To my lovely reviewers thanks so much for all the feedback that you have given me. I really appreciate guys are great.

-Chapter 8 Preparations

The peaceful pink light of morning found young Estel standing near the water's edge of the great river that flowed through Imladris. The night before but a distant memory washed away from the peacefulness of the morning glow. Estel had come to realize sometime during the early morning hours that he was indeed truly loved and would never in his long life truly be alone, his greatest fear had been answered and relieved, for in the death of his human parents he had acquired the love and companionship of his present day family. A family that he in turn loved more then life it's self and for that simple reason he would never see them hurt. Gazing out across the river Estel's mind came to a decision. It was time.

Aragorn had heard his brothers enter his room earlier that very morning before they had set out on their journey with Gandalf and the rangers of the north. They were to be traveling to the Crossing of Erul in search of the taken people. And more importantly they were to be in search of Amond the man whom held the information that the unseen enemy was truly after, the identity of the son of Arathorn and the true heir to the throne of Gondor, and the last hope of man.

But in that morning moment, Estel had remained quiet wishing only to hear his brothers as they spoke to his best friend Legolas. He wanted to remember them, like they were during those morning moments; calm and at peace with the task that had been placed before their feet. And as much as Estel wanted to bid them luck on their quest the young human had known that he would probably say something and the last moments that he was to spend in the company of his elven brothers would have been heated, instead of the peaceful loving air that they were enveloped in.

Legolas was another matter; Aragorn knew that the elf prince would follow him wherever he was to go. Whether or not Estel asked him to follow. The prince was his faithful companion and best friend, they had faced over the years many evils together and won, yet this time Aragorn wished to the Valar that Legolas would not try and follow him, that the elf prince would stay here in Imladris where it was safe. Yet he knew that the prince would not do so willingly, so Aragorn was going to have to find a way to insure that the prince didn't follow a task that would not easily be done.

Looking up at the sky, Aragorn sighed. He would leave under the cover of darkness that very night, taking a deep breath Aragorn turned and headed back to the great hall, he wished to spend the hours of his last day in Rivendell within the company of his father and best friend.


Legolas stood high up in a tree some distance from where the young human stood near the river's edge. The weight of the world seemed to rest on the shoulders of his best friend. In his heart Legolas knew, that Aragorn was preparing to leave it was only a matter of time. 'Oh Estel.I wish that you could see that you are not alone in this fight, I am here as I always am.I will not allow you to face this unknown evil alone my young friend.' Promising himself that he would keep an extra close eye on his friend in the days to follow, Legolas dropped from the tree just as Aragorn turned and headed back towards the great hall.


As the hours passed that day Lord Elrond came to worry for his young adopted child, the boy was calm yet he held horrible sadness in his eyes. His smile never quiet reached his eyes even as he laughed and joked with Legolas over the mid day meal. The night before still fresh in his mind, made an uneasy feeling settle over the elf lords stomach. He had very nearly lost his human child during the night and now the air of the day told him that he soon was going to anyways. Elrond tried to remind himself, that Aragorn would make a great king of men someday as it was for seen, and that the human boy had promised to remain in Imladris until word had been received, yet in his heart Elrond knew this was not the case, he was soon to lose the boy and there was nothing that he could do short of locking him away, to stop him.



Aragorn stared up at his adoptive father, a small smile on his face that his eyes did not show.

Startled out of his thoughts the elf lord glanced down at his son.

"What was that Estel?"

"Ada. I love you. "

"I knew that my son. As I love you as well."

Elrond's heart had dropped into his stomach at his son's words. Glancing over at Legolas, Elrond found the prince's eyes wet with tears that threatened to fall. Aragorn had never really been one to profess his love so openly, and in their hearts they both knew that their time with the young man was ending sooner than either of them liked.

Aragorn smiled at his ada's words and reached for his father giving him a hug. Elrond's arms tightened around his shaking son, gently pressing the boys ear to his heart. Leaning down he kissed Estel's curls. Releasing Estel with his right hand, Elrond motioned for Legolas who sat still as stone at the near by table, tears falling down his cheeks. The elf prince stood and headed over to the elf lord and his son, surprise evident on his face when the older elf pulled him into the embrace as well. Wrapping his arms around Elrond and Estel, Legolas was pleased to say the least when Aragorn turned in his ada's arms and hugged Legolas back. The three stood that way in the great hall for what seemed like hours, their love for each other flowed from them in sheets.

When the three finally released each other from the loving embrace, not a single eye was dry. Both Elves knew that the hug had been Estel's way of saying goodbye without actually saying it. The young humans demeanor told them that much, Estel had been quiet all day, depressed if you will. He had failed miserably in his ploy to hide it. Swallowing the lump that had come to rest in the elf lord's throat, Elrond spoke,

"Estel I release are no longer grounded and you are free to go when ever you deem fit. I can no longer demand you to stay here. I can see your pain in your eyes my child.I love you to much to cause you anymore.and to make you sneak away from your home in the night.would cause you more pain, which I simply can not do."

Tears fell from Elrond's eyes as he spoke to his son; Releasing Aragorn had been one of the hardest things that he ever could remember doing. In his heart he knew that it had to be done, if it wasn't he stood to lose his child forever as he held no doubt from his son's actions that the young adult was going to be leaving them that very night.

Legolas was floored to say the least at Elrond's words. He had just signed Aragorn's death warrant, there was nothing that held Estel to Imladris now. Of course in his heart he had known that their really wasn't anything before.may be just some respect that Aragorn held for his father that might have keep the boy here but now there was nothing. Estel was free to go.and Legolas knew that go he would.

Estel looked up at his ada, tears still fresh in his eyes,

"Ada??? I don't know what to say.other than!! You don't know how much this means to have your trust.and your permission as well as your love. I will leave the morning. I love you ada, know that.know that."

Hugging his father one last time, Aragorn turned to Legolas,

"Mellow nin, I know that you wish to make this trip with me, however I have to ask you, not to. This is something that I must face alone."

Legolas shook his head,

"Strider, I can not allow you to leave and do with on your own.mellow nin I have followed you threw many evils and we have faced them together. please allow me to help you face this one! Times will come that you will need assistance as well as love mellow nin. I will accompany you."

"I can not allow you to Legolas."

"Strider!! I am not asking for your permission in this I am telling you that I am coming whether you want me to or not. I will not allow you to face this evil alone! I will not allow you to face death alone! If that is where your path is heading.I would follow you.know that I would follow you to hell and back if that is where our paths should are my best friend and because of that I love you human."

Knowing that he was beat, Aragorn nodded, "Fine elf, you may come. I will welcome your company in the days ahead and your friendship my brother."

Clasping Legolas on the shoulder, Aragorn hugged him briefly. Turning back to his ada Aragorn smiled his first true smile of the day.

"Thank you!"

And with that he was gone.


Deep in the dark depths of Druadan Forest a great evil stirred. The people of the north didn't know what to think, they had been traveling for days. Their village lay behind them plagued with sickness and death. Bodies had littered the streets, and death was evident in almost every house. No one managed to get out unscathed in someway or another.whether it was a loved one lost or the sickness it's self. Several of the people that had been forced to make this trek had died between here and there whether from the beatings that their captors had given them or from coming down with the sickness. Only a handful of them had survived. Their captors had herded them into the forest then forced them to line up with their back against a cliff face. None had any idea what was about to happen to them, several worried that now after their trek they were just going to be shot in the hearts with arrows, but that wouldn't have made any sense.

Nothing however could have prepared them for what they witnessed. A dark figure floated out of the mist in the trees. The body of a man, that much was easy to tell a long cloak hid the rest of his features, masking him with darkness. His presence was horrific, and terror filled the hearts and minds of the people, making them collapse to their knees.


The creatures voice was hollow almost as if it was yelled through a canyon, it held a raspy texture and sounded like that of the dead. (1)

The sound of the voice sent chills up and down the peoples spines. The question struck them as odd as well. The child of Gondor was said to have been killed some nineteen years ago when his parents the late king and queen where murdered. The fate of Gondor rested in the hands of the Stewart. They knew nothing us the child.


Turning to the men that had been the people's captors for the past several days, the creature spoke again,


With that said the creature turned to go, floating off into the forest disappearing into the mist.

The people of the north slowly tired to climb to their feet, however where soon stopped as their original captors stepped forward baring chains. A collar was then placed around each captive's neck. A chain connected them to their neighbor. Once all the people where chained together their original bonds were cut. Before they to where led in the direction that the monster had just disappeared.


Back in Rivendell, evening meal was a sullen affair. The three ate in almost silence and it wasn't until they had all but finished that Estel spoke up,

"Ada, we plan to track the rangers heading for the crossing of Erul, once we have caught up with them I will send you not fear for me father all will be well. I travel under the cloak of darkness, no one knows I even exist I am Strider.Aragorn is but a myth the people don't even know that I am alive. The sooner we get to Amond the better the chance will be that he hasn't talked.he will endure some torture before he speaks of that I am sure.I just don't know how long he is going to last the sooner we reach him the better my chances are."

Elrond listened to his son with growing unease. He knew that if this man had spoken of the true identity of Estel, the young mans chances where going to be limited. But what frustrated the Elven lord the most was the fact that they had no idea what they where up against. And it was that thought that terrified the elf the most.

Deep inside, Aragorn's heart.he knew that he probably would never see his elven father again. If the time came he knew that he would kill himself rather than see his people and his family suffer. He would if need be.

"Estel, listen to me.I still grant you permission to you are an adult. And you are free to do whatever you deem fit.but son you must listen to me. Your true path has yet to be laid before your are the hope of son. In the years to come you will be needed if the race of men is to survive. Son I know that you feel that you must hunt down this new threat but you must also realize that if your identity has yet to be discovered you must make sure to keep it that way. For a I know that you would gladly lay down your life for those of the lives of your people my son, but know this.if you die by the hand of the enemy or your own the enemy truly wins. He will be able to wipe out the race of men. And there will be naught that any of us can do to stop it. Aragorn you must be careful! You must realize that I did not try to keep you here to be mean. I kept you here not only for love.but also for the race of mankind. Young one allow Legolas and your brother's to help you. Except all the help that is given, the weight of this does not have to rest sorely on your shoulders."

"I understand Ada, I will try."

Aragorn stepped closer and allowed the elf lord to pull him into a tight embrace one of utmost comfort and love. Taking a deep breath Aragorn breathed in the smell of his father, and resting his ear over Elrond chest he memorized the sound of his ada's heart. Elrond wrapped his arms around his son, wishing to the Valar to protect him.

"Legolas.I am comforted in knowing that you will once again be at my son's side, please protect him I fear he will need you before the end."

"I will your grace."

Aragorn listened to the older elves talk about him once again like he wasn't there.or like he couldn't understand a word they spoke of.

But this time it didn't matter.


A/N: *Ducks thrown objects* I know! I know! I'm horrible I promised another chapter to you guys like what a month ago or longer.I'm sorry I've just been so busy.and talk about the worst writers block in the history of middle earth. I rewrote this chapter like ten times.finally settling on this version.hope you guys like it!!!

I couldn't really figure out how to describe the voice.picture that of the Grim Reaper, a deep hollow sounding roar, a sound that would simply terrify you to the bone. And if anyone is confused ~~~~~~~~~~~~ this takes you to another time and this case out of Imladris and to the people of the north.

Now I don't know when I will be able to promise you another I'm not going to so ha! Just please review.the more reviews I get the faster I will type. With any luck at all it will be soon (