Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot. The talented J.R.R. Tolkien owns the characters and Peter Jackson owns the movie from which I got the idea for this fic.
Author's Notes: This story starts off right after Frodo is cut loose from that huge slimy monster-thing and they're all running into the mines. By the way, I'm basing this fic on the movies, not the books, 'cause I haven't read the books in a while.
Chapter 1: Into the Mines
"Into the mines!" Gandalf shouted as the Boromir hurriedly carried Frodo away from the monster. Aragorn glanced back at the monster as he followed.
"Legolas!" Boromir cried as the monster lunged. Aragorn thrust his sword at the monster and ran after Boromir. Legolas pulled an arrow out of his quiver and took careful aim.
"Into the cave!" Aragorn yelled as the monster shrieked in pain and fury.
Legolas unleashed the arrow and struck the monster in the eye, giving the others a few seconds to make it to the caves.
"Run!" Aragorn shouted as he herded the hobbits and Boromir into the caves. The monster reared and let out a roar as it unfurled long, hand-like appendages, grabbing onto the stone around the entrance to the caves. It pulled itself out of the water and began pulling down the doors and stones around the cave, blocking the Fellowship's exit. Everyone hurried inside as the ceiling gave way and came crashing to the ground. The hobbits clustered together fearfully as they watched the monster' destruction. Legolas came to a stop behind Aragorn and clutched his shoulder.
"Are you all right?" the Elf whispered as all light was extinguished from the cave-in.
"I'm fine. What about you; are you hurt?" Aragorn replied quietly, looking at Legolas and brushing a strand of hair from the blonde man's eyes.
"No, I'm all right," Legolas replied, his breath hitching in his throat like it did every time Aragorn touched him.
"Good, because I wouldn't be able to stand it if something happened to you," Aragorn said earnestly, leaning forward. Legolas's eyes fluttered shut as Aragorn's breath ghosted over his lips. Just then, Gandalf spoke.
"We now have but one choice."
The wizard's staff suddenly glowed and he rapped it upon the floor, creating a brighter light. Legolas and Aragorn leapt apart, but not before giving each other meaningful glances. Aragorn drifted, undetected, to the back of the group next to Boromir.
"We must face the long dark of Moria," Gandalf continued, starting off into the shadows. "Be on your guard," he added as he passed Legolas. "There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world."
Everyone fell into a line as they followed Gandalf: the wizard himself, Legolas, Gimli, the four hobbits, Aragorn, and Boromir. The Fellowship set off.
"Quietly now. It's a four-day journey to the other side," Gandalf warned. "Let us hope that our presence may go unnoticed."
Legolas followed Gandalf along a narrow path and up a steep set of stairs, his bow out and senses on guard. Even with impending danger ahead of them, he had to struggle to keep his thoughts off Aragorn. However, he was startled out of his thoughts by Gandalf's voice.
"The wealth of Moria was not in gold or jewels," he stated conversationally as he ran his hand over a silver-looking vein, "but . . . mithril."
He stopped and looked over the side of the cliff. Out of curiosity, Legolas's eyes followed the wizard's gaze and were astonished by what they saw. He glanced over and saw that Aragorn, as well, was amazed at the sight. There was an infinite depth of walls and ladders and buckets. Everywhere there was a shining of the same silver-like substance that Gandalf had admired in the wall next to them.
"Bilbo had a shirt of mithril rings that Thorin gave him," Gandalf added, continuing down the path.
"Oh, that was a kingly gift!" Gimli exulted.
"Yes," Gandalf replied. "I never told him," he said, with the air of one about to divulge a great secret, "but its worth was greater than the value of the Shire."
Legolas missed the last part of his statement because he turned to look at Aragorn. The Ranger, however, was staring intently at Frodo, who looked a bit intimidated. Legolas felt a stab of jealousy at the intensity of the gaze of which Aragorn was giving Frodo. The feeling quickly passed and a wave of shame, foolishness, and guilt swept over him instead. Legolas felt his face turn red as he thought about his insecurity. Aragorn would never leave him, especially for a hobbit.
The Fellowship began climbing up the steepest stairway Legolas had ever seen. He heard some pebbles fall and whirled his head around, his hand already on his bow, which he had placed around his quiver to allow easy climbing. When he turned, all the sound was had been Pippin slipping and falling into Merry.
"Pippin!" Merry rebuked hushedly.
Gandalf reached the top of the stairs first and, one by one, the Fellowship stepped over the side with the help of Legolas, who had reached the top seconds after Gandalf. When Aragorn came last, he held onto Legolas's hand, both of them glancing uneasily around. Aragorn's hand strayed from Legolas's and found its way to the small of the Elf's back, where it stayed, unconsciously stroking. They both exchanged worried looks as Gandalf halts at the top of a short staircase.
"I have no memory of this place," he whispered resignedly.
Legolas leant up against a nearby wall as everyone settled on the ground. His eyes flitted over to Aragorn, where the Ranger sat next to Boromir. He distantly heard Merry, Pippin, and Sam quietly discussing Gandalf's loss of familiarity.
"Are we lost?" Pippin whispered fearfully.
"No," Merry replied determinedly, although it sounded to Legolas that he wasn't quite sure himself.
"I think we are," Pippin said matter-of-factly.
"Shhh! Gandalf's thinking!" Sam hissed. Legolas smiled as he tuned out the rest of the conversation. He turned his head to see Frodo walking over to Gandalf.
"There's something down there!" Frodo whispered as he reached the wizard.
"It's Gollum," Gandalf replied, as though he had been expecting it. Legolas shivered. Oh, how he hated that creature.
"Gollum?" Frodo replied, half surprised, half frightened.
"He's been following us for three days."
"He escaped the dungeons of Barad-Dûr!" Frodo cried.
"Escaped?" Gandalf asked, turning to Frodo. "Or was set loose?" Understanding dawned on Frodo's face. Legolas leaned closer as he strained to hear the rest of Gandalf's statement as the wizard dropped his voice. "And now the Ring has drawn him here. He will never be rid of his need for it. He hates and loves the Ring, as he hates and loves himself."
Legolas's blue eyes followed his gaze. He saw dark, dirty fingers grab a stone block, large wet eyes and a grimy face coming after. Great. The slimy thing's here again, Legolas thought. He scrunched up his nose and shuddered as he again caught sight of the filthy face.
"Sméagol's life is a sad story," Gandalf continued. "Yes, Sméagol he was once called. Before the Ring found him...before it drove him mad."
Legolas had heard enough. He ignored the rest of the conversation and, involuntarily, his eyes and thoughts turned back to Aragorn. Suddenly, the Ranger twisted around just in time to see Legolas glance away, embarrassed, looking everywhere but Aragorn. Legolas felt stupid. He knew Aragorn couldn't do or say anything when they were in the company of others. Legolas felt Aragorn's gaze on his back, where it stayed for a good five minutes until, driven out of frustration, the blonde man shifted his eyes back to Aragorn. He saw the scruffy Ranger smile and wink, which made the Elf turn a bright red. He hung his head, allowing his long blonde hair to fall about his face to hide a goofy grin that had appeared. Just then, he saw Merry, Pippin, and Sam look up, hopeful smiles on their faces.
"He's remembered!" Merry said happily, getting to his feet.
"No, but the air doesn't smell so foul down here," Gandalf corrected. He led the Fellowship down a dark stairway as he put on his peaked hat. He rested a hand on the short hobbit's shoulder. "If in doubt, Meriadoc, always follow your nose."
Legolas fell into step behind the four hobbits as they followed Gandalf into the depths of the caves. Before long, they came to a large, open area. Broken, elaborate columns lie strewn on the floor. Gandalf halted the line of adventurers and lifted up his staff.
"Let me risk a little more light," Gandalf said, more to himself than anyone else.
Suddenly, an ostentatious stone hall lined with soaring pillars and vaulted ceilings was illuminated by the light of the old wizard's staff. Legolas could hear the gasps of awe from the others and could understand their amazement.
"Behold," Gandalf said, as though he were introducing a celebrated hero. "The great realm and dwarf city of Dwarrowdelf."
"Now there's an eye-opener and no mistake," Sam breathed in wonder, gazing at the sight before him.
The Fellowship clustered together and began walking forward, glancing curiously around the columns. Gimli abruptly broke away and hurried towards a chamber shining with a single ray of light.
"Gimli!" Gandalf cried as the dwarf rushed away from the group.
Gimli ignored Gandalf and disappeared into the room. Legolas exchanged tense looks with Aragorn and Boromir as Gandalf strode into the chamber after the dwarf. Legolas was surprised by the state of the room. The walls were scarred and broken, as were the corpses and weapons flung about. The Company found Gimli kneeling by a tomb and sobbing. Gandalf stepped forward and looked at the tomb's surface. The hobbits gingerly shuffled forward so they were next to the tomb. Legolas sensed rather than saw Aragorn step up beside him. The Ranger bumped into him and, in the process, laced fingers with the handsome Elf.
"No! No!" Gimli sobbed. "No!!!"
Boromir solemnly moved forward and laid a hand on Gimli's shaking shoulder. Gandalf leant over the tomb and read it aloud, translating as he went.
" 'Here lies Balin, son of Fundin, Lord of Moria'," Gandalf read. "He is dead, then. It's as I feared."
Gimli wailed ever louder. Gandalf spotted something and hands his hat and staff to Pippin. He bent down and grabbed a large and battered book from the grasp of a dust skeleton. He opened it and brushed the dirt from the page.
"Kilmin malur ni zaram kalil ra narag," Gimli chanted softly in Dwarvish. "Kheled-zâram...Balin tazlifi."
A feeling of unease grew in the pit of Legolas's stomach. He knew something was coming but couldn't place the sensation. He leaned into Aragorn.
"We must move on; we cannot linger!" Legolas whispered in the Ranger's ear. He nodded.
"I know, my love, I know," Aragorn murmured back. "Relax, we will be out of here soon enough."
"No, you don't understand!" Legolas hissed urgently. "I—"
" 'They have taken the bridge...and the second hall'," Gandalf read aloud from the thick book he held in his arms. Legolas and Aragorn turned to the old man as Gimli looked up and Gandalf continued reading. "'We have barred the gates...but cannot hold them for long. The ground shakes'."
Pippin, looking frightened and unsure, backs away from the tall wizard.
" 'Drums...drums...in the deep'."
He looked up slowly as he turned the bloodstained piece of parchment. Legolas noticed everyone shifting from one foot to the other nervously.
" 'We cannot get out. A shadow moves in the dark'."
Legolas saw Pippin trip and perceived, at the same time as the hobbit, a dusty corpse sitting on the side of a stone well with an arrow imbedded in its chest. Legolas opened his mouth to say something but found he could make no sound.
" 'We cannot get out... They are coming!' "
The Fellowship glanced uneasily at each other. Legolas's bright blue eyes flicked to Pippin, where he saw the hobbit reach out and twist the arrow in the corpse's chest. Before the Elf could move, the skull slipped off the body, falling into the well with a loud crash. Gandalf whipped around at the noise.
Pippin guiltily turned to face the furious wizard. As he faced Gandalf, the remaining limbs of the corpse slips backwards into the well, dragging down with it a connecting chain and bucket. The noise made everyone wince, the sound echoing from hall to hall in the infinite depths below. Pippin managed to look ashamed, but visibly flinched at every ricocheting noise. After a moment, there is silence again and everyone began to relax. Boromir exhaled a deep breath. Gandalf slammed the thick, dusty book shut.
"Fool of a Took!" Gandalf snapped. "Throw yourself in next time and rid us of your stupidity!"
He turned and snatched his hat and staff away from the hobbit and then turned back to the rest of the Fellowship. Distantly, Legolas heard a sound.
Gandalf and Pippin turned simultaneously, the hobbit staring down the well. As though one, the Company all glances uneasily at the well.
It stopped and everyone thought it was over. Then, like a strong heartbeat, it began again.
Terror filled the faces of everyone, as the pounding grew louder.
"Frodo!" Sam exclaimed, looking at Frodo's sword. Frodo looked down, as well as everyone else in the Company, as he pulled his sword, Sting, halfway out of its sheath. It glowed blue. Everyone knew what that meant.
"Orcs!" Legolas cried as he looked around.
Boromir rushed to the doors to take a look. He leaps back just in time as arrows hiss through the door near his face. After exchanging a last look with Legolas, Aragorn threw down his torch and ran over to Boromir while shouting back to the hobbits.
"Get back! Stay close to Gandalf!"
They both manage to close the doors as a horrifying bellow was let loose outside the chamber.
"They have a cave troll," Boromir told the rest.
Legolas spotted some rusty axes nearby and began tossing them to Aragorn and Boromir to help blockade the door. When they were finished, they brandished their weapons, ready to fight. The rest of the Fellowship followed their example.
Gimli leapt atop Balin's tomb with a cry and brandished his axe.
"Let them come!" he cried, snarling. "There is one dwarf yet in Moria who still draws breath!"
There was a pounding outside the door as the Orcs begin breaking the doors down. The Fellowship could see weapons crashing through the splintering wood.
Legolas and Aragorn stood side by side in the front of the group, bows out, ready to shoot. The Elf saw a gap in the door and he shot. His reward was a shrill cry. He notched another arrow to his bow as Aragorn let loose another.
Suddenly, the Orcs broke through the door and the battle began.
The waves of armor-clad Orcs charged the Fellowship, who engaged the Orcs in the encounter. Aragorn and Legolas unleashed a shower of arrows upon the Orcs, killing many, while Boromir and Gimli sliced at them with sword and axe. With a roar, Gandalf threw himself into the fight, the little hobbits following. Aragorn drew his word and swung it around, beheading an Orc and darting away as black blood spurted.
Legolas spotted Sam standing in the heart of the battle, staring upwards. The Elf saw Aragorn follow his gaze and looked in the same direction as well. Just then a cave troll smashed through the doorway. Legolas notched an arrow, aimed and let it fly. It struck true in the shoulder of the troll. The monster clasped a hand to the wound before advancing on Sam, who was still standing stock still in the middle of the fight. As the troll swung its mace, Sam yelled and dove under the troll's legs. The troll turned around and spotted the cringing hobbit. It raised its leg to crush Sam after cornering him, but fell back. Legolas spotted Aragorn and Boromir pulling on the chain leading behind the troll. The monster twisted around and, using his chain, swung Boromir across the room into a stone wall, where he laid, dazed, as an Orc prepared to run his sword through the man.
Aragorn saw this, as well. He took his sword and threw it into the Orc's neck, killing it. Still in a daze, Boromir gets up and looks to Aragorn. The Ranger nodded. Despite everything around him, Legolas still felt immensely proud of Aragorn for saving the life of someone he had just met several days before and not making a big deal about it.
Gimli stood upon the tomb of Balin. He swung his axe and pierced the troll's shoulder near Legolas's arrow. The troll, in retaliation, swung his mace into the tomb, shattering it and knocking Gimli off. Legolas noticed Merry and Pippin push Frodo behind a pillar to keep him safe while Gimli hacked at an Orc. The troll swung his mace at Gimli and the dwarf ducked just in time. Instead, the monster struck an Orc, and then another. From a crowded corner of dead goblins, Legolas unsheathed two more arrows into the troll, causing it to reel back with a cry, as Gandalf knocked out an Orc with his staff.
The troll then began swinging its chain around in circles over his head, finally snapping it at Legolas. Deftly, the Elf dodged it, only to have the chain swung at him again. The Elf evaded the chain several more times until, one time, the chain whipped around a pillar and caught. Legolas placed a foot firmly on the chain to secure it. He then took the opportunity to dart up the chain to the troll's broad shoulders; he quickly took aim and let an arrow loose into the back of the troll's head. The troll cried and reached behind its head for the person that caused it pain. Legolas easily jumped off to the floor, mentally congratulating himself on not getting killed. The troll was whimpering in pain and it stumbled, snapping its chain free from the pillar. Legolas saw Sam hit an Orc with one of his skillets.
"I think I'm getting the hang of this!" Sam said before turning and smashing another Orc.
The troll raised its mace and swung it down at the other three hobbits, causing them to leap apart, Frodo separated from Merry and Pippin. The troll searched for Frodo, who manages to evade capture by playing cat-and-mouse behind a pillar. Before Legolas could say anything, Aragorn cried out.
"Frodo!" he shouted, trying to fight his way over to the trapped hobbit. Frodo made his way around the pillar to avoid being seen by the troll. Twice this happened, before it seemed the troll had left him alone. Then, out of nowhere, the troll blasted around the pillar, bellowing in Frodo's face. The hobbit yelled, stumbled, and fell back behind the pillar in a corner. The troll found him nevertheless and snatched him up. It dragged Frodo off of the edge of an alcove.
"Aragorn! Aragorn!" Frodo yelled, fear evident in his voice. Legolas noted that Aragorn looked absolutely exhausted, but he continued still.
"Frodo!" he shouted back, making for the hobbit.
Frodo slashed wildly at the troll's hand with his sword. As a result the troll dropped Frodo to the ground, twisting and staring at its injured hand. After a moment, the troll growled and prepared itself to swing again, but Frodo was blocked by Aragorn leaping in front of him with a yell.
The Ranger grabbed a nearby spear from the floor and stabbed at the troll with it, holding the beast at bay. The troll was further infuriated by Merry and Pippin throwing stones at its head. The troll swung his arm around and hit Aragorn, sending him flying across the room into a stone wall. Legolas gasped in horror; Aragorn was lying, seemingly unconscious, on the ground. The Elf glanced from the Ranger to an advancing Orc and made up his mind.
"Forgive me, my love," he whispered, blinking tears out of his eyes as he threw himself full force at the Orc. He noticed out of the corner of his eye that Frodo had rushed over to Aragorn and was trying to rouse him.
Frodo noticed the troll looming over him and tried to dash out of harm's way. The troll, however, had another thought. It blocked Frodo's path with its spear and knocked the hobbit back. The troll then reared back before plunging the spear into Frodo. He moans in pain as the troll surveyed what it had done. Merry and Pippin glanced at each other before charging the troll with battle cries. They leapt onto the beast, stabbing it multiple times mercilessly.
"Frodo!" Sam cried worriedly while Gandalf stared across the room, stunned. "Frodo!" he shouted before moving quickly towards his friend. Startled from their trance, Gandalf, Boromir, and Aragorn hurried towards the fallen hobbit. Frodo, still moaning, slumped to the floor with the spear imbedded into his chest.
The troll flailed his arms around his head and, after much effort, finally got hold of Merry. It swung the hobbit around and finally Merry slipped through the troll's grip and fell to the ground. Pippin was still hanging on to his sword sticking out of the troll's back. The rest of the Fellowship had redoubled their efforts against the Orcs and the troll. Gandalf and Gimli were taking turns stabbing at the troll and dodging out of range of its mace. Legolas stepped up and aimed. Pippin stabbed the troll one more time in the back of the head. As a result the troll opened its mouth in a moan of pain. Legolas let his arrow loose. It flew up into the troll's mouth.
The troll stopped fighting and its hand fumbled at his mouth where the arrow was. It stared upwards, shocked, and gave a long, pained moan as it fell dead to the ground. Pippin was thrown to the floor when the troll hit solid rock. There was a moment of silence before anyone moved. Then Gandalf rushed to Frodo while Aragorn crawled the last few feet to the fallen hobbit. Frightened and stunned, Sam walked slowly over.
"Oh, no," Aragorn whispered as he looked over the spear digging into Frodo. He rolled the hobbit over onto his back. Frodo opened his eyes, groaning and gasping for breath.
"He's alive," Sam reported, rather unnecessarily in Legolas's opinion.
Gandalf sighed in relief.
"I'm all right. I'm not hurt," Frodo reassured the others as he sat up, clutching his chest and breathing hard.
"You should be dead! The spear would have skewered a wild boar," Aragorn remarked, astonished.
"I think there's more to this hobbit than meets the eyes," Gandalf commented, smiling at Frodo.
Uneasily, Frodo revealed his mithril shirt, which glimmered in the light of the chamber.
"Mithril!" Gimli cried hoarsely, in awe. "You are full of surprised, Master Baggins."
Suddenly, the Fellowship heard noises. Gandalf looked behind him and saw the shadows of more Orcs.
"To the Bridge of Khazad-dûm!" he whispered, looking back at the Fellowship.
The Company ran out the rear door of the chamber into a high, vaulted hall of pillars with ray of light shining from an unseen shaft. Closely pursuing the Fellowship was an army of Orcs. Other Orcs sprung from the floor or crawled down from the ceiling onto the pillars like spiders. The Fellowship drew their weapons as they gathered in a tight circle. The Orcs surrounded the Fellowship and enclosed upon the nine, snarling and leering at them. Just then, a fiery light appeared at the end of the hall followed by a thunderous rumble and another. Panicking, the Orcs flee in all directions. The Fellowship is left alone as Gandalf gazes down the hall. Legolas notched an arrow and started to aim. When he saw the light become more intense, his hold on the arrow loosened.
"What is this new devilry?" Boromir whispered into Gandalf's ear. The old wizard closed his eyes, concentrating. Another rumble was heard before he opened them again.
"A Balrog – a demon of the ancient world," he replied grimly.
The rumble was heard again, still remaining out of sight. Fiery light danced on the walls and ceilings.
As soon as Legolas heard the name of the monster, his heart dropped. Before his eyes flashed pictures of this horrible creature he had seen but once before. He had hoped never to see it again.
"This foe is beyond any of you," Gandalf stated as he turned to his right. "Run!"
Author's Notes: This is my first Lord of the Rings fic. Please tell me what you think, whether it's I suck at LotR and should stick to Harry Potter (that's what I usually write), or it's I'm pretty good and should continue with the story.