|A New Spring
Author: LionQueen PM
Follows Tolkiens tale through the eyes of a young woman struggling to find her place whether it be with men or elves or Hobbits. Angst, tragedy, and love both of friendship and romance. Enjoy!Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Angst - Faramir - Chapters: 15 - Words: 50,425 - Reviews: 18 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 9 - Updated: 10-24-08 - Published: 07-10-07 - id: 3648774
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A New Spring - By LionQueen
Introduction - Hope
She gazed wistfully on trinkets collected over many years, which sat gracefully upon her plain wooden mantle. The fire blazed warmly underneath it.
At this moment, she sensed a presence with her. Turning, she recognized the face and fell silent. His grey eyes fixed on her and her gaze quickly fell downward once again. He should not have been there, and yet he was.
She spoke timidly, "My Lord, why are you here?"
He watched her for a moment and then took in the view around him. The round roof of a round cottage. A round door stood not more than five feet away. A warm blaze set the inside of the room aglow. There was a wooden table in the middle of the room, which looked as if it could have been a dining table. The floor was smooth and bare.
"Where is it that I am ... exactly?"
She met his eyes only for a moment. "This is my home. You are in the Shire. Only I do not know why or how it is that you have come to be here. "
She touched the stem of a wooden flower full of memory. She could see the day he happily brought it to her. How anxious he was to show it to her. "Frodo made this for me when I was a child. The hobbits are peaceful folk. They are quiet ... for the most part. They do make their ale and their pipes. "
She walked toward the door to open it. "Come, I will show you."
Her hand touched the door and it opened, but instead of walking onto the lush green grass and viewing the sweeping hills where lie the carved hobbit holes, she placed bare feet on earthen ground. Sparse grass covered the twigs and leaves scattered around. Tall green trees rustled as the wind passed through their hanging boughs. Her brows drew together, lips pursing.
She turned to him, but the sound of approaching laughter stopped her. A young girl dressed in brown hurried past the tree before them. A young boy ensued, laughing. He wore a dark tunic with a white tree etched in its front. Curls of his brown hair tossed by the wind as he called to her.
"Aramaea? Aramaea! How can I rescue you if you slay the dragon? "
They were silent for a long time watching the children dart between trees and occasionally touched blades as they sparred together. Their blades were limbs, stripped of their leaves and made smooth.
Then Eliahna spoke.
"Many times have I dreamt of this boy. I have never understood it, nor known what it could mean." She faced him meekly. "But you have never been here before … here in my dreams. Why are you now here? I ... I don't understand."
Her eyes turned upwards, meeting his as he raised a hand to touch her face. " Aramaea?"
She awoke, no longer in the Shire, nor lingering within the green forest, and found herself lying upon a soft bed draped in fine cloth sheets. Faramir sat beside her. His eyes fixed on her while a hand rested on her shoulder. He seemed far away in some distant thought, unaware that she was looking back at him.
She glanced at the white walls surrounding her and then whispered. "What happened? Where am I?"
"Be still" He responded gently, seemingly startled by her voice. "You are safe. You are in Gondor ... in Minas Tirith. "
"Do you not remember?"
It took but a moment, but oh yes …Osgiliath. She had already warned Faramir that it was burning and it cut her heart for him to see that it was true. They stood over the hill and looked on the once strong and regal city below, viewing the thick smoke rise from it ominously. And then they went to it.
They followed the path down to the fray of the battle.
Sam had so liberally blurted to Faramir of his brother's misdeeds and she rebuked him for it.
"You must not speak of him so dishonorably." She warned, lowering herself to eye him.
He was determined and he was passionate. Yet, in all of his good intention, Sam did not know everything. He did not see the selfless manner in which this son of Gondor died. He only knew of Boromirs weakness and not his strength.
Then the darkness fell, as does a bird of prey over its victim. The air grew cold and stiff, and there was suddenly no sound but that of the fighting. A wind rose up like that of beating wings, their screams piercing the air like that of sharp steel.
Faramir pushed Frodo and Sam into a white washed corner along with Gollum.
"Stay here, and out of sight." He ordered.
Nevertheless, she could not remain. She turned her heels behind him with Sam calling after. "Where are you going?"
She gave no reply while pursuing Faramir and pleaded with him as she had done so before. "Do you not now see? You know what is right and good! "
He turned eyeing her in silence, while she begged him earnestly amongst the burning fires and clashing of metal against metal. This all but faded among her persistent conviction.
"Can you not see it? They have come for the ring! They have come for it. They will never stop coming for it. They know it is here! It will not help Gondor defeat Mordor nor Isengard. It will be Gondors' defeat! It was born for evil. Evil and destruction is all it knows! Please my Lord Faramir, it is not too late! "
His eyes strayed elsewhere, and she turned nearly thrown to the ground by what she beheld. The Nazgul's beast hovered over one of the walls, a black dragon of evil, ridden by one of the servants of the dark Lord. The Wraith.
Frodo had climbed the large marble steps to meet it there, and stood before it, hand extended. She believed she saw the small ring between his fingers.
Before she was aware, she had pushed her way through to the other side and up the pathway to the wall. Her breathing was staggered as she, with no weapon in her hand, rigidly forced her way between the Nazgul and Frodo.
"You will not have it so easily! " She belted. "I am not afraid of you! "
But she was afraid. She stood firmly, driven only by her love for her friends and for her people. Long before she left Rivendell with them, she determined that she would sacrifice her own life, if need be, as well as anyone else would, to see that the quest was fulfilled. To see victory rise above the cold darkness that threatened to overthrow middle earth.
With one pass of its claw, it grasped her waist and held her up, its breath burning her face as the fires of Mount Doom. She stared into its blank eyes certain that this would be her end, when a whiz passed her head and an arrow pierced its thick-skinned breast. It let out a long screech and released her. She tumbled down to the cold hard marble below. It was then that the blackness overcame her until she awoke here with Faramir by her side.
She nodded, her memory returning. "It was the Nazgul."
She sat upright ... "Frodo and Sam?"
"I freed them." He responded.
"You did?" She sighed, closing her eyes slightly and murmured a few words in elvish. "Thank you. And ... of Gollum?"
"He has gone with them."
She nodded regretfully.
"You should rest. I will send for you when you have awakened. For now, do not worry for Frodo and Sam. "
She lay on the soft pillow with much worry in her head. Do not worry for Frodo and Sam he had said. How could she not? She disliked Gollum's unnatural attachment to Frodo. He was a dark creature bent to cause harm to them. To cause harm to Frodo. She could sense it.
After all, Uncle Bilbo had retrieved the ring from him in the dank caves where he had remained hidden for so many years, only to give it to Frodo as an inheritance. Perhaps it was Frodo's own desire to save himself from the evil charm around his neck that kept him from seeing Gollum's ill intentions.
Now that Faramir had brought her to Minas Tirith, she was certain he would expect her to keep her word and tell all that she knew. Just as she had bargained. She could not help Frodo now. She would have to give up the job to Sam and hope that he was strong enough to bear the harsh terrain leading to Mordor and to Mt. Doom. And to keep Frodo safe from whatever scheming Gollum conjured in his head.
She could only hope for their victory. Hope was all that they had now. Hope that seemed to fade as soon as it were born.
Chapter 1 - Finding Home
She was content to dwell in the Shire for the better part of her life. The hobbits loved her and treated her as one of their own. She loved them in return. The day had come, however, as Gandalf knew that it would, when she could no longer accept the vague answers. Though her love for her friends was strong and unfailing, her longing to know her own people had weighed heavily on her thoughts. How had she, a human come to live among Hobbits?
Gandalf's avoidance left her angry and somewhat wounded. He told her that her time was not yet, but when it was, nothing would be kept from her.
Therefore, it was, she carried this anger to Rivendell, where she first looked into the face of Lord Elrond. He held himself nobly, and when in his presence one knew they were beholding one full of wisdom and authority.
Son of Earendil, descendant from the third house of the Edain, he and his brother Elros were honored by the Valor for their bravery during the preservation of the first age, and was offered the choice of either belonging to elf kind or be joined with the mortal world.
Elrond had chosen his identity among the elves and to him was given the same honor as the high elven kings. He became a master of wisdom and was blessed with the same grace as his kindred, once weary of the mortal world he would take the ships from the Grey Havens and pass the undying lands.
His children and those after, hence all in his line, were offered this same grace. To remain and become mortal or to someday pass from the Grey Havens into the uttermost west.
Elros, chose to remain in a mortal existence, and thus could not be allowed to pass through the undying lands among the elves. For the elves were not permitted to altar the mortality of men. So they blessed he and his line with long life. Longer than that of lesser men, and his people came to settle in the land they called Numenor in the isle of Elenna, far west of all mortal lands.
These were the Edain, the people from whence Aragorn had come, but Eliahna did not know him by his true name as of yet. Nor did she know of his heritance, only that he were a ranger and one she did not trust, though he had served Frodo well and saved him from death at the hands of the wraith.
Lord Elrond had nursed Frodo to health, after a near fatal wound by one of the wraith. For this, she was most grateful. Of all the hobbits, he was the one whom she loved more than any. Being that it was his family who took her as one of their own. Yes, Frodo was the same as a brother. She stood by his side while Elrond spoke healing words to him. The ring wraiths would have driven him to shadow were it not for the swiftness of Arwen who bore him on her horse bound for Rivendell.
Eliahna wandered the walls of the city, studying the artwork and the entwined carvings that ran its way through each structure. Something else had stirred within upon touching, for the first time, the ground on which Rivendell stood. Something she could not find words for. Something almost familiar like a clouded memory - misty and white in the distance.
She was strolling an airy passageway and heard two voices. She followed them to Elrond's chamber where she found Gandalf and him.
They were discussing the fate of Frodo and the ring. Gandalf insisted that Frodo had done all that could be asked of him by carrying it this far to Rivendell and could not be asked to carry further even to the fires of Mt. Doom to destroy it.
Elrond was burdened by the threat of Mordor and now Isengard. Its new enemy was forged by Saruman in the mud and mirth. These were the half-breed of orc and goblin. They ran in the night or by day as no orc could.
Gandalf was delayed in his meeting with the hobbits in Bree by Sarumans treachery. It was there at Orthanc, he learned that Saruman had formally pledged his allegiance to the dark Lord Sauron and to Mordor. (For it had long been suspected that Saruman was not altogether friend of those who dwelt in Middle Earth.)
She intended to walk from the eavesdropping, but heard something from which she could not turn. Her name.
"She is stubborn as her mother." Elrond responded to Gandalf.
"You knew my mother?" She said, upon entering their presence. Her boldness surprised even herself.
Gandalf and Elrond were both startled. She stood before them with inquisitive eyes, carrying herself gracefully on her approach, as if she too belonged in Rivendell.
Elrond glanced towards Gandalf for a moment, and then returned his eyes to hers. He studied her face until his stern features softened.
"Yes, Eliahna, I knew your mother."
Something welled from within her when she heard this. Stirring from a place deep within. As familiar as the ground with which she stood.
Gandalf said nothing when Elrond gave a quiet sigh and continued.
"I knew your mother well. She was beautiful. She loved all life. She was the daughter of my kin. My sister's only child."
His words seemed to float on the air. It was as if she were trying to catch them before they floated away. She was standing on the ground of her mother's home. She was home. Wasn't she? As quickly as the revelation came, the anger returned.
"I am of elf kind, then?" Her voice rose, kindled with a slow burn. "I am of elf kind, and yet you've abandoned me! Your city gleaming here deep in the forest hidden from men ... hidden from your daughter ...why?
"Was I not worthy to sit among you? Why was I cast out and rejected? "
"It was for GOOD reason." Gandalf spoke.
Elrond interrupted him. "You were not rejected Eliahna. You were never rejected. You were loved. This was done for you … So that you would know peace and safety ... that which we could not provide."
"Safety!" She scoffed. "I was sent away for safety? For whose safety? Mine? What protection could a simple hobbit provide which you with your Elvin armies and weapons could not? "
"You are holding some truth still, My Lord Elrond!"
"Eliahna, that is quite enough! You will not speak in this manner!" Gandalf rebuked.
Her anger had peaked and she now spoke without regard.
"Then I shall not speak at all, is that what you desire? You, who have raised and taught me ... you are all I have known as a father, and now you rebuke me for the wrong that was done to me?"
"There was wrong done ... but it was not by me, nor by those you have known." Elrond spoke so plainly. "You were hidden with hope that you may not be found."
"Be found by whom? What value should I have that would cause me to be hidden? I am nothing!" She grew impatient.
"You are of value." He looked on her with a compassion that made her all the more unsettled.
"Elissia was beautiful. She loved the woods and the earth. One day she met a man. She loved him from the moment they spoke. He was not free to love her. Though warned, she went against what she knew to be right.
At the time of his death, she had already conceived his child. The life was already fading from her when she gave birth. She saw your face only once before she passed. "
She listened with a silence much louder than Elrond's voice. "Your father died never knowing of your existence. I, some of my kin and our Lady Galadriel who has knowledge above us all were among the few of our kind who knew. You were sent away with the hope that your presence would not be discovered by those who would seek to end your life before it could begin. "
"The protection, my daughter was your identity. And none would know it among hobbits. No one would think that the daughter of Arathorn lived among them."
Her silence was deafening. Elrond moved towards her, driven by compassion, but no one called after her when she somberly left them.
"We cannot leave it like this." Gandalf said to Elrond.
"You cannot eat a meal with only one bite." He responded with a sigh of sadness in his voice. "There will be another time."
The city was beautiful and full of history and art. Its walls bore the stories of old, of men and elves. In this hour, the beauty of Rivendell faded before her eyes. Its magical existence held no interest for her now.
Frodo caught sight of her upon returning from speaking with Bilbo.
She hardly noticed him.
"Eliahna " He called after her, " Eliahna, are you alright?"
She stopped when she heard his voice and smiled."Frodo. I am … yes, I am fine. Where have you come from? "
She touched the mithrill he held in his hand. "What's this?"
"I've come from speaking with Uncle Bilbo. He gave this to me; it was made by the elves."
He reached into his cloak and revealed another surprise. "This is sting"
He proudly raised the short blade. It shone brightly, catching the reflection of the sun as he held it in his hands.
"It glows when orcs are near."
"Is that right? It seems Bilbo has been quite generous! "A glint of fondness grew in her eyes. "He has always loved you."
"Are you certain that you are alright?" Frodo's growing concern shadowed his face. "Bilbo began to speak in such a way before he left the Shire."
"I'm certain that I am well." She assured turning from him.
She made her way down the white marble stairs to the waterfall. Small rays of light from the sun bounced off the ripples of water like tiny jewels flowing down. Birdsong filled the air. When she looked for it, the tiny creature perched itself on the railing next to her. Without fear, it climbed onto her extended hand.
Once when she was a child, she found a young bird fluttering on the ground. It was wounded and could not help itself. Its heart beat wildly within the shelter of her cupped hands. She did not understand the words, but as she spoke them, the bird grew calm and rested there. Without even understanding why, she tossed it softly into the air and it flew, healed from its ailment.
A tear left her cheek, falling onto the soft grey feathers. There was a shadow rising over her. It was dark and cold. It was in the distance, but seeping into the present and overwhelming. She feared that she might have to endure it without those of whom she had loved for so long. The only family she had known.
"I thought you only a figure at first " Came a voice from behind " But now I see you are real."
She let the bird go, watching it fly towards the sun and then looked to see whom it was who spoke.
Before her was a white horse. It snorted and shook it's mane as if it were greeting her. Dismounting was a man with long white hair as white and smooth as the finest white silk. His eyes were kind and meek - though strong. A quill of arrows hung over his shoulder. He was lean but not thin. His skin was almost radiant standing in the light. To her, he seemed as a prince royal.
"You are elvish." She answered, "But I have not seen one like you in Rivendell."
"My name is Legolas. I am from Mirkwood. "
A hint of charm grew in his eyes. "I think he likes you."
She had not realized she had begun to stroke the horses face lightly. He moved forward to nuzzle her shoulder. A smile brightened her face, pushing back the shadow that had fallen.
"You may be right, Legolas. My name is Eliahna. You have come for the council of Elrond? "
"I have, and you?" He tied the horse and approached her.
She had not wanted to speak of all that she had seen and come through since leaving the Shire - being pursued by the Wraiths, meeting Strider and her misgivings towards him, Frodo nearly falling into shadow and becoming a wraith himself. She most certainly did not wish to discuss the ring nor the birthright of which she had recently come to learn.
"I've traveled a great distance with my friends, and with Gandalf the grey."
"Eliahna, I must speak with Aragorn. Have you seen him?"
"I have not. Who is this Aragorn you speak of? "
He bowed his head slightly, "My apologies my lady, I assumed since you keep the company of the grey wizard you would know of him."
He was so charming that she could not help but admire him. "There is no apology required. However, if this Aragorn is in the city, then I have no doubt we will meet."
Then she smiled almost jovially. "Perhaps you will introduce us!"
"Perhaps I may!" He laughed. The laugh was hardy and full. It comforted her in some small way.
When she first set her eyes on the dwarves, she thought they were comparable to hobbits. Very hairy, coarse speaking hobbits. They lacked in grace and meekness, nevertheless their hardiness was undeniable as was their boldness. The weapons they carried intrigued her. She wondered how such a small man could bear so many different axes and knives. She dared not to wonder how many times they were wielded.
Gimli, son of Gloin of the lonely mountain, was the friendliest. He was content to show her his weapons and describe in detail many of the battles they had born him through. He spoke of the mines that the dwarves carved in search of treasure. It was all quite interesting.
When she met the Lord of Gondor who had come in the name of his father Lord Denathor, she was looking at the walls, which lay engraved upon them the history of Middle Earth along with the legend of Isildurs Bane. He approached her from the side, and when she turned to look at him, she was taken by his presence. She could see that he was bold and strong. He bore the white tree of Gondor on his chest. Her eyes were fixed on it.
"Do you know the white tree?" He asked. She saw that he looked on her admiringly but with some curiosity.
"I have only heard of it." She said.
He smiled proudly. "It is not surprising, for Gondor is spoken of in countries far and wide. My people are proud. The tree stands for all that is right and good."
"It will not always be bare, but it will bloom. It will bloom as a tree buds in the light of the sun. " She answered him not truly understanding what it was she had said. She saw that it pleased him and he smiled once more.
"You are wise for one so young. You are no elf either. " He spoke. "From where have you come? "
"I am not elven, exactly, my lord ... " She hesitated. " My name is Eliahna. I have traveled here from far with my friends and with Gandalf. Strider joined us part ways and guided us to Rivendell. "
"I see. And what do you mean by exactly? "
Strider had been reading quietly in the shadows, but raised his head at the direction of the conversation. Visibly rattled by the question, she turned her head and then spoke quickly. "I am sorry my lord, but I am wanted elsewhere. If you will please forgive me. "
She left just as quickly without giving him place to question any further. Nevertheless, the white tree he bore on his chest bore also in her thoughts. This was the image from her dream. The same white tree on the young boys tunic.
She had not spoken of the boy to Gandalf in the beginning. (This was in the time when she was content and happy, before she knew of Gondor or Mordor … before Bilbo's birthday and his gift to Frodo. This was the time when she took delight in hobbit's song and drink. No shadow or darkness had threatened then. )
It was when she had other dreams of the tree alone, poised in the center of a great white city that towered above the vast lands below it, she thought to seek his wisdom in the matter. It was enough to dream of the boy but to see the tree standing alone in the city seemed something more than a dream. She sensed a meaning to which she could not comprehend.
Gandalf's reply was predictably simple. "How did the tree appear?"
"Appear?" She answered curiously, and then pictured it in her mind.
Its newly sprung white blossoms, dewy and unfolding under the touch of golden sun above them. She smiled. "It seemed as though it had come through a long bitter winter and was budding in the new spring."
Gandalf stared into the fields that were before them. She thought he looked to a place she had not known or been.
"A new spring?" He said, "Yes … I hope that you are right."