Authors Quick Note - This story explores the idea about what might have happened if somebody was out to thwart the fellowship right from the beginning before they had even left Rivendell.

I have decided to prolong Frodo's recovery to the stab wound in his shoulder and allow it to play a different role in how things come to pass as well adding some extra bits into it. Some of the scenes are from the movie like the secret meeting to decide what is to be done with the ring. Everything else is made up and concocted in my own twisted sense of reality.

Author's Comments:

Okay I am going to take a leaf out from some other wonderful authors out there and reply to the wonderful reviews that I have received so far.

Up until now I normally reply privately to each reviewer if they have an email address but here goes anyway:

TAVION: Thanks for being one of the first reviewers - I am really worried about what readers of this fandom think at the moment - hence the shortness of my chapters. As to starting another one - there are some readers out there from my other fandom's who would hang me high if they knew I had started any more stories never mind another fandom entirely. Already have at least 6 unfinished and am itching to start others. Just the way I work - if I get bored writing one - then I go to another story entirely and another fandom - works great because of the differences in the characters, places, timelines and what I can actually do within them.

As to what I am going to do - even I don't know the full extent of that question at the moment - just keep writing I suppose until I get to the end or readers get bored with the storyline I guess. Hope you keep reading.

FRODOMEG - Thanks for the wonderful comments - the movie is still so fresh in my memory at the moment and tomorrow is when the second one comes out on video so the movies will probably be my sense of inspiration for quite a while I would think.

EILUJ - I apologize sincerely for the mix up about Elrond - when I write so many characters in other stories of the human kind it becomes a little difficult not to call all of them "man" at some point. I will try and remember for the next chapters but as I am writing sometimes the list of descriptions that one can use instead grows shorter. I quite like Elrond's actor Hugo Weaving as he is Australian like me. I think it's funny about the man tag because in the one of the other more famous roles he played Priscilla (Drag Queen) - he definitely couldn't be called a man in that either - damn I am sure one day they will give him such a role.

INVISIGOTH: I hope you enjoy the next instalment of my humble story. Thanks so much for the encouragement.

All mention of herbs or treatments used in this story or others come about from a little research I did into some and what their effects were. Some of them have been around since Egyptian times so I have no problem using in this time frame but still am not sure if they would have been grown near Rivendell. Just have to suspend reality for a time and humour me on this one.

Please forgive my portrayal of Rivendell and it's residents - this is just what I thought it might look like from the minimal knowledge I have seen in the movie. I try and think of it as a place of tranquillity and serenity including gardens, fountains and peaceful places to think throughout.

On with the next chapter:

Frodo's sleep had been undisturbed for the best part of two hours. By now everyone else had also retired to their own quarters and the ring-bearer had been left in the capable hands of his companion Sam for the remainder of the night.

Elrond had come and checked on the bandaged wound as the hobbit slept. With tender and gentle hands, the Elf healer had been able to examine the area without waking Frodo or causing him any undue distress.

Frodo had mumbled something in his slumber that was incoherent. He had even frowned slightly as he relived something nobody else could see.

Sam had remained by his master's side as Elrond carried out his checking. He was a little intimidated by the leader of the elves but still sought to serve his master to the best of his abilities, no matter who stood before them.

"The wound is healing slightly Master Gamgee," Elrond informed the inquisitive hobbit as he felt the younger Halfling watching his every movement.

"How long before Mr Frodo will have no pain or discomfort Lord Elrond?" Sam now asked.

Elrond paused slightly before giving his answer. He wasn't quite prepared to come right out and tell the worried hobbit that Frodo's wound would never fully heal. Such matters could be explained much later when more important issues had been discussed.

"I would think that he will still feel quite weakened for a number of days to come. He used almost every ounce of strength he had within him to make it here to Rivendell with the Ring Wraiths so close behind," Elrond explained.

"For a while there his friends and I were afraid he wouldn't make it at all. Mr Strider said that he was turning into one of those creatures when we were back in the forest," Sam replied, reliving the images of his master laying on the ground, so cold that the fire beside him seemed of little aid.

"I'll have a spare bed brought here for you Mr Gamgee where you can still watch over your master but also get some much needed rest yourself. You too have just arrived after a very harrowing journey. Your younger hobbit friends are already wrapped warming in their beds and sleeping," Elrond now said.

Sam sighed in relief at the Elfish Lord's words. Although he had shown that he was not about to leave Frodo's side for any reason up until now, he was a little concerned that others would be ordered to take over the constant vigil over his master.

Elrond had seen the loyalty afforded to the ring-bearer by the other hobbits. This one in particular seemed to display a stubborn streak that urged him to reconsider his choice of assistants for Frodo.

From conversations Elrond had with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf, it had been made clear that Frodo was a lad who thrived on his own independence and often sought solitude where other hobbits were known to seek each other for company.

Elrond thought that there was much benefit to be gained by allowing those closest to the boy to remain so and watch over him as his recovery took place. Frodo seemed to withdraw and step back a little with strangers nearby. The same might occur if strangers were asked to attend the young hobbit during the healing process.

Elrond knew that part of the healing process was coming to terms with what had happened and becoming stronger because of it. If Frodo wished to have solitude to allow time to heal and think then that's what would happen.

Sam now watched intently as the healer gazed upon the array of jars and bottles that lined the top of a small table adjacent to Frodo's bed. When Elrond had first begun treating the ill hobbit, Sam had taken careful note of which bottle was used or which pinch of herbs from which particular jar.

There were many different herbs and healing ointments that came from the Elvan world, most of them indeed had been heard of even back in the Shire for all sorts of ailments.

Sam knew with an edge of disappointment that he didn't know much about the medicinal usages of many herbs and plants. Some he knew could be dried and crush up and infused in hot water to be taken as a healing tea.

For some herbs, their purpose altered if the juice was used from freshly picked leaves or stems. Sometimes remedies were derived from the flowers of certain plants or the seeds that formed afterwards.

Elrond was just checking what his assistant Yarrish had left and what would need replenishing by morning in order to continue with treatment. He was satisfied to see that his assistant seemed to be a few steps ahead and taken the liberty of already refilling some of the earthenware jars and glass bottles.

"Beggin' your pardon, but what do some of those bottles and jars contain," Sam asked, nervously playing with the cuff of his shirt sleeve as he asked the question. Maybe healers as profound as Elrond didn't like somebody questioning their methods or recipes.

To the hobbit's relief though, Elrond saw an enquiring mind rather than just asking a question for the sake of asking.

Instead of just answering, the healer reached one of the larger jars that were sitting on the table and shook a few of the crushed leaves inside onto the palm of his hand. He now held his arm out for Sam to have a closer inspection of the medicine.

"Borage," Elrond said, stating the name of the plant. "It has very special properties than most other medicinal herbs in that it cleanses the blood."

"Is that what you used on Frodo?" Sam asked as he picked up a pinch of the leaves and felt the texture for himself.

"Yes, and will continue to do so for some time to come Mr Gamgee," Elrond responded. "The blade that caused that wound on your master's shoulder was no ordinary blade. Therefore it is no ordinary wound which you may already have come to know."

"Come now Mr Gamgee, the hour is very late and you need to rest," Elrond now instructed the hobbit. "I am appreciative of your concern for Mr Baggins, and the treatments which I have used to heal him. Of them I will speak to you more about another time."

Elrond now bid Sam good night and left the room so both hobbits could gather their strength.

The Elvan leader had yet to know about the threat that existed in his own city and thus had not considered the need for further security for the ring- bearer other than those watching over Frodo.


In Frodo's room, the main entrance door was secured, but a second door that lead out onto a large expanse of balcony remained unlocked.

A gentle breeze ruffled the hem of the Frodo's cloak that was currently resting over the back of a chair in the room, but it was not enough to alter the even and constant temperature.

A hooded figure had scrambled up and over a small wall that edged the balcony. There was a small square of green grass which was trimmed to immaculate perfection. The vast majority of the area was constructed of a pale sandstone that was both hard wearing to the outside elements and pleasing to the eye.

There were many such balconies that adjoined rooms on higher and lower levels of the city. Most were used as areas for relaxation and contemplation.

Yarrish crept silently into the room containing the two Halflings. He paused momentarily at the table containing Elrond's jars and bottles of herbs. He picked up the one of the small jars that contained a root extract. It could be used as a sedative if the hobbit's sleep became disturbed or troubled.

The jar he replaced it with was identical in size, shape and colour, inside it though, the contents were different. Yarrish had replaced the root extract with a plant that was commonly called 'Lemon Verbena'.

It too was known as a sedative, most likely even better than the root powder. But the assistant knew that Lemon Verbena could only be used in minute quantities for a short period of time. Any prolonged usage of this substance and the ring-bearer would be suffering from a whole range of symptoms that would weaken him.

With that task now complete, the elf now moved to get closer to the ring- bearer himself. He could see the other hobbit on the smaller bed, only a few feet further away. That hobbit's sleep seemed to be somewhat deeper than his master.

Yarrish had already heard Frodo mumble a few words in his sleep since entering the room. He had not understood what the boy said. His intent on this occasion was only to take a closer look at the one that everybody held in such high regard and had delivered the One Ring to the city.

Yarrish knew all the history there was to know about the ring itself. He had even recorded quite a lot of it's ancient legend in elvan text that was still held in the city.

The small hobbit curled asleep on his right side moved his hand slightly from underneath the folds of the blankets on his bed. The hand then settled on top and ceased moving as the boy drifted back to sleep.

The hobbit himself seemed of no such significance to Yarrish. The boy was but a Halfling and would scarcely reach the shoulder of some. The boy had a full head of very dark curly hair and a paler than expected complexion from the much rounder one that slept a few feet away.

The blankets encircling the hobbit had become displaced somewhat from his movement during the night. It was now possible for Yarrish to see the chain that the One Ring had been placed upon for easier carrying.

The clothes that Frodo had arrived in were long discarded and so to the small pocket which had been the ring's hiding place up until now. Another method had been discussed for it's well-being and safe keeping. The chain around the boy's neck had been the result of those discussions.

Even now though, Yarrish couldn't help but be slightly hypnotised by the power of the ring that seemed to draw one in before they were even aware of it.

There was only a small amount of light in the room, but even that seemed enough to make the ring stand out to Yarrish. His eyes seemed transfixed on it as the ring rested innocently upon the fold of Frodo's shirt.

Yarrish couldn't deny that he heard the ring talking to him. Without even thinking about it, the elf found his hand reaching out in an attempt to touch the one thing that he dared not to.

It was about this moment that the wound in Frodo's shoulder seemed to reignited with a sharp stabbing of pain. The young hobbit had been awoken from his sleep and now tried to open his eyes at the sudden pain that he was experiencing.

Frodo held back the moan that was in his throat, but it was quickly replaced by a whole new sense of fear as his confused eyes meet those of somebody else leaning over him. The eyes at first seemed to be in a trance but then they moved and met with the frightened blue ones.

The shadow over Frodo's face somehow told him that the figure was too big to be his friend Sam. The figure's hand was reaching for the ring he wore around his neck. His assailant's face was shrouded by the hood of a cloak he wore and was not revealed to the boy.

Yarrish was just as startled as the boy and knew that he must get out of the room for fear of being identified. He was fairly certain that no fresh image of his features had been left behind that Frodo would remember when later questioned.

Frodo did not know if this person meant him harm or was only after the ring itself. He quickly reached up his hand and tried to shield it away from the prying fingers as they moved forward.

"SAM !!" the hobbit screamed, trying to flee across the bed in case the attacker decided to physically grab him or restrain him in some way.

In his haste though, Frodo found his feet his undoing and he became entangled in the blankets and bed clothes, only to fall into an uncomfortable heap on the floor, still covered by the sheer amount of fabric to see the figure disappear through the door through which he had entered.

Samwise had heard the frightened cry of his master and was up on his feet ready to defend him as necessary. But as he looked towards the bed where he had known Frodo to be, there was now an empty space.

"HELP ME PLEASE!" Frodo cried out, but his voice was suppressed by the blankets so that only a soft plea could be heard.

"I'm coming Mr Frodo, hold on Frodo," Sam now said in alarm, still trying to search for his master. He determined that his friend must still be in the room somewhere because he could hear him calling out.

The shouts of Sam soon brought Gandalf and Aragorn into the room through the front entrance. Aragorn had a small sword in his hand, ready to defend the ring-bearer.

"HELP ME PLEASSSSE," came the plea one final time, but Frodo's energy levels were quickly waning. He had tried to use both arms to remove the blankets from on top of him. This action only seemed to make the stab wound in his shoulder hurt more terribly. By the time the words left his mouth, they could scarcely be heard by the others in the room.

Sam by now had spotted the moving mound on the other side of the bed and quickly went forth to try and free his master.

Aragorn went over to help Sam free Frodo as Gandalf went to lighten the room so they could see what was happening. Aragorn put his sword down momentarily and did see that the young hobbit was indeed entangled. It would have almost been worth a grin had he not seen Frodo's face once the covers were lifted from him.

The young ring-bearer was clearly in distress, his eyes squeezed shut as his right hand wrapped itself protectively around his left upper arm, trying to wait for the pain to abate some.

"Mr Frodo, are you alright?" Sam asked in a worried voice, though anybody could plainly see that his master was far from being alright. "Mr Gandalf maybe we need to summon the healer for Mr Frodo," he added, looking back at the wizard for advice on how they should handle the situation.

"Probably a wise decision Mr Gamgee," Gandalf agreed as he watched Aragorn lift the injured hobbit from the floor and place him gently back on the bed from where he had fallen.

Up until this moment, Aragorn and Gandalf were under the impression that Frodo's misadventure with the bed sheets were mostly to blame for his state, that coupled with the pain that he no doubt still felt from the stab wound. It was plain for all to see that the young hobbit was favouring his shoulder and would not let anybody to take a look at it.

"There now Frodo, nobody here is going to hurt you," Gandalf began to say in reassurance... his words were interrupted by Frodo suddenly looking up at the wizard's comment and looking around the room as though looking for something.

"Somebody here..." Frodo managed to say as the pain in his shoulder still didn't ease. "Somebody here... wanted to take the ring....wouldn't let him...reaching out for me......," the boy repeated, indicating to the others just what had taken place.

Aragorn was suddenly reaching once again for his sword and started searching the room for any sign of an intruder. The implications of something like this happening to the ring-bearer were enormous.

Gandalf too was attempting to see if somebody else was in the room, half of his attention though was still focused on Frodo as the boy was now laying back down on the bed.

"Reaching out for me....." came the mumbled sentence from Frodo as he started to fall back into a restless sleep. The image of the hand coming forth was still too fresh in his memory to enable him a peaceful rest.

"Sam did you see anybody enter this room tonight?" Aragorn asked, not trying to scold the hobbit but wanting to get as many answers as possible to solving why there had been another in the room. When he looked at the doorway leading to the balcony and found it unlocked, it was clear that this had been the intruder's chosen entry point.

"Pray no Mr Strider," Sam answered, it was hard for him to mask the self reproach he felt for not being more vigilant in carrying for his master. "I nay hear nothing but Mr Frodo's cry for help. There was nobody to be found as I scrambled from my bed," he added.

Although the information was very forthcoming, what was said did leave a few clues to go on. If the intruder was gone between trying to attack Frodo and Sam hearing his startled scream for help, then whoever it was must have been quite agile in his entering and leaving of the room.

It also meant that the intruder was very stealth like in moving across the room to his intended victim, for neither hobbit had been aware of the danger until it presented itself. Aragorn could only be thankful that something had awoken Frodo in time to see his assailant before he carried out his deed.

Aragorn walked about the room, trying to see if there was anything else out of place. He walked by the medicine table but noted the same number of jars and bottles that had been there earlier in the day.

"What had gone on here tonight Gandalf?" Elrond asked as he came into Frodo's room. He was quickly followed by his assistant Yarrish. Nobody was to suspect of what the assistant had been up to.

Yarrish smiled inwardly to himself as he gazed around the faces in the room, knowing that nobody suspected him of any ill-doing. He could see them hovering over the young hobbit as he slept again.

"It would appear that somebody entered this room tonight that should have not been here," Gandalf informed the healer. "Aragorn and Sam found him on the floor, tangled in the bed sheets as a result of him trying to flee too quickly it would appear."

Elrond decided it best to examine the ring-bearer for himself rather than ask whether or not he was no worse for wear. With gentle hands that barely touched Frodo's prone, sleeping form, he carefully inspected the bandages that he had carefully put in place. He did note that the boy still made small whimpering sounds as he slept, indicating that there was still some amount of pain being felt.

"Our young friend has pulled a few of the stitches that help to bind his wound. I suspect that he did this trying to get away from what he thought was a threat of some sort," Elrond informed the group.

"No sign of who the intruder might have been," Aragorn now said.

"Pardon my Lord, but perhaps a little of this for the young ring-bearer will allow him to rest easier for the remainder of the night," Yarrish now suggested, handing Elrond a long thin bottle.

Elrond accepted the bottle and read the label on the outside "Lavender water". "An excellent choice as usual Yarrish, thank you," he replied and now very carefully placed a few drops of the lilac scented mixture onto the very edge of Frodo's pillow. The aroma would be inhaled as the hobbit rested, hopefully allowing his sleep to remain undisturbed.

"Sam I think it wise at this stage to allow Aragorn to remain in these quarters with you and your master until a more suitable security arrangement can be made whilst Frodo recovers," Elrond informed the hobbit. A nod of agreement could be seen from Gandalf at the suggestion.

Aragorn had nodded his co-operation and willingness to watch over Frodo until morning. His protectiveness towards the ring-bearer grew stronger now that he felt that the boy was threatened in the very place he had been brought to in order to find respite and safety from evil.


I apologize for the chapter being a little shorter than I would have liked - still trying to test my feet in the water so to speak to see if people like it still - going to add to the other one as soon as I can as well.

Please let me know what you think. The part about Sam calling Aragorn Strider again was just something I added - just for calling him something different than Aragorn. My thought was that Sam would revert to calling the Ranger by the name they had come to know him before getting to Rivendell.