|Daughter of the Dunedain
Author: SophStratt PM
When Gandalf gives her a task, Alianor, daughter of the Dunedain and Elves, doesn't think twice. Alianor has always loved adventure. Yet Mithrandir didn't tell her he had also given the same task to Aragorn, her estranged love. They had parted ways, but will their love resurface? Will she be strong enough to resist the temptation of the Ring, and will she survive their fellowship?Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Frodo B. & Aragorn - Chapters: 8 - Words: 28,506 - Reviews: 33 - Favs: 46 - Follows: 66 - Updated: 06-03-13 - Published: 09-15-12 - id: 8526486
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
Ghost is what they call her in these parts. She has had many names in her extended lifetime but, in Buckland, she is known as Ghost. Not because she has fair hair or a pale complexion, because she only had pale skin. Her hair was darker than a raven's wings, and her skin was only a shade darker than that of the Elves. She was named Ghost, because people only saw glimpses of her, before she'd disappear out of sight again, usually using the shadows to hide herself.
Ghost had settled herself in the Prancing Pony's tavern, the hood of her cloak covering her face, and completely immersing herself into the shadow. She had been waiting a while, but thought as much. When Mithrandir had given her this task, she had been informed that there could be complications that might cause her charges a delayed arrival.
Her bare fingers rubbed invisible circles into the wood of the table she sat by, her eyes scanning the room. She had chosen this table, because it was near an exit, whilst being against a wall, so she could see the entire room, and its inhabitants.
"Good evening, little master!" Ghost heard Butterbur, the inn keeper say, and she sat up straighter at once. Her eyes scanned the room, until Ghost saw Butterbur leaning forward to look at the four young hobbits dripping rain water over his floors.
Ghost watched them, as they had taken off their cloaks placing them in front of the fire to dry, and then sat down at an empty table. The tavern was quite full this night than other nights, but Ghost still had a direct line towards her charges. She knew he was here too. She could feel his presence as if it were a tangible thing in the room.
Yet she wasn't sure if he knew she were here. Ghost shook her head. She could not afford to let him distract her, so she banished all thoughts of him from her head, and focused on the halflings. There were only three at the table now, the youngest among them had gone to the bar, and began to chat animatedly to the men sat around him.
The one she knew as Frodo seemed to notice that he was being watched.
"Excuse me," He called to Butterbur, who walked over to the table immediately, eager to make a customer happy. "That man in the corner? Who is he?"
Butterbur looked over at the man, who sat with his feet up on a stool in front of him, his face in shadow, only coming into view when the burning weed in his pipe lit his face up.
"He's one of them Rangers. Dangerous folk they are. What his real name is, I don't know, but around here, we call him Strider," Butterbur revealed. Ghost smiled. 'Strider'? Ghost wondered how much time they spent deciding on that name. "But you know, he isn't the only Ranger here tonight. Rare, that is, that two Rangers are staying in the same place. Rangers are solitary people, always travelling alone."
"Who is the other?" Frodo asked.
"They call her Ghost. A lady Ranger. The only one, I hear. But just because she's a woman, don't mean she's weaker than those men. No one would threaten Ghost. Got a rep for taking no prisoners, if you know what I mean. Wouldn't want to be one her bad side, that's for sure."
"A lady Ranger?" The slightly fatter hobbit asked, and she saw the hint of excitement in his features, when only moments ago, there had been nothing but worry and suspicion in them.
"Yes, but make no mistake, Ghost is not a lady you want fighting against you. Mark my words. She's sat three tables away from you. Keep an eye on her. She'll slip out of sight if you don't."
She held back a laugh at Butterbur's words, until something made her sit straighter in her chair.
"Baggins? Of course, I know a Baggins! He's over there! Frodo Baggins!" The youngest said, pointing and gesturing at Frodo, who had jumped out of his seat, and was maneuvering himself through the thick flesh wall.
Ghost stiffened in her seat, as she watched Frodo pull on her cousin's sleeve, trying to get him to stop talking, and then she straightened up in alarm, as Frodo fell backwards and the One Ring flew up into the air, falling and landing on the Hobbit's finger, causing him to disappear.
The commotion caused by 'Mr. Underhill's' sudden disappearance, allowed Strider to roughly grab the Hobbit by his collar and drag him away. It also allowed Ghost to stalk after them unseen, and unheard.
Strider pushed Frodo into the Hobbit's room, and Ghost crept forward, her light footsteps remaining unheard by the other Ranger's keen hearing.
"What do you want?" Frodo asked.
"A little more caution from you...that is no trinket you carry." Strider replied.
Ghost could hear his footsteps around the room, probably putting out candles, trying to immerse the room in a bit more shadow to conceal them.
"I carry nothing."
"Indeed. I can usually avoid being seen if I wish, but to disappear entirely...that is a rare gift." Strider replied.
Ghost could picture him, pulling back his hood dramatically then, revealing his tired, but still handsome face to the young Hobbit.
"Who are you?" The Hobbit demanded.
"Are you frightened?"
Ghost heard footsteps coming towards where she was standing, so she walked towards the source of the noise, finding three Hobbits, two of them armed with a candlestick and the other with a chair.
"Who are you?" The fatter Hobbit asked.
"They call me Ghost. You'd do well to not question me, Master Hobbit. I have a blade, and you do not. If you want to help your friend, step behind me and say nothing." Ghost instructed him, grabbing the hilt of her sword, and pulling it out of its sheath. The Hobbit's stared in wonder at the lady Ranger, who pushed them behind her, and crept towards the door, turning the door knob slowly...building the tension for everyone involved.
And then, with a sudden swift kick, Ghost burst through the door, her sword raised, a hidden grin on her face.
"Let him go, or I'll have you, Longshanks!" The Hobbit snarled.
Ghost and Strider both turned to look at the Hobbit, who had raised his fist in front of his face, ready to attack. Then they exchanged a glance of amusement.
"You have a stout heart, little Hobbit, but that alone won't save you...you can no longer wait for the Wizard, Frodo. They are coming." Strider said.
"Collect your belongings, young ones. I have a room in the inn opposite. We shall wait there until dawn. Then we must make haste." Ghost instructed, but when they didn't move, she gave them each a hard glance, and they remembered what Butterbur had said about getting on her wrong side, so quickly bustled around the room, collecting their belongings.
Ghost knew that Frodo's slip with the ring could cost them, but with Strider's help, Ghost felt more at ease with the mission that was set by her old friend.