
"I mean it. I know exactly how you feel, but at least you still have your nephews."
You glanced over to where both Fili and Kili were residing, noticing that they were watching you and Thorin. You momentarily closed your eyes, remembering your own family. The last time you saw your brother Fergus, his wife Oriana and your nephew Oren, was the eve before things changed forever.
You remembered explaining to Fergus that he had to leave earlier than expected, which did not surprise your brother. Then your mother and father came into the room, making you realise at the time, that your errand from your father was really a ruse so that the whole family were together again. Maker, you missed them terribly.
"Rila?" Your eyes snapped open "Are you alright?"
You looked back at Thorin, knowing it was him that had spoken. You smiled and gave him a nod, before turning your head towards Dorian and Varric. You refused to acknowledge Solas as you were still angry at him.
"I will help you out too," You said to them, then turned your attention back to Thorin "you will have your answers, I'm sure of it."
Thorin's blue eyes went wide when you whispered the last part to him. He surprised you by placing his calloused hand over your own that was still on his shoulder.
"You look troubled Rila. If you yourself need-," began Thorin but Lord Elrond's voice said,
"Please follow me."
Before letting go, you gently squeeze Thorin's shoulder, then turned around and headed towards your room. You wanted time alone for a while, you needed time to think.
"Hmmmm, Now this is what I truly like to see."
You rolled your eyes, looking over your shoulder to where Zevran was residing.
"You know full well we are just getting rid of all this gore on our bodies."
You and Zevran were currently in the middle of a lake, washing the blood of darkspawn that had decided to ambush the camp earlier that night. It meant one thing now, the Archdemon knew of your existence.
"That is true my dear warden," grinned Zevran edging closer towards you "but surely you will need help scrubbing the blood in the places you can not reach."
"Is that so?" You replied, turning around, knowing full well where this was leading.
"I know so," smirked Zevran, placing his arms around your waist, pulling you closer to him "perhaps I can give you a massage as well."
"Zev-," You began.
"Tut, tut," He interrupted "Again you are so tense, please allow me to relax you once more."
"Zev, we have to hurry and leave. Darkspawn could come ba-,"
Again he shut you up by crashing his lips with yours. His very nimble fingers now trailing down to your stomach, slowly edging closer to your sex. You moaned into Zevran's mouth when his fingers entered you, causing you to hold onto him tightly.
"My dear warden," He whispered against your mouth, "there is no darkspawn around...Just relax."
Just like the other times, you gave in. You knew Zevran was a very experienced lover and you wouldn't have it any other way.
A loud bang woke you up and for a second, you wondered where you were. You suddenly felt empty when you realised your dream of Zevran. No, not a dream you realised, a memory. Despite yourself, you smile, remembering every detail to what happened that night. That was, until another knock at the door brought you back to the present once more.
Moving a little in the bed, you pummeled your pillow in frustration. You so wanted Zevran to be with you right now but alas, that would never be the case. Sighing, you rested your head back on the pillow, trying to cling on to that memory. Yet again, another loud bang at the door told you that your memories would have to wait.
"Won't be a moment." You said to whoever was on the other side of the door.
Pulling the covers away from you, you got out of bed, noticing a pale blue dress at the end of the bed. Your travelling clothes you noticed were nowhere to be seen. Rolling your eyes, you knew you had no choice in wearing this, even though you did prefer your own clothes.
While taking of your bed clothes, your eyes scan the rest of your room. Nothing had changed. The eagle dressing table was still a sight to see. The dressing table was made of oak. Whoever sculptured this was truly gifted.
The eagle itself was at the top of the dressing table looking right ahead, as if waiting for its prey. The wings outstretched, like it was about to take off at any moments notice. Again the knocking at the door brought you back to the present. You slowly put on this beautiful dress, finding it difficult in doing the back up.
'How on Maker's names do elves manage doing this up?' You thought to yourself, finally finding the last button at the back of the dress.
You quickly tied the blue ribbon at the back noticing at once that the sleeves covered up your arms and were now hanging loosely. You would be glad when your own clothes were brought back to you. You were just relieved that your boots were still here, which you promptly put on.
Picking up the brush on the dressing table, you quickly brushed your hair. You would normally place your hair up in a bun but with the banging on the door, now was not the time. You put the brush down once you finished with it and walked towards the door, making sure the Evenstar necklace Elladan and Elrohir had given to you, was on straight.
You still had no idea why you were given this. You would have to ask Lord Elrond about why you were wearing this and not an elven lady. After all, this was an elvish necklace and you still felt very unworthy of wearing this beautiful gem.
Sighing, you opened the door, noticing Gandalf about to knock on the door once more. As you stepped outside, you also saw Thorin and Dorian there, who both had bemused looks on their faces. Gandalf however, had a frown on his face as he watched you.
"What were you doing in there?" asked the wizard.
You tilt your head and looked at him, while closing the door behind you.
"What everyone else does when tired," You replied "fall asleep."
"But I heard you say you would be just a moment!" fumed Gandalf.
"Well, seeing as my normal clothes have gone missing, it took me a while in doing this dress up!" was your curt reply.
"I....ahem... I see," stammered Gandalf, looking at your dress in question "you look very nice."
"Thank you, but as soon as my own clothes reappear, this dress and the others that will mysteriously appear at the end of my bed, will be long forgotten."
By now Dorian was laughing while you continued,
"I don't do dresses, not since-," You trailed off, remembering your past life before the blight.
"Well, in any case, the reason we are here, is because Lord Elrond wishes to speak to you." informed Gandalf.
"That's good," I replied "I wanted to talk to him anyway."
You then followed Gandalf who was in the front, You walked alongside Thorin and Dorian, though your blue eyes never left Gandalf's frame. There was just something off about the wizard though you couldn't pinpoint what that was.
"What's troubling you Gandalf?" You found yourself saying.
Gandalf briefly turned his head and looked at you and in that moment, you saw what had happened to him. You watch in stunned silence as the scene that was now showing itself to you played out.
Gandalf was thrown to the ground on top of Isengard you realised. The white-clothed man then walks up to him, pointing his staff at Gandalf. You look at the other wizard and realised this is Saruman the White.
"The friendship of Sauron is not lightly thrown aside." said Saruman.
The evil wizard then uses his staff causing Gandalf to be thrown across the rooftop. Your eyes went wide when you saw Gandalf lying in midair off the edge of the tower's rooftop.
"One ill turn deserves another," Saruman continued, who then walked over to Gandalf "it is over."
Both yourself and Gandalf then spot a moth flying past and you could tell something was about to happen.
"Embrace the power of the Ring, or embrace your own destruction!"
Saruman lifts his staff and once again, throws Gandalf face first back onto the roof top. You wish you could help him in any way, but seeing as this already happened, you were powerless for this vision to stop showing you this.
"There is only one Lord of the Ring," exclaimed Gandalf looking at Saruman "only one who can bend it to his will!"
Once again, you spot the same moth before closely being followed by an eagle.
"And he does not share power!" remarked Gandalf as he scrambled to his feet and then jumps from the rooftop where the eagle was waiting for him.
"So you have chosen death." came Saruman's response.
You come out of your trance, disgusted by what you had seen. You still could not fathom how you had these visions. Before when you were a Grey Warden the only visions you had was off the Archdemon though that was only in dreams. Since being in Middle-earth however, these visions came without warning and you just could not stop them.
You snapped out of it and looked at the ground. You suddenly felt very self conscious for invading Gandalf's past.
"I'm sorry," You whispered, finally looking at Gandalf "I didn't mean for-,"
"That is quite alright child," Gandalf graced you with a smile and you could have sworn you saw him wink at you " though you are full of surprises."
"Just what did I see?" You asked him, a little confused about what you had just seen.
"Trouble!" replied Gandalf, now returning his attention back to the front "Everything will be explained to you soon enough. Let's make haste."
Nothing more was said between Gandalf and yourself about that matter. You just followed him once more towards Lord Elrond's room.
"Are you a seer?" asked Dorian out of nowhere.
You sighed and shook your head.
"It's ever since I arrived here in Middle-earth that I see.....things," You admitted "the past and the future and not all of it is nice to witness."
You look at Dorian as you continued.
"While in Ferelden all I saw was the Archdemon, but only when I was asleep," You took in a deep breath, now looking at the ground "I have no idea where these visions came from and quite frankly, I do not like it in the slightest."
"Did you know we would be in the future?" asked Thorin.
You stopped walking and looked at him seeing the sombre expression on his face.
"No, no I did not. I just had this feeling and I wish-,"
"Stop that!" demanded Thorin "I'm not blaming you Rila, far from it. Perhaps the elven lord will have answers."
"Lord Elrond." You corrected Thorin, gracing him with a smile.
"Indeed," said Gandalf clearly listening in to this conversation "which is part of the reason why he asked for you three."
"And the other reason is?" You asked.
"All in good time." was the wizard's response, causing you to frown.
Seeing what had happened to Gandalf, you now knew something was going on here and you had a funny feeling it had something to do with that hobbit Frodo. Nothing more was said as you all arrived at Lord Elrond's study.
Gandalf knocked at the door and opened it when you heard a voice from the other side saying 'Enter'. Even though you were glad to be back in Imladris, you had no idea what to expect. Every time you went inside Lord Elrond's study, you had always felt safe and secure. In truth, this room had really reminded you of your father being in his own study, with his meetings with other people back in Ferelden.
This study was one of two places where you could stay for hours, reading the many books that were on the shelves. It was how you found out about the history of Middle-earth. That and asking Glorfindel, Elladan, Elrohir and even Lord Elrond himself about many things of this land.
You were instantly brought back to the present when you saw Lord Elrond himself walking up to you and your companions. Out of respect, you bowed your head only to be stopped by him who gently cupped your face.
"There is no need for that, little star."
"I was brought up with manners," You reasoned with him, gracing him with a small smile "it is who I am."
Though Lord Elrond smiled back at you, you could tell he too was troubled and that was very worrying indeed.
"Tell me something," You began, "how is the hobbit Frodo, really?"
You watched him carefully as he sighed, before letting go of your face and walked towards the balcony.
"His strength returns." replied Lord Elrond as he looked ahead of him.
"That wound will never fully heal, he will carry it for the rest of his life." laments Gandalf now heading towards Lord Elrond.
You found yourself frowning. You were still miffed to have witnessed the Nazgûl hanging around four hobbits. That should never have happened.
"What I would like to know, is why there were some of the Nazgûl around those hobbits to begin with? This really is not making any sense." You asked either Gandalf or Lord Elrond, hoping for some answers now.
"And I would like to know what has become of my sister and Erebor?" demanded Thorin.
"Erebor is fine," began Gandalf "and the last I heard, your sister Dis is safe and sound. She is now living in Erebor with the king Dáin II Ironfoot."
You could tell that Thorin was not happy about that.
"What do you mean that Dáin is king?"
"Exactly what I say. Since your disappearance, there have been many changes," remarked Gandalf, turning around and facing Thorin "Smaug was killed by Bard the bowman, thanks to a tip-off by a thrush who had overheard Bilbo's mumblings about where Smaug's weakness was."
"What has this got to do with my cousin?" asked Thorin, now crossing his arms over his chest.
"Everything!" sighed Gandalf.
The wizard then went into great detail of the battle that had taken place in Erebor. How it was a fight for survival. Were-Worms were also there, causing massive holes to appear in the ground, making it very easy for orcs to venture out of them. With the help from the elves, the fight began.
As you were listening to Gandalf go on, your eyes never left Thorin's. At first, you could see the surprise on his face, that soon changed when Gandalf informed you all about Azog's son. This too caught your attention, seeing as you had killed Azog yourself. You had no idea Azog even had a son.
"Bolg was his name," carried on Gandalf "He wanted the person reasonable to killing his father, but alas, that could not happen."
Gandalf looked at you with a smile on his face.
"Seeing as you all disappeared sixty years ago."
"What happened to this Bog?" You found yourself asking.
"Bolg," corrected Gandalf, causing you to frown a little "He was slain by a very nimble elf."
"Of course," fumed Thorin "what happened to my kin? Did they make it out alive?"
"They all lived to tell the tale," replied Gandalf "though sixty years is a long time. Things have changed."
"What do you mean?" asked Thorin.
Gandalf glanced at Lord Elrond with a strange expression on his face, though never said anything more about it.
"You're not going to say anything more?"
Gandalf only shook his head while Lord Elrond took over.
"Things have changed in a sense that this very world is in grave danger. While you were missing in action, Gandalf took it upon himself to find out what Radagast had given him."
You were lost? What did Radagast give Gandalf?
"Radagast had handed over a blade to Gandalf that should have been buried long ago. So with this new information, Gandalf had to leave the rest of your company to investigate what was really going on."
Your eyes went on Gandalf as Lord Elrond spoke. You could clearly see that he was still troubled and that bothered you.
"Gandalf left Dwalin in charge outside Mirkwood forest and he then went to Dol Guldur where he saw someone he was hoping never to see."
"What did he see?" asked Dorian, clearly interested in this story.
"He saw a necromancer who really was Sauron. We all thought he had died, but when myself, Lady Galadriel and Saruman the white saw him, we knew things would change very soon."
Lord Elrond then explained that Sauron had never really died, though he was weak at the time. By now though, he was gaining control once again. A certain hobbit named Bilbo had something of his and he wanted it back.
You knew then that whatever Bilbo had, was now in the possession with Frodo. Everything was slowly making sense to you now. Question was, did Thorin and Dorian have any idea what was going on here?
"Now the hobbit Frodo is connected in all of this." You surmised.
"Indeed!" replied Lord Elrond, gracing you with a smile "And yet to come so far, still bearing the Ring, the hobbit has shown extraordinary resilience to it's evil."
"It is a burden he should never have had to bear," replied Gandalf "we can ask no more of Frodo."
"Ring?" You asked as you watched Lord Elrond walk over to his wine collection "What kind of ring are we talking about here?"
"One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them!" laments Gandalf.
You saw Lord Elrond momentarily close his eyes as if he was in pain.
"You could have warned me!" scorned Lord Elrond.
"That's not possible though," You say, taking no notice of the look Gandalf was giving Lord Elrond "that Ring was destroyed wasn't it?"
"Oh Rila, if only that was true," said Gandalf "the Ring was found by Bilbo and it now belongs to Frodo. We have to find someone else to take responsibility."
"Gandalf! The enemy is moving, Sauron's forces are massing in the east, his eye is fixed on Rivendell.....and Saruman you tell me has betrayed us," exclaimed Lord Elrond "our list of allies grows thin!"
"The vision I had, it was about the Ring and Sauron," You whisper, realising why Saruman attacked Gandalf "I saw what happened to Gandalf a little while ago, though until now, I didn't have a clue what was going on."
You turn away, not looking at either Lord Elrond or Gandalf. You still felt bad in delving into Gandalf's mind like that. A hand gently squeezed your shoulder, causing you to look back up at Thorin.
"Stop doubting yourself." was all he said.
"Thorin I-," You began but Gandalf started speaking.
"His treachery runs deeper than you know. By foul craft Saruman has crossed orcs with goblin men, he is breeding an army in the caverns of Isengard. An army that can move in sunlight and gather great distance at speed. Saruman is coming for the Ring."
You watch Gandalf and Lord Elrond, not knowing what to say or do. This whole scene felt very familiar to you now. It reminded you of the Blight. Everyone getting nervous, not knowing what was about to happen.
"This evil cannot be concealed by the power of the elves. We do not have the strength to fight both Mordor and Isengard."
Gandalf walks away from Lord Elrond. His expression unreadable while Lord Elrond carried on speaking.
"Gandalf! the Ring cannot stay here!"
You faintly heard a lot of horses nearby and wondered what was going on.
"This peril belongs to all in Middle-earth they must decide now how to end," said Lord Elrond after a while of silence "the time of the elves is over. My people are leaving these shores. Who will you look to when we've gone? The dwarves? They hide in their mountains seeking riches, they care nothing for the troubles of others."
"How dare you!" sneered Thorin.
It was your turn to place your hand on Thorin. You placed it on his arm, trying to calm him down.
"It is in men we must place our hope." admitted Gandalf, looking at Thorin and yourself.
"Men!" scoffed Lord Elrond causing you to raise an eyebrow which didn't go unnoticed by Gandalf and Dorian "Men are weak."
You frown at him. Men were not weak at all.
"The race of men is failing. The blood of Numenor is all but spent, its pride and dignity all but forgotten. It is because of men the Ring survives. I was there Gandalf."
You watch Lord Elrond closely, wondering what he would say next.
"I was there three thousand years ago," He began "when Isildur took the Ring. I was there the day the strength of men failed...I led Isildur into the heart of Mount Doom. Where the Ring was forged. The one place it could be destroyed."
Watching Lord Elrond, you could clearly see the anguish on his face, as he went on.
"It should have ended that day, but evil was allowed to endure...Isildur kept the Ring. The line of kings is broken. There's no strength left in the world of men. They're scattered, divided, leaderless."
Once again you found yourself frowning. Why was Lord Elrond acting this way? It really made no sense. You had never known him to sound bitter before and that bothered you.
"Not all men are like that," said Dorian, breaking you out of your thoughts "sure, we all have our fair share of problems, but we do what we think is right. We survive and muddle through life. So kindly stop judging us!"
"Indeed," agreed Gandalf, gracing Dorian with a smile, before returning his attention back to Lord Elrond "there is one who could unite them. One who could reclaim the throne of Gondor."
You furrowed your brows, wondering who he was referring too.
"He turned from that path a long time ago. He has chosen exile." exclaimed Lord Elrond.
For a split second, you closed your eyes and saw an image of a man that could change the outcome of this very land. As you reopened your eyes, you now knew on who both Gandalf and Lord Elrond were speaking about and you took in a deep breath to this new revelation.
"Who are you talking about?" asked Thorin "What man can reclaim the throne of Gondor?"
"Are you alright Rila?" asked Gandalf, taking no notice of Thorin.
You just nod your head, still a little shocked at what you had seen.
"I think Rila, Thorin and Dorian should join the secret Council Lord Elrond."
"Very well," agreed Lord Elrond "after all it does also concern this other matter at hand."
"I'm sorry, what?" asked Dorian "What is a secret Council?"
"I shall explain that to you." replied Gandalf.
"What do you mean?" You finally asked "What other matter?"
"Since your disappearance, there have been a vast number of creatures roaming the area. We have no idea what they are, but we do know that they are very hostile towards anyone that gets in the way."
You nodded your head, understanding what he meant.
"That sounds like darkspawn!" You surmised "We were ambushed a little while ago and there they were. I can still sense them when they are nearby, it is part of being a Grey Warden after all."
"That is not all that is disturbing," went on Lord Elrond, watching you closely "there have been sightings of a red dragon flying high in the sky."
"I thought you said that dragon was killed?" snapped Thorin, narrowing his eyes.
"Smaug is indeed dead," replied Elrond "I believe this is-,"
"The Archdemon is in this timeline," You interrupted "meaning Corypheus must be here as well."
The silence that followed, proved you were correct.
"So, in other words," You carried on "in order for us to go back to our original timeline, I will have to hunt down this Archdemon and slay it.
"That is going to be difficult Rila," said Lord Elrond "that dragon seems to have made a home for itself...Mordor."
Though you were trying to process this, you had to ask,
"And where is the other one, Corypheus?"
"I'd imagine he will be near him," replied Dorian "they come together."
"Right, then I'll-," You began but Lord Elrond stopped you.
"No, you can not go into Mordor alone Rila."
He then stepped closer to you, placing his hands on yours.
"Everything will be explained when you arrive at the meeting but until then, rest."
"I'll come to you when the time comes." You heard Gandalf say.
All you could do was nod your head, a little confused with what was happening here.
"I-I need some air," You say, pulling your hands away from Lord Elrond's own hands "if you all would excuse me."
Before anyone said anything, you simply walked out of Lord Elrond's room with a lot to think about. You just walked not caring where you were heading, this was a lot to take in and for the time being, you had no idea what to do.
Coming sixty years into the future was strange enough but now knowing there was not one but two threats in this timeline alarmed you. You had to wonder what this meeting was going to entail.
Your head instantly went up and despite yourself, you smiled when you saw Varric heading towards you. He was not alone however and you did wonder who this other person was.
"Why do you call me 'Stardust', Varric?" You asked him.
"Because you explained that you landed here when there were stars in the night sky," replied Varric, grinning at you "I always use nicknames, it's easier to remember."
"I believe the real reason is, you just forget their names!" You remark, earning a smirk from Varric's friend.
"She knows you all too well Varric."
"Oh she does, does she Tiny?" remarked Varric.
You looked back at Varric's friend with raised eyebrows. Tiny he was not. You were staring back at a very tall qunari.
"It's been a very long time since I've seen a qunari," You admitted "though why are you naming him Tiny?"
You returned your attention back to Varric, who just winked and shrugged his shoulders.
"The Iron Bull is what most call me, though I haven't been here for very long, I must admit this place is a little strange."
"You see Tiny here, fell from the sky, like us," explained Varric watching Iron Bull and yourself "apparently Corypheus has been busy again."
Your eyes narrowed then, not liking this news at all.
"Has he indeed?" You replied "Well, not for long!"
"I take it the meeting with that Lord didn't go too well?"
"No, not really," You sighed before continuing "it seems we are stuck here until Corypheus and his pet dragon are defeated."
"Count me in," grinned Iron Bull "I love fighting dragons."
You just grace Iron Bull with a small smile, not knowing what to say to that.
"Forgive me if I'm wrong, which is very rare," began Varric smiling at you "but there is another matter at hand that the injured hobbit is holding onto something that does not really belong to him."
You just watch Varric with wide eyes.
"How did you?"
"I always keep my ears to the ground Stardust."
"Well, you are near the ground Varric." smirked Iron Bull, though he was watching you.
"Oh sure, pick on the dwarf." frowned Varric, now crossing his arms over his chest.
"So," You began, now seeing Varric grin back at his friend with a wink "you know there will be a-,"
"Oh yes, I know about that too," Varric's smile widened, "lovely dress by the way."
You just narrowed your eyes, now knowing that somehow Varric knew about the secret Council meeting.
"This dress is only temporary until my usual clothes are back with me," You reply "Where is Solas?"
"The last I saw of Chuckles, he was speaking to another elf around here. Don't ask who that elf was."
"Hmmm," You replied, not liking that one bit "Anyway, I'll leave you two alone."
Just as you began walking away, you turned and called out to Iron Bull,
"My name is Rila Cousland, sorry for not informing you sooner."
"Pleased to meet you Rila." He replied back, gracing you with a smile.
It was here that you took in his appearance. He had no clothes on his torso. Instead, he had dark brown leather armour strapped to his chest. He wore very baggy trousers of dark green with boots.Though he had many battle scars all around his body, you had to wonder, what exactly happened to his left eye? He had an eye patch over it. You quickly averted your gaze and turned around once more, knowing full well, it is very rude to stare at others.
You made your way to the second place you felt completely at peace with. You had always gone there when you wanted to be alone and think. As you entered, you were relieved to see that nothing had changed.
This place was perfect for you. There were many paintings hanging up, telling the story of the first age war. Lying in the middle of the room was a statue with the broken Shards of Narsil.
You suddenly had the feeling you were being watched. You slowly turned around spotting Strider quietly sitting down holding a book in his hands, though his blue eyes were observing you.
"Forgive me, I'll leave you to your reading." You say to him, stepping backwards to make a swift retreat.
"Stay." He replied and you were about to decline when you heard footsteps heading this way.
You walk into the shadows as another man enters this room. You watch him closely as he looks at the paintings on the wall. You could tell this man was impressed with what he was seeing. He suddenly turns when Strider casually turns a page from his book. You watch both men as they both size each other up.
"You are no elf!" said the man, watching Strider closely.
"Men of the South are welcome here." replied Strider.
"Who are you?"
"I'm a friend of Gandalf the Grey." replied Strider.
"Then we are here on a common purpose," He watches Strider before adding "friend."
Strider never said a word. He just watched him as the man turns around with a confused look on his face. He then notices the statue that had the shards on there.
"The shards of Narsil," remarked the man, who has now decided on picking up the hilt of the broken sword "the blade that cut the Ring from Sauron's hand."
You found yourself frowning as you continue watching this man as he ran his finger along the tip of it cutting his finger in the process.
"Ah," He looks at the sword hilt in wonder "It's still sharp."
He then turns and looks back at Strider who was also watching him.
"But no more than a broken heirloom."
Your eyes went wide when the man drops the sword and quickly walks off. Of course, the sword ended up on the floor. For a second the man pauses, then carried on walking away.
"Did the room get frosty all of a sudden?" You found yourself asking, noticing Strider grace you with a small smile, which went as you watch him walk up to the sword, picking it up in the process.
You furrowed your brows when Strider sighed, who then placed the sword back to its rightful place.
"Are you going to stay in the shadows all day?"
Without saying a word, you step back into the light, though your eyes stayed on the sword pieces, remembering what Lord Elrond had said. You still couldn't take on board the bitterness in his voice, when he was referring men.
"You know, don't you?" whispered Strider, bringing you back to the present.
There was no point in lying, so you simply nodded.
"Yes, I know." You reply to him.
"Who told you?"
"I saw a vision while I was listening to Lord Elrond. I saw what you could become."
You were surprised to see Strider frown.
"Then you'll know I could never be king!" He remarked.
You snorted out a laugh. You couldn't help it. Fate it seemed, had a habit of reappearing when you least expected it too.
"Why are you laughing?"
"I'm not laughing at you Strider." You replied, once you calmed down.
"Aragorn," You arch an eyebrow "that is my name."
You are a little confused, but you continued speaking,
"It seems history is repeating itself. Back in Ferelden, I got to know a man who didn't want to acknowledge where his path truly lead. It turned out he was of royal blood."
"I won't go into detail of his family history as that is confidential, though I will say this. It was when we first entered Redcliffe on our travels that Alistair explained that he had no desire to become a king.
He was quite happy the way he was, being a Grey Warden, but even I could tell he would make a fine king. He just didn't believe in himself. That did change though, but that is another story." You looked back at the broken sword, remembering what Lord Elrond had said about Isidur.
"What happened in the past, is not your fault Aragorn." You found yourself saying.
"The same blood flows in my veins," He replied, causing you to look back at him "the same weakness."
You watch him closely, seeing the uncertainty in his eyes. In some aspects, Aragorn did remind of Alistair. Maker, you missed your fellow Warden. Snapping back to the present, you sighed then said,
"You are not weak Aragorn and in time, even you will see that."
Your eyes went back to the broken shards. You knew then, that this very sword would one day be reforged.
"Your time will come. You will face the same evil and you will defeat it."
"Another vision of yours?" asked Aragorn softly.
You smiled as you looked back at him, though you shook your head.
"No, I'm just trusting my instincts."
You then surprised him when you spoke elvish to him.
"A si i-Dhúath ú-orthor, Aragorn. Ú or le a ú or nin. (The Shadow does not hold sway yet, Aragorn, not over you and not over me.)"
For several moments nothing was said between you both, though it was Aragorn that broke the silence.
"You seen troubled yourself, what's bothering you?"
"I wouldn't like to burden you with my woes. I'm used to working them out by myself."
"If you should change your mind." You heard Aragorn say, while he sat back down picking up the book he was reading.
"Thank you." was all you said, gracing him with a smile, before leaving Aragorn in peace.
After walking around, thinking about what this Council will entail, you were stopped by Elrohir watching you with concern.
"How are you really?" He simply asked.
You knew lying would never work against him. He has always known when you were being untruthful. Sighing, you walked toward the balcony, looking at the horizon.
"Would confusion be an understatement?"
"How can a strange orb manage to warp others to different time periods?" You asked, turning around.
You were caught off guard to how close Elrohir was now. He was standing right next to you. In truth, you hadn't heard him approach.
"I know not. When you and the others disappeared, Gandalf told us not to touch the orb," Elrohir sighed "Gandalf found some cloth and managed to pick it up, never to be seen again."
"What do you mean?"
"The wizard knew of my attentions straight away. He knew I would attempt in seeking you out, so when Gandalf went away to Dol Guldur, he made sure he had the orb with him. To this day, I have no idea where it now resides."
"Gandalf did the right thing," You remark, seeing the shock in Elrohir's eyes "you could have ended up anywhere but where you wanted to be."
"It was a choice I was willing to take."
"Too me, it is only a few days since I saw you last, I can't imagine what you must have been feeling!"
Elrohir looked at the ground, his eyes masked with pain and you instantly regretted saying that to him.
"I'm sorry, I didn't think. Though as you can see, I'm fine."
"To which I am thankful for." replied Elrohir, finally looking at you, then at your neck.
A smile came from nowhere from him and you wondered what set that off.
"You are still wearing the elfstone."
Glancing down, you look at the beautiful gem that both Elladan and Elrohir had given you.
"Of course. Why, do you need this back?"
You raised your arms up, about to undo this special necklace but Elrohir stopped you, placing both his hands over yours.
"No, it belongs to you, how it should be."
"I feel very unworthy of wearing this," You admitted "I can tell this means a lot to you and your family."
"Rila, you are worthy," He gently squeezed your hands "please stop thinking otherwise."
"Well, like I said before, I'll look after this for you or your brother, until you need it back."
"It belongs to you." was Elrohir's response.
Changing the subject completely, you asked,
"Where is your brother? Normally you and Elladan are joined at the hip."
Once again, you saw a flicker of sadness behind his grey eyes and you wondered what was wrong.
"Since your disappearance, there have been a lot of changes."
"I know, your father has informed me of that. The Archdemon and Corypheus are in this timeline, so somewhere along th-,"
"It's not just that," interrupted Elrohir "my brother and I just don't see eye to eye anymore. We just go our separate ways."
"Why?" You asked, clearly not understanding this new information.
For as long as you had been here, Elladan and Elrohir had always been together. They were so close that it seemed nothing could tear them apart. Hearing this though, saddened you.
"Why? You repeated, wanting to know what was really bothering him.
"It matters not."
"Of course it matters! So whatever the reason, you will have to make up."
"It's not that simple Rila. Other than tracking down orcs and those strange creatures, we barely acknowledge one another. I tend to help out Glorfindel now, staying out of my brother's way."
You had a feeling that Elrohir was withholding something from you, though you decided that it was not the time in prying into his business. You were about to say something when a lot of noise came from nowhere.
Looking to the source, you saw two small hobbits running straight toward you and Elrohir. By now, you had a bemused look on your face when you saw that both Merry and Pippin were now slowing down as they reached you.
"There you are," beamed Pippin "we were wondering where you were."
"No, that would be you that was wondering that Pip," said Merry, shaking his head "I was just looking for more food."
"Frodo wishes to see you." beamed Pippin, completely ignoring what Merry had just said.
"How is he?" You asked him.
"He's getting there," replied Pippin, looking at you then at Elrohir then back at you once more "Frodo has been awake for a few hours now and we wasted no time in explaining on what's been happening. Which is why he wishes to see you."
"Why does he want to see me?"
"Because Bilbo also wants to see you." explained Merry, gracing you with a smile.
Your eyes lit up then. Bilbo was here in Imladris. Once again, to you, it was only a little while since you had last seen Bilbo, but to him, it must have been hard. Turning your head, you looked at Elrohir.
"Will you come with us?" You asked him, dropping your left hand from his grasp, but with your right hand, you gently tugged his other hand, which didn't go unnoticed by Pippin.
"Of course." replied Elrohir, gracing you with a smile.
Though his smile reached his eyes, you could clearly see the worry in Elrohir's gaze. Just what did happen between Elladan and himself? You hated seeing the anguish on your friend's face, it just did not suit him at all. You just hoped that you could bring the brother's back together again, because family should stick together, no matter what.
Chapter 7: Fellowships And Darkspawn
Though he could see why Rila had left, Thorin felt a sense of loss when she went. Now he was walking around Rivendell with Dorian, trying to remember where everything was. Too him, it had only been a few weeks since he was last here. Knowing that to be completely untrue, he hated not being near his home, Erebor.
Thorin was delighted in knowing that Erebor was now free from that vile dragon, yet once again, he was saddened in not being there when his kin had reclaimed his and their home. He should have been there.
He was relieved, however, in knowing that his sister Dis was alive and well. That was a huge comfort. Thorin would surely tell his two nephews of this, just as soon as he could find them that is. Even though the news that there was another king in his stead, angered him.
'Dain.' Thorin though, narrowing his eyes a little.
"I must say," began Dorian, breaking Thorin out of his thoughts "this is a very calm place to stay in."
Dorian looked at Thorin with raised eyebrows.
"You don't think so?"
"It would be alright without the elves," muttered Thorin, though Dorian had heard him "elves are not to be trusted."
"My dear friend, are you talking about Solas or is this something else entirely?"
Thorin stopped walking and looked at his new companion. He knew that Dorian and the other two that fell from the sky would definitely stay and help out Rila, but Thorin, on the other hand, was still very suspicious of these newcomers.
"All elves have their own goal," He explained "they don't like to help out unless there are gold and rubies and other gems to negotiate with. Or in dire conditions, that their realms are also under attack."
"Oh I don't know," replied Dorian, turning around and facing the direction where Lord Elrond and Gandalf were still residing "that Lord seemed okay."
Thorin still remembered overhearing Lord Elrond and Gandalf speaking about him when he was last here. It was night time and Thorin had wanted to clear his head. Never in his wildness dreams, would he happen to overhear Lord Elrond and Gandalf discuss him regarding the dragon sickness.
Lord Elrond seemed so convinced that Thorin would get this sickness that it actually made the exiled King question himself that night. Would he really get this sickness? He remembered watching his own grandfather act strangely.
Never take any notice of what was going on around him. His grandfather was more concerned with the Arkenstone than anything else. Lord Elrond had made Thorin feel inadequate that night and for that, he despised him for acknowledging his history.
"I don't think all elves are troublesome," said Dorian "though I can see that you feel differently."
"You could say that. I just don't like or trust them. Especially now that one of your friends has brought us sixty years into the future...Is he a halfwit or something?"
Dorian blinked several times, watching the exiled King speak to Solas like this.
"There is something disturbing about that elf of yours," carried on Thorin, now crossing his arms over his chest "I've seen the way he keeps watching those hobbits. That's not normal. If I were you, I wouldn't go anywhere near him."
"No," Dorian said after a while, shaking his head "He is a massive help with the inquisition."
"Doesn't matter....All I'm saying is, Solas can be trusted."
"Trusted!" shouted Thorin, now glaring at the mage in front of him "What person in their right state of mind, would just turn on an orb, then make us come here! Hmmm. That elf needs to be locked up."
"No," He interrupted "all elves only think for themselves. That includes your precious friend. He is clearly not normal, which is very alarming. If I were you, I'd just leave him to rot somewhere, where he can not cause any more damage to anyone else!"
As soon as Thorin uttered that, he walked off, leaving a wide-eyed Dorian to his own thoughts. Of course, the mage soon recovered and once again, fell into step with the exiled king.
"I will take on board to what you have just said." was all Dorian had said.
"You do that." snapped Thorin, hoping that this council would have more answers to what was about to happen.
Being back Rivendell was strange for Fili. After all, it was just a few weeks ago that he and his kin were here, messing around in the waterfall, naked, throwing food at other elves and just relaxing and having some fun.
Now though, everything had changed. Fili had no idea if he would ever see his mother again. He had no idea where his brother had wondered of too either. Not that he minded being on his own, it was quite nice not having to watch out for Kili. As he walked leisurely down the path, Fili's thoughts soon went on Rila.
He had noticed the way she cried openly when she saw Elladan and Elrohir earlier. It made him realise that she herself was holding everything inside. For a little while, Rila had let her guard down and that had worried him.
Now it seemed she was back to normal, though Fili was not convinced, in fact, he was concerned about her. It seemed like she was used to dealing with things on her own, but not this time. No, Fili would be there for her, should she need someone to speak too. Just as soon as he turned a corner, Fili promptly bumped right into someone.
"Why don't you look where you are going!" said a very familiar voice.
Fili's head snapped right up and his blue eyes went wide, for he was now staring back at Gloin. He was with his son Gimli, both dwarves seemed just as surprised as he was.
"What is the meaning of this?" snapped Gloin, now poking Fili with his fingers "You can't be real. You died alongside your brother Kili and Thorin."
"How is this even possible?" asked Gimli, clearly shocked at seeing him here.
"It's a long story," admitted Fili, stopping Gloin from prodding his chest "one you should ask uncle about."
"Thorin's here?" asked Gloin, taking in a deep breath.
Gloin looked like he had seen a ghost and despite himself, Fili smirked at that fact.
"Aye, though at the precise moment, uncle is speaking to Lord Elrond."
"Interesting." was all Gloin said, glancing at his son Gimli "now, seeing as Thorin is nowhere to be seen, care to explain what happened since your disappearance lad?"
Knowing that Fili had no choice, he took a deep breath and began to explain just what happened.
Walking in silence, you watch the two hobbit's run up ahead like they were having a race with one another. You found yourself smiling at Merry and Pippin, for they seemed like they had no care in the world.
You smile soon went, when you glanced over to Elrohir, he looked the complete opposite to the two hobbit's. He looked troubled. Your left hand was currently on his arm and you tenderly tugged him, making him turn and look back at you.
"Okay, out with it, what is bothering you?"
"I'm alright," He tried to reassure you, though you were not believing that for one second "I'm just glad you are safe."
You stopped walking, which made Elrohir stop too. You watched him, clearly seeing so many emotions in his grey eyes that it really unsettled you.
"You can not fool me Elrohir, there is something troubling you, what are you hiding?"
Elrohir watched you, then averted his eyes, now looking at the two hobbits who were patiently waiting for you both to reach them.
"I'm anxious, thinking this is a cruel dream," He began "that I'll wake up and you won't be here, that you-,"
Elrohir looked back at you in shock, for you had just pinched him, causing him to flinch out in pain.
"Ouch! What was that for?"
A smile appeared on your lips while you explained yourself.
"If this was a dream, that pinch I just did, would have woken you up. Would you like me to pinch you again to convince you that you are not in a dream?"
Elrohir took you by surprise by placing his free hand on your cheek, gently stroking it.
"You are a very strange lady," He whispered "thank you for doing that. That has reassured me, even though it is a weird way."
"It was the only way," You replied, now grinning back at him "stop living in a dream, I am real. You can't get rid of me that easily."
Elrohir never said a word, now he had a tender expression on his face as he watched you. His thumb was now stroking your cheek. Though you were a little surprised with what he was doing, you did not stop him. Maybe this was his way in understanding that you were really back in Imladris.
"Ahem!" came a sound, causing Elrohir to frown now "We would leave this touching scene."
It was Merry, you realised as he continued speaking.
"But, we have no idea where we are as yet....So could this wait until we are in a more familiar surrounding please?"
Despite yourself, you chuckled and you were relieved when Elrohir did the same. Though with great reluctance, he let go of your cheek and stepped back. He placed your hand in his, causing you to shake your head in mirth.
"Let's be on our way," Elrohir said, now pulling you to move forward "perhaps later Rila, we can speak in private, yes?"
You nod your head saying,
So once again you all began to move. You were still shocked by what had just transpired. Never had you see. Elrohir act this way. Was this because he had not spoken to his brother, that he missed the old days?
To you, it had only been a few days since you last saw each other, but to Elrohir it was decades. All you could see now in your mind was the way he looked at you. There was something other than relief, you just could not pinpoint what that was.
After walking a little while, you finally saw many people sitting around a round table. You found yourself grinning when you spotted Frodo sitting in the middle, laughing and chatting away.The last time you had seen him, was when he had been stabbed. You can still see the paleness of his face when you more or less forced him to drink the healing potion you had at the time. You knew Gandalf spoke the truth, that wound Frodo had inflicted, would never truly heal, but to see him smiling and relaxed, completely warmed your heart.
"There you are little star." came a voice that brought you out of your thoughts.
Looking ahead, you saw Glorfindel walking toward you and Elrohir. Though he smiled at you, you could tell he looked troubled.
"Did you get lost?"
You frowned at that, which cause your old friend to chuckle.
"Actually it was these two rascals," You now looked at Merry and Pippin who were at this second hugging Frodo and Sam "that got lost. Elrohir and I just guided them back here."
"I only have your word on that," grinned Glorfindel, glancing at Elrohir who nodded his head in acknowledgement to his mentor "I was worried about you."
Your eyebrows widen at his admittance.
"Lord Elrond spoke of you," carried on Glorfindel "said you walked out of his study."
"I did," You agreed "I needed some time to think."
You let go of Elrohir's arm as he just smiled back at you when he walked towards the others by the table.
"Do you want to unburden yourself with me?" asked Glorfindel, causing you to look back at your friend.
You shook your head.
"Not here. Perhaps later, we can speak in private?"
Glorfindel nodded his head.
"Very well. Until then, I believe a few hobbits wish to speak to you."
Stepping aside, your blue eyes went back on Frodo and now Sam, who was sitting beside him. Your eyes scanned the rest of the people by the table, noticing Thorin, Dorian, Fili, Kili and a dwarf you never met before. Your eyes moved from one face to another, finally stopping when you saw a face you did recognise.
You were watching the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins. True he looked a little older, but there was no mistaking it was him. He still had that smile as he currently watched you back. Your own smile mirrored his.
"Rila." was all he said, getting up from the chair he was sitting on.
He placed his quill on the table and slowly made his way towards you.
"Thorin has explained everything, though until now," Bilbo explained reaching you "I was a little suspicious on believing him."
Bilbo stopped and turned his head back at Thorin, giving him an apologetic look. Despite yourself, you chuckle. It seems Bilbo hasn't changed that much. You met him halfway and went to his level, pulling him into a tight hug.
"For so long," whispered Bilbo "I have always wondered what had happened to you all," pulling back a little so he could have a good look at you "you haven't changed at all."
"Well." You replied "it has only been a few days since I last saw you. Yet it isn't that case, has it? You look fantastic Bilbo."
"Really, I'm older than we last met Rila," chuckled Bilbo, finally letting go of you "age does have a tendency to catch up with you."
"Nonsense! You look just as handsome as when I last saw you." You remark, winking back at him.
Bilbo looked down at the ground and you realised that you had made him a little bashful now.
"Well I-I-I d-don't know about that," He stammered, now turning a little toward the table "Rila, I'd like you to meet my nephew."
Bilbo surprised you when he placed his hand on yours, now pulling you toward the table.
"Frodo, this is the fair maiden who killed Azog the defiler."
You could feel your cheeks go red at the way Bilbo said that.
"He was getting on my nerves," was your response "wouldn't take the hint to leave well alone," a few chuckles could be heard around the table as you continued speaking "so I took matters into my own hands."
Your eyes went on Thorin, who had a small smile on his face.
"I had no idea at the time, that it was Thorin's nemesis. So, I'll admit it, I don't feel guilty in killing Azog."
"I'm grateful all the same." was Thorin's response.
You smiled back at Thorin, then looked back at Frodo and you had to ask,
"How are you feeling?"
Frodo smiled at you and sighed in content.
"Much better then I was...Sam told me you also had a part to play in helping me out back then."
"I still have several healing potions from my old life that thankfully still work. I had to do something to ease your discomfort." You admitted, gracing Frodo with a smile.
"My dear friend," Your head turned in the direction of where Dorian was sitting "should you need more healing potions, do let me know, I do know how to make them."
You graced Dorian with a smile and a little nod, before returning your attention back to Bilbo and Frodo.
"I would like to thank you Rila," began Frodo, his big blue eyes bore into yours "you and Strider and...." Frodo looked at his three friends, before looking at the table, thinking "everyone helped me. You didn't have too."
"Of course I did," You reply "and I'll do that again. Though I'm hoping that will never, ever, happen again anyway."
Frodo looked back at you, his eyebrows raised as he processed what you had just said. He then smiled and nodded his head.
"You have my word, I'll try and stay out of danger."
"So," You began, taking the empty chair opposite Lindir and Glorfindel sitting down on it "what exactly are you writing Bilbo?"
Bilbo until this second, was busy writing with his quill suddenly looked up at you and smiled.
"I'm just writing about my journey from before. How Gandalf tricked me into travelling with thirteen dwarves from my home."
"A wizard never tricked you, my dear friend," You jumped at the voice behind you, causing a few laughs along the table "this particular wizard just nudged you in the right direction."
By now Gandalf was standing by the chair beside Thorin's though he was watching Bilbo with a gentle smile on his face.
"Just admit it, Bilbo, you would do it all again if you could." grinned Merry, eating two apples at the same time.
"Do what?" asked Bilbo, clearly confused.
"Travel around Middle-earth of course. Your stories are legendary." remarked Pippin.
"Especially the troll story." said Frodo, looking at his uncle with such tenderness that it brought up your memories of your own family.
You momentarily close your eyes, remembering the way your father had taught you on how to use a sword. He taught you everything as did your mother, though you enjoyed it more when your father would encourage you to fight him.
You found yourself smiling when you always tried to get the upper hand and sometimes, the sword fighting took hours to reach a conclusion, as both of you had always been competitive against one another.
"My lady, are you alright?"
Opening your eyes, you looked at Lindir who had clearly spoken and graced him with a smile. Though you were unaware of the troubled expression Elrohir was giving you.
"I am fine Lindir, just remembering my own family," You look back at Bilbo and Frodo, clearly seeing the concern on their faces "family is important after all," You continue "never let go of that fact."
"I agree." said Bilbo, after a while "Frodo is like a son to me."
You smiled, liking that answer, before looking back at the red book he was writing in.
"Perhaps when you have finally finished writing your tales," You began, watching Bilbo once more "I could read it, yes?"
You were curious as to what Bilbo had done during your time away.
"Well," replied Bilbo, "there is still a lot to write about. I have thought of a title of this story though."
"Oh?" You found yourself saying "What's that then?"
Once again, Bilbo smiled warmly at you, before replying,
"There and back again."
"I like it." You reassured him, your smile broadening.
"Aye, not bad." You heard Thorin and the others say.
For a while, you and the rest of your friends, stayed around the table, listening to everyone that was currently speaking at the time. You watched Bilbo after a while, who was once again jotting something down in his book.
You were relieved to see him. He still had that charm from before this sorry mess came about, which you were glad about. After hearing about the battle of five armies, you had to wonder, just what was Bilbo himself doing then.
Obviously, he had survived this epic battle, though you knew from your own experience, that battles could be daunting. It seemed luck was helping Bilbo back then. Then you found yourself frowning as you realised something.
Could it be possible that during that battle, Bilbo was already carrying the one Ring? That could indeed explain why he was able to survive. Though this thought alone alarmed you, you were glad that everything turned out right for him in the end.
You came back from your own thoughts as you looked up at Gandalf once more, gracing him with a small smile.
"It is time." said the wizard with a sombre expression on his face.
You knew what he was referring too. It was time to go to this secret council. You admit you were nervous, but you wanted answers on how to reach Mordor and destroy that blasted red Archdemon and Corypheus once and for all.
Noticing many other people around a circle, you looked for a vacant chair, finding one near a blonde elf. As you made your way there, you spotted Aragorn who you realised was watching you. You graced him with a smile and a little nod as you sat next to the elf beside you, noticing him do the same to you as well.
A few minutes pass before you noticed Frodo, Gandalf, Thorin, Dorian and Glorfindel arrive. They too quickly found chairs, though your old friend Glorfindel decided to sit beside you, gracing you with a knowing smile.
"I do have to keep an eye on you, after all, little star." He whispered.
"Is that so?" was your reply, rolling your eyes "Why is that?"
Just as Glorfindel was about to reply, Lord Elrond stood up from where he had been sitting and walked a few steps away from his chair. The look on his face made you worry as to what he was about to say. He, in turn, looked at everyone before beginning.
"Strangers from distant lands, friends of old. You have been summoned here to answer the threat of Mordor. Middle-earth stands upon the brink of destruction. None can escape it. You will unite or you will fall. Each race is bound to this fate, this one doom."
Lord Elrond looks at everyone again, before his eyes went on Frodo.
"Bring forth the Ring, Frodo."
Frodo sighed looking nervous, though stood up and walked towards the stone plinth that was in the middle of the circle, placing the Ring on it. Even though you were away from this Ring, you could feel an evil within coming from this gold band and you didn't like that one bit.
"So it's true!" said the man you recognise from earlier on "In a dream, I saw the Eastern sky grow dark."
You watch this man as he now stood up, watching the Ring with wonder in his eyes.
"In the West, a pale light lingered A voice was crying, 'your doom is near at hand'."
By now, you were getting concerned. Watching this man look at this Ring was very alarming. You looked back at Lord Elrond, noticing he too was not happy with what was currently happening.
"Isildur's bane is found."
Your eyes went wide as you watched this man stretch out his hand, ready to touch this evil Ring.
"What in Maker's name are you doing?" was your response, standing up, narrowing your eyes at this man.
"Boromir!" warned Lord Elrond, as he too stood up.
You realise the sky was now dark and it was only when you saw Gandalf speak, you realised it was him doing this,
"Ash nazg durbatuluk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatuluk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul (One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and, in the darkness, bind them.)"
You sat back down, watching Gandalf, then at the sky. The relief when the dark clouds were now gone.
"Never before has any voice uttered the words of the tongue here in Imladris." scolded Lord Elrond, looking at Gandalf with anger in his eyes.
"I do not ask your pardon, Master Elrond, for the black speech of Mordor may yet be heard in every corner of the West! The Ring is altogether evil." remarked Gandalf now glaring at Boromir.
You found that you were holding in your breath and it wasn't until you felt a hand go on your own, you finally exhaled. You turned and looked at Glorfindel, knowing it was him that was helping you. You graced him with a small smile, letting him now, that you were okay.
"It is a gift! A gift to the foes of Mordor! Why not use this Ring?"
Your head turned to where Boromir sat. He was still looking at the Ring as he continued speaking.
"Long has my father, the Steward of Gondor, kept the forces of Mordor at bay. By the blood of our people are your lands kept safe! Give Gondor the weapon of the enemy. Let us use it against him!"
"Are you ill in the head?" You found yourself asking.
"Little star!" warned Glorfindel.
"No," You replied, looking back at your friend, before returning your attention towards Boromir "this man clearly has no idea what this Ring can do."
Your eyes went back on the Ring itself, You could feel the power from it and this in itself, was worrying you. You realised this Ring was growing stronger.
"This Ring is evil. I can sense so much power coming from inside of it," You looked back at Boromir who was now glaring back at you "it needs to be destroyed now!"
All this man did was shake his head in disdain. Your eyes went back on the Ring once more and you felt a chill go down your spine. Yes, this very Ring had to be destroyed because you knew the whole of Middle-earth would never be the same ever again, should the Ring find it's true Master.
"You cannot wield it! None of us can. The one Ring answers to Sauron alone. It has no other master." remarked Aragorn, bringing you out of your troubled thoughts.
"And what would a ranger and a lady know of this matter?" hissed Boromir.
"Who I am is of no importance to you!" You snapped at him, noticing Dorian smile at that.
The elf that had been sitting beside you, suddenly stood up, glaring back at Boromir.
"This is no mere ranger. He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn. You owe him your allegiance." remarked the elf,
"Aragorn?" exclaimed Boromir turning his attention from you to Aragorn "This… is Isildur's heir?"
"And heir to the throne of Gondor." exclaimed Legolas.
"Havo dad Legolas (Sit down Legolas) said Aragorn, holding out his hand to settle this once and for all.
"Gondor has no king. Gondor needs no king." sneered Boromir.
You gave Boromir such a dirty look as he sat back down. Unaware that Aragorn was now watching your disgust for Boromir's attitude problem.
"Rila and Aragorn are right. We cannot use it." said Gandalf.
You turned your head, now watching Legolas. You were a little surprised to see a small smile on his face as he looked back at you. You smiled back, wondering why he had said your name.
"You have only one choice. The Ring must be destroyed." exclaimed Lord Elrond, causing you to return your attention to the matter at hand.
"What are we waiting for?" remarked a red-haired dwarf who grabs his axe and approaches the pedestal.
"ARGH!!" He cried out as he strikes the Ring as hard as he can, but is thrown back, falling to the ground.
"Well, that was unexpected!" You heard Dorian say, as you watch the red-haired dwarf get back up again.
Your eyes then widen as you spot Frodo holding his head in his hands as if he was in pain. You stood up and walked towards the hobbit and kneel to his level, taking his hand as gently as you could, trying to help him out as best as you could.
You failed to notice the looks you were now receiving from Thorin, Glorfindel, Aragorn and Legolas. You just wanted Frodo to be okay. You knew that he had been travelling with this Ring and it must have taken its toll on him.
"The Ring cannot be destroyed, Gimli, son of Gloin by any craft that we here possess. The Ring was made in the fires of Mount Doom. Only there can it be unmade. It must be taken deep into Mordor and cast back into the fiery chasm from whence it came!" You heard Lord Elrond say "One of you must do this."
Everyone was quiet until Boromir started speaking again.
"One does not simply walk into Mordor. Its black gates are guarded by more than just orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep and the great Eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland. Riddled with fire and ash and dust. The very air you breathe is a poisonous fume. Not with ten thousand men could you do this. It is folly!"
"Then what do you suggest we do?" asked Dorian, clearly unnerved by what's been happening here.
"Have you heard nothing Lord Elrond has said? The Ring must be destroyed!" exclaimed Legolas getting up again, as you moved a little and watch what was happening.
You gently stroked Frodo's hand, trying to calm him down. You could tell that he was not himself and that worried you.
"And I suppose you think you're the one to do it?!" snapped Gimli glaring at Legolas, causing you to roll your eyes.
"And if we fail, what then?! What happens when Sauron takes back what is his?!" asked Boromir.
"Everything will be gone," You replied with a sad tone of voice "all the good in this land will be replaced by darkness and discord. That is not what I want at all."
"I will be dead before I see the Ring in the hands of an elf!" exclaimed Gimli.
The other elves rise and start shouting at Gimli and the other dwarves. Legolas holds out his hand to stop them from starting a fight. You just shake my head in disgust.
"Never trust an elf!" someone shouted.
You were surprised that Thorin was not involved in this stupid spat. Instead, he was watching you with concern on his own face. You graced him with a small smile as you heard Gandalf shout out,
"Do you not understand that while we bicker among ourselves, Sauron's power grows?! None can escape it!"
The shouting continued and it was only when you felt Frodo's hand slip away from yours and then got up, a feeling went through you then, that things would change forever for this incredible hobbit.
"I will take it! I will take it!"said Frodo.
You shut your eyes frowning. Hadn't Frodo done enough? Everyone stops arguing. Gandalf closes his own eyes as he hears Frodo's statement. Everyone slowly turns toward Frodo, clearly surprised.
"I will take the Ring to Mordor. Though.. I do not know the way."
Gandalf walked towards Frodo and smiled at him.
"I will help you bear this burden, Frodo Baggins, so long as it is yours to bear." said Gandalf placing a hand on Frodo's shoulder.
"If by my life or death, I can protect you, I will!" remarked Aragorn standing up and kneels in front of Frodo "You have my sword."
"And you have my bow." said Legolas walking towards Frodo.
"And my axe." said Gimli who gives Legolas a dirty look.
You stand up and watch Frodo, gracing him with a smile.
"Until such a time I have to leave," You say gently "I'll be there for you."
"Thank you Rila." smiled Frodo, clearly touched that you would be travelling with him.
"I too shall lend you my strength," You heard Thorin say "someone has to keep an eye on Rila here."
"Hey!" was your reply, noticing the grin on Thorin's face.
"You carry the fates of us all little one. If this is indeed the will of the council, then Gondor will see it done." remarked Boromir slowly walking up to Frodo.
"Heh!" You heard from somewhere.
You see Sam emerge from behind some bush and now stands beside Frodo.
"Mr Frodo is not going anywhere without me!"
"No indeed, it is hardly possible to separate you even when he is summoned to a secret council and you are not." replied a very amused Lord Elrond.
You try and fail to hide your laughter.
"Wait! We are coming too!" You heard Merry and Pippin say who then scoot round Lord Elrond heading straight for Frodo.
"You'd have to send us home tied up in a sack to stop us!" exclaimed Pippin "Anyway you need people of intelligence on this sort of mission, quest… thing."
"Well that rules you out Pip." scoffed Merry, causing you to chuckle at these two rascals.
"Eleven companions… So be it! You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring!" remarked Lord Elrond.
"Great! Where are we going?" asked Pippin, earning a chuckle from you once again.
You looked straight at Lord Elrond, noticing his hand go on your back as he and yourself walked away a little from the others.
"Though you are now part of the fellowship, I know you will want to reach your own destination."
"That is true," You replied, "that Archdemon must be dealt with."
"Indeed," agreed Lord Elrond, who stopped walking and turned to face you "though like Frodo, you can not do this alone."
You frowned as you watched him. You knew you were a good fighter, after all, your father and mother taught you well. You said nothing though. Lord Elrond looked away from you and sighed.
"Elladan and Elrohir will accompany you Rila, you know you need all the help you can get," Lord Elrond faced you once more "Corypheus is just a threat as is Sauron. Whose to stop him from joining forces with him."
"My lord," You began, catching the sombre expression of Dorian as you quickly scanned the many faces around this court garden "I've dealt with an Archdemon before as well you know."
"And look what happened! You died because of it." blurted out Lord Elrond, surprising you a little.
"It was the only way," was your reply "I couldn't allow my friend Morrigan to do what she had in mind."
You caught the puzzled look on Lord Elrond's face and sighed, knowing now, you had to carry on.
"It was the eve of the battle of Denerim," You began slowly, now looking at the ground "Alistair and I had just discovered some startling news from another Warden named Riordan who explained that in order to kill an Archdemon, the Warden who was dealing the final blow will have to sacrifice themselves in order to save everyone."
"Yes, I know that You explained all of this when you could."
"Yet, I never mentioned the deal Morrigan had in mind." You remark.
"Indeed you did not," agreed Lord Elrond "what was this deal?"
With a heavy heart, you whispered to him what Morrigan had in mind on the eve of battle. How she said there is another way to kill the Archdemon without any Warden's death.
Closing your eyes as you went on, you could now see Morrigan in that room as she revealed her plan. That if you asked Alistair to see Morrigan herself for a night of passion, everything would sort themselves out.
"It felt very wrong," You continued, now watching nothing in particular "if I had agreed to this, Alistair would have had a child. A child with a god inside of it. Morrigan said that should I accept this, I too would be with my own love."
"Rila," You heard Lord Elrond say, while just for a second, you saw Zevran smiling back at you in your mind's eye "thing's happen for a reason, remember that."
By now you felt Lord Elrond's warm hands go over your own, bringing you back to the present.
"Do they?" You reply, feeling the anger course through you again "I should not be here, I should be helping Thorin out on this quest in reclaiming Erebor. Solas has a lot to answer t-,"
"Shhhh, You were meant to return in this timeline." said Lord Elrond, now placing your hand over his arm.
You just watch him while you both walked away from the court. It suddenly dawned on you that he had the gift of foresight. In fact, when you first meet him, you were surprised at the way he was dealing with your sudden appearance.
"You knew this was going to happen," You surmised, more to yourself but you knew he had heard you.
Lord Elrond didn't say anything though when you glanced at him, you could see the troubled expression on his face.
"I'm not blaming you, my lord," You continue, returning your gaze elsewhere "as if you could have said, 'Have a safe trip Rila, oh and by the way, the next time I will see you, it will be sixty years later.'
"I do not sound like that little star!" exclaimed Lord Elrond as you did actually mimic his voice.
"Forgive me." You reply, now trying to stop yourself from laughing.
You were a little taken aback when Lord Elrond chuckled which went when you carried on.
"For the first time ever, I find I just do not trust one particular elf."
"You mean Solas?"
You nodded and sighed.
"There is just something off about him," You admitted "when I had it out with him regarding this massive time leap, for one second, my inner voice spoke of a name."
You pause, still feeling very strange of hearing those two words inside your mind. Lord Elrond brought you back to the present by calling out your name.
"Rila, what is this name you heard?"
Looking at Lord Elrond, you sighed again and said,
You saw the frown on Lord Elrond's face, though thought better of asking him about his concern. It was just a name after all, wasn't it? Then why does it feel like that name should mean something?
You were leaning on a high bridge that overlooked Imladris. There was a light breeze in the air and from time to time, you could smell flowers from the wind that was blowing around you. It was another place you loved going to when you wanted to be and think alone. The whole area was away from everyday activities and it gave you time to relax and go over things in your mind.
You had agreed with Lord Elrond's insistence, to have Elladan and Elrohir accompany you on your own quest to get rid of the Archdemon. Though he could clearly see that you were not happy with this, you never challenged him about it.
For a while, you would be travelling with the fellowship, though you knew that was temporary. This whole thing felt like the Blight, everyone not knowing what tomorrow would bring, it was like history was indeed repeating itself. The only thing missing was your fellow warden Alistair and your heart, Zevran.
You really missed the Antivan elf and a small smile came when you remembered how you had first encountered him. He had paid some thugs to entice you and your companions in helping them with their own problem.
Of course, there was no problem as Zevran had a stupid smirk on his face as he shouted out,
"The Grey Wardens dies here."
You sighed as you unsheathed your sword and dagger and began fighting back. It didn't take long, thanks to Alistar, Artemis your faithful Mabari dog and Sten the Qunari.
A chuckle left your lips when you recall seeing a tied up Zevran on the ground explaining why he was sent to kill you and Alistair. You don't know why, but it was then that you felt completely relaxed with him. You weren't sure if it was his accent or the way he explained things. Probably both.
It was your idea in letting Zevran accompany you and the rest of the companions. Alistair was appalled by this until you explained that having an assassin was an excellent idea especially if you wanted things done quickly. Your fellow warden soon saw things your way but you knew he still was shocked that you had recruited Zevran.
From there though, things with Zev and yourself grew, you got to know the real him and vice versa. You had never felt this way about anyone before and you doubt you ever will again. Since being in Middle-earth, you refused to move on from your Antivan lover and friend. No one has made any acknowledgement that they like you in that way and that's how you liked it. Your heart will always belong to Zevran Arainai, no one else.
While holding on to the silver rail of the bridge, your thoughts soon went on another matter entirely.
Now that you knew that this red dragon was now residing in Mordor, you now had a goal. Though you also knew that Corypheus was also a big threat, though you had no idea just what he was. Was he a darkspawn leader or something worse?
'Perhaps Dorian and Varric can help with that.' You thought, feeling the breeze through your hair.
The breeze brought you a new smell and you instantly spun around spotting Aragorn walking towards you.
"I did not mean to make you jump my lady." was his reply.
"Please drop the familiarities," You answered, relaxing again "Rila will do."
A little nod from Aragorn as he walked towards you, looking at the scenery in front of him. For a while, nothing was said between you. You went back to thinking of the Archdemon and Corypheus.
When it finally came to killing the dragon, you realised something. Would you finally be at peace and return to the Maker. You were still baffled that you ended up in this world and not be joined by your father and mother.
All you could remember when dealing the final blow to the other Archdemon was a blinding white light, then nothing. You woke up in a bed and in this world, wondering what was going on.
You jump when you felt a hand go on your shoulder, bringing you out of your troubled thoughts. Turning your head, you saw the concern on Aragorn's face, making you frown a little.
"Are you alright?"
You nodded, gracing him with a weak smile. You had this feeling that he was not buying that. For one thing, his hand was still on your shoulder.
"What is troubling you?"
You knew Aragorn would not drop this matter, so with a sigh, you slowly explain what was going through your mind.
"Lord Elrond told me where the Archdemon resides," You began, returning your attention to the front, watching the trees sway from the wind "and I'm just wondering if things will be different this time."
"What do you mean?" asked Aragorn, taking his hand off your shoulder.
"When I slay the Archdemon," You reply, turning to face Aragorn as you continue "will I return to the Maker and finally see my parents or will I still be here, wondering what to do next."
You could clearly see the confusion on his face. You then explained to Aragorn what your fellow grey warden Riordan said. That whoever killed the Archdemon, dies with it.
"I was meant to die when I slew the original Archdemon, but I somehow ended up here, in Middle-earth. When I slew the Archdemon, a blinding white light came from its body taking my life with it. Only I never went to the Maker.....I ended up here, alive."
You left out that Morrigan asked for your help in keeping you alive with her own offer as that seemed pointless now. For a short while, there was a silence between Aragorn and yourself.
At this point, you were now facing the front again, watching the trees sway against the breeze. You could feel Aragorn's eyes watch you, though causing you to frown a little. It was like he was reading you, trying to get to the good bit of the story.
"Are you saying, you will die when you slay this dragon?" asked Aragorn, finally breaking the silence between the pair of you.
"That I do not know," You admitted "I'm not too sure this is a real Archdemon."
Once again you turned and faced Aragorn, though your eyes looked at the sky, thinking. Thinking of Corypheus.
"I find it very strange that this Archdemon is working alongside someone else," You continued "Corypheus. Is he the servant or the puppet master controlling the red dragon?"
"What do you think the answer is?"
Your eyes instantly went on Aragorn's own grey/blue eyes, noticing the concern in them. Sighing, you felt this was very different from the other Archdemon, but the darkspawn were now appearing in Middle-earth. This was not good news at all.
"I believe the answer is all connected to Corypheus," You replied, nodding your head as you continue "I'll have to deal with him as well as this dragon.
They are tainting this land Aragorn and if Corypheus is joining forces with Sauron, then he needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. I've seen what the Blight does and it's not something I want repeating."
"You will not do this alone Rila, it is foolish!"
Despite yourself, you smiled at Aragorn, seeing the confusion on his face.
"I won't be alone. Lord Elrond has made it perfectly clear that Elladan and Elrohir will accompany me. Plus," I add, my smile broadening "I have this feeling Thorin and his kin will aid me too."
Your smile went as you watched Aragorn, thinking of something else.
"Please be very careful around the elf Solas. I don't like him and do not trust him at all. He is somehow connected in all of this. After all, he brought me and the others sixty years into the future."
You shook your head, closing your eyes, you saw the way Thorin acted when he realised that he was now in the future. You could see the anguish on his face when he knew that he was nowhere near his home Erebor or his sister Dis. You vowed then, that you would help Thorin get this home back and return him to his family.
"Yes, he is definitely up to something," You carried on, reopening your eyes "every time I think of Solas, all I can see, is a wolf. That to me is not a good omen. Just be on your guard."
Once again, you look at Aragorn, noticing him frown a little.
"I just don't trust him and I think he is up to something."
" I believe you," replied Aragorn, now gracing you with a smile.
"Especially with those green orb things he seems to look out for" You carried on "that can not be good either!"
You were still confused that a green orb had so much power in teleporting you and the others sixty years into the future. This orb was clearly not to be touched and yet, Solas reached out for it and....bang, here you all were. Same place, different time zone.
"Are you alright?"
You were brought back to the present with a gentle touch to your shoulder blade. Your blue eyes instantly went back on him and you find yourself giving him a small smile.
"Sorry," You reply as Aragorn took his hand away from your shoulder "miles away there."
"You do seem to have a lot on your mind," He remarked "is there something else that is troubling you?"
You were taken aback by his question as you knitted your brows together, thinking if he would understand what was really bugging you now. As the breeze blew your hair, you decided to explain everything to Aragorn that only a select few knew of this. Sighing, you quietly said,
"There is something you should know about me, seeing as we shall be travelling together soon."